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Discussion Starter #1
I have several questions about modifying the STi... hopefully somebody will be able to answer them. I know they're probably all questions that have been asked before, but any help would be appreciated.

1. What brand/model of exhaust system is the best performance-wise? Are any of the aftermarket systems truly better than the stock system? I know some cars actually *lose* hp when their exhausts are switched out.
2. What brand/model front-mount intercooler is the best? I plan on keeping the stock turbos and will not be using a boost controller.
3. What size/brand/model downpipe is the best?
4. Will my three planned engine modifications (exhaust, intercooler + associated piping, and downpipe) void my warranty or portions of it?
5. Has anybody compared the stock stereo with aftermarket components in the same price range? Could I build a better stereo myself with $1200? I would want tweeters, mids, subs, and a 6-disc in-dash changer (which can be added to the STi by Subaru, I know), but I'd like some input from those who have heard the stock stereo and have extensive knowledge about aftermarket components.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Maybe I'll tackle this.
1. Hard to say whats "best" What do you want loud or quiet ? Do you want looks ? I hear the Turboxs systems perform well. I hear the Greddy performs well for as quiet as it is. Subaru now offers an upgrade exhaust as well that is a 3" stainless catback made for them by Bosal ( not sure how good it is anyone seen or heard it yet ? )

2.It comes down to what you want really, but if you are running the stock turbo you would be better off driveability wise to stick with top mount. This topic has been hashed out many times before. Perrin makes a huge front mount for the 04 STi. I think Dan at godspeed is installing an aps front mount on his, he is also upgrading the turbo.

3. Another topic without a clearcut answer. I have the Invidia and it works for me. Godspeeds pipe is nice and has built in cel prevention. I would say for max performance a catless 3" downpipe would be the ticket.

4.Depends on if said modifications caused a failure, is so then yes. If you cannot afford to play than don't risk it. Doing minor mods and having good ties with a mod friendly dealer would be in your favor.

5.I had a 2002 wrx before my STi. In my opinion the stock stereo sounds like crap, but I have an ear for SQ. I would think for 1200 you could put together a nice setup. Shop around and ask yourself what you expect out of the stereo. If all you listen to is talk radio the stock is fine. If you listen to anything else go aftermarket. I personally have Alpine components in mine. 9807 hu, xm radio, changer, type-r 6.5 components front, 4" coax rear, 10" RF HE2 sub, Amplified of course, Soundstream for high end bazooka 500w monblock for sub. Bottom line it works for me.

Hope this helps
Shawn
 
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I'll add a bit, but scooby71 covered the bases pretty well:

1. Aftermarket exhausts are adding between 20-30hp across the board, almost all of them are completley catless.

2. if you are not upgrading the turbo or anything else, switching to a FMiC is completely unnecessary. You will be doing this for looks only, and probably will see a performance hit overall.

3. no opinion, other than make sure it has a bellmouth or divorced wastegate pipe.

4. yes it will almost certainly void your warranty, talk to your dealer first.

5. for 1200 you can do a hell of a lot better than the stock stereo. Check out the threads in the forums of what other people have done for ideas.
 
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