I have been trying to get a sense of the front mount intercooler options for SG Foresters and felt like the relevant information is a bit harder to track down than it should be. The purpose of this thread is to aggregate all the relevant threads on this site and nasioc and potentially get some additional feedback from the community. I am mostly just sharing some of my notes in case it helps others, though.
Here are the relevant threads I have found. Please post any you think I have missed.
* Arthrogrian19's AMR install
* Integrity Performance's TurboXS install
* WBR's install (out of production for a while now)
* QIK-BRIK's Perrin install
* lilsix's TurboXS's prototype install (never went into production)
* Oleg B's APS install
* Lockheed's Perrin install
* the head's WBR install
* Additional build notes from Oleg B, Argortharian19, and GatorXTi's SG5 install earlier in the thread)
* Additional build notes from Argortharian19
* Thread with a few thoughts and links related to FMIC kits
* Pictures of FMIC installs
I compiled a list of other's suggestions for what would need to be done from the threads above. Credit goes to everyone who documented their build.
* Buy a smaller battery (Group 26R fits perfectly)
* For the pipe that passes by the driver side timing cover, you'll need to cut the hard pipe and rejoin them with a coupler, since it isn't tall enough to clear the subframe.
* If your car's a 4EAT, you'll need to bend the tranny cooler hard-lines by the subframe, otherwise there isn't enough room for the aforementioned pipe.
* The coupler in the passenger fender needs to be replaced by a longer one.
* Fabricate some custom brackets to mount the core.
* Relocate or trim washer fluid tank
* Relocate radiator coolant overflow tank
* Move horn bracket (probably depends on intercooler height and position)
Seems like many recommend using 2.5" intercooler piping.
I also found Argortharian19's comment, "If I had to do it again, I'd go with a "universal" core with roughly the following dimensions: 24"W x 8-12"H x 3"D." to be useful. Here is a candidate intercooler from Turbonetics
Here are some notes on intercooler size compiled from various places.
* WBR 30x9x3
* ETS 26x11x3.5
* Cobb 30x10.25x3.5
* TurboXS 25x9.25x3.5
* Perrin 28x9.25x3.5
* Mishimoto 28x8.25x3.5
* APS 33.5x9.375x3.25
Lastly, I feel compelled to mention that I ended up going with a TMIC. After talking with my tuner (Bren Tuning), admitting to myself that I will rarely, if ever, track the car, and that I won't get above 450 hp for several years, I felt it just wasn't worth it. I also found this comment by ETS on nasioc
to be enlightening and pleasantly concise.
"We have done testing here and the TMICs heat soak pretty quick in any situation where you aren't moving. They require a pretty steady amount of flow to keep them cool. They don't recover very quickly either. The TMIC uses a vertical flow design that isn't very tall. So, air is in the cooler for a VERY short amount of time. This makes them flow a large CFM but the efficiency of the cooler isn't great. Its like pulling the thermostat on your car. The water will circulate faster but if it doesn't stay in the radiator long enough it won't cool the water down and actually becomes less efficient. We find they work great on the 02-15 STI where your goals are under 400WHP. The 15+ WRX the FMIC is a much more viable option than previous years because the piping length is about the same. If you run a 3" core the difference in spool is pretty minimal but the IAT will be much lower.
There is guys running 500-600WHP on TMICs but I also know the AIT temps on most of those cars is higher than what we would deem acceptable. Typically they get 1 or 2 dyno pulls and the intercooler needs to be cooled off. That is also in a controlled environment where they have a steady flow of air from idle to the pull.
Front mount intercoolers in my experience aren't near as susceptible to heat soak. The piping in the engine bay will get hot and make AITs go up when you are logging. The moment you crack the throttle plate the FMIC will cool the charge air and it should drop rapidly. That is my personal experience with FMICs over multiple platforms. I don't have any back to back testing to show how much of a difference though.
Hope that helps someone. Happy to make any corrections if people find mistakes.