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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I recently went to Cobb stage 1 on my 2012 STI. Which is the AccessPort flash, intake and airbox. By the way, I LOVE IT! I love the sound that the new intake makes. I used to always watch videos of STI's that I thought had blow off values. Then I started reading about how blow off values are bad for this type of engine with the MAF sensor. So I wasn't sure how people were getting that nice sound without knowingly causing some hard to their engine. Well, I finally figured out that it's probably their intake!

Getting back to my modifications. I'm thinking about going to stage 2 in the near future and I was wondering after I do that. What else would you guys recommend for upgrades? My friend has a 2015 STI and he recommended getting a new pitch stop brace.

I'm not sure I need one of those yet? Perrin says it's only started being an issue in the 2015+ models?

Under normal driving conditions, the drivetrain is constantly moving back and forth. This movement is absorbed by the OEM pitch stop brackets and have not caused any problems until 2015+ year models were released.
 

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BooSTIng
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Welcome to clubwrx from a fellow 2012 STi owner! Let me ask you this, what are your plans/intentions for this car? Your friend with the newer 15 STi probably mentioned the pitch stop brace because the 15 and newer models have had issues of the brace failing and breaking away from the firewall. Thankfully our year STi didn't have that issue. The brace for us is pointless. You could upgrade the pitch stop mount itself. If that's the case the would get the beatrush forged pitch stop mount. But right now that really isn't necessary and is kind of a waste of money.

So, with that out of the way, what are you looking to get from this car, and what are your intentions with it? (i.e. DD, occasional auto cross)
 

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I don't know about the pitch stop stuff.

I would recommend if you go stage 2 to get a catted down pipe. You don't gain huge amounts going catless that I've seen, maybe a dozen HP at the crank which doesn't account for much to the wheels. I'm not entirely sure but I know the 2011 WRX I own is reaching it's fuel delivery limits around that point and the sti may be the same. So if you plan to go further an upgraded fuel system would be a good future ready modification.

There are also great options for shifter linkages, suspension bushings, sway bars, springs, and shocks that will make a huge improvement in driving feel. It all depends on where you want to go.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to clubwrx from a fellow 2012 STi owner!
Thanks! I love the 2012 model range look! Also I like the ponies forum image! :beerchug:
Let me ask you this, what are your plans/intentions for this car? Your friend with the newer 15 STi probably mentioned the pitch stop brace because the 15 and newer models have had issues of the brace failing and breaking away from the firewall. Thankfully our year STi didn't have that issue. The brace for us is pointless. You could upgrade the pitch stop mount itself. If that's the case the would get the beatrush forged pitch stop mount. But right now that really isn't necessary and is kind of a waste of money.
Ahh ok, that's exactly what I was looking for. I guess they just went cheap on the new models?

So, with that out of the way, what are you looking to get from this car, and what are your intentions with it? (i.e. DD, occasional auto cross)
It's definitely a daily driver. I do take it out for canyon runs every now and then and I thought about taking it to a track but I want it to be reliable #1. I've heard I could get 300whp on stage 2. I also live in California so I'm not sure about all of the rules around these upgrades.
 

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BooSTIng
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It's definitely a daily driver. I do take it out for canyon runs every now and then and I thought about taking it to a track but I want it to be reliable #1. I've heard I could get 300whp on stage 2. I also live in California so I'm not sure about all of the rules around these upgrades.
Well doesn't California only have 91 octane gas? And not 93? If my mind serves me correct I think that is the case. I may be wrong. But if so, 91 will produce slightly less power than 93. Only other real thing to worry about is emissions. Does your county/city require you to have emissions tests done? If so then more than likely no aftermarket downpipe will work, not even a catted one. Most people in this predicament will hang on to their stock downpipe and swap it out come inspection time. And to be factual, technically MOST aftermarket parts (the fun horsepower making ones) are illegal on the street and intended for off-road use only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well doesn't California only have 91 octane gas? And not 93? If my mind serves me correct I think that is the case. I may be wrong. But if so, 91 will produce slightly less power than 93.
Yea 91 is pretty much the standard out here. I think technically you can find higher octane gas's but not as readily available.

Only other real thing to worry about is emissions. Does your county/city require you to have emissions tests done? If so then more than likely no aftermarket downpipe will work, not even a catted one. Most people in this predicament will hang on to their stock downpipe and swap it out come inspection time. And to be factual, technically MOST aftermarket parts (the fun horsepower making ones) are illegal on the street and intended for off-road use only.
I think this is my plan when I eventually go to stage 2. Hold on to the stock downpipe and cat-back for inspection time.
 

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Well the next thing you will want to do is a turbo back. I just recently went stage 2 with my STi, and the increases were great. Love the way it pulls now. Here is some advice.

Too many people get caught up on "cobb" parts because they have an accessport. There are technically only 2 stipulations you need to pay attention to when buying parts and using cobbs OTS maps from the accessport.

One is the intake. Now assuming you are already stage 1 with an intake, I am guessing you have cobb's SF intake. And that is fine. Cobb only supports a couple intakes with their maps, and their SF is one of them. So right now you should be running the STG 1 91 OCT +SF map.

Now when going stage 2, your catback does not matter whatsoever. You can run any catback you want. The stipulation comes in with the downpipe. And not the brand. You just have to make sure it is a catted downpipe. Some people get away with running catless downpipes on their STi's because STi's are less prone to boost creep, when the wrx's are much more prone to boost creep with a catless downpipe. However, running a catless DP still increases the chances of developing boost creep and I recommend a catted DP just to be safe. I actually just put the grimmspeed limited catted downpipe and invidia Q300 catback on my STi and flashed cobb's stage 2 map. Everything is working perfectly.
 

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I wasn't sure how people were getting that nice sound without knowingly causing some hard to their engine. Well, I finally figured out that it's probably their intake!

It's mainly the fact that people think it's "cool" to have an aftermarket BOV for the sound (it isn't). Their desire to be cool outweighs the fact that the OEM valve is better in almost every way. This is also why people run ridiculously wide tires, low offset, stupid camber, etc. It all takes away from the performance of the vehicle, causes unnecessary wear on parts, and in some instances makes the car unsafe to drive.. but they don't care as long as they think it makes them seem cooler to people who don't really know about cars and how they work.



There are also great options for shifter linkages, suspension bushings, sway bars, springs, and shocks that will make a huge improvement in driving feel. It all depends on where you want to go.

^These are parts that often go overlooked by a lot of people. Increasing the power output of the engine isn't the only thing to factor in performance, and it certainly isn't the most important part in having a fun car to drive. High quality springs (RCE comes to mind) are a good place to start with suspension upgrades. Shifter bushings and linkage improvements will improve how it feels to drive the car and are something you will enjoy every time you drive the car.. they're also pretty inexpensive compared to most other modifications.

As far as handling and braking go, the number one thing you can do to improve both how the car feels, as well as how it performs, is good summer tires. That's the only part of the car that touches the road after all.



right now you should be running the STG 1 91 OCT +SF map.

California actually gets different 91 octane fuel than most of the rest of the country.. the fuel sold in California, Arizona, and Nevada is inferior to what is sold in other states, and more prone to knock. This is what the 91ACN map is for.. running the regular 91 map would be a bad idea and would result in high knock counts which is hard on the engine, and will cause it to pull timing, reducing performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As far as handling and braking go, the number one thing you can do to improve both how the car feels, as well as how it performs, is good summer tires. That's the only part of the car that touches the road after all.
I picked up a set of Michelins Pilot Super Sport's and I can tell a huge difference compared to stock.

California actually gets different 91 octane fuel than most of the rest of the country.. the fuel sold in California, Arizona, and Nevada is inferior to what is sold in other states, and more prone to knock. This is what the 91ACN map is for.. running the regular 91 map would be a bad idea and would result in high knock counts which is hard on the engine, and will cause it to pull timing, reducing performance.
I didn't know this! I just checked my mapping and I wasn't running the ACN mapping, I switched it just to be safe. That's another thing I need to figure out is what exactly I should be monitoring for the cobb access port. I know A/F ratio is a big one and I was sitting at about 14 with the non-ACN mapping, which I think is good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the next thing you will want to do is a turbo back. I just recently went stage 2 with my STi, and the increases were great. Love the way it pulls now. Here is some advice.

Too many people get caught up on "cobb" parts because they have an accessport. There are technically only 2 stipulations you need to pay attention to when buying parts and using cobbs OTS maps from the accessport.

One is the intake. Now assuming you are already stage 1 with an intake, I am guessing you have cobb's SF intake. And that is fine. Cobb only supports a couple intakes with their maps, and their SF is one of them. So right now you should be running the STG 1 91 OCT +SF map.
Yes, I have the SF intake and airbox and I'm running the 91 OCT + SF Map, except I recently switched to the ACN map after learning about that.

I know what you mean about the whole getting caught up on Cobb parts. I feel like it's "safer" to stick with their power packages then to try to select something that I don't know exactly what I'm doing. I've been watching a few videos about cat-backs and I do enjoy the sound of the cobb exhaust.

Now when going stage 2, your catback does not matter whatsoever. You can run any catback you want. The stipulation comes in with the downpipe. And not the brand. You just have to make sure it is a catted downpipe. Some people get away with running catless downpipes on their STi's because STi's are less prone to boost creep, when the wrx's are much more prone to boost creep with a catless downpipe. However, running a catless DP still increases the chances of developing boost creep and I recommend a catted DP just to be safe. I actually just put the grimmspeed limited catted downpipe and invidia Q300 catback on my STi and flashed cobb's stage 2 map. Everything is working perfectly.
That's good to know that the mapping doesn't care about the downpipe and catback. I assume that the cobb parts are still quality though?
 

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Meh. I would be more concerned if it was the fa20f in the 15+ cars

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Tielur said:
Is an air oil separator a good mod for these cars?
It isn't detrimental, but I wouldn't worry about it (IAG runs ~$400) on a simple S2 car.

Cobb offers some maps for basic modifications, but they are not ideal. You're always going to be better off having a calibrator get their hands on your vehicle and dial in ECU mapping specific to your vehicle. There are some gains to be had from custom calibration on the S2+SF hardware, but don't expect miracles.

Once you've done S2+SF modifications, if you still want a little bit more, consider the following (this will require custom calibration, so stockpile parts until you've bought everything and get one tune):
1) ID1050X injectors / Fuel Pump. At S2+SF levels, you're maxing out your fueling system, to the point that you're not able to take advantage of the additional air from the Cobb SF intake. While the injectors are "overkill" for what you'd need on pump gas, it would give you the option of running E85. If you plan on doing E85 at this time, you may want to look into Cobb's Flex Fuel kit, which will allow your ECU to interpolate between your 91 / E85 tables based on the ethanol content that you have, without having to reflash the ECU. Innovative Tuning did a good before/after test with intake and injectors that shows what kinds of gains you can get when you have adequate fueling. It was with a different intake and injectors than you have and I'm recommending, but the power gains you'd be looking at are similar.
2) EL manifold. While some people love the "Boxer Rumble", there are serious gains to be had with a good EL manifold. The sound will change (think Porsche), but it's absolutely worth it; I made the switch last year and wish I'd done it sooner. TopSpeed did a good before/after test with an Invidia manifold. Their test also includes an uppipe, but that install is a PITA, and the majority of the gains are from the manifold, not the uppipe. Unless you want to spend $500-600 for an external wastegate uppipe, don't bother replacing the OE version unless the flex section gives out. EWG setups offer their own benefits, but for the purpose of this, I'm excluding it from the list to keep costs down.
3) Aftermarket boost control. The factory boost control solenoid is sufficient for stock turbo setups, but talk to the calibrator to see if they would prefer an aftermarket MBC or 3-port BCS. You're looking at an additional ~$100 (or less, if you go with the more "DIY" GM option), and if they want you to have it, just spend the money, because you're already going to be in for ~$2K in parts / tuning at this point. A lot of people will buy a P&P unit like Grimmspeed simply for the ease of install, but in general, the typical 3-port BCS will all perform pretty similar. If you decide to add EWG to #2, absolutely go with aftermarket boost control.

When it comes to handling, there are three steps you should take:
1) Tires. You mentioned having a set of MPSS (solid tire), so you're good there.
2) Alignment. Factory alignment isn't designed with performance as the #1 criteria. Adding in some negative camber up front can help take out some of the understeer that everyone talks about.
3) Aftermarket parts. The parts list here is vast, based on what you're planning to do with the car. Certain suspension modifications require alignment (e.g., struts/springs, certain bushings, etc.), so may be worth compiling those parts and installing all at once vs doing so incrementally.

Other people have mentioned driveline modifications. I am a big advocate for these items, as they will make every time you drive your car feel better. If you're just putting around town, you will get the better feel out of these items, where you won't necessarily see the power gains from the "go fast" parts. I outlined a bunch of them here: http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/transmission-awd/134325326-driveline-mounts-bushings-faq.html. A lot of the install write-up links are dead, but the descriptions still apply. The nice thing about driveline modifications is that they are relatively inexpensive (compared to other items like exhaust, injectors, etc.), so bang/buck is quite high.
 

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