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99' Subaru Impreza 2.5 Rs
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Serious question about the coolant bypass mod (yes, I'm asking a question in my FAQ, haha)...

Would that be ok to run in the winter? Or should it be reverted back to stock for the winter months? This might be a cheap mod I can add to the guide.
A little late but just came across this thread. In your area you'll be fine. I ran this for years over in Philly no issues. Even spent one full winter out near you for school in Indiana Pa.
 

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'04 PSM WRX Premium
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8,339 Posts
Discussion Starter #183
your thread is win. my agx's came in yesterday,subaru love saturday!! woot woot

also with your tanabe gf 210's what fitment do you use on your wheels do you think 17x8 will clear?? also what does a fender roller do?
I have stock WRX and RS wheels. Both have 205/55/16 tires on them. I can see probably fitting 215, but I think 225 would rub in the rear.

I'm not a big tire geek with offsets and such.. but I'd assume 8" would be pushing it, if not too big. 7" would be a safer bet.

A fender roller physically rolls your fenders on the body of the car to fit a bigger tire under there.. or have it lower with less negative camber.
 

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2002 subaru impreza 2.5RS
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5 Posts
So this is probally a stupid question but what is this coolant mod you guys are talking about what does it do is it easy?? And cheap not much money in the minimum wage line of work.
 

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'04 PSM WRX Premium
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Discussion Starter #190
So this is probally a stupid question but what is this coolant mod you guys are talking about what does it do is it easy?? And cheap not much money in the minimum wage line of work.
Basically there is a coolant line that goes into/around the throttle body to keep it warm. This is because the throttle plate itself could technically freeze in very very cold temps. Although here in PA, we see sub-zero temps and I've never heard of anyone's who's froze.

By removing it, you are essentially keeping the air that is coming in cooler than it would be if it were heated in this manor. Power increase? You won't feel it even if there is any.

I'd generally suggest not to. It's not worth your time.
 

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2005 Subaru Impreza RS, 2.5 NA
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113 Posts
Budget Build FAQ
The entire guide does not fit in one post, so I put a link at the bottom to where the guide actually starts. Please leave a comment on this thread so I can get some feedback!

Updates:
5/11/08 - First Posted
6/11/08 - Added links
6/12/08 - Changed some ideas on intakes, corrected errors about struts, added swaybar info for non-GCs
6/18/08 - Updated information on WRX/STi axlebacks
3/6/09 - Added 'Concept', transmission information, and updated other sections
3/11/09 - Modified 'Concept', other minor updates
6/9/09 - Changed entire intake concept, updated headings
10/19/09 - Added more information on exhausts and corrected prior information, added section on brakes, updated links
5/18/10 - Updated sections about wheels and intakes, fixed spelling errors
5/23/11 - Major revisions, new theories, and ordering
9/18/11 - Added maintenance section

Purpose: Educate the newbie or anyone else who wants to learn about how to build a decent daily driver for minimal cash. I'm talking no swaps, coilovers, no major power upgrades, or money pits. Many of the things you will be buying will be used or "do it yourself". Most of the work will be done by you too. You are going to need a PayPal account to buy used parts and from the internet. It's what most all people accept on RS25 on NASIOC. It's not about buying the best, most expensive parts or car. It's about taking your dumpy little L and turning it into something that's better than what it was before, for the least amount of money. This guide is designed to help you along making a 'fun' little daily driver.

Concept: Many people think the fastest cars are the ones with the most horsepower. Many times, answer isn't that simple. If you have a stock car, but know how to drive it, there is no doubt you can beat cars with higher horsepower ratings (within reason). Understand that the way a car 'puts down' that power can vary greatly too. For most cars and especially Subarus, 'going fast' means suspension mods and proper driving technique. People who boast insane dyno numbers are only shooting for peak horsepower and fail to obtain a more usable powerband. These people also don't drive that car everyday because it's not reliable at all. Subaru's EJ series engines have great torque ratings and good reliability factors, which makes them great platforms for daily drivers. That torque comes at a price in peak horsepower - after about 5K, the power falls off. But, paired with Subaru's legendary AWD system and good suspension tuning, these little cars can be turned into quick street cars and excellent daily drivers.

To summarize, Subarus have a few things going for them over other cars:
AWD System
GC/GFs are sort-of light weight
Reliable engine
Usable torque and powerbands

Another thing I'd like to touch on is the seemingly basic question... "What do you want in a car?" For many people, they just think fun is going fast or 'beating' other cars. Let's get one thing straight, street racing is illegal and you should not be racing other cars. So if you're not racing, what's the point in being faster that some other car? I agree a car needs to have some guts too it in order for it to be fun, but I think even a stock EJ22 can be very entertaining. Most people have fun on 'back roads' where the speed limit is around 35 MPH. Even with suspension mods, you shouldn't be going more than 45-50 MPH when no one's around. So why do you need an insanely fast car putting down 200+ WHP? I just don't get it.

Imprezas and other Subarus have been labeled as 'driver's cars' throughout their existence. The AWD system makes the entire car feel very stable even in harsh conditions. AWD is not a full proof savior though. It needs proper tires to work properly and still makes no impact what-so-ever in stopping power. I'd rather have a car that feels solid and has character than a car that's not as stable, but is technically faster when it comes to lap times. When you're driving down the road, lap times aren't going to matter much there.

It's all above having fun and having a car that you enjoy. I think it would be a waste to own a car I could only drive on weekends because it cost me $30+ K and I don't want to break it. I also think it would be a waste and pain to have a car that was so powerful, it wasn't reliable. The biggest statement I can make is that it's all about how much fun you can have with the least amount of money. Does the cost justify the fun?

My little rant above was mainly sparked by this thread on NASIOC (but I've always had these views):
Engine mods & money, what a waste....??

Here are some more threads to check out...

Unabomber's Manifesto

General threads of note concerning NA

NA Power White Paper

Ok, enough with the lecture.. let's get on with the guide. Since it's kinda long and doesn't fit in one post, either scroll down to post #36 in this thread, or click the link below.

To start, click here!
Thanks for the posting and I can't wait to read it in its entirety, however, the click here link seems to be looping back to the same intro thread. Am I missing something? Please advise. Thanks
 

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BLK 97L Coupe
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9 Posts
By jove... brilliant thread! I have been driving around a 96 L for the last 4 years and have had a blast with it's rusty ass self that spent 12 years in Maine before heading out west. It's hitting high mileage now, so time to breakup with it.

I just bought a 97 L coupe and couldn't be happier. I plan on throwing at least some of these upgrades on it in the coming years.

ABSOLUTELY PERFECT THREAD FOR ME, SINCE I JUST WANT A SWEET DD THAT'S FUN TO DRIVE, LOOKS GOOD, AND NOT A PAIN TO MAINTAIN!

God damnit, thank you for this one.
 

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03 RS Silver
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50 Posts
:biglaugh:
Sounds like a GF.
" I JUST WANT A SWEET DD THAT'S FUN TO DRIVE, LOOKS GOOD, AND NOT A PAIN TO MAINTAIN!"
 

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2004 Subaru Impreza RS
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24 Posts
Hey Cmiovino,

Thanks for doing this thread! I just bought my first Subaru last week and this has been extremely helpful at coming to understand the variety of modifications done to the car I purchased. A question: WHat are your thoughts on these headers: http://www.rs25.com/forums/f14/t147202-cnt-racing-header-high-flow-cat-98-05-subaru-rs-impreza.html ?

Are these the ones that would decrease the "boxer rumble"? Are these power gains reasonable on a 2004 subaru impreza rs? Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
 

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'04 PSM WRX Premium
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8,339 Posts
Discussion Starter #199
Hey Cmiovino,

Thanks for doing this thread! I just bought my first Subaru last week and this has been extremely helpful at coming to understand the variety of modifications done to the car I purchased. A question: WHat are your thoughts on these headers: http://www.rs25.com/forums/f14/t147202-cnt-racing-header-high-flow-cat-98-05-subaru-rs-impreza.html ?

Are these the ones that would decrease the "boxer rumble"? Are these power gains reasonable on a 2004 subaru impreza rs? Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
Yes, it states "CNT Racing EL header with high flow cat Pipe.".. so it's equal length... therefore decreasing any boxer rumble you have with the stock headers. The power gains would be decent... good for a header in fact. You are sacrificing the sound for it though.

It won't sound like a Honda still though. It'll still be a step above that.. lol.
 

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V3 RA Brighton my96
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200 Posts
I hate to sound like a total douchebag, but I love the scooby UEL sound. Im getting rid of my EL soon and going to an UEL header just to get that sound back. You'll miss it after a while haha.
 
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