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Old 06-21-2018, 03:27 AM   #1
JT99
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Default SteamSpeed STX 63

I just purchased a new SteamSpeed turbo, and I thought I would document the upgrade here, in case there are others who are either already curious about this particular turbocharger or are simply curious of upgrade options for the EJ20.



Some background info:
My car is a 2003 WRX wagon. I've owned it two years, was previously a one-owner car from CA. The owner was traveling out of state when the engine blew. She traded it in and bought a new car at a dealership in TX, being told the car would go to salvage auction and probably be stripped and sold for parts. I picked it up via Copart auction.

The engine is mostly stock. The one in the car when I bought it had a chunk of one cylinder wall blown off, and thus I had the entire engine replaced with a long block from a wrecked 2003 WRX. During the swap, the 03 factory uppipe was replaced with a stock STi one. I used the car as my daily driver. About a year later I replaced the stock downpipe with a catted Invidia divorced wastegate model and got a tune. The car now also has full 3" exhaust and SPT intake.


The STX 63 is SteamSpeed's entry turbo. It is a direct fit turbo, rated 300-350 horsepower. I was originally leaning toward getting a Blouch TD05H-16GXT, but ended up deciding to go with SteamSpeed. It wasn't the deciding factor, but the 1 year warranty versus the 6 month some other companies offer is a plus.



The STX 63 is slightly bigger in physical size compared to the stock TD04 that came on the 03 WRX. According the SteamSpeed, the STX 63 is based off of a GTX2863R, which makes it a good match for the EJ20. It is a similar "size" to a 16G, but is using a more modern geometry than the 16G. The STX 63 is also listed as coming ported. It has an 8cm housing, and I wrestled with the 8 v/s 7 discussions people have had over the years regarding the EJ20. SteamSpeed said "The effective ARs are fairly close, but the 8cm housing is better flow matched with our comp wheel. Basically there is little difference down low, but a bigger impact on top, so that is why it is 8 instead of 7." Their web site does have the option to order the turbo with a 7cm housing if preferred (I assume at no extra cost), but I decided to roll with the 8. I would be very curious to see an actual test between a 7cm and 8cm of this turbo on the same EJ20, though.

Some pics of the STX 63 out of the box:















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Old 06-21-2018, 04:02 AM   #2
JT99
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While reading up, pondering, and asking some questions while weighing my turbo options, I gradually picked up the needed accompanying mods during the past six months. Here's what will be added to my engine at the same time as the turbo when I park it in early July:

I picked up this late model stock STi TMIC from a guy who had been running it on his EJ20 WRX but was going a different route.



I got a set of STi pink injectors from a reliable person who was doing a JDM build up for a customer. Before installing, I will replace the rings with new rubber, probably this kit HERE.



Walbro fuel pump kit.



SteamSpeed had carried these turbo inlets at one time but no longer stocks them. They did say they had a couple left, so I picked this up.




3-port boost control solenoid.




Braided oil supply line.




One step colder spark plugs.




And this is the install kit that came with the turbo.


Last edited by JT99; 06-21-2018 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:38 AM   #3
Back Road Runner
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I have a 67 with the 7cm^2 and it's small for HP. It definitely chokes peak output. However, I am also not capable of surging the compressor. You won't surge the 63 either. Basically, 7cm^2 or 8cm^2 is a choice of where you'd like the powerband. 7cm^2 vs 8cm^2 has a pretty small difference in dynamics or the point of spool up, so you're picking small differences. I haven't used both on a Steamspeed, but I have on an 18G. It basically meant 300rpm difference in spool up. Once up in the operating range you'll likely be hard pressed to notice a difference in dynamics. Peak output, I'm not sure. I need to dig up some old dyno info or data logs with MAF info.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:46 AM   #4
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Congrats on the new turbo, hopefully it exceeds your expectations. Also, why did you block the serial number? Seems like it would help to have a time and date stamped record of it belonging to you, here in the thread, in case you needed proof for some reason.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:35 PM   #5
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Looking forward to seeing the results. Considering this turbo as well and would like to see how it performs.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back Road Runner View Post
I have a 67 with the 7cm^2 and it's small for HP. It definitely chokes peak output. However, I am also not capable of surging the compressor. You won't surge the 63 either. Basically, 7cm^2 or 8cm^2 is a choice of where you'd like the powerband. 7cm^2 vs 8cm^2 has a pretty small difference in dynamics or the point of spool up, so you're picking small differences. I haven't used both on a Steamspeed, but I have on an 18G. It basically meant 300rpm difference in spool up. Once up in the operating range you'll likely be hard pressed to notice a difference in dynamics. Peak output, I'm not sure. I need to dig up some old dyno info or data logs with MAF info.


Not trying to thread jack here but this is related to this turbo.

I have been eying these turbos as well and am torn between the 63 and 67. It's a JDM 205 with avcs. Trying to have a smooth build in boost hopefully reaching full boost no later then 4K and would like to hold to as close to 7k as possible. Gen2 GTX2867r is what I have been really interested in, but not sure if I'll really notice a difference between JB vs BB on turbos this size. The car does see track days. I'm not looking for insane power just a nice wide power band and something that spools quick coming out of corners while not falling on its face after 100mph.

Current mods include
JDM 4.44 trans
Large TMIC
Silicone inlet
Catless up pipe
3"TBE
Fluidampr pulley

Lots of other things but those are what I've done that will effect power delivery specifically.

Planning on ID1050 injectors and blending SD with MAF when it gets tuned for new turbo. Am thinking 8cm hot side for for better top end since the avcs will help low end.
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:35 AM   #7
JT99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slofouru View Post
Congrats on the new turbo, hopefully it exceeds your expectations. Also, why did you block the serial number? Seems like it would help to have a time and date stamped record of it belonging to you, here in the thread, in case you needed proof for some reason.
I dunno--paranoia, lol.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:37 AM   #8
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It's been a busy summer for me, unfortunately. Finally got the WRX pulled into the garage last week and have had a few hours here and there to work on it. Unfortunately, we are about to go out of town for a week. Afterwards, will hopefully finish getting the car back together and over to my tuner's.



What I've accomplished thus far:
-Removed TMIC and intake manifold
-Removed turbo
-Removed spark plugs
-Cleaned the engine and bay a little



I haven't had any real issues thus far. The nuts on the uppipe bolts were resistant for awhile. Soaked em a few times with PB Blaster and finally got them off.

My original plan was to just remove the top runner portion of the IM and leave the TGVs attached to the block. Turns out the fuel lines and wiring harness are bolted to the bottom of the intake manifold, and it didn't appear to be possible to get to them with the IM on the engine--not all of them at least--so off came the entire manifold assembly. That means I have to order an IM manifold pair I hadn't planned on needing.

This is an engine that was sourced from a wrecked WRX from a place in GA I believe. I bought it from a guy who got it from them and later changed his plans for a GC he was going to swap. Anyway, not the car's original engine. (I bought it with a blown engine.) Turns out the green brackets of death were already removed from it. I don't known if that was done prior to me buying the engine or if the shop that did the swap for me had done it. First thought is "Cool" but then again taking them off can't really be a PITA if the IM is off the car anyway. Took the fuel rails off and pulled the stock fuel injectors...and then saw this:



The good news is that I have a spare engine that is good minus a crapped block, so I will just use the fuel lines off of it since they are in better shape. Heck, everything off the other engine is cleaner and less rusted, so I think I will just use the whole IM. Hopefully have time tomorrow to clean and paint the main part of the IM.


I took the spark plugs out with no problem. I have only owned SOHC Subarus prior to this, and have seen on the web people talking about what a major PITA changing plus on a WRX can be. With the battery, washer fluid tank, and intake out of the way, it was a breeze. Just a short extension and go. I thought I'd need to use a swivel socket but nope. Could not find my gapper, so I did not put the new plugs in. Will have to check the gaps tomorrow before installing the new ones.
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:01 AM   #9
JT99
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Set the new turbo on the engine to test fit, as I wasn't sure the correct configuration of the oil supply line. I had bought a braided hose kit. Turns out the turbo came with a braided oil line, even though it didn't specify one came with it. (Guess what I'll be posting for sale soon...)

I was not sure how to run the vac hose from the wastegate actuator. The supplied hose was short like the stock one.



However, on the SteamSpeed, the nipple on the wastegate actuator points the other direction, so you either need a much longer hose or you need to take apart the wastegate actuator and turn the nipple the opposite direction...which I assume is possible. I didn't want to take anything apart on the new turbo, mainly for added peace of mind. So, I'll just go buy a longer vac line and route it like the pic below from the Project Domino build SteamSpeed did.





This is my first aftermarket turbo. I assume a bigger inlet is common, but there's no way I could get the stock turbo inlet tube to fit on there. And the STX is their "entry level" turbo, which I assumed would bolt up to a stock turbo inlet tube if someone wanted, but maybe not, so be aware of that. I have no idea how other brands of turbos compare in inlet diameter size.


Last edited by JT99; 01-26-2019 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:57 PM   #10
JT99
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UPDATE:

It has been a slow process, unfortunately. Nothing big getting in the way...just work obligations and two pre-school aged kids at home to help take care. So, my wrench time typically happens after everyone else has gone to bed.

Things went smoothly for the most part until I had trouble with the oil return pipe on the turbo. I simply could not get the hose up on the oil dump pipe far enough.


If you've worked back there, you know how incredibly cramped (almost non-existent) the work space is where this hose/line fits onto the pipe on the engine head. I just couldn't apply enough pressure/resistance to the hose to get it on the turbo as I set it in place on the uppipe. So...I went another route and removed the hose from the head, attached it to the turbo, and then placed my turbo on the uppipe. You'll need some long skinny plyers to get the clip back in place on the bottom.

Maybe this is the way most people do it. Any tutorials I watched/read did not.

So, I got the turbo attached and was ready to rock on. That's when I discovered that the bracket that secured the uppipe to the engine block had one bolt broken off and the other cross threaded, with some damaged threads just shy of tightened down.


Annoying because it was one more thing to slow me down to stop and address. Also annoying because I paid a legit Subie shop to do this engine swap for me a couple years ago, and they had more than likely been the ones to break off that bolt and cross thread the other and didn't remedy it. (I had them swap the catted stock uppipe for a stock STi one.) They also hadn't used NGK plugs, as I specified, assuming they did change the plugs. Little things I'm sure at the time a shop thinks the owner won't know the difference, but the truth eventually gets revealed, lol.

Anyway, the process is slowed considerably when you take into account the time it takes to do a little cleaning and painting along the way. I had planned on painting my intake manifold while I had it off, but hadn't decided on a color. Obviously not red. Green is my favorite color, but I didn't like the bright lime or neon green rattle can offerings. I found this Detroit Diesel Aspen Green color at the local NAPA shop and knew it was the one.


I chose to not paint the TGV portion. I masked off instead. I needed to keep it all intact to simplify getting the whole top part of the engine back together properly. No one is going to be looking close enough to notice anyway.



I was very pleased with the results. I also painted a few other under-hood items to match.

NOTE: I've seen tutorials of this process and people remove the alternator. I did not have to. It is tight getting a couple of your clips plugged back in, but totally doable unless you just have monster paws for hands.

The SteamSpeed turbo inlet hose was, um, a PITA to get onto the turbo. I had two hose tools. I used my wife's hairdryer to warm up the silicone. I used a water based lubricant. I used a lot of angry cuss words/phrases. I do not think it would have been possible to get this thing onto the turbo if the intake manifold had been attached. I did have the hose running through the IM with the IM loose. It may have been easier to attach the hose and then squeeze and snake it through the IM afterwards. I dunno?

ADVICE: When buying a turbo inlet hose, know the external diameter of your turbo's inlet and the internal diameter of the hose's. This stuff does not stretch like I had anticipated it would.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:00 PM   #11
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Another trick I use is to extend the oil drain hose by 1.5 inches this allows it to engage to hard inlet (the drain pipe) sooner before you lose sight of it.

Nice paint
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:39 PM   #12
JT99
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Welp, that took a lot longer than I ever expected, lol.

Finally got the WRX back together, running properly, and tuned recently.
Overall, this whole process went smooth enough, but with my lifestyle of two preschool kids, being out of town a lot of weekends, and ongoing house remodeling, it was just slow going with me finding the time to get down in the garage to work...coupled with needing a small part, ordering it, waiting for it come, blah blah blah.

I was uber paranoid about doing everything correctly, so I turned the engine over a little with the new oil supply line unhooked from the turbo. I wanted to have the peace of mind that oil was without question flowing to the turbo. It was, so I attached it to the turbo, then turned the engine over a little to prime the turbo. (Removed the ignition fuse.) This is super easy to do. Please do not skip this important step when replacing your turbo!

The only "headache" I had with the install was getting the y-pipe to fit onto the turbo outlet. The STX 63's outlet outer diameter is a little bigger than the stock TD04 turbo. The Mishimoto y-pipe I bought was a little tighter internal diameter than stock, and so there was no way the two were going to fit. (Trust me--it was beyond just a snug fit.)

What I ended up reluctantly doing was to cut some length off the Mishimoto and fit a 1 3/4" to 2" silicone coupler in there using a piece of aluminum tubing. It seems to work fine, but I will be keeping my eye on it as time goes on.


These are the adapter pieces I bought...twice. The first time I trimmed both pieces a little too much because I had measured and marked without the throttle body coupling on, and it didn't fit the way it should when all put together. So, I bought the pieces again and did the trim-and-fit a second time.



When I finally had everything back together, I started the car and had two CEL codes. Those resulted in my canceling my appointment at the dyno shop. I had used an IM off a different engine because it was in much better shape, at least cosmetically. Had a code for IACV, so I just took that off the previous IM, gave it a cleaning, put it on, and that solved that issue. Other code was for the TGV position sensor, driver's side. I had replaced it for some reason some time earlier, and apparently hadn't pre-loaded it successfully. That was a simple fix. You don't care, probably, but that's part of the story anyway...

Last edited by JT99; 01-22-2019 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:10 AM   #13
JT99
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The 2015 STi TMIC fit good overall. Obviously the right side bracket already on your engine is too short. The way things lined up for me, the left side bracket was not going to fit as it should, so for now it's not on there. At the mod level I'm at, I don't even know if the bigger TMIC was needed really or will make any real difference than the stock WRX one...but it looks damn cool.

Yes, I know some pieces are missing from the engine bay. When the pic was taken, I had left them off just in case I needed to access something at the tuner's.

So, I ended up having my tuner do a street tune on the car instead of the planned dyno tune. As mentioned earlier, I had to cancel my dyno appointment, and I was in such a hurry to get the car tuned and back on the road that I just had my tuner do a street tune at his home shop. (He commutes to the shop that has the dyno.) I will get on a dyno soon, as I know everyone wants to see numbers, including me. But as far as on-the-road impressions?

I am really pleased with the results. Obviously, after taking all this time and doing all the work myself and spending the money, I was a little anxious for how things would turn out. I don't know how different one of the other turbos I considered would have done, but the SteamSpeed STX 63 feels very responsive and seems to work very well with my setup. Assuming the turbo lasts for a reasonable life--only time will tell--I recommend the STX 63 for anyone with an EJ20.

The style of driving I enjoy is winding backroads, and this turbo is very alive in that environment. The behavior of my car with the STX 63 in the 0-70 mph range is much more aggressive. Nothing but smiles in 2nd and 3rd gears. The car drives exactly how I was hoping it would, with some obvious credit going to my tuner. Boost is set to 18.5 and the tune leans a little more on the safe side because this is my daily driver and a stock engine.

According to the butt dyno, 70-100 does not feel as dramatic a difference over stock acceleration, but it does hold boost without tapering. The tuner said there is more power to be had, and I would be really curious to see what this turbo could do on a stronger block. I wanted reliable power for a daily driven 16 yr old drivetrain. Talk is just talk and people want numbers, I know. In the next month or so I will get the car on a dyno and get some stats to post. As far as driving experience--which is what it's all about in the end--I love the way my car drives now.

For anyone considering this particular turbo, I recommend it, based on my experiences thus far. I responds really well to my setup and has untapped power I can grow into when I want. Some people online had warned against using the STi pinks, but they work great.

My setup:
2003 WRX 5-speed, stock EJ20
SteamSpeed STX 63 turbo
Invidia catted, divorced wastegate downpipe
stock STi uppipe
2015 STi TMIC
stock STi pink injectors
SPT intake
silicone turbo inlet hose
Mishimoto silicone y-pipe, modified to fit properly
Walbro 255 fuel pump kit
SteamSpeed 3-port electronic boost control solenoid
one step colder NGK spark plugs
3" SRS catback (I like the sound--my wife hates it)

Note: before the new turbo, the car already had the Invidia downpipe, catless uppipe, SPT intake, and custom tune. Butt dyno comparisons are between that sort-of stage 2 setup rather than bone stock EJ20 WRX.

Last edited by JT99; 01-22-2019 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:38 PM   #14
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While none of this applies to me or projects I am working on, I just want to say "thanks for the info" as others may need this.
Good luck on your build, thanks again for the info....
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:49 PM   #15
JT99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
While none of this applies to me or projects I am working on, I just want to say "thanks for the info" as others may need this.
Good luck on your build, thanks again for the info....
Thanks.

Yeah, I realize the build is nothing epic, but I couldn't find much user feedback out there about the STX 63 at all, so I wanted to have this as just a reference for anyone looking for info. I will be getting it on the dyno within the next few weeks, depending on my schedule.
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