protege turbo manifold header
Project Ford Probe Projects

Protege Turbo Manifold On The Ford Probe

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.

Protege t25 turbo header manifold

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.

protege turbo manifold header
Primered Turbo Manifold Ready For Finishing

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.

protege turbo manifold header
Final result of the protege turbo manifold after VHT Flameproof Flat Aluminum paint

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.

For More Information On This Turbo Manifold Click Here 

10 thoughts on “Protege Turbo Manifold On The Ford Probe

  1. Dang, you’re on to some very cool stuff with this car. I’ve been following this blog for a few days now and am waiting to see some more of what you do next to this thing. Looks like you are a busy car building type of guy. I love it. What are your goals as far as horsepower for the car? I know some 2.0 engines are capable of a lot.

    1. Thanks for following Shaun. My plans for the car are to just try to get up to 300hp. It can be done but the problem is the reliability. These FSDE engines can make some power with deep pockets but it takes a lot of knowledge and building. I have a lot of things in store for it. I have loads of parts put aside for it that haven’t been installed yet and until I get everything for the turbo kit, I am just going to wait. This way when I install everything at once, I’ll notice the big difference but won’t have to go back and take something else apart and do it again and so on.

  2. Looks brand new. I wonder how long it will last though. I hear people say that ceramic coating is the best bet for headers because the heat burns the paint from a can off almost every time.

    1. Yes Marty I’ve heard that same exact thing but I’ve also heard some good things using the VHT paint that I used so I decided to give it a try. If it comes off, it won’t be a big deal for me to take it off and have it ceramic coated. This was just a way for me to save some money and help with the engine bay looking nice and clean.

      Something important to point out too is that several people don’t follow the instructions fully and that’s why they don’t get good results. The can asks to bake the paint on so it fully cures under the top layer. I followed the instructions but have yet to put them on as I still need to get some more parts to have the whole turbo setup ready. Maybe by waiting so long it will help it cute better too. We’ll see.. Thanks for reading and commenting. I have lots more in store.

  3. Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and wonderful design and style.

  4. I used to have the same car and the FSDE Probe engine loves boost. Once you turbo that thing it can actually take more than you think.

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