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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals, wanted to chime in an ask a question if you can help add some insight. I have a 2016 WRX with the FA. my current set up is tuned at 358 WHP on 93 pump gas using a TMIC from mishimoto. I just put on a PRL motorsports front mount, and its seems like the car is just lagging. so much that I thought i had a boost leak, but i'm pretty sure its just the new FMIC. So, my thoughts:

Is my example really just the cold hard facts that the stock turbo is too small for a big FMIC like this and the lag is real? Or will a retune fix this? I'm considering selling it now even after only 500 miles because i liked the throttle response better before. Or, will a retune fix it and i can finally be happy with me car? (lol yea right). I'm currently running the tune that was made on a TMIC for this FMIC.

Secondly, I'm noticing that my engine temps are almost 20 degrees higher now! This is likely due to the FMIC blocking the radiator, any advice on what I can do about this? Thanks for your help guys.

My tuner said they do not see boost response issues on the FA20 at all, but i'm not sure i believe him. The EJ motors did have boost response issues he says, but not the new FA20 motors. Thoughts?

-Justin
 

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If you tuner has experience, I'd trust their words.

The transient response issues with the EJ were due to significantly longer intake plumbing on the FMIC vs. TMIC. Given the mechanics of where the FA turbo is placed, you aren't adding too much by switching the intercooler to the front. Crash bar modification on the other hand... well that's the reason I wouldn't be installing a FMIC.

Are you saying that the ECU was not remapped after the FMIC? If so, no wonder... get that **** fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the awesomely quick response! To be clear, the reason i'm asking the question, is because my tuner assured me that i could just place a FMIC on, and the main benefit would be increased resistance to heat soak, and i would not need a new tune. I assumed that putting it on the front of the car would also not change its driving and throttle characteristics. But all other things remaining the same, it certainly did. There is a majorly decreased throttle response, and it is hard to get out of vaccuum at all without really driving hard at times right now. I have not raced or tracked the car yet with the FMIC, just street driving right now. To your point about the EJ motor, this new FMIC I have also has significantly longer intake piping AFTER the intercooler --->manifold compared to stock...as in like 3-4 feet worth of piping comparatively...would that make a difference? I guess in the end, my question boils down to whether or not a retune/remapping will really make the car feel as snappy as it used to, with the added benefit of increased heat soak resistance! also, PRL made a GREAT crash bar for this FMIC, so thats not an issue, I have one! Thanks again for any insight and help you can offer!!
 

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FYI from Phatbotti's FAQ on FA20s

GS Top Mount InterCooler (TMIC) (daily driver)

The GS TMIC decrease the charge temps by 40-60* vs the stock tmic and can make 30-40whp more than the stock TMIC at high rpm. GS TMIC works better than any other TMIC on the market. Most other TMIC only cool the air marginally better than stock. Grimmspeed is also made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty. Can I run a TMIC without a tune, yes but you won't see any power gains. The gains come from being able to increase the boost. Best to coordinate with your tuner and have a map ready to load before you even begin the install. Always best to have your tuner check logs post install to make sure you didn't induce a leak or cause a problem during the install.

Given the cost of the GS TMIC and PW VERT, it is best to just get a PRL FMIC.
PRL Front Mount InterCooler (FMIC) (extended abuse, canyon runs, road racing, track)

The PRL FMIC should be used for extended abuse. I prefer the PRL unit because it retains the stock o-ring on the turbo inlet. And the charge air temps will only be 5-10 degrees over ambient temps. Can I run a FMIC without a tune, yes but you won't see any power gains. The gains come from being able to increase the boost. Best to coordinate with your tuner and have a map ready to load before you even begin the install. Always best to have your tuner check logs post install to make sure you didn't induce a leak or cause a problem during the install.


ETS FMIC are good too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again guys, I think my question boils down to whether I should return to a TMIC because I want to retain the quicker throttle response it seems to offer compared to my current experience with the PRL FMIC I have. I'm well aware I need to get a new tune for the FMIC to gain more power, but i'm not getting a clear answer on: Will the current increase in turbo lag go away once I get this FMIC tuned? Or is it going to be laggy because of the extra volume of air paired with a small turbo.

I'm starting to think that the small stock charge pipe and small stock intercooler are actually the reason the car builds boost so low and "seems" quicker lower in the rev range - but of course loses it at the top end. I'd prefer to be able to build boost quicker and have faster throttle response, than to have huge power up top. So, being that those are my stated goals, i'm just hoping someone can chime in and tell me if I should keep the FMIC or go to another TMIC with smaller volume to be able to build boost better. I hope that makes sense.
 

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I dont know where you are located but what about calling another builder/tuner and seeing what they think? Bren, IAG, FAST, prime motoriing, precision tuning or some of the other bigger places that do this stuff all the time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That’s a great idea. I’m in western PA, just north of pittsburgh - very close to PRL! But calling IAG is a great idea actually. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Called IAG and they said that with a tune, the FMIC should be within 70 rpm of a TMIC in spool time. Gonna get her tuned and report back. I hope they’re right!
 
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