Advice for a tuning noob
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This is a discussion on Advice for a tuning noob within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hello all. I have a stock 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan with 172k that I wanted to try to getting ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Bigmendo's Avatar
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    Advice for a tuning noob

    Hello all. I have a stock 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan with 172k that I wanted to try to getting a little experimental with. For those of you experienced tuners out there, where would you start? I've heard of people going the stage one access port route to re-map, I've also seen people diving right into turbo upgrades (which I'm reluctant to do without upgrading engine internals). Still others have gone the other way and started with suspension upgrades.

    The only upgrades I've done from stock has been a simple brake upgrade giving me ss lines and whatnot as well as a stock turbo replacement as my original turbo went south very recently. Nothing really to speak of. The application for me will be simply a weekend fun car and an occasional to and from when I need it. The budget for me for parts is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 every other month so I have to make it count.

    Thoughts....opinions....??

    Thanks all.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Bring the car to full factory spec with all required maintenance. Prefer authentic parts.

    Do a compression test. The results may make you stop there.

    If not, follow the link in my signature for info.
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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Are you asking about tuning (remapping the ECU) specifically, or just about modifying the car? I don't suggest trying to tune on your own without lots of research/reading/classes first. As far as modding, 172,000 miles is a lot of mileage on the motor. I would do a compression and leakdown test first to make sure the engine is still healthy. Also make sure it is all up to date on maintenance, including timing belt, water pump, and seals. That can take a serious chunk of money just to keep it up and running good. Unless you are just looking to replace the engine, at this point I wouldn't recommend going past stage two.

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    Registered User Bigmendo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Bring the car to full factory spec with all required maintenance. Prefer authentic parts.

    Do a compression test. The results may make you stop there.

    If not, follow the link in my signature for info.

    Thanks for the reply. I had a comp test done last year and it looked solid but I should definitely have it done again just to get an updated idea.

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    Registered User Bigmendo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Are you asking about tuning (remapping the ECU) specifically, or just about modifying the car? I don't suggest trying to tune on your own without lots of research/reading/classes first. As far as modding, 172,000 miles is a lot of mileage on the motor. I would do a compression and leakdown test first to make sure the engine is still healthy. Also make sure it is all up to date on maintenance, including timing belt, water pump, and seals. That can take a serious chunk of money just to keep it up and running good. Unless you are just looking to replace the engine, at this point I wouldn't recommend going past stage two.
    Thanks MainFrame. I should have re-worded. I'd be modifying not tuning...that I'll leave to the professionals for sure. I'm planning a complete stock tune up within the next week or so and when I do that, I'll have the comp / leakdown test done.

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    I would replace the uppipe ASAP as a precautionary measure, and to me it just makes sense to do the downpipe at the same time and get it tuned.. a 3-port EBCS would be a good addition to the typical stage two.

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