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  1. #1
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    OT: Anyone have a Subaru WRX?

    Hi,

    I am shopping around for a new ride to get me to the rides. I've eyeballed and test drove a Subaru WRX. It seems like a good combo for me....plenty of room for gear and enough squirt to keep my right foot happy

    I'd like to hear from some owners what they think about the car. Are you happy with it? What's not so good? Any issue with reliability?

    Thanks,
    Erik

  2. #2
    wg
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    Have an '02. No problems. Good in an accident. Should be getting it back from the shop today after it was creamed from the rear by a dipstick. Lotsa damage to the car, very little damage to occupants. (Could have been much worse in a cheapo car).
    Not used for the bike though. But lotso fun. Outback is the bike car.
    There are other WRX drivers on this board who dig their cars. Do a search on WRX on Passion and General.
    Don't harsh my mello

  3. #3
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    Great car, but...

    I've owned Suby Imprezas for nine years and luv them. I bought the 96' Outback during a Blizzard in NY, the salesman took me out for an hour "spin" during a storm and I bought it that day...
    I bought the 02' WRX wagon on X-Mas eve and have had a blast with this car. It has been modded out with suspension, wheels, 50hp...I've raced it (SCCA) driven it off road in snow, mud and sand and it never lets me down. On the road I can get 34mpg with a Yakima on the roof.
    The only but I would have today is that the new Legacy line is so hot and I would want more cargo space. The Legacy Gt and Outback are hot, and you can get the Baja with a turbo, sweet for haulin' bikes, dogs...
    The only other problem with these cars is the aftermarket! You can spend tons on sweet upgrades, worse than a Mtn. Bike habit...Go to NASIOC.COM for more info on Subies, they are all good.
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  4. #4
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    Does a WRX STI Count?

    My son got one last week in blue. Not exactly built to haul things but fast as he!!. Handles well with the AWD system. It seems like a modern version of the BMW 2002 I toured the USA with back in the day.

    My initial impressions are that it is a nicely built automobile with plenty of features. Even with all the horsepower, it is a very driveable car and I've had no trouble driving a rational speeds around town.

    I don't think the STI version is what you are looking at though. If it is, I don't think it does much as a bike/equipment hauler. The back seat doesn't even fold down but he did not get it to haul equipment.

  5. #5
    CB
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    Check out the Saaburu 9-2X

    Quote Originally Posted by erik99
    Hi,

    I am shopping around for a new ride to get me to the rides. I've eyeballed and test drove a Subaru WRX. It seems like a good combo for me....plenty of room for gear and enough squirt to keep my right foot happy

    I'd like to hear from some owners what they think about the car. Are you happy with it? What's not so good? Any issue with reliability?

    Thanks,
    Erik
    Basically a Subaru with some Saab enhancements. Looks pretty nice, worth a test drive.

    www.saabnet.com

  6. #6
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    I have an 04 WRX wagon and had a 02 WRX sedan. I like the wagon a lot better. More room and it seems to have less understeer then the sedan.

    My 02 was one of the first ones off the boat it had a some problems: clutch shutter, a bad strut, fuel leak and the abs brake problem all but the brake problem was fixed.

    The 04 transmission went out at 3,000 miles and I had some coolant leaks. The transmission went out do to a bad bearing on the main drive shaft. Both problems have been corrected and I have 12,000 miles on the car now.

    All and all the WRX is a great car and very reliable, I just have bad luck with cars.

  7. #7
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    I have a '03 WRX sedan with 35K on the clock. Lovely car to drive and handles well. Don't test drive an STi you won't want to even consider the WRX afterwards! (Unless you start to figure out the costs to run one!)
    Buy a stick shift. Great driving position and the pedals are setup nicely for heeling and toeing.
    For bike needs I wish I had bought the wagon since the rear seats do not fold down in the sedan.
    I'm using a Yakima roof rack and it does eat up the gas. I can put one bike on the back seat with the front wheel off and the seatpost out.
    Up to 30K all you need is an oil change.
    Things I don't like are:
    1. The drinks cup holder is in an annoying place in front of the CD player, but no biggie as it can handle 6 discs at a time.
    2. 30K service cost is very pricey unless you can get a hookup
    3. Central locking is slightly annoying in that when you unlock it once with the keypad it only opens the drivers door. To unlock the remaining doors you have to double press the button. Might not sound like a big problem but it bugs the sh*t out of me! Other one is you can't open the door from the inside with the lever when its locked, you have to press the unlock button. Again no really problem just petty stuff that bugs me.
    Pictures, first is my bike (in the way!) with my friends WRX wagon and STi behind. Second pic is my sedan with the bikes on top.
    For further info you can take a look at www.nasioc.com or www.awjunkies.com
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  8. #8
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    04 Wagon

    Got mine in Nov 03, wanted once since summer of 01. Great car, no complaints.


  9. #9
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    Its the best car I've ever owned. Highly recommend. No problems so far.


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    heres my baby (same rims as mbakercad, except in steel grey).. not in the pic tho..



    I love everything about the car, except could have had more trim options. with my yakima rack, the rear hatch won't open all the way because the spoiler hits the tires(opens all the way without bikes), but enough to stick your head in and grab things.

    up in tahoe during the snow season, I have as much fun driving around the empty parking lots as I do snowboarding!!

    edit: bought on 4/03, 29k miles, no problems!

  11. #11
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    Good job! As a former mechanic

    The shop I used to work on used to do allot of scheduled maintenances on those cars. I got a chance to "test drive" some of them. It's amazing being able to get to 100mph with in a 4 block stretch. Other than running them into a brick wall, and not staying on top of your routine maintenance schedule, the car should last you well into the 200K. The are at or near the top of my "want" list for a new car.

    If I were you, I would pull the triger and get one!
    Some of my happiest memories in life took place on my bicycles. - Me

  12. #12
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    Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by mergs
    Its the best car I've ever owned. Highly recommend. No problems so far.

    Can you get a 2" receiver hitch for a WRX? or did you find a 1 1/4" bike rack. The ones like you have i've never seen in 1 1/4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grrrah
    heres my baby (same rims as mbakercad, except in steel grey).. not in the pic tho..



    I love everything about the car, except could have had more trim options. with my yakima rack, the rear hatch won't open all the way because the spoiler hits the tires(opens all the way without bikes), but enough to stick your head in and grab things.

    up in tahoe during the snow season, I have as much fun driving around the empty parking lots as I do snowboarding!!

    edit: bought on 4/03, 29k miles, no problems!
    Have you tried turning the rack backwards? It may look funny but I imagine that hatch would open all the way. I been reading about racks for mine....leaning toward the Yakima King Cobra since I have my eyes on a Cannondale (lefty fork). Do you think the hatch would still hit the tire?

    Do you have the stock suspension on yours? I'm wanting to get some prodrive springs but I worry about ground clearance.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokklym
    Can you get a 2" receiver hitch for a WRX? or did you find a 1 1/4" bike rack. The ones like you have i've never seen in 1 1/4.

    I believe you can get 2"... but mine's a 1 1/4", factory installed. The rack is by Sportworks.

  16. #16
    Tig
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    Forget the WRX...

    The '05 replaces most of the WRX's with the all new Outback 2.5 XT. It has 30 more HP than the non-STi WRX of '04 and previous thanks to a cool 250 HP 2.5 liter intercooled turbocharged engine. The interior and exteriors are updated and look really nice. Check 'em out at
    http://www.subaru.com/servlet/resear...command=family
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  17. #17
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    one of my friends has an '04 wrx. He came from DSM's (another turbocharged 4cyl car). His one major complaint? The stock ecu yanks all the timing till something like 5k rpm. Dip into the throttle, get some initial timing and acceleration then the ecu pulls all but 2 degrees of timing till 5k. Most likely to meet ULEV requirements. I've never been in his car, but he says it falls flat on its face in comparison to more traditional timing maps (DSMs). Something you may not notice if you never drive the car hard. He also mentioned being able to hear detonation.

    -Sp

    Quote Originally Posted by erik99
    Hi,

    I am shopping around for a new ride to get me to the rides. I've eyeballed and test drove a Subaru WRX. It seems like a good combo for me....plenty of room for gear and enough squirt to keep my right foot happy

    I'd like to hear from some owners what they think about the car. Are you happy with it? What's not so good? Any issue with reliability?

    Thanks,
    Erik

  18. #18
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    interiors a little cheap/cheesie, but otherwise for hte price you really can't beat it

  19. #19
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    My '05 WRX wagon is awesome!

    I just bought a 2005 WRX wagon, silver

    pros:
    -acceleration, drives like a normal 4 cyl. until you hit 2700 rpm, then hold on, the turbo kicks in and WOW!!! has no problem breaking speed limits, lotsa power to the 7k redline
    -handling, AWD is awesome thru the corners, the best handling car I've driven
    -sound system

    cons:
    interior is a little un-accomadating, no change holder, arm rest is low, but it does look nice

    Overall I am very happy with the car, and I would buy one again.
    I think I read somewhere that it is the fastest production car under $35000, but it costs $24000. Pretty cool, compare it to Porsche boxxer, Audi TT, etc. on edmunds or some site, it has better performance. Crazy, why would you buy one of those, no room for groceries or the kids, etc.

    Email me if you have any other questions, I almost am looking forward to the NH winter to see how it handles the snow.

    [email protected]
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    Last edited by dan(YELL); 09-16-2004 at 05:50 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tig
    The '05 replaces most of the WRX's with the all new Outback 2.5 XT. It has 30 more HP than the non-STi WRX of '04 and previous thanks to a cool 250 HP 2.5 liter intercooled turbocharged engine. The interior and exteriors are updated and look really nice. Check 'em out at
    http://www.subaru.com/servlet/resear...command=family
    While those are nice, they are not a WRX replacement. The 2.5 XT is built on the Legacy plateform.

  21. #21
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinglePivot
    one of my friends has an '04 wrx. He came from DSM's (another turbocharged 4cyl car). His one major complaint? The stock ecu yanks all the timing till something like 5k rpm. Dip into the throttle, get some initial timing and acceleration then the ecu pulls all but 2 degrees of timing till 5k. Most likely to meet ULEV requirements. I've never been in his car, but he says it falls flat on its face in comparison to more traditional timing maps (DSMs). Something you may not notice if you never drive the car hard. He also mentioned being able to hear detonation.

    -Sp
    What does that mean in English please?

  22. #22
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    Mine is a little further from stock than most of the ones on here (about 425 hp), but I have almost 50k miles on it and no complaints....

    Oh, and if you need any more information, go to www.wrxtuners.com - I'm a moderator over there.


  23. #23
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    '02 Rex Wagon

    ...just tripped out of warranty at 36K miles. No problems with the vehicle to date save a clutch replacement which was covered by a TSB for certain 02s.

    Don't get the Saab - whoever posted that - take it back. If you need the Saab badge to feel comfortably yuppie-ish than you should be ritually stoned at the city limits.

    I added some different rims (Prodrive P1s) and had Nokian Hakkas put on the stock rims for MN winters. Phenomenal. I also had my exhaust fully redone (APS uppipe and full catless TBE) and had the factory ECU reflashed. About 220whp (vs. 160ish stock) on the dyno. Plus, power is available sooner. Total riot to drive.

    I run Yakima Vipers set outside the factory roof rails - best option IMO - allows you to run ski racks or space case down the center.

    Knock on wood, but it's paid for and running great. Going to trade in the ExploDer for the Outback XT this winter for the wyf. I've driven both the 5EAT and 5MT versions of the new Legacy GT and Outback XT - very nice cars. If I didn't already own a Rex I'd get a Legacy GT for myself - little more room and the 2.5L STi-derived powerplant and driveline is more robust (easily a 300hp+ vehicle with a $600 Ecutek reflash). The Outback has more power and clearance plus better handling, fit and finish than the Explorer. Only downside is that I think Suby should have provided a 6MT for these vehicles.

    What's with the no change holder comment below? That's what your ashtray is for!

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    What does that mean in English please?
    I cannot translate the above post, but I do know the ECU has a lot of room for improvement. Cobb tuning offers a device that lets you reprogram your own ECU that will net 35HP alone.

  25. #25
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    anybody got kids?

    I got 2 kids - 5yrs and 8 months. 2 dogs. 2 bikes. 1 wife (she's already more than I can handle. and I like it.)

    What I really want is a fun car that's safe, affordable, and we can fit in. Right now we have an Accord and Maxima - both 4 doors. It works pretty well, but is hell for traveling. Or say, taking dogs AND kids to the park.

    Now, I'm not under any mis-impressions that the Impreza will be big, the Legacy is the same size. But I'm *hoping* that the wagon section will give me the extra room I need to make it all work.

    I'd love to get a silver wagon, slap a bike rack with a box on it, and GO!

    gratzi,

    -capt p

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    What does that mean in English please?
    It means he needs to get to the dealer and get the ECU flashed - 04's were pinging right out of the showroom.

    Back to the original topic - I don't think you can find a better tradeoff of performance and utility than the WRX wagon. I get together twice a year with friends from high school for an epic ride with camping. I throw my Jekyll on the hitch mount rack, my little girl in her car seat and the back hatch has enough room for my tool box, enough fire wood for a weekend, a 5 gallon cooler for Gatorade, my tent, all my camping tools and gear and all my mountain biking stuff.

    I have a G-tech in the car and with the bike on the back I can run a 13.5 quarter mile (a little bit of modification under the hood, but less money than I have invested in my bike...)

  27. #27
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    Good job!

    Thanks all for the input.

    I have been lurking on www.nasioc.com for awhile, but I wanted to see what fellow bikers thought

    Take it easy,
    Erik

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tshrey
    It means he needs to get to the dealer and get the ECU flashed - 04's were pinging right out of the showroom.

    Back to the original topic - I don't think you can find a better tradeoff of performance and utility than the WRX wagon. I get together twice a year with friends from high school for an epic ride with camping. I throw my Jekyll on the hitch mount rack, my little girl in her car seat and the back hatch has enough room for my tool box, enough fire wood for a weekend, a 5 gallon cooler for Gatorade, my tent, all my camping tools and gear and all my mountain biking stuff.

    I have a G-tech in the car and with the bike on the back I can run a 13.5 quarter mile (a little bit of modification under the hood, but less money than I have invested in my bike...)
    Actually it was the STi model doing that, not the regular WRX. And the dealer can't fix it. However, the Subaru ECU is a "smart ECU" which learns your driving style and adjust fuel and timing maps accordingly. Drive them a month or so and they will learn around it.

    Oh, and any of you looking for info - stay away from nasioc.com. Too many horror stories than I care to get into here. Just trust me on it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo
    Actually it was the STi model doing that, not the regular WRX. And the dealer can't fix it. However, the Subaru ECU is a "smart ECU" which learns your driving style and adjust fuel and timing maps accordingly. Drive them a month or so and they will learn around it.

    Oh, and any of you looking for info - stay away from nasioc.com. Too many horror stories than I care to get into here. Just trust me on it.
    What suby board do you recommend?

  30. #30
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    I'm a moderator at wrxtuners.com, so naturally I recommend that. But, I also like wrxfanatics.com and i-club.com. However, i-club got hacked not too long ago, and I'm not sure if they are back up and running.

    Nasioc is famous for being very untolerating of new members.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by capt pearl
    I got 2 kids - 5yrs and 8 months. 2 dogs. 2 bikes. 1 wife (she's already more than I can handle. and I like it.)

    What I really want is a fun car that's safe, affordable, and we can fit in. Right now we have an Accord and Maxima - both 4 doors. It works pretty well, but is hell for traveling. Or say, taking dogs AND kids to the park.

    Now, I'm not under any mis-impressions that the Impreza will be big, the Legacy is the same size. But I'm *hoping* that the wagon section will give me the extra room I need to make it all work.

    I'd love to get a silver wagon, slap a bike rack with a box on it, and GO!

    gratzi,

    -capt p
    Yeah, I got the wife, kids and dogs and all the cr*p that goes with them..which is good.
    I like it too. I will probably get hammered for this but what the hell. Get a Suburban. We are on our 2nd one. First one for 12 yrs. Still working on the 2nd and love them. Get the
    5.7litre (350 ci) engine w/4wd and it will get 18-24 mpg. You can haul all the kids+ the dog+ the wife and her stuff with only the bikes outside on the hitch rack. When we go riding we have 4 bikes plus each time. No way that works with a Subaru. You have to take two cars which defeats the gas hog argument. Oh and by the way, they are safe a sherman tank. (ever wonder why they use them to drive around the president?)(The WRX looks like a ton of fun to drive though) Anyway, my $00.02 on th subject. Good luck.

  32. #32
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    wrx wagon v. suburban

    Quote Originally Posted by grover
    Yeah, I got the wife, kids and dogs and all the cr*p that goes with them..which is good.
    I like it too. I will probably get hammered for this but what the hell. Get a Suburban.
    Actually, here's the plan du jour: 2x drivable smaller "cars" for daily cartage plus a big older truck for truck-ness. wifey likes old broncos, scouts, cruiser (as do I) but I think a 'burbon would be more usable. the wrx wagon sounds like it'd do pretty well, altho I'd be lying to say the gas mileage is great. especially the way I'd like to drive it... truthfully, a legacy wagon would be a better fit, but dammit, I dig the wrx.

    18-24 for a full size 'burbon with 4x4 and a 350 is pretty darn good.

    -capt p

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    Quote Originally Posted by capt pearl
    Actually, here's the plan du jour: 2x drivable smaller "cars" for daily cartage plus a big older truck for truck-ness. wifey likes old broncos, scouts, cruiser (as do I) but I think a 'burbon would be more usable. the wrx wagon sounds like it'd do pretty well, altho I'd be lying to say the gas mileage is great. especially the way I'd like to drive it... truthfully, a legacy wagon would be a better fit, but dammit, I dig the wrx.

    18-24 for a full size 'burbon with 4x4 and a 350 is pretty darn good.

    -capt p
    We've bought both our Suburbans 18-24 mos old (lease returns, etc) with about 25k miles and added the 100k extended GM warranty. We saved about $8k on the 99' over a new one at the time. The last one we had for 12 yrs and 190k. I am working on restoring a
    78'Toyota FJ40 as my real 4x4, but somehow the bills from the kids, wife and dog keep getting paid BEFORE I get my new parts. The bike parts seem to be easier to slip through the system. Oh well.
    Happy Trails!
    Jim


    Happy trails!

  34. #34
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    yeah, I had a 74 FJ40

    Quote Originally Posted by grover
    I am working on restoring a 78'Toyota FJ40 as my real 4x4, but somehow the bills from the kids, wife and dog keep getting paid BEFORE I get my new parts. The bike parts seem to be easier to slip through the system. Oh well.
    Happy Trails!

    big fun. lotsa work. i'd do it again.

    and yeah, bike parts slip thru the system much easier.

    best,

    -capt p

    Oh yeah, I am still voting for the wrx (just to stay on topic). i'm going to try and drive one next week. that may be my undoing!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    What does that mean in English please?

    example: lets say yer cruising on the on ramp doing 40-50mph and need to get up to 65mph quickly. Let's also say yer rpm's are around 3500rpm and you get on the gas 60%+ and the car starts to accelerate nicely for 2-3 seconds. Then all off the sudden it feels like 2 cylinders shut off (timing goes away)...untill 5k rpm when the timing comes back. basically, there's a dip in your acceleration. not that its linear in a turbo car anyways but there should be no dips once you have started accelerating. As far as I know, it only affects '04s.

    RE: cobb reflash. It's not a true fix, just a hack to fool the ecu. The subaru ecu will work around the cobb reflash, requiring you to reboot your ecu approx every month.

  36. #36
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    Or you can get a UTEC and never have to worry about it again....

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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo
    Or you can get a UTEC and never have to worry about it again....
    true. My friend is gonna get rid of his 'rex when the EVO MR comes out.

    -Sp

  38. #38
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinglePivot
    example: lets say yer cruising on the on ramp doing 40-50mph and need to get up to 65mph quickly. Let's also say yer rpm's are around 3500rpm and you get on the gas 60%+ and the car starts to accelerate nicely for 2-3 seconds. Then all off the sudden it feels like 2 cylinders shut off (timing goes away)...untill 5k rpm when the timing comes back. basically, there's a dip in your acceleration. not that its linear in a turbo car anyways but there should be no dips once you have started accelerating. As far as I know, it only affects '04s.
    Okay, thank you. That I understand.

    Nat [not a "car guy" but wants a fast Subaru]

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Okay, thank you. That I understand.

    Nat [not a "car guy" but wants a fast Subaru]
    You might be able to understand it, but it's not true. At least, not in the 20+ WRX's I've driven / worked on.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinglePivot
    example: lets say yer cruising on the on ramp doing 40-50mph and need to get up to 65mph quickly. Let's also say yer rpm's are around 3500rpm and you get on the gas 60%+ and the car starts to accelerate nicely for 2-3 seconds. Then all off the sudden it feels like 2 cylinders shut off (timing goes away)...untill 5k rpm when the timing comes back. basically, there's a dip in your acceleration. not that its linear in a turbo car anyways but there should be no dips once you have started accelerating. As far as I know, it only affects '04s..
    My 04 has never done this. My 02 did it a few times but a lot of that had to do with the gas I put in the car. If your in California this may happen more since the highest available octane is 91, unless you want to use race gas. One annoying thing about the WRX is that poor quaility gas will really effect the performance of your car. So you have to be careful where and what brand gas up put in the tank.

  41. #41
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    Agree on gas...

    ...my 02 WRX is really finicky with gas from both a butt dyno and MPG perspective. Here in MN, the land of corn gas (ethanol blends), different brands/blends really effect my car - to the tune of 2-5mpg.

    I get my best results from ethanol free Shell 93 octane. The ethanol free, higher octanes (92-93) here in MN seem to price at a $0.10-0.12 premium to their ethanol blended (about 10%) brothers.

    I try to feed only the best go juice to my Rex. Keeps 'er happy.

    Sean
    Professional Amateur

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo
    You might be able to understand it, but it's not true. At least, not in the 20+ WRX's I've driven / worked on.
    Are you familiar with the Cobb Access Port? I had only read good things about it until I found this thread. The part about having to reset your computer every month once installed did not set well with me. I read elsewere that the car gets stronger once it learns the new program. Any thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbakercad
    Have you tried turning the rack backwards? It may look funny but I imagine that hatch would open all the way. I been reading about racks for mine....leaning toward the Yakima King Cobra since I have my eyes on a Cannondale (lefty fork). Do you think the hatch would still hit the tire?

    Do you have the stock suspension on yours? I'm wanting to get some prodrive springs but I worry about ground clearance.
    I have a King Cobra on my Impreza wagon and had to turn it backwards to not hit the hatch. Has worked well with my cross country rigs. The rest of the rack is Subaru parts, but I am a little nervous about the crossbars and clamps. At least one of my subaru clamps is cracking. Also, I have had my king cobra tray break near the front tire I guess because my rear wheel was putting a lot of pressure on the tray assembly because the back wheel is about 8-10 inches beyond the support bar (heavy rear wheel and bike - Bullit). I fixed that by running a bolt through the tray and not just relying on the stock setup where the tray slides on a bolt.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbakercad
    Are you familiar with the Cobb Access Port? I had only read good things about it until I found this thread. The part about having to reset your computer every month once installed did not set well with me. I read elsewere that the car gets stronger once it learns the new program. Any thoughts?
    Short version:
    Well, the problem (some say it's an advantage) with Access Port is that they can't guarantee a certain level of performance. It will be safe, but your car will not run at its peak.

    Long version:
    All cars are different. Case in point - I took the map I was running in my car, which netted a peak boost of 21 psi and an AFR of 10.9:1 at redline. I put it in a friends car with the exact same setup (same turbo, injectors, etc.) and it gave him a peak boost of 18.7 psi and an AFR of 12.0:1 at redline. Granted not all people run their cars like we do, or take the time to tune every last horsepower into them. When someone reflashes your ECU, they modify the maps some, but can't get the full potential out of them without them actually putting your car on a dyno and tuning it themselves. They have to make them conservative to take into account differences in climate, altitude, gas, etc. Also, if you do more modifications to your car, you have to have your ECU reflashed again. Also, if you take your car in for warranty work, Subaru techs are trained to reflash your ECU back to stock for "precautionary measures" so you lose the reflash you just paid for. Now, the AccessPort is a little better because it allows you to switch between different maps, however the factory ECU is only good for approximately 1000 reflashes, then it will need to be replaced. Cobb is supposedly coming out with the AccessTuner that will allow you to change the maps on your own, but it is unknown hardware/software that is supposed to do the same thing as a UTEC, for the same price. I'd buy a UTEC.
    But, you don't have to reset your ECU. I recommend it only if you are going to be in a different climate/altitude for an extended period of time. But, a reflashed ECU is better than a stock one.

    Bottom line: If you want to get the most out of your car get a UTEC. If you want a little more performance, and aren't going to modify your car any more, or if you aren't comfortable tuning your car (but, if you can successfully find your way to this web site, you have enough skill to do it) get a reflash.

  45. #45
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    Good job!

    Good, that makes me feel a little better. This is my only car and I want to keep it to a safe/streetable state of tune. I'm not looking for maximum performance but rather improved performance that will not void my warranty. My last car (Grand AM) gave me too many problems and I hate to void the warranty on the WRX. I like the fact that I can myself go back to a stock map with the access port if I did need any dealer service. Also, it will allow me to change it if I would get some more parts in the future.

    Currently, the plan is to start with the access port. Down the road get either a cat-back or turbo back exhaust. Like to get a new downpipe but that may be pushing it with most dealers. That is until 100K miles when it will get a STI powertrain

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo
    Short version:
    Well, the problem (some say it's an advantage) with Access Port is that they can't guarantee a certain level of performance. It will be safe, but your car will not run at its peak.

    Long version:
    All cars are different. Case in point - I took the map I was running in my car, which netted a peak boost of 21 psi and an AFR of 10.9:1 at redline. I put it in a friends car with the exact same setup (same turbo, injectors, etc.) and it gave him a peak boost of 18.7 psi and an AFR of 12.0:1 at redline. Granted not all people run their cars like we do, or take the time to tune every last horsepower into them. When someone reflashes your ECU, they modify the maps some, but can't get the full potential out of them without them actually putting your car on a dyno and tuning it themselves. They have to make them conservative to take into account differences in climate, altitude, gas, etc. Also, if you do more modifications to your car, you have to have your ECU reflashed again. Also, if you take your car in for warranty work, Subaru techs are trained to reflash your ECU back to stock for "precautionary measures" so you lose the reflash you just paid for. Now, the AccessPort is a little better because it allows you to switch between different maps, however the factory ECU is only good for approximately 1000 reflashes, then it will need to be replaced. Cobb is supposedly coming out with the AccessTuner that will allow you to change the maps on your own, but it is unknown hardware/software that is supposed to do the same thing as a UTEC, for the same price. I'd buy a UTEC.
    But, you don't have to reset your ECU. I recommend it only if you are going to be in a different climate/altitude for an extended period of time. But, a reflashed ECU is better than a stock one.

    Bottom line: If you want to get the most out of your car get a UTEC. If you want a little more performance, and aren't going to modify your car any more, or if you aren't comfortable tuning your car (but, if you can successfully find your way to this web site, you have enough skill to do it) get a reflash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbakercad
    Currently, the plan is to start with the access port. Down the road get either a cat-back or turbo back exhaust. Like to get a new downpipe but that may be pushing it with most dealers. That is until 100K miles when it will get a STI powertrain
    A down pipe is part of a turbo-back. And, it's easy to change. 5 bolts. I can change out a downpipe in about 15 minutes.

  47. #47
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    wrx vs suburban vs cross country

    Quote Originally Posted by capt pearl
    18-24 for a full size 'burbon with 4x4 and a 350 is pretty darn good.
    Wow I wouldn't have thought you could get this high on a 'burb. A friend had an Expedition and he was lucky to get over 13 mpg.

    Another friend has a WRX and it's definitely fun to drive, because it's very tossable and the rear end is loose. I could break it into a controllable slide at 30-40 mph. I'd have to say my 1995 M3 handled better, although at times it's not as much fun, since the limits are so high that I never approached them at sane public road speeds. I did record a low of 6 mpg on a section of curves though. =) There's just something about that inline 6 engine that makes my right foot really heavy...

    But now with a baby on the way, we've just bought a Volvo XC70 wagon. Handles well for what it is, HUGE spaces inside, and gets 30mph highway if you put in good gas, and -very- comfortable. I miss the M3, but not the huge repair bills, especially with the new craptastic CA smog checks.

  48. #48
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    ya, have the same issue:

    We have an '02 WRX wagon with two king cobras on it. You have to turn the racks backwards so that you can open the hatch, and with the factory rack bars, the racks are quite close together - bikes of similar size may have problems with the handlebars interfereing.

    Our other car is a Jetta VR6. The Jetta is way better around town due to much more low end torque and a tighter turning radius. however, the WRX has about 50 HP more and all wheel drive, which is certainly noticeable on the high way at higher RPMs. The interior finish of the Jetta is also superiour to that of the WRX. However, for the cost of the WRX, there is not much that can touch it performance wise and functionality wise.

    We were in a fairly low speed accident a few months ago, but ended up sandwiched between a couple of cars: $15,000 CDN worth of damage done to the Subaru. It's been fixed up and seems to be fine (apart from my wife getting rear ended AGAIN, less than two days out of the shop) and will hopefully stay that way.

    They are great cars - certainly not the best in any performance category, but having a wagon with some decent power and great handling is pretty cool. Now, if only they made an STI wagon... I guess I'll have to save up for an RS6 Avant!

    Noel


    Quote Originally Posted by ATLRider
    I have a King Cobra on my Impreza wagon and had to turn it backwards to not hit the hatch. Has worked well with my cross country rigs. The rest of the rack is Subaru parts, but I am a little nervous about the crossbars and clamps. At least one of my subaru clamps is cracking. Also, I have had my king cobra tray break near the front tire I guess because my rear wheel was putting a lot of pressure on the tray assembly because the back wheel is about 8-10 inches beyond the support bar (heavy rear wheel and bike - Bullit). I fixed that by running a bolt through the tray and not just relying on the stock setup where the tray slides on a bolt.
    Noel Buckley
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    Instead of PMs, please contact me here.

  49. #49
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    I must be thinking up pipe then. The piece that contains the first cat and is located in front of the turbo.


    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo
    A down pipe is part of a turbo-back. And, it's easy to change. 5 bolts. I can change out a downpipe in about 15 minutes.

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