So I have been tinkering with my Outback XT for quite some time now and I wanted to share with everyone my take on the DIY TMIC.
My goals were:
To run a WRX style turbo, but still retain at TMIC. Easy right? Just do an STI swap...well no, not in my case. I like the OEM intake manifold on our cars. I accually think it's a better design that the STI one. Call me crazy right?
On top of being a nut case, I am a cheap bastard and wanted an upgraded turbo and intercooler for as little $$$ as possible!!
I also like to do things a little different than everyone else and blaze new paths..... See my brake ducting thread for evidence.
So, I picked up a VF39 for cheap and all I needed was an intercooler. I searched ebay high and low for something that I could make work. I ended up finding this..
The dimensions of the IC core are 15" long x 10" tall x 3.25" deep. This is a total of 487.5 cubic inches. That's over 2x bigger than the stock TMIC. Not bad IMO. With the end tanks the length is 21.5". It's bigger than the Perrin and the AVO.
This intercooler is made for a V Mount on an RX-7....but I measured out the dimensions of the IC and I measured the space that I had in the car and I thought it would work. So pulled the trigger and ordered it. I live in So Cal and though I could save on shipping and go pick up the IC at the Justintercooler's wherehouse. I was wrong, those son's of motherless goats won't let you do that, so I had to pay the $30 shipping charge (it's now $40
Now I just needed some piping and couplers to connect everything. I found this company -->http://www.max-redline.com/
They were cool and let me come in and pick up the pipes and couplers. I would do buisness with them again in a heart beat.
Here is how I routed the piping.
Passenger side view
Drivers side view
Turbo outlet size is 2", so the hot side piping goes like this: 2" to 2.25" step up coupler on turbo --> 2.25" 90 degree bend --> 2.25" hump coupler --> 2.25" 90 degree bend --> 2.25" to 2.5" elbow --> Intercooler
The throttle body inlet on our cars is 2.75" and the Intercooler outlet size is 2.5", so this is how I did the cold side piping: 2.5" to 2.75" elbow --> 2.75" pipe --> 2.75" coupler on throttle body.
For the BOV, I had a local welder add a 1.5" diamater nipple (you can see it about 1/2 way down on the cold side pipe). It only sticks out of the pipe about 1" or so. I did not want a LGT style flange welded directy to the pipe for the BOV so if I want / need to upgrade to a different style BOV in the future, this gives me options. So I mocked up a flange for the stock BOV and added a 1.5" diamater nipple to that as well. This also was only about 1" long. I connected the BOV to the 2.75" pipe with a 45 degree bend 1.5" radiator hose from Autozone.
Here is the semi finished product:
3/4 Drivers side view
3/4 passenger side view
I say this is the semi finished shot only because I added a bracket on the passenger side of the IC that connects to the intake manifold. It helps hold the IC in place better.
Overall I am happy with this set up as it only set me back about $400 total.
There are problems though. The 1st is that the IC sits VERY high in the engine bay. This meant that I needed to take off the stock intake splitter on the hood. It was a minor PITA and I had to take off some of the isulation material. Even with taking off the stock splitter, when I shut the hood, it was rubbing a little on the passenger side of the IC and pinching the windshield washer line making it not work.
So there are two solutions to this problem. The 1st (and cheap / ghetto way) is to cut a little area on the underside of the hood so the IC does not rub. This is what I did. Hey, it's free right?
The proper way would be to make the IC sit lower in the engine bay. The best way I can think to do that is to make the hot side piping 2" instead of 2.25". This would make the IC sit .25" lower and therefore NOT rub on the inside of the hood.
If I was to do it over, I would rout the hot side piping a little different. I would do: 2" 90 degree elbow right out of the turbo --> 2" 90 degree pipe (with about 3-4" of straight pipe on either side of the bend) --> 2" to 2.5" 90 degree elbow --> IC inlet.
The other big problem is that with the stock splitter gone, the air is not being routed directly to the new TMIC. Don't get me wrong, most of the air will get to the IC, but it could be better. I have yet to fab something up, but I will be going to Home Depot soon enough and make some sort of custom splitter to fit the IC.