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Old 01-14-2002, 04:15 PM   #1
Sea Dragon Rex
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Exclamation Problem with using the Bra/Mask on the WRX's

I just got a call from the Subaru dealership and they said there is a problem with putting on a bra/mask on the front of the WRX. He said that there is a "performance issue" with using the bra.

He also said that the distributor (I'm assuming it is Subaru) is telling them to stop selling the bra's/masks to WRX owners.

I'm guessing that it it either obstructing the intake or blocking airflow to the intercooler. Either way, if you have one, you might want to take it off and call your local dealership.
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Last edited by Sea Dragon Rex; 01-14-2002 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 01-15-2002, 08:03 AM   #2
FargoRS
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I'd would make them buy your bra back if it's a big deal with the dealership!

Try 3M scotchcal on your hood and front bumper. It goes by the names Clearbra, Stonegard, Xpel. I just had it installed on the hood and it works great. You can hardly notice it's on the car. I wish I did the bumper because after 1600 miles, the bumper is already pitted from the sand and salt on the winter roads.

Mike
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Old 01-15-2002, 11:26 AM   #3
ANZAC_1915
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Can you try and get more detail - either a bulletin or what the problem exactly is?

I had the bra on (until my accident) and other than the flutter of the top piece didn't really have any problems. It doesn't block any openings.

But there is an issue with leaving it on in wet weather on the lighter color cars (e.g. white). I was told you could get black stains on the car. Seriously.

Glenn
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Old 01-15-2002, 11:49 AM   #4
SubEd
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Is he confusing the bra with the "hood deflector"?

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Old 01-15-2002, 11:52 AM   #5
Sea Dragon Rex
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I just got off the phone with the dealership and they think the problem has to do with the triangles on the top of the mask. They impeed the airflow to the intercooler. Thus, causing the engine and turbo to run hotter. Not good.

Anyway, the person I spoke to is speculating that Subaru may come out with a mask just designed for the WRX. Maybe they'll move the triangles further apart.

I guess I'll just have to touch-up all of those nicks I'm going to get.
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Old 01-15-2002, 11:55 AM   #6
Sea Dragon Rex
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He specifically said the mask. I was going to order one. I'm not sure if there is a problem with the Hood Deflector but I would guess not since even though it sticks up from the hood it follows the contours of the hood. The two triangles would definitely re-direct the flow of air because of their angle.
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Old 01-17-2002, 01:19 AM   #7
jlw
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I just did get a bra on my WRX. I don't like the way the hood piece fits. The sides of the hood is sculpted down then comes back up. This creates a gap and is very difficult to get the hood part of the bra not to flutter in high winds . I finally did get it on tight enough though & ther is very little vibration now.

There is some distance between the scoop & the triangular stiffeners, but I can see how air flow might be affected.

Personally, I think the is the one I described above. There are 2 big gaps in the hood cover on both sides & nothing that you can do about it. A real good palce for crud to accumulate & mar the paint.

I am going to investigate the products that FargoRS mentions. They are pricey, I don't really like any of these things (all bras included ), & I wonder how you wax around those things. Does was affedt the 3M material? I read 1 guarantee against yellowing ... but, does that mean that a little wax on the edges will not affect it?
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Old 01-17-2002, 06:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sea Dragon Rex
He specifically said the mask. I was going to order one. I'm not sure if there is a problem with the Hood Deflector but I would guess not since even though it sticks up from the hood it follows the contours of the hood. The two triangles would definitely re-direct the flow of air because of their angle.
IIRC, the hood deflector is specifically not recommended for the WRX. It is curved up, throwing air up and over the hood scoop.
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Old 01-17-2002, 09:16 AM   #9
jlw
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Is that in writing somewhere? I am going to take mine off & get my money back.
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Old 01-17-2002, 09:48 AM   #10
Scottie
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I'm not sure, but I may have the first person to report an issue with the bra. However, the symptoms and code I got would suggest that any New Age Impreza would be vulnerable, not just the WRX.

Basically, my theory is that when sitting in heavy rain, the bra would collect some of the water that normally just rolls off the hood. Once moving, the air flowing over the hood typically drives the beads of water up over the hood. However, with the bra, some of that water remains trapped in the felt fabric on the underside of the bra shielded from that air flow. I'm guessing due to gravity and wicking action, some of that water ends up dripping off the bra right in front of the intake opening. I further speculate that some of the water, in the form of mist most likely, ends up reaching the MAF sensor.

Instead of continuing, here's the letter I sent to SOA back in October describing the problem.

>>Severe Hesitation Problem.

On two occasions now I've had severe hesitation. The common denominators on both occasions were: 1)Rain 2)Genuine Subaru Bra, 3)Under acceleration. On the first occasion, about 3 weeks ago, no MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) was set. However, on the second occasion the MIL was set. The DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) was P0103, MAF Circuit High Input.

The Freeze Frame Data was as follows:
Fuel System Status - Open Loop
Calculated Load - 100%
Short Term Fuel Trim - 0%
Long Term Fuel Trim -(-2.3%)
Intake MAP - 55.5 in.hg
Engine RPM - 5296

My Theory on what is happening is that some water is getting drawn into the Intake system. By the time the water reaches the MAF sensor it is probably just a mist (fine droplets). If any of the water gets on the heated element of the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor, it will cause significant cooling of the heated element resulting in a higher than normal input, for any given mass flow rate, to the ECU. Its likely that the input to the ECU was even out of range, hence the MIL. The false indication of the mass flow (higher than it actually is) would result in a longer than necessary fuel injector pulse width. This excessive amount of fuel is likely the cause of the hesitation I felt.

I think the Bra comes in to play in that it can accumalate some water, possibly deverting some drainage towards the intake.
<<

I have since removed the Subaru bra and have had no recurrances of the problem or the P0103 code.

Last edited by Scottie; 01-17-2002 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 01-17-2002, 12:23 PM   #11
Sea Dragon Rex
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Scotty,

Thanks for the update. In any case, hopefully people that have them will read this thread. Anyway, my order was cancelled. I guess I'll have to order an extra tube of touch-up paint to cover all of those chips I'm going to get.

Guess I'm going to have to spend the money elsewhere. I have been eyeing a set of 17x7.5 rims!
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Old 01-17-2002, 12:29 PM   #12
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Default Fax from Subaru of America

M E M O R A D U M

SUBJECT: Impreza WRX Font End Covers

Date: January 9, 2002

Air flow restriction occurs when a Front End Cover is installed on a 2002 Impreza WRX model, which affects vehicle performance. Therefore, until further notice, the following accessories should not be sold for use on WRX models:

Full Front End Cover Wagon
Full Front End Cover Sedan
Front End Cover-Hood

A parts bulletin will be issued shortly regarding this problem and details of corrective actions will be communicated as soon as available.

Please advise all dealers of the above information.

Thank you,

Parts & Accessories Marketing Manager

This is the only information that I have on this situation. If I get any more info from Subaru, I will pass it along.

C. Scott Williams
SubaruParts.com

Corrected Spelling
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Old 01-17-2002, 02:21 PM   #13
Scottie
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Scott,
Thanks for that information. That memoradum sounds like a different than I described. I'm assuming, that since it only mentions the WRX and not other Imprezas, that the air restriction they are referring too has to do with the flow threw the intercooler.

Based on that memo, I feel Subaru should either refund those who have bought the bra (front end cover) or at least give us a credit for the amount towards other Subaru accessories. I'll be taking mine back to the dealer I bought it from tomorrow. If I get anywhere, I'll post here.

Regardless of the problems mentioned in the memoradum and my post, I would not recommend the front end cover to anyone. Its more hassle than it's worth. Mine had collected so much sand in the felt material that I was afraid it was going to scratch up my paint instead of protecting it. I have since changed to the 3M clear bra product, which I would recommend.

Last edited by Scottie; 01-17-2002 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 01-17-2002, 03:31 PM   #14
ANZAC_1915
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THanks Scott.

re: water

Quote:
of that water ends up dripping off the bra right in front of the intake opening. I further speculate that some of the water, in the form of mist most likely, ends up reaching the MAF sensor.
What do you think happens when you drive in rain without the cover?

That's what the big baffle dealer in the fender does, and also the way the filter airbox is oreiented.

I am pretty sure your issue is not related to the bra and water.
Get it to the dealer.

Glenn
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