WRX noob needs advice: STi or Stg2/4?
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This is a discussion on WRX noob needs advice: STi or Stg2/4? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Ok, well in case you can't tell, I'm new to the realm of the subies. I've been an avid off-roader ...

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    WRX noob needs advice: STi or Stg2/4?

    Ok, well in case you can't tell, I'm new to the realm of the subies. I've been an avid off-roader and Jeep fanatic, but have lost the lust for that. Speed is what I'm after and I love the looks and performance of the WRXs. I live in an area with a decent amount of snow, lots of great hills and twisties, and I think the WRX will be much better suited there than my cherokee. So for my question: would my money be better invested in an 02-04 WRX, and modding it up (I'm not really familiar with what all parts come in each stage, I'm trying to learn though), or should I save some more for an 04 STi? I always do my own work and love modding my vehicles, but I don't know much about the differences between these two. Is the 6spd better and diminishing turbo lag? can i squeeze more boost out of the 2.5? is it better per dollar to mod up a WRX? which of the 2 gets better MPG (being a college student, this is of concern) Basic newbie questions like that. Any input would help a ton. thanks guys

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    Moderator timber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HocusPocus
    Ok, well in case you can't tell, I'm new to the realm of the subies. I've been an avid off-roader and Jeep fanatic, but have lost the lust for that. Speed is what I'm after and I love the looks and performance of the WRXs. I live in an area with a decent amount of snow, lots of great hills and twisties, and I think the WRX will be much better suited there than my cherokee. So for my question: would my money be better invested in an 02-04 WRX, and modding it up (I'm not really familiar with what all parts come in each stage, I'm trying to learn though), or should I save some more for an 04 STi? I always do my own work and love modding my vehicles, but I don't know much about the differences between these two. Is the 6spd better and diminishing turbo lag? can i squeeze more boost out of the 2.5? is it better per dollar to mod up a WRX? which of the 2 gets better MPG (being a college student, this is of concern) Basic newbie questions like that. Any input would help a ton. thanks guys
    First of all, and most important, welcome to the club ! Okay, so you want to compare apples and oranges,eh? The STi , if you have the money, would be a better building block than a WRX. The internals of an STi are quite a bit more mod friendly than a WRX, plus it has a better tranny. And the STi is quite a bit faster right from the get go. BUT, here are some things to consider: You say you are in college. Are you under 25? Single? If either or both of those are true, your insurance is going to kill you. Also, in almost all instances, power = fuel. You are almost certainly going to get better gas milage in a WRX, even lightly modded. ( Some mods even increase gas mileage as well as perfomance on the WRX, but I don't know if they have the same effect on an STi. Exhaust is one example.) And just from my own personal experience, a WRX , lightly modded, (I only have an uppipe and downpipe right now, soon to change tho ) is a plenty fun car to drive. I hope I have been a little help to you, you are in for a tough decision. Either way tho, you win.
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    Registered User IronMedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HocusPocus
    Ok, well in case you can't tell, I'm new to the realm of the subies. I've been an avid off-roader and Jeep fanatic, but have lost the lust for that. Speed is what I'm after and I love the looks and performance of the WRXs. I live in an area with a decent amount of snow, lots of great hills and twisties, and I think the WRX will be much better suited there than my cherokee. So for my question: would my money be better invested in an 02-04 WRX, and modding it up (I'm not really familiar with what all parts come in each stage, I'm trying to learn though), or should I save some more for an 04 STi? I always do my own work and love modding my vehicles, but I don't know much about the differences between these two. Is the 6spd better and diminishing turbo lag? can i squeeze more boost out of the 2.5? is it better per dollar to mod up a WRX? which of the 2 gets better MPG (being a college student, this is of concern) Basic newbie questions like that. Any input would help a ton. thanks guys

    door swings both ways! here is my opinion

    modded WRX: saves cash on insurance! obviously the insurance company wont know you have a super duper WRX, they see it as stock and with a turbo. you can mod a WRX to beat up on STi's. i feel modding a car and low insurance is good you can also get used parts from people to build your project. just make sure u double check everything before you buy it used. 2.0 engine with a turbo is fun!

    STi's: the cream of the crop in the scooby world! insurance will be higher cuz u have a 2.5L engine with a turbo pushing 300hp to the flywheel on paper. you can do some mods and make it 300hp to the wheels however it will cost more than modding a regular WRX. i noticed that the price of some parts for an STi are a bit higher than the WRX counterpart.

    in the end, it is up to you. since u are new to the world of scooby's, i would recommend getting a used 03 scooby to work from. from what i learned, the 02's had some small bugs that got fixed and the 03's learned from it. dont get yourself an STi unless u are comfortable with them. go test drive a used/new STi to see if it fits you. just my opinion, stick with a used scooby to start!
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    Originally Posted by BrianH
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    ^^^^ Bugs?^^^^ Okay big guy, what do you know that I don't?
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    Registered User IronMedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timber
    ^^^^ Bugs?^^^^ Okay big guy, what do you know that I don't?

    why do u guys have the "bugeye mafia"? muhahaha! there are more bugs than the bugeyes! lol i am sure there isnt anything major wrong. i just read it on a post somewhere that the 03's learned from the 02's mistakes or something
    2005 Nissan 350z roadster
    Originally Posted by BrianH
    I can hit 10K more posts before a neon R/T will hit 60mph.

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    haha, another jeep convert! I moved from my lifted wrangler to a wrx just this weekend! the way i see it, the wrx is what happens when a jeep and a sports car have babies...

    took the scooby on some dirt roads today, man that was fun... it drifts the turns like butter....

    can't give ya advice on the modding scene yet, as i haven't had mine long enough to mod :-p

    I do agree that you'll save alot on car insurance by modding a wrx... i looked through some old threads last week and found that the insurance rates for an sti were quite considerably higher...

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    Moderator timber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMedic
    why do u guys have the "bugeye mafia"? muhahaha! there are more bugs than the bugeyes! lol i am sure there isnt anything major wrong. i just read it on a post somewhere that the 03's learned from the 02's mistakes or something

    Hijack
    Aiiight.. but if you remember anything that you think might be important (other than factory recall stuff) would you mind putting it up ?
    /Hijack
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    Registered User IronMedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timber
    Hijack
    Aiiight.. but if you remember anything that you think might be important (other than factory recall stuff) would you mind putting it up ?
    /Hijack

    i read somewhere on here about the clutch chatter? i did a search and cant find the post someone stated about all this stuff. it is probably nothing to worry about otherwise there would be more posts on the subjects
    2005 Nissan 350z roadster
    Originally Posted by BrianH
    I can hit 10K more posts before a neon R/T will hit 60mph.

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    Moderator timber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMedic
    i read somewhere on here about the clutch chatter? i did a search and cant find the post someone stated about all this stuff. it is probably nothing to worry about otherwise there would be more posts on the subjects

    *relief* okay-thanks for the headsup
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    One thing to note about saving on insurance with the modded WRX... God forbid if this ever happens but if your car is stolen, the cost of those mods cannot be recovered unless they are added to the policy (which would defeat the purpose of trying to save on insurance).

    Also, don't forget about factoring in the cost of a potential voided warranty w/ a modded WRX vs. a stock STi. Of course, if you plan to mod the STi, then this really isn't an issue.
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    Ok thanks for all the great info, heres what I'm thinking:
    based on minimal research, i think i want an 02-03 WRX
    vf34 turbo, the 255 fuel pump,STi pink injectors, and i guess the cobb stage 2 exhaust and engine map thing (still kinda confused about which ECUtek thing is which and what is the best/most power/most tunable, etc ) can someone fill me in a little more on this, and also if there are any companies out there that package new turbo's and up/downpipes, pumps, injectors, blah blah with the typical TBE and ECUtek/whatever? Is buying used parts a viable option, or should i be kinda wary of that?
    beyond that im not too worried about aesthetics, I like more of a sleeper. What is everyone using for tires though?
    thanks again

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    Moderator timber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HocusPocus
    Ok thanks for all the great info, heres what I'm thinking:
    based on minimal research, i think i want an 02-03 WRX
    vf34 turbo, the 255 fuel pump,STi pink injectors, and i guess the cobb stage 2 exhaust and engine map thing (still kinda confused about which ECUtek thing is which and what is the best/most power/most tunable, etc ) can someone fill me in a little more on this, and also if there are any companies out there that package new turbo's and up/downpipes, pumps, injectors, blah blah with the typical TBE and ECUtek/whatever? Is buying used parts a viable option, or should i be kinda wary of that?
    beyond that im not too worried about aesthetics, I like more of a sleeper. What is everyone using for tires though?
    thanks again
    For all your performance questions, you'll have to do a little bit of research and decide what will work best for you. As for tires, I just put a new set of Hankook's on my '02, and I like them pretty well. They are a little bit taller than what I would have liked, but they have a good performance/price ratio.
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    Registered User IronMedic's Avatar
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    the average scooby pilot seems to want to stick around stage 2. my stage 2 combo is as follows (when i purchase it all)

    turboXS stage 2= UTEC + TBE setup (RFL-Ti style)
    Mad Dad uppipe (great price!!)

    you dont need an uppipe to be stage 2, the UTEC (or any ECU upgrade) will push u to stage 2 with your TBE. stage 1 consists of just an ECU upgrade. if u are not familiar with ECU upgrades, i recommend either studying up on it here on the forums or just do a TBE/uppipe swap for now.
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    Moderator timber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMedic
    the average scooby pilot seems to want to stick around stage 2. my stage 2 combo is as follows (when i purchase it all)

    turboXS stage 2= UTEC + TBE setup (RFL-Ti style)
    Mad Dad uppipe (great price!!)

    you dont need an uppipe to be stage 2, the UTEC (or any ECU upgrade) will push u to stage 2 with your TBE. stage 1 consists of just an ECU upgrade. if u are not familiar with ECU upgrades, i recommend either studying up on it here on the forums or just do a TBE/uppipe swap for now.
    I agree totally. Altho I personally am going w/ Access Port EM. But even just the exhaust changes IronMedic spoke of really make a big difference in the drivability of a WRX. And if you shop around you can get your complete exhaust from uppipe to mufffler for right around a grand. (maybe a little more). Good luck!
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    Again, welcome to the club!

    I would first recommend that your drive both vehicles before deciding on your path. Beware though, once you drive the STi it will be very hard to choose a WRX over it.

    A simple Cobb stage II upgrade will get you +300 hp to the wheels on an STi (TBE, Cobb AP....and thats all you need). Out of the box the STi has everything else you will need...brakes, stearing, gears, tranny, synchros, suspension, DCCD, tranny and engine mounts, bushings, catless up pipe, etc. I list these items because they are all things to consider in your modification plans.

    Of course, overall cost should be a major consideration and the STi will cost quite a bit more initially and over the long term when you factor in insurance. The difference in gas mileage is truly negligable so I wouldn't factor that in.

    If you are in school, and paying for it yourself, I would recommend going with a WRX. If you have the money to spend, the STi would be my choice. Bottom line, it takes more than the price difference betweent the two vehicles to make the WRX perform as well as the STi....quite a bit more when you consider handling also.

    In the end, either car is a blast to drive, loads of fun, great in the snow, and fairly easy to modify. Parts are about the same price wise if you take into account the fact that the stock STi parts are a significant upgrade from the WRX parts.

    Enjoy your decision process and let us know how you end up!
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