In the battle for XR6 Turbo power, you can't dismiss Chris Taylor of Queensland. Chris's XR6T ute looks like a stocker with the exception of its wheels and lowered stance but it turns the chassis dyno rollers quite unlike anything that's stock
Chris bought his ute brand new for everyday work duties – and a bit of fun on
the side. With 240kW at the flywheel in factory guise, the ute was useable,
grunty and quick – but it didn’t have that unmistakable aftermarket punch. It
offered ‘smoothie performance’.
“Yeah, it was alright standard,” says Chris.
“But now it’s complete unrecognisable to drive,” he adds with a wry
The car’s first meeting with the ‘Speed Man’s’ spanner came at Redcliffe Dyno
and Performance (RDP). Steve from RDP began with the entry-level 300kW upgrade
comprising a RDP piggy-back computer (which drives the injectors directly) and a
replacement K&N panel filter. A set of Bosch 363 Bosch injectors were also
thrown in to allow scope for some more power a little down the track.
A good move as it turns out.
Not long after its first bout of mods, Chris returned the car to Redcliffe
Dyno and Performance for an upgrade that saw the machine cranking out 316kW
(424hp) at the wheels. Steve says the hardware combo was tailored to suit Chris’
immediate and future needs – they gave him the bang he wanted at the time and
left the power envelope unlicked.
The second round of mods involved a Nizpro ‘Cobra’ air-to-air intercooler
(which is substantially larger than the factory front-mount unit) and
replacement inlet plenum together with a relocated Nizpro airbox. An Odyssey
battery is also mounted on the opposite side of the engine bay to let everything
fit. The exhaust side of things was also freed up thanks to a custom 3 inch
With the Bosch 363 injectors aimed down the 4.0’s bores, it was also decided
an extra fuel pump should be included in the package. This serves as a ‘helper’
pump and eases tension in the case something goes wrong with the factory pump
(which would otherwise be running at its limit).
With 316kW at the wheels, both Steve and Chris were conscious that they were
pushing the standard internals pretty hard. At this point, the long engine was
freighted to Nizpro in Melbourne for
a ‘high strength’ build.
The 4.0 litre DOHC mill was built with H-beam rods and forged pistons
providing the factory compression ratio. The top-end was also given upgraded
valve springs – a known weakness in the standard engine. Aside from that, the
engine was left pretty much factory.
Once returned to Brisbane, the
engine was slotted into the XR’s nose together with the existing Nizpro intake
manifold and pre-turbo inlet arrangement. The only supporting change is a 3 ½
inch exhaust with twin HSV LS1 cats.
Amazingly, an Extrude Honed version of the standard turbo remains in service
– no need for a bigger huffer yet. A 15 psi Nizpro wastegate actuator provides
stable boost control. Steve controls the wastegate bleed solenoid via the RDP
computer and says a very low solenoid duty cycle is required to deliver a boost
pressure of 15.8 psi.
On this relatively mild level of boost, Chris’s XR6T has put out a huge
391kW (524hp) at the back wheels!
But not everything has been plain sailing.
The stock clutch and 5 speed manual gearbox were both showing signs of wear
after just 25,000km of use. The stock ‘box is a pretty gruff unit anyway so
Chris decided to upgrade to a Mal Wood T56 6 speed kit. The 6 speed gives
greater flexibility and has no problem handling the torque. The standard 3.45:1
At the time of writing, the car has yet to make a quarter mile pass and
everyone in the RDP camp knows that traction will be the biggest hurdle. The ANZ
18 inch wheels and 245/40s are fine for normal street use but there’s no way
they’ll cut the mustard on the strip; a big set of slicks is what the doctor
ordered. We imagine there might also be some fine tuning in the suspension
department as the only mods so far are Pedders 50mm lowered front coils, reset
rear leafs and Pedders dampers.
As it stands, this is undoubtedly one of the quickest XR6 Turbos on the
street. We’ll need to wait a little while for it to become one of the quickest
on the strip.
Since our photo shoot Chris has gone to the next level of seriousness. The
T56 manual has made way for a 2 speed Powerglide with high stall converter,
trans brake, 9 inch diff, mini tubs and the latest RDP sequential computer – the
engine now makes almost 448kW (600hp) at the wheels.
Oh, and Chris is also looking at a fitting bigger turbo and maybe nitrous...