New to Subaru, formerly in a boosted A32 Nissan
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This is a discussion on New to Subaru, formerly in a boosted A32 Nissan within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; On Dec 24th. I picked up an elusive 2003 WRX 5 speed wagon after months of searching. Still learning about ...

  1. #1
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    New to Subaru, formerly in a boosted A32 Nissan

    On Dec 24th. I picked up an elusive 2003 WRX 5 speed wagon after months of searching. Still learning about the car as it is my first Subaru. I had a custom turboed 97 A32 Nissan that was really fun to drive, it had a t3/t4 turbo with a water injection kit. I bought it in 01' and boosted it in 08'. One day it didn't want to start so it had to be replaced. After being in that car I realized I could not get used to driving something normally aspirated no matter how big the engine, boosting is just too much fun. Got this car because it has potential and a larger aftermarket support platform, plus awd in areas that get a bit of snow is a plus too.

    My ulimate goal for this car is to be around 400whp so I've been researching the supporting mods for such. As far as I can tell the car is stock and has not been modified. It does look like there was possible evidence of a triple gauge pod where the clock sits but it might have been something else (tape residue there).

    Having modified my Nissan quite a bit I plan on avoiding certain mods, namely suspension lowering, I'll deal with the monster truck look for now. Roads are not friendly here. Maybe better to keep stock look and retain sleeper status..

    Mods I'm unsure about:
    1000cc injectors, maybe I'll go 750cc?
    TGV deletes, I'm unsure of the amount of work required.
    Intake due to no restriction at power goal
    Intercooler?, I have water injection.

    Mods I plan to do in order:
    Boost gauge
    Install wideband kit
    Ebay catback/turbo back if I can't find a spot for my wideband.
    Upipe
    Fuel pump and injectors
    Turbo

    Oakos is fairly local to me so they can do some of the work I am unwilling to do.
    Thanks for any advise.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Miggs's Avatar
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    Good find! Welcome! My first subie was an 02 wagon Definately start with the catless up pipe. its a pia to install but its as much a preventive maintenance upgrade as performance. the cats have been know to release particles into the turbo....no bueno. besides that the intake and downpipe are solid early mods, although you wont need the intake until you near the 300 whp mark which is no small feat in a bugeye. I recommend going E85 for that much power, its easier and safer. For the sake of saving money, you could always buy an AcessPort, which acts as a monitor.
    I would go 1000ccs at minimum for your goals. Intercooler is definately a necessity for that power. Keep in mind the stock bugeye drive train will not support that power for long. If you want that power with any kind of longevity you might want to look into an sti 6-speed swap...although its a lot of work as you have to change out the axels as well.
    Good luck with build! Keep us posted.

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    So after more research I am beginning to settle on the mods since I have more facts (limits of 2.0 and tranny).

    Vogtland springs
    VF39 turbo
    Intercooler
    Bosch 850cc injectors
    Zerolift TGV Deletes
    Fuel rail mod
    Opensource tuning

  5. #4
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    First order of business is maintenance. How many miles are on the car. Do you have records proving it's up to date on all scheduled maintenance?

    Second is a catless uppipe. This should be your first engine mod.

    Third, re-evaluate that 400whp thing. At a standard 26% drivetrain loss through the AWD, that's 504 brake horsepower, and will require a lot of money for supporting modifications to make that kind of power even remotely safe for the street, and you'll need cash saved for when (not if) the engine blows. Read this thread: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1393580

    I get the impression based off your eBay exhaust that you want to modify your car as cheaply as possible. My advice is don't. Even at modest stage II power, you ought to have upgraded brakes and tires. At 400whp, a big brake kit, sticky tires, and handling modifications like swaybars, struts, and springs (NOT cheap coilovers to "stance" the car!!!) are mandatory. You should also be looking at a full engine rebuild with stronger internals at that power as well.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

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  6. #5
    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    ^Agreed, Maint. and Up-Pipe absolute first.

    My stock brakes suck...and that's at 285Hp *crank on Hawk pads going around a track. I'd be looking for some 4/2 pots to go along with the power.

    At the very least (I know you said you didn't want to get into suspension) I'd see if you couldn't pick up some STi BBS wheels. You get some bigger and better tires to stay on the road. Those stock WRX wheels and tires are terrible after adding any kind of power, although with some winter tires they would be good for winter wheels.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    First order of business is maintenance. How many miles are on the car. Do you have records proving it's up to date on all scheduled maintenance?

    Second is a catless uppipe. This should be your first engine mod.

    Third, re-evaluate that 400whp thing. At a standard 26% drivetrain loss through the AWD, that's 504 brake horsepower, and will require a lot of money for supporting modifications to make that kind of power even remotely safe for the street, and you'll need cash saved for when (not if) the engine blows. Read this thread: Public Service Announcement. "I want 400whp!" Are you sure? - NASIOC

    I get the impression based off your eBay exhaust that you want to modify your car as cheaply as possible. My advice is don't. Even at modest stage II power, you ought to have upgraded brakes and tires. At 400whp, a big brake kit, sticky tires, and handling modifications like swaybars, struts, and springs (NOT cheap coilovers to "stance" the car!!!) are mandatory. You should also be looking at a full engine rebuild with stronger internals at that power as well.
    Yeah I realized that at the power goal I wanted to reach I should get a different car/motor, so I reaccessed my goals, so basically just going for 300hp, that was bascially where my last car was and it was fun to drive so no problem going that route. 400 is a goal but not at this stage with stock pistons and tranny. As far as the maintenance I will have to research it, I am waiting on more info from the dealer when they contact the prior owner. Timing belt is definitely on the to do list. Still winter and about -2 degrees out here so no modding til spring time, maintenance is priority. Just doing my research.

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