Newbie - 04 WRX in Vegas - Upgrade list?
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This is a discussion on Newbie - 04 WRX in Vegas - Upgrade list? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey everyone, another newbie here from Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm inheriting an 04 WRX from my gf of 3 years ...

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Newbie - 04 WRX in Vegas - Upgrade list?

    Hey everyone, another newbie here from Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm inheriting an 04 WRX from my gf of 3 years (you know what's next ) and it needs some love. Now that I'm allowed to put money into it, I'm making plans and getting the car back in shape.

    1) Summer is almost here and it just about needs new tires. Has crappy all seasons H speed rating, soft and squishy, upgrading to Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Specs beginning of next month. They're 225/50's instead of stock 205/55's but I've read they'll be fine.

    2) Along with the tires I'll be getting an alignment and all that good stuff. I don't know as if my gf has ever done any of that. She hasn't in the time we've been dating and that's 3 yrs.

    3) Just did the delete mod tonight and LOVE the new sound. Should I buy a corner pipe to connect the stock intake inlet? If so, who from? Seems it doesn't matter that much, just the possibility of getting colder air in.

    4) Already put in a Perrin air filter when I got the oil changed a bit ago. Believe it or not, I noticed a difference (small but still noticed); probably because the stock one was nasty dirty. This whole time I thought it was being replaced when she got her oil changed...

    Anyway, I read about the disadvantages of oil type filters so I dropped in at Autozone and picked up MAF sensor cleaner. I was VERY careful and cleaned that grime coated sucker. Strange thing is the car used to jerk/buck when I let off the gas too fast and when I went for a test drive tonight (after cleaning/drying), it doesn't do it any more. Strange?

    -- Planned upgrades/"mods" --

    5) I've read about the cat in the uppipe so I plan on taking care of that asap, likely next month.

    6) It's nearing in on 90K miles and although it seems to be running great, I'll be taking it in for a full checkup/tuneup.

    7) I want to bump up the boost a bit but I've read all about the ways NOT to do that, lol. I'll just be taking it in to have someone pro. tune it. I'm not sure if a Subaru dealership will do that when I take it in for the 90K tuneup but if not, I'll have it done elsewhere or have both done elsewhere.

    8) I've read about the stock boost gauge not being very accurate and when I went for a test drive tonight I made sure to check max boost. I'm getting about .083 MPa which is about 12.04 PSI in 4/5th gears. From what I've read it should be running 13.5 PSI stock. So, either the gauge is off or the car needs some fixin. I hope the tuneup will take care of any issues but I'd like to put on a more accurate gauge if the stock one is indeed not very accurate. Any recommendations?

    9) My gf was told during an oil change (quite awhile ago) that the radiator had a hairline crack. They quoted her at $600-700. I took a look at it myself and found no indications of cracks, damage or the like. I can get an all aluminum one for ~$350 that has good reviews but what would you guys recommend I do? Replace anyway to be safe, wait till the stock one breaks or upgrade anyway since it'll provide much better cooling which saves the car anyway? Also, the replacement procedure doesn't seem that hard but is it something I better have the pros do?

    -- Suggestions?? --

    I know none of this stuff is really mods but it's important stuff before I can actually think about real mods. Any recommendations on things I should do first or add to the list? Thanks for the help!

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    Registered User nickolasjamison's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club. I just got a 03 WRX a week ago. I love it. I didn't know about the uppipe thing until I read about it here. A lot of useful information. Good luck with the car dude

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Thanks! And welcome to you too. ;-) I've been driving my gf's for quite awhile now so I kinda feel like part of the Subaru/WRX club already. Except when someone says, "Nice car", I have to tell them it's my gf's. lol, not really any more though. :-D

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    Registered User nickolasjamison's Avatar
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    Good stuff dude. It was a big upgrade for me. I used to drive a 04 Alero when it wasn't broken. Otherwise, i was rockin a 03 dodge neon. It was time for a real car

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Nice upgrade dude!

    My previous car was a 93 Mazda Protege. I thought for a 4 cyl. that it had oomph (before driving a WRX). Sold that and bought a 95 Yamaha FZR600R, which I thought was fast as hell (160Mph is IMO) until I rode a 2008 Yamaha R1, lol. Then I started driving my gf's WRX in the snow... and everything changed. haha

    Awhile ago I drove 05 WRX with a bunch of stage 2/3 stuff (not sure specifically) and I couldn't believe it had so much power for a 4 cyl. Such a fun car!

    Any plans for your WRX?

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    Registered User nickolasjamison's Avatar
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    Little things for right now. I wanted to do an intake but i'm not doing jack until I do all my research. I may do that uppipe later on once i've read more on it. For now, just getting my pioneer deck and Ipod player in the car is the first thing on the agenda. Maybe a cool set of taillights in my future as well. Other then that, just a fresh coat of wax just for now.

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickolasjamison View Post
    Little things for right now. I wanted to do an intake but i'm not doing jack until I do all my research. I may do that uppipe later on once i've read more on it. For now, just getting my pioneer deck and Ipod player in the car is the first thing on the agenda. Maybe a cool set of taillights in my future as well. Other then that, just a fresh coat of wax just for now.
    I wanted to put an intake on as well and when I went to buy the Perrin filter that I have now, I had actually bought a $300 cold air intake. I came home and looked for directions for installation on this site and immediately took it back and exchanged it for the Perrin, lol. While a new intake may not harm your car, there's a chance it can (running lean). They all say if you're going to do it to go get it tuned as well, which I wasn't going to do right away.

    My other concern was since a CAI sits in the passenger fender, there's a small chance it could suck up water. The stock intake is supposedly capable of up to 325hp anyway so I just went with the Perrin drop-in. I've also read a lot that money is better spent elsewhere for starting mods than an intake.

    Anyway, stick to your plan and do your research before doing anything. I wanted to do all this "easy" stuff until I read into it all and my dreams were all shot down, lol. I'll just be excited to get the new Dunlops put on!

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    Registered User nickolasjamison's Avatar
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    Good call man. My alero ran very lean when i had my intake. I notice your talking about a foam filter. Sounds cool, does it work well? I always bought k and n myself, but i'm open to new filters. I was also very excited to find out my car came with bridgestone perenzas. THey handle rather well.
    Last edited by nickolasjamison; 03-21-2010 at 11:58 PM. Reason: add info.

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    I've always been partial to K&N as well since I was raised with it but I couldn't find them anywhere in town. The local dealership only sold the Perrin foam drop-ins and the service guy told me either one will be great. I've read that foam filters catch more dust, but you know how reading things on the web goes, lol.

    After putting it in and driving around for a bit, there was a definite (but just slight) increase in audible spool up. The car seemed to have a little more power too, which I don't doubt because the stock one was nasty dirty. In comparison to a clean stock filter, I'd assume a K&N or Perrin doesn't really do much other than provide better air flow and don't need to be replaced as often. Just clean and put back in.

    Shortly after putting the Perrin in I took a trip to San Francisco and could really hear the turbo then. Felt like the car had more boost too. I assume that was due to the altitude change, but it was sweet. :-)

    Be aware though that oil type filters like these can coat your MAF sensor causing problems after awhile. I just picked up some CNC MAF Sensor spray at Autozone to clean it. The can directions say to clean it each time the filter is replaced (which I assume is prob. a bit excessive).

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    Registered User CmrnDrgn's Avatar
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    Read around all of the stickies, there is a lot of information to be had there as well as general threads. You aren't seeing target boost in 4th and 5th because max boost is hit in 2nd and 3rd. Try checking the gauge again in 2nd and 3rd and see how it's reading. Sounds like you've got a nice stock car to have fun with Tires are definitely one of the best places to start. Welcome to the club
    Last edited by CmrnDrgn; 03-22-2010 at 12:42 AM.
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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CmrnDrgn View Post
    Read around all of the stickies, there is a lot of information to be had there as well as general threads. You aren't seeing target boost in 4th and 5th because max boost is hit in 2nd and 3rd. Try checking the gauge again in 2nd and 3rd and see how it's reading. Sounds like you've got a nice stock car to have fun with Tires are definitely one of the best places to start. Welcome to the club
    Unless I've read incorrectly (very possible), 2nd/3rd don't hit max boost but 4th/5th do. I did a quick test today and 2nd/3rd def. are getting lower boost than 4th/5th for me.

    I won't stress about it until I get a new gauge and full checkup/tuneup. Considering I'm just about getting to 90K miles, I'm sure some of the power (including boost) has been lost. It just needs some love to restore it's power I'm sure. :-)

    Going to spend some more time going through stickies tonight though. ;-)

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    Registered User nickolasjamison's Avatar
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    Just got my K and N filter for the WRX. I decided against the intake for right now. I just don't think it needs it at this time. I took out the old filter, half of it was black.

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickolasjamison View Post
    Just got my K and N filter for the WRX. I decided against the intake for right now. I just don't think it needs it at this time. I took out the old filter, half of it was black.
    Haha. Notice a difference with the K&N?

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    Registered User nickolasjamison's Avatar
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    I noticed a slight difference. Knowing The air filter will last as long as the car is cool too.

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    Registered User jremick's Avatar
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    Yeah, they pay for themselves pretty quick.

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