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Discussion Starter #1
Hey fellas, I was just thinking, is it safe to paint the tmic? I wanted to dress up the engine bay a tad, and I thought it would look extremely cool. And if its all kosher, what type of paint should I use?
 

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A heat resistant paint would work.

There is some debate as to whether or not paint interferes with the transfer of heat from the IC to the air. My thinking is that it would to some small degree.

The aftermarket Process West IC on my WRX is partially painted.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats awesome! What color? So an engine enamel would work? I wanna paint the whole thing metallic blue, then stencil WRX on it in a high polish silver.
 

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Thats awesome! What color? So an engine enamel would work? I wanna paint the whole thing metallic blue, then stencil WRX on it in a high polish silver.
Whatever floats your boat, although metallic blue and silver seem a bit over the top. A stenciled high polish silver seems like it would be really tough to pull off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeahh, Im not too bad with a stencil, but maybe Ill do a metallic blue, and make the WRX polished. Btw, im really digging your tmic, and how the ef do you keep your engine bay so clean?!?!
 

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I think painting an entire air/air intercooler with engine enamel is a bad idea. It will loose heat transfer efficiency due to the paint acting as an insulator.
 

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I agree with Donkey. I think you'd lose a large measure of efficiency if it was painted. The aluminum fins are much better at transferring heat if they're not painted since paint is relatively poor at transferring heat.

If you look at most ICs that have paint on them, it's very thin paint that barely covers the aluminum where it's applied so you don't lose too much efficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hmmm... I see, sounds logical. Ill probably just do the WRX stencil in blue, and get a nice polished tmic. Any recommended brands or what not for a bug eye?
 

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The IC is one of the later places to look at mods for performance, so unless your car is significantly modded, stick with the stock one and look at other mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I gotcha! How much would you say, significantly modded is? Cause I have a full 3" hks exhaust, gt-spec up pipe/headers, and a cobb intake.
 

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Do you have a tune on there yet, or is it still running the stock map?

You need to be beyond stage 2 i.e. a turbo swap before I'd look at an IC upgrade. You should be looking at suspension and brake mods first to support the added power the car has too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I do not have a tune yet, but dont worry, only the exhaust is on there, but thats how it came. I was just saying for future purposes. And oooh, thats right! good suggestion. Btw, (something Ive always wondered), is there certain mod levels for stage one, two, or three? Like, I know that on perrins website, a stage two power package comes with an exhaust, downpipe, and an accesport, so is there a specific definition of how many mods you need before its a stage one, two, or three? <-- sorry if its a noob question, I just really dont know.
 

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A tune isn't required to run those mods on your car, but you'll get a big power increase with a tune versus the engine just trying to make use of the parts itself.

Stage 1 = tune and optionally an intake
Stage 2 = tune and DP and optionally an intake
Stage 3 = turbo swap plus supporting mods
Stage 4 = BIG turbo swap, IC, lots of things. It gets a bit more loosely defined once you go past stage 3
Stage 5 = basically a race car modded to death
 

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Discussion Starter #16
awsome! thanks jones. Im honestly amazed that you could even decipher the question :p. And are you sure I dont need a tune? I was told that i would destroy my valves if i even try to run it without a tune.
 

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For the WRX prior to 2004 when they totally changed things you don't need a tune. It would be better to have one for the sake of power and overall reliability. When I say this, what I basically mean is that while it's not known to really cause issues by not having a tune, it's always better to have the computer programmed to work with the parts on your car.
 
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