Ok, Cobb sells staged packages and off the shelf tunes and the accessport to install them. The accessport is 650 or 700 bucks but the tunes are free. There are advantages to having your car dyno tuned, but generally Cobb tunes are safe and quite good.
Cobbs staged packages are as follows.
Stage 1 - ecu map only
Stage 1+ - intake and required map
Stage 2 - downpipe and required map
Stage 2+ - intake, downpipe, and required map.
With your car you will be reaching the fuel injection capability of the stock fuel system at stage 2+. Without fueling you'll be leaving some power on the table there. I personally opted to stick with the downpipe and just delete the tgv, airpump, replace the turbo inlet, and I feel like I'm forgetting stuff, finished with a tune.
I'm not a big fan of intakes in general. I don't like cotton filters, and with the efficiency and economy numbers oems shoot for the intake is usually the least worry.
Remember all of this comes at a cost. As much as Cobbs tunes are generally considered good safe power, any additional power is also additional strain on the engine and dyno or off the shelf tune, failures can and do happen.
A dyno tune will usually provide a better result as your car is tuned to your environment and to that specific vehicle. However a bad tuner can ruin your day. A dyno run is also a stressful time for your car and YouTube is rife with dyno fails.
Firepunk diesel has a good one of a Cummins on a engine brake completely exploding and splitting that hulking cast iron behemoth in half leaving you to see the rotating assembly pumping wildly as the cylinder portion of the engine is removed energetically.
I want to say it was only pushing 147psi of boost at 2200hp.
My two cents.. exhaust mods are on the safer side, intake is more of a hassle than it's worth for me. Stock intake works pretty well and tuning for a new intake is a bit of a chore. I DIY open source tune so it's more labor intensive than flashing a map.
I've bought my 02 with what looks like an ebay downpipe with a "truck" cat welded in by lazy apprentice. Welds on cat are ugly as sin, they work though, no leaks. Do a little research and figure out what metal works best for your budget and environment. Some exhausts work better in the road salty areas due to their choice of metal. Most are the same, I forget the different metals, I'm sure someone will chime in with exactly what I'm talking aobut.
Looking at used stuff check for cracks, big dents, the flanges for flatness or anything that would hinder them mating with the other parts of the exhaust. Downpipes are usually good to pick up used, headers more often cracks or other leaks, never hurts to give it a look over. Name brands are good but my franken-ebay one works.
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