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Updated on May 06, 2012
This is my 1992 Subaru SVX-T. It has a 5-speed swap (out of an Impreza) and I have put a T3/T04E(stg5) turbo in it. Data logging and gauges are done with an HKS CAMP system. Audio/video is done with an in car PC. For the sub I have two Scan-Speak 18W's in the rear deck with a tuned port. http://www.svxtasy.com
Here is the full write up for the turbo Project.
I bought the car in June of 2002 from Small Car Performance in Tacoma, WA and drove it down to NM. Somewhere in Nevada it started to overheat. Through minimal investigation, I found out it had a bad fan (the fan was not even attached to the motor) and very low coolant levels. Just when I got the car back to NM, the axle popped out of the transmission. I had to drive it that way for a ~20 miles to get it to a place where it could be fixed. A few weeks after got axle fixed the center diff exploded because of driving it with one axle out of the transmission. Then the shift linkage broke, twice! With so many problems I figured the car�s reliability could not get any worse so why not turbo charge it. So I started doing the research: I contacted Robert at Forced Air Tech; Terry, who wrote the SVX FAQ; and did a lot of reading on NASIOC. I am a chemical engineering student so I went over the project meticulously, made cost charts, did calculations on everything, etc. but I did not add enough contingency for all that subsequently happened. I started to buy parts and look for someone who could affordably make me a good kit. FAT's kit seemed over priced and they wanted my car for more then a month. It had no fuel management and did not have an intercooler so I started to look elsewhere. I found a company in Colorado called PDM. He said he would do all the work for less than $2000, and he would not need my car. So we set a date and I started to send him parts and $. He said he was working on my exhaust system but I got no results until I went up there to pick it up and he had not even started on it. He assured me that we were still on track for everything and he would build my exhaust system ASAP. Three weeks later, I got it. It is a great exhaust system; well worth the wait. At that time he had lots of my parts and a small amount of my money and right then his company folded! I worked hard to get my parts back. It was awful. I had to threaten to take legal action. I did not get all of the parts back, but it did get the turbo back. So I tried to sell the car with the parts. I was very upset with my experience, I wanted to get a WRX and be done with it. I found someone wanted the car and a few of the parts to carry on the project. The deal fell through and once again I said what the hell I�d give it another shot.
So with this preface of how much of a PITA this was, I can now write about the technical side of it. In my research, I found out that the FAT kit was not producing much power gain at all, in fact some said that it made no power over stock. So I wanted to find out why this was happening and how to avoid it in my own setup (this also made me think twice about doing the project at all). I think that there were a few things that FAT didn�t do right on their kit (this is my opinion, don�t flame me for it). First, as I understand it, they used the stock injectors with a RRFPR for fuel. I don�t think this is enough fuel for my needs. I want to go big HP eventually, so I need more fuel. Second, they did not use an intercooler. Having a high density charge was paramount for me, in my setup this is extremely important. Third, the pipes they were using were way too small: I want big HP, so I need big pipes. Last, the pipe route they chose and the placement of the turbo, limited them to small pipes and turbo. Again I wanted big pipes and a big turbo, so I had to figure out my own route. (Robert of Forced Air Tech is a good guy. He helped me out with this project and would answer any questions that I had, I am not trying to bash them. I am just expressing why I did it the project the way I did). The next person I contacted was Terry, the guy who wrote the SVX FAQ*. In the FAQ he says �I have extensively researched putting a turbo on my own car and have definitely proven that you can mount both a single and a dual turbo setup in the car.� So I e-mailed him and asked him about it. I do not know why he never put out more info on his car but he said he had an SVX-T with a CR of 8.5:1 and a T-66 turbo. He ran a 12.9 in his car with a bad transmission. Yes, this is unbelievable but I think it is true. He and I e-mailed back and forth for a week or so. He knows his sh!t about this car and about turbo charging it. He was the main inspiration for my project: he said it could/has been done and it is extremely fast! I went �all in�. I could not get a T-66, nor could the T-66 run the 6 or so lbs of boost I wanted while I gathered up the money to lower the compression. So I got the biggest turbo I could afford with an internal wastgate, a Stage 5 T3/T04E with 57 trim .63 A/R oil and water-cooled.
For the up-pipe I used 2� schedule 40 (yes, very thick) pipe with welding ells (you can get these at any piping store). I wanted to use the thick pipe because it was easer to weld and it would hold the heat better. Making the up pipe was time consuming. I cut the stock flanges off of the exhaust system and used them with the 2� pipe. The route I chose was to go between the passenger side axle and the steering shaft. This made it so I could put the turbo into the location of the stock air box and windshield wash tank. This location for the turbo was good because: 1) the turbo could be easily upgraded to a larger one; 2) the down pipe is simple and large; and 3) it made it easy to make a true cold air intake. The 3� down-pipe comes out of the turbo makes a small bend and goes straight underneath the car, connects to a 3� high flow cat that is in the stock location, which is in turn connected to the custom 3� PDM exhaust. The intake route was a bit more complicated. I wanted a front mount intercooler so a round hole was made in the sheet steel next to the ABS system. The 2.5� IC pipe went through this hole and followed the curve of the body to the front of the car. The bumper beam was hacked to fit the intercooler that I got from johnnyracecar.com. I was a perfect intercooler for the SVX: it is thin and long. The intercooler fits nicely under the stock bumper with a little cutting. After the intercooler, the pipe comes around and up though a hole cut in the center of the stock battery location (which is relocated to the trunk). The Blitz BOV is attached to the pipe a few inches after it comes out of the body of the car. It does not look like it is possible, but there is room for a 2.5� inch pipe to snake its way up to the throttle body around/under the fuel-line and wire harness. I had a custom air splitter made for my project because I have mounted the additional injectors in it, but I think you could hack up the stock splitter and use it. So for piping that is about it. For the PCV, I put a breather on one side of the case and routed the other side through a catch can to the intake side of the turbo. For an oil supply for the turbo, I used the over-priced Greddy oil filter block adapter. I am sure there are cheaper options out there for pressurized oil, but I could not find them. Nor did I know of another place where I could find pressurized oil off of the block so this was the easiest way for me to do it. From the adapter I routed the oil up to the turbo. I found out after running the car for a few days that I needed an oil flow reducer. I got one from ATP turbo (ATP-OIL-022). As for the water cooling supply, I just took the water from the throttle body and routed it through the turbo.
Fuel/Vacuum As stated above I am using additional injectors for extra fuel. They are mounted right before the throttle body in the air splitter. The fuel is just spliced off of the stock fuel line and split to the two injectors. The injectors are from Simple Digital Systems because they have a barb fitting for attaching directly to fuel line; they also came with weld on bungs. The vacuum that I am using for the boost pressure sensor and the BOV is just spliced off of the line that goes to the FPR. I would like to get better vacuum for the BOV but that will have to wait in till I lower the compression.
Electronics /management /data acquisition (This is the fun part)
To control the additional injectors I am using a HKS AIC III. This gives the greatest control over the injectors for the price (you can get one on eBay for less then $300). The AIC gets its pressure information from a 2bar HKS pressure sending unit. The AIC is also connected to the RPM signal that goes to the ECU. For timing management, I am using the super cool ECU Tune Stage One chip. This chip has code in it to run 87oct fuel thus reducing the timing and adding fuel. It is a great, safe way to run the car. Michael from ECU Tune said that at WOT on the 87oct map, it reduces timing by -5 deg. Thus lots of room for boost. For data acquisition and gauges I am using the HKS CAMP system. With this system I can display all kinds of stuff including injector %, EGT, boost pressure, AFR, and many others. This system connects to wires coming out/in of the ECU and reads out the information. This is by far one of the coolest things in the car it can do so much stuff. Interfaced with the HKS CAMP system I have an in-car PC for data logging and graphing as well as music, navigation etc. (I will do a write up specifically on the CAMP system because some of the stuff I am doing with it has no documentation that is easy to find in English and some of the stuff I am doing with it has not been done before in the USA i.e.: AFR). The PC is mounted under the passenger�s seat. There is lots of documentation for in-car PC�s so I will not get in to that. For entertainment the PC (and CAMP) is connected to an Alpine LCD mounted in the location of the stock radio. I have an amp in the trunk running Polk Audio tweeters and midrange mounted in the front stock locations. In the back deck I have two ScanSpeak 18W Kevlar woofers wired in parallel. With a tuned port, these speakers act as the subwoofer. My dad, who worked for Los Alamos as a physicist, now retired, builds speakers; he designed the audio system for the car. It sounds phenomenal. It does not do big thumping one note crap, it is pure, solid and crystal clear. By far the best audio system I have ever heard in a car. So much different than anything I have ever heard in any car audio shop.
I believe I have made the most unique SVX. This project is still in its beginnings the future will show how things turn out. Thank you for looking.
I am sure there are things I am missing and if you have any questions contact me: sthuot at nmt dot edu <--- (I am sure you can figure this out, I don�t want to get spam) Thanks to all my friends: Jeff, Dave, Robbie & Rob. Thanks to Mom, Sean at Solid Technology, Robert at Forced Air Tech, and Terry McLane from the SVX FAQ. And a very special thanks to my Dad and NASIOC.
*The SVX FAQ is hear http://my.voyager.net/~tmclane/index.html#_Toc482082554
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that is a sweet set up man. you should mak a list of all the parts you had to buy for it. down to every last hose clamp and gromit. how did you lower the compression? did you deck the block?
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That whip is balllin ass man, lucky. Just wondering how much that swap cost ya/ where the hell you got it done?
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