Thanks everyone, there is much more still to come, that I already took place that I still need to post.
So as far as the removable parts affected by rust, I decided to replace some parts, and others, less affected, strip, repaint and keep. I started sourcing some parts. And so began daily visits by FedEx, UPS, USPS trucks, lol.
First up a gas tank. Now where as my old one was in a sad state the one that I got on eBay was from the state of Arizona, which didn't look like it seen even barely any rain, let alone snow. Even considering that it came out of 02 WRX. The difference was nearly comical.
There were just a few scrape marks on the bottom. So I cleaned it all up and coated those spots.
Before I took the car apart, I had that fuel cutout issue with low gas level, during the hard right turns. So while doing this I got a fuel pump assembly from the 06 STI to have the slush box. I also regret not taking the pictures of the inside of the gas tanks, but as you know all Impreza tanks have a little tub that surrounds the fuel pickup strainer. When I compared the one from WRX to the original RS's, WRX's tub was a little narrower and had taller walls so it looks like it was addressing the fuel cutout issues to some extent a little more than in RS. But with this, plus the STI's slush box, I should no longer have any issues. I just have to rewire the harness from the sending unit. Because its different from RS's. Even thought it plugs is the same, the fuel level gauge is not working. That is still in front of me.
I also had a bit of deliberations on what to do with the fuel filter. STI's have the filters inside the tank right on the pickup assembly, where as other Impreza's including WRXs have then in the engine bay.
I did some reading, and saw how some STI owners were bitching that it's so much harder to replace them, and even some relocated then back to the engine bay area, removing the stock ones. I almost decided to go that route as well, but then I thought... How often do you have to replace these fuel filters now a days. So I just ended up buying a new one from the dealer (without really knowing the condition of the one that I got with the pickup) and removing the one in the engine bay instead. Making the engine bay a little cleaner.
Then it was time to paint. Earlier in the summer, I took a large metal sheet that I had laying around, stripped it to the bare metal and tested out some combinations of primer, and rubberized sprays. Tried, rust treating primers from Duplicolor, Rustolium, and Eastwood, then also rubberized prays from all three. The hands down best and most durable combination turned out to be the following
• Eastwood Rust Encapsulator over bare metal
• Rustolium Truck Bedliner spray - that gave really abrasive scratch resistant surface.
• Eastwood Rubber Coating
Here you can see the new filler neck, new charcoal canister brackets, new hoses
Then it was time to take all of the freshly painted parts, along with new hardware and start putting it together
Quick before and after photos:
The rest of the stuff
Time to go back onto the car.
Here you see the welded in patch primed and hit with seam sealer
Hubs, struts, rotors are going on as well
New DBA 4000 rotors, and for now I am putting on 04 STI struts. I still have STI Ver 5 struts that I have to regrease. May put them back one day. 04 STI struts/springs are supposed to raise the car just a bit
At this point the rear was completely assembled. The front was still untouched. But having to completely rebuild the fuel system, I wanted to start the car just to see if I connected everything correctly.
So I checked and added all of the fluids, added few gallons of fresh gas. put the charged battery in. Took a deep deep breath. This would be the first time the car would run in 2.5 years!!! With only downpipe on, I turned it on. It Started!!!!! and no CELs. I let it idle for maybe 15 seconds and shut it off again.
Next I decided to fix up the floor. I went ahead and stripped the sound deadening material, cleaned up the rust spots away. They were mostly around the plugs, which I had to replace except for 3. I just took some galvanized sheet of metal, cut the circles, and stamped then out.
This one I sprayed with Eastwood white rust Encapsulator and then white Rustolium. I have a box of Dynamat that will be going there.
The rear of the car was done. It was time to start to work on the front half of the car. This is a really weird way I guess that I did it. But the reason is that I really never done any type of project remotely close to this scale. And I really didn't have a well layed out plan but rather kind of just went along as I saw things. In fact, when I started on the rear, I didn't even imagine that I will be doing to the front what I ended up doing. But as I did things, I gained experience and confidence to do things that I would have been afraid to do before. So that's basically how things were going.
If I had to do it again, and maybe one day I will do it again on another project car, I'd take all of the parts off, rent an auto rotisserie and to the whole underside in one shot.
But nonetheless, it was time to turn the car around for that the front would be closer to all of my tools. Where as I did start the car couple weeks prior, this would be the first time the car would drive in 2.5 years. For this occasion I put the real seat in. It was the most exhilarating 3 point turn that I had ever made, as everything still amazingly worked.
What was as equally amazing was seeing the garage, empty of any cars. This Suby has became such a fixture in there, that the garage just looked plainly odd without it.