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Lando Calrissian
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Discussion Starter #1
I am no noob to a stick, been driving stick since I was 14, now 31. I can drive smooth with a stick with no issues.

I grew up driving N/A 4 speeds and 5 speeds with I4 I6 V6 and V8 engines, and I know where the 'proper' shift points are for both fuel efficiency and for spirited driving. This is my first turbo car, and the first turbo I got to drive more than about 50 miles.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend who has a MS3, and something he said got me to wondering about shift points.

My MS3 friend said that on his forums they discuss proper shifting for their cars for best 0-60 or 1/4 times, and all the 'in the know' people suggest to shift early so that the next gear engages right as you hit max boost..... so his MS3 is to be shifted at 4200-5000 RPM for best times, depending on gear....redline is 6500 (i think)

This method seems to have a flaw in my mind. If you shift at 4200 RPM, and the next gear is engaged at say 2900 RPM, yes that is where max boost may normally be achieved, but you are not instantly at max boost. Boost is not a constant without ALS, and not even really then.

Last night I attempted this method of driving....shifting what I consider way early. It is still quick, but my butt-dyno is telling me not as quick as I normally drive. Not to mention you hit 5th at about 55-65, and would depend on that one gear to get you higher.

I know that MS3s are completely different, what with the I4, tiny turbo, and FWD, not to mention the 6 speed rather than my 5....but that does not seem to be enough to cover the spread...

So, are the 'in the know' MS3 posters full of :bs: , or are our cars really that much different?

What shift points do most of you use?
 

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Premium Member
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I think they are full of it. It's just as you said,it will put them to low in the power band when they engage the next gear. I would actually shift closer to redline, or if you have a larger turbo, at redline or higher. I have raised my rev limiter from the stock 6800-7200rpm.
 

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MS3s are pretty different. My dad has one and I just bought an 11 WRX. Not sure about the early shift for peak boost theory but I do know that the power in the MS3s really starts to drop off near redline. In those cars its definitely faster if you shift around 1k under the redline (depending on what gear). The MS3s are really torquey so they can manage to pull from a lower rpm. I havent pushed my WRX too much yet but from what I have done, it seems that its fastest to shift near redline. Our power doesnt really drop too much approaching redline.
 

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Lando Calrissian
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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe MS3s really are that different, but it is hard to believe best power and times when shifting 1500 to 2300 RPM before redline, when redline is only 6500.

I'm just glad I don't have an MS3. Having 6500 RPM to play with, and the first 1500 - 2000 RPM are useless, and the last 1500 - 2000 RPM useless only leaves 2500 - 3500 good RPM (depending on car, mods, tuning, etc.). doesn't sound like as much fun
 

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I am by no means an expert on the subject, but the new WRXs seem to have pretty constant power from 4500-6500 rpm, when I drive mine its pulling to the redline. A dyno will confirm pretty constant power from 4500-6500. If you drive a MS3 the power loss is very noticeable at high rpm. Dynos will usually show a drastic drop in power around 5300 rpm (at least stock).
 

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I know the TD04 runs out of breath around 5300 RPM, leaving us 06 07 WRX guys shifting a bit early.
 

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Admin
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One thing to love about moving to a bigger turbo...freight train to redline...
 

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Captain James of the SS Impreza has gone down with
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I am by no means an expert on the subject, but the new WRXs seem to have pretty constant power from 4500-6500 rpm, when I drive mine its pulling to the redline. A dyno will confirm pretty constant power from 4500-6500. If you drive a MS3 the power loss is very noticeable at high rpm. Dynos will usually show a drastic drop in power around 5300 rpm (at least stock).
True the newer WRX's with the IHI turbos have more power uptop but like stated earlier,shifting the MS3 between 4200-5000 rpm is to early in my opinion. At a minimum 5500 rpm to put you back into the meat of the powerband. Torque gets you going but hp keeps you going.
 

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I think the shift point discussions with MS3's have a lot to do with the torque limiter in the first two gears. Regardless of what you do, the first gear especially tends to have power cut by it, to keep the wheels from spinning like crazy. Which is why when you hit 3rd gear in an MS3, it's like being punched in the face with acceleration.
 

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Pro Manscaper
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True the newer WRX's with the IHI turbos have more power uptop but like stated earlier,shifting the MS3 between 4200-5000 rpm is to early in my opinion. At a minimum 5500 rpm to put you back into the meat of the powerband. Torque gets you going but hp keeps you going.
This 100%
 

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Gold Member
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It really depends on your tune... but basically, all your hp love is between 4500 and 6500.
 
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