Tag Archives: PSI

Boost control systems on a Turbo Subaru:

Boost control system on a Turbo Subaru:

This guide covers most  boost related issues including a short introduction on how your boost systems work. This information is based on the Classic Impreza’s, but will cover the newer WRX/STi cars to a certain extent.

Safe boost levels:

When modding your car without mapping (full de-cat and high flow induction etc) you increase the efficiency of your turbo which could result in engine damage due to lean running at high rpm / max boost. To prevent damage always try and keep your boost level as close to standard as possible until your car is mapped for the increase in boost pressure.

TLDR: Don’t screw with your boost levels until you get the car tuned by someone who knows what they are doing. Otherwise you’ll probably end up with a blown up Subaru.

Boost Issues:

Is the boost control system connected correctly:

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Uppipe WRX upgrade FAQ

Aftermarket Uppipe FAQ for WRX/STi

Uppipe: The primary purpose of an aftermarket uppipe is to remove the catalytic converter housed within the stock unit. This serves two purposes: to increase horsepower and decrease turbo spool time.

uppipeaftermarket
Uppipe: The primary purpose of an aftermarket uppipe is to remove the catalytic converter housed within the stock unit.

HP gain is around 10HP. This figure is highly debated as different manufacturers use different dynos with different cars with different levels of mods. Dyno Proof Example. The general consensus for turbo spool time decrease is boost will occur around 500 RPM sooner.

Is an aftermarket uppipe a performance or reliability mod? With regard to swapping over from a catted uppipe to a catless uppipe, it’s both. Need some evidence of the reliability? View this link.

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent “bad” uppipes on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad pipes sold, but not enough to report as “bad” overall.

What uppipe metal material is best? Uppipes are made from mild steel, stainless steel (304 & 321), cast iron, and inconel. There is no irrefutable evidence that one material is better than the other. Obviously, corrosion levels are higher with mild steel (coated or otherwise) and cast iron. Corrosion on cast iron, due to it’s thickness and material qualities, is more resistant to corrosion damage than mild steel. In terms of heat retention, the best material is inconel.

Which uppipe construction method is best? Uppipes are either solid or flex. There is no irrefutable evidence that one design is better than the other. The thought process is that a flex pipe will reduce the chances of leaking. Practical application has shown that correct installation plays a bigger role than the uppipe construction.

What is the cheapest uppipe? Gut your stock uppipe. Instructions. Gutting your stock uppipe can have the same benefits as using a more expensive aftermarket uppipe. Dyno Proof.

Which uppipe has the best gains? There is no irrefutable evidence that any uppipe has better gains than another. The consensus, if there is one, is they are all within 1-2 HP, gain wise, of each other.

Where do I buy an uppipe?

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FMIC (Front Mount Intercooler) STi/WRX FAQ

FMIC: The primary purpose of a FMIC (front mount intercooler) is to reduce post turbo air temperature prior to entering the combustion chamber via the throttle body.

FMIC install in a Subaru WRX STi.
FMIC install in a Subaru WRX STi.

HP gain is around 15HP. This figure can vary as results can be further enhanced with post installation tuning. This is one modification that is extremely difficult to put a traditional HP figure on as results truly vary from car to car based on tuning and turbo output in terms of CFM.

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent “bad” FMICs on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad FMICs sold, but not enough to report as “bad” overall.

Which FMIC construction method is best? FMICs have two main construction methods:
1. tube and fin
2. bar and plate
There is much debate as to which construction method is best. There are many pros and cons with each design type, but no real hard data. Bar and plate designs are consistently reported as more damage resistant which gives them the edge with regard to appearance longevity. In the end, you are best advised to chose a FMIC based on other qualities rather than concentrate on construction design.

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TMIC basics on a Subaru WRX/STi

TMIC basics on a Subaru WRX/STi:

The primary purpose of a top mount intercooler is to reduce post turbo air temperature prior to entering the combustion chamber via the throttle body.

HP gain is around 15HP. This figure can vary as many TMICs replace the restrictive OEM piping and results can be further enhanced with post installation tuning. This is one modification that is extremely difficult to put a traditional HP figure on as results truly vary from car to car based on tuning and turbo output in terms of CFM.

How much HP can my stock TMIC hold? 300WHP on the WRX and 400WHP on the STi are attainable. That does not mean those power levels are 100% efficient, but that those power levels are attainable with their OEM TMICs. As discussed below though, TMICs are not meant to be HP rated, but rather CFM related, but this is an FAQ so the HP figures are given as a good “bad” answer.

TMIC basics on a Subaru WRX/STi: 04-07 STi oem TMIC
TMIC basics on a Subaru WRX/STi: 04-07 STi OEM TMIC

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent “bad” TMICs on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad TMICs sold, but not enough to report as “bad” overall.

I have a 2008/2009 model, any differences? Yes. Your engine bay has an entirely new layout vs. the 2002-2007 models.

TMIC basics on a Subaru WRX/STi: A 2008 STi stock TMIC
TMIC basics on a Subaru WRX/STi: A 2008 STi stock TMIC
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Subaru WRX/STI turbo charger basics

Subaru WRX/STI turbo charger basics:

The primary purpose of an aftermarket turbo is to increase the performance over the stock unit. This can be accomplished by choosing a turbo with better spool, more flow, or a combination suited to the end user’s needs.
TD04 turbo and a VF39 turbo
Subaru WRX/STI turbo charger basics: TD04 turbo and a VF39 turbo side by side

 

Common Terms:
Boost threshold- the lowest RPM at which a turbo will generate positive manifold pressure at maximum engine load.
Turbo lag- the time between hitting the throttle and the turbo providing full boost.

Recommended Reading:
Maximum Boost by Corky Bell is considered by many to be THE publication for turbocharger information.

What is the best turbo? There is no best turbo. Generally speaking, aftermarket turbos fall into these generic categories:
a. Turbos with a little more top end power
b. Turbos with a lot more top end power
c. Quicker spooling turbos

What do all the names and numbers of turbos mean?This link sorts many of them out nicely.

What supporting upgrades are required for aftermarket turbos? At a minimum, aftermarket turbos require a fuel pump, injectors, and engine management for safe operation.

What is my stock turbo?

2002-2008 WRX TD04-13T
2004-2005 STI VF-39
2006-2007 STI VF-43
2008 STI VF-48

Is there a turbo upgrade that does not require other upgrades? Yes. A ported and polished (P&P) stock turbo is an easy upgrade over the stock unit. Though there are many turbos that may be used for short periods of time with a boost controller, it is generally unwise to bolt on an aftermarket turbo with a boost controller.

What is the best turbo with a little more top end? The most widely used turbos meeting this criteria are the VF30/VF34 and the 16G.

What is the best turbo with a lot more top end? The most widely used turbos meeting this criteria are the VF22, 18G, 20G, FP Green and it’s clones.

What is the best turbo with quicker spool? The most widely used turbo meeting this criteria is a P&P stock turbo.

What makes a good autocross type event turbo? The big thing to look for in a good performer for autocross use would be quick spool and more than stock flow. The TD04, TD05-16G, VF34, VF22, VF39, 16G, and 18G can all be considered good autocross turbos, but their particular suitability depends on the type of events where the car is generally run.

During the consultation with your Vendor, discuss in depth the course length, speeds seen, gears used, and other local venue particulars to assist in determining what best suits your needs. A word of caution….before modifying or changing your turbo, be aware that this will have an effect on what class your vehicle can legally run.

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