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Old 05-11-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
lotarg
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Default At what level of power does it become a risk for the stock '02 WRX engine at HPDE's?

I understand that the WRX engine can hold a decent amount of power when driven around town, and that the transmission usually goes before the engine. I also understand that any power mods put the engine internals at greater risk because they were engineered to be safe and reliable for the stock 227 hp. I have done a number of events with over 300 hp (not to wheels) with no issues. When redlining it over and over at a HPDE, generally around what power level do you begin to be in serious danger of having a problem with the stock engine?

I recently upgraded to the VF39, STi injectors/TMIC, and Walbro fuel pump with the basic Accessport map. My plan was to soon get a custom tune, but am afraid that the extra horsepower isn't worth the risk when I am on the track (only two events a year).
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Last edited by lotarg; 05-11-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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Maintenance and upkeep will play a much bigger role than what mods. Stage 2, with an OTS map that is pig rich anyways, will be safe. Assuming, of course, that your cooling system is up to par, oil is fresh, brakes are good and good fluid, etc.

Travis
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #3
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it doesnt like too much stress if its a high milage motor.. I blew my piston rings running on a VF39 (18psi) and making about 280whp.

threw a ej207 shortblock and a 20g, tuned it to 320whp, then the tranny failed...and that was about the max the heads flow..

got a dogbox, then my axle broke

keep it low boost unless you are prepared for the potential risks...

good luck
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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update your oil pan if you haven't already. the stock 2.0 oil pan is flat on the bottom and doesn't take too kindly to sweepers. go to killerbmotorsports for their "updated pickup" also update the oil pan with the 2.5 it's cone shaped instead of flat, this will help keep the oil centered on the pickup tube and not sloshed against the side of the oil pan.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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There is no perfect answer to how long everything lasts. Some kids dump the clutch and need a clutch at 5000 miles. I put over 30 track days on my stock motor with no upgrades to the intake, exhaust and tune. Spun a bearing at 104,000 miles. With the motor out it was time for a new clutch. The original clutch lasted that long. We opened the gear box and there was no unusual or additional wear problems. I rebuilt it anyway because more power was soon to be had. If you drive smoothly things will hold up pretty well. Going fast is not that hard on the car. Launching and powershifting, shocking the drivetrain will cause a short life to parts. Peak torque for most track cars is at 6000 and below. Often it make sence to shift at the red line or run to the red line to avoid an additional shift. Usually It is just as quick to shift at 6000 or 6300.
Drive as fast as you can and still be smooth. If you start making little misteaks or miss the apex then slow down and drive within your ability and the cars ability.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
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So would a smart solution (aside from downgrading all of the parts) be to get the custom tune for a manual boost controller, and keep the boost relatively low (say 16 psi) for the track events? And is it really necessary to update the oil pan when I do so few events? I already need to buy new tires and tire rod ends haha.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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wrxmuch brings up a good point about the oil pan differences.. You might want to run slight more more oil then whats suggested.. not too much more.

also if you have mods. make sure you get a good conservative tune, if you're not worried about getting every bit of power.. I feel like theres alot to learn before adding alot of power mods to mask bad driving.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:59 PM   #8
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double post
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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Most people need tires and an alignment and a helmet. For the track, your first mods are rims + Tires, suspension, brakes. Then learn to drive it at the limit. A WRX is already fast. After all of that and a year or two then think about more power. Buying new turbos and bolt-ons + tuning is expensive. Spend the money on track days and you will be way ahead in the fun department. and you will be faster than the guy with 375 hsp.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:54 PM   #10
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I did my first event in 2006 and have only upgraded when I felt something lacking out on the track. Tires, brakes, and suspention are already where I want them.

All I really want to know is if I should leave the Accessport tune (which they say is 350 hp), go ahead and get a custom tune (which I am told can get me around 380 hp), or get a tune with a manual boost controller so that I can lower boost for track events. I definitely appreciate all of the side suggestions and comments, but this is my main question.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:58 AM   #11
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If you aren't concerned about blowing your motor or tranny, then go for a protune. They are much safer than OTS tunes anyways.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:49 AM   #12
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A street tune is not the same as a track tune for a turbo car. Careful.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotarg View Post
I did my first event in 2006 and have only upgraded when I felt something lacking out on the track. Tires, brakes, and suspention are already where I want them.

All I really want to know is if I should leave the Accessport tune (which they say is 350 hp), go ahead and get a custom tune (which I am told can get me around 380 hp), or get a tune with a manual boost controller so that I can lower boost for track events. I definitely appreciate all of the side suggestions and comments, but this is my main question.
I think you may be happy with drive-train upgrades before power upgrades

Possibly nice LSDs all around?
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:27 AM   #14
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big turbo - $$$
jdm block - $$$
sti tranny swap -$$$

The look on your face when you get lapped by a spec miata - priceless.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:02 PM   #15
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LMAO Sureshot.

Edit:

The killer bee pickup and pan is highly recommended. 500 dollars is a lot cheaper then a new longblock for spinning a bearing, or worse shattering a bearing like i did and trashing a whole motor.

Last edited by BMWidmer; 05-12-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:16 PM   #16
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[quote=sureshot007;30705241]big turbo - $$$
jdm block - $$$
sti tranny swap -$$$

The look on your face when you get lapped by a spec miata - priceless.[/quote

Lotarg, This is really good advice. It is a bit sarcastic, funny and true.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug-Rex View Post
If you aren't concerned about blowing your motor or tranny, then go for a protune. They are much safer than OTS tunes anyways.
Did you not read my original post? That is my only concern!! Haha

So does anyone have any solid answer that applies to the STi parts?

Last edited by lotarg; 05-12-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:20 PM   #18
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Breaking your car is part of racing. If you aren't ready for the consequences, don't take the risk.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:55 PM   #19
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Cobb off-the-shelf maps are generic base maps, engine has to be fine tuned. But as mentioned, a street tune is different from a track tune. Just make sure you are running 10.2-10.4ish on the track to be safe..maybe get a wideband AFR gauge to monitor it on the track.

If your compression #s are solid, the STi turbo/injectors/TMIC and intake&TBE exhaust shouldnt be a problem at all if you tune it conservatively. But if your engine is already at the edge of failing, it will fail quicker with STi parts.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureshot007 View Post
Breaking your car is part of racing. If you aren't ready for the consequences, don't take the risk.
Yeah, but there are different levels of risk and that's why the OP is asking.

He's trying to do his homework to reduce risk, not eliminate it. That's smart.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:22 PM   #21
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OP - if you are really worried about it, tune the engine a little rich, and bring the redline down a notch.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug-Rex View Post
If you aren't concerned about blowing your motor or tranny, then go for a protune. They are much safer than OTS tunes anyways.
Your second sentence suggests the opposite of your first sentence. I don't think OTS maps are a good idea. I would only SKIP the protune if you don't care about the engine. I'd find the best protuner in the area and tell him you don't care about HP, you just want a map that's safe at the track.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:20 PM   #23
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Just make sure you are running 10.2-10.4ish on the track to be safe..maybe get a wideband AFR gauge to monitor it on the track.
There is no need to tune a car that rich.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #24
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Yeah I wouldn't tune to 10.2, but the Accessport probably already has you there lol. How many miles are on the motor? You could send an oil sample to try to better assess your bearing life, but I would just get a tune and let her eat. Some things you can do to help is install a accusump, oil cooler and run good oil. It will most likely spin a bearing eventually. What better place to do it than at the track On the tranny, again install good fluid. There are different schools of though, but I like the Redline shockproof. My tranny lasted forever until I took it out (still working) for different rations and a front lsd. I didn't do any launches on it, so maybe that was the difference. Good luck to ya
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
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There is no need to tune a car that rich.
Hi milage motor + TMIC + 100F+ temps at the track = 10.2-10.4 is highly "recomended"
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