Category Archives: Announcements

SteamSpeed STX 71R BB Prototype Tested: 470 WHP

Hey guys,

Sam here from SteamSpeed.  We super happy to get back to you with the results of our SteamSpeed STX 71R ball bearing turbo for FA20 applications, ie. the 2015+ WRX.  The basic specs are:

  • Stock frame meaning it just bolts up in place of the OEM turbo
  • Utilizes a Garrett GT ball bearing CHRA (center housing rotating assymbly) sourced from Garrett Japan
  • It is GTX2971R spec meaning the we make our own compressor wheel of that size, and reuse the Garrett GTX29 turbine wheel.

[STX 71R for FA20 Prototype Pre-Test Recap]

Several months ago, I wrote a longish article discussing challenges with the JB CHRA and how the new BB CHRA.  It is a great read, and I highly recommend that you read it, but it lays out why we think the BB version of the 71 will be a superior turbo to our JB version.  The next section outlines, the basic points.

[STX 71R for FA20 Performance Performance Hypothesis [Pre-Test]]

  • The OEM style twin scroll turbine housing is restrictive for turbos larger than the OEM unit and our STX 67 JB turbo.
  • This means for our big turbos, exhaust back pressure ratios can get well beyond 2:1 that is efficient for a JB CHRA.
  • If you are going 5:1 or 7:1 makes it hard to build power and it wears out the journal bearings and especially the thrust bearing.
  • Tuners that have a good strategy to manage this backpressure can make good power with the larger STX 67+ and 71 turbos, but if they didn’t, sometimes our customers would be disappointed.
  • The main point of that post was that a BB CHRA actually solves all of these problems:
    • The CHRA can stay efficient even if the pressure ratios are 5+:1
    • This means, it will be a lot easier for all tuners to build power with the BB version of our turbo.
    • The turbo will just make more power under the curve in general
    • The the thrust bearing is more durable, so the CHRA will stand up to more punishment.

[STX 71R for FA20 Test Results]

We set out to actually prove if the BB version of the STX 71 would perform as well as we had hypothesized, and solve the issues we had with the JB CHRA on the larger turbos.  The short version is that yes, the SteamSpeed STX 71R BB Turbo for FA20 did exactly what we thought it would.  It was a lot more efficient that the JB version of a similar size; therefore, it made more power everywhere.  I suspect that tuners all over will be having an easier time getting results their customers want.

Here is the dyno result.  470 whp on E50 and 410 on 91 octane pump gas, and not measured on this chart, a ton more response everywhere.  Note: this is at high altitude in Utah.

SteamSpeed STX 71R for FA20 Dyno Plot. Green – E50, Black – 91 pump gas

[Technical Notes From Jessie at FNP]

Jessie: “Hey, First let’s go over what we saw, liked and disliked with the unit.

Dislikes:

It’s big, if the new unit has a clearance for the oil pan and obviously ships with hardware we are good.  Obviously as the prototype it is going to have clearance issues, and fitment issues.  There were literally no other issues noted from Luke on install.”

SteamSpeed: This will actually be a non-issue for retail units.  We have actually already resolved all fitment issues on our production 71R.  The production model has a modified turbine housing with a cutout to clear the OEM oil sump without modifying it.  We also designed and manufactured custom studs that we include with the 71R install kit.  This is how the retail unit will work:

Notice we modified the turbine housing to work with the OEM oil pan without modification. We also include custom studs with the install kit.
Notice we modified the turbine housing to work with the OEM oil pan without modification. We also include custom studs with the install kit.

Jessie:

Likes:

Sounds epic.  Do yourself a favor a crack open the boost nipple when running.  The ball bearing turbo sounds incredibly mean at idle.  With a catless exhaust it should sound great out the tail pipe.  Think diesel turbo, screaming at idle.

Response, Response, Response.  This turbo is incredibly responsive compared to the previous version.  Transitions in and out of boost are much quicker.

More linear boost curve via WGDC input.  What do I mean?  Check out this boost profile compared to WGDC on the old vs new turbo.  The new unit is much MUCH more linear with interrupt cycle.  This tells us the effects of back-pressure are far less of an issue with this upgraded unit.  You can also see the old turbo have more “Creep” under the curve.  The new unit doesn’t not do this.  The compare for RPM isn’t valid, as the previous tests were done in 4th, the current in 3rd.

67+ JB WGDC

71R BB WGDC

Makes more boost in the upper RPM’s.  This also is a direct causation from the upgraded cartridge.  It seems to be able to operate at higher levels of back-pressure with ease.

Red JB vs Yellow BB

Less oscillation of MRP than the outgoing cartridge.  Just one of those anecdotal observations, normally we see much greater fluctuations in boost on the FA20 with our incredibly fast sample rates.  This unit fluctuated much less, the average was 18% realized lower fluctuations.  This is a great indication of how much more air is being delivered.

 

Much more efficient flow from the turbo.  Check out the new vs old charge air temps!

New unit held much better boost.  From 1.9bar avg on the old unit at redline on 100% interrupt, to 2.3bar avg.

Output: Was increased by 12.35% over the older unit.  This was also impressive as the turbo could have easily generated around 8% additional output, but the owner of the test vehicle was very specific to “Take it easy”.  Based on the airflow averages and their changes, I’d say this observation is fairly precise.

Check out these airflow differences:  Old Turbo 229 average max, New over 300!  (it was 309 average when extrapolated up).  That is an increase of 35%.  Same intake, and injector scalings were used on both turbos.  Compared to the stock turbo this is over 56% increase in flow!

Well, hope this helps you guys.  I poured over all the data and these were the things that popped out at me.

Jesse @ FNP Tuned”

SteamSpeed Focus RS Intercooler Upgrade: Final Design Approved!

We are excited to announce our final revision to our Focus RS intercooler! We’ve gone through three design revisions and this is the perfect design.

[Mounting & Fitment Improvements]

The first prototype core design showed huge efficiency gains vs the OEM unit; however, we saw room for improvement.  In the next two prototypes we iterated and improved the end tanks and mounting tabs to further increase the efficiency of the core and ease of install.

After the intercooler had been mounted and driven nearly 1000 miles of road conditions including freeway cruising, data log pulls, dyno time, and spirited drives, we found ways to improve its mounting to the chassis vs the OE.  In our final version, we increased the thickness of the mounting tab material from 3mm to 5mm and adding a perpendicular support to the lower tabs for greater strength and durability.  This insures a rigid mount to radiator chassis.  We also found that utilizing openings in the bumper frame to support the intercooler from the top was much more effective then the OE mounting points; the factory cooler is only suspended from the lower tabs and held vertical by the upper tabs that engage hooks into the casting of the cooler tanks.  Due to the increase in weight of our cooler we knew the lower supports would never be sufficient without the extra bracing.  To utilize the bumper frame, we installed a bolt and nut through the opening. This was fine for our final prototype but we look forward to using a plastic insert and screw to secure the upper mounts. This will ensure ease of installation with minimal effort.

Here you can see just how massive this thing is. There’s also a good view of the upper bumper frame mounts. This holds the weight nicely and gives great support for the cooler.

[Intercooler Performance Testing]

Our upgraded Focus RS intercooler, uses quite a bit more heat removing aluminum vs the OE unit.  It is about 30-40% larger by volume and more than 50% larger by mass and surface area vs the OE unit.   The performance of the intercooler core of our first prototype was stellar, so final prototype’s core remains the same.

Our Focus RS intercooler upgrade brings intake temps well below 100 degrees F.  It doesn’t get terribly hot here in Washington State but we did manage to have a day with an ambient temp of 80 degrees F and a resting 101.9 degrees F. You can see in the graph how the Charge Air Temp (white line) drops rapidly when the throttle body opens. And makes its way back down to 86.7 degrees F when grabbing 3rd gear.  That’s great!  Many tuners are happy with and consider an intercooler “good” if it can manage to get below 100.  The temp does start to climb as expected in the longer gears but as shown in the second graph the charge air temp only climbs 5 degrees to 92 degrees before lifting off the throttle.  In comparison, the OE core is much less efficient.  We’ve recorded increased charge temps of around 30 degrees F.  That means our upgraded Focus RS intercooler around 25 degrees (6x) cooler than the OE intercooler!

If you have any more questions please let us know! sales@steamspeed.com

[Testing Data]


Above is the data log of a 1st through 3rd and into 4th gear acceleration. The white line shows Charge Air Temp. The Charge Air Temp is around 100 degrees F when the throttle plate is closed.  The induction air is moving slowly and heat from the engine heats the air.  When the throttle plate opens is when the largest drop in Charge Air Temp occurs.  Lots of fresh air is let in and the heated induction air passes through quickly.  As the vehicle hits 3rd gear it is apparent the turbocharger is now working very hard. There is a slight increase in Charge Air Temp towards the end of 3rd gear. If this data was done without the cooler we would see.
Data log continued (same log as previous graph)

#ford #focus #rs #turbo #intercooler #prototype #presale #keepitcool #steamspeed

Dyno Testing: SteamSpeed STX 67 Turbo for Ford Focus RS Prototype

STX 67 Turbo for Focus RS Prototype Dyno’ed!

Have you been wondering what our stock turbo STX 67 upgrade could do, the Results are in!!!

For this unit, we started with an OEM unit and increased the compressor wheel around 3mm on the inducer and 4mm on the exducer.  The turbine section remained the same for this prototype.  It is not clear if the OEM turbine housing can support a larger turbine wheel; there is not much room in there.

Our N55 turbo with similar enhancements on the cold side, and is able to make about 60-70 whp more power than the stock unit + stage 2.  Lets see how our Focus RS prototype does.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the initial performance gains of our STX 67 prototype for the Ford Focus RS.  Our friends at English Racing in Camas, Washington helped us reached 345 WHP and 383 wft*lbs @ 22psi (recorded with map sensor).  That’s 55hp & 77 ft*lbs over the factory tune.

Mod List:
– Stock 2016 Focus RS
– SteamSpeed STX 67 turbo prototype
– SteamSpeed front mount intercooler kit prototype
– COBB AccessPORT
– 92 octane WA pump gas

Here are the dyno results from our car at English Racing.

Green: Baseline, Stock RS with Stock Tune – 92 octane
Red: Cobb Stage 1 Base Map – 92 octane
Blue: SteamSpeed STX 67 turbo + SteamSpeed FMIC

SteamSpeed STX 67 Turbo for Ford Focus RS Prototype
SteamSpeed Focus RS STX 67 Turbo Upgrade

What does our turbo look like vs a full “stage 2” car (FMIC, turbo-back, intake, etc.) on the same dyno?  There was still the same ~40 ft*lbs torque gains, and about 11 whp on top.

SteamSpeed Focus RS STX 67 Turbo vs Stg 2
SteamSpeed Focus RS STX 67 Turbo vs Stg 2

Some initial thoughts:

We saw some solid gains on our mostly stock car. It was in fact the most power and torque a Focus RS has put down at English Racing on pump gas.

Since we left the turbine section as is, we didn’t expect to see huge gains on the top-end that one could probably be achieved with a larger A/R turbine housing. Accordingly 11-33 whp gains on the top end are not huge, but still a significant improvement. 40 ft*lbs on the low end is a good result. That is something you’d feel daily driving. It is clear that Ford really wanted to optimize for low end torque with this design, so it may be a challenge to overcome that housing’s limitations without replacing it all together.

All in all, there were gains around 5-15% across the entire rev band, so we are pleased with the result. It really doesn’t lose any of the benefits of the stock unit in terms of responsiveness and so on while making solid gains everywhere vs the OEM unit. As is, it is a no-downside upgrade vs the stock unit.

E-mail support@steamspeed.com for Focus RS product inquires.

Next steps:

It would be interesting to see how this turbo would do with more bolt ons like a turbo back and upgraded intake.  Our car was mostly stock otherwise.  I think we see some modest gains.

The wastegate duty cycle was about maxed out, so that could improved with a different waste spring preload or changing out the boost controller.

I think we could make the compressor somewhat larger without overpowering the turbine section.  That might net another 10% more power.

Other notes:

And the car still got 28 average mpg on the way back.

Steam STX 67 Turbo for FA20 DIT Unboxing

Here are some unboxing pictures of our new Steam STX 67 turbo for FA20 (eg. 2015 WRX).  This is our design validation (DV) prototype turbo.  It doesn’t have as perfect machining as the final retail version will, but I think it does give you a much clear picture of what will be included in the box.

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).
Turbo removed from the bag..front side.
Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20)
Unopened box.
Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).
What the inside of the box looks like.

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20)

Contents of the box removed

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20)

Turbo bottom side

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).

Turbo top side

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20)

Turbo back side

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).

Detail of the compressor wheel

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).

Custom 3D gaskets

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20)

Water and oil lines.

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).
Lines attached…top.

Steam STX 67 Turbo for Subaru 2015 WRX (FA20).

Lines attached…bottom.

Introducing the Steam STX 67 & 71 Turbo for 2015+ WRX

After 12 months of development, the wait is almost over.  Introducing the Steam STX 67 and 71 for 2015+ WRX FA20F DIT.

Stock location, so you can keep all of your existing mods.  Capable of 350-400 whp (STX 67) or 400-450 whp (STX 71).  Contact us today for preorders at sales@steamspeed.com.

Pricing will be inline with our STI turbos.

This is a design validation (DV) prototype, so it does represent a final retail product.  For example the housings aren’t fully machined in these pictures, and they are just showing OEM accessories to illustrate that this turbo is a direct replacement for the OEM turbo.  The retail version will have custom fittings.  The final turbo will just reuse the stock turbo oil pan.

Stock turbo top, Steam STX 67 bottom.

Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX

Stock turbo right, Steam STX 67 left.

Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX

Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX

Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX
Steam STX 67 & 71 for 2015 WRX

Introducing: The Steam STX N55 BMW Twin Turbocharger Upgrade

Steam STX N55 BMW Turbocharger Upgrade
Steam STX N55 BMW Turbocharger Upgrade

We’ve been manufacturing Subaru-only turbochargers for some time now.  That is mostly because we started doing this because we are Subaru enthusiasts.  That being said, our capabilities stretch to other brands.   Now we are offering a twin turbo upgrade kit for both prospective stage 1 or stage 2 applications.

This is a legitimate turbo upgrade; meaning, it is designed for the factory location.  We supply a new balanced CHRA, complete with new turbine wheel and billet compressor wheel in 62mm or 67mm, depending on what your goals are, and you install that CHRA in your existing turbine housing, attach the compressor housing and all other factory accessories, such as the blow off valve and the wastegate actuator.

Steam STX N55 Compressor Housing and CHRA
Steam STX N55 Compressor Housing and CHRA

With supporting mods, this kit is 600whp capable (stage 2).   Because we are using our 9-blade technology, the spool is still quick and peak flow is there for high rpm performance.

As one might expect, these are manufactured with the same strict attention to detail that we have exhibited in the past with all of our Subaru turbochargers.  They have superior internals and excellent balance characteristics; everything one needs for high octane, high RPM enjoyment.

Want more information? Give us a call at +1 (206) 607-9149 or visit our site.

Production Steam STX 67+ Turbos Are In

Great news, our production Steam STX 67+ turbos for Subaru WRX STI are in stock! The preorders have already started shipping, so you should see your turbos soon.

In case you were wondering, they are similar to our standard Steam STX 67 turbos, except the plus model has the next larger turbine. The should both be 350-400 whp turbos. The plus model might be a better fit for your car than the standard 67 if your car is more built, has a 2.5l motor, or otherwise is higher flowing.

You can read more about them here:
Steam STX 67+ Single Scroll for WRX STI
Steam STX 67+ Twin Scroll for WRX STI
Steam STX 67 Single Scroll for WRX STI
Steam STX 67 Twin Scroll for WRX STI

New Steam STX Turbo Stock
New Steam STX Turbo Stock

Here are some more detailed pictures.

Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger
Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger
Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger
Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger

The port job on these turbos look great. 🙂

Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger
Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger
Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger
Steam STX 67+ Turbocharger

Introducing the SteamSpeed 3-Port BCS

Tuners strongly recommend them; we recommend them.  Now we make them:  Introducing the SteamSpeed BCS (boost control solenoid aka EBCS) plug and play for all turbocharged Subaru models.

SteamSpeed EBCS for Subaru
SteamSpeed BCS PnP for All Turbocharged Subaru models

Our 3-port boost control solenoid provides super high resolution boost control to dial in much more accurate tunes vs. the old OEM 2-port solenoid.  Our BCS provides your tuner the tool need to safely dial in the correct boost levels, and achieve the best results possible.   At the heart of our BCS is a super reliable industrial valve that is more responsive, higher flowing, more durable than stock.  With our high performance BCS valve,  your turbo will spool quicker, and maintain the tightest possible boost curve.

We include everything you need in the box for plug and play install.  It mounts right to the stock location without modification with our custom made brackets, and clips right into the wiring harness.  We even include new silicon vacuum lines and bolts so no extra trips to the parts store is needed.

EBCS Back
SteamSpeed BCS PnP mounting bracket

Installation is a snap.  Our BCS can be installed in 15 min with basic tools by most everyone.

SteamSpeed EBCS
SteamSpeed BCS

We have used the GrimmSpeed BCS on our cars in the past, and they have worked great.  Tuners we have worked with in the past recommend them, so we used their product as a measuring stick.

GrimmSpeed EBCS
GrimmSpeed BCS

For our test, we simply swapped out the GrimmSpeed BCS and hooked in the vacuum lines in the exact same ports and swapped their connector for ours into the wiring harness.

How did it work out?  Not surprisingly, they worked basically the same since they both are based off of nearly identical MAC industrial valves.  In our testing, our higher flow barb option did out flow the GrimmSpeed BCS by about 20%.  Our standard barb option flowed exactly the same.  In fact, in our testing, the boost curves were identical with both BCS.

Swapping the GrimmSpeed EBCS for the SteamSpeed EBCS
Swapping the GrimmSpeed BCS for the SteamSpeed BCS

This is how our EBCS was hooked up to the waste gate.

Waste Gate Hookup
Waste Gate Hookup

Steam STX 71 Flow Testing [part 1]

Steam STX 71 turbo mounted to gas bench
A Steam STX 71 Turbo mounted to the gas bench test rig.

Did you ever want to know how it’s possible for our Steam STX 71 turbocharger to make over 425+ WHP on your STI?  It’s all about flow dynamics.   We are not content with just having high-quality high-performance products so we decided to take the engineering to the next level.

Learn more about the Steam STX 71 for USDM STI, or JDM twinscroll STI.

Here is a dyno plot of our Steam STX 71 turbo in action.  There is a whopping 140 WHP gain over the stock VF39 turbo with very little left on the table.

The STX 71 vs VF39
The STX 71 vs VF39

Other manufacturers, like Blouch and ForcedPerformance, can simply make claims to how much their products flow.  But, how do they arrive at that number?  Without compressor maps to demonstrate thorough testing, one can assume they are just guesstimating.  Why make a guess?  Because real engineering is expensive.  Turbo testing is also very expensive, but that is what the big boys do to actually improve their products.  You can’t get, what you don’t measure.

Garrett also makes claims to how much their turbos flow, but they actually provide detailed compressor maps.  This is the result of rigorous engineering efforts.

Compressor Maps Explained

When Garrett improved their ball bearing turbo line, they actually provided empirical data showing how their product has improved.

gt4202R vs gtx4202r compressor map
gt4202R vs gtx4202r compressor map

Although we have had great results with our STX 71 model, and lots of happy customers, we never stop thinking our products can be better.  How do you make a great design better?

Steam STX 71 Performance Testing

First step, measure the performance of the current design.  The way Garrett and other serious turbo companies make compressor maps is by testing it on a gas bench, so that is exactly what we are doing.  The gas bench provides a super controlled environment to reliably test the turbocharger.

We measure a number of things on the gas bench: compressor wheel speed, pressures and temperatures before and after both housings, etc.  With this data, we will be able to generate compressor maps similar to those of Garrett.

Checkout our current production STX 71 on a gas bench as we map out the performance and efficiency of the current design.

Here is a production turbo with the turbine housing all mounted up to the hot side of the gas bench.  The yellow thing sticking out of the compressor housing is a speed sensor.  It measure how fast the compressor wheel is spinning.  The compressor wheel can spin in excesses of 150k RPM.

Steam STX 71 turbo mounted to gas bench
A Steam STX 71 Turbo mounted to the gas bench test rig.

Oil anyone?

Steam STX 71 turbo mounted to gas bench
Here the center housing’s oil ports are hooked up to ensure proper lubrication and cooling.

Here is the cold side being hooked up.

Steam STX 71 turbo mounted to gas bench
Here is the cold side getting hooked up.