Ej251 Bolt on Turbo or Engine swap - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Ej251 Bolt on Turbo or Engine swap

I seriously need some extra ponies


what would you do?

low boost bolt on turbo kit (parts off a wrx) 4-6psi with aquamist

or

Ej20 turbo out of an Impreza Gt?


Both should do about the same power, bolt on would maybe be alittle more peaky due to the higher C/r.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 10:35 AM
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You can't use the parts off of a wrx to make a bolt on turbo kit for your normally aspirated 2.5 liter engine. If you want a turbo, you need a full swap.

Having driven a turbocharged XT for almost seven years now, I can honestly say that the turbo is only more fun when driven over 55 mph. On local roads, I wish I had better off-idle response from the higher CR of the n/a motor. My girlfriend's 93 Honda Accord has better response on the low end than my XT.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 10:52 AM
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NA and turbo motors have different subframes.... You would need to get a WRX subframe. The difference is that there is a indent / cutout on the turbo side which allows for the uppipe to come up and meet the turbo.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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I could do something like the Avo system which has a custom uppipe that connects to the stock headers. Have a custom down pipe made for a TDO4 or a T28/T3 running 5psi without an intercooler, but an extra injector (or methanol kit) mounted to the intake pipe.

I would probably use a PPP6 or Unichip for the fueling.

I agree with the low end power of the turbo. But the 2.5 is lacking in power above 60mph (towing and overtaking) and in thick sand, it sucks!

I think a bolt on turbo on the 2.5 could make for an interesting combo. I dont think there will be much or any lag?

Only limitation would be if I want more power.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Alternatively, I was also suggested going the Header, exhaust, Intake and Unichip route.

However, dont think that will give me the mid range power im looking for.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stev0 View Post
Alternatively, I was also suggested going the Header, exhaust, Intake and Unichip route.

However, dont think that will give me the mid range power im looking for.
Probably not. Here's a link you might be interested in. Thanks to Bobby who is meticulous about documenting his work.

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...tml#post787628

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:23 AM
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I'm sure many members would say moving on to an older XT would be more cost effective than trying to boost an X... that's what they told me & they were right.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Bobby, If you had to choose, which one do you prefer driving?

Boosted X

Stock XT?


I cant really just go trade the car on an XT. I remember my XT well and I loved it, but I've grown attached to the old lady X :)

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:58 AM
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Yes, I can understand being attached to your Forester. I passed the '03 X on to my son, but since he still lives at home, I still help maintain it... like it was still mine.

I've move on to an '07 FSXT & I have power MODs in the works, so that should answer your question on what I'd prefer to drive. A MODded XT!
I have to admit I still like the "feel" of the '03 X better... hard to explain, but even with all the suspension work I've done on the '07 FSXT, I still think the '03 X handles better. I also think it's faster off the line, but it's limited to 6 psi of boost, so it's top end isn't as good as my '07 FSXT.

If I were starting over on the '03 X I'd do this as a starting point, adding back in what I may need later on:
  • No intercooler. I don't think this is really needed for 5-6 psi of boost.
  • No extra fueling. The ECM should be able to correct for the additional fuel needed.
  • No engine management. See if the the ECM can handle it.
  • I'd install a Walbro fuel pump upgrade.
  • Iridium plugs are the way to go.
  • You'll need an Air/Fuel gauge to see if you're running the correct A/F mixture. You want to make sure you don't run too lean!
  • You'll need a boost controller/gauge to tweek the boost to a safe level (6 psi or less) & monitor the boost pressure.
  • You'll want to run a good synthetic engine oil.
  • Of course premium fuel is a must!
Most of the above items are covered in our '03 X Member Journal.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
Yes, I can understand being attached to your Forester. I passed the '03 X on to my son, but since he still lives at home, I still help maintain it... like it was still mine.

I've move on to an '07 FSXT & I have power MODs in the works, so that should answer your question on what I'd prefer to drive. A MODded XT!
I have to admit I still like the "feel" of the '03 X better... hard to explain, but even with all the suspension work I've done on the '07 FSXT, I still think the '03 X handles better. I also think it's faster off the line, but it's limited to 6 psi of boost, so it's top end isn't as good as my '07 FSXT.

If I were starting over on the '03 X I'd do this as a starting point, adding back in what I may need later on:
  • No intercooler. I don't think this is really needed for 5-6 psi of boost.
  • No extra fueling. The ECM should be able to correct for the additional fuel needed.
  • No engine management. See if the the ECM can handle it.
  • I'd install a Walbro fuel pump upgrade.
  • Iridium plugs are the way to go.
  • You'll need an Air/Fuel gauge to see if you're running the correct A/F mixture. You want to make sure you don't run too lean!
  • You'll need a boost controller/gauge to tweek the boost to a safe level (6 psi or less) & monitor the boost pressure.
  • You'll want to run a good synthetic engine oil.
  • Of course premium fuel is a must!
Most of the above items are covered in our '03 X Member Journal.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
So essentially, the biggest issues would be

Custom up pipe
Custom down pipe
Oil/water lines
Turbo size

Im unsure if I should rather run a larger type turbo, high Cr should spool it easier, but it will flow more air and make more power, or a smaller turbo, just to get the extra boost in the motor.

I enjoyed my 07XT, it made 241hp and 258 lb-ft on the stock TDO4. The map was extremely aggressive.

MY07 WRX STI
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 02:10 PM
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First a disclaimer. Note the title to our '03 X write up - AVO Turbo Kit - Part 1 - Why you shouldn't do this!

If you can make your own up-pipe & downpipe, you're half ways there! We went with a kit since we don't have welding skills (yet). With the kit, the up-pipe & downpipe have been custom fabricated to fit. There were some fitment issues, but those we were able to work out.

Getting the coolant into & out of the turbo is very easy to do. It's almost like the engine was designed for this.

Getting the oil into the turbo is pretty easy, but getting the oil out (drain) & into the oil pan is a major pain in the a$$!

More details on the above can be found here on our '03 X turbo installation write up.

As to turbo size. For 5-6 psi of boost, I'm going to say smaller the turbo the better. It will spool up faster with almost no lag & it would be easier to control the boost... or perhaps more correctly, control the over boosting!

As to my '07 FSXT... or my retirement project as my son calls it. I have all the parts ready for my power MODding. With most of my house repairs completed last year, 2012 will be the year to play with my Forester! I'm going with a VF48 & looking for under 300 hp, which should be safe for the 4EAT.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 02:43 PM
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There is a whole sub-forum over on NASIOC.com dedicated to forced induction on the NA engine. Most there will tell you to skip it unless you get the parts for cheap, other wise it is more cost effective to sell what you have and use those profits as a down stroke on some thing designed with a turbo in mind.

Normally Aspirated with bolt-on Forced Induction Powertrain - NASIOC

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 02:47 PM
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trade in on a XT and modify. Easier, less headaches. Although I have a EJ255 longblock out of a 2005 LGT sitting if you're interested :D

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 03:53 PM
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These conversations always turn into why it is not worth the money. Sometimes money is not the issue. Sometimes it's just to see what can be done. I promise you that a turbo swap would have been much easier than what I did, but I didn't want a turbo. I wanted 230hp upgradable to 300hp and something a little different. I was able to do it for fairly cheap because I do all my own work. If I was paying a shop for this swap, $$$$$$$. If you have the wherewithal to do it, by all means do it. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to get another 50 hp, this won't be it. To do it right, I'd pull the motor and lower compression, stuff the block to fix the open deck issues. Just remember, there is no such thing as cheap hp, and high performance = high maintenance. That was another reason for the direction I went. My motor is bone stock at 230hp.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 04:55 PM
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you could go the custom header/DP route.

Alternatively, i think with some patience, and good bargain hunting you can get yourself the following :


- Stock 03-05 FXT headers and uppipe
- Stock 03-05 FXT subframe
- Stock 03-05 FXT turbo (or any vf 39/43)
- Aftermarket (used) 02-07 wrx/sti/fxt Downpipe
- ANY 03-05 Forester XT catback or turbo back exhaust.



With this list, i believe you could do this in your spare time without having to goto a shop and get anything custom done. Everything ( i beleive) that i listed there would make it a direct bolt-on affair.
Take good notes on 2.5x's list there, he knows what he is talking about.


And as far as anyone debating whether or not a project like this is worth the money, let everyone do their own thing. If i had a quarter for everything someone debated the same thing with me (outside of this forum) about my swap, i could have probably gone with a Cosworth block. Any and every project where someone is passionate and willing to go the distance, is very much worth it.

On low boost, im sure the thing would be a very fun car.

2001FSTi: 370hp/trq.... Heartbreaker mustang dyno #'s
Dom 1.5XTR, Mikey Tuned!........
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