mechanically challenged sub noob in need of assistance - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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mechanically challenged sub noob in need of assistance


Thanks everyone who takes the time to post the FAQ's and advice. To be honest I had no idea, but am not surprised, how much goes into modding a car (especially a Sub!) before researching this and other sites. I have researched the FAQ's and think I can kinda guess the answers to my questions but would like to hear from the pros =) so sorry if I am being redundant or missed the answer already.

I have had my bone stock 2007 WRX wagon about a year and love it but think I would like a little more umf! Basically, I would like to get as much power and growl from the car that I can without changing any of the stock trans, susp, brakes and tires (while not voiding the warranty and keeping it street legal and safe for me and the car in CA).

First, here is what I want, followed by what I want to avoid...


1) more speed and power

2) more growl to the engine and/or exhaust

Would like to avoid:

1) engine damage or strain, upgrading too many stock parts (i.e. headers, turbo...)

2) I despise the sound of exhaust on pretty much anything smaller than a V8 and most seem to rattle so much that you hear that over the actual exhaust sound. That being said, I heard a guys WRX the other day that sounded really clean and mean but it had one of those big canon sized pipes coming out the back. Is there a little more inconspicuous exhaust and tail pipe that I can get that will sound throaty without the big blingy tail pipe (I'm an old fart and am not really in to wings ground effects and gigantic tail pipes)? The 05 Tiby that I had before had more engine and exhaust growl than my Sub even though it was a snail in comparison...

Thanks ahead of time and love the site!!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 02:17 PM
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First off welcome. If you want more "growl" you can research wrx exhaust sound clips on youtube to find the one you like. Here is a link to some decibal testing of different exhaust on wrx's.Exhaust dB data - NASIOC For more speed/power I always suggest cobb's accessport as a first mod. Plus if you get a downpipe with your new exhaust you will need this or some other source of tuning. The accessport is the most user-friendly way of tuning. It will help you to get the full potential out of your exhaust or other performance parts you might add in the future.It will also eleminate any cel's you might get. Not sure if you have came across this faq yet but its a good one.Unabomber's Manifesto - NASIOC Good luck!
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 02:25 PM
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My car sports a nice throaty growl and I've been running the stock exhaust again for a couple of years. It's still a stage 2 tune with PnP'd manifolds, grimmspeed high-flow crossover (original, no flex), and catless UP and DP. Getting those cats out makes a huge performance and sound difference, but if you live somewhere that does emissions testing, you'll have to find a way around that.

Anyway, that could be the answer to both of your goals
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 02:46 PM
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Get an accessport and go stage one. The borla hush power cat back is a very low key exhaust.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 03:03 PM
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You can't do anything without voiding the warranty. You could probably get away with remapping the ecu with a stage 1 tune but anything beyond that will be obvious modifications to anyone looking at your car. If you are looking for parts that don't void the warranty your safest (and most expensive) choice is to purchase SPT parts and get them installed by a dealer. If you are willing to void specific parts of the warranty I recommend the following...

Your description of what you're looking for sounds like a standard stage 2 setup. Basically you need:
1) Some form of engine management - Cobb Accessport, Tactrix Cable + laptop, dyno tune
2) Aftermarket downpipe (catless or hiflow cat) - There are a ton of manufacturers since the exhaust design didn't really change from 02-07.
3) Aftermartket Cat Back Exhaust - Same as above.

There are a lot of TBE (Turboback Exhaust) packages that cover both 2 and 3 above. There are also a lot of places that will sell you a "stage 2 kit" that will have an accessport and a full TBE. There are a lot of threads on sound and look of exhausts so you just need to search around, most of the time you can find a few youtube clips of each popular exhaust.

2009 STi - Cobb Stage 2
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 07:50 PM
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You can get an axle back and not have to get a tune or engine management. This will give you better sound but not much in the way of performance. Accessport is the way to go for a first mod though. It wont give you any "growl" though.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 11:21 PM
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Perrin makes a twin tip which looks very non-ricey and still makes an amazing amount of noise. Much too loud for my taste but it does probably have one of the best rumbles of any exhaust out there.

The Borla Hush is much more tame with an equally normal kind of look. It has arguably the deepest rumble but lacks the drone and sheer volume of more open models. It's 2.5" piping which will be a negative if 300whp seems small to you. With the stock turbo though, it's more than sufficient.

The mods, everyone's going to give you the same answer: Go stage 2.

2015 STi: Still Stock
04 STi, 04 WRX: SOLD
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