PRL Motorsports FK8 Civic Type-R Drop-In Turbocharger Upgrade

PRL Motorsports

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As some of you may have seen, we have been testing our prototype drop-in turbocharger upgrade for the FK8 Civic Type-R platform over the past couple of weeks. What we haven’t shown, though, is the fact that we’ve spent countless hours over these weeks learning about the Bosch ECU, how these cars respond to turbocharger upgrades and testing the limits of factory and aftermarket components.

Prototype Turbocharger Specifications:
  • Ball Bearing Center Section
  • 8-Blade Billet Compressor with 50mm Inducer and 67mm Exducer
  • 9-Blade Turbine Wheel with 52mm Inducer and 45.7mm Exducer

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Prototype Compressor

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Factory Compressor

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Prototype Turbine

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Factory Turbine

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Prototype Center Section

Please ignore the cellphone quality pictures. Final product will be revised to look much cleaner if we decide to bring to market.

One of the first things we noticed upon testing was the fact that turbo spool was not lost; this upgrade spools identical to the factory turbocharger! Response and power remained similar throughout the power-band until ~5000 RPM. The upgraded turbo clearly outflowed the small factory unit from ~5000 RPM until redline at the same boost level(s).

CTR%20Turbo%20Comparison_zpsb6ivakzs.jpg


For reference the Green Run 1 was with the factory turbocharger and Hondata’s “PRL Motorsports 93 Octane Map” basemap, which made 364 horsepower and 378 ft/lbs of torque, which spikes around ~24.5 PSI of boost and drops to ~21.5 PSI up top.

The Blue Run 8 was a similar map to Hondata’s basemap with our turbocharger upgrade, which put us at 395 horsepower and 382 ft/lbs of torque. We made numerous 385 - 410 horsepower runs here, but found the car to make rather inconsistent power for unknown (at the time) reasons. Our goal was to be able to see a 400+ horsepower pump gas number, but we could not get past limitations and inconsistencies. Immediately we began testing anything we could, between adjusting every possible table in Hondata, to swapping to KTuner, to checking for mechanical issues to even ruling out any of our products being some sort of restriction. It was at this point that we realized that we were at mercy of some sort of background table coding of the stock ECU that has not yet been touched. There’s a reason that most of the higher horsepower stock ECU cars flirt around the 400 horsepower barrier. Yes, the factory high pressure fuel pump is maxed out around 400 ft/lbs of torque, but there is enough injector duty cycle to compensate for this. Of course it would be beneficial to have more fueling here, but shifting the torque curve to the right and bypassing this torque spike will allow us to safely stretch the factory fuel system further with proper tuning and race gas. You can see that the top of the graph begins to look choppy when nearing 400 horsepower; this choppiness worsened when surpassing 400 horsepower on 93 octane due what we were thinking was engine knock. For this reason, we poured in MS100 fuel to rule this out, which allowed us to make the same/similar power without as much chop. However, we were still limited from overcoming this power barrier…

Run 4 is where we were finally able to test our theory for not being able to increase power/boost, and as you can see, the power went up! We accomplished 423 horsepower and 426 ft/lbs of torque spiking ~28.5 PSI of boost falling to ~23 PSI our very first run here. Though we were happy, our clutch was not. Luckily, the slipping clutch probably saved our stock engine from shooting a rod through the block.

Slipping%20Clutch_zpsoj27epuh.jpg


We plan to strap our car back on the dyno in a few weeks once we install our clutch and a set of forged rods and pistons to really push this car to the next level. Given the fact that this turbo upgrade is still responding well to boost, we are confident that we can achieve 450 - 500 horsepower on this exact setup. In the meantime, we will be working with both Hondata and KTuner to supply them with any information needed to hopefully overcome these ECU limitations for the better sake of the community.



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CincyTypeR

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Great info and keep up the hard work!

So say down the road once you guys offer a drop in turbo, could I drop by car off for that to be installed at your shop? Would you guys also offer beefing up the rods and pistons?
 

davemarco

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Thanks PRL! I am still a bit unclear: was it the race gas that allowed you to overcome the suspected 400 whp coding barrier, or were you able to electronically overcome it somehow?
 

davemarco

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If I'm understanding correctly, this mod will only be relevant to those with fully built motors.
 

Jpierro79

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Thanks PRL! I am still a bit unclear: was it the race gas that allowed you to overcome the suspected 400 whp coding barrier, or were you able to electronically overcome it somehow?
They said they shifted the torque curve to the right. Plus they used race fuel. It increases fuel stability under higher pressures. The Bosch ecu is also torque limiting the power so if you lower the torque the ecu doesn’t cap off and you can run more hp. At 5250 rpm torque and hp are always the same. I’m not going to get technical let’s just leave it at it’s just that way. So anything after that rpm hp will exceed torque therefore if you keep torque below the torque limit you can make more hp. Also It’s always safer to air on the side of caution by not maxing out torque at low rpm. That’s more of what breaks things than high rpm hp. My car is custom tuned so there is 0 gain over the OTS map until 4K. At 4K I only added timing and 4500 up I added a bit more boost with timing and changed the AFR. Also by not building as much low rpm power your not generating as much heat from compressing the air before you hit the main power band. Less heat equals more power. Also less heat decreases engine knock and detonation. If you’ve ever heard a car engine sound like it has little marbles being fired at the block under full throttle you’ve heard detonation or atrocious knock. Some cars are torque monsters. These motors can make way more torque but the clutch and rods can’t take it. I say who cares about the low low rpm torque when you shift from redline your back at 5k what do you need 400ftlbs At 3500 rpm for?
 

Jpierro79

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Thank you PRL for taking the time to tackle this as the only other options were kits that were either untested here or cost 6k plus. The thought of not just upgraded design but ball bearing is fantastic. I wish it spooled faster than oem but more power I’ll take .
I love the hp numbers on the same boost levels. I’d love to see the capability of this turbo.
Will you be coming up with a fuel solution ?
Also what’s mods besides the turbo were on your test car?
 

turbociv910

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I wish it spooled faster than oem but more power I’ll take .
you just said who needs 400 ft lbs at 3500.. well tha's how you get 400 ft lbs.
 
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PRL Motorsports

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Great info and keep up the hard work!

So say down the road once you guys offer a drop in turbo, could I drop by car off for that to be installed at your shop? Would you guys also offer beefing up the rods and pistons?
Thanks for the support! Sadly, we stopped offering labor and tuning jobs at our shop last summer to allow more time and effort on product development.

Thanks PRL! I am still a bit unclear: was it the race gas that allowed you to overcome the suspected 400 whp coding barrier, or were you able to electronically overcome it somehow?
That's what we're here for! :) Even with MS100 we could not consistently overcome the 400 horsepower barrier. However, the race gas allowed us to make smoother power. We were able overcome this by manipulating a set of ECU tables to compensate for background coding limits. We apologize for any confusion.

If I'm understanding correctly, this mod will only be relevant to those with fully built motors.
Nope, stock engine guys can most definitely utilize this upgrade, just not to its fullest potential. Torque can be dialed back and power shifted to the right for longevity's sake. Customers can make the same/more power with this upgrade in comparison to the stock turbo, but at significantly less boost. This will be much easier on the turbo and engine.

Thank you PRL for taking the time to tackle this as the only other options were kits that were either untested here or cost 6k plus. The thought of not just upgraded design but ball bearing is fantastic. I wish it spooled faster than oem but more power I’ll take .
I love the hp numbers on the same boost levels. I’d love to see the capability of this turbo.
Will you be coming up with a fuel solution ?
Also what’s mods besides the turbo were on your test car?
You guys are quite welcome, we live for this kind of stuff! ;)

I don't think we can expect much of anything to spool faster than the factory turbo, especially with larger wheels. We are very happy that response wasn't lost; can't wait to see what we can accomplish when we're back on the dyno.

Though we can still push the factory fuel system further, we are still going to be at mercy of the HPFP. We have discussed a possible Port Injection Kit, but do not see this being the "best" option here. We've talked with quite a few customers/suppliers of HFPF upgrades that we'd love to see come to the market!

These are the same mods as we've had, but with Hondata for the majority of this testing:
Shop 2017 Honda Civic Type-R
Hondata
PRL Motorsports Turbocharger Inlet Pipe
PRL Motorsports High Volume Intake System
PRL Motorsports Intercooler
PRL Motorsports Race Downpipe / Front Pipe Combo
GReddy Supreme Catback Exhaust System
 

                           

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