Okay here goes ...My turbo on my 2006 Baja Limited failed. Muffled pop, followed by blinking trouble light and lose of power. I limped to a secure site and now face the daunting prospect of repair with limited resources . I have a couple of technical questions. Some will probably seem “well duh” but I have spent a lot of time researching (well okay googling) and have found more questions than answers. First off I am operating off a set of “assumptions”
1) The Baja uses a VF40.
2) The VF39 is a direct bolt up replacement for the VF40
3) The VF39 is a better turbo than the VF40 and easier to find used
4) My local Subaru Service Department is at best borderline competent and even if I could get a flat bed out to the location and haul it back they would rape me to the tune of $2000+ the replace the stock VF40
5) There are no viable “import tuner” shops anywhere near me ( Between Panama City and Pensacola)
6) I can replace the turbo without removing the engine and with minimal Jack stand use
7) I am considering a major power upgrade my primary concern at the moment is getting it moving under it’s own power
8) I am decently skilled mechanic with some experience on military vehicles, farm equipment and small aircraft. I don’t routinely work on turbo’s but I do have some supercharger experience. I have a robust selection of tools and rapid access to about any standard ones I would need
Here are the questions:
1) Is the VF-39 a direct bolt on replacement or do I need new up and/or down pipes (not do I want, because I want, but do I need them )
2) Is replacing the turbo something I can do in a aircraft hanger without a lift (I have jack stands/ramps) , so far looking at the service manual seems like it would be but you never know
3) Are there any Subaru only tools required…
4) Can I run a VF39 without immediately resorting to an ECU re-flash? So far the only thing I have found for the Baja is the Unichip and it is pretty generic unless you count the ridiculously priced xceleration one, which still isn’t really turned towards my eventual goal. I have looked at some the “open ECU” boards but no one seems to have a decent tutorial, so I don’t have a good grasp on what one can do with the software safely, and I am too far away from decent turners at the moment, and refuse to pay 220 + for a reflash every time I add a part (I guess I am spoiled by the AP in the WRX).
So in the end my plan is to by a used good condition VF39, take it out to the range, install it in the Baja, drive back home and slowly add some go fast goodies (ECU upgrade, Catback pipe, STI TMIC maybe some WRX brakes) so who wants to poke holes in this plan?
06 Baja Turbo Limited