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Old 01-29-2015, 10:08 AM   #1
Moto-East
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Subaru Stars The Moto 2015 WRX - Goal of 500 WHP Set

A couple of years ago when the BRZ came out with the FA20 Direct Injection motor we worked with some local racers to develop the tune for it and do some work on the dyno. As we got more and more complicated setups, it became apparent that we needed a car so we can continue to make further inroads. Now our BRZ pushes 19 psi on 12.5:1 compression!

Then lin 2014 we began to work with the JSC Speed project WRX to develop a track safe and competent tune to work through a season of the Optima challenge and eventually going to SEMA. We met this goal while developing a true flex fuel kit allowing for real time automatic adjustment of the timing/fueling depending on ethanol content.

As EcuTek continues to add features to their software to now include full custom maps like we have on the BRZ, it became much more obvious that we need a full time vehicle. So on with the show!

We first set the vehicle up for some light auto-x use and suspension modifications. Despite multiple suspension changes, we could not get the wheels to stop lifting even on the modest 245 street tires. Due to the rigidity of the 2015 platform and the weight distribution, it behaved more like a FWD car with the open diffs. Eventually we got a custom Ohlins suspension with some pretty stiff springs but even stiffer dampening, and that got us through what was left of the season. The car was then put back to stock to ride the winter out while we worked on the BRZ. Unfortunately during daily driving we lost #1 in a most unflattering way.

So fast forward to a few months later, we're finally getting serious with the car. Current parts list:

  • Fully built motor using CP/Carrillo components.
  • GSC Valve Springs
  • TGV delete with bored lower plenums
  • EGRectomy
  • GTX3076R with a .63 T3 hotside
  • 3" Exhaust
  • Cusco rear LSD
  • Ohlins custom coilovers
  • Custom turbo manifold
  • AP Racing BBK to slow it all down
  • Aquamist HFS-4 WMI system with individual port runner and 5th nozzle post IC.
  • Perrin oil cooler
  • Perrin motor mounts
  • Moto East Flex Fuel Kit w/our EcuTek based tune
  • TurboXS TMIC

__________________________________________________ _____________

Initial first post below!
__________________________________________________ _____________

So far just 200 miles on the clock, most of it was from driving back from a dealer in state college. We read the ROM and once EcuTek turns it around (this the first time this ROM is seen) we will get to work on the tune.

Here it is completely bone stock except for an STI short throw shifter. We opted for the base model as the Nav in the BRZ was terrible, and without the sunroof and other amenities we can keep weight down as much as possible.










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Last edited by Moto-East; 12-31-2015 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:08 AM   #2
Moto-East
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reserved for dyno testing
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:02 AM   #3
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:49 PM   #4
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2/4/15 - Stock is Painful

Part of what we like to do when we get a car in for tune development is to drive it, STOCK. This way we can get an idea as to the nuances of the vehicle dynamics, boost control behavior, and identify any shortcomings that need to be fixed. By stocking up on datalogs with a totally stock car we can get a better idea of what is a byproduct of tuning, vs normal variation of the stock mapping.

However, several gas tanks into this now, things were uncomfortable. Painful actually. The car was bought without a test drive since this isn't going to be a grocery getter. Despite having had the time tuning them, I actually spend relatively little time just cruising around at low speeds. Most of it is full on or on the dyno. So when all of a sudden my 1-2 shifts seemingly induced whiplash, it became apparent something was really quite strange with this car--not just the effect of a light OEM clutch. Turns out it was the dreaded rev hang catching me off guard. RPMs would actually increase after letting off the throttle in 1st. This was just odd. Looking at the datalog confirmed that the throttle plate was staying open past the point where I let off the accelerator pedal. Much searching showed this is indeed a problem, and even a deal breaker for some. You know what, I can completely see that. There's no way to do a smooth but quick shift into 2nd. You're either pausing 2+ seconds, or you're doing a fast 0-60 run. Just nothing in between.

Look at the log below. Note how long it takes for the revs to fall in 1st vs 2nd gear. You can actually see that the TPS remains open a few percent after the shift and gradually tapers down. In 2nd and 3rd it immediately drops to a flat low value.



Fortunately at this point we had a good amount of data, and it was time to start altering some of the stock tuning. We already had the performance part of it down from working with the JSC car last year, so dyno numbers were the easy part. Now it was time to work on the added RaceROM features with the EcuTek software, and also iron out some of these bugs.

This brings us to the first order of business, eliminating the rev hang. The folks at Cobb had a demo video on it, so that means we will have no issues using the EcuTek tools achieving the same thing. Though the Cobb platform works well and is cheaper, with EcuTek we can do a whole lot more having the RaceROM featureset. So in this case, mission accomplished:


Next up we wanted to get some street data for the performance difference tuned vs stock on pump gas. We have dozens of dyno runs, but the fact is you just can't replicate the airflow through a TMIC with the dyno. This shows us that the stock intercooler works VERY well at road speeds.



Look closely at the plot. Charge air temp is hardly any different tuned or not, and both runs were within just minutes of each other, same stretch of road. You can also see that we shaved over half a second from the 40-120 (kph) run in 3rd gear! This is at a "mild" 18-19 psi or so. We could get closer to 22+ in the mid-range especially with mods, but right now we're focusing on finding the point where the reliability cost is the lowest relative to performance gained. The tune we're testing this on is actually running no leaner than OEM, so we have plenty of room left still.

So overall I have to say the car a welcome addition. It has heft and you can feel it, but the suspension is tight and the combination of AWD and decent power makes you almost forget it. I'm curious to see what we can do weight wise without increasing the NVH to ridiculous levels.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:05 AM   #5
Jason2015wrx
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Yea that rev hang is annoying... Im just itching to get a tune on my car so I am patiently watching what you guys come up with... Keep up the good work
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:52 PM   #6
Moto-East
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After a long winter of neglect, we finally had some time to upgrade a few things on the WRX. Unfortunately it took a good long while, simply because we have been overflowing with work. Patiently waiting as always.



First things first--reliable power. With tons of flex fuel kits sold for the 08-15 STI and the BRZ/FR-S, we went to work adapting it to work on the 15 WRX. We had a prototype kit that was being track tested on the JSC car for over 6 months, but we wanted to alter the location and routing of the lines. Our initial prototype used two 180 degree swivels and then fed back into the fuel rail. For this iteration, we took out the OEM fuel line, and then replaced it with our own circuit. Unlike other kits, we placed the sensor on the fuse box to take the load off of the fuel line connections. Like this, there is zero chance that the line will ever come loose. That and it looks damn good.



To get the signal to the ECU, the OEM rear o2 sensor harness was tapped. We will soon have a full plug and play option, but for now you just have to tap into the wiring on the o2 sensor side to give the signal to the ECU, and get the power feed. At least it is a good bit cheaper this way and requires only two crimps.



Once that is done, the ECU will automatically adjust for the ignition timing and fuel based on the ethanol content of the fuel. In our experience this can add 20-40 ft/lb of torque and 20-30 or so HP on the 15 WRX. The higher the boost the greater the gains.

Though ethanol adds a good kick, a customer car made us re-think the plan. The job we had to do was a Mishimoto downpipe and intake. The downpipe is gorgeous. The flange is nicely tapered at the turbo flange, the bends are mandrel bent and perfectly smooth, and the welds are perfect. They even include the little things. That means replacement OEM turbo housing studs and nuts, low profile bolts, gaskets, and all of it in a precisely brushed finish. Looks almost too good to go underneath the car.













Unfortunately, despite the very low mileage our studs (and the customer car) were in dire straits. We had to spend some time with the torch (after heat taping the belt and hoses) to get them to come loose. Despite that we still had to chase the threads on both cars and replace two studs on each.

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Old 04-03-2015, 11:52 PM   #7
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Downpipe installed, we moved onto the intake. This piece again is quite impressive. Piping all fit nice and smooth, but the kicker is that the airbox fits the OEM snorkel ensuring cold air is being drawn in.







With these mods done we are in business. We have to dyno the changes still, but the butt dyno confirms what we saw on the customer car--power and spool. The turbo is there a few RPM earlier, and holds power to red line even more. Mid range is increased a good bit as well without going higher on the boost. One side effect of a downpipe change is that you really should be removing the boost pill going to the wastegate.



What we did is to just replace the whole hose assembly (tee to the WG actuator) with silicone hose. This allows for easy reversion back to stock as necessary. Running the OEM boost pill will create spikes and cause boost discrepancies with an aftermarket downpipe. When removing it, you have to rescale the wastegate duty cycle mapping to profile the new boost curve. But in our experience, the car now spikes far less then even in totally OEM form.

So end result? I think that one would have a very difficult time telling between a WRX and an STI power curve with these mods. If anything, the WRX will spool much quicker in the power band. Granted that an STI with similar mods and flex fuel will have a bit more kick simply due to the larger turbo. But full bolt on WRX is nothing to sneeze at at 300 torque (at 3000 RPM!)
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:21 AM   #8
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It has been an unbelievably busy spring so it has been quite a challenge to document everything that we have been doing with the car.

The season is now upon us and we're looking to bring a ringer into the SCCA STX class. Previously the WRX/STI fell into STU, but now that the displacement is again 2.0l, we can go play with the BRZ/FR-S twins and the RX8s. We're going to be enlisting the help of championship STX driver, Eric Simmons, to drive the car. First on the list is suspension and making it class legal.

Last edited by Moto-East; 10-13-2015 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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With a heavy heart we are adding our shop car to the tally of the prematurely deceased FA20s...





For reference we have not had time to mess with the car too much due to being flooded with customer work recently, so this was used as a casual driver. We just put snow tires on it to be used in the winter.

Tearing the motor down we found rockers out of the motor, two of which due to piston fragments in the intake tract, however the other one was unexplained as it had nothing on the back of the valve.



The motor itself was entirely destroyed. Nothing remained that was salvageable.



What really blew us away was that the other 3 rods and pistons looked completely knock free. No aluminum pits, and the rods were totally straight. So whatever happened was strictly on the #1 cylinder. These types of issues are generally from tight pistons, defective castings, or an imbalanced engine in regards to flow. Meaning #1 is first to get lean. But I doubt this is the case here as we should have had at least some signs of detonation on the other pistons. All spark plugs looked good and without metal. Also note how dirty these pistons are. The one on the right is a 7000 mile BRZ piston, the one on the left is our new WRX. EGR kits and catch cans are going to be a hot seller here. We're also reducing the internal EGR with our tune.



While these things hurt initially with the cost, we're making the most of it.

First steps are to document everything and see what parts will transfer from the BRZ/FR-s.

Pistons/rods are actually nearly identical. Measuring them out gives us identical bore, stroke, and big/small end sizing. This means we can use any FA20 rods/pistons here.



In looking at the bottom of the piston and wrist pin, we find that the WRX has a beefier pin. Longer and thicker, with the piston having spacing to match. Not sure why the did this considering the failures we have seen were all either piston or rod related. Rings are slightly different, 2nd right is a little thicker on the WRX FA20.





Rods are NEARLY identical. Just a small portion by the small end looks to be beefed up ever so slightly. Completely irrelevant since the middle portion of the rod is what fails first.

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Old 10-13-2015, 11:36 AM   #10
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So what's the plan? At this point we just finished up a BRZ with the following:



At 527 WHP on that setup, we think it will be a pretty good match for the WRX!

A GTX3076R will allow the motor to put out a decent powerband, and with the WRX low mount setup and a 3" exhaust we should have 300 torque by 4000 RPM. Seeing the heads on the WRX FA20 I see no reason we can't spin it to 7500 RPM with some stronger valve springs. That should give us a very usable 4000 RPM of powerband! Only concern is the direct injection, but nothing some water/meth can't fix.
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:18 AM   #11
Bobby Jones
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Nice setup.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:31 PM   #12
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It has been very difficult to try and get time to work on the car, but we are progressing. The parts are all here, and now we're at the point that we can get a few hours in while in between other builds.

We spent about two days straight prepping the junk yard motor we got, and turning it into a 500+ hp capable unit. Unfortunately the long block came from a rolled car that got sprayed with fire extinguishers. If you've ever seen what a dry chemical one does to metal, you get an appreciation of what horrors await. Since it was a rollover in particular, and with a cracked front cover, we took everything apart and inspected for oil starvation. Luckily no signs of it. Eventually we got the blocks cracked apart, and did a torque plate hone in house to break up the glaze.



So parts list for re-assembly will be as follows:
  • Fully built motor using CP/Carrillo components.
  • GSC Valve Springs
  • TGV delete with bored lower plenums
  • EGRectomy
  • GTX3076R with a .63 T3 hotside
  • 3" Exhaust
  • Cusco rear LSD
  • Ohlins custom coilovers
  • Custom turbo manifold
  • AP Racing BBK to slow it all down
  • Aquamist HFS-4 WMI system with individual port runner and 5th nozzle post IC.
  • Perrin oil cooler
  • Perrin motor mounts

Despite the 20k miles of use and doing the hone, using the torque plate we had no measurable taper on the bores, and piston to wall clearance was still well within acceptable levels.

The WMI system is the big key here. The factory DI will run out pretty quick, especially on e85 at high RPMs that this motor will be able to turn. So we have been in contact with the folks over at Aquamist to overcome this challenge. Using a 4 port system with a 5th injector on the IC outlet will allow us to retain a top-mount intercooler while keeping intake temps manageable with the large turbo. With that we should achieve reliable 500+ to the wheels without needing e85.

Last edited by Moto-East; 12-31-2015 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:43 PM   #13
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:54 AM   #14
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So glad the connecting rods on the BRZ are the Same as the WRX. The guys rebuilding my WRX used the BRZ ones and I was a little nervous
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:29 PM   #15
Moto-East
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A bit of a holiday update. Trying to finish out the year on a good note we put the WRX back together. However, nothing comes easy in a big build such as this.

For the internals we got our CP/Carrillo components in.






With ARP hardware and Cometic gaskets, we should be just fine to 500 torque.






Cleaned up and clearanced the valvetrain. GSC beehive springs installed to hold up to 8000 RPM.



The re-timed the motor. Note the arrows pointing at each other when all is said and done. Crank sprocket mark points down.



We added a Clutch Masters FX350 to the car. Drives nearly OEM like but holds way more HP. Our factory clutch was not looking quite so good.



Then time to throw it all in.



After getting most of it done.


Last edited by Moto-East; 12-31-2015 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:43 PM   #16
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To handle the HP on track we got an upgraded radiator from Mishimoto. A good bit thicker.





And to keep things cool on the intake side a TurboXS TMIC went in. Lots of thought went into this as to whether we should spring for a FMIC, do the verticooler, or just leave it stock and rely on the water meth. But the best option here is to leave the TMIC setup intact, utilize the factory aeros to their full potential, and allow this car to be a 4 season city driver where front end bumps are the norm. Being just an hour and change from NYC and Philadelphia, that last bit is quite important. Since we are planning to track the car, sticking a big FMIC in front of the radiator is the last thing we want to do.



Unfortunately one little hiccup that was the result of using a core from a wrecked car. Turns out not just the front cover was damaged, but the stud that goes from the cam carrier to the front cover was pushed back and caused a hairline crack in the cam carrier. Major work to repair this on the car, but fortunately we were able to TIG it up for the most part on the car. Our fabricator Brandon getting on the job.





After a few hours cleaning up the cast and laying new metal down we got it under control.

Now a couple of days later, we got a few break-in miles done and the car is back to what it was prior. Once it is fully broken in and we get caught up on tunes and some of the other customer builds here we should have the GTX3076 based turbo kit ready to go. Collector and primaries are done, just need to finalize the fitment and water lines. Then it is a go and we can get the water/meth hooked up. While we want to go e85, it just isn't in the cards given the DI limitations. With the bigger in-tank pump we should hopefully be able to crack 500 whp using the aquamist system on 93 octane.
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:35 AM   #17
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What turbo kit do you plan to use?
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:35 AM   #18
Moto-East
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoobman20 View Post
What turbo kit do you plan to use?
Stay tuned for that one. We're almost there.

Now, it appears we may have found the issue that caused the early demise of our OEM motor. With 3 perfectly appearing plugs on 2, 3, and 4, we present #1.



This is the same cylinder that went, and is caused by what must be a bad injector (melted tip). For the break in process we were running timings more conservative than OEM, and 11.5:1 AFRs for fueling. Only way this could happen is if #1 is grossly unbalanced (unlikely since many of the 15+ DITs run without issue) or if the injector is not flowing what it should at 1700 psi. New injector should be here tomorrow, then we will repeat testing on the stock turbo to make sure we're all set for the big stuff.

At this point the motor seems to be ok with good leakdown on the affected cylinder.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:41 PM   #19
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We figured we'd take the unfortunate circumstances with the engine failure as an opportunity to build this car into a proper 400+ one. First off was a cobbled together prototype manifold and reservoir. This one is made out of thick schedule 40 steel pipe. Heavier than stainless, but it holds up just fine due to the thickness.



We then fabricated a full 3" downpipe to mate to our custom single outlet cat-back.



All buttoned up from below:





For this one we did an external Tial wastegate but oriented in a way that it could be recirculated easily.

And then the intercooler piping--clearance is super tight, but we were able to route it with super short pipe lengths and clear the bigger mishimoto radiator. We wanted to make sure that this setup could be used on a road course, which will require more cooling with this much output.



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Old 04-24-2016, 06:56 PM   #20
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We then put on about 400 miles to break in the motor, and went on to some testing on the road before hitting the dyno. Because we are listening to the knock sensor, we figured we'd go up on the boost some to determine the knock threshold at a minimal ethanol level. We do this with our cars so that we don't end up testing this on customer vehicles. We ended up taking it to nearly 2.8 bar absolute, or 27 psi on e40. Datalogs initially looked ok and the power was killer.

This video is about 25 psi with conservative timings.

https://youtu.be/_xjyK9YHQlk

We then set out to do some hard driving to see how it hold sup over long hills and prolonged WOT. This way we can test the whole setup, and then put it on the dyno and fine tune the timing for more power later. Unfortunately about 10 minutes into something went awry, and we either lifted a head or the head gasket let go during a knock event. With that the galley plug popped out from the head and the coolant mixed with the oil. In an instant nearly the entire motor was lost. Fortunately we were able to salvage the heads and rods, but the block had to be re-bored, needed new pistons, and the crank polished. All the bearings were trashed so we threw in new king bearings. JE 9.5:1 (BRZ) pistons went in, should be a bit higher on the WRX with the head combustion chamber shape. That gave us some time to have our head specialist get in there and do a mild port job. We won't need anything crazy due to the limitation of the DI system, but this cleaned things up a bit and gave us some solid gains at the top end. Removing the separator plates in the head gave another 10 cfm or so.







While any HG can fail with a big knock event at 27 psi, we milled the blocks and heads to make sure there is no issue there. Used standard OEM head gaskets this time and ARP studs.





Rotating assembly back together--again.



It is a good size compressor on this turbo. We put down 560 to the wheels on the same turbo with a 2.5 (vs our 3") downpipe/exhaust housing. If we can get to 7000 RPM at full boost it should be good for close to 600 on e85 and still have reasonable spool.



This also gave us a chance to clean up some of the oil lines to the turbo, and make the jigs for the production turbo kit.





As of now it RUNS! One of the guys should have the WMI wrapped up this week, then we'll take it easy once more for a few hundred miles and then get on with further testing.

People often wonder why we charge what we do for tuning, and not the 100 bucks that others may charge. Well this is exactly why. Motors and multiple engine swaps are not cheap, and finding out on ours versus a customer car, is why our reputation is what it is.

This has also given us a great opportunity to develop a full turbo system that we can produce. Our MX5 system already holds the record for the highest HP on the NC, and the way we engineered this system, it can easily generate more power than the WRX drivetrain can hold.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:55 PM   #21
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After a successful track day a couple of weeks ago, we got some much needed rear aero, rear LSD (cusco) installed, and tweaked the alignment some. Polished up a few odds and ends as well. How it sits before yet another track day tomorrow. No time to clean it up, too busy getting the brakes and the necessary track items ready.



We're still deciding what to do for the front, we may end up making our own splitter here in order to get solid mounting.
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