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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I'm new here, and I'm also new to modding, so I'll be asking lots of questions about modding my new WRX. :D

I don't want to heavily mod my WRX. I'm looking for relatively inexpensive modifications that improve HP, broaden the powerband, and maybe get a few extra lb/ft torqe while at it. Reliability, and engine life are important to me, so I definitally don't want to do anything that will stress the longevity of my drivetrain.

After reading thread after thread on this board, here's what I'm thinking about doing:

Turbo Timer: this will be my first mod, I've heard you should give the turbo time to cool down, expecially after hard driving (is there any other form of driving worthy of the WRX?). I want a turbo timer that fits somewhere nicely into the dashboard, something non-intrusive, out of the way. What are your recommendations? I've heard the Blitz Turbo Timer is a good choice...

MBC: I guess this is a good performance mod to start out with. If I understand it correctly, this will control an increase in the boost my turbo. What are good MBC's that are reliable, safe on the engine, and provide the most power?

Exhaust: I definitally would like to get a nice aftermarket exhaust. What types of exhaust options are there? What provides the best performance?

Intake: Should I get a cold air intake, with a conical filter? Or should I just stick with regular aftermarket square filter? Or is there something even better?

In the end, I would like to spend no more than $2000 on these mods. I will probably do it in the order above. Any other recommendations? I've sure this post has demonstrated my "newbie-ness" to modding, but hey, you gotta start somewhere right? I want to make sure I represent our WRXs well out on the road.

Thanks for any and all advice you all can provide!
 

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best mods to start with

Hi Jeff-
I am in the same boat as you are. I just wanted to add that so that maybe we could bounce ideas eachothers way. I've been looking at www.scoobyworld.co.uk and www.scoobysport.co.uk for ideas as well. They have NA distributers as well. There is not too much in the way of Subara performance stuff where I am (KY) so I think that I'll be doing a lot of mail order, unfortunatley. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: best mods to start with

theflyboy said:
Hi Jeff-
I am in the same boat as you are. I just wanted to add that so that maybe we could bounce ideas eachothers way. I've been looking at www.scoobyworld.co.uk and www.scoobysport.co.uk for ideas as well. They have NA distributers as well. There is not too much in the way of Subara performance stuff where I am (KY) so I think that I'll be doing a lot of mail order, unfortunatley. Good luck!
Sounds good "theflyboy". I'll let you know when I starting getting an idea of what the best mods are, and what brands are best. Right now I'm pretty clueless. There's so many options out there, and I want to buy right the first time.
 

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Hello N00b, :)

First of all, you should be able to do everything that you want for around $2000. Second, there isn't a whole lot of difference between one brand of performance mod to the next brand. For example, MBC. You can make one for about $5 that performs just as well as a $100 MBC. Third, search the forum for each individual mod and read the pluses and minuses of each product. I new nothing about cars when I joined this forum and, now, I do all of my own modifications. Here's my response to all of your mods:

Turbo Timer: Not necessary, but I have the Blitz and like it a lot. Plus it functions as boost gauge. Yes, it helps turbo cool after driving hard, but you can just as easily let it idle for a minute.

MBC: A must. I use the Joe P. Costs $50. An EBC is much better, but a lot more expensive. You can make a MBC for around $5 at Home Depot.

Exhaust: Before doing exhaust (or MBC for that matter), you need to remove the restrictive catted uppipe. Allowing the turbo to breathe is the beginning stage for engine performance. That will run you about $200 to $350. And it is one hell of an install, but I did it with a little help. I have catless TurboXS exhaust and I love it. Kept stock muffler for stealth appearence. Cost was $600.

Intake: Don't waste your money. It will have no performance gains at all for the mods you have in mind. Really only necessary if you are going for big HP mods, like upgraded turbo, intercooler, etc. Many dynos have actually shown a loss of power with intake.

The only other thing I can think of that you might want to consider is a piggyback ECU. It will really wake up the mods you have in mind. Popular ones are TurboXS(what I have) and Vishnu. I bout mine used for $500.

You can always email me if you have any questions.
 

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I will try to help you the best I can :)

Jeffsw_02WRX said:

Turbo Timer: this will be my first mod, I've heard you should give the turbo time to cool down, expecially after hard driving (is there any other form of driving worthy of the WRX?). I want a turbo timer that fits somewhere nicely into the dashboard, something non-intrusive, out of the way. What are your recommendations? I've heard the Blitz Turbo Timer is a good choice...
I use a Blitz Dual TT myself. It works great, it's nice and small, and it doubles as a boost gauge. It's debatable whether or not a turbo timer is necessary (Subaru says it's not), but I guess you can never be too careful. The Dual TT was my first mod, so of course I'm going to recommend it :)


MBC: I guess this is a good performance mod to start out with. If I understand it correctly, this will control an increase in the boost my turbo. What are good MBC's that are reliable, safe on the engine, and provide the most power?
You can use the MBC to both increase and decrease the boost pressure in your turbo. The highest you want to go with the stock ECU is probably about 15.5 psi. MBCs are safe and reliable so long as you don't set it to an extrememly high level. A boost gauge is absolutely necessary, so if you get the Blitz Dual TT, an MBC will work great with it. These two mods were PhreeZe's first :D


Exhaust: I definitally would like to get a nice aftermarket exhaust. What types of exhaust options are there? What provides the best performance?
Exhaust is mostly a matter of taste, really. Generally speaking, "louder is better" but loud isn't for everyone. My exhaust is really friggin' loud :) There are a number of different exhaust combinations out there, depending upon how much you want to spend and how much power you want. You can do a full turbo-back package, get only a cat-back, combine a cat-back with a downpipe, get just an axle-back, get just a downpipe, get a TurboXS stealth back, or combine that stealth back with an axle-back. Take a look at everyone's mods in the Comprehensive Modification List thread and PM people with questions...that seems to work best :)


Intake: Should I get a cold air intake, with a conical filter? Or should I just stick with regular aftermarket square filter? Or is there something even better?
Cold air intakes don't do much (if anything) for our turbo cars. If you're going to get an intake, make it a short ram, or just drop in a panel filter into the stock airbox. The stock intake is actually pretty good so unless you start going into bigger power levels or you just want that really cool short ram intake sound, just get a panel filter, such as a K&N, ITG, or Blitz.


In the end, I would like to spend no more than $2000 on these mods. I will probably do it in the order above. Any other recommendations? I've sure this post has demonstrated my "newbie-ness" to modding, but hey, you gotta start somewhere right? I want to make sure I represent our WRXs well out on the road.

Thanks for any and all advice you all can provide!
If I remember my prices correctly, here's a breakdown:

Blitz Dual TT with harness: ~$120
Joe P MBC: ~$50
Cat-back exhaust: ~$550
Blitz SUS intake: ~$220
_________________________________

Grand total: $940 if you install yourself :)

If you wanna go with a cat-back plus a downpipe, add $175 for an HKS downpipe or $500 for a Godspeed downpipe. Either way, you're still under $2000 :D
 

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MBC

cnoff
Just curious, I was looking at MBC's and this one place I looked said that it is dangerous to do if you don't add some other kind of engine management. I'm a newbie as well and I don't really know about engines. Any suggestions?
 

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The biggest concerns with MBCs is Exhaust Gas Temp(EGT). If the boost is set too high or EGTs get too, a lot of damage can be done. Ideally, the uppipe needs to be done first. This will reduce EGTs by allowing a better flow. The cat in the uppipe helps retain heat.

As far as engine management, it is never a bad idea, but a ton of people on this forum use MBC with no mgmt and no bad effects. Just keep boost at reasonable level.


Verdugo, Great minds think alike.
 

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Turbo Timer: COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY
MBC: BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK
Uppipe: Second best bang for the buck
Intake: Waste of money
Samco IC hoses: Third best bang for the buck
Bell mouth downpipe or turboback exhaust: Fourth best BFTB
Catback: 5th

Unichip is also a good low buck choice, get a used one.

Then things get REAL EXPENSIVE, REAL FAST.

Check out my signature and my website. I have mods and 1/4 times.

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dang! You guys are awesome! Thanks so much Verdugo, cnoff, and PlatinumWRX.

Okay so I'm dropping the intake idea, I'll just go with a K&N filter...

Verdugo, you mentioned that you use the Blitz Dual TT. Will that fit nicely into the dashboard anywhere? I don't really want to mount some funny looking gauge/timer on the top of my dash. I've heard that some TTs can fit where the silver plastic is to the left of the cup holder. Will the Blitz Dual TT fit there?

And as far as MBC... I see a lot of people are using the Joe P MBC. I think I'll go for one of those, and set it to 15.5 psi. Are those hard to install? And do MBCs have a gauge/panel that's installed on the dashboard? If so, does the Joe P fit somewhere flush with the dashboard?

cnoff, you mentioned that an EBC is much better than a Jeo P MBC. What's the difference, and what makes it better? How much do they go for?

Speaking of exhaust... sounds like getting an uppipe with exaust is a good idea. What exactly is a "cat-back" exhaust, and how much HP increase do you think I'd see if I install a Godspeed Uppipe with it? Can you name a good cat-back exhaust? Performance is a lot more important to me that sound, in fact, I would almost prefer a semi-quiet exhaust.

As far as installation of these mods... I would prefer to do as many of the installs as possible. Are these modifications hard for an amature to do? And if I need to have these installed professionally, how much $$ am I likely to spend?

Once again, thanks so much for all your help! ClubWRX.net is awesome, you definitally have a permanent member here. I hope that I can continue to learn, and pass on the knowledge!
;)
 

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Jeffsw_02WRX said:
Dang! You guys are awesome! Thanks so much Verdugo, cnoff, and PlatinumWRX.

Okay so I'm dropping the intake idea, I'll just go with a K&N filter...

Verdugo, you mentioned that you use the Blitz Dual TT. Will that fit nicely into the dashboard anywhere? I don't really want to mount some funny looking gauge/timer on the top of my dash. I've heard that some TTs can fit where the silver plastic is to the left of the cup holder. Will the Blitz Dual TT fit there?

And as far as MBC... I see a lot of people are using the Joe P MBC. I think I'll go for one of those, and set it to 15.5 psi. Are those hard to install? And do MBCs have a gauge/panel that's installed on the dashboard? If so, does the Joe P fit somewhere flush with the dashboard?

cnoff, you mentioned that an EBC is much better than a Jeo P MBC. What's the difference, and what makes it better? How much do they go for?

Speaking of exhaust... sounds like getting an uppipe with exaust is a good idea. What exactly is a "cat-back" exhaust, and how much HP increase do you think I'd see if I install a Godspeed Uppipe with it? Can you name a good cat-back exhaust? Performance is a lot more important to me that sound, in fact, I would almost prefer a semi-quiet exhaust.

As far as installation of these mods... I would prefer to do as many of the installs as possible. Are these modifications hard for an amature to do? And if I need to have these installed professionally, how much $$ am I likely to spend?

Once again, thanks so much for all your help! ClubWRX.net is awesome, you definitally have a permanent member here. I hope that I can continue to learn, and pass on the knowledge!
;)
Good call on the K&N. The Joe P mounts under the hood. You need an EBC for in car control. You can do it all yourself, just be prepared, the uppipe is a BIATCH!

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PlatinumWRX said:


Good call on the K&N. The Joe P mounts under the hood. You need an EBC for in car control. You can do it all yourself, just be prepared, the uppipe is a BIATCH!

-Jim
So the EBC is just a unit that allows you to control the turbo boost from within the car? If I didn't get an EBC, I could just change the boost manually under the hood right? And is there a lot of reason to change to boost often? Can you just leave it at something like 15.5 psi, or is that a bad idea?

As far as installation... do the products come with details instructions for installing? Or should I find a repair manual for the WRX? And if you do recommend a repair manual, what's the best?
 

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Jeffsw_02WRX said:
So the EBC is just a unit that allows you to control the turbo boost from within the car? If I didn't get an EBC, I could just change the boost manually under the hood right? And is there a lot of reason to change to boost often? Can you just leave it at something like 15.5 psi, or is that a bad idea?

As far as installation... do the products come with details instructions for installing? Or should I find a repair manual for the WRX? And if you do recommend a repair manual, what's the best?
Right. You set it and forget it. You only need to change it if you change altitudes or the season changes. Summer>fall>winter Cooler weather = more boost and you don't want to get too close to 17psi.

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How do you know what your boost is currently at? Is there a gauge on the MBC?
 

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Jeffsw_02WRX said:
How do you know what your boost is currently at? Is there a gauge on the MBC?

2002 WRBlue WRX (Stock)
Factory installed options:
Short Throw Shifter
Premium Sound System
Turbo Boost Gauge <------THAT THING RIGHT THERE :D

 

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Whew, a lot of questions to answer. Ok, here we go.

I also have the blitz TT. It fits well next to cupholder, but I wanted something a little more in line of sight. I mounted mine next to a-pillar. I'll try to take a picture of it later today. I like where it's at. The head unit is so light that you can basically use double sticky tape to mount it anywhere.

Joe P is a joke to install. Maybe 15 minute for someone who knows nothing about cars.


EBC is more than like be my next purchase. Jim can tell you a lot more about them than I can. Much more programmable. Looking at a minimum of $400 for a good one.


Remember, all these exhaust mods are illegal in every state. Be 100% sure that you are ok with that. The uppipe is a minimum of 4 hours to install. mine took 7 hours. The exhaust is broken down like this:

axelback: everything from rear axle back.

catback: everything to the rear of the third cat located in midpipe. essentially, it's the muffler with a short amount of piping.

turbo back: self explanitory. includes downpipe, midpipe, and axle back.

The best performance gain is going to be turbo back with no cats. I have TurboXS with stock axle back. Great performance gain with minimal sound increase(does have a nice burble though
:D ). There are a ton of others to choose from.

As far as difficulty of installing, it is more a question of how much time you have and do you have the right tools for the job. The uppipe sucks, but is not hard. Once you put it on, don't ever plan on taking it off. Exhaust is relatively easy. Joe P a joke. Since time is money for a professional install, just do it yourself. I felt kind of proud after I did mine.

I feel like I just wrote a performance manual.


BTW, I have only spent $1600 on mods for my car and :eek: :eek: it's a lot more fun to drive.
 

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w00t cnoff

Okay you guys answered the questions already :) I'm just glad to help out.
 

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Not positive, But im pretty sure the HKS turbo timer fits incredibally well next to the cup holder. I dont know the dimensions of it, but it looks to be a good size. I know that the guy in Turbo magazine, September, did it, but i dont know what kind it is.
 

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Hey about the EBC. I can adjust boost instantly rite? Meaning I can turn the dial to 18psi or 10psi and it will adjust rite then and there? Another question...on a unichip can u preset the boost as low as u want (i.e. normal boost 7psi)
 

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TD87 said:
Hey about the EBC. I can adjust boost instantly rite? Meaning I can turn the dial to 18psi or 10psi and it will adjust rite then and there? Another question...on a unichip can u preset the boost as low as u want (i.e. normal boost 7psi)
Yes, there's usually some type of "scramble boost" feature that'll let you adjust the boost just like that. However, that's a question better asked toward someone who actually has an EBC! hehe

As for as the unichip, all unichips use some type of manual boost control (either bleed valve or a full ball and spring) to fine-tune the boost. The UTEC on the other hand, supposedly can control boost on its own.
 
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