I am looking for advice regarding modifications for my 2011 wrx hatchback.
I am looking to create a well-balanced daily-driver car that is (more) awesome at everything. I want to be able to drive in the snow/ice when I go skiing (with the right tires), bomb around the track/street (with the right tires), and rip around corners on mountain roads (with the right tires). I don’t want to over-build anything to the point where it breaks something else or seriously diminishes the expected lifetime of the car. I am ok with spending enough money to get good returns for my investments, but don’t need to go crazy with expenses that don’t really have much benefit. Rally-style driving sounds the most fun, but drag-racing inspired modifications would not be a bad thing either.
Here is what I’m thinking. Please understand that I realize some of these goals are unrealistic, so feel free to offer any advice/comments/suggestions/questions:
1. Clutch upgrade: Wouldn’t it be nice to launch at 4000rpm from every stoplight without worrying about the clutch? What is the difference between wearing/burning/glazing a clutch?
2. Flywheel: pros/cons of different flywheel upgrades? For example, I was reading that lightweight flywheels are bad for drag racing?
3. Tuning: I would like to do this just once, if possible. What can be done before and/or after the tune?
4. Brakes upgrades: ideas?
5. Shifter bushings (I had the SPT short-throw installed from the dealer. Does anyone know if they would have upgraded the shifter bushings too?)
6. Chassis bracing and/or other bracing: Pros/cons? Worth the extra weight?
7. Exhaust: So far I’m liking the Invidia q300 (but also maybe SPT or Nameless) cat-back. I would also want a down-pipe. Does anyone make a divorced-gate high-flow-cat downpipe? Would any other parts be necessary? Are there any cheaper options? I have a friend who could weld for me…
8. Intake: I have a drop-in air filter. From what I’ve been reading, that should be sufficient for most upgrades. How do you know when more is necessary?
9. Carbon fiber hood: Opinions? Overkill?
10. Other weight reduction?
11. Swaybars (and endlinks?): Tempting to try to make an oversteer-biased setup, but probably safer to try for completely neutral?
12. Other suspension upgrades: (dampers, strut towers, later links – what are these and how much do the cost?) Maybe just get some STI parts? Ideas?
13. Alcohol-injection intercooler cooler: overkill?
14. Blow-off valves or other aftermarket valves: Most of what I’ve been reading says don’t mess with them. Opinions relating to my specific situation?
15. Wheels: Probably going to keep my winter tires (Hankook Icpet Evo) on my stock wheels and going to get some lightweight performance rims for my summer tires. Ideas?
16. Clear Bra?
17. Window tinting: suggestions?
18. Upgraded oil-pump, fuel-injectors, etc: At what point do things like this become necessary?
19. Bushings etc: ideas please – there seem to be a lot of options…
20. Intercooler/Intercooler tubing: suggestions?
21. Indestructible front bumper that raises ground clearance and doesn’t ruin aerodynamics: I know, I know – need ideas, though…
22. Fog lights, super-bright lights, or other use for fog light holes (maybe nothing so there is less to break if I smash the bottom of the front bumper?)
23. turbo heat shield?
24. other heat shielding?
25. ECBS: necessary? Better options?
26. Downforce improvements?
27. Audio system: lightweight, low, and in-line with center-of-gravity. Maybe removable parts. This probably needs it’s own thread…
What am I missing? I know there is a ton of information out there already (Unabomber’s Manifesto, etc) but I have read a lot already and am at the point now where I need advise relating to my specific situation. Once I get some feedback, I can do some more research on my own.