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Old 11-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
dubaru77
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Default Newbie with FMIC wanting to change to tmic...thoughts?

Hi, I have been daily driving a car that I picked up that had a FMIC already installed. Not exactly sure of the brand but it is nothing special.

It is a 2008 wrx with 105,xxx

-FMIC (unknown)
-Catless downpipe (forget the brand) with magnaflow exhaust
-Grimmspeed electronic boost control
-K/N filter on "short ram" (hard to fit a good intake with the fmic piping in the way)
-Professionally tuned
-Unsure of BOV/diverter
-Kartboy short throw
-gt-spec strut bars front/rear

My questions is if I am running a stock turbo and don't plan to get over 350-375hp in the future is it more practical to sell my fmic and get a quality tmic? The car runs great and has been getting exceptional fuel mileage but from reading some forums it seems that most people prefer a quality tmic with a good intake and bov. I also feel that the quality of my fmic is mediocre at best. I will take some pictures and try to crawl under to find any marking to indicate what exactly I have.

Also, based on what I have listed is there anything that I should add?
I am looking for a good daily driver that I can drive for 10hrs up north without a problem and still get good fuel mileage.

I am going to be doing the timing-belt, waterpump, tensioners, etc over the winter along with some general maintenance.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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If all was tuned for the setup on your car, don't change it. It runs fine and if the only issue is not being able to find a 'good' CAI for it because of piping.

Even if you are not planning on getting more power the front mount will perform better than a TMIC. TMIC are prone to heat soak.

Is there a real reason you want to go back to a TMIC other then what you have read that is what 'others' prefer? It is true that if you are not needing a fair amout of power you do not 'need' a FMIC, and can get away with a good TMIC because it is cheaper than to go to a FMIC, but since you already have a FMIC why not stick with it?

Last edited by vrusso; 11-08-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #4
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It's really your own preference. I had a WRX that came with all Perrin tubing and FMIC and had I kept the car, I was going to go back to a top mount. In my case, the only thing stopping me was that the car had a scoopless RS hood, so I would have needed to find a WRX hood as well. The car ran fine once I made the 50/50 BOV into a 100% recirc. It was tuned for the mods on it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrusso View Post
If all was tuned for the setup on your car, don't change it. It runs fine and if the only issue is not being able to find a 'good' CAI for it because of piping.

Even if you are not planning on getting more power the front mount will perform better than a TMIC. TMIC are prone to heat soak.

Is there a real reason you want to go back to a TMIC other then what you have read that is what 'others' prefer? It is true that if you are not needing a fair amout of power you do not 'need' a FMIC, and can get away with a good TMIC because it is cheaper than to go to a FMIC, but since you already have a FMIC why not stick with it?
In all honesty, no. My only fear is that if it is not a very good fmic am I in any way sacrificing anything if I plan to run the car for a few years? The coolant overflow bottle is a glorified car wash bottle and I always preferred to have things closer to original merely for the fact that they are tried and true. My other reason was that if I can reduce lag with a better top mount and get a heat shield for the turbo could that benefit?
Also can having a front mount limit the air to the radiator? I have never had any cooling problems but I have not driven it for more than 2 hrs at one shot.

Any ideas on a good/better CAI? My k/n is getting ripped up and rubs because it literally barely fits. I just picked up a AEM and there is no way for me to make it work.


""I did remove the "performance" red tubing""
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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So you are looking to make some slight performance/quality/reliability tweaks?
I would agree in general, if its not broken, don't fix it. Swapping to tmic is not too bad, but also is not that easy. You will need to get all the brackets, piping, and a retune. There is a chance you might not make the same power. No reason reliability would be improved either... Depends more on the tune and how your car is running than quality of parts. Don't get me wrong, quality parts are made right, fit right, etc. but that doesn't mean they will out last a lower quality part or necessarily be more "reliable". To some degree it is a matter of preference.
You can add a heat shield and turbo blanket all without changing the intercooler. Same thing with the overflow tank.

If you want to build on what you have without necessarily adding power.... Look to suspension or drivetrain. Plenty of opportunity to spend your money there! And in the end, you might not notice the fmic!
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
It's really your own preference. I had a WRX that came with all Perrin tubing and FMIC and had I kept the car, I was going to go back to a top mount. In my case, the only thing stopping me was that the car had a scoopless RS hood, so I would have needed to find a WRX hood as well. The car ran fine once I made the 50/50 BOV into a 100% recirc. It was tuned for the mods on it.
My knowledge of some of this is pretty limited. What is my best bet for a recirculating BOV? I honestly don't even know what I have
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
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Dont take this wrong, but why the heck did you buy this car without asking all these questions BEFORE you bought it not after?

When I bought my STi I made damn sure I knew everything that was done to the car.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #10
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My knowledge of some of this is pretty limited. What is my best bet for a recirculating BOV? I honestly don't even know what I have
then don't do it. spend more time doing a little research. it will pay off in the end with decreased cost and actually purchasing what you need.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #11
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Dont take this wrong, but why the heck did you buy this car without asking all these questions BEFORE you bought it not after?

When I bought my STi I made damn sure I knew everything that was done to the car.
I buy a lot of cars for resale and this one just stuck. It is a 1 owner car but I bought it from a "remarketing" source as it was traded to a new car dealer. It runs great and has given me very little aggravation after ~3,xxx miles. I know a lot about bmw's, miatas and some diesel trucks but the Subaru is new to me. I know it may seem like a "dumb" post but I just want some feedback from people that do know these cars inside and out. Its hard for me to research if I don't know what I have. I am more familiar with naturally aspirated cars not turbo and before I do maintenance on what I know I just want to see if there is anything I should do while I am in there already.

My only real question here is what I should do with my existing system. If I keep the FMIC I want to get a better CAI and also do something about the bov and probably have it re-tuned. The shop nearest me that does tuning/diag is R/T Tuning in Lansdale.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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A "better" CAI isn't going to do a whole lot, comes in cold, gets heated by the turbo, intercooler cools it... I'd leave it as is, the piping before the turbo isn't a big mod on these cars, won't see a whole lot of change in driving.
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:55 AM   #13
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Don't know if you thought of this, but I'll throw it out there....

What are you going to need at the front of the car if you replace the FMIC? When you take it out there will be a rather large open space in the front of your car. The factory grill opening is long gone, and $10 bucks says that the front bumper cover is trimmed to let the intercooler to fit.
If you are like me you won't want to see cut plastic and missing parts on the car. Do yourself a favor and price out all the missing grill parts at the dealer if you plan on replacing them.

I can't see the underside of your hood in any of the piks. Are all of the parts there to support a top mount? Looks like you'll want to get a heat shield for that snail as well. Just things to ponder. Alot of the time its not just the cost of swapping X part with Y part, but the cost of the 12 pieces that go with Y part that add up.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 2subiesinyard View Post
Don't know if you thought of this, but I'll throw it out there....

What are you going to need at the front of the car if you replace the FMIC? When you take it out there will be a rather large open space in the front of your car. The factory grill opening is long gone, and $10 bucks says that the front bumper cover is trimmed to let the intercooler to fit.
If you are like me you won't want to see cut plastic and missing parts on the car. Do yourself a favor and price out all the missing grill parts at the dealer if you plan on replacing them.

I can't see the underside of your hood in any of the piks. Are all of the parts there to support a top mount? Looks like you'll want to get a heat shield for that snail as well. Just things to ponder. Alot of the time its not just the cost of swapping X part with Y part, but the cost of the 12 pieces that go with Y part that add up.
I agree with you...I don't have any of the original mounting brackets or anything other than what is in the picture. I think it may be easier to keep this fmic and just work with what I have.
The one thing that I was thinking of doing was taking off the carbon fiber hood because I don't really care for the way it looks. Is there a downside to putting a factory impreza hood without the cowl if I do get the heat shield?
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:45 AM   #15
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The downpipe looks like a CNT catless pipe and looks like a stock BPV.

The K&N is perfectly fine but I would see if you can get the box that goes with it. Not sure if the passenger side I/C pipe might not accomodate that tho.

IMO I would just run the car with what you have since it is in perfect running order. Is the car OS or Accessport. With an accessport you can easily see what Intake temps are I really think you are stepping backwards with wanting to swap to a TMIC.

Is there a branding on the front mount? You could always buy another core down the road if the astetics is bothering you. The pipe routing looks like a FMS front mount. IF you do end up wanting to sell PM me and I would be interested. I could also give you the stock stuff you need to go back to TMIC.

FYI with a TMIC, heat shield you will not elimitate all heatsoak. Even with the addition of a turbo blanket you will likely see some soak.

You could always get the carbon fiber hood painted. There is no downside to running a N/A impreza hood since you are FMIC... just the tamer look.

Last edited by Ghostlystang; 11-10-2013 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #16
dubaru77
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The downpipe looks like a CNT catless pipe and looks like a stock BPV.

The K&N is perfectly fine but I would see if you can get the box that goes with it. Not sure if the passenger side I/C pipe might not accomodate that tho.

IMO I would just run the car with what you have since it is in perfect running order. Is the car OS or Accessport. With an accessport you can easily see what Intake temps are I really think you are stepping backwards with wanting to swap to a TMIC.

Is there a branding on the front mount? You could always buy another core down the road if the astetics is bothering you. The pipe routing looks like a FMS front mount. IF you do end up wanting to sell PM me and I would be interested. I could also give you the stock stuff you need to go back to TMIC.

FYI with a TMIC, heat shield you will not elimitate all heatsoak. Even with the addition of a turbo blanket you will likely see some soak.

You could always get the carbon fiber hood painted. There is no downside to running a N/A impreza hood since you are FMIC... just the tamer look.
I like the k/n also but with the piping coming up there is hardly enough room between the piping and the metal part of the subframe/fender that it gets pretty chewed up. If has a 5" flange so my options are really limited.

I also do not have an accessport as it was tuned before I got it. I think I may get an accessport down the road but currently have no need for one...also don't want to spend $500...

If I do end up selling the fmic I will let you know..

Thanks for the input
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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You have a good option with the poster above you. I had a deal set up myself to go back to top mount where I'd trade my stuff for his stock stuff. I just never found a scooped OBP 06/07 hood to trade for the scoopless (or buy). Your tune should be fine but check with a tuner to be sure if you make the change.

If you're just driving the car until you're able to sell it, just leave it alone.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:05 PM   #18
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Going through all the effort to swap it back to tmic, with finding bits and pieces and such will NOT be worth it. I think it's safe to say that generally fmic and a short ram intake will provide cooler air then a cai and a tmic. I've had heatsoak, it's not fun.

So you'll spend money, spend man hours, likely lose power and end up wanting a fmic when you want more power.

Coolant overflow being a bottle is fine, its a coolant overflow. But there are options available to make it cleaner and still keep your fmic.

I vote ditch the red alternator shroud for starters, turbo upgrade and utilize that fmic you have! Good luck. Bottom line your car do whatever you want. But save your $$ and figure out what you want before you start blowing cash.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #19
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Just keep the fmic. Much better cooling then a tmic and subie guys just like to whine about lag but depending on the size of your turbo it really isn't much of a difference. You can also affect spool up by your tune. If it feels laggy maybe you have a boost leak or maybe the previous owner tuned it that way because they wanted a smooth powerband without a big kick when it spooled.

Post a pic of the intercooler piping/intake corner of your engine bay and one of us can help you find an intake that will fit without rubbing stuff.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:21 PM   #20
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The spool shouldn't be too different, maybe around 200 rpm.

Last edited by ShinjiML; 11-13-2013 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:23 AM   #21
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Fmic ftw. 15 minute drive to work gave it some boost. Flat hood with a short intake suckin hot air with not heat shield and my intake temp after the core still never went more then 3 degrees over ambient temp.

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Old 11-14-2013, 07:50 AM   #22
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Fmic ftw. 15 minute drive to work gave it some boost. Flat hood with a short intake suckin hot air with not heat shield and my intake temp after the core still never went more then 3 degrees over ambient temp.
is that a blow through maf setup?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:58 AM   #23
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is that a blow through maf setup?
Speed density tune with gm temp sensor in the ic pipe
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:55 AM   #24
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nice. that's the proper way. things always get a little less clear if the maf is pre turbo, reading underhood temps instead of charge air temps.

cold air in is always better, but it seems that the effect is negligible.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:43 AM   #25
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nice. that's the proper way. things always get a little less clear if the maf is pre turbo, reading underhood temps instead of charge air temps.

cold air in is always better, but it seems that the effect is negligible.
Seems that way. Obviously the temp will be higher in the summer but unless you run a ic sprayer or meth ambient temp is all the colder your gonna get
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