Tag Archives: GR

Color-changing LED Turn Signal Bulbs for 2008-2014 WRXs & STIs

These LEDs are pretty cool. It solves the issue of wanting white LED turn signal bulbs but also wanting to stay legal (not having orange turn signals is illegal in many (if not all) states).

The link to order these bulbs is here.

They are normally $59.99 a pair, though. Note that they’re currently marked down to $49.99 for the normal set and $79.99 for the mega-bright set(as of 9/4/2014).

UPDATE:  Note that if you use these LEDs, you’re going to need an LED-capable blinker relay…that’s the case with any upgrade to LEDs.  It can be found here (same site).  The price is $19.99, as of 10/7/2014.

It might be time to update the wish list!

STI: Hatch vs. Sedan

OK, so even though the WRX and STI are no longer offered in hatch form, there’s still infighting going on in the Subaru world regarding what’s the better offering:  hatches or sedans.  Here’s my take on things.  Note that this isn’t meant to offend.  If you’ve thick skin, please understand that this is just an opposing opinion…the internet is full of such things.

Now, the key word that hatch owners throw out is practicality.  What is practicality without relating to a Merriam-Webster’s definition?  It relates to utility, usability, and “all-around” (as in jack-of-all-trades).  For those that want the true definition, you can see it here.

I’m going to throw out a few thoughts on practicality:

  • Practicality is only important if you care about it (ie, it is a subjective issue).
  • For a lot of people, practicality isn’t really a requirement.
  • Jacks-of-all-trade type of cars are best at nothing…practicality means compromising.
  • If I wanted true practicality, I wouldn’t be looking at a performance car.

There’s far more to a practical car than having space.  That’s why I got a sedan.  Before I got the STI, I had a quad cab truck…you can’t get any more practical than that, IMO.  I associate practicality with being frugal.  Again, the key words are utility, usability, and “all-around”.  I’ve said this before: I grew up one step from being dirt poor and I’ve always pinched my pennies, so I actually know what practicality is.  It means something different than what most Scoobie owners are thinking when using the word, for sure.  I was so bad with the practicality mindset that I’ve always had problems buying performance cars…if I bought them, they’d have to be low-priced in the extreme, because practicality surely has a money factor…most people don’t relate practicality with a $400 car note, for example.  I had to force myself out of that mindset when I bought the STI, otherwise I’d have never bought even the hatch version.  I never thought of getting a hatch for additional space.  I initially considered the hatch only because it looked better designed (the back end flows better with the rest of the car…that’s not so with the sedan, IMO).

If I’m looking for truly practical cars, I’m probably not going to be looking at a car with a mid-$30K price tag that gets 16-17 MPG in the city and requires a tire swap in snowy/icy/cold weather, $100 oil change services, and other expensive periodical maintenance (from my understanding, brake rotors are NOT cheap, for example) because it takes a lot more than extra space to be considered practical, IMO. Insurance prices for these cars surely isn’t anywhere near practical. None of what I mention hints at practicality.

These are just my opinions, though. I fully expect someone to be offended by this because that tends to be the nature of the interwebz and Scoobie hatch owners tend to be overly sensitive about such things.  I mean no insult by this, but if people are willing to put out their thoughts on why hatches are better, they should expect to receive an opposing opinion and be able to accept a different view of things.

Do Cat-backs Add Power?

Most people think that cat-back exhausts don’t offer substantial power.  When compared to a turbo-back exhaust, no, but axle-backs DO offer torque.  The thing is, most tuners don’t test for this and just make blatant assumptions.

Well, there’s at least one parts manufacturer that does test axlebacks:  Nameless Performance.

Here’s what I saw a year ago on their Facebook page:



That car gained 30 ft-lb of torque.  That’s rather significant, especially considering that this car wasn’t tuned…they just bolted on a catback and dyno’d it!  And if you haven’t looked at the comments within that FB post, take a look:

FB User:  Wow…that’s a very good gain for just a catback! And without a tune! Says a lot about the stock parts…LOL! Nameless should post that up at IWSTI, because all I ever hear there is that catback exhausts don’t add performance. Now, will GRs have a similar gain? I’ve the axleback…makes me want to replace some more bits.

Nameless Performance, Inc.:  Well that’s some bs from what we’ve seen on our design – unless there is some serious shortcoming on other companies exhausts. I know our downpipe thumps on the competition for torque gains, but this was just a cbe with a stock downpipe and no tune. Will have more data forthcoming on full turboback with OTS S2 as well as our specific OTS S2 tune for these cars. Think we can hit 70ft lb? We shall see.  Downpipe goes on tomorrow.

FB User:  I’m quite happy with the CBE results, since I’m currently trying not to mod the engine. Maybe the other companies exhausts DO have shortcomings, but you guys just proved to me that, sometimes, internet forums are a crock of shit. I’m sure you can hit 70 ft/lb, because you’re almost halfway there already!

Nameless Performance, Inc.:  Yeah I mean the total numbers on this CBE for peak HP gain are 12hp, but we make 17hp at 3100RPM and 29.5 ft lb at the same RPM range. I honestly think it’s a situation where CBE manufacturers don’t do the testing for the most part, so they don’t have any information to share which leads to people having to assume low power gains due to no advertised dyno results. I do think this one is particularly good, however.


FB User: How much gain on a 2011 wrx full catback ?

Nameless Performance, Inc.:  32ft lb / 22hp at the wheels for the ’11 Full Catback. That was dyno’d with a stage 1 ots tune for the baseline and no deviation from that tune on the equipped with cbe pull. This testing on the GD is stock vs. add CBE.

I thought I’d posted about this before, but I couldn’t find the post.  It may’ve predated this blog.  I also thought I’d seen a post referring to axle-back gains, but I’m still looking for that one (took me 50 minutes to find the first one).

Mishimoto Cold Air Intake for 2008-2014 STI



This cold air intake (CAI) is a bit different than that’s currently on the market for the GR/GV STIs.  What’s different?  Your vehicle doesn’t need to be tuned for it to be used on your car, nor does it need to used with a Cobb AP OTS tune.  In most cases, CAIs for Subarus are not plug-n-play.  So when I saw the above URL posted within the IWSTI forums, I immediately had questions, such as ‘how did they do this?’.

Here is an engineering writeup of the product (by Mishimoto engineers).  It is actually pretty thorough.  Another cool fact is that it can still be protuned for further gains.  Mishimoto claims,

The maximum gain achieved was about 25 hp and 24 tq at around 5300 rpm, with a peak gain of 12.7 hp and 2 tq. These results are very good for such an easy part to swap out. Increases on average through the power band measured around 20 hp and 18 tq, which would certainly be noticeable to the driver.

Additional notes regarding the air/fuel ratio of a car with this particular CAI:

The Mishimoto CAI follows the stock AFR as the car builds its boost. Once the engine reaches 4000 rpm the car is under full boost, as seen when the Mishimoto CAI starts to differ from the stock unit. The maximum AFR reached was about 11.7:1, but on average the Mishimoto CAI runs about 11.3:1 when under full boost. The stock AFR maxed out at about 11:1 and averaged about 10.5:1 when under full boost. These numbers were consistent throughout multiple runs, which assured the engineers that this CAI can be used every day without harming the engine.

Looks-wise, I like the Nameless Performance CAI better, even though that particular unit still needs a Cobb AP to be used (it can be used with any map that supports the AEM CAI).  Pricing between the NP and Mishimoto CAIs are also very similar.  The NP CAI is $299 and has an arsenal of color choices of the closeout and MAF housing.  The Mishimoto CAI is $313 and only offers 3 colors of the intake piping.

I’m not sure which offers better gains on OTS tuning, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either solution.