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Old 04-11-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
jugomutt
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Default Maximizing power from an EJ20k (reliably)

I'm in the process of importing a 1997 Sti Version 3 from Japan and it should be here in a few weeks. It will be my daily driver so I want to get some more power out of it reliably. Currently, all it has is an HKS mushroom filter, boost controller and exhaust (unsure if CB or TBE).

So my question is how far can i go with this car, without doing major work like swapping out the heads/block/build internals etc..?

Tried searching but info on the EJ20k is pretty limited, thanks
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:46 AM   #2
olivertwisto
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Nice, I also have a V3 STI wagon on the way from Japan. I'm thinking catless TBE, port and polish turbo, Apexi intake and a tune. Maybe a header. I hear this should get it over 300 without really sacrificing reliability, and it's mostly just bolt on stuff so it's easy to do.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:14 AM   #3
Marnix
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More power and reliability are a contradiction speaking of an EJ20K. The rods/bearings are crap on these engines and failure is common. When you don't know the history of the engine/car I would recommend to replace the bearings and rods before the engine is toast so you can enjoy it like you should.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
skweak
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Default jdm 92 wrx having boost issues, cuts out under load, its getting worse

Looking for a bit of help with this, originally through a few of my more mech inclined friends I gathered it could be the coils or coil packs, I'm currently waiting on a conversion to the newer style, I was also told it could be the MAF sensor.
So what I need to know is today for the first time since I have owned the car, about 2 months (5000km) the check engine light came on, it never turned off and now will not even build to full boost, as it used to sometimes make it up high in the rev range in the lower gears and now I'm afraid to see if it will build at all.
I'm not sure what im looking for to unplug in order to have the code flashed back. It appears someone has did some re areangeing of the wiring underneath the steering wheel so i I guess what I need is a colour of the wires I'm looking for.
Any help is good help. Thanks.
Ps. This is my first nasioc post and I'm happy to be able to ask for help
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
azn0boi04
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300 on a 20k sounds sketchy.

If u can afford a rebuild. I would do it, especially for the bearings. But some people tend to have good luck.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
jugomutt
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Is that 300whp just from those mods? That sounds a little high to me...
Now, I thought about the bearing issue too. But where I live, no one has really run into any bearing issues yet. What I've gathered is: use thicker engine oil (rotella T6 5W40), and change it often. This allows the rod bearing to stay sufficiently lubricated, thus preventing it from spinning. Also the majority of 20k failures is on swapped engines. The one on my car has a confirmed original ej20k with 80,000km.

But I'm still worried it might run into issues so I'm just looking for the safest route to modify it to say... 350hp at the crank. It's 300 stock so just 50hp shouldnt be too hard.

Olivertwisto I like your suggestions but I'm wondering if there's anything more than tht I can do to get to the 350 mark.

Skweak, I don't know a thing about wiring/swapping an ej20k. Your better off searching, I'm sure this sort of issue has been covered. If not, making a new thread will get you answers.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
Marnix
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300 whp on a stock EJ20K = kaboom.

You would be extremely lucky oi an EJ20K revved to 8k rpm regularly would last (seen plenty 1997-1998 EJ20G and EJ20K let go, not just swapped, the majority stock).
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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If you want 350chp and reliability, I'd go with a 3" TBE + Cone Filter + Standalone ECU w/ a protune. My 2

But don't spend all your money because, like the guys above mentioned, EJ20K's like to spin bearings.

good luck
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnix View Post
More power and reliability are a contradiction speaking of an EJ20K. The rods/bearings are crap on these engines and failure is common. When you don't know the history of the engine/car I would recommend to replace the bearings and rods before the engine is toast so you can enjoy it like you should.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnix View Post
300 whp on a stock EJ20K = kaboom.

You would be extremely lucky oi an EJ20K revved to 8k rpm regularly would last (seen plenty 1997-1998 EJ20G and EJ20K let go, not just swapped, the majority stock).
Are these engines really that fragile?

I'm worried now. I was planning on 280-300 whp and call it good.

I really thought it was all user error; people beating on them with thin weight oil and not tuning them down to US gas.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:48 PM   #10
i_c_the_light
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simer1228
If you want 350chp and reliability, I'd go with a 3" TBE + Cone Filter + Standalone ECU w/ a protune. My 2

But don't spend all your money because, like the guys above mentioned, EJ20K's like to spin bearings.

good luck
You could get that with full exhaust and a MBC.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #11
olivertwisto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
Are these engines really that fragile?

I'm worried now. I was planning on 280-300 whp and call it good.

I really thought it was all user error; people beating on them with thin weight oil and not tuning them down to US gas.
Yeah, that's a little scary. I'm moving into the STI from a 98 WRX, and thought it would be stronger. Maybe my google-fu is failing me, but I'm having a hard time finding info about them.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:41 AM   #12
pmugabi
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I don't think the engines are that fragile. I believe that the stock tune is way too aggressive. That coupled with 15 year old bearings and unknown AFRs is a recipe for disaster.

As Marnix said, refresh at least the bearings, then get a tune.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #13
wrxstijdm
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
simer1228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simer1228 View Post
If you want 350chp and reliability, I'd go with a 3" TBE + Cone Filter + Standalone ECU w/ a protune. My 2

But don't spend all your money because, like the guys above mentioned, EJ20K's like to spin bearings.

good luck
Quote:
Originally Posted by i_c_the_light View Post
You could get that with full exhaust and a MBC.
Sure you could get 350 with that, but I bet it wouldn't be as reliable. A proper tune is the key.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:19 PM   #15
TommyAtomic
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I would think that the most important question would be what tuning options are available for the EJ20k.

Having the EJ20K running with a proper AFR for the fuel grade and boost levels used and the ECU sufficiently retard timing when knock is detected should really be all there is to it.

A quick internet search tells me that turning up boost + insufficient octane + no tuning + thin oil = EJ20K assplode
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #16
jugomutt
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I agree with tommy and simer
Increasing both without changing air, fuel, and timing accordingly is not a good idea

The bad rep these engines have is probably from carlessness/lack of knowledge from their owners, atleast that's what I would like to think

From what I've read, you can get away without tuning the car as long as boost is kept stock and oil is changed frequently.

So: intake, full exhaust, and a tune will help free up some more power. What else would I need to reach the 350 mark?

Btw just ordered a 255 walbro pump
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #17
Smoke
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I do think it's lack of knowledge that's a big factor here. 7900-8200 redline gives people the impression you can treat these like Hondas.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #18
jugomutt
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Turbo =/= vtec
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:30 AM   #19
Smoke
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Really? I didn't know that.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:13 AM   #20
olivertwisto
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That's a nice insightful thread on the VIP. Makes sense to me. A pretty obvious answer is to get your mods and a tune for the gas available in your hood. That's what I'll be doing. Where are you jugomutt? I'll be driving my 555 blue V3 STI wagon from BC to Winnipeg in August, might be nice to see what you've done to yours.

Oh yeah... turbo>vtec!
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:43 AM   #21
jugomutt
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hey not a bad idea. Im in Calgary, maybe we could meet up if you pass by. Im on the VIP pretty often too username: goodveet

Who are you importing through by the way?
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:44 AM   #22
jugomutt
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hey not a bad idea. Im in Calgary, maybe we could meet up if you pass by. Im on the VIP pretty often too username: goodveet

Who are you importing through by the way?
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:15 PM   #23
Marnix
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Also stock EJ20K motors in Japan suffer bearing failure. It's imminent.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:44 PM   #24
Gera97
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EJ20K STI engines arent fragile they are just engines that need to have internals in great shape, high octane gas (because of the agressive tuned ecu) and good Oil, thats it..
Thats what I believe..
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #25
jugomutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnix View Post
Also stock EJ20K motors in Japan suffer bearing failure. It's imminent.
How do you know this is the case in Japan? I've tried to find info about this and Ive mostly heard people saying theyre fine over there.

In north America, some people have had their 20k blow in less than 5000 miles while others have had them for years with no problems. so I wouldn't say that it's "imminent".

Also there's nobody on jdmvip that ive heard of complain about their 20k yet. Then again, the VIP is mostly JDM Subaru owners based in Canada using stock motors. So maybe its because of: the higher elevation, stock not swapped engines, temperature, or other environmental variables.

Maybe it sounds dumb, but take for example: jdm Integra type R integras (200hp) dynoing 130hp at the wheels here in Calgary. And about 170-180 down in California. If it can make that big of a difference then MAYBE that's why 20k owners havnt had many issues here. Just something I've been thinking about and it may or may not be true.
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