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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[Post=3820353]WARNING: Long story
[/post]

Photos
Right off the lot:


Today:





Mod list:
Factory Installed:
  • SPT Short Throw Shifter
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror + Homelink
Power:
Supporting/Dress-up:
Drivetrain:
Handling:
Interior:
Exterior:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Back in high school, I REALLLLLY wanted an Evo. Everyone was into what I later learned to be "rice", so we all had massive hard-ons for the huge wing, hood vents, fart can exhaust, etc. Good thing I never got one, because in hindsight I probably would have killed someone (if not myself) at some point...

Years later after college, I found myself in the market for a new car. I'd been driving a 1988 Mazda RX-7 that got about 13MPG on the freeway, so I needed something modern, safer, and more fuel efficient. As fate would have it, Mitsu decided to skip on the 2009 model year for the Evo X, so the 2008 models were on sale with a HUGE discount. I had a new red GSR with the aero, sunroof, and sound package all lined up for $27.5K (something like $8K under sticker). Everything was turning out perfectly.

Then I took it for a test drive. Off the lot, it felt pretty good, great power getting on the on-ramp, a little bit of turbo lag but so far so good. Then I go to grab 6th gear. Only, there's no 6th gear. I'm doing about 60MPH in 5th gear with the engine buzzing like a sewing machine at about 3200 RPMs and I think to myself...I'm gonna go bananas commuting in this every day.

And so I end up getting a slightly used BMW Z4 3.0si. Ended up owning that car for 4 years with few issues (other than blowing a couple struts on 405 during a visit down in Socal). Very well balanced on the track, easy to fling around, good smooth power delivery for the commute, and it got 28MPG on the freeway.

A few months ago, I decided to move down to LA after getting engaged, and with that decision came another decision to be made: what should I replace the Z4 with? The rock-hard suspension (to the point where I question if the car even had one) would be no bueno on the cratered roads down there, and I'd need something more practical since I would only be bringing one car down. I toyed with the thought of getting an S4 or IS-F or M3, but I decided that I wanted something more visceral and less "artificial". I also didn't want something so fancy that I would feel bad if I beat on it every now and then. My only requirement was that it have 4 doors, so I considered the Mazdaspeed3 (a new 2012 model was on sale for 21K in my area), the new Focus ST, and the WRX. I thought about the GTI too, but reliability concerns from VAG products scared me off. I liked the build quality of the Civic Si, and the shifter is buttery smooth, but the lack of power and torque was a dealbreaker.

After test driving the MS3 and the ST, I was so close to getting the ST. I then found out that I may be in New England in a couple years, so I figured maybe the WRX would be a better choice. I was actually really excited when the WRX sedan restyle came out in 2011, but the lack of a 5th gear in a "rally-inspired" car did worry me a bit. I went in for a test drive, and was pleasantly surprised to find out the WRX top gear wasn't ridiculously short like the Evo GSR's. Unfortunately, though, even with the SPT short shift kit the transmission was way too vague for my liking; coupled with the high shift lever it felt like I was driving a truck. I hopped into an STi, and all the complaints I had about the transmission went away.

Next came the task of finding the one I wanted. I knew I absolutely had to have the WR Blue paint job. Unfortunately, nobody within a 200 mile radius of me had one, and the lead time on orders was something like 3-4 months. At the time, I was interviewing for jobs down in LA, so I figured I might as well ping a few dealerships down there to see what they had in stock. Santa Monica of Subaru managed to hunt one down for me, and agreed to sell it at 500 under invoice . I put down a deposit for it, flew down a week later for an interview, took a taxi over to SanMo, did the rest of the paperwork, and drove it back up to the Bay Area.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Rallyarmor V2 mudflaps and trunk debadge:



GTSpec flat-bottomed steering wheel:


Carbon fiber vinyl wrap:


Valentine1 hardwire:


LEDs for rear plates:


LEDs for interior. 12-led festoons to replace each bulb:



OEM trunk cargo nets:


Nameless axleback 5" mufflers 3" double wall tips. Notice how misaligned the left side was initially. Otherwise, looked and sounded good.



Red grille pinstripe trim, Hella horns, and OEM foglights. Installation of the horns was a breeze with the Subimods wiring harness and bracket.


STi painted on intercooler. Super easy with the stencil.


Red "i" vinyl overlay for badges. I got tired of the red "i" after a couple of days so I removed them.


Amber rear turn signals:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

OEM rain visors. Again, easy install:


BaysonR V-Limited front lip:



HT Auto side skirt lip. I think I ended up drilling 7 or 8 holes for this.


HT Auto rear spats. Pretty easy to install; just drill a couple holes.


Accessport Stage 1 OTS flash:


Accessport holder (Type-S phone holder I ordered on Amazon for $6):


Cobb SF Intake + Airbox. I ended up removing this because it was too loud
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Yakima Whispbar S5 roof rack + Inno fairing. For whatever reason just running the roof racks without the fairing gets the top incredibly dirty, which is why I have the fairing on it. They're actually louder with the fairing on than off...


Flip key mod:


30% front 15% rear tints:


New wheels: Prodrive GT1 in Glitter Gold



Invidia Q300 Catback and vanity plate + frame:

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Just put in these bad boys this week:

Cusco rear strut bar. This was a PITA to put in, not because of the bar itself, but cutting the trunk mat AND rubber cargo mat.


WC Lathe Werks burnt titanium shift knob and SI-Drive dial. I'll put the reverse ring on when I get a chance to get the car in the air.


Removed the Cobb intake + airbox, and replaced it with an AEM intake. Much quieter now; the volume of the "sucking" sound with the Cobb intake was just too much to handle as a daily driver. It was especially annoying going uphill. Also added a Perrin red radiator shroud for good measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Massive photo dump; I hope I didn't FUBAR the page load for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Put together a ghetto gopro mount. A couple hose clamps, some rubber tubing, a 1"x2' PVC pipe, and some 1" end caps. I used the seatpost gopro mount.



Also put on some OEM side moldings. They really help accentuate the lines on the car IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Put on a bunch of things today. Invidia catted divorced wastegate downpipe, Grimmspeed electronic boost solenoid, Whiteline 24mm front sway bar, Whiteline 22mm rear sway bar, and Kartboy rear endlinks. Wasn't able to have the front endlinks put on because I was missing the spacers to use with aftermarket sway bars (not sure why it's not just included with the fronts when they are with the rears). Car was tuned by Paul at Yimisport, and is now pushing 290 WHP and 321 WTQ, which is about average for a stage 2 tune. Overall the car drives much better, the exhaust sounds much beefier, and body roll has been significantly reduced.



Oh yeah, also put on R205 fender badges. Will take pictures after I get the car washed (it's filthy right now).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Grimmspeed EBCS:


Cusco front strut bar:


Ebay STi oil cap:


Invidia catted divorced wastegate downpipe:


R205 side fender badges:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Over the past few months I've tried adjusting my footwork to be able to heel-toe consistently with the GR pedal setup, but I just couldn't get it down. If I use the side of my foot to roll onto the gas pedal (like I've always done in my old cars) it'd fall between the brake and gas pedal. If I try to use my heel, my heel would end up hitting the transmission tunnel. If I try something in between, my foot misses the accelerator altogether.

Today, I installed a Cusco wide accelerator. It's meant for the BRZ/FRS, but you only have to dremel off a small portion of the top bracket to get it to fit properly. Heel-toe now is a breeze :).




I dremeled off part of the upper brackets (the hook one that's on the left side of the gas pedal).
 

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Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Love your car and mods! Noticed you dropped the Cobb Intake for the AEM. i'm looking for something you can hear the turbo/intake when you get on it hard but still be quiet enough for a daily driver. Would you recommend the AEM?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Love your car and mods! Noticed you dropped the Cobb Intake for the AEM. i'm looking for something you can hear the turbo/intake when you get on it hard but still be quiet enough for a daily driver. Would you recommend the AEM?
Definitely. With the AEM when you really get on the throttle you still get some good induction sucking noise, but unlike the Cobb it's not overwhelming when you're just lightly applying throttle going up a slight hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: FiatLux's Blue 'n Gold GR (Grocery Retriever)

Busy week, installed a buttload of stuff. Finally got the KB front endlinks on (needed to use a set of spacers because of the aftermarket sway bar). Not sure why the endlinks don't just come with the spacers to begin with... Also put in a KB pitch stop mount, Whiteline steering rack bushings, RCE black springs, Koyo rad, Samco silicone radiator hoses, Defi boost, oil pressure, oil temp, and coolant temp gauges, AEM UEGO wideband, SMY clustermaker to hold a couple gauges, Crawford AOS, Grimmspeed front plate relocation kit, Subtle Solutions plate delete, and a Perrin pulley cover for some added bling.

Now I'm just waiting on the JCS Pods a-pillar to mount the other 3 gauges, and the head unit with the 4.3" LCD display from an XV Limited.

Time for some pix:
Got the lockout ring installed a couple weeks ago. Thanks to whoever gave me the tip of putting it into reverse before knocking out the pin holding it in place :)


Crawford AOS:


Koyo rad + Samco hoses + Perrin radiator shroud:


Gauges (boost and oil temporarily mounted to the top with double-sided tape):


Grimmspeed plate relocate kit:


Subtle Solutions plate delete with some red vinyl behind the STi:


What the engine bay looks like today. All the black stuff on the intercooler are dead bees...
 

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