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Old 01-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
Unabomber
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Exclamation Turbo Inlet FAQ: Read if you are thinking of buying one.

Turbo Inlet FAQ

The primary purpose of an aftermarket turbo inlet is to replace the OEM turbo inlet with a better flowing unit. It also increases the diameter for better flow and increases reliability.

HP gain is 5 to 10 HP. This figure is highly debated as different manufacturers use different dynos with different cars with different levels of mods. This figure is pretty subjective as well as not many people have performed before and after comparisons and this figure is based on correspondance with a few manufacturers.

When first introduced, these were one of the first mods for Subarus. Hence they were very popular, but little was known about power gains as they were a plug and play mod with no drawbacks. While they didn't gain much in terms of power, since few power adders were available, they became popular as a power adder even though there wasn't much bang for buck with them. After several years, they are even more popular not due to power but reliability. The OEM turbo inlet tube is made of some really bad plastic and due to age or constant removal for turbo swaps, tears very easily. Now this is seen as a fix or reliability mod more than anything.

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated and there is no real winner.

But what about collapsing inlets? There have been turbo inlets that have been reported as collapsing. This is due to weak body structure and under runs on the dyno, the silicone body has collapsed. Once power is off, the body springs back into shape. Perrin, though not the lone manufacturer with this issue, stated that they have had rare reports of collapses. Their new design incoporates a wire skeleton imbedded in the silicone to prevent this. Perrin has stated that "As long as the inlet hose was purchased from an authorized dealer or directly from us and is within the warranty period we are more then happy to inspect the product and offer a replacement part or credit if necessary." Most of the other manufacturers have seen this problem though except for Samco. This does NOT mean only consider the newer Perrin or Samco as the collapsing issue is a rare one and generally only occurs with 20G and larger turbo set-ups.

So how do I fix a collapsing inlet now or later? The solution is quite simple really. Add 3 or 4 large diameter hose clamps to your inlet spaced equally along it's main thickest length. This creates an external skeleton and will prevent any collapse. While it's not the prettiest solution, you really can't see the turbo inlet that well, so it's not as bad as it sounds. Or another alternative other than buying the two brands mentioned is to get a hard pipe model such as the APS unit or one of it's clones.

So I should put hose clamps on my inlet regardless? No, not unless you really feel like it. As stated, collapsing inlets is a very rare issue.

Who manufactures turbo inlets? Perrin, APS, Vivid Racing, Samco, Gimmick Motorsports, GP Moto, eBay, AVO, BPM, and STI.

STI makes one??? JDM OEM FTW!!!! Cool your jets buddy. The STI unit is a JDM model and will run you around $800. If you spend $800 on a turbo inlet, you don't need this FAQ, you need a therapist.

What types of turbo inlets are there? There are two types: Normal and Long. Additionally, there are normal outlet sizes ones and ones with 3" outlets for larger turbos.

Normal length ones are a direct replacement for the OEM unit. They are the same length as the OEM unit though have a larger plenum section between the MAF tube and the inlet to the turbo.

Long length ones are L shaped and replace both the turbo inlet and the MAF tube with a one piece unit. In the case of the APS unit, it is a two piece L shaped unit.

What turbo inlet material is best? Turbo inlets are made from silicone and metal tubing. There is no irrefutable evidence that one material is better than the other.

Which turbo inlet has the best gains? There is no irrefutable evidence that any turbo inlet has better gains than another.

Are there any downsides to turbo inlets? None really. Other than price and sometimes install complications, it's a plug and play mod that requires no engine management and causes no CELs or other ills. If you are using a larger turbo that requires a 3" outlet version, TGV deletes become a requirement due to fitment issues with the stock TGV motors.

Where do I buy a turbo inlet? Every Subaru/Import performance store sells turbo inlets. For purchasing, support your local economy or the NASIOC Vendors.

How hard is it to install a turbo inlet? This is a hard question as there are many variables to this. This is one install where there is no standard install. You can read one story about a 2003 WRX owner did a Samco inlet and it was a cake 1 hour install and 2 weeks later someone else with the same car and inlet posts a horror story. This is due to variances in manufacturing of the inlet, if the car has TGV deletes or not (deletes generally make for an easier install), PCV locations (04+ Subarus have an extra fitting on the OEM turbo inlet), car manufacturing tolerances, turbo location and type tolerances, and many other factors. Your best bet is either professional installation or have someone with you that has done this before unless you trust yourself and allow a full, calm day for this install.

In addition to the instructions below, ensure that 100% of your turbo inlet fittings and T splices have a small hose clamp or quality zip tie on the fitting connection. This will ensure there are no slips and/or vacuum leaks now or later. The main install ills with turbo inlets are vacuum leaks due to poor or forgotten connections and forgetting sensor replacement for those models that require removing the intake manifold.

How do I install a turbo inlet? Refer to the turbo inlet manufacturer's instructions. For turbo inlets without instructions, below are links to some of the better known installation instructions:
APS's Instructions
Perrin's install video
AVO instructions
Scoobymods.com instructions

Do I need engine management with a turbo inlet? No tuning or engine management is needed for this mod, just bolt it up and go. Mind you the full benefits of this or any other mod won't be seen until tuned.

Should I reset my ECU after this mod? It is never a bad idea to perform an ECU reset after a mod. The traditional route is to disconnect the negative battery terminal, press the brake pedal for a few seconds to bleed the system of charge, and reattach. Some use the more advanced Vishnu Reset.

Editors Note

This post was created because I wasn't able to find a good turbo inlet FAQ. I came up with the text based on LOTS of searching here. It was also created to be intentionally brand neutral so that it serves as a stepping stone for further research. Upon reading this you should have an idea of what type of turbo inlet best suits your needs. The manufacturer is up to you.

If you find an error in this FAQ, please PM me with factual details and I will update this post. Responses such as, "I have XXX's turbo inlet and it's great!" or "XXX's turbo inlet collapsed after 1 month" are not appreciated here, that is what the Car Parts Review Forum is for.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:20 AM   #2
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room for rent
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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Great post Unabomber!
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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perrin video isnt much help
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
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What if we add info regarding what inlets are made from what. Hard plastic/4ply silicone/5ply or 4ply with ribbing...
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
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i've been waiting a couple years for this faq and it finally came out!
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:53 PM   #7
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You sir are the man... Thanks for your time!
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:20 AM   #8
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yeah that perrin guy is fast lol
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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What about a turbo inlet after a Protune? Will I need to be tuned again for it?
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:14 PM   #10
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I think that question was already covered.....

Do I need engine management with a turbo inlet? No tuning or engine management is needed for this mod, just bolt it up and go. Mind you the full benefits of this or any other mod won't be seen until tuned
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:07 AM   #11
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any remark on the ebay brands? godspeed
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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Just to mention this:
The APS Turbo inlet, if you install it "by-the-book", involves relocation of a bunch of hoses, especially for the Sti.
One is the fuel return line.
I get my kit tonight and was looking at the included fuel line hoses, they looked .. unusual. They are Ryco PL15.
Then I did a search and came up with this:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandy69
Do you think its necessary to relocating the fuel pressure regulator and route the fuel lines to the new location of the fpr which is near the pitch stop?

I didn't plan on doing it i have a few friends that say that its meaningless but since my motor is out of the car I thought why not.. I'm still up in the air.

Thoughts guys..


If the engine is out... for sure I would do it. You get more clearance for fuel lines etc with it out of the way. I had the same option this past winter when I pulled the engine and installed the APS during re-install. I am glad I moved the pressure regulator.

Warning to anyone installing the APS inlet: If your kit came with the Ryco PL15 fuel line... replace it with a decent quality line that is designed for gasoline. A month or so after I installed my APS, I started to notice raw fuel odor from under the hood. I chased the smell all over until I realized it was coming from the fuel line supplied with my APS inlet. I contacted the engineering staff at Ryco hose and they told me the PL15 is designed for hydraulic oil not gasoline. I also addressed APS engineering and they said the hose does not pose any safety concerns but they are now using a different hose in their kit. They offered to replace my hose but for the cost it was no big deal for me replace it.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:15 PM   #13
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I figured I'd mention that the hose that Subaru sells, to be installed on fuel lines, for the "cold fuel leak" is marked FPM ECO 8301
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:15 AM   #14
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Sticky please!!
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
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The APS has enough room in a 02 WRX, to go in wrapped.

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Old 04-02-2009, 04:20 AM   #16
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Just for an eye witness report. I just (last weekend) put on a dom 3 turbo and used a gimmick motorsports inlet tube.

The symptoms were at 17psi and up at exactly 6000 rpm the boost would drop to near zero and the car would feel like I hit a wall. All data logs looked good except boost of course.

I chased my tail all week checking and rechecking, replacing and spending more money. Well tonight I found out the inlet tube is indeed colapsing on itself.

Several others have reported no issues with this inlet tube.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:47 AM   #17
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Once again nice work Unabomber. Just bought the gimmick and I will be putting the zip ties around it. Sticky please mods!
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:01 AM   #18
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Can you keep stock air box with aftermarket turbo inlet?
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:37 AM   #19
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yes, you can
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:35 AM   #20
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What size is the stock inlet hose on an 07 wrx?
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_crons View Post
What size is the stock inlet hose on an 07 wrx?
are you talking about the side that connects to the turbo? If so 2.4in
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #22
Vlad
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maybe should be mentioned here that there are two OEM types of Turbo Inlet:
'02-'03 WRX, that at the compressor end have a kink towards the passenger side
'04 and up WRX and Sti that are straight at the compressor end
This affects how after-market inlets fit and might be important to somebody going back to stock.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
maybe should be mentioned here that there are two OEM types of Turbo Inlet:
'02-'03 WRX, that at the compressor end have a kink towards the passenger side
'04 and up WRX and Sti that are straight at the compressor end
This affects how after-market inlets fit and might be important to somebody going back to stock.
Does anyone make an aftermarket straight ended hose for us 04/05 owners? All the ones I see are almost practically all the slightly bent kink ended ones...
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:40 AM   #24
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The APS seems to favor straight end ones. It was originally designed for Sti and those are only straight end. I have it in my '02 and it's not quite sitting like i'd want it to.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #25
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I checked the APS ones and they are not straight. What I mean is, the pipe is straight yes, but then you have to get a little coupler adapater hose at the end of it to fit it up to your turbo just right.
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