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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All.
I know this has been covered many times before but I just wanted to document my journey to being boosted here. So bear with me as I indulge myself in my dream as it becomes a reality. My car is a 2003 IBP IS300 manual that I have owned since new. It currently has 166,000 miles on it. So my boosted project is going to be done in 3 stages. Motor, Turbo, Transmission. I will post my direction on each stage and if you guys have some meaningful input I am all ears. My goal is a 450hp, pump gas, daily driver with OEM reliability. So here it goes.


I will be rebuilding the GE that is in the car with the following parts
CP Pistons and rings
Eagle Rods
ACL bearings
OEM gasket set
Metal Head Gaset 1.6mm
New water pump
New timing/tensioner belt
ARP headbolt/studs
Machine work on block
Mishimoto radiator

Turbo
T4 GT35R
Tial BOV
FMIC with custom piping
Tbolt clamps
Injector set
Custom Intake manifold
Tial wastegate recirculated
Stainless steel downpipe
Stainless steel midpipe
Fuel line/regulator/ walbro pump
oil line/feed and drain
AEM wideband
Greddy Profec boost controller

Transmission
I would love to do the AR5 swap but the threads are too difficult to understand exactly what is needed. If someone could chime in here I would greatly appreciate it.

If not I have an R154 on standby.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
These are just in.
 

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The better option is to run a stock GE gasket and then the appropriate compression piston. At most, a GTE gasket (1.2mm). Ideally, you would have the .030 lip shaved off of the stock GE head and then use a GTE gasket with the correct compression pistons.

The extra thick gasket coupled with the .030 lip on the head results in a less than ideal squish / quench band.
 

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I also don't see anything about engine management.

What are your power goals?

edit: n/m, I see the power goal now.

A lot of that stuff is way overkill for your goals. For instance, the money spent on the pistons/rods would be well better spent towards a standalone, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mitsuguy I will talk with my engine builder about the GTE gasket. Thanks for the info. As far as overkill that is my goal. I want to overbuild the engine 1) This is my daily driver and I need it to be OEM reliability. I don't want any of the components to be close to their performance limits. 2) If I decide to increase my goal in the future I don't want to have to build it again. As far as engine management that is still undecided. I am looking at either the MAP ECU or Apexi AFC Neo. I am open to other suggestions if anyone has some. I want to go piggy back for a couple of reasons: 1) I need to be able to get it to pass OBD2 testing. 2) I don't want to loose my immobilizer function. 3) I need it to run well in these stupid winters we have here. If I decide to go higher in my HP goal I will consider a stand alone.
Thanks
 

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If you want to go piggyback and keep all your stock functions I would go with a Greddy E-Manage Ultimate. I have that setup on my car and its been great so far. Also get the Greddy pressure sensor so the EMU can see boost, and the A/F meter so you can hook up your wideband to it.

The only downside is that since there's so many better options out there, not many shops want to touch the EMU. It might be hard trying to find a tuner if you're not tuning it yourself.

In my opinion, with the parts list you have you should just go full standalone to take advantage of everything. For a close to stock setup the Greddy EMU is great, but for all the money you spent on everything else why leave everything in the hands of a piggyback.

ProEFI and the AEM Infinity are good options, of course it won't pass obdii inspection but I've heard plenty of good things about both systems even in areas with extreme climate changes.
 

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GTE internals, AEM Infinity.

That's all I'm sayin
This.

You can, with a little effort, get a car to pass OBD2 emissions with a standalone. I have a number of tricks that can be done to make it work.

You can't say in the same sentence that you don't want to have to do it again or be close to its performance limits. Any piggyback is a gigantic fail with what you just said.

GTE internals, or, like I did, high compression GE non-vvti internals are good for 800 whp without much drama. The key to keeping ANYTHING together is the tune and having the capabilities to tune it well. I know of a half dozen people with engine problems and all thought they would be just fine on their piggybacks.

Lose your immobilizer function? When you wire in a relay for your fuel pump, just hide a simple toggle switch in line with the relay trigger wire. Works just as good.

26 degrees, e85 (tested 83% ethanol), cold start. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JytE6CEh68w
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I appreciate the information. I would be interested In knowing the tricks you have for passing emissions. I agree that the tune plays a huge part in the reliability of the system. As I said I still havent decided on engine management yet so the more info the better for me. I am still leaning towards the piggyback. I see a lot of people say go stand alone but they dont give real reasons why. Just saying it is better is not enough for me. I need specifics as to why it is better for what I am trying to build. For example I have heard that the AEM is really good but what us really good about it. Not being argumentative I am just trying to get some information. On a side note the car just got dropped off at the builder yesterday. They will be pulling the motor and transmission soon. Aem wideband came in yesterday too.
 

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Having self tuned a piggyback by myself I can say it's probably more difficult to tune than a standalone. It took me 2 weeks to read up about the system and get my car running. Even then the base tune wasn't enough, you have to datalog the fuel trims with a obdii scanner and adjust fuel to keep the stock ecu happy. Even now I'm still datalogging and fine tuning it after 4 month.

Also keep in mind a piggyback will only alter signals from the stock ECU so it will never be precise as a standalone. I do plan to switch over to standalone whenever I don't daily the IS300 anymore, but until then I'll just stick with my piggyback.
 

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So OP, you need to decide on EMS? Its a big one.

Tuning a piggyback is like having to work with two parties/groups of people to get a project done. Imagine your in a meeting and you have one group- say the engineers (the piggyback) with a design goal in mind (boost- fuel, timing, power), and at the other end of the table there are program people/bean counters with the goals from corporate that common sense from the engineers is not allowed to trump (OE ECU)- its march or die. Your in the middle trying to make the overall goal (say making a new model of smart phone) work out, both parties getting their goals met (say engineers want X speed and performance, removable memory, Y battery life etc) and bean counters want it done with only a certain SOC supplier, costs below what supports X speed and memory options etc. IMO it gets into a game of trickery and compromise that requires a thorough understanding of both parties- where they are coming from, whats reasonably possible.

Put this analogy into the Piggy and standalone conversation, and with the piggy- a) you need to know what are normal signals-- get an OBDII logger and get to know your car before even modding it. Understand that our ECU is more like two ECUs, Siamese twins of ECUs if you will- when manipulating exhaust streams, o2 sensor locations and count, etc, it can get really messy when the o2 reports things that make either ECU change things per their programming and it starts to seem un-tuneable. b) the OE ECU is on your side, it wants to run good N/A timing, it watches the OE knock sensors, it wants to run good air fuels for an N/A setup. Help it do it's job and it won't throw much of a fuss- compensate for larger injectors correctly, put the MAF in an optimal location, plumb things with sensor performance in mind, don't use 20 year old nasty a$$ injectors that have a piss stream for atomization etc.

It can be really hard, but tuning a standalone can be really hard too, its a very relative term. IMO I can take off tuning a piggy faster than a standalone, as IMO a standalone requires a lot of attention to operate as if you have an OE ECU. In fact IMO there should be two types of people you take your standalone to, a calibrator, then a tuner-- or a tuner that clearly demonstrates a strength in calibration. I think the ease people find in standalones is the brute force of it-- you don't have to worry about the OE ECU- just brute force ignition and fuel control and for many (the many that do not continue to refine their setup, just slap a standalone on and throw it at some hack tuner in their town), live with odd idles, weird VVTi powerbands, inconsistent tune with weather changes etc- which is far more liveable and likely more reliable than a badly tuned piggy setup.

I'll concede I ran into a 2001 EMU setup that somehow, someway, had a "slippery" tune that the band-aid was the all famous reset relay. In my defense I didn't get to spend more time on it to play with some more ideas.
 

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BlackSportD is pretty much right on point.

Not all tuners are created equal, and that is the biggest issue with standalones not working well. That doesn't mean a poor tuner will do any better with a piggyback, however.

Having used both over the past 13+ years, there is no way I will ever go back to a piggyback, and I pretty much refuse to work on someones car with a piggyback. As low cost and ease of accessibility as standalones are today, I see no reason not to utilize the far superior tuning power of one.

A modern standalone such as AEM V2 (running 2v.02 firmware), AEM Infinity, Proefi, even Megasquirt, all have engine protection schemes that protect from things like overboost, knock, lean out, coolant temp, oil pressure/oil temp and more. Once set up, these protection schemes allow a user to pretty much ignore gauges and focus on driving. It's pretty amazing. I'm not saying you don't need gauges, but in a car that makes some real power, it is all but impossible to even glance at more than one gauge and keep your eyes on the road or track.
 

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I think I went down a rabbit whole with that analogy haha.

That doesn't mean a poor tuner will do any better with a piggyback, however.
x2, if anything if they are not good with a standalone, they will be worse on a piggy IMO.

Modern standalones are pretty awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well here is the latest update. The radiator, motor, transmission, driveshaft, and exhaust are out and the wide band and boost controller came in. The motor should be coming apart today.
 

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Well here is the latest update. The radiator, motor, transmission, driveshaft, and exhaust are out and the wide band and boost controller came in. The motor should be coming apart today.
Congratulations are in order!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Motor is apart and the block is being cleaned and decked. Valve seals being redone and head cleaned. The valve covers are off to the powdercoaters. Motor looked really good for 166,000+ miles. There were a few oil leaks but that is to be expected. Radiator, radiator hose, steel braided brake lines, and caliper rebuild kits are in. A new AC condenser is on order. The old one is on its last leg. Clutch and flywheel are in. Lots of pictures below.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
For some reason i can't post pictures. Maybe they are too big. I will have to find a way to resize them.
 
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