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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. This is going to be a long slow journal about a new to me STi that fell into my lap.

* this is going to be a slow journal of daily progress and work, not a throw money at it build *

some background. I’ve owned lots of cars in my time but never a Subaru. In recent years I’ve sort of become a Ford guy by accident (I had a ‘13 focus ST, now have my focus RS. Wife had a focus wagon, then got a focus SVT, now has a twin turbo Ford Flex). The focus RS is becoming more and more of my HPDE car, and I’ve been looking for a daily to run to work and around town in without fear of being pulled over. Turns out everyone else I know loves Subaru’s, immediate family has ~8 of em (1 outback, the rest in new foresters and crosstreks). I guess I’m part of the club now.

A friends brothers friend was “selling his STi, should I buy it!?!” My friend said. For the quoted price I said yes absolutely but just be aware the motors probably gonna blow any day now. He decided to pass since he’s in an apartment right now rebuilding his house, so I asked for the guys phone number. Too good to be true right?

so it’s real, the titles in my name and it’s in my driveway. 2010 metallic grey STi base. 275,000 km (170k miles), two owner and bone stock. She is a high mileage car and has been across Canada / America a couple times and it shows. Missing blanking plate covers, lots and lots of rock chips on the hood/roof. Cracked underbody trays, dings/dents/scrapes. It’s a project no doubt, but in a good way. The frightening thing though is it’s still the original motor, and even original clutch! Some photos when I brought her home.

also when I say ‘too good to be true’ deal, it was $3000 cad (~$2500usd). Not a rebuild, not a salvage etc. Never thought I’d own an sti

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So the car came with a massive binder of receipts, from the day the previous owner got financing (end of December 2013) to the other weekend when I took over. He took good care of the car, but wasn’t shy about driving it. Not a big car guy so all the work was done by the dealer. You could tell he’s not a car guy cuz certain things get repeated with weird service intervals.

im out at a track day this weekend and have some time to spare so I went through and did a rough list to see what has and hasn’t been done. Prices are in cad

Subaru STi

Purchased 12/26/2013, $32,106 plus tax etc

01/07/2014 - oil change, , oil additive, injector cleaner $175.41
01/07/2014 - brake pads, rotors, new tires $2450.19
06/03/2014 - oil change $75.70
09/11/2014 - oil change, injector cleaner, oil additive, cabin air filter, spark plugs, $629.88
12/12/2014 - winter swap $111.95
2014 = $3443.13

02/18/2015 - oil change, transmission fluid $268.54
05/29/2015 - oil change, alignment, “brake inspection”, power steering flush $690.66
06/17/2015 - head unit and install $904.33
07/02/2015 - winter swap $111.95
08/28/2015 - oil change, air filter $153.47
11/05/2015 - oil change, oil additive, injector cleaner, wiper blades, cargo box accessory $729.91
2015 = $2858.86


01/21/2016 - oil change $109.08
04/26/2016 - oil change, cabin air filter, injector cleaner $302.22
04/26/2016 - thule accessory $258.69
07/11/2016 - winter swap, tire storage $216.95
07/26/2016 - tire storage $105.00
07/27/2016 - oil change, air filter, cabin filter $159.03
08/12/2016 - alternator belt, steering rack $1408.37
11/04/2016 - oil change, oil additive, injector cleaner $142.29
11/11/2016 - new summer tires $799.96
12/13/2016 - winter swap $111.95
12/22/2016 - oil change, secondary air pump relay, repair/test alarm $72.53
2016 = $3686.00


01/23/2017 - RR wheel bearing/hub assembly $732.97
02/06/2017 - windshield replacement $200.00
02/16/2017 - single winter tire $347.53
04/15/2017 - winter swap, tire storage $225.96
06/14/2017 - oil change, oil additive, injector cleaner, timing belt, tensioner, idler pulley x4, a/c belt, coolant $1406.84
07/27/2017 - windshield replacement $200.00
10/17/2017 - oil change, injector cleaner, “oil additive”. $120.30
11/07/2017 - RR caliper repaired (threads) $0.00
11/08/2017 - exhaust repair $95.20
12/13/2017 - winter swap, tire storage $225.96
2017 = $3554.76

01/24/2018 - oil change - $122.36
03/08/2018 - ABDF oil change, oil additive fuel treatment, spark plugs, diff oil, lsd diff oil, “tune up kit”, alignment $922.33
03/08/2018 - washer fluid nozzle $33.46
03/13/2018 - tailgate switch replacement $209.72
05/11/2018 - winter swap $124.54
06/20/2018 - oil change, left front turn bulb, VVT solenoid leaking $215.14
07/03/2018 - alternator belt $57.05
07/19/2018 - vvt solenoid gaskets, exhaust heat shields, exhaust gaskets, new up pipe, front AF sensor, turbo heat shield $1630.19
11/15/2018 - oil change, injector cleaner, oil additive, alignment, battery $560.92
= $3848.71

02/12/2019 - oil change $82.97
04/11/2019 - winter swap $127.68
07/18/2019 - oil change, LR wheel bearing/hub, front control bushings, sway bar endlinks/bushings, new tires $2735.16
12/05/2019 - oil change, air filter $115.50
12/11/2019 - winter swap, one new tire $434.87
= $3496.18

05/26/2020 - oil change, inspect brakes $135.83
05/29/2020 - winter swap, alignment $270.99
11/25/2020 - oil change, air filter, cabin filter, power steering oring $149.62
12/01/2020 - 4x rotors, 4x pads, helicoil front calipers $1547.62
12/24/2020 - winter swap $136.64
= $2240.70


01/19/2021 - trunk latch actuator, power steering pump o ring replaced, leaking when hot $389.12

Total: $23,517.46
I can tell the car has some miles on her. Doesnt reallt squeak or rattle, the chassis feels fantastic still. It burns some oil, which I suspect to be the turbo since it’s the original. But it could use a compression/leakdown test just to give me an idea. so there was a big one that worried me which I noticed right away is the clutch peda l squeaks when I depress it. It was brought up in 2018 and the techs noted that the mount on the firewall is cracked, will need dash out/interior out and welding to fix.. that sounds awful. Otherwise it feels good. Throw out bearing is definitely done, and power steering pump whines sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And here are some more photo dumps from when I got it. I kept all the photos so when insurance comes knocking to accuse me of getting the car “under market value” and paying below the tax they think they deserve, I can show them it’s rough, and it’s most likely needing a full new engine soon lol.

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ooof, can't complain for that price!
Gotta get some wet sanding and polish to those headlights and clean up that engine bay tho!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh yeah. Once I’m back from the track weekend I’ll slowly start a full top to bottom inside and out detail. Get the thing on stands and really do a full once over and see what’s what.
 

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Congrats man! I’ve always wanted an STi and came close to my first Subaru being a ‘08 WRB Hatch but it wasn’t meant to be.

Curious to know the results of a compression and leakdown test. If they’re fine I’d say you got a deal of a lifetime! Considering it’s all stock and dealer maintained it’s not unlikely the motor is perfectly fine with a lot of life left.

Definitely will be following this one. So much more satisfying to have a fixer upper with good bones and potential :)
 

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Not so many cars make it far past 200K. STIs are not the longest lived cars. Yeah, at least one made it past 300K. Hopefully the OP will be lucky, but compression isn't the only issue. Bearings are as important, Perhaps an oil analysis would inform him of copper content. But knowing isn't going to change the need for a rebuild. It may however motivate him to rebuild before it becomes catastrophic and damages far more. On the other hand, if he does a full rebuild with power upgrades, it hardly matters - everything will be replaced, and it will be expensive.

Seems as like the OP is already investing . . .
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The way I look at it is, for my wife to not get mad I have to spend some time with it as a daily driver before it can become a full blown project, which we all know is inevitable. Good reminder on the black stone labs for the oil. Since it runs well enough I don’t plan to touch a single thing motor wise. I have a feeling that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

no suspension shown on the history, but it still rides really well and doesn’t clunk. Front control arm bushings have been done, nothing for the rear yet. I know it needs motor/trans mounts since the EJ damn nearly jumped out of the bay the first time I started her.

trans still shifts fantastic, tight and clicky into every gear but the shifter bushings are fubar. I can hear the throw out bearing is also dead, whines on clutch in at speed.

in good news though track day went well with the RS, first time out at this place and it’s a lot to learn. Thankfully I’m there tomorrow, let’s hope forest fires don’t come too close and cancel it.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Back home. Since the baby was napping with the wife I jumped out and did a quick wash of the engine bay, scrub down and a wet polish / buff of the headlights. Not perfect obviously, they’ve got lots of damage but so much better than before.

the intercooler sure is worse for wear. No way to clean out all those small pebbles and dirt without full removal I assume, don’t think I want for do that just yet...

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i removed the hood insulation to clean underneath it. I didn’t expect it to be such a delicate piece. I tried to also scrub it down but with a bristle brush it just started to peel like paper

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Wow the headlights came out great. One cheap easy trick I use for headlights is Mother's mag aluminum polish. $8 and it leaves them looking like new lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I have an odd new symptom, it’s now leaking oil :unsure: when I washed the engine bay I was extremely gentle, no pressure washer etc. Dirt was agitated with a soft long bristle brush and then hosed off. Possible it was just oil/grime on the block that’s finally being washed/dripped off but seems like too much. I’ll definitely have to investigate

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While I was digging around, I noticed in the passenger front bumper there is a plastic tank, but I can’t for the life of me tell what fluid that is suppose to hold, and I can’t find any filler neck from up top, am I going crazy?

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decided to wash the car while washing track day grime off of the RS. Man the paint is just destroyed.... this is the first wash I’ve done, even afterwards it feels like sand paper LOL. I’m not sure if it’s even been waxed in the last 200k km. The sun is too strong lately so I can’t do anything about it just now, but it will need a clay bar, aggressive cut polish, sealing, and spot-rust treatment with something like POR15. The front bumper is the worst for sure, its so fogged by years of Canadian winter road salt/sand and lots of cross country road trips. The rest of the car has scratches, swirls, damage on every single panel, so I can’t hurt it at all by trying to help it a bit.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I’m leaving the outside for now and am gonna start cleaning up the interior. While the baby napped I emptied the trunk and inspected. No rust except for one of the rear strut top mounts, so I hit it with PBblaster for the future. Vacuumed, washed, cleaned the trunk mat 👌

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WOW, that is how you truley know this car has never been mess'd with! It still has that plastic tank! That plastic tank is for the intake system. I believe it attaches to the bottom of the air box or something like that. It was designed to resonate intake sounds I think. I think all the GR/GV sti came with it. In my opinion it serves absolutly no purpose in terms of performance or reliability. Its easily one the very first things that gets thrown out when doing an aftermarket intake lol.

As for the oil leak, remove the engine under panel and check the power steering rack. They tend to leak on these cars. Mine is starting to leak at the very top of the rack where the steering shaft connects to the rack. Basicially there are two o-rings that are worn causing this leak. In order to replace them, the rack would have to be removed and taken apart. Its way more cost effective to just replace the o-rings but also easier and faster to just remove and replace the steering rack complete as a whole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Jay11STI youre probably 100% correct. In the service history I posted earlier those o-rings have been done twice and the whole rack replaced once. I also noticed when washing the bay that the power steering is way over-full and thought that was suspicious. I guess he knew it leaked, so just kept it full.

its definitely not as viscous as engine oil, which is why i thought maybe block grime runoff mixed With detergent.

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Yeah that does look pretty overfilled. Clean up the rack area from wherever its leaking from and monitor how much it leaks vs how long. It may or may not be as bad as you think. One alternative to doing a repair is to use Lucas power steering stop leak if you have real fast/bad leak. Ive herd of some guys having good luck with that stuff. Since that would be a temperary fix, cant say how long it will work for or what long term effects are. From what ive herd, if the power steering system is leaking after using that stuff, then its really time to replace everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Slight update, I already broke my rule about this not being another project cad 😂 price was too good to say no, so I picked up a set of kw v3’s with vorshlag camber plates

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so I picked up a tin of POR15 to start treating the small patches of rust. Mostly just rock chips around the car, but it makes a difference. Obviously it’s not a 5’ car but it’s better than the 50’ car it was before.

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I’ll be ordering 3m polishes so the black will be cut down and blended in a lot. Most of the paint can be salvaged I think, but the front bumper is most likely beyond repair. That’s ok, the hood/roof will need a respray as well anyways eventually

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I got the car up on stands, removed the undertray. Haven’t cleaned it yet just wanted to assess. Definitely a leak on the left side and right side of the motor.

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the rest of the underbody looks really clean! The pinch rails and frame rails are not banged up or bent at all which is crazy for the mileage. Some surface rust on all the rear suspension bite, nothing some brushing and POR15 paint can’t fix

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only glaring issue is one of the rear diff bushings has clearly blown out

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Wow, seems to be a bit more serious than just the usual power steering leak I had thought of earlier. Its possible the valve covers could be leaking. Best to clean everything up real good with brake clean, or whatever and then monitor it over time. Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom.

As for the rear diff bushing, is it the bushings on the pinion bracket mount?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Jay11STI I’m not sure what you’d call that brace, but it’s circled in red (rear of the car looking forward)

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sorry for the slow updates guys! Inventory at work and my wife changed hours, so what little free time I had with a one year old at home has dwindled even further.

as seen from the photo above, it’s obvious this has been a Canadian car lol. Lots of surface rust but thankfully it’s exactly that; surface. I was going to just daily this car as is, but I figure if I don’t save this one I’ll probably never own an STi again as the used market is kind of going crazy.

so first thing I did which you saw in a previous post was go around the entire car with a fantastic rust converter paint (por15) and cover any of the rock chips. I then took off the side skirts to expose the rocker panels.

mother than breaking almost every plastic clip, the metal is in great shape. Pinch welds are not bent at all! Of course there’s the light dusting of surface rust but for Canada it’s really nothing. Brushed clean and POR15’d.

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like new! Theres Still much more to do, including removing the fender liners and checking in the fender wells. I also started going around the rear subframes too touching those up, more for aesthetics.
 

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is that por15 stuff the brush on stuff?

i dont have much rust on mine, mild surface rust on a few parts, not on the body but ive been considering doing that just to help keep it safe, although at this point i dont really drive the car much in the rain, and none in the snow.
 
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