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BH5 things to look for / mods to do


darkchief1

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Hey all,

 

I am looking at getting a BH5 GTB sometime soon but I have some questions regarding issues with the car, or just things to look out for that could end up costing me in the future. I am only looking at the Rev. D for the ECU tuning ability, because why not aim for the best? I have found an E-Tune (Rev. D) that I am looking into, but I hear the E-Tune has issues running on anything less than even 98? Is this true? The following is a list of things that I know I should look for, but am wanting to know about as many things as possible, especially with the BH5.

 

  • Does it have much of a service history?
  • How often has the oil been changed?
  • How long have you owned the car for and roughly how many kms have you put on the car?
  • What fuel are you running in the car?
  • When was the clutch done?
  • Have the diff fluids been replaced?
  • Have any mods been done to the car that you know of?
  • Any check engine lights ever?
  • Have the brakes been done recently? (pads and or rotors)
  • Any engine knock at all? 
  • Has the boost been changed at all or has the car been tuned?
  • Does it burn or consume any fluid(s) at all?
  • Any leaks?
  • Does it leak anything? Oil, coolant, diff fluids etc
  • Does it consume any fluids?
  • Have any head or valve cover gaskets been done?
  • When were the spark plugs last changed?

 

 

Are there any other questions that I should ask in general, or any BH5 specific ones that I should ask? I have a small list of mods that I would also like to do, and am wondering if they are the worthwhile mods to do to a BH5. I want to do the following:

 

  • Tune
  • Whiteline rear sway bar
  • Front and rear strut tower bars  (where do I get a rear for these cars?)
  • FMIC
  • Stereo / Sub
  • Axle-back exhaust
  • 4 / 2 pot brake upgrade

 

 

Finally, is there anyone around the Wellington / Manawatu-Wanganui region that could road tune a BH5 on 95 for me? This will be a must when I get the car, as I don't want to risk not being able to put 98 in it because not everywhere I would want to go would have 98 on tap.

 

Thanks!

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They all have issues on anything less than 98, some people just choose to ignore the signs. If you're getting it tuned then it doesn't matter. You could get it tuned for 95 or even 91 if you wanted, you'll just be leaving a lot of potential power behind.

 

Ask to do a quick pull to redline if doing a test run They often have stuffed secondary turbo’s which a lot of people never realise as they don't go over 4k rpm.

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1 hour ago, Andy_Mac said:

They all have issues on anything less than 98, some people just choose to ignore the signs. If you're getting it tuned then it doesn't matter. You could get it tuned for 95 or even 91 if you wanted, you'll just be leaving a lot of potential power behind.

 

Ask to do a quick pull to redline if doing a test run They often have stuffed secondary turbo’s which a lot of people never realise as they don't go over 4k rpm.

 

Didn't really know about the secondary turbo issues, thanks for the heads up on that one. Would have done some redline testing anyways, because I feel that you should do that when looking at a new car anyways. Didn't really think about a 91 tune actually, wonder how much power they lose when tuned for different octane ratings. You don't happen to know anyone around my region who could do road tuning when the time comes for myself do you?

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You should be able to tell how healthy the motor is when you take it for a drive, if boost comes on smooth and without any sort of hesitation that’s a good sign. Of all the Subaru’s i’ve had compression tested, the ones that failed coincidentally had blow of valves installed 🤔 Not a great idea on Subaru’s I’ve heard so may be a good indication to stay clear.

 

I’m all about driver feel mods so things like  upgraded bushings, ergonomic / weighted gear knobs etc. For handling I wouldn’t worry about strut bars and would highly suggest you look at sway bars as they’ll do a lot more than strut bars (reinforce lateral movement in the wheels as opposed to just putting more metal on top of metal (strut bar).

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11 hours ago, Omsin said:

You should be able to tell how healthy the motor is when you take it for a drive, if boost comes on smooth and without any sort of hesitation that’s a good sign. Of all the Subaru’s i’ve had compression tested, the ones that failed coincidentally had blow of valves installed 🤔 Not a great idea on Subaru’s I’ve heard so may be a good indication to stay clear.

 

I did read a bit about this, and I do intend to not run anything besides the stock BOV.  I did just find out that the car I am looking at has been run on 91 quite a bit recently, could this be a big problem?

 

11 hours ago, Omsin said:

I’m all about driver feel mods so things like  upgraded bushings, ergonomic / weighted gear knobs etc. For handling I wouldn’t worry about strut bars and would highly suggest you look at sway bars as they’ll do a lot more than strut bars (reinforce lateral movement in the wheels as opposed to just putting more metal on top of metal (strut bar).

 

The front strut would be kind of for looks, but the rear would be good to attach a sub to I figured. I do know that these cars respond well to a rear swaybar upgrade, so I was thinking a whiteline 22mm sometime early on. I want to do a short shifter kit if I can find one, and am figuring that would tighten up shifter feel because it should come with new bushings, and the shorter throw overall. I know I don't want a metal shift knob, didn't actually think about a weighted one but that could be a good idea. What would be a go-to list for yourself when you had a relatively stock, new-to-you car aimed at improving driver feel?

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Yea as Andy has mentioned, they should all be run on 98 if un-tuned as they all run super aggressive timing and will ping even on 98. If it's been on 91 it will be pulling timing constantly and then trying to increase timing occasionally which means it will be constantly running into ping/pre-detonation. The good thing is it will be detecting it at low RPM and pulling timing so it might be fine. Compression test, make sure its running through the VOD/ Turbo change over fine and a good service and mechanical inspection prior to purchasing would be wise. 

 

In regards to road tuning for lower octane, I wouldn't wast too much money on that. just save up do some breathing mods to the intake and exhaust and get a professional tune. If you need timing pulled to run low octane fuel you could have someone tickle up your map remotely. but you would still need a $200 cable to flash it on. 

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3 hours ago, darkchief1 said:

 What would be a go-to list for yourself when you had a relatively stock, new-to-you car aimed at improving driver feel?

 

Heres my thread here with the mods I’ve started with:

 

 

-Rear sway bar upgrade on its own is a great start, ideally front and rear if you can part with the extra money.

 

-Short shifter and shifter bushings, the one underneath the car is the one that needs attention, then I’d also upgrade the transmission mount and cross member pads.

 

-Front lower control arm bushes, rear trailing arm bushes 

 

-Rear subframe bushes and diff bushes

 

-Rear strut bar might be a good idea for a wagon, it helped a little bit in my sedan.

 

Those mods are the cheaper ones which you’ll notice the best improvement with, after that you’re talking a bit of money for exhaust and tune for more power 

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3 hours ago, A_J_T said:

Yea as Andy has mentioned, they should all be run on 98 if un-tuned as they all run super aggressive timing and will ping even on 98. If it's been on 91 it will be pulling timing constantly and then trying to increase timing occasionally which means it will be constantly running into ping/pre-detonation. The good thing is it will be detecting it at low RPM and pulling timing so it might be fine. Compression test, make sure its running through the VOD/ Turbo change over fine and a good service and mechanical inspection prior to purchasing would be wise. 

 

This is great to hear. I wanted to get a compression test done due to the kms, and now I will definately get it done if I look further into this car. I would get it run through the AA pre purchase inspection, and maybe have a shop look over it, along with a test drive of course.

 

3 hours ago, A_J_T said:

In regards to road tuning for lower octane, I wouldn't wast too much money on that. just save up do some breathing mods to the intake and exhaust and get a professional tune. If you need timing pulled to run low octane fuel you could have someone tickle up your map remotely. but you would still need a $200 cable to flash it on. 

 I am looking into getting the Tactrix 2.0 cable so that I can have the option to get a Wi-Fi tune done, or even load the tunes that Marky has posted somewhere on the forum if they are still recommended as a better-than-stock tune option. Would love some timing pulled just to be safe at this stage, can't quite afford a full on tune.

18 minutes ago, Omsin said:

-Rear sway bar upgrade on its own is a great start, ideally front and rear if you can part with the extra money.

 

-Short shifter and shifter bushings, the one underneath the car is the one that needs attention, then I’d also upgrade the transmission mount and cross member pads.

 

-Front lower control arm bushes, rear trailing arm bushes 

 

-Rear subframe bushes and diff bushes

 

-Rear strut bar might be a good idea for a wagon, it helped a little bit in my sedan.

 

Those mods are the cheaper ones which you’ll notice the best improvement with, after that you’re talking a bit of money for exhaust and tune for more power 

These are definately what I am after if I am not spending big on power mods. Thanks for these, on the to-do list for when I get a wagon they go! Would doing the pitch stop be worth it as well?

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Pitch stop is a good one to do, but it doesn’t need to be anything fancy to get the job done, the nzkw ones would definitely work. The only thing with upgraded pitch stop bars is that they can make a lot more noise and vibration come through into the cabin - I took my solid bar off due to this.

 

also in regards to an AA inspection, I wouldn’t waste your money. You can take it to a Subaru specialist who will do a pre purchase inspection and a proper compression test as part of the inspection (AA only does a computer based test which doesn’t measure each cylinder with a Psi reading).

 

Where abouts  are you based?

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If you are thinking of getting a Tactrix and want to try a cheaper option I've been dying to get one of these https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-parts-accessories/tools-repair-kits/meters-testers/listing-2315589830.htm?rsqid=9f07576579774b88b2d6d85e72e7899b-001

 

Technically speaking it should work just fine as it runs the same FTDI FT232RL Chip as the Tactrix... I've been dying to try one. 

 

Also when and if you get a cable that works PM me and I'm happy to guide you through the flash process, what cables need to be jumpered etc and making changes o your tune for lower octane. 

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1 hour ago, Omsin said:

Pitch stop is a good one to do, but it doesn’t need to be anything fancy to get the job done, the nzkw ones would definitely work. The only thing with upgraded pitch stop bars is that they can make a lot more noise and vibration come through into the cabin - I took my solid bar off due to this.

 

also in regards to an AA inspection, I wouldn’t waste your money. You can take it to a Subaru specialist who will do a pre purchase inspection and a proper compression test as part of the inspection (AA only does a computer based test which doesn’t measure each cylinder with a Psi reading).

 

Where abouts  are you based?

Yeah  I was thinking one of the NZKW ones, saw them last night and looked like they would go alright if it was a good part to upgrade. Yeah the noise was a potential concern for me, but it can't hurt to try it out. Good to know with the AA inspection actually. I am Wellington based, and the car is in Palmy. Is there anywhere around that you would recommend for this to be done? I would love actual PSI readings, not just "Yes, there is compression" lol. 

 

1 hour ago, A_J_T said:

If you are thinking of getting a Tactrix and want to try a cheaper option I've been dying to get one of these https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-parts-accessories/tools-repair-kits/meters-testers/listing-2315589830.htm?rsqid=9f07576579774b88b2d6d85e72e7899b-001

 

Technically speaking it should work just fine as it runs the same FTDI FT232RL Chip as the Tactrix... I've been dying to try one. 

 

Also when and if you get a cable that works PM me and I'm happy to guide you through the flash process, what cables need to be jumpered etc and making changes o your tune for lower octane. 

 

Oh that is like 1/3 the price of the one I am looking at at the moment, and it would only have to work for one session so if my one falls through I will get onto one of them. Would like to have it for data logging in the future though.  Hey that would be legendary if I could get a hand with the whole process! Would be pretty tough to tackle solo, and then the map portion would be scary because I have no clue what to do.

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Not sure who tunes BE/BH Legacys these days.  Certainly it won't be cheap unless you can DIY.

 

I would just run 98 as much as possible and carry a couple of octane boosters for when you are stuck and have to use 95.

 

I'd be worried if it's been running on 91 and driven anything more than gentle.

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For the beginning as long as the engine doesn't ping on 95 then I will be happy. Does octane booster do much to 95? How does one data log with the Tactrix or a similar item? Is that just plug in and plug the device into a laptop with some kind of software? I just purchased a Tactrix 2.0 so now I can do stuff!

 

Has anyone had any experience with the short shifters from trademe for the BH? https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-parts-accessories/performance/body-kits-mouldings/listing-2320411400.htm?rsqid=5239ebce92bd47ae8b25e3a982554558-002 The likes of this. Are they any good?

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18 minutes ago, darkchief1 said:

For the beginning as long as the engine doesn't ping on 95 then I will be happy. Does octane booster do much to 95? How does one data log with the Tactrix or a similar item? Is that just plug in and plug the device into a laptop with some kind of software? I just purchased a Tactrix 2.0 so now I can do stuff!

 

Has anyone had any experience with the short shifters from trademe for the BH? https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-parts-accessories/performance/body-kits-mouldings/listing-2320411400.htm?rsqid=5239ebce92bd47ae8b25e3a982554558-002 The likes of this. Are they any good?

 

Word of advice, everything sold on trademe that isn’t a brand is literally s*** imported from China via dropshipping

4Rh6zlm.jpg

 

octane booster has a habit of fouling spark plugs long term, it theoretically works with any gas and off the top of my head can make it as high as 100 octane but usually the equivalent of 98 octane I think. Better than using 91 or 95 on its own if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere 

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3 minutes ago, Omsin said:

 

Word of advice, everything sold on trademe that isn’t a brand is literally s*** imported from China via dropshipping

4Rh6zlm.jpg

 

octane booster has a habit of fouling spark plugs long term, it theoretically works with any gas and off the top of my head can make it as high as 100 octane but usually the equivalent of 98 octane I think. Better than using 91 or 95 on its own if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere 

 

Note to self: grab some octane booster and keep it in the boot for a rainy day. Is stuff like that shifter worth buying or not really?

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It’s pretty much the same as the branded stuff, the only difference is in the accuracy of measurements and quality control.

 

I wouldn’t pay trademe prices if I was going to take a shot with them, I’d buy it straight from the source, jump on www.aliexpress.com and have a look around. Pay attention to the star ratings and usually the item with the most orders is the best deal

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Talk to @A_J_T regarding logging and tuning. He’s one of the few that has done it with third gens. 

 

Jump on the romraider and openecu sites and have a read up on the walkthroughs they have. Most won't completely match up with what you will be doing but getting your head around all the ideas and processes ahead of time is a smart thing to do.

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