2011 WRX - 300WHP wanted. best mods to achieve power?
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This is a discussion on 2011 WRX - 300WHP wanted. best mods to achieve power? within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hello ClubWRX! Bought my 2011 WRX early summer of 2012. Looking to start modding this coming spring (tax return). I ...

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    2011 WRX - 300WHP wanted. best mods to achieve power?

    Hello ClubWRX!
    Bought my 2011 WRX early summer of 2012. Looking to start modding this coming spring (tax return). I want to achieve 300WHP and i need a little help from the experts here on what mods will get me to that 300 mark, not the cheapest, BUT the safest. i know there really aren't any guaranties when modding but im sure some routes are safer than others. regardless, i planned on getting the SPT cat back (not crazy loud but still sounds sexy) / Perrin intake (i know the stock intake is good up to 350HP? - but any aftermarket intake lets the driver hear their turbo much better than the stock intake) / lastly a tune...(accessport / dyno tune?)

    So the question is...with the SPT exhaust, intake, and tune do you guys think 300WHP is reachable? if not what other mods would be required?

    And some info on a tune would also be appreciated. (how many hours in a dyno is required to yield a safe and dependable tune).

    Reliability is my biggest concern. If i have to spend a few more bucks to assure myself the mods and tune will be reliable then i will do so.

    Thanks in advance for any and all information!!!

    - Jay

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    I'd go with a down pipe, an intake, larger top mount intercooler (processWest makes a nice one), and optionally a set of equal length headers. An EBCS (boost control solenoid) may be a nice addition at that level, as well as an optional fuel pump. If you go with a catless down pipe, you may want to look into an EWG (external wastegate) setup.

    Find the best tuner you can around there and get a reliable pro tune. Shouldn't take long with basic modifications.

    Will get you there on some dynos, not on all. Every dyno is a bit different.

    Welcome to the forum =)
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    I made 305 with a DP, CAI, and TP stage 2 tune. However, that was on a virtual dyno so that could be quite off. 300 hp isn't hard to achieve in these cars... once you get to around 330 or so unless you have e-85 I think you will be about maxed out without a larger turbo.
    2012 WRX: TurboXS DP, AEM CAI, TP stage 2 tune

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 WRX - 300WHP wanted. best mods to achieve power?

    What dyno?
    2005 WRX STi (Mods | Virtual Dyno)

    Resident Tuner @ WTF Tuning

    "Never trust anything that bleeds for a week and lives ..."

    UNYSOC

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    DP, Cat back, CAI and custom tune should put you in the ballpark

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    Thank you all for the good info!
    I was trying to stay away from the DP simply to keep the volume of exhaust down a bit. I had a 3" turbo back exhaust on my last car (2009 cooper s) and loved it, on the WRX i still want to mod and tune it, i just want to be subtle about it.
    I like the electronic boost controller idea from Heide264 - i was thinking that myself but again i dont want to go overboard here, but if it is the safer way to tune the car then ill def go that rout.
    Also from Heide264 the larger volume intercooler...will that cause more turbo lag? if there is more air the turbo has to move then it will take longer for the turbo to move it = more turbo lag (maybe by only 10 - 200 RPM?)
    As for what Dyno will i be on...i was thinking i would take the car to AMS in Chicago. I live in the greater Cleveland Ohio area so i figured they were most likely the closest and most reputable company within my driving distance...Any thoughts on that? thumbs up or down on AMS?

    again thank you all for your input - i appreciate it!

    - Jay

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycoop2586 View Post
    Thank you all for the good info!
    I was trying to stay away from the DP simply to keep the volume of exhaust down a bit. I had a 3" turbo back exhaust on my last car (2009 cooper s) and loved it, on the WRX i still want to mod and tune it, i just want to be subtle about it.
    The down pipe won't have a huge effect on the noise volume of the car. It will have some. If you go catless, expect to hear some more turbo noise and such. Otherwise, a catted down pipe won't increase your noise too much. The noise of these cars are generally governed by their muffler. Just find a quiet muffler =)


    I like the electronic boost controller idea from Heide264 - i was thinking that myself but again i dont want to go overboard here, but if it is the safer way to tune the car then ill def go that rout.
    This would depend on your engine management. Some tuners will want this, some won't. Some off the shelf tunes are compatible with it, some aren't. For what it is worth, your car already has an EBCS... it's just a 2-port variety. Most aftermarket ones (and the only ones I would consider) are 3-port. Check out the second link in my signature if you want more information about that.

    They aren't supposed to be as much of an upgrade on the newer cars, but I disagree with proper tuning.


    Also from Heide264 the larger volume intercooler...will that cause more turbo lag? if there is more air the turbo has to move then it will take longer for the turbo to move it = more turbo lag (maybe by only 10 - 200 RPM?)
    It's not quite as simple as that. You won't notice the very small amount of extra volume - that is normally only a consideration with large front mount cores. The nice intercoolers use a better construction method (plate & bar as opposed to fin & whatnot in the stock intercooler), can safely take higher pressures (the stock one tends to have issues with the end caps time to time), will be more efficient, and will have a lower pressure drop across the core (ties in with efficiency.).

    Really no negatives to going with a quality top mount other than cost (not cheap for a good one - poor quality ones are not worth it) and possible tuning tweaks to take advantage of it.


    As for what Dyno will i be on...i was thinking i would take the car to AMS in Chicago. I live in the greater Cleveland Ohio area so i figured they were most likely the closest and most reputable company within my driving distance...Any thoughts on that? thumbs up or down on AMS?

    again thank you all for your input - i appreciate it!

    - Jay
    I am not too familiar with any Subaru tunes AMS has done, but they have some other quality products out there. Better than nothing for sure!

    Brandon
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    solid info Brandon, thanks. This is my first Subaru so i have a little learning to do. Again the last car was the cooper S...plenty of mods done there to know my way around but this flat 4 is totally different.

    Any knowledge on Phatbotti tuning? I have a friend who works for Import Image Racing, on their site there is a item for sale "custom Subaru tunes" for $250. seems like a good price and i would much rather have the car tuned on a dyno than run an access port map. I had the Access port tuner for my cooper and didn't have the best of luck. I had what felt like engine miss fires allll the time, even when the cruise control was on 70 mph rolling down the freeway.

    Now that i mention it (unrelated to this thread) my WRX does something similar. Cruise control on and ill feel the engine "hick-up" for lack of a better term / misfire. happens when i'm not using the cruise too. Doesn't happen all the time and it doesn't seem to matter if the engine is warm or cold... weird.

    Thoughts?

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycoop2586 View Post
    solid info Brandon, thanks. This is my first Subaru so i have a little learning to do. Again the last car was the cooper S...plenty of mods done there to know my way around but this flat 4 is totally different.

    Any knowledge on Phatbotti tuning? I have a friend who works for Import Image Racing, on their site there is a item for sale "custom Subaru tunes" for $250. seems like a good price and i would much rather have the car tuned on a dyno than run an access port map. I had the Access port tuner for my cooper and didn't have the best of luck. I had what felt like engine miss fires allll the time, even when the cruise control was on 70 mph rolling down the freeway.
    I actually had a Phatbotti/STiMikiey etune for a while. I would consider using their stage 1 tunes if I was to do it again. Really though, I'd recommend just getting a down pipe and getting a professional dyno tune in your case. You'll have better results, especially in the lower/mid range. It's a much safer process for the car, too. You may need a cobb AP for pro tunes, depending on the tuner. Cobb APs have some nice features in them for tuners - mainly real time adjustments to make dyno tuning go much quicker.

    Without a wideband o2, you are frequently guessing at how safe your car is.

    Now that i mention it (unrelated to this thread) my WRX does something similar. Cruise control on and ill feel the engine "hick-up" for lack of a better term / misfire. happens when i'm not using the cruise too. Doesn't happen all the time and it doesn't seem to matter if the engine is warm or cold... weird.

    Thoughts?
    Not so sure about that one. I know STi's have some fuel system resonances - I haven't heard of WRXs having the same issue (not saying they do or not). Could just be the factory tune - its very 'rough around the edges' in a few maps and not very fluid. I don't like the stock tune much personally.

    Brandon
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    - so catless down pipe (to hear the turbo spool in the exhaust note). Mate that to the SPT exhaust ... any issues there? i would imagine the matting flanges would be the same. I'd like to stay away from welding my exhaust simply for deconstruction purposes.
    - Access Port tuner + professional dyno tune.
    - Intake.
    - 3 port electronic boost controller (good idea!)
    all safe and effective right? wont be stressing the internals to much?

    Next year is wheels and suspension

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycoop2586 View Post
    - so catless down pipe (to hear the turbo spool in the exhaust note). Mate that to the SPT exhaust ... any issues there? i would imagine the matting flanges would be the same. I'd like to stay away from welding my exhaust simply for deconstruction purposes.
    - Access Port tuner + professional dyno tune.
    - Intake.
    - 3 port electronic boost controller (good idea!)
    all safe and effective right? wont be stressing the internals to much?

    Next year is wheels and suspension
    I'd personally recommend going with a down pipe with a catalyst in it for your situation. There are several factors to consider and a lot of posts on the subject. The main benefit being that with a catalyst, you won't have any issues regarding boost creep. I had to go with an external wastegate setup due to boost creep following my catless down pipe. Even with a catalyst, you'll still hear some turbo noise =).

    Ask your tuner about the access port. Some will due tunes through open source tuning as well, which would save you some hearty cash.

    Ask your tuner regarding the EBCS. If they don't like them, don't get one. Really the tuners call here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    good, good, and good! Thanks for all the info Heide264. I'm not sure if there are tuners in my area :/ so it sounds like i need to get back on the horn with AMS...
    Question - why would boost pressure levels be affect downstream of the turbo? All boost controls are before the exhaust side of the turbo correct?
    Lastly, open source tuning would simply be tuning a car without preset maps to work from such as the ones supplied with an access port?

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycoop2586 View Post
    good, good, and good! Thanks for all the info Heide264. I'm not sure if there are tuners in my area :/ so it sounds like i need to get back on the horn with AMS...
    Not a bad idea


    Question - why would boost pressure levels be affect downstream of the turbo? All boost controls are before the exhaust side of the turbo correct?
    Boost creep isn't a 'control'. It's a mechanical byproduct. When you relieve back pressure on the turbine side, your waste gate may become ineffective. This will cause your wastegate to not vent enough air around the turbine, causing your car to build boost outside of your feedback ability. Basically, my car was hitting 14psi around 5500rpm without any form of boost control. To fix this, you can either port out your wastegate, get an external wastegate, or add back pressure to the turbine. Not all cars experience this, either.


    Lastly, open source tuning would simply be tuning a car without preset maps to work from such as the ones supplied with an access port?
    nope, open source tuning is exactly as it sounds. Look up RomRaider or EcuFlash or Tactrix. They allow you to flash your ECU and make changes using opensource software and hardware. Much cheaper alternative, but has its drawbacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Learning!!
    So one way to avoid the boost creep is to keep the down pipe size the same diameter as stock (back pressure is relative to exhaust pipe diameter. stock is 2.5" so find a DP that's a 2.5" dia. not 3" if one exists?)
    As for open source, now that i know what it is...i'd prefer to stay away from that. In my experience a flash is a general tune and i would much rather a tune specific to my car... Would you consider access port maps "open source tunes" since they are general maps NOT dialed in for one specific car?

    all good info Heide264...im eatin it up!!!

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycoop2586 View Post
    Learning!!
    So one way to avoid the boost creep is to keep the down pipe size the same diameter as stock (back pressure is relative to exhaust pipe diameter. stock is 2.5" so find a DP that's a 2.5" dia. not 3" if one exists?)
    As for open source, now that i know what it is...i'd prefer to stay away from that. In my experience a flash is a general tune and i would much rather a tune specific to my car... Would you consider access port maps "open source tunes" since they are general maps NOT dialed in for one specific car?

    all good info Heide264...im eatin it up!!!
    You'll be fine with a 3" down pipe. You really only end up with boost creep when you get an aftermarket down pipe without a catalyst. I'd just get a 3" down pipe with a catalyst and not worry.

    Nope, access port maps are not open source by any means. They are proprietary and normally "locked down" - meaning you can't change them much/if at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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