noob saying Hi and a bunch of ???s - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-05-2009, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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noob saying Hi and a bunch of ???s

Howdy all, please be gentle.

I figured I would introduce myself here because this will most likely be the section I hang out in the most.

New to the WRX world. I have always been interested in them but have always been a muscle car fan at heart. I’m all about the ridiculous HP.

My main hobby which meshes with my profession is motorcycle roadracing. I have been racing for 12 years and ride at the Pro level. I’ve broken track records and am capable of qualifying for AMA Superbike races despite only riding part time and for fun. I’m getting up there in years now so I have been backing it off a bit over the last few years. Hitting the ground at 160mph+ isn’t as easy to brush off as it used to be.

I am a Chassis/Suspension Engineer/Tuner by trade. I focus mainly on Roadrace motorcycle applications and work a lot in the Ducati market. I have designed and manufacture a line of Ducati chassis components (triple clamps, shock linkages, etc) which do very well for me. I’m no Ducati snob though. I have plenty of Japanese motorcycles and love them all. I build all of my own race motors and even got my one and only “Custom” build, a Ducati Monster S4R featured in 2 Wheel Tuner magazine.

In the past I used to do a lot of high performance car work, engine building, chassis modifications, roll cages and of course suspension stuff. In 1992 one of my Mustang projects was featured in Super Ford Magazine.

The other car is a 2007 Mustang GT with a ton of mods. Your basic 11 second, pump gas daily driver that can pull over 1.2g, stop hard enough for your eyes to fall out and you can still set the cruise at 80mph and take a 2000mi road trip with the A/C blasting all while pulling down 22mpg. With a few more aero mods, a boost bump and race fuel I am hoping to get into the 200mph club with it at the Maxton Mile next spring.

I’m a sometimes abrasive, confident to the point of arrogance, competitive about everything and love nothing more than a close fought race (especially if I win). Some of you will not like me. I don’t pull punches and call it like I see it. On the other hand I will always do whatever I can to help someone else out and am always willing to listen to a well argued point.

Well, enough about me. I’m here because of the car. It’s a 08’ WRX Sti. I got the car and it already had all of its current mods. I bought it from the owner of the local Subie dealer. I think some of the mods were done by his service manager or something because he wasn’t 100% informed about everything that was done to it. Therefore I am not 100% sure what has been done to it.

The car:
• Silver
• Semi gloss black 19x10 Forgeline wheels wearing 275’s all the way around.
• It’s got some sort of manual boost controller but I don’t know where the boost is at because it doesn’t have a gage.
• It’s still wearing the OEM airbox so I’m guessing that will be an area to attack right away.
• Cobb down pipe
• Cobb stage 2 kit (whatever that means????)
• Borla cat back system with quad tips
• It has H&R lowering springs on it but the cars suspension is crap. It sits cool and looks nice but everything else is a mess. I think the spring rate in the front at least is way too light. Small expansion joints cause the struts to blow right through their travel and slam into the bumpstops (at least I hope there are bumpstops). The springs are compressing to the point of coil bind and that’s obviously not good. When the front end is at full droop I can spin the springs in their mounts which where I come from is bad, there should always be preload on springs when installed. When I run the car into a nice sweepy 3rd gear corner the front end collapses immediately and transfers a ton of weight to the outside front corner which in turn unloads the inside rear tire enough to where the rear of the car wants to come around. In short, a mess. I pulled the numbers off the springs (I don’t have them on hand right now) and will call H&R on Tuesday to see if I can figure out what is going on.

Now for the noob questions that will most likely make some of you insane, sorry.

I want to keep the car lightly modded and not ruin the driveability of the car. More HP and all that are nice but the most important thing is that the car can be driven by anyone and you don’t have to go through a 10 step pre flight checklist every time you start it.

Basic bolt ons for power:
What are the basic bolt ons that everyone does? I am assuming a cold air kit, some sort of boost controller, down pipe, exhaust, tuning……..Some I have, some I don’t. So what’s the score? What are the hot mods I should be looking at next?

Motor Mounts:
One thing that drives me insane about the car is that the motor feels like its going to come out of the car during every shift. What does it have for engine mounts? Marshmallows? I did some google searching and didn’t come up with a whole lot for the 08’ and up cars. What’s a good motor/trans mount setup that will firm everything up but won’t buzz me to death while cruising down the freeway? I’m all about function before form but it wouldn’t break my heart if they looked cool too. Any suggestions? Links?

OMG! The shifter is horrible! I feel like I am going to break it off every time I shift, it has no feel and just feels downright cheap. Is there a good billet shifter setup out there?

Aerodynamically and placement wise I was not a huge fan of the pre 08’ cars. It just didn’t seem like the intake for the intercooler could possibly be getting enough air and there is so much stuff on the back side of it that moving a lot of air through it seemed about impossible. The 08’ hood seems like it would be a lot more efficient when it comes to getting air to the intercooler but it still has a lot of stuff on the backside of it which prevents good flow. How popular are the front mount intercoolers? Do they make a measurable difference? And the big question, do they create turbo lag because of the much longer tubing?

Suspension & Lowering:
What’s the most common way of lowering the car? Obviously I am not happy with the current approach. Is this it as far as basic lowering goes? I am not 100% opposed to coilovers but that’s not really the roll of this car. But if that is going to be what it takes to get a good stance and still be able to drive it around without my teeth getting knocked out I may have to go that direction. I’m familiar with H&R in regards to coilovers, what else is out there that has compression and rebound adjusters? Is there another option that is the “go to” brad?

How about swaybars? Right now it feels like it needs some bad but that’s because the front spring rates are way too light. After I get the springs sorted am I going to want to take a look at swaybars? Which ones?

How about the rest of the suspension? Any glaring shortcomings? I’m not looking to turn it into a Time Attack car. Just a strong daily driver that is well balanced and easy to drive over the limit. And above all I don’t want a “race car” suspension. I’m willing to make handling sacrifices for driveability.

I would like to add a boost and A/F gage. I’m looking for something as small as possible that will blend in with the dash. I’m not a huge fan of gages sticking out all over the place so people 100’ away can read them. For example I sunk a AIM Research dash into my Mustangs tach “hole” and you can only see it when you are sitting in the drivers seat. On its LCD it reads out 4 data points at a time but I can toggle all 12 if I need to. It has a bar graph tach and a ramp style shift light. Nice an compact, everything I could ever need to know and its not advertising the whole world that the car has some serious mods. I don’t need anything nearly as complex for the Subie, but I wanted to give an idea of what type of “stealth” I am into.

Summing up:
That’s all I have for now. Thanks for reading and I appreciate any help and advice. If something comes to mind that is considered a common shortcoming that I have not touched on by all means fill me in, I’m all ears.

Thanks a lot!
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-05-2009, 11:17 PM
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Welcome! Have you read through: Unabomber's Manifesto - NASIOC yet? I have a feeling that the information contained in that site will probably answer most of your questions.

07 WRX
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-06-2009, 12:12 AM
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I saved that just for you this time John, lol. It honestly should help you alot. Seems like you (OP) know the just of your car. Try and find a reputable shop around you and have them also give the car a good look and see what they say or think about the current setup also.

"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX"
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-06-2009, 01:16 AM
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You guys are some unabomber's manifesto post-whoring whores. haha.

uqidd: that link will help you understand your car a lot more as well as what parts work great. That is a ton of questions.

Nice resume BTW.

rollin on 17's now and they're dirty
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