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2004 Forester XT 5-speed
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals. I just picked up my first FXT and LOVE it! I purchased the car from a member on the forums here. He had already built the car suspension wise, but it needs a little more pop. I have been researching and reading what mods best deliver with the fewest amount of dollar bills used. So far I have a Accessport and Down-Pipe on the way.

I have a $1,000 budget this winter for mods. What should I do to it?

I assume STI TMIC and up-pipe. Should I consider an upgraded turbo? If I go with an upgraded turbo, what else would I have to upgrade? Would a pro-tune benefit me at this point in time?

Ideally I am wanting to build a very driveable car, but that is also quick when needed to be.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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I just picked up my first FXT and LOVE it!
What year, and how many miles on the odometer?

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2002 ES300
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4,412 Posts
When you do your timing belt, throw on a Cobb lightweight crank pulley. Got mine on NASIOC for under $100 shipped.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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04 forester xt
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969 Posts
The Sti tmic fits like crap, try to find a good used aftermarket tmic like turbo xs. They are not much more than a Sti and they don't rub the ac line like the Sti. don't bother tuning with stock turbo , pick up a Vf or 18g. Vf can use stock injectors anything bigger and you'll need bigger injectors. If I could go back I would have went straight for a 18g or similar


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2004 Forester XT 5-speed
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Sti tmic fits like crap, try to find a good used aftermarket tmic like turbo xs. They are not much more than a Sti and they don't rub the ac line like the Sti. don't bother tuning with stock turbo , pick up a Vf or 18g. Vf can use stock injectors anything bigger and you'll need bigger injectors. If I could go back I would have went straight for a 18g or similar


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This is the first I have heard anyone recommend an aftermarket TMIC over an STI when a budget is concerned. Would it not be easier to go STI TMIC and replace the ac line with an STI one?


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2011 SH S-Edition 5EAT
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202 Posts
Don't forget boost and wideband gauges. That'll eat up around $300 of your budget.
These aren't entirely necessary though. I personally would not spend the money just yet.

My $1,000 (assuming suspension-wise the RSB at least is done to a 19 or preferably 22 mm, and that the DP and Cobb AP aren't coming out of the budget) would be:

- Used aftermarket TMIC (TurboXS, Process West, etc)
- Used VF34/43/48/etc.
- Pro tune (even if e-tune)
 

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2002 ES300
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4,412 Posts
These aren't entirely necessary though. I personally would not spend the money just yet.

My $1,000 (assuming suspension-wise the RSB at least is done to a 19 or preferably 22 mm, and that the DP and Cobb AP aren't coming out of the budget) would be:

- Used aftermarket TMIC (TurboXS, Process West, etc)
- Used VF34/43/48/etc.
- Pro tune (even if e-tune)
If you're doing engine performance upgrades, I would say it's worth it to help keep an eye on the newly installed mods.
 

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2011 SH S-Edition 5EAT
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202 Posts
If you're doing engine performance upgrades, I would say it's worth it to help keep an eye on the newly installed mods.
I'm not saying don't get them, just not yet; a VF turbo, TMIC and a conservative tune are, IMO, not straining the engine too much, if at all. If a larger turbo was going on, or there was a plan to ring the neck of a VF, then yeah, boost and wideband gauges are important.

Might be a difference in ECUs capabilities, but I don't have either boost or wideband gauge on mine (yet) with VF52, TMIC, fuel pump, silicone intake, TBE and tune (only 230 whp though). I can log all parameters needed to check, quite adequately.
I'm getting a more aggressive tune shortly, so wideband has been bought, but just not fitted yet...
 

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2002 ES300
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I'm not saying don't get them, just not yet; a VF turbo, TMIC and a conservative tune are, IMO, not straining the engine too much, if at all. If a larger turbo was going on, or there was a plan to ring the neck of a VF, then yeah, boost and wideband gauges are important.

Might be a difference in ECUs capabilities, but I don't have either boost or wideband gauge on mine (yet) with VF52, TMIC, fuel pump, silicone intake, TBE and tune (only 230 whp though). I can log all parameters needed to check, quite adequately.
I'm getting a more aggressive tune shortly, so wideband has been bought, but just not fitted yet...
I was surprised I over boosted my TD04 today with just switching to a lightweight crank and catless up-pipe. CEL came on with a P0244 code, apparently over boosting is the only way to get the code based on my research on here. So gauges are now on my 'To Do' list, despite my short mod list.
 

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2011 SH S-Edition 5EAT
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I was surprised I over boosted my TD04 today with just switching to a lightweight crank and catless up-pipe. CEL came on with a P0244 code, apparently over boosting is the only way to get the code based on my research on here. So gauges are now on my 'To Do' list, despite my short mod list.
That's unfortunate :icon_sad:
Can see why you're all for them then :icon_wink:
Shouldn't have too much of a problem with a VF on 16-18 psi, with a conservative tune, though (unless it's the VF which is prone to boost creep, was that the VF43??? I can't remember...)

Christmas is coming up...boost gauge is what I've asked my folks' for :lol:
 

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2007 EDM FXT 4EAT ST3 Automatic
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441 Posts
The crank pulley does not do much, but the cat-less pipes require a retune.

I would start logging knock and be careful as you probably have a scary cl/ol delay at the moment?

:)
 

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2002 ES300
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4,412 Posts
That's the first time I have heard that a catless up-pipe, catless downpipe yes, requires a tune. My engine seems to spool much quicker since these mods. How do I log knock?
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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511 Posts
Here is my $0.02



After reading and talking with Subaru guys and several different tuners this is how I did it:

In order,
STi top mount (with mishimoto silicone kit)
Catless up-pipe
Turbo-XS down pipe fitted to an STi cat back
GrimmSpeed manual boost controller
Tactrix cable


At this point I got an e-tune with the stock turbo. With these simple easy mods and a good tune WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I eventually swapped the STi cat back for a 3" Borla Hush.

I am now in the process of upgrading to a VF48, AVO single piece turbo inlet, DW 255 fuel pump and possibly injectors. But, my car has 160k on it and still pulls like a wild animal.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5-speed
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here is my $0.02



After reading and talking with Subaru guys and several different tuners this is how I did it:

In order,
STi top mount (with mishimoto silicone kit)
Catless up-pipe
Turbo-XS down pipe fitted to an STi cat back
GrimmSpeed manual boost controller
Tactrix cable


At this point I got an e-tune with the stock turbo. With these simple easy mods and a good tune WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I eventually swapped the STi cat back for a 3" Borla Hush.

I am now in the process of upgrading to a VF48, AVO single piece turbo inlet, DW 255 fuel pump and possibly injectors. But, my car has 160k on it and still pulls like a wild animal.
That sounds like a good plan! I have the STI cat back installed. What is the Tactrix cable?
 
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