This week’s Fan Focus is an unusual one. Dominic Maguire has had his 2003 Acura RSX for about 5 years now and ran into a fellow who told him that he could turbo the car for virtually nothing if he would supply the parts.
Interested in this, Dominic started searching for the various components on his “shopping list.” He came across a guy online selling the turbo off his Ford diesel and decided, “Well, it should work,” and purchased it. The turbo was actually from the Banks Sidewinder turbo system, one of the products that actually started the turbo diesel performance aftermarket. After getting all the items on the list (intercooler, wastegate, blow-off, etc.) and having some expert tuning, the RSX has been running like a champ for over a year now. “This turbo is awesome,” says Dominic. “I’ve thrown everything at this thing, and it just won’t die. Such a great design.”
Since the size of the turbocharger is quite large (it was originally made for a 7.3-liter diesel vs the Acura’s 2.0 gasoline powerplant) so there is a helping of boost-lag, but when it does come on at around 4,000 RPM it pulls the car hard. While he basically went with used hard parts there were some things that he didn’t want to skimp on, such as the ECM programming. He went with Hondata’s K-Series Programmable ECM (K-Pro). His tuner was H-Car Engine Dyno Tuning in San Antonio, Texas.
Next on the list for upgrades is an E85 flex-fuel setup, crank up the boost and get it retuned. His goal is 500 hp.