finally going stage 2, any advice?
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This is a discussion on finally going stage 2, any advice? within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I finally pulled the trigger and put in an order for a cobb downpipe. Im finally gonna hit my goal ...

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    finally going stage 2, any advice?

    I finally pulled the trigger and put in an order for a cobb downpipe. Im finally gonna hit my goal of getting my 02 4eat wrx to stage 2.

    The car has about 99k on the body and tranny and about 122k on the engine (old motor spun a bearing, had some other issues, and a mech suggested a new motor). The new (used) engine was rebuilt at around 110k miles. Everything on the car is stock at the moment, there are no aftermarket mods on it. What I am looking for are some tips and pretty much any advice that can be offered to keep this car running smooth.

    In the coming weeks i plan on installing my grimmspeed uppipe, cobb downpipe, and flashing to an ots stage 2 cobb map. Ill be keeping the stock air box for now (although from what ive read i dont think the intake needs to be replaced anyhow). Later on when some money comes in ill seek help from clark tuning for a custom map to flash, but for now itll be cobb ots.

    I also put in an order for goodridge stainless steel brake lines, also from what i read, this is a solid practical mod to improve brake response and reliability. Aside from that I have ordered the proper gaskets and donuts to replace while getting the up and down pipes installed. Ill be using the stock wrx catback (good idea? bad idea?) I didnt see the need to change catbacks. The sound would be great but ill keep an eye out in the classified I see awesome deals on used catbacks time and time again.

    Are there any other "supporting mods" that need to be done after going stage 2? This is not a track car, I just wanted my daily to have a bit more power. Would there be any additional maintence steps for a stage 2 wrx (from what I read, it did not seem like there were additional steps)?

    One other thing I just remembered, GAUGES! There are currently NO gauges installed on the car. I was thinking of adding some to help make troubleshooting any future problems easier. What gauges do you guys recommend? I planned on replacing the dash clock with a triple ati gauge pod. I was definitely going to add a boost gauge. I may add a wideband gauge since the cobb downpipe already has a bung for that sensor (thats obviously not the old reason ). I wasnt sure what the third should be. Any input on that would be great as well.

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    I am assuming you got some brake fluid to go with the stainless lines? Not sure what you have for tires, but these are always great to upgrade when the time comes. As mentioned that ability to monitor that exhaust gas temp, wide band 02 (air to fuel ratio), and obviously boost are important. You can use your cobb AP to monitor certain criteria (you can use it as a gauge), but the EGT and wb02 will need sensors installed in your exhaust system. Sounds like you have a pretty solid plan. If I could do my gauges over again, I would probably look into the failsafe gauge from AEM, it has AFR (wb02) and boost on one gauge. Good luck!

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    If you want better stopping power, tires and pads should be at the top of your list. I'm skeptical of the real benefits of the SS brake lines. Yes, I thought I felt an improvement after I installed them, but I'm wondering how much of that was a placebo effect since I wanted them to be better. Regardless, they aren't expensive and will certainly last longer than the rubber lines. I've had great luck with ATE Super Blue brake fluid.

    I have the factory mid-pipe with an STI axleback on my 2003. STI axlebacks are a direct bolt-on, and can be found in the $50-$100 range. It looks great with the stamped chrome STI logo on the exhaust tip, and there's a pleasant boxer rumble at idle, but it's pretty much silent when the car is moving.

    If you're installing everything yourself, this is a great time to stock up on socket extensions, a breaker bar if you don't have one, and flexible socket joints. I ended up using all of these during my install, and it made life a lot easier. Also make sure you have anti-seize compound handy, and most importantly: PB BLASTER!

    After flashing to the STG II map, take several datalogs and look over your results. You can also post the spreadsheets here for people to review and give feedback. I wouldn't "flash and forget", especially on an older car. Check out the Engine Management stickies for far more in-depth discussions on to collect datalogs, what parameters you should be looking at, and how to spot potential problems with the car/tune. Cobb's OTS maps are generally not bad and are on the conservative side, but the "one size fits most" nature of them means that problems sometimes arise. Better safe than (very) sorry.
    Last edited by Rambo; 04-01-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11blackSTi View Post
    I am assuming you got some brake fluid to go with the stainless lines? Not sure what you have for tires, but these are always great to upgrade when the time comes. As mentioned that ability to monitor that exhaust gas temp, wide band 02 (air to fuel ratio), and obviously boost are important. You can use your cobb AP to monitor certain criteria (you can use it as a gauge), but the EGT and wb02 will need sensors installed in your exhaust system. Sounds like you have a pretty solid plan. If I could do my gauges over again, I would probably look into the failsafe gauge from AEM, it has AFR (wb02) and boost on one gauge. Good luck!
    Yes new brake fluid to go with the SS lines for sure, ATE super blue. Cant recall the current tires, they have been on since i bought the car, they are Falken, not sure exactly which ones there is quite a bit of tread left. Thats very interesting thanks for bringing up that AEM gauge, ill check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Boost / EGT / WBO2
    Exactly what I had in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    If you want better stopping power, tires and pads should be at the top of your list. I'm skeptical of the real benefits of the SS brake lines. Yes, I thought I felt an improvement after I installed them, but I'm wondering how much of that was a placebo effect since I wanted them to be better. Regardless, they aren't expensive and will certainly last longer than the rubber lines. I've had great luck with ATE Super Blue brake fluid.

    I have the factory mid-pipe with an STI axleback on my 2003. STI axlebacks are a direct bolt-on, and can be found in the $50-$100 range. It looks great with the stamped chrome STI logo on the exhaust tip, and there's a pleasant boxer rumble at idle, but it's pretty much silent when the car is moving.

    If you're installing everything yourself, this is a great time to stock up on socket extensions, a breaker bar if you don't have one, and flexible socket joints. I ended up using all of these during my install, and it made life a lot easier. Also make sure you have anti-seize compound handy, and most importantly: PB BLASTER!

    After flashing to the STG II map, takes several datalogs and look over your results. You can also post the spreadsheets here for people to review and give feedback. I wouldn't "flash and forget", especially on an older car. Check out the Engine Management stickies for far more in-depth discussions on to collect datalogs, what parameters you should be looking at, and how to spot potential problems with the car/tune. Cobb's OTS maps are generally not bad and are on the conservative side, but the "one size fits most" nature of them means that problems sometimes arise. Better safe than (very) sorry.
    Pads and tires are next on my list. Gauges will probably be second. If i had to change my catback it was probably gonna be an STi. Ive got a breaker bar and and some socket extensions ready along with pc blaster. Yep ill be using the cobb ots for now with constant data logging till I can contact clark turning for a slightly better and more custom tailored solution.

    Thanks alot for your feedback and input guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    If you want better stopping power, tires and pads should be at the top of your list. I'm skeptical of the real benefits of the SS brake lines. Yes, I thought I felt an improvement after I installed them, but I'm wondering how much of that was a placebo effect since I wanted them to be better. Regardless, they aren't expensive and will certainly last longer than the rubber lines. I've had great luck with ATE Super Blue brake fluid.

    I have the factory mid-pipe with an STI axleback on my 2003. STI axlebacks are a direct bolt-on, and can be found in the $50-$100 range. It looks great with the stamped chrome STI logo on the exhaust tip, and there's a pleasant boxer rumble at idle, but it's pretty much silent when the car is moving.

    If you're installing everything yourself, this is a great time to stock up on socket extensions, a breaker bar if you don't have one, and flexible socket joints. I ended up using all of these during my install, and it made life a lot easier. Also make sure you have anti-seize compound handy, and most importantly: PB BLASTER!

    After flashing to the STG II map, take several datalogs and look over your results. You can also post the spreadsheets here for people to review and give feedback. I wouldn't "flash and forget", especially on an older car. Check out the Engine Management stickies for far more in-depth discussions on to collect datalogs, what parameters you should be looking at, and how to spot potential problems with the car/tune. Cobb's OTS maps are generally not bad and are on the conservative side, but the "one size fits most" nature of them means that problems sometimes arise. Better safe than (very) sorry.
    I bought the goodridge phantom lines and though they were a bit more expensive, I felt a difference and so did my brother in law. Ultimately if you want REAL stopping power with with a BBK... pads and tires I agree will help, but if you want to go to extreme summer tires (which is what you would need) they are going to throw sh*t ALL over your car.
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    your mod list looks good, in fact its basically the same setup I have short of TXS turbo-back and XPT stage 2, and I'm running 290whp. If you haven't done it, i'd at least go get urself a compression tester kit at Autozone to add to your arsenal, I paid 30 for mine its got everything--but I'll admit our boxer engines are a "pita" when it comes to trying to thread that hose in with hot heads. That's really all I'd recommend at this point, if your numbers are good, and you do frequent high quality oil changes(timing belt too) driver tell she blows.


    for brakes, just some simple high quality rotors and pads will do, if you don't want to break the bank look at the 2 pod Subaru brakes on Subaruoemparts.com but realistically at that rate, its just easier to pay 200 more for Gold Brembos.
    Last edited by Fastenzeit; 04-01-2013 at 08:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical4u View Post
    I bought the goodridge phantom lines and though they were a bit more expensive, I felt a difference and so did my brother in law. Ultimately if you want REAL stopping power with with a BBK... pads and tires I agree will help, but if you want to go to extreme summer tires (which is what you would need) they are going to throw sh*t ALL over your car.
    I ended up getting these: GoodRidge G-Stop Stainless Steel Brake Lines Front/Rear Subaru WRX / STI 2002-2007 at RallySportDirect.com

    And I have been shopping around and researching some of the big brake kits available for my car that will be coming soon. Im in the middle of job hunting and holding on to my current job so future mods are going to be on hold for now till more dough starts coming in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastenzeit View Post
    your mod list looks good, in fact its basically the same setup I have short of TXS turbo-back and XPT stage 2, and I'm running 290whp. If you haven't done it, i'd at least go get urself a compression tester kit at Autozone to add to your arsenal, I paid 30 for mine its got everything--but I'll admit our boxer engines are a "pita" when it comes to trying to thread that hose in with hot heads. That's really all I'd recommend at this point, if your numbers are good, and you do frequent high quality oil changes(timing belt too) driver tell she blows.


    for brakes, just some simple high quality rotors and pads will do, if you don't want to break the bank look at the 2 pod Subaru brakes on Subaruoemparts.com but realistically at that rate, its just easier to pay 200 more for Gold Brembos.
    I was going to get the turboxs turbo-back since the price was great and ive never had a bad experience with turboxs, but Cobb was my first choice and since this 10% off deal came around I just had to jump on it. I am also putting in an order for a compression test kit. My car came out of the shop about a month ago and they did run one and said the numbers were good. They gave me the figures but ive since filed it away so i cant recall what they were right now


    Got an email from Rally Sport, order was shipped out today so i should be seeing everything within a weeks time and depending on the weather get everything installed within the following week.

    Thanks again for all your input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surchk View Post
    I ended up getting these: GoodRidge G-Stop Stainless Steel Brake Lines Front/Rear Subaru WRX / STI 2002-2007 at RallySportDirect.com

    And I have been shopping around and researching some of the big brake kits available for my car that will be coming soon.
    Yep, those are the same lines I have. You don't need a BBK unless you're building a track car. Tires, pads, and brake fluid will dramatically improve your braking performance. With just pads and brake fluid, I autoX'd my car all day long and didn't notice any brake fade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Yep, those are the same lines I have. You don't need a BBK unless you're building a track car. Tires, pads, and brake fluid will dramatically improve your braking performance. With just pads and brake fluid, I autoX'd my car all day long and didn't notice any brake fade.
    Hmmmm. Yeah I was just doing a bit more reading on BBK's and from what I gathered the people using them had them for track cars or cars with 400bhp+ goals and such. My car is my daily, I use it mainly for work. Since i'm an in home/business PC consultant i'm on the road constantly not on a track, plus i don't plan on taking my car to the track anytime soon if ever. Ill probably stick with adding tires, pads and the fluid to my list when time comes to get the ss lines installed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Yep, those are the same lines I have. You don't need a BBK unless you're building a track car. Tires, pads, and brake fluid will dramatically improve your braking performance. With just pads and brake fluid, I autoX'd my car all day long and didn't notice any brake fade.
    You don't NEED them no, but if you want the level of stopping power of say an STI, which already has the Brembo's on it... you'll need it. Some people don't care about that. I don't care about it myself either personally. I am just saying if you want that eye snapping braking... you'll have to do less in other areas. It's all a trade off. IMO anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical4u View Post
    You don't NEED them no, but if you want the level of stopping power of say an STI, which already has the Brembo's on it... you'll need it. Some people don't care about that. I don't care about it myself either personally. I am just saying if you want that eye snapping braking... you'll have to do less in other areas. It's all a trade off. IMO anyway.
    That's the thing though.... for stopping from a roll, the WRX... even a Toyota Echo will stop just as hard as an STi (given similar tires and testing conditions). All three cars will lock brakes forcing the ABS rear it's ugly head. The larger brake pad area improves resistance to brake fade, which is necessary on the track.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    That's the thing though.... for stopping from a roll, the WRX... even a Toyota Echo will stop just as hard as an STi (given similar tires and testing conditions). All three cars will lock brakes forcing the ABS rear it's ugly head. The larger brake pad area improves resistance to brake fade, which is necessary on the track.
    *sigh* I miss my old Evo 9 RS... no ABS.

    I cannot agree totally... on another one of my cars... my Evo X lol stopping from a roll stopped WAYYY faster, harder, etc than any other car i've had, and I would say it was because of the stock advans, but they were long gone... this was with Conti DWS'. A GREAT tire by the way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical4u View Post
    *sigh* I miss my old Evo 9 RS... no ABS.
    At least with bugeyes, you can pull the ABS fuse... not sure if that's still applicable.
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    Still looking at the BBK's, but I doubt I would pull the trigger on those anytime soon if at all. New pads, tires, and ate blue are next on my list for after stage 2 install is done (or maybe before/during depending on if I can get some extra cash in).

    I have started browsing gauges however. Im going to go with the ATI triple dash pod for sure. As for gauges I have been checking out 52mm Defi boost, egt, and innovate wideband 02, brand new its around $700ish. I think that might be the setup I go with. Ill be checking out the classified on here and NASIOC maybe I can find some good deals.

    If not that, 11blackSTi mentioned AEM UEGO Failsafe Wideband AFR/Boost Gauge. I may consider that along with EGT, and maybe oil pressure or temp. Still not sure yet ive still got a lot of reading and research to do.

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