2008-2014 WRX Poor man's TMIC upgrade
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This is a discussion on 2008-2014 WRX Poor man's TMIC upgrade within the Engine Performance forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; I recently went "stage 2" on my 2014 WRX with Grimmspeed's divorced downpipe, and also got a tune at Cobb's ...

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    Registered User Yoro721's Avatar
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    2008-2014 WRX Poor man's TMIC upgrade

    I recently went "stage 2" on my 2014 WRX with Grimmspeed's divorced downpipe, and also got a tune at Cobb's Plano facility (awesome guys by the way). I knew initially that upgrading to a more efficient intercooler was highly recommended upon reading posts from various forums. Unfortunately, I am in a transition of changing career fields, and dropping close to a thousand dollars was not a viable option. So I went with the next best thing of upgrading the existing TMIC and wrapping it. I purchased three items from Rallysport Direct; 12x12 and 12x24 sheet of aluminized heat barrier from Cool It Thermo Tec, and Perrin's throttle body/intercooler coupler. The sum of these items to include shipping ended up being under $100.

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    I was impressed with the aluminum heat barrier's craftsmanship and price. The product was rather thick, woven beneath the aluminum surface, self-adhesive, and inexpensive (compared to gold wraps). As previously mentioned, I purchased a 12x12 and 12x24 sheet, and ended up using the 12x12 sheet in its entirety, and using a quarter of the 12x24 sheet.
    2014 WRX 5DR Ice Silver Metallic. Cobb Short Shifter, Invidia Dual N1 CBE.

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    Registered User Yoro721's Avatar
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    Shoot...I'm trying to figure out how to add more pictures...stand by.
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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    The only downfall here is that while heat soak is an issue, the plastic end tanks on the 08/14 WRX are the real issue. You can't fix that with heat wrap, so hopefully they don't blow anytime soon!
    I have an STi with an intake and no tune, I never change my oil, and my wheel spacerz are mad tyte.

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    Registered User Yoro721's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irickchad View Post
    The only downfall here is that while heat soak is an issue, the plastic end tanks on the 08/14 WRX are the real issue. You can't fix that with heat wrap, so hopefully they don't blow anytime soon!
    I'm trying to figure out how to post more pictures....I was going to mention that this is a bandaid; eventually I plan on making the purchase for either Grimmspeed or Process West's TMIC.
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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoro721 View Post
    I'm trying to figure out how to post more pictures....I was going to mention that this is a bandaid; eventually I plan on making the purchase for either Grimmspeed or Process West's TMIC.
    Yeah, hopefully it'll last for a while. I had the Perrin on my '11. It was nice, but they didn't make a proper coupler for it until after I got rid of it.
    I have an STi with an intake and no tune, I never change my oil, and my wheel spacerz are mad tyte.

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    Prior to applying the aluminum wrap I took off the factory intercooler (remember to use a service manual for proper removal/install and torque specs) and cleaned the surface of the intercooler where the wrap was to be applied. I used a soap/water solution, however in hindsight I recommend just using cotton balls and rubbing alcohol for faster drying. Additionally, use this time to inspect any damages to the intercooler. While I was waiting for the intercooler to dry, I took a flat head screw driver and realigned some bent fins on the intercooler.


    Measure twice, cut once! Actually, the material is rather forgiving if you take your time.


    The most difficult portion of doing this wrap is covering the "ribbed" portions of the intercooler. I know STi owners and 2002-2007 WRX owners will have an easier time with this as the "ribbed" portion is non-existent. Nonetheless, I simply cut the material into small squares and applied it one rib at a time.


    We all know that one of the potential issues our vehicles can face is boost leak. Even if you plan on keeping your vehicle stock, I recommend upgrading the factory TMIC/throttle body coupler. The rubber gaskets at the end tend to give out and cause leaks. Some individuals use hairspray to resolve the issue, but I went with replacing the entire unit. Mishimoto and AVO also makes similar products, but I've heard of some fitment issues, so I went with Perrin. Perrin's TMIC coupler omits the (garbage) rubber seals found on the factory coupler and utilizes heavy duty T-Clamps. Installation of this product can be difficult (if you let it). As with anything, take your time..the placement of the throttle body and the general tight confinement of the engine bay does make this a little tricky. After removing the intercooler, inspect and memorize how the factory coupler is oriented (this is key). Remove the factory coupler. Apply a small amount of lubrication on both ends of the new coupler, as this will allow easier installation and the ability to adjust the rotation and angle of the new coupler. Install the new coupler to the throttle body first, then install the intercooler. Tighten the T-clamps down to 75 INCH pounds after getting a good seal on both the throttle body and the TMIC. Tighten down the bolts associated with the TMIC, i.e. BPV, TMIC bracket mount, Turbo outlet (~12 ft/lbs). The caveat to installing this product is that it will take longer than you think. You will have to rotate, check, rotate again, re-check, use some profanity, rotate, tighten the bolts, re-check, and finally bolt everything together. Be vigilant and stay the course! The juice is worth the squeeze.


    Here is how this ended up looking. There is no quantitative method for me to measure the temperature of the air prior to entering the throttle body, however just by touching the intercooler on the places I've wrapped you can tell the product is doing its job. I do eventually plan on purchasing a larger TMIC, but in the mean time this seems to do the trick. You can also do this project using gold wrap (there's an individual on YouTube that has done this), and I know this project is nothing new. I do want to point out that this does not replace a more efficient intercooler, and I do eventually plan on upgrading to a larger intercooler. As far as the Perrin coupler is concerned, I think it is an excellent product as I am able to reach and maintain target boost levels. Good luck!
    Last edited by Yoro721; 11-17-2015 at 04:04 AM.
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    Registered User Yoro721's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irickchad View Post
    Yeah, hopefully it'll last for a while. I had the Perrin on my '11. It was nice, but they didn't make a proper coupler for it until after I got rid of it.
    Just finished uploading the pictures! They have a coupler now, and I installed it as a part of this TMIC upgrade....much better than the factory boot, and seems more robust.
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    job well done, and looks great. ive briefly considered doing this (like for a nano second), but the cost of having of taking my tmic off again and the tedious job of the wrap isnt worth it. i give you mad props for taking this on. how long did it take you?
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    Registered User Yoro721's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unseen View Post
    job well done, and looks great. ive briefly considered doing this (like for a nano second), but the cost of having of taking my tmic off again and the tedious job of the wrap isnt worth it. i give you mad props for taking this on. how long did it take you?
    I started at 830 PM after I put my son to bed, and got done around midnight. However, I also had Netflix on; with actual determination and concentration you could easily get this done within two hours. The hardest part of this DIY was the TMIC/Throttle body coupler portion due to it being much more rigid than the factory one. I've already gotten to know my TMIC intimately after installing my downpipe...So I knew what I was getting into. A little grease, and patience is really all it needs. If you have little ones, I also recommend thouroughly vacuuming the area you do the wrap, since there are lots of residual fibers that come off the wrap.

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    voidin warranty since 05 unseen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoro721 View Post
    I started at 830 PM after I put my son to bed, and got done around midnight. However, I also had Netflix on; with actual determination and concentration you could easily get this done within two hours. The hardest part of this DIY was the TMIC/Throttle body coupler portion due to it being much more rigid than the factory one. I've already gotten to know my TMIC intimately after installing my downpipe...So I knew what I was getting into. A little grease, and patience is really all it needs. If you have little ones, I also recommend thouroughly vacuuming the area you do the wrap, since there are lots of residual fibers that come off the wrap.
    yeah ive already wrestled with the tmic several times. if i take it off again, its to replace it with a grimmspeed top mount. i have little patience with the top mount to throttle body positioning. how affective do you think they wrap is?
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    Quote Originally Posted by unseen View Post
    yeah ive already wrestled with the tmic several times. if i take it off again, its to replace it with a grimmspeed top mount. i have little patience with the top mount to throttle body positioning. how affective do you think they wrap is?
    Hard to say, but I do think it is pretty effective. I have Grimmspeed's heatshield installed and although it is an easier design to work with since it only has three bolts compared to the eight on the stock one, it covers less than the factory one. As a result, I think the turbo lets off more heat. I felt the TMIC closest to the turbo after driving normally for 15 miles, and it did feel hot. So I assume it is reflecting heat pretty well…the material is fibrous and weaved beneath the aluminum, so I’m sure it’s insulated. I think maybe a blanket for the turbo and DP might be another purchase…but IDK….people seem to have mixed results with that.

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    Registered User cflip2x's Avatar
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    You can also do the "bulletproof" mod for the intercooler. Basically getting some c channel that fits around the end tank crimps. Its not guaranteed but a little extra couldn't hurt.
    2012 WRB 4DR | SPT Exhaust | Cobb Short Throw | Rally Armour | WC Lathe Werks Custom TI Knob | Kartboy Shifter Bushings | Stoptech Pads & Brake Lines | JBK Elements DRL | OEM STI & Morimoto Mini H1 Quad HID Retrofit | XSB LED Angel Eyes | GrimmSpeed Lightweight Crank Pulley | Perrin Cold Air Intake | CNT Catted Divorced Downpipe W/Titanium Wrap and Grimmspeed Heatshild | Grimmspeed Pink Radiator Shroud & Alternator Cover

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    Registered User crepitus's Avatar
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    Yes the bulletproof tmic is legit. I put that on my intercooler before I went e85 and at 20psi 335whp 374wtq it's showing no chance of losing an end tank. It's like 90 bucks and will hold you at all "common stage 2" power levels at least. I also put a turbo blanket on, and it completely alleviates any need for heat shielding in my engine bay. I can put my hand on it immediately after pulling over. Good small adds I would highly recommend.
    Edit: I felt compelled to add that the purpose of a turbo blanket is not to keep heat away from things but rather to keep heat in the turbo - but acting as a ridiculously good shield is an obvious benefit.

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    Last edited by crepitus; 12-03-2015 at 09:30 PM.
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