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This is a discussion on (insert generic introduction title here) within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; There once was a boy without a car to call his own. This boy made do without one or borrowed ...

  1. #1
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    There once was a boy without a car to call his own. This boy made do without one or borrowed his dad's outback or mother's mini van when a car was required. After much love from his dad's out back and marvelling at his friend's WRX he decided he wanted a subaru of his own.

    It was not an easy road. He survived many weeks on a diet of generic brand chef boyardi, top ramen, and oatmeal. He gave up his cable television, bought used books, and went balls to the walls to get good enough grades for scholarships to free up trust fund money. That was 18 months ago. Today that boy fullfilled his dream.

    Forgive me if you didn't enjoy the poorly written summary of events. I'm the excited new owner of a 2002 WRX. After plenty of research, carfax reports, and test drives I found the it for $11,000 on 70k miles. It came complete with spiffy clean interior, regular maintenance and a nice thick folder of records to back it up.

    Being the slightly presumptuous, testosterone driven, fun loving guy that I am, I want to go about giving my WRX a bit more 'pep'. The problem is: I'm not exactly car savvy or mechanicaly inclined. I could even be considered car stupid or mechanically impaired. Until I read through the stickies I wasn't familiar with the vocabulary or acronyms. I'm still figuring some of them out. All I could do was change oil and brakes.

    Anyways. I did some reading and research and the concepts are starting to come together for me. The car came with a HKS electronic boost controller, Apexi super AFC, and what I think is some kind of cat back exhaust. From what I gather, the route that has been taken is kind of lame and cheap. From what I've gathered the first thing to do is replace the stock up pipe with a catless one. Following that with a complete turbo back exhaust system will result in the most power, but there are some legal issues there even if I were to get a high flow cat. What are people's experiences like?

    Also, being an enviromentally concious person I want to avoid contributing to much to less than ideal air conditions. With that in mind, I've also read about/considered a new down pipe followed by a new cat back exhaust system. The one I currently have is a little too loud and obnoxious for my liking.

    With the exhaust taken care of I think the next step up is getting the support mods for a different turbo. I'm still trying to figure out if its something that I'd actually make use of. My friend, who is somewhat of an enthusiast, just replaced his and is willing to sell me his used IHI VF-35 for $400. After showing it to a few local shops the turbo is in good condition. Assuming I take my friend's offer I'm supposed to need a fuel pump, new injectors, and a new intercooler was recommended. Regardless of whether I replace the turbo or not, I know I'm also supposed to get some sort of real engine management. Access Port is what has been recommended to me so far.

    I live and go to school in way northern California but do a lot of weekend trips. A lot of the driving I do is on curvy mountain/sea side roads with one lane of traffic in each direction. Sometimes cars line up behind a big truck or some RV and I'd like my WRX to be in a nice postion to make the passes when the passing lane shows up. On occasion I'll see a friend on the high way and we'll both get that shot of testosterone. I'd like to be able to have enough 'get up and go' to see him in the rear view mirror. I'm not really about the local dirt track (thought it might be fun to try), quarter mile, or racing. I'm looking for a little bit of quickness and a little bit of fun. Hopefully this gives any helpful advisors a gist of what I'm looking for.

    All that said, I'm shopping for an up pipe, down pipe, and/or exhaust systems. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations? Am I headed in the right direction?

    The whole post ended up being longer than expected. I apologize for the giant wall of text and realize that some of this may be out of place on this forum. I plan on diving into the rest of the web site shortly. See you all around. =)

    EDIT 1: I know a lot of this is in the FAQ. I'm kind of sifting my way through it all, but personal recommendations would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Taveren; 08-18-2008 at 12:45 AM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Gilly Monster's Avatar
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    first off.. loved the story.. i was really pulling for you after reading about the top ramen diet. Seems like you're on your way with mods list (though i fear your diet of ramen will have to continue), as far as exhausts there are plenty of TBE options out there, Borla is pretty popular these days!
    Last edited by Gilly Monster; 08-18-2008 at 01:18 AM. Reason: removed superfluous use of the word EXhaust

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    DUB
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    Holy cow. Cliff notes?

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    Registered User Gilly Monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUB View Post
    Holy cow. Cliff notes?

    (insert generic welcome here)
    Inpoverished college kid eats only ramen to afford WRX, friend tries to sell said college kid IHI VF-35 for only $400, college kid curious about mods needed to support said turbo, college kid curious about exhaust and engine management options!

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    DUB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly Monster View Post
    Inpoverished college kid eats only ramen to afford WRX, friend tries to sell said college kid IHI VF-35 for only $400, college kid curious about mods needed to support said turbo, college kid curious about exhaust and engine management options!
    Cliff notes for the cliff notes?

  7. #6
    Registered User Gilly Monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUB View Post
    Cliff notes for the cliff notes?
    College kid, yummy ramen, want wrx go faster, suggestions?

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    Registered User STI_KLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly Monster View Post
    College kid, yummy ramen, want wrx go faster, suggestions?
    Catless UP
    Catless DP (depending on state)
    TBE (probably high flow cats)
    and EM


    I'd say start w/ that route. You can also do the intake silencer delete which will help with spool up a tad.

    After all that, you can start to look at turbo upgrades (for where you live/drive, I'd say 16g turbo? or a VF series) w/ all supporting mods (upgraded IC ((either TM of FM)), injectors, etc. and possibly some suspension mods.

    Being a poor, hungry, famished, parched college student myself, I'd like to welcome you to t3h Club!
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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Welcome, I'm in Norcal too, Sacramento in fact.

    As far as mods go, is it a VF34 or VF35?

    Oh and BTW remove the HKS EBC and the AFC, neither is WRX friendly at this point.


    Tons of exhausts around, and if you get your car "dyno tuned" you can actually clean the AFR's up so that the car pollutes less than stock. Then you can get away with a highflow CAT and not worry about it from a dirty air stand point.

    Personally I like the TurboXS TBE with Highflow Cat (not the rfl).
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    The used turbo that I have the ability to purchase is a vf-35. I also intend to have it dyno tuned by a local shop that has a pretty shiny reputation, but I'd like to get everything in place so that this will only need to be done once.

    Does anyone in California have experience/knowledge of emissions laws? I've heard that running one high flow cat can pass smog so long as some detail oriented inspector doesn't actually take a serious look at your exhaust.

  11. #10
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taveren View Post
    The used turbo that I have the ability to purchase is a vf-35. I also intend to have it dyno tuned by a local shop that has a pretty shiny reputation, but I'd like to get everything in place so that this will only need to be done once.

    Does anyone in California have experience/knowledge of emissions laws? I've heard that running one high flow cat can pass smog so long as some detail oriented inspector doesn't actually take a serious look at your exhaust.
    Yeah I do..Technically modification to the emissions system of any kind is illegal and a ticketable offense. As such save your stock parts. Matter of fact your HKS EBC is not smog legal nor is the Apexi unit.

    Now as far as passing th sniffer test, what most people do is swap their turbos or do their mods, get a protune, then when smog time comes, swap their stock down pipe and CAT on for the test, then switch back.

    I am running a Turbo XS TBE with high flow cat, and I'd be willing to bet it would pass the sniffer. It also appears mostly factor especially with its aluminized color.

    So basically any modification that makes the car faster is illegal in CA, so mod at your own risk. Rest assured the majority of people mod anyway.
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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly Monster View Post
    College kid, yummy ramen, want wrx go faster, suggestions?



  13. #12
    Registered User Gilly Monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    I almost left out the yummy ramen in that cliff note, but I felt overall it was essential to the story being told!

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