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Old 02-22-2009, 05:43 PM   #1
SOFBaja
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Default Turbo Field repair

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?

TIA

Dave
06 Baja Turbo Limited
08 WRX
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:01 PM   #2
twheats1
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The stock turbo is a TD 04, not a VF40.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
Hawk296
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Baja

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As stated above, the stock turbo is a TD-04 just like the WRXs. the best, cheapest, most direct thing you could do is get a used TD-04 to get you home.

The VF-39 bolts up as long as you get the correct hard lines with it, HOwever, it will not bolt up to the baja intercooler Y-pipe. You would have to use an STI one, or make cut a 90 degree elbow to the correct length to fit. You will need a reflash, if you want to get it home, rig it to run on wastegate pressure only (bypass the boost control solenoid) and limp it home.

Another question is, do you know what failed on the turbo? It almost sounds like a hose popped off or you have a major boost leak.

As far as swapping the turbo out. as long as you can lift the car onto jack stands and have a good selection of tools you will be all set. You really only need to be under the car to pull off the downpipe and to disconnect and reconnect the hoses/ lines for the coolant and oil return on the turbo.

If you do go with a VF-39, find someone with a tactrix cable to borrow and I can send you a general safe basemap for a VF-39 baja that you could flash to get you started.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:24 PM   #4
SOFBaja
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Default

Thanks for the info…and the map offer.
I can’t belive the lack of clear info on the Baja, I found info claiming both the TD04 and the VF-40 as the stock turbo… and my local dealer apparently doesn’t know which it is either… thanks to both you and twheats1 for getting me back on track…
found a used wrx td04 on e-bay will try to get that installed
I am pretty sure it is a full scale bearing failure I get the screech, and vibration from the turbo area …. I may not be sure which turbo it is, I know it is not happy….
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:24 AM   #5
Hawk296
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Baja

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that should work fine for you. The baja turbo does have a slightly different part number as the WRX does, but its definitely a TD04L still. The turbo from the WRX will bolt right up in every way. There was a suspected difference in the compressors based on mitsubishi part numbers, but as I recall there was no hard evidence beyond that. It should perform really close if not identical to the stock turbo.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:06 AM   #6
moonzie
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Let me know how it works out for you. I've got a busted TD04 sitting at home; the guy I bought it off of said it needed rebuilt but I failed to read carefully. The exhaust compressor is broken and needs replaced.
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
Subie_Sleeper68
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Center Valley Pa.
Vehicle:
2006 Baja Turbo
Silver 340 AWHP 365 AWTQ

Default

Good luck. I hope it works out quickly and as inexpensively as possible. If you plan on making a monster power Baja Go with a 18G or 20G if funds allow. I went with a STI top mount and a VF39 and now wish I'd have spent the money for a Perrin top mount and either a 18G or 20G from Deadbolt....... If you're just looking to get back on the road pay no attention to my post. LOL
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
SubarusRmyThing
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if your going to go vf39 you need to do it right. you need to swap out to atleast an STi fuel pump. which can be had for 20 bucks used... You need STi sized injectors or larger. and you really should do the STi intercooler.

you dont need a tune to drive it with the vf39. i put a 39 on my buddys wrx and he drove the living piss out of it on his tune he already had and it still made a noticeable difference in power. How ever a tuen would be highly recommended.

You dont need any fancy tools to do this swap. it should take you about an hour max. theres only 5 bolts holding the down pipe to the turbo. and 2 holding the down pipe to the exhaust. 4 bolts stoping the intercooler from coming off, and i cant remember how many bolts stoping the turbo from coming off the uppipe, but its only like 3 or soemthing, disconnect the couple coolant lines and pull the turbo out the top, and put the new one right back in. its a very simple swap.

how ever the price of a vf39 used vs a new td04 used.. its nearly twice as much. So might just think about going td04 again unless your really wanting to do soem power. in which case i would be switching to a 04 STi ecu, so you can run an acess port or UTEC.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:31 PM   #9
Hawk296
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1995 Impreza L
Baja

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubarusRmyThing View Post
if your going to go vf39 you need to do it right. you need to swap out to atleast an STi fuel pump. which can be had for 20 bucks used... You need STi sized injectors or larger. and you really should do the STi intercooler.

you dont need a tune to drive it with the vf39. i put a 39 on my buddys wrx and he drove the living piss out of it on his tune he already had and it still made a noticeable difference in power. How ever a tuen would be highly recommended.

You dont need any fancy tools to do this swap. it should take you about an hour max. theres only 5 bolts holding the down pipe to the turbo. and 2 holding the down pipe to the exhaust. 4 bolts stoping the intercooler from coming off, and i cant remember how many bolts stoping the turbo from coming off the uppipe, but its only like 3 or soemthing, disconnect the couple coolant lines and pull the turbo out the top, and put the new one right back in. its a very simple swap.

how ever the price of a vf39 used vs a new td04 used.. its nearly twice as much. So might just think about going td04 again unless your really wanting to do soem power. in which case i would be switching to a 04 STi ecu, so you can run an acess port or UTEC.
Although I think the original poster has the info needed. I just wanted to clarify this above post and add a few things for future use.
for a VF39:
STI fuel pump= not needed, the only real difference is the baffle thingy.
STI injectors= come standard on baja turbo.
STI intercooler= either USDM or JDM will work fine, but it is a good idea, be sure to get the bypass valve and Y-pipe with it.

You most definatly do need a tune. Just the Wastegate duty cycle mapping alone will cause you to waay over boost with the larger VF-39 (trust me, I have done it).
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:12 PM   #10
SubarusRmyThing
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White/Silver

Default

the bajas come standard with STi injectors?
****ing score! i did not know that lol. Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:30 PM   #11
Hawk296
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1995 Impreza L
Baja

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubarusRmyThing View Post
the bajas come standard with STi injectors?
****ing score! i did not know that lol. Thanks for the info!
I know the 04-05 did for sure, 550cc sidefeed yellow tops. I've never checked an 06, but I kinda remember someone claiming their 06 was a grey topfeed like 06 and up WRX, which flows even more (560cc) if that claim is true.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:59 PM   #12
Subie_Sleeper68
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2006 Baja Turbo
Silver 340 AWHP 365 AWTQ

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My 06 has the yellows. Dietchworks (spelling) has higher flow up to 850 side feeds that will work. Run a walbro 255. Stck pump will NOT cut it with an agressive tune. As for the intercooler......... spend the money and by a Perrin or TurboXS unit. I have a STI TMIC and it's limiting what I want to do now. Im going front mount or at least Hyperlow TMIC when I put the 20G on in a few months.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #13
Sefarious
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if you plan on doing it yourself make sure you have some really long needle-nose pliers to get the oil return line clamped into place. i had to use a pair that was about 10 inches long & jack the car up about 3 feet to reach it from the bottom.

it's a bitch to line up too, helps if you have someone with a long screwdriver align it from the other side of the engine when you lower it down onto the pipe.

http://quartz.morpheus.net/turbo/DSC01323.JPG
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #14
PA-Outback2000
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sofbaja... where u from?
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:39 AM   #15
Brain G
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Default turbo and cover

Hi.
It takes me about 4 hours to swap the turbo on my Baja.
The td-04 turbo on my 05 started making grinding noises two weeks ago. I took it off and put on a VF43 from an 07 Sti that I had in my garage. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I need the Baja as my daily driver.
It spooled up later than the td-04, around 3000 rpm, but much smoother. The stock intercooler had to sit slightly off to the right to accomodate the longer intake. I drove it like that for eight days, while I was waiting for a td-04 that I bought from a fellow here on NASIOC, for $150, to arrive at the UPS store in Blaine. It's about a five hour drive to the US border to pick it up. I wanted to keep the VF-43 in good shape for my crazy XT6 project, so I took it off the day before I left and put on a VF-39 (it has the famous exhaust housing crack) that had been on my 04 STi. I drove the Baja with the vf-39 on it from the interior of BC, an hour north of Kamloops, (about 2000 ft elevation, to Blaine, WA, (sea level) then to Lynwood, WA to a Pick-a-part autowrecker to pick up a door while I was in the neighborhood, then back to my home in the interior on Shuswap lake. Guy down there asks me: "What's that?" then reads the tailgate and says, "Subaru, is that a Chevrolet product?" I tell him, no, they are an independent car manufacturer. He looks at me with this really suspicious look on his face and says "Independent, huh?" As if he thinks that I'm trying to pull one over on him. I say, "Yeah, check them out on the internet". and had to leave. As I drive away, he yells "SUBARU!" at me. Weird.
It ran great all the way, both ways. No CEL.
HOWEVER, I was taking it easy, driving it at the speed limit.

On the way back, I stopped at Aldergrove autowreckers and bought an OEM hardcover for the Baja, then spent yesterday (Sunday) installing both the cover and the turbo. Swapping the turbos wasn't very difficult, except for one thing:
the oil drain hose clamps are hard to see, and even harder to get into place. I used a long flat screwdriver, a pair of surgical forceps, and a long hooked tool that I made from a thick piece of wire to squeeze the clamps and move them.

It's been a cold, wintery, Baja-focused two weeks, but I've grown to appreciate it even more in that time. It's a great car and truck.

Brian G
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:03 PM   #16
bradlgt
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Default

How did the change work out for you? My 04 Baja just blew the turbo and I'm looking for a cheap and quick fix.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:14 PM   #17
casteater
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I have a td-04 I'd be willing to sell if you want it. Just pm me.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:11 AM   #18
SOFBaja
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I bought a ported an polished TD04 off of E-bay and ended up having the dealer install it. I had all the tools and things lined up I ended up getting pulled for another project and had to “punt”. We ended up rolling the dice and limping it to the paved road and then flat-bedding it to the dealer. I think it was like 800 total expenditure. It seemed to spin up a little smoother but i dont really know if that was just a placebo effect. I ended up getting so frustrated with the lack of Baja Support by SOA and the aftermarket I traded it for a 2010 Forester XT, which while not as funky or fun suits my needs better. It also has a much better engine and transmission… My Baja was sold before I had even gotten off the lot, the dealer had a waiting list. Admittedly it was a 2006 Turbo Limited with lots of Genuine Subaru extras, but I was shocked how fast it went.

Dave


It is not the object of war to annihilate those who have given provocation for it, but to cause them to mend their ways.”
Polybius, Greek Historian (2nd Century B.C.)
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:45 PM   #19
honda killer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubarusRmyThing View Post
the bajas come standard with STi injectors?
****ing score! i did not know that lol. Thanks for the info!
they're color coded for a reason
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