- Cobb AccessPort ($695)
- Cobb Flex Fuel Kit ($650) (Deatschwerks or AEM low pressure fuel pump is required to run flex fuel)
- Best Performing TMIC's:
- Best bang for your buck TMIC:
- TMIC's NOT WORTH BUYING
- Best FMIC's:
- Best bang for your buck FMIC's:
- FMIC's NOT WORTH BUYING
- Grimmspeed ($159) or Cobb EBCS ($175)
- Cobb J-Pipe (cat needs to be between the front and rear 02 sensor)
- IAG Street Air Oil Separator (AOS) or Radium Catch Cans (for stock turbo cars)
- Comp AOS or Radium Catch Cans (one of these should be considered a requirement w/ a larger turbo)
- Grimmspeed Intake or CobbSF Intake
- Grimmspeed Equal Length Header ($895) or Killer B Equal Length Header ($1,000) w/ Swaintech Coating ($1,400)
- ACT Extreme Street (SB11-XTSS) = 410 wheel torque capacity
- Competition Clutch MPC Twin Disk (4M-15021-1)= 750 wheel torque capacity
The Cobb AP is needed to be able to tune the car. It is the electronic device that allows you to flash a tune to the ECU, change maps, adjust launch control, adjust flat foot shifting, monitor 6 gauges, and see check engine lights.
Flex fuel is the easiest and cheapest way to make power on these cars. The car will easily pick up 60whp going from 91 octane to an e50 blend. The stock fuel pump is not ethanol compatible and will eventually fail, so it needs to be replaced with a DW300c unit. The DW300c should be installed utilizing the stock spacer and 2 o-rings.
Flex fuel allows you to run anything from pump gas to e60 on 1 map, no map switching required. There are 2 sets of tables in the ECU, low ethanol content tables and high ethanol content tables. The car will be tuned on "low ethanol" pump gas which is usually 10% ethanol, then it will be tuned on "high ethanol" e60 (or full e85 if you have the Nostrum or IBR HPFP). You can picture the low and high as the bookends of the tune. Once the tune is complete, it will basically "slide" between these 2 endpoints based on the ethanol content.
Yes, the AEM340 pump is also fine. The LPFP is required for flex fuel.
- Allows you to run straight e85 and not have to mix down to e60.
- The car will make the same power as it did on e60.
- The fuel system will be stressed out more on e85 than e60.
- Pretty much every state east of Arizona lowers the ethanol content down to e52 – e70 in the winter.
- If you live in a state that gets below freezing in the winter, then your ethanol content likely drops down to e52-e70 during the winter months. Vehicles do not like starting in cold temps on full e85, so the gas companies knock down the ethanol content to promote better cold starts. In some states the ethanol content is regulated by Vapor Pressure laws. The Vapor Pressure in the gas station tanks can only be so high and the only way to keep the vapor pressure low enough to meet the requirement is to lower the ethanol content. IE, in Arizona they only get a max of e52 year-round.
- If you live in one of the states where the content lowers in the winter, then you spent $1,000 to be able to run full e85, but full e85 is not even available for half the year, so you can't even run full e85 for half the year. And when the content drops to e52 – e70 you don’t have to mix without the nostrum pump since you would be right in the e60-e70 range anyway.
- If you live in a state that lowers the ethanol content in the winter, then you need to take into consideration the time of year you buy a tune for the HPFP. You need to ensure that your state is past the winter ethanol schedule and that you can get full e85. Basically, there is no point in getting tuned for the Nostrum HPFP during a point in the year where you can’t be on full e85 during the tune. I would say April – September are months where the content will be e85 pretty much everywhere.
- IMO, it is not worth $1000 for the convenience of not having to mix down to e60 since it doesn’t add power, stresses the fuel system more and is not even beneficial half the year.
In ranking of keeping contaminants out of the engine:
1 - Radium catch cans
2 - IAG race/comp
3 - IAG street
AOS' and catch cans can help reduce carbon buildup on the valves by reducing the amount of oil flowing through the intake tract and into the engine. From a performance standpoint of keeping the oil/water/fuel sludge and vapors out of the engine, catch cans are the best solution. However, I recommend the Street AOS for daily driven stock turbo vehicles because it is more of a "maintenance free" item compared to catch cans, which need to be checked somewhat frequently to ensure they aren't full. However, the return line on the AOS can become clogged with oil/water/fuel sludge over time, so it should be checked periodically to ensure the oil can flow freely back to the crank case. This is why I put "maintenance free" in quotes above. There is a picture of my AOS return line below. This build up occurred in roughly 20k - 25k miles.
All AOS’s suffer from “sludge”. They attempt to prevent this by running coolant through the canister to keep heat in the system to help prevent moisture from building up, but the return line is not heated and the system is not heated when the car is off. When the temp drops below 40*, moisture will accumulate in the lines, mix with the oil/fuel and form the sludge pictured below. This sludge is extremely common in cold temperatures and even more prevalent when using e85. So the lines need to be checked every 15k - 20k miles to ensure there is no blockage present.
** If you are running an upgraded turbo, then the comp/race setup or catch cans should be considered a requirement. The increased crank case pressures achieved with larger turbos and higher hp can cause the one way check valves in the upper breather hose to fail. When this check valve fails, the engine will see excessive crank case pressures and likely begin puking oil into the turbo inlet and can ultimately lead to engine failure. There is a pic of the breather hose and check valve below. **
IAG states that the Street AOS does NOT need a tune and the Comp AOS does need a tune. I have tested 5 cars before/after Street installs and 5 cars before/after Comp installs and I saw no significant change in fueling or boost. The AOS' were the only mod changed in each test.
Having said that, I NEVER recommend installing mods outside of a tune. Especially ones that require removing and reinstalling the intercooler, charge pipe, breaking into the coolant system, relocating the ECU, etc. There are a lot of things that can be messed up during large complicated installs like this and it's simply not worth the potential time or money to risk it.
Simply take your time and gather all your mods, then install everything at once and get tuned once.
After an AOS install it is imperative to bleed the coolant system as you have introduced air bubbles which can cause overheating.
Coolant bleeder funnel & How to burp your coolant instructions
Put the funnel in, fill halfway with coolant, start car, let the car heat up until the radiator fans turn on, turn on heater, blip the throttle until bubbles stop. Let car cool with funnel in place. Restart car and repeat the above procedure again.
- Best Performing TMIC's:
- Best bang for your buck TMIC:
- TMIC's NOT WORTH BUYING
These are the 4 largest FMIC's available for the 15+ WRX:
GS = 1,188 in^3, no bumper trimming, $1750
ETS = 1,182 in^3, IDK about bumper trimming, $1940
AMS = 1,169 in^3, requires bumper trimming, $1500
Cobb = 1,056 in^3, no bumper trimming, $1920
Cobb is the only CARB approved one ATM.
For FMIC's that do not retain the stock o-ring at the turbo outlet, I recommend using this gasket instead of the provided paper gaskets. The paper gaskets almost ALWAYS LEAK unless the pipes are perfectly aligned and seated perfectly. If the link is broken it is Mr. Gasket #738G https://www.jegs.com/i/Mr-Gasket/720/738G/10002/-1
EBCS will produce a smoother boost curve and hold boost better in the midrange, thus picking up hp/tq through having a better and more consistent boost curve. Should be considered a required mod...especially with a catless exhaust system. Can I run an EBCS without a tune, yes if you stay out of boost. Best to coordinate with your tuner and have a map ready to load before you even begin the install. Always best to have your tuner check logs post install to make sure you didn't induce a leak or cause a problem during the install.
GS and Cobb EBCS are preferred.
Perrin EBCS installs in conjunction with the stock BCS. More vacuum lines and different mapping than the GS and Cobb units. GS and Cobb provide a cleaner install and make my life easier since the mapping is the same.
Company23 anti surge EBCS is not necessary.
The purpose of changing an intake on a MAF based car is to stop from maxing out the MAF voltage. This is accomplished by making the piping larger that houses the MAF sensor. So basically the MAF sensor is moved out of the airflow. As a result most aftermarket intakes will have higher AF Correction and Learning since the sensor is actually in less of the flow. Almost all of the intakes utilize a MAF extension cable which seem to be prone to getting moisture into them which causes erratic fueling.
I prefer the Grimmspeed Intake because it has a stopper on the MAF sensor flange to butt the filter up against. So everyone installs the filter in the same spot. All other intakes have "floating" filters, meaning that each customer can install the filter in a different spot on the intake pipe....this causes fueling issues and makes troubleshooting more difficult (and by more difficult I mean nearly impossible). On other intakes moving the placement of the filter by just a 1/4 inch can change the fueling by 20-30%, which makes troubleshooting very difficult.
Intakes without boxes will make you lose power. Full write-up here https://phatbottituning.com/intakes-without-boxes
An intake would be one of the last mods I would buy. The hp gains are minimal on 91 octane, the increase in fueling corrections and possibility of MAF extension cable issues all outweigh the minimal gains IN MY OPINION. Do they add power, yes. Do they smooth out power delivery, yes. I just simply recommend other parts first. If increasing turbo and bypass valve noises are your goal, then I would recommend getting an intake over a bypass valve or a blow off valve.
I would personally put the money towards a good intercooler or flex fuel before buying an intake. If you already have all those parts, then yes an intake will add power and smooth out certain parts of the power band.
Can I run an intake without a tune? I WOULD NEVER RUN AN INTAKE WITHOUT A TUNE.
Despite Boomba's bubble video, the stock bpv works perfectly fine. The stock bpv has a pressure relief hole in it. It is designed to leak on purpose. HOWEVER, stock ones need to be upgraded when dealing with larger than stock turbos. It should be considered a requirement to have a BPV with an aftermarket turbo. It is simply not a common issue for the stock bpv's to fail with stock turbos. The stock bpv has been very reliable on stock turbo setups. But if you must get one I would suggest the Cobb Version 2 BPV. A BPV would be one of the last mods I would buy. I would put the money towards an intercooler or AOS before buying a BPV.
Can I run a BPV without a tune, yes. The BPV will only make a difference if your stock BPV was leaking really bad. Always best to have your tuner check logs post install to make sure you didn't induce a leak or cause a problem during the install. There is no specific tuning for a BPV or a BOV. The only time a real issue can occur when swapping a BPV/BOV is if your car was previously tuned with a leaking valve and your tune has the wastegate duty cycle increased to compensate for the leaking valve. If you put a valve on that doesn't leak then your car will overboost. The problem with detecting bypass valve leaks is that they are part of a closed system, so if they leak boost they simply leak it back to the intake tract so it's really not detectable in the log because it won't change the fueling. As you see from Boomba's bubble video the stock unit already leaks, but it's so minor it doesn't play a role in any power loss and it's designed that way. A blow off valve leak on the other hand will alter the air fuel ratio and is easily seen in a log.
A blow off valve should never be used on a Mass Air Flow fueled vehicle.
A blow off valve simply decreases the performance of the vehicle. The purpose of a bypass valve is to bypass the pressurized air when the throttle closes back to in front of the turbo to help keep the compressor wheel spinning during shifts.
A blow off valve is taking this feature away. So the turbo will spin down more when shifting. The other major downside to a blow off valve on a MAF based car is that it's releasing air that was measured by the MAF sensor...so when that air is released, it makes the car run rich because the ECU is still injecting fuel for air that's no longer there. This will prematurely foul the plugs and make your gas mileage go down because you're just wasting fuel every time you let off the throttle. When the air is released you will notice your AF Correction and/or AF Learning go to very high negative values to try and compensate for the car running extremely rich. If the rich condition happens at or near idle it can cause the car to sputter and or stall. This can NOT be tuned out most of the time. The solution is to pre-load the BOV more by tightening the allen bolt on top of the BOV, using a higher pressure spring in the BOV, or by adding washers below the springs to increase the preload. If the BOV is not adjustable, then remove it and light it on fire and put the stock BPV back on the car.
An upgraded bypass valve should be considered a requirement when upgrading the turbo. The stock unit can't handle higher boost pressures and may begin to leak.
Racing on 91 octane, or any pump gas in general, is just asking for trouble. I highly recommend getting a flex fuel or race gas tune for track days, canyon runs or any type of hard abuse. If you can't afford that then add in 4-5 gallons of 100 oct unleaded and fill the rest up with 91. If you don't have 100 oct available you can also put in 3 gallons of e85 and fill the rest of the tank with 91. Both the e85 and 100 oct will add knock protection and make the car much safer. You should always race on a full tank of gas to avoid fuel starvation. There is a reason it's called RACE gas.
Even regular pump gas is not created equal. While most stations across the US have 10% ethanol in the pump gas, lots of stations still use ethanol free gas (e0). Ethanol free gas is worse than e10 gas. The ethanol adds knock protection and allows the cars to make more power. You can check which gas stations in your city/state carry e0 on this website https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=CA so you can stay away from them.
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