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Old 05-30-2018, 06:39 PM   #1
DarkPira7e
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Budget FR-S Turbo Build - CXRACING Time Bomb?

Against my better judgment, I'm going FI on my only car, daily driver (even through Vermont winters) FR-S. I love so many things about this car. I love the seating position, I love rwd, I love the look, the steering feel, the stock ride quality and handling. Honestly though, I don't spend much time "carving canyons" or doing track days (go ahead, try to find a track in Vermont. Try it.) While the handling of the car is wonderful and I do push it sometimes, the car leaves me wanting a bit more in acceleration.

I don't want my tires cording at each chance, I don't want Teslas to fear me in a 1/4. I don't want to BUILD my motor if I can avoid it. Hell, I don't even have a whp goal, I don't have a benchmark I want to reach. Why? I'll let the car respond how it will and enjoy it as such. I plan to run 8-10psi on whatever turbo lasts on the cxracing manifold. It will be dyno tuned, it will have an oil cooler. It will be tuned to build boost higher in the revs, no low rpm nonsense here. It was have a pcv side catch can (already does) and crack case VTA. That's it.

Here is what I'm thinking:
Oil pressure builds by RPM. lower RPM torque means the rods are handling higher forces for longer, and preventing rod failure is one of my paramount concerns with every choice I'm making here (as it is with anyone who doesn't want to build a bomb). My turbo I've ordered is the generic journal bearing T3 T04E 60/63 cxracing makes. What I've found in my research, is that these are the best turbos they make for reliability. "Best" is subjective, so keep reading and hear me out.

Search "cxracing turbo" and no doubt, you'll get horror before praise. This is true of anything. ANYTHING. People are more apt to complain when something goes wrong, than to take time leaving a positive review when they could be out enjoying their product. This is a fact. I'm not going to dispute that the negative connotation associated with CXracing has not been earned; to a degree, it is low tier quality. However, when your goals are not in the clouds, the quality disparity is nothing like you may think with some parts.

Let's talk intercoolers. What is an intercooler? It's a heatsink, essentially. It holds an air charge the turbo forces into your intake and attempts to cool it as much as possible before it reaches the intake. Other than that purpose, it's ONLY JOB is holding the air. To me, quality may be the finish of the piping, it's choice of a BOV flange location, the fitment, blah blah. If you go for BEST OF THE Best and need that, you'll be concerned with pressure drop, with the effectiveness of the intercooler core, the diameter piping. This is where I plant my feet and get ready to meet criticism. The route CXRACING takes for their piping isn't the longest, but it's pretty long compared to other kits. The BOV flange is on a bend, which sucks. The fitment hopefully is good, and I'm assuming it won't leak. My goal is not whp driven, so pressure drop, and cooling effectiveness is really not going to concern me. So long as it cools the charge air, I'm happy.

The manifold. Equal length to me is a nice plus. The welds look decent, collector is OK, it has an EWG flange, and I can have the flanges milled flat if they're not great. I don't care about MAX POWER, I just need them to support the turbo and not leak, seems simple enough.

Word vomit is a skill of mine, if you're still reading you probably should look busy so your boss doesn't catch on.

Anyways, enough hard ass. I still want the car to be fun so it's not like I'll let it run like garbage or only make 210whp either. Let's get onto the other goodies!
Going to run a PTP Turbo blanket and either use header wrap, or get the manifold ceramic coated. Under hood circulation is terrible and I am not interested in venting my hood right now (rain/snow, I don't want the header wrap getting saturated) so minimizing radiant heat will be important.
I think I'll be getting a standard mishimoto oil cooler with a thermostatic adapter, and a stock radiator. Reflective gold tape/sleeving on anything close to the manifold and turbo should also minimize hazard. I still have far from everything and will likely be stagnant for a little while as new parts roll in.

As of today, I have the following:

Cxracing downpipe/manifold
Cxracing intercooler
Grimmspeed header gaskets
Prosport boost/oil temp gauge
OMNI 3bar map sensor
Radium Engineering PCV catch can
Brzedit for tuning

Tomorrow the turbo and oil lines show up!











Aside the collector being a bit grungy, things look great! It's nice that the intercooler piping is flared too. I'll update with more as time goes on! Let me know your thoughts/advice, I welcome all cisms and won't bite your head off if I disagree. Just be aware that bashing the kit in all likelihood won't elicit a response from me at all. Before I forget, I'm buying a new stock oil pan to weld a return into, and I'll get a clutch. Probably ACT with LWFW because chatter doesn't bother me, and I've had success with ACT on other platforms.

Here we go
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:40 PM   #2
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I typed all of this on my phone, please forgive typos, it's too hot right now to proofread.

Car currently is catless with stock catback, dynapack calls it 174whp 140wtq. UEL CNT headers, Megan racing frontpipe, stock overpipe.

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Old 06-01-2018, 01:53 PM   #3
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Turbo showed up, I got a new Turbosmart ultra gate 38mm from a specialty tuning and dyno shop called VEMS that is localled owned/operated very close to me. They put out amazing work, and I'm trusting them with my build. They had the wastegate in stock so I bought it.

I brought some of the kit there to have their opinion on it. Received a passing grade (not flying colors by any means) so there may be a couple additional things I'll need to budget for to make it right. The gasket for the downpipe is just expansive foil with only the exhaust port, the wastegate port is covered by the same gasket and may be a weakness in the design.







See what I mean about the wastegate hole? We'll see what can been done to be sure it's sealed.



Prosport oil temp and boost gauges are here too!
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:07 PM   #4
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Had a 3 gauge single DIN bracket made, this isn't the final product (60% fill) but it's really weak and doesn't fit quite like I thought.

Being the incredibly malleable and accepting human being that I am, I still think it looks great! The fit is actually better since I can squish it a little and it's held tight by the poor fitment. Radio isn't wired in, so no powered on shots. I'm very much a fan of visibility, and did not want to be conventional with $100+ steering wheel column mounts, so I'm trying this!
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DarkPira7e View Post
Had a 3 gauge single DIN bracket made, this isn't the final product (60% fill) but it's really weak and doesn't fit quite like I thought.

Being the incredibly malleable and accepting human being that I am, I still think it looks great! The fit is actually better since I can squish it a little and it's held tight by the poor fitment. Radio isn't wired in, so no powered on shots. I'm very much a fan of visibility, and did not want to be conventional with $100+ steering wheel column mounts, so I'm trying this!
It looks like you have a good solution. I've found that my A-pillar gauges don't restrict my view at all, though.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:16 AM   #6
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It looks like you have a good solution. I've found that my A-pillar gauges don't restrict my view at all, though.
Thank you for the input, my experience having them I lost some a-pillar visibility and have been scared of them since. That was in a 3000GT VR4 though, not really apples to apples, but I had assumed the angles would be the same. You know what they say about assuming..

I've actually revised this setup again and mounted the radio in the cubby where the usb/aux ports were, along with the little space. Fits really nicely, now I have a double din hole to mount gauges in. Still working on figuring that out so I'm going to post pictures once I'm done planning, should be pretty good.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:54 PM   #7
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Small update! A lot more parts are in. I ended up buying a dual gauge pod, only want two gauges: boost and oil temp. I wrapped the intake pipe with dei reflective tape and bought silicon spray for the header wrap! Oil cooler just got here, I think I have about everything I need to get the installation process moving forward. Eventually a new clutch will come in with a couple other little goodies too!! Oh, and I have a new oem oil pan. Buying an oem serpentine belt because I may as well.
Imgur isn't working so I'll update later with images!
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:10 PM   #8
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Long overdue update. I've changed to ECUTEK with the RaceRom patch for tuning. Since my car has been blown up multiple times due to the valve recall, I finally have it back and am ready to proceed. I settled on my gauge design too. Moved the radio to the bottom. Also bought an oil cooler, heatwrapped and sprayed everything with DEI silicon spray. I had to remove my windshield washer fluid res, and trim the tab on both headlights to fit the intercooler piping at all. I also bought $20 vented fog light housings and ditched my LED strips.

















Not impressed with fitment on this intercooler at all. I had to trim the ear off of the right side so that a pipe wasn't againt it. Not sure if I just really am bad at lining up the pipes , but it's still going to need work to fit when everything goes in.

Last edited by DarkPira7e; 04-28-2019 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Added photo
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:08 PM   #9
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Hey I’m looking into getting the cx kit, did you have any more pics of the ic piping and hour you routed it, and how you mounted the intercooler. Just hoping to get a rough game plan for how to tackle the install.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:37 PM   #10
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Have you been to Palmer Motorsports Park? I liked that track even though i got black flagged. It wasn't completed and they said i kicked up a piece of gravel even though i never dropped a wheel. That was couple years ago it must be completed by now.

I don't envy you driving a turbo twin on those rock and ice covered VT roads. Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:12 PM   #11
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Hey Iím looking into getting the cx kit, did you have any more pics of the ic piping and hour you routed it, and how you mounted the intercooler. Just hoping to get a rough game plan for how to tackle the install.
Once I do the full install I will be posting everything I had to do. You will need a few bolts from the hardware store, but I was able to mount it to the stock crash bar - it doesn't sit perfectly in the middle, it's offset to the right a little. In this configuration, you're also going to need to trim either the pipe leading to the throttlebody or the pipe that leads to that. As I said, when I get to the whole thing, I'll outline everything as best I can. I also removed my windshield washer fluid reservoir for now, it was in the way. I will list the exact specs of the bolts/nuts/washers I purchased to make it easier. I'm willing to bet that there's a level of variance between each kit produced, so yours may be worse than mine, or better.

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Have you been to Palmer Motorsports Park? I liked that track even though i got black flagged. It wasn't completed and they said i kicked up a piece of gravel even though i never dropped a wheel. That was couple years ago it must be completed by now.

I don't envy you driving a turbo twin on those rock and ice covered VT roads. Good luck.
I haven't, I'd like to go at some point. It seems incredible, I just bomb around the Appalachian gap mostly ( Route 17 here in Huntington, knows as "Buels gore" ). I actually really enjoy the driving dynamic of the roads here. You're always being challenged to be observant and aware. This may be because I grew up driving snowmobiles without studs, so you needed to be crazy if you wanted to be fast. The worst part of the roads is the inevitable damage from kicking stuff up. I may put mudflaps on this year, I'm not used to a car that has such thin paint, my doors and are speckled white
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