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Going to be adding my exhaust on my bone stock 02 WRX in about 2 weeks when it comes in.
  • Is it necessary to tune it right away? I’d prefer if I don’t have to because I wanted to get all my bolt ons that I wanted within the next 3 months then go get a tune.
  • Is a short shifter worth investing in (such as the Cobb) does it actually make a difference?

  • Was looking at adding the STI spoiler in the future also, do I need the whole trunk with spoiler, or what it be easy enough to just switch it to the STI one? (Mine already has the stock WRX spoiler and has holes drilled already but Im not sure if they’d match up the same?)
 

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Going to be adding my exhaust on my bone stock 02 WRX in about 2 weeks when it comes in.
I'd leave the car alone. I have the same car and I use only authentic Subaru parts, and I have not modified it.

Is it necessary to tune it right away? I’d prefer if I don’t have to because I wanted to get all my bolt ons that I wanted within the next 3 months then go get a tune.
No.

You can change the up pipe and the down pipe, and make your car illegal for use on any public road in the United States.

You will need to deal with the CELs that will result.

For the up pipe you will need to insert a resistor in the wiring harness to simulate the presence of a sensor that you have removed in your quest to make the car illegal.

For the down pipe you will need a mechanical fix (screw in) to eliminate that CEL.

The car will be fine otherwise provided it was running correctly to begin with. You will not benefit from every last kW of power possible or every last Nm of torque without remapping the car though, so if you're going to go that far you should consider either not doing it at all (my advice) or doing it and remapping (meh...).

Is a short shifter worth investing in (such as the Cobb)
No.

Any money spent on modifying a car that would be old enough to vote if it were human is money you are throwing away and will never see again. It's money down the drain.

does it actually make a difference?
Yes. Any issues with the gearbox will be exacerbated and any gears that were clunky will probably feel just as bad, if not worse. However gear selection will be a few thousandths of a second quicker. I recommend leaving the shifter alone and if you're in a hurry, leave the house earlier.

Was looking at adding the STI spoiler in the future also, do I need the whole trunk with spoiler, or what it be easy enough to just switch it to the STI one? (Mine already has the stock WRX spoiler and has holes drilled already but Im not sure if they’d match up the same?)
The holes are not the same.

You need either an entire trunk PLUS the torsion springs, or you can buy a spoiler PLUS torsion springs and remove your spoiler, see what holes are missing, and negotiate with a drill.

Easiest solution in 2004 when the STi became available was to swap trunks and torsion bars and locks with someone who felt silly driving around with a ridiculous wing. This won't work for black cars because the black in 2002 and the black in 2004 were different though. Depends on what you have and what you can find. Post on the "official trunk swap thread" here somewhere and see who responds.
 

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I can't tell what you mean by "adding my exhaust." If you're bolting on a catback you won't need a tune. If you're doing more than that you will. As for the short shifter I thought all WRXs came with that option. If that's not the case I would definitely invest in one, it makes a big difference in the feel. I have no opinion about the STi spoiler except to say it won't make a functional difference. If you like the way it looks go for it.

And yeah SD_GR is right, investing in a 20 year old car doesn't make financial sense, but you wouldn't be coming here for financial advice in the first place.
 
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