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Old 10-26-2011, 08:39 PM   #1
bmw325ix
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Default New take on a practical front mount and rotated turbo

TIG welding has always been something I wanted to learn so I sold my motorcycle and bought myself a TIG. After welding together all the scrap I had I decided I needed an actual project to learn more. Enter my 2008 STI fresh back from a lengthy stay at the body shop after being smacked up on I-93.

Im building this car to fit my needs and those needs are something that's fast but I can still rip it in the snow with out worrying about a vulnerable classic style front mount. I also want a external wastegate since they are cool. So first off I built and up pipe with a fitting for a Tial MVR and since I was making my own I figured I'd rotate the factory turbo for a straighter intake path.

I work as a mechanic and my boss is nice enough to let me keep this in the shop for when I can take a minute to work on it so sometimes progress can be slow.

Here is the 3" DP I made out of stainless, the flange was supplied by Aaron Weir.



At the end is a 3" V band flange. For an exhaust I built it out of 2.5" SS pipe for a different take on the subi sound, little more rasp. The muffler is a lightweight from Burns. The tip is a 3" turn down



The intake is a 3" pipe that was my first swing at aluminum welding which was a bit of a learning curve





When I put the top mount back on I was happy with it but it just wasn't as unique of a project as I had wanted



So the next phase of the build happened
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Last edited by bmw325ix; 10-26-2011 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
bmw325ix
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Ive always been a fan of reversed intakes, so



I want to have a front mount that retains the factory crash beam as I use it every winter verse snow banks



To make it work with the shortest possibles pipes, another reason I dont like classic fmic's I bought a generic aluminum radiator from Jegs that is sized to allow the charge pipes to reach around the sides to the intercooler.



The intercooler is a universal one of ebay, they are cheap and come in a million sizes, and if I do stab a hole in it its not a huge problem. To make it work I had to weld on pipes to turn the inlet and outlet the direction I needed. Yes the core isnt as big as others but it fits what I want and is still bigger then even the 08 top mount, I believe its 22x8x3.5






here you can see how the intercooler extends past the rad


Last edited by bmw325ix; 10-26-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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The charge pipes was a fun bit of learning as I wanted them to be as short and straight as possible but still clear the hood and everything else that gets in the way. Yes they are made of stainless but my AL welding just isnt up to par yet so until then, 304 will do the job just fine.







The hood clears everything just fine, I did remove a little material just for the extra clearance over the throttle body area.


Last edited by bmw325ix; 10-26-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #4
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delete

Last edited by bmw325ix; 10-26-2011 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:00 PM   #5
bmw325ix
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Some of the side elements of the build have been,

New strut brace to hold the catch can, coolant pressure tank, and coolant expansion tank



I like having the pressure tank as it makes bleeding the system nice and easy.

catch can, that actually just empties into the exhaust through a valve.





Sweet and simple belt tensioner



and a shifter extension




Also changed but no photo worthy are the tumblers didn't survive and the fuel rails are now being feed in parallel by a Walbro 255. The AC is gone along with the secondary air system.


Until tomorrow this is what it looks like

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Old 10-26-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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good stuff. I like the smaller radiator idea for the front mount plumbing. I was thinking about do the very same think when its time for me to fab up my rotated setup....
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
bmw325ix
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the radiator is narrower but has a much thicker core so I'll be surprised if cooling is compromised.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:25 AM   #8
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nice work man, what type of TIG are you using?
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:29 AM   #9
bmw325ix
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Miller Diversion 165, only thing I changed was a friend gave me a gas lens for the torch.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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Great project!

From a fellow TIG welder (not a great one), you did a great job with the up close aluminum shots (MAF Flange especially). It is hard to find the happy medium between melting a hole through the pipe and puddling the filler.

If you do plan to run the car with the MAF meter then I would suggest moving it further from the turbo inlet with at least one curve between it and the turbo. This will cut down on poor idle issues. When the sensor is directly in front of the turbo the air will travel forwards and backwards over the sensor at low RPMs, which will be a tuning nightmare.

Also, I can't tell from the photo, but you may have enough room to run the 2.0 or 2.5" charge pipe under the intake manifold. This may create a few more subtle bends, but the end result will add a bit more attention to the intake manifold. This would be key especially if you opt to paint, polish, or coat the intake manifold. Just a thought, regardless your build looks great.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
bmw325ix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IA Performance View Post
Great project!

From a fellow TIG welder (not a great one), you did a great job with the up close aluminum shots (MAF Flange especially). It is hard to find the happy medium between melting a hole through the pipe and puddling the filler.

If you do plan to run the car with the MAF meter then I would suggest moving it further from the turbo inlet with at least one curve between it and the turbo. This will cut down on poor idle issues. When the sensor is directly in front of the turbo the air will travel forwards and backwards over the sensor at low RPMs, which will be a tuning nightmare.

Also, I can't tell from the photo, but you may have enough room to run the 2.0 or 2.5" charge pipe under the intake manifold. This may create a few more subtle bends, but the end result will add a bit more attention to the intake manifold. This would be key especially if you opt to paint, polish, or coat the intake manifold. Just a thought, regardless your build looks great.

I know the MAF is a bit of a compromise, thats as fas away as I can make it. The intake doesnt go real deep into the bumper like some others so the filter mounts right after the bend. My friend who will be tuning the car was present when I picked the location and we agreed thats the best place it could be with the way the intake pipe it shaped.

Running the pipe under the manifold was my first plan but it was so tight and was a real issue with the crank case breather so I just went over the top, I think it looks cool anyway.


thanks for the input
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:07 PM   #12
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As an update for today, I found out the steal fitting I ordered for the radiator cap on the pressure tank was actually made of crap metal and couldnt be welded with out warping into a ball. So I ordered material to make an aluminum tank.

Also moved the expansion tank back to a more stock like location. Ordered material to make the block off plate for the hood scoop that I will run in the winter to keep the snow out. When you look in the scoop now the electrical connector for the throttle is square in the middle so that probably wouldnt like getting soaked
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:00 AM   #13
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Man! nice project! this is very similar to the setup on my GF wagon. I have a built 2.5 with a GT3076. the turbo setup was purchased used and i was running it through a tmic. got bored of it and i didnt like the commercially available FMIC setups and their massive and long piping. in the mean time i bought a diversion 180 to finish the install on the rotated kit. like you, i built an intake and some other parts.

mine will also be reverse mani, relocated alternator. similar FMIC design but with a standard sized WRX mishimoto rad. although it was a PITA to fit IC piping beside it. Its taking forever to complete because the cars my daily driver so i basically have to take it all apart, do some fab, put it back together, then repeat.


Nice build and keep up the good work!
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:26 PM   #14
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Today I have found out that my simple tensioner works like crap and isnt as strong as I would like it to be. So for kicks and giggles I flipped the alternator back over to the stock location and my charge pipe just so happens to clear over the top just so that settles that. The alternator is going back to the stock location and I have placed an order with grimmspeed for 8mm spacers to hopefully give the room I need for the belt tension to be set. I have the alt. pushed all the way down and it looks like a 5pk863 belt will do the trick.

Also done today, painted up the charge pipes, wired in the electric fan to the factory main fan harness, and mounted up my snow tires. Waiting for the spacers to come is going to hold me up as anything I do know is just going to be in the way for the manifold to come out.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:58 PM   #15
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Wow, man. That's some really nice work there. I have all sorts of light bulbs popping on in my head right now. I.E. what can I sell to buy a TIG machine...
Keep up the good work and keep us updated.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #16
bmw325ix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboterror99 View Post
Wow, man. That's some really nice work there. I have all sorts of light bulbs popping on in my head right now. I.E. what can I sell to buy a TIG machine...
Keep up the good work and keep us updated.

Awesome, I know Im always more impressed when someone builds a sweet car rather then buy one.


And I have confirmation on the belt size for running the alt at its lowest position. 5PK 863 is the size and in other terms its the belt for a 2002 4cyl Tacoma. Its diffinetly tight going on and you need to rotate the crank pulley to get it around and on.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:15 PM   #17
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What kind of shop do you work at with a the lambo sitting in the background? I love this build, very impressive. Drives me full of envy, not only of the car, but your skills and ambition.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:20 PM   #18
bmw325ix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackeymx View Post
What kind of shop do you work at with a the lambo sitting in the background? I love this build, very impressive. Drives me full of envy, not only of the car, but your skills and ambition.

Thanks for the compliment, I work at the European Garage in Newburyport MA we work on all types of high end cars. Lamborghini is our specialty.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:35 PM   #19
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Wow, my envy keeps growing. If you don't mind, Where/Did you go to school for this? How do you manage to get in there?
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:30 PM   #20
bmw325ix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackeymx
Wow, my envy keeps growing. If you don't mind, Where/Did you go to school for this? How do you manage to get in there?
It's really been a case of just meeting the right people, I went to college for automotive technology. Long story short I worked on BMWs while in school and met my current boss through a friend. It's not an easy field to get into you have to be persistent and prove you really want to do it and aren't just trying to be around cool cars. Years ago I started working as oil change kid at pep boys, it sucked but you have to start some where. Fabrication is my true passion but I got this offer to work here so I'll take the small detour.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:41 PM   #21
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beautiful job
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:26 PM   #22
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Very nice work ... How long have you been welding to date?
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #23
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Good stuff.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:14 PM   #24
bmw325ix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chameleon30038
Very nice work ... How long have you been welding to date?
I've been MIG welding on and off for about 8 yrs and I have been TIG welding for 2 months now.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:20 PM   #25
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As for updates to the project, I spent today doing little stupid things like running all the nessecary vacuum hose ands wires, put the front bumper back on, and installed the hood pins. The factory hood latch won't fit with my front mount up so high but I would rather have the intercooler in that prime air flow spot so I made the call for pins. I was a little worried about drilling the holes but it really wasn't bad at all. I used basic sparco hood pins that my friend uses on his rally car so they seem ok. Maybe someday I will upgrade to aero catch flush mounts but until then these will work.
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