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Thread: So you've bought youself a JDM twin turbo eh?

  1. #31
    I picked up a 1997 GTB in New York State about a month ago and have been getting a few things done to it before winter. This is the best information I have been able to find on any forum about our cars.

    So far I replaced the primary VF20 turbo, sourced a brand new unit from Compact Motorsports (NZ).
    Installed a urethane pitch stop mount
    Fitted aftermarket 02 WRX wagon suspension while I get the Bilsteins rebuilt
    Will be installing Whiteline bushings all around this weekend
    Will be fitting a GFB T9220 diverter/atmospheric valve also

    I do have a couple of questions. My car is an automatic which is meh at best with the VoD. Would doing a MT conversion be beneficial enough just to use the vehicle as a DD? I would be fine doing a “simple” 5spd swap and not searching for crazy power if that will make the crossover from 1 to 2 turbos less pronounced. Otherwise I will probably do a single turbo conversion of some sort along with a 6spd MT swap.

    The other is that my car came fitted with the STi front strut brace and an STi badge above the glovebox, does this badge signify any differences about my car? A vin search didn’t tell me anything special other than being a less common spec. The strut brace also only attaches to two of the top mount studs, which I found odd compared to others I have seen photos of.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. #32
    Dirt Tech / Vendor Reuben's Avatar
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    That badge actually belongs to no car, only way to get them was buy buying them in dealerships, to my knowledge. But no, there was no STi 2nd gen, only generation to not get an STi or tuned by STi model, making just regular *manual* GTB’s the closest you could get. Manual GTB’s have a few components in common with V3/4 STi’s, including cams, and transmission, and bits in common with 20K’s like the yellow injectors and orange MAF, larger throttle body. Auto GTB’s have none of that sadly, their common single turbo equiv is the smooth cover 20G’s from V3/4 WRX wagons/autos.

    The STi front strut brace is neat though, that was the STi catalogue part for your car, very neat and relatively rare. Not to be confused with the similar impreza one that’s not rare at all, so def be proud of that piece! I looked for one for years in NZ, never found one, so had to import one from japan.

    Also sadly i must inform you that autos have the lesser vod. And the TCU’s know how to shift to avoid it most the time, unlike our manual driving simian hind brains.

    And last bit of bad news (gee not good for you this post). But to my knowledge manual swapping and retaining TT is not possible, unless you had a full manual facelift GT donor car to use the loom out of. As the facelift auto GT/GTB’s used an intergrated ECU/TCU deal, where the TCU is in the ECU, and so theres an aweful mess of wiring going to a singular ECU plug not common with any other car. You can manual convert without a donor loom, but you would do it by using a standalone like link or haltech, and you’d be forced to single convert, as no standalone does TT. Not even haltech, who said to another member that they do, and once said member had bought it, and gone to set it up, found that the haltech rep was talking out his ass. They had their wires crossed so to speak, the haltech did indeed plug into his manual 3-plug loom, since its common with V3/4, but the rep had no idea that the TT has an additional 7 solenoids and sensors you need to control very specifically.

    So long story short, if you want a manual, VOD will be worse, and to get it you need to buy a manual GTB.

    Sorry im posting this from my phone where ive disabled autocorrect cause its just gone insane, so theres probably a few errors in there ������
    Single turbo conversion, "How to" can be found here
    JDM 1998 BG Legacy GTB Limited, EJ20K STi swapped
    JDM 1990 BC Legacy Ti type S, EJ25D swapped
    JDM 1995 BG Legacy 250T, EJ20D swapped
    JDM 1989 BC VZ-R, Stock - Dead now

  3. #33
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    At least I can say the strut brace is cool!

    I really like how much character the TT has, it was part of my reason for getting the car. It is hard to get a clear picture of how the car runs. It was clearly very neglected in its first 25 years. The cold start piston slap isn’t as bad as my 9-2x Aero had but that car was pushing 260k kms. What it seems like is that the car doesn’t boost properly until I’ve done a fair bit of highway driving, I’ve yet to connect a boost gauge to see what’s going on.

    Telling myself that if the engine blows up then I’ll have to make a decision on what to put in it.
    If I were going to manual swap and try to retain TT I had expected I would need to find a full bulkhead harness as well. I think if I found a full front cut of a manual GTB that would be the most straight forward way. I did find a NOS harness available but the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

    I’ll admit It does sound like stand-alone and single twin scroll turbo is the way to go, just a shame to lose some of the quirky character of the car.

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