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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for first hand opinions derived from direct experience, or countless hours of forum surfing, regarding what I should do next... Here's my situation:

I am having my motor built on my 2009WRX, but currently I have the stock vf52 and a bunch of mods (Perrin TMIC, etc... you can see partial list below). Now, financially, upgrading the Turbo and IC set-up is a little out of my budget right now since the motor is going to be $$$$, but I COULD make it work. I CAN do E85, since I have a station less than a mile and good coverage in the bay area. Motor build will be able to handle, say, 500WHP. (pistons, +1mm valves, bearings, studs, Ti valve keepers, beehive high rpm valve springs, head work, injectors to suit E85, etc, stock 09 Con-rods, micro-polished stock Crank, ARP Rod Bolts.)

This car is my DD, 57k, and I like to do road course track days in it (6 a year is a good target), where it gets very hot and battling heat is always an issue. I live in a an area where I like to get on the boost here and there, but the back roads can be crowded, so I am an on-ramp queen when I am not at the track.


My Thoughts:
#1a- E85, PnP my Vf52, PnP TB, TGV Deletes with Perrin ELH, UpPipe (I also have Perrin catted DP and a 3" magnaflow CBE with STI outlets already on car). Buy A Cusco rear LSD. (much better handling on the track, but TCS Issues?). Basically I use what I have, make it flow better, get an LSD for the rear.(it's at Torqued Performance "Stage 3" right now). Upgrade turbo and IC later.

#1b- Same as above, but forego the rear LSD for the rear and add a FMIC (to prepare for a later, larger Turbo upgrade, keep heat soak down on track). *Or a Process West TMIC, but the Perrin works very well

#1c- Same as "a", but have tranny opened up and inspected and any parts replaced ("seems ok" but makes a little noise in 2nd, had some metal in there at 30k, none at 55k + I have WL Urethane and a Group N mount which double NVH) to prepare for an even larger turbo upgrade later.

All 3 of these options have a component to them that is $1200-1800 (LSD, Tranny Service, TMIC).

#2- E85, Larger Turbo (Dominator 1.5XT), FMIC, PnP as above (except VF52), sell VF52 and TMIC to recover costs ($800?), skip Cusco LSD and stay with current ACT Clutch and ACT Flywheel. This adds some complexity of drive-line durability, but gets it all done now rather than later.

I haven't ruled out Meth Injection, but E85 is local, and I'd also have a "safe" tune created if I have to get Cali 91 octane to get to an E85 station.

So, what would you do? ANY? ALL? Keep in mind the motor build has to happen (headgasket leak and ring land issues) and I'd be robbing Peter to Pay paul for #2. The motor will be built for anything up to 550WHP and 8500RPM redline. Would you do Eagle Rods instead of reusing stock (which most engine builders rate to 500whp+)

Thanks in advance! I'll keep everyone posted on the direction, build, tune, and AWHP #'s.
 

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Choose #2, but don't abuse the tranny. E85 is by far the best upgrade $ for $ you can do (as far as power)
finish the motor, so you don't need to touch it again, if you want to add something in there later, labor is a killer. Your'e already paying for the labor, so put all the parts you can or will want on it now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Choose #2, but don't abuse the tranny. E85 is by far the best upgrade $ for $ you can do (as far as power)
finish the motor.
So, recalculating the build, I won't have the cash on hand for the FMIC and a a big turbo. I've decided to run a Blouch 440xt after talking to my engine builder and tuner. It seems like with my HP goal of 400 (I've never even driven a car with that much HP, I am guessing my current set-up is around 300whp) the 440XT is solid and my Perrin TMIC can flow it.

Sorry to end the fun so soon! I'll keep everyone updated who cares about the HP once we get it done next month. :cowboyve5:
 

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You can make 400 on a vf52 with e85 and supporting mods on a tmic. A friend of mine at a local shop actually just blew his headgasket from it. Save some $$$$ and just do e85 and max out the vf52 for now, save your money and then decide. PnP'ing the vf52 is pointless, it would net you almost no benefit for the money spent unless its a diy job. TGVs will be needed in preparation for a large turbo so I like that idea, plus youll wanna go with an externally gated uppipe as well for better boost stability on a large snail. Headers are fantastic though pricey.

Your setup will be very similar to my friends and youll make big power, 400 is a lot of power and will be dangerous on the trans. His setup is

I think:
Invidia catless dp
Invidia n1 race catback
Ipr tmic
Id 1000's
Perrin Elh
forge bpv
aem cold air
avo inlet
grimmspeed uppipe w/tial 44
Dw65c
upgraded fuel lines
tuned on e85
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
You can make 400 on a vf52 with e85 and supporting mods on a tmic. A friend of mine at a local shop actually just blew his headgasket from it.
I noticed the EWG, and those make a nice gain I've been told. I just got new Perrin ELH and UpPipe from those guys and want to stick with it since it's money I don't have to spend again...

So, your friend can be the one that did that... I want to be the guy that upgraded the turbo, ended up with 430+ and had a safe build. :azn:

I would DEF want to see the dynochart @400 and see how the VF52 held on up top! Pretty impressive!
 

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Talk to Xluben, your not gonna have a safe build on a stock trans. Your engine may be fine but your trans wont be. Risk rises astronomically after 350 ft/lbs. The argument well im not gonna slam gears or be crazy is an irrelevant one. The drivetrain stress induced will be well beyond what the stock parts were made to handle. You'll be driving one day and boom your trans will sound like its filled with marbles. Read Bens build thread, and start saving for the trans or a 6 speed swap before you go forward with more power. Cause otherwise you'll end up being just another guy who had 430+ and grenaded his trans.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Oh, really, I didn't know the LGT transmission was that weak... seems like there are some that never have a problem, and some that do. I had a Civic transmission on a 115hp DX go on me at 35k, and I had a modded GLI and the tranny never failed me... as well as a tracked to death Yaris with a stock tranny that never had an issue. Did your buddy grenade his trans before he blew his motor? Should I stay with the VF52 then? Is 400whp safer than 430? How about quick spool of a VF vs. the later spool of a 10g 440xt? Thanks in advance!

And yes, a built 6-speed swap is in the plans, or a built 5-speed... thanks!
 

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Yes, hes blown his transmission 4 times now. He has his 3rd gear and synchro as a pencil holder at the shop he works at. He just recently blew his headgasket and even still your numbers would be higher than his all said and done. 30whp wont make a difference at that point - its still way too much on stock parts. The vf52 isnt even a comparison. It will out spool the 440 but its top end and holding power will pale in comparison to the larger turbo. The 440 wouldnt be overly laggy on a tmic, but at that size youd want a fmic anyway. Start saving for now and just max out the vf52, you'd be suprised at how much that little turbo can do. By maxing it out youll also get an idea exactly how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.
 

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I have most of the bolt sons you can do to my 09 wrx. I am about to install my id 1000 in a week or so and get a e85 tune. I'm hoping for 350 at the wheels and maybe 360 to 375 torque. I've never been on a dyno, i always get Eric to give me a map. I am worried about the extra power making my motor of my tranny blow. I guess that's the risk you take. We shall see.
 

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My buddy has roughly 350hp on his 07 wrx. His car has about 120k miles. He tracked, auto-x'ed, rally-x'ed, and rallied extensively. He blew 1st and 2nd gears numerous times. He is very skillful and confident enough that he rebuild his tranny himself everytime. I think he blew a gear 4 times total. 3 times racing, one time about 6 months ago while coming from work. He slipped on a railroad crossing and when he caught traction a tooth just blew out with out previous signs of damage being done so coming near 400hp is always going to be risky.

On the other hand he has a 2000 rs now which he dedicated to rallies. He has 220whp on a NA engine he fully build but uses stock transmission and diffs and that never failed yet because the power is so much weaker.

Like any material, stock gears have certain ultimate and yield strengths which can only undergo so much torque. So even if you shift nice and easy, the gears still have to withstand the torque. If you plan on keeping the car for a while or do not want catastrophic failures in a unexpected moment, decide what your weakest link in the build is and go from there and know your budget too. For example, I could go crazy with my wrx like some people here and make it powerful which would be my dream but I cannot justify costs down the line. My friend spend 30k dollars on the rally car build that only has 220hp, but he is very certain that nothing will fail because of him skipping out on the build.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tranny feedback. I'll start getting a fund together for a rebuild/6-speed upgrade. Anyone here into road bikes? I have one I'll sell ya, or trade for a 6-speed.
 

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So much win in these past few posts reaffirming what Ive been saying lol
 

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So, recalculating the build, I won't have the cash on hand for the FMIC and a a big turbo. I've decided to run a Blouch 440xt after talking to my engine builder and tuner. It seems like with my HP goal of 400 (I've never even driven a car with that much HP, I am guessing my current set-up is around 300whp) the 440XT is solid and my Perrin TMIC can flow it.

Sorry to end the fun so soon! I'll keep everyone updated who cares about the HP once we get it done next month. :cowboyve5:
Nothing wrong with the TMIC, as long as it isnt the plastic end-tanked stock unit.
While you may thing 400whp is a lot now, once you have driven on it for a while youll want more.
if your already paying that much for a turbo, spend just the bit more and get yourself something you aren't maxing out right away. I am on a TD06h 20g 1st generation Synergy turbo, and now I sometimes wish I would have done a 3076.

As far as what the last guy on pg 1 said, about his buddy with the 07 WRX tranny. Remember our tranny is NOT the same. We got a tranny much closer to what the Legacy GT got, much tougher gears.
If you take care of the transmission, it will be reliable at around the 400whp mark. don't launch, and treat it like it would be treated any normal car.
 

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I wouldn’t be concerned with the transmission with the power level that you plan on being around, I have yet to see or hear of a failure that wasn’t driver induced….be it too much power, horrible driver or just beating the piss out of the car. Yes the sti trans is a great upgrade but people have blown them up, destroyed the diff etc. and yet there are guys making WAY more power running them without issue (I wonder why that is). These are not the glass box wrx trans that we once had, please do some research and stop using one or two instances to base your opinions. No doubt xluben was making power but judging by his videos, he also didn't "baby" his car. If you are planning on upgrading just go with a sti box and call it done; a built 5 speed is still hit/miss.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
just go with a sti box and call it done; a built 5 speed is still hit/miss.
Thanks for the input, the 6-speed is the direction I am most interested in taking. Is that gearset good for 450-500whp thinking of future plans?

The worst thing I did was lend the car out for a week for an event. We use it for our business at cycling events. Apparently the guy I entrusted it with was just romping on it for 5-days straight. A week later the clutch was slipping.

I have heard from one guy on Nasioc who could not get the Perrin tmic and 440xt to play well together, so we'll have to see if I am any luckier.
 

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If you are shooting for 450-500 (end goal) I would skip the 440xt and just do the turbo once. I can't see the 440xt making that much more power than the vf (with the same fuel/mods) and think you are just wasting your money for a "minimal" gain. I'd ditch the Perrin tmic while your at it so you can recoup some money and pick up something that isn't going to limit the car as well. Sorry to hear about the clutch but that is what happens, "most" people won't respect your ride as much as you would.
 

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...please do some research and stop using one or two instances to base your opinions...
I was just speaking form experience. I know our transmissions are better in 3g's but I wanted to bring a point that more power will put more stress on the transmission. Sorry for biasing my opinion on only few real life examples.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have a friend who has offered a good deal on a Turbo his shop sells... But the turbo and FMIC are out of my budget a bit right now. I don't know if 400hp will get old in the next year, 290 or so is still pretty fun.

Chris @ Perrin and you guys have all been a huge help. The car is in for the motor build, I am thinking the vf52 with the Ewg is a really good option, but when I add up the costs - $300-$330 for the Ewg, $300-350 for the y-pipe it's about $700 and that's nearly 2/3 of a 440xt (I figure the vf52 is worth $500 to someone). I read some posts and saw dyno charts with the 440xt and have decided to do that for now.

I have a next mods list that includes matching rear bbk, rear lsd, said tranny, FMIC, oil cooler (I have, just need to fab a bracket). I like to do track days, so tires, pads and fees eat up mod dollars.

The ELh and UpPipe were warranty replacements from Perrin, no new cash out if pocket (bought them in 2010).
 

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Every 440xt I've seen posted makes the same power number wise as a vf except it holds more power at redline and spools slower (typical of a "bigger" turbo). For $1400, it seems like a waste IMHO.
I'm assuming you've monitored your oil temps at the track but do you actually "need" an oil cooler? It is possible to overcool the oil especially if you use the car on the street. I'd suggest looking into a sandwich adapter with a thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I haven't looked at oil temps at the track... based on the experience of battling over heating issues with the car I thought it would be a "wise" choice and I have an oilcooler just sitting about that's new and pretty nice (from an old project)=) I live in NorCal in the Bay Area, 1 mile from the water, and it is always below 80 here, dead of summer maybe 85 on a lark, inland it's much hotter, as is Thunderhill (although Infineon is only 30 minutes away and cooler). I don't romp on the street too much. I run the C class at most track days and I am a better driver than an engineer.

I emailed Blouch to see if I can exhange the 440 for another one of their turbos (480xt, etc). I have 1000cc injectors and e85 going in, so I don't think I can go to a Dom 3.0 sized turbo, but maybe a 2.5xt. What are your thoughts on budget FMIC's vs my Perrin TMIC to get the right turbo on there. I just can't throw-down the $$ on a Perrin or similar FMIC right now.

Any idea about Cams for this car as well?
 
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