It started out of necessity. It turned into a hobby.
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When we found Jason Nusbaum poking under the hood of a Saab 900 Turbo, we knew his story had to be good. We never expected to hear that he’d been to Pull-A-Part stores several states away in search of the perfect turbocharger for a top-secret skunkworks project, only to find the perfect part right in his backyard.
“I’ve not yet done an entire system myself,” Nusbaum said, as he pulled the turbo free from its charge pipe, “but I owned an ‘85 300ZX Turbo, and that was a lot of fun. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and studying, so I know what’s involved, and I’m going to give this a try. Hopefully I’ll have a turbo Celica by the end of the summer.”
Ten years ago, Nusbaum started to tackle more advanced repairs: radiators, alternators and starters were the training ground. Today, he’s building a turbocharged ST202-chassis Celica from scratch — using Pull-A-Part as a resource, of course.
Today’s Project: I’m removing a turbo to use as a universal part to install on either my Toyota Celica or my son’s Mazda Protege. I know I have to get a fuel management unit and find a blowoff valve, but those aren’t too expensive. The most expensive part in a project like this is the turbo. I’ll probably find some fuel injectors here, too.
Why Pull-A-Part: It’s cheaper. You don’t want to buy cheap turbos online because they’ll last a thousand miles and blow up. An OEM turbo is meant to go 150,000 or 200,000 miles. This is a real Garrett turbo. I trust it.
Favorite Car: I own my dream car. It’s a first-generation Toyota 4Runner. Like the old Blazers and Broncos, I have a removable fiberglass cap. It’s an SUV, but I have backseats, and they’re exposed. I have a factory rollbar. It stays in my garage and only comes out when it’s perfect.