Welded Up — Godzilla Giveaway Engine’s Turbo System Fabrication

With our current giveaway Godzilla engine build, there have been a lot of really cool, really innovative off-the-shelf parts available for us to use. However, one thing that wasn’t an option off-the-shelf — both logistically and because we wanted something extra badass — was the turbo system. That meant we needed some custom fabrication.

Placing and plumbing our two turbochargers was no simple task, that was going to require not only a high degree of fabrication skill, but also an artistic eye and creative mind. For that, Late Model Engines tapped a fabrication shop that has proven time and again to possess all those traits, including a ton of success at the racetrack. Enter AldoWelds.

Based in Pasadena, Texas, the owner and main fabricator, Aldo, has been fabricating for almost two decades – most of his adult life. It all started from a single project. “I was building a car and I had already put a six-point cage in it, but needed to move to a 10-point,” recalls Aldo. “So I took it to a local fabricator and he was going to charge me like $3,600 and told me he’d have it in a week. He called me three days later, and it was done. I realized he had just made $3,600 in three days. It occured to me that was something I needed to do myself.”

After growing his skills from ancillary components to full-on chassis and power-adder work, AldoWelds was born and has been on a skyrocketing trajectory ever since. From building off-the-shelf kits for popular applications to full-custom fabrication jobs like the one on this engine, Aldo gives everything the time and care it deserves, and the final results speak for themselves.

Hot side fabrication

The entire hot side has been precision TIG welded by AldoWelds using stainless-steel tubing. While awesome welding is a huge part of fabrication, it’s not the only thing.

Twin-Turbo Godzilla

When it comes to our project, as far as we know there are no ready-to-order twin turbo kits for the Godzilla. But even if there were, that’s not what we wanted. The first step in the process was to choose the components we wanted to incorporate into our awesome twin-turbo system. The start of any turbo kit is, obviously, the turbochargers.

After talking to Turbonetics, they suggested their new line of Torque Master turbochargers, specifically spec’ing out a pair of the brand new 6473 turbochargers. Designed to blend both high-performance and an affordable price tag, the new line of Torque Master turbos is aimed at both gas and diesel applications — perfect for our 7.3-liter mill that started life as a truck engine.

As the turbo’s name suggests, the 6473 has a 64mm compressor wheel, and a 73mm turbine wheel. But there is so much more to the wheels than those two numbers. The compressor wheel is a billet aluminum unit chosen for both strength and advanced blade design. The inducer, as mentioned, measures 64mm in diameter, while the exducer of the wheel measures 87mm. That draws air through a 4.00-inch inlet and pushes it through a 2.50-inch discharge tube.

On the opposite side of the twin hydrodynamic journal bearings, exhaust feeds through a twin-scroll divided T4 turbine housing with a 1.00 A/R ratio to spin the turbine wheel. It features an 80mm inducer and, as the name suggests, a 73mm exducer. The two turbos should be plenty capable of hitting our 1,000-horsepower goal, and then some, if we’re being honest.

The Turbonetics Torque Master 6473 turbos feature a billet 64mm-inducer compressor wheel, and a 73mm-exducer turbine wheel, with a 1.00 A/R housing.

The Supporting Hardware

While the turbochargers are usually the crown jewels of the turbo system, they wouldn’t amount to much without the supporting hardware. In this case, a pair of 66mm wastegates and 50mm blow-off valves. The PW66 wastegates are from Precision Turbo and each consists of an investment-cast 347 stainless steel body to be extremely resistant to high exhaust gas temperatures.

A nickel-chromium valve sits inside the body, and is controlled by a 17-7PH wastegate spring in a billet aluminum housing. The large 66mm diameter offers exceptional flow in order to assert significant authority over the exhaust flow, and connects via V-band clamps for much more versatile mounting options.

To control the airflow on the intake side, we opted for a pair of Precision’s 50mm blow-off valves. Machined out of 6061 and 7075 aluminum (since BOVs don’t need to withstand nearly the same heat as the wastegates), the valve is then anodized for both aesthetics and functional protection. The design uses a low-resistance rolling diaphragm design for fast response, and comes complete with all the fittings and flanges needed for the installation.

The 66mm Precision Turbo wastegates are large enough to provide significant boost control over the turbos. In addition to being sized properly, putting them in a location where they will be able to exert control is crucial to the design of a turbo system. As you can see, Aldo put them right in the exhaust stream, allowing for an easy exit at max boost, showing the difference between welding and fabrication.

The Base Upon Which To Build

In order to provide Aldo with a great base to start his custom design from, we reached out to Kooks Custom Headers. They designed a set of forward-facing upward-swept manifolds for the Godzilla that Aldo could build off of. Made of 14-gauge 304 stainless steel tubing merging into a 3.00-inch V-band discharge flange, the manifolds use a 3/8-inch-thick stainless steel flange for secure sealing under high temps.

Kooks also provided all of the 304 stainless steel tubing for Aldo to work his magic with. Funneling a 3-inch tube into the turbocharger, Aldo created a 3.5-inch expander on the turbocharger outlet, to feed into 3.5-inch vertical exhaust tubing. The wastegates were plumbed with 3-inch offshoots from the main exhaust tube, and 2.5-inch screamer pipes on the wastegate outlet.

Kooks provided the stainless steel, upswept, forward-facing turbocharger manifolds as the base upon which Aldo could build. The thick 3/8 header flange and 14-gauge tubing help provide strength to the whole system.

“This was a pretty typical build for us,” explains Aldo. “The only thing out of the ordinary is that it was just on an engine stand. Normally, we have to build around all the stuff in the engine bay. Those late-model engine bays are crammed full of stuff.” So while in one sense, this is the kind of stuff Aldo sees all the time in the 1,000-horsepower late-model fabrication world. But being able to build something with an eye more toward the aesthetics of the kit without any packaging constraints is a nice change.

While Coyotes and LS engines are Aldo’s bread and butter, the Godzilla really didn’t present any issues. “I just treated it like a 427 LS engine. It’s about the same size, so I just designed around that,” says Aldo. “I really pride myself on my welding. I feel like I can lay down some of the baddest beads out there. The real challenge is to be able to do that consistently, around the entire circumference of a tube, and on an entire project. I strive to make each weld look like it was done by a machine, and to improve myself every time I’m behind the helmet.”

So, with fabrication complete and the hot side all ready to go, it’s time for LME to get this amazing build on the dyno, get the cold side fabbed up, and we’ll be making some steam!

The awesome EngineLabs’ giveaway engine journey to 1,000 horsepower, as well as one lucky fan’s dream, is made possible thanks to our partners in this project: Summit Racing Equipment, Late Model Engines, Ford Performance Parts, Mountain Top, ATI Performance Products, BOOSTane, Brian Tooley Racing, Callies Performance Products, Cometic Gasket, DeatschWerks, Design Engineering, E3 Spark Plugs, Indy Power Products, Johnson Lifters, K1 Technologies, Klotz Synthetics, Kooks Headers, Operational Speed Supply, Precision Turbo, Ryno Classifieds, SCT, Wiseco Pistons, and Wrenchers.

Everything is ready for the dyno. Once it’s bolted up, the charge pipes will be installed and this monster will be making serious steam.

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Greg Acosta

Greg has spent nineteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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