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Old 04-15-2009, 12:12 AM   #1
ROFLBOXER
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Default Noob wanting a bit more power NA, low budget.

So I am another lurker who reads and searches, but doesnt post much. I am trying to get a little more power out of my OBS without spending much, as I am a poor high school student.

Noob question #1: Does modding an auto tranny car affect it negatively?
(I wanted a manual, but did not find one when I was looking, plus parents didn't like the idea)

Noob Question #2: What would be the lowest budget exhaust/intake setup that would still provide some gains? And is it better to get a high flow cat first, or do a whole exhaust at once? I know the cat is the most restrictive part of the exhaust setup, so changing it would yield the most gain individually, but would it be better to get a shop to weld together a whole setup?

Noob Question #3: For low sound output, but increased flow, what is a good, cheap intake? Anything in the stock airbox that can be removed to yield more flow?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:16 AM   #2
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#1- no
#2- obx cat back from ebay and UEL or EL headers (if you want a subaru rumble get borla replicas. make sure they are UELs tho) also from ebay Everything will be around 600$ new. but you can probably find the stuff used.
#3- weapon r is what i have it was like 90$ or something new
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNsuby View Post
#2- obx cat back from ebay and UEL or EL headers (if you want a subaru rumble get borla replicas. make sure they are UELs tho) also from ebay Everything will be around 600$ new. but you can probably find the stuff used.
I was definitely planning on the B9 obx catback and UELs (love the rumble), but what about the cat? and how do i tell if it is a higher flow?
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:23 AM   #4
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#2 - Low budget exhaust:
You can go OBX or ebay or w.e for a cheap exhaust. However, you can also buy a cheap muffler (maganaflow?) for around $50 and have an exhaust shop make one custom. I got a fully stainless steel one done for $300 CDN. If you're patient enough, I recommend doing it all at once. This saves you the trip of going back and forth to the shop, and it will be easier on the guy doing it, because he doesnt have to weld in/cut into the new exhaust incase you need to make any changes. In regards to the high flow cat, itll say high flow cat on it.

Back Road Runner has suggested to many people the Magnaflow 5995x high flow cat. If he recommends it im pretty sure it will give you some gains.

#3 - See sticky about hybrid intakes

Last edited by lemons; 04-15-2009 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:24 AM   #5
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i have the stock cat on mine.. i dont know to much about the high flow cats or anything.. someone else can probably help ya
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemons View Post
it will be easier on the guy doing it, because he doesnt have to weld in/cut into the new exhaust incase you need to make any changes.
Another noob moment coming: I know how to weld, I have a welder, and have some experience with complex welds. My understanding is that the only thing other than piping, cat, and muffler is the hangers, correct? how much would I save, and what would be the possible problems of going DIY?
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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If you can weld, you can possibly DIY.

The only problems I would see are getting the bends right, and making it fit. The exhaust on my RS is pretty straight with no major bends, so if you get under the car and take your time, I shouldn't see that as too much of a problem.

Another thing to think about is how you are going to connect the midpipe to the header.

Depending on the muffler you get, I would also recommend buying a resonator. I have a straight through muffler and it was a bitch without a resonator, so I eventually put one it.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemons View Post
Depending on the muffler you get, I would also recommend buying a resonator.
haha whats a resonator?
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:59 AM   #9
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The single biggest improvement I've made to the engine was the addition of the OBX EL headers. They made the largest difference in the way the engine drives.

Since you have a 2002, you can simply get the OBX EL headers and bolt them right up to your stock midpipe and axleback. Everything will fit fine, though you may need an extension for the wiring to the rear O2 sensor.

The next biggest engine change is a hybrid intake, which you can make yourself very cheaply.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by williaty View Post
The single biggest improvement I've made to the engine was the addition of the OBX EL headers. They made the largest difference in the way the engine drives.

The next biggest engine change is a hybrid intake, which you can make yourself very cheaply.
I was actually just reading your hybrid intake thread
I'm a bit confused whether or not my car needs the snorkus or not.

Equal length? really? I am naturally prejudiced to UELs because it makes my car sound different than everyone else with 4 bangers.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:40 AM   #11
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I've had stock UELs, Borla UELs, and OBX ELs on my car. The OBX ELs pull enough harder that you won't remember to listen to them. For that matter, they don't actually sound that bad either.

EDIT: oh, no your car doesn't need the helmholtz resonator because yours is MAP based. So if you want performance and stupidly loud, go with a SRI or CAI. If you want performance and quiet, go with a hybrid.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:48 AM   #12
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thanks, I think I will probably go hybrid whenever I get the time.

I'll try to get ahold of the ELs when I get a bit more money. And you definitely recommend those over a custom exhaust build?

Thanks for the help
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loud OBK View Post
thanks, I think I will probably go hybrid whenever I get the time.

I'll try to get ahold of the ELs when I get a bit more money. And you definitely recommend those over a custom exhaust build?

Thanks for the help
That's a tough call. You'll get more benefit out of the EL headers than the entire rest of the the exhaust. I have to admit, the quality on the OBX leaves a lot of be desired and they're not stainless (though they claim they are). However, getting a custom set of EL headers made would be a bitch as it's pretty hard to come up with a design that's actually EL.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
That's a tough call. You'll get more benefit out of the EL headers than the entire rest of the the exhaust. I have to admit, the quality on the OBX leaves a lot of be desired and they're not stainless (though they claim they are). However, getting a custom set of EL headers made would be a bitch as it's pretty hard to come up with a design that's actually EL.
K, how much else would I have to buy assuming I go the OBX route? new cat and muffler? more?
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:56 AM   #15
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If you're only doing bolt-ons (no engine internal work), the stock cats and the stock muffler are not a limitation. Just get the OBX EL setup and plug it in. If you want to change the sound in the future, then think about getting a catback.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:01 AM   #16
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buy my 06 EL headerback setup lol, but in all honesty there isn't much you can do with NA on a lowbudget that will make a difference. Cams would probably yield something more fun to drive, combine that with your flavour of exhaust and you could have a fun car with rumble or a slightly more fun car w/o rumble. Read up on everything and check with some local shops for installs and down time on your car.
gl whichever path you choose.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
If you're only doing bolt-ons (no engine internal work), the stock cats and the stock muffler are not a limitation. Just get the OBX EL setup and plug it in. If you want to change the sound in the future, then think about getting a catback.
Sounds good.

@ JccL: Yeah, I know there isnt much to do on a budget, but I'm just trying to personalize a bit. I know a place nearby that is supposed to do good work, I just need the benjamins

for now I'll probably get headers and a cheap muffler. (OBX B9 ~ $50)
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:06 AM   #18
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I can't find this sticky???

This site can do a Weapon R intake, but price is closer to $300 USD

http://www.xcceleration.com/
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:52 AM   #19
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Meh, I'd put the money you're spending into handling mods, that's the easiest way to make the NAs fun.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:46 PM   #20
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^ yup. Quite a few things can be done for low cost and added fun. Here's my random list of suggestions.

As far as intake goes, read this thread
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1741284
Arguably, the best thing you can do is leave it as is - just maybe adding an Outback cold air funnel, or taking the air from the inner fender. It also keeps it silent. OEM stock intakes were just made to be the best for their purpose.

Exhaust? that costs a notch more. EL headers for power, UEL for nicer sound. Personally, I went with UEL and a STi catback (which is a nice bolt on with stock headers too) - and very happy with the results. Sti pple upgrade their exhausts, and sell their OEM catbacks dirt cheap - and regularly.

As chazly said, handling can also be improved. I replaced my OBS rear sway bar with a thicker one from a WRX. Another dirt cheap mod. The car's behaviour in turns improved, and it went from understeer to a delicate oversteer. Highly recommended (and fun) too.

Do you have a manual or an AT? If manual, go for the short throw shifter. You use it non stop, and it's a MUCH better feeling to shift with it.

Looks 1. Mudflaps. Matches the OBS appearance very well. Not expensive either.

Looks 2. Personally, I really didn't like the 02-03 tailights. I fitted in 2004+ wagon taillights with no problems. Little bit of pushing was enough, no cutting required to accomodate the lower round bulge present in 04+ models.

Stereo. Unexpectedly big improvement with stock speakers and a regular, cheap Sony CD player instead.

Light bulbs. Phillips X-treme Power. Bright, not blue, arguably best light bulbs on the market right now if you drive overnight. If you don't have DRLs, consider a harness upgrade too. Eliminates the parasitic voltage drop due to bad stock wireing.

.. my 2 cents.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:32 PM   #21
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^ Along with a nice rear sway bar, a good alignment also helps the car feel composed and crisp (max negative camber up front, zero toe all around).

I've gotten both (20mm RSB) and it was well worth it.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:33 PM   #22
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handling mods make the car better for a different reason. which route is best, power or handling, is opinion and forever debatable. Since the OP asked about gaining POWER and not making the car handle better or even "what are the best low budget mods?", all the responses about handling mods being done first are not really useful.

who knows, maybe he wants to drag it.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:17 PM   #23
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rubber
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:53 PM   #24
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you need to get a lightweight crank pulley that had more improvement than my exhaust did
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoton View Post
As chazly said, handling can also be improved. I replaced my OBS rear sway bar with a thicker one from a WRX. Another dirt cheap mod. The car's behaviour in turns improved, and it went from understeer to a delicate oversteer. Highly recommended (and fun) too.


Do you have a manual or an AT? If manual, go for the short throw shifter. You use it non stop, and it's a MUCH better feeling to shift with it.


Stereo. Unexpectedly big improvement with stock speakers and a regular, cheap Sony CD player instead.
Ive been browsing craigslist looking for WRX sway bar periodically

I drive AT If I could I would swap to manual in a heartbeat. I love the feel of connection you get while operating a clutch.

As far as stereo, I am seriously set. I have a double-din JVC head unit with iPod adapter, Alpine R series 5.25" components up front (about to be replaced with Alpine X series 6.5" components), kenwood 4" rears for fill, a 600watt Sony Xplod 4 channel amp, which I wired in myself, as well as the single 12" sub mounted inverted vertically in a custom made, ported box tuned to 35hz on a 1000watt amp that I also wired in.

Plus, i hardwired in my radar detector and gps, both with inline fuses matched to voltage and amperage, and replaced my ashtray with an inverter/extra cigarrete outlet and a remote volume knob for my sub.

I've installed all the electrical goodies I want, now I want that little performance and driveability boost.
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