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Old 09-12-2018, 01:26 PM   #1
jrpontiac
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77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Thought I'd post some pictures of my c10 turbo install on a 5.3ls, I'll update as I make progress. I finished up the 5.3ls conversion a couple months ago and decided I wanted to put a single turbo on it. Shooting for 500hp at under 10lb boost. Only mod to the engine will be the fuel injectors.

After doing so research I came up with a rough idea of how to do it. But mostly figuring this out as I go. Not in a hurry so I'm buying the parts as I go and using mostly Ebay parts. My overall objective is to keep the engine bay as clean and subtle as possible.

First purchase was the exhaust manifold, I used the Hooker single turbo exhaust manifold. It is a very tight fit but it clears. I like it because it is cast and has a factory look to it and is not terribly expensive ($300). I had interference with the original clam shell mount, but after some grinding it cleared. I suspect if I had used aftermarket motor mounts it would have cleared.

I Used 3" sch 40 fittings and a turbo T4 flange to finish the hot side pipe. ($75). The location of the turbo ends up being a compromise. I had the radiator hose, radiator, fender liner, battery, intercooler pipe routing, etc.. to deal with. At this point I just have the hot pipe tacked together, will have to pull out for final welding.

Turbo is an Ebay GT45 turbo, ($177). Drove myself nuts trying to figure out what turbo size to get. I finally hit the point where I just picked one so I could keep moving forward. I ended up with.


Compressor Trim Inducer Diamter Exducer Diamter A/R
50 69 mm 98 mm 0.66
Turbine Trim Inducer Diamter Exducer Diamter A/R
77 88 mm 77.5 mm 1.05

I did know I wanted a t4 size so if this turns out to be the wrong turbo I'll buy different one.

1st intercooler I ordered ($85) is to small, larger unit ($80) is on the way. I'm not sure from a performance standpoint if it is to small. From a looks standpoint it is. Pic is of smaller intercooler.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

sub'd
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Nice truck. This will be an interesting build!
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:31 PM   #4
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Got the larger intercooler in the mail today. Fabbed up the top mount and mocked up the intercooler. It is a tight fit but a nice fit. Ran out of mig gas so had to tack the mounts with crappy welds. Will clean them up when i get a refill. Will work on bottom mount this weekend.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I like the bigger intercooler for sure. sweet build. My long term goal is an LS with a single.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I will follow along too as I am looking at doing the same at some point.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:23 AM   #7
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Definitely following this build
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:34 PM   #8
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Following, looking to do my swap this winter but with ac. Good looking truck btw.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:15 AM   #9
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Im in
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:28 PM   #10
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I havent made much progress because I've been in China on vacation with the family. Didn't see one square body (no surprise) i was surprised that I didnt see one light truck or any Chevys. A lot of Buick minivans, quite a few Fords and one Dodge.

Got back at it tonight. Got most of my turbo to intercooler piping routed. Went together pretty well. Need one reducer elbow to connect the intercooler piping to the MAF. MAF is 4", intercooler piping is 3". I'm thinking about having the alum pipe section the goes from intercooler to MAF tigged and powdercoated flat black. Had to notch a radiator core support bracket on the drivers side a little bit. But going into this I thought I was going to have to cut into the core support more than i've had to. Used a 4" hole saw to cut the intercooler piping holes in the support.

Determined that I will most likely have to relocate the battery because of the aircleaner location. I will be installing a bigger aircleaner down the road.

Ordered the reducer and a blow off valve.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:12 PM   #11
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I had not anticipated changing out the cam but after much debate I decided to. Ordered a trickflow cam tps30602001. .560 lift/216/220 duration with 114lsa with matching valve springs. The guy that will be tuning the car indicated that 80lbs injectors might be a bit big for the stock cam. Since i have a feeling this boost deal is going to be addictive i figure i might as well start off with a cam that can support 80lbs injectors. Dont want to have to do 60lbs now and then 80lbs in 12 months.

I have the wastegate, blow off valve, oil lines and a few other thing ready to go after I get the cam and springs installed. Also need to drop off hot side manifold and intercooler pupe to get some welding done.
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:16 PM   #12
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I welded the hotside pipe myself. Hotside pipe dia. Is 3", which is too big but it looks nice. Would use 2" or 2.5" if i did it again. Apparently the smaller the pipe the quicker the turbo spools up. The exhaust manifold had a 3" exit so I continued on with 3". Will be wrapping the pipe in heat tape. The top one pipe is for the wastegate.
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:35 PM   #13
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

yep smaller the pipe = faster the gas has to move . bigger = longer fill time and then move time .

anyway you look at it tho its a ls with turbo on the budget . and most guys i have read on this tend to do 550-600hp with out trying to hard at all .
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I am liking everything I’m seeing so far...!
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:27 PM   #15
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Ill post up a couple more pics of progress and then will be quiet for a week or so. Need to get the cam swap done and have some aluminum welding done. Bung welded to timing chain cover and blow off flange welded to intercooler piping.

Ran the oil pressure line from the oil filter boss deal to the high side pressure port on the turbo. The boss deal already have a zurk fitting deal the I pulled and Used #4 AN fittings and black braided hose. The turbo oil drain line will tap into the timing chain cover. Im having a #10 bung welded on and will run #10 from turbo to bung.

Wrapped the manifold, and mounted the wastegate.

Got front off engine pulled and ready to pyll harmonic balancer.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:07 PM   #16
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Like it so far looking good.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:01 AM   #17
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Following along - doing a 5.3 swap in my 80 C10 in the spring, probably nitrous initially but maybe a turbo eventually. Looking really clean!
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

OK... since I do not know a whole lot about this boosted stuff, maybe you can shed some light. You are only getting exhaust to the turbo from one side of the engine and tinydb84 has a similar set up, but is getting exhaust from both sides. Obviously it is simpler to just keep everything on one side, but are you sacrificing anything in doing so?
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:16 AM   #19
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddyjeep View Post
OK... since I do not know a whole lot about this boosted stuff, maybe you can shed some light. You are only getting exhaust to the turbo from one side of the engine and tinydb84 has a similar set up, but is getting exhaust from both sides. Obviously it is simpler to just keep everything on one side, but are you sacrificing anything in doing so?
There will be a crossover pipe coming over from the drivers side. In one of the first pictures you can see a V band flange on the rear of the turbo manifold.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:22 PM   #20
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Looking good. How did you decide on that cam? I am running a stock one for now but plan on upgrading after I get some miles on it.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:43 PM   #21
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Google was my friend. But I will say it was really confusing because there is no correct answer. But I did determined a couple things many people agreed on. I determined the LSA for a turbo should be in the 112-114 range. As much as I wanted a 108lsa for a nasty idle apparently that is not what turbos like. The lift I picked .560 appeared to be about as high as I could go using stock pushrods and valve spring retainers, I am changing springs. I'm sure someone has a different opinion on that.
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:58 AM   #22
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Got the cam swap done, fairly easy process.

Had the #10 AN fittimg welded to the timing chain cover for the oil return line. And had the blow off valve flange welded on. Really happy with how it turned out. Hope to get the valve springs changed out this weekend and start reassembling.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:51 AM   #23
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Got the valve springs changed out this weekend. Still need to torque the rockers arms down but I wanted to get moving on some fun stuff today. Did the following.

Mounted up hot pipe/turbo again (hopefully the last time but i doubt it). Final install intercooler hoses, and fabbed up the start of the downpipe. Downpipe is 4" and i am going to run it on the outside of the passenger side frame rail, kinda like a fender well header. I think it should work really well. I couldnt see how a 4" pipe was going to fit inside the frame rail. Downpipe also has the wastegate exhaust tapped into it. Downpipe is stainless, but will be heat wrapped. Not proud of my welding but will take it to my buddy and have him clean it up. Will install a 4" v band at the far end of what you see here and go with 4" mild steel the rest of the exhaust.

Update - after looking at the downpipe this morning I determined I wasn't going to be happy with it. Ordered some prebent 4" elbows and will try it again.
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Old 10-25-2018, 11:01 PM   #24
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

Redid my downpipe. Much happier with it.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:28 AM   #25
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Re: 77 c10 5.3ls turbo

I like it
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