Help? Lag off the line - Just bought 02 WRX
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This is a discussion on Help? Lag off the line - Just bought 02 WRX within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hi, everyone! First, I'm really new to the WRX, Turbo, and I don't know much about mods or the lingo ...

  1. #1
    Registered User DarkMallard's Avatar
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    Help? Lag off the line - Just bought 02 WRX

    Hi, everyone!

    First, I'm really new to the WRX, Turbo, and I don't know much about mods or the lingo that goes with it, so bear with me. I've always wanted a WRX and I finally have it!

    I just picked up a used 02 WRX wagon auto-trans with stock everything in Tucson, AZ. The engine and turbo were replaced (with new parts) 6000 miles ago due to a thrown rod. All work done by Subaru dealer and warrantied. The car is otherwise super-clean.

    My issue (if this IS an issue): If I'm at a dead stop and I hit the gas, there is far less acceleration than compared to something like my wife's Corolla, until I get to about 4000RPM when the Turbo kicks. Even if I push it all the way to the floor, it's a pretty slow take-off. After that, it's great. Is this normal? If so, what's the quickest/cheapest upgrade(s) that will alleviate some of the lag (or is there a style to learn)? To me, it feels like starting a car off the line in second gear. Does that make sense?

    Thanks in advance!

    -Mike
    Last edited by DarkMallard; 07-02-2007 at 10:14 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Yes this is normal.

    Your turbo is basicaly not helping the engine tell about 3000rpms then it begins to spool produsing boost. There are a variety of ways to help this out the most noticable is going ot be an uppipe. Assuming you do not already have one, there is a catalitic converter in there hindering the exahust free flow into the turbo. The install is a PITA but it is the best mod ever. And would be appreiated by all owners of the car in the future.

  4. #3
    Registered User Micah's Avatar
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    Sounds like turbo lag, though I've never been in an auto WRX so I'm not sure what the lag is like. You can help decrease the amount of lag with a catless uppipe and by replacing the exhaust with something that flows better. Get a divorced downpipe or bellmouth downpipe and uppipe, then flash to stage 2.
    Torch Red 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 46k mi.
    Black 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX 6-speed 94k mi. my mod list
    10/08/2006 - 14.089@103.01 (5-speed with well worn clutch, no launch)
    "Six stars gleaming, five speeds breaking, four tires chirping, three differentials working, two liters screaming, one turbo boosting... it's what makes a Subaru all-wheel-drive, all we'll drive."
    for Bugeye owners my BOV thread Service Manuals

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    Registered User DarkMallard's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the replies!

    What would a catless system mean to emissions? I'm in AZ, and I thought the cat is required, but I may be wrong.

    Also, what kind of $$$ are we talking? Do dealers do any mod work like this? I'm a newbie when it comes to actually working on a car, though I'd like to learn.

    And this may sound stupid, but does any amount of "feathering" of the pedal help? Or is it mod-only time?

    -Mike

  6. #5
    Registered User Micah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkMallard View Post
    Wow, thanks for the replies!

    What would a catless system mean to emissions? I'm in AZ, and I thought the cat is required, but I may be wrong.

    Also, what kind of $$$ are we talking? Do dealers do any mod work like this? I'm a newbie when it comes to actually working on a car, though I'd like to learn.

    And this may sound stupid, but does any amount of "feathering" of the pedal help? Or is it mod-only time?

    -Mike

    Feathering isn't going to make a difference. Boost builds based on load, granted you probably won't notice a difference between putting the pedal to the floor and holding it at 70-80% as this is likely creating sufficient load. Just a guess on that % - I could be wrong. In any case, if you look around on the forums you can pick up a used TBE(Turbo Back Exhaust - downpipe, third cat or test pipe, catback) for cheap - sometimes as low as $300. Hell, I got mine for $150, but it was from a good guy helping me out at the time. If you decide to go new, you're looking at :
    http://www.gruppe-s.com/Subaru/subex.htm
    Uppipe - $139 and up (stage 1 reflash optional)
    Downpipe and Uppipe Combo - $325 (stage 2 reflash mandatory)

    That will bolt up to your stock turbo and catback. As far as being catless, find a local inspection station which avoids the sniffer test and simply plugs into the OBDII port. My 2002 is catless and I passed less than a month ago.

    For the reflash, you can go the open source route ($100) or the Cobb route ($695), both have their merits, most people go Cobb.

    Keep reading, enjoy your subie.
    Torch Red 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 46k mi.
    Black 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX 6-speed 94k mi. my mod list
    10/08/2006 - 14.089@103.01 (5-speed with well worn clutch, no launch)
    "Six stars gleaming, five speeds breaking, four tires chirping, three differentials working, two liters screaming, one turbo boosting... it's what makes a Subaru all-wheel-drive, all we'll drive."
    for Bugeye owners my BOV thread Service Manuals

  7. #6
    Registered User jpjester's Avatar
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    Since its an Automatic, If your racing or at a light or something, put your left foot on the break. With your right foot press lightly down on the gas. You will find a neutral point eventually. But try like 3000 RPMs. When you reach the RPMs you'd like, let off the brake fast, and off you go. This should help spoil the turbo alot more. Try it and let us know at what RPMS your launching from.
    Previous Subarus:
    2004 Subaru WRX, 18G Deadbolt Zilla setup w/ Supporting Mods
    2009 Subaru WRX Hatchback Stock!

  8. #7
    Registered User DarkMallard's Avatar
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    Thanks for the parts info!

    I gotta learn the terms...what does "catback" mean exactly? Also, if I just started with an uppipe, do I lose the catalytic converter at that point? I probably won't be able to do a lot of conversions at once, so I'm just trying to get the most bang for the buck right now.

    Thanks again!

    -Mike

  9. #8
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    Uppipe
    Research Reserch Research

    uppipe is a process and can be undertaken by anyone born with a brain Just takes forever. Once you have that done then everything else will be cake. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=533787 Best link in the world go to uppipe.

  10. #9
    Registered User DarkMallard's Avatar
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    God damn I love this car!

    After playing with different scenarios, I figured out that if I depress the pedal 5-10% (just lightly depressed) from dead-stop and keep it there, the RPMs generate quickly to about 4K, it then auto-shifts smoothly to 2nd and gets to 4K+ very quickly again, press it down to 30%-50%, and it takes off. After that I can floor it to really open it up. However, if I press it down anywhere between 50%-floor too soon, it will slooooowly get up to speed.

    Could it be generating more torque when the pedal is depressed too much too quickly rather putting it towards acceleration?

  11. #10
    Registered User jpjester's Avatar
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    Your driving an AWD car, too much torque is NEVER an issue
    Previous Subarus:
    2004 Subaru WRX, 18G Deadbolt Zilla setup w/ Supporting Mods
    2009 Subaru WRX Hatchback Stock!

  12. #11
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    A no cost alternative:
    Shut the A/C off...I call that button "ghetto NOS"!

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