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Old 11-24-2001, 08:32 PM   #1
gtguy
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Default Question: is there such a thing as a safe, hassle-free WRX engine mod?

I can't be the only WRX owner out there who wants a bit more mojo, without having to worry about EGTs, full boost at part throttle, boost spiking, freaky cruise control behavior, pulled timing, etc, etc.

And yet, every setup that people are using seems to come with some set of issues. Some deal with it, some don't and take the product off to sell it. We have MBCs of various types, Links, kits from Shiv or Cobb and Unichips.

All of which forces the statement/question: my WRX is fast as hell, pulls like a sled dog, and handles great. I know that the aftermarket is in its relative infancy for this car, but is there a set it and forget it, hassle-free mod that will give a bit more power, that I can just run without being worried about?

I already have a Cobb cat-back and an ITG panel filter. I don't want to pull cats, or put in different up-pipes, or turbo-backs, pullies, cams, or any of that other stuff. I just want nice and simple, set it and forget it, like my DMS Golds.

Or am I just a crazy old lady? (shut up, rao! )

Kevin
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Last edited by gtguy; 11-24-2001 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 11-24-2001, 08:37 PM   #2
NotoriousWRX
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Catback exhaust, lighter pullies and a freer flowing panel filter, like the ITG.
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Old 11-24-2001, 08:57 PM   #3
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The jury is out, and will forever be out on pulleys. Yes, yes, boxer is a balanced design, fewer problems, but show me a pulley manuf. that will guarantee that I'd never have a problem because of it.

Panel filter? Potential problems with MAF sensor due to oil contamination. More foreign matter being allowed into the engine.

Everything has associated issues with it. You basically play the balancing game when you mod your car. You've got to give up something to gain. It's all a matter of what your willing to deal with.

-jb
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Old 11-24-2001, 09:28 PM   #4
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I'd like to try the Prodrive ecm used in the UK PPP.
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Old 11-24-2001, 09:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question: is there such a thing as a safe, hassle-free WRX engine mod?

Quote:
Originally posted by gtguy
is there a set it and forget it, hassle-free mod that will give a bit more power

I just want nice and simple, set it and forget it, like my DMS Golds.
Port the throttle body, knife edge the throttle plate, silicon intercooler hoses, good synthetic motor oil and gear oil would be a few.
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Old 11-24-2001, 10:12 PM   #6
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An EBC like the AVC-R or the SBC-ID can solve the high EGT problem. You can also set it and forget it...
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Old 11-24-2001, 10:52 PM   #7
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I was actually just coming here to post a thread exactly like this one I want to mod my car and have more power without having to worry about reliability in the future. I want to mod my car but it's also going to be my daily driver for a long long time so no 18 psi of boost for me anytime soon

Even though you said you don't want to do it I'm going to say pulleys Think about it, not only are you giving your car a little more oomph, but you're also putting less strain on the engine. You can read what I think about the Suby Sports lightweight pulley set here: http://www.i-club.com/forums/showthr...hreadid=117473 The pullys take less than an hour to install, and the Suby Sports pulleys are not underdriven, so no need to worry about dimming headlights or things of that nature.

I'm also going to order some Samco silicone intercooler hoses in the near future. Maybe a new up-pipe too. Those mods should help the turbo spool up sooner and not make the computer throw CELs. I don't want to remove any cats right now. So, with those mods and the pulleys you should have car with a few more HP and a much braoder powerband, with zero sacrafice in reliability or even more reliability. With lighterweight pulleys, you have to be putting less strain on the engine right?

Oh well, that's my $0.02. And if you don't have the Kartboy shifter bushings, be sure to get them, best $35 I ever spent on my car.
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Old 11-24-2001, 10:52 PM   #8
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turbo upgrade...leaving stock boost controll and injectors

Greg
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Old 11-24-2001, 10:55 PM   #9
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that's a good question.....

i think you want some easy removable mods before the warranty expires... catback, intake, mbc, unichip.

then worry about anything after three/four years!
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:02 PM   #10
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Little more on the pulley issue...

The engine is naturally balanced. End of discussion. The OEM pulley is NOT a balancer, it is simply a heavy pulley that increases rotational mass, much like the heavy, steel flywheel that comes stock on the WRX.

Any reciprocating mass you can remove from the crank is free hp (pulley, lighter flywheel).

Removing this mass does tend to make most engines a bit more temperamental as far as stalling when trying to get going at a light, etc. However, IMO, the pros outweigh the cons.

Again, a compromise in drivability. Few mods come with no compromises.

I really don't think you have anything to worry about with lightening the pulley. I'd hesitate to say that it puts less stress on the engine, but I cannot disuade you from saying that.

The lightened pulleys are cheap and they do give an increase.
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:13 PM   #11
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I had the Unorthodox Pulley on my Maxima, and the dyno runs before and after showed 8-10 HP across the board, right from idle to redline. I loved everything about it.

Worst thing related to it was a slight dimming of the headlights while sitting at a stop light, but that doesn't account for a very large percentage of my driving.

Slowing down the accessories could theoretically allow them to last longer...
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by bobgrice

Removing this mass does tend to make most engines a bit more temperamental as far as stalling when trying to get going at a light, etc. However, IMO, the pros outweigh the cons.
I was actually wondering why I stalled my car a few times yesterday(first time in a long time). That makes a lot of sense now that you mention it. I have to readjsut a little to pulling out now.

Any other ideas for hassle free mods guys, so far it looks like we have:

pulleys
up pipes
intercooler hoses
catback exhaust
porting the throttle body (any how to's on this?)
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:50 PM   #13
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no.

thats the short, and most honest and correct answer.

and thats true for any car.
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Old 11-25-2001, 12:37 AM   #14
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I agree w/ jmott on the short answer...

That said, the aftermarket vendor that seems to have the best track record combined with being known for having a safety-first philosophy is Vishnu...

I feel much like you do - I like the set it and forget it approach, and Shiv's stage 0 kit seems to fit the bill better than anything else I've seen/read about. I will be taking a serious look at his offerings when the time comes...(maybe stage 1, by then )
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Old 11-25-2001, 03:52 AM   #15
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What I am trying to understand is why wouldn't you want to remove the cats? Sure it might be against the law but nobody will ever know as long as you have one on at emissions time. There is a TON of power being sucked out of the WRX by those 3 evil cats. My car is catless and it hauls some serious a**...

Perhaps you are that crazy old lady you speak about.
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Old 11-25-2001, 04:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by WRXThis
What I am trying to understand is why wouldn't you want to remove the cats?
You might as well have sent the tree huggers a written invitation to flame you... Oh, wait, you did.
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Old 11-25-2001, 11:30 AM   #17
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well, shivs kit doesnt get rid of the 2 main cats, wich will prevent CEL issues. But a cel coming on is an annoyance more than a real problem.

his up-pipe will be prone to exauhst leaks if you are unlucky or install it wrong, and its a pain to install.

*Everything* has issues

but its worth it most times


Quote:
Originally posted by GaryS
I agree w/ jmott on the short answer...

That said, the aftermarket vendor that seems to have the best track record combined with being known for having a safety-first philosophy is Vishnu...

I feel much like you do - I like the set it and forget it approach, and Shiv's stage 0 kit seems to fit the bill better than anything else I've seen/read about. I will be taking a serious look at his offerings when the time comes...(maybe stage 1, by then )
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Old 11-25-2001, 12:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fubaru
I'd like to try the Prodrive ecm used in the UK PPP.
It is very good on both the old and new shape cars. It is mainly tuned for increased torque - 258-261 lbft. Turbo boost is starting to come in at 1800rpm, and full boost is achieved at just over 3000rpm. Held boost is about 16.5PSI with peak up to 17.5-18PSI. Along with this they get rid of the catted mid section and change to a freer flowing but still fairly quiet backbox. They also install better intercooler hosing to cope with the increased boost. The boost is dropped away quite substantially over 5500rpm, but it pulls much better than stock. Overall, officially the power is only increase by 10% which keeps it insurance friendly, and you keep your warranty over here. In the midrange where you need it there is over 20% increase in power and torque. On UK roads is it as quick as a 276bhp Japanese import despite the obvious power deficit - reason being it makes excellent use of the TD04 turbo's tiny lag.

It is zero hassle, fit and forget, no boost gauge, EGT probes required. There have been no engine failures attributed to the pack during its many years in use in the UK.

And no I don't work for Prodrive, just a happy customer.
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Old 11-25-2001, 12:11 PM   #19
gtguy
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Thanks, guys, and I fear that jmott is right, based on the searches, etc that I've been doing.

As far as the cat removal question, I would never flame anyone, but for me, I simply prefer to do my part, however small it might be, for the environment. The WRX, with the three cats, is an LEV (low emissions vehicle). I wouldn't mess with that. Do other cars, etc pollute more than a catless WRX? Perhaps. But IMHO, why contribute to the problem? If everyone does a little bit, together we do a lot. That's worth far more to me than horsepower gain, the exact numbers of which are gained from cat removal is debatable. If that makes me an old lady, so be it.

But to each their own. At any rate, thanks for the replies, some sane, some honest, some otherwise (porting throttle body, bigger turbo...Lordy!).

Kevin
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Old 11-25-2001, 12:57 PM   #20
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you dont have to go catless.

you can replace the cat in the downpipe and the one in the midpipe with a single hi-flow cat.

but you still will get a CEL from it usually.


Quote:
Originally posted by gtguy
Thanks, guys, and I fear that jmott is right, based on the searches, etc that I've been doing.

As far as the cat removal question, I would never flame anyone, but for me, I simply prefer to do my part, however small it might be, for the environment. The WRX, with the three cats, is an LEV (low emissions vehicle). I wouldn't mess with that. Do other cars, etc pollute more than a catless WRX? Perhaps. But IMHO, why contribute to the problem? If everyone does a little bit, together we do a lot. That's worth far more to me than horsepower gain, the exact numbers of which are gained from cat removal is debatable. If that makes me an old lady, so be it.

But to each their own. At any rate, thanks for the replies, some sane, some honest, some otherwise (porting throttle body, bigger turbo...Lordy!).

Kevin
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Old 11-25-2001, 07:22 PM   #21
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I am with you gtguy, I refuse to mess with the LEV status of my car. I was a selling point for me, not the only one of course, but it helped.

I too have been looking for the safe and easy mod. Up until about 3 weeks ago, I was convinced that the Turbo XS Unichip was for me. Now problems are starting to show up. I will problaby call Mark in the begining of 2002 and get some answers.

Lightweight, but not underdrive pulleys and sythentic oils are my best bets right now. I don't know too much about the silcone intercooler hoses. I have seen them for sale, but don't really know the downsides if any.

Advice and comments on the hoses is welcome.
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Old 11-26-2001, 12:24 AM   #22
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IIRC, prodrive dyno'd the silicon i/c hoses at 8-15 hp. They cost money (bad), but they won't expand under boost, plus they stay cool and are smooth inside.
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Old 11-26-2001, 08:00 AM   #23
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Who sells such hoses, and is there an install site? Also, the lightweight pulleys seem like a good idea, but no one has posted brands/places to get these items. Any help would be appreciated.

VV

Quote:
Originally posted by Austin
IIRC, prodrive dyno'd the silicon i/c hoses at 8-15 hp. They cost money (bad), but they won't expand under boost, plus they stay cool and are smooth inside.
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Old 11-26-2001, 08:31 AM   #24
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Ken at RallyPerformance.com sells them. And install is blindingly simple - couple hoses, couple bolts, couple hose clamps.
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Old 11-26-2001, 10:26 AM   #25
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well, this might not be as hassle free, but i would think about doing the pulley and do a different driveshaft ( carbon or alum). that would both help minimize drivetrain loses without doing anything to the engine and should be easier to the tranny ( since an alum or carbon driveshaft should absorb more shock than the stock one ). if you want hassle free, i'd stay away completely from messing with the boost controller / engine computer. i'd port/polish, put a catback on, and put in a diff. panel filter, do at least a lightweight pulley, do the driveshaft, and leave it at that.
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