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SPT/STI Parts - Subaru-approved modifications

Well, I took the plunge yesterday. After two months with a brand-new STI, I decided I just couldn't live with it on a daily basis, and I switched to a WRX Limited. Yes, say what you will (about me being a wuss or losing a lot of money -- trust me, I know about both already, and I feel terrible for driving and then dumping the car!), but I'm already a lot happier with the new car.

I'm considering making a few very minor modifications to the WRX, but with the following conditions:

- I want Subaru-sanctioned parts ONLY, to be installed by the dealer. No aftermarket. No warranty voiding. So I'd be fishing from the SPT or STI parts bins. This includes the sound system.

- I don't want anything that's going to make the WRX take on the characteristics of the STI that I didn't care for, such as the harsh ride, raw-sounding/feeling powertrain, road noise, touchy clutch/shifter, worse gas mileage, etc.

- I like the looks of my car (wheels, spoiler, etc.). I have no desire to add or change anything external.

So this limits me to some pretty basic modifications, and I'm fine with that. I'm wondering if anybody has any experience with, or insight into, the following:

- A salesperson at the dealer told me I could have the STI's xenon headlight kit installed, since the bodies are identical, and it wouldn't hurt my warranty. The WRX has a spare switch plug where the STI's headlight leveler control was, so would that be installed also? Any clue how much this would cost?

- I want the stereo head unit and aux audio input from the 2007's once they come out. I'm sure the head unit is easily swappable between 2006/2007, but can the aux input be installed in the "ashtray" compartment as it is in the 2007?

- I was reading in the SPT online catalog about how you can get a 18-hp/20-lb-ft-torque increase from the combined effect of the SPT high-flow air intake, heat shield, and cat-back performance exhaust system. How much louder will this make the car? Will it hurt fuel efficiency? Will it shorten engine/turbo life?


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    * I bet the HIDs would end up costing a fortune. Probably a grand or two, is my guess.

    * Again, if you're willing to spend the cash, I'm sure this is possible, but it may not be practical

    * The intake usually replaces the silencer and that definitely adds noise. The exhaust, too. I'm afraid you may be going in the wrong direction if you wanted a more civilized car to begin with. I doubt it would hurt fuel efficiency unless you constantly used the extra power, or engine life, since Subaru is very conservative about what they market here in the US.

  • Thanks for the info.

    The HID's would be nice, but not for that much money :). Too bad the STI is the only Impreza to get them so far.

    I think I'll wait til the dealer gets '07 WRX's on the lot and see what the stereo setup looks like. They already have an STI limited which probably looks about the same. I'm hoping if all the bays and panels are the same from 2006 to 2007, the aux input jack could be wedged in. It's funny, I go from a single CD player in the Maxima to a 6-CD changer and already I want more music.

    I wouldn't mind if the powertrain had a little more attitude. My main gripes with the STI stemmed from the suspension, fuel efficiency, and reduced sound insulation (coupled with those loud tires).

    I'm actually astonished at how quiet and smooth the 2.5 turbo is in the WRX. Granted, I'm still breaking it in so I haven't wound it up yet, but even my friend's $50,000 A6 2.7t is more raucous. Eh, maybe I'll just keep it that way. I like how the WRX Limited does a decent impersonation of a cute little luxury sport sedan.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    * I bet the HIDs would end up costing a fortune. Probably a grand or two, is my guess.

    And, I believe it is still illegal to swap out the OEM halogens for the HIDs. I mean to say, if it didn't come standard or a factory option, you can't have it.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    If you can get your hands on the JDM STI TBE, it'll be good;
    then get the ECU reflashed.
    The SPT exhaust [Borla] would not make the car much louder at all.

  • That's odd though because the dealer is totally willing to do the replacement for me. But it would be ridiculously expensive, so I'm not planning on doing it anytime soon.

    As it is, I still need to go back and have the homelink mirror installed. My STI had it and I caaaaan't liiiiive withooooout it.
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Actually I get significantly better mileage in the WRX no matter how I drive (or how I drove the STI)...

    And my whole point is I don't want to do any non-manufacturer modifications. So adding my own sound-deadening material or my own MP3 player jack would be against that idea.

    And I'd only want to add new parts to my new car so junk salvage would not be an option for me as a source...
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Even though SPT/STI parts are built by Subaru of Japan, they are not sold for US subarus through official Subaru channels, are they ? I believe they are imported into the US through non-official aftermarket channels and will not be warranteed by Subaru dealers, even if they are willing to install them. Maybe the exhaust or so may be through official channels but that has little if any impact, on the driveability or performance. I could be wrong and things may have changed in the recent past...

    The SPT suspension parts will introduce a harsh ride to your stock WRX. A couple of friends of mine have installed those parts and even though it sharpens handling response a bit, it is pretty harsh when compared to the stock setup. One of them has put on max performance summer tires and the ride is bone-jarring.

    I personally feel you should have kept your STi. People who know about these things, realise that the STi is a completely different beast from the WRX, even though on the surface both employ a similar 2.5L turbo engine and both have AWD. In fact, the WRX is closer to its 2.5i brethren (other than the turbo engine and the rear viscous LSD), than the STi, surprising as that sounds.

    The few thousands that you pay additional for the STi over the WRX Ltd is worth every penny and more. The more powerful engine, the MUCH beefier 6-speed transmission, Front/center/rear high-end mechanical differentials, HIDs, MUCH beefier/durable/sharper-responding/stiffer world-class suspension that is tailored for the high-end differentials, high-performance Brembo brakes, high-end BBS alloy wheels, Quicker steering Rack and ratio, again tailored for the sharper responses from the high-end suspension etc, etc, etc. JMHO.
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Hmm ... well something must have gotten confused in the thread ... my initial point was that I had no interest in changing my car's suspension. Only air intake/output parts like the SPT exhaust components which, it seems pretty well agreed (here and with the dealer), can increase power substantially. (And possibly small "accessory details" like the HID's, etc.)

    But no, I have no interest in otherwise changing the car's drivability. I wanted the WRX ride. I also prefer the appearance details (the decklid spoiler, the WRX wheels). The WRX transmission is also a lot more user friendly than the STI's, although that could be related to the stiff/notchy short-throw shifter option my STI had, which my WRX does not have.

    Oh, and I'm getting better gas mileage than I expected. The published 18/24 for the STI vs. the 20/26 for the WRX is deceptive. I'm typically getting 4 mpg more with the WRX.

    Honestly though, after a couple months, it's highly unlikely I'm going to modify the WRX at all. Looking at what I still owe on the car, my financial interests would be better served by just paying it off.
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Looking at what I still owe on the car, my financial interests would be better served by just paying it off.

    I heartily agree with this assessment. Enjoy your car. The only 'modding' I would make if I were you, would be to change the tires that came on the car. Nothing else.
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    I heartily agree with this assessment. Enjoy your car. The only 'modding' I would make if I were you, would be to change the tires that came on the car. Nothing else.

    I'm still sorely tempted to get the Homelink/auto-dimming/compass rear-view mirror accessory installed. My STI had it and my WRX has only the auto-dimming/compass mirror. After a couple months with Homelink I'm spoiled by the convenience and I miss it :) (and the storage is so limited inside that car, it would be nice to have one fewer item -- my garage door clicker -- cluttering it up).

    But then again that's not really a modification per se. Just an option present on some vehicles and not others.

    The jury is still out on that one anyway. And I don't mind the tires. At least, as all-season tires, they should last a while.
  • I have had my 2002 for 5 years now and let me tell you that I know where you are coming from with the "only factory mods" sentiment. I used to feel the same way but realize Ive just been a puss so I started doing my own mods, I suggest if you do the same... screw the warrenty, you wont need it (trust me, the wrx is rock solid). BUT I have to say that the wrx is a performance car at heart and I just dont understand why you wouldve shunned the sti for a wrx... thats just rediculous. If I wanted a more tame luxurious ride I would get an infiniti or a bmw. My .02 cents
  • srt8usrt8u Posts: 5
    I was concerned on my WRX about exhaust noise, so I got the electric exhaust system. I love it! Plus my girlfriend will ride in my car again since I reinstalled my original exhaust back on. I totally control how loud I want it and it pulls like crazy when it's fully opened up! I got from
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In my experience the heat of your exhaust kills these electric cutouts in short order. Not to mention they are completely illegal for street use.

  • I have a 93 impreza L m/t 1.8L and would like it to become an ej20t dohc turbo. will this ever happen, and if so how much is it likely to cost in time and expense? this is not something I expect to happen immediately or even soon but figure i should start asking experts now before im neck deep in an engine switch that will never work
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    8k-10k to make it into a 2.0 WRX beast. That's soup to nutz, worst case scenario. But there is a lot to take into account on doing a swap.

  • Can anyone help me with the question of charging a / c? I have a 2003 Subaru Legacy and had front damage repaired. Apparently, the store did not bother to put the a / c freon labels the ability to return to the new front end parts. I'm doing a recharge a / c, and not know the capacity of freon to the system A / C. How much amount of freon needs to be..

    clicker , garage door clicker
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