Marea The First UK Marea Turbo? Build thread


And so the story begins....

About a year ago Stew (The_Beast) challenged me to a race, a race to build the UK's first Marea Turbo!

Both myself and Stew have admired and been extremely jealous of the sale of Marea Turbo's only to the Brazillian market for quite some time, certainly since i first discovered the Marea back around 2005.

Why a Marea? i dont really know why, i like the way they look, i like the way they drive and i like their unexpected road presence.

The first photo i saw of a Marea:

I instantly fell in love with the look of the car and had to get myself one!

In early 2005 i purchased my first Marea, she was a metallic blue 1998 Marea Weekend HLX 2.0 20v with aircon and full leather interior.

She met her unfortunate end later in the year following a road traffic accident, no one was hurt.


Within less than 2 weeks i had met my new car, a stunning metallic black Marea Weekend HLX 2.0 20v with only 48k on the clock! this one had no aircon or leather but this was later swapped out from the old one.


This was to be the car that underwent the conversion.

Here are a few photos taken a month or so before she underwent the conversion:



Below is the build thread which was kept on a small local car enthusiast forum, Enjoy!


Well, i've had a little accident (sliced my thumb open :() so thought now is a good time to start the thread.

Yesterday i had my recently purchased Fiat Coupe 2.0 20v Turbo with a blown HG delivered.





not wanting to waste any time i dived straight in and by the end of the day i was left with something that looked like this


for the most part all i'd done was remove the consmetics, fitted cam locking tools, and pulled out a few bits.

nothing too exciting just yet but stay tuned!



I am exhausted!

i've been working hard in the evenings to make up for my thumb accident on sunday.

last night i got the turbo off, unbolted the aircon compressor, removed the radiator, and as much pipe work as i could remember in preperation for pulling the head off today.

tonight i unbolted the head and tried to lift it off, only to discover i'd forgotted about the plastic cambelt shield attached to the head in an un-accessable area without moving the engine.

not being in the mood or having the time to make up i just gave it a good hard pull and snaped the plastic, its not such a big deal as i can swap it off the 20v N/A from the Marea.

once off i decided to strip the head to save costs of having it skimmed etc.

only the one picture that i just took of how the cars looking at the moment, a bit of a mess really.....


It's also dawned on me just how much work is going to be *gulp* and weather i will actually manage to get it done in the time i've allocated, it could mean some very late nights....



i've just come back from the machine shop having dropped the cylinder head off to be pressure tested and then skimmed, fingers crossed it's all okay!


i don't believe this!

between tuesday when i removed the head and today when i just went to have a look at the car someone has gone and put big indentations in 3 of my pistons! i presume it was done with a hammer and no way accidental, there are definitely fresh and have not occurred prior to me taking the head off.


very angry at the moment, cant believe someone would do this.








Righty then.

saturday i took a trip up to Stoke on trent to collect a new block and pistons, came off a 47k coop and looks in excellent condition, so i did a little work on the car and here she stands now almost ready for the engine to come out.


i just need to remove gearbox linkages and the slave cylinder then its droppy enginey time :D

once its out i need to strip it down and get the crank out, order up the new shells (apparently there are 3 types so i cant order until the crank is off to identify which i need) along with new bolts.

once this arrives its off to the machine shop to be balenced and then back to me for final assembly, i still need to re-assemble the cylinder head so will fo that in the mean time.

i have a hybrid turbo arriving this weekend i believe :D

going to start taking alot more pictures soon so should get a bit more interesting :)

she wont be ready for Combe unfortunately but i will bring her with the standard engine, at the moment it sounds completely shagged so wouldnt be surprised if i blew it on the track but hey!



yeah it was a stroke of luck really, even more lucky is the guy happens to rebuild Turbo's as part of his work and was in need of a leather interior for one of his Coupes, we came to a deal on swapping a fresh built hybrid turbo for the leather interior, Lucky me!

had these few goodies turn up the other day, amazingly little to look at but came in at just under 300 notes!




well, after being out all night last night i finally woke up at 3:30pm this afternoon lol!

a few hours later and we go from the above to this!


little bit awkward as i had to rotate the crane/engine around to get out....

Uh oh! the dipstick doesnt quite fit under the cross member!


car was already on the top of the axel stands but no problem i thought, i'll just jack it right up and slide it under... but crap it, even with a block of wood i fell a few centimeters short!


this is where i left it, with the dip stick stuck on the wrong site of the cross member, but now bad for a few hours work :)


on a side note, does anyone have a smaller garage for me to try and do this in? :p

Thanks for looking!


right then, its been awhile hasnt it! i have been working, honest!

the engine and loom came out okay, i used to crane to lift the car and pulled the engine out :) and the loom only took about 10 minutes to pull out, thank god!


just for the sake of it i lead out the stuff i had, doesnt look like too much does it!


next to nothing left and fuel tank half off


dirty old nackered turbo, new fresh rebuilt TB28 hybrid turbo on the way 8)


i finished stripping the parts i needed from the coop and started moving it outside to go to the scrappy, it didnt take long before i realised it was never going to do it on my own so had to call in the lads to help out, took 4 of us to get it moved!




Yay! car-less garage once again!

looks like alot to squeeze into an engine bay doesnt it?


as part of the project i was determined to clean the parts before the go back into the car so i dont have to work with filthy parts and it will look nice, unfortunately as i removed the brembo's i scratched one, whoops!


i'm going to send them off to be painted in white 8)

there was absolutely nothing left of the brake pads, i think the car was slightly neglected! :(


little bit of driveshaft cleaning...


a few hours of gearbox cleaning :shock:


and finally, here is the new engine in the assembly process :D



all in, i'm pretty happy with the project so far even if it has already obliterated my budget, i want it all done right!

the scary thing is, i've already passed the half way point, the marea will be coming off of the road very soon :?



Okay, tonight i re-assembled the bottom end.

went well, first i changed all the bolts and torqued it all down.

then i fitted the oil pump and feed back on


applyed the sealent for the sump


and fitted sump and torqued it down :)


looks dirty, i think i have some more cleaning to do and some Autosol'ing 8)

i need to source a gasket seal for the crank on the oil pump end but i cant find it on the ePer so will have to phone around.

i was hoping to get the cylinder head bolted on tonight but by the time this was done it was 10:00pm :shock:



I set about getting the rest of the engine together, i had fogotted how physically exhausting it is to torque up a 20v cylinder head!

here are the pistons/bores after a clean up and just before i fitted the cylinder head


head just mounted in place


and then all torqued down, i had to lay the engine on the side to do it. also fitted the intake manifold.


with the engine pretty much assembled i ordered the rest of the parts i was going to need for the conversion.

305mm Brembo disc's (pre-painted) :devil:


and here with a penny on to give an idea of size...


Original Fiat replacement pads


Aux belts


New flex to caliper brake lines


Driveshaft gaskets, crank seal (i assembled the engine without this and fitted after) and dip stick seal


i had a little flick through the receipts i have and so far i have about £900 worth of new parts for the car, this doesnt include the second hand parts used such as the Manifold, Charcoal box, Turbo (still being built) and various other pipes and bits.

quite an expensive project but damn she should be nice when finished :D



not too much has happened, i have a few pictures i need to upload of the engine in a more assembled state but i'm at a point where i cant really do much.

i'm waiting for my new turbo still and i cant find the wiring diagram i need to re-wire the loom anywhere!

if anyone works for a garage and may be able to help please contact me!


P.S if i get the turbo and loom sorted i want to do the conversion in june


been awhile since any updates!

sorry i havent been updating, alot of not very nice stuff has been happening here recently.

there are updates but for now here is a little sneeky peeky ;)




right then, here is a rather large pic heavy catch up of what has happened since the last proper update.

My memory is starting to go a bit now i'm getting into my twenties so i dont remember the details but here are the final pics of the engine going back together :)








then there was a long long gap of nothing happening because of all this family stuff thats been going on but after some time the marea finally went into the garage, and here is what followed!

once the marea was in a got my hands stuck in and started pulling her apart starting with bumper/headlights

exhaust system gone

coolant drained and started disconnecting pipework

slam panel, intake system, battery, rad all gone

another angle with a bit more removed and some loom disconnected

look im on fire already having the engine on the crane! this was on about evening 3

it didnt take long for me to discover my garage was just too small to be able to get the marea engine out with it being those few inches longer than the coop so i resorted to bolting it back in :(

here is the garden turning into a scrap yard :p

after a hell of alot of effort completely on my own i managed to get the marea back about a foot to allow the engine to come out, so i undid the bolts once again

lowest estate in the world?

interior looking messy, eeeek!

20v N/A engine out of the bay, oh yes!!!!


now how the hell do i get it out of the door?

lets try it on a trolley and craning it out!.....FAIL

lets just get some big guys to man-handle it out the door.... well, success but massive mess lol! :D


bye bye old engine, you will be missed! :'(


i neglected to take photos of us man-handling the new engine into the garage, it was a very interesting operation that required alot of head scratching and we eventually used the crane to get it to the door and then made a slide for it to get it from the crane into the garage, it was a great success! :D

once it was in a needed to get it fitted, mainly so i could push the car back in and lock up the garage!

one of the environmental mess we made, Oops!

the now much larger scrap yard/garden (mum wasnt impressed)


OMG thats a 20V Turbo engine going into a Marea engine bay!!!! :D



bolted in 8) i think that makes me the first person in the UK to have a Marea with a 20v Turbo engine bolted into the bay :D


I'm such a happy chappy at the moment, i really just cant wait to be so proud to drive it out of the garage and take it for a shakedown 8) after its been run in, bring on combe baby! :twisted:

i've also had loads of deliveries recently including gauges, spacers, mounts etc etc.

crack on tomorrow then!



Thanks for the comments :)

Matt - no i never did find a wiring diagram, i resorted to manually tracing the loom and figuring it all out myself, took awhile but its ready :)

as for a target date, i have until the 20th june on holiday from work but i dont see why it wont be back on four wheels this weekend :) just need to sort out a few small bits like throttle cable and SMIC then just put it back together :)

Today i have been little bits and bobs, i sorted out the exhaust heatshield with the handbrake and gear level arrangement i need for this new engine/box, unfortunately no pics of that, it wasnt all that interesting anyway, i did discover i have to pull the interior apart to get to 1 single bolt fiat decided to hide under everything GRR

about the only visual difference you can iss is that i've mounted the oil cooler and SMIC :)


unfortunately some on told me the SMIC was going to be a direct fit but it seems to foul the wing. It looks like i should be able to trim the pipe a little to allow it to fit so not a massive deal :)


I also ran the loom into the car where the ECU will be located, only pic i took was of the mess on the windscreen


Ry :)


cheers :)

not alot happened yesterday, i think the only thing thats changed was the steering rack and hubs are now bolted on, no pictures i'm afriad.

waiting in this morning for a delivery of throttle cable, engine stabilizer and clutch slave cyl bracket. once they arrive i will get the engine loom connected and mount the engine properly!:D



alrighty then, time for a update :)

its been a long hard slog with ups and downs but the car is pretty much complete mechanically :)

one evening while pretending i had nothing to do (;)) i decided to try out my new H&R 15mm spacers to check they would clear the brembo calipers, gotta say it is a tight fit but they do clear! woo



my next annoying and boring task was going to be to wire in the loom, it actually didnt take long, had it all wired up in an hour or so :)


mmmm....turbo'y :D


fitted the oil filter into its crazy little gap it fits into just about, remember the exhaust downpipe isnt in place so there is no room to access this normally!


a few little bits of pipework connected up, this really did take the time


now, that tricky intercooler, i decided to remove the mounting bracket the coupe uses and mount it directly onto the support leg behind it, seems pretty sound there, hopefully the bumper will still go on :)






nackered radiator back in, this is on the to be replaced list, shame the 20v N/A rad doesnt fit as it was in perfect condition!


a pic of the engine bay looking virtually complete!


and a final one for now, the car now has 3 wheels :)


other than this lot i'm just bolting everything back into place, i have my final parts arriving tomorrow and hope to have the car up and running by the weekend!

Thanks for reading :)



Thanks for the comments guys!

believe it or not i had doubts myself if i could pull it off but i think i've done myself proud so far!

i doubt if i will be attending RS day, i'm away for a week in cornwall and the is no way the engine will have been run in by then, if i am around i may pop down but i certainly wont be on the track.

i have really been pondering around today twiddling my thumbs as a package was ment to arrive with the final bits to allow me to get she up and running but they didnt :( fingers are tightly crossed for them arriving tomorrow and i hope by the end of the day to have a running engine :D

today i put the few odd bolts in, fitted both of my brembo's properly and re-wired the loom, surprisingly i only changed about 3 things!

i feel a bit like a child on christmas eve at the moment, wish me luck!



Again not much to report.

i got my parts and put the car back together but i cant get her started :(

the issue is to do with the wiring and i have contacted some people for help so with any luck it wont be long.

i also discovered one of my headlights doesnt fit now because of the new air intake pipework - lol

i'm a little disappointed she isnt running but its just one of those things i spose :(



it seems that the problem may be a faulty/damaged cam phase sensor, i fitted a new one when the engine went back together so thats pretty disappointing to hear :(

the bad news? the engine has to come out AGAIN! :bang:


OMG, i am the happiest person in the world right now, i dont think anything can break this feeling.

Ladies and gentlemen may i introduce the first Marea Turbo in the UK (infact Europe as far as i know!)




got a widget connected to it and it flagged up a crank sensor failure to my supprise.

from previous experience i expected to find and earth fault but i found nothing :(

after getting very stressed i decided to do a continuity test to the ECU where is discovered something was very wrong, the pin outs were completely wrong! :?:

remembering what i do when i come to a problem in work i took a step back and looked at the really simple things, what did i find? i had connected the EBV to the crank sensor and vice versa! swapped back and vola!

i feel pretty silly as she would of been running much sooner if it wasnt for that but hey, thats life aye.

atleast she runs now :)



welllll....there are quite a few bravo turbo conversions, i got my advice from them but mind actually seemed a little easier on the wiring from what i've heard.

tonight i bled the brakes and the clutch, all went well there.

filled with coolent and it all came back out on the floor :? forgot to do up a pipe on the back :(

sorted that one and refilled, seemed good, started car and started warming up then it leaked out of another place, had to trim the pipe as it had torn, sorted that and now it seems good :D

just need to get some proper power steering fluid and see if that leaks, hope not as its a bugger to get to any of the pipes/rack.

car seems a little smokey but i think this might just be because it hasnt been run and the exhaust system was stored outside so could be moisture? i'll keep and eye on it

havent done anything else tonight, if its dry tomorrow i will get it off axel stands for a little shakedown up the back lane :)

then its just bonnet, bumper, fuel pump, rad fan wiring, back section of exhaust and the interior to go back together left!

oh i do hope she doesnt break - lol :D



well that was short lived, i think the turbo is buggered

vid (1.1mb): vid/blownturbo.mp4

i feel like having a little cry :(


good news :)

it seems my turbo is actually fine! compression tested the engine and thats also fine.

the problem seems to be oil residue from the IC/Intake pipes/Exhaust from when the previous owner blew up the turbo.

started the car with the IC off and the smoke stopped so its now filled with petrol to try and get it out :)

i will refit it tomorrow and see how it is :)

also, i completely forgot just how low my car was! the top of the engine is now down by my knees - lol!

oh, my oil cooler pipes decided to split so i do have something to spend my money on :roll:



Right, this smoke issue proved to be a pain as can be seen from the previous posts but i finally sorted it!

I was discussing a replacement turbo with someone who supplies me all of my spares, he asked me to confirm it was the turbo by checking for oil/gunk on the exhaust side of the turbo which i previously hadnt done as its a PITA to remove, tonight i did this and found nothing but a bit of carbon build up :?

chatting with Joe again we came to the conclusion the problem must be in the downpipe/CAT as these hadnt been cleaned, sure enough the CAT was stuffed full of gunk/oil and as was the downpipe.

as the CAT cant be cleaned to took the old marea CAT and fitted it to a cleaned out downpipe.

warmed up the car and didnt see anything more than a little bit of smoke puffing out, nothing like before. I took for car for a good plast up and down the back lane a few times getting it on good boost and she made some little clouds but nothing near to how she did before so my conclusion is its just burning the last few remains that probably made it into my cat back system now :D

i'm going to get my new cooler and pipes fitted and cure the rocker cover oil leak then take her for a first run on the road :D



Took the marea on her shakedown run today, we traveled about 15miles trouble free!

current notes:-
- squeeky brakes need investigating
- injector light, probably something not wired in right
- handbrake light stays on, dont care
- ABS light on, ABS isnt wired in
- tyres are now catching the wheel arch with 20mm spaces, will get them flared
- need to modify intake pipe so headlight will fit, no biggie - looking into tomorrow

thats about all really, MOT is due in August! :eek:

i have a shakedown vid i will post later when i have it off the camera :)

Thanks for reading,


well, this has been an eventful weekend!

friday i took the car out for the shakedown, saturday i blew up the oil cooler/pipes, sunday fitted replacement oil cooler/pipes and found broken CV boot :roll:

i dont think i have the willpower to change the CV boot myself so thinking about sending her off to the garage to be done :?

we'll see.....


So, thats it really!

I've built myself something i have wanted for a few years and i'm very happy, currently i am driving the car to work and she has clocked up 250miles without any issues.

i still have a cam variator fault that i cant seem to get to go away for the moment so it may be more sinister than just my wiring but as it stands she is drivable :D

As for Stew? he EPIC failed to get anywhere, bad luck Stew, hope you can join me shortly!

What would i have done differently?

i wouldnt of bought a £600 coupe, it cost me more in replacement parts than was worth, i should of spent £3k on a good condition coupe and used that instead.

I would also make sure i had a big enough garage next time! if anything slowed me down it was because i just couldnt work in the space i had!

Conclusion of the conversion

This is a pretty straight forward conversion as far as i discovered, other than a few wiring changes not much has been changed, i will definitely consider other conversions in the future :devil:

I would like to say a special thanks to Jug, Jamie86, Si - Punto, Notorious, The_Beast and the members of FCCUK & FiatBOO for all of their help & advise with the project

Comments and constructive criticism welcomed :)

Vehicle information

Added by
Last update

More in Builds / Restorations

More from bulldog5046