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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone. Me gots a few questions for ya, of course. :)

First, I'd like to say to please be as technical as you guys want to be. In no way am I new to going fast and I am definitely not new to turbos. I've owned my modded 93 TT RX-7 for 10+ yrs. Boost is like...a brother to me. :thumbup: :D I also own an Infiniti J30 which is finally starting to show its age with almost 180k miles. As a replacement for the Infiniti, I've been considering a lot of small and fun cars ranging anywhere between a BMW E30 (mid late 80s-early 90s) 325is to a Nissan S14 240SX (95-98). 2 or 4 door doesn't really matter, but rear seats is definitely a pro. Very few cars from the 2000s interest me as most are suffering from the "FAT" virus. But I feel the WRX really fits the bill. :) They are fun to drive, look great, and are already boosted. :D

I've been thinking of something simple. Either an 02 or 03 with anywhere between 60k-90k miles. I see prices ranging anywhere between $6k-$9k for that amount of mileage. What I'm looking for are specifics that occur to these puppies at that mileage or general gremlins that come up. I went through your car purchasing stickies, but those seem to be geared more towards the noobs (check your vin, does the car make funny noises, etc). I want specifics such as: Is there a particular bushing that tends to prematurely wear out, is there a specific little leak from god knows where that is normal and not a big deal or not a big fix, is there a specific noise out of the engine which may seem abnormal but is not, will the tranny blow up with x amount of mods, etc. Any help here would be appreciated.

As far as modding, I was thinking again just in simple terms. Intake and full exhaust (DP, MP, & CB). But again, I really don't know the WRXs, so please let me know regarding these upgrades. Will I need fuel upgrades, do I need to worry about boost creep, how high up is the stock WG & blow off valve good for, will the ECU have a brainfart with no cats, will I need an upgraded ECU, what is a safe boost limit with the stock fuel system, etc.

Also, I know the HP & boost differences between the WRX and STi, but what are the technical differences? Is it the same block with a better fuel map/system, more boost, different turbo, etc. I'm curious bout this. :)

Oh, what type of duty would the WRX see if I bought her? The daily driver. With the possibly occasional visit to an SCCA event. ;)

Oh oh...most importantly. Since I don't want to scare the **** out of the person I am buying the car from, do these tend to oversteer or understeer?

Thanks for your helps. :)
 

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I've been thinking of something simple. Either an 02 or 03 with anywhere between 60k-90k miles. I see prices ranging anywhere between $6k-$9k for that amount of mileage. What I'm looking for are specifics that occur to these puppies at that mileage or general gremlins that come up. I went through your car purchasing stickies, but those seem to be geared more towards the noobs (check your vin, does the car make funny noises, etc). I want specifics such as: Is there a particular bushing that tends to prematurely wear out, is there a specific little leak from god knows where that is normal and not a big deal or not a big fix, is there a specific noise out of the engine which may seem abnormal but is not, will the tranny blow up with x amount of mods, etc. Any help here would be appreciated.

With high miles just make sure they have maintance records. Obviously things like water pump and timing pump should be changed. I'd also get the oil pump changed on anything nearing 100k miles. The car is probaly going to have several rattles. That's just the awesomeness of Subaru when they built it. The motor, if you havent been around boxer motors, is going to be some funny sounds at time. This is usually normal as long as it's not a heavy ticking. The 02's have some sort of fuel rail leak on cold start up. There is a TSB out there. The tranny is really hit or miss. It depends on who drove the car and how the drove it. It's commonly accepted that 300 whp will non aggresive driving is fine. Some people explode gears on stock setups so it's really hit or miss.


As far as modding, I was thinking again just in simple terms. Intake and full exhaust (DP, MP, & CB). But again, I really don't know the WRXs, so please let me know regarding these upgrades. Will I need fuel upgrades, do I need to worry about boost creep, how high up is the stock WG & blow off valve good for, will the ECU have a brainfart with no cats, will I need an upgraded ECU, what is a safe boost limit with the stock fuel system, etc.

Modding is best summed up with "Stages". Cobb is an aftermarket company and their "stages" are probaly the most accepted. A full turbo back exhaust you'll want an ECU reflash done. Cobb sells a device which will do this. This will raise your boost and alter your fuel/timing as well. The ECU is more then capable of supporting bolt ons and larger turbo swaps with the proper tuning/flash. Boost creep isnt a issue on the ej205. WG and BOV are usually good into the 18-20 range. The turbo and fuel system represent each other well. You'll get to the point where the td04 isnt working around the same time you run out of fuel. The fuel system can support slightly larger turbos then the stock one but for the money I'd want to upgrade it on aftermarket turbos.

Also, I know the HP & boost differences between the WRX and STi, but what are the technical differences? Is it the same block with a better fuel map/system, more boost, different turbo, etc. I'm curious bout this. :)

The STI gets a 2.5 liter. A larger turbo, larget intercooler, different heads, AVCS, etc. It's in a different league as far as the wrx is concerned.

Oh, what type of duty would the WRX see if I bought her? The daily driver. With the possibly occasional visit to an SCCA event. ;)

Oh oh...most importantly. Since I don't want to scare the **** out of the person I am buying the car from, do these tend to oversteer or understeer?

Stock car will understeer.

Thanks for your helps. :)
 

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Hi everyone. Me gots a few questions for ya, of course. :)

Welcome


I've been thinking of something simple. Either an 02 or 03 with anywhere between 60k-90k miles. I see prices ranging anywhere between $6k-$9k for that amount of mileage. What I'm looking for are specifics that occur to these puppies at that mileage or general gremlins that come up. I went through your car purchasing stickies, but those seem to be geared more towards the noobs (check your vin, does the car make funny noises, etc). I want specifics such as: Is there a particular bushing that tends to prematurely wear out, is there a specific little leak from god knows where that is normal and not a big deal or not a big fix, is there a specific noise out of the engine which may seem abnormal but is not, will the tranny blow up with x amount of mods, etc. Any help here would be appreciated.

if you stick to scheduled maintenance and buy an unmolested car they can easily go 150,000 miles the Stock WRX tranny has its issues it does not enjoy all wheel drive launches and has been known to break at stage 2+ power levels. but only if driven hard. if you take care of it it will reward you, THE STI tranny is bulletproof nobody breaks those under 450hp.


As far as modding, I was thinking again just in simple terms. Intake and full exhaust (DP, MP, & CB). But again, I really don't know the WRXs, so please let me know regarding these upgrades. Will I need fuel upgrades, do I need to worry about boost creep, how high up is the stock WG & blow off valve good for, will the ECU have a brainfart with no cats, will I need an upgraded ECU, what is a safe boost limit with the stock fuel system, etc.

with a turbo back exhaust and an uppipe, you will need Engine management like enginuity or Cobb.


Also, I know the HP & boost differences between the WRX and STi, but what are the technical differences? Is it the same block with a better fuel map/system, more boost, different turbo, etc. I'm curious bout this. :)

The STI has better everything, engine. hubs, diffs, tranny, steering, turbo. if you can afford a used 04-05 STI they are definetly a superior car on par with the Porsche 911.


Oh, what type of duty would the WRX see if I bought her? The daily driver. With the possibly occasional visit to an SCCA event. ;)

Both the STI and WRX are suited for this but the STI comes ready to rumble out of the box the WRX needs suspension help.

Oh oh...most importantly. Since I don't want to scare the **** out of the person I am buying the car from, do these tend to oversteer or understeer?

Understeer with grip, oversteer W/0 grip like on ice and snow.
T
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. :)

Up-pipe? Just read up on it. Jesus....you guys have a cat between the exhaust manifold and the turbo? LOL. That sounds painful. It's cheap, but I'd prefer not to get into the upgraded fuel management territory. You know how it goes. You end up wanting more..and more..and more LOL. :D

How many cats can I remove before needing fuel management?

I'm not a drag type of guy, and will most likely never do a hard launch. I'll probably never make it to Stage II. I really don't want it to turn into another project for me.

STI sounds tempting, but damn. I'd really not prefer to go up that high. :redface:
 

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Thanks for the replies. :)

Up-pipe? Just read up on it. Jesus....you guys have a cat between the exhaust manifold and the turbo? LOL. That sounds painful. It's cheap, but I'd prefer not to get into the upgraded fuel management territory. You know how it goes. You end up wanting more..and more..and more LOL. :D

How many cats can I remove before needing fuel management?

I'm not a drag type of guy, and will most likely never do a hard launch. I'll probably never make it to Stage II. I really don't want it to turn into another project for me.

STI sounds tempting, but damn. I'd really not prefer to go up that high. :redface:
The fuel system is fine on the stock turbo. Take all the cats out that you want.

Stage 2 is very mild for the motor/drivetrain if you drive it with common sense. It's honestly the way the car should have came from the factory in many peoples eyes.
 

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The fuel system is fine on the stock turbo. Take all the cats out that you want.

Stage 2 is very mild for the motor/drivetrain if you drive it with common sense. It's honestly the way the car should have came from the factory in many peoples eyes.
stage 2 is really where its at, engine management just takes advantage of the catless setup makes it smoother, you dont have to mod from there, the difference is so much that most stay stage 2 protuned as the final touch.
 

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Even an OTS (off-the-shelf map) Stage 2 is a huge leap over the stock configuration, IMO. I swore that I wouldn't mod my second WRX....but I just HAD to do up/dn/em. The stock powerband got annoying really quickly.
 

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Even an OTS (off-the-shelf map) Stage 2 is a huge leap over the stock configuration, IMO. I swore that I wouldn't mod my second WRX....but I just HAD to do up/dn/em. The stock powerband got annoying really quickly.
+1 i cant wait to ditch mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep. Stage 2 definitely looks like its where its at. Just went through Cobb's site.

But PepBoys sells these nice performance mufflers for $50 which look like will do the job..
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I'm J/K LOL. ;) If I do get the WRX, I'd probably go with a Borla CB. I've had their stuff through 2 cars and love it. Not too loud and not too raspy. Their exhausts have always sounded perfect. Even when using 3.5" pipes. :D

You guys haven't talked much about the exhaust manifold. Too much for Stage II? Looking at pics of it, I'd think it was a rather simple and straightforward mod and looks like it would compliment the uppipe well.
 

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Yep. Stage 2 definitely looks like its where its at. Just went through Cobb's site.


I'm J/K LOL. ;) If I do get the WRX, I'd probably go with a Borla CB. I've had their stuff through 2 cars and love it. Not too loud and not too raspy. Their exhausts have always sounded perfect. Even when using 3.5" pipes. :D

You guys haven't talked much about the exhaust manifold. Too much for Stage II? Looking at pics of it, I'd think it was a rather simple and straightforward mod and looks like it would compliment the uppipe well.
not many people do the exhaust manifold and it will mean that you will have to get a protune i think, the OTS maps dont account for them.

what im going to do is im going to get a downpipe and uppipe and leave the stock catback on, the borla hush is the other option it sounds great. Im not into the fart cans. but the cobb single tipp sounds sweeeet.

if you go stage2 and still think you need more power, I would say injectors, big intercooler, maybe headers, and a Protune if that sounds too slow still all that plus a fuel pump and bigger turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah I must say. I REALLY love the flat 4's exhaust tone. :D

I've always wondered how the flat 6s sound like on exhaust. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went to go see one at a local dealer that loves ripping people off. I wasn't really interested in this one as they were asking $12,000 for an 04 with 100k miles. I saw an 04 with 33k for $13,000 300 miles away, and an 03 with 80k for about $7000. So I know the deals are out there. Anyways, I was more curious about making sure I'd be happy when sitting in it.

This particular one was abused, though. It had no centre cat, the exhaust piping looked like someone bent it themselves in their back yard, it looked like oil was leaking from the passenger size valve cover gasket and dripping on the exhaust manifold, uppipe or turbo, it had dings everywhere, and the engine looked as if it had been taken apart several times.

It felt sluggish, too. I mean, I wasn't expecting anything near what I get out of the RX-7, but I didn't expect it to feel slower than my J30, either. In a 1st gear run, I was actually asking myself while the speedo was making its way up to 40mph "Why does it feel so slow? I was expecting a little more out of a WRX." Stock these do 0-60 in about 6 - 6.5s, right? I'm sure it was just this particular one that had issues. It did feel like it had an intake leak, though. I'm not really sure. The TD04 is on the passenger side, but it sounded like air was being rushed from the driver's side of the engine bay. It definitely didn't sound like an exhaust leak. I really didn't check to see where the IC couplings are.

At least the suspension felt nice and tight, and the steering didn't have any play in it. But man, the engine looked like some noob tried to take it apart 50 times. But after sitting in it, and driving this poor example, I know I'd be pretty happy owning one in good shape. Cockpit is exactly how I like it, and being 6" tall, I had plenty of leg room.

Is it normal for the valves to chat for a fraction of a second during cold start up with 100k miles?
 

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the 0-60 time is about 5.6 secs for a bugeye i think
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finding a virgin WRX is going to be harder than I thought.

Went to see an 02 today. 81k miles for $7950. It had been modded, it smelled funny, had a gauge pod with no gauges, and was crashed in the front. It actually looked pretty decent from the outside, though. I didn't take it for a spin since it was buried in a warehouse.
 
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