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Old 04-05-2011   #1
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Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Hi all,

I have a fiat ducato 1989 2.5 diesel swift kontiki motorhome approx 2.5 tonne and i'd like to either tune up the engine to get more power by adding a turbo or super charger or to replace the front cab with another vehicle of the same size.

I'd like to know what requirements and/or issues i'd have installing a turbo into my engine?
Or would a super charger be easier again what would be the requirements and issues behind that?
What other options to increase the BHP do I have ie perhaps a twin carb if they do them or even Nos?
Would it be better to find a 2.5 turbo or 2.8 turbo engine, again what are the requirements and issues?
Also is a 2.8 turbo more economical than a 2.5 turbo?

Could I use a newer engine from a newer mark or do I have to use the current mark ie 1988 - 1992.

Or to replace the Van Cab with another similar size van, Any recomendations on Vans and what issues would I get.

The reason for this is to increase the speed especially uphills and roads with long but slight inclines. I don't want to spend lots of money and have a unrealiable engine or just having more power but very poor MPG.

The ideal scenario would be that I could replace the front cab fairly easliy and end up with a 5 or 6 year old van, but i'm very happy with my current engine which has done 46k but just need more power as going 40mph on a motorway getting overtaken by old timers in mobility carts aint much fun.

Anything that you guys/gals can recommened, give an opinion on would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps you have another way or option i'd love to hear from you all.

Also Does anyone have a workshop manual for these vans at all?
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Old 04-05-2011   #2
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

diesel dont have carbs m8 mine does 70 but that wrecks mpg can sit at 60 happily 400 mile on a tank change your motorhome imo
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Old 12-05-2011   #3
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

What MH do you have saw?
I do get 400 to a tank and 70 is achiveable in mine but mine really struggles up any hill.
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Old 12-05-2011   #4
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

After exhaustive reasearch it appears that the issue with putting a turbo on my van is the compression ration is to high in my engine compared to the 2.5td, thats what a fiat dealship mechanic has told me. I did ask if the compression ratio can be changed but didn't get a definate no or yeah. I still don't know if a mark 1 2.5td engine will go into mine. I will endavour to find out.
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Old 15-05-2011   #5
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Quote Originally Posted by JABuk View Post
What MH do you have saw?
I do get 400 to a tank and 70 is achiveable in mine but mine really struggles up any hill.
89 ducato 2.5d m8 i cruise at 55/60 yes hills not good doesnt "struggle" up can keep up with hgvs on hills. are your tyre pressures correct? i put redex in mine it helps things along, takes a bit to get used too no turbo and whats the rush?
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Old 21-06-2011   #6
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Hi there,

I have a similar challenge regarding the wish to retro fit my Ducato 2.5 1988 Diesel with Turbo. After having tried a few times to generate response/ advice but I gave up some time ago due to lack of response. It's great to see the responses received by this thread and I'm hoping someone with offer me some advice based to enable me to decide whether possible to retro fit a turbo OR failing that, ... what turbo engine can be easly retrofitted to my 1988 Fiat Ducato. (I will do this as a last resort & based on cost ). Cheers for now in anticipation of positive responses . I can be also be contacted via email; ron.downs@gemalto.com
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Old 26-06-2011   #7
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

compression ratio could be lowered by using a thicker head gasket or different pistons either way lots of work sell it and buy another is the wasier and possibly cheaper route
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Old 04-07-2011   #8
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Hi there,

I used to have 1988 2.5D Ducato. I updated it two years ago to be 2.5td. My engine had quite low mileage, so I didn't even open it. I just bought repared "original" turbo, exhaust manifold and made other requested updates like exhaust pipe.

I know that there is slight difference with compression ratio, but compared to e.g. VW Caddy 1.6td engine, it's equal. I asked about compression ratio issue from our local diesel tuning forum and they got me convinced that there is no need for lower ratio. Finally, I got my car working, I got it re-registered and I drove about 10 000 km (including Alps etc.) without problems. And it certainly was worth of the work. There was no problem with registering it, because I had documentation of brake sizes etc. My car was not low emission model, which would have been more difficult model to registry.
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Old 05-07-2011   #9
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

I'm really surprised.

As you take the vw 1.6 for example the non turbo engine had lots of problems when turbod - exhaust valves closed too soon, valves were too soft, pistons weren't up to it either and there was no oil spray for the pistons unless you were lucky enough to get the industrial version even then and you could only still run a small amount of boost and gentle driving.
Maybe your engine already had low compression due to wear or a previous engine work.
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Old 05-07-2011   #10
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

I already regret that I ever posted my reply and comments. I should have guessed that there is always someone, who doesn't believe or is saying that it shouldn't be possible what ever you tell him. If you are experienced enough, you know that this is not a black and white thing and there is no right and wrong. You have to consider what you are looking for and how much money you are willing to put your engine.

You have to remember couple of things. First of all, VW's td-engine was just an example. I wanted to point out that there are lot of other turbo engines too, which have equal compression ratio and same specifications like you would get. What comes to compression ratio, 21:1 is nothing if you are using low turbo pressures and you take care of the coolant temperatures. Too low compression ratio could even lead to starting problems especially in the winter time. If you want to easy you engine, please use inter-cooler.

I'm also aware of the issue that there are no oil spray nozzles. It really doesn't matter, if you take care of the mentioned issues and you are not going to seek more power by tuning your engine. Maybe you don't know, but earlier td-engines didn't have oil nozzles at all. It really depends on you engine scope whether you need them or not.

Of course it would be better to have oil nozzles and lower comp.ratio, but it's not necessarily needed. If everything is ok in your engine, it's possible to built reliable and nice engine quite easily. I just called to my earlier neighbor, who bought my car and total mileage with turbo is now over 45 000 km. Still going strong. Max. boost is 0.7 bar and there is no inter-cooler. Comp.ratio is perfect compared to original one, we measured compression pressures and checked that there are no flow by (?).
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Old 05-07-2011   #11
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Quote Originally Posted by Janisto76 View Post
I should have guessed that there is always someone, who doesn't believe or is saying that it shouldn't be possible what ever you tell him
Never said I didn't believe you

Just that I was surprised it went so well especially with alpine drivng where you're pretty much in boost all the time.

Just for our information do you know what boost pressure you were running?

We drove a diesel rental car from venice to zell am see and all around kaprun area and back again fabulous journey there were a couple of times the hills were so steep I thought if we have to stop here we'll have to reverse to the bottom and start again :-p
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Last edited by paddyponchero; 05-07-2011 at 17:33.
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Old 06-07-2011   #12
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

I had pressure cauge installed, because I wanted to control or atleast see that pressure won't get too high. Max.pressure was 0.7 bar. I would have used smaller like 0.5 or 0.6, but I couldn't adjust wastegate so much.

All that matters is thermal load (?) to pistons and naturally higher pressure doesn't make situation better. Lower boost pressure and colder intake air will help you a lot.

I have seen that kind of roads. I was really worried, because road was extremely narrow and road was also wet. Our tires slipped all the time and it certainly was not nice at all. Still I had to pass one petrol Mercedes, because it was too slow. No power, you know.
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Old 09-07-2011   #13
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Unhappy fiat ducato 2 ltr jtd 06 plate

my husband took his fiat van to a garage as the engine was making whistling noises when he put his foot on the gas. The garage said it was the cam retentioner and replaced it but the problem was still there, they then said it was the turbo, so they fitted a turbo, and the problem was still there, they said the turbo people said it was a starvation of oil and this needed to be sorted or the turbo wouldn't work, but the garage had already fitted the turbo and it didn't work, both times they returned the vehicle to us and charged us, and we still have the same problem and it has so far cost 700, can anyone give me a background on what should have been done before fitting a turbo, and are the garage at fault. thank you
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Last edited by mishhd; 09-07-2011 at 15:06. Reason: word mistake
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Old 09-03-2012   #14
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Hi Janisto, new to forum - saw your post. I have a Fiat Hymer with this engine in and I too am wondering how to retro fit a turbo. Would it be possible to get a more complete list of the things you had to buy? Somewhere else I read you might need to change the radiator (although that might be for an intercooler version). The turbos are direct injection and the non-turbos are indirect - so do you not need a different injector pump? Also did you do this all yourself or did you get it done? And if it's not too personal a question what do you think you spent on it in total? I would be most grateful for any information.
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Old 09-03-2012   #15
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Re: Fittin a turbo to a 1989 ducato 2.5 diesel

Quote Originally Posted by roofrack View Post
The turbos are direct injection and the non-turbos are indirect - so do you not need a different injector pump?
I can't give you any advice on actually fitting a turbo but wanted to say that the 2.5iTD's (manufactured approximately between 1995 and 2001(?) had the mechanical injection pumps.
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