Thinking about a pro-tune as my next step... - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 09-16-2010, 09:38 AM
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Thinking about a pro-tune as my next step...

I currently have a daily driven 07 WRX with just over 60k miles.

Current power-related mods are:
Cobb AP (Stage 2, 93 Octane) off the shelf map
HKS Hi-Power Carbon-Ti cat back
Cobb catted downpipe w/ Cobb turbo heat shield
K&N panel air filter w/ GP Moto silencer delete elbow
Perrin lightweight crank pulley
STi hood scoop splitter/bellows
NGK LFR6AIX-11 spark plugs (stock replacement Iridium plugs installed @ 60k)
Synthetic oils all around

I also have a Walbro 255 lph high pressure fuel pump on its way which I'm thinking about installing shortly after it arrives since I don't think I need a tune for that... or I might wait a bit to install it.

After that, I think I've hit a wall. I know I could drop a decent chunk of cash and get an aftermarket turbo, larger tmic, headers, 3 port bcs, injectors, gauges, etc. and install everything all at once and get tuned for it, but since I'm not made of money and I like to buy quality parts, I'd like a nice intermediate step between where I'm at now with my basic Stage 2 bolt-ons and where I'd like to be - thinking around a 20G.

1. If I were to get professionally tuned for what I currently have and possibly one or two of the parts I mentioned above, what would you guys suggest?

2. What is my next limiting factor, power-wise?

3. What part(s) would I benefit most from a good tune?

4. Or would it be a better idea to find a good tuner in my area and talk to them and see what they suggest?

5. I'll probably do some research on this one, but what are some good tuners that you guys would recommend in the Maryland area - preferably one that works with the Cobb AP?

I don't think I'll be doing any of that until next spring/summer anyway, but I'm just trying to come up with a good plan of attack and I'd really appreciate any info/advice/opinions!

John
07 WRX (Albins 5MT + Blouch 20G)
Jorge Carrillo Tuned (365 whp/340 wtq)
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#2 Old 09-16-2010, 10:34 AM
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PnP headers and crosspipe, tmic, bcs, protune. That's where I would go next if I were you.

-Chris
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#3 Old 09-16-2010, 10:54 AM
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That's actually about what I was thinking: a good tmic, bcs, and possibly headers or a crosspipe + pnp job and definitely a tune for that stuff. Gauges could be any time. I'd probably save the injectors and turbo and another tune for last.

I found three tuners in my area: Agile Automotive, IAG Performance, and DPS Tuning. Anybody have any first-hand experience with any of them?

John
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#4 Old 09-16-2010, 12:55 PM
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The AP ots map is your biggest limiting factor right now, but you know that. So protune first. The pumps not bad and only $70 so that's why I added it before my custom tune. Won't hurt or help just gets a cheap quick mod out of the way for future use. The EBCS can also go under that thought. Only $90 so why not? After that your turbos your limiting factor. Upgrading will cost an arm and a leg but you could keep stealing more low end power and torque with other bolt ons. THE BIGGEST subi problem is the horrible design of the header! UEL is terrible for power and also each cylinder communicating with the others so fast. 2-3 inches is horrible were they meet. PnP still doesn't stop that and that's why you only pick up 5-15hp. Your only fixing 1/3 of the problem. EL headers add so much more because like all race bikes and V8's the cylinders don't communicate with each other till 2-3 FEET. I know your probably a subi guy and will say no to them but 20-40 TQ over 5-15 will make me buy them all day long. EWG is also a good way to steal more power out of your stock turbo. Since a turbo upgrade is so much, why not buy all the cheap stuff first and max out the turbo 100%? Since a TMIC is a lot of money and yours is metal and not plastic, I'd keep it since your turbo probably can't out do it. Besides any TMIC is going to kill your numbers on the dyno at the protune due to heat soak.

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#5 Old 09-16-2010, 02:17 PM
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Just don't protune first if you get a bcs... or headers/pnp... or intercooler. Just save it for last since you'd have to do it over again.

-Chris
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#6 Old 09-16-2010, 03:00 PM
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both Agile and IAG have had my car in there shops, but if I were you I would try to set up a Gadiel Tuning day at Agile...he's so much better than any other tuner in MD

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#7 Old 09-16-2010, 03:09 PM
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You can max out the stock injectors and stock I/C on the stock turbo (with only a TBE) if you wanted to. A thought on the EL headers; from what I have seen when I was researching them (02-07 models compared) was you might get more HP, but its mostly top end, sacrificing low end for it (that could just be the few I was looking at, the tune, but I didnt like what I saw). Thats just my two cents, something to think about.

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#8 Old 09-16-2010, 11:40 PM
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I really appreciate all of your input guys.. I'm just having a terribly difficult time deciding what direction to go from here. If I had all kinds of play money, I'd just buy and install everything and tune it once. Part of the problem is that I don't want to have to pay for a tune every time I get another part. The other part is that I'm afraid if I just save up my money, I'll decide to be responsible and invest it instead of blowing it on car parts.

I do thoroughly enjoy the Scooby rumble, but equal length headers are becoming a temptation. That Process West TMIC and splitter have my attention, although the TurboXS TMIC seems like a fine choice too... I definitely have a lot to think about.

John
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#9 Old 09-17-2010, 12:09 AM
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John you have been around the forums just as long as me. You know your stuff, and you do well on researching before you do anything. If I were in the situation you were and torn between what to do I would go with a bigger TMIC (both you mentioned are great choices), FP (which you mentioned already) DW 750CC injectors and the Grimmspeed 3 port BCS and get a tune with all that. Thats not too much money, should get you a nice bump in power and let you know where you want to go from there.

Joshua
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Cobbtuning.com"
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#10 Old 09-17-2010, 12:26 AM
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EL Headers FTW!...to be honest when you put cams in with EL you don't really miss the rumble you just have an awkwardly amazing sex noise

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#11 Old 09-17-2010, 09:26 AM
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I forgot all about cams. I just Google video searched some WRX/STis with aftermarket cams and equal length headers... wow. I really want that noise.

John
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#12 Old 09-20-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basco View Post
EL Headers FTW!...to be honest when you put cams in with EL you don't really miss the rumble you just have an awkwardly amazing sex noise
Problem with headers is not some fundamental debate over EL vs UL or discussion on the quality of Subaru's stock design vs a performance part, it's just that basically all the headers on the market are designed for JDM EJ207 motors which have an 8500RPM redline. They make power where the EJ207 makes power: high RPM. The US motor doesn't get the benefit of higher octane gas and is not built for high RPM. The EJ255 and EJ257 generally are tuned for a 6500-7000RPM redline so the headers are simply a poor match. It's what NNTG said: You will make some more power >5000RPM but it will cost you power at lower RPM's. There are gains to be made in headers, but not all aftermarket headers work for all motors just because they bolt up correctly.

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#13 Old 09-20-2010, 06:55 PM
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I might be messing this up. But, if you're going to do cams. Depending on how aggressive the cams are. You should do valves and PnP the heads to get the most out of it. Maybe EL headers would definatly finish off the deal.

There is a lot that could be done. Personally...I agree with Josh on this one. If you're not going to go nuts. Then his plan will give you a nice bump and it's a nice step-up to get ready for a new turbo. If you're getting a protune...add in a Intake for good messure.

Just adding the Walboro wouldn't need a tune though. It will be able to work at stock levels without a tune. Tuning will just get the fuel pump to work harder.

Lastly...I agree with mosc on this one. It'll help spool up. But, the gains are mostly on the top end. That's what my tuner has said.

Kirt
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#14 Old 09-21-2010, 09:17 AM
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High lift and duration cams generally need an upgrade to the springs. There could be the need to grind the valve stems a bit for proper clearances though. Generally you can get away with swapping out your buckets and shims.

Honestly, cams plus equal length headers will just give you all sorts of top-end power, but it'll suck getting there. I wouldn't do cams on a stock turbo'd car.

-Chris
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#15 Old 09-21-2010, 01:18 PM
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It's a matter of fluid dynamics. The pipes are sized such that they give the right amount of air velocity. You want to spool the turbo remember. Now, it's true that more air is better and bigger exhaust headers would allow for more air but they'll also require more air to achieve the same airflow speed. Also, added air volume take more volume to displace. JDM motors have hotter hotsides and higher RPM's which despite a lower displacement, put out a fair bit of exhaust. Now, it's true that even on a JDM motor, the headers add lag. The JDM models, unlike their USDM equivalents, have lots of lag fighting design elements on the hotside. Twin scroll is the most notable one but there are others.

On some cars, the headers are just restrictive from the factory. They're way too small and often have bends that just make a fluids engineer cringe. They're made to be cheap and to fit into the allocated space safely and solidly. Subaru's design is far better than most. The unequal length headers combine with the boxer layout give a very short pipe between exhaust manifold and turbo hotside which has a lot of advantages. There are also not a lot of sharp bends or restrictions (the crosspipe being the notable exception). As such, there's a lot to be said for simply porting it out some when you need more flow. Grimmspeed being the usual recommendation. Are there further gains than that? Probably, but you're going to spend a lot of money for a solution that may not work perfectly for your exact parts. Most likely sacrificing one area for another.

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