swamp

Electronic boost controller or G4+ and tune?

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Hi guys I'm just doing some research on which way is best to go to make more power. A balance between cost and reliability really, big power isn't really a goal of mine. 

 

I have a my94 wrx with an open deck block and td04. I plan on upgrading to mls headgaskets and possibly bigger oil pump and just refreshing seals and gaskets when I do the timing belt and wp, nothing too flash. 

 

I've read that stock my ej20g can handle 14 psi.. I'd like to get something around that, but how best to do it? I've been looking at electronic boost controllers and widebands as that sorta stuff seems to be midrange, but a plug in link g4+ seems to be the way to go in terms of power potential reliability and efficiency. 

 

Ideally would like to keep my td04 just because single scroll. 

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for my 2c worth. A 'cheap' way would be a TD05/VF???  upgrade, and something like a Z4 ECU, maybe injectors a not sure what yours runs. 

that would be a budget conscious build with out adding boost controller, from memory it peaks at just over 13psi, i had this combo in my BC5 and it was enough for me for a while.

 

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Upgrade to a 94 Sti Ecu, STI VF28 /VF23 or similar and yellow sti injectors and be done.

 

Should be able to get all second hand for good price.

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Will be following this thread with interest, As I too would like to know these things. 


I have an Automatic 1996 220PS wrx gravel express, would love to know what kind of power I can safely run on the stock Ej20G open deck(is 260-280 a safe estimate?) At the moment my plans are Manual swap it and get a Link g4+ with a TD05 upgrade, currently rocking the TD04 factory. Not after massive power just want a nice daily, I hear the TD05 kicks in a bit later, might help fuel economy and top end. TD04 is responsive and pretty fun in the low end though.


Would also like to look into a turbo back and intake at some point, though i am hesitant to install these before getting a G4+ so i can safely tune for them, as i dont wanna harm my engine. 

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If reading NZPC and CS has taught me anything

 

a Link will always be on you watchlist & I reckon (because its not my money yet) just got for that, removes most worry & doubt from the equation

 

either way I see a Dyno in your future to make sure everything is working as it should

 

also F for Follow with my Gravel Express also :P

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11 hours ago, ginganinja said:

Upgrade to a 94 Sti Ecu, STI VF28 /VF23 or similar and yellow sti injectors and be done.

 

Should be able to get all second hand for good price.

Nice. Wouldn't it be good to get brand new injectors though? Ive never replaced injectors but are they a thing that fail after x amount of km? 

 

It makes sense to do it this way given the lego like nature of our cars. And I'm sure my engine can safely handle that power... Hopefully. I've been told my deck being open is one of the better open deck blocks, and that my turbo is a good ball bearing type, spools well and has a good sound to it. So guys with gravel express should have the same as wrx sa.. 

 

I've checked prices on new ebc and widebands and it could be around 500-1k for both, if sti upgrade is cheaper then why not. In my opinion it seems ebc etc are more for cars that don't have that lego like swap in better ecu/turbo/injectors from higher spec model. 

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I would say forget the EBC and wideband and put that money into stuff below.

You definitely should save for a Link, but I would do a turbo, STI ecu and injectors, if you get a recon set they should be fine.

The upgrade of turbo will make a big difference, especially going from TD04 to TD05?Vf??? 

I went from TD05 to VF8 (close to TD04 size) and noticed the power difference/drop.

Once you have the turbo/ECU in the car, enjoy the increase in power and save for a Link and tune. This way you won't run out of turbo as quickly as you would with the TD04 set up with a Link.

Also I have a spare set of yellow injectors if you want. 

*note: someone more informed than me can give advice on VF turbos

 

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1 hour ago, SpeedySub said:

I would say 

Once you have the turbo/ECU in the car, enjoy the increase in power and save for a Link and tune. This way you won't run out of turbo as quickly as you would with the TD04 set up with a Link.

Also I have a spare set of yellow injectors if you want. 

*note: someone more informed than me can give advice on VF turbos

Save for link and tune, enjoy mild upgrade sounds like a great plan. If I'm chasing say 300hp at the crank will I need extra stuff like later tmic or higher pressure cooling system? Or is 300hp too unambitious with g4+, tune, stock internals? 

 

Just throwing that number round as I think v6 sti made 275hp due to gentleman's agreement in Japan, 300 is an improvement on that using a lower spec engine. Fyi my engine has standard hesdgaskets, most likely same for the gravel express. 

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Would something like this work fine in the place of a v2 sti ecu? 

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/2477365435

 

Its a v4 sti ecu with mines chip listed for $150. I may get in touch with Strongs and see if they have any sti v2 ecu, probably going to be $$$$$. 

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Going to a TD05, STi ECU and Injectors is a really great suggestion. One I'm considering doing to accompany my manual swap so I can have a bit of fun in the meantime before committing to a Link.

would you run into any issues running the stock boost control with a TD05 bolt in? or maybe its just a case of the PSI being really low from factory, and its fairly safe? 

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Devil's advocate? Putting in a G4+ and getting it tuned won't see any change from about $2500. Lot of money to throw at a car that literally won't make it any faster than a boost tap would.

Get a VF23/24 (or even a VF30) and a STI ECU and set of yellows as above. About the best you're going to get out of it; you're so limited by about 20 different things that make a G4+ not worth the investment unless you have big big plans down the road.

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21 minutes ago, boon said:

Devil's advocate? Putting in a G4+ and getting it tuned won't see any change from about $2500. Lot of money to throw at a car that literally won't make it any faster than a boost tap would.

Get a VF23/24 (or even a VF30) and a STI ECU and set of yellows as above. About the best you're going to get out of it; you're so limited by about 20 different things that make a G4+ not worth the investment unless you have big big plans down the road.

Thank you for the reply, this makes a lot of sense honestly, and since i really cant see my own car passing 300hp I think this is a much better idea. I think you could honestly do most of those mods for the cost of a g4+ alone ($1350 ish to my understanding)

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1 hour ago, boon said:

Devil's advocate? Putting in a G4+ and getting it tuned won't see any change from about $2500. Lot of money to throw at a car that literally won't make it any faster than a boost tap would.

Get a VF23/24 (or even a VF30) and a STI ECU and set of yellows as above. About the best you're going to get out of it; you're so limited by about 20 different things that make a G4+ not worth the investment unless you have big big plans down the road.

 

While I don't disagree with you, because honestly, the money factor you're spot on. I can't say I completely agree with the statement either? 

 

There is most certainly bonuses to going either route. There is however, downsides to them both as well. 

Cost is certainly the top factor. So lets start here. 

Stock STi upgrade. 

 

The good: 

 

Good well rounded package that gives you extra punch at quite a reasonable price.
simple upgrade route. other than bolting/plugging in what you've been given, that is it. Hard to stuff up.

 

The not so good: 


you are talking about old injectors, and old ECU tech. My suggestion if you want to go this route is to make sure everything is cleaned and tested, for example. Have the injectors cleaned and flow tested, and make sure the ECU you're buying HASN'T been opened (theres a factory seal on em). Wouldn't be the first time someones tried to hock off a faulty ECU because they didn't know what blew up their engine, so parted out.

 

 

G4+ upgrade route
The good:

 

you can get plug-in ECU for your gen car! Makes putting in an ECU very very easy. There are also second hand ones coming up for sale all the time. Often in the $800 ballpark, so try not to pay more than this if you're buying second hand. They also have lifetime warranty. 

 

It opens up aftermarket parts for your car that simply put, the factory ECU cannot handle. ECU controlled widebands, Flex fuel, better knock control, anti-lag /2 step / launch control / automatic DCCD control / logging

 

You want extra sensors? You can add them. You want an AVCS engine from GRB? You can do it (with doing some wiring of course)

 

Downsides. 

Brand new it's much more expensive than the cheaper STi upgrades. Plus the factor of professional tuning. Theres no doubt what Boon has said is right.

You will need to get the car tuned, be it by someone like @Pappu1 or @SAS OR if you're quite savvy and have patience to learn how to tune yourself, properly, you could buy a course package from the likes of HP Academy, where you'll learn the ins and outs of tuning. Then you can tune that puppy all by yourself.

 

 

Summary: 

You need to think intensely about if you want to do more things in the future or just keep the car as is. 

 

If you want to do things the stock (or STi) ECU can't handle, then honestly a Link or Haltech may be your best move long term.

If you just want to give it a freshen up and some more punch, then the STi upgrades are definitely a winner. 

Regardless, if you do the STi upgrade and then decide 'hey I want more' theres absolutely nothing stopping you from getting that Link anyway and still getting more power than you would've originally.

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To keep this going

 

I would go the STI ECU and VF??? and injecctors. Enjoy the power upgrade without it being too much at once, and learn what you do and don't like once you have a bit more power.

While doing this find a good tuner, talk to them about your plans, then save up for the parts you need/want and ECU and tune. 

 

The other thing I would say is that as the engine internals are an unknown at this point theres no point in spending thousands on turbos/ecu/tune if the engine won't handle it.

 

Also I'd go for a VF series if possible as new technology, and keep an eye out for any second hand Link plug and play ecus, they do sometimes pop up

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@Dairusire good post except. 
 

I like opening ECU cases to check the capacitors that are usually the first and only thing to really die.


If the Capacitor tops are bulging you just solder in a new set and life is good. The X on the top is there as a weak point so you know they are on the way out. 

If they leak then the circuit board corrodes and heaps of s*** goes wrong or other components short out and die. 
 

not sure on pin out but sometimes it’s not hard to move up a few years in ecu for a few pin or plug swaps. 
I’ve made adaptors before from ecu older plug removed from dead ecu board and newer wiring plugs from a wreak snipped off 20cm. 
It’s a crap load of soldering but fully reversed if needed. 

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What sorts of things would make a link g4+ or haltech worth it? 20 or so other things needing upgrade and no significant increase after spending 2.5k? 

 

All very good information! Surprised that no one really recommends an electronic boost controller, but suppose that's redundant as sti upgrade is there. 

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I have a Haltech E8 I’ve never used due to the simplicity of the OEM ecu’s

 

The oem ecu have features added by a bunch of people that can make them almost as good as aftermarket. 
I used to add launch control etc to the code of mid 90’s cars.  
 

the biggest plus to aftermarket is the extra sensors and monitors you can setup. Once you go too far with an engine then the extra safety you can program in. 

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22 minutes ago, swamp said:

What sorts of things would make a link g4+ or haltech worth it? 20 or so other things needing upgrade and no significant increase after spending 2.5k? 

 

All very good information! Surprised that no one really recommends an electronic boost controller, but suppose that's redundant as sti upgrade is there. 

 

I think you have all the answers you need from Dairusire

If you are happy to push an old open deck engine (even if you say your not looking for power) then prepare to have issues later on.

 

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19 hours ago, swamp said:

What sorts of things would make a link g4+ or haltech worth it? 20 or so other things needing upgrade and no significant increase after spending 2.5k? 

 

All very good information! Surprised that no one really recommends an electronic boost controller, but suppose that's redundant as sti upgrade is there. 

 

If you were going to run any equipment that Subaru didn't originally put on a car somewhat similar to yours. Basically, if you deviated sufficiently far from the factory specification that you needed to tune it.

 

But you're not going to get reliability at anything beyond the power levels some or another factory Subaru was capable of, so there's not much point going beyond factory spec (even if that's the "ultimate" factory spec of VF22/23/30/34 with 440cc injectors).

 

There's so much you would need to change to go reliably beyond about 300 crank horsepower (starting with the block) that, unless you're going to change all of those things, you may as well just run a factory ECU.

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My 2 cents...

 

If you're wanting 300hp (225kw) atw.. You will need to do a lot more than chuck an STI ECU, boost increase and some yellow injectors at it..

 

You are talking 

bigger turbo

Exhaust

injectors

intercooler

ECU

uprated fuel pump

FPR

possibly forged pistons

Dyno tune

I would say your standard clutch would not like that sort of power so upgrade that too.

 

If your wanting power around the 300hp ATW mark then you really are heading into spending larger amounts of cash on an older WRX.

 

Im not saying dont do it but what i am saying is to think very carefully about your power goals. costs can spiral out of control very quickly. 

 

 

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Not sure why no one has put it but grab a bigger stock intercooler if you can. 
cheap upgrade and allows you to push the factory turbos a bit more but still keep engine cool and happy. 

 

Newer manifolds or NA one flows more so that helps too. 
 

But dyno tune it. 
 

 

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31 minutes ago, Gripless said:

Not sure why no one has put it but grab a bigger stock intercooler if you can. 
cheap upgrade and allows you to push the factory turbos a bit more but still keep engine cool and happy. 

 

Newer manifolds or NA one flows more so that helps too. 
 

But dyno tune it. 

 


me said interheater

 

 

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Snowballs .gif!

 

Brakes : 6 Speed : body kit : interior and Paint

 

@BLAZD

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