On3 or A Trim?

On3, V-1 or Sell both and buy beer

  • Put on the Vortech

    Votes: 9 39.1%
  • Put on the On3

    Votes: 9 39.1%
  • Sell both and buy beer

    Votes: 5 21.7%

  • Total voters
    23
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
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Turbo is better than the A trim. I've had the on3 kit on my car for a few years and no issues yet. Hot side isn't wrapped. I do have a blanket on the turbo and the down pipe is sleeved. I don't have to remove my downpipe to change plugs on the passenger side. I'm a big guy and reach down there with a stubby 3/8ths ratchet and a spark plug socket. I think one of them I have to use a universal joint on. Not difficult at all. Making the intercooler mounts are easy.
 
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Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
2,185
2,495
184
Mililani, Hawaii
I am starting to really lean towards the On3 kit. After all, it is brand new and I am a decent mechanic. Should be pretty straight forward. I will probably try to sell the vortech so I can have a little cash as there are a couple of things I wanted to do when installing the turbo. I wanted to replace the front bumper with the tubular for more working space. I also will need the 90 degree oil filter adapter etc.
 

Monkeybutt2000

Advanced Member
Aug 11, 2019
551
376
73
49
Lafayette,IN
Turbo is better than the A trim. I've had the on3 kit on my car for a few years and no issues yet. Hot side isn't wrapped. I do have a blanket on the turbo and the down pipe is sleeved. I don't have to remove my downpipe to change plugs on the passenger side. I'm a big guy and reach down there with a stubby 3/8ths ratchet and a spark plug socket. I think one of them I have to use a universal joint on. Not difficult at all. Making the intercooler mounts are easy.
Now just how in the heck do you do that?? I have a hard enough time getting the plug wires off that side let alone removing the plugs.
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
5,863
4,978
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I just reach under it from in front of the strut tower. Helps to be able to work with my right or left hand. Easy peasy...here's my thumb.

20210117_144742.jpg
 
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DemonGT

Founding Member
May 24, 2002
718
12
39
Sparta,WI
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I feel like this is going to snow ball into a turbo 331 build lmao...

off subject but do you tune your own car? just installed a pimpxs this fall. Got it running but being in WI i have not had a chance to
drive it yet.
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
2,185
2,495
184
Mililani, Hawaii
I had Steve @a91what tune for me initially, and his services are awesome. I have been learning and the current tune I am running is one I did myself. Once I step up to boost I am sure I will have to lean on Steve again. As far as the plug changing goes, I have heard lots of people talking about the pain of changing plugs, but my question is why would you need to change plugs so often? I have never changed plus on my NA setups once up and running good?
 
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96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
961
584
103
28
Savannah
Turbo kit for sure. I wouldn’t let the slight amount more work sway you from a better system. Steve is right, spark plugs ain’t exactly something you do at every oil change. You can easily leave them in for a year plus. Plus dropping the down pipe isn’t exactly brain surgery.

One thing about the on3 kit, cut out that flex joint and throw it in the trash. Either run a bellows style flex, or none at all. One is preferred though, since the stainless on the on3 kit may crack if there isn’t something to give. One area I’ve seen them crack is the flange the wastegate is attached to if running a larger one.

The base style kit with the thinner intercooler won’t take you long to install at all.
 
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mikestang63

SN Certified Technician
Aug 27, 2012
10,007
6,819
204
In the garage
first Vortech back in 96 was an A trim. Loved the whine and pulleyed that sucker up to 10# of boost and was running 11's. Sent it in to Vortech and upgraded for an S trim. Boost came on much sooner and made more HP. Much less underhood heat and dead balls reliable. Now I have a V3 pullied for 10# . Always been a Vortech guy. I know lots of guys running ON3- NeoMustang, Mike Dula, and others but in my opinion a lot more fabrication tuning, and underhood heat. The early ON3's had fitment issues and the hot side headers and exhaust piping prone to cracking. They do make decent power.

Check all the welds on the ON3 kit and also the turbo for signs of wear,
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
2,185
2,495
184
Mililani, Hawaii
The on 3 kit is new. It has been mocked up but never ran. Anyone know the going price for an older A-trim setup?
 

revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
15 Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
8,722
1,420
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Acworth, GA
I voted for Beer, but I'm just going to come out and say it. The turbo kit is a better setup. More power, that whoosh of torque when it spins up, more fun, easier on the engine, but that's not what really matters. If you put the A-trim on that car, you are going to drive it around for the duration of ownership just saying to yourself, "What if I had put that On3 kit on instead?"

Kurt
 

93FOXLX

Member
Feb 23, 2021
5
4
13
46
Des Plaines
My .02 cents. I've been in your shoes. I've built and tuned a half dozen turbo cars over the years but I had a Vortech fall in my lap when a buddy had to sell his.

I installed it on a 90 LX 5-speed car. It was setup for around 7psi. While the install couldn't be simpler, I hated the way the car drove. The fact that you had to spin the motor to 5K before the fun began was a major turn off. To make the car fun to drive I had to add 4.10 gears. Trade off was the 4.10's sucked when I wasn't driving like a raving maniac.

Now lets talk about heat. After a run down the strip we were seeing IAT's in the 225F range. Clearly you are not going to hot lap an old A Trim car and forget road racing it. Heat lead to detonation and that lead to blown head gaskets. Best pass with that setup was in the mid 12's.

And then there is the noise. Everyone that saw the car thought it had a dying bearing.

Eventually I yanked that setup off the car and built a homemade turbo kit using a set of flipped shorty headers and a small 66mm turbo and some old intercooler I had laying around. At the same 7psi the car was suddenly fun to drive again. The gears were swapped back to 3.55's so it was livable again and full boost was there under 3K rpm's. While I don't recall the exact number, I know that we were well into the 11's as the track officials sent me home more than once for going to fast without a cage.

The entire process of pulling off the Vortech and building the turbo setup from scratch took about a week (7of full days) time spread out over about 3 weeks.

The combo stayed together for about 5 years and about 25K miles before I sold it. I did have an oiling issue once that fried the bearings in the turbo but a quick drive to Precision in IN. and I had a rebuild in a couple of days. Other than that I don't recall having to do anything other than basic maintenance to the car.

If it's unclear where I stand at this point, Put the turbo kit on it and sell the Vortech to a museum.
 

Habu135

Advanced Member
Jan 10, 2019
791
487
73
40
California
My .02 cents. I've been in your shoes. I've built and tuned a half dozen turbo cars over the years but I had a Vortech fall in my lap when a buddy had to sell his.

I installed it on a 90 LX 5-speed car. It was setup for around 7psi. While the install couldn't be simpler, I hated the way the car drove. The fact that you had to spin the motor to 5K before the fun began was a major turn off. To make the car fun to drive I had to add 4.10 gears. Trade off was the 4.10's sucked when I wasn't driving like a raving maniac.

Now lets talk about heat. After a run down the strip we were seeing IAT's in the 225F range. Clearly you are not going to hot lap an old A Trim car and forget road racing it. Heat lead to detonation and that lead to blown head gaskets. Best pass with that setup was in the mid 12's.

And then there is the noise. Everyone that saw the car thought it had a dying bearing.

Eventually I yanked that setup off the car and built a homemade turbo kit using a set of flipped shorty headers and a small 66mm turbo and some old intercooler I had laying around. At the same 7psi the car was suddenly fun to drive again. The gears were swapped back to 3.55's so it was livable again and full boost was there under 3K rpm's. While I don't recall the exact number, I know that we were well into the 11's as the track officials sent me home more than once for going to fast without a cage.

The entire process of pulling off the Vortech and building the turbo setup from scratch took about a week (7of full days) time spread out over about 3 weeks.

The combo stayed together for about 5 years and about 25K miles before I sold it. I did have an oiling issue once that fried the bearings in the turbo but a quick drive to Precision in IN. and I had a rebuild in a couple of days. Other than that I don't recall having to do anything other than basic maintenance to the car.

If it's unclear where I stand at this point, Put the turbo kit on it and sell the Vortech to a museum.
I love personal feedback like this. Great insight!
 
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