Just bought my first Subaru - 2003 WRX w/ 32k miles
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This is a discussion on Just bought my first Subaru - 2003 WRX w/ 32k miles within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Whats up everyone. I've been doing a lot of reading on the forums so I figured it was time to ...

  1. #1
    Registered User 03zWRX's Avatar
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    Just bought my first Subaru - 2003 WRX w/ 32k miles

    Whats up everyone. I've been doing a lot of reading on the forums so I figured it was time to join up and get to posting.

    I sold my modified 2001 Mustang GT in 2007 for a more practical, 4-door Honda Accord. The pony had 550 supercharged hp and was built for the corners w/ an IRS from an SVT Cobra, tubular front k-member, and all of the supporting suspension mods.

    Had an accident in the Honda a few weeks ago and got the spur of the moment idea to look into Subarus b/c I've driven my friend's dad's Outback and it was surprisingly fun to drive.

    So I test drove a 2002 WRX w/ ~100k miles and I could tell it had been rode hard and put away wet, the interior wasn't that great, and all around I was not impressed with the driveability. I figured I would give them another shot and drove a few hours away to test drive a 2003 w/ only 32k miles and I fell in love! The car drove GREAT. Perfect interior, only a few minor exterior blemishes, and it was already modified with most of the basics.

    So far the car has a CAI, cat-less up-pipe & down-pipe, HKS exhaust, HKS BOV, Greddy ProfecB boost controller, turbo timer, 18" rims w/ brand new tires put on the day before I picked it up, new battery, new clutch, and new front breaks.

    I'm doing an oil change tomorrow with 0W-40 or 5W-30 Mobile 1 synthetic, replacing the spark plugs with NGK PFR7B plugs, doing a compression test on the cylinders while i'm in there, replacing the fuel filter, and cleaning the air filter.

    The only issue with the car so far is the rear differential thump every now and then. Being that this is my daily driver, and I REALLY don't want to turn it into a race car (like I did with the stang) I might not even put in the rear bushings to reduce the thump if it drastically increases noise and vibration. We'll see though. Probably the first upgrade will be a short throw shifter.

    What do you guys think?

    Oh, also, it is currently only running around .005 MPa (~7 PSI, I think) and it feels pretty strong. I'm going to turn the boost back up once I figure out how it is hard set to only 7 PSI via the Greddy boost controller.
    Last edited by 03zWRX; 07-06-2010 at 06:11 PM.

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  3. #2
    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03zWRX View Post
    So far the car has a CAI, cat-less up-pipe & down-pipe, HKS exhaust, HKS BOV, Greddy ProfecB boost controller, turbo timer
    Your car isn't tuned properly unfortunately... The CAI leans out the car, the HKS BOV is known to be a leaky piece of junk, and BOVs cause rich shifts, and poor idle, and that ProfecB isn't a Subaru Specific engine management, and isn't designed for your car.
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    Registered User 03zWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    Your car isn't tuned properly unfortunately... The CAI leans out the car, the HKS BOV is known to be a leaky piece of junk, and BOVs cause rich shifts, and poor idle, and that ProfecB isn't a Subaru Specific engine management, and isn't designed for your car.
    I've read about the BOV's causing the car to run rich during shifts, but wasn't aware the CAI's are a no-no for Scoobys.

    What do you recommend as a replacement for the CAI and BOV? Also, Is the Greddy boost controller going to cause problems?

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Wow, pretty low mileage for a bugeye. Welcome to the club.

    Toss the boost controller and look into open source tuning. There is a sticky in the tuning forum. You can get the intake tuned or put the stock one back on (it is just quieter at this level). Stock BPV will work best.

    For the thump in the rear, they are famous for that. Start at the rear of the driveline and work your way forward. Diff outrigger bushings, diff mount, subframe lock kit, trans mount and donuts, engine mounts maybe. You will notice each one.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
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    Registered User 03zWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    For the thump in the rear, they are famous for that. Start at the rear of the driveline and work your way forward. Diff outrigger bushings, diff mount, subframe lock kit, trans mount and donuts, engine mounts maybe. You will notice each one.
    How much do these upgrades affect the ride comfort, road noise, etc? Just curious. Thanks

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03zWRX View Post
    How much do these upgrades affect the ride comfort, road noise, etc? Just curious. Thanks
    A little more noise / vibration / gear whine sounds when decel. but I like it honestly. As far as ride comfort, it doesn't go clunk is the main difference
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User 03zWRX's Avatar
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    Just finished doing an oil change, replaced the fuel filter, and changed the rear differential fluid. Replacing the spark plugs in the morning when the engine isn't blazing and doing a compression test while i'm in there.

    I'm interested to see how the plugs are going to look tomorrow. With the BOV causing rich points and the CAI causing the car to run lean it'll be interesting to see how they look. They are the stock plugs which are supposedly good until 60k miles, but the car is 7.5 years old so they are ready to get pulled.

    I'm going with NGK PFR7B plug which is a platinum plug, 1 step colder than stock and pre-gapped to .030.

  9. #8
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    You don't need one step colder plugs.

    Some intakes aren't a problem, depends what you have (inner diameter should be 65mm and if it is actually a CAI with a bend by the MAF and not a short ram).

    Keep in mind when looking at the plugs - FI likes to be richer than standard NA tuning for a cooling effect to prevent detonation.

    What you should look out for is little metallic balls stuck to the electrodes with a high power magnifying lens (probably not the end of the world but requires immediate attention IMO) or worse signs of detonation (hopefully not).
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User 02bugeyed's Avatar
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    If you have never changed the plugs on a subbie, you are in for a treat

  11. #10
    Registered User 03zWRX's Avatar
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    Well, As I was about to begin my replacement this morning I decided to do a little more research on the plug temperature and sure enough I found more cons than pros on running a colder plug. So i'm returning the 1 step colder plug and going with the OEM NGK plugs (4793). Advanced Auto has to order them so i'll get them tomorrow and get to work.

    As far as the difficulty of the job, i'm not too worried about it. I'm sure it'll take me longer to do it the first time around than it will later on, but I did just about everything you could possibly do, short of rebuilding the block, on my '01 GT so i've got a good bit of grease junky experience. With that said, from the looks of it, I could probably replace all 8 plugs on a mustang twice over in the time it'll take just to get a decent working space on this flat 4, haha. Looking forward to the install

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