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Old 08-25-2014, 09:06 PM   #1
nxwrxfx
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OMGHi2U Need Help Deciding on Turbo for my '05 Baja STi Project

Hey all,

I'm wrapping up the final parts purchases for a 2005 Baja Turbo that is getting an STi EJ257 shortblock, headwork, and a boatload of mods.

This is going to be my daily driver... Not looking for record power numbers.
It's a 2.5L engine (i came from 2.0L EJ205/EJ207 land) so I'm looking for help from the 2.5L tuning community to help me find a good match for my setup with recent turbo updates.

I prefer quick spooling to huge top end power gains.Since the Baja is quite a bit heavier than a WRX or STi, and that I don't want this thing to be a racecar, I would rather have low and midrange over top end power here. I'm hoping to max out a usable powerband on lower boost (~19PSI) and keep my powerband limits south of 6200RPM for health and well being of the engine. I'm also not wanting to push too much past 300AWHP so that I keep my OEM 5 speed gearset happy and non-busted. I have heard the Baja has a stronger OEM gearset compared to my '02 wrx... and my '02 sees 310AWHP daily and has been driven strong for 10 years with minimal issues.

Here's what's going in for parts so far for the break in/base tune:
1) Brand new OEM 2.5L STi EJ257 shortblock
2) Overhauled OEM Baja Turbo heads (full rebuild)
3) AVO silicone turbo inlet + aftaMAF tube (one piece)
4) APS 65mm cold air intake
5) '05 USDM STi TMIC (w/ GrimmSpeed gaskets)
6) '05 USDM STi BPV & silicone hoses (turbo/throttlebody)
7) GrimmSpeed sidefeed TGV Deletes - Ported & Polished - Not coated
8) UPDATED: 8/28 - DW 740cc sidefeed injectors obtained!
- Originally had stock "yellow top" 550cc's but luckily got this high flow set at the last possible minute!
9) Walbro 255LPH fuel pump
10) GrimmSpeed header crosspipe
11) GrimmSpeed exhaust manifolds (PnP'd / coated)
12) GrimmSpeed EBCS
13) Gates timing belt kit (kevlar)
14) Exedy Stage 1 Organic Clutch
15) OEM flywheel (prev. owner put in a junk LWFW. This is a DD. No LWFW preferred, better driveability, less chatter).
16) GroupN motor mounts
17) GroupN trans mount
18) Kartboy pitch mount
19) TiC 5spd linkage update
20) New oil pickup (OEM updated)
21) 11MM oil pump (OEM updated)

Parts Still Needed:
15) Catted downpipe. With secondary O2 bung for wideband. Prefer bellmouth. (Checking out Invidia or TurboXS for this)

16) Turbo choices... I'm stuck deciding between a Blouch 16G-XT/XT-R or a 18G-XT/XT-R with probably an 8cm^2 housing on either of the four combinations. For reference I used to daily drive an EJ207 2.0L with an FP HTA68 and loved it. For the Baja though i'm looking for quicker spool and less top end for city driving. Also considering the Tomei M7760 but the Blouch units have so many other features for the price... (billet wheels, ball bearing if XT-R, etc)

Summary for Lazy Readers:
Really I need advice on how much turbo can I get away with on a semi-stock EJ257 2.5L utilizing all of the parts above but also using OEM sidefeed STi Yellowtops (550cc) for the time being... I plan on later upgrading to at least 750ccs but not right now. Conservative tune and boost targets until after the break in period and such. Again, this is my new daily driver. Prefer low & midrange power & quick spool compared to huge top end gains and high boost.

I've also seen a 16GXT-R with a 10cm^2 option that i'm curious about.... but I can't find a lot of information on it for a 2.5L...

Thanks for any advice given as I make up my mind and continue to research!
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Last edited by nxwrxfx; 08-28-2014 at 11:50 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:49 AM   #2
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Not much will beat a 19T for these goals. It's pretty much the best spool up and broad bandwidth you can get for a stock location turbo. You can certainly look at a 16G as an alternative, and a big 16G will net you more top end at the trade off of some bottom end response. For the power level and spool up, you'll want to stick with a 7cm^2 hotside. The 7cm^2 can be restrictive on the top end after a point, but with your preference you will get a little better spool up and dynamics from it. An 8cm^2 allows more flow and top end, but so will an external wastegate to bypass the choke limit of that small turbine flow area.

The big cross sectional area turbines are great for top end performance as they present much less of a choke point for exhaust flow. However, flow speed through the turbine is what controls compressor rpm which means it will also heavily affect spool up. A 10cm^2 hotside is darn big for a 16G, and the spool up point will be quite late because of this simply because the compressor will spin pretty slow at lower engine rpms and not be cable of compressing air and making boost. Big hotsides match big turbos, but for a 16G, you really should stick with a 7cm^2 or at most an 8cm^2 hotside. For the characteristics you want, I'd stick to the 7cm^2 hotside and simply run an external wastegate to get around the main issue of the choke. As I talk about choke, I'm suggesting that you will actually reach that flow point with that turbo. For a big 16G, you can get there. For a small 16G, probably not. The 19T is even a smaller 6cm^2 hotside and can benefit from the external wastegate route.

I'm not sure why you're concerned about the light weight flywheel. It's not a big deal really, and driveability is more an issue of clutch choice. Take off, stop and go, and even chatter isn't really much of an issue. When I stepped to my Pro-lite from stock, it was much less of a change than I was initially expecting. I find the choice in clutch is a bigger deal when it comes to actually being able to use the car without hassle. The Stage 1 organic clutch is pretty easy to work with, very oem like, and it will handle the power levels you're run just fine. It is very possible that you will get misfire codes from the flywheel though, so there's that. I just like light spinning parts if I can get it. There's benefits to response and efficiency.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:16 AM   #3
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If only we had a proven power section. Section where guys like you could post dyno charts and mod lists. Maybe one day

This has been addressed often here. Not in a baja but in a 06-14 wrx's still with 5 speed.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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BackRoad, this is interesting as almost every review i've read states a 7cm^2 is too "small" for a 2.5L. They make the 16G-XT in 7cm/8cm, and i've also got a bead on a really good deal on a 18G-XT-R with 8cm^2 side... Continuing to research today. For the flywheel, I just want this Baja "stock-ish". I have a lightened flywheel on the WRX and I personally don't mind it at all, but there are some trade offs that I'd rather not have on the Baja as they just aren't needed/wanted on this Project. Excellent information though regardless and plenty for me to research from there.

Brother Eddie, i'll check out the Proven Power Section as well.... Been lurking for awhile and wasn't quite sure where to post up to ask the answers for these questions so my bad there.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #5
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Bump... Getting ready to pull the trigger on this...

So basically i'm leaning towards an 16G-XT-R or 18G-XT-R or a Tomei 7760 or similar...
Either will be with a 8cm^2 hotside.

The only thing that bothers me is it appears that the 18G-XT has a quicker spool up than the 18G-XT-R. I figured ball bearings may aid in spool up slightly, not cause more lag?

External wastegate is not an option on this build as I don't want the loud exhaust.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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I'm going to be honest with you, buy a 20g. I have a 40lb 18g on my car and maxed it out. I wish I sold that and bought a 20g. I ran out of turbo before I ran out of motor.

I have everything done to the car except internals. It was tuned by Jorge. I would have been 100x happier with an 20g
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:52 PM   #7
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The size of the hotside controls the compressor rpm. A smaller hotside makes the compressor spin faster with less exhaust flow. I know people talk about hotside size for an engine size. That's wrong. Hotsides are matched to compressors. Compressors are matched to engine sizes. If you're talking about hotsides and engine sizes you're talking about the wrong thing. Compressor to engine. Hotside to compressor. Step one is always picking the right compressor for your flow goals. After that you pick a hotside that both matches the compressor well and fits your operational goals. Often you can pick between a couple hotside sizes for a given compressor. For example you can run a 7cm^2 or 8cm^2 hotside on an 18G. Both work. The 7cm^2 is slightly small where you get faster spool but can also ride the surge line of the compressor. The 8cm^2 sold slightly later and will not spin up early enough into surge. The trade off is the 7cm^2 is a little quicker but just on the edge of bearing too small for the compressor. Note this has nothing to do with the engine size. Is 7cm^2 too small then? Not quite. It's barely riding the surge edge, so it's still 95% useful. A 7cm^2 is pretty wrong with a larger 20G where the 7cm^2 hotside would spin up the compressor a little too readily and he in surge more often. This gets to the point where the hotside starts to become a poor fit for the compressor.

So what about bigger hotsides? They are good too. They allow higher flow, aka less exhaust restriction, aka more to end HP. All the drag racers LOVE big hotsides. The trade off is compressor rpm per given exhaust flow. You can have a 10cm^2 on a 16G, but you might not see peak boost until 5k because the turbine is spinning so slow at lower rpms and flow level. Big can be a poor fit too. For a 16G and a big hotside you'll just get to boost by the time the compressor runs out of steam.

I like small hotsides for speed, but small will generate limits. My 7cm^2 chokes on flow hard at a certain point. This is effectively a 1.2" pipe that you're shoving 400, 500, 600cfm through. Well, you can't beat physics. At a certain point the flow speed will get up to the speed of sound and the flow caps hard like hitting a brick wall. The fix is a bigger hotside...or...an external wastegate. Depending on your HP goals, you will need to support enough exhaust flow.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:21 PM   #8
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Stop looking at bigger turbos. Dont you have the 4.44 gearing in a baja? If so you really dont have to go larger than a big 16g variant and some 800+cc injectors. That will net you around 350+whp, and wicked fast spool with that gearing.

Anyone that says 20g is full of it and doesnt have a clue on the gearing aspect of things.


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Old 08-27-2014, 11:40 PM   #9
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20G and GT30 are the best sizes for the 2.5L engine. Why? Two reasons. One, this size turbo is the first size big enough to make high boost until redline. Two, these sizes, along with the GT35, offer some of the broadest operational bandwidths available, aka broadest torque band.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:23 AM   #10
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Stop looking at bigger turbos. Dont you have the 4.44 gearing in a baja? If so you really dont have to go larger than a big 16g variant and some 800+cc injectors. That will net you around 350+whp, and wicked fast spool with that gearing.

Anyone that says 20g is full of it and doesnt have a clue on the gearing aspect of things.


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DuFaq are you talking about. Gearing has nothing to do with whp. And since when does a 16g get you 350whp?? You have no clue and are full of it. A 20g is the way to go. Anything less is retarded.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:26 AM   #11
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It all depends upon the intended goals for the vehicle. I view turbos a little differently than some. I like to think about operational bandwidth as this is what mostly affects a car's usability.

This is where something small like the 19T is an incredibly good concept. I say concept because there is a slight flaw with the turbo as we typically use it. Here is a compressor that has great operational bandwidth. You can get a great torque curve from the thing. As long as you're not looking for huge power, it's a good turbo, extremely responsive, and broadly usable. The concept bit has to do with the hotside. It's a pretty small 6cm^2 hotside, but it's actually kind of big for the compressor. The bottom 25% of the compressors operational range can't be used because it spools up too late, yeah too late. The turbine area is like an 8cm^2 on a 16G or 10cm^2 on a 20G. You can kind of go smaller and get more range. There are 5cm^2 hotsides on the market for the 19T, just not oem fitment for our cars which is a shame. It means the 6cm^2 size and bandwidth of the compressor that we can use is a little smaller than ideal.

The 20G and more specifically the GT30 and GT35 sizing are the products that offer the most and specifically usable bandwidth we can get on the 2.5L engine. For example, the GTX3071 is absolutely great for total functional bandwidth on these cars. The GTX3582 has one of the broadest compressor bandwidths on the market, as in it will make boost low and hold boost way, way up in the rev range more than basically anything out there. This means the torque curve is amazing...if you can use it. +70 lb/min isn't exactly easily usable on our cars. The general idea is the bigger the turbo, the broader the torque curve. We are just limited by engine size, redline, and the air flow we can pump. This air flow limit limits the size of turbo we can use. A 2.5L running to 7000rpm pushing 21psi of boost can pump about 52 lb/min of air total. A bigger turbo won't help. A smaller turbo will force us to run reduced boost at the top end. At the end, the best general use turbo is the one that can offer the broadest torque curve within this operational range. This is why 20Gs and GT30s are wildly popular but also why not many people run GT35s or larger without either raising boost or revving out farther. A GTX3582 is functional on a 2.5L revving out to 8500rpm and pushing 30psi of boost. The air flow would be sufficient to make use of such a large turbo and offer an amazingly good torque bandwidth to boot. For the general folks, it's a pointless turbo that would only throw away our bottom end and give only a narrow torque curve up top before hitting redline.

So why not throw a 20G or GT30 on every Subaru?

Well, not everyone's looking for the same thing. For example OP wants a daily driver, put around town type of car, something with a lot of midrange punch and no need for high hp numbers. In this case, a 20G or GT30 aren't really necessary at all. For that kind of behavior a 19T is a great choice. You can't really get better in spool up and midrange use. It won't break hp records, but that's not the goal. The goal should be desired preference plus best torque bandwidth you can get. For that, 19T wins. A big 16 is a good alternative. It trades a little on the low end for a little on the top end. The trade is about even too, so you're not really gaining or losing, just trading. For OP, a big 16G might be nice, but is it better than the 19T? Well as I said above, it kind of depends on the preference. I'd pick a 19T in a heartbeat with a 5cm^2 hotside and external wastegate if I had no desire for big hp. Even with the stock 6cm^2 it's still the best spooler out there. The 16G though can actually make use of its full bandwidth though which does tip the advantage. An 18G isn't much different than a big 16G. Both flow just about the same, so the 16G has slightly more favorable spool up. The 20G has more delay on the bottom end, and you really need to step away from the faster spooling 7cm^2 hotside with that turbo because it will very much over spin it on the low end and surge a lot. The 16G won't and the 18G just barely at high boost.

In my eyes it's a trade between the 19T and big 16G. The 19T is cheap and nothing beats it in spool up. The 16G should give you a little more torque bandwidth as well as a healthy bump in peak hp. 19T for putzing around, big 16G with a 7cm^2 hotside is more functionally balanced.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:32 AM   #12
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I too found the gearing comment funny. There's actually a thread floating around Nasioc specifically about gearing. I even made a spreadsheet for it plotting gearing and engine torque/hp using various turbos. The simple gist is it's a matter of area under the curve and often big turbos win and big final drives accelerate fast. The final gear itself doesn't matter one bit outside of either generating traction issues (super low first) or gearing issues for a given track/course if you're not modifying individual gears. Most of the time gearing is an issue of how well or poorly the shift points sync with the track layout. It really doesn't have anything to do with engine power outside of traction issues, and for an awd, that's not really an issue with any power you can make on a realistically tiny 2.5L. Yeah, it's a big deal on say a Viper where the combination of the final drive and 1st will rev up to 60mph and makes it so that big engine feels pretty weak and noob drivers don't kill themselves the first time they stab the gas at a stop light. For our cars, well, anything that helps it accelerate the better. 4.11:1 is good, 4.44:1 is better.

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Old 08-28-2014, 01:54 AM   #13
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all that and ya not gonna do it right and get the proper injectors first time around
???

bloody waste of all involved.....sorry...but this whole proposition if faulty from the start
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:56 AM   #14
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all that and ya not gonna do it right and get the proper injectors first time around
???

bloody waste of all involved.....sorry...but this whole proposition if faulty from the start
Yea but they were freshly cleaned and I think I OP meant flow tested. So they are good to go. I was actually wondering about the injectors too. But one thing at a time. We don't want to bombard this poor fellow.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:37 AM   #15
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We don't want to bombard this poor fellow.
<=== Looks at posts...
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:27 AM   #16
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<=== Looks at posts...
You sir write well thought out but wall of texts posts. Maybe bullet points would be more helpful? I enjoy reading them most times, but we both know most just skim and skip certain things.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:47 AM   #17
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No no you guys are AOK! Thank you so much.
That's why I love NASIOC, always a wealth of information, whether the OP like me asked for it or not! Lol.

Sooooo about the stock injectors...
I "fixed" this issue last night. I was originally limited to 550CC stock yellow tops due to budget constraints. Thanks to the community and the FS forums, my budget has been spread further and I'm picking up DW 740cc side feed injectors now for this build.

So with that said, after heavily debating the above turbos and your guys input, i'm now leaning towards a regular 18G-XT with a 8cm^2 hotside. This should give me room to grow, the quick boost response i'm looking for, and some moderate top end "oomph" if i decide to tune for it as well vs. tuning conservatively. If i'm "wrong" in this assessment please chime in and correct me, as i'd like to order this turbo later on this evening.

After heavily reviewing the 18G-XT-R I just find that it seems laggier on the 2.5L than the older 18G-XT, which to me doesn't make a lot of sense.... Input there?
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:23 AM   #18
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My input is this. Wait on the turbo. Call blouch and talk to them. I spent over an hour with a tech discussing turbos for my 2.5 build. I'm looking for upper 400s on pump, we decided a dom 3.5 would be ideal. Lag doesn't bother me as long as I have 10 or so psi from 1200-3000. That's perfect for city driving, at least for me. I don't need or want full boost at 3000. I want the top end power and feel the "pull" to redline. My 18g "pulls" to 7500 but there is more in the tank. The 18g just can't do it. I'm running safe and I'm never on the brink of blowing my motor. So based on that I'm happy enough. I just think a 20g would give more "pull" and put a bigger smile on my face.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:56 PM   #19
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E-Mailed Blouch yesterday and haven't received a response yet but I will call them after work to (hopefully) expedite a response. And yeah definitely looking to keep my new engine happy and non-blown lol!

I know everyone screams 20G for EJ257 but that just seems so massive... But after reading a ton and reviewing the technical aspects that you guys all suggested I'm starting to see the logic in it, just debating if that's the right "route" for what i want out of this daily driver/project Baja. I'll be happy with ~300-320AWHP for this one and call it quits around there.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:35 PM   #20
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Having moved from an evo iii 16g 8cm to an FP 20g, on a 2.5, I miss the quick spool, and don't care for a "pull," that starts at around 4k rpm.

Both turbos gave me over 300whp. So there.

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Old 08-28-2014, 09:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Having moved from an evo iii 16g 8cm to an FP 20g, on a 2.5, I miss the quick spool, and don't care for a "pull," that starts at around 4k rpm.

Both turbos gave me over 300whp. So there.

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yeah...its too bad that so many think its all k00 an **** to have to wait for boost and then have to thrash hell outta the motor to 8k to make it GO

while some of us are havin a lotta fun without the wait
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:23 PM   #22
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That's why i'm hoping the 18G-XT is a happy medium for my driving style on this daily...

mitch has been the most dead on as far as personal opinion for what i was looking for... 16EVO III vs 20G on 2.5L. 18G-XT should be right in the middle for what i'm looking to get with all of the supporting mods that i have going in.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #23
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Keep in mind turbo tech has come a long way since what I had and have now... Now there are XT, XTR, HTA, Garrett based ballbearing turbos, etc. I gather most billet based turbines and/or compressors will now outflow the older style stuff by a noticeable margin

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Old 08-28-2014, 10:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
yeah...its too bad that so many think its all k00 an **** to have to wait for boost and then have to thrash hell outta the motor to 8k to make it GO

while some of us are havin a lotta fun without the wait

Yup, pretty much.




Keep in mind turbo tech has come a long way since what I had and have now... Now there are XT, XTR, HTA, Garrett based ballbearing turbos, etc. I gather most billet based turbines and/or compressors will now outflow the older style stuff by a noticeable margin

I gather a new model 16 xtr would beat my older style 20g. Steamspeeds stx turbos look promising too.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:00 PM   #25
nxwrxfx
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: ATX
Vehicle:
02 EJ207 STi HTA68
05 Baja STi Turbo [SOON!]

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Yeah tell me about it...
I came from the VF34/VF22/etc days from the last build up. Options were few.
Seems ancient now after having to compare all the variants today... way too many options!
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