I haven’t been in this bad of a mood since, yesterday. Some of you may remember a post I did a while back about the broken HKS Super Mega Flow intake, on my WRX. Well lets take it back to the beginning and I’ll refresh your memories.
About a month ago I decided to change out my spark plugs. The EJ uses an opposed 4-cylinder design, meaning the spark plugs are on either side of the motor and quite difficult to reach, as any Subaru owner would tell you. In order to get to the right side spark plugs, you need to remove the car’s intake.
I’ve been running the HKS Super Mega Flow kit since 2007 and I’ve never really been happy with it. It looks great, wouldn’t you agree? Well, that’s where it’s advantages end. The filter is garbage, in fact you’d be better off running no filter, because that’s about as good as the Super Mega Flow is at trapping debris from going into the turbine. Shockingly, HKS air filters are without a doubt, the best selling in Japan. HKS claims that their filter uses a special oil to trap unwanted dirt particles from passing through the multi-layered polyurethane filter. You’re supposed to change the filter element every 10000 miles, which seems a bit excessive for something that doesn’t perform properly to begin with. It becomes pretty clear that the HKS filter’s overwhelming popularity in Japan, is due to the brand name and not the functionality of the product.
So upon removing my Super Mega flow kit, I noticed a fairly large crack where the silicone ring meets the base of the filter. I went on to remove the ring and found this underneath.
Japanese quality right? Now some of you will immediately claim that I’ve tightened the hose clamps too much, resulting in the collapse filter base. You may be correct, who really knows? It’s been so long since I’ve last taken this piece off, that I have no idea how tight the hose clamps where. The bottom line is that this shouldn’t happen, period. The biggest enemy of forced induction are boost leaks and the simplest way to prevent boost leaks is to make sure all of your hoses and clamps are fitted tightly. The silicone ring should’ve given way before the plastic base of the filter, had the clamp been too tight.
You can see here that this is a pretty serious crack. It also left a very large hole, inviting all sorts of dirt, debris and carbon grit, to enter the car’s turbo inlet hose.
Now my fear was that over time, one of these broken bits would give way and get sucked into my turbine, most definitely destroying the turbo. So naturally I needed to get a move on and replace the Super Mega Flow kit.
I’ve always liked the design of the Blitz SUS intake. The stainless steel mesh of the filter meant that it never needed to be cleaned. I’ve also heard reports that it allows for an insane amount of air flow, being one of the largest filters on the market. It’s also Japanese and I do like to use Japanese parts on my Japanese car, whenever I can.
Last week I found a great deal for a used SUS intake on NASIOC. The filter had 15000 miles on it and looked brand new. The member selling it was also a great guy, so I decided to buy it. Yesterday my new, used Blitz SUS intake arrived.
Dear Blitz, fuck you!
Yesterday evening I decided to install the SUS on my car. Everything was going great. The quality of the air filter is very nice and I was extremely excited to get rid of the Super Mega Flow kit. I got the SUS onto the car and went to close the hood. The hood wouldn’t close. What the fuck? I get the latch to lock and the right side of the hood is bowing up by a quarter of an inch. I knew it was going to be a tight squeeze, but had I known the SUS wouldn’t even fit. I never would’ve bought it.
The irony in all of this, is that I’m also running a Blitz FMIC. I’ve also never been overly pleased with this piece because I don’t like the piping layout. The charge pipe goes up into the right wheel well and out a hole (you have to cut) where the OEM intake box sits. So in this case the charge pipe runs directly under the SUS intake, leaving absolutely no wiggle room to let it fit. Now you and I would both think that Blitz would design their products to work with each other. I mean shit, if you run a FMIC on an Impreza, say goodbye to your stock air box. Naturally, Blitz would like to design the SUS intake to work hand-in-hand with their FMIC, so they could sell twice as many products. Given my primitive knowledge of business, that would seem like a no brainer. However, things aren’t that easy and apparently Blitz isn’t too smart.
Naturally, I headed to NASIOC, to see if anyone had been put in a similar position or had some advice to give. You would also think that a FMIC as popular as the Blitz once was and a community of thousands of members, could offer some insight into my dilemma. Then I had to remind myself this was NASIOC. Oh how I miss the days when the North American Subaru Impreza Owner’s Club was a place to read up on tech and share wisdom. Those days have long gone because now it’s little more than a glorified member’s gallery where hypebeasts argue with trolls about wheel fitment. It’s no wonder why so many of my Subaru friends are looking to greener pastures and selling their Imprezas.
So that’s where I’m currently at, if any of you are still with me after that rant. I’ve got 2 different intake kits in about 20 different pieces all over my coffee table and I’m trying to figure out what to do next. That’s where some of you may be able to come in because I know more than a few of you still own Subarus. I need to know if anyone else has run into this problem before. Is there something I can do to make the SUS intake fit on my car? Should I just turn around and put it up for sale? At this point I’ll take any advice including recommendations for another intake that will actually fit on my car. I should’ve just gotten the COBB kit to begin with, but I don’t know how the filter size compares to the Blitz, or whether that will even fit. A few things are for sure though; HKS filters are awful (don’t buy them), the Blitz SUS intake will not work with the Blitz FMIC on a Subaru and don’t bother asking for help on NASIOC.
Live and learn, I suppose.