xluben's 2011 WRX: Spec B 6 Speed and Rotated PTE 6266 by xluben

By diyauto
( 3 )

xluben's 2011 WRX: Spec B 6 Speed and Rotated PTE 6266

Compliments of xluben @ nasioc.com


|xluben's 2011 WRX | NF Performance | Project Dark Knight |

|Spec B 6 Speed | Rotated PTE 6266 | 576WHP / 530WTQ |

Dyno Plot:

6266 vs. VF52:

Rotated Turbo Setup:

Quick Pull:

Here's another video:

3rd Gear Pull @ 32psi (boost gauge goes wacky above 30psi)

2nd Gear Brake Boost, 3rd, 4th @ 30psi

50-100MPH is ~4 sec for the 3rd Gear Pull

60-130MPH is ~8 sec for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Pull

Exhaust Video:


  • 703 Casting Case Halves
  • Manley Turbo Tuff Rods
  • Manley Coated Pistons
  • Stock Subaru Crank
  • ACL Race Series Main Bearings
  • ACL Race Series Rod Bearings
  • Balanced Rotating Assembly
  • Covert Oil Pickup
  • MAP H11 Head Studs
  • TGV Deletes
  • FujiK of NF Performance Head Porting
  • GSC Beehive Springs
  • Stock Valves
  • Stock Cams


  • PTE 6266 V-Band Journal Bearing Turbo
  • Fobia Twin Scroll Header
  • Fobia Rotated 1.5 Scroll V-Band Uppipe
  • Fobia Rotated 3" V-BandDownpipe
  • Fobia Rotated 4" Intake
  • Fobia Rotated/SD FMIC Piping
  • TurboSmart HyperGate 45mm EWG
  • TurboSmart RacePort 50mm BOV
  • COBB 3" Cat Back Exhaust
  • FMS FMIC w/GS Thermal Coating
  • GrimmSpeed MBC
  • Walbro 465 Fuel Pump Hardwired
  • FiveO Motorsports 1600cc Injectors
  • Fuelab FPR at 55psi
  • COBB AP Speed Density Tune


  • 2011 STI 6 Speed Transmission
  • Legacy Spec B High Speed Gears
  • 08+ STI Shift Linkage
  • Kartboy Shifter and All Bushings
  • Anarchy Motive Heavyweight Knob
  • ACT XT Pressure Plate
  • ACT Unsprung 6 Puck Disc
  • STI Clutch Fork
  • STI Clutch Slave Cylinder
  • Braided SS Clutch Line
  • TIC Transmission Crossmember Bushings
  • 08+ Impreza AT Driveshaft
  • R160 3.54 Final Drive Rear Diff
  • STI Starter


  • Enkei RPF1 17x9" +35 Wheels
  • 255/40R17 Federal 595 RS-R Tires
  • RCE Black Springs (Stock Struts)
  • Whiteline 22mm Front Sway Bar
  • Whiteline 22mm Rear Sway Bar
  • RalliTEK HD Front Endlinks
  • RalliTEK HD Rear Endlinks
  • 2011 WRX Stock Wheels (Winter)
  • 225/45R17 General Altimax Arctic Tires (Winter)
  • GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace
  • StopTech SS Brake Lines
  • StopTech Street Performance Brake Pads
  • ATE SuperBlue Brake Fluid


  • Defi Boost Gauge
  • Defi Oil Pressure Gauge
  • SMY Dual Gauge Cluster
  • AEM UEGO Digital Wideband O2 Gauge
  • Omni Power 4 Bar MAP Sensor
  • Recaro ProRide Baby Seat


  • V-Limited Front Lip
  • Red Tail Light Overlays
  • Flapatax Mud Flaps
  • GrimmSpeed License Plate Relocation Kit
  • GrimmSpeed License Plate Delete
  • OEM Scoopless Hood
  • VG Shark Fin Antenna
  • Yakima Roof Rack


2011 WRX Purchased: 10/21/10

MODE Shifter: 11/03/10

SPT Exhaust: 11/07/10

Winter Wheels: 11/12/10

Stage 1 Tune: 11/18/10

COBB Downpipe: 12/19/10

Stage 2 Tune: 12/19/10

IPR TMIC: 1/14/11

Forge BPV: 1/14/11

Defi Boost Gauge: 1/15/11

SMY Dual Gauge Cluster: 1/19/11

Walbro Fuel Pump: 1/27/11

Kartboy Front Shifter Bushings: 1/29/11

DIY Seat Bolster Mod: 02/07/11

Kartboy Rear Shifter Bushing: 02/16/11

GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace: 02/17/11

Red Tail Light Overlays: 02/19/11

Flapatax Mud Flaps: 02/26/11

AEM Cold Air Intake: 02/28/11

GrimmSpeed EBCS and MBC (Hybrid Boost Control): 02/28/11

Fiveo Motorsports 1200cc Injectors: 03/05/11

Custom E85 Tune: 03/05/11

Whiteline 24mm Adj. Front Sway Bar: 04/21/11

Whiteline 22mm Adj. Rear Swaybar: 04/21/11

RalliTEK HD Front Endlinks: 04/21/11

RalliTEK HD Rear Endlinks: 04/21/11

BC Racing Inverted Coilovers: 04/21/11

AEM UEGO Digital Wideband O2 Gauge: 05/23/11

Whiteline 22mm Adj. Front Sway Bar: 05/27/11

GrimmSpeed License Plate Relocation Kit: 06/02/11

Fast Motorsports (FMS) Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC): 06/07/11

OEM Scoopless Hood: 06/13/11

Yakima Roof Rack: 06/27/11

Invidia Q300 Exhaust: 07/22/11

Invidia Catless Downpipe: 07/22/11

Blouch 20G-XT-R Turbo: 9/17/11

GrimmSpeed License Plate Delete: 9/22/11

GrimmSpeed Turbo Heat Shield: 9/23/11

Gold 04 STi BBS Wheels: 09/28/11

KSTech 73mm Intake: 10/01/11

Tial MV-R 44mm EWG, GrimmSpeed Uppipe and Crosspipe: 10/13/11

Omni Power 4 Bar MAP Sensor: 02/06/12

Stock Exhaust: 02/18/12

Blown Motor - Cracked #2 Piston: 02/22/12

Built Shortblock: 03/05/12

TGV Deletes: 03/05/12

AMR 3" Hard Inlet: 03/05/12

Mach V Awesome 17x9" Wheels: 03/21/12

Dunlop Star Spec 255/40R17 Tires: 03/21/12

GFB 50/50 Hybrid BOV: 03/31/12

Turbo XS 50/50 Hybrid BOV: 04/05/12

ACT HD Pressure Plate: 04/06/12

ACT Street Light Flywheel 04/06/12

ACT Sprung 4 Puck Clutch Disc: 04/06/12

Dyno @ MAP: 462WHP / 492WTQ: 04/11/12

RCE Black Springs: 04/14/12

TurboSmart Kompact BPV: 04/18/12

StopTech SS Brake Lines: 04/18/12

StopTech Street Performance Brake Pads: 04/18/12

ATE SuperBlue Brake Fluid: 04/18/12

Koni Adjustable Dampers (Rear): 04/26/12

Koni Adjustable Dampers (Front): 04/27/12

besthaticouldo Shift Knob: 05/08/12

All-In-One Flip Key Mod: 05/16/12

In-Cabin MBC Relocation: 05/22/12

SPT Exhaust: 05/26/12

Blown 5 Speed - Stripped 3 Gear: 06/02/12

V-Limited Front Lip: 06/13/12

Stock Exhaust: 07/15/12

Forge BPV: 07/16/12

TurboSmart Dual Port BPV: 07/19/22

Removed Clutch Delay Valve: 07/22/12

Greddy Ti-C Catback: 08/10/12

PTP Turbo Blanket: 08/12/12

Hand Wash and Wax: 09/08/12

Invidia Equal Length Header: 09/25/12

PAR Straight Cut 2nd Gear: 10/14/2012

Kartboy Pitch Stop Mount: 10/14/2012

Cusco Motor and Tranny Mounts: 10/14/2012

Mach V Awesome Decals: 10/18/2012

2 Year Anniversary!: 10/24/2012

Stock Wheels and Winter Tires: 10/28/2012

Stock Exhaust: 10/28/2012

ARK GRiP Exhaust: 11/02/2012

PTP Lava Turbo Blanket: 11/10/2012

GReddy SP Elite Exhaust: 11/14/2012

Exhaust Comparison Photos: 11/18/2012

Kartboy Shifter Comparison: 11/20/2012

VG Shark Fin Antenna: 01/14/2013

Photos Before/After Editing: 01/16/2013

Recaro Baby Seat: 01/28/2013

17x9" RPF1 (Black Background): 01/31/2013

17x9" RPF1 (White Background): 01/31/2013

DCCD Pro Photos: 01/31/2013

STI 6MT Swap Info: 02/11/2013

New Motor and Rotated PTE6266: 03/22/2013

Forge BPV (1/14/11):

IPR TMIC (1/14/11):

Defi Boost Gauge (1/15/11):

SMY Clustermaker Dual Guage Cluster (1/19/11):

Walbro 255 Fuel Pump (1/27/11):

Kartboy Shifter Bushings (1/29/11):

DIY Seat Bolster Mod (02/07/11):

Kartboy Rear Shifter Bushing (02/16/11):

GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace (02/17/11):

Defi Oil Pressure Gauge (02/17/11):

Red Tail Light Overlays (02/19/11):

Flapatax Mud Flaps (02/26/11):

AEM Cold Air Intake (02/28/11):

GrimmSpeed EBCS and MBC (Hybrid Boost Control) (02/28/11):

Fiveo Motorsports 1200cc Injectors (03/05/11):

Custom E85 Tune (03/05/11):

Whiteline 24mm Adj. Front Sway Bar (04/21/11):
Whiteline 22mm Adj. Rear Swaybar (04/21/11):
RalliTEK HD Front Endlinks (04/21/11):
RalliTEK HD Rear Endlinks (04/21/11):

BC Racing Inverted Coilovers (04/21/11):

AEM UEGO Digital Wideband O2 Gauge (05/23/11):

Whiteline 22mm Adj. Front Sway Bar (05/27/11):

GrimmSpeed License Plate Relocation Kit (06/02/11):

Fast Motorsports (FMS) Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC) (06/07/11):

OEM Scoopless Hood (06/13/11):

Yakima Roof Rack (06/27/11):

Invidia Q300 Exhaust and Downpipe (7/22/11):

Blouch 20G-XT-R Turbo (9/17/11):

GrimmSpeed License Plate Delete (9/22/11):

GrimmSpeed Turbo Heat Shield (9/23/11):

Gold 04 STi BBS Wheels (09/28/11):

Tial MV-R 44mm EWG, GrimmSpeed Uppipe and Crosspipe (10/13/11):

Completely stock Black 2011 WRX 5 Door:


Just added a MODE Racing Short Shifter. Review here:



Installed the SPT Exhaust:


SPT Exhaust:


Time for the winter tires! 16x6.5" steel wheels with 215/55R16 General Altimax Arctic's.  

Rear 3/4

Front 3/4

Rear view of the tread

Front view of tread

Rear brake clearance (plenty of room)

Front brake clearance (pretty close)

Front inset

Rear inset

The thin wheels give a pretty tucked look. Oh well. General tires have deep, aggressive treads, and a fairly soft compound. Looking forward to trying them out!


Winter came fast in MN!



I'm glad I checked the forecast, and got my snow tires on last night!  

About 6" so far. Supposed to keep snowing the rest of the day.


Got a fairly conservative "Stage 1" road tune on my 2011 WRX. Baseline and after tune information is included. Only changes to the car are an SPT Cat Back Exhaust and the 16" steelies and winter tires. RomRaider log was used to create the dyno plot using Virtual Dyno set with CF=1 (which makes Virtual Dyno read similar to COBB's Mustang dyno, see below). I'm very happy with how the tune turned out. Much smoother and pulls noticeably hard through the low/mid range and up to the top end. Torque increase is very nice 

Event: Stage 1 Road Tune
Location: MN
Ambient Temp: 40F
Elevation: 725ft
Weather: Cloudy
Road Conditions: Flat
Tires: General Altimax Artic 215/55R16

Car: 2011 WRX 5 Door
Tuner: Nuke
Dyno Info: Virtual Dyno - CF=1
Transmission: Stock 5 Speed
Gear: 3rd
Target Boost: 17psi
Target AFR: Unknown
Fuel: 91 Octane Unleaded
Engine/Power Modifications: SPT Cat Back Exhaust
Driveline Modifications: None
Suspension Modifications: None
Other Modifications: 16" Steel Wheels
Peak HP at RPM: 242hp@6,000rpm
Peak Torque at RPM: 261lbft@3,000rpm
Stage 1:
Peak HP at RPM: 252hp@6,100rpm
Peak Torque at RPM: 297lbft@3,400rpm

Just for comparison, here is how my car's pull, calculated on the Virtual Dyno (CF=1), stacks up against COBB's Mustang Dyno baseline runs on 08+ STI's and 09+ WRX's.


Stage 2!  

Installed the COBB downpipe yesterday and had it re-tuned.  

Sounds great, and pulls much harder than Stage 1!

Here are the numbers from the tune:

I finally was able to install my COBB downpipe and get my 2011 WRX retuned. Baseline, Stage 1 and Stage 2 information is included. Stage 1 tune was done with the SPT cat back already installed. Only change since then was adding the downpipe. Tuning was done on 16" steelies and winter tires (just like the baseline and Stage 1 tune).  

RomRaider log was used to create the dyno plot using Virtual Dyno. Seems that no one liked the Dynojet numbers from my last thread (HERE), so I set CF=1, which makes the Virtual Dyno read similar to COBB's dyno (LINK). Upped the smoothing to 5 to get rid of some bumps in the plots (which lowers the readings slightly).

I am really happy with the tune. Nuke kept it conservative enough that I shouldn't have to worry about my car, but still made it much, much quicker than Stage 1. The mid range pull is great! Nice big torque numbers from 3k and up. Car feels so much stronger now. The COBB downpipe also makes it sound a bit meaner 

Feel free to discuss!

Event: Stage 1 Road Tune

Location: MN

Ambient Temp: 20F

Elevation: 725ft

Weather: Cloudy

Road Conditions: Flat

Tires: General Altimax Artic 215/55R16

Car: 2011 WRX 5 Door

Tuner: Nuke

Dyno Info: Virtual Dyno - CF=1, Smoothing=5

Transmission: Stock 5 Speed

Gear: 3rd

Target Boost: 18.5psi

Target AFR: Unknown

Fuel: 93 Octane Unleaded

Engine/Power Modifications: SPT Cat Back Exhaust, COBB Downpipe

Driveline Modifications: None

Suspension Modifications: None

Other Modifications: 16" Steel Wheels


Peak HP at RPM: 239hp@6,000rpm

Peak Torque at RPM: 259lbft@3,200rpm

Stage 1:

Peak HP at RPM: 251hp@6,000rpm

Peak Torque at RPM: 294lbft@3,400rpm

Stage 2:

Peak HP at RPM: 275hp@5,600rpm

Peak Torque at RPM: 316lbft@3,400rpm


I had some free time today and did a few more 3rd gear pulls. Torque at 3k was nearly identical to the pulls during the tune, but today torque was peaking a little higher (but at a similar RPM).  

The HP also held on a lot better on the high end (climbing all the way to redline). The higher RPM HP peak makes more sense. Not sure why the other pull started dropping so soon.

Peak HP at RPM: 239hp@6,000rpm
Peak Torque at RPM: 259lbft@3,200rpm
Stage 1:
Peak HP at RPM: 251hp@6,000rpm
Peak Torque at RPM: 294lbft@3,400rpm
Stage 2 (during tune):
Peak HP at RPM: 275hp@5,600rpm
Peak Torque at RPM: 316lbft@3,400rpm
Stage 2 (12/24 pull):
Peak HP at RPM: 298hp@6,100rpm
Peak Torque at RPM: 342lbft@3,500rpm


Yesterday I installed the IPR TMIC and Forge BPV. Both are painted black. The Forge BPV that I got will not work wit the stock TMIC, but works fine with the IPR TMIC, see the photos for more details. It is very similar in size and shape to the stock unit, but it is all metal. It comes with 3 springs (only 2 seen in photo, because 1 is installed) and 2 shims for adjustment (for correct boost range).  

The BPV is obviously a very easy install. I did add hose clamps to both connections for added security (see photo in next post). I still using the stock intake system and I can only barely hear the valve when it activates (I couldn't really hear the stock on at all). But I do hear it vent when I shift under boost, so I know it is working. Not much of a "clink" sound (that I've heard is common with the Forge BPV), but that may be more audible with an aftermarket intake.

Forge BPV:

Stock BPV vs. Forge BPV. Make sure both hose connections are pointing in approx the same direction as the stock BPV or it will be difficult to install.

Note the different seal shape between the stock BPV and the Forge BPV.

The Forge BPV will not seal on the stock TMIC. But it will work with the IPR TMIC (or just about any other aftermarket TMIC).


The IPR TMIC is a pretty beefy unit and feels very solid. The all-metal construction looks like it will hold up much better than the stock TMIC. It was a very tight fit, but once I got it in there weren't any clearance issues. Took quiet a bit longer to wrestle it into place than the stock TMIC, but it does fit and all the bolts line up. Just don't tighten any of them fully until you have them all started. I like the look of the black TMIC in the engine bay 


The IPR TMIC only has a slightly larger footprint than the stock TMIC, but it is much thicker.


Stock vs. IPR Gasket


Engine Bay (stock):

Engine Bay (IPR TMIC and Forge BPV):

Today I installed the Defi Red Racer boost gauge. Right now it is in a temporary mounting location until I get my gauge pod in. The install went better than I expected. I went through the fender with the wiring and it was actually really easy (after I took off the wheel and opened up the fender liner). Much easier than getting through the firewall on other cars I've worked on. Here is a link to the photo's explaining where I went through:


Once I got it all hooked up everything works great. Sits right at 0 with the car off, and then goes to about 20.5 inHg at idle. Hitting peak boost at just under 20psi. Same that I have seen while logging. The color of the gauge matches perfectly.  

The gauge does the sweep when the key gets to the ACC position, but then when I start the car it turns back off for a second and does another sweep. I think I must be tapped into the wrong fuse. Any suggestions?


I have mine installed with a Defi boost gauge on the right side, and a gauge pod blank on the left.

Actual view (wheel adjusted as I actually use it):

Left Side:

Right Side:

Which one is OEM?

The pod looks excellent. The finish is a near perfect match. Unless you told someone it was a new piece, there's no way they'd notice on their own. Even after being told 99% of people would say it looks identical. The gauge placement is very good. From where I sit the "MPH" is partially blocked on the speedometer, and a little bit of the temp gauge is blocked.  

The blinker/wiper levers do get in the way of the gauge pods a little bit depending on where you have the wheel adjusted to. Moreso on the left side where I have the blank. On the right side the wiper lever blocks a little bit of my boost gauge, but nothing that I need to see. Overall I am 100% happy with the pod, and would recommend it to anyone!


Walbro 255 fuel pump went in on Thursday. Needed to do the double o-ring trick to get any fuel pressure at all. Took me a while, but everything is in and working well. Little bit louder than stock, but not bad with the rear seat back in place. The only time you can really hear it is when you turn the car on, once you're driving it's not noticeable.

More info on getting the pump to properly seal up can be found here:


Kartboy Shifter Bushings finally went in today. I've had them for months, but never got around to putting them on. Turns out it is very, very easy on the newer WRX's. Jack up the car on jack stands, remove rear tranny brace, unscrew bolt holding in the stock bushing, pop out the bushing, and then install the new bushings and put it all back together.  

Bolts all came out easily. Rear brace slides out, even with the COBB downpipe in place. And I had absolutely no trouble getting the old bushing out, or the new bushings back in. This install was really a piece of cake. Didn't take me more than 30 minutes. Real quick and easy.  

The difference in shifting feel is incredible. Much more firm and crisp. Notchiness is up a bit, but it feels great. Absolutely no question when you put the car into gear. Seems much easier to shift quickly and accurately. The bushings are a great pair with the MODE short shifter. Both are highly recommended.


I did the "DIY Seat Mod" from IWSTI on Monday. Here is the link:


Basically just unhook or remove the spring/wire/mesh from behind the back of the seat. It takes about 5 minutes to do. I completely removed the mesh from both front seats. You could also use "S" hooks to simply extend the mesh.  

With the mesh completely removed you are able to sink about an inch further into the seat. This makes the seat bolsters hold you quite a bit more tightly. I never thought the WRX had enough bolstering, and this simple mod makes a big difference. Highly recommended!

Sorry no pictures. The seats look exactly the same afterward.


After the install of the front Kartboy Shifter Bushings went so well, I decided to grab the rear bushing when I saw one come up for sale locally.

Definitely recommend doing both at once. To install the rear one, I literally had to completely re-do the front install. For the rear bushing you have to take off the rear tranny cross brace as well as the heat shield on the midpipe. Pretty much the same amount of work as doing just the front bushing, but you will have to remove 2 additional 12mm bolts. Once you have all the bolts off, I wiggled the tranny brace out (it take some twisting and turning to get it aligned correctly to be removed). I then partially removed the midpipe heat shield. To remove it completely you would have to unscrew the O2 sensor. I just turned the heat shield 90 degrees, and there was plenty of room to work.

Some people have mentioned doing this whole install without removing the things I just mentioned. While this may be possible, I don't recommend it at all. Removing the brace and heat shield will take 10 minutes extra (and 10 more to put them back on), but it is totally worth it. It is 10 minutes of easy work, and makes everything way easier with them out of the way. Then unbolt the front bushing (and slide the linkage off the bolt), and the two 12mm bolts holding on the OEM rear bushing. Then the fun begins. I just tugged and pulled and eventually that rear bushing came off. It is really squishy and terrible. I have a new car, and it already looked like it was in poor condition.

Next is getting the new bushing on. Not much fun either. This one is much firmer, so it takes a lot more pressure. Get whatever leverage you can, but make sure you pop the bushing fully in place. You will know when you have it all the way on. After that, I got the passenger side rear bushing bolt started (just a few turns). Then I reattached the front bushing. This helped line up the rear bushing, to install the second bolt. Some people have noted this as being very difficult, but it really didn't take much work and both bolts were started. The bolts didn't turn easily, so I had to use a ratchet and basically go 1 click at a time until they were tightened down. Took a while, but wasn't hard. Once you have both the front and rear bushings in place, re-install the heat shield, and then re-install the rear tranny brace.

Sounds like a lot of work, but I had it all done in under 45 minutes. Even for a first timer, you should be able to install both the front and rear bushings in under and hour fairly easily. I do highly recommend removing the tranny brace, and the heat shield. It gives you a lot more room to work. After I installed this bushing, I also decided to lengthen my MODE shifter. All I did was increase the overall height, I did not adjust the pivot point. This made the shifter less notchy, but with both bushings installed it is very crisp. It feels like a whole new car with both bushings and a short shifter. I would highly recommend doing both of the bushings. The fronts do make most of the difference, but the feel is even better with the rear bushings installed as well.


I got the GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace today.  

The brace looks great. Very high quality (like all of GrimmSpeed's products). It is really beefy, and can take all of the brake stomping you can throw at it. The brace itself does exactly what you would expect. The brake goes from mushy and inconsistent to firm and repeatable. When you press on the brakes you get the feel you expect, and the stopping power you need. Very happy with it so far.

Also received and installed today was the Defi Oil Pressure Gauge:

If you've been following this thread, you'll know that I have the SMY ClusterMaker Dual Gauge Pod. It is an amazing piece, but I have been running it with only one gauge (boost), and one gauge blank. I wasn't sure what my second gauge would be, but I eventually decided on oil pressure. There are a lot of useful gauges out there, but I thought the oil pressure seemed the most useful on a day to day basis. Other gauges like EGT and AFR that are good to monitor, but really matter most during tuning, and not as much once you're done. Oil temp also seems like a good option, but oil pressure will allow me to monitor pressure (obviously) as well as get an indication of oil temp indirectly, through pressure readings. Some people may disagree what the best second gauge should be, but this is what I chose, and I am happy with it.  

When I was looking into oil pressure gauges my first concern was install. I initially planned on getting a sandwich adapter. Seemed like the easiest solution. But once I researched it more, easiest isn't always best (greater possibility of leaking), and it was also more expensive. After more research, and help from Kirill at RallySportDirect, I eventually confirmed that the Defi oil pressure sender has 1/8PT (metric) threads, just like the galley plug that the OEM oil pressure sensor uses (located under the alternator). And since the Defi unit is so small it would fit into the same spot as the OEM sensor. This meant I could simply remove the OEM oil pressure sensor, and install the Defi sender unit. No extra parts to buy (sandwich plate, thread adapter, relocation kit, etc).

To do the install you need to remove the alternator cover (1 bolt), and the alternator itself (2 bolts + 1 bolt connecting the power wire). Once the alternator is out of the way you can pull the wire off of the OEM oil pressure sensor. To remove the OEM sensor you will need a 24mm socket. I highly recommend using the socket instead of some other method. I attempted using a large, adjustable, open ended wrench for about 5 minutes, then went and bought a 24mm deep socket and a 10" extension for my 1/2" drive ratchet. With the socket and extension the OEM sensor literally took 5 seconds to unscrew. The Defi sender unit is larger on top, so you cannot use a socket. It is 17mm so I had the open ended wrench to fit. I put on a few wraps of teflon tape and tightened it down with the wrench. Took a while, but was not difficult.

Once the sender is in place, re-install the alternator and cover, and move on to wiring the gauge. I went through the same procedure as my boost gauge, so it was all pretty straightforward. I removed the fender liner on the driver's side and put the wire through the boot underneath. I didn't remove the wheel this time, and it was tighter work, but not an issue. Wired it up to the same fuses as the boost gauge and installed the gauge into the pod. I did pull off all of the driver's side trim (and the OEM gauge cluster) in order to get all the wires situated properly. It is not difficult to do, and makes things much easier to work with.

Once that was all done I reassembled the dash and turned on the car. The gauges both work perfectly. Oil pressure was around 100psi at idle (cold start). Dropped to just over 20psi at idle once the car was warm. Not quite sure of the pressure when cruising, but I think it was closer to 100psi, and maybe even more when in the high rpm range. Overall I am extremely happy with how the Defi gauges look in the SMY gauge pod. Spending the extra money on the Defi's was definitely worth it in my book. They look perfect, and function just as well. The response is instant, and very smooth. Installing the oil pressure gauge was not hard at all, and I definitely recommend using the galley plug that the OEM oil pressure sensor uses. If you're doing two gauges it would definitely save some time to do them both at once, and get them both through the firewall at the same time.


Here's a picture of the gauge pod with both gauges installed:


To anyone who did not get the foam tape or rubber bands for installing the gauges, this is what you can pick up to use. Should be 1/2" wide and it is made of foam which is about 1/16" thick. Leave the backing on the outside of the tape so it is a friction fit (non-adhesive, makes for easier adjustment and removal, and will still stay in place perfectly).

I had been using two rubber bands on each gauge, and the fit was good, but not perfect. The gauges stayed in place fine, but if you grabbed them you could wiggle them around in the pod. I took the bands off, and installed one wrap of the foam tape. The gauges slid right back in and it was a PERFECT fit. Very tight, and no wiggle at all. Just loose enough you can still turn them to align the gauge without forcing anything, but tight enough that they feel rock solid. Highly recommended for mounting.

Today I finally got the red overlays on my tail lights done by Chris @ Flawless Front Ends. I got the classic red with turn signal and reverse light cutouts. Chris was great, and the work ended up looking excellent. I will try to get some photos in the next few days, but the forecast is a foot (or more) of snow tomorrow so it might be a while before the car is photo-ready again   

The tail light tint has been something I have wanted to get done since the day I got the car (and even before I got it, LOL). I went back and forth many, many times between DIY paint, DIY overlays, or a professional overlay installation. I even bought paint and had the lights off the paint them before I changed my mind. In the end I'm really glad I went with Chris. They look amazing, surely much better than if I had tried to put overlays on myself, and I think they will hold up better than paint, but only time will tell.

EDIT: Photos!



Some more shots:


I saw your shots on MN Subaru. They look really good.  

The steel wheels have the same problem with snow. I have to clean them out all the time.

Here are the shots of the overlays. Like I said before, I LOVE how they turned out!



Some more shots:


I got my Flapatax yesterday. The mounting solution for the fronts is pretty nifty and seems like it will work great. I don't really have too much concern with only two mounting points (on the front or the rear). It seems like they are on there very solidly. The flaps are nice and thick, and quite stiff. I'm not really a fan of the ultra soft flaps that flop around when you drive (seems like it would be less protection), so I like the stiff flaps. They are soft enough to contour to the wheel well curvature when you bolt them on, though.

Install was easy, but I have had the front fender liner pulled back before, so I knew the procedure. The bolts are great, because you can use a small socket wrench to tighten them down so you don't need a lot of room. The rubber backed washer seem like they'll stay tight, but I'll have to verify in a few months. I ordered the Simplified design (instead of the Original design). The Simplified design has the step in width at a much higher point on the flap. You can see the two styles at this link:


When I ordered the Simplified design, my plan was to make new mounting holes to move the flaps inwards and only leave the wider portion of the flap exposed. I ended up having to move the rears inwards by 7/8" and the fronts in by 1 1/8". Drilling the holes was very easy, and I think it came out looking perfect. So far I'm very happy with them. Definitely a lot less spray on the side of my car, and I have to use the rear wiper much less often as well.



The wiring for the Defi Oil Pressure gauge was just long enough to reach the galley plug under the alternator. There was probably less than 6" of slack available once I had it all hooked up, and I used the left side pod in my dual gauge cluster. If I had used the right side, it would have been very close.

I forgot to take a photo of the Defi boost sensor installed in the car last night, but I did find a photo I had already taken and cropped it down. This was before the boost gauge was installed, but you should be able to see where I attached it. The line is coming directly off the brake master cylinder. I now have the GrimmSpeed master cylinder brace and it still fits just fine.


AEM Cold Air Intake went on and had the MAF scaled last night. Definitely way more intake/turbo sound as well as much louder BPV sound. More photos and info later.

GrimmSpeed EBCS and MBC also went on last night. Tuned for hybrid boost control:


Mock up of install. Final install used hose clamps and plugged the port on the right side of the EBCS.

More info and photos of the final install coming later.


Along with some local Subaru guru help, I installed the Fiveo 1200cc Injectors today:


Took about 3hrs or so with two people working on the install. It was a pretty big pain to get the driver's side bracket out. Injectors went in without any problems.


Event: E85 Tune
Car: 2011 WRX 5 Door
Tuner: Nuke Tuning
Location: Minnesota
Dyno Info: Virtual Dyno - Dynojet Setting
Transmission: 5 Speed
Gear: 3rd
Peak HP: 352WHP
Peak Torque: 382WTQ
Baseline hp/tq for a stock on same dyno: 259WHP/280WTQ
Target Boost: 21PSI
Fuel: E85 Winter Mix (E70) with ~3gal of pump gas left in the tank 
Driveline Modifications: None
Suspension Modifications: None
Other Modifications: None
Tires: General Altimax Arctic 215/55R16 (Winter Tires)
Engine/Power Modifications: 
Forge BPV
GrimmSpeed EBCS
GrimmSpeed MBC
Walbro 255
1200cc Injectors
Build Thread: xluben's 2011 WRX 5 Door Build Thread: E85 Tune!

Hoping to get a touch up tune once I get the rest of the pump gas out of my tank, and the stations switch to true E85 for summer. Should be a few more ponies left to be had. For anyone considering E85, go for it! You can see the gains I got over a normal Stage 2. Pulls soooo much stronger now, and the power band is great  

*Disclaimer: Virtual Dyno on the Dynojet setting reads pretty high. Figure about 330WHP/360WTQ on the Airboy spreadsheets or COBB's Mustang dyno. The car gained 50WHP and 40WTQ over Stage 2 with the E85 tune.


Approx Prices:
Premium: $3.70
E85: $2.80

Approx Fuel Economy:
Premium: 20MPG
E85: 16MPG

Price per Mile:
Premium: $0.185/mile
E85: $0.175/mile

So right now I'm pretty much breaking even on cost, slightly ahead at the moment. If my mileage dips to 15MPG or E85 gets more expensive (in relation to Premium) then it swings back the other way. It's close enough not to be a concern at this point.


I put the summer wheels back on today!


Maybe some Grids?


New photo 


I haven't really noticed any difference in driveability after putting them on, but I haven't driven them hard. But no vibration or anything like that at freeway speeds. Here's a couple more photos:


Suspension stuff went in last night!

Whiteline 24mm Adj. Front Sway Bar

Whiteline 22mm Adj. Rear Swaybar

RalliTEK HD Front Endlinks

RalliTEK HD Rear Endlinks

BC Racing Inverted Coilovers went in last night as well!

^Incorrect picture, but it was the only decent on I could find.

I wasn't set on coilovers, but I found a great deal on these locally, so I went for it. The seller even helped me do the install! Luckily I was able to put them on at the same time as all the other suspension stuff I had.  

We got them on and the car was sitting at 14" (from hub to fender) at all 4 corners. Today I dropped them down to 13.5" on all wheels. No fender gap. Dampers are set to 12 clicks from full soft. 8k front, 7k rear springs.

Here is how it's sitting now:


A few shots with my brother's new 2011 MS3 



I cross shopped these two cars very hard before I bought my WRX. I was basically set on the MS3 when the 2008 WRX came out, and I was still leaning towards the MS3 until the 2011 WRX came out. My brother was cross shopping them both when he made this purchase as well.  

We both have the base models of the cars, and the price difference was considerable. I think it was close to $4k. Mazda gave him a way better deal than Subaru would give me. Seems that most of the local Mazda dealers have 1 or 2 MS3's on the lot, while WRX's are really hard to come by. I wanted a black, base, hatch, so I had to get it through a dealer trade, so they were very inflexible on price. My brother wanted the same thing and 2 dealers locally happened to have one on the lot! He drove back and forth a few times and eventually got the price he was looking for.

I'm happy that I spent a little more for the WRX, and I think he'll be really happy with the MS3. Different cars for different people I guess. I can see the good sides of both. I like the MS3 seats and interior a lot. If they were both stock, the "fun factor" seems about the same. WRX is a bit better in a straight line and the MS3 seems like it could be more fun in the turns.

I don't think he's seen that episode. I'll have to tell him to check it out.

Around here everyone has base MS3's and loaded WRX's and STI's. When I was car shopping there was ONE base model, black, 5 door WRX in the entire country. Being that is the exact car I wanted, and I didn't really want to wait 2-3 months to get it, I didn't have much leverage  I think sometimes it just comes down to luck with what you can find on the dealer lots.

I found this, but it doesn't seem to play on my computer:


I think this is the same thing on Vimeo, but I'm not sure:

Looks like it's the previous generation of the MS3, but I think the powertrain is very similar, so I'm going to watch it anyways 


Rally Cross Mode:

  • Winter wheels/tires back on
  • Raised up to stock ride height
  • Dampers set to full soft
  • Mudflaps back on


Here are some photos from Rally Cross last weekend:

Taken by a friend:

I took a few ultrawide shots after it all ended:


Added an AEM Digital UEGO Wideband O2 Gauge in the center cubby:

I had it lined up straight on and centered, but then I angled it more towards the driver:

I'll try to get a better picture later. I hard wired a serial cable to the gauge, but I'm still in the process of trying to get it to log with RomRaider. Having computer issues at the moment.

Better picture (daytime) of the wideband setup:



Got bored and took a few more photos tonight.


Added my first "ricer" mod  Side mount license plate. Made by GrimmSpeed. I like it!

Need to wash behind where the plate was, and eventually get a front plate delete...

Thank you. I try to make decent notes each time I adjust the coilovers. For my current setting I measured the locking ring gap, but forgot to measure the fender-hub gap. For locking ring gap I am measuring the the distance of threaded strut that is available for adjustment (ie. the rears could only go 1/4" lower and then they'd be maxed out).  

Locking Ring Gap: 1.0"
Fender-Hub Gap: 12.?"

Locking Ring Gap: 0.25"
Fender-Hub Gap: 12.?"

Based on the notes I had from my previous adjustment, the fender hub gap should be somewhere around 12.25", but I forgot to measure for sure. I think a 13" fender hub gap is a pretty good place to start. It leaves the top of the tirebasically even with the fender.

Yes, the undertray keeps popping out right there, but not on the other side. I know I am missing the splash guard clips that go in either fender (for easier removal), but the piece that is sticking out is a completely separate thing. Maybe the same clip goes through both pieces? I'll probably try to remedy that issue this weekend...


Installed the Fast Motorsports Front Mount Intercooler (FMS FMIC) yesterday. Honestly, it was a huge pain in the ass. I expected it wouldn't be a perfect fit (due to what I've read online), but it really took a considerable amount of work to get it on the car. The mounting holes in the core and bumper beam just were not well placed. Had to drill out all 6 mounting holes in the core. Even then it's still not a very good fit, but I did get all the bolts in place. This has been brought up in just about all the reviews of this item, but the bolts are not the right length. You'll have to buy new ones. There is no gasket for the turbo flange adapter. I bought a tube of high temp RTV and made a seal myself. Seems to have worked great. I also noticed that the crash beam had metal debris inside the beam itself. Looked like it was left over from making the mounting holes. I even found part of a broken drill bit inside there!

The piping had one cosmetic flaw in the wrinkle coat. Nothing you can see once installed though. I wanted black couplers, but for some reason I got red. They look OK, but I'd still prefer black. Figuring out all the pipes and couplers is a bit of a PITA without any instructions of any kind, but once you get it together I found the pipes, couplers, and T-bolt clamps to be of high quality and had good fitment. I was actually pretty impressed. Along with all this you do have to cut some of the undertray, and hack up quite a bit of the front bumper. The older models you just had to cut out the unpainted lower grill, but on the 2011's you have to do this as well as cut into the painted bumper about and inch all the way across the bottom. Plus side is that the opening ends up being a lot larger than the older models. Should get more air through the core 

Other than the horrible fit of the core and the bumper beam I do like the kit a lot. Took waaaaay more work than I expected to get it on (plan for a whole day job, this could easily take 8hrs, I did it over 2 days, and it took even more than that). But the finished product is really pretty good. I'm still hoping to get black couplers (no one will sell them to me separately), but other than that I'm very happy with it.

Here are some photos:


BIG core 

Red pipes and couplers: 


Stealthy, but a big opening for the core 


Thoughts on the scoopless look? 


Here are some more angles:

Standing vs. Laying on the Ground:



My engine bay. Don't mind the water drops. It started drizzling as I went to take the photos.

And for those that didn't notice, I moved the OEM coolant overflow tank over to the passenger side of the engine bay and got rid of the tiny, crappy tank that comes with the FMS FMIC. Here's a close up photo:

To do it, all you have to do is unscrew the hardline from the radiator fans. Then remove the hoses and flip the hardline. I bent the mounting brackets 180 degrees, so I could use them to remount the hardline after flipping it. I drilled 4 new holes for mounting. Two for the hardline, and two for the OEM coolant overflow tank. I attached everything with zip ties. After I flipped the hardline I just hooked the hoses back up. Everything fit quite well.

Here are the 4 holes that I drilled:

There are plenty of reasonable ways to do the mounting. This is just the one I chose. If you wanted you could probably mount the hardline with nuts and bolts. Just make sure they clear the fan blades. The tank could also be mounted with nuts and bolts, but you would need custom brackets or spacers. I did this because the FMS (and TurboXS) coolant overflow tank is waaay undersized. I went to the track on Monday and I was blowing coolant all over my engine bay because it was overlowing the tank. The OEM coolant overflow tank is 2-3 times larger and should provide plenty of room for expansion.

Thanks to synolimit for the idea. His install may have been a little cleaner than mine, but I'm happy with my setup. Here's his original post:



Yes, I still have the silver one. I still wish I had the black one, but I don't care enough to try and sell it and buy a new one. My brother put the same valve (but in black) on his MS3, and I want to steal it but he says no, haha. I'd also like black couplers on the FMIC piping. Maybe some day I'll pony up the cash to do both (couplers and BPV). It's not going to change how the car runs, so I don't think it's really worth it right now.

The Forge BPV has a clear annodize on it, it's not just bare aluminum, so it shouldn't corrode. I am currently running with the yellow spring and no shims. With the TMIC I used a green spring I bought from Forge. It is even lighter than the yellow one. Springs/shims will have nothing to do with boost holding ability. They will simply control how quickly the valve vents off when you release the throttle. I used a light spring for quick response and reduced wear on the turbo. A stiffer spring will allow you to hold boost better during shifts, but could be harder on the turbo. Both the green and yellow seem to work OK for me. The blue tends to be a bit too stiff and I get some compressor surge.


I put a bike rack on my WRX today. I went with the Yakima setup. More info can be found here (scroll up for the part numbers):


I will be adding a second bike mount very soon. Probably tomorrow. Here are some photos with a single bike mounted to the rack:





I tried the "Brenizer Method" on a few images. If you're not familiar with it, you basically take a fast telephoto and shoot wide open on MF. Position yourself fairly close and take a bunch of shots to cover the area you want. Then stitch the images together in post processing. The end result is an "equivalent" image to one taken with a wider lens that is a very wide aperture (or conversely a camera with a much larger sensor). Often the resulting aperture is something that isn't physically available (especially if you start with a very fast lens to begin with). In essence, it gives you a nice blurry background with a wider frame of view than would normally be seen.

Here are my attempts. Info is below each image.

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS
Focal Length: 200mm f/2.8
Stitched Image Size: 57MP
Equivalent Full Frame Lens: 95mm f/1.3
Equivalent 1.6x Crop Lens: 59mm f/0.85

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS
Focal Length: 200mm f/2.8
Stitched Image Size: 71MP
Equivalent Full Frame Lens: 85mm f/1.2
Equivalent 1.6x Crop Lens: 53mm f/0.8

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS
Focal Length: 200mm f/2.8
Stitched Image Size: 102MP
Equivalent Full Frame Lens: 70mm f/1.0
Equivalent 1.6x Crop Lens: 44mm f/0.7

The post processing work isn't perfect. When stitching together dozens of images the work goes very slowly. I may have been able to do better if I put more time into it, but I think they came out looking quite good. In the end I was hoping to get a faster "equivalent" aperture (most ended up being around 85mm f/1.2, which is a lens Canon actually does make), but you do see the desired affect is achieved. Ideally I would probably shoot the images with a 85mm f/1.2 or 135mm f/2.0, so that the resulting image would be a ridiculously low effective aperture, but I don't have either of those lenses.

The last one really starts to get the unreal "3D" effect I was going for, but I still think I could have done better. They key is to overlap just enough, but not too much. I really took way too many shots and it made it much harder for Photoshop to stitch them together. Most of the photos seen here were a few dozens shots, but by the end file size, it appears I could have done most with just 6-12 well placed photos. One other cool thing about this, is that it would allow a user with a 1.6x crop body to shoot full frame type images 


Yes, I ordered a 24mm Whiteline Front Sway bar from Import Image Racing and installed it on my car. I then noticed that the end links were at a 45 degree angle, instead of being straight up and down. After some more research I found that IIR had the wrong part number listed for the 2011 WRX, and sent me the wrong part. The bar I had was for the 08-10 WRX (non-widebody). The 2011 WRX needs the sway bar for the 08+ STI. IIR has since updated their website.

Import Image said they'd swap out the sway bar, and that they'd send me the new one once I got the wrong one off my car and it was in transit. So I took it off and shipped it back, but apparently Whiteline sold out of the last STI sway bar the day before (Import Image was just going to drop ship it), so there wasn't anything available for me! After the sway bararrived and cleared their incoming inspection I decided to just take a refund.

Then I called around to probably a dozen places and they all gave me the same story; Whiteline was out of stock and no one could get them for 8 weeks. After calling and calling I finally found ONE place that had a single Whiteline front sway bar in stock for the 08+ STI. It was a 22mm sway bar. Not what I originally wanted, but they gave it to me for a great price, and I've been very happy with it. I think it might actually give the car a more neutral feeling than the 24mm bar would have.

Now everyone has the Whiteline front sway bars back in stock, so I could try to sell my 22mm bar and get a 24mm one, but I think I'll probably just stick with what I've got. When I was on the road course I really liked how it handled, and I'd be worried that the stiffer front bar would cause the car to push through turns.

I did run the car with the stock front sway bar and upgraded rear sway bar for a while. It's not something I would recommend. I'm no expert driver, but this is how I would break things down in a highway on-ramp-type test (ie. drive around a curve at a speed that pushes the limits of traction and see how the car reacts):

  • Stock front sway bar, stock rear sway bar: Car is predictible and the front slides out very easily. Classic understeer. Hard to hold speed because you're basically sliding off the road.
  • Stock front sway bar, 22mm rear sway bar: Car holds together for a while, but once you push the speed up enough it will snap it's tail end out rather unpredictably. Not something I would consider safe. I never spun out or anything, but when pushed to the limits it will be very tough for an inexperienced driver to control.
  • 22mm front sway bar, 22mm rear sway bar: More neutral throughout. Easier to hold speed.  Tires break loose predictably. Understeer is possible if on power during a turn, but oversteer is also possible if you really toss it in hard.

A 24mm front sway bar would probably feel similar. I really have no idea if the stiffer front sway bar would actually be faster around the track or not, but I do like how I have it set up now. I supposed I could play around the with adjustment holes on the sway bars, but I don't think I'm a good enough driver to feel the slight differences.


Check out my SMY Clustermaker t-shirt!


I decided to swap out my exhaust for a full 3" setup. Ordered the Invidia Q300, and it showed up on Friday! Here are some photos. Video in the second post.


Q300 Exhaust:

Had a bung welded in for my widband O2 sensor:

Newer Invidia downpipes have trimmed dividers (to allow VF52 wastegates to open):

Some photos on the car:


Here's a quick video:


My brother just got a new downpipe for his MS3, and I got a new point and shoot camera for traveling, so I decided to put them together for some quick product shots. For the very modest camera/lighting setup I used, I think they came out pretty decent.  






I kind of wish I had taken the time to do better photoshoots on all of the parts before they went on my car. Oh well, all the parts I have are pretty common, so most people know what they look like, and I did get shots of some of the smaller stuff.


In case you missed it on the last page: Blouch 20G-XT-R

Tuned to 24psi. Here's the plot:

The car made 426WHP and 438WTQ on Virtual Dyno. It feels great!  

Big thanks for Nuke for tuning me all along the way! NF Performance 


Added the GrimmSpeed License Plate Delete yesterday. Looks great!


Very Stealthy:


A Couple More Angles:

Don't Mind The Dirty Car:


I tried getting the OEM heat shield back on, but it just wouldn't fit. So I picked up the GrimmSpeed heat shield. It looks and works great!

You can also see the FP Subaru Oil Line that I used when I did the turbo install. It's a very handy kit to have, and made for a very clean and easy install.


Link is gone now so I can keep teasing 


Here's a full shot of the car:

Sorry about the quality. It was getting dark by the time I got around to taking photos.

Here are a few more shots with the new wheels:


Coming soon....


EWG is in!

Sorry, no installed photos, but here are a few more that I took last night.

Tial MV-R 44mm EWG.

EWG Opened. 3 Springs for 1.1 bar Setting.

Note 4 grooves in diaphragm and cover to align up to 4 springs.

Here you can see how far the valve opens. Note that diaphragm would actually be held down by cover and would not lose seal.

3 springs for 1.1 bar. Quite a challenge to get the cover back on!

Mock up for photo. Note that EWG and dump tube would really be turned 90 degrees when installed in vehicle.

A few more photos:

I installed a GrimmSpeed crosspipe at the same time. Overall it really wasn't too bad, but it did take some time. I think it was between 5 and 6 hours total (uppipe, EWG, crosspipe, all work done by myself on jack stands). Since I was doing the crosspipe at the same time, I decided to take off the headers instead of pulling the turbo. To do the install I did the following:

  • Removed downpipe
  • Removed all uppipe bolts
  • Unplugged O2 sensor (located in passenger side header)
  • Removed heat shield from passenger side header
  • Removed heat shield from driver side header
  • Removed crosspipe
  • Removed passenger side header
  • Removed passenger side motor mount bolt
  • Jacked up motor ~1"
  • Removed uppipe
  • Installed GrimmSpeed uppipe
  • Loosely attached uppipe to turbo
  • Loosely attached crosspipe to driver side header
  • Loosely attached passenger side header to uppipe, crosspipe, and head
  • Tightened uppipe to header bolts
  • Tightened header to crosspipe bolts
  • Tightened header to head bolts
  • Tightened uppipe to turbo bolts
  • Tightened uppipe to motor bracket bolts
  • Installed dump tube to EWG (test fit for proper orientation)
  • Installed EWG to uppipe
  • Installed downpipe

Quite a list. No wonder it took me so long! I hit most of the bolts with PBlaster and none of them gave me much of a problem. Overall it was pretty smooth, just tedious work, especially on the ground with the car on jack stands. The hardest part was getting the EWG onto the uppipe. The V-band clamp was difficult to get into position with the limited space.  

Note that I installed the dump tube onto the EWG first. I thought this was easier. I mocked up the EWG location and then oriented the dump tube so it was about one finger width, or slightly less, away from the axle. I clamped the dump tube to the EWG down tight while it was off the car. Then I bolted that whole assembly onto the uppipe. 

FYI - The dump tube should come off the EWG approx parallel to the gound. Once the downpipe was on it ended up being about the same amount of clearance from the dump tube (as to the axle). For the limited amount of room, the GrimmSpeed uppipe is really a perfect fit. At least 1/2"-3/4" clearance for everything.

I backed my manual boost controller all the way out and took it for a drive. Wow, it is loud but it sounds pretty awesome! The 44mm definitely has a deep-ish tone, but is still really loud. The 1.1 bar spring setup with the MBC backed all the way out gave me a rock solid 18psi to redline. I turned it up a hair and am currently running at 20psi. It is totally rock solid. No creeping or spikes at all (approx 50F weather tonight).  

With the IWG I had the MBC backed all the way out for most of my daily driving (should be 19psi). It would hold a solid 19psi when it was warm out, but when it was cooler it would hit 19psi and then creep to 23-24psi on a 2k-redline pull. If I just mashed the throttle at higher RPM it would spike to 25psi or more. The EWG has totally fixed this! I'm really glad to see rock solid boost.

Overall I'm super happy with how it turned out. The EWG sounds awesome when I get on it, but I can still be stealthy when I stay away from peak boost. The EWG will open slightly before my peak boost, but in daily driving it is very easy to avoid it opening. With the 20G it really only opens when I want it to (plenty of throttle input and higher RPM's). The fact that it seems to have completely cured my boost creep/spike issues is the best part. Hopefully I'll get a quick retune and log sometime soon to see if it free'd up any power 


Uploaded two videos 

The first is my car on the dyno (before the EWG install):

The next one is a quick clip of the EWG opening up:

Here are some installed shots of the EWG. As you can see, there isn't a lot of room, but the GrimmSpeed uppipe makes it all fit perfectly!


Removed the backseat to head to the track for the last Sport Compacts Drag event of the year. Removal is quite easy. Probably takes 10-20 minutes or so. Only 5 bolts and 1 nut to remove.

Did one shakedown pass at the track and everything seemed to be going to fine. Went for the real deal on the second pass and the car blew up. Went home on a flatbed. I don't think the car liked the redline launches 


Oil change, steelies with snow tires, mudflaps, raised the coilovers all the way up, and put on some DIY coilover covers.


Winter Mode:

- 16x6.5" Steelies with 215/55R16 General Altimax Arctics

- Flapatax Mudflaps

- BC Racing Inverted Coilovers Maxed Out Height:

  • ~2.5 finger gap in the front
  • ~2 finger gap in the rear





Take a look at this graphic from Consumer Reports a couple years ago:

I think the snow grip of the General's is excellent. They are definitely a really squishy tire that isn't going to be good for hard cornering when it's dry out, but I'm willing to give that up for the snow traction. The Blizzak's will probably be a hair worse on snow grip but a bit better handling in the dry. And they cost more. It all depends on what is more important to you, but the General's are a good match for what I want them for, and the price is great.


My wife has WS70's on her car. They're good too 

BTW, one thing I forgot to update in this thread is that I upgraded to the KSTech 73mm intake. I got the one that has the heat shield designed to fit the FMIC piping.  

The intake went on October 1st. I'll have to update the first few posts when I get a chance. I tried taking a new engine bay shot today, but it was already getting dark, so it didn't turn out very good 


So, what do you think? Black or silver core?  

I'm really on the fence about swapping my black core for a silver one. I think the black looks better, but it's getting pretty chipped up.


FYI for any 08+ WRX running higher boost:

The Omni Power MAP Sensor for the Toyota Supra is a direct drop in for our cars.

More info here:



No, he doesn't have a thread anywhere. Do you have any specific questions? Here's a summary:

Black 2011 MazdaSpeed3

  • James Barone Rear Motor Mount LINK
  • James Barone Rear Sway Bar LINK
  • James Barone Short Shift Plate LINK
  • James Barone Solid Shifter Bushings LINK
  • James Barone Heavy Shift Knob LINK
  • AQ Motorsports Downpipe LINK PHOTOS
  • KMD v2.1 High Pressure Fuel Pump Internals FAILED LINK
  • PTP High Pressure Fuel Pump Internals LINK
  • COBB Tuning AccessPort LINK
  • COBB Tuning Turbo Inlet Hose LINK
  • COBB Tuning SF Intake LINK
  • Rally Armor Mudflaps LINK
  • 16" Steel Wheels (Winter)
  • General Altimax Arctic Tires (Winter) LINK

We agree that we both made the right purchase. The MS3 has a nicer interior and cost him several thousand less than what a base WRX would cost. It is faster on the highway than a comparable WRX (stock vs. stock, Stage 1 vs. Stage 1, Stage 2 vs. Stage 2, etc), and has excellent handling at the track.  

The downsides are that there is less aftermarket support, so modding isn't quite as straightforward. The direct injection fueling is the main part of this. They require an expensive high pressure fuel pump upgrade even at Stage 2. This pump and the lack of availability of injectors is a limiting factor in making big power.

As they sit now, mine is obviously quite a bit faster, but it could certainly be argued that his is the better daily driver. It's still very quick, much more livable than my car, and cost a lot less. I'm still happy I made the purchase I made, and wouldn't change a thing. It's just a different option that I'm sure many people will find to be preferable depending on their situation.

Also, he is constantly mulling the idea of picking up a project STI, so he can stop modding the MS3 and keep it as a nice daily driver, and then go for bigger power in the STI 

I had just happened to take some photos of the downpipe, so I put them up. I haven't been documenting anything else for his car, sorry. Here are a couple shots of the cars together that I took quite a while ago.


Here's shot of my car from today:


Here you go!

I made a video going from 30-100mph:

2011 WRX Hatch

-Blouch 20G XTR Turbo

-E85 @ 23psi Max

-Tial 44mm EWG

-Winter Tires

-Stock Cat Back Exhaust


2011 WRX - Stock Motor

  • <300WHP for 8k miles (pump gas, stock turbo)
  • ~350WHP for 8k miles (E85, stock turbo)
  • ~400WHP for 6k miles (E85, Blouch 20G XTR)
  • End Result:


OK, enough is enough. The car is not being parted out or sold. In fact, it is already back on the road! Thanks to the help of the NF crew, the motor has been pulled and the shortblock was swapped for a built block that I purchased a few months ago. 

I took a bunch of photos throughout the swap process. Enjoy! (click photo for more):

Thanks to everyone who supported me. Everyone who said "other" things, I'm not mad, I was asking for it, lol. I guess I was trolling my own thread. It was frustrating when the engine went out and left me without a ride (had to borrow a car from my parents), but I never considered anything but swapping the motor. I love the car and wouldn't want to part with it. NF Performance got me back up and running very quickly. The car is even better than before, and I think I have a new found appreciation for it after all that work!


High's in the 60's F this week in MN, so the BBS wheels are back on! If it gets cold again, I'll have to swap back.


Bye bye BBS wheels!


I put decals on my car today:


Here's a quick video of me running through the gears after the motor swap. Boost up to ~26psi peak (25psi redline). Revving it out to around 7k.


Wheels arrived! Hope to install them this weekend. Still waiting on rubber. I got the "Silver" wheels (according to the website). The box says "Metal Grey". In some light they look darker (grey-ish), and in other light they look much lighter (silver-ish). I think it looks great. Perfect for what I was looking for.  




2012 Summer Wheels! Went for the clean/OEM-style look. I opted for a 17x9" to save a little weight (vs. and 18x9.5"). I think they look great!

2011 Subaru WRX - BC Racing Coilovers
Mach V Awesome Wheels - 17x9" @ 17.8lbs
Dunlop Direzza Star Spec Tires - 255/40R17




Here's a shot of mine from the rear:


NF Performance, my tuning/build team, name some of their cars. Mine goes by the name "Project 11-B", so that's what it's known as locally. 

Here's a shot of Project 11-B at a local meet from over the weekend. There was close to 100 cars that showed up. It was huge!

Anyways, here's a shot of the BRZ rear "leg room". Lol.


I decided to try Plasti Dipping my Forge BPV tonight. It turned out pretty good. It looks nice now, but I really don't think the Plasti Dip will hold up to much mounting/remounting or opening of the valve. If you just paint it, mount it once, and never touch it, I think it will look OK, but if you have to take it on and off, or open it often, I don't think it will last. Anyways, here are the photos...








I like the Forge. It is a simple design, that will hold as much boost as you can throw at it. My only concern is that it is apparently designed to be open at idle (I have tested and confirmed this). I think that just about all recirculating BPV's are designed this way, but I could be wrong. Being open at idle isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think it serves to eliminate compressor surge (flutter) on partial throttle lift off. But in my mind it means that it takes a split second longer to close and allow boost to build. I haven't done anything to confirm whether this is really a noticeable difference or not (probably isn't), but it "seems" better to be closed under vacuum.

Recently I've thought about trying out some other stuff. I actually put a GFB hybrid BOV on the other day. It is closed at idle and vents 50/50 recirculating and to atmosphere. It is much louder than the Forge. Unfortunately I was getting flutter during partial boost lift off no matter how I adjusted the spring. I'm told this isn't really a bad thing, but I don't really like it. I've gone back to the Forge now (after painting it). Nice and quiet, and no flutter. I think I might try the TurboXS 50/50 next.

All the Tial stuff looks really nice. The QR BOV looks pretty big though. And you need an adapter 


I also think the TurboSmart Hybrid looks very nice. The Tial and TurboSmart are a bit more expensive though. I'm going to try the TurboXS first, and then maybe the TurboSmart Kompact BPV next. Then possibly onto the more expensive ones. Hopefully I find something I like. I think it may just come down to the fact that you either get a valve that is open/leaking at idle OR a valve that has some flutter. It may be impossible to get what I want. I'm not sure though.


I decided to put my GFB Hybrid BOV back on today. I previously only had it on for a few days. I had the spring pre-load adjustment screw set to flush with the cap (where GFB recommends). At this setting it fully closed at itdle, drove fine, and blew of nicely under high boost, but it would create compressor surge (flutter) on partial boost lifts. GFB acknowledges that there may be slight flutter, and that it is nothing to worry about, but I didn't really like it.

The BOV has some external wear, but internally is perfect. I took it apart today and looked at the spring adjustments. I noticed you could back the adjustment screw out another 5-6 turns before the spring was fully extended into the housing. This made the screw stick way out. I decided to buy a shorter screw so it would have less pre-load and still be flush with the top of the cap. While I was at the hardware store I replaced all the screws with shiny new SS screws (the current ones had some corrosion).

I re-installed it (with the new screws installed). Now with the screw flush it had about 3/8" less pre-load on the spring. I started it up and was happy to find that the valve still closed at idle. Vacuum readings looked normal, and it idled smoothly. I took it for a drive and it blows off really nicely now. If I am barely, barely into boost and slowly let off, I can get a tiny amount of flutter, but hardly anything. Under normal driving (high or low boost) it opens with a nice "pssshhh".  

There are some situations where it makes the "pssshhh" sound where the Forge wouldn't have made any sound. This makes me think that the Forge wasn't actually fully closed at that point. I think I'll give this valve a shot for a while although I am still considering trying a few other hybrid valves, just to see how they sound. I do like the idea of a sequential valve that would recirculate first (ie. low boost shifts) and only VTA if it was higher boost. I need to figure out which valves do this, but right now I'm pretty happy with the GFB.






Ask and you shall receive!

I took it easy on the shifting, so you could hopefully hear the valve better. I also did plenty of partial boost shifts so you could hear that it doesn't flutter (like I've had problems with). Unfortunately I had the driver's window up (and the other 3 cracked), so you can't really hear it as well as you could if they all were open. We'll see if I get tired of it or not. Right now I really like it. It seems very responsive, and really isn't all that loud.


I don't know if it's necessarily a case of power level requiring a BOV, but more so just trying to get the most responsive setup. I would argue that a recirculating valve is theoretically best for a MAF based system. All metered air should technically stay within the system. It is more that the VTA valve isn't really that bad, and that this valve is able to adjust more than the Forge.

The Forge valve has a piston design that has much greater area on the top side. This results in a net force downward (closing the valve) under boost. Really, no matter how light your spring is, the valve will still close tightly and hold boost. The downside with that is that it is always open under vacuum, and even very low boost. You could get it to close with a very stiff spring (stiffer than they include), but it would have a lot of compressor surge.

The GFB valve has similar area on the top and bottom side (possibly slightly more on the top). This essentially means the piston is neutral based on air pressure. The spring holds it closed. Correct spring pressure is much more crucial here. If you have it set up correctly, it will close at idle (unlike the Forge), and still blow of very rapidly. Another side benefit of the 50/50 Hybrid valve is that there is essentially twice as much flow area (so it vents more quickly).

Really the Forge valve (or similar design) is probably best for the vast majority of people. It is essentially plug and play. You really should be able to install just about any spring, and it will function fine. It will always close tightly (and always hold boost unless the piston sealing surface is dirty or damaged). Other valves simply offer more options for adjustability (which for some people could just be more ways to screw them up). A recirculating valve that closes at idle may actually be the best option (as long as you take the time to set it up correctly), but for now the GFB valve seems to be doing the job.


Well, I had purchased some 02-04 WRX wheels to use next winter, but now I've decided to sell them. Took some goodbye photos, lol.

Also selling some other stock parts that I didn't use in the motor swap.

Oil Pump:

Oil Cooler:

The wheels and oil cooler are pending. The oil pump is still for sale. I might be listing some other stuff soon, but a lot of the stuff I thought I had are somehow no where to be found. I think I "organized" a little too vigorously after the swap, lol.



Here are some photos of the valve installed.




If you drive the speed limit, it doesn't take any longer to stop with 400WHP than with 200WHP 

Check out these shots of the Proto Tuning Tool Holder in my car:



Here's a photo of my car on the dyno:

Any more guesses on what it made?

Here's the dyno video:

462 WHP / 492 WTQ  



Here is the plot:

Here are the numbers from all 3 pulls.

  • 468WHP / 498WTQ @ 27.6psi
  • 462WHP / 492WTQ @ 28.0psi
  • 463WHP / 494WTQ @ 27.4psi


A few shots from today:


Yeah, I'll just go ahead and pretend that never happened....

Here's a shot of my car from today:


Installed Koni Adjustable Dampers, rears only, today. Here are some photos.

Donor struts (09 WRX) and Koni's (in boxes).

Close up of the donors. Only using the rear top hats for this part of the install.

Drilling out the top hats to 1/2" for the Koni's.

Top hats drilled out, Koni's ready for assembly.

Koni's getting ready, and a close up of the RCE Black spring.


One assembled, and then both assembled.


Install went pretty well. I had just installed the RCE blacks on my stock struts a couple weeks ago, so I'd been through this whole process recently. Since I did already have the springs on the car, my first step was pulling the OEM struts and RCE blacks off the car, then taking the springs off and putting them on the Koni's.  

I used the 2011 OEM bump stops and cut off the smallest lobe. I was able to get the bump stops on without drilling them out. I just pushed them on far enough to clear the threads on the piston. Then I installed the top hat loosely and used that for leverage to pull the bump stop on. It was very easy. Then I took the top hat back off and put the spring on.

I was able to press down on the springs by hand and get the bolt started onto the piston by myself. Having another person would make this a lot easier. When doing struts one tool you'll definitely want to have around is a go thru socket set. You pretty much need it to remove and install the top hats properly.

Once they were assembled, I put the top bolts through the car and loosely installed the nuts. Then I re-connected the lower control arms. After doing this a couple times recently, I've realized there's really only one order you can do it in that is relatively easy.

  1. Loosely install nuts on upper mounting points of strut.
  2. Press down on lower control arm and align lower mounting point of strut.
  3. Place bolt through lower mounting point of strut.
  4. Jack up lower control arm until outer hole lines up.
  5. Place bolt through hole.
  6. Adjust jack so endlink hole lines up.
  7. Place bolt through hole.
  8. Install nuts and tighten.
  9. Tighten upper mounting point bolts.

Step 4 and 5 are the hard ones. Looking at other guides online, you might not actually have to remove that bolt. It just makes it easier to get the strut in and out. If you leave that bolt connected, you'll have to use some muscle to get the lower control arm low enough to get the strut in/out. I'm not sure how difficult that is. Getting that bolt back in isn't too hard, but can be a little tricky.

Once I got it all back together and tightened down I went for a drive. The car feels great. I'll definitely need to wait until I get the fronts installed and drive around a while before making any final decisions though. But so far, so good!


I did the front Koni's tonight with the help of Roger from NF Performance!

Donor struts for the front, all cleaned up (09 WRX).

Pipe cutter in progress.

Very clean cut!

Koni insert installed and then spring and top hat assembled.


Car back on the ground.

The fronts were a lot more work. Partially because I didn't have the right tools/setup when I started. I had a bench vice, but I never actually bothered to mount it to my workbench (more on this later). I started this install by finding the center of the strut and tapping it with a punch. I used a universal drill bit and drilled just far enough to punch a hole in the damper. It is under pressure so hydraulic fluid will spray out. Make sure to wear proper protective equipment.

So, once I had the hole made, I turned the damper upside down and pumped the piston in and out a dozen times or so. Until fluid mostly stopped coming out. I taped over the hole for the time being (to reduce the mess). Next I started in with the pipe cutter. I got most of the way through simply holding the vice with my feet, lol. Then the pipe cutter broke. One of the screws holding it together stripped out. When I went out to exchange the pipe cutter I also picked up some bolts to mount the vice to the bench. Drilled a few holes and bolted it down. Once I did that the pipe cutter was 100x easier to use. Haha. It didn't take too long and it was cut open. I pulled out the guts and finished draining it.

Then I flipped it over and got the universal drill bit back out and opened up the hole to 1/2" to allow the Koni bolt to fit through. The damper is a friction fit into the OEM strut (it has some nubs that hold it tight). You have to pound it into place, or use a bolt to pull it in. The stock bolt won't reach, so I bought a longer M12x1.5 bolt and a bunch of washers. I started with very few washers and tightened the bolt down to pull the damper into the strut. Once the bolt bottomed out in the damper I unscrewed it and removed washers. Repeat until damper is pulled all the way into place. Or at least close enough to use the Koni bolt (but I'd pull the damper all the way in with the larger bolt because the Koni bolt is an allen key and that's more likely to strip out). Torque down to spec (55 ft-lbs).

Then finish reassembling. We could not get it together without using spring compressors. I've heard other people can (maybe with different springs?). Once that is completely assembled, repeat for the the other side. It's not too difficult, but the pipe cutter takes some muscle, and the overall process is quite time consuming. We put the assembled dampers back in and set the camber bolts to max negative camber. Now that the suspension swap is complete I'll have to get re-aligned and see how it turned out. The 09 WRX struts should give me a little more negative camber than the 2011's would have.  

Once we got the wheels back on and put the car back on the ground it was obvious it was lower than with the stock struts(same springs, RCE blacks). I measured the fronts at 13" from hub to fender (previously 13.5"). The rear is also 13" from hub to fender. I think it looks perfect. It is nearly identical ride height to how I had my coilovers set. Approx 1-1.5 finger width of fender gap. I set the dampers to 1 turn firmer than full soft. I think this is what Koni recommends for moderate aftermarket springs. I'm going to try it there for a while and see how I like it. I did go on a quick drive, and it feels really good. The car has so much better ride quality than the BC coilovers and still feels very planted in the turns. More thoughts will come after I've had the full setup in for a while.

Quick video of some drifting in the rain from last weekend  

Well, I guess the video was done sooner than expected!

Thanks to Erik Blume for shooting and editing this great video from last weekend at DCTC! The rain was a lot of fun! Getting sideways is awesome 

There are three 2011 WRX's in this video. Mine is the black one. The white one is Stage 2 + E85 and the silver sedan is Stage 2 on pump gas. I don't know how that Evo got in there 

FYI - We're not professional drifters (obviously). We were just out having some fun. This was my first time getting my car to rotate around like this. I had a great time!

Here are some shots of the ride height on Koni Adjustable dampers and RCE Black springs. 13" from fender to hub on all 4 corners.

Also, I picked up a used Tsudo Quad Tip exhaust today. It was in great shape overall. Here are some photos:

Overall, it seems OK for the money. The materials and welds all looked good. Getting the muffler section on to the y-pipe section wasn't too bad, but it didn't line up perfectly (the bolts do tighten down and the gaskets don't leak. The midpipe is a very close fit to the heat shield and the actual driveshaft. The flange looks like it could contact the heat shield but I haven't noticed any noise. The midpipe was hammered in by the previous owner to add additional clearance to the driveshaft. I haven't heard it hit.  

Getting it onto the hangers was a tight fit, but it all went on fine. The sound is noticeably louder and much deeper than the stock exhaust I had on there. After driving around, it is actually pretty quiet for an aftermarket exhaust. I would say it's quite a bit quieter than the Q300 when cruising. The exhaust note is very low. Probably the lowest I've had on any of my setups.  

This exhaust is pretty cheap and has reports of fitment issues, but it seems to fit OK for me, and the 3" pipes look great. Hopefully it increases flow compared to my stock exhaust. The sound is quite nice, but it is louder than stock (as expected). It is probably quieter than SPT (or similar) and definitely quieter than the Q300. Overall it seems very livable, but we'll see what the wife thinks. If she doesn't like it, it will be up for sale!

Video coming soon!


OK, got the video to work. Here it is:

I'm not sure why there is so much popping when the rev's drop in the video. I've noticed this before in my videos. Those noises never happen when actually driving the car. It must have to do with revving it high and then letting it drop all the way back down to idle.


Here's a new video showing how my car sounds at its current power level, with the stock cat back:

Here's a new video showing how my car sounds at its current power level, with the stock cat back:

Also, took a couple shots with my brother's 2011 MS3.

If anyone is interested in photography, these were created using the Brenizer Method. I shot them using the Canon 135mm f/2.0 on a Canon 5D (full frame) body. Each shot is a composite of 10 individual shots. This give the effective field of view/perspective/depth of field of approx a 38mm f/0.6 lens!


Here's another video from a few weekends ago when I was at the track. This is before it started raining and we decided to get sideways.   I'm only in the video once at around the 2:00 mark. Check it out!


Yeah, I'm planning to get one of the newer ones. I was watching the GoPro video from Pike's Peak and trying to decide which angle I liked best:

(Hopefully that's the correct video). They had GoPro's all over the car. I know you usually mount yours inside, but I think that low on the front bumper looks the coolest to me. On the roof looks pretty cool too. I also like the rear mounted view and the driver/cluster view. Maybe I need a 4 Go Pro's.... LOL. I'll probably just mount it in a different spot for each session. That seems like a good plan.



Alright the review is up!


Quick run 1st thru 3rd. Very quick and smooth!




Work in progress 


Well, I got my Legacy key and put it all together, only to find that I got the wrong Legacy key  The key works to start the car, but the remote doesn't work. Right now I have a very fancy valet key, lol.

I uploaded the photos, but I won't be able to finish the write up until I can find a new key. If anyone sees one, I would be grateful for a heads up!  


I found an old video today, so I decided to do a comparison. I added a little back story too 

Here's the story of my cars: I borrowed various cars from my parents throughout high school (all had less than 150HP), but didn't buy my first car on my own until spring of 2006. It was a 1999 Honda Accord LX. It had a 2.3L, 4 cylinder engine, and a 5 speed. It was rated at 150HP and 152TQ. I kept it stock except for some wheels and an eBay intake.

The Honda was a great car and I kept it until fall of 2010 when I got my 2011 WRX. I sold the Honda and then quickly got caught up in modding my WRX. I had never done anything with cars other than changing oil and wheels, but a year and a half later I now have a 462WHP/492WTQ car that was all wrenched in my garage!

Here is the older video of the Honda compared to a more recent video of the WRX. There is quite a difference! 

1999 Honda Accord: 50-100mph: 15.6 seconds

- 150HP / 152TQ Rated

- 2.3L I4 (Stock)

- 5 Speed Transmission

Video from March 2007

2011 Subaru WRX: 50-100mph: 4.4 seconds

- 462WHP / 492 WTQ

- Blouch 20G XT-R Turbo

- E85 - Built Motor - FMIC - EWG

- Invidia Catless Downpipe

- Stock Cat Back Exhaust

Video from March 2012




10 turns would be quite a problem! I don't even know if it has 10 turns of adjustment. Luckily 10 turns would never happen by accident. I don't think you could even do more than 1 or 2 clicks (fraction of a psi) by accident. It's just not that easy to spin (it has a detent so it "clicks" as you turn it).  

I've found it takes about 4 full turns to go from wastegate pressure (just over 20psi) to my desired peak of ~27psi. It is nice to be able to jump between those two whenever I want (although I never have turned it down in the past, so I don't know if I really will do that now...). I just figured it would be nice for the track in case I want to tone things down a bit on the fly.

Here's another lower shot:

I ran the vacuum lines across the engine bay and through the large grommet in the fender (along with all the other wiring I have done). Plenty of room in there. The MBC was mounted into a hole that was already existing under the dash. I don't know why it was there, but it was a perfect fit for the bolt.

I was a bit worried that the extra vacuum lines would cause problems, but I haven't noticed any issues so far. Spool and boost control seem to work just fine, but I would still like to pull a log to confirm. The only oddity is that you can hear the MBC venting air once the ball/spring opens up (as it should). It's just a slight hiss and by that time the EWG is open so it doesn't matter anyways!


Well, my brother decided to try out some NT05's. They went on his MS3 with stock wheels.

The car they're on:

I have Star Specs on my car, but he figured he'd give the Nitto's a shot. We'll be going to the road course next weekend to see how they do.


I picked up the SPT exhaust (again) today. Put it on and did an oil change. I really, really like how the flared tips look. I think the SPT, Nameless (small tips) and Greddy are the best looking exhausts. The single wall, straight cut tips just don't do it for me. The other rolled or double wall exhausts (that aren't quite as pronounced as the SPT) look OK, but I don't think as good.  

I was also reminded how good the SPT sounds! It's very, very quiet at cruise. Close to stock. Definitely a lot quieter than the Q300. It is considerably louder than stock when you get on it, but not excessive. The tone is always deep and sounds great. I'm really happy to have it back on. Also good news is that baby loves it! 

While I had them off, I measured the stock vs. SPT midpipe. Stock is 2 1/4" and SPT is 2 1/2". SPT has the midpipe go straight into the muffler. Saves about a foot of piping and a 90 degree and a 180 degree bend. I'm assuming this would all add up to slightly better flow, but probably doesn't make that much of a difference (since cat back's don't really seem to matter).


The SPT is the exact same between the STI and WRX (08+ hatch). Definitely not 3". None of them are (including the single exit hatch SPT). This is my second SPT, one came off a WRX and one came off an STI. Same thing. The exhaustactually flares out at the flanges and gets wider. The only 3" section is the few inches after the midpipe and before the muffler. 

Here's the stock image. You can see it doesn't "neck down" at the flanges. 

Here's a couple new shots that I took today:


I got a lip from a friend and put it on last night.

It was pretty easy. I just put a push pin in each end and a clamp in the middle. This held it pretty well, and then I put the push pin through the metal tab on each side. Next I drilled the holes for the rest of the metal tabs and installed those screws. Last I drilled all the holes for the smaller bolts. I started with the middle two and installed the bolts. By this point the lip was held pretty firmly so I could drill the rest of the holes and they would be in the right spots.

It was all pretty easy. I did have some trouble with with the push clips on the very ends. It seems like the stock ones aren't long enough to read through 3 layers of plastic. I had a few from Autozone that were a little longer and they seemed to work OK, but I'm still not sure if they're in quite properly. Any tricks to make this work? The lip does seem to be on very securely, so it's just a curiosity.

While I had the drill out, I made some more holes:

This should let some more air get to the intake. I'm not really sure how much air will get through these little holes, but maybe it will help some. I'm not expecting miracles, just seemed like an easy thing to do. I'm not sure why there aren't holes from the factory, hopefully Subaru doesn't know something that I don't know....


**** this car! 3rd gear is gone! Time to sell it for real! 


I got bored and decided to make a video:


Here's a couple shots where you can see the lip:

And one more from the rear:


Yes, I am alive and well.

Here are a couple more photos:


Maybe this will help tide people over for a while.

Here ya go!




Here's a quick video of me running through the gears. You can hear the whine in 1st 


I timed it at 4.8-4.9 seconds, but I didn't look too hard. In my older video when I revved it out to over 7k (and could make 100mph in 3rd gear) my time was 4.5 seconds. That extra shift costs me about 1/3 of a second it appears.  

Here are some of my other times. My 5.3 second time did over 400WHP on Virtual Dyno, so I'm guessing you'll be around there or possibly slightly higher? I did have to shift into 4th for that one, so it should be comparable to yours in that regard (unless you rev over 7k).

1999 Accord - 4cyl - 5 speed - NA - 15.6 seconds
2011 WRX - Stock Turbo - E85 - 20psi - 7.5 seconds
2011 WRX - 20G XTR - E85 - 24psi - 5.3 seconds
2011 WRX - 20G XTR - E85 - 27psi - 4.5 seconds

Here you can see the Accord's run and the fastest of the WRX runs:


My car's first car wash!


I swapped out the TurboSmart Kompact for another Forge BPV a few days ago. The TurboSmart Kompact is very quiet. Nearly silent. The Forge is a bit louder and sounds quite good. After trying all sorts of valves the Forge is still one I really like.

Today I just put on the TurboSmart Dual Port. I've wanted to try this one out for a while! It looks like a really, really nice product. Excellent build quality. Probably the nicest once I've had on the car. Hopefully it works well.


I have an ACT HD pressure plate, ACT Street Light Flywheel, and ACT 4 Puck Clutch Disk. I've had this setup for about 6 months now, and I've always had chatter when starting from a standstill. If I was on flat ground or a downslope, and wasn't rushed, I could really take my time and it would start with minimal chatter. But if I was uphill or rushed in any way I could get terrible shuddering. I thought I might get used to it, but after 6 months of driving I decided to give this a shot.

On the newer cars the CDV is integrated into the slave cylinder. All you have to do it remove a large bolt/plug from the back of the slave cylinder and then pull the CDV components out. You can do this without unhooking the slave cylinder from the line. I would recommend unbolting it from the tranny and lifting it up so you don't make a mess. All you'll need is a 24mm wrench for the CDV and a 14mm socket for removing the slave cylinder from the tranny. Here is more info:


And here are the parts you have to pull out:

During the process you shouldn't lose any fluid, but you do let a bunch of air into the system, so you will have to bleed it. Once I had the slave cylinder back together and bolted back onto the car, I replaced my fluid with ATE SuperBlue. The whole process does not take long. Probably 5-10min to pull the CDV and 5-10min to bleed the system. Very simple overall.

After doing this I have nearly ZERO chatter. I can basically drive it like normal, and it works perfectly. It is almost like stock again. I will have no problems driving this around town without any shuddering at all. I am very happy with how it turned out. And I can't believe I waited so long to do it! Highly recommended for anyone with a puck-style clutch!


Tonight I made an attempt at combining multiple exposures. Shot using a single strobe into a 45" umbrella. Took a bunch of shots, but only chose 4 to use. It ended up looking OK, but the reflections off of a black car are very hard to deal with. I'll have to try this with a more interesting background sometime.


They're going good. First gear obviously whines, second gear is a hair louder, but the rest seem like stock. 5th is obviously dead silent (OEM), so highway cruising is no problem. Shifter seems more firm, but no issues going into gear. I'm not sure what else to say other than it's been a few weeks of daily driving and it hasn't blown up, lol.

Removing that clutch delay valve was really a good change. The clutch is much more bearable now. I still say "bearable" because it's not great, or even like stock (for around town), but at least it doesn't shake the whole car apart anymore, haha. I would definitely recommend this for anyone with a puck clutch (who's not worried about their tranny, because I do think it can increase the car's ability to shock load the tranny).

It's still been in the 90's every day around here. Car always feels slower in the heat. I can't wait for a cool day. I've had a couple mornings in the upper 60's on the way to work and the car feels like a rocket, lol. Mostly I just putter around out of boost. With the stock 5th gear and stock exhaust my car doesn't sound like much going through my daily commute...


I'm starting to get bored with my stock exhaust again, lol. I was half considering getting an N1 "because it's light weight" (at least that's what I told myself). I really don't think I'd be able to put up with it daily, though. So it would probably end up being a once a month exhaust, so probably not even worth it.

Looking around for other options, I came across the TurboXS. It looks a lot like the Q300 (4" tips, suitcase style muffler, etc), but it seems a bit better in just about every way. The muffler is flat and none of the piping sits low (like the Q300). Looks to be built just as well. From what I've read it is quieter than the Q300 and has way less drone (it has a larger muffle and resonator). These are big for me (quietness). I did read that it's louder than the SPT, so it will probably be pushing the limit, but it might be OK. The price is also quite reasonable.

I still think I'd be very happy with the Nameless (full size muffler version) or the Greddy SP, but I'm not willing to spend $1k on something that I feel doesn't increase my power at all (although when I have the stock exhaust on, it always nags on my mind that I might be leaving something on the table, lol). Since the TurboXS seems quiet(ish) and costs half as much as some of the other options, I'm really starting to think about it. Thoughts?

These are what I've read so far. I'll probably read up some more before deciding anything.



Here are my results using Virtual Dyno vs. the actual Dynojet at MAPerformance. I have two different setups that I've had dyno'd at MAP. The first was with the stock VF52 (on E85) and the second one was the 20G XTR (on E85). Here is more info on the 20G XTR setup if anyone is interested.


2011 WRX - VF52 - E85: 

Dynojet (MAPerformance): 339WHP

Virtual Dyno (Dynojet): 338WHP

2011 WRX - 20GXTR - E85:

Dynojet (MAPerformance): 462WHP

Virtual Dyno (Dynojet): 463WHP

The peak horsepower results are VERY close! The peak torque is different by about 5%, but the overall curves (both power and torque) look very similar. The main issues I see with people posting Virtual Dyno results are the following:

  • Fast Polling turned on when logging
  • Road is not flat
  • Data is not entered correctly (weight, tire size, etc.)
  • Improper smoothing
  • Improper trimming

As long as you give Virtual Dyno good data, it will produce good results. While dyno numbers don't mean much, I've found it to be very useful to track the changes I've made to my car. I find that it's definitely more useful than the old "butt dyno". 

The other interesting comparison here (for some people) is the stock turbo vs. a bit larger one, the 20G XTR. This size (very similar to the Dom 1.5XTR) is something that many people probably consider when looking at stock location turbos and I haven't seen too many direct comparisons. I haven't seen too many people push this size turbo to higher boost (many are often run at 20-24psi), so often the results are not that impressive. When TopSpeed did the Dom1.5XTR testing, they pushed the turbo to similar boost and had great results as well.

What I glean from looking at these plots is that you can gain over 100WHP and 100WTQ when going from a stock turbo to this size turbo. You will probably lose up to 500rpm's of spool (ie. RPM @ 20psi) but peak torque will shift by nearly 1k rpm's. Often when you see turbo's this size having peak torque only about 500rpm's later than a stock turbo, it is because they are only pushing it to just over 20psi. When you push the boost higher you will typically see spool up at the same RPM but the peak will be further right.

On the street it feels great, but it does hit later. There is gobs and gobs more power, but you do have to wait for it. Downshifting does wonders. It's much easier to stay out of boost, but when you get on it, it really moves. I love the setup and could never see myself going back, but be warned that it does feel different. No more flooring it at 3k and zipping away. You're better off downshifting, then flooring it, and then zipping away much faster  I daily drive this car, and I love it. Plenty of usable power, and it comes on quick enough to be good for daily use.

The stock turbo on E85 is an absolute blast compared to a bone stock car. Spools the same or sooner, and has so much more power and especially torque. The boost still drops off by redline, but you can get a very good midrange torque peak. The car will spool so fast for the power you can make. This is a great setup and tons of fun. It is very cheap to do, and it should be quite reliable as well. If you want more power, I would wholeheartedly suggest going through stages, rather than just jumping to something big and laggy because you want a big dyno number. You'll learn a lot more about what you really want along the way.

Of course I'm sure there will be people who want to nit pick one thing or another in this post. These are just my thoughts on my results. I'm sure some people have spooled earlier or later, and some have made more or less power. This is what I've seen, and it's just one example. The only other word of warning is that with this power, things break. I've cracked a piston and shredded 3rd gear in the last year (but now I have a built motor and built tranny, so hopefully things last!).


Bored and took a pic.



Oh, I am a square.

Even if he doesn't remove it, I guess I can post another picture that shows more:

OK, here's the video. Something went wrong with the focus. Maybe try watching in HD?


Here's a full, uncropped picture:


OK, now onto the new thing that I actually can post about!

MN had some very high heat recently. It was in the 90's F or even over 100F for quite a few days in July. My car felt really sluggish. I figured some of this was from high IAT's and the car pulling timing, but another contribute was surely a very hot turbo, and hot engine bay.

I decided to buy a turbo blanket. I've read many good things about them, and it seemed like an easy enough thing to do. After some research I decided on a premade one. I wanted an easy install, without pulling the turbo. My 20G XTR uses a Subaru style exhaust housing, so it would need a Subaru turbo blanket.

The two options that I found were PTP and Perrin. From what I could tell the Perrin was the exact same thing, but with Perrin written on it and $50 added to the price. I went with PTP. I e-mailed them a few times and they were very helpful. Highly recommended!

I got the turbo blanket today, and this is what it looks like:

Close up:


Wategate side:

The blanket appears to be made of very nice materials. It is thick and weighty. The stitching appears to be done by hand. It's not perfect, but it looks like it will hold up fine. The edges are metal mesh. Overall it is easily bendable enough to fit over the turbo, and the round tabs to secure it in place seem to be attached well. PTP includes a small roll of wire to hold it on.

To start, I removed the GrimmSpeed heat shield that I have installed. I did not remove the bracket for the heat shield. I did not remove the downpipe. I was hoping to run the wires from under the car, but with the downpipe and EWG in place, there was absolutely no space when looking up from the bottom!

I decided to try to fish the wires through from the top. I first wrapped the wire around one of the round tabs (rear, passenger). Then I set the turbo blanket in place. Then I fed the wire around the bottom of the turbo, towards the rear, and around the tab on the front, driver side.

After that tab I went straight over (under the turbo, in front of it) to the front passenger side tab. I looped around that and then over to the rear, driver side tab. After that I went back to the rear drivers side.

All along the way I was pulling the wire tight to keep the turbo blanket securely in place. Feeding the wires through was tricky (couldn't see much), but didn't take too long. I didn't remove anything except the heat shield, so it obviously wasn't that difficult. When I was done I twisted the wire around itself and snipped it off.

Once the turbo blanket was installed, I put the heat shield back on over it. The GrimmSpeed heat shield I have fit with no problems at all. Plenty of space. On the stock heat shield it would be very close, and probably wouldn't fit. Once I got that back on I decided to go for a drive.

When the drive started the turbo was quite cool (cool enough that I could work on it to do the install). After driving around and getting into boost for a while the underhood temps are usually pretty warm and the turbo is blazing hot.  

I was brave and decided to touch the heat shield. It was definitely warm/hot, but it wasn't blazing hot to burn my hand, like it would have normally been. Everything seemed cooler around it as well.

So far I'm very happy with it. Looks nice, easy install, and it should only help performance. It will help keep the turbo hot (for better spool) and keep everything else cold (for better power). It's like a win-win!


t web sizes, I really don't think you're ever going to be able to see a difference in image quality in a modern lens unless it has something smudged on it. I bet I could take two shots with identical settings, one with my 70-200 f/2.8 IS, and one with my 55-250 IS and you couldn't tell the difference. If you zoomed in to 100% then you probably could, but at 800pixels I doubt it.  

The real difference with a high end lens is going to be the larger aperture and faster focus. But if you're taking static car shots and have them both stopped down to the same aperture, then they'll look nearly identical at web size.

Anyways, on to my new polarizer. This animation shows the effect that the circular polarizer can have depending on how you adjust it.  

I found that trying to completely kill the reflections often left very "flat" feeling shots, so I actually chose ones that had a good balance of reflections, that showed of the lines of the car well. Here's a shot:

On a 3/4 shot I think you'd have to composite two images if you really wanted to kill all of the reflections. Sometime I think I'll have to give it a shot. I can certainly see times when you would want a perfectly clean image, with no glare at all.


A couple more from tonight:

This one was made from blending 10 photos with the circular polarizer rotated slightly for each one, in order to minimize reflections as much as possible. I really like how it turned out!


The secret it out! My new exhaust is the Greddy Ti-C!

Full Review Here:



This has gotten out of hand. Lol.

Well, I was curious and decided to put in the silencer. Updated review here (spoiler: it's super quiet!).


Here is a video of the silencer.

It sounds a LOT quieter in real life than it does in the video. 

More info here:


It sounds a LOT quieter in real life than it does in the video.


Here's the plot of the Greddy Ti-C: Silencer vs. No Silencer. I didn't post it because I couldn't get a full log.

You can see that the power delivery looks nearly identical, it's just a lot lower. Here it is with the stock exhaust added in for reference:

I'm not sure why I'd lie about this one. I, as much as anyone, wanted the silencer to work out.


Went to watch one of my videos and YouTube put this ad over my video:

The Gut Knows - Tiff (Bosch Spark Plugs) - YouTube

I thought it was pretty funny. My wife said, "That sounds like you, except for the eating in the car, you would never do that." Lol.


Once in a while I'm tempted to buy a PW to see what it would do, but curiosity isn't worth $1000 when I'm pretty sure it would hurt power. The VF on E85 was an awesome setup. Perfect for most people. Spools like stock (even seems faster sometimes) and has plenty of power. Here's a little graph I made on that topic:

I don't have it on the plot, but the 20G XTR (or similarly sized turbo) running 20-22psi on pump gas wouldn't compare very favorably to the VF on E85. It would probably have a little more top end (but could even be about the same), but it would spool a heck of a lot slower (for the small increase in power).  

If you want to send me logs, I would be happy to run VD for you. I'll send you a PM 

If you meant the plot, here is my best guess of what that would look like:

It is my VF52 E85 graph compared to an "estimated" 20G XTR on pump gas. I estimated it by using one of my lower boost 20G XTR plots and changing the delta weight to 0lbs to simulate a pump gas tune.  

May not be perfectly accurate, but I think it shows kind of what to expect. Pretty big hit in spool for similar peak torque, but a decent bump in top end.  

It's a tough choice, but if you have E85 available, I would go for the VF52 on E85. Spool vs. power is great with that combo.


Here's a fun plot I made of all the changes I've made to my car:

It's nice to be able to see it all laid out like that!


That's the plan. I got it for free, so I can't complain. So far it's doing pretty well! Takes a beating on my driveway, though. Might not hold up during winter...

Here's a new video I did. 3rd gear pulls. 50-100mph is in the 4.6-4.7sec range. Not quite as good as if I used 2nd gear, but not far off!


My friend Derek helped me give my car its first hand washing... 

Here are some "before" pictures. Fresh out of the touchless car wash. It was much worse than it looks!





And a few more...



I had so much fun washing my car yesterday, that I decided to wash my wife's today. Her's is 4 years older and has also seen the same amount of exterior care (none). It was in similar shape, but worse overall. Lots of swirls and built up residue, but she also has a lot more dings and deeper scratches.

Here's how it started. Fresh out of the touchless car wash.

I sprayed it all down and then started washing it. The passenger front quarter panel was the first thing I did. After just washing it (still wet) I was blown away by how different it already looked! The blue flake in the Nighhawk Black paint was really starting to show!

I finished up washing and drying and then waxed in the same manner as with my car. It turned out looking really good. The deep scratches are still there, but I got rid of all the thick grime and the wax covered up a lot of the lighter swirling and small blemishes. The paint looks sooo much smoother now.


And here are some outdoor shots.



Changed my transmission fluid tonight. Neo Synthetic 75W90HD, per PAR's recommendation.


LOL. NOS Energy Drink sponsors most of the local stuff, so I drink it all the time at meets. I even have a shirt! Here's on a took from an MNSubaru meet at the local Subaru dealership.

But personally, I prefer Ethanol over NOS  (Fuel-wise. Drink-wise, I've only had the Ethanol drink once.)




He's local and he's done plenty of pretty insane setups. Here are a few.

Fog light mount 2.65L. Did 701WHP on the local Mustang dyno.

Here's one of his newer projects. Twin turbo 

This is a "standard" rotated setup he did. 9 second street car.


Here's another one of the fog light mounted ones. Another 9 second street car.



Well, you all suck at voting, but here's the tally so far. Looks like brakes are in the lead. I'm still open to more voting. Don't feel like you need to come up with unique ideas. That kind of defeats the purpose of voting, lol.

I changed the font to note which ones I'm actually considering. Here is the key:

Bold: Very likely to do within the next few months
Italic: Strongly considering. Possibly within 1 year
Normal: Thought about it, but not high on my list
Strike: Not going to happen

(4) Brakes
(3) Cams
(2) Rotate Intake Manifold
(2) Headers
(2) CF Drive Shaft
(2) Coilovers
(2) Stock Hood
(2) Street Glow
(2) More Stickers
(2) Twinscroll Rotated Turbo
(2) Steering Wheel
(1) Flip Switch Ignition
(1) Half Cage
(1) Race Seats
(1) Rad Shroud and Alt Cover
(1) Tint
(1) Hookers and Blow
(1) Hard Wire FP and FPR
(1) New 10cm Hot Side
(1) Rear Tow Hook

Here's the CF driveshaft test you linked to. Shows 25HP gains on an STI.  


But they did a similar test on the BRZ and it showed basically no gains.


I do realize they are completely different cars. One has AWD and double the power, and many other differences. And my car has nearly double the power of the STI. I'll have to look into this a little more. 25HP gains may be worth it, but that seems very unlikely. I'd expect the difference to be more in transient response (hard to see on the dyno).


Here's a quick video from out in the country this afternoon. The scenery is so nice out there!

The drive was mostly just cruising around, but I edited it down to some more interesting sections.

Here's a photo of the header:

Here's the wrapped photo of mine:

More pictures and initial review here:


I'll try to get some videos up sometime soon.

Here's a video of it going through the gears:

Here's the outside the car video:

Here's a video comparing the sound of the stock headers to that of the Invidia equal length headers:


Sorry, forgot to update. I got tuned the other night, and the EL header did squeeze out some more power.

The real difference (as confirmed by the butt dyno) is the quicker spool and much better response. It is around 300rpm's sooner to 20psi (ie. at 3,600rpm's the EL header is at 20psi and the stock header was only at 13psi), and that is a noticeable difference on the street. The translates into a much broader powerband. The low/mid range torque is a hugedifference.  Between 3,200rpm's and 4,200rpm's it has 50 to 70 ft-lbs of torque more than the stock header!Past peak torque the difference is around 20 ft-lbs and that holds until redline.

Looking at the boost curve it is interesting to see that peak boost and boost all the way to redline was slightly lower than before, but the car is making more power! This is very similar to what TopSpeed saw with their testing. The tuning that was done to my car was to flatten the AFR's back out and added a very small amount of timing. Overall the car feels great with the new header. The end results is that the 50-100mph time is quicker using only 3rd gear than it is using 2nd and 3rd gear! The powerband is that wide!  

*Note: The baseline for this comparison was a recent log with the Greddy Ti-C exhaust and stock header. The numbers are slightly lower than what I have posted in my Greddy Ti-C review because I updated Virtual Dyno to use the correct 3rd gear ratio for my PAR gears (slightly shorter ratio, 1.31 vs 1.296), and this lowered the power figures slightly. The actual peak numbers are just numbers, but the shape of the curves and the differences between the two are what tell the story.

The 50-100mph time for a 3rd gear pull went from 4.6-4.7 seconds with the stock header, down to about 4.3 seconds with the EL header. This is due to the turbo spooling up sooner and being in a stronger part of the powerband by the time it reaches 50mph.

Invidia Equal Length Header (~4.3 seconds):

Stock Header (4.6-4.7 seconds):


I think I have a few. Here is one:


Finally got some new mounts. More info to come once I get them in and get some miles on them. They're the Cusco motor and tranny mounts and the Kartboy pitch stop mount.


I've found that you can reuse the post turbo gaskets quite a few times without really worrying about any leak that will cause problems. I have used gasket maker in the past, and it seals very well, but it's a bit of a PITA, especially cleaning it off to install the next time.

The mounts should stop my engine from flopping all over the place like this:

I'm guessing it will help transfer more power to the ground, and take some strain off everything else that get pulled out of position when the motor/tranny moves that much. I'm sure the stock mounts would have totally failed eventually anyways.


Picked up a new toy ("tool") tonight. Bought it for weddings, but I'm sure it will become my primary body for taking car photos too 


Surprise for everyone! I was having some harsh engagement into 3rd gear so I decided to replace the synchro. While I was at it I bought all new synchros and also upgraded to a straight cut 2nd gear! With my power/torque I was thought it made sense to do this to reduce thrust loads, and with only 1st and 2nd being straight cut I didn't think it would be too bad for daily driving. Here are some photos.

Input shaft (with straight cut 1st and 2nd), 2nd gear, and 3rd gear synchro cone from PAR.

Gears assembled into the case. Didn't take any photos of the synchros before install.

Case halves assembled. 5th gear is exposed. Ready to close it up.

I don't have many miles on the new setup yet, but so far it seems great. All the shifts are nice and smooth with very good engagement. The new synchros appear to have been worth it (I originally installed it with used synchros that I got with the gears). The straight cut 2nd gear sound similar to 1st, but I don't think it's as loud. It really doesn't seem that bad. I'll have to update with more impressions once I've driven on the new setup for a bit longer.

When I was doing the tranny work, I also put on the new mounts. The motor mounts went on first. It was a bit easier to get at them with the tranny off. Once the motor was jacked up the rear bolts were actually quite easy to access. The fronts were fairly difficult due to the Invidia header. Other headers I think would have more access. When installing these mounts pay very close attention to orientation. It took me a little bit to figure out which direction they go in.

The tranny brace was assembled, but off the car, so I bolted the new tranny mount onto it. When I went to install it I realized that one of the bolts that attaches to the tranny is impossible to install with the tranny mount assembled. I had to remove the mount, and remove the two large bolts holding it together. Then drop the small bolt into the hole and reassemble the tranny mount.

Once I had done this I reassembled the tranny brace assembly and went to install it on the car. I loosely started all the bolts holding the brace to the car, but then the holes from the tranny mount didn't line up! I had to loosen all of the bolts holding the brace assembly together and then I had enough wiggle room to start all the bolts.

The bolts from the tranny mount to the tranny are a pain to install. I had to use a stubby wrench for them all. It was time consuming, but it all went on fine. I torqued these down first, then the bolts holding the tranny braces together, and lastly the bolts holding the braces to the car. No issues at all once I got the tranny mount bolted to the tranny.

The pitch stop was straight forward. No surprises there. Once I got the car all back together I started it up and could immediately tell the difference that the mounts made. There was a lot more noise being transmitted into the cabin and you can feel the vibrations in the floor and center console area.  

Getting started in first and also at low-ish RPM's around town there is a lot more vibration. There is a lot more gear/driveline noise when in gears 1-4. 5th is still quite so cruising isn't that bad. So far I think it's definitely bearable, but it's not ideal for a daily driver. I hope this extra NVH means they're doing their jobs!


Here's a video of the mounts + straight cut gears. It should be HD soon. I have a second video uploading now.

Here's the second video. Basically more of the same.


Added Mach V "Awesome" decals to my wheels today:


Earlier this week I realized it's been 2 whole years since I got my car! I figured I'd post a few photos showing how it's progressed over that time.

Stock (10/24/10):

Snow TiresSPT Exhaust (11/12/10):

First Snow (11/13/10):

Stage 2, E85 Tune, BC Coilovers (05/29/11):

FMIC, Scoopless Hood (06/13/11):

Roof RackInvidia Q300 (07/22/11):

Blouch 20G XTR (09/17/11):

Gold 04 STI BBS Wheels (09/29/11):

EWG, Back into Winter Mode (11/05/11):

New Motor (03/05/12):

BBS Wheels Back On (03/11/12):

Mach V Awesome Wheels (03/21/12):

RCE Black Springs and Koni Shocks (04/14/12):

PAR 5 Speed Gears (07/06/12):

Greddy Ti-C Exhaust (08/10/12):

Invidia EL Header (09/25/12):

PAR Straight Cut 2nd Gear (10/15/12):



A couple new photos:


They are 225/45R17's, so they're a hair skinnier than stock, but not as thin as what I had on the steelies. The 16's on steelies had really soft sidewalls so the ride quality was much softer and more comfortable, but handling (especially at higher speeds) was very poor. I did not take them over normal freeway speeds very often.

So far I can tell these are a bit firmer (the sidewall is much shorter) than than the 16's, but they are a bit more pliable than the Star Specs. I haven't really tried driving hard or fast on them yet, so I'm not sure if there is any improvement in that regard. I'll have to wait for snow to see how well they actually do in those conditions.

In your situation I think it comes down to whether or not you really want another summer set. If you do, then I think the stock wheels look really great as a winter set. I actually like how they look better than my summer wheels (other than the offset). Keeping the stock wheels for summer and buying steelies for the winter is obviously going to be the cheapest option.


ARK GRiP Exhaust Review (08+ STI and 11+ WRX Hatchback)

I just installed this system onto my car last night. Here are some photos and video. I will have more info up soon here:


And here's a quick video:

You can see that nearly all of the exhaust flows out of the passenger side at idle. But under load, exhaust does flow out of both sides (but probably not quite equally). The exhaust uses dual Helmholtz resonators and they really do seem to work. The exhaust is very quiet at idle and low RPM's but has a good tone at WOT. I will have more info up later.


Here's a picture of my exhaust since this is my build thread:

I put it all on in one piece and it looked a little crooked at first, but we pulled on it a little and then drove around and it settled in nice and straight. The exhaust hangers didn't seem quite symmetrical, but they must have been designed like that, because it looks very straight on the car.

 think this is the newest one I have. It should look pretty much like this.

My project for the night:


New turbo blanket. PTP "Lava" version. The black one is the original PTP.




Thanks! I agree, it does look great. Seems really nice, even compared to the old one. Smelled a little on the first drive, but by the end of the day today it was all back to normal.  

Finished up another flip key tonight:




LOL. Hopefully people don't get too worked up about this...

BTW, I recently decided to try putting Dawn dish soap on the hangers and found that it makes them 100x easier to slide on and off! I knew of this before, but didn't think it would really help much. I thought this was fitting:

But I'll definitely never be swapping an exhaust without soap on the hangers again...


OK, here it is! GReddy SP Elite.

More photos/review:


Here's a list of the exhaust swaps I've done:

  1. Stock
  2. SPT
  3. Q300
  4. Stock
  5. Tsudo
  6. Stock
  7. SPT
  8. Stock
  9. Greddy Ti-C
  10. Stock
  11. ARK
  12. Greddy SP Elite


Here is a quick "video" of the exhaust:

Unfortunately the video is just audio over still images. It was simply too dark for real video. Even at ISO6400, f/2.8, and 1/30sec shutter speed it was still nearly black. I had to use long exposure photos and the audio from the video clips.

As you can tell, this exhaust has a pretty mild sound signature. Especially paired with the EL headers it is very quiet inside the cab. It has zero drone at all. There is a little more noise outside, but it is not loud. The fit and finish is great, and the tips look amazing!


Here are a couple more nighttime shots. Tried light painting this time.

Also, my wife hadn't ridden in the car with the new exhaust yet, so last night I suggested we take my car to the dentist so that she could tell me if it was too quiet () or not. She said, "I'll tell you right now, NO." So, that's what I have to deal with, lol. But she did end up liking it (because you really can't hear it while driving). But it is pretty loud outside of the car when it's at cold idle. It was hard to hold a conversation in the garage when the car was on.


OK, here are some daylight shots of the GReddy SP Elite:


I went through and tried to find photos of each:









GReddy Ti-C:



GReddy SP Elite:


I had the COBB downpipe with the first SPT exhaust. When I switched to the Q300 I also put on an Invidia catless downpipe. Both downpipes seem nice to me, and I didn't notice a real difference in sound between catted and catless. The casting on the COBB bellmouth was a little nicer for intstall because you can actually get a socket on it. The Invidia has little to no room. Ends up being a closed end wrench.

Also a note is that I switched from the stock manifold to the Invidia EL Race header when I had the GReddy Ti-C on my car. This changed the sound pretty significantly so it's hard to really compare some of the exhausts before/after, but I'll try anyways.

As for exhaust, my current winner is the GReddy SP Elite due to looks, fitment, ground clearance, and sound. It is very quiet, so it's not for everyone. It will be louder/rumblier with an UEL manifold, but I don't know how much. I absolutely love the look of the tips on this exhaust. That alone makes it so desirable for me. It is also pretty light for a full muffler.

The other number one (I guess you could say) is the GReddy Ti-C. Great fitment and ground clearance. Great flow and very aggressive look. Nice aggressive sound without being unrefined. Very light. For someone looking for performance above all else, this one is great. I love how aggressive it looks. It was a little loud for me, but really is not that bad compared to others.

After this it starts to get a bit blurred to me. The ARK and SPT are both very nice, IMO, and both have pluses and minuses. The ARK is basically drone free, excellent quality, full 3", and has a unique look that no one else matches. But the burnt/rolled tips aren't my style, and the low ground clearance is a bother. It is also very expensive and very heavy.

The SPT has beautiful flared tips and a very nice sound with minimal drone. The downsides are smaller piping (which doesn't matter for many people) and low ground clearance at the rear diff (which usually doesn't matter as much as in the midpipe). If you're on the stock turbo and willing to buy used, then the SPT is a real winner, IMO. If you have money to burn and/or want a unique look, than the ARK is very nice as well.

The Q300 is actually a pretty nice exhaust. Quality and fitment is good. It is full 3". The tips fill out the bumper and look very nice to many people. The drone and ground clearance are undesirable to me. While the drone isn't anything like an N1 Race, it is just so much more than it should be for a resonated exhaust with a full size muffler. This could be a good exhaust for many people. It's just not for me.

The last one is the Tsudo. It's a cheaper one, but the fitment isn't very good. Quality was OK, but the flanges didn't line up that great and it hits the rear diff and heat shields. The tips are uneven. The sound was OK, but had some drone. Overall not that loud. It is very heavy. Maybe more so than the ARK. I wouldn't recommend this for most people unless you find a great deal on it.


Here are a couple new ones:


Coming Soon...

Here's the shifter comparison:



The MS3 has a much better stock suspension. This is shown by all of the track comparisons where the lower powered, FWD Mazda puts down better times. 

The direct injection does lead to dirty valves. It doesn't seem all that difficult to clean them though. We'll probably do that soon. And once the EGR block off is in place it should be Mich of an issue. With the WRX pistons cracking and glass tranny I don't think I'd really consider a valve cleaning "less reliable" for the Mazda. 

While the direct injection implementation isn't perfect, it seems pretty clear that it's the future. From a performance and fuel efficiency standpoint it is much better. Everything will be going that way soon enough. The dual (direct and port) system on the BRZ seems like a nice compromise. 

Unfortunate as it may seem, the EJ25 is going to be a dinosaur pretty soon. Sure it will still perform well but once the direct injection systems get more aftermarket support I think they're going to kill port injection in every way (power, efficiency, etc). 

I think it's funny that a Subaru owner is too elitist to allow a different make or model at their meet. That is hilarious. That's just the kind of meet I don't want to go to. I've been to various meets and the Subaru crew around here is great. They'd never be too stuck up to allow someone else to join unless they're being an asshat.


I wanted to follow up on this. For reference I keep track of my MBC setting by counting the number of 1/3 turns (it is 1/3 of a rotation each time the GrimmSpeed logo goes past). 

Before I did this, I had the MBC in the engine bay, next to the OEM EBCS location. This uses about a foot of vacuum line to and from the MBC. Turning the MBC all the way out would get me as low as about 20psi (close to spring pressure). It took 10-12 "1/3" turns to get up to 27psi. 

When I moved the MBC into the cabin I probably added close to 10 feet in total vacuum lines as well as two inline connection fittings. Then I could only get as low as about 23psi and it only needed 6-8 "1/3" turns to get to 27psi. 

So I needed a lower spring pressure in the MBC in order to reach the same boost pressure. This tells me that either; the added volume of lines were taking more air to pressurise them, I had a leak, or I had a partial blockage. Something was making it harder for the pressure signal to make it to the wastegate. 

I wasn't too worried because spool seemed the same and it was controlling boost fine but eventually I got curious so I did some logs and then switched back and did some more logs so I could get a back to back comparison. I found the spool was identical. 

This was a while ago and I never got a chance to switch back until last night. Once I had it back in the cabin I found that the lowest boost I could hit was 25psi and it only took 3 "1/3" turns to reach 27psi. Something was not right. I. Tried redoing the zip ties on the connections but there was no change. 

So I ended up moving the MBC back into the engine bay. Spring pressure is back to 20psi and it takes 10 "1/3" turns to hit 27psi. Just like it was before. 

My conclusion is that the in cabin MBC works but it really must be done eight to be without problems I think that if you use continuous lengths of tubing (to minimize leaks), keep the hoses as short as possible, and make sure there are no kinks, then you will be fine. But in practice it is a bit tricky to get it working as well as if you locate it close by the turbo in the engine bay.


I decided to do some boost vs. power comparisons tonight (just for fun). First I started with a few logs with the MBC backed out all the way. The car was hitting about 20psi and was basically flat to redline. Pulling them up in Virtual Dyno showed nice consistent results!

Because that looked good, I decided to turn the MBC up halfway to where it normally is at. I did a couple logs and it peaked close to 24psi, with a little taper down to around 22psi. Then to finish it off I turned the MBC up to my normal spot and it was just barely touching 27psi and then tapering down close to 24-25psi.

Looking at the boost and torque (for the 24psi and 27psi graphs especially) you can see that I probably did have a slight uphill for run 1 and slight downhill for run 2 of each set. This slightly affected spool and peak torque. But overall the results are very consistent.

And here is the plot with just one run from each boost setting. Solid, incremental gains with each change in boost. This is a nice, easy way to see how increasing the boost can really bump up the power (assuming the turbo is still able to flow enough air). It also shows why people running this turbo (or similar ones) at lower boost will definitely see lower power.


Here's the video if anyone is interested:

Found a typo in the video and had to reupload.


Some more Flip Key in-process photos:

More info here:


I don't play as much any more, but I'm planning on playing this weekend. I do know Mike Brown. Here's my newest paintball toy:


From the "profile" thread:

Here are some of my profile shots over the last two years.

No photos of winter 2010/2011 setup (steelies, stock suspension) or the early summer 2011 setup (OEM wheels and suspension). Started profile shots once I got the coilovers. Here are the 2011 photos.

Wheels: OEM 2011 WRX 17x8"
Tires: OEM Dunlop 235/45R17
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers

Wheels: OEM 2011 WRX 17x8"
Tires: OEM Dunlop 235/45R17
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (a little lower?)

Wheels: OEM 2011 WRX 17x8"
Tires: OEM Dunlop 235/45R17
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (same height as previous?)

Wheels: OEM 2011 WRX 17x8"
Tires: OEM Dunlop 235/45R17
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (lowest? near max low)

Wheels: OEM 2004 STI BBS 17x7.5"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 235/45R17
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (raised a little)

Wheels: Steelies 16x6.5"
Tires: General Altimax 215/55R16
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (raised all the way)

And summer 2012 photos:

Wheels: OEM 2004 STI BBS 17x7.5"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 235/45R17
Spacers: H&R 25mm
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (similar height as previous summer)

Wheels: Mach V Awesome 17x9"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 255/45R17
Spacers: None
Suspension: BC Inverted Coilovers (same height as previous)

Wheels: Mach V Awesome 17x9"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 255/45R17
Spacers: None
Suspension: RCE Black and OEM 2011 WRX Struts

Wheels: Mach V Awesome 17x9"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 255/45R17
Spacers: None
Suspension: RCE Black, Koni Yellow Shocks, and OEM 2009 WRX Struts

Wheels: Mach V Awesome 17x9"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 255/45R17
Spacers: None
Suspension: RCE Black, Koni Yellow Shocks, and OEM 2009 WRX Struts

Wheels: Mach V Awesome 17x9"
Tires: Dunlop Star Spec 255/45R17
Spacers: None
Suspension: RCE Black, Koni Yellow Shocks, and OEM 2009 WRX Struts

Wheels: OEM 2011 WRX 17x8"
Tires: General Altimax 225/45R17
Spacers: None
Suspension: RCE Black, Koni Yellow Shocks, and OEM 2009 WRX Struts


Christmas tree time!


Gah! I want this now! Sooo expensive though. Around $2k for just the axleback 


Finally got some snow today! I started off the day by getting my hand caught in the snowblower (not fun), but once I got the driveway cleared out I went out and did donuts until the center diff was about to burst (not really, only a little bit of fun), and then I took some pictures!


^Even with only a couple inches on the ground there were many places where my lip was a snow plow. At speed it does a nice job of throwing snow all the way onto the windshield and over the car!


About 10" so far at my house.


Here's some new eye candy 

JDM Twinscroll Header:

Twinscroll Uppipe with Fobia Custom Rotated Flange and Dump Tube with PTE 6266 Turbo:

PTE 6266 Turbo:

Header - Wrapped:

With Turbo:


2.5L can rev pretty high too 


Yes, the holes are basically in the right spots, they're just not quite the right angle. It's very close though. Once you get them in it's fine, it's just making sure you get them started properly. Here are some photos I took where you can see the very slight difference:


I got the tint on my car done today. Went with 20% film. Reads between 16-18% on the car with the factory glass factored in. So far I like it. I didn't get to drive it much in the daylight, but when I first picked it up it didn't even seem that dark from inside the car. Once the sun went down it does seem pretty dark. Visibility out of the back is definitely less, but not terrible. It looks pretty dark from outside the car. Here are some quick cell phone pics. I'll try to get more tomorrow if I have time.


Better photos of the tint (20% all around).

I had an interesting issue today. I'm not sure if it's common or not, but I did a search and didn't come up with anything, so I assume it's fairly rare. My clutch linkage broke!  

I was driving to a family get together and I pushed the clutch in and it went straight to the floor and stayed there! I ended up in neutral at the time so I coasted along until I could get it into 1st gear and then I managed to pull into a gas station.

I really had no idea what had gone wrong so I checked the slave cylinder (no movement) and then started to follow the clutch pedal along it's path and eventually noticed that it was not connected to the master cylinder at all any more. The linkage is usually connected with a rod that is held in with a cotter pin and then a plastic cap on the end. Here are the best photos I could find online:

I looked around my floor mat and luckily found the rod that had fallen out. I also found the broken plastic cap, but I could not find the cotter pin. Looking at the rod, it appears the cotter pin broke off inside the hole. Unfortunately this meant I couldn't just shove a new cotter pin in there. Here's a photo of my broken linkage piece:

I ended up sticking the rod back in, without the cotter pin at all, and friction seemed to hold it in well enough to drive the last few miles to where I was headed (and drop of my wife and baby). Then I borrowed a car and went out to the hardware store to see what I could find to repair it.

From what I could tell the OEM part is 8mm in diameter. The only shoulder bolts they had were SAE so I got a 5/16" shoulder bolt that had a shoulder that was the same length as the OEM part. I also got a locking nut and the necessary tools (wrench and allen key) to install it. Here's a stock photo of what I bought (not the same dimensions):

When I got to putting it all back together I found that there was very little space to work in there (and it was dark, I was out in the street, and I was using my cell phone as light), but I did determine that the linkage (the U shaped portion, not the rod itself) was bent about 45 degrees off from where it should have been. I think this has probably been broken for a long time and finally worked itself free.

The lack of space and the bent linkage made it very hard to work, but I eventually got the bolt in and tightened down. The 5/16" diameter is just a hair small, but it's a pretty good fit. The shoulder section is much, much longer than it needs to be. Overall I think this connection method is better than the cotter pin, but I need to get the right length bolt so there isn't so much side to side play.

Once I got home I bent the U linkage back to being straight, but it's still much wider than it originally was. It is all aligned so it is pushing straight on the MC rod, so I'm pretty happy with it, but I'll have to squeeze in the width once I get the shorter shoulder bolt. Here are some photos of how it currently sits:

So now I just have a few questions/concerns:

  1. Any possibly issues using a should bolt and nut instead of the cotter pin? I will use a locking nut and not over torque it so it impedes rotation.
  2. Is it possible that my MC was damaged due to this issue, or over time? Is there anything I need to check?
  3. It appears that the locking nut on the MC rod is not tightened to the U bracket. I will have to go tighten it, but how do I know if it is adjusted properly? I don't know if the rod has moved over time, or just the nut backed off. I do know the my clutch engagement point seems fairly low compared to most others.

That last thing I wanted to note was that I had my MC replaced by the dealer about 2 years ago (when the car was brand new). It was making a clicking noise (an issue some other newer cars have had). The new MC fixed the clicking, but I'm starting to think that their install may have been the cause of this failure (2 years later). No real way to prove that or get them to do anything about it I fear...  


Tonight I fixed up the clutch linkage for good (I hope). First, I went out and bought a new shoulder bolt that was the correct length (and a new nylon locking nut).  

It is a 1/2" long shoulder with a 5/16" shoulder diameter and the size is perfect for this application. It actually works better than the OEM rod. The OEM rod is 3/4" long and about 5/16" OD (actually seems a hair smaller). The cotter pin reduces the working length of the rod to 5/8". This results in about 1/8" of side-to-side slop in the linkage.  

And after looking at the OEM design a little more, I have determined that the cotter pin holds the rod in place, and the plastic piece (shown in the photo above) acts as a secondary attachment method in case the cotter pin fails. I have a feeling that my cotter pin broke long ago, and this little piece of plastic has been holding it together since then.

^(I just realized I put the wrench and allen key on the wrong sides in this photo. Oops)

I found that the width of the linkage in the car (non removable) is basically identical to the open end of the 7/16" wrench I was using. I used a table vice and this wrench to bend the U bracket back into the correct shape/width and straighten it out.  

As seen in the pictures from yesterday it used to be much, much wider than it needed to be, and it was also quite crooked (even after straightening it a bit). Before I straightened it at all (when it failed) it had a severe bend (close to 45 degrees) and was spread apart even wider than yesterday's photos.

The 1/2" length of the new shoulder bolt is basically perfect. The nut tightens down onto the shoulder of the bolt without actually putting any tension on the linkage, so there is zero binding. But there is very minimal free space (much less than OEM), so much less side-to-side movement is possible.

Once I had it all straightened out the way I wanted I put it back in the car. I threaded the U joint on until the holes in the U joint and the hole in the linkage lined up if the clutch was fully released, and the MC rod was fully extended. This puts the clutch engagement point near the middle of the pedal travel. Much better than near the floor like it had been.

Getting the locking nut tightened down onto the back of the U bracket was quite a task. With very little room to work with I ended up using a 13mm crow's foot, 2" extension, universal swivel joint, 8" extension, and 3/8" drive ratchet all connected together. This did work and it should be locked in place now. Locking this down would be much easier to do with the MC removed from the car.

You can see that it is all very straight and there is barely any room for side to side motion. In the photos the nut is tightened down on to the shoulder of the bolt, but there is still a tiny bit of room on either side of the linkages, so that they don't bind at all.

This is how this linkage should have been connected from the factory. It has much less side-to-side movement possible and won't fail like the OEM cotter pin and plastic nub did. Subaru just wanted to save a few dollars and went with the cheaper, and easier to assemble method of connecting the linkage. I happened to look over and see that the brake uses the same connection...

The rod and cotter pin setup is identical to the clutch linkage. You can see the side-to-side slop that is possible here. I may want to preemptively replace this at some point. Right now it still looks fine. I honestly don't think it's likely to fail unless it is assembled incorrectly (as the clutch could have been since the dealer replaced the MC). I did notice that the U bracket on the brake appears to be hardened vs. the softer clutch U bracket, so it should be a lot less likely to bend.

Parts Used: 5/16" OD Shoulder Bolt with 1/2" Shoulder Length and Accompanying Nylon Locking Nut


Preview of a new mod from tonight. More photos tomorrow.


Here's a link to the VG Shark Fin Antenna Install photos:


I grabbed my camera after work a took a some shots before it got dark. These are what I came up with. From my normal (low) angles you can barely even see the shark fin from the front, so most of the shots are from the rear. I really like how it flows with the car. Definitely better than the OEM antenna (IMO).  

Hard to believe this is the same car as the cell phone pics from earlier. It's amazing what a real camera/lens and a few hours of editing can do!  I took exactly 100 shots and each of the shots above is a composite of 5-10 images (multiple polarizations).


Here are some before and after editing from my last set. The top image is a single photo, straight out of camera. The second one is after adjustment in RAW, then using Photoshop to combine multiple copies of the image with different polarizations, and finally a little bit of further tweaking in Photoshop.







Here's a non-cell phone photo 


Trying this video again to see if I can get it to embed:


Here's a photo of my Anarchy Motive shift knob on my new 6 speed. It's a very heavy knob (close to 1.5lbs). I love it! And the grey color looks amazing. 


New package arrived. Will install later.


Is this more clear?


Also from Car and Driver:




Zero to 60 mph: 5.35.0sec
Zero to 100 mph:14.413.7sec
Zero to 130 mph: 29.129.2sec
Street start, 5–60: 6.66.7sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.9@9913.7@100sec@mph
Top speed ( limited): 150144mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 167162ft<<<<<
300-ft-dia skidpad:0.90.98g

Note the braking distance. For one stop the cars are essentially the same. The only real differences are tire grip and vehicle weight. The STI weighs at least a couple hundred pounds more from the factory, so it usually has longer stopping distances.  

Now that I added the 6 speed I am probably close to STI weight, but still it's not going to make me stop any faster (one time) by putting Brembo's on my car. The wider/stickier tires that I run in the summer will help the most.


And here's some more pictures of the wheels:

Enkei RPF1 17x9" +35 15.8lbs

And some with the caps installed. White background this time.


Alright, I'm done (well at least until I actually get them on the car) 

So, I installed my tranny last Monday and Tuesday and the low temp for both of those days was -11F. The two coldest days of the year by far. The week prior to that it had gotten up into the 30's, and then the week after it got up into the 30's again. But now I got my DCCD controller, and it's cold again! Tomorrow is supposed to be a low of -13F! Good thing I have a garage heater! It should be able to get it up to at least 40-50F I bet. Not warm, but hopefully not too terrible.

Here are some photos of the DCCD Pro:


Awww. Come on guys! You know you want to 

More stuff listed:

FS: Blouch DOM 1.5 XTR, AVO Inlet, DW 1000cc Injectors

FS: GReddy SP Elite Exhaust for 08+ STI or 11+ WRX Hatch

FS: Kartboy and SPT Short Shifters, Kartboy Bushings, ACT Clutch (5 Speed WRX)


Blouch DOM 1.5XTR | NEW | $1545 OBO
AVO Inlet | USED | $200 OBO
DW 1000cc Injectors | USED | $450 OBO
GReddy SP Elite | USED | $1000
SPT Short Shift Lever #1 | USED | $120 OBO
SPT Short Shift Lever #2 | USED | $120 OBO
Kartboy Short Shifter | USED | $100 OBO
Kartboy Rear Shifter Bushing | USED | $25 OBO
Kartboy Front Shifter Bushing | USED | $20 OBO
ACT 4 Puck Sprung Disk | USED | $50 OBO
ACT HD Pressure Plate | USED | $200 OBO
ACT Street Light Flywheel | USED | $150 OBO
OEM Throwout Bearing | USED | $30 OBO
ACT 6 Puck Sprung Disk 6 SPEED | NEW | $110 OBO


Alright, this is what I have left! PM me with any offers or questions!


Blouch DOM 1.5XTR | NEW | $1545 OBO
Blouch 20G XTR | USED | $1300 OBO
GReddy SP Elite | USED | $1000 OBO
ACT 6 Puck Sprung Disk (6 SPEED) | NEW | $110 OBO

FS: Blouch DOM 1.5XTR
Condition: BRAND NEW!
Price: $1545 + Shipping OBO

FS: Blouch 20G XTR
Condition: Used, but in excellent condition. See photos.
Price: $1300 + Shipping OBO

FS: GReddy SP Elite Exhaust
Condition: Used, but in excellent condition. Basically looks like new except for a small dent in the muffler (cannot be seen when installed).
More Photos Here:  http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2432322
Price: $1000 + Shipping OBO
Photos (current):

FS: ACT 6 Puck Sprung Disk 6 SPEED
Condition: NEW
Price: $100 + Shipping OBO

Please PM me with any questions or offers! Looking to sell ASAP!

FS: Blouch 20G XTR, Invidia Header, GrimmSpeed EWG UppipePTP Turbo Blanket, KSTech CAI

FS: Blouch DOM 1.5 XTR, AVO Inlet, DW 1000cc Injectors

FS: GReddy SP Elite Exhaust for 08+ STI or 11+ WRX Hatch

FS: Kartboy and SPT Short Shifters, Kartboy Bushings, ACT Clutch (5 Speed WRX)


I finally got around to finishing up the info on my 6 speed swap. Please see the link here:


If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them in that thread and I will do my best to answer them!


I just got some Federal 595 RS-R's mounted onto my 17x9" RPF1's. They're quite a wide 255 compared to what I've seen in the past. Looking forward to actually trying them in a few months.


Here's a quick run down on my setups:

  • 17x8" +28 with 235/45R17 (stock wheels with 25mm spacers and stock tires)
  • 17x7.5" +28 with 235/45R17 (04 STI BBS wheels with 25mm spacers and Star Specs)
  • 17x9" +42 with 255/40R17 (sticks out 4mm less than previous setup) (Mach V wheels with Star Specs)
  • 17x9" +35 with 255/40R17 (sticks out 7mm more than previous setup) (RPF1's with Federal 595 RS-R's)

I got a roll on the rear fenders with the original stock wheel/tire + spacers setup and it's been fine with everything since. I might have to roll a tiny bit more with the new setup, but I think I should be fine since I'm not super low.

I don't have any desire for strange colored wheels. I prefer whatever I can find that's closest to OEM. Even though the OEM wheels are darker I still think these have an OEM-feel to the color.


The COBB isn't actually on yet. It will probably be a little while before I'm able to report on how I like it, but I'll be sure to update once I've gotten a few miles on it.  

Overall the build quality looks very nice. It has a center entrance, Y-pipe muffler setup, which I think is a bit better for flow than the side entry of the GReddy. It's also shorter piping and less bends. The downside is slightly reduced ground clearance, but the COBB does a good job of this (especially compared to the SPT and Q300 that use a similar style center entry). Plus the COBB is actually 3" piping unlike the 2.75" piping on the GReddy. They both have the neck down for the stock dowpipe gasket. I don't think it makes a big difference though.

I can't comment on sound, but the looks of the two are vastly different. The GReddy has quad, 4", flared, double wall tips. The COBB has quad, 3.5" straight cut tips. They both have staggered tip lengths. The GReddy never really seemed to sit properly in the bumper cutouts. It always seemed to be a little off to the side and sticking out a hair more on one side. You can see this on just about all the GReddy photos people have posted. It's minimal, but it's something you can see if you're looking. I am hoping the COBB won't have this, or at least it won't be as noticeable with the smaller tips. I used to hate the straight cut tips, but they've grown on me lately. I still think I like the fancy ones better, but the straight cut ones look aggressive IMO. Here are some more photos:

It has a resonator, but I haven't seen that on any of the other 08+ STI COBB exhausts. Any ideas?


Yeah, there are some in there, and also every photo I've posted since then. Here are some from the first post of this thread:

Summer Mode:



Getting ready for Race Wars.


I finally installed the DCCD controller yesterday. It's in and working, but took quite a bit of time to get it all wired up properly. Here is some more info:


And photos of the switches in the cabin. They are OEM from the older models.

Here's a shot of the COBB exhaust from the rear:

Here's a quick speedo video:


Quick teaser:


Updates on my setup. Rotated PTE 6266 

Full Details Here:


Here's a quick speedo video:

Virtual Dyno Plot:

Turbo vs. VF52:

Rotated Turbo Setup:

And a couple more quick photos of the car:

Full Details Here:



I added a bunch of photos to the thread on my new build. Check them out here:


Here are a few of them:

I tired doing a ton of sharpening on my out of focus photos. They still look pretty bad though. Car looks stock anyways, so who cares, lol.


I sent you an e-mail.

Stopped by the NF shop tonight and 3G hatches were popular!

First there was one...

And now two...

And a red one appeared...

White 2011 stopping by for some work...

And then a red 2011...


Here's a quick exhaust video:

It's a COBB catback with the 2.5" flange cut off and a flat 3" flange welded on.

Exterior photos:

Picked up some Rotella T6 

One more round of conventional before this goes in though...


Drove my family around to various Easter activities today 


TickTack and xluben


Enkei RPF1 17x9" +35 Wheels
Federal 595 RSR 255/40R17 Tires


Enkei RPF1 17x9" +35 Wheels
Federal 595 RSR 255/40R17 Tires


Here's one more shot I liked that I didn't post before.


Quick 40-140 video:

I found this and thought it was a funny comparison.

Stock 2011 WRX:

Oh how far my car has come....


Here's another video:

3rd Gear Pull @ 32psi (boost gauge goes wacky above 30psi)
2nd Gear Brake Boost, 3rd, 4th @ 30psi

50-100MPH is ~4 sec for the 3rd Gear Pull
60-130MPH is ~8 sec for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Pull


Two updates from last night. First is that the WRX underbody/fender liner apparently doesn't like 130-140mph pulls too much. Mine ripped apart and was dragging under the car. I think the design catches air like a parachute and puts a lot of force on the plastic.

About half of this section was already broken off or worn away and the remaining part had a big crack in it. I attempted repairing the cracked part with zip ties and then secured it all to various points on the car with a few more zip ties. I'm not sure if it will hold or not.

After that I took the RPF1's off. It was a good run, but now the stock wheels are back on.


Yesterday NF Performance hosted at track day. It was held on a track at a local college. DCTC has a relatively small/technical track setup for instructional purposes. It's listed at 2.8 miles but typical setup is probably around half of that. It is not super high speed, but it's very technical and a lot of fun!

The weather yesterday was pretty terrible. Right around 32F all day with a mix of snow/sleet/rain. The event had a great turn out despite this terrible weather. Registration was capped at 20 and had been full for weeks. There were 40+ people there including NF staff, drivers, instructors, volunteers and families/friends.

Here are some of the photos I took:

I was just there to help out and take photos, but I got to spend a fair amount of time on the track myself. I gave out many rides and did my best to put down 600WHP on cold/wet surface. Unfortunately no photos of my car going around, but I did get out there enough to go through nearly a whole tank of gas.  

The car did great and held up to the abuse with no issues. With the limited traction there was a lot of sliding/drifting, but in a straight line you can put down a surprising amount of power, even in those conditions. In between the fun times sliding around I did get a chance to work on my lines and felt like the car did very well for such a tight/technical track and a larger turbo.

And I did drive the car to and from the track. The car is still a daily driver! On the way to the track I did have a hiccup where I lost fuel pressure and had to coast off the road (just about a block from the track). It ended up being a bad fuse in the fuel pump hardwire kit. The fuse was replaced and the car was back up and running great!


Here are some more photos comparing the width of these two tires (same size tires on the same size wheels):

Federal 595 RS-R 255/40R17
Enkei RPF1 17x9"


Dunlop Direzza Star Spec Z1 255/40R17
Mach V Awesome 17x9"

I took these photos because some people are claiming that the 595 RSR's are super wide (even compared to the Star Specs). They are very similar in overall width (at least in this size), but the Federals have a much more rounded sidewall and the Star Spec's are very square. I think this may actually result in the Star Specs having more tread on the ground for the same overall width. Both are fairly wide tires for their given size.


Here is a video that one of my friend's took at the track day last weekend. It was very cold and wet, but it was still a lot of fun. I was on the full ~30psi / ~600WHP tune, but I was still running snow tires. Lots of sliding around, but the car puts the power down surprisingly well in the straights.

I am in the video around 2:15. Just a quick flyby in the back straight (he let me go by). Camera car was probably going about 60mph and just cruising. It's an 09 WRX with a built motor and the stock VF52 on E85.


Huh? Right here:

Sorry if I don't update my first post every minute so you can troll it. 

I found a couple more things to sell:

FS: GrimmSpeed EBCS
Fitment: Plug and Play for all Subaru Turbo's, 08+ WRX Mounting Bracket
Condition: Used But Nearly New Condition
Price: $100

FS: GrimmSpeed Turbo Heat Shield
Fitment: All Stock Location Subaru Turbo's
Condition: Used But Nearly New Condition
Price: $60

FS: 08+ GR STI Limited BBS Wheels/Tires/TPMS
Size: 18x8.5" Wheels and 245/40R18 Tires
Fitment: 5x114 (STI Only)
Condition: Used But Nearly New Condition (~2,000 miles and 8/32" tread)
Price: $2200

I am selling these for a friend. They are the OEM BBS wheels from the Limited STI. I know prices vary greatly on OEM items, but these are pretty sought after and basically mint condition. They were run for a couple months and then the car was garaged for winter and now he has a new setup. These wheels look amazing. The tires are in great shape and they are mounted/balanced and have the TPMS installed. There is no curb rash at all. I was told there was one paint chip on one spoke, but I could not find it after several minutes of searching. Please excuse the rain drops in the photos.

FS: 2011+ WRX and STI Sedan Quad Tip Exhaust
Condition: Used But Nearly New Condition (~2,000 miles)
Price: $1100

Also got some random Amazon purchases in recently.  

2"x20' recovery strap, tread depth gauge, and a can of Plexus.


Here are a few. More to come.

Here is a link to the rest of the photos on the R180 Rear Diff, STI Driveshaft, and STI Axles swap.



Here are a few I took tonight at a local meet:


I dug up some photos from one of the events last summer. I handed my camera to a buddy and he took some photos for me. I set it up for panning and told him to take a lot. Some turned out pretty good!  

Thanks Derek!


A few new photos since it was actually fairly nice yesterday.  

To try and asnwer the common questions:

2011 Subaru WRX
COBB Exhaust
Enkei RPF1 17x9" +35
Federal 595 RSR 255/40R17
Koni Yellow Shocks
RCE Black Springs

Around 600WHP 


Here's an interesting way to look at how my car has progressed over time 

10/21/10: 239WHP / 259WTQ - Stock 2011 WRX
11/18/10: 251WHP / 294WTQ - Stage 1 ProTune
12/19/10: 275WHP / 316WTQ - Stage 2 ProTune
03/05/11: 338WHP / 381WTQ - E85 Tune
09/17/11: 426WHP / 438WTQ - 20G XTR @ 22psi
03/05/12: 463WHP / 468WTQ - 20G XTR @ 27psi
03/22/13: 576WHP / 530WTQ - PTE 6266 @ 29psi

Currently making ~600WHP @ 30-31psi 


I swapped the springs in my TurboSmart EWG last night. My EWG is right on top so it was fairly easy to do without even removing single thing. It was just tedious trying to hold pressure on the top of the EWG and turn the spanner wrench in the tight space. Getting it back on was even more of a challenge. Two people would have made it a lot easier, but I was able to get it done myself. Here are some photos:

I switched from a Pink outer and Purple inner spring setup. This is "14psi" according to TurboSmart, but it did around 20-22psi on my setup. The new springs are Blue Outer and Red inner. They are rated at 21psi by TurboSmart. Once I got them in I did some pulls and was hitting 29psi on spring pressure! This is just about perfect for my setup. I'll probably throw the MBC back on to get a little more boost sometime.

Here's a photo of the vacuum line setup for spring pressure. Very short line!


All packed up for a road trip with my family!


We made it out to WI Dells last night. Two blocks from the hotel I hit a skunk! Car smells terrible. Came out this morning to find my plate is bent and upside down. Think it was the skunk or someone trying to steal my plate? Probably a vandal seeing how it is upside down and bent outwards.


We're back home from Chicago! After close to 1,000 miles of driving I consistently saw about 19-20MPG when cruising on the highway (70-75MPH @ 2,600-2,800RPM's with the Spec B gears), but during the time spent in Chicago traffic I only got around 10MPG! My normal mix of daily driving is usually somewhere in the middle of that.

MPLS to Chicago and back on E85 wasn't an issue with a little planning. The car was on the full 30-31psi (close to 600WHP) tune the entire time. At a steady cruise I think it could get close to 300 miles before being empty. Here are some shots from after 3/4 tank (11.6 gallons). E85 @ $3.50/gal was pretty typical for the trip.


Some new photos from today:

New "NF" decals. "Chameleon" (purple/gold/greenish depending on the angle).

"Brenizer Method" (stitched panorama's to simulate the look of a wider aperture lens).

Equivalent Focal Length: 84mm
Equivalent Aperture: f/1.2

Equivalent Focal Length: 80mm
Equivalent Aperture: f/1.2

Equivalent Focal Length: 74mm
Equivalent Aperture: f/1.1

And some for besthaticouldo to show how dirty the car actually is. I didn't clean it at all before these photos. I did not edit anything out on the car or clean it up on post processing. It's all just good lighting and the use of a polarizer. Here are some close up's without the polarizer that I took after the other shots.




I didn't really take any great ones, but I've picked through the photos I do have and I'll try to piece it together.  

Here are the parts I bought for the FPR setup.  Fuelab FPR, -6AN lines, and fittings:

Here is the Fuelab FPR setup that I used:

Here's how it looks in the engine bay:

If you can't tell, I only have the fuel feed hardline left. I have it connected to the OEM hose coming from the firewall. The stock FPR, return hardline, and evap line were all cut off. There is a small hole between the fuel feed and the FPR that had to be welded shut.

Under the manifold I removed the OEM soft and hardlines. All that is left are the OEM fuel rails and small amounts of hardline off those. Between those parts is the soft fuel lines. One goes from the driver's side rail over to the passenger's side. Then the return line from the passenger's side rail goes out to the FPR.

The FPR is mounted to an existing location on the firewall. The return enters from the passenger's side rail and then exits and goes back to the OEM return line using the -6AN fuel line that I bought. All of the evap is gone. Most of the OEM hardlines are gone and have soft lines in their place, that are tied in to the aftermarket FPR. It is a fairly simple setup.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the bottom of the manifold, but here are some from before I did the FPR that can be used to help visualize things if you're not familiar with the OEM setup.

OEM fuel line connections. My setup removed the FPR, return, and evap hardlines and fittings.

OEM passenger's side fuel rail. This basically stays all the same with my setup.

Entire OEM fuel line setup. We removed the OEM soft and hardlines between the rails and cut off the OEM return and evap hardlines.

And here's a photo of the OEM manifold so you can see how much was removed. I don't miss all this! Haha.


Every photo posted between 4/11/2011 and 3/20/2012 had spacers on. There are probably at least a hundred. Many/most of these are with stock wheels. Here are some examples:


A few shots with my brother's new 2011 MS3



Got bored and took a few more photos tonight.



Thoughts on the scoopless look?

Here are some more angles:

Standing vs. Laying on the Ground:






Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS
Focal Length: 200mm f/2.8
Stitched Image Size: 57MP
Equivalent Full Frame Lens: 95mm f/1.3
Equivalent 1.6x Crop Lens: 59mm f/0.85

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS
Focal Length: 200mm f/2.8
Stitched Image Size: 71MP
Equivalent Full Frame Lens: 85mm f/1.2
Equivalent 1.6x Crop Lens: 53mm f/0.8

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS
Focal Length: 200mm f/2.8
Stitched Image Size: 102MP
Equivalent Full Frame Lens: 70mm f/1.0
Equivalent 1.6x Crop Lens: 44mm f/0.7

Some photos on the car:


Here's a quick video:


Then I switched to the 04 STI BBS wheels (with 25mm spacers):

Here are a few more shots with the new wheels:


Update: This car is no more. It was totaled and is now gone. Thankfully no one was hurt.

I have replaced it with a 2012 Forester (2.5L NA with auto tranny) for day to day use. I plan on starting a new project car when time permits (and I find the right vehicle to start with). In the end, I think this is a much better scenario for me and my family. A good daily driver (that I won't be tempted to do any power mods to), and a weekend car that I can make much faster without having to worry about day to day reliability and comfort or having to put on 10-15k miles a year.

I have a feeling some people will be skeptical because of how I've implied things like this in the past, but this time it has already happened. The WRX is gone and the Forester is my daily driver. I will post a thread with photos and info on the Forester sometime soon, but it will not be an extensive build like this one became. Thank you to everyone who followed along with this project and provided support and insight. I learned a lot with this car and met a lot of great people along the way. There was a lot of time and effort into the WRX, but in the end it's just a car, and I do plan on continuing on to something else in the Subaru world in its place.

Here is a shot of the Forester:

Sorry, that's not the head unit I have. Mine is identical to the WRX, and actually sounds a lot worse.

No parts were taken off the car. I'll only have the stock parts to sell.

Right now the plan is to get another Subaru. It is a familiar platform with great local support from NF, and I like the idea of AWD. No point in having power if you can't put it down. Coming from a nearly 600WHP car that would grip even in 1st gear, I just don't think a RWD car would be as fun when it can break loose at highway speed. Watching Supra speedo videos and seeing them spinning at 150mph just doesn't seem worth it. I want to actually be able to use the power without needing slicks and a prepped track.

Forester thread is up here: