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wanting to "slightly" modify a 1996 ram 360

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wanting to "slightly" modify a 1996 ram 360

throttlejockey throttlejockey
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 06/12
Posted: 06/05/12
08:57 PM

i am getting ready to freshen up the 360 in my 1996 dodge ram 1500 4x4. it currently has almost 200,000 miles on it and is going to need it soon. what i had in mind was a lot of block work (align boring and such). here's the kicker.....i have a borg warner turbo charger that i want to add to it, just for fun. its rated at 25 pounds of boost, but i know i am not going to use that much, i was thinking about 5-7 pounds. my question is, do i need to drop my compression? i can not find anything on this topic anywhere. i think a turbo-gasser truck would be .....unique. any help would be greatly appreciated.  

Budnicks Budnicks
Guru | Posts: 1497 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 06/06/12
04:45 PM

I'm not really a big turbo guy, not really a good low rpm 4x4 thing, you need torque really, but I have run allot of blowers & N20 boosted engine, in many different type situations/combos, I would say to "beef it up", especially the bottom end, get some forged full floating 9:1 compression pistons {try Mancini Racing}, use much better rod bolts, resize the rods at a minimum, get H-Beam rods if you can afford them, I would suggest to balance the whole combo, port the heads or buy some RHS Magnum heads or other quality Aluminum heads, get a turbo specific "hydr. roller camshaft", push-rods, springs, retainers, locks & seals etc. {call Lunati, Comp Cams, Crane, Isky or whom ever} & use some higher ratio Harland Sharp 1.7:1 rockers, a better oil pan & oil pump, use high quality gaskets especially the head gasket {like Hussie solid copper or the Felpro w/stainless ring for boost apps. or Commetic head gaskets for boost type applications}, re-flash/reprogram your computer, get a performance computer or get a Hypertech programmer {best option}, get a quality "waste gate" {to blow off excess boost} & use/install it in-line w/controller, add a larger diameter cat-back type free flowing exhaust system & you will need to modify some exhaust manifolds or make/modify some headers to fit to a turbo set-up, add water/methanol injection, on a electronic boost programmer to keep away detonation under a boost load, use a larger Lb. injector w/a by-pass regulator & better flowing higher CFM throttle body, try calling "F&B Throttle Bodies" or they can help with all the EFI stuff & computer stuff too, get a gauze type free flowing air filter {like K&N}, add & plumb in an "inter-cooler" in-front of/below the radiator in fresh air, even if it's a small unit, it will help to cool & condense the intake charge & make more power, helps with detonation & overall performance... It won't be cheap as you think... Good luck have fun, I had a 1999 Dakota 4x4 w/5.2ltr/318ci Magnum Auto, with a Powerdyne centrifugal supercharger {I got from a swap meet for $500, made for a SB-Chevy, I adapted to the 318} with all the stuff I said, except the heads were 'MP R/T 2.02" heads' {not as good as the RHS heads}, it's a rocket ship for what it is, w/10-lbs boost it's a total beast, with 6-lbs it's very docile, until you step on it...  
"Fill Your Library Before You Fill Your Garage" Good Luck  "Budnicks"

User | Posts: 95 | Joined: 10/09
Posted: 06/07/12
05:06 PM

Slightly modify and turbocharging do not live together.
With this being a 4x4 I think that you should consider another route, 4bys like a lot of bottom end torque, mostly driven 2500 rpm and lower,you are already behind the 8-ball so to speak with the small cubes to weight of the truck, now this is not to say a turbo cannot work, just be prepared to spend a ton of time and CASH! that throws slightly out the window...
What MM. is the turbo? No, you do not have to lower the compression,bot I would recommend some major headgaskets, (not the mainstream felpro,McCord, or other junk)
I would go with SCE Titan gaskets for sure or cometic is a good piece too. aluminum heads for sure, and a complete forged bottom end.
Your biggest battle is yet to come, building the exhaust and plumbing it, for Boost control and engine management you will need to talk to someone with great turbo knowledge, for example F.A.S.T. systems, or Mike Moran Motorsports,This guy is the king of turbocharging ( he was the first guy in the 5s with a outlaw big inch big turbo chevy ) he also is an engine builder and tuner.
The problem I see is hate for you to dump this kind of scratch to make this come together and not be satisfied with it, first off for only 5-7 psi of boost, you would be better of with a blower like Budnicks said, be it centrifical or screw type, turbos you need to boost heavily
And hear is the main issue with this being a 4x4, with a turbo you have to do what they call spool the turbo up, Lag is a biotch, ever listen to a turbo car on the starting line? if not you should go check out a outlaw race when it comes to a track near you,it is impressive, Yeah-yeah, I know you are not gonna dragrace it but the effects of turbolag and 4x4 are not good together. these are just some thoughts for you before you open-up that wallet, ask yourself how you want the truck to perform and the intended use (cruiser, hauling, towing or all?)  

throttlejockey throttlejockey
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 06/12
Posted: 06/08/12
06:12 AM

its my daily driver. every now and then, i go out into the woods with it, or hunting and fishing. i don't do any serious off roading in it. and its not a racer. i was just looking to do something different with it. as for the 5-7 pounds of boost, i was just thinking that was a safe range to run it at without having to dump serious bucks into the engine.