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Old 07-08-2002, 10:56 AM   #1
Ryan23
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (25)
 
Member#: 15116
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Newburg, MD
Vehicle:
2000 Ver6 STi Type-R
EJ257/GT35R

Default MRT FMIC Install

Ok, guys. As promised, here’s my install review (Book!) of the MRT FMIC. First off, thanks to Dale @ Teagues Auto for the great service and quick shipping. As far as mods go prior to the install, I had:

TXS Unichip “Stage 2” map
TXS Turboback exhaust
TXS Type H BOV
Vishnu underdrive pulley
Vishnu Uppipe
NGK plugs (one step colder)
Blitz SBC-ID Boost controller
Walbro 255lph pump
Autometer EGT (Westach probe), Oil Press., Electric boost gauges

First off, why no upgraded turbo? Because I’m waiting for my VF34 to arrive. I wanted to knock out the hard stuff prior to bolting the turbo up. I should be installing it next week (if it gets here) along with a set of Sti “pink” injectors.
Ok, on to the good stuff. The supplied instructions are “OK”, although the pictures suck. A lot of times you need a clear picture and the scanned in black and white ones just won’t do (You would think that $1500 or so would have netted you some clear color pics). Unfortunately, I forgot my digital camera when doing the install although I can take some after the fact pictures that will be just as good. When steps in the instructions read “Easy”, you should read it as “mildly difficult”. When there are steps that read “a bit tight” for example, read it as “Impossible” . For example, the battery. I could not see ANY WAY AT ALL that the stock battery would fit. I don’t like to spend excess money but let me tell you, after over an hour of TRYING to make the stock one work, I realized it’s futile. It’s just too big to clear the IC piping. Oh sure, you could try to re-bend the IC pipe if you had the required tools but most people don’t. Even so, I can’t see it working without a LOT of extra labor. Do yourself a favor, before you start, pick up a new battery. I used a group 26R battery from Sears (dimensions are 7.5”L x 6.5”W x 8”H). $50 and 550 Cold Cranking Amps later, I was out the door. That was the smallest locally available car battery I could find. I didn’t want to do mail order as my car was off the road and it’s my primary means of transportation. The battery by itself still wouldn’t solve the clearance issue, so I ended up having to sit the battery on a 3” tall block of wood . That gives you about ¼” of clearance between the silicon hose on the fronts side and ¼” between the pipe itself and the left side of the battery. Tight fit. Of course longer battery clamp studs are required now too ($5 or so @ Pepboys) and since the battery is pushed as far back as possible, an ear of the battery holddown itself needed to be hacked off. Pics coming soon.
The pipes themselves are excellent quality and fit pretty good. One thing I would have liked is if they were labeled. Mine were not, although the instructions said they should have been. However, like a jigsaw puzzle, eventually you figure it out as they will only fit one way. It just would have been a timesaver. The bumper cutting was spot on in the instructions. You have to convert from mm to inches, but no biggie. A couple more pictures would have been helpful too here, but just push the “I Believe button” that the drivers side is a mirror of the passenger side. A plasma cutter would DEFINITELY save some time however I didn’t have one at my disposal, so I used a air grinder and went through 5 or 6 four inch disks (DO NOT ATTEMPT WITH A DREMEL). Very messy and very tedious. Once the bumper is hacked, go ahead and bolt it back up and test fit the core. My core would not fit, I had to gently use a pea grinder and elongate the mounting holes some more. It’s fairly easy being nice soft aluminum. Once it’s in there and bolted up, do yourself a favor and test fit all the pipes. Fortunately for me, mine fit on the first shot but the instructions have you fit the nose back on before installing any pipes. You would be one unhappy camper if you went through all that effort just to pull the nose back off again because of clearance issues. Once you start fitting the pipes you’ll realize that some of the silicon hoses don’t appear to fit correctly but they do when clamped down. Namely, the I/C pipe to throttle body joint seemed a bit large but sealed up nicely with the clamps. Speaking of clamps, top quality ones are included with the kit. They are not you typical OEM junk ones. These you can actually throw a ¼” drive 7MM socket on them and snug up nice and tight. As far as I/C pipe clearance goes, the only place I had issues was on the passenger side, in the fenderwell. The pipe is rubbing on the little tab the bolts the fender to the nose. I’m sure I can wiggle the pipe into the joint a little further and get around this. All the joints are nice Samco silicon pieces which are very flexible yet thick and durable looking.
The part that you don’t hear about during the install is the bumper cutting that’s required. The instructions just glaze right over it with only a mention. You didn’t really think this I/C would fit without cutting, did you ? Lots of cutting is required with no supporting pics. Wait, there was one dark picture which was a joke. I just went slow and only took off a little bit at a time. I’ll post some pics. A good idea after the fact would be to get some thin black molding (Like what you see in the rear quarterpanel wheelwell, just smaller) and go around the edge of the opening to cover up the nasty dremel marks (you will get a couple!). If you don’t have a Dremel, don’t attempt this. It’s very tedious and takes a good 2-3 hours to do right. Oh, by the way, if you have an aftermarket front lip, you’ll have to cut that back too. Very disheartening but necessary if you want this big a$$ I/C filling the void up there. There is also some creative trimming that needs to be accomplished under the car in order for the wheelwell liners to be reattached. It's pretty easy as it’s thin, pics coming. Let’s see….what else? Oh yeah, the air filter. The kit comes with a nice reusable unifilter that attaches to a new MAF housing. Pay attention to which direction you put the MAF housing in. There are no arrows on it and nothing is mentioned in the instructions. If it’s correct, then the MAF connector will be oriented like stock, with the connector coming under the pipe and plugging in. It’s a little tight, but it will fit. If it’s wrong, well, you car will sputter and not idle .
Aside from a couple snags here and there, it was pretty straightforward and doable for the average DIY’er. Total time for me was 3 days, working 10am~5pm at a nice leisurely pace. That includes trips to Mickey D’s, Dremel bits, Battery(ies), ETC. I think with all the right tools and no set working hours, this could be accomplished in a long day. However, I would set aside at least two.
Performance wise, I can’t judge yet as I have the Boost turned down until I get the VF34 in and get some proper engine management going. Right now, it’s just pretty . Feel free to fire away with any questions and I’ll try to help you out.


Ryan
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Old 07-08-2002, 11:57 AM   #2
GDA
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (1)
 
Member#: 4324
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: (925) CA
Vehicle:
02 GDA
Platinum

Default

nice writeup. Glad you got the maf thing solved.

I think it will be easier for me because the battery i ordered is on 5" wide vs 6.5" wide one from sears.

Looking forward to your pics.

I will be installing mine this coming saturday, i expect the worse going into this. lol


GDA
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Old 07-08-2002, 04:46 PM   #3
View Askew
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Member Sales Rating: (0)
 
Member#: 14714
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Cali
Vehicle:
'02 WRX
01G

Default

That's very descriptive. Thanks a bunch! I'll have to keep this thread in mind when I install mine in the not so distant future.
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:48 PM   #4
atomicapples
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Member Sales Rating: (10)
 
Member#: 12626
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: morristown, nj
Vehicle:
02 2.5 rs
silver

Default

i wonder how much difference is it with the mrt and the blitz...
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Old 07-21-2002, 02:16 PM   #5
Ryan23
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (25)
 
Member#: 15116
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Newburg, MD
Vehicle:
2000 Ver6 STi Type-R
EJ257/GT35R

Default

Just an update, I swapped over to the Westco Miata battery. The other one started to leak after I pulled it out and dropped it back in when an I/C hose popped off at the track. Teh grp 26 was sitting kind of high and looks to have caught a sharp edge on the inside fenderwell. Just so you know, Teagues recommends using Miata batteries also. With the Miata battery I don't have to raise the battery up anymore to fit it. It's physically smaller. Westco batteries are sealed also and can be found online for $85.00 or so. The only other place one can get a Miata battery is at the dealer. Apparently Panasonic patented the battery design so no replacements can be sourced at your local Auto Zone, Pep boys, ETC. The dealer wants around $100 for a Miata battery (all years are the same size).

Ryan
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