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2005 Forester X and XT Manual and Auto
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Discussion Starter #142
VA State safety inspection today - I was overdue just due to working full time, and bailing on a couple of Saturday morning all morning waits...."eff this i'll do it on the way to work!!!". Feels like I've owned this car forever now, but this is the first official safety inspection under my ownership - and since i'm at a new job out in BFE I had to use a new shop within walking distance to work...Omni Performance in Newport News.

Went well. Just one ball joint, which I kinda knew about anyway. Had purchased the ball joints during the summer to try to do myself but never got around to it. Anyway so that reinforced everything with kosher with the inspection. Ended up getting a couple Cooper Evolution all season front tires as well due to uneven wear from the ball joint on my "Discount Tire Specials". They felt pretty good on the ride home. It was raining slightly during rush hour so wasn't exactly testing the handling limits 😄, but initial impressions are good.

Fresh inspection sticker = satisfaction
 

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2005 Forester X and XT Manual and Auto
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Discussion Starter #143
Various news update....

Center diff didnt like the new tires up front. The inspection shop wanted to try them on the rear, still no bueno...although different behavior. Went from whining diff with them up front to vibrations under power with them on the rear, but no whining. Anyway, will get 2 rears mounted and balanced for free. Considering the car was absolutely fine before the tire swap, i expect it should be once again with 4 matched tires.

Meanwhile checked with all aspects about the vf48 turbo tune. They say with these old side feed injectors, they will tune it as is, but don't like doing it unless the injectors are new (or not 150k miles) oem ones. Say all aftermarket ones are clipped or whatever the term is for removing the end nozzle.

I have a dealer connect so getting new oem injectors. Getting into burning money on this car now, but hey, might as well do it right if we've come this far and want the bigger turbo.

Otherwise the car is tiptop still. Took my dad for a ride the other day and he was commenting how smooth the engine sounded under high load.

Did some various clean up under the hood. Needed a new hood prop clip. Oreilly $7 generic worked like a champ. Radiator mounts cleaned up and painted (long story involving my daughter's 03x as to why I even bothered with this...but they look good and won't rust anymore)
 

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2005 Forester X and XT Manual and Auto
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Discussion Starter #144
Got the rear tires, just for price of the tires. Vibration gone, and now have 4 respectable brand new tires at a slight discount (going half full on this one!)

Got the new injectors today. Had some time tomorrow with my son at the grandparents, so planned to do 'em then, but my wife was in a bit of a mood tonight after a long day (happens to us all) so I had a strong urge to work out in the garage all of sudden. First time doing the job, took me about 2 hours. If I had to do it again probably closer to one hour. Spent at least 20 minutes gingerly trying to figure out how to get the new ones in without breaking anything. I found the best way - without using a hammer which my mechanic recommended - but given my lack of finesse worried me - was to get a half inch ratchet with extension, and push on them with this for a few seconds. After about 5 seconds they go in. Of course you grease up the orings but they still put up a fight. Anyway once I got the first one the rest were systematic, no trouble at all.

I'd call this an easy job. If you've ever changed spark plugs on these boxers, this is a bit easier than that in my book - or could be i've learned a thing or two, and have better tools, since last I changed the plugs.

The first startup was a bit concerning while everything pressurized or whatever the case was, but it was humming in no time. If anything the car feels more responsive - could be my imagination - but anyway this is just preparation for the VF48...which will go in maybe next weekend. That will give me a week plus before the tune in case i botch anything to make it right. I shouldn't, i've swapped turbos enough by now.

here's some pics of the new injectors, and then old vs new side by side. These new ones came with the caps included.
527856

527857
 

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Discussion Starter #145
Finished installing the VF48 turbo today. Not tuned yet, so no testing aside from grandma style drive around block. All seems well, no leaks, no smoke aside from spilled oil, and running smoothly. I also decided to finally change out the axleback exhaust (aka muffler) since it's about to get tuned. So I installed a TurboXS muffler today, and it sounds glorious! Once i get the car tuned i'll probably make a video with it. Love that the part can fit to either the stock midpipe or 3" without any extra adapter - mine is stock. Getting the original muffler off was a beast - the old rust blobs previously known as "bolts" had to be ground off, also had to get the torch and hammer involved, but got 'em out of there without ruining the mid pipe flange - or the stock muffler flange. Once i got the old bolts out the TurboXS muffler was a true bolt on affair - fit all 3 existing rubber hangers perfectly - no problems. Very happy with the product.

Tune for the VF48 will happen wednesday. Again using a Floating Holiday at work for this tune day. Nevermind having Black Friday off, this is important! :LOL:
 

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04 Forester XT 5MT
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I just read this entire journal. Great write up. You seem to be going the same direction I am planning to, as far as performance mods are concerned. Can't wait to see how the VF48 works for you, as I am interested in getting the same turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #147
Just sitting at the tuning shop waiting to wrap up. Car survived, no problems at all I'm told 🥳...always great to hear when your car is being dynoed. Will post back the results once i get the dyno sheet and all settled in, get to drive etc. Got a video of a dyno pull this time too.
 

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Discussion Starter #149 (Edited)
Alrighty first up the dyno sheets. To be 100% honest I was hoping for a bigger number but overall i'm satisfied. Very nice seeing increases across the entire curve. Max WHP is 257. Tuner says it's decent for this setup and the current limiting factor is fuel (550c side feeds). I was told and knew going in these would be pushing the limits. Again no complaints. The car is still very binary. When it gets around 4K the surge is even bigger, feels almost instantaneous when it comes on - i'm not talking throttle response here, just when the boost really comes on, it's a sudden thump in the back!

Here's prior tune vs this tune...basically TD04 vs VF48....and a muffler.

528541


I'm not sure what to make of seeing gains under 3K - is that expected? It's a great bonus if the real deal. Butt Dyno lines up with it.

Anyway here's from the first tune, with just a downpipe, stock everything else (again aside from JDM EJ20) to current VF48 tune. It's come along way from the basketcase i purchased last February...

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528543


528544


video of dyno run...
 

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04 Forester XT 5MT
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Nice. I'm sure the butt dyno says the gains are way more than the actual dyno. I've always loved that feeling of boost throwing you back into your seat. My brother had an 83 280ZX Turbo when we were growing up and it always did that when the boost hit. I always thought that was the norm for turbo cars until I started driving rally cars.

Can't wait to see the video.
 

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Discussion Starter #152
Awesome video! Exciting stuff. Car sounds 👌. Just an axle back correct?
Yup correct, stock midpipe, Cobb downpipe. It is definitely loud on the interstate if that's a concern. For now at least i'm ok with it in favor of the overall aggressive sound and rumble.
 

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Discussion Starter #153
So this is where the car stands right now...i've almost got the engine out o_O

528690


So what happened? It was parked running, but with concerns. The previous turbo, just before i swapped, had encountered some metal right before turbo swap. When i took it all apart, found some small shavings and nicked blades, thought maybe i had picked up something when intake was off. Took apart oil lines, intake etc, cleaned it all out, removed banjo filters which looked ok, all that, oil change didnt reveal any surprises, installed new turbo, no problems, tune went fine, car was running great, per tuners assessment, no noises or anything.

Then friday i was sure i was hearing debris again in turbo, similar noises. Decided to shut it down. Further inspection of oil revealed golden sparkles. Talked with my subaru mechanic friend and decided to commit to doing rebuild, mostly DIY, with his assistance as needed. He said its usually only a matter of time once this happens and I believe him - plus from the get go this was always a possibility with cyl 4 a bit low on compression. Anyway once I got turbo apart it looks like new, only bits i found were in intercooler, probably left over from 1st turbo incident, whatever it was, given everything else was clean. So that was the source of the noise this time. Resisted urge to put it all back together and instead kept tearing down.

This is going to be slow and methodical - just a full rebuild and checking/replacing any contaminated parts like the IC. When it comes time to open the block, ill have a pro help alongside.

The end goal is to have the same car, and power. Just with a freshly rebuilt engine for full peace of mind...and enjoying the hobby in the meantime, getting a rebuild under my belt! Sure i could get another JDM uses EJ20x for about the same cash spent ($800 or so, they are everywhere on ebay) but i'll feel better knowing what i've got with rebuilding, plus this will be a cooler experience!

So now this has pretty much come full circle from post #1 "i wanted a 2nd car to wrench on....", "if X happens we'll rebuild" etc...etc....
 

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2009 Forester XT Auto
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I guess we are at about the same stage. I am almost done with putting together my EJ257 and start the engine swap though. Let me know if you have any questions as I tore down that Engine to the bare short block.

'09 FXT w/complete EJ257
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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Bummer but great experience! I would love to do this if I had a third car and a bit more time.
Not me. I've done full teardowns and rebuilds before. it sounds like a lot more fun than it is, unless you're a geared. Turns out, I wasn't. My last car that I did that on/to ran great, for me, but when I sold it, the new owner had nothing but problems. My wife ended up calling it/her, Christine.
 
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