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Old 04-05-2016, 10:24 AM   #1
fl1p
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Default FA20DIT / '15 WRX Build - Yep, I brokeded it [Updated 8/22]

These first two posts will be frequently updated. Check back often if you're interested in following the build.

I know that Psychlobe is still waiting on his install to be finished, but I'm really interested in people that have built FA20DITs.
If you've got a built FA20DIT, what parts did you use? Do you like it? Has it been dependable and durable?
I'm considering the IAG block since mine just went pop..


I've decided that I'm going to be building my engine, now that I have a more definitive "Yep, ****s ****ed" conclusion*. When I actually crack it open, I'll update this thread with what we find.

In the mean time, my current gameplan is to build a reliable 350/400 whp daily driver. Or rather, over build the piss out of it, but not actually achieve that with the rinky dink stock turbo... For the foreseeable future (having just bought a house), reliability and longevity is my goal, with some fun on a bun. Then when I have a second daily, build baby, build.

* Formal spun bearing diagnosis on April 8, 2016. A word of caution to all, this car was never tracked, and rarely driven hard. Three separate Cobb Certified PROTuners helped me by reviewing my map as it was developed (all credit for my jumping off point to Anjuna - our cars were similar enough that I stole his base map and went from there). If there's any interest, I'm happy to post my MAP up (it's pre-SoA logic update. I was literally about half done the manual migration when I spun a bearing). Used Penzoil Ultra Plat 5w30 exclusively, OEM filter at every change (every change at 3k). I even sent samples in for analysis for almost every change.

Failure Details
Model/Year: 2015 WRX
Milage: 14,479
Engine Management: Tuned by me, reviewed and tweaked by three different Cobb PROTuners
Mods: Catted turboback, EGR, AOS, TGV, TMIC
Fuel: 93 Exclusively (Shell, Sunoco, etc)
Oil: Penzoil Ultra Plat 5w30, OEM Filters
Circumstances: 4th gear road pull
Actual engine failure: Spun main bearing. The rest of the block is in pristine condition.

Internals, Shortblock built by Outfront Motorsports
  • New Casehalves
  • New OEM Crank
  • CP 10.6:1 Pistons
  • Carrillo Pro-H Rods w/ Carr Bolts
  • King XPG Rod and Main Bearings
  • ARP Studs
  • WPC Treatment for Crank, Rods, and Wristpins

Head Work, via. Element Tuning
  • Big Valves (+1 mm)
  • Rocker Pinning (Axel Pin Lock)
  • Ferrea Intake Valves
  • Inconel Exhaust Valves
  • Ferrea Valve Springs

Additional Mods
  • Perrin Oil Cooler. This is a big maybe. This seems totally unnecessary for my target power level
  • Defi Oil Pressure Gauge (SRM Dual Gauge Cluster, using the KillerB Dual-Sender Adapter - Thanks, Chris!)
  • AEM UEGO
  • ACT Heavy Duty Street Clutch, HDSS (w/ SoA OEM Flywheel)
  • TiC TGV Deletes
  • IAG AOS
  • IAG EGR Delete
  • GFB BPV (TMS Respons Hybrid)
  • ETS Boxed Intake
  • KillerB Aftercooler, Charge Pipe, Catless Mid/J Pipe
  • Invidia Q300 catback
  • v7 JDM STi Trans (my conversion thread here)
  • Perrin Engine Mounts
  • 2007 STi Black Brembos
  • Lots of shifting/trans mods

Oiling
  • 0 - 30 Miles: Motul Break-In (10w-40)
  • 30 - 100 Miles: Motul Break-In (10w-40)
  • 100 - 500 Miles: Valvoline VR1 10w-30 Non-Synthetic
  • 500 - 1000 Miles: Valvoline VR1 10w-30 Non-Synthetic
  • 1000 - 2000 Miles: Valvoline VR1 10w-30 Non-Synthetic
  • 2000 - 3000 Miles: Valvoline VR1 10w-30 Non-Synthetic
  • 3000+ Miles: Red Line 10w30 Full Synthetic
I've scrapped my original plan in favor of the above based on advice from Outfront Motorsports. Since they built my shortblock, I'm inclined to take their advice (thanks, Jeremy! You've been a champ putting up with my incessant nagging and questions )

Should I be under the recommended minimum of 10 PSI per 1000 RPM, I can up the weight to 15w-40.
Edit Aug 23: Using 10w-40 Motul break-in, I'm at ~20 PSI per 1000 RPM. 'Ballin

Misc
  • Tuning will be done by Dan at MachV Motorsports

Pictures
Videos
Longblock assembled by the legendary carnz-pj-410
The Ferrera +2mm valves don't fit. +1mm is all you can squeeze out of the DIT heads. The heads are drastically different between the NA and DIT variants of the FA20
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Last edited by fl1p; 04-17-2017 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:42 AM   #2
fl1p
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Default

Updates [as they roll in]

April 4th-ish, 2016
  • Did a 4th gear road pull out of a toll plaza
  • Tick of death identified
  • Drove car home and parked it, never to roll again...

April 8, 2016
  • Car was towed to shop for formal inspection
  • We dun' struk gold, boys!
  • Confirmation that I spun a bearing
  • New block put on order

April 12, 2016
  • Opted to rock ARP studs. No point going 1/2"

April 19, 2016
  • Dropped the heads off at Element Tuning
  • Talk with Phil for a good two hours at his shop

May 5th, 2016
  • Talked to [email protected], sounds like my shortblock will be shipping out on the 10th!

May 10th, 2016
  • Shortblock assembly start tomorrow. That means pictures are coming!
  • Pretty sure Phil died.. no word as of yet on my heads :'(

May 11th, 2016
  • Phil's not dead \o/
  • Ran into an issue with the +2mm valves. Had to order different +1mm Ferrera valves
  • FA20DIT heads apparently flow like crap compared to their NA counterparts #sadface

May 12th, 2016
  • Images of block assembly posted above
  • Shortblock shipped out (thank you, Jeremy!)

May 16th, 2016
  • Valves arrived, we should be getting close!

May 18th, 2016
  • Shortblock delivered
  • No further word on heads

May 26th, 2016
  • The machining of the heads is done
  • Still no ETA, but progress is progress

June 1st, 2016
  • No word from Element on the heads yet

June 10th, 2016
  • Heads picked up
  • Goddamn Element does a beautiful job A+++

June 11th, 2016
  • Dropped my heads off for assembly

July 1st, 2016
  • Nothing to report yet. Builder has been slammed with work, but we've got a start-date of July 9th

July 25th, 2016
  • Build progress has been slow due to lack of time
  • Engine is mostly assembled, waiting for a weekend to finish the install!

Aug 11th, 2016
  • Time for break in, bitches >
  • Break in begins Saturday the 13th

Aug 13, 2016
  • Oiled up, ran it idling for 30 mins. Changed filter
  • Drove for 22 miles, bringing boost up as high as 15 lbs, then giving lots of vacuum. Did this over and over for the first 22
  • Changed oil and filter, put on another 15 miles doing the same thing
  • Had interior detailed. Packed the car up for transport home (too far to drive avoiding interstate)
  • The engine is .. silent. Jeremy, you did a fantastic job :thumbsup: to @OutfrontMotors
  • Had Carnz put in the Aluminati solid engine mounts... wow. The NVH is wonderful. Teaser video of a startup linked above

Aug 15, 2016
  • Ordered new rotors (DBA 4654S-10-G, DBA 42656S-10-GRP)
  • Ordered new calipers (26292FG001, 26292FG011, 26692FG021, 26692FG031)
  • Ordered random other parts
  • Ordered PN 66066FJ010 to combat the blower noise

Aug 21, 2016
  • Car finally back home
  • Been putting some miles on the ol' girl, up to a total of about 40 now, huzzah
  • Figured out my AVCS might be a tag aggressive. Threw a couple AVCS related codes when I accidentally dogged the car
  • Pulled 1 degree across the board
  • Planning to do my third oil change on Thursday afternoon, somewhere around the 70-100 mile mark
  • I cannot express how much I love my Aluminati engine mounts. I'm already on a first-name basis with the people at the Viagra 4-hour hotline

Last edited by fl1p; 08-21-2016 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:37 PM   #3
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Lots of pics, please!

Why did you decide to build your own over IAG?
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:18 PM   #4
fl1p
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAPower View Post
Lots of pics, please!

Why did you decide to build your own over IAG?
I'm not a fan of Manley I'm also a lot further away from them having moved than I have been in the past.

Last edited by fl1p; 04-07-2016 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Don't worry, lots of pics will come
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:17 PM   #5
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This should be a badass setup

Last edited by carnz-pj-410; 04-07-2016 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
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CP make makes DIT pistons (not BRZ)? Last I knew only JE made DIT pistons for the turbo FA.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:25 PM   #7
fl1p
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Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
CP make makes DIT pistons (not BRZ)? Last I knew only JE made DIT pistons for the turbo FA.
That depends entirely on who your vendor is, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. Publicly, they do not. CP has an exclusive deal with another motorsports outfit for FA20DIT Pistons (there is a range of compression ratios to choose from, depending on what the goal is).

Last edited by fl1p; 04-07-2016 at 09:26 PM. Reason: Spelling/clarification
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:49 AM   #8
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We have custom pistons made by piston manufacturer's on occasion. It's not that difficult if you have relationships with the manufacturers. JE simply copied the OEM geometry (on top), but obviously with a much more robust material, design tweaks, and manufacturing processes.

I asked because I've seen some DIT pistons used, that should not have been, resulting
in poor results. The piston top is where Subaru/Toyota spent obscene amounts of money to make work well with DIT technology. To the aftermarket it's still fairly new, and many of the pre-DIT design principles should not be used with DIT. The safe bet is to go with a piston top and C/R matched to OEM unit vs using a piston the aftermarket says should work (and leaves the testing to you).

Here's a thought to ponder. How many of the piston manufacturer's have an FA engine, or outsource, to test and develop their products? As far as I am aware, the market is so new and so young that IT is doing the testing.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
We have custom pistons made by piston manufacturer's on occasion. It's not that difficult if you have relationships with the manufacturers. JE simply copied the OEM geometry (on top), but obviously with a much more robust material, design tweaks, and manufacturing processes.

I asked because I've seen some DIT pistons used, that should not have been, resulting
in poor results. The piston top is where Subaru/Toyota spent obscene amounts of money to make work well with DIT technology. To the aftermarket it's still fairly new, and many of the pre-DIT design principles should not be used with DIT. The safe bet is to go with a piston top and C/R matched to OEM unit vs using a piston the aftermarket says should work (and leaves the testing to you).

Here's a thought to ponder. How many of the piston manufacturer's have an FA engine, or outsource, to test and develop their products? As far as I am aware, the market is so new and so young that IT is doing the testing.
Pistons, for reference. Larger image here: https://imgur.com/JpCOArF
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG2993.jpg (73.5 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by fl1p; 04-20-2016 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:29 PM   #10
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A note on BRZ vs FA20DIT pistons. It appears the small "dimple" area in the bottom of the piston on the DIT motor is for stratified combustion. This is possible when you have a TGV system, as the swirling mixture bounces off the bottom of the piston, and that dimple shapes it into a ball and it ignites more efficiently. It isn't quite a true stratified setup since it doesn't lean burn at 17:1 AFR, but it is the same in principle. When you build a motor for HP, remove TGVs/separator plates, then tweak the DI timing for maximum fuel flow; all that does is create another sharp edge to divert the pressure wave and possibly be a source of pre-ignition. So they are absolutely not needed in our opinion unless you're running the stock TGV system and low load operation.

The BRZ uses a combined port/direct system and has no TGV plate and massively bigger ports/intake valves, hence no need there.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto-East View Post
possibly be a source of pre-ignition. So they are absolutely not needed in our opinion unless you're running the stock TGV system and low load operation.
This is interesting. Not knowing enough about the physics, do you have any reading material that you can share? I would love to learn more about how piston shape, specifically between TGV and non-TVG engines, changes.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:23 PM   #12
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TGV operation is only under low load and cold conditions. BRZ uses DIT primarily under those same conditions with the port injection taking over as load increases (which is why they don't have the same fueling issues as the WRX FA20).

The WRX FA20 is DIT only, different CR, smaller valves, different block, pistons, etc., etc... They share fewer similarities than many have assumed. We've seen a shops try BRZ pistons before anything else was available, and the results were poor. If you have different results, we'd all love to see it.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:38 PM   #13
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Going to do any headwork?
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
TGV operation is only under low load and cold conditions. BRZ uses DIT primarily under those same conditions with the port injection taking over as load increases (which is why they don't have the same fueling issues as the WRX FA20).

The WRX FA20 is DIT only, different CR, smaller valves, different block, pistons, etc., etc... They share fewer similarities than many have assumed. We've seen a shops try BRZ pistons before anything else was available, and the results were poor. If you have different results, we'd all love to see it.
We ran BRZ pistons in our WRX and it ran like a banshee, but had a completely unrelated head gasket failure though from 27 psi on a big turbo as we were pushing the limits, and only e30. No issues tuning wise and drove great at all loads. Going back together again with BRZ pistons. We have CP make pistons for us for other applications and I could not justify the costs when the car will not be a commuter shooting for MPG. Not to say there's anything wrong with one way or the other, but it worked for us.

The WRX appears to use the TGVs much more than the EJ, and they work at very low loads/airflows. The BRZ has port injection not just up top, but most of down low up to 3200 RPM, right about the same as the TGV tip over point. Turning that car to full DI by turning off port injection makes no additional power, and most customers see drivability suffering compared to PI/DI combos. Subaru tried fixing this with the TGV being a full time operator and not just for cold start like the EJ. Overall I'd much rather have the BRZ system in the WRX.
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto-East View Post
Overall I'd much rather have the BRZ system in the WRX.
Many feel the same way. It's a painful learning curve as the aftermarket manufacturer's catch up with the newer technology the OEM are implementing.

I'd personally not want to run the BRZ 12.5:1 pistons in an engine/head assembly designed for boost with 10.6:1 compression ratio. Can it work? Sure, but you're making decent changes to timing/boost to make it work. In the long run, not the way to go if you want long term longevity. This is just my opinion, not gospel.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:34 PM   #16
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Going to do any headwork?
Yep. I finally figured out what I was doing. I updated my OP
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:39 PM   #17
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Sounds bad ass. Probably be done even before mine haha (*sobs*).
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:40 PM   #18
fl1p
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Sounds bad ass. Probably be done even before mine haha (*sobs*).
Jeebus man, what keeps delaying? I project I'm about three weeks out at this point
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Jeebus man, what keeps delaying? I project I'm about three weeks out at this point
My mechanic is... special..
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:10 AM   #20
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Any concluding thoughts on why the rod bearing failed?
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:29 AM   #21
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Any concluding thoughts on why the rod bearing failed?
Truthfully, none as of yet. Oil pressure has historically been the killer, but so far I haven't seen any indication of blockage yet. Once I actually crack the case open and we can investigate further, I'll update my OP
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:45 AM   #22
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Subbed.

How many miles were on it when it failed?

EDIT: Never mind saw it was at 14k in the motor fail thread.

Last edited by Sillo; 04-21-2016 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:16 PM   #23
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u a nova subaru member?
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:27 PM   #24
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Will be interesting to compare head work results between my bowl blend and performance valve job to yours.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:32 PM   #25
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u a nova subaru member?
Yep, Reston Local

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclobe View Post
Will be interesting to compare head work results between my bowl blend and performance valve job to yours.
It's a bowl blend, but everything is +1mm. Though, I'm also doing springs, rocker pinning, etc.
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