Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oil radiator for Sti

The engine on my car has the option from the factory for what they call oil-to-air heat exchanger.
I like to call it, more simple: oil radiator.
I choose to call it oil radiator because I want to differentiate it from the oil-to-coolant heat exchanger, commonly known as oil cooler.
With the oil radiator option, the oil cooler is deleted and the respective connection to the water pump is deleted too. The water pump replacement becomes the same water pump as a GRB WRX (non Sti).

The oil radiator looks like this:

There is a replacement radiator that is suitable to be run in place of the OEM.
Remember, never install a used radiator on your engine, just as you would not install a used cooler.
The replacement I speak of is here:

It comes with 4 mounting tabs for auxiliary cooling fan.
Turn it around, so that the tabs face the engine.
Use the bottom two tabs to mount it to the bottom radiator support. they will match to pre-existing holes there.

The way i used those is:
The holes are large diameter, to where you could slide in the screw head, then you slot the head of the screw to the side of the hole until it becomes captive.
I put some rubber pieces under the rad.
As you tighten the nut, it fastens against the rubber pieces the rad sits on.

Then for the top of the rad, you use the top mounting tabs with a piece of aluminum flashing from Home Depot, and you mount it to the top radiator support. There I also used a rubber washer under a regular washer. I made the rubber washer out of a piece of rubber.

Now this rad is securely mounted and vibration dampened.

It fits like it was meant to be there, because the provision was always there.

This rad has NPT threads for the  fittings.

You buy brass NPT 1/2" to I think 3/8" barb , 90 degree angle fittings from Grainger.

These extend to the exact length that the original ones did. I've measured this combo with the original rad and they're basically identical.

Then, you should go to, to look at all the components of this system, to see what else you need. There are 4 hoses and one conduit riser. I had the conduit riser, but that's not a fortune.

You have to get new hoses, because the danger is there, even if you have a small crack in your existing ones. Also watch for a TSB in which they give you double clamps for all those hoses. Also, position the clamps per the marks on the hose and group them with the spring clamp outwards and the worm clamp inwards. Tighten the worm clamp to where it cannot go past the hose barb on the conduit riser, for safety.

Maybe we should not call these 4 "oil hoses". Let's call them "special rubber couplers". This gives you the idea of never attempting to substitute them with some rubber hose that you may have laying around.
The factory special rubber cuplers are rated for the oil contact, for the oil temperature and for the temperature of the environment where they live, by the headers...
They also have marks on them for the position of the clamps.

One reason to be this careful is because of the temperatures. Another is because of the pressures. Cold oil pressures by the hose can get to 100 PSI. A clamp can hold 120 PSI. Two clamps in series increase this, but I was unable to find calculations so I can estimate by how much.
Since clamps are all about friction, increasing fricition area to double, should have a significant effect.
The problem is also that a worm clamp loosens with temperature. There are special worm clamps that don't do this and they don't cost a fortune either..
The spring clamp does not loosen with themperature, at least not by a significant amount. This is why the pair of them are probably chosen by the factory.

Of course, they could have installed braided stainless tubes, for this connection.
However, what is one of those? It's a tube made of a material similar with Teflon, covered by a braid.
The braid prevents one from seeing defects in the tube as they form, such as bubbles, discoloration, etc.
By the time it fails, one has no clue it was abbout to fail. Hydraulic hoses burst all the time, as people in the industry know. And many times they don't carry the kind of heat that these special rubber couplers do.
This is why I think the factory chose them.
I have a trustworthy oil temperature gauge and on a hot day, with slow traffic driving, my oil temperature goes up to 210F, with this radiator. This is with Castrol 5W50.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 8: Troubleshooting

Update 1
I think that my adjustable struts (Tokico D-specs), which allowed for flat stance braking, were not allowing enough weight transfer on the front wheels.
I've re-adjusted them a half turn softer, the car does some tilting under braking and I THINK i may have resolved this. I'll test some more when the weather gets better and post the results.

I'm at 5.5 turns of adjustment all around now.(D-spec)
Update 2
My issue with the brakes was never addressed quite satisfactory. There always was a tendency for the front to lock up and confuse the ABS, resulting in scary braking.
Especially at an intersection with red light camera. There they turned the yellow light duration to someting like 0.5 seconds and you have to make a quick decision to stop as soon as yellow shows up...

So, I decided to buy rear brake pads from Subaru, to test the info that I got repeatedly from the Brembo distributor, that these were engineered for the OEM rear brakes.

The first thing I noticed is that the OEM brake pads were wider by 1/8" on the contact patch.
Long story short, now I'm in better shape.

Update 3
Noticing that my Brembo provided DS1000 Ferodos are really thin now and seeing how firction coefficient-sensitive this setup is, I am trying to find out what has the same coefficient with those.
I have gotten an answer from Ferodo.
They were nice enough to clarify that the product is actually HP1000 and that it is a compound they use with Brembo for brake pads and the equivalent material in the racing range is DS2500.
The FM1000 is used for HP (high performance) applications by Brembo.

So I ended up getting the StopTech Street Performance brake pads for the front and rear of the car.

I also replaced the rear trailing arm front and rear bushings. The front with Sti pillow ball and the rear with Sti Group N.

I drove couple days with the Stoptech pads in the front and the Subaru genuine pads in the rear.

The Brembo OEM brake pads that come with the Brembo GT have a very high grip when cold even and continue with a very high initial grip, when they warm up.

There was no way for the OEM Subaru pads to keep up with that.
With the Stoptech in the front, the OEM rear pads had a chance to bite a bit and it took quite a bit of bedding at moderate speed, for the rears to start to be felt.

Once I replaced the rears too, I went for another set of bedding.
The one thing I'm still trying to figure out is that, after 2 sets of 10 slow-downs, the rear calipers got really hot, while the front ones, you could put your finger on the caliper and keep it there, the caliper was cool.

Maybe bedding pads on the Brembo GT takes something more severe than 10 slowdowns from 60 to 10 MPH.

I guess what they forget to advise you of, with this particular BBK kit is that it is ballanced, if you run the same brake pads front AND in your OEM rear calipers. DS2500 for the really small 2002 rear brakes are around $140. Probably worth it, at the track.
The Stoptech SP are a much better deal.

Getting the bushings done helps to even it out. I did have the Sti front control arms in the front, which were brand new and added rigidity to the front brakes.

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 7: Influence of BB kits over ABS, misc info

I wanted to link here a Stoptech article about the influence of BBK on ABS.

Also, I had some incidents with front ABS kicking in early/too strong (it seemed). I still didn't bleed the rears yet. Also, there's something about reverse bleeding the front Brembos.

Some more info: The 328mm kit, as well as the 332 does not need the rear Brembo upgrade, for sure.
I'm talking about the 1A1.6010A and 1H1.7001A
Basically, although the front rotors are larger in diameter than the Sti Brembo front rotors, the pistons are such that the rear upgrade is not needed.
The Brembo gold caliper kit with one piece rotor, 326mm still needs the rear upgrade.
The rear brembo upgrade is quite similar with Sti rear brembos, with drum matching the rear WRX shoes and drilled rotor. It shows in the literature as being 1-2 lb lighter than the regular Sti rear rotor.

I know that the Sti rear brake upgrade for WRX is done these days with the 170mm drum rotor but this rotor is much heavier than the Sti rotor, so I don't think that the 170mm extra thick shoes is a bad option.

I still have what I perceive as a brake torque imballance, tried bleeding the rears, as well as checking tire pressure (OEM now), next, I will try setting the Tokico D-specs to allow more loading of the front brakes, for more braking tire grip and later ABS actuation.

I got info that under normal/spirited driving conditions the Brembo friction rings may last 40K miles, with Ferodo pads.

I think now that my ABS braking problem from medium speed may be a form of the ABS on road imperfections problem.
It feels different than before (before meaning back in the days before the Subaru ABS campaign, in '06)

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 6: Brief review

My brief review of these:

-The OEM Ferodo pads are very very dusty
-They seem to begin working immediately, when I drive out of the carwash, the OEM needed 2 applications, with wet rotors.
- They make an oddball clunking/clamping noise when you reverse while parking (on the BMW forums someone compared it with kicking a full washing machine)
-The "added lightness" was imediately noticeable to me in acceleration. If you were to replace heavy Brembo OEM rotors, it should be even more noticeable
- I did not notice a severe front bias even with emergency brake testing with these. In dry weather, the ABS worked fine and my car has the ABS recall, the functionallity of the recall is preserved, I don't have that momentary loss of brakes, not even with these. I did not get the ABS to kick in in the rear anymore, but I haven't bled the rears in a while.

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 5: Spares

There is information available for the Brembo ring replacement procedure, Race Technologies has that.

One of these guys has posted on many forums. In one of the postings on a BMW forum, he noted that the installation hardware is designed to outlast the friction rings, but should be replaced at the time the rings are replaced.

The hardware comes with treadlocking compound already applied on its bolts and can be in the $100/wheel range, for just the fastening hardware, so you can replace the rings.

There are two cheaper sources for ring replacement.

One is Racing Brake, which provides a 330x28mm ring

This "may work" for 328x28mm applications, according to the site. It comes with its own hardware.
Important to know is that if you have the "old style" Brembo hat, you will need to have a lip machined inside the Brembo hat, to make these fit.

Another is Stoptech. they provide a 328x28mm replacement

My understanding is that the "new style" stoptech ring does not need the Brembo hat machining. This comes with its own hardware kit.

It is important to understand that the 3 options have 3 different installation methods. If you get the method wrong, you could be in danger of loosing your brakes.

Here is a site that has several of the installation instructions

In the past there have been problems with a hybrid rotor at the track. This has been debated a lot in BMW forums.

Here is a link to an older thread that discusses this.

My understanding is that the kit shown there has been changed and now requires no machining.

Here is some info about brake pad replacements:

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 4: What to look for, when purchasing used

What to look for, when buying these used:

-Be aware that even the most expensive Brembo calipers have an oddly low quality powder coating prep job.
What I mean is that the piston boots are "painted in" (powdercoated), just like the window moldings would be in a cheap car paint job.

I thought this surely means the calipers are refinished, then watched these videos on youtube.. Look around the outer rim of the boots, you can just peek inside the calipers.

-Many kits come on the market used with crossdrilled friction rings. When new, these holes have visible chamfer on them. When the chamfer is gone, the ring is most likely at minimum thickness.

-The brake pads for this kit are quite thick when new, 15mm. So they may seem to have a lot left, when you see them used, but may have only a quarter or less life left. OEM-Brembo pads are expensive, but there are other options available.

-If you have to replace the rings, with Brembo replacements and Brembo fastening hardware, you're spending in the $750-850 range....

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 3: Finishing Installation

So I needed to be sure which way the bracket goes in, in case the treaded holes are tapered, so I don't damage them.
Turns out that as shown in the photos is the only way it will go in correctly.

Once I figured this out, I was able to torque the bolts and the brackets held fine.

I've read in a thread about D2 brakes (different brakes, similar mounting system), that an Australian had problems with the 2 hub bolts loosening at the track and what worked for him was a small amount of treadlocker blue.
Subaru does not mention any treadlocker for these 2 bolts, but maybe there is more vibration with these and they are treading into aluminum, so I used it.
Any liquid can act as a lubricant, modifying the tightening torque perceived by the torque wrench. I decided to ignore this and was fine.

Then I had to install the calipers, the caliper bolts and tighten them. These bolts are shown in the above instructions to be tightened to 80 ft lbs.
The problem is that in the instructions a different style bracket is shown, one that has studs. You're fastening steel to steel at 80 ftlb in their diagram.

I decided to apply 80 ftlb, it was fine. No treadlocker here. I was hoping to get a bit better support with this issue. I got an installation drawing but no torque confirmation.

One thing to note is that the rotor hat thickenss is smaller with the Brembos. This effectively changes the wheel offset.

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 2: Installation


The old calipers are mounted with the "bracket" outboard (bolt heads behind hub)

The Brembo bracket has to be mounted inboard, (bolt heads in front)

I've located a copy of the installation instructions here:

Now with this, the Brembo bracket will be the nut, it's aluminum and the factory torque for fastening the caliper to the upright needs to still apply.
Once I've confirmed this, I knew I have to use 59 ft lb, into an aluminum aloy piece.
The bracket is a bit weird. As you tread into it, it acts like threads may be tapered, the deeper you go, the more it locks the bolt. This is my observation, I was not able to confirm it.
I was however able to confirm the part number, which is printed nicely on it. It is the right one for my car. So whatever features they built, they meant them for my WRX.

The next thing is that the bracket is not symmetric.

You can see in the above picture that one side sticks out at the mounting points. This is how it needs to be installed.

The instructions have you remove the dust shield unless there is a 3mm rotor-shield clearance all around. In preparation to this, I've read the Subaru factory repair manual, that shows the shield not coming off unless the hub is pressed out of the upright, like for bearing replacement.

So I prepared to cut the shield out.

I found that my early '02 had a different shield, much smalled and it did not go full circle around the hub, it was half-moon style. I could have removed them, but with couple hammer blows, I've obtained the 3mm clearance and decided to keep them in place.

Brembo GT Information Source, Part 1: Intro

Brembo GT information source

I've bought a set of Brembo GT brakes for my WRX and have spent some time acquiring information.
I decided to share what I found, to make life easier for those that buy these in the future.

My set is for the front only, with 328mm, 2-piece rotors and 4-piston calipers.
The calipers are radial mount with a bracket that is bolted to the upright, behind the hub.

The calipers are the Brembo A family. These can be used for smaller size rotors, upto 328mm. Below 328 the next size down are 1-piece rotors.

In the Tire Rack product page, these are shown as front-only system, designed to work ballanced with the OEM rear brakes. I thought I have seen a foot note in one of the many Brembo online catalogs I looked at recently that disagreed.

The 328mm fit no problem under my 18" Rota Formula.

The 2-piece rotors in the Brembo GT line-up are floating rotors. Yes, rotors can be of a floating type as well. Not all 2-piece are floating.

This means that the friction ring is attached to the hat with hardware that leaves some room for both axial and radial relative motion.

Some of the following information is first hand, from my installation, some is from Race Technologies, who are Brembo's US representative and some is from internet forums, especially BMW forums.
I'll note the last source, as it's not "confirmed".

Among advantages:
more even wear, lack of distortion of hat under severe heat/expansion, weight reduction,
reduction/elimination of knock-back (this from BMW forums).

A fact:
-The 328mm kit is lighter than the smallest WRX OEM 2002 front brakes.
The rotating mass reduction is over 2 lb/wheel. The caliper is noticeably lighter too.

Monday, August 13, 2012

EJ207 ID info

[B]How to ID your EJ207[/B]
The easiest way, is to look for a white sticker, on the bottom of the left timing cover.
Then take the number there and compare it with the table that I posted the link to above, then find out what engine you have.

[B]What if the sticker is missing, or you suspect it's faked ?[/B]
You have to think for a minute. If somebody is going to fake the sticker, what would be the purpose of doing that?
Financial, to charge more money, to make the engine more desirable.

So then, there could be suspicion that an engine is not really a Spec C.
But now we know what a spec C should really be...

A spec C is for most of the part an Sti engine with a few add-on parts. If the add-on parts are there, then it's a Spec C engine, it's as simple as that. There would not be any point in adding all the spec C parts to an Sti engine, in order to fake it.
In sum: If this is not a V7 spec C, then if it has the VF36, if the ECU checks out to be a Spec C code number, if the ROM checks out to be a Spec C ROM, if it has no cruise control, then it's a spec C..
It could be a Spec C with the oil radiator option or with the no A/C as well.
Manifold for oil above the filter, instead of cooler, for the oil radiator option..

If it's a V7 spec C, you would have to acquire the knowledge of reading the codes etched on the camshafts, then pull the valve covers and ID the camshafts.
Here I will ad camshaft info.
Below for now are some specs for v8+ cams

Here is information about the clearance to deck, the distance from the top of the piston at TDC and the gasket plane, as well as compressed gasket thickness:
For V7 RA clearance is -1.5 +/- 0.5mm
For V7 Spec C clearance is -1.5 +/- 0.15mm, headgasket crushed 0.7 +/-0.2mm
For V9 clearance is -1.5 +/- 0.15mm, headgasket crushed thickness is 0.7 +/- 0.2mm
For V10, clearance is -1.5 +0.15mm to -1.5 -0.30mm, headgasket crushed thickness is 0.7 +/- 0.2mm

If it's an S engine, it has been said that there are clear maks of it having been ballanced, visible by the flywheel. The ECU carries a special sticker with a serial number, maybe that can be traced to one of the numbers on the block.. Not to mention that if the VF42 is present, odds are good that it's genuine.
Some Spec C engines do not come with an A/C compressor. This was not an option package, it was a spec C model. For a while people believed that a Spec C did not have A/C and that a Spec C type RA did have it. This is not the case, both cars were called Spec C type Ra, or in Subaru designaton RASC.
The factory created a dedicated metal belt cover, that replaces the plastic belt cover, for this engine.

Here are some photos of these.

[B]Typical tune up and replacement parts[/B]
I'm not going to go into what some people have substituted and the engine still ran. For that it's still best to ask on the EJ207 thread. This is a decision every person has to make, based on their budget and ideas.

There are a very large, majority number of parts that are the same between USDM and JDM.
There are a small number of parts that are speciffic to this engine.
Those can be bought through IAP or Japanparts.
[B]Spark plugs[/B]
Specified in the owner's manual are the NGK PFR7G with 0.7-0.8mm gap
There are some NGK that have a similar part number, but wrong gap. It has been said that attempting to re-gap these plugs results in having misfires.
The iridium equivalent of these plugs is available, it's the best choice. Get the BKR7EIX, or BKR7EIX-P, but not BKR7EIX-11.
I have seen specified for a V9 as racing use PFR8G, in the Sti catalog.
[B]Head Gaskets[/B]
The V7 gets 11044AA482/483, the same as an '02 USDM WRX EJ205.
The V8-9 gets 110AA651, not the same with any USDM gasket.
[B]Timing belt[/B]
The timing belt has a different part number than any belt sold in US. The replacement interval is at 62K miles. Coincidentally, the reinforced Sti timing belt sold here in US as the Sti pink belt, also has the replacement at 62K miles and the same part number for this belt is also specified for the EJ207.
I think that there is a mandated minimum timing belt replacement interval and that softer belts meet that, for USDM.
For higher rpm you need a more rigid belt, which in turn requires replacement more often.
So I reccomend the Sti pink belt, because by the time you buy the OEM belt from Japanparts, if you really shop the pink belt well, the prices will be similar. For probably $20 less, you can also get the reinforced belt from a different supplier: Gates, by example.
When you replace the belt, replace also the silver sticker on the right top side of the timing cover. That keeps track of belt replacements.
[B]Water pump[/B]
If you have the oil radiator option on a Spec C engine, you need to use a 2008+ WRX (non-sti) water pump, it's the proper part number.
For the regular setup, a 2005 USDM water pump is good for V8 and 9.
V7 has a part number not found in US. Check the thread for substitutions.
[B]Accessory belts[/B]
I just took of mine, walked to the parts counter at the dealer and bought identical replacements. If you have the no A/C  Spec C engine, this may be a bit different.
It's the same part number as for the USDM GDB WRX & STI
[B]Coil Packs[/B]
V7 get the USDM WRX 2.0 coil packs for '02, the rest get the '05 WRX ones.

[B]Twinscroll wastegate actuator[/B]
The stock actuator is rated at 12.3 PSI.
I will expand this later
If you finished the swap, turn the key and before trying to start, the check engine light does not come up, the fuel pump does not prime, you may have an immobilized ECU
[B]Final notes[/B]
Once the swap is in, get yourself familiar with logging and start checking the parameters of your engine BEFORE you start driving around.
Odds are, you will need a tune to get your engine within safety, to protect your investment.
[COLOR="DarkGreen"]As far as the fueling, Subaru decided to settle the urban legend of the "JDM Super-fuel", by printing in the 2015 BRZ Owner's manual that the JDM Octane rating of 98 RON is one and the same with the USDM octane rating of 93 AKI.
This has been a looong-running urban legend and it took a lot of time posting, researching, to bring this to light.
It is important to note that tuning wise, that which applies to the EJ257, timing-wise, is not one and the same with an EJ207.
This can be easily seen, by comparing the timing tables of a JDM EJ257 (as seen in the Sti A-line), with the JDM EJ207 timing table.
The 207 needs its timing, to shine.
Adjustments need to be done based on your mods and surely if you can't fuel 93 AKI.
If you don't know much about tuning and wish to understand what your tuner did to the timing of your EJ207, look at the torque curve, on the dyno.
Take a 2004 V8 Spec C engine:
From the factory it's rated at 304 ftlb. Now, we know that the torque rating is not crank/wheels, but only one value, corrected to the engine.
Say that your dyno results are 320WHP but 280 Ftlb.
This means that your tuner gave you less torque than the factory, they tuned your engine down. If the fuel quality is the problem (you can't fuel 93 AKI), then this is the explanation.
A timing-rich tune often yields dyno results where the torque number is higher than the WHP number. This is how you ID your tune.
Some tuners will give JDM fuel rating as a reason for removing the timing from your engine, then will bring up reliability concerns.
The overwhelming tuning method is the boost based tuning.
The factory did a timing based tuning and many tuners remove this.
Building on top of the factory tuning is also an idea, something I always had an interest in and worked on.[/COLOR]
Here is a link to the 207 owners thread.
Here is a link to the twinscroll stock location upgrade thread.
Newer Twinscroll turbos from GRB body '08+: VF49, 53, 56 are backwards compatible with V8, 9 engines