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Discussion Starter #1
I'm asking about Stage 2+ mods and I don't even have my car yet! But I placed my order and expect to have my '12 WRX within the next few weeks. I cannot wait! And I know the break-in will only be more torturous.....

As of now, my plan is to go to at least Stage 2 with the Cobb AP and down pipe. The dyno plots on the Cobb website show several Stage2 '11 and '12 wrx's putting down 250+ whp and 300+ lb-ft of wtq on their Mustang dynos - pretty impressive. And the Stage 2 mods do not require a CAI or CBE. Yay!! That's good for me because my wrx is going to be my daily driver. I've had a couple couple of loud cars including an Evo IIIV with an AMS catless TBE and I don't want to go down that route again.

I've read multiple posts stating that CAI and CBE's are mostly noise makers on the newer wrx's, good for only a few hp each. I assume that the CAI has more of an impact on power because Cobb has different maps for them but not for CBE's. That's good news for me because I would consider getting a CAI if it gives me more performance value but I really don't want a loud exhaust.

Reading through various threads, my impression is that there are a few things that offer good power-for-the-buck value beyond the standard stage 2 mods:

1. Pro-tune instead of OTS map - I live in Texas and would probably go to the Austin facility if I got a pro-tune.
2. Process West TMIC - I like the idea because I live in a state where the air is warm, and I will take my wrx to a track day now and then. People seem to love this mod but I haven't seen dyno plots for just adding the TMIC by itself. If I get one with just the down pipe can I use the OTS Cobb AP S2 map or will it require a pro-tune?
3. There seem to be a bunch of Grimmspeed mods that seem to be wrx/sti specific, and I'm not really familiar with them. What are the best for increased power, minimal reliability risk, and low noise? Numbers, please!

So what's your advice for best value for power for $1000 beyond Stage 2 and how much performance will it buy? I'd even consider $2000 in mods if the performance gains warranted it and the effect on reliability and noise is low.

A couple additional constraints: I don't want to run E85 or meth/water injection, I want to keep the stock turbo, and I want to be able to convert my car back to stock if I need to in the future.

Thanks everyone,
Pop a nut
 

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The PW TMIC is a great piece. You can run it with a base map like Cobb, but you won't get any real benefits from it, so it'd be money wasted. Get a custom tune with that.

An intake is a worthwhile mod on the any VFXX turbo car, and even more so on the '09+ WRXs (due to the crappy OE airbox). If you don't go CAI, make sure you have some way to isolate the filter (Cobb airbox, KSTech heatshield, etc.).

The OE plastic bypass valves have a tendency to leak more than the metal ones from '02-'07. Consider an aftermarket alternative.

For $1000 over StageII:
AEM CAI
Custom reflash

For $2000 over StageII:
AEM CAI
PW TMIC
Forge BPV
Custom reflash
 

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#1. Cobb Austin is only doing R&D, I asked them about looking at my car and they basically told me to call back in a few years.

#2. The TMIC won't require a pro-tune, but an off the shelf map won't take advantage of it either, so it's kind of pointless.

#3. Keep in mind, any of these things will need a pro-tune to be worth while, and some will require it to even run. First, a 3-port EBCS, this will provide much better boost control and is a mod I consider nearly essential for any stage 2+ setup (unless your tuner prefers MBC). Also, port and polished exhaust manifold is a great bang for your buck mod, as well as TGV deletes. Of course neither of those mods can really be returned to stock without going out and buying the original parts to swap on. Those three are going to be your winners, I'm not completely up to date on the MY12 year model, so I dunno if GS offers those specific services for your can, but you can always ask them.
 

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Before you start looking at anything past stage 2, you should be looking at suspension and braking mods, especially since you're planning to track the car.

I don't know why people don't understand you need to upgrade all 3 things on a car in concert with each other rather than just adding more and more power that will overwhelm the inadequate suspension and braking on the stock car...
 

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Captain James of the SS Impreza has gone down with
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Before you start looking at anything past stage 2, you should be looking at suspension and braking mods, especially since you're planning to track the car.

I don't know why people don't understand you need to upgrade all 3 things on a car in concert with each other rather than just adding more and more power that will overwhelm the inadequate suspension and braking on the stock car...
Nah, brah...brakes are for stopping, I wanna go fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The PW TMIC is a great piece. You can run it with a base map like Cobb, but you won't get any real benefits from it, so it'd be money wasted. Get a custom tune with that.

An intake is a worthwhile mod on the any VFXX turbo car, and even more so on the '09+ WRXs (due to the crappy OE airbox). If you don't go CAI, make sure you have some way to isolate the filter (Cobb airbox, KSTech heatshield, etc.).

The OE plastic bypass valves have a tendency to leak more than the metal ones from '02-'07. Consider an aftermarket alternative.

For $1000 over StageII:
AEM CAI
Custom reflash

For $2000 over StageII:
AEM CAI
PW TMIC
Forge BPV
Custom reflash
Thanks EJ257. I probably will go for the AEM CAI if I go for the custom reflash. Even if I don't go that route, I'll take your suggestion and get something to isolate the stock filter from engine heat.

If I do go for $2k over Stage 2, I'll probably go for everything you suggested. Great advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
#1. Cobb Austin is only doing R&D, I asked them about looking at my car and they basically told me to call back in a few years.

#2. The TMIC won't require a pro-tune, but an off the shelf map won't take advantage of it either, so it's kind of pointless.

#3. Keep in mind, any of these things will need a pro-tune to be worth while, and some will require it to even run. First, a 3-port EBCS, this will provide much better boost control and is a mod I consider nearly essential for any stage 2+ setup (unless your tuner prefers MBC). Also, port and polished exhaust manifold is a great bang for your buck mod, as well as TGV deletes. Of course neither of those mods can really be returned to stock without going out and buying the original parts to swap on. Those three are going to be your winners, I'm not completely up to date on the MY12 year model, so I dunno if GS offers those specific services for your can, but you can always ask them.
That sucks about Cobb Austin. Still, I'll ask if they can squeeze me in :). Cobb Plano is a lot farther away but at least it's an option. I've pretty much decided on the AP for my flash.

I like the idea 3-port EBCS to have safe, reliable boost control. GS claims improved performance due to better flow and faster response, but I wonder if it is enough to be felt or measured on a dyno. Still, for $120, it seems worth it to help protect against boost spikes.

And thanks for suggesting the GS TGV delete and port and polished exhaust manifold. I checked them out on their site and YouTube and they seem like great mods. But I need to think about the added $$$.

Great advice from you and EJ257!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Before you start looking at anything past stage 2, you should be looking at suspension and braking mods, especially since you're planning to track the car.

I don't know why people don't understand you need to upgrade all 3 things on a car in concert with each other rather than just adding more and more power that will overwhelm the inadequate suspension and braking on the stock car...
I don't know why people don't understand that just because someone is asking about power mods in the Engine Modifications section, that they think they are not doing supporting mods as well? How come, Teflon?

But I'm sure your intentions are good :) so thanks for your advice. Before I take her to the track I will change to DOT5 high temp brake fluid, upgrade the pads, and rear sway bar, maybe more. I know the increased power will require suspension improvement for street and track. But first I want to get a better feel for the wrx brakes and suspension after driving it a while.

I have a track dedicated Spec Miata race car. I'll only take the wrx to track days on occasion and won't be pushing it to the limits. The wrx will be my daily driver and I want some extra power for fun. I am not building a second track car so I'll do what I need to keep it balanced and safe but I want to maintain daily driveability and a certain level of comfort.

If you think my preliminary list of mods isn't enough for my purposes, I'm all ears. Can you suggest some suspension specifics? I still don't have my wrx yet and I've got a lot to learn.
 

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popanut said:
Can you suggest some suspension specifics?
For one thing, don't just upgrade the rear sway. Upgrade both (endlinks as well), or if you're only going to upgrade one, do the front.

Alignment. OE specs suck from a performance standpoint.

Dampers. The car is underdampened from the factory. While you're replacing the dampers, you may as well do springs as well.

Beyond that, it's really up to you on how much $$ and where you want to rank when it comes to sanctioning classes (e.g., SCCA)...
 
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