bought an 03 Wagon. Suggestions?
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This is a discussion on bought an 03 Wagon. Suggestions? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey guys, I just bought an 03 Wagon. So far the only things I put on were the hella supertones, ...

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    bought an 03 Wagon. Suggestions?

    Hey guys,

    I just bought an 03 Wagon. So far the only things I put on were the hella supertones, rally armor mudflaps, ProSport mechanical boost gauge and a kartboy shift knob. Any suggestions on what to do next? Anything from appearance to brakes, suspension, etc. (I just want to do some little things here and there to increase the overall performance of the car, and I dont have a lot of money to dish out for a while because I'm in college and need to use my money for expenses out there). So any suggestions would be appreciated Thanks!

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    "Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre" ninefourteener's Avatar
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    Cheap mods:

    Short shifter
    uppipe (should do anyway)
    Steel braided brake lines + new fluid
    Performance springs
    used OEM STI intercooler upgrade
    K+N drop-in filter
    F+R strut tower and undercarriage H-brace

    Just a few suggestions on cheap stuff that will help you out... not a whole lot.. but they are good starts.

    Not sure how many miles are on it.. but with a used 03... the FIRST things I would do are:

    1: Change the oil
    2: Change the gear oil in the tranny and rear diff
    3. Change the spark plugs
    4: New air filter (K+N??)
    5: New fuel filter
    6: 1 can of seafoam
    7: Clean the MAF (makes a big difference, especially if it hasn't been done)

    Those few inexpensive things should make your car run great, and even make it "feel" better. At the very least, you'll know that all the "normal" maintenance stuff has been done.
    Last edited by ninefourteener; 08-12-2010 at 10:22 AM.
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    Thanks for the help. Only thing is I'm new to everything here. I've been trying to read up on everything I can to become mroe knowledgeable. And Besides taking Auto Shop 2 years ago in high school for a semester, I don't know a thing. I understand when you start modding certain parts of your car, you need to change other things to be able to support it. So I guess you could say I'm looking for mods that can stand alone without having to change multiple things and still increase performance. I liked the idea of an uppipe. Any suggestions on what brand, kind? (i know nothing about them, so the more info the better.) thanks again for the help, it's greatly appreciated. Also, where can I purchase all of these? I bought mud flaps, hella supertone horns, a new shift knob and a ProSport mechanical boost gauge from fastwrx.com should i keep shopping there or is there a better site?

    And there are about 95k on it and I just had all of the fluids changed.
    Last edited by subiwagon03; 08-12-2010 at 10:34 AM. Reason: forgot some info

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    "Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre" ninefourteener's Avatar
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    Read this.... It should answer quite a few questions on what mods you can do without requiring to be tuned:

    Yes, you need an EM for engine mods

    With that, everything I suggested is a simple bolt-on that won't require a tune... although you may run into CEL issues with an aftermarket uppipe.

    Your stock 02-05 uppipe has a cat in it.... which if it fails, can get sucked up into your turbo, so most folks consider it "required maintenance" to change it out and eliminate it. Plus, it will help spool-up time and performance... you'll notice the difference.

    I'm not an expert on the CEL fix - 06s have catless uppipes from the factory.. but there is plenty of info on here.... and I don't believe it is an expensive fix at all.

    I'll probably get flamed for this... but check all the "normal" retailers for the parts you want... and then check eBay. There is a LOOOOTTTTT of crap on ebay that you should never put on your car.. and you'll have to weed through it to find the good stuff... but it is there. It's better to have not only the part you want, but the BRAND of part you want as well.... then just do a price comparison... usually eBay will be cheaper.

    Also.. check "pricematchedparts.com".... I've had a lot of good luck with them...certainly check other places too.
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    Ok, I'll get cracking on the research. Thanks again for the input it was extremely helpful

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninefourteener
    With that, everything I suggested is a simple bolt-on that won't require a tune... although you may run into CEL issues with an aftermarket uppipe.

    Your stock 02-05 uppipe has a cat in it.... which if it fails, can get sucked up into your turbo, so most folks consider it "required maintenance" to change it out and eliminate it. Plus, it will help spool-up time and performance... you'll notice the difference.

    I'm not an expert on the CEL fix - 06s have catless uppipes from the factory.. but there is plenty of info on here.... and I don't believe it is an expensive fix at all.
    The "resister mod" would cost less than $2 to disable the CEL. You could also probably find someone local to reflash a stock map with the CEL disabled as well. Might cost you a beer at a local establishment, but you'd gain a friend out of it
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    Ok thanks..would you suggest an up pipe or down pipe first? (and whats the difference I have no clue...) which one is more noticeable when replaced? and what kind would you suggest? Thanks everyone for baring with me and helping

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subiwagon03 View Post
    Ok thanks..would you suggest an up pipe or down pipe first? (and whats the difference I have no clue...) which one is more noticeable when replaced? and what kind would you suggest? Thanks everyone for baring with me and helping
    Uppipe, because that can destroy your turbo if left stock.

    Any uppipe from this page would be fine:
    http://www.jscspeed.com/catalog/Suba...I/Uppipes.html
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    look at the UP install from a performance angle, as well as the impending doom of turbo destruction: the uppipe will only increase output by about 5 whp, but the turbo spools about 500 RPM sooner. This means more torque a lot quicker. That's a blessing for our wimpy little 2.0L . Coupled with the low-cost of the equipment, the uppipe is considered the best performance/$ mod you can perform.
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    "Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre" ninefourteener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subiwagon03 View Post
    Ok thanks..would you suggest an up pipe or down pipe first? (and whats the difference I have no clue...) which one is more noticeable when replaced? and what kind would you suggest? Thanks everyone for baring with me and helping
    The uppipe is the connection between your exhaust manifold (header) to your turbo... the quicker it flows, the quicker your turbo spools up. An uppipe *only* will not require a custom tune.

    Your downpipe comes off the backside of your turbo, and is essentially the "start" of your traditional "exhaust". Installing an aftermarket (bellmouth) downpipe allows your turbo to boost higher, and produce more (much more in many applications) horsepower. However, because of this increase in boost/HP, aftermarket downpipes do require a tune. Adding boost, without adding the required additional FUEL, and adjusting your timing accordingly..... will result in lean, potentially disastrous engine conditions.

    Not to say that there aren't many-a-youngin pimply-faced teenagers that have thrown on a $20 eBay manual boost controller and cranked up the boost on their Stock WRX to 24psi without doing anything else to the car..... but I would STRONGLY encourage you not to. If you do, make sure you have comfortable shoes.

    There is a diagram out there that shows how the entire process works.... anyone have it???

    EDIT: here it is:

    Last edited by ninefourteener; 08-13-2010 at 07:27 AM.
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    I think I'm going to purchase the TurboXS up pipe. It says "this product does not include the stock EGT bung". What exactly is that? And does it matter if it includes it or not? Also, what gaskets should I purchase to go along with it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by subiwagon03 View Post
    I think I'm going to purchase the TurboXS up pipe. It says "this product does not include the stock EGT bung". What exactly is that? And does it matter if it includes it or not? Also, what gaskets should I purchase to go along with it?
    It's fine. The EGT should actually be monitored in the headers. You need to perform the 22Kohm resistor fix (Google this) when removing the EGT sensor, else you'd like to throw a CEL. This is better than purchasing an UP with the EGT bung, because this just provides another object that has the potential to bombard the turbo.
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    ok thanks a lot for the help!

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