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another new guy

picking up an 02 RS this week. kid wants to trade for my 97 gti vr6. im fairly excited for the AWD stability, and being able to comfortably load my toddler in and out of a car besides my wifes matrix.

the RS's current mods are;
-Raceland Coilovers
-Borla UEL Headers
-Borla axleback
-Short Shifter
-New Brakes
-New Tires

ive been into vw's for about 8 years. my gti being the one that ive most modified and devoted too much time to...according to my wife hahaha.

gti mods are as follows;
-h&r coilovers
-remus muffler
-2.5in exhaust
-c2 motorsports chip
-sai delete
-powerhaus sai plug
-aluminum crack pipe
-prothane control arm bushings
-HD strut bushings
-mk4 rear calipers
-SS braided rear brake lines
-bfi stealth series motor mounts
-euro bumpers front n rear
-textured side moldings
-new rear pads, rotors, bearings

my wife hates my gti due to it being a money pit hahaha. anyways. great thread. cant wait to get my scooby and throw on a 22mm rsb

-Buddy
 

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2001 Subaru impreza 2.5RSsedan
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51 Posts
All the same things that go on 2.2 and 2.5 NA models will work on 1.8s. The only difference will be with your MAF or MAP sensor on your intake (although, I'd assume all 1.8s would be MAF, but check). Everything else is the same.
what about the other way? 1.8 parts on a 2.5?
 

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2001, 2.5RS, Silver
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16 Posts
Although the stock brakes will lock up the tires. They are not designed for multiple back to back high speed stops, and will be more prone to overheating and fading.

Granted, an aftermarket pad will help reduce fade under spirited driving due to a hotter operating range compound. They are a not ideal for street use as they take longer to achieve an ideal operating temperature under normal braking. Because of this, braking performance may be worse under normal driving rather than better.

Your brakes need to be tuned to the conditions like everything else. Track pads work great on the track, but don't stop well on the street, will squall and have excessive dust. Street pads will overheat and fail on the track. One advantage of aftermarket calipers is that they are designed to allow for quick pad changes without removing the caliper. This allows you the ability to change out pads for an event. Now I'm not telling you to run out and buy aftermarket wheels and huge Brembos. But rather to not throw track pads on your street car. You WILL make your brakes worse.

Next is the heat load your calipers and rotors can withstand. Stock components are designed for commuting and are not adequate or designed to shed the heat of back to back high speed stops. The rotors will warp or crack, and the calipers will spread.

I would say that for anyone looking to drive their car hard, brakes deserve the most investment. Simply adding larger calipers and rotors not only increases the braking force, it also increases the thermal load that the brakes can handle with thicker larger rotors and beefier calipers. Better braking can even be achieved with a lower heat range pad due to the larger surface area, and the better thermal capacity of the larger rotors.

Not only will your car be safer, the less time you spend in the brakes, the more time you can spend in the throttle. Better brakes are paramount to faster lap times.

You say that your not going to overheat your stock brakes? Then put away your wallet. Because your not going to drive fast or hard enough to outdrive the stock suspension either. You might as well save your money for more type R stickers from vato zone because your modding like a poser..a.k.a. ricer.
Maintenance should come before brakes. Trying to corner fast on worn out hundred thousand mile bushings is rediculous. So you lowered your car and have a rear swaybar...great. Now do you have the slightest idea what all those adjustments do? Of course not. But subjectively all that new stuff is better than the worn to hell oem stuff you took off...maybe.

Which is the next best mod...you. Learn how to drive fast. Learn how to tune suspension and why you want to replace this stuff, and what your goals are. Everyone thinks they can drive like a legend but chances are most of you can't even make a respectable lap on the stock suspension. Pick up Herb Adams chassis engineering...read it. Go to some educational track days. Everyone will thank you for not being a punk and endangering lives while living your fantasy of being Ricky Bobby along side mom taking her kids to daycare.

Bushings...they are cheap, underrated, and transform a car. Stock ones are made to reduce nvh (noise vibration and harshness) and there for are squishy and compliant. Stiff bushings reduce deflection and keep your wheels pointed where you want them. Engine and transmission mounts provide direct power transfer to the wheels, and better driver feedback. When you hit the loud pedal and your engine is flopping around like an epileptic, your wasting power and response making it flop around...replace your worn out bushings.

Now that you know what your doing, your brakes haven't failed and put you into your neighbor or a tree, and your cars not worn out with clunking suspension and a floppy engine...tune your suspension. Notice I didn't say spend money on aftermarket stuff? What negative characteristic are you trying to correct or improve upon? If you don't know, then bow your head in shame and recognize that you may be a ricer. If you do know, then congratulate yourself and buy the correct, beneficial component to achieve your goal. Do you know that swaybars not only negate roll, but increasing the rear bar diameter corrects the stock tendency to understeer by inducing a little oversteer? Did you know too large swaybars can hurt handling by not allowing the wheels to act independent of one another?

Read, learn, maintain, then modify with an intended outcome. Build the foundation before rushing to put the roof on. Your automotive ignorant aquantences will be astounded by the poser shiny stuff and your spending power for all of two minutes, but the hardcore enthusiasts will quietly poke fun of overzealous, nonsensical modifications, and only appreciates and respects those who put in the research and time to earn their respect. That said, This is one of the most rewarding hobbies with some of the best people I've ever met, so its worth doing it right.

Just thought this thread lacked some fundementals. Hope this helps.
 

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'04 PSM WRX Premium
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8,339 Posts
Discussion Starter · #206 ·
Not only will your car be safer, the less time you spend in the brakes, the more time you can spend in the throttle. Better brakes are paramount to faster lap times.
I'm not sure that's what this thread is about. If you are going for "faster lap times" and are worried about a few milliseconds on or off the throttle/brakes then you've come to the wrong thread. You shouldn't be budget building anything if that's what you're doing.

I agree with what a lot of Ghost2.5 said. I still have to disagree on the part about "do you need upgraded rotors/calipers". Now, I'm not arguing that upgrading these won't increase your braking (clamping) force, but what I will argue is are these needed.

For most people, commuting, 'spirited driving', autocrossing... upgrading these are not needed. Take for example autocrossing. Anytime I autocross, even with performance summer tires, I can still lock up the brakes and engage the ABS. So there is enough clamping force to lock up the brakes. Therefore, I need better tires or a hotter pavement/tire at that time.

So yes, it is true that if I upgraded the caliper to let's even say gold Brembos... I'd still have the same issue and not stop any sooner. I will experience less heat fade however. I know you state that if you're not overheating your brakes, you're not driving hard enough. My question is, where are you doing this at?? haha

For real though - I can see at a track, sure, but for anyone else.. autocross, spirited driving, etc.. I have no idea how you can get them that hot. Maybe if you live in CA and do "canyon runs" and those sort of activities.. fine, maybe with extreme temps and if you go hard for a while.. but that's comparable to light track driving.

Onto the part about the swaybars for another example. Yes, too large of swaybars can hurt you. But anyone putting even 22mm+ bars on a stock suspension... that's going to be overkill and do just what Ghost said.. decrease handling. That's why I recommend a 20mm from the WRX, especially for starters, even with a stock suspension.

But I do appreciate the input. I agree that at a higher level of driving, upgraded bushings, bigger brakes, and a highly tuned suspension will net you better lap times with much more $$$ involved. You will shave a few seconds here and there, improve safety, and have a better time on the track. I just don't think shaving off seconds is what many who come to this thread are looking for :D
 

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2001, 2.5RS, Silver
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Your brakes need to be tuned to the conditions like everything else. Track pads work great on the track, but don't stop well on the street, will squall and have excessive dust. Street pads will overheat and fail on the track. One advantage of aftermarket calipers is that they are designed to allow for quick pad changes without removing the caliper. This allows you the ability to change out pads for an event. Now I'm not telling you to run out and buy aftermarket wheels and huge Brembos. But rather to not throw track pads on your street car.
I completely agree with you in regards to auto cross setup. That is why I said that brakes need to be tuned to the conditions.
Hell, stock brakes can lock up race slicks. Doesn't mean they're adequate for a racecar. The issue is repeatability.

Your not sure what my post is about? I'm not sure exactly what your disagreeing about?
Please reread my original post. I never stated that "If your not overheating your stock brakes, then your not driving hard enough." This statement is out of context.
 

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2005 Impreza 2.5RS
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35 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!
To start, click here! link takes me to the same page?..
 

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05, RS, Silver
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26 Posts
Hey I'm shopping for sway bars locally and what they have are Whiteline BSR36Z 22 mm diameter.
I drive a 05 rs with stock suspension.
The bsr are going for $243.01
Foot notes: heavy duty, 3 point blade adjustable, replacement stabilizer bar and bushings. With O.E stabilizer bar.

Material: spring steel
With links: No
With mount: yes
With mounting hardware: no

Should I keep shopping or seal the deal with these? Eventually I want to put new struts and lowering springs nothing to low.
 

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1998 subaru Impreza, red
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Starting of something..

hey there, i saw this was for newbies so i figured i should start here.
i was looking for some help. recently (as of july last year) i bought a 98 impreza with a 2.2L 4 door, that has become my project. well the only problem is i get to the point im kinda stuck. i have a list of what i need to get done to get it to where i want it. but i get over whelmed some times and feel i should just get rid of it. could someone help get me started on what i should be looking into to get this budget build going?:help:
 

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is it just me? everytime i click the link it opens a new tab and brings me to the same first page.

I've tried Chrome, FireFox and Edge.

Thanks!
 

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I did not read through all the previous comments but my understanding with bigger brake calipers/rotors is consistency not stopping power. Bigger rotors are able to dissipate more heat quicker. The same logic applies to slotted or drilled rotors. All this to say that your points still stand, for a daily driver none of these things are necessary and trade unneeded performance for cash that can be used elsewhere.
 
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