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Honest review X47 turbo

jeff

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#1
What's up folks.

Thought I’d share some thoughts, we have a great X47 thread elsewhere but I’m putting everything here in one long post to give others a no BS review from a skeptic. Also included will be some install pointers, part lists, etc. I spent hours researching before this upgrade so here you have all my 411 in one convenient place. Hope it helps some folks considering this turbo.

This fall when the weather is cooler with less humidity (it’s in the 90s here with near 100% humidity down here in Georgia now…Walking Dead weather…) I’m driving to TopSpeed in Atlanta to get a real dyno. Once I do I’ll post for sure.

Here we go.

[wrenchin]

WHY X47 WHEN I SWORE AGAINST IT FOR A YEAR?
Some of you might remember I argued strongly for the merits of a stock turbo setup for my first year of ownership, citing the donkey kick personality of the car as reason to keep the stocker. My previous build (STi 297/337) was big turbo power and I was so enjoying the “slow car feels fast” contrast with the FiST that I thought going cyborg/big turbo wasn’t for me.

However the truth is after 18 months of ownership I began to accept that my car was slow and could barely keep up with a Camry. So I began reading the turbo upgrade forums and considering. The deal was sealed when a local FiST owner [MENTION=4142]SwAp GaS[/MENTION]) was selling his X47 and a few other parts. He graciously offered to guide the install (he ended up doing most of it while I tried to keep up) which sealed the deal. I had to sell my hammered dulcimer and a few other things since I only buy mods cash, but I was able to quickly scrape together the money and it all worked out well for me.

HARDWARE ADDED?
For this install, coming from a custom-tuned car with the bolt-ons (CAI, big mouth, CBE, FMIC), I added a catted downpipe, WGA, one step colder plugs, and a ported manifold. Had I done my research I’d have also added the GoFastBits DV+ diverter valve, but I didn’t. One is on the way and will be installed soon.

PARTS LIST?
Here it is all in one place…it’s a bit confusing because as Daniel and I discovered on install, even with 2 2015 FiSTs the hardware is different. His car had an earlier build date and had turbo to downpipe studs/nuts, while mine had a later build date and had turbo to downpipe bolts. Luckily I noticed that both parts were called for so I bought them both.

Here is a complete parts list which ran me $111 at the dealer (much cheaper than anywhere online, I checked):
BM5Z-9448-A
Manifold Gasket, qty. 1

W702586-S437
Catalytic Converter M8 Stainless Steel Manifold Nut, qty. 6

W715309-S300
Manifold Stud, qty. 6

AM5Z-9450-A
Catalytic Converter Gasket aka Downpipe to turbo gasket, qty. 1

4R8Z-6N652-A
Oil Outlet Tube Gasket aka Oil feed line gasket, qty. 1

BM5Z-9450-A
Turbocharger Gasket aka Turbo to manifold gasket, qty. 1

W711242-S300
Turbocharger to Downpipe Stud, qty. 3

W715974-S300
Turbocharger to Downpipe Nut, qty. 3

W715681-S900
Turbo to Downpipe bolt, qty. 3

The last 3 items are the ones you’ll need one or the other – either the studs/nuts or the bolts. My car needed the bolts.

There are 9 manifold studs/nuts, I got only 6 as I figured all 9 wouldn't break. None did. But I got 6 for insurance.

I’d recommend ordering several weeks in advance. Luckily my dealer got me everything in 2 days. I went ahead and replaced most everything but you don’t necessarily need every part there; I could have re-used most of the gaskets and some of the nuts/studs. I did have a few things leftover but only because they weren’t needed, but did use most of the parts. I’ll probably recover $11 of the above bringing my parts total to $100ish.

INSTALL?
As mentioned above a good man named Daniel offered to help install; little did I know he moves at light speed and is a perfectionist. I think he’s swapped his own turbo maybe 5 times now so he was able, with me assisting with minor stuff, to do the entire job in 6 hours start to finish, including swapping the stock downpipe. Maybe that’s why his username has “swap” in it. Anyhow, here are a few things I'd share:

A, Have all the right tools especially the 10mm ratcheting wrench.
B, Spray everything in advance…my car has 18,000 miles and except for one DP/CBE bolt which broke, every single bolt/nut came off easily.
C, Clamp the water line and you won’t lose much coolant.
D, Put as much as you can back on the turbo before reinstalling, life will be easier.
E, The manifold heat shield believe it or not was the only thing that was a hang up. It sort of has to be bent a bit to remove, then bent again to replace. Seating the bolts was a challenge since it was a bit distorted but eventually all was well.
F, You might think I'm crazy but I pray about most things in my life and asked God to bless this install, and it was super smooth and fun, so remember like MC Hammer said you've got to pray just to make it today.

Again really I can’t comment too much as Daniel did most of the work. I’ve swapped a number of headers and a turbo in the past once. I could have done this probably over a weekend by myself but I’d be bleeding and cussing by the end. I don’t think one cuss word was uttered during the install. It’s good to have good help!

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS?
Simply put, the car drives like stock (stock meaning stock turbo with full bolt-ons and custom tune) except now instead of dying off around 4,500-5,000rpms, it gets stronger. So the torque comes on differently. On stock turbo I’d shift around 5,000, now I shift closer to redline. The car is much faster. I bet it would pull 4 or 5 car lengths on an exit ramp if I could race my car with stock turbo. With the hot weather and humidity in Georgia now, plus the ECU still learning (only about 50 miles on final tune), I’m sure there is more to come. On stock turbo the fun gears were 2 and 3; now they are 3 and 4. I’m considering getting another tune tweak (slot 3 – the “wife tune”) for my wife so when she drives the car she doesn’t have to feather the throttle. So full power everywhere except in 1st and 2nd gear where power is limited so the tires don’t spin. Then 2nd will be fun again, and more easily useable. The thing about flooring it in 3rd all the time is that by the time you are happily at redline and feeling the power you are doing 80+mph, and there aren't many places to do that safely and legally.

After one tank of gas, MPG is unchanged. Still getting 31-32 around town. I drive like grandma though when I’m not logging.

There are new noises; with all the parts I added that is expected. The CP-E intake was already a bit loud. The new setup added some nice midrange to the exhaust. Also present is the X47 whistle at 3,000rpm-ish which is pretty jazzy. I am getting some low-rev venting sound (a Gb note for all you musicians) which I hope to eliminate once I install my GFB DV+. It’s very subtle but I hear everything. Doesn’t affect performance, just a noise I’d like to not hear.

In terms of traction and torque steer, as many have said 1st and 2nd are useless beyond about 50% throttle. There isn’t torque steer because there is too much power to torque the car; the tires just spin like crazy instead. I might get a 6-pt brace to replace my 2-pt brace, I’ve read that that helps. Also when my stock tires die I’m putting Federal 595 RSRs on the car which might help.

A few Vdynos are below. One compares stock to X47. The second is a collection of runs on the final tune revisions. Vdyno is a great tool but it is totally unreliable. Some folks think it’s a good “apples to apples” control test but I don’t believe that anymore. Some of the logs I took were hours apart (20 degree difference in temp resulted in big hp/tq changes) but some of them were only a few minutes apart on the exact same road and still there is significant discrepancy. So all this is just for fun. Like I said above I’ll be getting a dyno done later this fall when it’s cooler, it will be a few months but I’ll post here whenever I do.

Car is running on Shell 93 octane. I’m expecting around 280/290.

CONCLUSION
Well, I swore by the stock turbo and here I am. In the end, the car isn't really that much more fun around town during everyday driving. The reason for this is the power change is one that you experience after 40mph, hence all the videos Ishmael did from "40 roll..." on YouTube. However this is a great upgrade if you want some real power for those stretches of road that you can use it. The personality of the FiST is such a unique one; this upgrade puts it in a whole different category because now you have that fierce little scrappy package with a big surprise when power is needed. I'm pretty sure as it is now the car could keep up with some real sports cars fairly well until around 80mph. Most of us probably bought the FiST because we liked the spunky nature of the car. Well, this upgrade puts turns it up to 11 and makes the car feel like it's on steroids. It just goes way faster than a 1.6 liter car that weighs 2,700 pounds should. It's really insane. Whether or not I can pull ahead of car X or not, the fact that I can challenge a V8 pulling onto the interstate is a mighty accomplishment. So the car goes from "the slow car you can drive fast" to "the formerly slow car that now really is way faster than it should be". The X47 upgrade takes that personality of the car we all know and love and takes it to a new level. It's gone from the Rocky in Rocky 1 (underdog that we all know won't win but gives his best) to the Rocky in Rocky IV (underdog that we all know won't win but does win). Bad analogy, the first movie was much better...but in this case I really feel that the car as it is now, like it was in stock form, is still a true winner. And considering that you can get a used FiST right now for $15,000 and put about $3,000-$5,000 into it depending on parts (new/used/brand...with Vargas and MRX around many are selling X series soon...) to get to this level of performance, it's easily among the most economical and probably most fun options out there if you want a giant killer.

*****

Thanks for reading.

Pics of Vdynos:
Hosted on Fotki
Hosted on Fotki

Pics of turbo install and other fun:
Hosted on Fotki
Hosted on Fotki
Hosted on Fotki
Hosted on Fotki
Hosted on Fotki

[party][party][party][party][party]
 
Last edited:

BronxBomber

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#4
Hate the vdyno on 93 oct or e-30?
 
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jeff

jeff

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Thread Starter #5
Hate the vdyno on 93 oct or e-30?
93, sorry forgot to list that, I added it in post 1.

The average of my logs (I've taken a bunch more) is about 270hp/280tq. But that's in the heat and humidity in 3rd gear. I think once the weather is cool and it dynos in 4th gear I'll be around 280hp/290tq.

Or maybe more!
 

BronxBomber

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Thanks for the info.[like]
 

BronxBomber

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I'm trying to find a combo of good power on pump and decent spool. Don't want to go down the aux fuel route and our fuel pumps limit power on e30 so it would be nice to get as close to 300 whp as possible on 93. Also price is a consideration otherwise I would've gone DHM a while ago. Good luck with the X-47 and look forward to seeing your dyno results.
 

BronxBomber

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Btw, do you have e-85 available to you? Just curious if you had any plans to tune on E-30. I'd be curious to see what numbers you come up with on e-30. One last question@jeff. Didn't see who did your tuning?
 

BronxBomber

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Oops. Forget it. I saw it was Adam on your build page.
 
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jeff

jeff

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Btw, do you have e-85 available to you? Just curious if you had any plans to tune on E-30. I'd be curious to see what numbers you come up with on e-30. One last question@jeff. Didn't see who did your tuning?
No e-85 for 45 miles...I considered it because I know there's another 15-20hp there but until we get a station I'm not going to, too much work lugging all that gas around if I purchase it out of town. Plus the E30 tune hurts mpg pretty significantly and I'm not sure that I want to lose any mpgs.

Yes Adam is my tuner. He did a great job once again for this upgrade, answered all my questions, got me 5 tunes in 10 days and that includes a weekend so really it was 5 tunes in 8 days.

Props to [MENTION=3805]Tune+[/MENTION]
 

shouldbeasy

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No e-85 for 45 miles...I considered it because I know there's another 15-20hp there but until we get a station I'm not going to, too much work lugging all that gas around if I purchase it out of town. Plus the E30 tune hurts mpg pretty significantly and I'm not sure that I want to lose any mpgs.

Yes Adam is my tuner. He did a great job once again for this upgrade, answered all my questions, got me 5 tunes in 10 days and that includes a weekend so really it was 5 tunes in 8 days.

Props to [MENTION=3805]Tune+[/MENTION]
Holy balls that's fast. I think I would get 1 tune in 8 days from Alex@Stratified.

When a friend was considering big turbo or really, any alternatives to the stock turbo I told him that when I bought my X-47 it was under the pretense that I wasn't going to change the driving dynamic of the car so much that it wasn't what I originally purchased. I needed to keep that low lag and quick spooling turbo for the giggle factor when driving around town but wanted to add something up top where the stock option died off. If you end up going big turbo I feel the driving dynamics of the FiST change so much that it's not as enjoyable to daily drive - and really, these are daily drivers for the most part.

Great review and I'm happy that you're happy - kinda knew it would end up with you smiling at the end, I can't help but boost to the moon every time I go drive the FiST. I can't wait to get to some serious corners with this thing! Might be time to look for super sticky tires dedicated to mountain carving and stick them on my super light Motegi wheels...
 
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jeff

jeff

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Holy balls that's fast. I think I would get 1 tune in 8 days from Alex@Stratified.

When a friend was considering big turbo or really, any alternatives to the stock turbo I told him that when I bought my X-47 it was under the pretense that I wasn't going to change the driving dynamic of the car so much that it wasn't what I originally purchased. I needed to keep that low lag and quick spooling turbo for the giggle factor when driving around town but wanted to add something up top where the stock option died off. If you end up going big turbo I feel the driving dynamics of the FiST change so much that it's not as enjoyable to daily drive - and really, these are daily drivers for the most part.

Great review and I'm happy that you're happy - kinda knew it would end up with you smiling at the end, I can't help but boost to the moon every time I go drive the FiST. I can't wait to get to some serious corners with this thing! Might be time to look for super sticky tires dedicated to mountain carving and stick them on my super light Motegi wheels...
Yeah Adam is great and [MENTION=4300]Alex@Stratified[/MENTION] is a pretty awesome guy too. He did a few tunes for me, back when Strat was the first to bring adjustable traction control PLUS they offered crackles and pops, so I got their base tune + log review and one revision for those features. Alex was great! At the time on stock turbo I had tunes from both tuners and swapped between them depending on the need and feeling of the day.
 
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jeff

jeff

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I am getting some low-rev venting sound (a Gb note for all you musicians) which I hope to eliminate once I install my GFB DV+. It’s very subtle but I hear everything. Doesn’t affect performance, just a noise I’d like to not hear.
I'll add another thought to my review...

Low-rev venting sound was completely eliminated after adding my GFB DV+ today.
 
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I'll add another thought to my review...

Low-rev venting sound was completely eliminated after adding my GFB DV+ today.
Mine with the dv+ makes a pppeewww sound at low rpms lol. Really only hear it with the Windows down
 
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jeff

jeff

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Another thought/insight needed...this evening (150 miles in) my hot side (passenger) charge pipe popped off while cruising. It's back on tight but might come off again...anyone had this happen with the stocker? Guess this is another part I should have replaced with this upgrade...time to research hard charge pipe(s).
 

koozy

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Another thought/insight needed...this evening (150 miles in) my hot side (passenger) charge pipe popped off while cruising. It's back on tight but might come off again...anyone had this happen with the stocker? Guess this is another part I should have replaced with this upgrade...time to research hard charge pipe(s).
A sign that the motor is moving. Consider harder motor mounts/bushings. You can also upgrade that clamps to t-bolt or constant tension.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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jeff

jeff

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Intercooler pipe seems to be holding after second clamp added at each joint.

Another thought I will add. I said earlier that with stock turbo second and third were fun and now with X47 third and fourth were the fun gears. So yesterday I had Cobb traction control added to my tune. The slip multiplier is on the one setting as default and second gear is fun again. I no longer have to feather the throttle. The traction control works great and I would say is a necessary addition to your tune if you don't want to be spinning your tires in second gear all the time. Traction control takes the thinking out of it especially with the weather changing and different road conditions which would make throttle input different each time when trying to control traction issues.

Second gear is fun again, and useable for WOT on on ramps and other scenarios.
 
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So how much did it cost you all-in? Including tuning, tools, labor, parts, gaskets, shipping and core. I know you said $3-5k in the first post, but that is a big range. Also, it seems you have done the upgrade the "right" way (as in you took no shortcuts). I think if you had a more accurate estimate of the total cost, then it would be easier for me (and maybe others) to decide if and/or when we can go upgraded turbo.

Thanks,
Matt
 
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jeff

jeff

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So how much did it cost you all-in? Including tuning, tools, labor, parts, gaskets, shipping and core. I know you said $3-5k in the first post, but that is a big range. Also, it seems you have done the upgrade the "right" way (as in you took no shortcuts). I think if you had a more accurate estimate of the total cost, then it would be easier for me (and maybe others) to decide if and/or when we can go upgraded turbo.

Thanks,
Matt
I suppose I'd break it down into two categories - there is a list of stuff you definitely need, and a second list of stuff that's optional but probably needed if you want to maximize the upgrade. I think 80-90% of the power gain could be achieved without the second list for about half the total money spent. In my case I'd already bought most of the stuff in list two (optional) long before I decided to upgrade the turbo, so it didn't matter.

DEFINITELY NEED
$403 Cobb AP/RMM, used
$385 Cobb FMIC, used
$325 Tune + lifetime tune
$280 Cobb DP, used
$900 X47/elbow, used 2,000 miles
$68 Ford gaskets/studs/nuts/etc. all new
$2,361 TOTAL

So in my case I saved a good bit of money on the above seeing that it was used. Labor cost nothing as I did everything myself except the turbo swap, and a friend led the way there.

POSSIBLY OPTIONAL
$370 CP-E CAI, new
$628 Mountune exhaust, new
$36 exhaust hangers Cobb, new
$140 Tune + WGA, new
$150 Big mouth snorkel, new
$200 ported manifold, used
$44 plugs, new
$133 GFB DV+, new
$1,701 TOTAL

So roughly $4000 total spent here with many used parts, no install costs, and some stuff that really wasn't necessary for the upgrade.
 

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