Hi everyone, my name is Aaron and I bought my 06 STI in April 2012. I have been in love with the STI for years and vowed to one day buy one, so I joined the site back in 2009 to start reading up on subies. My last car was an Integra (which I knew pretty well) and did not want to jump into buying a car I knew nothing about... Reading up on newbie threads and generally surfing the technical forums have provided so much great information, by time I bought my 06, I felt like it was already so familiar to me!
My goal from day one was to have a well handling, fun, daily driver that was still comfortable enough for my wife. She hated my Integra for being low and uncomfortable, so I didn't want to go that route again. She still thinks the STI is a little uncomfortable, but she doesn't mind riding in it
When I bought the car it had 85K miles on the odometer, Enuratech Coilovers, an Eibach 25mm rear sway bar, and a no-name FMIC. I wanted a stock car, but this one was pretty clean, local, and a good price. First off, I replaced engine oil, trans oil, diff oil, spark plugs, air filter and accessory belts. I'm a big fan of starting off fresh with all regular maintenance items so I know whats in the car and when it needs to be changed.
When I bought it:
The first upgrade came in the form of a KillerBee Oil Pickup tube and windage baffle tray 2 months later. Last thing I needed was to be one of the few who have theirs break. I know its not a super common problem, but this was a piece of mind upgrade as much as it was for reliability.
A month later, I notice some dents in the rear lateral links from the swaybar flipping, so I bought a set of KartBoy Endlinks (Front & Rear) to fix that. Word of caution to those, who do not know, you will need the additional spacers for an aftermarket front sway bar (I did not know this at this point).
Next, I flushed the brake system and filled with ATE SuperBlue. Don’t want to boil any brake fluid… Not long after that I bought new brakes as well; the previous owner had some cheap slotted/drilled rotors that were toast. I went with Centric Premium rotors (non-slotted/drilled) and Ferodo DS2500s. I ended up adding Goodridge SS lines and TiC master cylinder brace later down the road as well. The brakes feel very responsive and bite hard. I am quite pleased with the results.
Then in December (2012), I was finally sick of running an FMIC with a stock turbo/tune, and my coilovers, so I started looking into swapping them both. FMIC was first. I sourced a stock TMIC and swapped that on and sold the FMIC. In the process of installing the TMIC I found several little issues that were “rigged” instead of fixed, to fit the FMIC. While being displeased, I was glad I found them and fixed them. I also noticed, what seemed like, an alarming amount of oil in the piping for the FMIC. I realize now it was probably accumulated over a long time, but nevertheless I picked up a Morosso Air-Oil-Separator to fix that. I also picked up the odds-and-ends to wrap it all up, like the stock TMIC air splitter and the windshield washer fluid tank. I wanted it all to be back to stock as much as possible. I sort of had to piece it all together in steps but it was worth the effort.
TMIC.jpg Morosso AOS.jpg
While this was going on, I was looking into swapping out my suspension as well. After a lot of research into the “perfect DD/handling” approach, I decided to go with stock struts, revalved by FEAL, with JDM Pinks and some big swaybars. I heard nothing short of great reviews about the “Pinks”, and I have not been disappointed. I chose RCE lowering camber plates in the front and Group N tophats in the rear, to try to eliminate any unnecessary slop, and to give the car a slightly more aggressive look. Luckily for me I found an IWSTI member selling this exact setup (minus the revalve). After purchasing his setup, I found his journal and discovered he had a very similar perspective on suspension, which was a pleasant surprise. Only reason he was selling was to upgrade to coilovers to handle the additional track time he was seeing. So I immediately had the struts sent to FEAL before installing them. They installed the grease fittings on the rear struts so I can nip strut-clunk once it starts to resurface down the road. As you probably figured, I went with the tarmac spec/mild springs revalve to match the springs. The next major piece of the puzzle was the front sway bar. Sticking with my strategy of “adding” front grip, I went with a 27mm Whiteline FSB. Its’ probably a little bigger than I needed, but I have been nothing but pleased with it. Then a little over two months ago (March 2013), I found a used Whiteline ALK for cheap and pounced on it. Next up will be the Whiteline roll center/bump steer kit!
Stock vs New FSB:
The car has come along way and is so much more fun now!
Thanks for visiting!