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KManZ's - Tanabe Medalion + AEM '09 STi
KManZ's - Tanabe Medalion + AEM '09 STi
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Old 01-03-10, 09:00 AM   #1
KManZ
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Default KManZ's - Tanabe Medalion + AEM '09 STi

This here is my member journal, which will detail the progression of my 2009 Subaru WRX STi.




BACKGROUND-

As you can see from my SN "KManZ", I came from the land of Nissan's venerable Z car, namely the 350Z. I owned 2 350Z's ('03 and '07) from 2003 up until this past August 2009, and a '98 Prelude SH in between during college. My former cars:





MY STi-

So, in August of 2009 I purchased my first Subaru, a base Dark Gray Metallic STi, from Annapolis Subaru While waiting for the deal to be finished, I purchased the Whiteline Steering Wheel Bushing kit, some rubber floor mats, and a cargo net from the Parts Dept.

The first thing I actually had done to the new STi was the Venture Shield clear bra, due to the many complaints about the Subie paint. While the clear bra was getting cut on, I happened to notice that right next door was Mach V Motorsports. Big mistake... I wandered over there and left with Whiteline front and rear sways. A week later, these were installed along with Rally Armor mudflaps, and the car transformed from a jello-like boat to a tight handling machine. A few weeks later, the Steering Bushing kit was finally installed, and things got even better.


Windows: still not tinted as of Halloween 2011 But I did just install an AEM intake.



MODS:



SUSPENSION-
  • Whiteline 24" Adjustable Front Swaybar
  • Whiteline 22" Adjustable Rear Swaybar
  • Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings KSR207
  • Whiteline Rear Diff Mount Inserts KDT903 (installed 26Mar10)
  • Whiteline Rear Subframe Bushings KDT902 (installed 26Mar10)
  • Kartboy Front Endlinks (installed 31Mar10)
  • Kartboy Rear Endlinks (installed 31Mar10)
BRAKES-


PERFORMANCE-

AUDIO-
  • Alpine 9887
  • Alpine PDX 4.150
  • Polk SR6500 6.5" components
  • PAC SWI-JACK Steering Control Adapter
  • JDM Bezel
  • Forester DIN Pocket

APPEARANCE-




FUTURE GOALS-

After a year and a half mod moratorium, I've decided to open the wallet and add some things to the car.

  • Engine: AEM intake, Tanabe exhaust, EBCS, and another Protune (either Mach V or IAG.
  • Suspension: RCE Yellows, Whiteline ALK, and maybe the Rollcenter Adjust kit.
  • Stereo: Add subwoofer to finish the system
  • Appearance: WINDOWS TINTED!











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Last edited by KManZ; 11-01-11 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 01-03-10, 09:08 AM   #2
KManZ
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

SURGELINE PROTUNE - STAGE 1
4,050 miles

My first engine mod! Nothing special here, since this is what most people jump into when they start out. I bought the Cobb AP from a NASIOC member. He informed me that in addition to the Cobb OTS maps, there was a Surgeline Protune Stage 1 map as well for a stock '08-'09 STi! Not wanting to wreck my engine, I called Cobb and asked them if I could safely use the Surgeline map, considering my car was stock. They said it would be good to go, though I need to monitor for knock. Very well then, Surgeline Stage 1, here we go!



According to the previous owner, the Surgeline map enabled his car to put down 282.44whp & 304.86wtq, more than what I was expecting from the OTS Stage 1 map! So I performed the usual install, and was ready to launch.

The car feels a lot different, much more smooth idling Once out piddling around in the neighborhood, taking it slow, it seems the throttle is a little less sensitive and requires a bit more gas to get rolling. I am in Sport, and maybe the car needs to learn the new map, and maybe Sport # is where the magic happens. I take off onto a main road, rev into boost a bit and definitely feel a more willful engine, like it is egging you on to just slam that pedal! Sport mode was nice, but then I tried Sport #...



Whole...new...car. With a stab of the throttle, the GR picked up tremendous speed, a devilish, rabid whine emanating from where previously had come a kitten-like mew. It's as though a starved, ferocious monster has been let loose to hunt its next meal after being caged for the past 4,000 miles. The power band seems to be more usable in the low to mid-range, especially in 2nd and 3rd gear. When the boost hits at WOT, BAM! Instant seat impression.

I am thinking that I have yet to feel the full effects of the new tune, since I only drove the car for a few minutes. Tomorrow's drive to work will be the true indoctrination

Last edited by KManZ; 01-11-10 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-03-10, 09:08 AM   #3
KManZ
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Default Stock Grill: Plasti-Dip

STOCK GRILL - PLASTI-DIP

01/15/2010

It's Friday after a long week of work, and I decided to paint the front grill black. Like a majority of owners here, I decided to go with Plasti-Dip, which I bought at Home Depot. While I wait for the first coat to dry, I decided to sit down with a beer and type this out since I have nothing better to do.

First of all, if you are attempting this DIY: don't try to remove the grill itself! Remove the front bumper all together. What a PITA that grill is; you'll never find the 4 screws to remove it without losing your mind first. In fact, you'll more than likely do what I did and take out the wrong screws first before realizing they weren't the ones you needed. Save yourself the frustration and just pop out the 14 tabs and pull the bumper off. Here is an EXCELLENT tutorial from one of our own:


GR Bumper Removal

Once the bumper is removed, clean all of the parts that you will be spraying. I washed mine in the bathtub with Dawn dish soap. After that, dry each piece before you spray so as to ensure proper adhesion.


Grrrrrrrrrr




After drying the parts out, it's time to tape off the Subaru emblem and the STi logo on the front grill. Luckily I had just recently did some painting in the house, so I had a role laying around that was perfect for the task. So just tape those guys off and you are set.

Once you are ready to go, shake the can of PD vigorously for 1 minute prior to use. Put the grill pieces onto something you don't mind ruining, space them out to avoid over-spray, and you are ready to begin.

Hold the can out about 12"-16" away and start spraying nice, even coats in a back/forth motion until it is evenly coated and looks wet. Once that's all done, let them dry for at least 30 minutes, and then go back for another coat. I am going to use 2-3 coats to see how it looks. I don't want a gloppy appearance so less is better me thinks.




Upon removal of the painters tape from the Subaru emblem, I discovered that the Plasti Dip was pulled up along with the tape. This sucks because I had to put the car back together for the weekend with a sub-par paint job . So, I get to take everything apart again tonight and try to fix the problem. I want to remove the emblem all together to forgo taping off, but only if it isn't too intensive of a process.

Finally, a picture of the grill!





Last edited by KManZ; 03-06-10 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 01-03-10, 09:09 AM   #4
KManZ
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

AUDIO SYSTEM Feb '10

PLANNING PHASE - 02/15/10

This project wasn't really the step I wanted to take next in my GR Journey of Discovery, but the stock speakers shat the bed pretty damn quick (6 months ) and now sound like someone gargled with glass shards. Lucky for me I have everything from my last car's install, so the entire operation shouldn't be too costly, allowing me to get it over with quick and then move on to bigger and better mods

My plan is to initially install:

  • Alpine 9887 Head Unit
  • Polk SR6500 6.5" Components in front
  • Diamond Audio D610D2
  • Alpine PDX 4.150 amp
  • Alpine PDX 1.600 sub-woofer amp
  • PAC Audio SWI-JACK steering wheel control adapter
  • FatMat Sound Damping
Also included in this adventure, I will be running speaker wire into the doors both front and rear.

What I need to buy:

Sub enclosure: I already have a Diamond Audio D610D2 from my last install which I hope to reuse, depending on the dimensions of the enclosure that I buy. Right now I am leaning towards the Wicked CAS Magic Box, as it appears my sub will fit in the box.

D610D2: .625 cu/ft minimum enclosure volume
Wicked CAS: .65 cu/ft

Good to go


New Speaker Wire Ran into Doors: Aside from the equipment questions, my next hurdle will be the wiring In the past 2 installs (Honda Prelude, Nissan 350Z), running new speaker wire into the doors has been one of the most infuriating issues. It's worth it to know that A) I am not cutting into stock wiring, and B) I have adequate gauge wiring for any future sound upgrades. Good piece of mind, extreme masochistic process to get it through the door grommets.

Rear Speakers: Sticking with the stockers for fill, ran off of the Alpine HU. This will save me much agony due to not having to wire into the doors.

Crossover placement: Where should the crossovers go? I want them inside the car because there is always the chance that they come loose in the door, requiring me to take the panels off and remount. I'd rather not deal with that. So the X-Overs go in the footwells or under one of the seats. Depending on the amount of space the amps take up, under the seats would be the preferred location.

DIN Pocket: Since I am going with a single DIN HU, something needs to be done with the empty area below. All of my previous installs had me using Metra dash kits, though each and every time the quality was mediocre. Extensive searching revealed that some owners have used the DIN pocket from the Forester to take up the space, thereby giving you an usable cubby with a flip-open door. Along with the JDM bezel, this should make for a clean install as long as all of the coloring matches.


02/16/10 -All of the vital pieces required to perform the initial install have been ordered! And now the wait...

02/19/10 - Overnight parts from Japan:




02/25/10 - Finished, at last... From this day forward, I will pay someone else to do my installs. Super frustrating! But you know what? It was worth it because the system sounds INCREDIBLE. Much, much better than it did in the 350Z, and back then it had even been finely tuned via Imprint!

Here are some photos from the 4 night install:

Stock speaker vs. Polk SR6500- notice how much wider the basket of the Polk woofer is.



I had to use 2 of the spacers that Polk provided in order to make the wide basket fit. Additionally, I had to drill my own mounting holes because Subaru used a queer shaped woofer here.

The next photo shows the door grommet I had just run new speaker wire into. One of the more evil tasks when installing a new system, running wire into the doors is pure misery, not made any easier by some confusing grommet. In the picture you can see how there are "keys" in the plastic piece that fit into notches in the ring of the grommet.



Here is where I ran the power wire. Windex is a true life saver, making this probably the easiest part of the install.



JDM Bezel + Alpine 9887

In layman's terms, it doesn't fit quite right. The brackets in the '09 STi are not like the ones I saw in all of the How-To threads... this bracket is very small, which doesn't provide a place far enough forward to be able to mount it. The bottom hole I drilled myself.



Here it is once in place:



Yeah, there is a nice 1-1.5" gap where the HU extends past it. Ah well, it's this or a Metra pocket. Overall, the colors match pretty well, and I have a door'd pocket. Lastly, here is a snap of the color matching:






No problems installing the PAC SWI-JACK, the wheel buttons work as advertised. The final answer regarding the steering wheel control wires: you DO NOT need to cut any of your factory wires, you merely need to splice into them (brown and pink wire).

In conclusion, I am pretty chuffed about how the system sounds. The Polks have really come to life, and it's great to have iPod/iPhone control again. I am really looking forward to getting the sub enclosure so that I can round the system out and complete the tuning.

Next stop: Suspension!!!!





Last edited by KManZ; 04-27-10 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 01-03-10, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

Congrats on the new car. Where abouts in VA are you? There are two used Cobb APs selling locally in NoVA ($500 each). Check out the classifieds on IWSTI and NASIOC's MAIC sub forum. You probably won't get a better deal than that and you can verify they are unmarried before forking over the cash.
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Old 01-03-10, 11:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

Nice, happy modding!

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Old 01-03-10, 02:32 PM   #7
KManZ
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

Quote:
Originally Posted by hokie_sti View Post
Congrats on the new car. Where abouts in VA are you? There are two used Cobb APs selling locally in NoVA ($500 each). Check out the classifieds on IWSTI and NASIOC's MAIC sub forum. You probably won't get a better deal than that and you can verify they are unmarried before forking over the cash.
Thanks for the tips! I have been intensely sharking the forums here, and have made some offers. Hopefully soon I need to look up how to verify that an AP is unmarried. I live in Centreville at the present.

What is the community's impression of Mach V? Reputable? Over/underpriced?
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Old 01-03-10, 03:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

Quote:
Originally Posted by KManZ View Post
Thanks for the tips! I have been intensely sharking the forums here, and have made some offers. Hopefully soon I need to look up how to verify that an AP is unmarried. I live in Centreville at the present.

What is the community's impression of Mach V? Reputable? Over/underpriced?
I've been very happy with my experiences with Mach V. I've had my oil pan replaced and a performance alignment done there. As with any shop, some of their parts prices are lower, some are on par, some are more expensive ... you just need to shop around. There are a number of great shops in VA and MD. Read up on them at the Vendor/Shop review sub forum.
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Old 01-11-10, 01:56 PM   #9
KManZ
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Default Re: KManZ's - '09 DMG STi

Just went to Stage 1!! The previous owner had gotten his stock Gr Protuned by Surgeline, so the price I paid for the AP was VERY worth it. The car is officially awake.
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Old 02-16-10, 09:13 AM   #10
KManZ
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Default Stock System Died

I've heard that the stock system is a POS, as generally most OEM systems are, but I didn't expect it to actually **** the bed on me after just 6 months I hadn't planned on doing the ICE system until well after Stage II and other performance mods, but this is a dire situation b/c I am nearly without sound and my commute sucks bad enough already, so my plans have been rearranged.

The old system from my 350Z is going in, so my overall expenses should be relatively minor versus buying everything new. The acoustics in the Z were horrible, and the stereo components sounded amazing: I am expecting the same system to sound angelical in the STi
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