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2004 FXT 5MT
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367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What should be my first mod to improve my performance?
I am on a budget and will only be doing one of these initially.

It is a bone stock 04 FXT 4EAT.

Cobb AP
Uppipe
Downpipe
Intercooler
Intake
Exhaust
etc.
 

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none none
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8,844 Posts
Rear sway bar, $30 for an sti rear bar was the best bang for the buck. I did the sti catless uppipe + silicone intercooler piping + snorkus removal and it gave a nice improvement to throttle response and spool but mostly did that while i was in doing other work. I felt that stock its quick enough to get me into a decent amount of trouble. If I was going for more power I would do tune + downpipe, but that seems to lead down the road of expensive power mods and continually upgrading and never quite being satisfied.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,793 Posts
My approach may differ from most here on the forum. IMO, power MODding comes last. :wink:
Here's my list, since I don't know know what you already have. :wink:
  • The first thing I'd do is any scheduled maintenance that you suspect wasn't done.
  • Next I'd have the glass tinted.
  • Then to upgrading the sound system.
  • I like gauges, so this would be a good time for that.
  • About now you're thinking, "I can't hear my exhaust!" A nice Magnaflow axle back is
    inexpensive & will bring a smile to your face.
  • Got to have nice wheels & if you need tires, here's your chance to move up to a taller wheel & performance rubber!
  • Now that you've got cool wheels & sticky tires, it's time for an upgraded front & rear sway bar.
  • By now you've decided what power MODding you're going to do & the MODding parts box is overflowing. That means it's time for the next step! :cool:
Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,793 Posts
Was the COBB AccessPORT given to you? If not, I'd guess your ECM has been restored to stock & the AccessPORT has been unmarried from your ECM. If this wasn't done, the AccessPORT couldn't be resold or reused on another vehicle. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2003 xt forester
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71 Posts
Gut you uppipe and downpipe, then put a manual bleed on and wind it up to 14psi. Will make a hell of a difference, you wont have to put up with the sound of the engine 24/7 and will cost $30.
 

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Premium Member
07 Forester XT
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6,760 Posts
Cobb AP
Uppipe
Downpipe
Intercooler
Intake
Exhaust


#1 mod on ANY car is tires. /end thread.


In the end, whatever you do to a car its all transferred through the tires onto the road surface . The XT comes with gawd-awfull Geolanders whcih are less than sufficient for the power it puts out stock. Upgrading the power just makes it worse. I'm willing to bet you'd be faster around the track with just a simple tire upgrade than with installing every single part you just listed above.

The bonus with a tire upgrade is

- immediate performance upgrade you'll feel right away
- increased safety
- won't void warranty or insurance
- won't get you pulled over by the cops
- won't blow up your car, only tuning you need to do is keep them properly inflated.
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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8,566 Posts
Gut you uppipe and downpipe, then put a manual bleed on and wind it up to 14psi. Will make a hell of a difference, you wont have to put up with the sound of the engine 24/7 and will cost $30.
Gutting the stock parts (apart from the security of not having a cat in the up-pipe to fail) is pretty pointless, you have to make sure you are scrupulous in cleaning the up-pipe of debris and the flow losses are very similar to leaving the cat in as the bulk of the flow restriction with a cat is the expansion and contraction, not the passage of gasses through the brick anyway.

Simon
 

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2004 Subaru FXT MT
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1,841 Posts
#1 - catless uppipe

^^If we are only considering power upgrades. Can do this without a tune. If you still want to avoid a tune, you can add the following...

Y-pipe
turbo inlet
CAI

^^These are not the best bang for the buck, but you can avoid tuning up to this point.

Best bang for the buck mod is a downpipe, but that requires tuning.

Personally, if I were to do it again, to save time, money, and effort, don't do anything right now. Figure out what you want in the end, save up the money, and do it all at once. (speaking to the power mods)
 

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2004 FXT 5MT
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367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Out of the following brands, what uppipe would be the best choice?

Cobb
Injen
Perrin
Turbo XS
Helix
APS
or should I just gut the factory one

Also which downpipe would be the best?
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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There are a million opinions about what makes the best up-pipe, but no definitive answer. The Cobb and Perrin uppipes are small in diameter, and rigid in construction. A lot of people believe the small diameter is good for quick spool on small turbos, like the stock TD04. The TurboXS piece is large in diameter and has a flex section. The flex section is supposed to help prevent leaks and make installation easier. The large diameter is supposed to be good for make more power with a big turbo. The stock pieces have a flex section and a heat shield, but the internal path is filled with lots of bends and turns which might impact the flow to the turbo, but whether it is significant enough to make a huge difference is not certain.
 

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2004 FXT 5MT
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367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are you sure its as bone stock as you think? Check around the turbo area and see if theres any exposed piping or if it looks like any heatshields have been altered or removed.
The turbo heatshields have been removed but the stock up/downpipes are in place. Im guessing that it has been modded/demodded or has had some maintenance done without replacing the shields.

Also, I get a CEL for my EGT randomly.
Ive checked to make sure that it wasnt glowing hot.
I think I need to install a catless up/ resistor mod.

Any thoughts?
 
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