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View Full Version : Review: FrankenTurbo K03-073 -- "The Mini K04"



geeky
01-20-2010, 09:23 AM
After my K03-005 took a sh** on me, I decided to purchase the FrankenTurbo K03-073 as my replacement. I paid $289 shipped and have waited to put some miles on the turbo before posting this review.

The K03-073 has the 8fin design as the K04 with slightly different specs for the turbo.

The specs of the FrankenTurbo K03-073 turbo are:
- Wastegate Ported from 20mm to 24mm
- Compressor Wheel: 38/51
- Turbine Wheel: 44/40
- "Uprated" Acutator


My Pictures:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2712/4272874890_4b3b6880cb.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4272874842_589bc80dba.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4272133501_6e3ebd6755.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2743/4272874904_d5e0da6bd8.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4057/4272874936_7eeda88a16.jpg


At first view the box looks very professional/well thought out and when you open the box and look at the turbo, you can tell this is not a cheap ebay replica. The only thing I wish that the packaging included were some packaging peanuts, as it's only the turbo wrapped in a bag within the box.
When you look at the turbo, you can see marks on the turbo showing that the turbo was clocked by hand correctly, along with the wastegate adjusted properly.

The install went very smoothly (with the help of jrock) and there are no modification needed to the turbo or manifold/cat. Everything lines up properly and works smoothly. The biggest clue for the turbo not being a cheap replica is when you look at the wastegate port and it's not off-center/10-15mm big. I mention that because I know that a AZ member bought an eBay Chinese K04 replica and the wastegate port was 13mm and it was off-center. not to mention that on startup apparently his replica sounded like a dentist drill. This turbo does NOT do any of that, no drill sounds or off center wastegate.

After the install, I have put on 500 miles on this turbo so far and have not had any issues. when comparing to jrocks gpopshop K03/K04 hybrid the turbo pulls just as hard (minus my current boost leak [:p]). I checked the turbo for any play after my 500 miles and there is no play minus the little bit that is there due to the turbo being a journal bearing.

The turbo is currently running on 91oct GIAC tuning with a slight misfire (due to a coilpack) and the car is running strong. I will have a dyno graph hopefully within the next few weeks. I plan on going with the GIAC K04 file as the specs of this turbo are very close to that of the K04-015.

I'll edit this review at the 1000mile mark on the turbo and after I get the GIAC tuning + dyno graph. But so far, I am not regretting the purchase of this turbo.

[up] to FrankenTurbo

On-going Review on VWvortex:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4576316&page=1

FrankenTurbo Website:
http://frankenturbo.com/F4h-l.html

JEmm
01-20-2010, 10:23 AM
Wow, if it works as well as you think it will it should be a great option instead of going k04!

vortexjunkie
01-20-2010, 10:42 AM
subscribed*

walky_talky20
01-20-2010, 11:09 AM
Interesting. My chinese K03 CHRA failed after 2,000 miles, and wasn't even much cheaper than this one. My current turbo is howling like a wolf so I'll be watching this thread.

Coopa
01-20-2010, 11:19 AM
$289, That's a damn good price. For someone with a blown turbo on a budget, this is probably the best option out there?

biketsai
01-20-2010, 11:41 AM
I just dont see why not just go with the K03s?

JEmm
01-20-2010, 11:43 AM
I just dont see why not just go with the K03s?

20 hp ?? At least according to their website... 190 > 210

spinall4
01-20-2010, 11:48 AM
on there website only the entire kit is available (turbo, mani, dv) and its $1.099... I emailed them and asked them where on the site do you break down the kit to just order the turbo and said they dont do that..

"What do you mean? Are you having trouble opening the page? If that’s not the problem, what further info are you looking for? If it’s to simply find out about breaking apart a kit for the turbo alone, then I’m afraid that’s not possible.

Thanks though.


Doug Harper
Westchester Cty, NY

WTF

20vpower
01-20-2010, 12:04 PM
i wanna see the dyno with pc16 tune

spinall4
01-20-2010, 12:05 PM
I emailed them and said then how did geeks get one for $289 shipped??? This was their response..........
I understand your confusion. But the turbo you are talking about was the result of a miscommunication between me and my manufacturer. Technically, what geeky's got is not really a FrankenTurbo, it’s just a normal K03s for longitudinal. When these turbos arrived in place of what I ordered, I dumped them at below my cost. But those units are now gone, and I don’t have any desire to go through that process again.

To address your question from the perspective of our F4h, we may at some point offer these turbos singly and not as part of a kit. But this product is early in its production cycle and is largely unknown. For that reason we insist that it be used only with the components it was designed for. Otherwise word of mouth for the product will be unclear and misleading.

Thanks for your interest.

Yours,


Doug Harper


Westchester Cty, NY

spinall4
01-20-2010, 12:08 PM
So in other words there kit is $1,100... Why not buy BG k04 for that? Or even an eliminator kit?

geeky
01-20-2010, 12:19 PM
Interesting. My chinese K03 CHRA failed after 2,000 miles, and wasn't even much cheaper than this one. My current turbo is howling like a wolf so I'll be watching this thread.

Yeah we'll see. I have a 1 year warranty on this turbo through FrankenTurbo thought it might not be the exact frankenturbo he makes. Look at the VWvortex thread.

Doug@FrankenTurbo
01-20-2010, 12:53 PM
i wanna see the dyno with pc16 tune

I do too. When we got these units in, I decided to modify them with bigger wastegate ports and our "uprated" actuator -- just to see what would happen. As far as FrankenTurbo is concerned, the performance of these things is moot. We're not in the business of selling el cheapo K03 turbos. But I'm still curious to know if the better high-end flow will make for a flatter hp curve. Well, a little flatter. We'll see I guess.

geeky
01-20-2010, 01:11 PM
Hey Doug,

What do you mean by "moot"? I'm planning on running the pc16 file with this setup, but once I post up the dyno graph, you guys need to remember that I am at 6300 ft as I do live in Denver for school, so just a heads up for that one.

spinall4
01-20-2010, 01:13 PM
I do too. When we got these units in, I decided to modify them with bigger wastegate ports and our "uprated" actuator -- just to see what would happen. As far as FrankenTurbo is concerned, the performance of these things is moot. We're not in the business of selling el cheapo K03 turbos. But I'm still curious to know if the better high-end flow will make for a flatter hp curve. Well, a little flatter. We'll see I guess.

then sell the turbo separately lol... i dont see needing to spend $$$ on a manifold for k04 power.. sell it as an option/upgrade sure

flynnr
01-20-2010, 01:37 PM
quick question.... so you really did NOT get the mini k04 ? it says " Technically, what geeky's got is not really a FrankenTurbo, it’s just a normal K03s for longitudinal"

SOOOO why run the pc-16 file with it? if its just a normal ko3?!?!

geeky
01-20-2010, 02:06 PM
Look at the fin/specs of the turbo. The USDM K03S is a K03-029 which is still a 12 fin design.

K03-005 aka K03 Specs:
Compressor: 36/50
Turbine: 36/45

K03-029 aka K03S Specs:
Compressor:36/50
Turbine: 40/45

K04-015 Specs:
Compressor: 38/51
Turbine: 42/46

K03-073 Specs:
Compressor: 38/51
Turbine: 40/45

the only difference between the K04 and the K03-073 is the turbine size by a little bit.

All the info I just listed can be found on FrankenTurbo's website.

Doug@FrankenTurbo
01-20-2010, 02:45 PM
geeky -- It's more accurate to give the "K03s" nick to the -073. Mechanically it's identical to the K03s for transversal. As for the others, the -029 is directly comparable to the transversal "K03", while the -005 is in a horrible class all by itself. Let's call it the K03L. For LAME![:p]

Oh, that "moot" business was in reference to our business model, not your user experience. Unless I keep flubbing up with my suppliers, that turbo is pretty much one-of-a-kind.

geeky
01-20-2010, 02:54 PM
haha thats good to know. I've always known the K03-029 to be the K03S and that the only place to get a K03-073 was in the EUDM.

Stupid prefacelift and K03-005 [headbang]

Doug, whats your opinion on running the PC-16 file with this turbo?

Doug@FrankenTurbo
01-20-2010, 03:44 PM
PC-16 file?

Me likey.

bmarshall
01-25-2010, 08:50 PM
Hey all, im new to this forum. I mostly use ozaudi.com as im an ausie!

I have recently bought this turbo off franken turbo.
It looks quite good for the price and all measurements are spot on with a BW turbo.

Geeky, does it give you much more power over stock?
What boost are you currently running?

Im sure these have been balanced but im not too keen on the amount they took off the end of turbine wheel.
I have given the turbine housing a slight grind and polish and will get it ceramic coated.

Pics here:
http://www.ozaudi.com/forums/album.php?albumid=155
http://www.ozaudi.com/forums/album.php?albumid=156

geeky
01-25-2010, 09:00 PM
Definitely more power, but I do have a boost leak that I need to take care of.

kraylon
01-27-2010, 11:42 PM
im watching this thread. i wish franken turbo would at this point sell just the f4l turbo without the manifold and dv since i already have a 034 high flow manifold and forge 007 dv, but i understand why they won't at this point.

im in denver too so i know how our thin air robs our cars of power, so every little bit helps.

Doug@FrankenTurbo
01-28-2010, 06:31 AM
Hey all, im new to this forum. I mostly use ozaudi.com as im an ausie!

Pics here:
http://www.ozaudi.com/forums/album.php?albumid=155
http://www.ozaudi.com/forums/album.php?albumid=156

Ben -- what version of the K03 did you have? I see yours has a large wastegate port, which makes me think K03-005. Could you confirm? And post up pix after it's coated, please.[wrench]

bmarshall
01-30-2010, 02:09 PM
Yes My old turbo is 005.
When I get the motor back from my engine builder I am going to do a comparison between both turbos on a dyno.
I will post pics of the finished job.
I think the turbine housing on your 073 is a better design than the BW 005. There is a bit more material in the area where the 005 are prone to cracking.
Although this turbo may not run as hot with the same boost because of the larger turbine. Less back pressure.

Altech75
01-30-2010, 07:04 PM
Geeky, does it give you much more power over stock?
What boost are you currently running?

Im sure these have been balanced but im not too keen on the amount they took off the end of turbine wheel.
I have given the turbine housing a slight grind and polish and will get it ceramic coated.



There will be something of an improvement and with a tune on the aggressive side there will be a noticeable difference between the Franken turbo and the stock one but it won't be night and day. Without a good tune I doubt there would be any real difference at all.

Now about your plans for getting the turbine housing ceramic coated, please don't. For such a small turbo it's completely pointless.

bmarshall
01-30-2010, 11:59 PM
The main reason for ceramic coating is to reduce the likelyhood of cracking as is common in the 005.
I have to get a quote first. If its too much I wont bother.
My ecu has been remapped for 1 bar and is switchable between std map also.
It is only 8psi on standard map.
I assume this will make more difference between turbos than if I had standard map alone?

geeky
03-06-2010, 02:13 PM
Just wanted to do a quick follow. The turbo currently has more than 2.5-3k on it and it's still holding up strong and spooling up perfectly.

the true test for this turbo was last weekend for me. drove down to lubbeck, texas to see some fraternity brothers at Texas Tech (theta xi, at University of Colorado). The total trip there and back was 1,200 miles and I had some fun driving this thing. Turbo spooled up like a beast and everything is perfect.

Do not hesitate about FrankenTurbo.

Avant Nate
03-07-2010, 12:24 AM
I'm kicking myself for not getting that one!

geeky
04-21-2010, 10:04 AM
It seems as I have forgotten about this thread. I have been driving the car on a regular basis and feel as I have about 4k miles on the turbo and checked the turbo for leaks and shaft play a few days ago while changing the oil. There is NO shaft play other than what is there with the journal bearing as stated earlier in the very first post. I have not seen a decrease in power or the turbo failing at all. I do know i have a boost leak and just need to buy some new piping for the FMIC. The PC-16 file is being contemplated right now as I might be selling the car in a few weeks.

But this turbo is doing great, no issues whatsoever.

geeky
05-23-2010, 01:38 PM
I honestly no longer know how many miles I have put on this turbo. I recently drove from Denver to Seattle in one sitting (22 straight hours, minus 3 stops for gas, and 1 stop for dinner) which is about 1300 miles. The car is running perfectly fine, and the turbo's spool characteristics have not deteriorated or changed at all. They have actually gotten better, as I have fixed my boost leak and my misfire.

But here's a few quick pics to show you guys what will happen in a few days with this turbo.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3364/4632637209_bf66361222.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4031/4633233784_9b04025edb.jpg

Doug@FrankenTurbo
05-23-2010, 02:06 PM
Do you have a VAG-COM for logging? I'd love to see what the PC-16 asks for and how well the K03-073 design responds to it. Thanks for keeping this alive... [up]

geeky
05-23-2010, 02:36 PM
No problem doug. As for a vag-com, I do not, but one of my buddies do have it. Is there anything specific you'd like for us to log?

karmad
05-25-2010, 11:37 AM
wat psi does it boost at? and according to their site their turbo out does a k04-015, is this tru?

Doug@FrankenTurbo
05-25-2010, 03:18 PM
No problem doug. As for a vag-com, I do not, but one of my buddies do have it. Is there anything specific you'd like for us to log?

Well, airmass naturally (block '003) and your wastegate duty cycles ('118). Boost requests/actuals you can pick up on a number of blocks. I'm always partial to '115. I hope you like the change when you swap in the new parts. [wrench]

Doug@FrankenTurbo
06-13-2010, 08:38 PM
Geeky ** any luck with the VAG-COM? I'm really curious to see some logs based on GIAC's PC-16. I can't find them anywhere. And I think your K-3-073 configuration should hang in there with it pretty well.

geeky
06-13-2010, 11:05 PM
I havent had the times to log them but I'll try to get it done asap.