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Old 01-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #1
mMarvel
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Default Hardware upgrade options before Tuning

I'm planing to tune my STI 2008 soon, so i'd like your opinion on what other modes should i consider (and why!) to get an optimal performance/reliability result. My car is a DD, may be doing some track days later.

NOTE: i live in Dubai and summer temperature goes up to 50 C

current modes (by previous owner):

AEM CAI
COBB downpipe
catback
Greddy muffler
Blitz BOV

on order:

Tomei EL Header (i've read that it should make my 4th and 2nd cylinders happy - happy cylinders - happy me!) includes uppipe
Killer B oil pick up
Killer B baffle
Koyo Rad + Hoses + Shroud + 1.5 and 1.3 radiator caps

Turbo and Engine internals are stock

Other suggestions i've received:

Process West or other after market TMIC
Radiator thermostat
Grimm Speed Boost solenoid

My concerns:

TMIC - costly, my turbo is stock - will it actually do anything on stock turbo? quite frankly the only reason i even consider this one is the climate - anyone having their TMIC upgrade on a stock turbo in hot climate? any benefits? was it worth it?

Thermostat - i've read that it actually does not do much on its own. Should i be considering it with my set up?

Boost Solenoid - why should i upgrade my solenoid on stock turbo? i've read that this one is hard to properly tune and i'm not sure my local tuner shop would be up to the task.

BOV - i did not install it, but did some research and it seems quite a useless mode. But on the other hand it makes AFR run richer on high rev shifts. Should i be reinstalling the OEM BPV (considering i would have to buy one) or replacing it with other BPV/BOV or leave it as it is?

Please support your comments with arguments and data/personal experience as i'd like to understand what i'm doing and why.

Proposals for other pre-tune upgrades are welcomed as well - i donít want to be tuning each time i install something new, that i've forgot about.

Worst thing is to do useless upgrades, when you can spent this money on other mods i.e. suspension, wheels, tyres.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
jpatt006
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First of all, stop driving the car and make sure the existing mods are already tuned for, the CAI and Downpipe REQUIRE a tune if you dont want to damage your engine.

TMIC is a good idea, but not as necessary for an as STI as it is for a WRX.

Thermostat, I wouldnt really bother.

EL Headers, they'll give you a bump in power, but you'll lose the "boxer rumble" that our cars are known for...your choice

Boost Solenoid is also a good idea as it will make it easier for your tuner to control boost.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
mMarvel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpatt006 View Post
First of all, stop driving the car and make sure the existing mods are already tuned for, the CAI and Downpipe REQUIRE a tune if you dont want to damage your engine.

TMIC is a good idea, but not as necessary for an as STI as it is for a WRX.

Thermostat, I wouldnt really bother.

EL Headers, they'll give you a bump in power, but you'll lose the "boxer rumble" that our cars are known for...your choice

Boost Solenoid is also a good idea as it will make it easier for your tuner to control boost.
Thanks!

For me ELH is more about keeping driver side cylinders safe, than getting more power.

I also have big doubts that TMIC would be a good idea at this stage.

What do you think about the BOV issue?

I thought that AEM CAI does not necessarily require a tune. But I can see potential leaner AFR.

Why would downpipe require a tune?

I'm receiving ELH next week and the radiator purchase is scheduled for next month.

Maybe I should reconsider my schedule

ELH install - radiator install - tune

For

ELH - tune - radiator?

Would a larger radiator somehow effect tuning or it can be done later?

P.s. I've already done 7k km on the car, and I don't know how long these mode been ob the car with previous owner... I don't even know if its tuned or not.

Bought it at official dealer, had to figure out all the tunes my self. Its my first STI.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
hutch959
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Why would downpipe require a tune?

really???

no where in the mod list above do i see some kind of engine management tool (access port).

if your car has not been tuned for the dp, it has been slowly destroying itself.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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Do this and don't worry about your intercooler again forever. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2298336
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:27 AM   #6
mMarvel
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Interesting thread on heatwrap, thank you!

What do I do about my BOV though?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:21 AM   #7
jpatt006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mMarvel View Post
Interesting thread on heatwrap, thank you!

What do I do about my BOV though?
A BOV is inefficient and pointless on our cars. Our cars use a BPV that recirculates that unused air and the MAF accounts for it. Essentially you are running rich for a split second between shifts.

Will this make your car go boom?...probably not. Sluggish for an instant?...perhaps.

Unless you are pushing a lot of boost, stick with the stock BPV. If the stock one is unable to hold boost, upgrade to an aftermarket BPV, not a BOV.

I suggest you read the FAQs in the newbies section as well as Unibombers manifesto before you go any further. There is far more info there than anyone could convey in this thread.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:43 AM   #8
mMarvel
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I've read the BOV FAQ before posting this thread.

I bought the car with this BOV installed.

I'll try to reinstall the stock BPV if i'll be able to find one... not sure how much it would cost at the official dealer.

I was also thinking about aftermarket BPV, but they require stock hardware to install and i dont have that.

I was just wandering how much danger would BOV pose in case i'll would not be able to find a stock PVB and have to tune with what i have.

Do you think it would be ok to tune before i install the Koyo Rad (as you've said - I have to tune ASAP)? Personally i dont see any issues with that - just want to hear other opinions.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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Hey there, a good friend of mine is from Dubai. He goes to school with me here now as an international student. You should definitely tune your car soon before doing any more. A proper tune will net you a lot of power and then you can decide how much more power you want. You can either go protune, accessport, or open source (but I don't know the availability of the accessport and nobody has asked yet if you have a usdm sti, or jdm, or which?) if it's usdm then you can order an accessport from here or do the open source tunes from torqued performance.

After tuning, drive it for a while and then gauge how much more power you want, then pick your mods from there. As someone else mentioned, get a bpv instead of bov and you'll be good to go.

Edit: Also it's not just temperature that would affect heat soak but humidity too. From what I understand it's pretty humid in your area, so if you tune for a different gas, get a new turbo, or push loads more power somehow else, then I would get a tmic, but 50C to 25C is only 25C of a difference when the intercooler is actually handling much larger heat exchanges than that...this temperature change would affect it slightly but not too greatly
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:23 AM   #10
mMarvel
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Default Thanks Everyone!

Followed your advice and did a tune few weeks ago.

First did a compression test:

cylinder 1 - 127
cylinder 2 - 127
cylinder 3 - 127
cylinder 4 - 125

Installed Killer B oil pick up, buffer and EL tomei header.









Have to say that my stock oil pick up was intact, but showing some initial signs of corrosion. Any way happy to be on a safe side.

And than i did my tune. Tuner said that he was impressed that the car did so many miles with CAI and downpipe without a tune and had no serious consequences. He also told that i was running very lean at that time (thus no pre tune dyno results for me).

Also had BOV replaced with BPV.

Dyno results:









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Old 01-27-2013, 07:27 AM   #11
mMarvel
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I'm currently happy with my tune, however now i have another issue:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2460601
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #12
VictorOfHavoc
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how are you liking the el headers? I've heard they remove a lot of the natural boxer hubub of the engine.

also for a protune stage 2 sti those numbers seem a bit low... then again I've focused on the wrex for a while so I'm no expert on the 09 sti, but I've seen an 09 wrx pull 300 whp and abut 320 wtq on winter rubber. Anyone else care to chime in hear?
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorOfHavoc View Post
how are you liking the el headers? I've heard they remove a lot of the natural boxer hubub of the engine.

also for a protune stage 2 sti those numbers seem a bit low... then again I've focused on the wrex for a while so I'm no expert on the 09 sti, but I've seen an 09 wrx pull 300 whp and abut 320 wtq on winter rubber. Anyone else care to chime in hear?
He may have tuned a bit safe to account for the 130 degree days sometimes expierienced in dubai.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:13 AM   #14
mMarvel
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To be honest - I actually quite like it! It does sound different, but no where near a regular 4 cylinder straight engine.

Tuner said that my gains were standard for a conservative tune - and that is what i asked him for. The car is my daily drive, so i do not need max power on stock engine and turbo.

Going more aggressive - you'd reach 300-330 whp.

Here is the sound, keep in mind that i also have COBB downpipe and Greddy cat-back exhaust installed, so it is not a pure stock EL header sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss64bmccVHc
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:23 AM   #15
VictorOfHavoc
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Oh yeah I forgot about the conservative part of the tune :P. You know I bet there's a way to account for temps with particular fluid mixtures in rad/intercooler. I'd do a bit of research. I can see a thicker fluid mixture expelling heat better (based on my thermodynamics knowledge from my engineering classes) but that also has to do with the type of fluid. From what we learned about "the perfect engine" it would take much longer to heat up but it would perform better. That's the thing about engineering though, it was a lot of theory :/

how are you liking 300 whp btw?

my buddy from dubai felt my stage 1 wrx and he was pretty astounded at what these cars can do, haha
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #16
mMarvel
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Well i do not have 300whp now only 260 and 284 on different set ups. I usually use sport mode with 260 whp.

Actually i enjoy smoother spool and power distribution along the revs more than the power gain itself. Though it also comes in handy! )

Its my first STI and first tuning experience so i'm trying these and that... unfortunately i do not know how long i would stay here in dubai, so planning timely expensive build is not an option, unfortunately. Therefore i'm trying to keep my tuning within stock engine internals and turbo.

Cooling should not be probably done blindly, so i would go with gauges first to see how the car is doing during the summer. Maybe oil temp would be more of an issue than water temp.

I also had a WRX 2009 back at home! And i loved it. It was new and stock! When i came to drive it after my STI - it felt like a civil car - steering is softer, brakes are softer, gear shift is softer, and it was 3 times quieter inside - i could not even here the engine idling. And it was quite fast as well 265 hp - around 5.5 to 100

There it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA3k7pucJ3Y

it could do 0-100 in 2nd gear.

One obvious downside - suspension is too soft. It is good for bad Russian roads, but performance wise the car is to wobbly.

Unfortunately it has a lot of restrictions tuning wise. So if i did not have to sell it i would probably do only some suspension upgrades and raise power a little bit more.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #17
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Yeah my tuned wrx keeps me happy. I'll be upgrading the suspension shortly, then going stage 2, then wheels, then "stage 3", then a turbo upgrade, bigger brakes, and finally a conversion to e85 gas...currently to hit 100 kmph it takes about 4.4 sec for me, I've done it in 4.1 with launch control and ffs on a very good day... 1/4 mile is like 13.0 to 13.1.

check out xluben hear on nasioc. his build is just fantastic!

yeah, cooling is definitely something else sometimes...you can't go too thick on fluid because of the pumps but you can't go too thin either, or too volatile. Yuck, i actually learned things in thermo...ideally a copper intercooler/radiator with ultrapure water/alcohol mix would yield best cooling capability in high temperatures, but it would take so much more upkeep and corrosion and so many other problems...stupid chemistry

...sorry for that rant lol, just thought people might find it interesting
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
mMarvel
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You would probably have to do transmission upgrade as well, heard WRX's is much weaker.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:17 PM   #19
VictorOfHavoc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mMarvel View Post
You would probably have to do transmission upgrade as well, heard WRX's is much weaker.
i plan on it eventually. looking at a gearset. Looking around I've seen people holding upwards of 350 whp on these transmissions though. A lot is dependent on how you drive though. I want to make a reliable 400 whp one day, so I'll do good internals and a good gearset for sure
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