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Old 04-08-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
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My Holset HX35 Turbo Build

I'm finally getting around to making my build thread for my Holset HX35 turbo. Some history on the car; 2004 ZX3 2.3 bought 5 years ago with only 31,000 miles. Car was completely stock with only a Saleen bodykit and SVT 5 spoke rims.

At the time, I was a college student with limited budget so modifications came slowly. I first went the NA route: Fswerks header and race exhaust, Steeda SRI, Crane Stage 1 cams, and Tom's 93 octane tune. Other modifications included Eibach Pro struts and springs, eibach rear sway bar, all three Fswerks poly motor mounts and retro-fitted HID headlights.

The car was definitely faster and more enjoyable than stock but I wasn't happy. So much so that I was going to sell the car and get a new project. I ended up changing my mind and decided to turbo the car. I decided on a Holset HX35 turbo because of what the DSM guys have done with them and for such a large turbo, it has great spool and flow characteristics. Luckily, as I was doing my research, kokesfocus was selling his custom turbo kit which used a Holset HX35. I bought this as my starting point:

My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_1699.jpg

First order of business was to rebuild the turbo. The Holset turbos are tough but I wanted everything to be fresh. Next, threw her up on some jack stands and went to work. First things to do were to remove all of the exhaust components and stock intake manifold. I bought a cosworth intake mani to compliment the turbo kit. Removing the stock intake manifold and installing the cosworth one was a huge PITA. I also deleted my PCV system and EVAP system.
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_1880.jpg

I also did a BSD with the massive unit and installed their windage tray into a new 2.3 oil pan. Don't have any pics of this. With that out of the way, I installed the exhaust manifold along with adapter and turbo. Some background on this set-up: kokesfocus used a cast iron turbo mani which had a t25 outlet. Since the HX35 has a t3 inlet, he had a custom adapter made to make it fit. You can see it in the pics between the manifold and turbine housing.
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2037.jpg

As you can see, the placement of the turbo here barely cleared my transmission shift cable linkages. For that reason, I had to use a K&N shorty filter.

My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2020.jpg

Got the car running and there were massive amounts of exhaust leaks. the downpipe was a two piece design and leaked badly around the v band flange point. The adpater was leaking badly as well. After about 5 weeks of trying to fix leaks I got fed up and decided that some major changes were needed. The car wasn't running great and I was tired of chasing problems. I contacted Tim (turboturtle) about his t3 turbo manifold and downpipe. I want to give Tim a huge shout out because he went through a bunch of extra work and tear down of his own personal car to make sure the holset hx35 was going to fit with his manifold.


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2004 Black ZX3 D23: HX35 turbo, 11psi, BSD, 3" downpipe, cosworth intake mani, PZEV delete, Tom's tune, eibach pro springs, dampers, rear sway bar, fswerks rear and front stress bars, fswerks vfengineering motor mounts

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Last edited by 04ZX3; 04-08-2015 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:45 AM   #2
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After lots of great work, Tim sent me a new t3 turbo manifold, downpipe and dumptube for my new Turbosmart Ultragate 38. I also decided to upgrade the turbine housing to a Bullseye Performance single scroll t3 hosuing. This decreases the turbine housing to a .70A/R but won't choke the flow of the large compressor:
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2371.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2442.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2526.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2540.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2554.jpg

Needless to say, it's a night and day difference between how the car is running now. At the moment, the only things that need to be finished are welds on the downpipe so I can connect my custom straight piped side exit and I'm going to replace the current banjo style oil feed line connection with something that won't leak.

My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2553.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2491.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2492.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2493.jpg

I know I left out a bunch of details so please ask questions, comment, etc.
Current set up is as follows:
Holset HX35 turbo with BEP t3 .70A/R housing
TurboTurtle T3 turbo manifold
3" downpipe into custom straight piped side exit exhaust
2.5" hot side IC piping
3" cold side IC piping
CXracing 2.5" inlet/outlet IC
Turbosmart Ultragate 38mm Wastegate
Synapse Gen II BOV
Vacuum Block
Diablo Mafia with 3" MAF tube
PCV delete
EVAP delete
PZEV delete
Cosworth Intake Manifold
Crane Stage 1 cams
BSD delete
Tom's 93 octane Tune

Currently running on spring pressure which is 7psi. Waiting to get it on the dyno and then I'll turn it up from there. Not trying to smoke my clutch just yet haha
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2004 Black ZX3 D23: HX35 turbo, 11psi, BSD, 3" downpipe, cosworth intake mani, PZEV delete, Tom's tune, eibach pro springs, dampers, rear sway bar, fswerks rear and front stress bars, fswerks vfengineering motor mounts

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Old 04-08-2015, 10:52 AM   #3
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How she currently sits:
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2452.jpg

You can see the side exit exhaust on the driver side and the intercooler between the front bumper openings. The downpipe will be getting painted and wrapped this weekend after the welds are completed. I will be updating this thread all the time with new things that I add and all that good stuff
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2004 Black ZX3 D23: HX35 turbo, 11psi, BSD, 3" downpipe, cosworth intake mani, PZEV delete, Tom's tune, eibach pro springs, dampers, rear sway bar, fswerks rear and front stress bars, fswerks vfengineering motor mounts

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Old 04-08-2015, 12:38 PM   #4
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Looks great. Tim does some great work with those manifolds!
You'll be happy with this setup for about a day, and then you'll just want more boost! That holset in particular will perform best at high psi levels. AT 7psi that big compressor wheel is barely spinning, as in barely on the compressor map! Even at 15psi you'll barely have reached the center of the efficiency island on the compressor map.
Build that motor and push 25-30psi through that HX35 and then you'll have a beast!
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sutyak View Post
Looks great. Tim does some great work with those manifolds!
You'll be happy with this setup for about a day, and then you'll just want more boost! That holset in particular will perform best at high psi levels. AT 7psi that big compressor wheel is barely spinning, as in barely on the compressor map! Even at 15psi you'll barely have reached the center of the efficiency island on the compressor map.
Build that motor and push 25-30psi through that HX35 and then you'll have a beast!
haha yeah, that's the plan. Clutch, lsd, and coilovers this summer and built motor either during the winter or early spring next year. I'd definitely like to see 25psi in a year's time. You're right though, 7 psi is nothing for this turbo
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:01 PM   #6
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I'd like to see how your turbo inlet pipe is run and where your air filter is.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sutyak View Post
I'd like to see how your turbo inlet pipe is run and where your air filter is.
I'm still trying to figure that one out. Room is very limited so a direct filter on the turbo won't work. I have coolant hoses and other stuff right by the turbo inlet.
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2536.jpg
My Holset HX35 Turbo Build-img_2537.jpg

I may be able to throw a silicone elbow on and route some piping but I haven't messed with it yet. The most ideal situation would be to relocate the battery and put the air filter there.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04ZX3 View Post
I'm still trying to figure that one out. Room is very limited so a direct filter on the turbo won't work. I have coolant hoses and other stuff right by the turbo inlet.

I may be able to throw a silicone elbow on and route some piping but I haven't messed with it yet. The most ideal situation would be to relocate the battery and put the air filter there.
Ah OK. I was wondering if Tim made you an inlet pipe and if you relocated the battery. Post up some photos when you figure that out.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:29 PM   #9
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Double post...
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:24 PM   #10
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Nice build! Forgive me if you already said, but did you source the turbo off a cummins pickup or??
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