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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I currently have a Stage 1 BrenTune on my 2016 WRX and I'm planning out what I want to do with my car. Currently I'm thinking Stage 2 + TMIC + SteamSpeed STX stock location turbo. My question is, does anyone on this forum have any experience with the 2015+ WRX and an upgraded turbo? If so, what are these experiences as far as what was required as far as mods, WHP over baseline, and reliability concerns.

I want to do it the proper way so I won't risk blowing up my car. It will be my daily driver and I plan on keeping it, even when I get another car. I thought of trading my WRX for a STi before upgrading but I'm kind of in the I already have the WRX and unless it's for very very good reason I'd like to stick with it to avoid the financial loss. I know upgrades = shorter life span but you all get what I mean.

Thanks!
 

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Master Baiter
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NASIOC - View Single Post - BrenTuning | 2015 WRX development thread

TL;DR:

So anyways the testing goes as follows. We had a test 2016 WRX with full bolt-ons get tuned in late April. Since then the customer added a Mishimoto FMIC and we installed a SteamSpeed 67 with Turbosmart wastegate, all else is equal.

Full mod list:

Mishi J
Mishi Intake
Mishi TGV
Mishi FMIC
Nameless muffler delete
SteamSpeed 67
Turbosmart 75 7PSI Wastegate
93 Pump gas
 

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I don't think it's worth the upgrade to the Steamspeed unless you're building the engine. I say this because you can already reach the engines limits as is with the stock turbo.
 

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I don't think it's worth the upgrade to the Steamspeed unless you're building the engine. I say this because you can already reach the engines limits as is with the stock turbo.
I agree with this. With simple bolt on's you can reach mid 300's if not more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for that link, it's a lot of pages with a lot of useful information.

I don't think it's worth the upgrade to the Steamspeed unless you're building the engine. I say this because you can already reach the engines limits as is with the stock turbo.
That's interesting. I was reading on Nasioc that the limitations for the car turns out to be the fuel pump then once that's upgraded it was something else in the engine. I called SteamSpeed and they said the 67/67+ turbos are meant for engines with just bolt ons but a built engine will yield higher results. The dynos showed about a 60whp increase from stage 2 to stage 2 + STX 67. This makes me wonder if the limitation of the engine is due to the stock turbo when Stage 2.

I agree with this. With simple bolt on's you can reach mid 300's if not more.
Mid 300s with what baseline? Most of the results I've seen of Stage 2 were around the low 300s. I'm shooting for 400 in a safe manner.

That's a beautiful torque curve...

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It truly is. Makes me want to hurry up and get things done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would try to keep the torque down then.. the rods in that engine aren't particularly strong.
Okay, thanks. That's what the second limitation was for the car; I read that on Nasioc but forgot. At high power it was the fuel pump then rods.

I'd be sad to lose torque for that reason. May have to look into upgrading the rods if it's not too costly. If it is, I'll just stick with Stage 2 + STX 67 and a few extras.

I wasn't aware you could get that kind of power from just bolt ons. You have a list by any chance that would get you there?
I think it's safe to say a Stage 2 WRX reaching mid 300 whp is on a high reading dyno. The most I've seen was around 320 whp and the rest were lower. The dyno readings posted in post #2 show with a tune on Stage 2 the stock turbo topped out at 306 whp.
 

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Maybe they are referring to mid 300's at the crank which would probably equal 300 or so to the wheels. I have a 17 limited and I'm weighing my mod options. I want to have a comprehensive plan and do everything at once though so I'm looking for the perfect recipe of bolt ons. I have to admit the warranty issue scares me. I was actually debating selling the car and buying a truck because I didn't want to take the risk but now I'm leaning the other way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe they are referring to mid 300's at the crank which would probably equal 300 or so to the wheels. I have a 17 limited and I'm weighing my mod options. I want to have a comprehensive plan and do everything at once though so I'm looking for the perfect recipe of bolt ons. I have to admit the warranty issue scares me. I was actually debating selling the car and buying a truck because I didn't want to take the risk but now I'm leaning the other way.
If it's crank hp then that would make sense.

I have a '16 Premium and I'm too trying to plan everything out so I can get it all done at once. The warranty issue doesn't bother me because it's plenty of modified Subaru's at my dealership and unless the issue is directly related to an aftermarket part they don't mind; if they installed that aftermarket part, they also don't mind. They even sell and install aftermarket performance parts. I've seen some performance modded WRX/STi in there for warranty repairs that weren't related to the upgraded parts. I'm definitely going over the edge and blowing up the engine which is why I'm sticking with around 400whp goal. It's been achieved plus more by others. The only instance I've seen where it's gone bad was this one guy that apparently didn't listen to anyone and thought he knew what he was doing and blew his engine.

I've found these two posts and it's making me considering a turbo different than the STX 67.
Click Here and Click Here
 

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If it's crank hp then that would make sense.

I have a '16 Premium and I'm too trying to plan everything out so I can get it all done at once. The warranty issue doesn't bother me because it's plenty of modified Subaru's at my dealership and unless the issue is directly related to an aftermarket part they don't mind; if they installed that aftermarket part, they also don't mind. They even sell and install aftermarket performance parts. I've seen some performance modded WRX/STi in there for warranty repairs that weren't related to the upgraded parts. I'm definitely going over the edge and blowing up the engine which is why I'm sticking with around 400whp goal. It's been achieved plus more by others. The only instance I've seen where it's gone bad was this one guy that apparently didn't listen to anyone and thought he knew what he was doing and blew his engine.

I've found these two posts and it's making me considering a turbo different than the STX 67.
Click Here and Click Here
Checked out the links... Definitely impressive results there. Do you work for a subaru dealer? I'm more turned off by the idea that I would have to prove that it wasn't my mod that caused the damages. Considering they have subaru techs it would be on me to prove them wrong... Hire my own mechanic, possibly a lawyer etc., meanwhile my car doesn't work. With that said I'm still leaning towards making this car legit fast. I might try and find someone in my area making 300 whp and get a test ride before I shell out thousands.
 

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I might try and find someone in my area making 300 whp and get a test ride before I shell out thousands.
That is actually a good idea with someone in your shoes. I know you have had a lot of doubt, and questions about everything. But I think you overthink it sometimes. But we all do that. Getting a test ride is something that will give you a better idea of what these cars feel like with bigger power and see if you want to go down that road or not. I miss the power of my 11 wrx that I recently traded for my STi. The wrx was definitely faster, as it had a good amount of work and a tune done, but the STi has a more pure/raw feel to it. It is truly a blast to drive in the twisties.

When I was still pretty new to Subaru's and the whole tuning scene I had a N/A impreza and dreamed about having a wrx, and had wet dreams of thinking about actually owning an STi. But I had a friend with a 05 STi that was fully built and making around 550whp, and another friend with a 07 wrx that was fully built making somewhere around 450whp. I rode in both of those cars numerous times and to honest, it what made me fall in love with these cars and strive to have something like that one day. So go for a ride with someone. Im sure you will come back asking about more parts lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Checked out the links... Definitely impressive results there. Do you work for a subaru dealer? I'm more turned off by the idea that I would have to prove that it wasn't my mod that caused the damages. Considering they have subaru techs it would be on me to prove them wrong... Hire my own mechanic, possibly a lawyer etc., meanwhile my car doesn't work. With that said I'm still leaning towards making this car legit fast. I might try and find someone in my area making 300 whp and get a test ride before I shell out thousands.
Proving it's not your fault and it needs to be covered under warranty will definitely be a troublesome task.

Finding someone that has 300 whp is a great idea. I'd have to ride along with them because whenever I drive someone else's car I always drive overly cautious. I remember thinking to myself that if I keep this WRX I'm going to be broke because of modding it so I went to test drive a '17 Jetta and I was afraid to floor it and only did so once I got on the highway and about a half mile back from the cars in front of me. That's when I realized it... There's no way in hell you'd see me trading my WRX for that car. Immediately drove it back, complimented the practicality and features of the car, then drove home with a sense of happiness and relief.

That is actually a good idea with someone in your shoes. I know you have had a lot of doubt, and questions about everything. But I think you overthink it sometimes. But we all do that. Getting a test ride is something that will give you a better idea of what these cars feel like with bigger power and see if you want to go down that road or not. I miss the power of my 11 wrx that I recently traded for my STi. The wrx was definitely faster, as it had a good amount of work and a tune done, but the STi has a more pure/raw feel to it. It is truly a blast to drive in the twisties.

When I was still pretty new to Subaru's and the whole tuning scene I had a N/A impreza and dreamed about having a wrx, and had wet dreams of thinking about actually owning an STi. But I had a friend with a 05 STi that was fully built and making around 550whp, and another friend with a 07 wrx that was fully built making somewhere around 450whp. I rode in both of those cars numerous times and to honest, it what made me fall in love with these cars and strive to have something like that one day. So go for a ride with someone. Im sure you will come back asking about more parts lol.
So exactly what made you want to trade your WRX for a STi? Was it simply the fact that it's a STi?
I've been eyeing some STis at the dealership I bought my car from but I'm not sure if it's because of the name or because it's a better overall platform. What I'm battling with is if 400whp is reliably attainable on the WRX vs reliably attainable on the STi. Also, it's the whole vehicle depreciation and purchasing another new car when I've had mine for 8 months thing.

What part of MD do you live in? I live in the DMV area.
 

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So exactly what made you want to trade your WRX for a STi? Was it simply the fact that it's a STi?
I've been eyeing some STis at the dealership I bought my car from but I'm not sure if it's because of the name or because it's a better overall platform. What I'm battling with is if 400whp is reliably attainable on the WRX vs reliably attainable on the STi. Also, it's the whole vehicle depreciation and purchasing another new car when I've had mine for 8 months thing.

What part of MD do you live in? I live in the DMV area.
Well let me start off by saying that I loved my wrx. I had a decent amount done to it and it was a blast to drive. But I knew that when it was paid off that I wanted to shoot for a higher HP build. Somewhere around 400-500whp. I realized that doing so with a wrx would result in me having to spend a decent amount of money building the transmission, or buying a trans from a STi to swap it. Not to mention bigger and better brakes to stop the amount of power I was looking at. Also, having to beef up everything under the car for handling, as my goal is to start autoX'ing.

I started to weigh out the options between building my wrx to basically have what an STi already has. And quickly realized the price I would invest in doing so would cost much more than the difference in price from the wrx and STi. Then I made up my mind, if my financial situation allows it, I'm going to start looking for a STi. It came down to basically what I have said already plus a few more features. Came down to the STi having these following things over a wrx: Brembo brakes, stiffer suspension, better/stronger transmission, DCCD, SI-drive, and a slightly stronger block. A few weeks later I found a beauitiful 2012 STi Limited sedan with only one owner, non molested, and only 30k miles. After some haggling and making deals, About 2 months after I decided I wanted an STi, I drove home the one I have now, and the one mentioned. Havent looked back since.
 

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Let me put this out there... engine wise, neither the WRX nor STi will be particularly reliable at 400whp.

The STi has an advantage that the (almost certain) failure mode is predictably the pistons and generally the block can be rehoned and reused in the case of a failure. With the FA20, rod failure will almost certainly destroy your block and maybe the heads. The FA20F should absolutely be built preventatively.

Both should be built for >400whp but the STI transmission and R180 rear diff will handle the increased power with much better reliability. You also get the DCCD.

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A built FA20F with STi 6MT and R180 would be great.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well let me start off by saying that I loved my wrx. I had a decent amount done to it and it was a blast to drive. But I knew that when it was paid off that I wanted to shoot for a higher HP build. Somewhere around 400-500whp. I realized that doing so with a wrx would result in me having to spend a decent amount of money building the transmission, or buying a trans from a STi to swap it. Not to mention bigger and better brakes to stop the amount of power I was looking at. Also, having to beef up everything under the car for handling, as my goal is to start autoX'ing.

I started to weigh out the options between building my wrx to basically have what an STi already has. And quickly realized the price I would invest in doing so would cost much more than the difference in price from the wrx and STi. Then I made up my mind, if my financial situation allows it, I'm going to start looking for a STi. It came down to basically what I have said already plus a few more features. Came down to the STi having these following things over a wrx: Brembo brakes, stiffer suspension, better/stronger transmission, DCCD, SI-drive, and a slightly stronger block. A few weeks later I found a beauitiful 2012 STi Limited sedan with only one owner, non molested, and only 30k miles. After some haggling and making deals, About 2 months after I decided I wanted an STi, I drove home the one I have now, and the one mentioned. Havent looked back since.
That makes sense; you definitely made a great decision. The price difference between the WRX and STi can easily be justified once you try to upgrade the WRX to the STi's starting point.

I contacted ETS today to inquire about the current state of their 10 second WRX and they said it's an employee owned daily driver vehicle that's perfectly fine. As you stated, the STi has a stronger transmission and I'm not sure of the whp limitation of the '15+ WRX. I've seen failures from 300whp to 400whp so I'm not sure.

Had I known I would've been in this position I probably would've opted for a STi this past March instead. I love my WRX though but I definitely want to hand my friend's GT and another friend's Challenger R/T a good butt kicking from a 4-cyl.

A built FA20F with STi 6MT and R180 would be great.

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You're very knowledgeable.
In that scenario it seems like the best bet would be to get a STi and do what's proven to work versus all of that extra work to fix up the WRX.
 

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Let me put this out there... engine wise, neither the WRX nor STi will be particularly reliable at 400whp.

The STi has an advantage that the (almost certain) failure mode is predictably the pistons and generally the block can be rehoned and reused in the case of a failure. With the FA20, rod failure will almost certainly destroy your block and maybe the heads. The FA20F should absolutely be built preventatively.

Both should be built for >400whp but the STI transmission and R180 rear diff will handle the increased power with much better reliability. You also get the DCCD.

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You are absolutely right. I know I mentioned 400+ whp and stated some reasons why I chose a STi over keeping my wrx. But I do know and understand that a stock motor on either one will not be reliable over the 400whp mark. When it comes to that point in my STi's life, I will certainly be building the motor as well. But that will not be until it is paid off. I chose the STi for some of the clear upgrades and for the reasons you mentioned such as the rear end.
 

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You are absolutely right. I know I mentioned 400+ whp and stated some reasons why I chose a STi over keeping my wrx. But I do know and understand that a stock motor on either one will not be reliable over the 400whp mark. When it comes to that point in my STi's life, I will certainly be building the motor as well. But that will not be until it is paid off. I chose the STi for some of the clear upgrades and for the reasons you mentioned such as the rear end.
OK, to be clear... I was referring to an FA20F WRX vs. an EJ257 STI.


I'm not quite sure where you got the idea that the EJ257 was somehow stronger than an EJ255.
 
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