Protege Turbo Manifold On The Ford Probe
So I keep changing my mind on whether or not I want to turbo the Probe and a few days ago I came across a good opportunity for a nice Protege turbo manifold at a great price.
The guy I bought it from was selling it for the low low and claims to have never put it on his car. It’s for a T25 flange turbo but there’s adapters to go from T25 to T3 so I figured it couldn’t hurt. I sent the seller the money via Paypal immediately and waited for it to arrive.
He sent it two day shipping so it arrived pretty fast. Upon arrival it looks like the picture below.
Looks like it was a little scuffed here and there from just being stored and maybe moved around a little bit. I already have some eBay headers on the car that were chrome when I put them on but within a few days the chrome burned off and left me with a bronze like colored piping. I figured this is normal for these so I decided to get to work on this turbo manifold to avoid that ugly bronze color.
First thing I did was cleaned the turbo manifold off real good with some brake cleaner just to make sure there wasn’t any grease or anything on it. I then busted out the sandpaper and started to sand it down. I started out with some 80 grit just to get the old scuff and scratch marks out. Then after that, I hit it with some 120 grit to give it a smoother finish.
It ended up being a little easier than I first imagined. Several people on forums said this would be a little tedious but I didn’t really read many on the Protege turbo manifold. After this I got some more brake cleaner and cleaned off the turbo manifold. This was of course after I sprayed it off real good to make sure I got all the sanding dust off.
After I cleaned it off and let it dry, I painted some VHT Flameproof Primer ceramic paint on it. I gave it about three layers like the can suggests. Two light coats and then one more heavier coat. This is what it looked like after.
After I let it dry, I started to put the top coat on. This was the VHT Flameproof Exhaust Ceramic Paint in a Flat Aluminum color. After I was finished I have to say it looked very impressive. It was very shiny and looked a hell of a lot better than before.
These turbo manifolds usually go for $165 and up on Amazon or eBay and are known as the Thunder turbo manifold for the 1.6l Mazda Protege and the 2.0 Mazda Protege but they also fit the 2.0 Ford Probes from 1993-1997, the 2.0 Mazda MX-6 and the Mazda 626 with the 2.0 engine.
I originally had the T3 OBX turbo manifold but I ended up selling it when I started leaning towards going all motor. Since then I have just decided I must go turbo after driving my Volvo C70 turbo and getting upset that the Probe doesn’t have the same power as it. Lol.
This Protege turbo manifold is a direct fit but some have said it might need modifying to fit the EGR sensor but I don’t think that’s an issue after comparing it next to my old stock header.
I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the results. In the picture below you can see the final outcome.
The total cost for everything involved in this task wasn’t really much, only so because I was able to get the manifold really cheap.
Breakdown of cost:
- $60 Turbo Manifold
- $20 VHT Flameproof Primer and Paint
- $1.50 Sandpaper 80 Grit
- $1.50 Sandpaper 120 Grit
- $2.00 Brake Cleaner But I already had some laying around
So for about $83 total I ended up with a better looking manifold that will match my engine better. Next task is to do the same to my new intake manifold after doing a few modifications to it such as boring and porting. Stay tuned.