Hi guys, figured I'd put this here since I already briefly mentioned it in my build thread, and I wanted to get some tips and pictures out there in case anyone else is looking. I spent most of my build time on Google, so here is my DIY/product review:
The FMS FMIC I got from FastTuningProducts.com went in this weekend, and since I couldn't find anything out there on it I figured I'd snap some extra pictures for anyone else looking to install this FMIC. I've read it's exactly the same as the TurboXS, but haven't bothered to verify.
Some might be asking why I went with the FMS. It was $600 for the whole kit. No, some of the holes didn't line up right, and I had to trim the bumper. You get what you pay for. That said, was it worth saving the $800 for a comparable system? Absolutely. Rather than having to run it with no crash bar on a Process West, or AMS, or ETS, etc. or remove the factory fog lights as is necessary with some systems, or pay $2,000 for a Cosworth, I'd say it was worth every penny.
The whole kit includes quality parts, solid welds and good clamps. It has everything you need for both the WRX and STi as well as aftermarket BPV/BOV if you're running one of those.
Fitment was a factor. The core was slightly too tall, making it a little interesting to get the bumper back on because it pushes on the plastic brackets underneath. The replacement crash bar went in without modification, but the holes barely lined up. I managed to get it on without cross-threading anything. The only real fabrication issue was that the holes on the crash bar didn't line up with the holes on the intercooler. It was an easy fix though. I drilled out the holes and used some larger washers, done. Glad I didn't pay an extra $800 for the holes to line up. It was a 3min fix!
The bumper requires trimming, quite a bit actually. It was hard to stomach at first, but I broke out some electrical tape to use as a guide for my cuts and just got to it nice and slow. Take your time on this part, and you'll thank yourself in the end. You're going to need to trim at least 2inches, in some parts more. I went the slow route, a quarter inch at a time and did the final cuts with the bumper hanging on the car so I could get it nice and flush. You can try using sheet metal cutters, air cutter, hack saw, whatever, but I tried all three of those and I don't recommend any of them. They made for real rough, crappy looking edges and difficult to do in such a tight space, so I went with a razor blade. It made for very clean cuts, but that's where things went wrong. I got a little careless cutting the black part off the top of the opening. Cutting through the tough plastic with a razor takes a lot of effort if you're trying to do it in one pass, and at one point I had a little incident with an exactoknife.
For those using a razor: mark your line with tape, score it a couple times, then bend it a little and it will cut much easier.
The rest of the install went very smooth, but it was a challenge figuring out which pipes to use and which go where (it comes with pipes for both the WRX and STi). There weren't any pictures, and there were no instructions. A google search provided plenty of WRX photos, but no helpful STi pics so I just pieced it together. Below are some pictures and helpful hints for anyone out there looking to run this setup and save a ton of money on an FMIC.
It does come with a replacement crash bar, but obviously it's probably not going to provide the same protection as stock. Better than going without one like some kits.
Here is a look at the ends. On the WRX version there is a welded flange your BPV will bolt right onto, but on the STi you'll have to use this little tube and the provided fitting. I had no earthly idea how to mate this up without kinking the hose, so what I did is flipped the elbow on the back side of the BPV (you'll have to file down a tiny notch) allowing it to point toward the intercooler piping without kinking the hose, and I cut the provided silicon hose to fit, like so...
From there it was just a matter of routing the piping. I spent a lot of time screwing around trying to figure out which ones go where and came up with three different ways to route it given the provided pipe sections. I'm assuming the one I ended up with is the way it was designed to be used, but again, couldn't find any good pictures. Note, the pipe with two 90˚ elbows goes on the passenger side. I had to reposition the horn to get it to fit without rubbing. This is where I used the 30˚ silicon elbow
The u-pipe goes on the driver side, and routes down, not up, into the engine bay. You'll have to trim a little plastic. This is where I used the provided silicon 90˚ elbow, angled straight up. I positioned it such that I could get to the clamp from underneath the car rather than trying to work in the engine bay.
I would HIGHLY recommend the use of an air ratchet and 10mm deep socket for this build. All the clamps you're tightening use nyloc nuts, and it gets old real fast doing it by hand in tight spaces, especially since you will almost definitely have to do some repositioning and retightening. My air ratchet was inop for this build, so I used a small cordless impact drill instead. It was a lifesaver.
Looks like I used up my quota for file uploads, so I guess I'll be finishing up now...As you can tell I kept my foglights and my AEM intake, but that was a TIGHT fit. I didn't have to replace the fuel line or anything like that either. The install wouldn't have been too painful if I hadn't stabbed myself in the wrist. I still want to trim up the bumper some more to make it a little straighter and give it a finished look. The last thing I'll address is the replacement coolant tank. I heard people talk about flipping hardlines, making custom brackets and all sorts of nonsense. I just bolted it down right on the alternator mount. There is a perfect space for it and it doesn't touch anything.
Hope someone finds this helpful.