Hello All. Just found this board while searching info on my new 2004 WRX Sedan and thought I'd intro myself a little and ask for some advice from the more experienced here.
Bought my WRX sedan 5M on 7/3/04 bare bones w/no options for $21k (before tax, tags) from Fritzgerald Subaru in Kensington, MD (good experience, highly recommend Salesperson named Hossein Zahedi). I'll post pics soon. I'm almost near my 1k mile break in period...have been keeping it below 3100 rpm/70 mph thus far (despite the daily race-mockings I get on the Beltway or I-270 from Mustangs, Corvettes, and BMWs). This is my first "perfomance car" and did quite a bit of consumer researching before buying...it was the most bang for the buck in terms of performance.
Saying I'm a novice would be an understatement...I don't know much about the tech side of cars or performance (as the questions below will make apparent), so I'd appreciate any feedback/advice I can get...thanks in advance.
A few questions/request for advice...
1) I've noticed that shifting isn't as smooth as my 94 Integra's was, particularly from stand still to 1st. Is this normal for Subaru AWDs? I was told that by a friend of mine.
2) I'm considering getting a short shifter installed/moded as the throws on the stock seem very long and can't seem to shift as quickly as I'd like (is this due to my inexperiece?). Subie dealers are quoting $400-500 range for a short shifter installed (isn't that kinda pricey?). Perrin makes an adjustable short shifter adapter/sleeve(http://www.perrinperformance.com/pro...ortshifter.htm) that Atlantic Motorsports in Gaithersburg,MD will install for around $100-120 ($90 part + labor). What is your advice/experience in this area? Should I go with the dealer, the Perrin adapter/sleeve at Atlantic (how well does this adapter work, anyone have experience with Atlantic Motorsports?), or do you recommend something else? I'd prefer a short shifter w/o too much rattle/vibration.
3) I'd also like to get a turbo boost gauge to see how I'm using the turbo. Dealer installed is about $370. How well does the gauge work and does it help in managing the turbo performance? Any recommendations from another product/place besides the dealer?
4) What are other mods that would be good to make the car perform better? I'm not looking to spend a lot of money just yet...just the most bang for the buck but nothing illegal or that would violate the engine/powertrain warranty. I read alot of references of the 3/16th mod...but don't know what exactly that is or the cost.
5) I read a lot about turbo lag and slow acceleraton at the lower RPMs. Are there mods or driving tips that would minimize this?
6) Who/where are some reputable places in the area to take my WRX for mods, performance servicing, etc?
I apologize for the long-windedness of this posting, but just wanted to get my questions out there for some advice/help. Thanks again for your advice!