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Old 03-19-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
luke714
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Subaru Stars first mods for my first car need suggestions

Hi,

This is my first post on this forum, so sorry if I ask some stupid questions. I've looked on the FAQ's to see suggestions for the first mods, but I was hoping that you could help me with more specific things for my car. This is my first car, and I love it. It's fun to drive as it is, but I know it could be better. I've never tuned or modified a car before, so any help as to where to get started would be appreciated. Shop space or basic tool knowledge isn't an obstacle for me.

I've got a 1997 Impreza Outback Sport 2.2L

VINJF1) [GF485X] {VG814357}
(Japan, Fugi Heavy Industry Passenger Vehicle)
[Impreza, Outback Sport Wagon, 2.2L, manual seat belts with dual front airbags, x]
{1997, manual awd, sequential production number}

This is what is on my list:

1. New plugs (iridium)
2. Cold air intake
3. Wheels and tires (nothing too fancy but not the steel rims I have now)
4. Borla Headers, High flow cat etc.
5. HID headlights

The problem is that I can't find a cold air intake made for my car, I don't mind modifying cause I'm good in the shop. I was just wondering what the best choice would be. I was thinking about the K&N Apollo filter, and routing two intake hoses to where the fog lights used to be.

Please help me get started on this

Thanks!!
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #2
STiluv55
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CAI and full exhaust with hi flo cat not a bad idea. iridium plugs? no need waste of money in a stock worn engine. if your engine is stock, stick with what it was engineered with to get power. i tried iridium in my car and the only thing i noticed was a smaller wallet. no HIDs though, not good in our headlight system. theres a thread all about it somewhere

Last edited by STiluv55; 03-19-2009 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
Unabomber
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Visit www.danielsternlighting.com and ask him about your lighting. HID in your car? Mmmmmm, not so much unless you like DIMMER lights than what you have now. HID is not a magical bird that lights your way, it is a component that requires MUCH research and MUCH dollars to pull off right and not look like a 16 year old.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:22 PM   #4
luke714
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Cool, thanks for the advice. I'm not 16 year old, so I don't want to look like one. HID isn't my priority anyway. I'm most interested in your guys advice on the CAI.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:41 AM   #5
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i think that anything that will work for a 2.5rs will work for your car (or it will with some slight modification)... they make quite a few different intakes, and they makes some sweet setups that utilize your hoodscoop and mount a panel filter right on top of the throttle body...
they also make a ton of exhaust options, but if you have a good local exhaust shop i would support the local busniess and have them make you a nice piece... you can buy a nice set of headers and have the shop do headers back... depending on your emission testing you may want to leave a highflow cat in place...

check out rs25.com
there are a lot of people with more info on NA and performance for NA cars

as for wheels, just keep your eye out. you dont need any 2k+ volks, but you can score a set of rota's for a super good price.. or find a nice set of newer wrx wheels that look great on the older body style, and being from the east, you should be able to find some used wrx wheels on craigslist or something...

and remember, you dont have to use nasioc... try to broaden your search... google will do magic!
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:59 AM   #6
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back on my dodge forum (dodge ram) there was a lot of talk about homebrew intakes. i dont know how effective they would be on subaru's, but since yours is older... some PVC done right with a good filter can open it up. again this is from another car that im referring to, and i dont know ENOUGH about scoob's to say it will work here. just an idea

edit: sick first post. already read FAQs already filled out profile, already have a set track in mind

1: find a budget
2: dont use the three letters B O V in a sequential statement
jk NASIOC search does wonders, google is a whole other relm of information
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:54 AM   #7
luke714
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Yeah, thanks

I've spent a lot of time on Google, but I didn't know the 2.5rs was interchangeable (even 97's?).

What do you think of the Apollo systems for CAI?? They seem pretty sweet. I know Borla makes headers for my car, I definitely want to put those on at some point.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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driver mod
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
luke714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domestic_abuser View Post
driver mod
What do you mean?
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Mmmmmm, not so much unless you like DIMMER lights than what you have now..
explain

I understand that without projectors its going to spread everywhere, not focus and blind the hell out of people, but there should still be more light, I would think.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke714 View Post
What do you mean?

Basically it means driver training, autocross seat time, track day instruction, anything to raise your skill level. You having more high performance driving experience=you being faster around a track or autocross course, or twisty roads.

But it wont make the car any faster when you are driving up the road and stop on the gas. So its not very good advice 95% of the time that people say it.


As far as intakes and exh systems, here is the unfortunate reality with your car. Intakes and exh work, will largely be sound makers. The fact of the matter is that the non turbo subaru motor just doesnt gain much of anything with bolt on mods. The new (06+) 2.5i gains a bit more, but nothing huge without engine management, and there is no engine management for your car.

Your best option is going to be an engine swap. And the most cost efficient choice would be a used WRX motor. Yes they are interchangeable. You could bolt an STI motor into your car if you wanted to. A 2.5rs motor would pick you up some power, but a WRX motor will almost double your power output.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
luke714
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Ok, that's good advice. Do you think these guys are good?: http://www.eastcoastswappers.com/

I don't think that I'm up to all the re-wiring that's involved, so I'd farm it out at least for this first time. If I put a different motor in will my drive train/transmission/clutch hold up? Because I can't drop another 3k into all new of that stuff. I know I could put an STI drive train in for a lot of money.


BTW I do want to work on personal driving skills
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:08 PM   #13
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They are very good. Tell Matt I said hi
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #14
luke714
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Great!!!

What about the drivetrain?? can it handle it?
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:13 PM   #15
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If its a 2.0L wrx motor, on the stock turbo and you only do an up pipe, leave the rest pretty much stock, you should be fine on the stock tranny. Much beyond that and it comes into question. But look at it this way, a 2.0L wrx motor, with nothing more than an up pipe (in other words, bone stock, other than the up pipe) will put down more power to the wheels, than a 2.5rs motor makes at the crank. We are talking a HUGE jump in power for you.

Ask them about doing a WRX tranny too. used WRX boxes are pretty cheap, and you wouldnt have to worry about it again.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:29 PM   #16
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Great, you've been a huge help. I've been googling until I was blue in the face up until now Once I have the money this summer I'll call them up and discuss some options. In the meantime I'll look for some nice wheels
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:46 PM   #17
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Well, call them now, so you know how much to get together


FYI they also do 2.5rs swaps, that may be a cheaper option, and it will get you some power. I would hold off for the WRX swap though.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:59 PM   #18
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Welcome and definately visit us in the New England section. COM has its first school/TT of the season coming right up in a couple weeks....it's posted there. At NHMS, which is the closest track to you.

On the cold air intake, I first have to defer to the experts on what your car has (maf problem or not?)..... My experience was with a 2001 2.5RS. I highly recommend not buying an intake and building a do it yourself semi-ram cold air intake. (half of nasioc is saying... huh?). Here's what you do. From the air filter box (remember that I'm coming from my 01 2.5), there will likely be some intake silencer that looks like a bunch of plastic "stuff". Remove that stuff. You can now use tubing the size of the inlet to the air box (where the filter is) and run this tubing inside the fender. Next, you'll probably need to cut a hole in the inner fender liner to get the tubing back up front. Now, you're looking for a place for air to get jammed into that hose. On my car, there was a little removable piece below the directional. Worked great for me and had noticable effect on the track on longer straightaways. You will get people who scream "omg, water's gonna get in and blow up the world". Well, that water would have to travel through about 6 feet of hose and up about 2 feet just to get to the air filter, which is not completely sealed. I ran mine for about 2 years (year round) and maybe 20k miles without issue. I suppose you could devise yet another water trap along the routing.

Anyways....I used 3" brake ducting and spent all of $20 total. No pix....I sold the car long ago.

jack
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #19
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But jack, what does COMs school do for someone cruising down the road, stomping on the gas to pass someone? More power or a lighter car is the only way to fix that situation, which the reality is, is what 99% of people are looking for.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:06 PM   #20
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When you change your wheels, don't forget to paint your rear drums. Probably your front calipers too.

Actually, look around for a 90's legacy wreck or junker and grab the disc brakes for your car. I don't remember the details exactly but I believe the fronts were larger discs and the rears were disc, vs. the drums on your rear right now.

You could actually upgrade the suspension and brakes significantly by just poaching parts off other older Subies. There used to be some great write-ups floating around back in the day when there were few/no mods available (late 90's) that someone may be able to point you to. This could be a low cost way to get good performance boost. Then you could put that money saved into an eventual swap.

Swaps can be expensive, so when you consider the cost, you might also consider just upgrading to a later car.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:32 PM   #21
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Welcome. In the NA Power forum on here, there's an interesting white paper on how to get power without going turbo. From my reading, it is it is possible to get a bit less than stock 2.0 WRX power for a bit less than the cost of a WRX swap by staying NA. It's also less complex. However, once you want to go past that power level, the dollar per horsepower ratio is significantly in favor of the turbo swap. Also look up the Frankenstein motor, 2.5 liter block with 2.2 liter heads.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:35 PM   #22
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The first mod is to add Unabombers manifesto to you browser favorites.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:57 PM   #23
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Dont get headers there is really no point.... well there is but not really for what you will be doing to your car.

i didn't add headers cuz it wouldn't "agree" with any other parts. thats what i ment when i said not really for what you will be doing to your car.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #24
luke714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack ffr1846 View Post
there will likely be some intake silencer that looks like a bunch of plastic "stuff". Remove that stuff.
I've heard about the silencers. If I'm going to save up and wait to get a new motor I probably won't do anything too radical. And this sounds like the ticket. Are these silencers just like baffles? Could I simply remove them and get a certain amount of gain?
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow View Post
But jack, what does COMs school do for someone cruising down the road, stomping on the gas to pass someone? More power or a lighter car is the only way to fix that situation, which the reality is, is what 99% of people are looking for.
I'd like to think of myself as someone who isn't into just getting huge amounts of HP and going fast in a straight line (that is a plus, however). I've been interested in driving school. From what you've been saying I can't find what you're talking about on the web (sorry), could you give me a URL or something?
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