We make two different kinds of turbos here at SteamSpeed. The first is a journal bearing based turbo (gold colored water lines in pictures) and the other is a genuine Garrett (Japan) ball bearing based turbo (silver colored water lines in pictures).
I thought I’d make a post with pictures of the two together so that those interested could easily compare their fitment. Both turbos are factory location turbos and will install with little modification necessary.
The Steam STX 71 (gold water lines) is capable of up to about 450whp on E85 and we’ve seen the STX 20G-R (silver water lines) pull over 375whp on 91 octane. Both are balanced on Schenck CHRA balancers, the best available, for extended durability.
We have had questions of what to do if the OEM water lines are not long enough. The short answer is to make a new water line. It is simple to do and effective. What you don’t want to do is to force your stock line to fit if it is not long enough. In the worst case, it will crimp you line and prevent your turbo from being cooled correctly.
How do you make a new water line?
Buy a length of antifreeze safe hose from your local auto part store. Generally it is sold by the foot, and 12″ is plenty. In our example, we used Gates 3/8″ fuel injection hose because it is the right diameter, and it works.
Remove the old water line.
Next determine how long to cut the new hose. Put it in the engine bay and test fit the line. Make it long enough such that the hose is not pinched and has a nice curve. It doesn’t need to be too long such that it rubs against anything.
Cut the hose to the correct length.
Remove the sliver heat shielding off of the factory line.
Put it on the newly cut line.
Connect the new line with the heat shield onto the turbo and cylinder head.
Ensure that the line is properly clamped on both ends.
After starting the car for the first time, make sure there are no leaks.
Here is the finished product. Note there are no kinks and we are reusing the OEM heat shielding. We used common 3/8″ Gates fuel injector hose.