This car has come a long way. From its beginnings in Boston to the heat of Central Texas, its traveled a lot of miles. It flipped 191k this week while I was running 100 mph. People can't believe how old it is. People wouldn't believe this was possible. "Professional" builders and tuners only saw instant failure. "You'll blow the motor", "The computer won't run it", "You'll fail".
I wasn't concerned for the engine. The EZ30 is a tough son of a bitch. Its an aircraft engine put on 4 wheels and a cage wrapped around it. I knew the engine could take it. My concern was the management. Sure, I could have put the engine in anything else. I could have done the norm and just modified an STI. Where's the fun in that? Instead I have a top of the line Subaru Outback VDC with all the systems working that puts out, at the date of this post, 286 WHP. Go anywhere and get there faster. That's what some of us want. That's what some of us get. As long as we don't listen to the negative hype and bullshit spewed from the mouths of internet junkies that believe everything they read without actually researching what they've read.
So far, the ones who worked on my ECM are spread out in different countries, all communicating via e-mail, texting, WhatsApp, etc.. Each have varying levels of expertise and experience. A couple of them haven't even communicated with the others at all, but had access to the work at hand. What started out as an impossible venture has become a great accomplishment to these people. Each one has a piece of this car in them. They stepped outside the box they were in and extended their efforts to make it work. Everyone learned something from this. A lot of beliefs changed.
Tim at Raptor had first responded to me that he didn't think it would work with this car. After looking at several builders of turbos and superchargers, I kept at him. Because he makes a great product and he's always working to improve on it, I wanted to know who he knew could possibly help out.
Tuners were contacted all over the world. No one wanted to touch it. They believed the ECM was not capable of running the engine. Months of emails to people who purported knowledge and skill in Subaru, Nissan and Mitsubishi ECM tuning and engine building would either have a negative response or none at all. "Delete - Trash". Don't need you.
Here comes Ed from XRT. He believes he can make it work and is willing to try. Off we go. 3 reflashes that worked and my car is in the works for good. Ed worked long hours on this ROM and treated it as if it was his own car. I liked that. I treat every customer's car I touch as its my own and I expect it from others. Its a quality that's hard to find but it shows where the heart is. Weeks go by, issues pop up, Ed is still there, patient, Tim is biting his nails and I keep telling them, it'll work. Maxed out the tune as far as possible and left the car leaning out above 5500 rpm until someone figured out what to do about the MAP sensor issue.
10 months later, here's another Ed from Fast Performance Tuning (I still chuckle. If these two Eds ever get together in the same room, you may think they're twins. Not by looks, but in the way they work and take responsibility for what they do. I'd bet once they start talking to each other, the conversation may not end.) Ed has an idea that no one thought about up to his entry in this chore. Change the MAP sensor. Duh. Why the **** didn't we think of it prior? Because all the cars have always been tuned with OEM equipment. But this is speed density and the voltage is the key. Rescaling the OEM sensor was out of the question, so from Ed #2, change the sensor, problem solved. Well, close. I still think the ECM is criss crossing absolute and relative pressures and the values are off (I have another ECM on standby). But, its enough to "Tune this thing", as Ed puts it. He put a lot of hours into this ECM also.
We all got input from different people this last year concerning its programming. It would seem its been a worldwide venture. US, Australia, Nederlands, Barbados, S. Africa, Canada and different engineers in varying countries in Europe.
It seems this car wants to make people work. Don't come at it with preconceived notions that it can be tamed easily or you'll just trick it. No. It toys with you. Makes you think you're in control of it, then BAM, "Who's your daddy?". Not that way, try again. Headaches, cuts, bruises, high blood pressure, late nights with pencil and paper, research, math, math and more math. So many equations working at once. And its not just the engine. I'm still working towards drivetrain components that will hold the engine and trans in the car. It wants to jump out and go. (Look closely at the video, you'll see. When the car lifts, the engine keeps lifting. It needs the car to keep up. Its like the dog that pulls on the leash. Come one!!! Lets go!!)
But it still drives normal. Smooth. I don't take it at high speeds all the time. Its a cruiser. Its comfortable and sounds great. It has an excellent stereo system and the AC is perfect. The ride is perfect. And when the itch comes to take it to the limit, its ready. When I'm driving down the expressway and that kid in the Mustang 5.0 slows for a double take and taunts, all I do is floor it and watch it in the mirror as I leave it behind. You know what I'm talking about, but its not just that a wagon just outran a plastic Ford. Its the instant rumble, the push back in the seat, the feel of the car accelerating and the small rise in blood pressure that gives you what you want. Its the heartbeat of the engine racing with yours.
That's why you build it. That's why you work at it. That's why you drive it. Its you and you become a part of it.
I can't thank these guys enough, really. Ed, Ed, Tim, guys from the RR forum I haven't met, the few tuners that stepped in to help where they could from outside the immediate circle and locals that kept cheering me on.
We'll see if we can push it further. I still have a delivery from Tim I'm waiting on. Not sure exactly what its going to accomplish, but he says I'll like it. Its only a couple weeks behind. (hint, hint Tim