ST185 ATA Safe Boost Level


Hi guys, so I just bought my JDM Narrowbody, and it's on the boat, but I have a chronic issue with planning builds before I start them. One of the first mods or lack of mods depending on results is the intercooler. Due to this being a turbo 90's over boosting the intercooler is something I'm not interested in. Anyways does anyone have any idea what the stock st185 ATA intercooler is good for, I was hoping low-mid 300 so ehh sub 20psi. (18ish). I know the WTA does a good job but those are rare as heck, and I really want to keep the topmount

TL:DR What boost can a stock intercooler take from a ST185. ATA.



Active member
10-12 would be my guess. I ran 15 on factory turbo and factory ata intercooler and blew the head gasket after a season when I was a kid.
Honestly, I recommended not touching it without an intercooler upgrade.


The stock ata isn’t terrible. The stock ecu causes most of the issues when you increase boost. 14psi would be fine, but I would recommend you put a fan on the intercooler to keep heat soak under control when in traffic.


Makes sense, the more I read into our boost systems, we need a lot just to up the boost, like defender changes and whatnot. I was looking at 14 psi for a more dailiable boost level, but I live somewhere where it gets super cold winters and super hot summers, so I think the wta would just work, if I can find one, if not make one. Appreciate you guys


Active member
IMHO, safe levels depends on other mods too. With only raising boost, I would not go over 12 psi.
With other basic upgrades like: EVC, free flowing exhaust, airfilter and fuelpomp mod, I would go 14 psi max. Pretty fast above stock.

But, the ST185 is not an real fast car. If you want her faster then these basic power upgrades: prepare to throw in serious money.


Sweet, I assumed as much. I guess I'll look around for a the st205 wta then. Much appreciated
You should be able to find a 205 WTA IC around, most people with 3rd gen all-trac engines go to front mount ATA once they push the limits of the WTA. I found my 205 for like $200 I think 5 years ago, should be able to find one for $250-300. That isn't including piping or a pump or the heat exchanger.