Join Date: Nov 2012
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•Cat/Turbo Back Exhaust w/ Hangers – Aftermarket hangers preferred for optimum fitment
Almost any aftermarket cat back will be ok to install almost any time. If you also get an aftermarket downpipe, you'll need a Stage 2 tune right away (via AccessPORT, opensource, or protune). Aftermarket exhaust hangers are not always necessary. Research the exact exhaust you want and see what others have said about the fitment.
•Up Pipe and/or Downpipe – Depending on CBE or TBE.
Technically, the downpipe is part of the TBE (TBE = CB + DP, see above for comments regarding the dp). Skip the up pipe for now - yours is already catless and since you'll be going with an ewg in your next round of mods, you can upgrade your up pipe then since you'll need a modified unit for the ewg to attach to.
•Cold Air Intake - Do I need this with these upgrades?
Not completely necessary, but it would benefit you some. Since you'll be going rotated eventually, you might want to skip this, unless you're dead set on hitting the numbers you mentioned before
•Lightweight Pulley Wheel – Help with Rev time
•Post MAF Silicon Hose – Stand-in part for CAI?
Not necessarily a substitute for a CAI, but if you choose to stick with your stock box and a K&N drop-in filter, it couldn't hurt. It would be easy to resell if you keep it clean.
•Turbo Inlet Silicon Hose – Airflow improvement
No serious gains will be had here, but it'll help a little. You could probably skip this part since it will be useless once you go rotated.
•Throttle Body Silicon Hose - Do I need this?
Not really, I'd skip it since you'll probably eventually be going FMIC.
•Radiator and Silicon Hoses - Should Improve Cooling? Worth the Investment?
An all aluminum radiator is always a good idea - especially if you plan on keeping the car for a while. The stock plastic end tanks are known to crack, so it's mostly a safety mod. Plus, it will add a little bling under your hood if you like polished bits. Silicon hoses are mostly a bling mod too. Technically, silicone is more durable and will last longer than rubber, but most people upgrade the hoses for looks.
•Break Upgrade Kit: Rotors, Pads, Steel Lines (Not Brembo)
Good, good, and good. Don't forget some decent fluid.
•Misc. Brushings/Mounts – Steering, shifter, and others. Goal simply to tighten up my stuff
Polyurethane bushings are almost always a nice improvement over the stock rubber bushings.
•TMIC - When is this necessary? After turbo upgrade? For the long run, is FMIC preferred?
Any time after Stage 2 should be good. You could do it as an intermediate step between Stage 2 and upgrading your turbo or just when you upgrade your turbo. Since you'll be going rotated, you might want to skip this step since it's a relatively expensive piece and it will likely lose a significant amount of resale value.
•Air/Oil Separator – Keep the system clean
Great idea. No maintenance required.
•Spark Plugs and Wires – Worth the money?
Pugs yes, wires no. Talk to whoever is going to be tuning your car and see what they recommend.
•Gauges and Mounts/Pods – Boost, ETG, AFR, Oil Temp, Pressure, Etc. Which of these are most crucial? I plan on learning their purposes and applying their readings to real-time care for my engine.
I think this is very much a personal decision. Boost is probably the most common, followed closely by EGT and Oil Pressure. Many people also have a Wideband O2 sensor instead of or in addition to the other three. AFR is probably the least popular/useful of the gauges you listed. Mounting options are also very personal.
•Suspension: I would like to upgrade suspension for handling purposes. How much would wheel spacers benefit?
Unless you need an extremely small spacer to allow clearance between your wheels and brakes, skip them! Wheel spacers are detrimental to your handling and are mostly for looks these days.
A good spring/strut combo is usually the way to go if you want good handling. Go with performance springs as opposed to lowering springs. Coilovers are overkill for a street-driven vehicle. Research this a little more.
oSway Bars (Fr/R)
*Notice I dont mention the Cobb AccessPort. I don't plan on doing any "Pseudo-tuning" on my car myself. I feel with my lack of experience this would just prove problematic if I got to tinkering too much on my own*
How will you be tuning for the aftermarket downpipe? How will you be tuning once you get your serious parts? Cobb AP, opensource, or protune? Some protuners require the AP to professionally tune your car. Figure out who will be doing your tuning and decide from there.
•Rotated Turbo Kit (WG Mounted to Turbo or Up Pipe?)
Usually up pipe
•Fuel Pressure Regulator
Not really necessary
Required. You could install this with your first round of mods since you don't need to tune for it
You might want to skip this since it causes some drivability issues. Read up on it a little more and decide if it's right for you
•Performance Clutch kit
Unless you plan on upgrading your gears, remember the golden rule of WRXs: stock transmission = stock clutch
This will allow you to make more power with an aftermarket turbo
Stick with a recirculating BPV
A 3 port ebcs is probably the way to go
Sure, you might also want to consider phenolic spacers.
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