WRX Intake Systems
The Subaru WRX intake system offers room for improvement. Luckily, there are several possible upgrades that can be done on your own with little mechanical ability, and a few that may require a quick trip to your local speed shop. I have found that these upgrades are an awesome way to increase the breathability of your WRX and ultimately increase power. Firstly, I should mention that the more involved you become with modifications on any vehicle, the likelier the need may be to upgrade the ECU or “brain" of the engine. A few minor bolt-ons such as a cold air ram intake system or a cat back exhaust upgrade may not produce the exact results some are seeking, such as a noticeable increase in power to warrant a ECU check-up, but when you begin experimenting with new turbos, intercoolers, boost controllers and such, you may find an ECU upgrade is in order. That being said, let the intake upgrades begin!
Installing a new after-market air filter is one of the most basic intake upgrades that can be made on the Subaru WRX. Aftermarket filters allow the most air possible to flow through the stock intake system. The K&N version make for some great aftermarket air filters. They come with a Million-Mile Limited Warranty™ and are completely washable and reusable. That is an added bonus as this will be the last filter you will ever need to buy.
Cold Air Intake
For the serious enthusiast, increasing horsepower significantly will require more than just making a simple air filter upgrade. It will be necessary to install a cold air intake system. Installing a cold air intake system on your Subaru WRX allows more air to be taken in by the engine. The benefit here is that the air that is flowing into the engine is cooler and more dense than the air that is being produced by the stock intake system. Additionally, there is some more room for fuel and air in the cylinder when you increase the density of the intake air. This can result in a more powerful engine stroke. Consequently, this modification will cause your Subaru WRX to experience an increase in power.
I actually made my own modification. I shopped around and found an excellent air intake system that I installed. It is an AEM Ram Air intake System. This item alone has the ability to increase power output on a 2002 WRX by as much as 39 horsepower! This was a serious increase in power for such a simple modification!
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