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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone! I’ve been a long time lurker on this site and the community here has helped me a lot throughout the ownership of my STi. I bought my car about a year ago and I thought it was about time that I created a journal to share my experiences.

Before I talk about the car, I thought I'd give a brief background about myself and some of the cars I’ve owned. I'm currently a mechanical engineer working in the Boston area, but I'm originally from New Jersey. I grew up working on cars as my dad is a mechanic and has been one for 30+ years. When my dad got me my first car, a Chevy Prizm, it didn't run and needed a new engine. He said I could have it if I replaced the engine in it and fixed it up. I was 15 at the time and that experience got me hooked on cars. I eventually sold that car and bought a 1997 outback. The previous owner said it needed a new engine, but it turned out that it didn't and I got a steal of a deal on it. Unfortunately, about a week after tuning it up and getting it running right, I was t-boned by a guy running a red light, totaling the car. I was able to use the money from insurance to buy another 1997 outback with 126xxx miles on it. I owned that car for about 4 years and got it up to 190xxx miles before I sold it after I bought my STI. I would have loved to keep it, but living in Boston, parking one car is a nightmare, let alone two, so it had to be sold.

Now onto my current car and my daily driver, a silver 2004 STI. I bought the car in September of 2016 after months of searching. The car had 126xxx miles on it, and it looked to be in pretty good shape. The ad claimed it had a new engine, new turbo, and new clutch, as well as a turbo back exhaust and tune. The body had some dents and there was some rust on the trunk under the wing, but the engine ran great and the price was right.

My intentions for the car were to return it to stock and keep it that way. That plan has since remained mostly the same with a few additions to make the car how I envisioned it should be. The car has been a ton of work, and has definitely been very frustrating at times, but it has been totally worth it.

All of the work I’ve done to the car happened over the past year, so I plan to update this journal every week or so with some of the major things I did as there are too many stories to put in one post. Thanks for reading!

The day it came home.

Some interior pics from when I bought it.

First road trip I took up to the White Mountains.

Cars and Coffee

Current Mod List:

Killer B Oil Pickup tube
Killer B Oil Baffle
Group N Engine and Transmission Mounts
Perrin Pulley Cover
Perrin Radiator Shroud
TurboXS Axleback Exhaust
Intake Silencer Delete with Custom Velocity Stack Inlet

Whiteline 24mm Adjustable Rear Sway Bar
Whiteline 24mm Adjustable Front Sway Bar
Kartboy Endlinks
Superpro Steering Rack Bushings

TIC Holy Shift Kit
Cobb Short Shifter
Group N Engine and Transmission Mounts
Steering Rack Bushings
Kartboy Transmission Crossmember Bushings

Prosport Oil Pressure and Boost Gauges
Eonon Android Radio
Kicker Speakers
Hella Horns
JDM v7 Sti Wheels

Current Repair/Maintenance List:
Replaced turbo inlet
Replaced valve cover gaskets
Replaced cam seals
Replaced oil and water pump
Replaced timing belt and pulleys
Replaced spark plugs
Replaced aftermarket exhaust with stock exhaust
Replaced two brake calipers
Replaced brake rotors and pads
Replaced failed crank pulley
Replaced camshaft position sensor
Replaced clutch with OEM clutch and new flywheel
Replaced oil pan

Wish List:
Replace all Suspension Bushings
Aftermarket Radiator
Feal Fixed Perch Struts with JDM Pink Springs
TIC Clunk Killer


Super Moderator
10,695 Posts
Nice, I like 2004 STi's.
Keep up the good work and nice garage.

1,321 Posts
It's nice to still see some GD love. I noticed you mentioned replacing all the bushings. I did that on my 06 and what a difference it makes! I used mostly group N with a few poly bushings in the mix here and there. It really tightened up the whole car and gave me a great foundation for the new suspension components. It wasn't easy, but it was totally worth it. Anyway... best of luck!

20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Got2Boostit2 - Thanks! That's actually my dad's garage back in jersey, so I unfortunately don't get to use it that much. He's currently restoring a 1966 mustang the basically lives on that lift now.

Subysal - I've currently been looking at the Group N bushings for my car. It doesn't seem like too expensive of an upgrade. It definitely seems like it will be a pain to install them all. Since my car is my daily, I can't have it out of commission for too long, so I'm looking at getting some second-hand control arms, trailing arms, and lateral links to replace the bushing in. Then I can just swap the whole part, rather than fighting with removing the bushing. Were there any of the bushing you replaced in particular that made the most difference?

20 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Time for an updated.

So after purchasing the car in New York, I brought it down to my parents’ house in Jersey to do a once over on it and change a few things before bringing it back to Boston. The first thing on the agenda was to put back the intake silencer and the fender liner. Since both were missing, the intake was pulling air from the wheel well and anything that is churned up by the wheel. I didn’t think it was a big deal because the air filter would stop anything from getting to the engine, and I was going to replace it anyways. Well, turned out there was no air filter and everything was going right into the intake. It was also raining the night I drove it home so the intake was full of water. Luckily, the engine was okay and still runs fine.

The next morning after replacing the air filter and fender liner, I noticed a pretty substantial puddle of oil under the car. After investigating, I found that the oil pressure gauge that was hooked up to the rear galley was leaking a ton of oil. The guy used the wrong fittings and didn’t use any thread sealant. So I replaced the gauge with a prosport gauge and put the correct fittings and sealant to stop the leak. However, that was not the only leak. It took a while to figure out, but the crank case vent hose, the small 90° one, was hard as a rock and cracked, leaking oil everywhere. So I replaced that hose as well which stopped the leak. Even after all of the leaks and the loss of a decent amount of oil, the dipstick still showed overfull. I guess the previous owner really overfilled the oil, so I had to drain some out to get the oil level correct.

The next thing I did was replace the clutch with a new OEM clutch. The previous owner installed a “new” stage 2 clutch and a “new” flywheel, but I was a little skeptical of this since the car had some pretty bad clutch chatter. Since I was going to be driving in a city and keeping the car stock, I wanted to go to a stock clutch that would be easier to drive. When I took the old clutch out, it was far from new and the flywheel had a few hotspots on it which you can see in the picture.

After replacing the clutch and flywheel, the car was much smoother and easier to drive.

The last thing I did before bringing it back to Boston was replace the aftermarket turbo back with a stock one. The guy said he tuned the car, but I wasn’t really convinced based on the other issues I had. So I took my car to a local tuner in jersey who checked it out for me. Turned out, all he did was raise the idle 100rpm and slightly richen the A/F ratio. The guy said it would have been unsafe to run with the aftermarket turboback, so it was a good thing I reverted back to stock.

After all this, the car was finally in good enough shape to go back to Boston with. I'll leave it here for now and I'll update again soon. Thanks for reading!

20 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So its been longer than I intended since the last post. Between work, traveling, and adopting a puppy I haven't had all that much time.

After repairing the clutch and everything, I brought my car back up to Boston, where it has become my new daily driver. I managed to sell my 97 outback which helped cover the cost of some of the repairs. A few weeks after having it up here, I kept getting a check engine light and a blinking cruise light. Turned out the turbo inlet hose was completely ripped where it meets the turbo. I ended up replacing it with another stock one due to availability and time. What a pain that was to replace. If I had to do it again, I would have put an aftermarket one in to prevent having to redo it down the road.

I then took a trip up to the White mountains. The roads up there and the views are amazing. I need to make another trip up there sometime. Unfortunately, that trip didn't go as planned. I had been dealing with intermittent overheating issues for awhile, and right as I got off the highway in the white mountains, my car started to overheat. The entire way up, the temp was fluctuating from normal to the second notch, but it always went back down. I decided to take it to a nearby shop to have the thermostat replaced. Turned out that it was siliconed in place, and some of the silicone got onto the thermostat itself, causing it to stick. I was luckily able to have it replaced the same day and get back on the road to enjoy the Kanc. Unfortunately the only photos I have from the trip are the ones in my first post. I was running out of light and wanted to drive the kanc before it got dark.

Thanks for reading!
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