AccessPort V3 + SF Intake Review
2013 Subaru WRX Hatch, Satin Pearl White
Cobb SF Intake and Air Box, Accessport v3
Whitelines Sways, Kartboys Endlinks, Back to black bushings.
Roof Rack,Bike Rack, Clone CS Lip
91 Octane Shell fuel
Pre - I drive between 300 and 500 miles per week. I would say that during a good week I get to stretch her legs for 50-100 miles of that. I have been absolutely pleased with the stock performance but at 18,000 miles the mod bug bit me. I have been tossing around a Pro-tune vs an accessport for a few months and this weekend I made my decision and purchased an accessport v3. I was originally interested in moving the power band lower in the rpm curve so I don't need to rev as high while I am enjoying some spirited driving. I was also happy that the Cobb stage 1 map was richer under boost and more linear than the stock map.
Decisions - After reviewing the options I settled on 2 distinct choices the V2 Accessport and the V3. The V3 being a newer model it boasted 50% faster flashing times and it provides up to 6 live gauges. Im a bit of a data-whore so more info wins out. After talking with a cobb rep I also decided to pick up a stage1+ power package. it included their SF intake and the accompanying airbox with a nice discount. I know that there is no performance benefit from installing the SF intake at stage 1 but the sound is intoxicating. I have always liked hearing the aggressive sucking whooshing noise and it puts a smile on my fiance's face when I open the throttle so “happy wife happy life”
AccessPort Install - Installing the Cobb Accessport V3 is a 2 step process, it can be done in less than 10 minutes but to be done right will take about a half hour. The 1st step of the install process is to attach the mounting hardware, Cobb supplies a double T style mount with 3m industrial double sided adhesive. I choose to mount mine between the radio and the gauge cluster trim on the smooth head unit bezel. After removing the bezel use the included alcohol prep pad to prepare the area for bonding, apply the part and hold for 3-5 minutes applying even pressure. after re-installing the bezel the adhesive stuck very well. It didn't seem weak or shaky and should hold up well to track driving. Puting the accessport in the carrier is eased by magnetic alignment tabs. as far as the wiring i choose to connect the wire through my steering column trim. using a zip tie to make sure that the wiring would not interfere with any of the existing equipment.
Cobb SF / Airbox Install - the install for the airbox was about as simple as possible. Cobb DID NOT provide instructions with the products but they did include a website where i could find “up to date” instructions. I pulled out my tablet and got to work. Removing the factory airbox is definitely the worst part of the install process. all it takes is an 8mm socket, 10mm socket and an extension and the factory box will wiggle its way out. the Cobb SF intake fits right where the stock part sat but is considerably lighter, smaller, and smoother. The SF Airbox fits with the same attachment points as the OEM part. The new intake has brass attachment points for the MAF sensor and Cobb includes everything you could possibly need to complete the install. Cobb also includes a rubber gasket to “SEAL” the airbox. It doesnt seem like a thin rubber gasket along either side would be effective with the gaps between the box and the frame. I will look further into installing a heavy lining material to ensure that only colder fender air is being used. ** NOTE do not use this intake without tuning for the increase in airflow. you will cause a CEL and you will damage your engine. I dont care if your cousins friend has been runing it untuned forever and it makes a million horsepower DO NOT RUN INTAKES ON 08+ SUBARUS WITHOUT A TUNE**.
Fit / Finish - Cobb makes some very pretty parts, I would expect that the fit and finish be nearly perfect and they hit the nail on the head. The MAF mount was very smooth and the edges were all nicely cleaned. No signs of hard wearing surfaces anywhere on the parts. The silicone hose was uniform and shiny, the SF airbox is a nice brushed texture with Cobb laser etched on the top corner. I would have liked to see softer washers included in the process just to help dampen any vibration that might occur later. Other than that i am thrilled with the fit and finish of the SF airbox and the Accessport.
Flashing Maps - This is the proverbial easy part, with the Accessport plugged in you just follow the directions. insert key, turn to on position, click OK let the accessport backup your stock ECU and then choose your cobb OTS maps. I choose a stage 1 + SF 91 octane ACN map. Because I live in CA and we don't see 93 octane on a regular basis. the flashing took about 3 minutes and it was ready to run.
First Drive - the first time i took it out of the parking garage I felt a bit of hesitation. Turned out to be my own nerves. I was thoroughly excited about the possibility of more power and i swear it sounded different when it started. I kept the RPMs low, let it get up to temp and slowly exited the subterranean parking. As soon as I was on the open I let it go and I couldn’t stop smiling. The extra power from the OTS map is exactly where i wanted it and the sound of the SF intake reminds me of a wild animal breathing. I love hearing the stock BPV opening and the spooling noise just feels right. I drove with the windows down first and you can definitely hear the turbo doing work, with the windows up and the radio on low it kinda disappears into the background until you step on the throttle and the car comes alive. When I was done wasting gas I picked up my fiance and was worried that it might be a bit loud for her tastes, I warned her that it was a bit more noticeable than before and as soon as she heard the BPV she smiled just that same as I was. If shes happy with it then Im keeping it : )
Final Thoughts - This is my first step into modding my WRX. I have built high powered EJ platforms in the past and I don’t plan on doing any more than a stage 2 on my daily driver. The accessport gives me a lot of flexibility and it gives me more gauges than I need. I love the Stage 1+SF Map and i feel like the car is performing very well. It feels like a brand new car and it definitely sounds like a brand new car. I couldn't be happier : )
TLDR - Got a V3 Accessport and SF Intake, Tuned to stage 1 mv310 and its great : )
13 WRX Hatch - Torqued Performance Stage 1+
Slow is Smooth > Smooth is Fast