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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I’m Matt from Columbus, OH. So yesterday I bought a 04 WRX… I absolutely LOVE it! I had one back in the day but only lasted for 3 days because the bank ended up wanting more money (long pointless story). So anyhow that’s why I’m here and I’m excited to meet others that have an obsession as big as my own for these cars.

Anyhow more about the car (BTW I’m a NOOB when it comes to all this)… Everything looks to be stock other then two mods’ the exhaust and the clutch or shifter. I think it has short shifter because I barely have to move it what so ever when shifting. One major difference I notice on this one from my last is I can barely hear the turbo at all. I mean I can hear it spool up but nothing like the last. From what I have read already this may altered by removing the silencer?

Anyhow just wanted to say hello to everyone! I look forward to hearing from everyone and learning MUCH more about my car! Thanks

Matt
 

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Looks sharp.

If you're running a full exhaust, you'll want some form of EM to get all the power from it.

Silencer removal and a high-performance air filter (e.g., K&N) would amplify the sound, as well as a short ram intake (e.g., SPT, K&N, Cobb)

Enjoy ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I looked under the car and it’s a full exhaust. I have read several posts about the silencer removal but I’m still not sure how comfortable I am with doing this on my own yet. I have a few thousand already for other mods but I’m thinking the best idea right now is to read and learn as much as possible before running out and buying anything.

I do know I will be purchasing a set of 18’s (no rush due to the fact it’s winter here); and I’m considering a few other mod’s simply for appearance. Your STi is sweet; I still LOVE the wing on the STi although I heard the new models have the standard spoiler.
 

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Full exhaust, well, look under the car again. If you can see a flatish, with grille marks, muffler looking device about half way in the middle of you exhaust, that is a resonator and you probably don't have a modded exhaust. Also, it sounds like you have a stock intake. If the resonator is gone, you may have a cat-back-exhaust (cbe). all good. enjoy your rex!
 

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Congrats on the 2004 Matt! You have found a great place to learn all things WRX

Be sure to formally introduce yourself: New Member Hangout
 

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I looked under the car and it’s a full exhaust. I have read several posts about the silencer removal but I’m still not sure how comfortable I am with doing this on my own yet. I have a few thousand already for other mods but I’m thinking the best idea right now is to read and learn as much as possible before running out and buying anything.

I do know I will be purchasing a set of 18’s (no rush due to the fact it’s winter here); and I’m considering a few other mod’s simply for appearance. Your STi is sweet; I still LOVE the wing on the STi although I heard the new models have the standard spoiler.
Forget about the intake or silencer removal. Read all you can on this site and others.

My 2 cents:

Uppipe (since your 04 has cat one)
Downpipe w/ cat
CBE with a muffler you like
Tuning. Either a protune or get the Cobb Accessport and run the appropriate map.

Then, better tires, sway bars, endlinks, rear strut bar, springs, and alignment.

If you have extra $, then coil overs instead of springs.
 

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Pavia said:
Forget about the intake or silencer removal. Read all you can on this site and others.
The intake/silencer removal are somewhat unnecessary mods (power-wise), but they will allow you to hear the turbo/BPV better (which was his original question).

Pavia said:
Uppipe (since your 04 has cat one)
Downpipe w/ cat
CBE with a muffler you like
Tuning. Either a protune or get the Cobb Accessport and run the appropriate map.

Then, better tires, sway bars, endlinks, rear strut bar, springs, and alignment.
What is your budget for your mods and how far do you want to take your car?

Personally, I like the idea that Pavia had, of doing the mods in 3 parts - doing some power, suspension, and then focus on the brakes (mod a bit in each one, then repeat the cycle). I would run OTS maps until you are content with your power upgrades, at which point, a Protune is a great idea (it'll run you ~$300).

LiquidFIRE said:
I looked under the car and it’s a full exhaust. I have read several posts about the silencer removal but I’m still not sure how comfortable I am with doing this on my own yet. I have a few thousand already for other mods but I’m thinking the best idea right now is to read and learn as much as possible before running out and buying anything.
As Pavia said, there are many threads on here to help you get started, but this will answer most of your basic questions - there are countless modding threads available to you, so any questions you don't have answered from that thread could surely be answered by a search (not trying to be RTFM or anything, but yeah) ;)

LiquidFIRE said:
I do know I will be purchasing a set of 18’s (no rush due to the fact it’s winter here); and I’m considering a few other mod’s simply for appearance. Your STi is sweet; I still LOVE the wing on the STi although I heard the new models have the standard spoiler.
If you want an STi wing, take a look at the trunk trade thread - many people with STi's want a more "stealth" look, and are willing to swap trunks 1:1 either wingless or with the normal WRX wing.

Best of luck.
 

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Congrats on the new car! Black is my favorite color. Unfortunately my STI is silver, but I couldn't pass up the deal I got on it so I'll live with silver.

Why do you want 18's on the car? Normally I really like 18's, but on the WRX 17 inch wheels really look pretty close to perfect. You also get better performance with the 17s due to the lower unsprung weight which means better suspension response and better acceleration and braking. Tires are also a good bit cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow guys first off I must say THANK YOU so far for all the advice and tips. I can already tell these forums are much better then past ones I have been in (back in my DSM days… Use to have a GSX). I’m very happy I don’t have some just giving me a one line comment like… “have you ever heard of a search!” … I mean I know there is TONS of information out there but sometimes it’s not a bad thing to talk about information that is already there, that’s sort of the purpose of being able to talk to one and other real time. Anyhow thank you all very much!

Moving on… idipskoalmin… you hit the nail right on the head

“The intake/silencer removal are somewhat unnecessary mods (power-wise), but they will allow you to hear the turbo/BPV better (which was his original question).”

I wasn’t looking to do this from a performance perspective, I simply love the way a turbo sounds and I have one… why not make my car do it.

I’m going to get up under the car tomorrow and take a look at everything a little closer and see if it does have a CBE for sure. I think it does because when I looked under it from the back I could see the larger cleaner pipes all way from the new exhaust to about the middle of the car.

I like the idea of doing mods in 3 parts (power, suspension, brakes). I am unsure of what OTS maps are though (I checked the acronym page for new members but it was not listed that I could find)? The car came with the boost gauge, but of course sooner then later I would like to install the other gauges… Oil temp, pressure, etc.

Also THANK for recommending the trunk trade thread! This place seems to have everything + some for information I want/need. Out of curiosity what is everyone’s personal perspective on the STi wings? Do you think they are getting old school “fast and furious” look? I like them both but I still seem to have that want for the STi wing because it looks like it was made for the car.

Telflon Jones….

I want 18”s just for the fact I think they look GREAT. I had an Eclipse back in the day and the 18”s weren’t too big; they seemed just right. I have heard the 17” are the most ideal size for a WRX though. Either way if it were summer I would have probably already purchased a set.

Thanks again for all the responses everyone! Back to more reading!

P.S. I would not say I have a set amount I have to spend on mods right now or a limit… I’m sure the more time I spend here the more I’m going to spend.
 

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LiquidFIRE said:
I’m going to get up under the car tomorrow and take a look at everything a little closer and see if it does have a CBE for sure. I think it does because when I looked under it from the back I could see the larger cleaner pipes all way from the new exhaust to about the middle of the car.


I stole that picture from 04.SPT.WRX from another thread. That is the stock downpipe (left) and the Cobb downpipe with a high-flow cat (right). If your downpipe doesn't look like the left one, it's aftermarket DP, and you're going to want a form of Engine Management.

LiquidFIRE said:
I am unsure of what OTS maps are though (I checked the acronym page for new members but it was not listed that I could find)?
OTS = off-the-shelf ;)

LiquidFIRE said:
The car came with the boost gauge, but of course sooner then later I would like to install the other gauges… Oil temp, pressure, etc.
The most important gauge is boost (which you have). Next, I'd say exhaust gas temp (EGT) gauge. If you want a third, probably do oil pressure.

LiquidFIRE said:
Also THANK for recommending the trunk trade thread! This place seems to have everything + some for information I want/need. Out of curiosity what is everyone’s personal perspective on the STi wings? Do you think they are getting old school “fast and furious” look? I like them both but I still seem to have that want for the STi wing because it looks like it was made for the car.
No problem. As I said, many people want a more stealth look, while others want a more "notice me" look. Instead of removing the wing, it's often easier just to do a swap of the trunk. This means you don't have to spend any money (other than gas money meeting to do the swap).

Personally, I like the STi wing. It does get in the way of your rear-view mirror, but nothing too major. A lot of the people I went to school with had the STi wing on the WRX, and I didn't think it looked too bad, but it does seem a bit "poser"ish to me (though, the 2.5RS I saw a few weeks ago with the STi wing was so pretentious I just shook my head and laughed). It's your car, do what you want (my biggest peeve is when they leave the STi logo on the trunk, even though you can clearly see it's not one). Just know that the more attention you receive from car enthusiasts will also bring more attention from the police.

To me, the F&F wings are the big metal wings that don't look like they came from a factory (a pizza delivery guy by me has a huge metal wing on his Saturn SL1 and it looks plain stupid, IMO). The STi wing is stock on one line of the Impreza, so seeing it on an Impreza doesn't seem too F&F to me.

LiquidFIRE said:
P.S. I would not say I have a set amount I have to spend on mods right now or a limit… I’m sure the more time I spend here the more I’m going to spend.
StageII (TBE+EM) is a good point to modify your power to at first, and then focus on suspension/brakes. Pavia gave you good advice for suspension. For brakes, look into SS brake lines and Hawk HPS pads.

After StageII, you'll be looking at turbo upgrades - this also includes getting larger injectors, a larger IC (an STi TMIC is a great upgrade depending on how large of a turbo you get, and you can often get them used for like $300-400), and possibly a fuel pump.

As I said before, when you're content with your power mods, go for a Protune. This will get the most out of your mods, as well as smooth out the power curve (OTS maps don't unleash all the power, as they're a generic map for all cars, rather than a custom map for your car). For the Protune, though, you'll need some form of engine management. There's many threads about options, but the most popular are the Cobb AccessPort (this is probably the most popular, user-friendly option out there), TurboXS UTEC, and open-source (Tactrix cable and laptop). There are other systems like AEM and Hydra, but they're pricey.

There are a lot of threads here that will talk to you about the parts. Do some research about what parts are good/bad and what parts are worth the money. If you still have questions, post in the threads or create your own (if you can't find one discussing the specific part).

Best of luck and enjoy the car ;)
 

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+1 on everything everybody has said so far.

and..... DON'T GET A BOV! :) We know it sounds nice and shows off that you're boosting, but it does have adverse side effects. The WRX is equipped with a MAF sensor that reads how much air is moving into the system; when you shift or get off throttle, the BOV dumps this air out into the atmosphere, but the car still thinks the air is in the system and injects enough fuel to create a "proper" air-fuel mixture with this now nonexistent air. This makes it run rich for a split second until the ECU adjusts, and can cause some sort of bucking when getting off the throttle. Stick to your stock BPV(Bypass valve). You won't need a BOV for practical reasons until you decide to run a FMIC setup or a turbo boosting in the regions of 30 psi :)

And nobody's really discussed basic braking mods yet. Stronger pads, stainless steel brake lines, and uprated fluid make a bigger difference than you'd expect. You might wanna start off with that, then purchase some better rotors afterwards. No need to be saving tons of cash for a big brake kit (especially since your stock wheels won't clear any of them). Once you have enough power, you're gonna want to stop from those faster speeds as well- hence these brake mods.

Nice car, btw! It isn't a bugeye but.. ahh well. It'll do :wiggles:
 

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If you think the car has been modded, check the suspension out for aftermarket parts too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Alright so I couldn’t wait until tomorrow and I went out and looked under the car on my last break @ work. It definitely looks like the one on the left. It’s nice clean and new from the exhaust to about 3 feet back then nice, old, and rusty looking after that. So I may have to invest into a CBE 1st. I was hoping the prior owner had already done the whole thing but that’s alright. Thanks for the pic too! Definitely helped out!

You bring up a pretty good point about the attention from the police. I like the look of the wing but I really am not trying to get pulled over or draw extra attention to myself as I already have way too many tickets! I too am not big on the whole let me buy a cheap car and make it look like the expensive one. I always like driving by kids in Civics and Mits. And notice they take off the LX, RS, GS, etc. Sticker to make others think they have a “fast” car. Totally agree!

So just to be clear with everyone I am definitely a noob about everything but I don’t consider myself stupid. I work in IT (Computer Networking) and catch on to things pretty quick (especially when I have an interest in them); with that being said… Do you guys have people do the work for you on your cars or learn how to do the mods yourself? To elaborate on my mechanical skills when it comes to cars the most I have done was replace, fuel pumps, fuel filters, lower control arms, alternators, etc. Nothing MAJOR. I’d just like to hear everyone’s input.

Koogxone… I’m definitely NOT going to get a BOV, the last thing I want to do is hurt my car just so it will sound cool. Thanks for the info though; I will be looking into finding the best thread on removing the silencer though. That seems like a good small project for this weekend.

So is there a way (other then your little profile pic) I can check you your guys rides? I don’t want to break any thread rules but if no one care’s feel free to post some! I don’t think I could ever get sick of looking at everyone custom ideas and WRX’’s!

One last thing... Thanks for the comments on the car! I think it's BEAUTIFUL too(I do have a thing to the bug eyes too, but both are awesome)! Couldn't be happier about my purchase!
 

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If you have the stock exhaust as shown on the left of the pic, then you will want a turbo-back exhaust , not a cat-back exhaust.

Best of luck and enjoy!
 

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Koogxone… I’m definitely NOT going to get a BOV, the last thing I want to do is hurt my car just so it will sound cool.
Good man! :tongue:

The silencer delete is fine, but in case you start thinking about intakes:
Short ram intakes are generally more bought and used by Subie enthusiasts than cold air intakes, I think. The Cobb and the SPT intakes are the ones known to not mess with MAF readings much, so they are safe to run without a tune. On the other hand, you'll want to think a little more about getting a cold air intake - they screw around with MAF readings a little more. Running it without a tune won't help; however, with a tune, they're generally safe and i THINK they make maybe a few (at most) HP more than short ram intakes? I'm not totally sure. I run an Injen cold air intake and it's fine since I've been protuned. The dyno-tested Injen intakes are also a little safer to run without a tune.

And like Pavia said, if you have the one on the left, it's a stock downpipe. If you get an aftermarket downpipe, the combination of the afmkt downpipe and CBE is the turboback exhaust (TBE). CBEs are basically noisemakers, and the DP is what makes the power. Many people go stage 2 without getting a CBE- just a DP and EM.
 

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Do you guys have people do the work for you on your cars or learn how to do the mods yourself?
I pretty much do everything myself with no help. I learned how to do things by just getting instructions somewhere, whether from a real repair manual or just from somebody posting them online, and then just started working on it. I have an extensive tool collection, most of which I got from my dad who has basically two of every tool ever made (no joking). That makes it much easier to work on things since tools can be a HUGE expense and also just having the right tools goes a long way (like having both regular and deep well sockets in every size, or extensions in every length known to man, etc). Actually now my dad probably has only one of a lot of tools since I've taken a ton of them! I also work in computers for a living, but I've always worked with my hands a lot ever since I was a kid growing up on a farm. It sounds like you have a decent amount of experience and can do most things yourself, which will save you a ton of money.

So is there a way (other then your little profile pic) I can check you your guys rides? I don’t want to break any thread rules but if no one care’s feel free to post some! I don’t think I could ever get sick of looking at everyone custom ideas and WRX’’s!
There's some photo threads out there, but I'm sure most guys will be more than happy to post pics of their cars! Here's a few pics of mine. I'm always happy to show her off. :cool:


 

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Discussion Starter #17
Honestly from what I have read so far by this time next week I would like to at least have these following mod’s completed (feel free to let me know if you for see any issues with this). Installing either a short ram or cold air intake, removing the silencer, and at least have a down pipe ordered. I of course will have to do some heavy readying on exactly what to buy but I don’t think any of those parts will be very expensive.

I don’t personally have a huge collection of tools but my grandpa does & he has a HUGE warm garage. Your 100% correct about having the right tools. It makes EVERYTHING so much easier!

Hey Teflon… are those 17” or 18”? I REALLY like them! Definitely a beautiful car man! If the insurance wasn’t so high, I would have picked my up a STi, but I don’t exactly have a good driving record! Coincidently I have a Jeep too… Mine is just really old and about to be sold!

Oh yeah… Any recommendations on a website I can buy a complete breakdown on the entire car from bumper to bumber? I had a Haynes manual for my old Eclipse and it helped out immensely!
 

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LiquidFIRE said:
Alright so I couldn’t wait until tomorrow and I went out and looked under the car on my last break @ work. It definitely looks like the one on the left. It’s nice clean and new from the exhaust to about 3 feet back then nice, old, and rusty looking after that. So I may have to invest into a CBE 1st. I was hoping the prior owner had already done the whole thing but that’s alright. Thanks for the pic too! Definitely helped out!
As other people have said, for power, you need to remove the downpipe. As you can see from that picture, there are two catalytic converters, which is the restriction in the exhaust. Removing both or using a high-flow cat will unlock power gains of ~50hp and ~65tq (according to Cobb site). The only issue with buying a CBE and a DP separately is the fit - some taper and the fit may be a bit off. If you're not sure, you're best off buying a TBE (which is the DP+MP+CBE), or buying the individual components from the same company (so you don't have the issue).

As for CBE, they're all just noisemakers (you might gain a little hp from them, but not much). The ERZ CBE seems pretty popular, and at $250, you can't beat the price. The best thing you can do for this purchase would be to find someone in your area with the exhaust you're looking at, and get a listen to make sure you like the sound (if you can attend a meet, then you should have a large variety of different exhausts you can hear). If you can't do that, go on YouTube and search for clips people post of their exhaust.

LiquidFIRE said:
You bring up a pretty good point about the attention from the police. I like the look of the wing but I really am not trying to get pulled over or draw extra attention to myself as I already have way too many tickets! I too am not big on the whole let me buy a cheap car and make it look like the expensive one. I always like driving by kids in Civics and Mits. And notice they take off the LX, RS, GS, etc. Sticker to make others think they have a “fast” car. Totally agree!
I've had many issues with the police in my area, and getting the STi doesn't help with staying under the radar. Fortunately, the cops in my area have nothing better to do than set up speed traps, so I pretty much go the speed limit wherever I am - they have to work a lot harder to pull me over that way.

LiquidFIRE said:
So just to be clear with everyone I am definitely a noob about everything but I don’t consider myself stupid. I work in IT (Computer Networking) and catch on to things pretty quick (especially when I have an interest in them); with that being said… Do you guys have people do the work for you on your cars or learn how to do the mods yourself? To elaborate on my mechanical skills when it comes to cars the most I have done was replace, fuel pumps, fuel filters, lower control arms, alternators, etc. Nothing MAJOR. I’d just like to hear everyone’s input.
Computer geek FTW!

You will save quite a bit of money by doing the mods yourself (labor rates around me are approximately $75-85/hr). Even if you're uncomfortable doing something yourself, you're bound to have friends that are more confident with their car skills. Whenever I have a friend or family member work on the car, I order pizza/wings and grab a few beers and we have some fun. Usually costs me $50 and an afternoon, but I enjoy the time we spent, and I save money.

LiquidFIRE said:
I will be looking into finding the best thread on removing the silencer though. That seems like a good small project for this weekend.
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/showthread.php?t=155295

That thread seems pretty informative, and provides pictures for each step ;)

LiquidFIRE said:
So is there a way (other then your little profile pic) I can check you your guys rides? I don’t want to break any thread rules but if no one care’s feel free to post some! I don’t think I could ever get sick of looking at everyone custom ideas and WRX’’s!
I don't really do much with a camera, but I have 5 images in the CarDomain link in my signature.

LiquidFIRE said:
Honestly from what I have read so far by this time next week I would like to at least have these following mod’s completed (feel free to let me know if you for see any issues with this). Installing either a short ram or cold air intake, removing the silencer, and at least have a down pipe ordered. I of course will have to do some heavy readying on exactly what to buy but I don’t think any of those parts will be very expensive.
The issue with CAI is if you hit a puddle, you could hydrolock your engine. A SRI with a heat shield should suit your needs fine. As I said in other posts, with an aftermarket DP, you're going to want some form of EM. I gave examples of some in post 10.


One more thing: take a look at the Personal For Sale threads on here and Nasoic. You can often find parts that are used, but still in really good condition. You can save some $$ this way ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Idipskoalmint… This might be a silly question but sense it already has like the half of the CBE could I just go to a muffler shop and they would be have the down pipe and other pipe to match it (just thinking this might save some money since I really like the way the current exhaust sounds)? That is absolutely insane of a 50hp and 65tq gain from two fairly simple mod’s. I’ll definitely be doing thins and keeping everyone posted on my own personal results.

Where and how often do you guys have meets? That would actually be AWESOME to attend one! That would be a great time and would be excellent for some good ideas!

I actually read that post earlier! I’m off work tomorrow and I’m actually going to try to complete this. I have an 04 though, the post says for 02 & 3? The main difference I can think of is the bug head lights. Any other ideas or thoughts/warnings before I actually do it?

Your car is awesome! Definitely love it! I like the fact it doesn’t have a huge exhaust (which mine does) simply for the fact I’m getting a little sick of the super loud exhausts. The one that’s currently on mine is actually very quite but is definitely louder then stock.
 

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LiquidFIRE said:
Idipskoalmint… This might be a silly question but sense it already has like the half of the CBE could I just go to a muffler shop and they would be have the down pipe and other pipe to match it (just thinking this might save some money since I really like the way the current exhaust sounds)? That is absolutely insane of a 50hp and 65tq gain from two fairly simple mod’s. I’ll definitely be doing thins and keeping everyone posted on my own personal results.
The fit issue is with the taper. Some CBE taper down to 2.5", others are full 3". The same goes for a DP. Get one that has the same taper as your CBE, and you'll have no issue.

Because the DP is the restrictive part of the exhaust, a DP and EM would put you at StageII (plus, you have an aftermarket CBE already - no sense buying another one, really). Most people get the full TBE.

LiquidFIRE said:
Where and how often do you guys have meets? That would actually be AWESOME to attend one! That would be a great time and would be excellent for some good ideas!
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=23

That's the regional forum for your area. Meets are usually announced in the regional forum, so keep an eye on that one and hopefully you can attend one.

LiquidFIRE said:
I actually read that post earlier! I’m off work tomorrow and I’m actually going to try to complete this. I have an 04 though, the post says for 02 & 3? The main difference I can think of is the bug head lights. Any other ideas or thoughts/warnings before I actually do it?
I haven't done this personally (I've been thinking about doing it on mine - just haven't had the time). I would assume that this mod is pretty much the same for the '04-'05 car, but don't quote me on it.

LiquidFIRE said:
Your car is awesome! Definitely love it! I like the fact it doesn’t have a huge exhaust (which mine does) simply for the fact I’m getting a little sick of the super loud exhausts. The one that’s currently on mine is actually very quite but is definitely louder then stock.
Thanks for the compliment. One of the reasons I am interested in the TurboXS Stealthback is that it would put me at StageII, but retain the factory muffler - without getting underneath the car, people won't know that it's not stock ;)

Though, I have been considering buying one of the ERZ CBE I talked about earlier.
 
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