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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys so yes here is another Cobb ap question. I have made a previous post about getting a Cobb ap for my new 2017 WRX limited. I've been going back and forth mentally with the decision. I just came across a rather alarming forum on another page and it was dedicated to engine failures with Cobb ap and other mods. The common factor in these different posts were they all pretty much had a 2015 WRX and most had Cobb or some othe AP with other mods and they were all on the dyno when some sort of failure happened after doing multiple pulls. The common failure was #2 robs and piston issues and block issues. Would these mainly be attributed to that 2015 was the first year of the new engine style? Or would it be related to the mods? Or just bad luck? Or stupid driving beating the **** out of their cars possibly doing launchs and flat footing? Should I be concerned. The only things I want to do and only things I will do are the dealership is installing the sti performance upgraded catback exhaust they offer on their website, the sti short throw shifter they offer on the website. The other mod I wanted was the Cobb AP +Big SF intake they offer as a package. I won't ever do launch control, I won't be flat footing ever. I plan to have fun with my car but not beat the **** out of it. I want to fix the power band issue and a little more hp and torque. What is everyone's thoughts and advice for me. Anything would be appreciated.
 

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The Access Port is designed and manufactured by Cobb Tuning.. there is no other AP than Cobb. I would assume that the vast majority of engine failures that occur on the dyno would be due to bad tuning practices.. it's really uncommon for an engine to fail on the dyno, at least it is when the car is in the hands of a good tuner. Rod bearing and piston failures aren't very common with the 15+ WRX.. the weak part of that engine is the rods themselves. Bearing failures are usually the result of low oil levels, or failure to change the oil when you're supposed to. Any decent tuner will go over the car before putting it on the dyno and make sure the oil is full and has been changed.

Would you mind posting a link to said forum? Most of this information you're saying you read seems a little odd.


For the most part, a good stage one or stage two Protune will be safer and easier on the engine than the stock tune. I would say if the engine fails at that point it would have failed with the stock map. The difference is that if it fails after being modded it's likely that the warranty claim will be denied, and rightfully so.



Other than that, I suggest looking into an aftermarket catback and short shifter.. they will be a lot cheaper for what you get. As far as catbacks go, the STI one they offer isn't much of an upgrade.
 

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Sounds like problems that happen when you are beating the crap out of your car on a dyno. It isn't common.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the link. Also I negotiated these parts and installation into the deal of my car. Another dealership wanted to give it to me cheaper so they sweetened the deal by covering installation costs. And it will be covered since they are installing if anything goes wrong. I also like the fact they are Subaru parts. Keeps my mind at ease lol.

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2749732
 

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The second that car is flashed with the ap and performance parts installed you better hope you have cash in hand for repairs. The dealership has no say in your warranty coverage, only Subaru of America. The dealership may be mod friendly but I can assure you Subaru isnt.

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The second that car is flashed with the ap and performance parts installed you better hope you have cash in hand for repairs. The dealership has no say in your warranty coverage, only Subaru of America. The dealership may be mod friendly but I can assure you Subaru isnt.
XJman is totally on point! If I had $1 for every "distortion" (being polite here), told to me by a dealer during our buying 52 vehicles in my life, I could have bought another 52 new ones. Subaru is absolutely not going to do a motor repair or complete replacement, probably not even a drivetrain, clutch, diff or related repair even if you get your dealer to install the Cobb AC/SF system. Sure you could sue them, but good luck on that unless you have it in writing (LOL) that the dealership will pay for all warranty repairs with the Cobb/SF system installed. Without that, unless you can afford to buy a new motor or similar, I would run the other way.

And BTW, something in writing from a salesperson is never something I would accept, for if any problems later, the dealership will say that salesperson was not authorized to speak for it. Only thing I would ever accept myself, would be a notarized, witnessed statement signed by the General Manager of the dealership, and only after personally confirming that the person doing the signing is the GM (not someone carrying his/her business card). And where did I get so skeptical you ask? My Uncle was a salesperson, then a Sales Manager, then the GM for the largest Ford dealership in a major U.S., and one night, after he had had at least one too many, he told me how his dealership operates, and "every single game" they use each step in the process. Also not saying that there are no honest dealerships or salespersons, for I bought my WRX from [email protected] Motors, a man I would give my social security number too if he asked for it. Just got to make sure your dealership is one of the "honest 1 percenters," your salesperson also.

Not saying that some who have installed their Cobb AC system have not have trouble free miles for years and years and tens of thousands of miles. However, the key issue, as you asked us for our opinion, is do you like, and can you afford to gamble?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think there. At be some confusion with my last reply. The only parts Subaru is installing and covering is the shifter and exhaust and not the Cobb. I would be doing the Cobb my self. I agree with you about the warranties and stuff. My main question was more along the lines of thoughts of the AP and intake in my car and causeing major issues if I don't drive like an ******* and beat my car to death. Granted you can't predict random breakdowns but these mods are the only ones I want to do. The shifter and exhaust are the only parts I was referring to that got negotiated into my deal with the car. I've just always thought about and wanted to do the AP and intake. Hope this clears things up a bit.
 

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Sounds like problems that happen when you are beating the crap out of your car on a dyno. It isn't common.

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Neither are kids who get 'their first' WRX and want 400WHP off the bat. If you are thinking of modding with an AP and an intake then the warranty should not be much of a concern. Like XJman said, the dealer might be ok here and there but anything major SOA will tell you to turn your head and cough.

On another note, no offense but that Subaru STI performance exhaust is a waste in my opinion. I have a '15 WRX, bought it with the STI tuner package minus the wheels. The dealer didn't have it installed so I got to drive around for a few weeks with the stock exhaust and I have to say it sounded better than the STI tuner exhaust. They threw it on and it made my car sound a little be rice-ier. Yeah I know Subaru is installing it and it's covered but if you have the cash to spend and are inclined to work on your car enough to do your own catback install I'd save the cash and get something else.




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A Cobb stage I tune is a warranty concern but not a reliability concern IMO. The intake maybe more so for both, unless it is really tuned for well.

Once you are out of warranty, I see very little downside for Cobb or Open Source (my car has had one or the other on it at stage 2 for the last decade).

Albeit you can get the same (actually more with a wideband) functionality out of an open port cable, with or without loading a stage map, I think the monitoring and diagnostic capability is alone worth it. I really honestly wonder how many people with a bit older car that is stock are driving around happily for years with their IAM at 11 from a minor intake leak and are totally unaware their car is constantly going in and out of knock as timing is added then removed over an over.
 

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Albeit you can get the same (actually more with a wideband) functionality out of an open port cable, with or without loading a stage map, I think the monitoring and diagnostic capability is alone worth it. I really honestly wonder how many people with a bit older car that is stock are driving around happily for years with their IAM at 11 from a minor intake leak and are totally unaware their car is constantly going in and out of knock as timing is added then removed over an over.
1. FA20F front O2 sensor can be used as a wideband reference under manifold pressure. Read: WBO2 is unnecessary for the FA20F-powered vehicles.
2. OP2.0 does not support the new Hitachi ECUs used in FA20 applications. Opensource is indeed dead.
 

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There is no plans for future support of the ECU?

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:confused1
 

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:confused1
I don't know, unless the front O2 sensor is a legit wide band. It may be necessary due to the direct injection and verge of detonation they always run.

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I don't know, unless the front O2 sensor is a legit wide band. It may be necessary due to the direct injection and verge of detonation they always run.

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Yeah, it is great if they have that already available from the stock sensor. I knew they had been improved in the past, but I can't keep up with the new models any more and they are so far removed from my knowledge base (i.e. my bugeye) now it is like a mine field to even make a general comment anymore lol.

Sucks to hear about the open source though. I'm not sure if Zack is saying the cable wouldn't be capable or if they just need to work on software. The latter I'm sure would be overcome eventually.
 

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Most of the major contributors to open source work for Cobb now.
Well that is a huge tragedy for the end user. I guess Cobb knows how to slow it's competitors.

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Sucks to hear about the open source though. I'm not sure if Zack is saying the cable wouldn't be capable or if they just need to work on software. The latter I'm sure would be overcome eventually.
There is no plans for future support of the ECU?

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Most of the major contributors to open source work for Cobb now.
This.

It's not looking hopeful regarding OpenSource with the new gen WRX's. Cobb hired the last guy that was responsible for cracking the ECU's. They have been doing this for years, that being hiring all the guys that were responsible for decoding the ECU's for OpenSource. Their reasoning is obvious, to eliminate OpenSource as a viable tuning option to make Cobb the only engine management tool going forward. Only time will tell if someone else will be able to decode the new ECU's used for the FA20, but don't get your hopes up. Cobb remains the only way to tune the FA20.
 

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Sucks to hear about the open source though. I'm not sure if Zack is saying the cable wouldn't be capable or if they just need to work on software. The latter I'm sure would be overcome eventually.
From my (very) limited understanding, there would need to be a slight hardware change to the OP2.0 to support the Hitachi ECUs.

The Subaru community is a very different community from what we recall a decade ago. Overall, the community is significantly less informed and would typically much rather have a shop do the work than wrench themselves. We might postulate that its a function of the newer generation of drivers, but likely also that the Subaru WRX is much more popular as a performance car than it was 10 years ago and that its just now attracting "that crowd" that's always been.

Maybe, Tactrix will support the Hitachi ECUs in the future, but we also have to accept that the FA20 has been around now for 5 years with no OpenSource support, that Tactrix is a side business, that most of the open source champions have been hired by Cobb et. al or moved on with their lives, and that most Tuners will no longer support OpenSource. If it's not yet dead, it's staying alive in the few of us that still own OpenPorts.
 

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From my (very) limited understanding, there would need to be a slight hardware change to the OP2.0 to support the Hitachi ECUs.

The Subaru community is a very different community from what we recall a decade ago. Overall, the community is significantly less informed and would typically much rather have a shop do the work than wrench themselves. We might postulate that its a function of the newer generation of drivers, but likely also that the Subaru WRX is much more popular as a performance car than it was 10 years ago and that its just now attracting "that crowd" that's always been.

Maybe, Tactrix will support the Hitachi ECUs in the future, but we also have to accept that the FA20 has been around now for 5 years with no OpenSource support, that Tactrix is a side business, that most of the open source champions have been hired by Cobb et. al or moved on with their lives, and that most Tuners will no longer support OpenSource. If it's not yet dead, it's staying alive in the few of us that still own OpenPorts.
Argg.

At the end of the day, I can't begrudge them for wanting to be remunerated properly for their efforts. I know I certainly expect to be when I work.

And, mine still works fine lol, I reflashed with it yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I am def a noob when it comes to the WRX. It's been a car I've wanted for years and I'm getting lost with a lot of the dialogue in this post lol. I have no idea what open source is. I guess to my original post/ question should I be concerned for an engine failure if I install the Cobb AP and big SF I take for daily casual driving and not beating on the car? Understandably breakdowns happen and can't be predicted but should be concerned with only those mods being added? Thanks.
 
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