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Old 08-01-2018, 01:37 PM   #1
Nwitte
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Wrench 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

I would like to preface this by saying a lot of people on here have wanted to turbocharge their saturn vue. What i will say is that it's completely possible, even without the support of HP tuners. I would like to share with others what I have learned in regards in how to make this work, the limits of what you can do, and future upgrades and what it takes. I would also like to tell you that whatever your goals incorporate, its all possible based upon expense.

My setup:
Stock head/cams with Sodium filled exhaust valves off the 2.0 engine (for drivability/not race).
ARP Head Studs
Stock Compression 10:1
NGK plugs (2 steps colder).
Eagle H-Rods (stock length).
Stock Crank
Sealed power hypereutectic pistons (I have my reasons).
ZZP Turbo Manifold
T3/T4 turbocharger with 2.5" exit
Tial 38mm Wastegate (recirculated)
Custom 2.5" catback exhaust
AEM wideband
2 Type RS BOVs (used to be cheapo SSQ knockoffs)
Cheapo Boost gauge
Cheapo Dual Boost Controller
Aeromotive returnless boost referenced FPR
Walbro 255 lph pump (removed check valve with brute force)
AEM FIC-8
GM stock 2 bar MAP sensor
4t45E transmission

BLUF: if you try this build based off the 1-bar map setup, you will need to fool the stock ECM into thinking you have a lot less air going into the motor than what it thinks. Use the AEM FIC to fill in -33% of the map sensor voltage going to the ECM up to 14.7 psi and scale it to 23.7 psi until you hit the full amount of voltage. I clamped my map sensor at 4.75. This prevents fuel cut and throwing a P0068 code.

If you use a 2-bar map, simply tell the FIC to add 99.2% of voltage at 0 RPM and leave the rest of the table alone. This accomplishes nearly the same thing but with a different setup. I wouldn't plan on using the 2 bar map until you're ready to push over 10lbs of boost.

4t45E transmission and boost: If you get a CEL from intercepting the map sensor signal, leave it and dont' clear it. This CEL will boost your line pressure in the transmission as a fail-safe. This gives you more power to the wheels and in turn, a cooler transmission. People may argue with me over this, but so far it's worked and the 4t45E has been very reliable with running it this way. The only drawback is your cruise control disables itself. So if you need cruise, just clear the code for long trips and stay off the throttle, otherwise you will overheat your x-mission. Think of it like this, clearing this code disables performance mode, and you should treat it as such to save your transmission.

Fueling: you will need to increase the default amount as you are subtracting what the 1 bar sensor sees by increase the pulse width. I typically start out at adding 33% to start up with and shave it back based off the LTFT and STFT that I've pulled from my OBDII scantool. Also, keep an eye on your Wide band. The 2.2 L61 ecotec likes the idle, cruise, and boost cruise at 14.7-14.0, for WOT 11.7 to 11 AFR with turbo, for vacuum WOT i tend to have AFR power rich to 12.5 to 13.0 at the minimum.

WOT management: You're going to want to make sure you have enrichment setup on the FIC otherwise you will knock. I've set this up using map signal, it's fairly responsive and gives the engine the fuel it needs. You will also want to set up your O2 skew for voltage rather than offset. Interestingly enough, your vue will still read O2 during WOT. It's best to send a low voltage (mines set to 0.16) to fool the ECM into going into open-loop because the sensor doesn't fluxuate to 0.48 volts. I used a 5600k ohm 1/4watt resistor to accomplish this. I can set Open-loop to wherever I want it on the map.

Timing: Don't mess with it, you will run into all sorts of drivability issues because of the compression sense ignition. The good news is, you don't need to pull the timing. The CSI will accomplish this for you.

So what can you expect by turbocharging your vue? Pretty moderate performance gains, the stock internals will handle 8 psi fine with a t3/t4 .5/.63 turbocharger so long as you have good fuel management in place. With a forged motor, you could expect to run anywhere from 10-13 psi without problems on 91 pump gas, however I would not take it above that without using methanol injection because the 10:1 stock compression is pretty high. I would also consider using megasquirt or another standalone management system for higher boost numbers. The aem fic is great but it does have it's limits.

Any goals above 300 horsepower and I would get a standalone ECM.

I hope this helps. I know its rather pragmatic but it's worked for me.

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Old 08-01-2018, 02:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

The ARM FIC-8 is ($600?) a fuel and ignition controller, correct? This and your detailed descriptions seem to be the way to address boost and addressing the map sensor issue when going from naturally aspirated to positive boost. What's your investment total for boosting your engine? How does it drive in everyday mode and when in boost? How many miles logged since installation and any unusual issues that came along that was corrected or needs attention to reduce or eliminate everyday issues (oil, coolant, specific driving modes, etc)? Are you in a system requiring emissions inspection?

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Old 08-01-2018, 02:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
The ARM FIC-8 is ($600?) a fuel and ignition controller, correct? This and your detailed descriptions seem to be the way to address boost and addressing the map sensor issue when going from naturally aspirated to positive boost. What's your investment total for boosting your engine? How does it drive in everyday mode and when in boost? How many miles logged since installation and any unusual issues that came along that was corrected or needs attention to reduce or eliminate everyday issues (oil, coolant, specific driving modes, etc)? Are you in a system requiring emissions inspection?
I boosted my motor at 179,000 and I'm at 208,000 right now. The engine handled everything fine with OEM stock internals at 8 psi. Without doing rods, pistons, and dropping in a new head, the turbo kit with fuel management in total only costed me around $3,000. Of course, i didn't buy everything all at once. I bought a horrible turbo manifold before I decided to purchase the one from ZZP so I lost out approximately $180.00 there.

If you decide to upgrade the existing block I suggest going with 4340 or Eagle Rods. As for the pistons it's totally up to you. I've done a lot of research and decided the extra $400 weren't worth it for forged pistons as I will never push the motor beyond what I needed.

As far as the motor goes, it could cost you anywhere from $1000 to $2000 depending on what your goals are. The minimum for running anything over 8 psi is new forged connecting rods if everything else is okay. The rest of the bottom end will handle boost. I would suggest getting sodium filled exhaust valves so they don't burn up but that's all up to you.

Total expenses I've invested, about $4500

I haven't had it dyno'd yet, but I can comfortably say I am making somewhere between 220 and 240 whp. If it's more than that when I do decide to have it dyno'd I will be very happy. So far the vehicle pulls very hard on launches and the tires barely keep in contact with the ground until about 30 mph. As far as driveability, you can definately tell the timing is advanced because the turbocharger spools around 2000 rpm and it will pull away from at highway speeds. I've been pulled over multiple times because it will accelerate on its own and get away from you. My wife is scared to drive it. It's a beast.

It's probably not in compliance with emission due to the catch can setup I have. It vents to atmosphere. Other than that. There's no real issue with running it in this setup.

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Old 08-01-2018, 04:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Thanks but I'm not considering boost and I'm sure your costs for adding boost will be considered by anyone reading this thread. To date, your openness and detailed info with 29k trouble free miles days more about you and your attention to technical info needed to make an engine run on boost. I think it's safe to say your above average intelligence is shown here. Not very many are capable of understanding what's required other than the usual "I'm gonna throw in a turbo blah blah blah". Even I couldn't understand the difference between n/a and turbo/super charging until I realized the map sensor is a key to the differences, among other issues. No wonder many blow their engines not knowing a n/a engine only works in a vacuum and cannot use boost/positive pressure until changing the map sensor and other things to accommodate more fuel flow in boost mode.

I'm impressed with anyone proving their skills to go from n/a to boost without blowing the engine.

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Old 08-01-2018, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Thanks but I'm not considering boost and I'm sure your costs for adding boost will be considered by anyone reading this thread. To date, your openness and detailed info with 29k trouble free miles days more about you and your attention to technical info needed to make an engine run on boost. I think it's safe to say your above average intelligence is shown here. Not very many are capable of understanding what's required other than the usual "I'm gonna throw in a turbo blah blah blah". Even I couldn't understand the difference between n/a and turbo/super charging until I realized the map sensor is a key to the differences, among other issues. No wonder many blow their engines not knowing a n/a engine only works in a vacuum and cannot use boost/positive pressure until changing the map sensor and other things to accommodate more fuel flow in boost mode.

I'm impressed with anyone proving their skills to go from n/a to boost without blowing the engine.
Thank you for the kind words Fdryer. I hope this post helps inform a lot of people in taking these kinds of decisions seriously. Once you start a project like this and you start investing into it, you can't stop. It's taken a lot of self motivated research, time, and money to do this modification to a vehicle that was never meant for it. I would be lying if i said it didn't almost cost me my marriage at one point. I think one motivator for doing this was that others were saying that I couldn't. As a mechanic in the military, the word "Can't" doesn't exist in my vocabulary and pushes me further. The other part to doing this modification is probably something along the lines a mid-life crisis.


Also, i apologize but i almost forgot to mention... I upgraded the brakes prior to doing any modifications with drilled and slotted kits from rockauto.com. I also bought the performance drum kit for the rear as well. I didn't figure that into the cost but it was around another $300. I wanted to make sure if I was adding extra horsepower I had enough stopping force to deal with the extra power. So far the brakes have held up great and assisted me in stopping short of many deer on the road.

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Old 08-02-2018, 10:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

What's your mpg with you're setup? Be honest as I'm presuming you're not interested in mpg when you're pumping 8 psi of boost whenever you feel the need to ruffle your hair. I realize it may vary so even a range is good for a general baseline.

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Old 08-02-2018, 01:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
What's your mpg with you're setup? Be honest as I'm presuming you're not interested in mpg when you're pumping 8 psi of boost whenever you feel the need to ruffle your hair. I realize it may vary so even a range is good for a general baseline.
I would never turbocharge or supercharge a vehicle to improve MPG. The power has to come from somewhere and that's increased consumption. As far as MPG, there's 3 things to factor in:

o how the vehicle is driven
o how the vehicle is tuned
o % of city vs. highway

I drive my 2006 Saturn Vue pretty conservatively because it's a daily driver. I also have it tuned so everything below 3000 rpm in boost is stoichiometric. I do not enrich the fuel mixture for boost below 3000 rpm because i'm not in a wide open throttle condition. My engine doesn't care if it has 5 psi of boost and a 14.7 AFR at cruising speeds of 65-90 mph because I run a custom cold air intake along with a front mounted intercooler to keep the charge air temperatures as low as possible. I do a lot of highway driving so this works for my bank account and the engine. In turn, it's very smooth and doesn't sound like a popcorn maker under the hood. This tells me i'm doing something right in regards to tuning for performance and MPG. As a fail-safe I do have it enrich at 7 psi and above for cruising RPMs and it rarely ever goes that high below the 3000 rpm threshold.

For highway mileage it consumes about 25 miles per gallon. I calculated this with the trips I make to Kansas city where i usually burn a 1/3 of a 16 gallon tank for 129 miles. The stock saturn vue with the 4t45e consumes 27 highway, so you can see with the turbo I've lost out on efficiency for mpg.

For city I apologize I don't have a lot to measure for a baseline here, but I can tell when I'm grocery grabbing with my wife, I can easily go through a 1/4 tank in an entire day of shopping with multiple stops between different locations. If I had to guess I would say I average about 16-20 mpg. A lot of this depends on my driving habits as well.

On average, I would say you could lose 2-5 mpg with forced induction. To me, this was worth the extra gains in torque and horsepower. I think for people considering this, you can't have both unless you significantly decrease displacement thereby decreasing consumption.

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Old 08-02-2018, 03:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

I think you're a little hard on yourself. Your maturity shows in replies. Determining 3k rpm where boost comes in(?) and knowing when more fuel is used for boost to determine when best fuel economy occurs before boost and seeing a slight penalty (cai) is of course all the more reason for a custom setup to have it almost both ways. I think a 2-5 mpg loss is acceptable but what do I know? What's even more impressive is longevity (hopefully) of a boosted setup assuming you already considered it when assessing everything.

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Old 08-03-2018, 12:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
I think you're a little hard on yourself. Your maturity shows in replies. Determining 3k rpm where boost comes in(?) and knowing when more fuel is used for boost to determine when best fuel economy occurs before boost and seeing a slight penalty (cai) is of course all the more reason for a custom setup to have it almost both ways. I think a 2-5 mpg loss is acceptable but what do I know? What's even more impressive is longevity (hopefully) of a boosted setup assuming you already considered it when assessing everything.
Well, I have every confidence this vehicle will be around another 200,000 miles so long as regular maintenance scheduling is kept up on it. I treat it rather well and I know the limits of what it can and can't handle. I think anyone with with a maintenance mindset can do this, it takes knowledge and a lot of practicality. I would never shove 15 psi through this motor at high RPM on pump gas and expect it to survive without some kind of IAT control in place (E-85 and Methanol with 80# injectors). Even then, it's pushing your luck quite a bit... I think that's where a lot of people go wrong when they do these setups. I also think they don't listen to their engines or check their spark plugs often enough to know when something needs to be dialed back. The engine tells you what it wants and what's best for it. The same for the transmission and drive train.

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Old 08-15-2018, 09:10 PM   #10
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Wrench Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Attached are snap shots of my original base maps for the FIC-8 that I've used on my L61 build to get it up and running pre-tune. These are my base maps I've used and do require some tweaking. The "MAF map" is actually routed to my MAP sensor, I do not have a MAF! If you have a MAF sensor this will not work for you. I will not post my tuned maps because there's so many idiosyncrasies between engines, that building a tune is really unique to that specific build/block. You might have a stock block that's never been resurfaced and that would be very different from my block compression wise...

I hate to put it out there but:

((DISCLAIMER: I am not liable for damage to your vehicle!! Use these examples at your own risk! Get an experience tuner if you don't know what you're doing.))

The setup screen is self explanatory (enrichment, overboost protection etc).

The "MAF map (MAP SENSOR)" is set to full voltage at 7 PSI (BOOST), which will successfully fool the ECM. Again, if it throws a "low map voltage code" this will increase transmission line pressure and give you a ton of power to wheels (damn near 100% torque), don't clear it unless you want cruise control (and stay off the throttle to save your transmission).

The fuel map is probably going to be slightly rich (or it might be dead on). I'm usually within 5% STFT and LTFT with this map starting up, but i was running a brand new in-tank pump with my walbro inline and 42# injectors at the time. Anytime you do this, make sure your LTFT and STFT are near 0% or as close as you can get it. Otherwise the ECM will tune out any changes you've made and throw your whole map off. Then it will be "tick! tick! BOOM!!" time when you hit WOT.

The O2 map will completely kill your closed loop at those values, assuming you have a 5600k ohm or 10,000k ohm resistor hooked up as it's illustrated in the FIC-8 wiring instructions. I used a 5600k, it may take you using a 10,000k ohm resistor. I'm not sure why but when I changed out my front O2 sensor with a brand new AC Delco, I needed to put the 5600k in place of the 10,000k because it was overpowering my sensor feed to the ECM and I was in near open-loop constantly.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MAP sensor setup.jpg (121.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg base fuel map.jpg (126.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg o2 map setup.jpg (112.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg fic setup.jpg (106.1 KB, 8 views)

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Old 10-12-2018, 04:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Very well written write up, I've been looking for a post like this since I bought my Vue to no avail, most that I have read end up slandering HPTuners for their lack of support and give up shortly after.

How would this setup differ with a Vue using the Getrag F23? Would the CEL that causes the line pressure jump be present in the manual but with no effect? My end power goal is around 225-250whp, which I believe the F23 can handle with a good clutch from reading a few other posts.

Let us know if you end up having yours dyno'd, a solid setup like that should put down some impressive #'s

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Old 10-26-2018, 01:02 PM   #12
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Post Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

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Very well written write up, I've been looking for a post like this since I bought my Vue to no avail, most that I have read end up slandering HPTuners for their lack of support and give up shortly after.

How would this setup differ with a Vue using the Getrag F23? Would the CEL that causes the line pressure jump be present in the manual but with no effect? My end power goal is around 225-250whp, which I believe the F23 can handle with a good clutch from reading a few other posts.

Let us know if you end up having yours dyno'd, a solid setup like that should put down some impressive #'s
I'm sure the CEL would still be there and it will not affect a manual. I found a shop that can replace the stock L61 ecm with a boost friendly one. I am working with them now. They are called Alpha Fab Industries and the owners name is Shaun. I will do a post later and let you all know how it goes. As for the FIC, it's great but obviously not a perfect solution to running a boosted setup with higher boost (good up to 12 psi). I've noticed the o2 skew gets *****y in different elevations when driving the vehicle. I've changed from the solid voltage to running an offset of -.619 in all boosted regions. This helps the car better manage transition to WOT in different elevations through mountains. As of right now i am pushing 12psi through a t3/t4. It handles it like a champ however i know the engine can do better. I will post dynos later on, I'm broke and I've just moved to California. Waiting to get paid at the moment lol

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Old 10-26-2018, 02:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Since you brought it up for another member interested in boost, I have a question. Since you fooled the map sensor output, would replacing the stock map sensor (1-bar) with a two or three bar sensor work better with a custom tune? My basic understanding of boost is the transition from naturally aspirated (vacuum) engines to positive pressure where a two or three bar map sensor is used to detect vacuum and pressure, sending signals to a stock ecm already setup for turbo or super charging. Info I searched reveals factory super or turbocharged engines use the multiple bar map sensors so the engine computer can see the entire intake manifold as vacuum varies and transitions to positive pressure without issues from a factory tuned setup.

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Old 10-27-2018, 08:20 PM   #14
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Wrench Re: 2006 Saturn Vue L61 Turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Since you brought it up for another member interested in boost, I have a question. Since you fooled the map sensor output, would replacing the stock map sensor (1-bar) with a two or three bar sensor work better with a custom tune? My basic understanding of boost is the transition from naturally aspirated (vacuum) engines to positive pressure where a two or three bar map sensor is used to detect vacuum and pressure, sending signals to a stock ecm already setup for turbo or super charging. Info I searched reveals factory super or turbocharged engines use the multiple bar map sensors so the engine computer can see the entire intake manifold as vacuum varies and transitions to positive pressure without issues from a factory tuned setup.
With a custom tune you're going to want a GM 2 or 3 bar map. When i spoke with Shaun, it sounds like i will be replacing my 1 bar map with a 3 bar map. For the aem FIC a factory 1 bar will work fine, you just have to scale it as previously mentioned. Now some of the GM factory turbo vehicles have a Tmap along with a boost sensor (multiple map sensors). This is strictly for the factory electronic boost controllers in these vehicles. In the case of me ordering a flashed ECM i will only need to replace the 1 bar with a 3 bar sensor. I won't need to change or add anything else because i have a manual boost controller separate from the stock ecm.

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