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Old 09-20-2011, 06:49 PM   #1
Tryptofan
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Default New Intercoolers: ETS vs. Process West vs. Spearco

Intercooler shootout! I've searched for a few hours trying to find a definitive answer to this on the forums, with no luck thus far. I figured I would put it to people who actually might know the answer to this, so I can make my decision (hopefully in the next few days).

I'm in the market for a great top mount for my 09 STi, and money isn't a huge object (so long as I'm getting my money's worth for what I end up with!). To anyone who would ask, "why not an FMIC/rotated setup?!" my reply is that I don't want to do without the front crash bar for safety reasons, and I like not having to worry as much about road hazards destroying my intercooler (as I DD the vehicle). I've narrowed down the choice to:

1. ETS - a newcomer to the Subaru market but with what seems to be a good reputation in the non-Subaru world. There's not much in the way of data from them so far - they actually seem a little evasive about this when asked in their group buy thread, which makes me worried about buying their product. However, they're a few hundred cheaper than Spearco or PW. Currently in stock.

2. Spearco - 1000 cfm. Huge intercooler, low pressure drop. Needs to be adjusted to fit into an 08+ STi. Expensive (950-1070). A little ugly, but definitely seems like a good choice. Currently in stock.

3. Process West. No clue about flow, but the reputation on these forums is absolutely fantastic. Great, proven build quality. Very large intercooler, requires no fitment adjustments. Looks pretty nice as well. Slightly cheaper than the Spearco (retails from 900-1000).

Currently, my impression is that the process west is the highest build quality and is almost on par with the Spearco in terms of cooling power (indeed I would have most likely already bought it, however, it's backordered until almost November, and I figured it gives me a chance to figure out what is really the best TMIC available.)

So, intercooler gurus, what is the best choice out there? Are there other options that are even better than these that I haven't considered yet?
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:10 PM   #2
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there is no "best" tmic

it's all about your vehicle's setup and turbo
fwiw I went Process West. In my mind it seemed the most efficient setup, maybe it's marketing maybe not, but I bought it based on the tmic+ sealed splitter combo.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
japoison
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I am not an official TMIC guru but I think you have narrowed down to the best choices. I have been researching to get one for my 06 Sti. I like the Process West bar and plate design, size and low pressure drop. The fit and finish looks excellent. their website is informative and it looks well tested.
They also make a splitter that will make it even more efficient, and I can spray paint the STi design on it. I think it is worth the wait.
Just my .02 cents....
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
Tryptofan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicklz View Post
there is no "best" tmic

it's all about your vehicle's setup and turbo
fwiw I went Process West. In my mind it seemed the most efficient setup, maybe it's marketing maybe not, but I bought it based on the tmic+ sealed splitter combo.
The sealed splitter seems nice - supposedly it isn't needed on the 08's, but I'm wondering if it's more that they just haven't developed one yet.

Setup- and turbo-wise, here's where I am:

Stock VF48 P&P, TGV deletes, 44mm EWG, P&L Intake, P&L Downpipe, 1000CC DW injectors, 255lph Walbro - looking to go to E85, possibly a 20gXTR or 1.5XTR in the future. I figure a big intercooler is a part of this, since I want to try to maximize my reliability.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
jaxscuby
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as soon as i can secure funds switching over to awic.
the cooling of fmic with throttle response of tmic.
there is a thread on iwsti..the kit came from frozen boost.
but with all the options the 399 kit i wanted will cost me
closer too 650 to 700..still cheaper that any of the tmics
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
eh69758
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Link please I want to know about that kit.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:55 AM   #7
jaxscuby
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
theotherguy
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I ran the the same type 14 awic in a swapped L except flipped the opposite way than the thread posted above. Clocked the 20g compressor up, piece of hose to a tial bov (on hydra) then a short 45 right into the intercooler. Great set up, would run it hard to see if I could get it heated up and was always cold to the touch.
I'm going to eventually install one into my forester but slightly bigger. Install is not overly difficult.
You're going to like it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:56 PM   #9
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ARC hands down. You want the best, this is the best!!!! Not sure if they make one specifically for your STi. You might have to get a custom built one.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:50 AM   #10
TheBoz
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Dont waste your money on any JDM ****. I am running an ETS on my evo and an APS on the STI. If I did not already have a front mount of the STI I would for sure go ETS. They stand behind there products, quality is just awesome, and the biggest part, MADE IN AMERICA.

Do your part buy american.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:41 AM   #11
bhhamblin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoz View Post
Dont waste your money on any JDM ****. I am running an ETS on my evo and an APS on the STI. If I did not already have a front mount of the STI I would for sure go ETS. They stand behind there products, quality is just awesome, and the biggest part, MADE IN AMERICA.

Do your part buy american.
Should have bought a Camaro then.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:49 AM   #12
No Limit Motorsport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoxsi View Post
ARC hands down. You want the best, this is the best!!!! Not sure if they make one specifically for your STi. You might have to get a custom built one.
You have personal experience with there products?... not to mention they are out of busines
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoz View Post
If I did not already have a front mount of the STI I would for sure go ETS.
+1000
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoz View Post
Do your part buy american.
LOL Is any part of a Subaru even made in Amerika?
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:49 AM   #15
TheBoz
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^^^^^^

I only drive jap cars . But when I mod them I try to only buy american made parts.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhhamblin

Should have bought a Camaro then.
ironically enough the camaro is totally built in canada...

i have some questions, im planing a 350-400whp build right now, so the 350hp kit they advertise would be ok? it looks like the smaller rad migh be able to be mounted where the top mount used to be, is that right?
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:01 PM   #17
yamahaSHO
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I am having fitment issues with my ETS intercooler. They took a look at their jig and found an issue, so I sent it back to have the mounting tabs moved. I got it back and still have mounting issues. It sits lower on the passenger side (after seeing it on mine, I can see it in pictures now to) and if I adjust the mounting brackets on the engine to get the tabs to line up, the outlet does not line up with the TB, but is much better the second time around... However, the driver's side also sits further forward.

So far, they've been great in the customer service department, but since placing my order, I haven't had a good fitting TMIC in over a month. I have been waiting to cut my new hoses to fit until after I had a good fitting TMIC. I was originally set on the Process West before this came out due to exact fitment (and a new splitter as I will have to make my own seal with the ETS). I do believe without fitment issues, this is one of the better cores IMO.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:54 AM   #18
OzWRX
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When I was in the design phase of my 01-07 TMIC I had all 3 models (bugeye, blobeye and pignose) all in the workshop at the same time.

This is the only way to ensure the intercooler will fit all 3 variants..

Kev - Process West
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:02 AM   #19
cuztomimportz
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Had my Process West for about 3 months waiting to go on the car when the motor is complete.....I must say it seems like top quality to me. Some others just seem cheap compared to this tmic....not saying all and not saying this is the best. But I am totally happy with my purchase and I have no doubt that this tmic is the way to go for my project. It's got some weight to it and the welds look perfect....what I think i like the most is where the "Y" goes into the bottom of the intercooler coming from the turbo they made the caps much bigger and i have seen a lot of big tmic's that don't offer that for better air flow from the turbo.

Process West FTW IMHO!
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #20
Extreme Turbo Systems
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The fitment issue was on the 01-07's, the 08+ TMIC fit perfectly fine. We are still in the process of working on the 01-07.

We were able to install the TMIC on our 05 car perfectly, but the customer is having issues with the install and tabs lining up. I'm not sure if we have something weird going on with just this vehicle or vehicle year since all the others seem to install just fine from the 01-07.

We had 2 intercoolers go out last week and both lined up perfectly. So right now i'm putting all the 01-07 intercoolers on hold until we can figure out if there are multiple mounting tab styles, heights, etc.

Michael
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:05 PM   #21
yamahaSHO
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Michael,

I can't speak for the others, but I'm probably one of your more anal customers when it comes to fitment.

I am extremely impressed with your customer service. As soon as this gets ironed out, I think it will be one of the better TMIC's out there.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #22
Extreme Turbo Systems
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I completely agree. Sometimes things just don't go smoothly as we would like. We try our best though. Thanks again!

Michael
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:02 AM   #23
yamahaSHO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extreme Turbo Systems View Post
I completely agree. Sometimes things just don't go smoothly as we would like. We try our best though. Thanks again!

Michael
I have e-mailed you about our test on my buddies car, but am posting here for possible insight.

I tested my ETS TMIC on my buddies 2007 WRX and it FIT great. Said WRX also has my old STi TMIC to which the STi TMIC fit my car (my original stock part) and his. Being that it was late, we didn't take off the brackets and compare (ref passenger side), but just looking at them it appeared that his may be taller, however, this was referenced over the turbo and I have a 20G compared to his VF39.

Mine does not look to be bent, so now we are wondering if there is a difference in the passenger bracket from a 2005 STi to a 2007 WRX. It was always my understanding that it was the same.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:01 PM   #24
Extreme Turbo Systems
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It's odd because our car is a 2005 STI as well.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:57 PM   #25
Junior2JZ
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ETS I sent you a PM. I would love to prove your TMIC is the better choice
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