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Old 04-27-2016, 06:09 PM   #1
Keenercarguy
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Keenercarguy's "OEM Plus" College Budget Build

I am an undergraduate engineering student and I work part time as the senior staff at the University Rock Wall. All my earnings go to travel or car parts; that's the main reason I got the job. The whole point of this build is to end up with a car built with only top quality parts, assembled slowly and within my budget, assembling as much as I can myself. My goal is pristine handling and responsiveness. The car will be tracked in the (probably distant) future but for now the main focus is mountain roads and improving both driveability and RELIABILITY. Since the car has been basically a series of headaches since 10,000 miles despite being really careful with it.
I have little interest in making crazy power. I purchased the car new as an MY13 at the end of 2013 and have had the car for 53,000 miles now. At this point I can say definitively that it needs more power and a smoother torque curve, but it doesn't *need* forced induction. 200 consistent wheel horsepower and a flattened torque curve is really all the car needs to really come alive. I have so far set the car up with handling and grip put above all else. The engine wasn't even touched past a drop-in filter until a few weeks ago, due to a horrible 25,000 mile long string of oil leaks. The leak appears to actually, finally, be resolved. I'll link the related thread to that here later.

Current Mods, in somewhat chronological order (not including cosmetic mods):
- K&N Drop-in panel filter (because why not, right?)
- Michelin Pilot Super Sports: 215/45/17: You can run as wide a wheel as you want but if the compound wrapped around it is shit your grip will still be shit.
- OE Camber "Crash" Bolts
- Custom alignment, influence by C-Street builds (-2.2* camber on both fronts, slight toe-in for both rears)
- Motul Gear 300 in the Transmission (and Diff), helped a ton
- Custom $8 rear exhaust dump pre-axleback (not aesthetically noticeable)
- Perrin 19mm Front Swaybar, stiff setting (72% stiffer than stock)
- OE 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Rear Swaybar (46% stiffer than stock)
- Japanese Domestic Market Underbody Aerodynamic Panels
- RaceComp Engineering Yellow Springs: I had the choice of these or cheap coilovers in my budget, I really respect RCE's product development and intend to swap to Tarmac3's when I have the money. Rears settled to about -2.6* of camber on both sides, which I'm fine with... for now.
- Carbotech XP8 Track/Autocross pads for harder driving
- Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid
- ARP Extended studs (and black open ended lug nuts) because I was tired of replacing stock studs despite always being careful to hand tighten the stock lugs)
- Carbotech 1521 "Street Performance" Brake Pads
- Openflash Tablet - Stage 1 93 Oct. OTS tune to start with, Stage 2 UEL 93 Oct. tune (and possibly E85) to come.
I'm probably forgetting something so if I remember anything else I'll update

Cosmetic mods are gray front turn indicators with legal amber bulbs, wheels painted black with plastidip and made semi-gloss with glossifier, and both front fender garnishes were painted semi-gloss black.

Mods owned and soon to be installed:
- Gruppe-S UEL header and overpipe: dropped both of these off today (5/27/16) at Calico Coatings to get them ceramic coated for thermal protection/efficiency.
- MTEC Shift Springs
- SPC LCA (and toe bushings): I don't really want the -2.6* of camber in the back and I'd like to have the adjustability, they weren't too expensive either. Shooting for between -1.8* and -2.0*
- SPC Lobed Camber bolts for the front struts, I'd like all the front camber I can possibly get without slotting the OEM front struts since every little bit adds some more front end grip. Plus, the lobed bolts will be easier to adjust than the OE Crash bolts. I've actually had these lying around for ages and I'll need a new alignment anyway once I install the SPC LCA's

Near-Future Mod Plans: [SIZE="2"]I'm starting to get a little more serious about power since my leak is fixed and my powertrain warranty is going to expire in about 7,000 miles.
- Axleback Exhaust(s)
- Raceseng "R-Lock" Reverse Lockout, Bronze: I'm sick of the rattling stock lockout
- Some minor cosmetic mods here and there, more information on that soon (I'll be making my own ABS winglets for example, because why not for $8 in material and a bit of engineering?)
- Lightweight 17x8 Wheels will be purchased soon. Probably going to go with Advanti DST Storm S1's. They're newly released in FRSBRZ friendly sizes and bolt patterns and only weigh 16.95 pounds each. I've also looked into the new Kosei K8R's and Konig Hypergram's both at around 16.6 pounds each but I'm iffy on the style of the Konig's and unsure how the offest on the K8R's would play out, since apparently no one has tried any of these out yet. I'm going with 17x8's for street use since I don't need crazy grip or width all the time. I'll be running 225/45/17's on them to preserve the front end steering feel as best I can, and because I don't mind a ~1.2% longer gear ratio in the back. I'll drop about 4-6 pounds a wheel while also increasing overall grip... and aesthetics.


More-Distant-Future Mod plans:
- Lightweight PDX/Track/Autocross Wheels: 17x9 +45 Enkei RPF-1's with probably RS3's in 245/40/17 or Direzza Z2 Star Specs 235/40/17. (And a 5mm space on the front's)
- ACE 4-2-1 Header/Overpipe combo, 250 collector, ceramic coated. I'm intending to shoot for a consistent 200+ whp regardless of location (so 200+ on 91 "pisswater" for when I roadtrip, and probably a bit more when I'm home
- Flex Fuel Kit and related ECUTEK tuning (since OFT unfortunely has no flex fuel support, yet?): probably the Delicious tuning bluetooth kit, this will depend on how much power I make on just the ACE header/op combo alone because it allows for more timing than most other headers, which is were the power comes from with E85 to begin with (the E85 gains will be smaller and therefor possibly not even too worth it).

If you have any polite and professional opinions or suggestions for my build I'd love to hear them! I apologize in advance for any possible typos, a friend is borrowing my laptop to use it for his CAD engineering final so I'm on a work computer.
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2013 BRZ 6MT Limited DGM: "Quick as Hell, on a Budget" Build Ceramic Coated Gruppe-S UEL/OP Advan RCII's, RE003's RCE Yellow's Ferodo DS2500's

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Old 04-29-2016, 05:48 PM   #2
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Hey! Another broke ass engineering student! Welcome to the club I'm getting my undergrad at UNCC in Mechanical engineering.

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Old 04-30-2016, 06:39 PM   #3
Keenercarguy
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Hey! Another broke ass engineering student! Welcome to the club I'm getting my undergrad at UNCC in Mechanical engineering.

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Haha nice! I actually almost went to UNCC myself! I'm a Mechanical Engineering student at Clemson, they gave me the most scholarship money by far so it was a bit of a no-brainer. Definitely check out the blue ridge parkway (but actually mainly the roads that dump into the BRH), it's about the same distance from you as it is from me. I grew up in Davidson so I should know lol.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:41 PM   #4
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Haha nice! I actually almost went to UNCC myself! I'm a Mechanical Engineering student at Clemson, they gave me the most scholarship money by far so it was a bit of a no-brainer. Definitely check out the blue ridge parkway (but actually mainly the roads that dump into the BRH), it's about the same distance from you as it is from me. I grew up in Davidson so I should know haha.
Haha I was actually there a month ago! I loved Clemson when visited. I just couldn't afford out of state tuition and I got money from UNCC.

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Old 04-30-2016, 06:52 PM   #5
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I got lucky with scholarships and residencies so it came out a lot cheaper than UNCC. Both colleges have pretty good programs haha
I was up there last week as a pre-exam relief trip. I'll probably be up a few more times this month to figure out some sort of a near-perfect route
I randomly saw in the Gruppe-S UEL review forum that you had one, how have you liked it/has it held up well? @drew_kar
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:57 PM   #6
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I got lucky with scholarships and residencies so it came out a lot cheaper than UNCC. Both colleges have pretty good programs haha
I was up there last week as a pre-exam relief trip. I'll probably be up a few more times this month to figure out some sort of a near-perfect route
I randomly saw in the Gruppe-S UEL review forum that you had one, how have you liked it/has it held up well? @drew_kar
I love it! No cracks or exhaust leaks. The merge collector is top notch for the price point. The header plus the OTS tune from open flash are my favorite mods so far. Really improved the power band and drivability. I say go for it if you are looking for a good quality header that won't break the bank!

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Old 04-30-2016, 08:19 PM   #7
Keenercarguy
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I love it! No cracks or exhaust leaks. The merge collector is top notch for the price point. The header plus the OTS tune from open flash are my favorite mods so far. Really improved the power band and drivability. I say go for it if you are looking for a good quality header that won't break the bank!

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Yeah I've really warmed to the idea of getting it, the JDL would cost over $900 dollars with gaskets and shipping and honestly that doesn't make sense for my build. The warranty JDL offers is definitely worth something, but I could practically buy two Gruppe-S UEL's for the same price lol. First I have a squeaky clutch that I need to get looked at though.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:22 PM   #8
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Yeah I've really warmed to the idea of getting it, the JDL would cost over $900 dollars with gaskets and shipping and honestly that doesn't make sense for my build. The warranty JDL offers is definitely worth something, but I could practically buy two Gruppe-S UEL's for the same price lol. First I have a squeaky clutch that I need to get looked at though.
JDL makes a great header, that's for sure. However, the Gruppe-S is essentially the Tomei header. Same header, different name and runner length. So the quality is there. I too had a squeaky clutch in my car for a few hundred miles and then it just disappeared.. Weird haha.

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Old 04-30-2016, 09:04 PM   #9
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JDL makes a great header, that's for sure. However, the Gruppe-S is essentially the Tomei header. Same header, different name and runner length. So the quality is there. I too had a squeaky clutch in my car for a few hundred miles and then it just disappeared.. Weird haha.

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Yeah my hope is that the squeek will abate after a little while, it's SUPER humid in Clemson today... Like even more than the usual living-in-a-swamp humid... So I'm hoping that has something (everything) to do with it.
Yeah the Gruppe-S is nearly identical to the tomei header and at least two other brands sold in other countries... So I'm not super worried about the quality. I did just have my entire SHORTBLOCK replaced under warranty though... So I'm contemplating waiting 7,000 more miles until my powertrain warranty is up before I throw a header on. We'll see how long my patience lasts.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:59 PM   #10
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Update: Gruppe-S header and overpipe on the way, going to get it thermal coated and then I'll mount it up probably in about a month. I'm traveling all over the place but I'm hoping to get it mounted June 18th, and then road trip to Wilmington NC to grab an axleback to try out for the time being.
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2013 BRZ 6MT Limited DGM: "Quick as Hell, on a Budget" Build Ceramic Coated Gruppe-S UEL/OP Advan RCII's, RE003's RCE Yellow's Ferodo DS2500's

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Old 05-18-2016, 12:05 AM   #11
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Just read whole thread, nice build. I'm jealous.. I want gruppe s headers so bad haha.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:47 PM   #12
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Just read whole thread, nice build. I'm jealous.. I want gruppe s headers so bad haha.
If I can afford one on my budget than you can too haha! (Seriously though ) They really are quite affordable, especially compared to the other options I considered (like JDL).
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:07 PM   #13
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Picture of the new header and overpipe before ceramic coating. Sorry for the less than amazing photo quality, I currently only own a potato phone camera #collegebudget
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