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Discussion Starter #101
No way i was spending $50 or more to buy an entire AT shifter bezel just to get the shift lock release cover. So today I did the rear brakes & rotors on my Mazda 3 and while looking for designated my "rotor removal bolt" I saw my old forester radio bezel and recalled an idea I had to make a shift lock release cover....

Cut a small piece of trim colored plastic from this donor piece - in theory this could still be used, since it was cut out of an area normally behind the dash... it's already been cut on for a previous oversized radio install, so it wasn't like it was perfect part anyway.
cutout.jpg

Made a template with a piece of paper, then traced it onto the donor plastic, then went to work with a dremel....
Piece.jpg

And now no ugly white hole in the shifter bezel that looks like i'm missing a button or something. It's not perfect, but unless someone breaks out the magnifying glass, it's good enough and an improvement. I'm just using double sided tape at moment as i don't want to use glue or anything on a functional piece. If it doesn't hold well i'll glue a piece of plastic to the back of the homemade cover to slot into the shift lock release, but I doubt it will be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
Installed the roof crossbars back on to install a couple of father's day presents, 2 bike racks - nothing too fancy but they will get the job done. Took a few pictures of the car over the weekend....you can see the "AWD" badges i procured from the junkyard, along with a new rear cargo door trim piece and new rear seat folding pull latch trim pieces (the plastic pieces that look like 1980's door locks), all pieces that were either broken or missing on my car. I was at the junkyard to checkout front seats from an XS premium, but they were not in good enough shape AND i didn't realize the driver seat was manual - nope. Looks like i'll be holding out for either the a good matching XT seat or a set of good seats (I at least want driver/passenger front seats to match). Oh yeah, also scored an OEM battery tray that cleaned up nicely, the manager took one look and said "yeah we'll call that a donation" lol - basically looked like scrap plastic until it cleaned up.




You can see the worst angle on the front fender here - maybe i'll break down and buy an unpainted one at some point and get it painted, but would love to find an OEM silver one one of these days. I'd consider filling it but i think given the low prices probably better to just replace with solid metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #104 (Edited)
I mentioned in the "what did you do today" thread but we will put it here for safe keeping....bike racks used for the first time. The racks are "Upshift Sportracks" from Amazon. They work fine, for my large mountain bike I had to remove the plastic front wheel stopper because the bike was too long to fit between front and rear stoppers, but rack itself IS long enough and was easily able to secure the bike with my own straps up front. The arm the actually holds the bike does not have the beefiest fasteners to the rack (looks like a couple of rivets) but it held just fine on an 60+ mile journey and back. I added a few bungie cables front and rear since the included straps are pretty weak.

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Oh yeah, i'm getting a Grimmspeed Boost control solenoid and a Deatschworks DW200 fuel pump from my better half for an upcoming Bday, will install over 4th of july weekend and then head to the tuner. We are moving up! I may replace the turbo inlet as mine is a bit ratty, but it's still sealing so we'll see - it will be one of the Godspeed ones if I do. Tuner also recommended a cold air intake but i've told them i'd prefer not to add it right now. Will see how they respond - I would think it's at the very least unnecessary at this stage. Would love to hear experienced owner's thoughts on this - the car currently makes 187whp on the EJ20 (it's a 4EAT, around 250bhp according to tuner)
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Changed my mind on the cold air intake - since i'll be paying $150 for another tune might as well make the most of it, found an AEM cold air intake (the one that goes all the way down the fender like OEM) used for pretty cheap, will install that as well before the tune. That will cover all the tuner's recommendations for the next power jump.
 

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Discussion Starter #106 (Edited)
Fuel pump, Boost controller, and inlet all showed up from my wonderful wife for bday. Since i have a full tank of fuel, i decided to tackle the Godspeed inlet hose yesterday evening. Boost controller will wait until the day before tune.

The inlet was every bit the pain in the rear folks say it is. I think it's worse if you get one of the $60-$70 ones because the left kink to the turbo at the end is not as pronounced as it should be. Anyway, after losing about 5 liters of sweat and a pint of blood, i got the thing in and all hoses hooked up. I went and bought some new hook tools specifically for this job - you'll need them. Also used some silicone spray. Getting the old inlet out was easy, and even getting the new inlet in place was easy, but mounting it to the turbo and the large return hose on the drivers side were both basically death jobs, sweet jesus. Again the this is with the Godspeed inlet that doesn't quite kink towards turbo enough. You can see the blood in the picture of the return hose. Its hard to get to, and a tight spot. Forgot to put gloves back on at somepoint, hence the blood from what I think was a bad cut from clamp. Heating the inlet with a heat gun probably would have helped, but i didn't think of this until today with the CAI hoses - really helped make those go on easy.

Anyway the stock intake was not liking the angle of the new inlet hose (probably could have gotten it to work) so i removed it in anticipation of the AEM cold air intake. Today, to drive in the meantime i rigged up a temp cold air intake, just bought a MAF mount pipe for $20 which will be nice to have around anyway. Tried to start the car, and she was struggling to even start. When it did start, it could barely hold idle. No CELs though. Crap! What did i botch?

Looked around a bit, nothing obvious. Took off MAF sensor and it started fine - great! So now i have a clue, turns out i had installed the MAF in reverse. Reinstalled it the right way around, car started right up and hummed! No CEL's so far after resetting ECU (from running without MAF test earlier). I hate to relay butt dyno results but the car feels good already, pretune, just from the CAI and inlet. I'm not going to floor it anytime soon but early signs are good. Love the subtle noise changes too. Note: intake temps appear a few degrees warmer with this temp set up vs stock, but nothing i'm worrying about too much - even if this was permanent.

Old inlet - it's been cut on to remove...
OldInlet.jpg OldINletTurboSide.jpg

new inlet
NewInlet.jpg

install location -not bad getting it in there
Hole.jpg

Here's the death hose (the lower one). Note blood nearby.
DeathHose.jpg

PCV sensor wrapped up after jumping it with connector pin
Connector.jpg

Final inlet install, with temp CAI....


Edit: this is going to suck waiting until august to get this tune and driving like a sunday driver when/if I drive the car. Time to read up the Cobb displays to see if I can safely monitor things until then.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
Repainted and clear coated the ebay mudflaps - they now truly look OEM on all but the closest inspection - mo betta....



Used AEM cold air intake came today, so once i install that all the intake/inlet stuff is done. I like that this one sucks in air from the OEM location. Also showing the fuel pump and boost controller.


EDIT: Time to clean the driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
Got the AEM intake installed. Not a cakewalk as you have to work a bit behind the fender but overall fairly easy. The fitment was excellent, no problems at all there, everything naturally lined up where you'd want it to.

Mainly wanted to point out the intake temps with this AEM intake are improved beyond my wildest expectations - going off the Accessport reader at least. Both the stock and "DIY" intake were normally at least 20 degrees above ambient temps (i have an unwrapped stainless uppipe that is not helping for sure), and higher when stopped or driving slowly for any length of time. With this AEM intake it's closer to 5 degrees above ambient temp. Very impressed with the result. Tune day can't come soon enough!

AEM intake going into the fender, same as the stock box did
20190710_235244.jpg

shoved the camera in the fender....
DownFender.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #109 (Edited)
Got the DW200 fuel pump in. It was not too hard - even getting the assembly out of the tank was ok, just kinda try a few angles for each obstruction and you'll get it. Replacing the pump on the assembly was just two screws and 2 hose ends, again not too bad. I had an issue where my main fuse SBF-01 blew after this install. Turned out my main fuse had the wrong 40A fuse in it, according to the panel it should be 100A. Was fine with the correct fuse.

Oh yeah - interesting observation. After the cold air intake, i was monitoring knock and dynamic advance while i drive the car like a grandma - mostly to get fuel tank low enough for fuel pump job - and while knock was never really an issue (stayed close to 0.00 most of time), the advance multiplier was often well below the ideal 1.000 value. After this fuel pump install, it has stayed locked on 1.000 so far. I'm far from qualified to interpret these results, but again found it interesting. Either way car will be putted around if driven until the tune

Some pics so we know it happened...
old pump and assembly....
OldFuelPump.jpg
Old2.jpg

New pump installed....
NewPump.jpg

Boost controller is the last go fast bit to install, might do that when i drop the car off.

Also according to the estimate, I've saved at least $800 in labor with these 4 parts for the next tune. Always good fact to have in mind when trying to justify car mods....
 

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Discussion Starter #110
Had some time over the weekend so i decided to go to work on the dented up passenger side fender with filler and paint. I still have more sanding and clear coat to do but it already looks better. Took care of a rust spot by the fill cap while i was at it.

Pic of filled and painted fender, which previously looked like it had lost a battle with a few bowling balls....

20190714_185144_compress50_1563219017396.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #111
First off - the new sf.org site looks great - well done!

So after the fuel pump swap, and then once the weather really got hot, I was losing fuel pressure if the car sat for any length of time and as a result getting long crank starts - or could just prime the fuel pump to avoid the long crank. Today i removed the fuel pump assembly again and on the hose from the pump to the filter, I replaced the OEM spring clamps I had reused for some stupid reason - despite the fact i used the new hose. I replaced them with the new hose clamps that came with the pump. So far the car has started right up every time 🚙 (y), so pretty sure that was the issue.

I did this with over a 3/4 tank of fuel by the way, really wasn't much different than with a 1/4 tank - the fumes are bad either way o_O. But yeah, not a problem doing the job fuel in the tank.

Also wanted to mention, I was pretty concerned about getting with the pump assembly out of the tank after being warned by the various step by steps (thanks!), but I found it to be pretty straightforward. You do have to rotate the assembly here and there but nothing too finicky - mine always came out fine just by feeling it out. The fuel gauge float is not crazy fragile - the arm is similar strength to one of those strong gold tinged wire coat hangers i'd guess - unless you really force something you won't damage it. And i'm the type that has trouble waiting for paint to dry properly, so just some slight patience and you'll be good!
 

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Discussion Starter #112
We are about to go on vacation, so installed the Grimmspeed 3 port boost controller today. Nice easy install. Hardest part was getting the old hardened hoses off the plastic coupler pieces, so i could reuse one of the couplers on the intake hose. I used a dremel to cut a diagonal cut in the hose around the plastic nipple and that worked great. Otherwise I used the included new hose for all 3 runs - 1 from turbo outlet nipple, 1 from the internal wastegate nipple, and one from the intake return. This means the plastic "T" coupling is no longer used. Car is ready for the tune when i get back from vacation. Until then we will avoid driving, except to putt up to the tuner for drop off.

The other day i hopped in the car to see my fuel gauge was reading FULL, when i knew darn well I had about a quarter tank last time i drove it. Was thinking "You got all cocky saying the fuel pump R&R was easy and now you've broken the fuel gauge...nice". Turned out my wife had driven the car and filled it up...woohoo!
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Tuner (All Aspects Motorsports) called yesterday to see if i wanted to take over a cancelled reservation spot this friday. I had told them awhile back i was off work for awhile and asked if they could fit me in. Excellent of them to remember me and offer - but im in California on vacation at the moment...d'oh!

I thought about arranging a friend to take it up while im out here but nah, best leave it be. Next wed is the day. I won't be present due to starting a new job but as long as i get a dyno sheet and the car survives round 2 ill be happy. Like christmas in august!
 

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Discussion Starter #114 (Edited)
Tune day came early! We had just finished talking cars at work when they called me and told me it was ready to pick up - nice coincidence. After work my lovely wife took me down there to pick up the car. We have a 30hp max HP/Torque gain (same gain for each) for 217 max wheel hp. Not blown away, but happy, and there's no doubt the car feels faster - and legitimately fast under boost. seeing around 16lbs max. Already got a few laughs and grins out of it on the way home. Glad to see additional power even below 4k RPM since I don't want to be ringing the thing out to 6k every other stoplight. Best of all, uneventful trip to the dyno - car survived with no surprises! All my work was solid - total of about $400 in parts, and $150 for the tune at All Aspects Motorsports, who again were excellent in accommodating me and did not tack on any extra fees or BS - straight $150 as quoted (1st tune is more). Also they pointed out a couple things that could use attention without at all insisting on doing the work themselves.

Dyno sheet time!

522603


this is the 1st tune for reference - again to reiterate this is a JDM ej20, not an ej25.

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If I ever want to go beyond this, then a bigger turbo will be next (edit: tuner also mentioned intercooler). I managed to stay on the 1st tune for 6 months....lets shoot for 1 year this time!!!?!?! Either way i have plenty of exploratory driving ahead to let this sink in and enjoy the car. 🚙 🚓😄

On a side note - i'm glad i didn't go for big power right away with this car. It's been a fun journey having intervals of satisfaction from working on the car and then seeing the results on the dyno, then pondering the next move.

edit: one more thing - this car is still completely civil when not driven hard. Your grandmother could drive it and say "oh this drives nice", provided she doesn't floor it! True sleeper.
 

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Love seeing all the work you've done, I've just read through most of your posts. Inspiring me to get some actual work done on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #116
Thanks! Looks like you have pretty much the same car!

I'm already browsing intercoolers, lol. Just browsing, at least that's what i'm telling myself. Doesn't help that I just started a new job, and the first 2 guys that I did training sessions with are both Subaru freaks! First guy has a '17 WRX, and the 2nd guy an '08 Forester XT. Both guys well versed in the Subaru tuning scene.......needless to say it was a good first week at work.
 

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Discussion Starter #118
Hi and thanks! The forester actually showed up on CL during a time I was looking to a get a 2nd car to have fun with. So it kinda fell in my lap. I did take a risk buying it though, did not have it inspected first, just looked it over and brought my dad along (i'm 42 myself) for another set of eyes. I think most would have walked away from it honestly, but the price went low enough after i talked with the owner and i knew i could do alot of work myself - helps when its a 2nd car and not needed to get to work and such!

Ive spent enough now on it total to where i could have bought a well sorted example i think, but i pretty much have that now plus the go fast tuning stuff and have enjoyed the journey. Plus i know even if i had bought a nice example, there's always stuff to do on old cars.

Good luck with your XT plans!
 

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That’s fortuitous!

I’m struggling to be patient in my search. Out here people want insane amounts even for junkers.
I’ll find one eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #120
Some new goodies came in the mail today....current plan is to just install the intercooler maybe next weekend, then get a re-tune scheduled as an experiment. I want to see, especially with all the other supporting mods, what gains the STI IC will bring, if any, on the stock TD-04. The tuner did mention it was time for a bigger intercooler. With re-tunes very fairly priced at All Aspects, i can afford to keep tuning incrementally.

At this point, a bigger turbo is only a matter of time for big gains, but we all know that will produce a nice high end gain. That will come later, after the intercooler experiment and some more driving.

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