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Old 12-11-2006, 11:25 AM   #1
JonM in MN
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Default Is it wise/practical to shoot for 300whp in a daily driver 04 WRX?

Hey all. Sorry if this has been discusased to death, I haven't seen it.

My 04 is stock now but will soon have the Cobb Stage 2 (AP + TBE). I'm sure I will love this and be satisfied...for awhile. It sure would be fun to go a bit farther...

But this is a car I drive 80 miles a day, I want to keep the mileage decent, and the driveability decent. I'm also planning on keeping the car quite awhile. Is it a bad idea to even contemplate getting it to 300 whp? My understanding is that I'd be looking at turbo mods at that point --- has anybody gone this far with a daily driver?
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:44 AM   #2
Master2192
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I've heard of 350whp daily drivers with stock engine/transmission/clutch, so 300whp isn't really a stretch. As long as you do it right you won't have a problem.
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:52 AM   #3
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^^^^

Are you serious? 80 miles a day, thats about 20-25k a year on the car.

You think 300 whp isn't too much????

Heck, there are VF's making 260 whp that have a lot of reliability issues.

Just search for "blown engine" or "spun bearing", see what turbo's they are running.

And yes, we all know, its in the TUNE and with the DRIVER. But that doesn't mean squat. You never know if you have the perfect tune, weather changes, bad gas, etc. etc.

Your OPEN deck, cheap 2.0l will NOT SUPPORT (on average) 300 whp reliably.

Some do, most don't. You'll be HARD pressed to find more than a handful that drive 80+ miles a day, and expect to last 150k+.

To the OP.

NO ABSOLUTELY NO, a bad idea. Run your stock turbo, of maybe a small VF with a MILD MILD MILD tune. That'll get you at about 250 whp. That should be your limit for how much you drive.
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:56 AM   #4
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20-25k a year + want your car to last a while = stock turbo.

Sure, you maybe could go to a small VF, but even then, people STRUGGLE with reliability.

300 whp should NOT be considered. Not unless you have 3-4k if it pops.

Do some HW<, they do pop, ALL the time, and at much less than 300 whp.

***Double post, just so it sinks in****

(Here's some insite: most people don't know of the MANY MANY members who used to be here, but blew up and have move on. The guys that haven't blown up, are the ones here, saying how reliable they are, the ones that did, are on EVO forums now. Do a search, 250 whp max to be safe, and even then, 240 whp on a DD is PLENTY fun)
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:17 PM   #5
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If you want a 300 hp daily driver, get an Evolution.

Or a built block.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:18 PM   #6
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the question to consider is:
is this your only car?
if it is, you need to make sure you do not go overboard.
the constant refrain here is 'you have to pay to play'.
so, the car should be paid for, off warranty, and you should be able to either pay cash for the mods, or pay off the bill when it comes.
you should not be financing mods on a car you are financing.

I am not trying to discourage you, or 'talk down' to you.
and I know 300whp is not a monster number, and there are plenty of guys running more.
I just don't want you to be 'the guy' with the thread that reads
"oh no, my engine/transmission/turbo blew up and now I have no way to get to work, and no money to get it fixed."
there are already plenty of those here.
I wish I could find the most brutal one I saw, but my searching does not succeed.

here is a thread w/ a poll showing some other folks experience.
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=969930

EDIT - while I was searching, folks were posting!
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
20-25k a year + want your car to last a while = stock turbo.

Sure, you maybe could go to a small VF, but even then, people STRUGGLE with reliability.

300 whp should NOT be considered. Not unless you have 3-4k if it pops.

Do some HW<, they do pop, ALL the time, and at much less than 300 whp.

***Double post, just so it sinks in****

(Here's some insite: most people don't know of the MANY MANY members who used to be here, but blew up and have move on. The guys that haven't blown up, are the ones here, saying how reliable they are, the ones that did, are on EVO forums now. Do a search, 250 whp max to be safe, and even then, 240 whp on a DD is PLENTY fun)
^^^What part of "if you do it right" do you not understand?

How about I answer the title alittle bit better. It CAN be practical to goto 300whp in a daily driver. It MAY NOT be wise however. Tune, Driver Habits, and maintenance play a bigger role in how reliable it will be than your planned power output. Also, 80 miles a day isn't that much. The 04 WRX goes 90 miles a day on weekdays and usually more on weekends.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:31 PM   #8
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It can be done but it isn't cheap.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master2192 View Post
^^^What part of "if you do it right" do you not understand?

How about I answer the title alittle bit better. It CAN be practical to goto 300whp in a daily driver. It MAY NOT be wise however. Tune, Driver Habits, and maintenance play a bigger role in how reliable it will be than your planned power output. Also, 80 miles a day isn't that much. The 04 WRX goes 90 miles a day on weekdays and usually more on weekends.

See below....
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master2192 View Post
^^^What part of "if you do it right" do you not understand?

How about I answer the title alittle bit better. It CAN be practical to goto 300whp in a daily driver. It MAY NOT be wise however. Tune, Driver Habits, and maintenance play a bigger role in how reliable it will be than your planned power output. Also, 80 miles a day isn't that much. The 04 WRX goes 90 miles a day on weekdays and usually more on weekends.
As does mine (03 with 100k on it)

My point is "doing it right" is a crap shoot. The best tuner doens't always give you the perfect tune...

Show me all the 100K+ WRX's with 300 whp then...(hint: not gonna happen)

Sure, he can buy a built motor... is that your definition of practical????

Practical = fully built motor ??? Are you freaking kidding me???

You guys need to wake up. Its people making statements like your first post that lead to kids blowing stuff up who aren't in the position to be repairing.

The OP said "so I guess I shoudl be looking at turbo upgrades". Maybe you should have stepped in and said, no, to do it with ANY type of reliability for any long period of time, he'll need to be looking at a 6k+ built motor...

A far cry from his intentions and CERTAINLY not good advice to give to someone with obviously little experience or any idea about how much time/effort and $$$ it would take him.

There's NOTHING practical about a 300 whp 2.0l USDM WRX, compared to his alternatives.


*(I'm not even bring up the stock tranny/diffs, do you want to know how many rear diffs/gearsets self destruct with that kind of power w/ your average driver???? Sure SOME hold (for a while), but again, thats taking a LARGE gamble with someones DAILY driver, and again, thats pretty $%$%^& advice to give)

Bottom line: Just because you've "heard of them" does not mean its normal/proven, or anything near good avice to give.

Maybe next time you should mention that instead of just a turbo he'll need a built motor/tranny/etc etc. to have RELIABLE daily driver.

Last edited by REX8; 12-11-2006 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:39 PM   #11
JonM in MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekw View Post
the question to consider is:
is this your only car?
if it is, you need to make sure you do not go overboard.
the constant refrain here is 'you have to pay to play'.
so, the car should be paid for, off warranty, and you should be able to either pay cash for the mods, or pay off the bill when it comes.
you should not be financing mods on a car you are financing.

I am not trying to discourage you, or 'talk down' to you.
and I know 300whp is not a monster number, and there are plenty of guys running more.
I just don't want you to be 'the guy' with the thread that reads
"oh no, my engine/transmission/turbo blew up and now I have no way to get to work, and no money to get it fixed."
there are already plenty of those here.
I wish I could find the most brutal one I saw, but my searching does not succeed.

here is a thread w/ a poll showing some other folks experience.
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=969930

EDIT - while I was searching, folks were posting!
ekw, my car is paid for and I won't be financing any mods. I also have an 03 Pilot, my wife's car. And you're not talking down to me at all, I appreciate your comments, and everybody else's.

And you're right, I don't want to be that guy that detonates either. I could afford another car (think I'd just get a TR), but it'd be a complete waste, and would really rather not.

I do plan on getting a `project' (weekend) car at some point, probably American V8 rear-drive etc., either brand new or fairly old. But I think modding my WRX will scatch my itch for awhile. I think I'm a couple years out on a project car, at least. My son is 10 and I'd love to pass the WRX down to him ---- detuned, of course.

Anybody else want to chime in?
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:45 PM   #12
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Since this car is gonna need to be reliable for a while (and for quite a bit of mileage)..i say save your money for a project car. If you don't have room or can't support two cars...save your money for an STI.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
Show me all the 100K+ WRX's with 300 whp then...(hint: not gonna happen)
Probably not for the power reason, either. Most people drive 10-15K/yr, the WRX came out in 02. Depending on how you count the years, it's basically 4-5 years of use that someone could have. So I'd guess the vast majority of 02 WRX's would have somewhere between 40K and 75K now. Some will have 100K+, but they will be outliers, most likely. Then you take the outliers and further reduce by the number of people who would do any tuning, let alone 300 HP, then take out the people who acutally have accounts on this discussion board.

You are talking a seriously small sample. It doesn't invalidate your post, though. Personally I think you will probably get more bang for the buck spending money on brakes, tires, suspension rather than engine and driveline stuff. You can carry more speed though corners, brake later (and more reliably). The stock WRX motor is pretty quick (esp. considering the company in 2002), and demonstrated experience with reliability issues with the 5MT of that year would suggest you would need to also do a transmission swap of some kind to reliably support these HP levels.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:50 PM   #14
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it can be done, just don't expect the engine to last more than 100k...

that would be about 4 years if your putting 25k on the car per year. Hopefully the car is paid off, otherwise just use the money to pay it off early and then decide about mods...
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:10 PM   #15
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I have an 84 mile commute 5 days a week. My WRX is an 04 and it has 68,5xxx miles on it already. It has been Stage II since about 25,xxx and now Stage IV since 59,xxx. I'm running 22psi in the midrange with a VF39 and all the supporting mods. I datalog the car frequently and tweak the tune with the help of member MRF582.

I also autocross regularly and have been for the past two years. The car is being financed over 6 years

Knock on wood, the car has been very reliable. If something breaks, then I'll fix it. I change the oil regularly as well as the spark plugs, gearbox & diff fluids, fuel filter, and any other maintenance as needed.

I don't have another car and if this one breaks I'm screwed. It's a chance I'm willing to take but it's not for others. As far as gas milage, I get the same amount as I did when I was Stage II.

Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:17 PM   #16
JonM in MN
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Default Yup

Good point 420, and I should have mentioned I might give some kind of solo racing a try down the road. I doubt I'll ever AC, but I could see some SCCA stuff.

Definitely not a sure thing I'll ever do it though. Does that change anything?

And given the comments, all appreciated, I'm definitely leaning towards sticking with Stage 2. Unless someone can convince me otherwise...

Last edited by JonM in MN; 12-11-2006 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:49 PM   #17
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so what is a good relaible whp that is able to be driven atleast 10k a year
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:52 PM   #18
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Truthfully it sounds like 300whp is a little further than you should take your car for now. What I did (and a LOT of others), was to get a used turbo off an sti (vf39), used sti injectors, used sti uppipe, used sti TMIC, and just run COBB's otc vf34 AP map until you get a protune. It costs about ~500-700$ over AP stage 2 and will get you to the ~260whp range. As long as you are rigorous about maintenance and being nice to your tranny, this is a very reliable setup. I am at ~100k with this setup and have never had a problem (knock on wood). However, I am absolutely anal about maintenance and always rev-match when driving hard. If I even think there is a problem with the car (rattle, weired noise...etc), I fix it asap and will not drive hard until it has been resolved.

300whp is a real strain on both our fully open blocks and our tranny. While you might be able to find a way to get there reliably, I doubt it will last long enough to give your car to your kid.

In direct answer to your question... yes... it is possible. However, you must weigh the large costs ($$$, time, potential breakdowns...etc) of the extra ~40whp. A quick spooling 250-260whp DD is a much more reasonable goal for a usdm 2.0 wrx and still PLENTY of fun on the freeway and track.

just my .02
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:04 PM   #19
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would it last long and be a decent idea to have 2 different tunes. one for about 250whp being the dailydriven tune and one for a 300whp+ saturday afternoon track tune
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:07 PM   #20
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I would pick up a civic for that commute and build that wrx

I daily drive my 300hp car and it's awesome

Mike
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:10 PM   #21
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probably not...

trying to squeeze 300whp out of a turbo that is most efficient in the 250-260 range would not be a good idea. conversely, dumming down a 300whp turbo to 250 whp would be a waste. slower spool without the top-end benefit.

unless you're talking about 100 octane race gas with meth injection on race day, then it might work... it would be peaky hp though, prob not the best for track...
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:13 PM   #22
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I'm guessing that driving 80 miles per day consists of highway and traffic. You could have any turbo you want and it would not be hitting full boost for the whole commute.

Unless you do mile long acceleration runs all the way to work I don't see a problem. I would think a weekend car running 300hp through back roads and track days would take a lot more abuse from the bigger turbo pressure and power.
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:51 PM   #23
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To the OP...if you plan on doing any Solo or SCCA related events, it will inherently put more stress on the car as you would be pushing it. Again, things will break no matter what, so just be mindful of the maintenance. In fact, whenever I hear any new noise or am concerned about some mechanical issue, I usually address it quickly...by following this philosphy, I might even avoid future problems.

I drive 80% of my commute on the highway. Having a larger than stock turbo is really sweet at crusing speeds. I step on it at the entrance ramps, if I can. I also get on it at the autocross. A VF39 is a pretty cheap and fun upgrade.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:29 PM   #24
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i'm on the fence of this debate as well...i'm looking to upgrade to Evo III 16G and something is telling me to hold off as i have a 90 mile commute (in new england to boot). any other thoughts about having a really mild tune saved on AP and then the aggressive tune saved as well for fun???
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:56 PM   #25
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hmmm....why is that 300 whp number so important to people? Being that the 04 wrx came stock w/ about 170 whp, even an increase of 35% would be greatly appreciated for your modest needs...

You should just get Cobb stage 2 and be very, very happy to be spanking most cars you see on the road (w/ 225 whp) and also have faith in your reliablity potential.

just my .02
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