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Old 04-25-2005, 12:14 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 85799
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Modifications for a daily driver? Driveline woes? DIY repairs?

If I pick up a used WRX I'll be using it for DD duties year round. I haven't had much time to wade through this site yet, I'm wondering if any of you who have been around for a while could give me a few tips?

My friend runs a performance shop in NJ and mentioned the horrible stock downpipe, etc had to go. I am planning to build a setup myself out of stainless bends and pipe; I'm thinking 3" would work well if I can get it out of the engine bay and under the floorpans. The car has to stay quiet so I'll either stick w/the stock can or go with a dynomax ultra flow (or equivalent) with a fairly large case, if that would work. Throw in a flex coupling, a couple of flanges and a high flow cat and I'd be in buisiness. Sounds like you need a MIL to do this though?

addendum: looks like an oval flange and opening is necessary for the downpipe. I also checked out uppipes. APS looks like the killer app here; cast iron w/a bulletproof flex coupling.

Exhaust and a tune would probably be the extent of power mods, unless anyone has any other ideas. Maybe fab up some shifter bushings or something, I'd have to have a look at how things go together under there. I'd probably get some pimpy rims for summer tires and use the stockers for winter.

Finally, I get a lot of flak from a lot of people around the intarweb that the stock 5 speed can't hold up too well to any sort of heavy use. True? I won't be beating the crap out of the car, that's what my Mustang is for, but I also don't want parts blowing out all over the road the first time I try and slingshot out of an intersection. If something does go wrong (I'm thinking clutch), is it a real bear to get things apart do do repairs? I figure I have to start at the rear driveshaft and work my way ahead from underneath to get at the transmission, correct? Also, should some day I burn a hole through a piston (LOL) and have to tear down the engine for a rebuild, how servicable are these mills? Are overbores possible? I was thinking if that happened that a crate shortblock would probably be the best option, as I can't imagine the local machine shops having fixtures to bolt down a boxer 4. If I'm all wrong and these things have sleeves, then all the better.

TIA for any advice.
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Last edited by eighty6gt; 04-25-2005 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:17 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 55447
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Calgary, AB
2002 WRX wgn/'10 STI


If you're looking for a hella-cheap exhaust setup, the MattSpec turbo http://www.mattrandolph.com/wrx.htm is a good bet. You can also get great stuff like the PDE UP and DP from fine vendors like http://northernperformance.ca and I would also recommend Unabomber's FAQ in the newbie section.

As for the clutch, I haven't had any problems with mine, but a guy I know has gone through 3 in 2 years. I have no idea how to take a tranny apart, so I won't give you any advice in that regard. There is a transmission FAQ from Unabomber as well.

Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:24 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 36302
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: St. Albert, Alberta
2006 Big 16G WRX
Addicted to Blue


Im running a cobb stage 2 setup (with a few more goodies) on my 2002 wrx. Its my year round daily driver and I havent had any problems with it. I have over 80 000 kms on it now as well and I love it still like the day I got it. I went with the cobb stage 2 because it gives you good power but still retains the reliability of the car.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:29 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 69071
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Edmonton
2002 Stg2-WRX Wagon
WRB & Dust


I have the Cobb stg 2 setup on my daily driver and it's a much nicer car around town with it. I'd recommend getting rid of the cat in the up-pipe first. You can either go aftermarket or save some money and spend a couple hours gutting it yourself. The DP is the next major restriction. Aftermarket is your best solution here as fitment is critical. The rest you can slap together as you wish. Really, at this level, 3" will be plenty even with crush bends but if you can go mandrel more power to you. I have the Perrin 3" TBE on and it's sexy and LOUD. As for the can, ditch the stock and if you want to stay quiet get a magnaflow or really anything that will breath easier. If you even feel the need to quiet it down more you can always throw a resonator in the midpip section as it should be nice and straight. This setup totally transformed the car. It's now driveable in the 1000-2000 RPM range so you don't have to downshift quite as much.

Other decent mods for a daily driver would be tires for sure, rims optional, a shorrt shifter, and maybe some stiffer sways. The sways will pull in the cornering a bit without the harshness of stiffer springs.

The transmission itself will be fine if you remember you are driving an AWD car and don't dump the clutch. Many guys making a lot more power then me have no issues with the transmission. Save the tranny and wear your clutch and you'll live a long and happy life.

No idea on how much of a pain the 2.0 teardown is but it's not going to be as easy as the old V8's I'm used to. You can overbore but I can't remember the limits. No sleeves. There is a shop in town that I'm sure can bore and hone your H4 but I can't remember their name. Maybe Sideways Slut can chime in.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:32 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 85799
Join Date: Apr 2005

That's some great info, that cast iron discharge solves a big problem. I'll check out the newbie stuff.
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