Turbo lag,stock manifolds vs headers

t-typinator

Active Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
My car has a goodly amount of turbo lag,it makes great power once the boost hits,but seems to take for ever to get into boost,(Seems to run fine other then some knock well into the boost)It does have a big turbo,I believe it's a te52, but stock heads,cam,It does have the orange stripe converter which should help some of the lag,also has the 3" downpipe + 2.5 exhaust.
A local buick turbo guy says, get rid of the headers,+ it will make WAY more low + midrange power,because it will spool that turbine up much quicker,+ not hurt the top end power any.(Because the stock heads really can't utilize the big volume of the headers)
His suggestion is that with the big after market headers,their is no exhaust "Velocity" to spin up the oversized turbine,(especially with the stock head,cam,intake setup.so it causes alot of lag especially with the big turbo,he actually put headers on his wifes mostly stock car + ended up taking them off, because he lost so much usable low/mid range on the street,said it was a dog,+ tells me to go back to the stock manifolds + it will be like night + day. unless i'm going to really build the motor ,+ go with a high stall converter also.
I'm selling the car so this is more to help the new owner dial it in,but i'm also curious too.Anybody else have the same experience or share the same view. Thanks in advance.
 
The stockers are fine. Look toward "old technology" orange stripe converter.

Stock tubes have been pushing 52's for ages.
 
Totally depends on which headers you have, Hooker Headers Suck...The others are way better.
 
The stockers are fine. Look toward "old technology" orange stripe converter.

Stock tubes have been pushing 52's for ages.

I may not have phrased it correctly,"The car has the headers + big underpipe in it now",+ I'm told to go back to the stock,set up + it will get rid of the turbo lag,He says it's not like a naturally aspirated car,You "Need that velocity to spin the turbine,+ that you lose that velocity with the bigger tubes, you gain volume with the bigger tubes but that doesn't spin the turbo at lower rpm's,especially with a bigger turbo + that the headers really only become viable on more built motors.
This is a street car with stock heads,cam etc. so it should have more low end power + he says that losing the headers + going back to stock manifolds with this setup will make huge low/mid gains,It's already very strong once the boost hits but needs more low end.I know going with a looser converter will put it into it's boost much quicker,but he suggests going to stock manifolds is the correct way to go(Unless i am going to be building the motor in the future IE; heads cam intake etc.) + then if needed after that ,then go with a looser converter. He has suposedly run into the high 10's on stock manifolds + has no turbo lag.
 
Remember this is a street car, not race.
The question is!! Will going back to the stock manifolds reduce low rpm end turbo lag with this set up? stock motor ,big turbo, etc.
 
The KB headers shouldn't kill spoolup that much (if they are nice and sealed up), the orange stripe is probably at best a 2000-2300 converter and its just not enough for a 52.
 
whats all been done to your car? like chip,you have something to scan the motor..it would help to tell more on your car... where someone can help you.. stage 2 headers wont fit your motor..
 
whats all been done to your car? like chip,you have something to scan the motor..it would help to tell more on your car... where someone can help you.. stage 2 headers wont fit your motor..

The car still needs to be dialed in,don't know where the boost,timing,fuel pressure is at,someone else set it up but there is no guages,but it runs good just has turbo lag.I sold the car before i could get it all dialed in.
I know it really needs to get tuned in + then see how things are.It does have a new tt chip + the car runs fine just has lag.
Let's forget about my car for a minute + talk in general.

If you took 2 stock motor turbo cars ,all else being equal,lets say they also both have big turbo's, or not (I just think the bigger turbo compounds the problem)with an equal tune, will the one with the headers spool up slower because the exhaust before the turbo lost it's velocity,because of bigger pipes+ therefore won't spool that turbine as fast.( I know by installing a looser converter you can leave at higher rpm + get into boost quicker + eliminate the prob at take off because you would launch at higher rpm.) But thats not my question.

Here is the question! On a turbo car ,any given stock head, cam, intake, street car.(Especially with a bigger turbo,which has a bigger turbine to spin)
1.Do you lose velocity going to headers,(again we are talking low to medium boost,street car)I know you gain volume.
2. If so does that lack of velocity make your turbo spool slower,giving more lag + also less throttle response across the board.

What i'm looking for is people who have actually done the switch 1 or more times,+ experienced lag or ,would say ,no they didn't,or even picked up power.

Now i know you get to a point where stock manifolds would strangle a built motor,IE: big port heads,cammed, motors etc. but thats not the question.


Again the car is sold so this is more out of curiosity,because I never got to tune the car,+this is the scenario i was told,That it's a mismatch + putting the stock manifolds would really wake up the lower rpm's + make much better throttle response all the way around,+ not loose the top end punch,because the stock manifolds can easily supply the air flow that the stock heads could supply.

Now i also know that it would be nice to leave those headers + build the motor,but thats not the question either.


Just curious,the guy seems to know his stuff,about these cars,+ if he reads this he's prob going to be mad that i'm questionig it, but just looking to see if anyone else has found this to be true. He actually took the headers back off his wifes basically stock car because it caused alot of lag,+ as soon as he went back to the stock manifolds regained the low end.

Oh by the way,I think these are called 2-stage headers,+ not stage 2 headers.(As in for a stage II motor)
 
Large volume headers will slow spool up. They reduce exhaust gas velocity and temperature. Hooker headers for these cars is a prime example. My son put them on his car and it turned it into a slug. The O2 sensor would cool off when the motor was idling setting a O2 sensor error code. Put the stockers back on and the car screamed.
 
Gotcha....yes you are correct. Get the stockers back on that motor and you will see a world of difference. This is the simple answer to your question.

I have done the switch myself. Hookers to stockers. My car came with hookers and I knew to remove them as soon as I could.

The factory log type header is a good design for this application and I believe cars have been in the 10's with them.
 
Large volume headers will slow spool up. They reduce exhaust gas velocity and temperature. Hooker headers for these cars is a prime example. My son put them on his car and it turned it into a slug. The O2 sensor would cool off when the motor was idling setting a O2 sensor error code. Put the stockers back on and the car screamed.

Pretty much exactly what i was told,+ i felt it to be very true,it just made sense,Especially having to drive the bigger turbine wheel of the bigger turbo.

Thanks i was just kind of looking for confirmation/second opinion.
+ could share the info with the next owner to kind of help him get it dialed in.
 
Gotcha....yes you are correct. Get the stockers back on that motor and you will see a world of difference. This is the simple answer to your question.

I have done the switch myself. Hookers to stockers. My car came with hookers and I knew to remove them as soon as I could.

The factory log type header is a good design for this application and I believe cars have been in the 10's with them.[/QUOTE




(((( Real world experience, Thats what i was looking for someone else who tried the same thing + came up with the same results.)))
Thanks,
 
Orange stripe 12" with 52 turbo is going to suck no matter what headers he uses. Fwiw KB had one of the best header designs out there but they are not doing anything in this applications. My suggestion is to g oback to the stock manifolds and turbo unless you want to throw in a converter.
 
Orange stripe 12" with 52 turbo is going to suck no matter what headers he uses. Fwiw KB had one of the best header designs out there but they are not doing anything in this applications. My suggestion is to g oback to the stock manifolds and turbo unless you want to throw in a converter.

Ya i'm kind of figuring the best way to go is, go back to the stock manifolds,+ a better converter. That orange stripe just feels like a stock converter to me.
Maybe hold onto the headers for later installation of aluminum heads,roller cam etc. Thanks
 
put a 2800 to 3,000 10 inch and your car will love you. leave the headers alone. the stockers are a pain to keep welding. i am sure your not going to be running this combo for long. we all want more power
 
Good info, but how hard is it to put the stock headers on? Anyone have any welded up and ready to go for sale? Thanks.
 
What would be the best converter for this app. (Stall ,Brand) I want as much low end power that it can provide. Thanks for the help t-typinator.
 
What would be the best converter for this app. (Stall ,Brand) I want as much low end power that it can provide. Thanks for the help t-typinator.

A 16 blade stator 9.5" PTC NL.
 
Top