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Old 11-23-2007, 01:46 PM   #1
Defiant Autospeed
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Default Public Service Announcement. "I want 400whp!" Are you sure?

I see these posts on a weekly basis. We all do. It always makes me feel really aprehensive (sp?) when I read it. So I just wanted to put this out there for those that are asking this question.


Are you relatively new to the Subaru thing? Have you ever owned a TRUELY high performance import before? Have you ever owned any HIGH powered car before? Do you have fairly deep pockets?

If you say no to any or all of the above, then I beg you, please read on.


Many many times people have come into the Newbie forum and made the statement "My goal is 400whp" and they almost always JUST got the car.

It needs to be said, and anyone wanting 400whp needs to understand that 400whp is a LOT of power, and it takes a LOT to get there, and even more to do it reliably.

What will get you there?
Well, that depends on the dyno and tuner, along with how agressively you tune it. Dynos read differently and what makes 400whp on one dyny will make 450 on another, an 340 on yet others. Do you want 400whp on your local high reading dyno? Or do you want a TRUE 400whp that will make 400whp on almost any dyno out there?

In general you can hit 400whp on pump gas with something like (this is speaking of a 2.5L motor)

FP green turbocharger (this is larger than a 20G, its a 20G with a 49lb wheel)
Intake (GOOD intake, there are a few)
Front mount intercooler
Injectors
Pump
turboback exhaust. Catless prefered for this turbo and power goal. 3" would definately be recommended but 2.5 wouldnt hold it back much if at all.
Headers or P&P manifold and better crossover pipe.
Larger/better up pipe Definately recommended.

Custom tune obviously, and to hit 400whp you will likely need 24+PSI.
If you run alcohol injection you will get there easier and safer at a little lower boost. This setup will not reach 400whp on all dynos, but it will get you there on most.



Or, and this would MUCH more easily hit 400whp, and on many more dynos. I consider this a "true" 400whp setup.

GT30R rotated mount turbo kit
Front mount intercooler
Header to go with whatever up pipe that setup uses, even better if they make a header specifically for their rotated kit.
Injectors
fuel pump
Intake (this will be part of the rotated kit most likely)
Custom tune obviously.

Alcohol injection, again would allow lower boost/safer tune to hit 400whp, but this setup shouldnt have any problems hitting 400whp on pump gas by itself. Well over 400whp on race gas, I have seen 500whp on this setup with race gas on a semi high reading dyno.


So great, now you have 400whp.
Lets look at what the hidden costs are.

Clutch- Stock wont last long for 95% of people with this much power.
Flywheel- most do a light flywheel when they do a clutch. You may or may not.
Motor mounts are HIGHLY recommended at this point. Thats a lot of TQing around that the motor will be doing. The stock mounts were designed to hold a 300chp/300ctq motor still and keep noise at a reasonable level. If you are putting 400 to the WHEELS you are easily at 475 crank hp. Over 50% past what the stock mounts were made to handle.

Then lets look at the reliability limit of the stock motor.
400whp has been, since 2004 when the 2.5 came out shown itself to be the reliability limit of the stock pistons/rings. The rule of thumb is, upgrade the turbo, plan on a new shortblock. On something like a 20G or larger, at 20+PSI boost, its no longer a matter of IF, but when. There are of course some rare cases where someone makes 400whp for 50k+ miles, but believe me when I say this, that is RARE. Many with a good tune blow up well below 400whp. Best case scenario, pull the motor out and do pistons before you even install your 400whp setup. The crank/rods should be fine at this power level. Even so, doing a set of pistons can be a close to or just over $2000 investment, depending on what pistons and installer you use. Plan on at least $1500 to get some good forged pistons into your motor. Remember you will be paying for a full gasket kit, and with the motor apart a new timing belt and water pump is never a bad idea. Figure in oil and a filter as well. Small cost parts, but it adds up very quickly.

Then lets look at the safety aspect. 400whp is a LOT of power. In the hands of an unexperienced driver, it is quite litterally a deadly amount of power, especially so in an AWD car that can put the power down. 400whp in a RWD car is one thing, stomp on the gas at 40mph and you get massive wheelspin. Do it in an AWD car and you get hard acceleration. Are you experienced enough? The answer is in almost every case, no. Why? Lets use an example.

You are doing 65mph on the highway in a stock STI, or even light mods. You want to pass someone. Most will pass at roughly 85mph to get around that person. So you give it X amount of throttle, you dont look at the speedo because you have done it a million times, and you accelerate to 85mph.
Now lets swap that out for a 400whp car.
You are doing 65mph, you apply the same amount of throttle to do it, you are VERY quickly doing 90mph, you feel how hard it pulls so you back off a bit, but its all relative and even though it doesnt feel like its pulling as hard, its still pulling harder than it was when stock/lightly modded. You are doing well over 100mph by the time you get around that car.
Now someone comes over into your lane forcing you to turn and go around them while braking HARD. This is a delicate move.

Or, you decide you want to do a hard long pull. The kind that we all love, that puts a big dumb grin on our faces from feeling the seat pushing into our backs. You would have previously made it up to maybe 100-110mph.
So you are in the same place, same stretch of road. You do it again. Now you are doing 140 where you would have been doing 100. Go ahead, hit a bump at 140mph, and see how it feels. What was a "whump" at 100mph can quite litterally throw a 140mph vehicle into the air.

Your STI is a high performance vehicle that can handle high speeds and save your butt from a lot of dumb moves, but its not magic. AWD and the yaw sensors and such can only do so much, they arent miracle workers.

And if not for your own safety, think about what happens if you are doing the kinds of speeds you will EASILY hit with this kind of power and you hit another vehicle.


You may say "yeah but I wont do that kind of thing" That is all well and good, but the reality is that the more power you have, the more often you will drive at higher speeds than you did at the lower power level. I dont care who you are, its an almost 100% chance.





So lets review.

Do you REALLY know what this power goal will end up costing you?
Are you prepared to spend that kind of money?
Are you a good enough driver to handle that kind of power?

Have you even driven a 350whp STI?




My advice to those with a stock/lightly modded (like AP stage 2) STI/WRX, would be to take it in smaller steps. Most of the people I have met that wanted 400whp, were scared out of their mind when I took them out in a 330whp subby. Heck my 309whp 2.0Lwrx scared a lot of them.
Do this if you have a "stage 2" car (make sure you have these parts)

Custom tune. A GOOD custom tune. Do research before you pick a tuner. just because they own a shop doesnt make them good.
Full exh.
FMIC
20G@20PSI
injectors and pump.

Because that will be as much or more than 90% of people here will ever want or need. If you want more, drive that around for 6 months to get a handle on what the power is like.

if you are bone stock,
Do this.

Full exh
GOOD custom tune


Of course much of this is opinion, however this is opinion coming from 18+ years of driving, 15+ of those in high powered cars, 10 years of import scene and tuning experience and 5 years of Subaru specific tuning/driving and really importantly in this case, Meeting and speaking to people on Nasioc. So I like to think that it holds SOME truth to it at least

Opinion or not, I assure you the message behind it holds true and you should really take it all to heart if 400whp is your true goal.
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Last edited by Defiant Autospeed; 10-18-2009 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:34 PM   #2
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How do I get 400whp on my 2.5i? Will STi turbo get me there?





Good post.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
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Cliff notes please?
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stkbox View Post
Cliff notes please?
CN: Your VF39 COBB'd bugeye isn't 400whp.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:43 PM   #5
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That is a great message for the ppl like me that have never driven a high hp car before.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:52 PM   #6
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very nice write up.
i get so sick and tired of hearing people say "my goal is 400+ whp." what does anyone really need that much power on the street? my goal is to have a fun car to drive. and i'd say my car is a lot of fun to drive, and i dont make anywhere near 400whp.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
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+1 Defiant Awesome needs to be a Sticky!!!

I can tell you right now as I am Having P&L build my 400-420WHP car what it is taking and I still will have a few things such as headers, up and Spearco 1000CFM TMIC before I really see the cars potential. The AXIS Stage 3 shortblock and all supporting mods plus the ones I have done already I am already well over the $10,000 mark on a car I have only had since April and 2 months othat time its been down going on 3 month now. But I am going there taking the route that will last. Your right I know guys that drop the URGT35R package on and are making 430WHP for like $5000 but for how long? I have been through 2 OEM STI engines just on COBB Stage 2 and a tune.

Again nice writeup looks like you have been wanting to say this for awhile.

Dan
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ST-AIR View Post
I have been through 2 OEM STI engines just on COBB Stage 2 and a tune.
Get a new tuner ASAP. COBB OTS maps are safer than your tuner's...
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceez3607 View Post
That is a great message for the ppl like me that have never driven a high hp car before.
A 500HP car with MT racing slicks on a RWD car will almost leave a mess in your pants when you go WOT as the tires mushroom and the ass end raises up and the car slows down at 40MPH because the tires are spinning when you drop the hammer. Now imagine putting the down to 4 wheels, you'll break them them loose but (maybe not at 40) but I hope your harnessed in. Power to the ground is unreal.
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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Good info and write up! Second that on being a sticky!
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentt View Post
Get a new tuner ASAP. COBB OTS maps are safer than your tuner's...
Are you high? Do you even know what you just said?

I am pretty sure the first tuner and rightfully so is going to tear your ass a new one when they get in here. My tuner just happens to be one of the best tuners in the Mid West.

P&L Motorsports FTW!
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:05 PM   #12
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Please remember that modifying a Subaru is expensive compared to what you were doing to your Honda or domestic v8.

*Just a general statement.*
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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Great write up this should be a sticky....This is why I only want around 300+320whp and there is no need for that much power on the street....well unless your peter and well .....I plan on doing pistons and rods and maybe even crank and I'm don't plan on getting anywhere near 400 I just want the car to be reliable...ish

speaking of defiant I need to talk to you about parts after I talk to the squid
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ST-AIR View Post
Are you high? Do you even know what you just said?

I am pretty sure the first tuner and rightfully so is going to tear your ass a new one when they get in here. My tuner just happens to be one of the best tuners in the Mid West.

P&L Motorsports FTW!

LOL.. Too funny.
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:22 PM   #15
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Nice write-up, and very true. Most people don't realize how much 400 whp is. I have a 20G, fmic, 850cc inj., Walbro pump, colder Iridiums, and a pro tune on my 06 STi. I have 2 maps. My 20G low map gives me 336 whp/ 354 torque. My 20G high map gives me 354 whp/ 368 torque. I run my 20G low map most all the time, and it's plenty of power for a DD. I only run my 20G high map when I want to take someone for a ride.

My point is that even though it doesn't sound like a lot of difference between the two maps, there IS a lot of difference in them. The 20G high map is not well suited for town driving at all. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm totally happy where I am, and I have no desire for any more power.

So, like he said, be careful what you ask for, because you might get it ! I couldn't imagine a DD with 400 whp ! I don't think most other people can either. If you still insist on 400 whp, then let me take you for a ride with my 20G high map, and see if you still feel that way ! Good Luck, Okey

Last edited by Okeyd57; 12-03-2007 at 05:17 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:24 PM   #16
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People come in here posting they have a 400whp goal because they don't know how fast 400whp really is on an AWD... but even then, anyone who gets to 400whp pretty much has enough experience to handle 400whp... given the fact that they don't take a big plunge into upgrades too quickly.

your theory is that someone with a stock sti, 230whp, will upgrade to 400whp right off the bat, resulting in a big change of driving, which I agree can be dangerous. But who really does that? Who is going to really drop all that money AT ONCE to go from 230whp directly to 400whp? Most likely, they will get upgrades that get about 50-60whp max at once, and drive it for a while, and get a little more power, until they reach their goal. So in my theory they'd be going 230whp... plus a few mods... then be at 260whp... then maybe some other mod and be at 280whp... then 320whp... etc. So they are pretty much taking step by step experience.
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:31 PM   #17
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wow. Great thread. Should definantly be a sticky. I have always wanted to reach that 400whp goal and after reading that I know exactly where I want to be. This really cleared a lot of things up for me. This is info I have been seeking for a long time! Thanks for taking the time to write that. I truly appreciate it.
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ST-AIR View Post
A 500HP car with MT racing slicks on a RWD car will almost leave a mess in your pants when you go WOT as the tires mushroom and the ass end raises up and the car slows down at 40MPH because the tires are spinning when you drop the hammer. Now imagine putting the down to 4 wheels, you'll break them them loose but (maybe not at 40) but I hope your harnessed in. Power to the ground is unreal.
I would love to take a ride in one tho.
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:33 PM   #19
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+1 on this being a sticky. great post.. everybody should read it!
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okeyd57 View Post
Nice write-up, and very true. Most people don't realize how much 400 whp is. I have a 20G, fmic, 850cc inj., Walbro pump, colder Iridiums, and a pro tune on my 06 STi. I have 2 maps. My 20G low map gives me 330 whp/ 310 torque. My 20G high map gives me 354 whp/ 368 torque. I run my 20G low map most all the time, and it's plenty of power for a DD. I only run my 20G high map when I want to take someone for a ride.

My point is that even though it doesn't sound like a lot of difference between the two maps, there IS a lot of difference in them. The 20G high map is not well suited for town driving at all. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm totally happy where I am, and I have no desire for any more power.

So, like he said, be careful what you ask for, because you might get it ! I couldn't imagine a DD with 400 whp ! I don't think most other people can either. If you still insist on 400 whp, then let me take you for a ride with my 20G high map, and see if you still feel that way ! Good Luck, Okey

Heck man I drive around 75% of the time with my Profec B turned off, which leaves me with wastegate boost (12.2lbs pretty consistant) only on my 20G'd FXT. Its still enough to eat most STIs for lunch. My 17PSI map is crazy and my 20PSI map, although not done (there is still a good amount of power left to tune into it) is just unreasonable
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugenXP View Post

your theory is that someone with a stock sti, 230whp, will upgrade to 400whp right off the bat, resulting in a big change of driving, which I agree can be dangerous. But who really does that? Who is going to really drop all that money AT ONCE to go from 230whp directly to 400whp? .

You would be suprised. Spend a while looking back the last year and see how many "I have 3k-4k-5k to spend and want 400whp" posts there are from people who have only ever driven a bone stock STI or even worse, WRX. Even if they have EM and an exh, it happens more often than you would think. It may only be 10% of the time, but with this many people, that's a lot.

Sure there are some people that say it and DO have the money and experience to handle it. But more often than not, they dont.

One recent guy said it, and he is coming from having owned a high power subby before, so he will be fine. But many others, Heck man just like 2 months ago a 17 year old kid who's parents bought him a new STI for his birthday, came in here with a 6k budget and was looking at rotated setups. Think about that one
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:55 PM   #22
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excellent advice......thats coming from someone putting 425 to the wheels with a gt30r + meth....

if I had to do it all over again I'df prob stay stage2 + Perrin top mount and maybe toy with the idea of adding meth....

way too much power esp for NYC rush hour traffic....
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:06 PM   #23
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Honestly my idea of the ultimate street setup on an STI is

EM+GOOD tune
Uprgaded TMIC (perrin,TXS, APS,SPEARCO etc. NOT ebay junk)
Full TBE
650cc injectors
Aftermarket up pipe with flex section
Ported/polished exh manifolds with Grimm crossover pipe
TD05-18G 8cm.

Faster than stock spool, MUUUUUCH wider powerband (it will carry power easily 2k further towards redline, the VF39 falls on its face around 4500 and is useless by 5500, the 18G will carry really good power to 6000 and be useable to a 7000redline)
Not enough power to really make the motor unreliable (reliability on a modified motor is relative) and while its going to be a lot of power, a LOT more than a "stage 2", its not enough to be nearly as dangerous in the hands of a non professional driver.
And it will be 50X more rewarding to drive around town than a Green would ever be. I have yet to drive an STI with a green that I didnt hate around town. Positively gutless under 3k. GT30-35 cars are even worse. Starting in first gear from a 2000rpm roll, it would likely take to mid 3rd gear for a green/fmic car to catch the 8cm 18G/tmic car.

If you are more of a power hungry type but still want a nice daily driver, a TD05-20G 8cm is another GREAT choice. Its what I use. Its not as nice around town as the 18G was, but its still AWESOME. At no point in the powerband do I have less than or even equal to stock power. It should be noted however that I run an EWG so I do get a bit faster spool than you would with the IWG. And I dont recommend an EWG for a daily driver. I personally am an obnoxious guy and like the noise And I am power hungry, with years of high powered cars and subbies under my belt.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:25 PM   #24
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Great post very well said. Next time you start a rant like this maybe telling somebody to upgrade their brakes too? lol.

+1 on sticky
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:42 PM   #25
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My old STi was roughly 320-340 (Never offically dyno'd) and that scared the hell out of me on city streets. My STi now is 269/290 with a consertive tune (wife driving her while Im in Iraq) and she still ran a 12.83 while I was on leave 2 weeks ago. She scares me too! These kids putting all this money into their cars need to take that money, put it away in savings or buy driving lessons.

The best mod you can ever do is tune the nut attached to the steering wheel (thats yourself for you slow people!)

+1 on this getting Stickied. Very good thread!
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