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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I traded my '16 WRX in for a '19 STI a few weeks ago. I got a great deal on it and Subaru 1.9% financing so I couldn't pass it up. Even though the STI is slower than my flex fuel WRX was, it's better in almost every other aspect. The raw, mechanical, old school driving feel is what ultimately drew me to the STI. The Recaro seats certainly didn't hurt. The STI just suits me better minus the terrible fuel economy, but it's certainly better than my '95 RX-7 was.



2019 Subaru WRX STI CWP
MSRP: $41,622
Invoice: $38,802
Paid: $37,522

Factory Options:
  • Recaro Package (Recaro seats & keyless access/push-button start)
  • Popular Package #1 (Center armrest extension, wheel locks, auto dimming compass mirror w/ homelink, rear cargo tray, and rear bumper applique)
  • Shifter Package (STI shift knob & short throw shifter)
  • Rear splash guards
Some of my more notable previous cars:
  • '16 WRX - 330whp (E50 flex fuel tune, GS TMIC, GS EBCS, TGV/EGR delete, AOS, stock intake & exhaust). Plenty fast, but felt "numb" to me. Not the driving experience that I was looking for. I do miss getting 30+ mpg.
  • '11 Civic Si - slow, but I do miss the sound of vtec and revving to 9k rpm
  • '95 RX-7 - 330whp (intake, turboback exhaust, upgraded intercooler, etc.)
  • '05 AP2 S2000 - also slow, but handled amazingly, sounded great, and revved to 8.5k rpm
  • '01 Cobra - tried the American muscle thing for a while.. loved the torque & sound, but the handling & weight wasn't for me
  • '95 Civic w/ tuned K20 swap - stolen - light, fast, 220whp, 2300 lbs, 12 sec 1/4 mile, redline at 8.6k rpm
  • '93 Civic w/ LS/VTEC turbo swap - light, tons of power (~400whp), and no traction thanks to FWD.. even with the ITR trans w/ LSD
  • '93 RX-7 - 360whp ("FBO" with the stock turbos, street ported engine w/ ceramic apex seals)
The only cars that I really crossed shopped before the STI were the '19 ND2 Miata (the whole driving a slow car fast thing) and the '19 Mustang GT (gobs of power, fast, great exhaust sound, carb legal supercharger, etc.). But nothing beat the practicality of the 4 door, awd STI (wife approved - especially with a baby on the way). I think that it's a good balance of power, handling, driving feel, and practicality. Despite being a Honda guy at heart, I didn't really consider the CTR due to the looks and the dealer markups. I feel like Honda has really lost their way since the 90s & 00s. I'd rather Honda have made a lighter car w/ a high revving NA engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Mod list:

Exterior
  • STEK Dynoshield PPF done by Detail Maniac ("Premium Full Frontal" - bumper, hood, fenders, headlights, a-pillars, front portion of roof, door mirrors, lower door/rocker panels). I learned from my WRX that Subaru's paint is way too thin. Rock chips make the front bumper look like swiss cheese.
  • CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coating
  • OEM JDM rear fog/brake light kit w/ pnp harness from SubieBros
  • OEM JDM LED DRL bezels w/ SMYPerformance "pnp" harness (H4517VA417)
  • OEM JDM STI anti-glare sequential turn signal mirrors (ST91039ST050)
  • OEM STI front lip under spoiler (E2410VA030)
  • OEM Type RA black/cherry blossom fender emblem garnish (91123VA300 & 91123VA310)
  • OEM STI license plate frame (SOA342L126)
  • OEM JDM STI fuel cap
  • Diode Dynamics LED reverse & license plate lights
Interior
  • OEM JDM STI S207 shift knob (ST35022ST170)
  • OEM STI short throw shifter (C1010FG600)
  • OEM JDM coin holder/fuse box cover (66170VA010VH)
  • OEM JDM push button start - older, discontinued model w/ light-up STI logo (ST83031ST012)
  • OEM Kicker tweeters (H631SFJ101)
  • OEM windshield sunshade (SOA3991320)
  • OEM rear cargo tray (J501SFJ400)
  • Alcantara wrapped OEM extended armrest
  • Diode Dynamics LED interior lighting
Not yet installed
  • Cobb AP - take off from WRX
  • ES transmission crossmember bushing set - take off from WRX




Spotted a Type RA:
 

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Nice start and quite refreshing to see someone who appreciates the merits of the STI over the WRX. I'm currently a little caught up in the power mods and seeing very little bang for the big bucks throw in, but as love my STI.

Looking back at the progression, I think I should have just stayed at getting a tune on the stock build + the Killer B ELH. I'm currently falling into the plan of getting a bigger turbo and it's a slippery slope.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice start and quite refreshing to see someone who appreciates the merits of the STI over the WRX. I'm currently a little caught up in the power mods and seeing very little bang for the big bucks throw in, but as love my STI.

Looking back at the progression, I think I should have just stayed at getting a tune on the stock build + the Killer B ELH. I'm currently falling into the plan of getting a bigger turbo and it's a slippery slope.
Thanks! I've been fighting the urge to start modifying the engine. I would really like to do the Kill B ELH, but then figure that I should at least add a downpipe while I'm there and will need a tune anyways.. and then the slippery slope begins..

But I keep reminding myself that I should have just kept the WRX if I wanted to modify for power. The FA20 responds really well to ethanol. You can easily get 320 whp wiith only the $600 Cobb flex fuel kit & tune. The bang for your buck doesn't get much better than that. No need to upgrade the fuel system or add any other bolt-ons. The STI's EJ257 has a much higher potential once you start building the block, adding a larger turbo, etc., but that's honestly more than I want to spend at this point.. especially living in California and having to worry about carb regulations & smog down the road, but I'm sure you know how that goes :)
 

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Yes, I understand the worries about smog. I actually don’t even get the 6 year exemption because I purchased my car new in Reno because I saved about $5K and when you bring a car in from out of state, you loose the exemption, so I’m sniffing every 2 years
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Some minor OEM interior mods..

S207 shift knob w/ cherry blossom STI logo:


JDM STI push-button start w/ light-up logo (discontinued):




JDM coin holder/fuse box cover:


OEM Kicker tweeters - huge improvement for the base STI sound system for ~$90:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Some OEM exterior mods...

STI lip (sorry for the dirty car):


JDM LED bezels:


Wiring the LED to always come on with the DRL C lights was "fun"... They're far from plug-and-play with SMYPerformance's "pnp" harness. Comes with quick splice connectors & 0 instructions..


JDM rear brake/fog light (again, sorry for the dirty car):


 

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Discussion Starter #8
OEM STI Type RA (black & cherry blossom) side emblems/garnish:




JDM STI anti-glare sequential turn signal mirrors:


Comparison of the mirrors - say good bye to blind spots & glare. The wider/zoomed out perspective does have a little adjustment period. This has been one of my favorite mods.



 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Here's a quick write-up on the wiring that I did for the JDM LED bezels in case it's helpful for anyone else.. I know I was certainly lost when I received the kit.

I purchased the "plug and play" harness from SMY and was disappointed to find out that it's not truly pnp and requires splicing additional wires via quick taps. Their kit doesn't include any instructions :tdown:

I saw a lot of debate on tapping the side marker or the 3 wire plug directly below the headlight adjuster (which is essentially accessory power). But I wanted the LEDs to sync with the C-lights (both when the headlights are on & off). I read over the wiring diagrams in the FSM and thought I had it figured out, but I was missing one wire. I found that I needed to tap both wires 6 & 7 on the headlight harness connectors. I then ran the grounds to the existing grounding points on the frame.

Passenger headlight:
  • Tap wires 6 (black/blue) & 7 (red/green) and Y the connection to the red power wire on the harness. It's recommended to use diodes on each pin.
  • Run the black ground wire on the harness to the existing ground point on the frame.
Driver side headlight:
  • Tap wires 6 (black/green) & 7 (red/green) and Y the connection to the red power wire on the harness. It's recommend to use diodes on each pin.
  • Run the black ground wire on the harness to the existing ground point on the frame.
These are the diodes that I used:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071YWNBVM

The only downside is that the LEDs don't dim with the C lights, but that's not a big deal to me.

Someone else made a super helpful video and wiring schematic that I can't take credit for. Just passing along the information.

2018 WRX STI - JDM S4 Bezel LED Running Light CLight Wiring - YouTube

Wiring schematic:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Went to the dealership today for my 1st free oil change (5,300 miles). I had changed the oil on my own at around 1,200 miles with Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 (got it for $10 with rebate).

Unfortunately, after driving home the car smells like burnt oil. I don't see any leaks, but it just leads me to believe they were probably a bit careless. I plan on checking the oil level in the morning, but this just reminds me why I do all of my own maintenance.

Not sure if I'll take it back for the 2nd free oil change.
 

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Went to the dealership today for my 1st free oil change (5,300 miles). I had changed the oil on my own at around 1,200 miles with Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 (got it for $10 with rebate).



Unfortunately, after driving home the car smells like burnt oil. I don't see any leaks, but it just leads me to believe they were probably a bit careless. I plan on checking the oil level in the morning, but this just reminds me why I do all of my own maintenance.



Not sure if I'll take it back for the 2nd free oil change.
Always do your own work. And switch to 5w-40. I use Pennzoil Platinum Euro. It quiets down the valve train noise quite a bit and reduces blow by. Car is much happier with it. Use the OEM blue filters.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Finally, a new part! It should have come like this from the factory...

Alcantara Extended Armrest:







Not a perfect match color-wise for my OCD, but it's close enough. I'm sure it'll get closer as it gets dirty and wears some :)
 

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Hi Nick,
When you install the JDM rear fog/brake light, did you put the wires through the opening that is truly intended for it and the clips to hold the wiring or did you just use the same plug that most if not all aftermarket vendors recommended ? If so, did you remove the rear bumper to get to the plug or was it accessible just by removing the bottom clips?

I just bought the complete SubiBro kit with PnP harness and dual intensity harness plus LED bulb, is this the same setup you have on your car? I will be installing it during the holidays so any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Nick,
When you install the JDM rear fog/brake light, did you put the wires through the opening that is truly intended for it and the clips to hold the wiring or did you just use the same plug that most if not all aftermarket vendors recommended ? If so, did you remove the rear bumper to get to the plug or was it accessible just by removing the bottom clips?

I just bought the complete SubiBro kit with PnP harness and dual intensity harness plus LED bulb, is this the same setup you have on your car? I will be installing it during the holidays so any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.
I bought the SubiBro PnP kit as well, but with the OEM light. It was a pretty easy & straightforward install once you get in there. Everything was plug and play for me. There was no need to remove the bumper.

I used the trunk plug that was already there. I ran the wiring behind the top of the plug rather than putting a slit in it as I didn't want to risk slicing the existing wiring. I did use the included clips to hold the wiring in place just to make it look a bit cleaner. Here's a pic from inside the trunk.

 

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Finally, a new part! It should have come like this from the factory...

Alcantara Extended Armrest:







Not a perfect match color-wise for my OCD, but it's close enough. I'm sure it'll get closer as it gets dirty and wears some :)
Did your car come with the extended armrest and you sent it in to Overland Designs? Or did you buy it separate and send it in?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did your car come with the extended armrest and you sent it in to Overland Designs? Or did you buy it separate and send it in?
My car came with the extended armrest and I sent it to him. So I drove around for a week without an armrest. He received my armrest on a Monday and I had it back the following Monday.
 
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