Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Subaru / SPT Mods

paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
edited March 2014 in Subaru
Subaru Specific Mods


  • sakurasakura Posts: 4
    Hi All,

    Seriously considering getting the new 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited. I test drove it and found it SUPERB for handling and great acceleration. However, being a huge fan of upgrades :),

    * Are there ANY real modifications available to the Legacy (in the U.S.), from STI (Subaru's awesome racing division)? :)

    I heard about a chip you can add on, that unlocks the full power of the WRX STI engine on the Legacy, but a follow-up question (if this chip exists):

    * Why wouldn't Subaru just have the full power unlocked on the STI engine for the Legacy? Could it be that the Transmission can't handle it? (I'm looking for an Automatic.) Or just horrible fuel economy?

    Thanks in advance for any help on upgrades here! :) I'm willing to import if it works.

    Lastly, any new updates on getting the Audio System replaced w/ Aftermarket? Last time I checked, there are no adequate face plates to cleanly install an aftermarket Audio Systems, sigh.

  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    made the Legacy GT with 300+ hp, it would do several things, I feel: one, it would directly impact the WRX STi market share; two, it may cause many consumers NOT to buy it, since talking the wife into a 250 hp car is one thing, but talking her into a 300 hp version is another; and there's not yet a market for a 300 hp wagon, especially at the price point Subaru is trying to maintain.
  • So aside from marketing issues, are there in fact chips for the Legacy? An online search yielded me no results. I'd like to know if I can add a chip to bump the HP up to 300. I have not purchased a Legacy yet, but I plan to very soon. I want the short throw shifter (I heard the stock shifter has a long throw, much like my current Prelude).

    Crutchfield reps told me there was no aftermarket CD player to fit the Legacy. I guess I will be stuck with a crappy stock unit :-(
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You're not going to get 50HP out of a chip. That's not realistic I don't think. If you really want 50 more HP (reliable, practical HP I mean, not a nitrous bottle), you're going to have to spend some serious money.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    There is a reflashed ECU available for the Subaru Leagcy GT. I think the West Coast EVO/STi Tuner Guru Vishnu sells it. The claim is for 50HP/50LB-Ft Trq. You probably might not get that without some exhaust mods but maybe. Vishnu is pretty highly regarded in the Subaru & EVO tuning camps. I think the 50HP will be pretty noticable if you have a stick, less so with auto.

    There are some brake mods and of course a stiffer rear anti-roll bar to lessen any AWD push. Though the Legacy is pretty good in turns.

    For 32K the fully loaded Legacy is pretty nice. It will be interesting to see if they ever doa magazine compare with the new IS350, M35, A4, V70R, S50. I think it will prove out pretty well.
  • merrycynicmerrycynic Posts: 340
    I'm not the only one here that has been crying out for an STi wagon. As far as I know, Subaru plans on creeping upscale. I think full blown STi wagons in both Impreza and Legacy lines would be just great!
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    but until recently, the market here in the states wouldn't have supported the effort - again, I say YEAH to Sony's Gran Turismo games!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A cat-back exhaust, which you will need on a street car, is only good for 3-4 HP as a rule, so that's not much for what you spend. I bet a cannister type air filtration system (ram-effect) would help. I've heard there are some slick ones coming out of Europe that might get you 7-8HP at high rpm.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    "highly regarded" after Car&Driver write up about their long term Evo.
    Apparently after the "upgrade" car became very trouble prone.



    PS2 It could be true about any tuner not just Vishnu.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well this is what happens with need to shake the bugs out, sometimes over and over again. I thought it was interesting that to gain 82 HP they had to install a new exhaust system, a new turbocharger housing, new camshafts and cam gears, and a remapped engine computer. This is a far cry from just a "chip" for 50 HP.

    We have an EVO out here in the Bay Area that is apparently putting out about 800HP with a stroker kit and all kinds of other radical works. Problem is, the car has no armor shielding and nobody is willing to dyno it---too risky for personnel and liability to the car.

    Sounds like their EVO was running too lean, a common mistake when creating more boost from TC or SC.
  • I want that...

    But $750 for them to perform a few minutes of work on the ECU seems excessive...

    If I could get it for $300 - $500 I would seriously consider it.

    What happens to my factory warranty if I get the ECU reflashed?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think it's toast. Apparently some dealers now have equipment that can tell as soon as they hook up.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    There's some more discussion about various Subbie mods over in Subaru Crew - Modifications II.

    Steve, Host
  • fzanettifzanetti Posts: 7
    I was just curious...

    Was just curious if anyone got his/her 2.5GT a Vishnu ECU refresh?

    How was the feeling? Incredible difference?

    I have drive the WRX with Vishnu ECU refresh Stage Subzero - 265hp, and the punch increase is very noticeable....(talking manual transm here btw).

    Also, does anyone here know how fas the sportshift transmission changes gears???? Both in the S mode and changing gear manually.....

    Any advise is very welcome...

    Thanks in advance guys,


    Flavio Zanetti
    Boston - MA
  • focusdfocusd Posts: 1
    Vishnu all the way, call them and see what they offer. I know fellow Evo owners love that shop and same goes for STI guys.
  • soupboysoupboy Posts: 15
    is the way to go. I had my WRX done at in addition to full, catless race exhaust. I wound up at 215-220 whp&wtq vs. 165-170 bone stock. The difference is amazing particularly with spool up and powerband width.

    Vishnu does the same thing that most Ecutek reseller/installers do. They access your ECU the same way your Subaru tech dept would if you brought it in for repairs - via the OBDII port. Unlikes "chips" or "piggybacks" that require cutting or splicing of OE wiring harnesses there is no physical evidence of a reflashing...nor can they prove it.

    40-50whp and 50-60wtq are common improvement ranges on the current iteration reflashes for the Legacy GT. AWD dyno time plus a new DP might add another 10-15whp/wtq and a new UP maybe 5-10whp/wtq.

    $750 is a BARGAIN for 20%+ power improvements - there is no other bolt-on that can replicate it for the price/value/reliability/warranty issues. You could waste $1-1.5K on a TBE exhaust only to get a loud, smelly car with nominal 10whp/wtq gains.

    As for competition Volvo makes a Type R V70 at 300hp, BMW's 540iT was about 290hp and the S6 Avant was 340hp.

    You could have a sleeper Legacy GT that is faster, more powerful and more reliable than any of the above for <50% of the cost of any of the above.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    "faster, more powerful and more reliable" to describe car that had its ECU modified.
    Did you read the nightmare Car&Driver had with their Vishnu modified Evo?

  • soupboysoupboy Posts: 15
    Evos are notorious for long-term reliability with or w/o reflash.

    I believe this thread is about Subarus. Until I see a good sample of Subie reflashes gone awry I'll stick to facts such as a) I've never had a problem going on 30K+ miles post-reflash on my WRX (knock on wood) and b) I've never seen others have problems.

    Again, I'm talking about just the reflash - not replacing other critical parts such as exhaust, BOV, fuel systems, etc. Also, stories of DIYers messing up their rides don't count either - they should leave this stuff to the pros or keep their whining to themselves.
  • anyone know of any mods for an 00 outback. the idaho speed center told me one way is to find a wrecked wrx or sti and rob it blind for parts. anyone have another solution, if im going to find a wrx or sti, i might as well get a newer one and drive that because im going to spend not too much more for a newer one that hasn't been wrecked


  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Hey, another Outback owner named Steve - nothing new there, but I'm in Idaho too. Mine's a '97 OB Ltd. Join us for the Subaru Chat in about 5 minutes if you are still around. Link is on the left.

    ok, carry on. :-)

    Steve, Host
  • hey mines a Ltd too. fully loaded which makes it a dog. and as for chat ill try to look at it tomorrow. you done anything to yours.
    on another note, do you know of a adaptor for the six disk changer to adapt over to a regular imput on an aftermarket player

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The Subaru Crew chat is a weekly event - almost every Thursday night.

    Mine just putts around town and I barely drive it until Bogus opens. I haven't filled it up since July 1. :-)

    Check out the Sound Systems - Aftermarket & OEM Upgrades discussion for adapter questions.

    Steve, Host
  • Also check out Cobb Tuning; they specialize in Subaru upgrades. They have a Stage 1 kit that is supposed to bump the hp to 290 with just an ECU mod (using a neat AccessECU thingy that lets you choose from a variety of maps, including a "valet" (aka "teenager") map), and they are working on a Stage 2 kit which adds an exhaust kit to the Stage 1 kit for a boost to 305hp. Price for the Stage 1 kit is a bit cheaper than Vishnu, plus you have the ability to flash back the stock map if you need to have warranty work done... :D
  • >Also, does anyone here know how fas the sportshift >transmission changes gears???? Both in the S mode and >changing gear manually.....

    When the SPORTSHIFTs are in S mode the tranny simply shifts at a higher rpm than it normally would.
    When there in manual mode there's a little less than a second delay from when you hit the control (either the shifter or the wheel buttons) to when the car upshifts. Just enough time to plunge the thing into the red >:)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,262
    Does anyone know if the standard radio (on an '06 SE) has an aux jack on the back? I'm considering buying one, and am wondering if I have any options to hardwire an ipod into the head unit, since I hate the way FM modulation works in my area.

    I don't care about anything fancy (like having the radio control anything but volume), I really just want an Aux jack to plug into. If it is there, shouldn't be too hard to pull out the head unit, and fish the wire to someplace convenient. I assume there are kits that will plug right into the ipod and supply power, since there seems to ne an accessory for just about everything else.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • sakurasakura Posts: 4


    Join other Subaru enthusiasts in the Subaru Crew Owners Club!
This discussion has been closed.