It was back at the 2002 SEMA show that I met up with Edelbrock representative, and good friend, Rex Urasaki. That's when he walked me to the center of their booth and briefed me on Edelbrock's new EK turbo kit for the 16-valve sohc Civic.
2NR: Does it come with that Performer X intake manifold?Rex: Yes.
2NR: What about those four additional injectors?Rex: Yup, it also comes with a computer that controls the extra injectors and ignition timing.
2NR: Is that a T-2.5 Garrett ball-bearing turbo?Rex: Yes.
2NR: That's Tial blowoff valve? Rex: Yes.
2NR: Shit, you guys are probably going to sell this kit for over $5000!Rex: Actually, it should retail for around $3500 and is 50-state legal.
2NR: You guys are nuts!Rex: Yes we are.
After the SEMA show, the buzz around the office was why Edelbrock would sell a turbo kit with quality parts for so cheap. In all honesty, you can't even buy the turbo, intercooler and blowoff valve for that price. Not stopping there, they plan on giving you the rest of the parts to complete the turbo kit for that same price! When we first laid eyes on it, our first thought was that the kit was going to be broken up in stages. It wasn't until we spoke to Rex that we found out the kit was the company's first stage. To complete the list, the system includes Tial blowoff, Garret turbo, air-to-air intercooler, fuel & timing computer, four extra injectors, PerformerX intake manifold, cast exhaust manifold, intercooler piping, cast elbow with downpipe, air intake and to top it off, a CARB sticker with papers to prove the kit is 100-percent legit. If you ask me, this is better then going with a dohc engine.
Turbo & DownpipeHorsepower is made through a Garrett ball-bearing turbo. Turbo selection was excellent for quick on-throttle power without sacrificing top end power. The turbo is the same one that is on factory J-Spec Sylvias but in ball bearing trim. An internal wastegate was chosen to control boost pressure to 6 or 7 psi and since its size is very compact, the use of a cast iron exhaust outlet (an elbow) is possible. Since the elbow is considered part of the downpipe this also helps installation much easier since it is two-piece unit. The downpipe is constructed of 2 1/2-in mild steel and thermal coated to lower external heat temperature. The Edelbrock exhaust manifold comes cast to ensure no cracks for the life of the turbo kit.
Air ChargeOn the air intake side, the turbo's inlet comes via cast aluminum intake with an open-element air filter. To guarantee seal between the turbo inlet and air intake pipe the kit uses an O-ring seal. For the high pressure charge mild-steel 2 1/4-in ceramic-coated intercooler pipes are used, which require mild modification to the vehicles plastic under tray. Turbo air charge outlet is also sealed via O-ring located on the cast aluminum bend. Relieving the engine's air charge in between shifts comes by way of the Tial blow off valve. Chilling the air charge is in the hands of a Spearco air-to-air core with cast Edelbrock end tank. No cutting required for intercooler fitment.
While most turbo kits require you to use the factory intake manifold, the Edelbrock turbo kit comes with an aftermarket Performer X manifold. By using this manifold airflow distributed much more evenly then the OEM unit. This also allows all added vacuum sources required for the turbo system rather then tapping into OEM vacuum lines. The manifold also has the necessary mounting locations for the factory sensors.
Oil, Water & FuelA long lasting turbo comes only by proper cooling. The turbo used in this particular kit runs an oil- and water-cooled center housing. Oil cools the bearings while the water cools the housing. Oil plumbing requires only one small modification to the oil pan. No welding is require to the oil pan, just a simple AN adapter with gasket. Oil fed to the turbo comes from a sandwich adapter that sits between the oil filter and engine block making installation much easier. Oil transfer is through a -4 line.
Water supply to the turbo comes from the same source that cools the engine. The water is supplied through a -6 line ran from the turbo to a preexisting coolant line from the head. Rather then using an AN fitting on the turbo, the kit uses banjo fittings to allow for more adjustability.
Since the system runs a sophisticated fuel system, OEM fuel lines were replaced with Russell lines. Installing the lines requires no modifications since it replaces the OEM banjo fittings with that bolt to the factory fuel filter and fuel rail. Since there are four auxiliary injectors used the fuel feed line also has a distribution block built into it to supply fuel to the secondary fuel line.
Fuel & SparkPassing smog is probably the most difficult process when trying to get an E.O. number for the kit. The brain behind the fuel and timing for the kit is half stand-alone and half piggyback control. The system uses its own map sensor built into the ECU but does require an rpm signal and power source from the factory ECU. The injectors are driven independently by the Edelbrock computer while timing is controlled by modifying the factory ECU signal. The unit comes preprogrammed but we personally think that when their race upgrade comes out it will come with the controller for the computer. Only time will tell.
DynoOn the dynamometer, the D16 engine was previously equipped with an exhaust and intake, putting out 109.4 hp and 95.3 lb-ft of torque. With the turbo kit installed, the car then produced 175.7 hp and 141.5 lb-ft of torque. Boost pressure was leveled off at 7 psi, showing that the kit made a total of 65.3 ponies and 46.2 lb-ft of torque. With the addition of a boost controller and more tuning, we are confident that this turbo kit can produce numbers in the 200 range. As we stated earlier, Edelbrock plans on releasing a race version of the kit in the near future but for now this CARB-legal kit just raised the bar for turbo kit standards.
ConclusionIt was a long process for Edelbrock to produce the kit but in the long run it was done to keep the pigs off your back. While California has the hardest time with smog rules, it's good to know that the kit is universal in all 50 states. To think Edelbrock spent so much money in making the kit CARB-legal, yet the price of the kit can be considered one of the most bang-for-the-buck in the industry. By the way, they even give you a cool E.O. number sticker to keep one-time off your ass.