If you read that article, I believe that Dinan used a custom built copper head gasket and SS O-ringed the head. The cylinders are very close together so getting a good seal is very difficult. Compression was reduced to 7.8 from the stock 10.5. To get the low compression Steve Dinan had custom pistons built. They relocated the AFM to the right side so they could install an intercooler where the stock air filter is.thank you for the info
maybey they have put to much boost on the engine or bad quality head gaskets.
I think with the new type geskets,and when not going higher then 1 bar the engine will last longer.
I will post pics soon of the build.
I actually took a ride in the turbo car in the article with Steve Dinan just after he finished the product. I was at Dinan Engineering asking about the stroker 3.8 L version he was also building. The turbo was EXTREMELY expensive at $20K OVER the base price of a car, and in the mid to late 80's this was really big money.
I'm sure some of the longevity problems where related to the low octane gas we have here in the US, as well as the problems getting 400 HP worth of fuel using that Bosch AFM. I know that with my car we are maxing out that AFM at 375 HP, so no matter how you tune the EPROM chips (or add larger flow injectors) you still cannot get linear airflow measurement if the AFM is mechanically maxed out against its stops. If you toss the Bosch fuel system and go to a Motec or similar system you can probably get around the fuel delivery problems. I have seen systems that use an E39 M5 style AFM with custom electronics to get higher airflow rates and higher HP.
Speaking with Frank Fahey about this (his shop has seen a number of blown Dinan turbo S38s) he suggested using a Mega Squirt or similar fuel injection/engine management system. Some do not even need a MAF as the use manifold pressure sensors, throttle position sensors, and RPM to determine fuel. He also suggests the use of an aux methanol system to quench detonation