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SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello iwsti! Not a new member, but a new poster now that I'm 'getting into' this car a little more.

I figured I should start a build thread at this point, as my sti ‘build’ has changed direction, and is more valid now in that regard.

Many years ago, I owned a Volvo c30, and went crazy with the mods, doing absolutely everything I could do to it, and stuff that nobody would dare try. I was swapping in Mazdaspeed 3 and Focus ST aftermarket parts (same chassis) and cutting into bumpers for custom diffusers, custom interior stuff, etc. I was a big member of that community, and was a moderator on those forums. I even made two trips down to the dragon (in NC) from up here near Toronto, just for a couple long-weekend ‘meet and drive’ type get togethers. I had a lot of fun on that car, but by the end of it, I realized that even if I did a built motor swap and took it to the next level, it would still be a fwd based chassis with no resale market, so I decided it would be best to part it out and sell. Then I got my Cayman!

The 987.2 Cayman (Porsche) checked all the boxes of what I wanted in a car. It was small, light, fast, and insanely precise and incredible to drive. However, it only took about one and a half Canadian winters of babying it (eventually on coilovers) that I realized this isn’t gunna work. I got a killer deal on the Cayman, and my build was moving along tastefully and swiftly, so instead of selling it and buying a fancy, more reasonable daily, I thought to myself, 'Hey I can get a Tdi for a reasonable price, and I can daily that and keep the Cayman.'

Fast forward through endless evenings on kijiji (like craigslist but better, to you Americans), and Autotrader, and I decided the Tdi wasn’t for me (go figure). I found an absolutely flawless Sti hatch, and contacted the owner to test drive it. Thing was stock (except for a dash cam, mudflaps, etc.) and on top of that, he had an envelope of every receipt that was tied to the car (in order), every gas receipt since he picked the car up at 30xxxxKM (it was at 95k now), a digital maintenance list of everything that was ever done to the car and when, and it had the front end wrapped, and came with a brand new set of winters, and nearly new summers. I was sold!

Originally when I picked the car up, I figured I would keep it tame, and focus on the Cayman. I set out to do a mild stage 1 with some tasteful cosmetic tweaks here and there, but that was nearly all…. I drive the car to the ski hills, and use it to commute to work (not far), and just daily duties. The car has obviously been creeping up on me, because it wasn’t until I started the below mod list that I realized just how much I have done to this car, even though I said I would refrain!

Now with Covid going on, and lots of time spent staring at the computer, I decided to change direction. Instead of mild stage 1, we’re doing tasteful stage 2 (Update: FBO Stage 2+ with headers), with even more dramatic cosmetic mods and tweaks, and so I made a giant list. This is where this thread comes in. So far, between Newyears and now, I’ve installed 3 things, have 4 things waiting for install, and have 7 more things coming to me in shipments (Update: Easily over 30+ mods as of the original posting), and a few more things to order. I figured I would document this process, as I know how communities work, and everyone likes to see mods happen, especially if they are done cleanly and tastefully (as I intend).

Here is a "before" photo, aka right before things got 'serious':


Please see below for my mod list, and stay tuned for what’s to come (no spoilers, or is there eheh:p)
2012 Subaru WRX Sti (Sport-Tech, I think)
Satin White Pearl

35% window tint
X-pel clear bra
RallyArmor mud flaps
Lightwerkz LED high beams
Lightwerks LED interior lighting
Morimoto LED yellow fog-lights w/ yellow lamin-x wrap
DRL foglight harness
Hella sharp-tone horns painted body colour w/ Perrin hella bracket
Bayson-R front lip
Bayson-R CS style side skirts
Bayson-R CS style rear aprons
AVS window Vents
Carbon mirror caps
Carbon spoiler extension
JDM engine bay covers

R205 fender garnish
Valenti Jewel Taillights
Circuit Demon OEMassive Xenon retrofit headlights
Forester rear wiper arm retrofit
PIAA silicone wiper blades
OLM convex anti-glare mirrors
Red RA-inspired grille and bumper pinstripes
LED lower bumper reflectors
BTA R205 style carbon diffuser
OLM intercooler grille

FactionFab steering wheel
Raceseng reverse lockout
Raceseng Slammer shift knob
Billetworkz climate knobs
Billetworkz e-brake handle
Billetworkz e-brake button
Dialed accessport mount
Kartboy poly shifter bushings
Turn-In Concepts shifter linkage bushings
Group-N transmission mount
Turn-In Concepts crossmember bushings
Cobb double-adjustable short throw shifter
S206 AV trim panel
Overland Designs shift boot
Overland Designs e-brake boot
Auto-dimming homelink mirror
JDM dual-console armrest

Gogo Carbon shifter panel
WRXdaily carbon cup holder panel

Cobb access port (Pro-tuned at neetronics)
Cobb 3" down pipe + heat shield
IAG air-oil separator
Killer B oil pickup + baffle
AEM 340 fuel pump
Tomei ELH w/ Cerakote finish
Grimmspeed silicone intake couplers
Cobb FPR
NGK step-colder spark plugs
Cobb 1050x injectors
KillerB hard inlet pipe
Milltek catback

Wheels/ Suspension:
Summer: BBS MR (18x8.5 et38) powdercoated BBS gold
255/40/18 Michelin PS4S tires
Winter: Enkei RPF1 (17x8.5 et30) in SBC
225/50/17 Michelin Xi3
Stoptech high-carbon rotors
Hawk HPS 5.0 pads
Gorilla shank lugnuts
15+(VA) Sti steering rack (quicker ratio, and more refined)
2018 VA Sti struts/springs/tophats (closes the wheel gap, and lowers the front so it's level. Also valved and sprung better)
Whiteline swaybar set

Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Also including an update of the couple mods I've installed this month:

First was the Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX.
I already had the Pioneer AVIC-X930BT, which I thought was stock for the sport-tech models...
Turns out when I ripped the dash apart, that the radio was installed aftermarket, as there was excess cable that was bunched up and cable tied, and the installer was a little obsessed with foam tape...
I took the radio harness apart, and re-wired the new harness together with the old controller for the steering wheel buttons.
I had to transfer some pins from the white plug on the old harness to the new harness (for the controller), so that was fun!

Here is the harness being wired into the car:



Functionality is 1000x better, and wireless carplay makes the headunit so much better! Very pleased with the results, and I highly recommend this unit.
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SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Next was the COBB SSK.
Pretty self explanatory:


Shifter feel is more direct for sure.
Now, any play that was left after installing the stay bushings and the linkage kit, is gone!
I had to zip-tie the reverse-lock cable out of the way because it was hitting my drive shaft.
The shifter pushes the cable down, and the extra slack allows it to hang too low.
They should mention this in the install instructions, because I only noticed the issue on my test-drive after install.

Now, due to the added difficulty of shifting with the heavier throw, I'm tempted to pick up a new weighted knob from Raceseng :unsure:
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SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Final piece of the puzzle (for now), I was lucky enough to find a JDM AV panel from Rallispec!
The original distributor, whom I believe most ppl go to for the JDM panel, was out of the onyx panel, and they weren't processing orders to Japan for more.
This was due to the insane shipping situation right now...
Lucky for me, I found some of the JDM panels on Rallispec's website, so I reached out to them to see if they had access to some Onyx.
Turns out they had some in stock and ready to ship!
Much nicer than the black-vinyl wrapped stock panel I already had in there:


Stay tuned! It's the weekend, so more to come!

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As promised, the weekend came and went, and so a couple mods were added to the list...
Added some Bayson-R CS skirts and rear aprons to go with the front lip I installed the previous season:


Also decided to add some AVS window vents! Man, these are so much cleaner than the window vents I had on my previous vehicle...

Thats all I got for this weekend! Looks like 2 more packages are supposed to arrive (hopefully) this coming week, so more mods to come!
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SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mini mid-week update!
Shout out to Overland Designs for the fast shipping, and the flawless product.
Got my shifter and e-brake boot installed the other day.
If this was my all-out build car, I may have considered more pieces, but the boots were a must!


My shifter console is currently wrapped, but the vinyl is lifting at the edges, so I want to do something more permanent about it. I was hoping to get my hands on the S206 piece, but I have been informed that they stopped making those parts. Now I'm trying to decide what colour to paint it. I'd love to figure out the paint code for the onyx interior trim, but I haven't been able to find anything thus far! (If anyone knows....)
The weekend is coming up, and I've got some parts waiting for install, and another package coming tomorrow, so stay tuned! The next bits are more exciting than the last few updates ;)

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I'm a little behind on updates!
I had installed some aero/cosmetic parts and then took them off shortly afterward, as some need adjustment, and some are defective.
I'm still waiting on the manufacturer to get back to me about the defective parts before I know if I should go complaining publicly about their product.

In the meantime!
We weren't done with my shipment from cobb!


I paired the downpipe with the OEM catback, to keep the noise down on my daily, but the impact is definitely noticeable.
I can't upload the video of my pull (apparently), but the difference between stage 1 91 to stage 2 91 is probably close to equal to the difference between stock and stage 1 91.
I'm very happy about the change!
Despite my swearing to stay tame, I've been off lurking info on headers, intakes, and fuelling upgrades, tempted by stage 2+ or "stage 3", and a protune.
I am more likely to go after sway bars though, and have my eyes on the whiteline kit that includes front/rear/endlinks/bushings/bracing to pair with my VA suspension.
If this was my crazy build, and I was on coils, I might go 24mm, but I'm thinking 22mm should be sufficient for my daily on oem+ suspension.
I'm also tempted by the group-N mount set, and am contemplating which mounts I realistically need.
I don't think I want to attempt engine mounts, but the trans mount and pitch stop seem like a good compromise (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Also, another interesting point that I feel some may find relevant... I read in many places, and viewed photographs, that showed the COBB D.P was a 3" downpipe, but tapered to a standard 2.5" flange after the cat for a doughnut gasket. This was good to those who were going with the COBB catback or staying stock, but many where shying away and going Invidia for other catbacks, or a big turbo setup, for a full 3" system. Well, to my surprise, when my COBB piece showed up, it was a true 3" pipe, that included a separate adaptor for the OEM doughnut gasket. I figured this would be a useful piece of info for those who are on the fence:


Anyway! I mentioned the swaybars, and I may end up going that route in the near future, but I still have a couple small mods to apply/install before I move on to my non-daily 😂
And, hopefully that company gets back to me about my aero/cosmetic mods, otherwise I may need to change directions there, if I can get my money back through paypal invoicing!

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Late update about what I got up to last weekend!
So, after installing my COBB down pipe earlier, it became apparent that the OEM down pipe packs some value due to the demand from cat recyclers.
I was going to hold onto it and then swap back and sell the aftermarket parts later on down the road, but I got quite a nice payday.
It nearly equated to what used access ports and downpipes go for these days, combined, so, I splurged! 🤷‍♂️



Went for the whiteline swaybar kit, and I could not be happier!
Perfect companion to the 18+ VA suspension I've already installed.
Kit comes with the FR and RR swaybar, bushings, endlinks, and rear mount braces.
I opted for the 22mm kit, as I know there is a fatter bar, but I'm on "oem" suspension, so I didn't want to go too crazy.
I set the rear to medium (2/3), and the front to stiff (2/2), and the car is a different beast now.
Nice and flat through turns.
Car should have come this way from the factory!

On a separate note, it looks like that company is not really interested in helping me out, even though they acknowledged that they are encountering molding issues that are producing warped parts. I've raised my dispute to a paypal claim, so we'll see by the 16th what the answer is on that!

I've still got a few more things going on, some of which I hope to install tomorrow, so stay tuned for more updates!

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thought I had uploaded this update last week, but I guess not!
Carbon bits had been waiting for the temp to warm up, so I could attach them effectively:






Pleased with how these turned out!
I had to massage the edges a little bit, especially the eyelids, as the parts were not symmetrical out of the box, but now they look mint!
The vinyl wrap was to hide that the carbon mirror caps don't perfectly line up with the OEM caps, so you could see the white edge in some places.
All these little touches are contributing nicely to the overall feel of the car.
It's starting to look more high-end sport, rather than the simplicity making the car feel economy...
I'm still on the fence about what to do about the spoiler, and I'm waiting for another company to replenish their stock on a part I'm grabbing for the rear, but overall I'm liking where this is going.
Once the temp is consistent enough to throw the summers back on, I'll be sure to get out for a shoot or two.
I'm also looking to do something about the shifter surround, since it is the only brushed aluminum-look piece in my interior now, and the S206 pieces are unavailable.
In the meantime, I've got a couple OEM/JDM parts on order, and those parts I mentioned before I'm deciding on, so stay tuned for a couple more updates in the near future.

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A little overdue but:

Just a carbon extension for the rear wing!
I think it balances it out nicely with the skirts/lip/aprons.
Also got to put my summers back on with all the new mods and it's looking toughhh :p

I had installed one additional mod, but was missing one small part to it.
It came in today and I ended up having the wrong part number, so I'm just going to design and 3D print a new piece tomorrow. I'll update when that is all finished.

I also have a little JDM interior mod waiting to be installed too, so hopefully I'll get to that soon! Once I have a chance to install, I'll post pics!

Besides that, I've got one other mod that is on queue to install, and 3 more to purchase as they become available, and then I'll be mint!

Looking forward to some creative shoots this summer with all this spare time due to the inability to be social with these public restrictions :LOL:
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SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a small update mentioned above!
I ordered an auto-dimming homelink mirror from a wrecker for a steal.
My standard mirror was oxidizing, so all the more reason to swap it out.
Of course, it didn't include the harness, adaptor, or the cover.
I had to try to source these parts from the dealer, who didn't have the part numbers because it's all part of a 'kit'.
The harness and adaptor were good, but looks like the wire cover is for the wrong car!
Anyways, I recently got my 3D printer running smooth, so all the more reason to put it to work:


Kinda glad I designed my own piece, as it looks more substantial then the lame Subaru one!

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Installed a JDM dual-console armrest riser today!
Probably one of the quickest installs I've done lately :LOL:

Gunna take some getting used to, but I'm happy!
Now the pad is actually high enough to rest my elbow on it while I'm driving and shifting.

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Keeping the JDM train rollin!

My JDM Forester engine bay covers finally arrived... from Russia :ROFLMAO:
It was cheaper to ship used covers on ebay from Russia than it was to ship new ones here from the states!
Because of the pandemic, those who have the covers in the states insist on shipping to Canada with UPS or Fedex instead of USPS, so I was looking at 170 for covers, plus 70$ to ship!
I ended up paying 150 all in shipped to my door.
Had to modify the battery cover, cause obviously this isn't a Forester so my rad support is different, and I got a little inventive with the hardware to secure them!
Now my engine bay looks like how it always should have!

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Small change!

Other than the chrome door pulls on the interior, I've eliminated all of the "aluminum look" trim from the car.
The radio panel is a JDM onyx panel, the shifter surround is wrapped black, wheels are gold, and now this.
It just contributes that little bit to the overall aesthetic of the car and looks rather clean

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So just playin' a bit with the 3D printer, I decided to fix up a new si-drive knob cover just for fun.
It's crude in a 3D-printer way, but it doesn't bother me a ton.
Just working to remove all of the aluminum trim from the car :LOL:
I tried button covers too, but I'm not sure yet how I feel about them so I haven't installed.

Just when you think 'is he done yet?', I keep the mods comin!
Picked up this panel for 20$ because it was 'scuffed' on the silver area.... ideal :sneaky:
My stock panel was wrapped in black vinyl, but the vinyl wasn't holding well so it was lifting at the edges, didn't look great!
The gloss black vinyl also looked out of place in an otherwise matte black surrounding.
I didn't want to paint my only panel incase I messed up and had to have my interior ripped apart for days at a time to fix it, so this worked out well.

Had some leftover colour-match paint from my hella horn install, so sanded and refinished the panel in body colour!

Looks way sleeker in my opinion and is a nice hit of body colour in an otherwise black interior.
Next on the list is a new shift knob, then my interior should be complete!
But first..... stay tuned :sneaky:

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow that looks awesome!! That silver trim is all scuffed up on mine as well. I may have to consider something like this.
Do it! It looks super nice in person and feels premium over the fake metal look.
The way I masked it so well: put painters tape over the cracks completely, press it down with your finger, then use your finger nail to make sure it’s nicely seated in the groove. Once you’re there, take an exacto knife and press it into the groove but towards the aluminum panel side of the groove, so u don’t trim close to the part you want to leave black. Then once you’ve trimmed around the whole groove, remove the excess, then make sure the edge you just trimmed is stuck down nicely over the edge of the black part. For the cubby hole, that’s just careful masking! Not a super hard job, just some tricks I learned in the process 👌

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More progress!

Very happy with this one, looks super clean!
The all-red looks very sleek in person.
Glad I opted for this over the standard bordered red with the clear in the middle for turns and reverse.

SWP 2012 GR Hatch
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looks really clean! What about reverse lights though?

Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
I have LED reverse lights, so they mostly overpower the red film.
I also live in the burbs so I very rarely reverse in a situation where another car is near me or would be would be caught off guard.
Not much parallel parking in busy city traffic!
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