At least it is my hopes to build a one stop thread on Information about STI TMICs for FXT. (as it has been a huge hassle for myself to find all the information I needed before I wanted to undertake this project.) Most of this information has been from memory and reading around between here and Nasioc, if anything is wrong let me know and I’ll fix it. Also admins if you feel like it's worth it maybe should make it into a sticky. I’d like to take the time and say thank you for everyone has previously made post about your install if it were not for you I would not be able to make this. And a big thanks to Unibomber on Nasioc.com everyone of his posts are worth reading.
So if you’re reading this you’re probably done enough research to know that the STI top mount intercooler is one of the best bang for buck intercoolers for our wonderful Foresters. You can find them on Nasioc and Subaruforester.org in the For Sale threads. The average is around $300, I’ve seen them as high as 350, and I’ve seen them as low as 240 (shipped and that’s including the BOV and y piece). And for an intercooler that’s rated at 400whp that’s too bad.
• Things needed to have a smooth install:
o STI TMIC w/ Cast Y piece and red coupler and maybe BOV (read next point)
o STI intercooler brackets
o FXT pre 06 – need to make sure they pick up the STI BOV with the STI intercoolers. As the bolt patterns are different and your stock BOV will not bolt onto the STI intercoolers.
• Sometimes you see STI v7 or STI v8 TMIC’s. These are roughly 15% larger than the standard USDM STI intercoolers. Some notes to go along with this, the V8 splitter wont fit under our hood scoops. So you have to run V7, also the V7 does not line up with the V8 100%. So the best thing to do is run the STi V7 TMIC and splitter if this is the route you want to take.
• If you’re in for a good read check out the FAQ on TMICS on Nasioc.
Most people say it is a pretty easy and quick install. But there are some important things to watch out for.
• A lot of people have problems with mating the STI intercooler with the FXT’s OEM tod4 turbo. The Red Silicone coupler to the turbo is a little short since the TDO4 is a smaller turbo than the VF34. There are many ways people try and fix this issue.
o Some are about to wiggle it around and barely make it touch. (not safe personal friends have totaled out their cars because of hoses popping off)
o While others cut radiator hose to help extend the pipe. (not as safe IMO, radiator hoses just are not made for boost although they are designed to hold 14+ of water pressure)
o Some people flip the red coupler this sometimes can help reach.
o If you wanted to have the best setup than I would highly suggest the Samco 4 pc. Turbo Hoses for the Subaru WRX/STI 00-04. You can use all the hoses esp. the Y piece.
o Just as a side note, if you install the intercooler with the VF34 there are no known issues with the red coupler reaching the turbo.
• Of course you have the amazing AC line that gets in the way. There are a couple ways in tackling this issue
o One way is just to use some muscle and bend the AC line out of the way.
o And the other is to put some pipe insulation around the AC lines. (rubber hose with slit cut down the middle, then zip tied around the contact spot)
o In My opinion both should be done. The 15 minutes and 3 dollars you save could help end costing you much more time and money ($650 for parts, labor, and Freon recharge at least according do a member on here).
o It is important to remember that there is not just one contact point: (this is quoted from a post made by wadej, thanks):
The obvious place is on passenger side of the intercooler. It is the large AC line. This line really cannot be easily bent out of the way as it is very thick. In my first picture this rubbing area is covered by a piece of rubber hose zip tied.
The less obvious place rubs against the driver's side of the intercooler at the place where the solid y-pipe enters the intercooler coming out of the turbo. It is the smaller of the two AC lines. It is fairly easy to bend out of the way. I took off my intercooler today after about a year of running it. In the second picture you can see where the line was worn down, but fortunately was not worn through. In the last picture I have the y-pipe rubbing area circled with a black marker. I bent it out of the way and also put on some rubber hose.
Here are some notes I’d like to add to help make the install smoother:
• You try and do test fits both with and without the AC lines to see where it touches to add the protective hose
• Unbolt the throttle body to remove the intake to BPV hard pipe bolt (this is one of the hardest bolts to access and it’s just easier to remove the TB)
• Unbolt throttle body to remove intake to BPV hard pipe bolt
Hopefully this helps everyone. If there is anything else you feel like I should add please let me know so we can help everyone. I will reserve an extra post in case I will need it later maybe for some install pics.