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Top 10 Subaru WRX Mods Under $150

November 13th, 2015 | 5 min read

By JP Alonso

We all know WRX mods can spend the money in your wallet as fast as you can make it.  For some it’s a hobby, others, an addiction. Whatever it is for you, sometimes it’s the small things that can take your car to the next level.  You don’t always have to spend a ton of money to make your car perform better or look apart from the crowd. If you have an itch to spend a few bucks and make your car a little better or different than the rest, here are some great, cheap Subaru WRX performance parts for under $150 that are pretty easy to decide on.

1. Spark Plugs

Depending on the condition of your spark plugs, this can be a huge part of helping a car run better. Over time, spark plugs have the tendency to extend their gap, become fouled, lose some of their energy potential, or worse case scenario, they can break inside the cylinder (in which case, the $150 list is no longer on your radar). If any of those things happen, chances are that your engine is losing power and efficiency. You can typically hear or feel a misfire, if your check engine light doesn't tell you already. Replacing spark plugs can help give an old engine some new life.  It’s important that all the fuel in the cylinder gets burned not only to make power but also to help the efficiency of the motor. Of course, changing the spark plugs on a Subaru boxer engine is another story...


2. Shifter Bushings

Subaru might have given you a healthy dose of power in the turbo version you bought but they also made sure it was comfortable. Bushings around the entire chassis play a huge role in that. The suspension, engine, and transmission are all mounted to the chassis using bushings. They not only support the external components bolted to the chassis but they also absorb NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). This makes the car comfortable but also compromises some of the performance. Installing shifter bushings in the WRX shifter assembly is relatively easy and is usually done from a fairly accessible place. This allows less movement in the entire shifter assembly as you’re going through the gears, helping you feel more confident selecting each gear and moving through them quicker and easier. This has to be one of the best “bang for the buck” modifications you can make to your Subaru.

Subaru WRX shifter bushings also come in well under $100 and are available from a slew of brands, many of which we offer.

Cobb Tuning Shifter Bushings Subaru WRX 2015-2021

Cobb Shifter Bushing for 2015-2021 WRX






3. Brake Pads

As long as you can machine, or "turn", your rotors you can get new brake pads by themselves and use them with the machined rotors or a new set of rotors. Worst case scenario, you’ll need rotors as well which would ultimately put you over $150 but as an upgrade alone, a nice set of brake pads will have a substantial impact on how your WRX performs under braking, especially at the track or during autocross events  I won’t go into too much detail about how different brake pads perform and the advantages and disadvantages. We have a great article on that right here on our site. But a nice set of street/track mixed use brake pads are generally much better at reeling in your WRX from high speeds and many of them can even drastically reduce the amount of dark brake dust that makes its way on your wheels. Some racing pads will cost more than $150 per axle but almost all street pads and direct OE replacement style pads will be less than $150.






4. License Plate Relocate

This one is about as easy as it gets!! There are a few kits out there that are all going to do roughly the same thing. This is one of those mods that totally changes the front of your WRX with little work and it keeps you legal! Many people just take their front plate off to clean up the front end but that might interfere with your local laws. Another huge plus for a license plate relocation kit is when you choose to upgrade your intercooler to a front mount. This will allow proper airflow through the front bumper to maximize cooling for that beautiful core sitting in the grill.





5. Pitch Stop Mount

The pitch stop mount is a great way to upgrade the performance and feel of the car for a small out of pocket cost. They replace the factory version that features softer rubber bushings. Most aftermarket performance pitch stop versions feature solid urethane or EPDM bushings which move much less. As the engine puts out power, it leverages itself against the chassis which is what motor mounts are for, aside from holding the engine in the car. The WRX pitch stop mount is easy to install and helps prevent movement of the motor which helps the car direct its power to the ground better and gives the driver a better, more direct feel.

WRX- Pitch-Stop

6. Turbo Heat Shields and Blankets

Naturally, since a turbo operates off of the exhaust stream, it gets extremely hot, especially under high performance situations where the turbo is constantly working hard. Because the turbo sits in the engine bay, it can heat up that space pretty quickly which raises intake air temperatures, reduces rubber and silicone hose life, and ultimately hurts performance.

Putting a barrier around your turbo like the ones shown here will greatly reduce under hood temperatures. Keeping heat energy in the turbo and exhaust system also helps the exhaust flow better and the turbo to spool faster. Many other WRX heat shields and thermal products are available.

Cobb Tuning Turbo Blanket-1

Cobb Tuning Turbo Blanket

Cobb Tuning Turbo Heat Shield

Cobb Tuning Heat Shield


7. Short Throw Shifter

Like most manual transmission cars, the length the shifter must travel from one gear to the next is just too long in the WRX. Picture being able to get in and out of gears with about 50% reduction to the distance the shifter travels. Pretty awesome. A WRX short shifter can do just that. Many of them are adjustable so the user has the ability to change the amount of throw they experience, although even the most conservative setting is shorter than stock. This ends up being a highly used modification that rewards you over and over with each shift.





8. Shift Knob

Most of the time, a shift knob isn’t going to make a massive difference in feel, unless it’s a weighted knob. Weighted knobs will actually change your shifting experience and would still fit within the $150 range. However, for a very low cost, you can pick up a nicely made shift knob that feels better in your hand as you're shifting and lets everyone who sits in your WRX know that you pay attention to the details! There are many shift knobs out there in many styles and colors and they are usually extremely easy to throw on. Make sure you get the right knob for either a 5 speed or 6 speed!

WRX-Shift-Knob(3) WRX-Shift-Knob(2)


9. Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines

A set of stainless steel braided brake lines on your WRX will provide a GREAT feeling brake pedal. The factory rubber lines flex outward when under pressure. That translates into a “spongy” feeling in the brake pedal and instead of the pressure being applied to the caliper and the pad, it is slightly relieved and not applied. Stainless braided lines provide a much more solid feel in the WRX and inspires much more confidence during braking by sending that pressure to the caliper and pad instead of against the walls of the hose. While especially useful at the track, make no mistake, they are just as useful on the street.

Goodridge_Brake_LInes-1Goodridge Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines

10. Engine Shrouds

A nicer looking engine shroud isn’t a life changing experience like putting on a turbo kit. However, it’s right in front of you when you open your hood and if positioned correctly along with a good color scheme, it can make the engine bay look so much better, even if it's black. Every driver feels different driving down the road with something better on their car, even if they can’t feel it.  Out of sight, out of mind does NOT apply to enthusiasts and their cars!



JP Alonso

I'm the founder of Edge Autosport and I remember first getting into cars in high school. I read all the magazines, bought a bunch of technical books, and finally got to start wrenching around the age of 19. I really enjoy modding and being able to live out a passion is truly awesome. I wouldn't change a thing.