Feedback on theoretical build 08 WRX Base
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This is a discussion on Feedback on theoretical build 08 WRX Base within the Builds forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I'm no mechanic, but I think I have an OK understanding of this. I have a few places where I'm ...

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    Feedback on theoretical build 08 WRX Base

    I'm no mechanic, but I think I have an OK understanding of this. I have a few places where I'm unsure where to go next, but here's what I'm working with now. What does everyone think?

    1: Steering Quickener(I already bought this, not on yet though). I HATE the 16.5:1 ratio
    2: Sway Bars - front and back. Oh god the body roll. (Should I skip and go straight to Coilovers? I don't really want to lower it.)
    3: Accessport
    4: Intake and Turboback exhaust. (Cobb stage 2 tune)
    This is where I start to get unsure. I'll probably have to feel it out at this point to decide, but I'm thinking:
    a) Coilovers if I have plenty of power, but sloppy feel.
    b) Fuel System(Injectors and pump + stage 3)
    c) Upgrade the Turbo.

    I guess I should mention that this is a DD and that I plan to keep it for ~10+ years.

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    lit fam XJman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarthias View Post
    I guess I should mention that this is a DD and that I plan to keep it for ~10+ years.
    Then leave it where it is.

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    Everyone's opinion will be different from yours ... It all depends on your budget , and like you said what you're using your vehicle for . I've had my 08 for about 5 months and I have so many different upgraded modifications that I want to do to mine . I also want to use mine as a DD for a couple of years . I would be carful with the upgraded turbo and fuel injectors etc because then you go into more tuning specifications ... Also if your car is under warranty like mine then tuning is prohibited "so they say" ... In other words build your car the way you want .


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    lit fam XJman's Avatar
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    Yes, they differ but the general consensus is once it's modified the life is dramatically shortened. The more its modified the worse it is. For instance, I've got 88k on mine and waiting on a compression and leak down test to find if I've toasted it. This is a car with a decent maintenance history, and mild mods.

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what a "steering quickener" is.. there is the 2015+ STI steering rack that you can swap in. It has a better steering ratio and is a great upgrade, but I don't know a whole lot of people looking to spend $900 to improve steering ratio.

    Swaybars, bushings, and endlinks are a good option for reducing body roll.. they made a huge improvement on my car.

    The Access Port is nice to have. There are cheaper options out there, but you can't beat the convenience of an AP.

    Intake and turboback are a good place to start getting more power from the engine, but I would recommend a custom tune rather than using the stage 2 OTS map. A custom tune will make a good deal more power, run smoother, be safer and less stressful on the engine, and provide an increase in fuel efficiency over an off the shelf map.


    Coilovers I wouldn't suggest for a daily driver. If you really just want all the adjustment levels you get from having coilovers, then I would recommend KW v3s for a daily driver. The issue is, they are three times the cost of a good spring/strut setup, but I wouldn't say they provide 3x better handling.. bang for your buck, an aftermarket spring/strut/tophat setup is hard to beat. However, if you're looking to spend $2800 on coilovers, then the v3s should be right up your alley.

    If you get to the point where you're wanting more power than a typical stage two tune will provide, then injectors and fuel pump are a must. I only recommend Injector Dynamics injectors.. too many problems with other brands. If you're running 91/93 octane, then I suggest ID1000s.. if you have e85 in your area and wish to make that leap, go ahead and spring for the ID1300s. As far as fuel pumps go, I've never had a problem with Walbro pumps. Some people run DW pumps successfully, but after dealing with them and their 1300cc injector debacle, I cannot in good conscious recommend any of their products to anyone.


    The stock turbo on that car should be great for spool, but it can't flow enough to maintain power in the top end. Personally, I would look into getting a used vf52 for a good price. It's not so big that it will cause problems with other parts, but it will certainly make a difference in power beyond 5500rpm.




    Of course, with modifying anything you are introducing a greater probability of failure. Do it right, and the car should last a while, but I wouldn't expect it to last as long as it would have stock.. and you never know, it might blow up shortly after changing parts. There's definitely some risk involved, so it would be a good idea to have another car to take over DD status should your WRX break down. It would also be wise to set some money away in case you are suddenly stuck with an expensive repair bill should something fail.

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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    If you plan on keeping it that long, keep it stock. That's my opinion.
    I have an STi with an intake and no tune, I never change my oil, and my wheel spacerz are mad tyte.

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    @MainFrame
    A steering quickener is a ~$100 modification part for the steering column that adds in a 1.5:1 or 2:1 ratio on your steering(ex if I have 16.5:1 now, and add a 1.5:1 steering quickener, it goes to 11:1). (16.5 * 2/3 = 11 )

    I didn't think a custom tune would be very beneficial with just stage 2( intake and exhaust ). Are we talking 2hp and .3 mpg or an actual noticeable difference? Lifespan of the vehicle I haven't considered. I just figured if it broke, I would fix it. The most likely failures are: Clutch / transmission if power too high for them -> engine, right? It's not like the car has a large chance of blowing up, yeah?

    I've been debating coilovers since I got it. I really do like how it rides, I just can't stand how it handles, but I think most of that is bodyroll. I'll add bushings and endlinks to my 2nd updgrade list. If it handles at least as well as my girlfriends mini-cooper, I'll leave it at that steering-wise.

    So you're saying fuel system should be done before turbo? I read somewhere(on here I think) that a turbo upgrade was a must for the '08 because it's the most neutered WRX year.

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    I see a lot of "keep it stock if you want to keep it that long" going on here.
    Can I get some sort of quantification for this?
    For stages 2 and 3, what are the actual extra strains on the car?
    I assumed for stage 2 it would be fairly minimal. Minor increase in clutch / tranny / engine failure. If I have to swap the engine earlier on, so be it. Maybe the clutch goes out in 50k miles. Oh well. Are these posts basically afraid of engine failure or system-wide failure? Is the vehicle going to basically fall apart in 80k more miles at stage 2, or is it just some expensive repairs I have to do more frequently?
    I assume stage 3 is an almost guarontee of needing to upgrade clutch and that tranny will crap out soon after and that I would be lucky to see 200k miles(at 115k now) on the engine.
    I'm not super worried about having to upgrade clutch, maybe tranny, and I'm expecting the engine to die sooner than usual(I do NOT want to replace the engine every year, though.)
    Last edited by Zarthias; 06-15-2016 at 11:11 AM.

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarthias View Post
    @MainFrame
    A steering quickener is a ~$100 modification part for the steering column that adds in a 1.5:1 or 2:1 ratio on your steering(ex if I have 16.5:1 now, and add a 1.5:1 steering quickener, it goes to 11:1). (16.5 * 2/3 = 11 )

    I didn't think a custom tune would be very beneficial with just stage 2( intake and exhaust ). Are we talking 2hp and .3 mpg or an actual noticeable difference? Lifespan of the vehicle I haven't considered. I just figured if it broke, I would fix it. The most likely failures are: Clutch / transmission if power too high for them -> engine, right? It's not like the car has a large chance of blowing up, yeah?

    I've been debating coilovers since I got it. I really do like how it rides, I just can't stand how it handles, but I think most of that is bodyroll. I'll add bushings and endlinks to my 2nd updgrade list. If it handles at least as well as my girlfriends mini-cooper, I'll leave it at that steering-wise.

    So you're saying fuel system should be done before turbo? I read somewhere(on here I think) that a turbo upgrade was a must for the '08 because it's the most neutered WRX year.

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    I see a lot of "keep it stock if you want to keep it that long" going on here.
    Can I get some sort of quantification for this?
    For stages 2 and 3, what are the actual extra strains on the car?
    I assumed for stage 2 it would be fairly minimal. Minor increase in clutch / tranny / engine failure. If I have to swap the engine earlier on, so be it. Maybe the clutch goes out in 50k miles. Oh well. Are these posts basically afraid of engine failure or system-wide failure? Is the vehicle going to basically fall apart in 80k more miles at stage 2, or is it just some expensive repairs I have to do more frequently?
    I assume stage 3 is an almost guarontee of needing to upgrade clutch and that tranny will crap out soon after and that I would be lucky to see 200k miles(at 115k now) on the engine.
    I'm not super worried about having to upgrade clutch, maybe tranny, and I'm expecting the engine to die sooner than usual(I do NOT want to replace the engine every year, though.)

    I would expect to see an extra 20-30whp with a custom tune, along with considerably smoother acceleration, and maybe an extra 5mpg.. depending on how you drive it.

    Most coilovers will give you an extremely harsh ride compared to stock. I had Tein Flex coilovers on my car for a year, and every little bump caused me lower back pain. Finally I swapped it back to my old suspension setup (KYB AGX struts, with Eibach prokit springs, and Group N top hats). Not only was the ride comfort worlds better, the car handled better and I could take sharp turns 5-10mph faster without losing traction.


    Fuel system should be done with the turbo.. since I believe your injectors and pump are the same that came in the 09 WRX, you could even hold off upgrading the fuel system after replacing the turbo, but then you will be on the limits of fuel supply, and that's not a good place to be. It's always a good idea to have ample fuel system, because if you don't and something goes wrong under WOT, you get a lean condition, and the engine is toast.

    I doubt you read on here that the 08 was the most neutered year, because that's simply wrong. In fact, the 2008 USDM WRX was the most powerful WRX Subaru had ever made when it was released. It has a larger turbo than all prior years.. people just got upset when the 09 came out because it shipped with the same size turbo that comes on the STI.



    No one can definitively answer how these things will effect the reliability of the car, other than it will be worse than stock. With 115k miles already on the engine it's entirely possible that it will blow within a couple hundred miles after modifying.. or it could last another 60k miles. As long as you've got about $6000 set away to replace the engine (and another car to drive for the several months it will be down), I say go for it. The clutch and transmission are all in how you drive it. I've seen people blow transmissions and wear out clutches within a couple thousand miles on completely stock cars, and other people get 30k miles out of a clutch on a car with 340whp.. there are a few people out there that have been running around on the stock transmission for years with close to 500whp. Anything is possible.. just expect that if you drive it hard, things will fail. The more power the car is putting down, the quicker they will give out. A good tune is probably the single most important factor in the life of the engine.. other than making sure you don't run it out of oil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    I would expect to see an extra 20-30whp with a custom tune, along with considerably smoother acceleration, and maybe an extra 5mpg.. depending on how you drive it.
    Sold. If I can remember, I'll post the results in here when I do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Most coilovers will give you an extremely harsh ride compared to stock. I had Tein Flex coilovers on my car for a year, and every little bump caused me lower back pain. Finally I swapped it back to my old suspension setup (KYB AGX struts, with Eibach prokit springs, and Group N top hats). Not only was the ride comfort worlds better, the car handled better and I could take sharp turns 5-10mph faster without losing traction.
    I will keep this in mind if sway bars etc isn't enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Fuel system should be done with the turbo.. since I believe your injectors and pump are the same that came in the 09 WRX, you could even hold off upgrading the fuel system after replacing the turbo, but then you will be on the limits of fuel supply, and that's not a good place to be. It's always a good idea to have ample fuel system, because if you don't and something goes wrong under WOT, you get a lean condition, and the engine is toast.
    Well that will be the optional only-if-I-NEED-more-power upgrade that is pushed off for a few years then.

    [
    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    or it could last another 60k miles.
    So would another 60k miles be a high end lifespan for a stage 2(3)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    As long as you've got about $6000 set away to replace the engine...
    Why so much? A google search reveals a new one for this car being ~2k and maybe ~3k for the STi engine.

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    lit fam XJman's Avatar
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    Unless you do the work yourself it's easily 5k. There are a lot of odds and ends that need redone when you replace a short block.

    I wouldn't mess with this steering quickener, sounds like a gimmick item that adds a failure point to the most critical system in your car. I've seen steering component failures in person, you do not want to be the person in that vehicle.

    Literally stage 2 hardware and no tune is a recipe for disaster. The car will not be able to fuel for the air and it will ping itself to death with a quickness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJman View Post
    Unless you do the work yourself it's easily 5k. There are a lot of odds and ends that need redone when you replace a short block.

    I wouldn't mess with this steering quickener, sounds like a gimmick item that adds a failure point to the most critical system in your car. I've seen steering component failures in person, you do not want to be the person in that vehicle.

    Literally stage 2 hardware and no tune is a recipe for disaster. The car will not be able to fuel for the air and it will ping itself to death with a quickness.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    I'd end up doing it myself as a learning process and to save serious cash. I have 3 cars and 2 bikes so it wouldn't really be an issue.

    I thought so too about the quickener at first, but I did a lot of research before I bought one. Quite a bit of the rally guys use them, and as long as you don't do anything janky on install, it will hold. I'll be using couplers, bolts, and welding to hold mine in place. It seemed a better option( for me ) than a rack(I'm not made of money) and using a quick-column basically points a spear at your chest as it removes all collapsability.

    I was planning to use the Cobb stage 2 tune via my access port, but MainFrame has convinced me to just bite the bullet and get a pro-tune when I go stage 2. I'll set the appointment up for the day of or the day after I install the stage 2 gear.

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarthias View Post
    So would another 60k miles be a high end lifespan for a stage 2(3)?


    Why so much? A google search reveals a new one for this car being ~2k and maybe ~3k for the STi engine.

    Probably.. you rarely see a modified turbo Subaru last more than 180k miles. Seems like more often than not they tend to give out around 130-140k. Even stock turbo models don't make it past 180k very often. N/A models usually start having issues around 220k.


    The cost of an engine replacement through Subaru typically runs $6,600. There isn't really any cost difference between the WRX and STI engine.


    Most non-dealership shops will charge ~$1200 just to remove the engine. You can get a new shortblock for $1800 these days, but the bare head castings cost $600 a piece, and the hardware (cams, buckets, valves, guides, springs, etc) could run you another $1000, or more. Assembly of the heads is about $550. Head studs are $200, and another $350 for gaskets, valve cover seals, etc. Oil cooler is $100.. oil pump is $150. Timing belt kit is another $350. That already totals up to $6800, and there are a lot more odds and ends, plus labor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Probably.. you rarely see a modified turbo Subaru last more than 180k miles. Seems like more often than not they tend to give out around 130-140k. Even stock turbo models don't make it past 180k very often. N/A models usually start having issues around 220k.

    The cost of an engine replacement through Subaru typically runs $6,600. There isn't really any cost difference between the WRX and STI engine.

    Most non-dealership shops will charge ~$1200 just to remove the engine. You can get a new shortblock for $1800 these days, but the bare head castings cost $600 a piece, and the hardware (cams, buckets, valves, guides, springs, etc) could run you another $1000, or more. Assembly of the heads is about $550. Head studs are $200, and another $350 for gaskets, valve cover seals, etc. Oil cooler is $100.. oil pump is $150. Timing belt kit is another $350. That already totals up to $6800, and there are a lot more odds and ends, plus labor.
    So after I stage 2, I can expect to replace the engine in a few years, and then when I drop the new one in, I can get a good several years on it. Good with me.

    So wait, if the dealership will do it for $6,600 but it's $6800+ for parts, how does that make sense? I can't do it cheaper myself? IDGI.

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    You can do it cheaper yourself. One thing is, you can't really get OEM parts cheaper than the dealership sells them for.. often times I've found it's cheaper to pick your parts up directly from the dealer than to order them from elsewhere. If you're doing all the work yourself, then you don't have to pay any of the labor costs. And chances are your head casting will be reusable, so you can tear them down, hot tank them, and rebuild them yourself if you have the know how and proper tools. Most people don't have a precision machine shop in their garage though, so for things like decking used heads and grinding valve seats you might still need to pay someone some labor costs. When a dealership replaces an engine they usually go with all new parts, since reusing old parts can lead to failure. They don't want to end up reusing your old heads, having it fail again, then get stuck with doing warranty work because they used something you brought them that then failed. Some places you can talk into using used parts, but most of the time they will tell you there is no warranty on their work then.

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    lit fam XJman's Avatar
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    Just to slap in a new short block will run 5k that's doing nothing else besides the minimum required.

    I'm being honest about not messing with the steering quickener. Leave your steering be unless you are going to do it right. On a car that's got a marginally quick steering rack they will make lock to lock one maybe one and a half turns. That's dangerous on the road. You are not making that many corrections like you would be on a dirt track car.

    They also fail, often.

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