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'05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod
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Old 09-21-10, 07:10 AM   #1
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Default '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

I recently *retired* my 2005 STi from being my daily driver. Now I drive an E93 M3.

The STi was retired because one day I started getting smoke coming out of the engine bay randomly. Local subaru dealership said it was one thing ($2000), and my buddy's garage said it was something else (~$1500). Rather than taking wild guesses with that much money, I put the car into retirement until I had the time/space to work on it myself.

Now that time has come. I just moved into a new apartment which has a garage with decent work space.

I found this thread:
Turbo oil-feed / AVCS line replacement

Which I think is the source of the smoke. I am almost done with the installation of the P&L kit referenced in that thread. See: Long-Term STi Storage

Once that's done, I think I am going to continue swapping out relatively minor bits as I learn my way around, I've never done real work on a car before.

First on my list is a hood damper. Cheap, easy, and will definitely make working in the engine bay easier. After that, I am thinking about getting a whole new set of stainless steel lines. P&L has power steering lines, clutch lines, and brake lines. This will be just as much learning as actually expecting positive improvement.

After that, I'm thinking about tightening up the chassis a bit. Swaybars, strut braces, etc. I'll do more research into specifics there when the time comes.

I'm open to suggestions, though. What does the community think?

Ultimately, I want to continue taking the STi to autocross, and eventually onto a real road course. I'm not far from Homestead Miami Speedway. I'm not too concerned about making record lap times (yet); I'm more interested in working on the car as a hobby, and learning as I go.
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Old 09-21-10, 07:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

I just found this How-To on installing the stainless steel brake lines. Seems like an easy job.

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Old 10-11-10, 03:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

I went for a test drive today. Brakes feel like mush and the clutch feels like it's about ready to give up on me. Clearly, I have work to do. I have stainless steel brake lines inbound, once those show up I'm going to swap them in and flush the brake fluid. I figure that's got at least 90% chance of fixing the brakes. The clutch is probably ready to be replaced. I'm still on my stock clutch disc, the car has ~75k, including a bunch of autocross days. Plus, it was my first manual transmission car, so there's probably some learning curve carved out of it as well.

Meanwhile, as I was driving around, I was keeping an eye on the engine temp (since I had to pull a coolant line while replacing the AVCS hard line). The temp never went a tick above normal. Quite pleased there. Even still, I'll probably flush the coolant before my first track day.

I was really excited that there was no smoke coming from the engine bay for most of the drive. I was only out for about 15 -20 minutes, and most of it was fine. However, I did start to see some little wisps of smoke eventually. I immediately pulled over, checked coolant level (the reservoir still looked fine) and checked oil level (somewhere towards the low end of acceptable on the dipstick), so I figured all was well enough. I kept driving, and the smoke kept getting worse. I grabbed my little extendo-mirror and confirmed that all three banjo bolts from the AVCS/turbo oil line project were dry and clean, no leaking oil. Yet, I still had a decent amount of smoke coming from the left side of the engine bay. It wafts up from the turbo area, the intake area, and everywhere in between.

I am wondering whether it's just oil spatter from the avcs line project. I KNOW I splattered some amount of oil when I used the dremel to cut the avcs hard line. I saw some splatter onto the uppipe, so I figured there would be SOME burn-off. But this was more than I had predicted.

So, for the group, is there another fluid I should be keeping an eye on to see whether this is an active leak as opposed to just burning off the oil spatter? Should I just keep doing short drives to burn it all away eventually? Any idea how long spattered oil will take to burn off? Should I try to spray some water in the area to try and clean the engine bay? Is there a better way to clean the engine bay?
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Old 10-29-10, 06:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Update: I replaced the brake lines with stainless steel. Next step: flush the brakes!

Didn't finish in time for track day, so I took the M3. That was a good first track day!
YouTube - Homestead Miami Track Day in E93 M3
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Old 10-29-10, 03:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxxell View Post
I recently *retired* my 2005 STi from being my daily driver. Now I drive an E93 M3.

The STi was retired because one day I started getting smoke coming out of the engine bay randomly. Local subaru dealership said it was one thing ($2000), and my buddy's garage said it was something else (~$1500). Rather than taking wild guesses with that much money, I put the car into retirement until I had the time/space to work on it myself.

Now that time has come. I just moved into a new apartment which has a garage with decent work space.

I found this thread:
Turbo oil-feed / AVCS line replacement

Which I think is the source of the smoke. I am almost done with the installation of the P&L kit referenced in that thread. See: Long-Term STi Storage

Once that's done, I think I am going to continue swapping out relatively minor bits as I learn my way around, I've never done real work on a car before.

First on my list is a hood damper. Cheap, easy, and will definitely make working in the engine bay easier. After that, I am thinking about getting a whole new set of stainless steel lines. P&L has power steering lines, clutch lines, and brake lines. This will be just as much learning as actually expecting positive improvement.

After that, I'm thinking about tightening up the chassis a bit. Swaybars, strut braces, etc. I'll do more research into specifics there when the time comes.

I'm open to suggestions, though. What does the community think?

Ultimately, I want to continue taking the STi to autocross, and eventually onto a real road course. I'm not far from Homestead Miami Speedway. I'm not too concerned about making record lap times (yet); I'm more interested in working on the car as a hobby, and learning as I go.
STi Enthusiast,

I recently departed from my 05 STi, I wanted to prep this car beyond it's limits, however, I decided that It was a project that wasn't going to be cheap, I bought Tons of Parts for this car to Modified, I never even got started. All parts are brand new and in its original package. If you're interested in some of this parts shoot me an email and check some of my threads, I have a list of some of the things I have plus more. Until then...Happy Motoring.
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Old 11-07-10, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Update:

I finished flushing the brakes. While doing so, I learned that the M3 uses the same fluid reservoir for the brakes and the clutch, so when you flush one you flush them both. So I decided to flush the STi clutch as well. Here's the how to.

https://www.iwsti.com/forums/how-inst...tch-fluid.html
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Old 11-07-10, 03:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Good project you have going. Some pics would keep us all more interested
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Old 11-08-10, 11:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by A-man View Post
Good project you have going. Some pics would keep us all more interested
Thanks. I'm taking pics as I go. I've already done one How-To for the flushing the clutch fluid with copious pics of the process (see post above). General car pics will happen some day, but exterior styling is very low on my list, so the STi really just looks like a well-worn daily driver. I kinda feel like keeping it that way even as I build her into a beast.

My current concern is that I still get a decent amount of smoke coming out of the engine bay after the car gets warm. Since it's not my daily driver I dont really use it all that much, so it probably has less than one hour of driving time since the AVCS line project (when the oil splattered). Hopefully that smoke will cease sometime soon. I dont want to show up to a track day or autocross with a car billowing smoke, even if its just burnoff.

I think my next project may be brake rotors. The stock rotors look pretty rusted, and I get a grinding feeling when I'm on the brakes. I kinda figured the rust would scrape off with use, but that hasn't happened. So maybe I should just bite the bullet and get new rotors and brake pads at all four tires.

For now, my todo list is (in no particular order):
1. Take a long drive somewhere to see if the oil burns away completely and smoke stops.
2. brake rotors & pads
3. swaybars front and rear (i'm thinking whiteline 24mm)
4. strut tower braces front and rear

I'm also going to start bringing the STi to autocross events. Seems like a great way to test everything before doing a real track day.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Interesting bit. I went to the South Florida Auto Show last night and saw the 2011 STI. I was very surprised to see that they had hydraulic hood dampers. I just installed some of those into my STi a few weeks ago. Neat.
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Old 11-13-10, 01:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: '05 STi, newly non-daily-driver, starting to mod

Adjusting stock clutch

Tried that today. I definitely think it helped, but I'm going to try some more because the catch is still quite high.

Posting right now largely because I went for the longest drive since the AVCS swap and while there was some smoke, by the end of the trip it had pretty much stopped. I can still smell it when I pop the hood, but certainly seems to be diminishing. That's exactly what I've been waiting for. To celebrate, we took the STi to a car wash. She's looking damn fine.
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