Tag Archives: Downpipe

Turboback Exhaust Install on 02-07 Subaru WRX:

Turboback Exhaust Install on 02-07 Subaru WRX:

Bone stock the WRX is one of the best performing entry level sports cars you can find, but there’s always room for improvement. Replacing the stock 2.25″ turboback exhaust and it’s 2 catalytic converters with a 3″ turboback exhaust, featuring one high flow cat, should allow the turbo to spool up easier and quicker for more low end grunt.

1.) Remove the heatshield. You’ll be amazed at the amount of bolts used to hold on this simple piece of metal. There are 5 on the left side (viewing from the front of the car), one on the back, and two on the right side. After you have all the bolts removed you’re going to need some keen geometry skills to get the heat shield out of the engine bay but once you do, the downpipe to turbo connection is easily available. Once the downpipe is exposed look for the bottom heatshield. It connects to the downpipe by one bolt.

2.) Loosen the downpipe. There are only 5 bolts holding the downpipe to the turbo. They are surprisingly easy to get to. Now would also be a good time to remove the O2 sensor from the Downpipe.

3.) Disconnect the remaining hangers. It’s a good idea to use photos of the exhaust out of the car in order to point out where the hangers are in relation to the whole system. Install the new downpipe by lining up the turbo/downpipe bolts then securing the hangers. There are 2 hangers for the downpipe shown here. The front one bolts into the transmission. The second rests on a J bracket and is screwed in.

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Downpipe Turbo Subaru FAQ

Downpipe Turbo Subaru FAQ

Buying a aftermarket downpipe is a typical modification which removes or replaces the stock catalytic converter with a better flowing unit. It also increases the exhaust diameter for better flow.

HP gain is 15-20HP. This figure is highly debated as different manufacturers use different dynos with different cars with different levels of mods. It also varies because some downpipes use one high flow cat, while others are catless and actually extend far enough back to eliminate the 3rd cat as well.

I have an 06/07 WRX, is the downpipe the same? No. The 06/07 WRX has a unique exhaust in that it’s downpipe is both the downpipe and catpipe sections of the “older” exhaust. This means you must use a “long” downpipe to bolt up to the rest of your exhaust system. A full TBE will fit fine, but when replacing just the downpipe, you must use a long downpipe.

I have an 08/09 WRX, is the downpipe the same? No. The 08/09 WRX has a unique exhaust in that it’s downpipe is the same, fitment wise, as the Legacy GT. So if you have one of these models, you must ensure you state your model/year to your vendor or specifically request the “Legacy GT downpipe” for your car in order to assure proper fitment.

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent “bad” downpipes on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad pipes sold, but not enough to report as “bad” overall.

What downpipe metal material is best? Downpipes are made from mild steel and stainless steel (304 & 321). There is no irrefutable evidence that one material is better than the other. Obviously, corrosion levels are higher with mild steel (coated or otherwise). Article on exhaust materials.

Which downpipe construction method is best? Downpipes have 4 main construction methods:
1. Blank plate: Identical to stock construction with the wastegate portion completely covered.
2. Bellmouth: Completely open design.
3. Split bellmouth: Similar to bellmouth only with a divider inserted to separate the wastegate.
4. Divorced or Twin Dump: Separate exhaust and wastegate piping that connect further downstream.

There is no irrefutable evidence that one design is better than the other. The thought process is that the greater the separation there is between the wastegate gases and exhaust gases, the smoother the overall exhaust flow.

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Subaru WRX and STi Exhaust general info

Subaru WRX and STi Exhaust general info:

The primary purpose of an aftermarket exhaust is to remove or replace the stock catalytic converter(s) with a better flowing unit. It also increases the exhaust diameter for better flow. The term “aftermarket exhaust” can be broken down into the three main types:

1. Turbo back exhaust (TBE) covers items 1-4 as described below.
2. Cat back exhaust (CBE) covers items 3&4 as described below.
3. Axle back exhaust (ABE) covers item 4 as described below.

The stock WRX Subaru exhaust consists of:

1. Downpipe (with cat) | 2. Midpipe (with cat) | 3. Rear Exhaust Pipe | 4. Axle Back Muffler

The stock WRX Subaru exhaust consists of: 1. Downpipe (with cat) | 2. Midpipe (with cat) | 3. Rear Exhaust Pipe | 4. Axle Back Muffler
The stock WRX Subaru exhaust consists of: 1. Downpipe (with cat) | 2. Midpipe (with cat) | 3. Rear Exhaust Pipe | 4. Axle Back Muffler

Keep in mind that the above information is catered to the 2002-2005 WRX and is likewise applicable to all years of the STi, though there are slight variations. For example, the STi (all years) has a catless uppipe and the 2006+ WRX has a one piece downpipe/midpipe.

HP gain is dependent on the type of exhaust chosen. TBE gains are 20-30HP. CBE gains are 5-15HP. ABE gains are 5-10HP. These figures are highly debated as different manufacturers use different dynos with different cars with different levels of mods. It also varies because exhausts use different amounts of catalytic converters or are catless.

What about overall fitment between the WRX and STi or different model years? All OEM or aftermarket exhausts designed for 02-07 WRX/STi will fit either the 02+ WRX sedan/wagon or 04+ STi. Occasionally, you will have a slight fitment issue with some models (moreso if your car has the optional rear differential cover) that usually get be fixed via hanger adjustment, longer exhaust hangers etc. 06+ models have fitment issues with some exhausts (mainly the muffler portion) due to the new rear diffuser.

I have an 06+ WRX, is the downpipe the same? No. The 2006+ WRX has a unique exhaust in that it’s downpipe is both the downpipe and midpipe sections of the “older” exhaust. This means you must use a “long” downpipe to bolt up to the rest of your exhaust system. A full TBE will fit fine, but when replacing just the downpipe, you must use a long downpipe. Check with your Vendor for other possible fitment issues prior to ordering.

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