All - Here's where I am now (or what I've gotten myself into now!):
Local tuner advisor: ex-racer, 14 years exp., his first car he bought best parts available but had nightmare getting them to work together... learned his lesson. Taking alot of time answering my questions. He referred me directly to parts company so I could save on markup his local shop requires. Urged me to have detailed discussions with tech pros at parts company. I have done this several times.
Distant advisor 1: Very responsive and knowledgeable, 8 years experience and has seen all sorts of combinations work as long as tuning is good. Yes, he is also parts manager for reputable online supplier. He firmly stands behind the package he sold me and has seen it work.
Distant advisor 2: You folks - and I thank you again.
Me: quick study in technology; know that life with physics and computers (i.e., I use electron microprobe often) ranges from black and white to all shades of gray. Must set-up, test, calibrate, validate, monitor, maintain. Not much time to devote to this and need my car back! I'm the kind of guy who eats at "hole in the wall" restaruants when traveling... I avoid chain restaurants at all costs. I average food poisoning once every 16 months; however, I discover many outstanding local food dives during the year!!
Distant advisor 1 and local advisor rarely agree with absolutes offered by Distant advisor 2.
My 05 wrx is on rack waiting on warranty replacement engine and parts.
I have ordered the following parts, which is different from original list due to back-order items. I stayed with original parts dealer becuase he packaged purchase to cut my cost, added free shipping and free rush shipping for uppipe. Also his prices tend to be among the lowest online, at least for what I bought. He is Distant advisor 1.
From Subaru SPT:
Organic STi clutch
STi turbo (not a huge jump over wrx stock but enough for me)
From parts Co.:
GrimmSpeed Up-pipe w/ Flex Section ceramic Coated
Invidea catted downpipe
Invidea G200 catback system
TXS SF intake
Cobb Tuning Lightweight Main Pulley
HKS 71004-AF008 HKS SSQV BOV Kit (recirc)
TXS TMIC Kit
Walbro GSS342 Walbro 255 Fuel Pump and install kit
NGK BKR7E Heat range 7 Spark Plugs
Why fuel pump (from Unabomber): "Can I run an aftermarket fuel pump by itself without new injectors/turbo/management? During the turbo upgrade path, it may be easier to purchase and install a fuel pump ahead of time. It is cheap, easy to install, and removes an eventuality from the upgrade chain ahead of time. You can run an aftermarket fuel pump with no other modifications. Adding a fuel pump will not give you more fuel (i.e. richen your car), it simply allows for more fuel to be delivered if you run higher boost or larger injectors. The stock RRFPR keeps the pressure at the stock 43 psi + manifold pressure no matter how much fuel may be available from the pump."
Cobb AP may not work with TXS intake among other things: I have been told the combo works or else it would not have been sold to me. Despite the Cobb statement "For use with a VF30 turbo, STI (pink) injectors, stock intake or Cobb SF intake and a TURBOBACK exhaust system. Additional modifications such as uppipe and underdrive pulley are still within the acceptable parameters of this mapping. MUST USE FACTORY INTAKE OR COBB SF INTAKE SYSTEM ONLY. NO OTHER AFTERMARKET IN TAKES ARE CERTIFIED COMPATIBLE WITH THIS MAPPING. [doesn't mean they arent compatible] Uppipe is highly recommended when using any aftermarket turbochargers. If adding an upgraded intercooler, monitor boost and EGT levels for boost spiking or high temperatures."
As a start on tuning, Distant advisor 1 said "When the parts are installed load the map on the accessport right after the stage 2 map if there is any issues I will take care of it by getting you in contact with the many Subaru only shops in FL I sell wholesale to." I will also email my configuration to Cobb and request a custom map as a backup starting point.
Local advisor 1 says we will work though it. I need to confirm he has a wideband. He does not have dyno... which is obviously where I may end up with a protune.
I may be putting that BOV on ebay (or returning it) and going with pinks injectors... I may be making that trip to Gainesville or points south for a good tune. ONe thing I know for sure, I'll be using synthetic oil from now on.
So, I'll keep you posted with the good, bad and ugly. Sit back and enjoy the show. Hopefully I will not have a food poisoning experience!