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Old 04-17-2011, 03:56 PM
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Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Has anyone else read this months issue of HotRod (it says June 2011). The last 2 months they did a budget turbo engine build for an LS, a Ford 4.6L, and this month for a 2006 5.7L Hemi. The exhaust manifolds on it look just like the manifolds on the WK which makes me think that's where the motor came from.

They got the turbo from CX Racing off ebay for $499. The turbo, new injectors, a few other plumbing parts and a tuner put out 627hp. The total cost was $3,381 of which $1,500 was the motor. I already have a programmer, and a Hemi, it seems that for under $1k i could come up with my own turbo kit.

I have forged pistons and a forged crank, so even with my higher compression ratio i think i could safely run 6-8psi on 93octane. Although since i'm already on my 4th 545RFE, I think i'd need a real transmission solution before adding more power.

I was just curious if anyone else read this article, it seems like it could be a great solution for anyone wanting to add some power fairly cheaply.
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:44 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Hey, 555, I just went and looked at my current Hot Rod, and you're right, it looks like the stock WK Hemi manifolds. That's the only sad part about it, IMO. If they had the 6.1's on like you do, they'd probably pick up another 50 hp. With your forged engine, it would be a natural to force a little air into those cylinders, and 6-8 PSI shouldn't be a problem for your engine. What cam are you running in it? Do you still have MDS? Too bad they don't show it mounted in a vehicle, and how they adapted everything. That's where a lot of the cost will be added.

Guess the only other real problem with the WK is where to mount the turbo, since that would probably require a complete redo of the exhaust that you spent so much time working on. If you tried to put it under the hood you'd have major component moving to make room. I've seen turbos mounted as far back as behind the rear wheels, but that takes a huge amount of plumbing. Maybe look into some of the existing turbo kits for the LX/LY/WK platforms and get some ideas and then go from there. IMO, you've got all the things done to the engine that would make it a relatively safe (engine structure wise) and reliable ride.

As far as the transmission goes, you might do some searching to see if any racers are using the 545RFE (probably not), and what they're doing to strengthen them. You could call B and M Racing and Performance Products to see if they know anyone working on them. I am pretty sure they don't do these, but they might be able to tell you who does, if anyone. Another option would be to change over to the NAG1 transmission, which, IMO, is 10X better, plus it's been proven to support 600+ hp in pretty much stock condition. Don't know how hard it would be to change over the electronics though, since the NAG1 has a separate TCM....not in the PCM like our WK's. My guess is you'd need a 6.1 PCM, TCM and engine wiring harness.

Let us know what you find out and if you're planning to pursue this.
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:59 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

At the bottom left of pg 91 they say they did add stock SRT8 exhaust manifolds. With only the manifolds and bigger injectors the engine dyno'd 383hp which isn't bad at all. You're right about where to mount. Im in Aspen this week, so no exploring my WK for this until i get home. I did wonder how a twin turbo setup would work to keep my exhaust nice and even, but that's an extra $499 and i dont see me needing any more boost than a single could provide.

Earlier today I emailed Burnsville Offroad. They're putting manual trannys with 5.7L Hemi's in JKs, so just for fun i asked them if that'd be possible for a wk. Who know's what kind of electrical issues would have to be overcome, but having a manual WK sure would be fun and could solve my 545rfe issues. Sharadon Performance has a built 545 tranny but i think its like $4-5k. If im going to spend that much i'd rather research the manual possibilities first. My third tranny that went out had Alto Eagle clutch packs and the Transgo shift kit and it too burned up 3 or 4th gear.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Well i've started a hypothetical shopping list for a 5-speed swap. Again, im not sure what else would be involved, custom length drive shafts, etc.. but looks like the parts can be had for less than a built 545rfe. Just exploratory research at this point

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Old 04-17-2011, 07:44 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Ouch! I think, since your in Cleveland now, you should hop on over to Cleveland Pick-A-Part and ask them what is needed. I am pretty sure they've done all this...I know they've put a 5.7 in 3.7 chassis, and I am sure they could supply you with almost anything you wanted, manual or automatic transmission. I know they also do installations, so you might be able to just drop it off and pick it up when done. I think I'd still lean toward the NAG1 though, at least at this point. I've got the NAG1 in my Hemi LX and it is like day and night better than the RFE......better ratios, better up/downshifts (no lag), etc.

Keep us posted. Hope you don't cause me trouble like you did with the exhaust, LOL! Just don't post any pictures, and I'll be alright, I think?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:54 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

The problem you will run into is with your electronics. Without the 545RFE in the vehicle, your powertrain control system will not function. Since the vehicle never came with a manual, you simply can not make the swap.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:28 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Why couldn't you use one from a challenger? you'd probably have to make it 2wd though.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:28 AM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Hmm, use a challenger computer so that it works with the manual tranny, and then run your transfer without the computer, either with linkage, or wire up some switches that bypass the computer.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:50 AM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Hmmmm this may end up being a long term goal..The turbo would be a cakewalk compared to the transmission swap. I guess i could do the turbo first and then the tranny after it fails again
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:30 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Talk to Jerry at SharaDon Performance for a Stage 3 Trans with a Stage 3 valvebody you will love it, it shifts like a stick. The only thing in it that is from the 545RFE is the housing and it is modified also.

One question though since your burning up tranny's. Once you got the new trans in did you go to the dealer and have all the parameters set for the new trans (a trans recalibration)?

For a Turbo setup talk to Tim at NCTS.

I know you have a forged engine but I'd check all your engine part specs again as there are forged parts and then there are forged parts specifically designed for boost.

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Old 04-23-2011, 07:39 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Yea i've talked to Sharadon a couple times. I wish i would have just gone with him after the first one went out. I did do the recalibration at the dealership on the 2nd tranny, then on the third i had an aggressive tune with the torque management turned off. That lasted about 3 weeks and then locked up. Now im just taking it easy with this 4th tranny. I think switching to a manual would be way to much hassle, if this one goes again im either selling the thing or going with Sharadon.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:50 PM
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Re: Hot Rod Magazine 5.7L Hemi Turbo Setup

Don't sell it just go with a SharaDon or if your in a bind contact me I have my old stock trans in the garage.

Who did your aggressive tune with the TM turned off?
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