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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed that the VF22 and PE1818 turbos are very popular upgrades for the WRX and I was wondering what the differences between the four models above are. For one thing, the VF22 in under a G, where as the PE1818 is about $1600. I understand that the VF23 and PE1820 are just minor variations for more peak power. What's the deal with these turbo upgrades?

-Jim
 

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VF series are the very first IHI ball bearing turbos. The PE turbos are based on the IHI RHF55 turbo which is a newer, better design. Furthermore, the compressor side of the turbos have been reworked by Power Enterprise for better efficiency and output. The reliability of the PE turbos has been excellent while the VF turbos have been known to fail on occasion. All are 100% bolt on units though and much higher flow than the stock T-04L turbo (which is tiny).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tiny is a relative term. My cousin has a 1983 Mitsu Starion Turbo. Each half of the turbo is about the size of my fist! Now that's a tiny turbo. I personally like the stock turbo. It spools up fast and holds the kind of boost I'm looking for. Hell, it got me to 13.8 in the 1/4. I can't complain. Since my WRX is my daily driver AND w/e fun car, I have to pay attention to fuel economy too. How do these bolt on upgrade turbos affect my fuel economy? Presently, I can drive with a lead foot and still get 17 mpg. When I cruise at like 85 mpg, I get about 27 mpg. I expect my fuel economy to increase marginally with my silicone intercooler hoses and catless uppipe. I found all of my current upgrade needs on www.grahamgoode.com, but I have to find out how much the shipping from the UK will be.

-Jim
 

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In reference to your first question regarding the Vf22/23 turbos vs the PE's, the number scheme is a little hard to follow as the VF 22 is actually a bigger turbo than the VF23, where the PE1818 is smaller than the 1820. Both VF's are ball bearing turbo's and as Dan said are an older style turbo. The issues with reliability seems to be concentrated with the VF22, which I have read numerous negative posts about, and also talked with folks who had first person experience (bad ones!). The VF23? I could not find any issues with reliability, and now have one bolted to my engine. Which is better the VF23, or a PE 1818? Probably the PE1818 if everything I read about it is accurate. How much better is the question I guess, and this is more difficult to quantify. There are a heck of a lot of people who have, and are, successfully running both VF23, and the PE1818/1820. I personally don't think you can go wrong with either.

As a side note having had the VF23 and the stock mtsu out of the car, and side-by-side for comparison, I can tell you that the stock turbo is a lot smaller and has to really be spinning hard to keep up with higher boost demands set by an MBC, EBC, or performance ECU/program. I would guess the added heat and mechanical stress would be pretty hard on the stock turbo and may end-up causing long-term reliability issues.

In closing I would also tell you that the VF23 was extremely simple to install, and with the slightly modified heat-shield bolted back in place, would be unoticeable to the untrained eye. I did have to go to Auto zone to get a slightly longer molded coolant line($7.00) as the stock was a little short to adequately reach the top side coolant fitting on the new VF23. As I have said before, the WRX is like a toy to work on in comparison to the nightmare of most contemporary turbo cars.
At a cost of $1,100 the VF23 seems to be a good value to me. Add injectors, high volume fuel pump, and a good stand-alone performance ECU and another stage of performance awaits.

JNR
 

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One thing that you need to keep in mind is that there are two sides to a turbo. The VF series has a very good compressor side (PE series is even better). The common exhaust housings for these turbos are either the 18 or 20. The problem comes in that the VF (and PE) turbos all have basically the same turbine wheel that they have had for years, and years, and years. In other words, while the compressor sides have advanced and are quite nice, the turbos do not flow exhaust gas very well at all. The turbine is just far to restrictive in a few ways. It has TOO many fins, and the fins themself are not optimised for exhaust gas flow like the newer garrett and mits turbos.

You can spend a whole lot of money on a VF or PE turbo, but your not getting as much gain as you could be.

Boost for boost, a garrett or mits will spank a VF because of the turbine sections. The VF spools slower, and makes less peak.

The average VF22 turbo is going to be producing about 40psi of back pressure at about 18psi of boost. Thats not a good ratio at all...

There is a solution, and it is a true bolt on at a very good price.

I am working with a company that has built a very cool turbo upgrade for you guys that are looking for true a true bolt on.

The hot side features an IHI housing (to bolt onto your up and downpipes) that has been machined to accept a garrett turbine wheel. The cold side has a T04E compressor housing that has been modified to bolt right up to the factory intake plumbing.

The compressor wheel is all garrett... Its good stuff, and should sell for well under the price of what you have seen the PE turbos go for. I'll have it in my hands next week, and clubwrx will get my review first thing.

The version of the compressor that i am getting has managed to hit full boost by about 3800-4000rpms and make over 400 at the wheels on a AWD dsm. This is much faster to full boost than the PE turbos, and it makes much more power as well. This is a true 500hp turbo, but the compressor map is fat enough that it will be quite happy at 15psi. I have seen DSM's run 115+ traps on 15psi with this compressor wheel. It would love life on our car at 20psi with some race gas in the tank.
 

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That sounds really cool.....

Nathan, are you going to stick with the unichip?

I'm looking at getting a Link or maybe I'll wait long enough to see what AEM is going to release.....

Installing shortly: SHIV Phase II up-pipe, Lightned Pulley

My very near future plans.....

Upgraded Turbo - Undecided (you may have the answer)
ECU - replacement
STI Injectors
Denso Fuel Pump (or another capable brand)
Upgraded Streetable Clutch and Lightned flywheel
Probably will end up purchasing older version STI gearset, have them cryo'd and install them on my WRX

By spring/summer 2002, my goal is to have approx. 400 HP to the wheels.... and that's where I'll stay.... untill BMW makes an M3 AWD........... I would love to have that car! (if they made one)
 

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Kenneth2000 said:
That sounds really cool.....

Nathan, are you going to stick with the unichip?
I am for now... i am kind of intrested in how far i can take the unichip. So far so good. I seem to not have the problems that some owners have reported about making less power in cold air, in fact i would say that i am making much more power in the nice cold air of december in Albuquerque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nathan,

I am very interested in this newly developed Frankenstein turbo. Be sure to keep us posted!
After looking at a F-150 Lightning running twin Garrett turbos and listening to the owner/builder talk, I realized that I still have A LOT to learn about turbochargers.

I would like to put an IHI or Mitsubishi Unit on my car, but it has to be a direct bolt on. I'm not willing to do any custom welding and end up with a freakish looking ride like the Dodge Stealth TT I saw next to the F-150 Lightning. The guy had a cowl induction hood on his Stealth to fit his turbo pipes on top of the engine! Yikes! Let's keep in mind that my WRX is my daily driver and my pride and joy. I have to agree with JNR, though, the car is RIDICULOUSLY easy to modify compared to other turbo cars (300ZX, Stealth/3000GT). Subaru left us a ton of room around the turbo for doing all sorts of fun stuff! I could start any big mod on Friday evening and be testing by Sunday night.

-Jim
 

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For you guys intrested in this read my other topic... it turns out there was just no way to make the T04e housing fit on the car, and they had to use a standard T3 setup... not quite as nice, but still with the wheel and turbine section, better than anything you can get from IHI.

-Nathan
 
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