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Exploring Forced Induction: The Fluid MotorUnion Ford Explorer Turbo Build Thread!

Discussion in 'Modified 2006 - 2010 Explorers' started by FluidMotorUnion, July 26, 2011.

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    1. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      The Fluid MotorUnion Ford Explorer Turbo Build Thread! (Update: Post #26!)

      [edit]: Updates on the second page!

      We at Fluid MotorUnion love taking on jobs we don’t typically come across. This one is definitely something we don’t see every day, and we're excited to share it with a new forum that may be interested in this sort of fabrication job.

      This post marks the beginning of a multi-post build thread for a 2006 Explorer. No, it’s not getting the X5 treatment. This specific Explorer is here because the owner finds that receiving air into his intake manifold at a standard atmospheric pressure just isn’t enough. It’s time…to turbocharge. Superchargers are a more typical route, but when have we been about the typical? We’ve already battened down the hatches and begun work on an entirely custom turbocharger kit for this Explorer. It will feature a heat exchanger up front, with air-to-water intercoolers inside the engine bay, a totally revamped manifold setup and a custom exhaust to match. This is going to be a heavy-duty build that we’re quite excited about, so enough gushing, let’s get to some pictures! Here’s the initial stage of the build, where we break everything down in order to look for room for all the new components we’ll be adding to the engine bay:

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      Next on the list was placement and fabrication of hangers for the heat exchanger. There was really only one good place to put it, as it’s not the smallest piece on the planet. But it’s certainly not a bad location:

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      And here’s the snail in question, waiting patiently for its turn to enter the engine bay:

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      Next, work began to plot out and plan the exhaust manifold. You might not see too many (if any) more pictures of the manifold as it’s being built, as we can’t give away all the fun parts (or the final layout of our manifold jig). We’ll always do some zoomed-in welding shots for ya, but everybody might just have to wait and see what the final product looks like. Patience is a virtue!

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      The latest step we finished was welding on some mounts for the air-to-water intercoolers.

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      Now that the first post is behind us, the next steps are the mounting of the intercoolers and the fabrication of the manifolds, which are undoubtedly the trickiest remaining parts of fabrication’s work. We can make exhausts in our sleep. Get ready for the next installment of this build, coming soon!
       
      Last edited: August 15, 2011
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    3. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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    4. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      Thanks! It may take a few days between posts, as I run the blog at Fluid and try to put some variety in each week (we've got a lot going on), but needless to say, we're all pretty excited to see how this is going to go down.

      Anybody who is a fan of welding will be looking forward to the manifold and exhaust posts :D
       
    5. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Anything is cool- fun to watch a good build progress... :thumbsup:
       
    6. FLOffroad

      FLOffroad Active Member

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      Nice!! This is going to be really cool.

      BTW - That's the single coolest X5 I've ever seen! How much did that conversion cost? Considering how cheap you can score an X5 for these days that's got some wheels turning - even though BMW's AWD is a bit crappy offroad.
       
    7. tmike

      tmike Member

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    8. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      The X5 conversion was done for our own project X5, so we never really assembled a cost list, but for anybody considering it, I could probably sit down and start crunching numbers. For a bit of information, the bumper and roof rack are mild steel, bent in-house and powdercoated. The snorkel setup is fully sealed, and made from powdercoated aluminum. Nothing like hearing the filter do its job directly above the open sunroof.

      And yes, BMW's AWD is rather lacking. Despite the lift kit and off-road preparedness to a degree, we won't be rock climbing in this anytime soon. But it *is* a hoot to drive, both on and off road.
       
    9. FLOffroad

      FLOffroad Active Member

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      No doubt! One more off-topic question - are the steelies on the X5 custom or were they fitted via wheel adapters? I'm pretty sure that no stock aftermarket steelies fit an X5.
      BTW - If you're ever interested, there is a company called Hartge in Germany that makes a 100% F/R diff lock for X3s and X5s. If you search "Hartge X5" or "Hartge X3" on youtube there are some videos - very impressive.

      Back on topic - any reasons on why the Explorer is FMIC as opposed to TMIC? Other than TMIC requires a hood scoop.
       
    10. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      In terms of the FMIC/TMIC question, you hit it on the nose. The fabrication for the hood scoop was not really within his budget nor corresponded with his tastes, as he's looking for a sleeper, at least aesthetically speaking.

      As for the X5, we've heard of Hartge and their attempts to give the X3/X5 some offroad credibility. We may prep the body and suspension for proper offroad duty at some point, but our plans are always subject to change at the last minute.

      And the wheels were made by Cragar. Definitely not a custom job. Just some good ol' fashioned steelies.
       
      Last edited: July 27, 2011
    11. NHarris

      NHarris Well-Known Member

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    12. The Electrician

      The Electrician Active Member

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    13. techieman33

      techieman33 Explorer Addict

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      looks like a cool build, nice to see a little need for speed action.
       
    14. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      Thanks guys!

      We should have more up by the end of next week!
       
    15. Sams01XplrSprt

      Sams01XplrSprt Southern Cali Explorer

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      looking good be sure to post a sound clip of it
       
    16. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      This is way too awesome. It is rare to see anyone putting a turbo on or supercharging these Explorers so it's always really cool to see it happen. Good luck with it!

      Oh and this Explorer looks just like mine and I have the V8 as well so that's cool. :D
       
    17. psycareyo

      psycareyo Active Member

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      This is awesome.
       
    18. psycareyo

      psycareyo Active Member

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      This we be around $10,000 I'm sure.
       
    19. psycareyo

      psycareyo Active Member

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      Why not a remote mounted turbo like the STS systems? Lots of room underthere!
       
    20. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      Thanks! :D

      Thanks! We knew a turbo setup wasn't very common on this generation of Explorer, but when challenges arise, we're always willing to meet them head on!

      Oh, there will be video, do not worry. I try to get at least dyno and exhaust videos for almost every project car we work on.

      Not too sure on the final price yet, but if this is something that gets some serious interest, we'd be willing to put together a "kit" of sorts that should contain everything necessary.
       
    21. FluidMotorUnion

      FluidMotorUnion New Member

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      Regarding the STS systems, we were actually one of the first companies that used their systems; we've tried rear-mounting turbos for a variety of applications, including our own Ram SRT-10, to varying degrees of success. Heat, spool time and oil delivery are the three biggest issues to work around, and depending on the car, those issues can spell defeat for an entire setup.

      By going the custom route and bringing the turbo much closer to the front of the engine, we're reducing lag and increasing overall response and drivability.
       

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