Element Tuning Competition Engines for Subaru FA20 or FA20DIT

Element Tuning Competition Engines for Subaru BRZ, Scion FRS, Toyota FT-86 with FA20 or WRX FA20DIT

Element Tuning’s Pro Comp engines were born with a racing pedigree. Our engine program has over 9 years of R&D through thousands of miles racing Subaru engines exclusively. Every specification these engines are blueprinted to were derived from our long term racing data. We build the best engines you can buy! We’re confident saying this as every aspect of these motors has been tested and verified under the most demanding racing circumstances.

Element Tuning Pro Comp engines are built from 100% new components fitted to our exact standards in your provided engine.  Our bearings and clearances have been tested for 10,000+ miles of racing. You may ask us how is this possible? It’s very common for racing teams to run new engines multiple times in a racing season but we would not allow this for our long term R&D. The only way to have long term durability data on your engine program is to continue using the same parts. Each season or sometimes midway through the season we would tear down our motors to inspect how the parts were holding up and how our building specifications were performing. We would inspect items such as cylinder wear, ring wear, piston wear, oil consumption, hardware fatigue, and finally crank and rod bearing wear. As long as there was no component failure we would reuse the same bearings, crank, rods, block, and pistons and continue the durability testing.It was not uncommon for us to push all the extremes to find the maximum and minimum operating range of each component and it’s clearance. With this data we have been able to build an engine that not only makes huge power but has near OEM oil level consumption. All too often motors are built too loose causing lots of engine noise, too much cylinder blow-by, and major oil consumption issues. We have tested our combination to deliver the tightest, most trouble free, and durable engine you can buy at any price.

Engine Oiling! Nothing will kill your brand new motor faster than inadequate oil pressure.  Unfortunately the FA20 series of engines do not have adequate oil pressure for substantially more power or RPM.  Even under OEM power levels excessive oil temperature from this motor has oil pressure dropping into the 50 psi range.  While this may be OK for NA power levels it’s nowhere near the reliable pressure we need for a boosted motor.  Look at the FA20 crank mains and the rod journals and you should spot something unique where we oil starved the rod bearing. The third main from right to left has a larger oil port. Why? Because it has to feed two rod journals where all others only feed one rod journal. What happens to oil pressure when you increase the oil port size? What happens to you oil volume requirements when you need to feed two journals with one main? Guess which one failed?  Unlike the EJ series of Subaru motors this engine does not have a “main priority” oiling system and therefore critical oil pressure isn’t directed to the engine bearings first.  The OEM oil pumps that are fitted to the BRZ/FRS and also the WRX (which is 14mm compared to 12mm) does not provide adequate volume to support the required oil pressure and therefore an bearing failure is eminent with any engine that doesn’t address the lack of oil pressure.

Element Tuning engines are the only engines to solve this problem! While we hoped we could simply install a bigger oil pump, which we did test, it was still not enough to get oil pressure high enough to be reliable on this boxer engine.  What we do, we keep close at hand but it’s not one thing but a series of modifications and the blueprint of our engines that allows us to keep over 80 psi of oil pressure under street conditions and over 70 psi under racing conditions.  This is enough oil pressure to safely support 500+ whp!

The Connecting Rods. The Achilles heal to our beloved OEM FA20 motors have been the OEM connecting rods.  While these rods are perfectly suited for OEM hp levels, when the power increases above 300 and RPM exceeds 7500 they are no longer reliable.  We experienced OEM rod failure under racing conditions in the 350 ft/lbs of torque range.  Element Tuning engines are fitted with seriously stout Pauter Machine forged Asymmetrical “X” beam connecting rods using ARP 2000 bolts.  We’ve tested these rods to over 800 whp and 9k RPM so they’ll handle just about everything you can through at them!  The unique design of the X beam allows for less windage (oil slinging and air displacement) in the crankcase reducing frictional losses.

Pauter’s 4340 forged X beam rods which are manufactured to the highest standards in the industry. Element Tuning has fully tested these rods in our Time Attack program with exceptional success and performance. Each billet rod is CNC machined from 4340 steel forgings, shot peened, stress relieved, and heat treated for uncompromising strength and reliability. Manufactured and precision machined in the USA to within .0002″ ensures exacting fitment and balanced to within 1 gram.

To read the rest about Element Tuning FA20 based engines Click Here

Element Tuning Time Attack 06 STi Hydra EMS 570 whp

Starting the new Time Attack season we wanted to freshen up the engine and test a few new parts. We started out rebuilding an Element Tuning Pro Comp engine but we switch up the bearings and the compression ratio of the pistons to see how they hold up over a season of racing.

Dynojet Altered Atmosphere Gaithersburg, MD
Tuner: Phil Grabow Element Tuning
Wheel HP: 570whp UNCORRECTED
Wheel TQ: 492wtq UNCORRECTED
Baseline: 185 whp 08 WRX
Target Boost: 27 PSI
Target AFR: 11.8 AFR
Fuel: Sunoco 110 Octane with Hydramist (80% water)
Ambient Temp: 50
Elevation: 0

With a new engine I really didn’t want to run it too hard on the dyno so I stopped at 27 psi. I made quick work of the tuning with the Hydra 2.6 software and had all tweaked in as few WOT pulls as possible. In my previous dyno sessions the 1000cc fuel injectors were maxed out so this time around I bumped up the fuel pressure to 55 psi giving me about +20 more flow so I could have a little safety margin on the injector duty cycle. Maximum fuel injector duty cycle was 83% with the 1000cc, A1000 fuel pump, and 55 idle fuel pressure.

I totally forgot that I didn’t like the billet compressor wheel I ran late last year which netted me about 30 whp loss over our standard GT65 wheel (GT35R). With the higher compression and the BC STG 4 cams it looks like we gained back that loss however. The numbers are good for this dyno so I’m happy for now with the improvement.

Car Info
: 2006
Engine Management: Element Tuning Hydra EMS 2.6
Turbo: Element GT65 (testing new wheel)
Intercooler: Custom
Meth Kit: Hydramist 80/20 water/methanol
Injectors: UR 1000cc, Element Tuning Competition Surge Tank, Aeromotive A1000
Engine: Element Tuning Pro Comp: ET Rods, Manley 9.8:1 Pistons (custom ring pack), ET Big Valve Heads +1mm valves, BC STG4 cams, stock block and bore.
Intake Manifold: Subaru RS
Headers: Element
Uppipe: Element Tuning GT65
Downpipe: Element Tuning
CBE: Element Tuning
Other: Element Tuning Competition Catch Can

The BC ST4 cams required me to work on the AVCS mapping as compared to the Cosworth cams. I found that I had to carry the advance farther into the RPM range but in the end the Hydra EMS allowed me to get it exactly how I wanted it.

Having made some new changes to the car I wasn’t sure what the car would weigh in at so I had to have options available for HP so that I could stay in NASA TTU classification. At about 15.3 psi the car made 452 whp which should be low enough to keep me legal in that class.

Element Tuning GT65 Bolt On, Hydra, 452whp @ 22 psi, 07 STI 2.5 Pump Gas

This is really impressive for a bolt on turbocharger running pump gas and only at 22 psi. The plot didn’t turn out as smooth as I like but the AFR was within .1 and timing was smooth. I think we just had a little boost oscillation going on. I also find it difficult on the Dyno Dynamic dyno to load and unload just right resulting in a boost spike and then a little oscillation (too many buttons to press. LOL!).

Dyno Dynamics @ Pina Motorsports, WA
Tuner: Phil Grabow Element Tuning
Wheel HP: 452whp UNCORRECTED
Wheel TQ: 482wtq UNCORRECTED
Target Boost: 22 psi
Target AFR: 11.1
Fuel: 92 Octane pump gas
Ambient Temp: 50
Elevation: 0

Initially we tuned the car at OEM fuel pressure but the DW 1000cc injectors were maxing out so we bumped the fuel pressure to 50 psi just to get the car tuned safely. The plan is to get some larger 1260cc injectors and the Hydramist system to turn things up.

Car Info
Engine Management: Element Tuning Hydra EMS
Turbo: Element GT65 Bolt On
Intercooler: APS
Meth Kit: None
Injectors: 1000cc DW, Bosch 044 Fuel Pump
Engine: World One, Element Tuning Rods, CP Pistons, Cosworth Cams, Brian Crower Valves, Valve Springs and Retainers, stock block and bore.
Intake/Inlet: APS 70mm intake, APS 3 Inlet hose, Magnus Intake Manifold, (longrunner, jet hot coated)
Headers: Gruppe-S Exhaust Manifold (jet hot coated)
Uppipe: SBR Up-Pipe with 44mm Tial Ewg (jet hot coated)
Downpipe: Invidia Catless
CBE: Invidia
Other: Element Tuning Competition Catch Can, Unorothox Racing stock diameter pulley
set, Greddy Racing Radiator and Oil Cooler

I honestly couldn’t believe the power we hit with the Element GT65 Bolt-on especially given the car didn’t have anything done to the heads but a set of cams. I was tuning other cars this same day with rotated 35R kits and head work that were making the same power at this boost level. This car has had a rough past with bad tuning and engines but World One Performance sorted out the car so I could do my job. I was really happy for the customer this turned out so well.

With larger fuel injectors I think we could have turned up the boost a little (maybe 1-2 psi) for another 30 whp or so. With the Element Hydramist we should be able to add an additional 4 psi and get this car close to 500 whp on pump gas.

For more information and discussion, please see this thread: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1939275

Phil Grabow
Element Tuning

Hydra, Hydramist, 668 whp@30 psi, 05 STI 2.5, 35R

I just got really busy and finally had a chance to post the numbers for this beast of a track car.

Dyno: Dyno Dynamics @ Pina Motorsports, WA
Tuner: Phil Grabow Element Tuning
Wheel HP: 668whp UNCORRECTED
Wheel TQ: 576wtq UNCORRECTED
Target Boost: 30 psi
Target AFR: 11.5
Fuel: Q16/92 Octane pump gas mix
Ambient Temp: 50
Elevation: 0

Year: 2005
Engine Management: Element Tuning Hydra EMS
Turbo: HTA GT35R 1.06 Twin Scroll
Intercooler: APS
Meth Kit: Hydramist 80/20 water/methanol
Injectors: 1260cc, Bosch 044 Fuel Pump
Engine: World One, Element Tuning Rods, CP Pistons, BC +1mm valves, Cosworth cams, stock block and bore.
Intake/Inlet: World One
Headers: Titek
Uppipe: World One
Downpipe: World One
CBE: Greddy Evo2
Other: Element Tuning Competition Catch Can

What else is there to say but WOW! I had tuned this car once before but we ran out of fuel and the clutch was slipping. Fast forward to a new Element Clutch Masters, larger fuel injectors, higher fuel pressure, and what do you know the FP diaphram fails. We fix it and climb to 668 whp on 50% Q16 and pump gas along with the Element Hydramist.

The car had a little more in it but given the problems with the FP regulator resulting in extended tuning time the owner felt that just about 670 whp was even too much for a road race car.

More info and discussion can be found here:  http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1931028

Phil Grabow
Element Tuning

GT52 + Hydra 2.6 + Hydramist + Q16 = 475 whp / 534 wtq

Built by World One Performance, Phil traveled to the Pacific Northwest to tune this beast of an 07 STI.  Utilizing a number of Element Tuning products, including a GT52 turbo, Hydra EMS 2.6, and Hydramist, the car was tuned with Q16 race gas to a powerful 475 whp and 534 wtq.  This is a full 75 whp above what a GT52 typically makes on pump gas, which instantly put a smile on the customer’s face.  For more information on this build, please see World One Performance’s blog here:


Do you have a dyno sheet to show off your car using Element Tuning products?  Please contact us with a short write-up, photos, and/or link and we’ll add it to our site!