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Just bought a 2002 Impreza 2.5 RS which I love But like everything I own it won't be long till it gets modded. I notice allot of people on this board dumping TONS of cash into their Scoobies but is it really worth it? I'd hate to throw a $5K turbo at my '02 and get spanked by some 16yr old kid in a hopped up Rust-tang. I bought my RS because I felt it was fun to drive and for the price difference between it and the WRX I could buy/build a turbo for less and spank the WRX setup for less. I already have a bike that no one local seems to wanna run so should I build the Scoobie for da' style or da' quarter mile? Be real with me guys, what can I expect with maybe a $5k build up? What should the build up route be(if any)?
 

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04 STI silver\silver
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For 5K would be the minimum I would spend on a turbo and be comfortable with it. I would say intake, exhaust and some suspension work (rear swaybar) to start. Subaru’s went made for the ¼ IMHO autocrosses and some twisties and I leave the domestics behind everytime. Don’t get me wrong you can do a lot with the EJ25 but to turbo it reliably and safely will cost you. Check out Cobb for some go fast goodies you could get the stage 3 NA build up but you still may have a problem with the mustangs and firebirds

http://cobbtuning.com/impreza/
 

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Two Mini Coopers!
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I would say for $5k you could do a very nice turbo build up, but do it right. Get a J&S and don't run much more than 5-8 PSI on stock internals. You'll need a clutch, too, so don't forget that, and be gentle on second gear!!!
 

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The EJ25 is a stronger engine over the EJ20. As the saying goes, there's no replacement for displacement. The EJ25 will need some work put into it (cams, pistons, piston rings, valves, springs, etc.). If you're considering swapping into a WRX, I'd say stay with the EJ25 and use the WRX conversion money to work on the engine and turbo it! There's already WRX's out there in the USA that uses the EJ25 (Cobb's WRX for example uses a turboed and nitroused EJ25 allowing them to break into the 9 secs for the 1/4). Also, "Modified Magazine" has an article on a EJ25 buildup.
 

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You said you bought it because it seems fun to drive. And because the price difference (and difference in insurance) would make it easier to build up the engine. If thats the case, then I don't think you should care what some punk kid in a POS "rust-ang" that only goes straight, thinks. I wouldn't build it for style, or for drag either. I would accentuate the things that make it fun to drive. IE, good street suspension, some sort of power mod (turbo or N/A w/ heads, cams, tuning). I dunno, I guess my point is that you should build it up for YOU..not to prove anything to some 16 y.o.

-Andy
 

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Well I can tell you what I've done (and doing) to give you an idea:

First, as the previous poster said, I wanted to accentuate the "fun to drive" aspect since that's what sold me on the car. If I wanted pure zooom I would have bought a mustang.

- Front sway bar, rear sway bar, endlinks, end mount
- whiteline anti-lift kit
- kartboy short shifter

This made TONS of difference and made it SO much fun! I had it professionally installed and I think total (tax, labor, parts, etc) was around $750, all at once

Then I did some power stuff:
- under drive pulley
- Cobb cat-back
- intake

I did this over a period of a couple months in the order listed. Personally I might recommend doing it in reverse order although I did really feel the pulley and enjoyed it. Total for those parts was probably around $1100, you could definately find these parts cheaper ($800... and if you got local muffler shop to do catback probably half that).

I then did suspension: JIC Coilovers. This was $1700. Unfortunately, where I work is a warzone basically by looking at the roads, so I am going to a softer approach (probably Eibach springs + sti top hots + stock struts) , this would be about $500. Then some tires ($400).

So! What do we have here?
Basic Suspension = $700
Basic Power = $1000
Basic Suspension Stage 2 = $900

So that's $2600 for a nice ~180hp, very nicely driving car!

If your goal is $5000 personally I would do an NA setup. I would add to this stuff:
headers ($300-$600)
highflo-cat ($250)
cams (~$300-400)
heads (??? a lot)

This would prolly be about another $2000. Now you're up to $4600 which will probably bring you close to $5000 goal after labor.

With all that you'd be at an equivant Cobb Stage 3 car (estimated at around 160hp at the wheels -- NOT bad) and very nice handling!

******
The only reason I say NA is that as others have noted, $5k is how much a *good* turbo setup would be which is your entire budget. I would rather have slightly less power (you'd be just ever so slightly slower than a stock wrx which usually dynos at 165hp at the wheels give or take) and better handling.. an all around package.

But as always, figure out what your goals are, do a lotta research, ask questions, and you'll enjoy your car!

Good luck! :)
 

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My opinion is if you are looking for a kick ass drag car you made the wrong choice, should have gotten a Camaro or something. Do some stuff to accentuate the fun to dive aspect of the car. I did front and rear sway bars, front and rear strut tower braces, anti-lift kit, springs, and rear a sway bar link kit. The thing is on railroad tracks for like $800. I have been trying to get it to get loose on this one freeway interchange for a week and at 90 (the sighs reads 45) last night it stayed put like it was tied down. Now that’s fun! An intake and a good exhaust will give you more balls but don’t expect to blow the doors off any V8 cars. I see it all the time at auto-x and on canyon run the WRX dudes with all this shit under their hood turning way shitty times and falling back because they didn’t pay attention to suspension. Don’t try to out power every one else, out drive them with the help of some good suspension. I read a book about how to build a road racing car a few years ago and there was more emphasis on suspension and tire selection than on the how to get ponies out of the engine.
 
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