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Hey everyone!
New to the Subaru family (have my 09 WRX 4dr Sittin in the driveway of my moms house in CA) and new to the forums here. I'm waiting to go on leave an come home an see my new present. A few quick questions (FYI, I'm a complete newbie to tuning and pretty much cars in general):
1.) I want to put a cold air intake on pretty much the second I get off of the plane. Which brands are the best and what are your guys' experience with the install of these?
2.) Before I head off to Ft. Campbell, I want to get a new exhaust system. What's the best place to start? What parts am I looking at/approx. cost. If possible, I'd like to keep that trademark sebbie growl...
 

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Æternum
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Welcome and congrats on the Subie.

Please be sure to read some of the stickies regarding "first mods."
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/tutorials-diy/134346117-big-2011-2012-mod-thread.html

Classically, a CAI was not a cost-effective mod for Subarus. This isn't a VTEC. Empirical evidence suggests that the new legacy GT-style intake design on the 3G WRXs are more restrictive than the previous WRX and current STi. However, most will agree that there are more cost-effective ways to spend your money (i.e. Downpipe and tune). Regardless, your car will NOT benefit from an intake without a tune.

There are 100,000 different permutations of catback/axleback exhaust types. Do you want quiet, loud, tinny, deep, angled, straight, single exit, dual exit, etc. What you chose is entirely contingent on your own personal preference. I will suggest for you to listen to an exhaust in person before purchasing, however. I blindly bought an Invidia N1 Race and hated it for 8 months before I sold it. I love my Cobb.
 

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Do you live in Seoul then? I travel there regularly on business. I usually go to Itewon once every trip for dinner and I walk right by the base there.
 

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The Fruit
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Read lots here;

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/engine-modifications/134325261-first-modifications-what-do-not-do.html

And here;

Unabomber's Manifesto - NASIOC


Once you've read most of that (some of it doesn't apply to your model year.. but its ALL good information)

Figure out what your budget for mods is and start simple. Any alteration to how the car breathes (downpipe or intake) will require tuning to run properly and harvest all available gains.

Cat-back exhaust (cbe) will change the sound of the car but doesn't require tuning or any other modifications. Basically just makes more noise. There are dozens of products surf youtube to get a rough Idea of what you want, once you get local see if you can meet up with some folks that have the exhaust so you can see how they sound in person and make your decision.

An intake isn't really necessary right off the bat, actually its not "necessary" for quite a while. With a tune it will provide some gains on a factory mill but for the $$ there are other things you can spend on that will give you more fun for the money. Downpipe and stage2 tune will give you some pretty solid bang for buck.
 

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I don't understand why people want to get an intake as their first mod on just about every car???

Decent intake 200+ bucks nabs you 5-10 hp if that and you should still get a tune to make sure you dont run lean.

Tactrix cable will cost you 200 bucks and there are several stage 1 tunes over the net for free and you get 25-35 boost in HP and a better tune over the garbage stock tune.

Dont waste your time with an intake unless you are pushing 350-400 to the wheels, the only benefit as a first mod is you will hear the BOV a little more and you will have more engine sound.
 

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Intakes are popular because they can boost horsepower on other imports (Hondas, Toyotas, etc), just not Subarus. Newcomers just assume Subarus are the same.
 

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Intakes are popular because they can significantly boost horsepower on other imports (Hondas, Toyotas, etc), just not Subarus. Newcomers just assume Subarus are the same.
Show me proof? I highly doubt they significantly boost horsepower on anything!
 

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Show me proof? I highly doubt they significantly boost horsepower on anything!
Ok, perhaps "significantly" wasn't the right word, but they can make more of a difference earlier in the modification stage on other vehicles. I'm not going to post manufacturer hyped numbers, but my friend's old Celica saw a good 15hp increase (tested on a dyno before and after) with one. It's not groundbreaking, but it didn't hurt anything either.
 

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and the Funky Bunch
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A CAI on my RSX was good for a solid 15-20 hp. I think Rambo is right, it's the default first mod for a lot of other cars, whether it's the best first mod or not, so people new to Subaru assume it should be for these cars too. The difference is, I think, other cars you might see a bit more gain and not as much risk. I didn't have to tune for an intake on the acura.
 

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A CAI on my RSX was good for a solid 15-20 hp. I think Rambo is right, it's the default first mod for a lot of other cars, whether it's the best first mod or not, so people new to Subaru assume it should be for these cars too. The difference is, I think, other cars you might see a bit more gain and not as much risk. I didn't have to tune for an intake on the acura.

Did you dyno tune? Same conditions between runs? A lot of testing has shown that CAI manufacturer claims are falsified.
 

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and the Funky Bunch
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Did you dyno tune? Same conditions between runs? A lot of testing has shown that CAI manufacturer claims are falsified.
I actually didn't do a CAI on my car; color me paranoid but I didn't want to worry about hydrolock (CAI's on them put the filter very close to the ground in the fender wall). But when I was researching there were a good number of people who put up dyno comparisons between stock and CAI's on the forums. Often people saw a good 15 hp or so.
 
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