Considering upgrade to STi turbo at high mileage, input?
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This is a discussion on Considering upgrade to STi turbo at high mileage, input? within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2003 WRX. I bought it it at 98k miles, completely stock. Went stage 2 around 128k with ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Monk_Knight's Avatar
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    Considering upgrade to STi turbo at high mileage, input?

    I have a 2003 WRX. I bought it it at 98k miles, completely stock. Went stage 2 around 128k with an AccessPort and got it protuned shortly there after. Currently the only mods on the car is the 3'' catless turboback and a catless uppipe -- everything else is stock. I was planning on keeping it that way forever as the car is my daily driver and it has 158k on it right now.

    But...

    I was talking to my mechanic (lots and lots of Subaru experience, been working with them for 16 years, had a pretty insane LGT that he just sold, building a bugeye up now) about how I would like to go for a bigger turbo but was wary of pushing the power too much. He said that I shouldn't have any problems going up to a stock STi turbo (with supporting mods).

    I like the idea, but I'm still just a bit wary. I drive a lot and tend to put a lot of miles on my car (put about 60k on it in the last 2.5 years), but I'm mostly a pretty mellow driver. I don't launch it, don't slam the gears around, generally baby it - though I do like to give a good hard pull up to the speed limit every now and again. Probably the worst that I do to it is slide around empty ski resort parking lots every now and again.

    Anyways, I know there are some people on this forum that are pushing pretty big power (relatively) at pretty high mileage. Anyone have any thoughts as to whether this would make my car into a ticking time bomb?

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    Registered User Ruh Roh's Avatar
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    what sti turbo were you thinking? i have an 02 and its my DD, have the AP tune on it now but in the same situation as you. do a compression test and make sure everything is healthy then go about your turbo upgrade. you can get a used VF and other parts for fairly cheap. id go for it if i were you, ill be getting around to it soon but of course $$ is always the issue.

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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    I wouldn't. If you purchased your car young, and knew what it had been through, I might be singing a different story, but you don't know how well your car is going to handle it... and the cost of a new engine, turbo, head gaskets, exhaust gaskets, oil cooler, etc. etc. etc.... is going to be a lot of money.

    If you want faster, maybe save up for a quicker stock car
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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Contrary to Kevin who now hates Subarus, if you don't beat the hell out of it and fly around at high RPMs, and you've taken very good care of the car...and if you know the car was taken care of before by the previous owner, then there's no reason why it couldn't handle just a VF39 or so as long as its properly tuned and has the supporting mods. I'd do a compression/leakdown before hand to just be sure of the health of the engine.

    There have been numerous people who have done an upgrade like this (Zax did an 18G turbo upgrade at 90k miles and it's fine).
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Compression/leakdown test. If they come up fine, go for it.
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    Registered User Monk_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Contrary to Kevin who now hates Subarus, if you don't beat the hell out of it and fly around at high RPMs, and you've taken very good care of the car...and if you know the car was taken care of before by the previous owner, then there's no reason why it couldn't handle just a VF39 or so as long as its properly tuned and has the supporting mods. I'd do a compression/leakdown before hand to just be sure of the health of the engine.

    There have been numerous people who have done an upgrade like this (Zax did an 18G turbo upgrade at 90k miles and it's fine).
    I generally take it pretty mellow for the most part. It's definitely fun to get after it every now and again, but just a quick hard pull occasionally. Not flooring it off every light or anything.

    The previous owners were two sisters, mid 40s, one sold to the other and then she sold it to me because she didn't want it to be the car her 16 yr old daughter drove to school. Obviously this isn't a guarantee that it wasn't driven hard sometimes, but they seemed pretty mellow. And had 100% full records of perfect service from purchase date -- since then I've kept with that strategy.

    I've thought about selling it and getting a newer STi or something, but I really do like my bugeye.

    Sounds like I should go ahead and get the compression/leakdown test before anything else. Thanks all!
    Last edited by Monk_Knight; 01-08-2013 at 05:15 PM. Reason: accidentally a word

  8. #7
    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    You sound like you have a better situation than most. As you mentioned, you never can tell how it was kept up, but usually a certain demographic of owners will tell you a lot. Like my STI was owned by only one mid-50s gentleman who decided to trade it in after 5 years and 80k miles for a brand new 2010 STI at the time. Completely stock, never had been modded other than professional audio install, with all Focal components and JL Subs/amps!!!

    So yeah...do the compression, come back and post results, and go from there
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    Registered User EndlessSea's Avatar
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    ah contrary to the naysayers, i say endurance be damned. MOAR BOOST!!! lol jk

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Compression/leakdown test. If they come up fine, go for it.

    I'll go one up on that and say go for it, and if your motor takes a dump on you then build it and go even bigger!

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