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2012 Subaru Impreza WRX Premium 5-Door 2.5L Turbocharged 5-Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, just got my first ever WRX last Saturday after running around in a lightly modded and moderately dieted yet tired '03 Focus Zetec for the past 13 years. What an upgrade!

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She's a '12 Premium I picked up at a small dealer in Elkhart, IN with about 125k after keeping an eye out for the past few months. Not in the best of shape but not bad either for the price in today's market. But oh boy was the hour long drive back to SW MI a blast!

I have a couple issues that need addressed as far as the body, namely the corners of the front bumper coming unclipped and misaligning.. So annoying.. I'm an automotive tech but not knowledgeable in anything body work. Seems as though this thing has had a few panels replaced/repainted but I see no structural repairs.

Just got it into the shop today to change out the trans fluid and give it a solid lookover. Looks mostly stock, only upgrades I can positively ID are little things like invidia catback, some sort of short shifter with a tomei knob (that I hate because my very first shift on the test drive my sweaty nervous hand slipped right off going into second), old rusty koni adjustable rear struts and a rear sway bar from.. I forget the brand already.. But I know it's gray in color 馃槀.
 

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If it is indeed stock, superb find.
 

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2012 Subaru Impreza WRX Premium 5-Door 2.5L Turbocharged 5-Speed Manual
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If it is indeed stock, superb find.
Definitely stock engine wise. Only mod I see under the hood is the kartboy batt hold down that the dealer douche left kinda loose when they put the no-name battery in.

Mods mods mods..
I'm not so much looking for mods as much as optimizations ;)
Most all of the heat shields are missing on the turbo/exhaust so I'm looking into turbo blankets, quality heat shields, exhaust wrap, etc. I'd like to get an intake setup for a little pick me up and better spool noise from the ying yang spinny thang. I understand that pretty much any engine mod will require a tune, for which I'm also looking at an AP. I don't feel the need to mod the piss out of my WRX because it's so much faster than my last car, but I'm sure the honeymoon phase will come to an end at some point and I'll want more, and by that point I will have gained enough knowledge on these (and hopefully $$$) to make it happen properly.

Already a good bit of $$$ there and we're just getting started..
I'm on the right track, no? Underhood temps are one of my bigger concerns at the moment. What other types of optimizations can I research? I love the little things that don't require but a few dollars and a little elbow grease :)
 

BooSTIng
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I see one red flag in your post. And that is all of the turbo/exhaust heat shields missing. This is a sign of only one thing. An aftermarket downpipe at the very least. The stock turbo heatshield will not fit around a 3 inch downpipe. Thus requiring either cutting and modifying the stock turbo heatshield, completely removing it and replacing it with an aftermarket heatshield, or just removing it all together. So with that I would bet a yearly salary that it was at least "stage 2" before with the previous owner.

Not saying that it is necessarily a bad thing, hopefully the previous owner returned the stock map to the car when returning it to stock and unmarried the accessport, or you will have a locked ecu that will be unable to be married to a new accessport or tuned.

I wouldn't sweat it just yet. I would advise taking it to a quality Subaru performance shop for a once over, and a leak down/compression test to ensure the engine is in good, healthy running order.

Welcome to the world of buying used performance cars.
 

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2012 Subaru Impreza WRX Premium 5-Door 2.5L Turbocharged 5-Speed Manual
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I see one red flag in your post. And that is all of the turbo/exhaust heat shields missing. This is a sign of only one thing. An aftermarket downpipe at the very least. The stock turbo heatshield will not fit around a 3 inch downpipe. Thus requiring either cutting and modifying the stock turbo heatshield, completely removing it and replacing it with an aftermarket heatshield, or just removing it all together. So with that I would bet a yearly salary that it was at least "stage 2" before with the previous owner.

Not saying that it is necessarily a bad thing, hopefully the previous owner returned the stock map to the car when returning it to stock and unmarried the accessport, or you will have a locked ecu that will be unable to be married to a new accessport or tuned.

I wouldn't sweat it just yet. I would advise taking it to a quality Subaru performance shop for a once over, and a leak down/compression test to ensure the engine is in good, healthy running order.

Welcome to the world of buying used performance cars.
I did have the thought of it being modded and set back to stock before I even picked it up, but I was hoping that to not be the case as I was searching specifically for one that hasn't been modded and beat on but also reasonably priced. I'm not bothered either way because I knew what I was potentially getting into and the dealer offered a 3 year 36k warranty that covers everything oil/trans/diff fluids touch, including the turbo, so that's cool.

I'll have to do a little research on the EJ specifically but I can do a leakdown and compression test at my shop. I'm more curious about a boost leak check just because everything looks OE. There's not a whole lot I can't do myself aside from tuning (which I hope to change), I just lack the Subie specific knowledge. I've always done all the work on all the cars I've ever owned and don't mean to change that with this car. I'll learn it tenaciously and do it myself. I've been researching for a week and a half longer than I've had possession of the car, and I've probably gained more knowledge in that time than some have in a whole year.

I still have my other car so if this thing has to be decommissioned for a period of time for (insert reason here) it's not a big deal. But it's slow af so I hope not ha..
 

BooSTIng
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Sounds like you have the right knowledge to ensure the engine is healthy and to maintain the car. The EJ is a finicky platform, but has endless aftermarket and tuning support. I highly recommend what I mentioned, leakdown/compression test. A boost leak test wouldn't hurt either.
 
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