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So I bought a 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX about 3 months ago and I am looking to slowly but surely upgrade it in the coming months. At the moment I have around $4000 to spend on it, but I have no idea where to even start as this is the first car I've owned that is actually nice enough to put money into.

When I say "no idea" I literally mean no clue. I've never worked on cars before or done any modifying to my previous cars so this is uncharted territory for me.

Specifically, I am looking to add a bit of a rumble to the sound of the car, and I'd like to add a fair amount of horsepower as well without going overboard. I'm also looking to add that "head-turning" factor into the exterior, so headlights, body kits, spoilers-whatever is eye catching, really.

Again, I realize 4k is not alot when it comes to purchasing items, but I figure its a good start.

I'm open to any and all suggestions!

Thanks so much in advance!
 

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I support this thread.

I am pretty much in the same boat as you. Also got my 2008 recently, also noobish when it comes to mods. I've done a few very minor things so far (pedals, footwell LEDs, side moldings). Got my accessport on the way. Looking to add a new downpipe and exhaust (Cobb, prob) in the spring. And that ugly a$$ grill has got to go.

Besides all that, I'm not quite sure where to go next. I'd love some ideas tho.
 

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if you want a decent reliable amount of horsepower I would personally look into a vf52 turbo, downpipe, cat back exhaust, electronic boost control solonoid, a new top mount intercooler and a protune.. After that focus on suspension and braking.
 

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With that price range I think I would start with stage 1 or 2, a cat back exhaust, and some suspension goodies. For suspension, maybe look at replacing the shocks and springs, and get a good set of tires first then decide if you need sways and endlinks right away. Stage 1 and exhaust choices are a matter of preference and others can speak to the pros and cons of the various options.

Just my $0.02. FWIW, I did the upgrade path that most recommend on my '09 WRX of: stage 1 -> sways and endlinks -> stage 2 -> RCE Bilsteins and springs -> tires -> brakes (doing it this Friday). Biggest improvements for me were the Bilsteins and tires.
 

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Big difference between the 09 and the 08 econo.. Lol.. Like 40 stock horsepower and an actual turbo on the 09s..
 

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Big difference between the 09 and the 08 econo.. Lol.. Like 40 stock horsepower and an actual turbo on the 09s..
^^^^^+1

4k. Will do a lot. Hmmm

Maybe stage 2 and suspension mods. Sways, springs etc. at the very very least go stage 2

I kind of like Torques idea of the turbo. Go get one out of an 09-11
But then again Now you're talking injectors, IC etc etc

I'd go stage 2 and suspension/brakes
 

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I made the assumption the OP could do things like exhaust or suspension work but probably not do a turbo swap. Maybe a poor assumption? Don't want to consume too much of the budget with labor and tuning costs.
 

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You have an 08. Your 4k should go towards a new engine. Since you didn't do your research, I'd find out if it's one of the ones with a ringland issue.
 

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You have an 08. Your 4k should go towards a new engine. Since you didn't do your research, I'd find out if it's one of the ones with a ringland issue.
When I was looking i saw the same but mostly with the 08 STi

I didn't see much ringland failure on the WRX although im sure it exists

OP go suspension and stage 2 to start out. Then go from there
 

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So I bought a 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX about 3 months ago and I am looking to slowly but surely upgrade it in the coming months. At the moment I have around $4000 to spend on it, but I have no idea where to even start as this is the first car I've owned that is actually nice enough to put money into.

When I say "no idea" I literally mean no clue. I've never worked on cars before or done any modifying to my previous cars so this is uncharted territory for me.

Specifically, I am looking to add a bit of a rumble to the sound of the car, and I'd like to add a fair amount of horsepower as well without going overboard. I'm also looking to add that "head-turning" factor into the exterior, so headlights, body kits, spoilers-whatever is eye catching, really.

Again, I realize 4k is not alot when it comes to purchasing items, but I figure its a good start.

I'm open to any and all suggestions!

Thanks so much in advance!
The first thing to do is research. Everyone will have different opinions on what you should spend your money on. Some people might say engine mods, others will say go spend all $4,000 on a set of Advans and a set of coilovers. It's really up to you to decide which area of the car you want to invest in.
 

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I personally would spend money on anti-sway bars, stage 2 (tuning and downpipe), white line rear subframe bushing inserts, maybe an intake for the noise it makes... If you want to lower your car there are really only a few options because lowering springs alone will blow the stock struts... So really you just need to look at everything and decide which direction you want to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey again guys. Thanks for all the opinions.

It seems that the consensus is to go Stage 2 and take it from there. So I'm going to go ahead and going to do that.

However, I'm not exactly sure what a "stage 2" consists of. Could anybody explain that by chance?

Also, where would the best place to purchase this be?
 

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Down pipe catted or cat less
Cai and cat back optional.

There are some great vendors here so take your pick.

Get your downpipe, tune it and enjoy!
 

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Hey again guys. Thanks for all the opinions.

It seems that the consensus is to go Stage 2 and take it from there. So I'm going to go ahead and going to do that.

However, I'm not exactly sure what a "stage 2" consists of. Could anybody explain that by chance?

Also, where would the best place to purchase this be?
Stage 2 is simply a turbo back exhaust and either a Cobb AP or a protune.
 

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Check out a very popular tuner for the 3rd generation WRX... He sells off the shelf tunes for the Cobb AP and Opensource.

Torquedperformance.com
 

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Given that you've not tuned cars before, I'd also say your driving experience is probably pretty limited too.

I'd take half of that and dedicate it to a performance driving school and track time. Going stage 2 and upgrading your brakes and sways will eat up the rest very quickly.
 
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