View Full Version : Choices....

06-29-2005, 12:36 AM
i've worked my ass off the last couple of weeks after going to rally in wellsboro to save up some money and get some things for my car. After doing some financial dividing, i have come to find that i have anywhere from 400 to 600 to spend...I already have the intake, so now my question is this.. Where do i go next and what will i see a significant gain in? Should i go with the borla headers or get a whole new exhaust system? Styling maybe and go with a nice pair of rims? (However id kinda rather have a ride that is actually fast, rather then just look it..)Or should i just save my money and keep adding and try to find a new motor( with lots of praying) and figure out some how of doing a swap? I know the swap would be the best thing, but the chances of me saving enough is very thing since im once of many "broke College Students".. So let me hear your thoughts and help point me in the right direction.

06-29-2005, 04:23 AM
I would work on suspension and brakes, but if you have you mind set on power do the whole exhaust.

06-29-2005, 09:02 AM
I would work on suspension and brakes, but if you have you mind set on power do the whole exhaust.
What he said. Power is nothing without control. I know you can't see it or here it but suspension should be your first major mod.

06-29-2005, 11:15 AM
id start with suspension first... theres a whole host of things to buy

*strut bars
*lower arm bars
*sway bars
*control arms
*strut tops

boxer4racing.com has alot to choose from, start there.

06-29-2005, 01:19 PM
What kind of car do you have?

Good struts, springs, tophats, and of course wheels/tires.

Wheels, (since it sounds like you don't have anything decent) are the only mod for your car that look as good as it performs, provided you bought the proper rims.
Plus sizing, for example, (+2 in my case) gives your ride better acceleration, handling, and the option of better tires, which can tighten your gear ratio, also making your car just a tad bit faster. (Most mods are just 'tad bit' faster, but those lil' bits stack up, right?) Tires are important here, so put a chunk toward 'em. :wink: You're only as good as what's on the ground, right?

Having a tight (I mean tight, as in not 'tyte, y0!') suspension will not only make your car perform better, but handle incredibly, and actually FEEL faster, provided you've got the right combo.
I'd recommend GroupN strut tops, and engine and tranny mounts, to compliment your other mods, first. Any KYB strut would work well, depending on your application and how much you'd like to spend.
As far as springs go, well. . . that's up to you, but my advice is look for the correct spring rates, rather than just drop rates. Here, I recommend any of the 2.5RS springs, which are compatible all the way around, provided you have the GN tops, and a lower spring perch, IIRC. They're not too bad from the dealership, either --about $80/pair.

The guys are right on par here. . . Power is NOTHING without control. (--Yukonart) And you'd be surprised how well stock power throws down when it's properly held down first. :wink:

Think about the Lotus --its only got what --107 hp?!?-- But not only is it lightweight, its also very very rigid, so that no power is lost in excess movement. That's why those cars feel fast, and that's why those cars ARE fast. :D

06-29-2005, 04:26 PM
Strut Bars are a waste of money IMO...mine has become a $170 piece of engine bay bling. I would invest in some springs, struts, and a rear swaybar.

gator gt
06-29-2005, 09:18 PM
In this case, strut bars are a waste, as Purdue said. Reason I say this, he mentions he only has 400-600 to spend.

Here is my choice list:
1. rear sway ($190). this will tighten up the cars feel in corners. the tighter and quicker you are in corners...the quicker you are in the straight.

2. high performance tires ($480). this quote is based on the Avon Tech M500 tire. Its getting high reviews for the category it is in. Its not an ultimate performance tire...but its very good. Good in wet from what I hear too. Tris is correct....you're only as good as your contact patches. Purely a summer tire...so keep your all seasons for winter.

next one, choose:

3a. Whiteline ALK ($160). known as anti-lift kit. they should be called the anti-anti-lift kit. Subaru has engineered anti-lift and dive into their cars for the general consumers and quality ride. Enthusiasts want a quality ride too...but in a different manner. The ALK take the anti-dive and anti-squat out of the engineering in order for the suspension to work in better relation to the undulations of the roads and with the braking/accleration so the tires grip better ( /\, thus the reason to get better tires too). there is speculation as to whether these do anything with or without upgraded struts and springs. I've heard it both ways...so its your choice.

-- or --

3b. ss brake lines ($160). this will help you better modulate your braking...which as Mario Andretti has told us, braking is not only for stopping the car, but making it faster. the sooner you know how and when to brake, the quicker you'll become. by knowing how to feel the brake pedal and bringing it to the threshold, you'll begin to learn better braking.

I'd get the items in that order and spend a little extra to get one of the #3 items.

struts and springs are great...but if you don't have good tires....you'll not be getting the most out of them.

strut top mounts are good too...but if you don't have the upgraded struts and springs...these aren't an improvement.....they just give you bragging rights.

strut tower brace is an awesome thing for the fronts...always. rears are only good in wagons. useless in sedans unless it is a v-brace, triangulating the forces with the floor/body of the car. sedans have one built in with the 'beam' that has the seat back latches. wagons have nothing, therefore, the strut tower brace (STB) works awesomely in them. but, there is controversy as to whether they do anything without properly upgraded struts/springs. these act similar to wheels...when you get the right one (not cheap) they act good (paired with struts/springs) and look good.

wheels....as Tris said, looks good and performs good...if you get the right one. but a semi-waste if all you have to spend is 600.....thats just under a new set of Rotas....and its questionable if those are going to gain you anything in performance.

I'm not ragging on anyone here who made their lists..but just trying to help him maximize his purchasing to performance ratio. bang for the buck if you will.

getting the car to handle and stop before you add power is ALWAYS SMART! Adding gobs of power before upgrading the other systems is foolish and will get you in trouble with the car.

thats all I got for now.


06-29-2005, 09:43 PM
I'm with GGT 100%, get everything in that order and you'll be golden -- and right on par with your budget.

When it comes down to wheels, Rota's are alright, but keep your eye open on various classifieds (I-club, Nasioc, etc) for someone selling some WRX or 04 STI takeoffs (the 04's were 5x100) for cheap because they want to get rid of them. There have been some crazy deals on there (set of later WRX prodrive p-10's) that I didn't have the cash at the time for. But new tires/wheels as Matt said wont function up to their full potential without some of the foundation building blocks already in place (suspension stuff, brakes, etc). I'd follow Gators advice.

gator gt
06-29-2005, 10:58 PM
Thanks Ryan.

Although you are correct (expensive, but correct) keep an eye out for STi rims (04, as mentioned) but I'd skip over ALL WRX rims....yes, even 05, if you plan on upgrading your brakes and want to include the option of 4pots.

If you want, you can get WRX, or 97-04 Legacy GT rims and purchase (when you acquire more fundage) the RacingBrake 4pot system. Slim design allows for fitment under this previously useless wheels. but I am unsure of design differences (strength) and pricing (higher or same...doubt its lower).

The following stock rims will gain you the fitment of the Ver5/6, 22B Subaru 4pot front/2pot rear system:

- 98-01 Impreza 2.5RS 5spoke (98, 99); 6spoke (00, 01)
- 04 Impreza WRX STi BBS rim (will fit Brembos too) (NOT 05, diff lug pattern)
- 05 Legacy 2.5GT (turbo'd) 5spoke

And there is a plethora of foreign stock Subaru rims that will give bling and provide allowance for this "stage 2" brake upgrade.

You can get WRX rims or 98-04 Legacy GT rims and fit the WRX front/H6 rear "stage 1" brake upgrade no problem...but I've already spent more of your money for you than you've stated. :P

Spend your 600+ and let us know how you like it....we're willing to spend more for you! :lol:


06-29-2005, 11:48 PM
I've taken care of 1 and 2a of GGT's list and the handling is awesome. It is so much fun to drive. Give me curves and I'll leave lots of cars in the dust wondering what the hell just happened.

06-30-2005, 08:16 AM
Just a note from what Tristan said above:

+ sizing wheels actually hurts acceleration 9 times out of ten because of increased rotational mass but if paired with a smaller sidewall/wider tire, helps with handling.

OEM wrx take offs are the same size as Astins OEM wheels. They may be slightly lighter though which would help acceleration but only slightly.

Suspension and brake upgrades are never a bad idea.

If you're really after power though instead of handling I'd drop the coin for a Tornado. Hell, just the sticker placed correctly on the air box is rumored to add 5-7 chp! :P

06-30-2005, 09:24 PM
if I had a dime for every time this topic has come up...

...i would have many many dimes! :D

Seriously now, why ask other people what to do with your own money? If you don't know what to spend it on, then don't spend it. If you're dead-set on upgrading your car then do some research and make sure that what you are buying is what you really want, not what somebody on the internet told you to buy.

gator gt
06-30-2005, 09:32 PM
If you're dead-set on upgrading your car then do some research and make sure that what you are buying is what you really want, not what somebody on the internet told you to buy.

this is how he may do research.

Its how I learned. Asking questions, re-searching forums and PM-ing a LOT of people.

Please, don't dog on him for 'researching' his own way.

....although, now that it has been posted...people should use the search button and reap what we've sewn for them.

on another topic, Slip, you have a very sharp ride. nice signature.


06-30-2005, 09:49 PM
Thanks GGT

I wasn't trying to dog his methods. I was merely trying to encourage him make his own path instead of taking one that has been layed out many times before by all the other people out there upgrading thier cars. Thats how I got the where I am with my own Legacy. I've heard lots of opinions about parts that I've purchased for my car, both positive and negative, but I only buy what I buy because of the facts that stand behind them. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you ask open ended questions like "what should I do with $$$" you won't get the answer you are looking for. Decide what aspects of your car need upgrading, and what don't. If you want bang for the buck (especially when your buck is limited) huge horsepower gains aren't realistic, but that doesn't mean you can't build a fast car for cheap. And one thing I know is our cars don't need a lot of horsepower to be fast.

gator gt
06-30-2005, 09:53 PM
I apologize, I misunderstood your post.

Sometimes though, in the mix of opinions are facts.

And one thing I know is our cars don't need a lot of horsepower to be fast.

you are correct.....but its more fun when they do have a lot! :lol:


07-07-2005, 01:59 PM
yeah slip i understand what your saying. the only reason i asked the question is because im a noob so any input from people who have the same car as me is worth more then anything. The first mod i did as far as performance with my car was an intake, but if i would have known alot of the information that i do know from this site and asking these questions, then i prob. wouldnt have bought and intake at all. Handling is something that is very good idea and something that i will definetly look into. One reason i was asking about power is because i dont like the exhaust i have on now and wonderrd if it would just be better to stick it out, or get headers, or just work on something else like suspension or rims. I definetly am greatful for all the input though so i dont waste money on something that i could have spent on something else and see better results. :!:

07-07-2005, 04:23 PM
Theres nothing wrong about asking questions. Nobody here was born with the knowledge of the almighty Subaru. It comes down to what you want more, power or handling. I can say most of us will say handling, but all of us wants the power. If you want your exhaust done, save the money to have it all done at once. Or if you want it lowered, save for springs AND struts. Everyone's opinion is great but it comes down to what you really want.