Sept 28th 2005 Buy the turbo!!
Now to the big turbo Mini debate... Which Turbo....
Because a turbo can quickly melt pistons if pre-igniton happens the old way was to drop the CR, weld up the ignition advance and hope for the best. Add a big T3 turbo that only kicks in above 3500 rpm and it must produce an engine that is an absolute pig off of the turbo, It would only be useful for drag stripping. I want a road car, so looked around and found something called megajolt ignition. This is the ideal solution, it uses the ignition module from early 90's Fords and eliminates the distributor and can monitor and adjust the advance based on the manifold pressure (i.e turbo boost) and rpm, all programmed from your laptop. With this you can have an engine that has the correct advance off boost and retard it as the boost comes in. This will make a real drivable engine as you no longer have to mess up the compression ratio to avoid detonation, though I intend dropping it a little to allow for the type of fuel I can easily get. Add to that a mildly tuned cam and I should have a nice engine. Its no use going wild on the cam, the turbo makes the power... you need to make it work when its OFF turbo.
After looking around I decided on a Garrett GT15 Turbo. This seems the perfect Match for this size engine. I think this will make a more drivable car and I may just squeeze it in without having to cut the firewall.
Final thing is a wide band O2 sensor, I think that now that the cost of these is getting down to "reasonable" it will be great insurance to be able to accurately monitor the mixture all the time.
I picked up this Eagle Talon Intercooler, I plan to mount it in the right wing.