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Subaru Part 5 of 7

Back On Track

Part 4 of the Subaru Project ended with the engine coming back out of the car in order to replace the camshafts. While this wasn’t Kyle’s original plan, he decided to make the best of the situation – and make more power.

To make more power, he once again contacted Moore Performance in Pittsburgh, PA. Kyle removed the engine from the car and took it to Moore to have the heads and block inspected and ensure there was no damage from issue with the camshafts. After confirming the heads and block were in good shape, they reinstalled the original camshafts, sacrificing some potential power in exchange for reliability. 


Kyle made up for reinstalling the stock camshafts by upgrading to a “rotated” turbo setup. In the Performance Subaru world, “rotated” refers to repositioning the turbo to allow larger turbos and more optimized intake, exhaust and intercooler pipes. The new turbo provides more power and spools faster than the previous turbo, thanks to its twin scroll design. The turbo was paired with Moore Performance’s twin scroll kit, which includes the other pipes and components necessary to relocate the turbo and plumb it into the intake, exhaust and intercooler. 

With a clean bill of health on the engine, the stock camshafts reinstalled and set up and a plan for “Moore” power, the engine was ready to go back together. Kyle had already secured a new pair of 26415 PT head gaskets to install based on their stellar performance under less-than-ideal conditions the first time around, but here at Fel-Pro®, we had another option – a set of prototype, 4-layer Performance MLS head gaskets (Part # 26670) that we had recently finished validating in our lab.


These gaskets feature our Fel-Pro’s black high-temperature performance MLS coating, 3 active layers, a thicker shim layer to compensate for stock removal during machining and a thicker LaserWeld™ Stopper layer for the ultimate combustion seal under high boost. Kyle was happy to use these gaskets, so we sent him a set which he took to Moore Performance and they assembled the engine. The guys at the shop were excited to see another performance head gasket option for the Subaru EJ engine and were interested to see how they hold up.

With the engine reassembled and back in the car, it was time to go back to the tuner. Kyle received a base map and was able to shake the car down before taking it to the shop for the full tune. Everything was going much better this time, and the car was running well. With his fingers crossed, the car was strapped down on the dyno and, well, a video is worth more than words.

They were able to extract 429 horsepower and 377 ft-lbs of torque at the wheels from the engine using 93 octane pump gas. Factoring in an approximate 22% for drivetrain losses to the AWD system, that’s about 550 hp at the crank.

With a trouble-free (and leak-free) day of high-load dyno runs under the car’s belt, Kyle felt confident in what the car was capable of. He went on to drive the car through the summer and fall of 2016, participating in a HPDE (High Performance Driving Event) at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and an additional dyno session at the end of the season. The prototype head gaskets did more than just sealed the engine though, they also helped ensure proper cam timing, quench area, and piston-to-valve clearance. This engine had material removed from the cylinder heads and block during machining, but these gaskets are thicker and make up for that material. They remain on the engine for the 2017 season and will be pushed even further!

The Subaru project is back on track - figuratively and literally – so stay tuned for updates on the build, the new Fel-Pro Performance Head Gaskets for Subaru (part # 26670, which fits turbocharged 2.5L EJ engines) that are coming soon, and more. See ya next time!

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