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Discussion Starter #181 (Edited)
Your power to weight ratio has improved after removing that spider's corpse :cool:.


I just got done reading through the rest of the journal. Excellent job on the install! And as always, you did a great job documenting everything.
Thanks! :biggrin:

I have lots more to write up, with tons of pictures, once the Summer "must do" projects are complete. :smile:

I don't know how bugs find their way into areas like that? I figured if it was left in there too long, it could leave a mark where it falls apart. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #182 (Edited)
AVO Turbo Kit re-installation - Complete!

I just got home from a "shakedown" test drive & I can finally say the AVO Turbo Kit reinstallation project is complete success! Great pickup & the boost comes on very quickly. The maximum boost is over 5 psi, but under 6 psi, just where we want it for a long lasting engine! :biggrin:

Just for fun, below are the engine compartment "before" & "after" pictures. :wink:

Bobby...
'03 X as it looked "stock".


'03 X as it looks today with the AVO Turbo Kit installed.

Related posts:The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #184 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #185 (Edited)
New wheels - part 3 - XXR 507S wheels installed!

The AVO Turbo Kit reinstallation project is complete, so now it was time to install the new wheels! :cool:

The XXR 507S wheel is a glossy black painted wheel with a deep stainless steel lip. It's designed to be customized with an "accent kit", which is attached to the spokes. This allows the wheel to be customized to the look you're looking for.

I should mention that we get all our wheels & rubber at our local Les Schwab. Motegi did nothing to keep a customer, Joe at Les Schwab went out of his way to keep our business! :smile:

Bobby...

The upper picture shows the mounting screws being removed. I thought it was odd that the screws, 4 per trim piece, came preinstalled installed? I have to admit having the trim pieces threaded with the preinstalled screws made the installation much easier! I used a cordless drill with a Phillips bit to remove the screws... did I mention there were 80 screws to remove! Of course no power tool use is recommended to install the screws. The lower picture shows the screws being coated with a protective grease coating which should help prevent rusting. In addition, the protective grease coating makes the installation of screws much easier!

The upper picture shows how the wheels look as they come out of the box. The lower picture shows the wheels with the chrome accent kit installed.

The new wheels on the Forester - XXR 507S 17x7", +40 offset, wheels with a stainless steel lip & chrome trim kit. The Toyo Proxes 4, 235/50-17 performance tires adds to the wide stance!

The old wheels on the Forester - Motegi MR7 17x7”, +40 offset, alloy chrome wheels. The tires are Toyo Proxes 4, 235/50-17. I loved the look of these wheels, but they don't last. The chrome starts failing, like rust under paint in less than a year & the manufacturer doesn't stand behind their product! I'll never buy that brand again! :mad:

Related Posts:The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #187
To tell you the truth, when I first got the '03 X, I wanted rear disc brakes. After awhile, I found the drum brakes stop just fine, stay cleaner & will outlast disc pad. :wink:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #189
Got to have shiny wheels! Besides, with a dark color Forester with lots of dark trim, you need lighter wheels. It's hard to get the total look from a picture, but the chrome looks very nice with this color Forester. :cool:

The neat thing with these wheels, is that you can change out the accent pieces to whatever you want. The XXR wheel seems to be well made... not sure about the plastic trim pieces yet, but time will tell. :wink:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #191 (Edited)
AVO Turbo Kit reinstallation - PROBLEM! - oil seepage resolved! - new hose - Part 4

I received the new custom assembled oil hose yesterday & there's a slight problem! What's that saying? "There's always something!" :icon_eek:

Bobby...

Here's the one installed now with the old rusty fittings. It works perfectly, but I figured we might as well have a hose with stainless steel fitting... I really dislike rust!

Here's a picture of the one I received. Can you see the problem? The fitting on the right side is pointed the wrong way! This a high pressure hose, so it can't be twisted or flexed to fit.

I just received verification from the seller that the hose can be adjusted, so it's not a major issue as it could have been. If they'd used a sealant, I couldn't loosen the 90* fitting to turn it. :wink:

Related posts:The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #193 (Edited)
It sure is! The work order said 12 & 9. It's clocked 12 & 3. As I wrote, not a biggie, since it can be loosened & repositioned. Still, at over $5 an inch, you'd think it would be exactly as I ordered it. :mad:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #195
On the positive side, the MODding on the '03 X is pretty much done & we're detailing & waxing it now! :biggrin:

Now I can move on to my Forester! :cool:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #197 (Edited)
Detailed & waxed! - Summer 2010

Here's a picture of the '03 X freshly waxed with Mother's California Gold Carnauba wax. The plastic & rubber trim was treated with Mother's Back-to-Black. Hint: Do the Mother's Back-to-Black first & any overwaxing onto the black trim won't stick. :biggrin:

To be honest, it doesn't look that different. The Pacifica Blue Pearl always looks shiny. It's my favorite Forester color, even over World Rally Blue. :wink:

Bobby...


The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #198 (Edited)
14,000 Views milestone!

We had to add a screen snapshot of this milestone in our Member Journal! :cool:

Bobby...
December 4, 2010
14,000 Views!


The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #199 (Edited)
AVO Turbo Kit - Part 9a - Installation - the mechanical.

My son & I completed this project over the summer & the '03 X is still operating perfectly! With things slowing down for the winter holidays, I can finally finish my write up. For those that may not have read all the related posts, this is a "reinstallation" & not a new from scratch. For that reason not every step will be covered or redone.

Bobby...

There's way too much information to cover here, so I decided to do this write up in 2 parts.
  • Part 9a - Installation - the mechanical.
  • Part 9b - Installation - the electrical.
Pre-installation preparations:
  • Select a location for installation, where the vehicle can sit for an extended amount of time. You'll need a hard flat paved surface. We did our installation outside the garage during the summer, with our '03 X on 4 Rhino ramps.
  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal. I should note here that you want the rear hatch locked before you disconnect the battery, unless you want it left unlocked! The battery will be left disconnected until the project is complete.
  • Drain all oil from the engine. The oil pan will need to be removed so a fitting can be installed for the turbo oil return line.
The '03 X was on 4 Rhino Ramps for well over a month while the AVO Turbo Kit was being reinstalled!

On an earlier post, I noted that the AVO Turbo Kit wasn't specifically designed for the Forester, so there are some additions to the kit, which are provided by the installer... meaning "you"! What additions you're thinking? Take a look at the picture above, specifically the hood & hood scoop, plus the painting to match it to the Forester! An '04-'05 XT hood will fit perfectly on an '03 Forester.

The installation of the AVO Turbo Kit requires some of the stock engine parts to be relocated & even removed.
  • Remove the factory air cleaner box and air intake pipes from the throttle body. Remove the factory air-cleaner box mounting brackets. These items will not be reused. Save the bracket, it can be used to support the relocated cruise control actuator assembly.
  • The main engine wiring harness (2 plugs) will need to be repositioned, as does the bulkhead wiring so it's not too close to the turbo (heat issues).
  • The A/C high & low pressure lines will need to be repositioned so they clear the TMIC (top mounted intercooler). The lines can be repositioned with very careful straightening & bending, but take your time! If you break a line, the line will have to be replaced & the A/C system will need to be recharged, an expense & hassle you want to avoid. We had no problems repositioning the A/C lines.
  • The cruise control actuator assembly will be relocated to the top of the passenger side strut tower.
  • Remove the front & rear O2 sensors from the factory CAT/center exhaust pipe. Handle these carefully (expensive to replace), since these will be reused.
  • Unbolt & remove stock CAT/center exhaust pipe. These will not be reused.
This is how the engine compartment should look now. Note how the A/C lines have been repositioned & protected with split tubing, which is normally used for protecting wiring. The engine wiring harness has also been protected with split tubing where possible & moved towards the bulkhead to get it away from where the turbo will sit. I installed 2 plastic clamps to hold the A/C lines tight against the bulkhead, drilling thru the area under the windshield cowl. I'd recommend stainless steel hardware, since this area will get wet.


This picture shows how we repositioned the engine wiring harness connectors.

Turbo cooling & lubrication.
  • The turbo requires pressurized engine oil, which is tapped off the front oil gallery, where the oil pressure light switch is located. The switch is removed & a fitting is installed. The oil pressure switch sender is reinstalled on the fitting provided in the installation kit. On the top is an -4 AN high pressure hose fitting. A high pressure hose connects from the -4 AN fitting to the turbo. This sounds easy, but you'll see we had issues with the -4 AN fitting! :icon_eek:
  • The turbo is coolant (water) cooled. The coolant flow is tapped off at the throttle body. Simply, the coolant flows into the throttle body, out of the throttle body, into the turbo & out of the turbo to the coolant return crossover pipe.
The upper picture shows where the turbo coolant lines are attached. The red circle, still capped (hose to be attached there) & yellow circle has a hose attached & run to the turbo. The lower picture shows the front oil gallery fitting. The turbo oil feed is on top (going to the left). The stock oil pressure switch screws into side of the kit fitting. I added the brass "T" & 90* fittings so I could tap off for the oil pressure gauge sender (hose going to the right).


The oil that goes into the turbo has to be returned to the oil pan. This is a reinstallation, so there's no reason to for us to remove the oil pan. That means there are no pictures to show that process. The specific instructions are on the installation PDF which are linked to on my post here. I should note here that the oil pan leaked when it was reinstalled by the performance shop that did the original AVO Turbo Kit installation. Matter of fact they removed & resealed the oil pan twice, finally paying my Subaru dealership shop to reseal the oil pan!
The upper picture shows the turbo oil return (drain) fitting welded onto the oil pan. The lower picture shows the stainless steel reinforced hose installed onto the fitting.


There's no reason to replace the stock headers, they work perfectly. The only down side is that they're EL (Equal Length), so no boxer burble. You need UEL headers to get the distinctive boxer burble. :frown:
The upper picture shows the new exhaust gasket held in place with tape. The lower picture shows the turbo+up-pipe secured to the header flange. We opted for stainless steel exhaust hardware. Whenever I change or add hardware, it has to be all stainless steel. It costs more, but will last forever! I love how that DEI Titanium exhaust wrap looks on the up-pipe. You can see I opted for stainless steel hose clamps instead of the the traditional stainless steel zip-ties. I find the hose clamps are easier to work with & they can be loosened if you need to make adjustments to the exhaust wrap.


The AVO Turbo Kit installation comes with the turbo is bolted to the up-pipe & it's installed as a unit. Below is a picture of the turbo installed in it's new home.

The coolant lines on the turbo come positioned on the bottom. Repositioning the pipes on the top of the turbo makes it much easier to connect to the engine coolant lines. This picture shows the coolant lines installed. You can also see the Gizzmo MS-IBC boost controller valve (blue) on the left. The BOV will be installed on the short vertical hose.

The upper picture shows the downpipe/CAT bolted to the turbo. No gasket is used between the turbo & the downpipe, just a light coat of Permatex high-temperature red RTV silicone gasket maker. The lower picture shows the other end of the downpipe with the high flow CAT, which bolts up the stock exhaust. In our case, a custom CAT back exhaust.

The upper picture shows the wrapped downpipe/CAT with the front O2 sensor installed & the added bung (capped) where the Bosch LSU 4.2 wideband O2 sensor will be installed. It will connect to the Innovate MotorSports LC-1 controller & DB digital Air/Fuel gauge. The lower picture shows the rear O2 sensor installed with 2 spacers (spark plug non-foulers). What are the spacers for? Check out this thread: $5 fix

The upper picture shows the TMIC (top mounted intercooler) being checked for fit. The lower picture shows the air intake & fuel injector hoses installed, ready for the final installation. The fuel injector, called the 5th fuel injector, is connected to the fuel line with a "T" fitting.


A note on geared hose clamp use. I only use 100% stainless steel hose clamps & I debur the inside so no sharp edges will cut into the hose. They need to be installed so they can be checked for tightness. Unlike spring clamps, geared hose clamps can loosen, so I make sure every hose clamp I install is positioned so it can be accessed.

Other than installing the air filter, the BOV, the hoses & checking to make sure everything secured, this completes the installation - mechanical. Specific details for this can be found in the AVO Turbo Kit installation manual. There are way too many details to note everything here.

On the next write up I'll cover the installation electrical. :icon_eek:

Related posts:The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found ► here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #200 (Edited)
AVO Turbo Kit - Part 9b - Installation - the electrical.

My education & career was is in electronics, so I can work on pretty much anything that has to do with electronics or electricity. I believe that's the attraction to MODding my vehicles. It allows me to apply my electronics skills with the fun of turning a wrench as a hobby. :cool:

Bobby…

In Part 9b I'm going to cover electrical, specifically the Perfect Power SMT6 piggyback engine management. I've already covered how the PP SMT6 is programmed here, so I'm going to jump right into how to tie into the ECM (engine control module).

The upper picture shows the Perfect Power AMP 2.5 BAR boost sensor & the SMT6 piggyback smart tuner. The lower picture shows the fuel injector, called the 5th fuel injector, which is mounted on the TMIC. The 5th fuel injector is controlled by the PP SMT6 & is used to supply additional fuel when needed to prevent the engine from running too lean under boost.
The Perfect Power SMT6 uses the AMP 2.5 BAR sensor to monitor the turbo boost pressure. It tunes by modifying the sensor signals before it's passed on to the the ECM. That's why it's called a "piggyback" smart tuner. The PP SMT6 can store 2 tune MAPs, MAP A & MAP B, which can be switched on the fly.

The upper picture shows where the ECM is located, under passenger side carpet. The lower picture shows the wiring diagram I leave under the carpet, on top of the metal ECM cover for trouble shooting.

This picture shows what it looks like after the protective metal cover is removed. The Perfect Power SMT6 & AMP 2.5 BAR sensor are on the left side, the ECM in the center & the added wiring on the right side. I prefer to use Molex connectors, which allows quick disconnect/reconnect for trouble shooting or even putting everything back to stock.

The AVO Turbo Kit installation documents show how the Perfect Power SMT6 smart tuner is wired to the ECM, but there was a problem. There's an error on the factory service document, as you can see below. The ECM pin out for our '03 X Forester matches the ECM pinout for an '03-'04 Impreza!

Once I figured out why the connector didn't match the factory service document, it was easy to come up with the Perfect Power SMT6 to ECM wiring diagram shown below. The PP SMT6 can do much more than is required in this application.
As to the actual wiring. Once the correct wire is found on the ECM connector, the sensor wire is cut & routed thru the PP SMT6 as shown above. For the +12V (switched) & ground, they're tapped & not cut, since they don't need to pass thru the PP SMT6. I prefer to crimp, solder & protect the connection with shrink tubing. The PP SMT6 also controls the operation of the 5th fuel injector from the programing in the tune MAP. As shown above, by adding a simple switch, the PP SMT6 can switch between 2 stored tune MAPs instantly on the fly!

The vacuum hose for the AMP 2.5 BAR sensor & the wiring to the 5th fuel injector are passed thru the engine wiring harness grommet. The usual process of carefully pushing thru a small hole in the grommet & then pulling thru the wires & hose. Follow up with silicone sealer if the seal looks poor. I'm not providing specific details on the wiring in the engine compartment, since it's not that difficult. The fuel injector wiring has a connector that just plugs into the socket on the injector. As to the vacuum line, just tap off where it's convenient & the hose size matches the "T" fitting.

Having to use a piggyback smart tuner is a PIA, but when you can't directly program the ECM, this is your only option. :icon_eek:

On this last picture, you can see the Perfect Power SMT6 MAP A/MAP B switch mounted on a Subtle Solutions ashtray gauge bezel, on the right side, under the Gizzmo MS-IBC boost controller. The details on this project can be viewed here.

Related posts:The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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