VIDEO: JTP Drifting the Radium Turbo Elise

Here is a test and tune session with Portland Speed Industries at an abandonded lumber mill in Packwood, Washington. Our long-time friend, Pro Drifter Justin Pawlak (JTP) was on hand to give our car a good work out. He did very well putting on a show despite several characteristics that make the Elise a less than ideal drift car.

More information on this event can be found here.

New Release: Lotus Evora Dual Catch Can Kit

Radium Engineering is proud to announce another new product for the Lotus Evora. Our Dual Oil Catch Can installation kit is now available for the 2010+ Lotus Evora.
This kit was created based on input from a customer about periodic blue smoke from the exhaust when autocrossing or tracking his Evora. This blue smoke was the result of excess oil in the PCV system being dumped into the intake manifold and burned in the combustion process. This was verified by examining the PCV hoses and finding the insides of them soaked in oil.
This was a perfect application for our existing GEN2 Billet Aluminum Catch Cans. These would solve the problem by trapping the PCV oil in the catch cans and keeping it from getting into the intake tract or intake manifold. More information on how our catch cans work can be found here.
For the Evora, we found a great mounting location that is away from moving parts and excessive engine heat that can be detrimental to the oil separation process. So we designed a custom laser cut bracket that bolts on with no drilling required. Proper hose lengths were recorded and, as always, O-ring sealed fittings were used.

The catch can bracket mounts to the right side deck lid hinge bolts and positions the Catch Cans clear of the engine cover.

Hose routing is clean and functional. The longer the air flow travel, the cooler the gas becomes and the chance of the oil vapor falling out of suspension increases. Full access to all engine components is maintained.

The kit comes complete with Radium Catch Cans, Hoses, -AN Fittings, Laser Cut Bracket, Stainless Steel Clamps and Fasteners and can be installed in less than 15 minutes.

The Billet Oil Catch Cans are visible from outside the vehicle looking though the vent screen and through the rear window.

We are currently awaiting a new shipment of GEN2 Billet Catch Cans and this kit will be ready to ship in early September 2011. Pre-ordering can be done on our website by CLICKING HERE. Catch can orders will ship as soon as they are available.

Radium Fuel Surge Tank Goes Drifting

Portland Speed Industries recently installed a Radium Engineering Fuel Surge Tank on Andrew Coomes' competition drift car after having fuel slosh problems with his JAZ Fuel Cell. At the next drift competition, the car no longer experienced fuel starvation.

The Radium fuel surge tank is a perfect compliment to drifting due to the extended periods of lateral G's drift cars experience when competing. Fuel starvation is a very prevelant problem in drift cars and as a result, competitors are forced to run with full, or near-full fuel tanks. This adds extra weight and significantly affects the polar moment of inertia of the vehicle.

Photos Courtesy of Kyle Tomita

The Radium Fuel Surge Tank ensures a constant and reliable supply of fuel to the engine under all conditions.  PSI chose a surge tank equipped with a Bosch 023 internal pump, fed by an external Bosch 044 pump.

Photo Courtesy of AJC Drift

Check out the AJC Drift website.

Turbo Kit Pricing and Details

After over a year of development, testing and refining, we are finally ready to announce pricing for our intercooled turbocharger kit for the 2005-2011 Lotus Elise 2ZZ-GE. But what is a price if you don't know what the kit contains? This blog will highlight all of the components and fully explain the details of this turbocharger kit.

While we have always intended for the turbo kit to be an all-inclusive package, we have experienced delays with our Lotus specific engine management system. We did not want this to further hold back the release of the turbo kit so we are now releasing our Hard Parts Kit.  The Hard Parts Kit consists of all the turbocharger kit components, MINUS the engine management system and any engine wiring harness adapters. In early Fall 2011, we will be releasing our Lotus Plug N Play Programmable EMS. This Hard Parts kit is ideal for someone using a stand-alone EMS, piggy back ECU, or reflash ECU that their tuner is comfortable using.

Earlier this year, we experimented with a non-intercooled setup in order to provide a lower cost alternative setup, but we decided that the price savings was not worth the sacrifice in performance. For this reason, we are offering our Hard Parts kit in intercooled form only. You can read more about intercooler testing here.

This kit is designed to be a complete bolt-on system that requires no special tools or permanent modification to the car allowing the vehicle to be returned to stock if necessary. Furthermore, all factory equipment is retained but the relocation of certain items is required for proper installation.

Here is a pictoral list of the contents of the Radium Engineering Hard Parts turbocharger kit:

1. Garrett GT2860

We have selected the Garrett GT2860 as the best fit for the 2ZZ-GE engine. This turbo offers very quick spooling along with ample air flow for up to 400hp. This turbo is water cooled and uses a special T3-flanged exhaust housing that has a custom Radium machined wastegate port for this application. Available in ball bearing as well as journal bearing for cost savings. Both have the same GT aerodynamics. This turbo kit has also been designed to be compatible with the Garrett GT3076 (Rated up to 550 Hp) should it be requested. All turbine housings are ceramic coated by Radium Engineering for a lasting finish and improved heat retention.

2. Internal wastegate actuator assembly

We had our own wastegates manufactured for this application (prototype shown in picture). These actuators are held in place with a custom laser cut nickel plated Radium bracket. These can be controlled with an electronic boost controller for driver or EMS controlled boost levels, starting as low as 7psi.

3. Radium cast stainless steel exhaust manifold

Our exhaust manifold is cast from 347 stainless steel. It is a bulletproof design and will easily hold up in even the most extreme applications. For a more in-depth look, see the individual item product page.

4. Exhaust manifold heat barrier

This thermal blanket is custom made for us by a company that holds the rights to several proprietary technologies. These same heat barriers are used on F1 racing engines, military helicopters and more. This protection drastically reduces under-hood temperatures and is a necessity for the kit. For more details, Read our Blog.

5. Radium cast stainless steel downpipe elbow with integrated internal wastegate swing valve

The downpipe is cast using the same 347 stainless steel and high tolerance investment casting process as our exhaust manifold. This critical part will not crack or deform under harsh conditions. It features an integrated 3" V-Band flange for easy installation of the exhaust system.

6. 3" stainless steel exhaust mid-pipe

This 3" exhaust pipe connects to the cast downpipe elbow and routes exhaust gasses to the muffler. It is compatible with the stock muffler and attaches to the factory slip-joint inlet (concept shown). This system is also compatible with other aftermarket mufflers that connect with the slip-joint the same as the factory muffler. We will be releasing a pipe with a high-flow catalytic converter option (for an additional charge).

7. Top Mount Air to Air Intercooler

Our intercooler is designed for the Elise engine bay. Because of the lack of space we chose the more efficient bar and plate core design with custom Radium cast aluminum end-tanks. It contains an assortment of bungs for sensors as well as an integrated GReddy style BOV flange. We are offering an intercooler air-flow upgrade kit separately, see details below.

8. Silicone couplers

Our custom 5ply silicone couplers are designed for efficient flow and packaging necessary for getting air in and out of the intercooler.

9. Radium billet oil return fitting for oil pan

This billet fitting functions similar to a banjo bolt. It allows oil from the turbocharger to drain back into the stock oil pan via the drain hole using a -10AN hose assembly.  There is no need to uninstall, weld or modify the factory oil pan. This saves on installation labor and time. The fittings have been thoroughly tested in extreme driving conditions and has proven to work very well with either turbocharger option. For users with an aftermarket oil pan with ports already supplied, this fitting is not necessary.

10. Cold air intake system for turbocharger (Toyota MAF sensor compatible)

This air intake system draws air from the LH side air duct of the vehicle. This supply of cold air helps keep the intake temperatures dramatically lower in all driving conditions. This system is compatible with recirculation of the blow-off valve, as needed for accurate MAF metering. It consists of mandrel bent 6061powder coated aluminum tubing with custom silicone couplers. This part is in the final stages of production.

11. Synapse Engineering Blow off Valve

This is our favorite blow off valve on the market. It uses a superior piston design and works incredibly well at all boost levels and is very responsive. Read more about Synchronic technology here.

12. Radium coolant expansion swirl tank

This powder coated cast aluminum tank replaces the factory coolant reservoir. It mounts to existing studs in the center of the firewall adjacent to the factory ECU. Not only does this multi-chambered tank do all the things that the factory Denso tank does, it also features an integrated swirl pot helping to de-aerate the incoming hot coolant. Chambers shown in the transparent CAD render.

13. Radium 2ZZ-GE water hose relocation kit and turbo water lines

Because the Toyota 2ZZGE engines were designed for front wheel drive vehicles, most of the components are mounted backwards. These -AN hoses and billet aluminum fittings re-route and clean up the factory water lines for more efficient packaging. It also incorporates lines for the turbocharger coolant system. The custom billet fittings are anodized Radium green for appearance and durability. Thermal protection sleeving is also included for the hoses routed near the turbocharger.

14. All necessary gaskets, nuts bolts, T-bolt clamps, brackets, hoses, etc.

Every required nut, bolt, gasket, fitting, etc is included in the kit for a hassle-free installation.

We are releasing the base level kit at an introductory sale price of $6,195

Here are the available options for the kit:
1. Ball bearing turbocharger +$295 (GT2860RS)
2. Polished exhaust system: exhaust manifold, downpipe elbow, and exhaust mid-pipe +$495

3. Intercooler air flow upgrade kit +$450

This kit provides a dedicated custom air duct that channels fresh air to the intercooler from from the LH side vent of the vehicle. Also included is a 10inch SPAL electric pusher fan and fan shroud. These are installed on the bottom side of the intercooler. This kit is highly recommended for users in warm climates and customers participating in high performance driving events.

4. Relocation brackets for windscreen washer fluid bottle +$95

This bracket relocates the washer fluid bottle to the forward/left area of the engine bay. It provides mounting points for many accessories such as: Radium oil catch cans, Radium fuel pressure regulator, map sensor, boost solenoid, and E85 flex fuel composition sensor.

For the engine management side, we recommend the following that will help complete the installation:
-630cc Fuel Injectors (set of four)
-Radium Engineering Fuel Rail
-ECU Connectors (2005, 2006+) -Useful for constructing custom adapter wire harnesses for piggy back or EMS installation.
-Radium Engineering Surge Tank with upgraded fuel pump
-Radium Engineering Surge Tank installation kit for Lotus Elise (Frame rail mounted)
-Radium Engineering adjustable fuel pressure regulator

Over the next couple months, we will be working with aftermarket Lotus ECU tuners who are interested in supplying a factory ECU reflash tune for this turbo kit. This will open up another possible engine management solution, should the customer not want to go with a piggy back or stand-alone ECU. We will post updates on this aspect of the project as they develop.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When will the kit be available for shipment?
Radium Engineering is accepting pre-orders for the Hard Parts turbo kit starting immediately. Shipment is planned for mid August 2011. Please contact us at: for details.

Do I have to remove my rear clamshell for installation?

We highly recommend removing the clamshell for installation.

Can I install this on my 2006 normally aspirated Lotus Exige?

Yes, however we have not test fit the kit on an Exige. If you are interested in installing on an exige, pleaes contact us and we will work with you personally and address any issues that may arise from the different body styles.

How difficult is the installation?
The Hard Parts kit has been designed to be 100% bolt-on, no special tools, fabrication, etc. are required. With the clamshell removed, installation can be done by someone with above average wrenching skills. However, the engine management solution should be handled by a professional.

Can you recommend a shop that can perform the installation and/or handle the engine management install?
Yes. We work closely with Portland Speed Industrieshere in the Pacific Northwest. They are capable of providing full installation, tuning, and engine management services.  Radium Engineering does not perform installations.

How much power does the kit make?
The great thing about turbochargers is that they can easily be tuned to a wide variety of power outputs depending on fuel type and driving conditions. This should be left to the professional tuning the vehicle. The power output is not limited by the turbo kit, it is limited by the engine and drivetrain. We have not experienced engine or drivetrain problems on our shop car which makes a safe and reliable 300rwhp on 110 octane. With a built engine and related driveline mods, the power output could be pushed to as much as 500hp. The final power output number of your vehicle will be up to the tuner, and what they think is safe and proper for your specific vehicle.

What are the benefits over a supercharger kit?
If you are converting from a supercharger, you will immediately notice the large increase in midrange torque. Because of the lightweight characteristics of the Elise platform, Lotus was able to get away with this lack of low end power in its factory form.

Because turbochargers use wasted exhaust energy to operate, they are more efficient. More reliable power can be made because the engine does not have to work as hard to make the same amount of power.

Supercharger flow is dictated by engine speed. When an increase in power is requested a smaller pulley must be physically installed. Turbochargers do not require any hardware changes for a boost pressure change. A simple valve or solenoid can be routed to the wastegate and boost pressure can be adjusted based on EFI parameters, interior switch, etc.

Furthermore, with the flexibility of a turbocharger, power can be increased or decreased at specific locations or areas throughout the powerband .

Do turbochargers lose power at high elevations like superchargers?
Assuming an electronic boost controller with closed loop feedback is used and the turbo is not already maxed out,  the wastegate will automatically compensate for higher altitude. Power will always be the same, no matter what altitude the vehicle is driving in.

Why are there many more supercharger kits nowadays?
One downside of turbocharger kits on modern cars is the lack of real estate, specifically in the Lotus. We have solved this by investing in top quality investment cast tooling that yields parts with shapes that are not normally achieveable with hand fabrication. We made extensive use of our FARO CMM arm and SolidWorks modeling to locate and shape parts strategically in the vehicle.

Aren't turbochargers too hot for the Lotus engine bay?
Luckily, the exhaust side of the Toyota engine faces the back of the vehicle. This allows the turbocharger to sit in the low pressure rear section of the engine bay that is able to allow hot air to escape out the rear of the vehicle and through the decklid. We also take full advantage of the factory air flow and ducting while adding our own heat management components such as thermal wraps, sleeves, coatings, ducts, shrouds etc.

Why are turbo kits so expensive?
Turbocharger kits are inherently more expensive than the average supercharger kit due to the added complexity and increased part count. However, the benefits of increased performance and tuning flexibilty that come with a turbocharger system are realized. Over the last year we have found ways to cut costs and make this kit affordable by comparing multiple vendor quotes and finding the best in business for quality, lead time, and cost. We have managed to keep this kit economical by carefully considering manufacturing processes and costs in all aspects of our designs. All of our components are geared for high volume production which also reduces costs.

Please send any questions to us at:

Drift Day with Portland Speed Industries

Since Club Lotus NW cancelled its spring track day at Portland International Raceway, we had a hole in our schedule to fill. Luckily, our friends over at Portland Speed Industries were holding a "customer appreciation" day at a popular autocross venue in central Washington the same day.

The location is the site of a long-closed lumber mill in Packwood, Washington. It features 15 acres of wide open asphalt and is privately owned and rented out for automotive uses. PSI rented the venue for the day and invited several of their customers and friends of the shop out for some fun on the pavement.

This proved to be an excellent opportunity to put our turbocharged Lotus to a test of durability. Our long time friend, and professional Formula D drifter, Justin Pawlak "JTP" also attended the event so we handed the keys over to watch the pro driver smash on the mid engine Elise.

Despite the open differential in the Elise, JTP was still able to get it sideways in a controlled drift. The car spent several 10 minute sessions at constant high RPM and full boost and never missed a beat. However, late in the day we suffered a charging system issue and blew a VVTi fuse. The turbo kit performed exactly as expected and was solid as a rock. We were testing out several changes including a new journal bearing GT28 turbocharger, a simple turbo oil return technique, and a new boost calibration tune.

The weather oscillated between torrential downpour to blazing sun all day, but we got several good sessions of dry pavement. Some of the customers had just as much fun in the water.

Twin Turbocharged Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

PSI's R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R

Andrew Coomes used the opportunity to practice his drift technique in his LS powered 240sx.

This event also provided the opportunity for us to work with YAER Productions on shooting a professional level Radium Engineering promo video.

We would like to extend a huge thanks to PSI for inviting us out and letting us bring out the turbo Elise in a safe environment.

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