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Thread: Tuning your Suby
06-11-2009, 05:43 PM #1
Tuning your Suby
So, with summer here, and my newfound job at a new restaurant is giving me new money which is burning new holes in my new pockets. Job has me very occupied during prime biking/outdoor season, other than maybe some fly fishing up canyon. That leads me to thinking about doing some work to my WRX.
I'd say I'm very mechanically competent. Between this car, and my old GTI, and my dad's cars, I've done about everything you can do to a car, save tranny and motor swaps, and would feel comfortable doing even those, if I had access to equipment.
That said, I've never set out to tune a car, and I'm sure some mags have. I've got an 06 Impreza WRX wagon, which is freshly out of warranty, which means it's time to add some power. COBB is here in town, and has "packages", but I'm not sure I like the idea of just trusting their judgement, so I'm hoping for some advice from someone who has done this before.
So, basic questions: what's the most cost efficient way to add power and performance? Right now, I'm thinking a new turbo-back exhaust, and some ECU tuning. Looks like potentially +40ish HP at the wheels, and better heat management, for about $1800, if I went straight from COBB. I've looked around a little bit as well, but since COBB is here in town, I've looked at them the most.
There's enough gearhead mags here, I figure somebody has thought of something that I haven't. So, suggest away.
(I guess I should say I'd like to stay under $2000 total on parts right now. Kind of like a first step kind of thing.)
Ideally this becomes a TR in the near future. Come now, mags, help me piss off every last one of the people who live near me at my complex!
Last edited by Nathan Explosion; 06-11-2009 at 05:46 PM.
06-11-2009, 06:53 PM #2
Intake, exhaust, custom computer tune & nitrous ! Could also looking into getting more boost out of the turbo or a whole new turbo. If you can take the engine apart then port and polish the heads, intake manifold etc.More flow = HP I just did a Magnaflow cat-back and Harland Sharp 1:7 roller rockers on my Durango. I'm think about a programmer or headers next with a high flow cat.Took me like 10 minutes to figure out how to change this shit
06-11-2009, 10:12 PM #3
06-11-2009, 10:27 PM #4BALLS>talent
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
- Los Angeles
i drive an 04 sti, and i've spent a lot of time tuning it. go to nasioc.com and do your research. take everything you read there with a grain of salt until you learn who is reliable and who's not. there is WAAAY more bad information over there than on tgr, but look to the specialists and gurus and the people who are clearly engineers or in the industry for advice. i would DEFINITELY say do NOT go nitrous or boosting the shit out of it, though... geezus krist... remember, with subarus, you want to have a very conservative approach to tuning. they're not like evos that you can just slap parts on because you saw them in a magazine...
as far as power mods go, subarus are finicky motors and they will not respond well to ANY changes unless they are tuned for it. i'd say go for cold air intake, exhaust, and custom tune. when i stopped following the forums a few years ago, the major software programs were the cobb accessport and ecutek. which one you go with is irrelevant, though, as tuning is like boot fitting: the person doing it is what matters. make sure you get a road tune, and not a dyno tune, though. dynos are good for bragging numbers. road tunes make for tunes that are actually driveable. a good tuner will take your car out under varying ambiant conditions and elevations to get a well-rounded, driveable tune. be sure to talk with the tuner about what you want to focus on (throttle response, low-end torque, tope end, etc...). anyways, that's my $0.02 for first step power mods.
Last edited by lukc; 06-11-2009 at 10:31 PM.
06-12-2009, 12:42 AM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
car and driver tuned the new WRX and got some big results at a reasonable price:
K&N Typhoon kit............................................... ..................$322
Magnaflow exhaust........................................... .................$774
Cobb Tuning AccessPort........................................ ..........$695
Cobb Tuning downpipe.......................................... ...........$595
Custom engine tune.............................................. ............$460
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tires....................................$732
Total............................................. .......................................$3578Preserving farness, nearness presences nearness in nearing that farness
06-12-2009, 01:19 AM #6BALLS>talent
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
- Los Angeles
^ i forgot that depending on the model year the wrx has a catted uppipe (the sti doesn't... it's purpose is SOLELY to reduce cold start emissions and only reduces performance once the engine is warmed up). you may want to include an up pipe in addition to your turboback exhaust. but, once again, ALWAYS tune for your new parts. don't be afraid to spend the majority of your buck on the custom tune!
06-12-2009, 05:35 AM #7
Before you add power, you have to keep that power on the ground, so some good summer tires. Subie linkage is a week point in the feel, so I would say a short shift kit. A larger rear sway bar to help handling. These three things will help the car feel faster and also be the foundation for more power.Click. Point. Chute.
06-12-2009, 06:47 AM #8
Their Stage II kit advertises max gains of 22hp and 40lb/ft at the wheels, with gains of around 50hp at 3000rpm.
Rather than buying a bunch of parts that you think will work together, why not buy parts that have been proven to work together?It doesn't matter if you're a king or a little street sweeper...
...sooner or later you'll dance with the reaper
Kaz is my co-pilot
06-12-2009, 07:49 AM #9
I tuned wrx's back in the dark ages when knowledge was scarce and parts were waaay overpriced. Had a WRX, then an STI. Ended up with roughly ~450 bhp in the sti and ran a 12.5@114mph.....450hp rated bolt-in turbo and all the supporting mods. Had about 200 dyno pulls on the car. Put the car back to stock and sold it off about 4 years ago.
- By far, the cheapest way to go is to buy used parts, or parts off ebay, and sell your replaced parts if they are worth anything. In general.
- Don't even bother with that cobb stage 2 kit. It's a noticeable but not very signifigant power increase. You get better low end torque, which is nice, but aren't getting much more power on the top end where the car is really pulling. Plus it's waaaay overpriced.
- Cobb knows what they are doing, though, I would trust them to tune your car.
- Exhaust's should not cost $1000+. It's just piping. Pull your stock uppipe, and drill the cat out of it, works VERY well. Get a cheap or used turboback. Port match the stock exhaust manifold.
Anyway......I bet I could put together a decent stage 4 kit for ~$1500 consisting of:
- Used bolt on turbo (vf series)
- Used turboback
- De-catted uppipe
- Intake mods (home made CAI, using stock airbox)
- Engine management solution
That leaves enough left over for someone to tune the car....
...just my 2-cents...
Last edited by Damian Sanders; 06-12-2009 at 08:04 AM.
06-12-2009, 12:04 PM #10
06-12-2009, 12:20 PM #11
you're going to need to remove the badges and add some giant stickersanother Handsome Boy graduate
06-12-2009, 12:24 PM #12
Bling rims with the old tires stretched to fit and lower the drivers seat so your nose is in line with, or below the center of the steering wheel.
Obviously you'll be getting racing pedals made from unobtainium.
06-12-2009, 01:43 PM #13
Take it to BobMc: His shop
He takes care of my Suby and our Jeep Liberty. As well as many other local mags.
06-12-2009, 03:43 PM #14
I'm thinking the Vishnu or eBay route right now. I'll look at BobMc's shop, though, but I can't afford labor on top of parts right now, especially when my own labor is free (other than beer).
I actually talked to Cobb a little bit yesterday in some e-mails, and they actually told me that for what I'm looking to do (add a little power for fun, not full on racing), Vishnu's kit would suit me better than their own. Pretty damn impressive on Cobb's part to honestly send me elsewhere, so I'll definitely be sending it to their dynos for fine tuning after I bolt some shit on.
Thanks for the help, dudes, keep the ideas coming.
edit: DS, what do you think of this turbo for $450? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SUBAR...Q5fAccessories
Last edited by Nathan Explosion; 06-12-2009 at 03:46 PM.
06-12-2009, 07:12 PM #15
06-13-2009, 12:46 PM #16BALLS>talent
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
- Los Angeles
the vf39 and vf34 are good bolt-on options for wrx's. just make sure to get the cold air intake, uppipe (if your model year is catted), turboback exhaust, injectors, one-step colder plugs, and a road tune at the same time! don't bother with an exhaust manifold for that modest of a turbo upgrade, but port-matching the stock one yields decent gains in throttle response, as does heat-wrapping the exhaust from the header back through the downpipe
06-14-2009, 09:19 PM #17No longer stuck.
06-14-2009, 09:26 PM #18No longer stuck.
06-15-2009, 07:18 AM #19
whatever you do, make sure you put one of these on the ass end for maxxximum racer effect.
Putting the "core" in corporate, one turn at a time.
Metalmücil. We've been giving people pink ear since 2010
06-15-2009, 09:35 AM #20
That's a stock turbo for an '04 sti. IIRC it is basicly a vf34 with a tilted compressor outlet to miss the throttle body wiring harness.
In just a few minutes of reading, it seems that it's still a common option to bolt on used STI parts - VF39, and sti intercooler. Supposedly the '06 wrx injectors are 560cc and high flow enough. Then you just need the turboback, any other basic supporting mods, and a custom tune. Should get you to around 320 crank hp.
06-15-2009, 09:56 AM #21
Another important point to be made is that the turbo itself is the major limiting factor in making power on the wrx and sti's. The compressor and turbine flow's are pretty well maximized in the stock cars - even though you can get another 10-20% out of them you are pushing the turbo pretty hard, which is not good for the motor overall. You are better off getting a bigger turbo operating in its comfortable range. Thus my recommendation to upgrade the turbo....
Last edited by Damian Sanders; 06-15-2009 at 02:40 PM.
06-16-2009, 12:11 PM #22
I have no clue what is being discussed... but carry on!
My Outback is tinted and when I put it in sport mode I can USUALLY take an SUV off the line ;-)
06-16-2009, 12:46 PM #23
turbo subies are the shit. Nothing better than embarrassing American cars that are supposed to be the shit with a lesbian wagon. That feeling of your head hitting the head rest when you hit 3 revs is amazing. It's ingrained in my brain, and I've only driven a turbo once!No longer stuck.
06-16-2009, 09:36 PM #24
Now all I need is a place to work on it, since my apartment complex got pissy about me changing oil today.
06-19-2009, 01:43 PM #25
Well as far as whoever said, there is far more bad info at nasioc than here, than proceeded to recommend the CAI....
If you read Nasioc, or club wrx.net you will find that the CAI is one of the most debated, but often dismissed mods perhaps of all time. In fact, most CAI can screw with your car, they offer minimal benefits at best, and can often funk up the running of the car. They are for sound mainly. IF, one was going to do an air modification, it should be with a short ram intake.
Cold Air Intake is like steez. All show, no go.
[ame="http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=cai+bad+for+wrx&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8"]cai bad for wrx - Google Search[/ame]
At best, its a modification for way down the line when your ripping out 350+ hp, the stock air flow is capable of handling 300-350 just fine.
I've had two WRXs. fyi.
Last edited by volklpowdermaniac; 06-19-2009 at 01:46 PM.Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?
fuck that noise.