Join Date: Oct 2012
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Before modding anything, make sure all maintenance is up to date. Every 30k (give or take) is a semi-major maintenance milestone. Check out this link: Subaru maintenance schedules and new car break-in period- 2000 through 2009, links for 2010, 2011...
When all the maintenance is complete, make sure you have a good set of tires (or two). You should get winter tires since you live in Colorado and almost certainly see a fair amount of snow and summer tires for the warmer months. Two sets of wheels make switching much easier and it also gives you an option if you happen to damage a tire beyond repair since all four must be replaced at the same time (or kept within 1-2/32" of each other). Tires must be the exact same size, brand, and type - no mixing and matching.
1. Buy a K&N panel air filter and GP Moto intake silencer delete elbow (or make your own... search: Snorkus Delete Mod), install them, done.
2. Buy the Cobb AccessPORT V2 and flash to Stage 1 immediately, enjoy smoother power delivery, done.
3. Buy any cat back you like, bolt it on, done.
4. Buy a bellmouth downpipe, bolt it on and flash to Stage 2, done.
5. Buy rear and/or front sway bars and endlinks, bolt them on, done.
That's the basic recipe for a fun "Stage 2" WRX. Some people like to get a pro tune immediately after installing the downpipe, but it's not particularly necessary if you're not looking to squeeze every last little bit of power out of the car. If you're just daily driving it, any reputable OTS (off the shelf) or generic Stage 2 map should be fine. If you plan to drive the car hard, you might want to consider a pro tune.
Why would you still fail the visual with a catted DP? I have a hi-flow cat, and have passed emissions for PA. Mine is also a daily, and I didn't feel like wanting to smell like gas or having black smoke clouds during WOT. I am sure my thought process will change once I actually upgrade my turbo set up.
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