I lurk here enough that I figured I would start a build thread. This is my 3rd Subaru, I started with an 08 2.5i and then upgraded to an 09 WRX. (Small build thread for that car can be located here if you are interested The 09 WRX) Sold that a little over a year ago when I bought my 2.5 RS and decided to go back to school. I have since also acquired an 04 Forester XT (shown below) that my wife drives as a 4th subaru. Most of this will be copied from the local forum journal, so I apologize for any missing information or loose threads. (Combined build thread here Pete and Pickles)
For now my goal with the car is to be a fun daily driver while I finish school. This is a car I plan to keep and of course long term goals are a turbo swap and wide body kit (rust anyone...?) but isn't that everyone's goal?
The car I drive daily is the Silver Thorne Metallic 01 2.5RS. When I found him in October of 2013, he was 100% stock but suffering from a major lack of love and not running. My wife and I decided to adopt him, and we towed her back to a friend's shop in SLC to go under the knife. I was told bad heads, so we went in thinking it would be 3k job. When we pulled the motor, we saw a bad pulley on a pretty new timing belt. Amazingly, the motor was still in time, and there was only slight compression loss. So we pulled the heads off, and started to replace every seal and gasket. We had a local machine shop take the heads, they told us they were actually in really good shape, no bent valves, so they replaced some valve guides, gave it a super deep cleaning, and she was ready to go! Win for me finding a super cheap car!
Pics of the motor adventure
Before I spent an HOUR cleaning the pistons. My mechanic friend said he has never seen a cleaner set of used pistons on a motor... haha.
Stayed stock for a while while my funds recuperated. A while meaning like 3 weeks... haha.
The first was a FREE.99 prodrive exhaust from a friend. It needs a good polish, but it has a great sound, deep without being obnoxiously loud and looks so much better than the other exhaust styles.
I also did the Kartboy shifter and both front and rear bushings, as well as a Warbird Machine Design shift knob from a local friend. I am a fan of the piston shape knob and the custom gunmetal color fits well with the interior of the car. I also replaced the shift boot with one from Redline Goods since the old vinyl one was very worn out.
And an STi key. The car only came with one, so this one was a "necessity" if you are ever talking to my wife. The key is not designed to fit in the RS, it needed a lot of trimming in the width and the channels, and I did this and cut it myself with a Dremel and some hand files. Lots and lots of work.
And then some wheels of course. I had someone offer me an outrageous amount for my stock RS 6 spokes, so I decided to make a little money and get new wheels. I scoured around for a set of really beat up wheels that I could refinish and I came across these 5zigen FN01R-C. 17x7 +48, with the rare "Try Harder" center caps.
A guy with a old gen supra picked them up being told they were 5x114, went to install them and they wouldn't fit, so he was just looking to get rid of them. They were cheap because of this wheel.
Original seller said they were sun bleached, but it definitely had something spill on them or something. Also every wheel had a least a little curb rash, one of them was really bad.
Luckily there are a ton of good write ups on refinishing a set of wheels, so I decided to paint them myself. I bought real automotive paint from Superior Paint Supply, after looking at swatches for a few hours and deciding a pearl finish was a ton of money, I settled on Subaru Aspen white.
A few pics of the process. By the way, the card method sucks. Overspray everywhere, and they kept falling out. I would tape next time.
Original color looked awful with my silver... I know.
I really like the color, but I have noticed that my clear coat was not quite thick enough on some spots like the sides of the spokes, so it is kind of grainy on a couple of wheels and loves to collect brake dust that does not come out easily. I also liked the matte finish the paint had before the clear, so I may end up sanding and clearing a few more coats and then a few more matte coats. I'm not sure yet though...
I also don't love the style of the wheel. I was hoping I would more after the paint, which I do, but not enough to keep I think. I picked up a set of 04 WRX calipers, so I'm hoping that maybe once I get a bigger slotted rotor in there it might fill it out more, but maybe not, and I'll probably end up selling when fall comes and I would love to get a real quality set, works, volks, enkie, etc.
Also some of the cheap muteki lug nuts from Reflected Image. These are made by Muteki, but not branded as such so they are a little knock-offish and priced at about half of their regular lug nuts. The first time I put them on, the blue started to chip. After about a month, they don't look great and have started rusting in the splines. They were cheap, so I can't complain too much, but I would spend more money next time.
Well, I found a guy who really wanted to get rid of a set of coilovers so he could buy a motor swap for his GC. So I bought them for SUPER cheap ($100 plus stock). They aren't the exact set up I want, but I don't know if I will have money for the set I want this year since I am trying to save up for some paint and rust repair.
They are Stance Super Sport coilovers. Only been used about a year. Pretty dirty, and a couple of them are a little rough to turn, but they should clean up really nice when I pull them before winter. For now, I just need to play with the height, raise the back a little for sure and see how that looks, then roll the front fenders. These could easily go down a ton more if I really want I slam it, but that really isn't my style.
And my wife lost a lug nut off her Forester (this will come into play later), so we found a set of Work RS type lug nuts on nasioc. I have my eye on a set of Work wheels for my car that a friend has in sitting his garage that I want to buy, so I'm just planning ahead, and the lugs will go on my wife's car for now.
They were really beat up when I bought them. They were shipped for $40, and then I had them refinished at Pilkerton. I was thinking 30-40 for anodizing, but it ended up being 80 DOLLARS! Just in case anyone was thinking of doing what I did, don't, and just buy a new set. But they did come out looking pretty shiny, in a bright/matte hard coat, I guess I just didn't expect it to be quite that much.
No pictures for this update, but this last fall I finally got around to getting some rust repair on the rear quarter panel. I also picked up a bugeye 3 piece front lip and accord rear spats and had them along with the side skirts paint matched. I never got around to getting any good pictures because I had a hard time getting the front lip to sit flush and went into winter mode shortly after. There will be some good ones coming soon to show how it looks. Also installed a JDM front grill.
Also installed the 06 WRX rear sway bar (free gift from a friend) and Perrin subframe bolts. With the coilovers on the hardest dampening setting it really likes to sit down in corners and power through them. Feels pretty balanced, could probably go with stiffer rear sway bar, but it's good.
Welp, I picked up some 4 pots and gave them a good spit shine. And some sweet DBA two piece rotors. Seriously cool. Along with some braided stainless lines I've had sitting in the garage for like a year and some speed bleeders (best mod ever).
And this whole thing cost me $100 plus a stock 04 WRX set up that I got for $20 that was sitting in my garage. If you can't tell, I'm a big bargain shopper, not necessarily because I'm cheap, but because my favorite part about being into cars is taking something that is old, beat up, or otherwise neglected and with my own hands making it something cool again. Driving fast at a track event, showing off at car meets, those are just extras. To me, it's all about the personal time spent in the garage.
I found a really cheap set of rattle canned and plastidipped 6 spokes (the winter set I had lined up wouldn't clear the 4 pots) and swapped the suspension out on my car. I originally swapped to a stock L suspension for winter, and that was a joke. So much body roll and pitch and dive compared to the coilovers. I went in for an alignment at Ziptie and the mechanic said one of the wheel bearings was so bad that he couldn't align it. I knew it was getting there and had been planning on it anyway. Not having a press, I had my friend who helped me with the motor take care of it for me. What a nice man.
I pulled the coilovers completely apart to clean them and install new adjustment clickers, thinking about selling them. Long story short, I do a ton of driving and work long hours on my feet, so I was starting to have a permanently sore back. Two of the adjustment clickers had broken on me when I tried to soften them up.
Lo and behold, within a few days a set of AGX with Eibach Pro springs popped up on facebook. Didn't mind if I did. Installed same day in time to meet my original alignment appointment and now the ride is just about perfect. I might miss the adjustability, I am just a tad higher than I was on coilovers, but overall it is still plenty competent in the corners and has an aggressive look.
I had listed the wheels in August and had almost no attention for months. In my area, most of the trends are to cram the cheapest set of super wide wheels (I have an amazingly irrational hate for XXR wheels for this reason) you can find and throw a 205 tire on them, no one really cares much for genuine original wheels. So they sat in my garage, spotless, ready for a new set of tires in the spring. I honestly gave up on selling them.
I did list my coilovers locally and I had someone contact me within an hour to come buy them. When he got to my house, he saw the wheels and gave me a cash offer for both the wheels and coilovers which was more than I had expected.
So now back to the wheels I had posted were sitting in my friend's garage. About a year ago, someone locally posted a set of Work CR Kai's that were in pretty rough condition. My friend and I both tried to contact him within about 5 minutes and he ended up with the wheels before I could pick them up. After inspection, the seller had seriously underestimated "rough". One wheel had a bend on the inner barrel, most of the lips on all 4 wheels had curb rash, some major chunks missing, 2 wheels had a seriously awful attempt at a white rattle can paint. Still, the price was still cheap for Work wheels. My friend is a bad wheel hoarder, and has something like 30 wheels in his house, so he never got around to doing anything with them, so when I made an offer for the price I know he paid, he let me take them off his hands.
I went with the JB Weld method. If I had to do it again, I would probably just send them in for sand blasting very first thing, then take them back to do the filling, maybe experimenting with some aluminum filler rods or soldering some of the bigger holes in the lips. Turns out bigger spots of JB weld didn't hold up so well to the sand blasting, so they aren't quite as good as I was hoping for. Oh well, live and learn. Regardless, they pass the 5 foot rule and should be awesome for at least this summer.
Prepped and ready to go in for blasting and powder coat.
Decided to go with Soft Satin White. I love white wheels with the STM.
Ordered tires a couple of days ago. BFG Sport Comp 2 in a 235/45/17. I would have preferred a 235/40, but these don't come in that size and I was pretty set on them after shopping around based on their price, grip, and treadwear, in that order. And this winter has been so crappy here in UT that I'll probably end up throwing these on the car next week. Who knows.