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This is a discussion on where to start within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I bought an '03 wrx last December and finally have some cash to spend on it. but i don't know ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Thecabindweller's Avatar
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    where to start

    I bought an '03 wrx last December and finally have some cash to spend on it. but i don't know where to start. i want to do some engine mod's rather than focus on making it look good, that can wait until it can really haul. Any ideas???

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    Registered User jeffmm06's Avatar
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    Uppipe, down pipe, cat back. Stage 2 tune. A professional dyno tune will put you a bit under the hp of a factory sti.

    Good tires and suspension mods like sway bars are nice, especially if you plan to autox.

    Do alot of ready on existing threads in the engine forums...you'll learn alot of get better ideas of what YOU want to do.
    2005 WRB WRX "was" STAGE 2

  4. #3
    Registered User Thecabindweller's Avatar
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    Question

    getting an uppipe, down pipe and catback sounds decent and after some research i think its defiantly the route i want to take. before i go buying everything to do it just a couple questions

    -its is something i can do on my own. I know my way around a car for the most part, although the Subaru is much different than the fords i do work on.

    -should i do all of these at once? or can i start at one thing and work my way through the list.

    -and my budget is limited, so are there any mildly cheap yet good quality brands i can look into?

  5. #4
    Registered User StiMetalhead666's Avatar
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    the uppipe and turbo back wouldnt take long at all to do urself but u wanna get it pro tuned asap and i know its not a good first mod but cai to get some air flow not a short ram get the cold air but thats just me i know others will say thats not a good step but thats just me and if u have time and wanna mess around fmic would be sweet

  6. #5
    Registered User jeffmm06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiMetalhead666 View Post
    i know its not a good first mod but cai to get some air flow not a short ram get the cold air but thats just me i know others will say thats not a good step but thats just me and if u have time and wanna mess around fmic would be sweet
    with those mods an fmic will not be worth the time/effort/money no performance gains there, if anything a sti tmic is more than enough.

    no reason to alter the intake either, the factory unit will be suffice just fine.

    You could do the uppipe first and a cbe. Once you throw on the downpipe you will need the engine mgmt (tune) to go along with it. Also the tune is what will make your mods worthwhile by extracting the power from them.
    2005 WRB WRX "was" STAGE 2

  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The bugeye cars can survive without engine management with just exhaust mods but you'll need to mechanically fix the CELs that will result in that case - and always have gauges installed to monitor the motor. Also, you won't be getting as much power as possible from the parts without a flash. If you are going to do an up pipe, you may as well have another downpipe handy since you'll be working on the car for several hours anyway. Your current IC is fine as stated.
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  8. #7
    Registered User StiMetalhead666's Avatar
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    well it all depends on how much money ur willing to spend and how much giggity u want

  9. #8
    Registered User kalidas's Avatar
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    Personally, I am a bigger fan of suspension modification before engine modification. I know there are people on both sides that argue which to do first, I am on the suspension side of the fence. I would much rather have a quick car that handles great than a fast car that handles good. The first thing I would do if I were you is research and develop and idea of what you want the end product to be. Then create a list of parts and a map on how to get there. Set it up so that there is a method behind your modifications. Don't just go "I have this much $, I can afford this. Lets buy it and put it on now." Set your goals and work towards them the best way possible, try to avoid buying things on impulse. That's not to say you can add things to the list or move things around in the list just think about it before you do.

    Also try to avoid buying something twice. Example, say you want a CBE. However the CBE that you really want you cannot afford, so you buy a cheaper one till you can afford the better one. I always recommend saving and getting what you want. It may be more expensive up front, buy it is much cheaper down the road.

  10. #9
    Registered User wrx0131's Avatar
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    You can always get used parts on here for cheaper.

    Others may disagree, but ERZ on ebay makes a downpipe/uppipe combo for pretty cheap. I've had it for a year and have had no problems.

    Putting that uppipe on is a bit annoying though. The most expensive thing will probably be the tune, which is $500, but well worth it.
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  11. #10
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    If you're deadset on going the exhaust/tune route, and you are on a limited budget, then here are some things to remember:

    the uppipe: you can either buy a gutted stocker, or do it yourself, and have a catless UP that is just as good as an aftermarket one(however, this isnt as true if you are on a bigger turbo, but since you are on a limited budget, a turbo upgrade is far down the road), and for far cheaper. I found my gutted stocker for about $45 bucks IIRC.

    Downpipe: ERZ sells their catless DP for about 140 bucks. I have it and like it.

    As for the catback section, or the DP/UP for that matter, buy used. There is really no use buying new stuff. Just be sure to get pictures to make sure there isnt rust. But if there isnt, new components offer nothing over used ones.

    As for a tune, I recommend an OpenSource tune. It is far cheaper and just as good if not better(according to some people) than going the AccessPort route. you can get a custom tune(just be sure the tuner is reputable) for around $200-300.


    Having said that, one of the best things you can do to a car to start off with is often overlooked, and that is getting a good set of performance tires, if you dont have them already.

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