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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Everyone.

I guess since I requested this feature, I'll be the first to start a built post.

I'm not rich, buying a WRX has always been a dream of mine and I finally justified getting one because I live in severe snow area and get completely snowed in in the winter and have to snowmobile to my home. Also, I noticed something about other builds: it seems like a lot of people either follow the same paths and all the cars look very similar with almost identical build configurations... or they go completely custom. I've spent several years working at an Engineering company and have picked up some useful tools. I'm also an artist and in the process of building my art career so it's important for me to have things that are functional but also beautiful.

I started with a bone stock World Rally Blue wrx with 76k which I grabbed for just over 17k.

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Build goals:
-Quality but affordable
-Daily commuter
-As much as reasonably possible custom fabrication (I don't have the skills or tools to fabricate a quality exhaust for example)
-Unique/Different than other builds
-Geared for a lot of off-road use as well as tarmac
-No shop, this is a true (gravel) shade tree build

Current Modifications (in order):
Chapter 1 -- First Winter
-Snow tires/rims
-Ram Air Intake
-Taxtrix Cable
-Stage 1 Tune
-COBB EBCS
-Learning how to tune to get boost back under control

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At this point winter came and I got snowed in. No more mods for a while :(

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Chapter 2 -- After the snow melted
-CNT Quad Tip Catback conversion (I started with a single tip)
-Rev9 Catted Downpipe
-Stage 2 Tune [Custom]
-Blacked out (tail lights, chrome accents, hood scoop, side skirts, rims)

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I was actually very happy with this setup for most of the summer but really wanted to upgrade the turbo. After crunching numbers and doing research I realized that it would be much cheaper for me to get a used VF39 and fabricate a custom Water to Air Intercooler setup rather than going VF52 with a TMIC or FMIC setup. This is where things got serious with the build.

Chapter 3 - VF39, Custom Water to Air Intercooler
This section has a full writeup. You can find it here: Turbo Upgrade and Fabrication on the WRX ? Dmitri's Gallery
-Custom Water to Air Intercooler setup fabricated
-VF39 installed
-Improved Custom RAM Intake with Cold Air box
-Custom tuned for this setup by merging several maps together and tuning boost

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-Blacked out headlights and built custom halos.
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To be continued......
 

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Discussion Starter #2
At this point I was very happy. The car really likes the WAIC setup and the new turbo. I was just under 300whp (never confirmed on a real dyno, but I did on a "road dyno" in RomRaider).

The new turbo spools up as quick as the TD-04 did (within 100 rpms) since there is no restriction in the intake path with the new HUGE Water to Air unit. I also gutted my originally catted downpipe so there was no restriction there either. The car was now loud, made loud pops and bangs during shifting and spit fire.

The big downfall with such an unrestricted setup is that my boost was wild and all over the place. My wastegate was no longer able to keep up and I had to settle for either a boost spike, or tuned down boost... I could only live with it for so long until I went EWG.

Chapter 4 - Roar, Rumble, Pop, Gurgle, Scream.... Carnage....
-Used a RomRaider hack to build a free Anti-Lag System.

-Through the hood EWG setup.
-Tuned again for EWG
As if my car wasn't ridiculous enough... and since I needed to go External on the Wastegate, I decided to go full blown immature on this one... but it gave me a chance to do some interesting fabrication.
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I'm still trying to decide whether this mod may have been a little too much or not. :nerd:. It's bloody loud at WOT... quite a bit louder than I expected. But, I do like it :).

At this point I was very happy with the power levels and decided that I was finished with power modifications. However it may have been a little late because the extra bump in power from the EWG coupled with what I now know as a tune that would slightly lean the car out while driving over a mountain pass... the worst possible thing happened. I reached the limits of my car and horrendously blew my motor.
:crying::crying::crying:

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The motor had a HUGE hole in the top. I spilled all of my fluids ALL over the bottom side of the car.

I decided it was time for a full rebuild and a new built short block.

I went with an IAG Stage 2 Short Block. Unfortunately this set me back $3k for the short block... 6 weeks of work, and another $1k+ for parts to put it back together.
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Gladly I managed to salvage and rebuild the heads myself to save money. They were covered in pieces of aluminum and would not seal, so I had disassemble, replace valve stem seals, clean the heads and all moving parts, lap all the valves by hand, and put them together. They good a clean bill of health from the machine shop and a fresh mating surface.
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Discussion Starter #3
Chapter 4 - The complete rebuild
Last couple months have been very difficult. I'm financially in shambles and have been incredibly stressed rebuilding the car before the snow hit.
But... I kept my head high and used this opportunity to make a beautiful motor, do a few removals of stuff I no longer needed and finish some stuff I half-assed before.

I should note, since I don't have a shop, I literally got to build a complete motor in my living room.. which was actually very nice. I enjoyed it much better than all the previous mods I had to do outside. :)

-IAG Stage 2 Short Block
-TGV Delete
-Secondary Air Pump Delete
-Engine Paint
-Dual Oil Catch-Cans
-Redid layout/replaced for most vac lines to open up room in the engine bay and remove useless stuff
-Engine Paint
-Engine Install
-Break In
-Tune

I decided to spend some time and painted all the plastic stuff. The paint is a silver metalic base and layers of gold/silver splatter with gradient candy blue tint.
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I did TGV deletes and fabricated plates to block off the Secondary Air Pump ports on the heads:
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And spent 6.5 days straight (Wake up, eat, build, eat, build, eat, snack build sleep) building the motor.
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I made a critical mistake in installing on of the head gaskets backwards, so during first start-up dumped all my oil *doh* and had to pull the motor and do half of it again. :|

But... in the end she is back together and runs great!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I recorded a timelapse video of the motor build. I finally got around to editing it and uploading to youtube.
 

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Hey Ruso

AWESOME BUILD! I have an 08 as well and it's pretty rare to find anyone Willing to put in the time and money for the narrow body's. Well done she looks like a true beast.
How difficult was it to do the external waste gate setup through the hood? That's something I definitely want on my build.

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks man. Much appreciated!

The ewg was a bit of a pain, at least the way I did it. I actually modified the stock up pipe and plumbed a pipe up. The clearance between up pipe and frame i and stuff higher up is pretty tight. But, it's doable, and somewhat entertaining if you can weld.

It was the hardest to tighten the bolts on the lower flange, if I did it again, I would put the flange much higher.

If you ever choose to do this, let me know, I can machine the aluminum bezzel that finishes off the hole in the hood.

I've grown to really love my narrowbody. Everyone has the same widebody with the same mods. I like being different, in a quality way if you will.
 

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i think i asked you this on nasioc but i cant find the post.

what AWIC setup are you running? thats the garrett 1000hp core? still debating a grimmspeed TMIC or converting to an AWIC. FMIC is out of the question.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i think i asked you this on nasioc but i cant find the post.

what AWIC setup are you running? thats the garrett 1000hp core? still debating a grimmspeed TMIC or converting to an AWIC. FMIC is out of the question.
Hey titter,
That is not a Garett core. It's a cheap and huge core I got on eBay. I chopped the original inlet and outlet, closed off, and customized to fit the turbo/tb layout on my car.

The parts for the whole system were below $250 including core, heat exchanger, pump and my ghetto fabulous reservoir.

Take a look at my WAIC build here. I've linked to the items I used.
http://dmitris.gallery/2016/07/25/turbo-upgrade-and-fabrication-on-the-wrx/

Keep in mind there are tons of cheap heat exchangers with different layouts that would work better with different year cars with the other manifold layouts.
 

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nice. do you have any data of its efficiency? like inlet & outlet temps?

your setup looks good. nice short charge path. thats what im after.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey titter,

I do not have any data. I have not yet tapped for temperature sensors but I will in spring time when I start moving toward Speed Density tuning.

What I can tell you is this: The unit and water has NEVER gotten warm at all even from aggressive driving. Also I am currently trying to see what my VF39 will do and I noticed there's no difference in knocking between 18psi and 23+psi (mind you this is at 2500 elevation and I have elevation compensation on boost disabled) which tells me the system is keeping up with cooling the charge. I also noticed the car didn't mind adding some extra fuel. It used to go into 10s on afr but now I'm in mid 11s and I also did not notice any new knocking (my car NEVER has any fine learning knock... and feedback is rare, and mostly caused by drastic throttle position changing rather than trying to make power at WOT). By all means the car should not be liking this and I will probably not run it like this, but I want to feel around to see how it does because I do want to plop a bigger turbo in next year too.

I'm definitely with you. I really like the concept of having a short intake path. It certainly helps keep my VF39 from over-working itself since it doesn't have to inflate 12ft of 2.5" tubing or something ridiculous like that.

I don't care what people say about FMIC and how there's no delay in spooling.... it's still more than 55 cubic feet of air no matter how you look at it... that the turbo has to pump up every time before the full pressure gets to the manifold... the turbo has to work harder at first to fill that space which creates more heat.

Anyway... I'm trying to log a road dyno run to see what my power figures are looking like but there's just too much snow. The winter has definitely begun.
 

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so i think this is the same heat exchanger: Air to Water Radiator
even has the same drain fitting looks like. which i agree, i cant see needing a drain fitting when u can pop the hose off thats right next to where the fitting is.

i have read alot of positive feedback from the frozen boost products. particularly the Type 14: Water to Air Intercoolers

really interested in your temperature data when you get around to it :) probably will be going with a very similar setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dude, that heat exchanger looks IDENTICAL.... except nearly double the price....

That Intercooler unit looks IDENTICAL construction too.... and also nearly double the price.... (although it's looking like prices are a little bit higher right now than when I built it)

Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing your build on this!
 

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im thinking they all come from the same place. i traced it back to something called "SHAMAN EQUIPMENT". also i think yer core is this one (Type 15) Water to Air Intercoolers

that name ring any bells? maybe somehwere on the sales receipt or the shipping box?

im now trying to find a direct dealer for Shaman Equipment... if thats even possible lol.



also nothing immature about your exhaust lol. if that was legal where i live i would do the exact same thing 100%

actually thats a lie, i would have both EWG and Dump going out my hood :D lol
 

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Wow Ruso, man cool stuff!
We live in the same state!
Just found your YouTube vids. Took me long enough I just haven't been on this forum much in a while! I hope everything is going smooth with that new motor! I would love to see it, I bet it's amazing


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Discussion Starter #16
Wow Ruso, man cool stuff!
We live in the same state!
Just found your YouTube vids. Took me long enough I just haven't been on this forum much in a while! I hope everything is going smooth with that new motor! I would love to see it, I bet it's amazing


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Hey man, I saw your comments on YouTube! Thanks for watching/compliments.

So far so good! The motor is running great and the new mods I have done (TGV/EGR Valve Deletes) have opened up more tuning room.

I'm all couped up for the winter times (I live in Cle Elum) so I cannot work on my car, just been playing with different tuning strategies and going through the winter season.

Where are you located? I am in Seattle area often (I work in the U-District three times per week). Also, I'd like to invite you to a sweet facebook group that puts on local Subie meets that I attend. "Rain City Subies".

My front yard currently looks like this. :D
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I have a cleared lot to park in, but I snowmobile to my place.
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But I'm still building motors. Apparently you can't have just one.

Here's a head 212cc polish/mill/grind for a side project I'm working on. It will be a 6.5->15+ HP, 3600->8000 RPM engine for a DIY Paramotor.
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Hey man, I saw your comments on YouTube! Thanks for watching/compliments.

So far so good! The motor is running great and the new mods I have done (TGV/EGR Valve Deletes) have opened up more tuning room.

I'm all couped up for the winter times (I live in Cle Elum) so I cannot work on my car, just been playing with different tuning strategies and going through the winter season.

Where are you located? I am in Seattle area often (I work in the U-District three times per week). Also, I'd like to invite you to a sweet facebook group that puts on local Subie meets that I attend. "Rain City Subies".

My front yard currently looks like this. :D
View attachment 36769
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I have a cleared lot to park in, but I snowmobile to my place.
View attachment 36785

But I'm still building motors. Apparently you can't have just one.

Here's a head 212cc polish/mill/grind for a side project I'm working on. It will be a 6.5->15+ HP, 3600->8000 RPM engine for a DIY Paramotor.
View attachment 36793


Haha oh yeah def some snow. I live in Tacoma but I was just in Ellensburg for all of January because I go to training out there sometimes. I had to take white pass home when the avalanche happened on i90. Well I don't have a garage otherwise I would say come on by and tinker. I just am in an apartment and gotta do my minor install stuff in a apartment garage. Oh well.
Snowmobile to your place, haha that's awesome!


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I have seen rain city subie decals actually. A guy lives in the building next to me that has one. Send me a PM about it


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Discussion Starter #19
I have seen rain city subie decals actually. A guy lives in the building next to me that has one. Send me a PM about it


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Just look up "Rain City Subies" on facebook. It's the first group that pops up. After you request to join they will ask you to send a pic of your Subie... and then they regularly post car meet events (there's one every other week in Redmond, and other regular ones in other areas of the state).

There's a wealth of information and a strong sense of community. Kind of like this forum is compared to NASIOC ;).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Actually did some work on my build today! Got a sweet deal (on accident) on an STI Wing with a Riser Kit. I still can't drive in (spring is in full swing so I'll get to work on my baby and fix her up from being beat up in the winter soon enough). I'm incredibly happy with the result. All the black trim I did and the wide mudflaps made the stock (excuse of a) wing look not very proportional. I also have potential big future plans for that one (something along the lines of an add-on secondary custom carbon fiber wing) but we'll see... I don't see myself getting bored of this little gem any time soon so...

Some proper (Race Inspired) Cosmetic Enhancements :)D)
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