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Thread: To turbo or not to turbo... that is the question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Coral Springs, FL
    My Cars
    E21 320i-E39 540i-F10 M5

    To turbo or not to turbo... that is the question

    So I've come to a crossroads in my time of ownership of my e21.

    I have a complete non-intercooled Century BAE Rajay turbo kit with a Megajolt controller and Volvo 240 turbo AFM and fuel distrib.

    The turbo needs to be rebuilt, the down pipes and exhaust manifold could use a good coating, and all of the piping and intake manifold a nice polish. I'd probably go with a 292 or 284 cam, not sure. If I went with this, I'd just want it to be a mild turbo setup with some reliability... not concerned with big power. Living in FL though, adding an intercooler would be in my best interest.

    I also have a Stahl (or Headercraft) header. I'm not sure which because the part number on it lines up with both manufacturers, but there was also history there that employees from Stahl went to Headercraft back in the early 80's, so They are identical in design, long tube equal length. I'd also consider a cam upgrade with this setup.

    The turbo kit is as old as Jesus' toenails... I know. I'm actually fine with that because most of the 'theme' of my e21 is lots of period correct bits and upgrades. I've had the ideas of doing M42 swaps and all that too, but it just doesn't seem right to yank out a low mileage perfectly functioning M10.

    So I'm interested to know what the forum thinks, turbo or NA?

    Stancing is for drivers trapped in an abusive relationship of their own lives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    My Cars
    1982 e21, 1983 e21
    I love my turbo m10.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    My Cars
    1979 E21 320i

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Auburn, CA
    My Cars
    1980 320iS, 1970 2002
    I just completed a period Century/BAE/Rayjay turbo install in my 320iS. I live in California, so it has to be smog legal and only stock parts can be used. It's a very mild turbo, 5-6 psi, no intercooler, and you need 4,000 rpm to even feel a difference. From there on it pulls pretty good, and is fun, but still not a rocket.
    If you want to feel the turbo all the time, I would go with a different setup, depending on the emissions requirements in FL.
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