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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking for advice regarding modifications for my 2011 wrx hatchback.

I am looking to create a well-balanced daily-driver car that is (more) awesome at everything. I want to be able to drive in the snow/ice when I go skiing (with the right tires), bomb around the track/street (with the right tires), and rip around corners on mountain roads (with the right tires). I don’t want to over-build anything to the point where it breaks something else or seriously diminishes the expected lifetime of the car. I am ok with spending enough money to get good returns for my investments, but don’t need to go crazy with expenses that don’t really have much benefit. Rally-style driving sounds the most fun, but drag-racing inspired modifications would not be a bad thing either.

Here is what I’m thinking. Please understand that I realize some of these goals are unrealistic, so feel free to offer any advice/comments/suggestions/questions:

1. Clutch upgrade: Wouldn’t it be nice to launch at 4000rpm from every stoplight without worrying about the clutch? What is the difference between wearing/burning/glazing a clutch?
2. Flywheel: pros/cons of different flywheel upgrades? For example, I was reading that lightweight flywheels are bad for drag racing?
3. Tuning: I would like to do this just once, if possible. What can be done before and/or after the tune?
4. Brakes upgrades: ideas?
5. Shifter bushings (I had the SPT short-throw installed from the dealer. Does anyone know if they would have upgraded the shifter bushings too?)
6. Chassis bracing and/or other bracing: Pros/cons? Worth the extra weight?
7. Exhaust: So far I’m liking the Invidia q300 (but also maybe SPT or Nameless) cat-back. I would also want a down-pipe. Does anyone make a divorced-gate high-flow-cat downpipe? Would any other parts be necessary? Are there any cheaper options? I have a friend who could weld for me…
8. Intake: I have a drop-in air filter. From what I’ve been reading, that should be sufficient for most upgrades. How do you know when more is necessary?
9. Carbon fiber hood: Opinions? Overkill?
10. Other weight reduction?
11. Swaybars (and endlinks?): Tempting to try to make an oversteer-biased setup, but probably safer to try for completely neutral?
12. Other suspension upgrades: (dampers, strut towers, later links – what are these and how much do the cost?) Maybe just get some STI parts? Ideas?
13. Alcohol-injection intercooler cooler: overkill?
14. Blow-off valves or other aftermarket valves: Most of what I’ve been reading says don’t mess with them. Opinions relating to my specific situation?
15. Wheels: Probably going to keep my winter tires (Hankook Icpet Evo) on my stock wheels and going to get some lightweight performance rims for my summer tires. Ideas?
16. Clear Bra?
17. Window tinting: suggestions?
18. Upgraded oil-pump, fuel-injectors, etc: At what point do things like this become necessary?
19. Bushings etc: ideas please – there seem to be a lot of options…
20. Intercooler/Intercooler tubing: suggestions?
21. Indestructible front bumper that raises ground clearance and doesn’t ruin aerodynamics: I know, I know – need ideas, though…
22. Fog lights, super-bright lights, or other use for fog light holes (maybe nothing so there is less to break if I smash the bottom of the front bumper?)
23. turbo heat shield?
24. other heat shielding?
25. ECBS: necessary? Better options?
26. Downforce improvements?
27. Audio system: lightweight, low, and in-line with center-of-gravity. Maybe removable parts. This probably needs it’s own thread…

What am I missing? I know there is a ton of information out there already (Unabomber’s Manifesto, etc) but I have read a lot already and am at the point now where I need advise relating to my specific situation. Once I get some feedback, I can do some more research on my own.


Captain James of the SS Impreza has gone down with
8,921 Posts
2. Both of these you need to be careful. If you get too aggressive then you're going to shatter your trans. Some lightweight flywheels will throw a misfire code.
3. Just once is probably not going to happen. Unless you plan on doing all your power upgrades at once.
4. Wilwood or gtfo.
5. Kartboy or Cobb is what I would go with.
6. No. Unless it's a race car.
7. Yes to everything.
8. Most tuners will tell you that the stock airbox is good up to around 400hp and then it becomes restrictive. Depending on what upgrades you end up choosing, I'd ask your tuner what they would suggest.
9. Not needed. I think they look ugly unless painted anway.
10. You need to be careful with this. If you're serious about weight reduction I wouldn't go past removing your spare tire. But you can do things like carbon fiber seats, lighter wheels, air pump delete, etc.
11. Do it. Go for a ride in someones car with a setup and see if you like it. Sways are one of the best bang for the buck mods out there.
12. If you want a good suspension setup then get coils. Not cheap ones. Spend the cash. If you don't want to lose all your ride comfort find a spring/strut combo that you like.
13. Meth is great for a knock deterrent and the longevity of your motor when you start making big power. If you start pushing into 300+whp I'd say get it.
14. They make a cool sound. As long as you get it set up right and it doesn't leak then you're gonna be fine.
15. OZs, Rays, Volks are all well built lightweight wheels.
16. If you like your paint, get it.
17. What are your state laws? I prefer not to fishbowl around town.
18. If you are going with a larger turbo than bigger injectorts are a must. Depending on your turbo choice will determine how large of injectors you'll need. I am unsure when upgraded oil pumps are needed.
19. Bushings are awesome...replace every rubber one with polyurethane and you'll notice a world of difference. You'll have a noisy car though.
20. This depends on your turbo choice and power goals.
21. Good luck to you sir!
22. Certain FMICs might not allow you to keep yours, so figure the intercooler situation out first.
23. Not really needed.
24. Phenolic spacers help keep intake temps down. 8mm if you go FMIC and 3 if you stay TMIC.
25. Very necessary. Ask your tuner what they like to work with for best results.
26. Not really needed and is going to end up looking tacky IMO.
27. That's your choice, sir.

Some other things you may want to look into are TGV deletes and tubular headers. This also makes a world of difference.

Pro Manscaper
21,455 Posts
Jimmy FTW!

2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the awesome reply Drews! I was afraid no one would take me seriously...

TGV delete sounds like a great idea. I did not know it was even an option.

Tubular headers = up-pipe? Is that correct? If so, I've been reading that the newer MY's don't need up-pipe upgrades (until you start getting into really big power). Sounds like you disagree?

Let me throw out some more information and see if I can get another response: My list is kind of a "fantasy" list. Due to price constraints I will probably not be able to do everything (let's face it, if I had the money I would have bought a GTR or at least an STI). However, I am serious about some serious mods for my car. I am in the research/saving-up phase right now. Once I decide what I want, I would like to do everything at once (that's why I say I would like to only tune once). Realistically, a new turbo is probably not an option, so maybe that is a good starting point to deciding where to go. Also, I will probably stick with the TMIC. I doubt I will be able to get to 400hp, so it sounds like the stock intake should be fine. With this in mind, any comments on #13, 14, 18, 20, 23, 24, or anything else?

Great feedback on #12. Will this cause me to lose ground clearance? (Part of me wants lower ground clearance for the aerodynamic effects, but I know my driving style and where I drive, so I should probably remain at stock ground clearance).

You guys are awesome! Thanks for the help.
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