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Old 08-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
Defiant Autospeed
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Default General Subbie Newbie FAQ. Lets answer a few common questions and dispell some myths.

Tired of seeing all the bad info, same questions over and over, and SO many misconceptions. So here are some things to read up on.

This wont be anywhere near complete in its first version, so check back regularly as it will surely see a lot of updates.
This also will be in no particular order, and I am thinking that as it gets more extensive, I will break it down into categories.

I would have done this on my personal screen name, but its in Timeout right now , and half the time I post in here, I am on this screen name anyway.


Stock up pipes with a cat. What years have them?
---- 02-05 WRX, 04-05 Forester XT.
Do I really need to get rid of it?
--- YES. Its a big reliability risk, they are known to melt and shatter into the turbo. Which in 99.9% of cases, destroys the turbo. They also cost you a lot of performance, especially so on modified cars. That cat slows down spool and chokes the engine. This costs you a good chunk of low end power, including off boost power around town. Not only the low end TQ, but overall TQ across the entire powerband is affected. 15+wtq is not an uncommon gain when going to a catless up pipe.

3. I already have a catless up pipe stock, or I can buy a stock STI up pipe cheap, isnt that as good as aftermarket?

--- Yes and no. It will outflow the oem catted up by a lot, but it cant hold a candle to a good aftermarket up pipe. The OEM catless up pipe is small, and the bend is HORRIBLE, resulting in a big chokedown point. Gains are still in question as to the extent, but they are definately real, especially so if you port the turbo. If you have the money, its definately worth doing. maybe not as the first thing you replace (if you already have an OEM catless up), but it should be on your list of things to do at some point when you are at "stage 2" or above.

Do I want a Flex up pipe or solid?

--- I personally always tell people to go flex, and over the years flex up pipes have been shown to have less occurances of leaks at the lower flange. The OEM pipe has a flex, what does that tell you. However there are some very well designed solid up pipes, and many report no problems with them. Personally, I think flex is the way to go, Subaru thinks so too. In the end, its a personal choice.

I want a atmospheric venting BOV, but I heard they are bad and make you run rich?
--- first off, they DO NOT make you "run rich" When you are driving around on the throttle, even lightly, and at idle, they are closed just like stock, so you arent going to run any different than you would with a stock valve.
The rich condition that you DO get, is when it vents. However, this problem is WAY overblown, as its only for a split second, and you dont go THAT rich. Typically about 1.5-2 points, which is no big deal. Its for such a short period of time that unless you are a GOOD driver doing track events, you likely dont shift fast enough for that small drop in power to really change your times anyway. Same goes for the drag strip, most people dont shift fast and smooth enough to have any negative affects. Most people that report a stumble at the drag strip are getting that stumble as a result of a poorly done shift be it with the lever or their clutch foot. Of course SOME people are good enough, and those should stay recirculated.

But I can tune for the BOV right?
--- There is no way to tune out the rich spot after you shift.

Then I should just run a 50/50 style valve
--- Why? You will still go a bit rich. If you want the noise, have the noise. If you want a little noise, do an intake That is how I see that statement anyway.

So if rich isnt an issue, why shouldnt everyone run an atmo BOV?
--- Because many MANY of them leak. Some because almost no one takes the time to set their valve up properly, some because of poor design. Suffice it to say that a manufacturer claiming that their valve will hold 30PSI, doesnt mean that it will hold even 10 reliably. Some of the most popular aftermarket BOVs are also the worst offenders. Others are rock solid.

Mine isnt leaking and I have had it for years
--- If you are going on the fact that you are still at the same boost level, you cant say it isnt leaking. A leaking valve, unless its a BAD leak, will only bleed off a little pressure, the ECU shoots for a specific boost value, if the valve is leaking, it will simply change the wastegate duty cycle to compensate to keep the boost at the target value.

So if I am making the same boost, what does it matter?
--- Because your turbo is now working harder to get there. A harder working turbo=a less efficient turbo, which= hotter air charge. This is bad for power for 2 reasons. 1. Hotter air is less dense and will explode with less force. 2. Hotter air is more prone to detonation. Even with a good intercooler, hotter air IN=hotter air out.

But rich is bad for the cats!

--- Yes, but 3/4 of the people who run atmo valves are catless anyway And again, its such a short time period, and isnt THAT rich, that the chances of you causing a premature failure of your cat/cats is pretty slim. However, if you have a catted up pipe, stay away from atmo bovs, as even though they dont add that much danger to the cat, that cat is already dangerous enough on its own. Dont make a bad situation worse.

I heard cold air intakes (CAIs) make you run lean and you have to tune for them. Is this true?

--- Yes and no. The mindset of all cais are bad comes from a time in the early 02 to mid 04 time period when pretty much all of the available CAIs were poorly designed and caused problems. However, a constant lean condition from these intakes was VERY rare, as the larger problem was rough airflow over the MAF.

So can I run an intake safely and without tuning?
--- If you get a well designed intake you can. There are several that work well. What you want to look for is an intake with the proper sized MAF housing, and no big huge bends right in front of the MAF. The less bends in general, the better, but in cais there have to be bends, so smoother and farther away from the MAF is what you want to look for. Some of the ones that are known work well include the SPT short ram w/heatsheild, the Cobb short ram with heatsheild, the APS 65mm cai, the K&N Typhoon short ram w/heatsheild, the new style AEM cai, as well as the Prodrive CAI. There are others out there, but I am not going to go into a huge list, I just wanted to give some examples. No I am not only recommending what I sell.

Short ram or CAI?

--- In general short rams will outflow a CAI, but you need proper heatsheilding or it simply becomes a hot air intake. If possible, pick a CAI over a short ram. But be careful in your choice. And if you do a short ram, make sure it is sheilded, the more isolated from the main engine bay, the better.

What about the danger of sucking water up with a CAI?
-- Yeah that is possible, but unless you like to go around fording streams, you shouldnt have a problem. stay out of water that is more than 3-4" deep, and dont BLAST through it, and you should never have a problem.

What about things like AEMs CAI safety valve thing?
You dont want it on a turbocharged subbie. You pull enough air through the intake with enough force that you will suck it open every time you go into boost hard, getting unfiltered air into the engine.

Should I do a bigmaf/APS70mm/whatever larger than stock MAF intake?
--- If you are going to a 20G or larger, yes its highly recommended. If you THINK you may be going that large in the future, and you are planning on getting tuned right now, you may as well do the larger intake now. But remember, tuning for the larger than stock MAF intake is absolutely essential.

I heard that you should do a VF43 instead of a VF39 because the VF39s all crack, creep and spike.
--- While its certainly true that the VF43 doesnt crack as often, or spike and creep as often, they do still have all 3 problems. They definately dont crack anywhere near as often, but they do sometimes still crack. And they creep pretty much just as often. Its a problem inherant to the IHI exhaust housing internal design, and as such, its a mechanical problem, that the only REAL fix, is porting work to reshape the wastegate passage entry.

I heard the VF43 is bigger/has a larger wastegate passage/differently shaped wastegate.
--- Not true. The exhaust housing on the VF43 is identical to the VF39. The WG passage is identical in every way, same size, same shape, same shape on the entry into the passage. The difference is that on the VF43, the wastegate actuator is stronger, to help curb creep. It works, a little

But the VF43 is bigger than the VF39
--- Nope. Took them apart and measured them, and closely examined the blades/wheels side by side. Other than the Wg actuator and external shape of the compressor housing(which has no bearing on performance), they are identical.

So porting=fixing the wastegate?
--- This is again, a yes and no question. Technically when done correctly, you arent porting the wastegate, as much as reshaping the entry into the passage. I wont go into detail here, but you NEVER open the hole up larger, just smooth the leading edge and reshape the entry a bit. A real port/polish also fixes the horrific mismatch of the size of the up pipe outlet to the turbo hot side entrance.
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Last edited by Defiant Autospeed; 08-15-2008 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
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How much power will certain mods get me?
--- We cant give you an exact number. All cars are different and if you take 10 identical cars, and do an identical mod/set of mods, they will make 10 different HP levels. Some may gain a lot, some may gain nothing.
We can often give you a ROUGH esitmate.

I want to make XXXwhp, what will it take? (or) What mods to get XXXwhp?
--- This is VERY dependant on what kind of dyno you are talking about. More specifically, find out what shop you want to make that number at, and find out what kind of dyno they have. Dynos vary as far as how much power a given setup will make. What makes 350whp on one dyno will struggle to make 280whp on another. Between the highest and lowest reading dynos there is litterally a 100whp spread. So if for instance we were to tell you that a certain set mods will give you 300whp, then you go to a shop with a way low reading dyno, you are going to be very dissapointed when you make 250whp, or go to a shop with a very high reading dyno and think we are nuts when you make 350whp.

Mods void your warranty
--- Unless you race the car or its a salvage title, there is no such thing as a "voided" warranty. They can flag it if they see obvious abuse or extreme mods, but this almost never happens. Not enough to concern yourself with anyway. However, mods can and as we know all too well, can result in denied coverage of certain things.

Examples?
--- For instance, an aftermarket short ram, that looks designed just like the SPT, can result in any work in your entire powertrain being denied warranty coverage if the dealership wants to be "by the book" Just because it looks like the SPT, it wasnt designed and tested by Subaru. This means your engine has been taken outside of their approved design operating parameters. Which means internal damage, turbo damage, transmission/diffs/axles/driveshaft coverage can be compromised since more power than they were intended to handle is going through them. yes, it can be THAT bad. It varies dealer to dealer though, some are really mod friendly. Bottom line, if you are super worried about the warranty, your best bet is to leave it stock, with only SPT parts on it.

The Mag-Moss act will save me if the dealer tries to void my warranty
--- Very little chance. In fact, its best to just forget that act even exists. It was written a long time ago, and it was written to protect people from the dealership denying warranty coverage if the person used non OEM parts THAT WERE OEM LEVEL design. This means that aftermarket parts that change the operating parameters, are NOT included in this act, and its irrelevant to them. I have seen this in court, discussed it with more than one lawyer, as I was a "dealership expert" for 2 dealerships I worked for, going with them to arbitration in these types of cases. Basically look at it this way. It was written too long ago to really be relevant today from a legal standpoint, and it doesnt apply to performance modifications anyway.

But X mod doesnt void Y warranty
--- See above, its entirely possible, and if it goes to arbitration, its not hard to tie X mod to Y problem for the dealership, as the arbitrator usually knows nothing about cars, and tends to believe the dealership over the plaintif from the very beginning.


THAT SUCKS!
--- Yes it does. But its the reality of the situation unfortunately.

I want to lower my Subbie, how low can I go?
--- The first thing to know is that Subarus do NOT like to be burried. In general, unless you take some measures to correct geometry, you dont want to go more than about 1 1/2 lower in the front, and 1" lower in the rear. Honestly, 1 inch front and 3/4 inch rear is a better drop from a handling standpoint. There is a lot more to handling than center of gravity.

I still want to go low, what can I do to make it better?
--- Whiteline and a few other companies make a roll center kit for the front suspension that will fix the problem in the front, I THINK you can pretty much slam the front with this kit in place and not have problems. For the rear, there isnt much you can do other than use camber plates/bolts and/or adjustable lateral links



I am going to race/I may race/I want to race a buddy/boss/the guy up the street from me
Great. Dont tell us about it unless you are going to do it on a proper race track. This does not mean a dead end street that you blocked off and have scanners/CBs to listen for cops. While some of us wouldnt really care, the overall feeling on NASIOC about street racing is extremely negative. If you post a street racing story or plan, expect to catch a LOT of flack for it. For heavens sake if you need to know if you would win THAT bad, lie to us Say its going to be on a drag strip/track/whatever

Can you tell me what tuner/shop where I should have my car worked on?
Maybe. But you will need to tell us where you live. It would be far better to ask in your regional forum, as you stand a far better chance of getting feedback from people who may have actually used that shop.

Can I run 87octane fuel in my WRX?
NO!. Period. You cant. Ok you can have it tuned on a special map for 87, but you arent going to get any better MPG, probably worse actually, you are going to lose a ton of power, and you will save about 3 bucks per tank of gas. 91 minimum. 93 if at all possible. Or run 87 and damage your engine. To save @12 bucks a month. Think about that

What about race gas? I heard anything higher than 93 is pointless without a tune
--- Absolutely not true. The factory ECU can take advantage of up to about 100 octane with no additional tuning, and you will see power gains. Going from 93 octane to 100 octane unleaded will net you easily 10-15whp, if not a little bit more. (speaking of how an average dyno reads I mean)
Over about 103 octane you will need a tune, in fact, higher than that without a tune could actually cost you power.

What about alcohol injection?
--- There is an EXCELLENT sticky in the meth/alch/water/nitrous subforum. I wont cut and past the whole thing here, its enormous as its both my FAQ and another guys FAQ together. I will grab the link later. But its a sticky so go check it out. Its good stuff.


So what size injector do I need for my turbo upgrade?

There is no 100% rule here as it depends on a few factors, elevation, how much boost you want to run etc. My best advice is to talk to your local tuner, and try to find at least a couple people in your general area with a similar setup and see what they are running. Keep in mind they may be running smaller or larger than they need...
However, IN GENERAL

TD04=stock 440s on the earlier WRX, dark blue top feed 565s on the laters. In other words, stock.
--Some people REALLY push their turbo, and those people that have the light blue 440cc injectors, they will benefit from going to a 550-565cc injector

VF29/30/34/23/22/39/43/48, TD05-16G= 565CC injectors are fine for MOST people. Again, if you are pushing it hard, IE over 22PSI, you may benefit from 650cc injectors.

Big 16G= really, same injectors as the normal 16G. I dont give this particular turbo a lot of thought as honestly, its a waste of time. If you want a faster spooling 16G, get a normal one. If you want the big power 16G, get an EVOIII-16G.

EVOIII-16G=650cc injectors for most people. Same deal, some will benefit from 750s.

18G=650cc injectors for most, HOWEVER, this is a little more of a grey area. You will need the 750s way sooner than you would on an EVOIII or smaller. If you plan on running more than 18PSI, go straight to the 750s.

20G=I have always said 750s. Most people are fine on 750s. However, as of late many big name tuners have been suggesting 850cc injectors on these.

Larger than a 20G, 850s are a must. In some cases, 850s + a rising rate fuel pressure reg or even finding some 1000cc or larger injectors will be needed. Most 10 second cars are running injectors over 1000cc. Some are even in the 1600cc range!!!


Meth/Alcohol injection will give you a little more headroom, slightly reducing your injector requirements, provided you dont go adding a bunch of boost, you can get away with slightly smaller injectors. So if you are on the edge of needing larger injectors, meth/alch injection will get you back into a safer duty cycle.

Last edited by Defiant Autospeed; 10-02-2008 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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place holder for more info (still adding info)
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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This should be enough space for now...
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:37 PM   #5
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Looking forward to this! Thanks for taking the time, there are a lot of people out there that need to see this. Maybe it will be a Sticky too? Maybe it should be required reading for incoming Newbies?
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiosavvy View Post
Looking forward to this! Thanks for taking the time, there are a lot of people out there that need to see this. Maybe it will be a Sticky too? Maybe it should be required reading for incoming Newbies?
I am hoping that if any mods have a problem with this coming from a vendor, that they can swap it to my other screen name (when 4gugugughguhguh decides to FREE DAVENOW!!! )
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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very nice!!

Thanks for the useful information!

~Jeff~
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:23 PM   #8
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Still working on it Headed to lunch soon and actually have a little work to do lol.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant Autospeed View Post
I am hoping that if any mods have a problem with this coming from a vendor, that they can swap it to my other screen name (when 4gugugughguhguh decides to FREE DAVENOW!!! )
stop that right now or I will ..... well.... u know
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie Gal View Post
stop that right now or I will ..... well.... u know
Bake us a pie?

Serious business?

something something Glilly?



(To other members, its a somewhat inside joke)

feel free to delete



Watch it or Ill sick momentum turbos on you
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:42 PM   #11
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Defiant,

Will a 70mm APS CAI give me more power than the standard 65mm APS CAI on my STi with the stock VF39? I am planning on getting one when I get custom tuned on the stocker tbut am not sure of the answer. I do not plan on upgrading turbos in the future too.

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:47 PM   #12
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good stuff, dave. So........... I can has atmospheric BOV?

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Old 08-15-2008, 03:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rexx View Post
Defiant,

Will a 70mm APS CAI give me more power than the standard 65mm APS CAI on my STi with the stock VF39? I am planning on getting one when I get custom tuned on the stocker tbut am not sure of the answer. I do not plan on upgrading turbos in the future too.

Thanks!
No. The 70mm is only beneficial when going with a turbo that outflows the MAF. Stated differently, your VF39 cant max out the flow of the maf, so the 70mm is useless in your case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant Autospeed View Post
How much power will certain mods get me?
--- We cant give you an exact number. All cars are different and if you take 10 identical cars, and do an identical mod/set of mods, they will make 10 different HP levels. Some may gain a lot, some may gain nothing.
We can often give you a rouch esitmate.
Rouch? Roush? Doesnt he do Fords?
Free Davenow!

Edit: Sticky on isle 5 plz!
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:06 PM   #14
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sticky indeed. This should be at the very least linked into the manifesto.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfwrx View Post
sticky indeed. This should be at the very least linked into the manifesto.
the only problem is:
the same people who don't read the Manifesto will skip this thread too.
nothing must impede the member on their way to starting a "new" thread asking the same old questions.


"you can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think."
or is it
"you can lead them to water, but you can't hold them under long enough to make it worthwhile."
?

good thread just the same.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #16
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Back from lunch, have a couple things to do. Will work on this more throughout the afternoon as I think of things to add.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:57 PM   #17
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May want to mention the CAI ingesting water in rare cases. Whether it happens a lot or not if definitely floats around in questions ask....

Oh and I recommend Unabomber taking all of this information, putting his name on it, placing it in the manifesto and deleting this thread... jk...Good work Davenow...
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:58 PM   #18
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Nice, informative and easy to understand
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicX View Post
May want to mention the CAI ingesting water in rare cases. Whether it happens a lot or not if definitely floats around in questions ask....
good point
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:00 PM   #20
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that does come up a bit.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:03 PM   #21
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Added
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:35 PM   #22
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Very nice write up, will help me personally out a lot. thank you!
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:40 PM   #23
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I see a lot of the same guys posting on these pages day in and day out. Just wanted to say thanks because I read this stuff everyday. I probably go on nasioc about five times a day. I have always really like subaru's but never really known much about them. I have learned so much just reading over the posts you guys make for the noobs haha. Thanks for taking your time and making these pages.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:44 PM   #24
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That is the purpose of the newbie forum. For people who are new and dont know much about their car, or have what they feel are basic questions, to ask those who do know
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:35 PM   #25
flukewrx
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Chapter/Region: BAIC
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2003 WRX
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Excellent write-up.

One thing that might be helpful (but I can't seem to find anywhere) would be a link to a side-by-side comparison of dyno charts showing the difference in WHP/TQ of a car running on Premium unleaded (be it 91 or 93 or whatever) vs the same car with a run on 100 octane. I think that would really help with all the skeptics out there that say "It is fake. There is no improvement. It's just your butt dyno needs to be recalibrated. You are just WANTING to FEEL a difference and there is actually NO difference. The reason you go faster is because your wallet is lighter." And so on and so on.
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