Possible Winter Upgrades for my WRX
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This is a discussion on Possible Winter Upgrades for my WRX within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; FIRST POST ON ClubWRX Anyways I've had the car (2002 WRX sedan - WRB) a couple months now and I'm ...

  1. #1
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    Post Possible Winter Upgrades for my WRX

    FIRST POST ON ClubWRX

    Anyways I've had the car (2002 WRX sedan - WRB) a couple months now and I'm considering a few upgrades, feedback would be appreciated...

    Here's the list of current mods on the car:

    HOA 3-port BCS
    Blouch 16gxt
    Witchhunter modified injectors
    Walbro 255 pump
    CXracing TMIC with modified Samco Ypipe and TB coupler
    Grimmspeed coated (black) up pipe
    Swift springs.
    Gimmick Turbo inlet
    Progress rear sway bar and Whiteline Hd endlinks
    APS 3" Cat back exhaust
    Injen SES catless downpipe
    140,000 on the engine and trans.

    And now the questions...

    Intake vs. K&N (or other drop-in filter): I know an intake is supposed to be one of the later mods done to our vehicles due to the efficiency of the stock one. I've read they aren't needed until you hit the 300-350 WHP mark, but when a professional dyno tune, and the mods I have currently I think I could be around there.

    BPV/BOV/Hybrid: I'm still running the stock BPV, which I've read is good for up to 20 PSI? After briefly speaking to the tuner at my local Suby shop, he says he'll most likely raise my boost to about 21-22 PSI. Is it worth upgrading the stock BPV to an aftermarket one such as the COBB unit? If so, will I truly be doing any long term harm by switching to a BOV, or a hybrid unit?

    External Wastegate: I haven't found a wealth of information about this mod. It seems that it's good for between 10-50 HP. The con's I've been able to find are the noise, and potential damage to components due to venting exhaust gas under the cabin? Am I missing any information here? Also does anyone have any idea how much (cost-wise) this modification to the turbo generally is? And is there one way of doing it, that's more popular/easier/better than others?

    Suspension: The car is currently lowered on swift springs, OEM struts, Progress swaybar (unsure of specs on it), and Whiteline HD endlinks. I want to improve the handling at high speed even more. Running 17" Speedline Corse 2113 wheels w/ Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires. I've been considering a front strut tower brace, but I'm not sure what fits with my bigger TMIC. Other idea's I have are better struts (D'specs?)? Or maybe a beefier sway bar? Better tires? I'm pretty lost on this mod.

    STI hoodscoop/Splitter: This one seems pretty straight forward, Larger TMIC needs a bigger scoop right? I'm also going to heatwrap my downpipe and possibly the turbo for better prevention of heatsoak.

    Clutch & Flywheel: Currently the car has an Exedy OEM clutch and stock flywheel. The clutch is beginning to slip at WOT when it gets over 3500-4000 RPMs in every gear but 1st. After researching, I'm thinking about going with the ACT streetlite flywheel. Seems like the pros greatly outweigh the inconsistent cons I've been seeing. And with a car that puts out higher HP than stock it seems like the benefits will only increase. As for the clutch, I'm not sure what to go with. I don't want "too much clutch" or "too little clutch". I'm kind of partial to ACT or Exedy products but don't know what to go with. All the TQ ratings seem to be at the crank vs. at the wheel. Which in either case is useless because the car was never dyno'd. Any recommendations? Oakos happens to be running a deal on the ACT streetlite flywheel with an Exedy Stage 1 clutch (#15802) does this seem to be enough with my set up?

    Engine Management: My car is running a nice opensource tune and I have no real complaints about it. However I want more power AND better fuel efficiency. Yes I'm trying to build 500 HP car that gets 55 MPG lol. I was thinking I'd get a professional dyno tune with the above mods to get maximum or close to maximum power out of everything, and getting an additional map that would pretty much cut fuel, boost, etc. to improve gas mileage (similar to what I've seen come on some of the COBB units). To do this I believe I need some sort of aftermarket ECU/tuner. I was thinking about buying the COBB AccessPort, and loading the tunes on to that so I could switch on the fly. Then someone also told me about a piggyback unit such as the TurboXS UTEC, which costs a few hundred more. At this point I'm more of a set-it-and-forget-it guy, and I don't anticipate doing much more modification, tuning (especially on my own). Would there be a worthwhile benefit for me buying the UTEC vs. the AccessPort? I'm pretty lost here as well so all suggestions are appreciated.

    I plan on taking all these questions/ideas to my local Subaru shops (Oakos & Speed Industry) at some point, but I hate to hassle businesses until I'm a bit closer to the putting money in their hand point. So in the mean time, any feedback, and ideas are appreciated.
    Last edited by ElikemMM; 09-06-2011 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention what car this exactly is.

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  3. #2
    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Intake: you'd benefit from one.

    BOV: your choice. The Cobb unit can be full recirc, VTA, or 50/50

    EWG: better boost control and more power. If you can live with the noise, go for it. Grimmspeed offers a kit for ~$500 with everything you need.

    Suspension: tires are what connect your car to the road, so they're most important. Don't bother with the strut brace unless you have a wagon, and then just look at the rear one.

    The I/C you have isn't great. Consider replacing it, then worry about a scoop/splitter.

    Clutch/flywheel: if the clutch is slipping, replace it with the weakest one that meets your torque output. Flywheel is up to you, but don't go too light.

    EM: OpenECU is probably fine. Cobb will yield a similar tune. UTEC is nice for speed density. Go with what your tuner is most comfortable using.

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    To add onto EJ's post (spot on in my opinion)...

    Suspension:
    -You only mention a rear sway bar. Getting a front one would help along with the front end links.
    -I don't know much about 'swift springs', but quality could be an issue there. Soobies don't like lowering springs very much, especially if its a large drop. Depending on the expected life of your struts, you may want to look into a nice strut/spring combo to replace yours. Most suggest avoiding low cost coilovers - they are go big or go home.
    -Not really 'suspension', but you never mentioned what year your car was. I'd look into some driveline bushings. My TiC Super Shift Kit is probably my favorite mod I've done. I'd also suggest the rear diff inserts and subframe inserts if applicable. Steering rack bushings are nice as well. Generally speaking, bushings/mounts will add some NVH to your car (more so mounts), but they will make you more connected to your car. Takes some of that 'floaty' feeling out.
    -Get a nice custom alignment. Waiting for mine to finish up now. Adjusting front/rear camber ratio is similar to adjusting front/rear tire pressure, sway bar sizes, or weight ratios to adjust your over or under steer. Also, if you alignment is out of whack, high speed anything is going to be an issue.


    Are you in an area where snow isn't an issue? Otherwise, do you have a spare set of wheels with snow tires on?
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    To add onto EJ's post (spot on in my opinion)...

    Suspension:
    -You only mention a rear sway bar. Getting a front one would help along with the front end links.
    -I don't know much about 'swift springs', but quality could be an issue there. Soobies don't like lowering springs very much, especially if its a large drop. Depending on the expected life of your struts, you may want to look into a nice strut/spring combo to replace yours. Most suggest avoiding low cost coilovers - they are go big or go home.
    -Not really 'suspension', but you never mentioned what year your car was. I'd look into some driveline bushings. My TiC Super Shift Kit is probably my favorite mod I've done. I'd also suggest the rear diff inserts and subframe inserts if applicable. Steering rack bushings are nice as well. Generally speaking, bushings/mounts will add some NVH to your car (more so mounts), but they will make you more connected to your car. Takes some of that 'floaty' feeling out.
    -Get a nice custom alignment. Waiting for mine to finish up now. Adjusting front/rear camber ratio is similar to adjusting front/rear tire pressure, sway bar sizes, or weight ratios to adjust your over or under steer. Also, if you alignment is out of whack, high speed anything is going to be an issue.


    Are you in an area where snow isn't an issue? Otherwise, do you have a spare set of wheels with snow tires on?
    Sorry I omitted the details on the car itself, 2002 WRX Sedan - WRB (corrected the original post as well).

    I live in Michigan so snow is an issue. I have another set of wheels with Hankook iPikes on them.

    Thanks for the info in mounts/bushings. When I take the car into either Oakos or Speed Industry I'll ask what they'd recommend. I know there are some other mounts/bushings the PO put onto the car, unfortunately I don't know what he did. So I'll have to ask him.

    Keep the suggestions coming.

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