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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How's it going fellow Subaru enthusiast. So as the subject title states I'm new to the World of Subaru. I'm a new owner of a 2009 Subaru OB XT. Its a 5spd manual and has 115k miles. The car is in great mechanical and cosmetic condition. With that being said I'd like to keep it that way. I want to do mods that would prolong the life of the turbo and engine. Not looking for a track car. Please forgive me if I sound nieve on here but like I said its my first subaru. Can you all share some recommended mods that would help with reliability and performance that wouldn't be an issue with emissions? I live in California.
Read about removing the Banjo bolt and tossing the filter. Things I've read about and possibly interested in is; oil/air separator, cat back exhaust, down pipe, up pipe, intercooler, waste gate, avcs oil line, digital boost solenoid, cold air intake. Which would you recommend doing or not doing and what manufactures for parts? Would like to avoid tuning if I could but if I had to who would you recommend? Want to do maybe a lift to add some beefier tires/rims and suspension...any recommendations?
Thank you
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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320 Posts
Definitely pull the filter from the turbo feed banjo, right away. Then:

Start by getting a Cobb AccessPort. Cobb's off-the-shelf Stage 1 tune, with no hardware mods, gains you substantial power and is actually much healthier for the engine than the stock tune, which burns the #4 exhaust valves due to excessive leanness.

Drive it for a while. Want more power? Get a catted 3" downpipe and run Cobb's Stage 2 tune, or preferably a pro tune. A stage 2 pro tune is the optimal balance of power and engine safety.

Want more power? That's a whole different conversation.
Until then, no other hardware mods are beneficial, and most are inadvisable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Definitely pull the filter from the turbo feed banjo, right away. Then:

Start by getting a Cobb AccessPort. Cobb's off-the-shelf Stage 1 tune, with no hardware mods, gains you substantial power and is actually much healthier for the engine than the stock tune, which burns the #4 exhaust valves due to excessive leanness.

Drive it for a while. Want more power? Get a catted 3" downpipe and run Cobb's Stage 2 tune, or preferably a pro tune. A stage 2 pro tune is the optimal balance of power and engine safety.

Want more power? That's a whole different conversation.
Until then, no other hardware mods are beneficial, and most are inadvisable.
Thank you for your feedback. I will definitely keep it all under consideration.
What are your thoughts on an exhaust, oil/air separator, cold air intake, and intercooler?
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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Exhaust: assuming you mean the catback, it's just about noise. The factory catback is fine for stage 2, theoretically not a restriction until about 300 WHP. Personally, I like something that flows a bit more at stage 2, the butt dyno feels a difference.

Air/oil separators are popular with the kids. Maybe beneficial, I dunno.

STAY AWAY from aftermarket intakes unless you're going for big power or at the very least getting a custom tune. The added flow runs you lean, which is the enemy of engine life. You could run a Cobb intake with a Cobb Stage 1+ OTS tune, but that's about the only safe CAI solution without a custom tune, and it gains you nothing but noise.

The stock intercooler is fine through stage 2. HOWEVER, I highly recommend a Bulletproof kit, mandatory if you go to stage 2. Look up BarManBean at legacygt.com.
I definitely should have mentioned that above.
 

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2006 Subaru OUtback XT
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Almost any exhaust will require a tune, only exception is the Cat free UP pipe to the turbo.

The Oil/Air separator will work well if you can plumb all the hoses right. Any oil that gets sucked into the PVC system dumps it right into the turbo intake and blows it right into the intercoolers vanes. GUMMY MESS. It also lowers the octain of the air/fuel mix.

Most cold air intakes will require a tune too and really does nothing at less that Stage 2.5 or 3 and above. It does make the car LOUDER inside the cabin.

A bigger intercooler will also require a tune due to a denser air and a lean condition. I am working on a air temperature switch/relay that will turn on a "SPAL" style fan above the intercooler to blow air down to remove heat soak. I have a 8 inch fan that fits on top of the intercooler but getting it vibration isolated and sealed is still in the works. It can not vibrate on the aluminum of the intercooler or it will wear a hole quick. I found this out on my 1994 Legacy Sport Wagon's turbo's TMIC. I also had a spray bar that sprayed cold water/alcohol on the top of the intercooler. A 3 gallon tank with 2 quarts of denatured Alcohol, a bag of ice or dry ice and a small water pump. I only used it on hot days when I need a hard boost. Dry Ice is very cold but also dangerous in an enclosed cabin or trunk of a sedan. It displaces oxygen with Carbon Dioxide.

These are my opinions based on a 1994 2.2 turbo with a lot of WRX and STI parts.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

California may have changed it since I lived there, but aren't a lot of these pipes going to get spotted on the smog check?

You generally don't want to do any flow/power mods without re-tuning. If the ECU doesn't know what it is working with, it will make poor decisions more often. And it will repeat them with robotic precision until something melts. Hire somebody to tune it and you avoid that outcome, possibly indefinitely. I recommend Ed at XRT. He tunes via remote- you supply a laptop, car interface & internet connection. You record logs and upload them to him, then he sends you a new program for the car and then repeat the process through a few refinements.

The tune you get via this method is precisely set for your car, as-built, as-aged and as-driven. Compare that to the Cobb system: you get a tune which is optimized for the average XT as it was fresh off the showroom floor. It's good, but it can't account for any individual differences between your car and their hypothetical average car. One advantage is self-service. It's an appliance, do it all yourself in the middle of the night on the side of the road if you want.

As always- get your maintenance up-to-date before commencing power mods or tuning. These engines are pretty sensitive to vacuum leaks and they're good at getting them in the four miles of hose in there.
 

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08 OBXT 5MT
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Thought I'd chip in here as I have an 08 OBXT 5MT and was originally looking for reliable power.

I have the following:
Grimmspeed TMIC (I could not trust the OEM one with nearly 20 PSI)
Cobb catted down-pipe
IAG Air / Oil Separator (Worth it in my opinion. The OEM PCV system just doesn't cut it)
Cobb Access Port (Pro tune for E85 and 93)
Southbend Stage 2 Endurance Clutch

Chose not to do anything to the cat-back or intake as stock was fine for what I wanted.

I also have a BCP x400 turbo, but I still consider my car to be "stage 2" and it puts down 320 whp on E85.

However, I would recommend replacing the OEM oil feed hard line for the turbo with something more reliable. I just wetn through replacing it myself. The IAG kit can work but it's a tight fit on some years. I ended up using part of it another some other parts, but definitely get rid of the filter in the banjo bolt asap.

I bought ine at 88k and ended up having to to rebuild at 100k, but besides that, assuming your turbo and engine are in better shape that mine was bought when I bought my car you should be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Muffler Swap Help

Come across a good deal on a pair of OEM 2015 STi Mufflers with y pipe. Looks like it would fit on my 09 OB XT. Would it? Is it worth swapping? Will it affect my car? My car isn't tuned and dont know if it needs to be to swap my stock mufflers for the OEM STi ones. Any feedback or recommendations? Like the look of those better and might give it a little rumble.
 

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Come across a good deal on a pair of OEM 2015 STi Mufflers with y pipe. Looks like it would fit on my 09 OB XT. Would it? Is it worth swapping? Will it affect my car? My car isn't tuned and dont know if it needs to be to swap my stock mufflers for the OEM STi ones. Any feedback or recommendations? Like the look of those better and might give it a little rumble.
I'm pretty sure it won't fit directly, but they are good mufflers. You could lop the pipes off and have them welded onto yours without spending too much.

You shouldn't need a tune for a muffler-only swap. The flow doesn't change that much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Muffler Swap Help

Come across a good deal on a pair of OEM 2015 STi Mufflers with y pipe. Looks like it would fit on my 09 OB XT. Would it? Is it worth swapping? Will it affect my car? My car isn't tuned and dont know if it needs to be to swap my stock mufflers for the OEM STi ones. Any feedback or recommendations? Like the look of those better and might give it a little rumble.
I'm pretty sure it won't fit directly, but they are good mufflers. You could lop the pipes off and have them welded onto yours without spending too much.

You shouldn't need a tune for a muffler-only swap. The flow doesn't change that much.
Thanks for your feedback. Figured a little modification might be needed. Luckly my pops knows how to weld.
I do like the way they look better then the current setup. You think they would make any difference in sound?
 

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Thanks for your feedback. Figured a little modification might be needed. Luckly my pops knows how to weld.
I do like the way they look better then the current setup. You think they would make any difference in sound?
Couldn't tell you, never tried. It stands to reason that they'll give a little more noise. Most Subaru rumble happens in the downpipe. Put a fat one on your car, even with a restriction to use the rest of the stock exhaust and you'll get nice notes. Tune absolutely required for that one.

Keep that stock formed resonator in the middle. I've never talked to anyone who was happy with the drone resulting from a straight pipe in its place. Unless you're already committed to earplugs and a helmet for the track anyway.
 

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Couldn't tell you, never tried. It stands to reason that they'll give a little more noise. Most Subaru rumble happens in the downpipe. Put a fat one on your car, even with a restriction to use the rest of the stock exhaust and you'll get nice notes. Tune absolutely required for that one.

Keep that stock formed resonator in the middle. I've never talked to anyone who was happy with the drone resulting from a straight pipe in its place. Unless you're already committed to earplugs and a helmet for the track anyway.
When I did the 3" down and cat back on my 94 Touring Wagon it did not have the center resonator and it was so bad at 60 MPH that everything just pulsated. I put a "Hooker" Airoflow 3" in and that helped A LOT.

I had a "Rob" tuned ECU along with all the hard mods.
 
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