Supercharger vs Turbo vs Engine Swap? (1 Viewer)

jaymar

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Is there such an up-to-date thread out there already? And if not, anyone care to weigh in on the relative pros and cons of each option? Reliability, longevity, performance, availability, cost / time / difficulty, potential hazards etc...
 
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Did some initial research myself on this topic a few months back.... tldr is turbo seems to the best option and “relatively” more straightforward forward and cost effective. Swap will cost a ton in labor and getting a tranny to marry to whatever your donor is a major pain, not to mention the wiring harness etc. granted I was quoted at nearly 40k to do any LS swap. While a turbo kit from Wits will run you about 6k and you could possibly do the install yourself. Not too sure about super charger I think they are still produced....
 
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Here is a recent thread that was quite entertaining:


It seems this topic gets some riled up. I recently put in a new short block and had the head redone on my 1FZ. I thought about a turbo, but decided to leave it alone for now. If I ever do decide to do something for more power, I'll do an engine swap. No replacement for displacement, and I'm not very familiar with turbos or superchargers. Engine swaps aren't for everyone, though. And I would never pay someone the prices they charge to do an engine swap. $25K and up is just ridiculous. I'd do it myself.
 

jaymar

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Yeah, I doubt anyone’s likely to build a better turbo than that one. My impression is, superchargers are no longer made for these engines. I assume (but may be wrong) that if long-term reliability is a priority, AND you want more power, it has to be more mechanically sound to swap in something more powerful that won’t even breathe hard, than it is to push the fz hard with a s/c or t/c.
 
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The issue with forced induction I think is that if a issue occurs such as a injectors dies or something more damage can be done under boost. If you are traveling in a 3rd world country where you can only get like 80 octane or something than you would have to really reduce timing with forced induction. Stock transmission and wiring, cruise control, exhaust stays with forced induction so less to dial in compared to a swap.
 
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Yeah, I doubt anyone’s likely to build a better turbo than that one. My impression is, superchargers are no longer made for these engines. I assume (but may be wrong) that if long-term reliability is a priority, AND you want more power, it has to be more mechanically sound to swap in something more powerful that won’t even breathe hard, than it is to push the fz hard with a s/c or t/c.
The 1fz is overbuilt, and I don't say that in a fanboy way, I mean if you look at an LS connecting rod next to a 1fz connecting rod, the V8 one looks like a tinker toy. I don't think modest boost (around 6psi) would shorten the life of a 1fz appreciably at all over the course of a couple decades. As evidenced by the supercharged rigs still on the road 200k-plus miles later. Light boost is not pushing the 1fz hard. It's built for it.

The only reason the V8 might have a longevity edge is that it is presumably new or low-miles. Eventually time will catch up with the V8. If you're starting from scratch with a fresh/rebuilt 1fz, I don't think the v8 has any reliability advantage.

Not advocating one route over the other, just addressing your assumption with my own two cents.
 

SNLC

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3rd world countries not having good octane or quality fuel is a total myth.

91+ is available from here to the tip of SA. I ran 96 in Panama and the 5vz in my Taco running 12psi loved it.

I have driven to Panama and back three times, twice with a s/c Taco. Never once with well over 35,000 miles logged on those trips did I get bad fuel.

Cheers
 

jaymar

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3rd world countries not having good octane or quality fuel is a total myth.

91+ is available from here to the tip of SA. I ran 96 in Panama and the 5vz in my Taco running 12psi loved it.

I have driven to Panama and back three times, twice with a s/c Taco. Never once with well over 35,000 miles logged on those trips did I get bad fuel.

Cheers
Ever have a s/c problem?
 

jaymar

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The 1fz is overbuilt, and I don't say that in a fanboy way, I mean if you look at an LS connecting rod next to a 1fz connecting rod, the V8 one looks like a tinker toy. I don't think modest boost (around 6psi) would shorten the life of a 1fz appreciably at all over the course of a couple decades. As evidenced by the supercharged rigs still on the road 200k-plus miles later. Light boost is not pushing the 1fz hard. It's built for it.

The only reason the V8 might have a longevity edge is that it is presumably new or low-miles. Eventually time will catch up with the V8. If you're starting from scratch with a fresh/rebuilt 1fz, I don't think the v8 has any reliability advantage.

Not advocating one route over the other, just addressing your assumption with my own two cents.
Good point. What's considered "modest," and what do you get out of that, hp/torque/mileage-wise? Assuming you can find a quality s/c...?
 
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No offense meant in what I am about to say - just an observation.

I've never really understood putting a supercharger or a turbo on a 6 cylinder gasser. On a Bronco forum I used to frequent, there was one member that was a big fan of the Ford 300 inline 6 (which were great engines). And I remember he had a tag line of "6=8". He was all about modding his 6 bangers to get their numbers up to stock V8 levels, and maybe a bit higher. But, all in all, the numbers still weren't that impressive. I don't remember what he was exactly pulling out of his 6 banger, but it was something in the low 300s for HP and Torque and a somewhat elevated RPM level. I had stuffed a Ford 400 with Aussie 302 heads, aftermarket fuel injection (Holley commander with a modified aluminum intake to accept the injectors), and an RV cam in my Bronco. Naturally aspirated and it was pulling 325 HP and 450 ft-lbs of torque. Peak torque was at around 2400 rpm, if I remember correctly (high torque at low rpm was nice for wheeling). And that wasn't stretching that engine at all. I had selected some aftermarket pistons that were machined to give me a CR of 9:1 and I ran mid-grade gasoline. Total cost for that engine swap was around $5,500 - and that was in the 2011 time frame. I did all of the assembly work, but farmed out the machine work. That price included the purchase of a used 400 engine.

I did briefly consider a turbo for my Cruiser, but in the end dismissed it. For the amount of money they cost, the end numbers just aren't that impressive, IMO. I know you can build them yourself for cheaper, but as I said before, when and if I do decide to upgrade the power of this rig, it will be an engine swap.
 
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as a follow up for those that HAVE installed the Wits End or some version thereof, how difficult is the process? Im fairly mechanically inclined and can do light fabrication (not that one would need to) but outside of removing the intake manifold, installing the Turbo and piping it up to the exhaust manifold... what else is there?
 
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as a follow up for those that HAVE installed the Wits End or some version thereof, how difficult is the process? Im fairly mechanically inclined and can do light fabrication (not that one would need to) but outside of removing the intake manifold, installing the Turbo and piping it up to the exhaust manifold... what else is there?

It doesn't look too bad:

 
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as a follow up for those that HAVE installed the Wits End or some version thereof, how difficult is the process? Im fairly mechanically inclined and can do light fabrication (not that one would need to) but outside of removing the intake manifold, installing the Turbo and piping it up to the exhaust manifold... what else is there?
The hardest part for the home/shade tree mechanic is drilling the upper oil pan for the oil drain line. You need to rent a right-angle drill, and even then, it's tight and tricky. If you need to re-seal your upper oil pan arch (which in itself is a royal PITA), I would highly recommend you drill the drain hole while the pan is off the truck and then plug it until it's time to install the turbo. If you don't need to re-seal the upper pan, then it's not worth pulling the pan just to drill the hole. As you see in the OTTRAM video, he drills the hole with the pan off the truck. Other that that, it's pretty much just bolting stuff together and some trial and error test-fitting. And when you're done you need to take it to the exhaust shop for finish welding the exhaust.

Compared to an SC install, it might be a touch easier because you don't need to take off the crank pulley.
 
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I had to pull my turbo off and reinstall about 1.5 years ago. Drove it without the turbo for a bit. What surprised me is that literally with about 8 hours of work to put it back together, with the only significant change being this snail scroll on the exhaust, all the sudden the vehicle has such a significant increase in power. It’s hard to explain that feeling, that the 1FZ has all this untapped power available with no other changes.

With an engine swap, the problem is that Toyota didn’t make other engines with significantly more power that are easy to swap in, like the Ford example above. So now you’re dealing with adapters for the engine and transmission mounting, custom fab work, and wiring to get all the gauges, tach, Cruise, A/C, and shifting to work right. Most people, even enthusiasts, probably prefer bolt on solutions if they are available.

maybe you say the power increase of the turbo is modest, but my 80 will outpull a 100 series, so I get the best of both worlds (SFA and power), am never frustrated when driving my 80, and am not tempted to leave the platform due to lack of power.
 
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Here is a recent thread that was quite entertaining:

Let’s not go down that rabbit hole again lol
 
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I had to pull my turbo off and reinstall about 1.5 years ago. Drove it without the turbo for a bit. What surprised me is that literally with about 8 hours of work to put it back together, with the only significant change being this snail scroll on the exhaust, all the sudden the vehicle has such a significant increase in power. It’s hard to explain that feeling, that the 1FZ has all this untapped power available with no other changes.

With an engine swap, the problem is that Toyota didn’t make other engines with significantly more power that are easy to swap in, like the Ford example above. So now you’re dealing with adapters for the engine and transmission mounting, custom fab work, and wiring to get all the gauges, tach, Cruise, A/C, and shifting to work right. Most people, even enthusiasts, probably prefer bolt on solutions if they are available.

maybe you say the power increase of the turbo is modest, but my 80 will outpull a 100 series, so I get the best of both worlds (SFA and power), am never frustrated when driving my 80, and am not tempted to leave the platform due to lack of power.
Im curious how the turbo does on the 1fz with a full load under boost for a while such as with a heavy trailer. For example on I70 in colorado their are some pretty steep passes where a engine gets used pretty hard for a good while going from like 9000ft to over 11000, like vail pass for example.
 
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Im curious how the turbo does on the 1fz with a full load under boost for a while such as with a heavy trailer. For example on I70 in colorado their are some pretty steep passes where a engine gets used pretty hard for a good while going from like 9000ft to over 11000, like vail pass for example.
I haven’t pulled a trailer over I-70 yet, but we did take it camping up by Estes Park. I wasn’t really able to push it on the pull out of Lyons because it was like 103 that day and the engine temps were creeping up, had to shut off the A/C, etc. But in 2nd gear to keep the rpms and airflow up, was able to easily do the (I think) 45 mph speed limit. the trailer is around 2200 lbs. Maybe next summer will get more testing done with the trailer in tow.
 
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Im curious how the turbo does on the 1fz with a full load under boost for a while such as with a heavy trailer. For example on I70 in colorado their are some pretty steep passes where a engine gets used pretty hard for a good while going from like 9000ft to over 11000, like vail pass for example.
I haven't pulled my wife's pop-up camper over I-70 with a turbo, but loaded for a weekend of camping with no trailer, it can hold speed just fine without using 2nd gear at all. Normally Vail Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel and Floyd Hill are all 4,000+ rpm in 2nd gear. I left overdrive on and it's in 4th gear for most of the trip, dropping into 3rd for the passes. With a stock truck, it's more like 3rd most of the time, dropping into 2nd for the passes.

Hopefully next summer we'll do a few more trips with the camper in tow.
 

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