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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
My Subaru Story

Hi Everyone,

I thought since I’m making a journal I might as well share my Subaru story.

My interest in Subarus started when the 04/05s were out and about. I loved how they looked but never got close to one or did any research on one. At that time I probably didn’t even notice any colors other than WRB. The classic WRB with the Gold BBS rims is what IMO made it a cool car at that age. I didn’t know anything about its heritage, that it was AWD or turbo. In fact, I probably even made fun of the shopping cart wing, after hearing that from my dad a few times. I also always heard from my dad how Subarus are like Birkenstocks. The people using them are kind of weird and quirky. The stereotype of hippie Subaru, outdoors type owners seemed to have followed Subaru into the present age.

Fast forward a few years when I was looking to purchase a car and the Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX (AWD Turbo) was what I was interested in. Watching YouTube videos, reading up on several forums, I decided that a DSM would be it. I was keeping my eye on the local listings for 1995-99 DSMs and compiled a list of what I wanted to do to the vehicle after I found one. I spent all summer looking but they were all just out of my price range at the time. I guess I am also a little picky and wanted a very clean, non-rust shell but just couldn’t find a decent one. Sometimes it sucks to be a perfectionist. But in the area of purchasing used cars that seems to have proved an asset.
After I went through the DSM phase I began to research the new Mitsubishi Evolution X after I sat in it at the local car show. I knew I didn’t have the money for it but it still perked my interest. Plus those seats were just the most comfortable things ever!

A year after that, my best friend bought a 2007 Subaru STi in WRB with 17” gold BBS rims. Man, I really love that car. This sent me back to the drawing boards with newfound interest. At this time the hatchbacks were already out for a few years and I decided that would be exactly what I was looking for. Fun little turbo car, 305hp and a hatch.

I enjoy camping, and snowboarding and the hatch with its fold-down seats would be very beneficial. Plus, I like to plan ahead for the future. I believe it is best to purchase the vehicle you want in a few years to avoid having to sell your vehicle and face losses through your sale. Also, there is snow in my area and having an AWD vehicle will be greatly appreciated. Lastly, I am also a family guy and contemplated that I may need a few years down the road. Better have enough room for baby strollers and baby car seats!

Then my search for a Subaru hatch began! Back to the local listings. Where I’m from these cars are really hot and don’t last in the classified long. Several times I was the 2nd or 3rd person to respond to the ad and lost out. I was beginning to be frustrated and discouraged. Maybe this was not meant to be?
For a few months there weren’t many cars listed and then one day I happened to stay up fairly late and this 2009 Subaru STi with low miles shows up! It was WRB with the Gold Rims and also had a few simple things done to it. I emailed the guy back right away and the next morning after my University classes I drove 4 hours to go check this car out. It truly was amazing and I left a $200 deposit and took home the winter rims (4 perfect gold BBS rims). Another 4 hour drive home. And man, I could barely sleep that night as I couldn’t wait to see my ride again. The next day I went to my classes but I just could not pay attention! I couldn’t wait to go pick it up! That evening I brought it home but as it was leased I had to wait for the lien to be cleared before I could register it. But when I finally got to drive it and had it on the road I had the biggest smile ever seen by man... Okay, pretty close :D

My family currently owns 3 GR hatchbacks and I have some friends with some beautiful GDs. Anyway,
we seem to all love our Subarus.



 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
My Modifications

My plans for the car are to make it a great daily driver and allow for some spirited driving on occasion.

Modification list is as follows…

Power/Engine:
· AEM CAI
· Turbo-back Exhaust
· COBB AP v2 with Custom Tune – Sport 17 psi – Sport# 19 psi

· Battery insulator
· Greddy Magnetic Drain Plug (not installed)

Suspension/Handling:
· Whiteline Front Anti-lift Kit Bushings (post #7 DIY)
· Whiteline Front Gearbox Positive Shift Kit Bushings (post #4 DIY)
· Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings (post #4 DYI)
· Whiteline Rear Subframe Insert Bushings (post #5 DIY)
· Whiteline Rear Differential Cradle Bushings (post #6 DIY)
· Whiteline Adjustable Front Sway Bar 22mm
· Whiteline Adjustable Rear Sway Bar 22mm
· Whiteline Front & Rear Sway Bar links – Heavy Duty Adjustable Steel Ball type

Wheels/Tires:
Summer:
· OZ Alleggerita 18” with 245 Michelin Pilot Supper Sports
Winter:
· Stock Gold BBS with 245 Winter Tires

Brakes:
· Stock with HPS Brake Pads (not installed)

Exterior:
· Tint on Front and Rear Windows
· 3M on Bumper Cover, Mirrors, Half of Hood and Fenders
· Smoke Tinted Tails
· Smoke Tinted Headlights
· Rally Armour Mudflaps – Red Lettering
· Debadged other than STi Logo
· 2011+ Front Bumper w/ Fog Lights (Summer) (installed)
· 2009 Front Bumper (Winter)
(not installed)

Interior:
· Short Throw Shifter
· iPod Hook-up
· Weathertech Digifit Mats
· Escort Passport 9500ix

Wish List:
· Sound Proofing, new paint
· Slotted Rotors – When Stockers wear out
· Stainless steel brake lines
· Up-pipe
· Grimmspeed 3-port EBCS
· New protune
· AOS
· 17" Rims for Winter with a narrower tire
· Circuit Motorsports Clutch Master Cylinder Brace
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Re: My Subaru, My Story, Let the Journey Begin

Whiteline Front Gearbox Positive Shift Kit Bushings - KTD901

Impressions:
The shift response did increase a little. The install isn't that difficult. Just make sure you have a 14mm deep socket.
The quality of the product was very good. I was surprised on how flimsy the stock bushings were.

Here is the link for some help for the install - I didn't get any instructions with my package. Busted Finger Forums • View topic - DIY: Subaru Whiteline Cross-member Bushing Install WRX/STI



Make sure to have your support right in front of the brace as in the photo as you need to remove the brace.



It is also important that you note the size of the bushings between the front and back as they are different.





Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings
- KSR207

Impressions: I did not that there was slightly more road feel but for daily driving I don't believe that these modification are worth while.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Whiteline Rear Subframe Insert Bushings

Whiteline Rear Subframe/Crossmember Insert Bushings KDT902

Impressions: I did this install the same time as the diff insert bushings. In general I installed items separately so I could determine their effect on the ride. Out of all the bushings installs I've done so far I believe this one was the most beneficial. It made the care feel so more solid through more spirited shifting. Some of the sag and lag just disappears. Install is not overly difficult. You just have to go for it, it makes sense after you follow the instructions. ;)

Guide I used for Installation: http://www.iwsti.com/forums/how-install/129590-2008-whiteline-rear-subframe-bushings-w0598.html



You can see how the top of the area where the bushing is dropped down, it all depends where you support the rear diff with the jack. Most important part of the install.



I also reused all of the metal spacers and hammered down the tabs on the bottom.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Whiteline Rear Differential Cradle Bushings

Whiteline Rear Differential Cradle Bushings - KDT903

Impressions: In combination with the subframe bushings, the rear end of the car felt a lot more connected with the road and more solid through shifting. Definitely worth it. This was probably the easiest install out of KDT901-3.

The guide I used for the install: http://www.iwsti.com/forums/how-install/128779-2008-whiteline-rear-diff-bushing-install.html

A total of 4 bolts need to be removed for the bottom part. The top part is more difficult. This was the most difficult part of the install. Make sure to move your jack up and down to find where the bushing will slip right in. Several people have a difficulty with this but this is the trick. Just watch how the top part of the insert opens when you lower the differential.



Only one side has insert bushings.




The other side is already solid.


 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Front Anti-lift/caster Installation

Whiteline Front Anti-lift/Caster Bushings -KCA334

Impressions: The car definitely tracked straighter, less wish-wash. I did notice that turn in felt slightly more crisp and the car seemed to be more precise and quick to follow my steering instructions. But that may have just been partially because of the sway bars.

Installation was fairly difficult. I spend a lot of time on this one. Getting the control arm off was probably a difficult process as that area of my car was totally new to me. I definitely learnt a lot though and am glad I did this install, even if just for the experience.

The guide I used for the install: Whiteline supplied installation instructions

When removing the control arm I ended up just twisting the bolt holding on to the ball-joint as the coder pin was difficult to remove and wasn’t receptive. I then used a nail to punch out the remainder of the coder pin.

Once you have the control arm removed you need to find a press to push the stock bushings out. Try and be careful and not scar the inside of the control arm. The control arm is aluminum and can easily be scratched. You want to make sure that you don't make the new bushing loose within the slot.

On the press I first punched out the old rubber middle part of the busing and used the washers contained in the package for the Legacy models to push the old metal ring out. I'd also suggest using a few other bushings that are stronger to support it as the one supplied has a tendency to flex as it is very soft.

The two pieces can be seen below:





Once you have the old bushing out you want to take the new bushing and first seat it properly into the control arm. I did this because on the press I used I couldn't push directly on the middle of the bushing and didn't want to accidentally push it in at an angle. I used a rubber mallet and got the bushing in around 1/3 of the way. Once I was that far I used the supplied Legacy washer and a few stronger washers to push it in completely with the press.



Once you have the new bushing in you will need to grease it up. When you are installing the control arm I found that having a jack on the tire and moving it up/down helped me best position each of the control arm contact points. Where the new bushing goes I found it was best to jack the tire up to normal ride height so that the control arm sits flat. Thus, it was easy to put the bolts on as the whole bushing was not twisted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update! Amazing balance. Time to upgrade to Blisteins?

UPDATE:

So I love the way the car handles right now. The combination of the sways, end-links, ant-lift kit + bushings is very noticeable. One of my friends with an 07 Sti was totally blown away. The Sti SE should have come this way :D

The balance is amazing! Coming out of a corner it has awesome grip and helps you feel the grip limitations and push the boundaries of this vehicle.

Those using your Subarus for daily driving should seriously consider these modifications. It doesn't produce a harsh ride and makes me feel more in control of the steering due to slightly increased road feel and less sag in the corners due to the sway bars and bushings.

Possible Next Step:

Anyway, seems that I might have a bit of strut clunk. So I started researching the GTWORX/Bilstein Cup kit.

I’ve heard/researched that they are a good choice for daily and was wondering what negatives/positives those who daily them had. Also, I don’t care for slammed cars as I daily it but would also like opinions on yellows vs. blacks (regular guys).
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Re: My Subaru, My Story, Let the Journey Begin

Update: Car seems great. The previously added upgrades and adjustments have definitely proven worthwhile. I love how the car feels now - more road feel and the power is hitting the road better. This is also my first winter with the car and although I drove my friend's 2011 WRX a few times last winter, I definitely have enjoyed having my own AWD vehicle. It seems to do great in the snow and any condition for that matter. Definitely has confirmed my vehicle choice :tup:



In other Subaru news....

My brother's 2009 STi was having issues a while back and was burning tons of oil. All the blow-by resulted in us taking out his engine and starting our first engine build = Ringlands!

After we had the block machined we ordered all our parts and are currently in the process of putting everything together. After going through this process so far, I feel comfortable saying that if you have a garage, and are willing to learn, anyone can remove a Subaru engine. :tup:

It has been a great experience and the factory service manual, and on occasion this forum (thank you all you posters out there!), have been great sources during our project. We are hoping the rest of our build comes together well.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Re: My Subaru, My Story, Let the Journey Begin

We actually used an old swing set, set up a ratchet, hoisted it up and rolled the car back so we could drop the engine onto the engine stand. Pretty ghetto engine pull, but cheaper than purchasing a hoist.

On our rebuild we have to order new valve buckets as the heads were machined. Resulting in it taking more time than expected. If you can have a loaner vehicle for a while and take the time with your build, your garage is a great place to have a blast with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: My Subaru, My Story, Let the Journey Begin

So I decided that I wanted to have a 2011+ bumper cover and use this as my summer bumper. Since my vehicle didn't have fog lights I thought I'd add those as well. I ordered these parts from my local Subaru dealer and the autobody shop.

If anyone is looking to purchase the parts from their dealer and have their autobody do the painting, the following parts are required:

  • Front bumper cover: 57704FG113
  • Tow hook cover: 57731FG330
  • Fog light kit: H4510FG080 (Note)
  • STi Grill: 91121FG080
  • Bumper Side vents: 57731FG150 and 57731FG160
Note - If you don't order the fog light kit, the non-fog covers are part numbers 57731FG310 and 57731FG320.

I purchased the following clips so that I could have two dedicated bumpers. If you are planning on only having one bumper you can reuse the parts from the original bumper.

  • Push rod rivets: 909130013 x 4 (grill to bumper)
  • Tapping screws: 904500031 x 6 (grill to bumper)
  • Side vent holders: 57721FG000 x 6
I just received the painted bumper today and am waiting on a few clips I ordered from the dealer. As I have to go out of town for two weeks, I won't be able to complete my install until that point in time.

Bumper picture:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: 2011+ Bumper Installed w/ Fogs

Update on 2011+ Bumper
Finally received all my screws and clips from Subaru yesterday and got a chance to complete the installation of the 2011 bumper cover today. When I took my bumper off I noticed that there was rubbing at the bottom of the fender with the original bumper cover resulting in some surface rust. So I did some sanding, priming and added touch up paint to help prevent any future issues.

Through my research prior to the purchase of my parts, I was unable to find any reasoning as to why the 2011+ fender liners were required and had read that the 2008-2010 liners were appropriate. As part of my install I noticed why included the 2011+ fender liners to their install: some of the pre-cut holes for the clips do not match up and the 2008-2010 bumpers cover curves into the body rather than staying flush with the wheels.

As such, on the sides connecting the fender to the liners, I was only able to attach two of the three turn style clips as one hole did not line up. On the bottom side, I was unable to attach the fender lines with the push-type clip that is closest to the wheels. To complete the install I placed the fender liner on top of the bumper cover (so on the inside, rather than underneath) to allow the two turn style clips to attach to the bumper cover.

As a result, if anyone is completing the conversion, I'd recommend that the 2011+ fender lines are also purchased. I have yet determined if I will be purchasing these, but the part numbers are as follows:

  • Right Fender Liner: 59110FG040
  • Left Fender Liner: 59110FG050
During the install:
Complete:
 

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Done the same mod with the face lifted bumper bud, l had to replace the wheel arch liners as the original ones didnt line up and with the new bumper, tried streching them but the plastic rivets kept popping off , so l bit the bullet and got the correct ones for the bumper.
 

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Nice with the bumper cover swap. I have a 14 hatch and am actually wanting to swap to the 08-10 bumper cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Done the same mod with the face lifted bumper bud, l had to replace the wheel arch liners as the original ones didnt line up and with the new bumper, tried streching them but the plastic rivets kept popping off , so l bit the bullet and got the correct ones for the bumper.
The plastic rivets are also coming off on mine all the time. Just waiting for someone with an 11+ to total their car and purchase a set.
 
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