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Can I go stage 2?

914 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  WRX-maniac
Hey guys,

So I purchased my 2012 wrx recently. It already has SOME mods on it.

What I know so far:

AEM intake
Invidia N1 (single exhaust)
I looked at the downpipe, but its heat-wrapped! (So I don't know what downpipe I have) :eek3:

I also don't know what tune it has currently. I guess my 2 questions are:

1) Is there anyway I can find out what downpipe I have without unwrapping the heat wrap?

2) Once I get my Accessport, should I tune it to stage 1 or stage 2?

Anything helps. Thanks!
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Welcome to clubwrx! I'll do my best to help you out here. These scenarios are the prime reason why I never buy a modified car. Technically with the current mods that you have listed (turbo back exhaust and aem intake) the car would be justified as a "stage 2" modified car per cobbs map notes for stage 2.

However, the car as it sits should have already been tuned by the prior owner. So if the car did not come with an accessport you could be in a couple of different situations. Neither of them are good.

First and foremost. Assuming the prior owner had it tuned with an accessport and flashed back the stock map, and unmarried the accessport and sold it private market, you should NOT be driving the car. The car not being tuned and running the stock map with those modifications will do damage to your engine and possibly cause a catastrophic failure (blown engine). If you must drive it, stay out of boost entirely until you get it tuned. This scenario is actually the better out of the two. Because if the previous owner unmarried the accessport you can simply buy a new one and flash the correct map and be in good shape.

Now for the worse possibility. If the previous owner flashed the stock map, and removed the accessport without unmarrying it from the ecu. This means that your ecu is blocked and no other accessport can connect to your ecu to make changes. If this is the case it means that you cannot tune (change the map) until the ecu is reprogrammed. Cobb can do this for you if you send the ecu to them, but it costs a pretty penny. Easiest way to tell if this is the case is by hooking up an unmarried accessport to your wrx and seeing if it will marry itself to the ecu without issue. If so, then just follow the steps to flashing the correct map. (if this is the case I for one, feel bad for you, and for two still strongly suggest not driving the car as mentioned above)

As far as the downpipe goes, the only way to tell what the brand is will be by unwrapping it. But a downpipe is a downpipe and it should be obvious if it is at least aftermarket or stock. With it being wrapped there is a 99% percent chance that it is aftermarket. But again, brand doesn't really matter too much. A downpipe is a downpipe.

Also, you need to ditch the bov. Atmospheric blow off valves are bad for these cars. You need to replace it with either the stock or an aftermarket recirculating valve.

If you need anything else let me know. Good luck!
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Find a stock bypass valve and try to sell the gfb one. Unless it's full recirculating it's not doing you any favors.

Contact Cobb about support for the aem intake. I'm pretty sure they still support it with their maps but it's been a while since I looked. Heat wrapped downpipe is almost certainly a 3" aftermarket unit and coupled with the intake Cobb would consider it a stage 2+

I would avoid driving the vehicle until you confirm the state of the ECU. You are way into problem territory. Best option is have it towed to a performance shop and have them go over the vehicle and advise you what's best to do going forward.
I wonder if the previous owner tuned it with a Tactrix cable and another OTS other than Cobb?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Thanks for all the good responses guys. Definitely going to avoid driving it for now, until we find its ECU state.

I honestly did not think about the possibility of the ECU being blocked on the car itself. I was only thinking about buying a used Cobb which wasn't unmarried (and then me having to pay Cobb to re license it).

I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks again, much appreciated!
FYI, got the accessport and have a stage 2 map now. My ECU was not blocked so it seems. So far so good.
Are you using the correct stage 2? Not all intakes are equal and you will need the tune specifically for the intake that is on the car. The off the shelf maps are not universal
FYI, got the accessport and have a stage 2 map now. My ECU was not blocked so it seems. So far so good.
Well that is great news! But to second XJ, make sure you are using the correct map. You stated that you have an AEM intake. Cobb supports the AEM intake for your model wrx. However, the map must be downloaded from cobb, loaded onto the accessport, and then flash it to the ecu. Also, make sure you flash the correct map for the octane you are using.

For example, say you are running 93 octane fuel, the map you would want would look something like this on the accessport: Stage 2 93 OCT +AEM
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