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Stew's '98 L wagon - Bastard JDM Swap + Standalone ECU Daily
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:11 AM   #1
Stew3223
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Default Stew's '98 L wagon - Bastard JDM Swap + Standalone ECU Daily

In anticipation of needing another reliable daily driver car, and having always wanted to build a GF wagon, I've been looking for a clean wagon for a month or so. This past Friday I purchased this 1998 Impreza L wagon to be the basis for the project. I'll use this journal to document my plans and mods as we go, slowly at first. With no further ado...

Current


1998 Impreza L Sport Wagon
Purchased on Friday May 5th, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona
Brilliant Red L wagon 5MT with no factory options
127,643 miles

Goal: a quick, fun to drive wagon for less money than a good used WRX

Maintenance

05/09/2017 Front Main Seal
5/18/2017 Repaired shift selector U-joint
5/29/2017 Re-charged A/C System
Re-painted Intake Manifold
11/18/2017 Oil Change (134829 miles)
05/01/2018 Alignment - Camber set to -1.5 F/R, 0 Toe
6/24/2018 Oil Change (140641 miles), Cleaned Air Filter
12/02/2018 Replaced front axle and fixed hatch wires.
01/11/2019 Oil Change (145,803 miles)

**Mod List**
Exterior
Debadged
Honda Odyssey rear wiper arm
Pink i
RS Hood
Rally Armor UR Mudflaps
OBS Top Wing
Rust Proofing

Powertrain
'98 V4 STi EJ20K Swap
EJ20K Intake Manifold / Sensors / Turbo / Intercooler
'96 V2 WRX EJ20G Block / Heads
Microsquirt Standalone ECU (See: The $300 Standalone)
Grimmspeed MBC
Custom intake w/K&N Filter
GM 3 bar MAP sensor
AMK Bellmouth Downpipe
Blitz Nur Spec midpipe w/Custom axle back
Mishimoto Radiator
Subaru OEM Block Heater
V4 STi 5mt 4.44 Transmission (TY752VBCAA)
Exedy Stage 1 HD Clutch
Fidanza lightweight flywheel
2001 Outback 4.44 Rear Diff
Kartboy Short throw
Kartboy Shifter Bushings

Updated data with the new setup -
20G block/heads, 20K intake mani, VF24 @ 1 bar



Suspension / Brakes / Grip
20mm RSB
KYB AGX Struts
Tanabe GF210 Springs
Paranoid Fab 3/8" Saggy Butt Spacers

215/45/16 Falken Azenis RT615K+ on '98RS Gold Wheels
Front WRX 2-pot Calipers/Rotors
Rear Disc Conversion w/WRX Rotors/calipers
StopTech Stainless Steel Brake Lines


Interior
AEM Wideband Gauge w/Custom column pod
Momo/Subaru Shift knob
Weathertech floor mats
Custom A/C Control solution

Planned
JDM EJ20G Swap Now EJ20K - Completed
JDM WRX 5mt and Hydro clutch swap Completed
Microsquirt EMS Completed
JDM Tails
STI top Wing OBS Top Wing - For now
KYB GR2's KYB AGX Completed
H&R Springs Tanabe GF210 Springs Completed
20mm RSBCompleted
Clear turn signalsCompleted
98 Goldies Completed
Extreme rust prevention measuresCompleted (For now)
Antenna Delete / Relocation
Keyless Entry
Cruise Control
Attached Thumbnails
Stew's '98 L wagon - Bastard JDM Swap + Standalone ECU Daily-autox-mcc-1.jpg  
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Last edited by Stew3223; 03-15-2019 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:11 AM   #2
Stew3223
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Default Stew's '98 L wagon - A daily driver project

What would you do if you could go back in time? If you're a basic Subaru nerd like me, you'd buy a brand new Impreza just to have a rust free car. The idea here, after spending literal years fixing rust on my coupe, was a "fresh start." Not possessing a time machine, I set my sights on the next best thing...A southern car. Thus, we had a goal: Find the cleanest, rust free impreza, preferably a wagon for daily usefulness, and use it as the basis for a fun, relatively reliable daily transport.

The Purchase
Using search tempest and focusing on southern locals in big metropolitan areas for ease of booking a flight, I found this L wagon at a small used car dealer in Phoenix, AZ. After exchanging a few texts and a conversation with the dealer, we settled on a price ($3,200) and I sent a deposit and booked a flight. As anyone would be, this is sorta sketchy...buying a nearly 20 year old car sight unseen with the intention to drive it home across the country to Michigan. Things ended up just fine, the guy (although pretty eccentric) was real and didn't rip me off.

I flew in Friday morning, caught a cab over to the dealer, had a 5 minute test drive around the block and signed some paperwork. Everything on the car seemed sound, it was just as clean as described, zero rust, paint in excellent shape (I think its been resprayed) and the interior in remarkable good condition. So, I was satisfied, and ready to get the thing home. Just a couple thousand miles between me and home.








The Drive
After getting my temporary AZ registration, I set off about 11:30am local time from Phoenix. None of my friends could get off work to help me drive back, so I flew my friend Jake in Oklahoma City later in the day (after he got off work) with plans to rendezvous halfway through the trip. So, I had to cover the first ~1000 miles on my own. And man, what a drive...

Some highlights...
Tonto National Forest...nothing like driving your new used car over a small mountain.



This accident...


Got pulled over in Amarillo Texas cuz the cop didn't like my temp plate. He looked at me like I was crazy for driving this dorky red wagon all the way to Michigan. He asked me a couple times "so WHAT brought you to Arizona??" Written warning (with my incorrect address) and I was on my way.



Finally made it to Oklahoma City at about 3:30am where my friend had been waiting. I was relieved to get some rest and to not be alone, in case something happened. Fuel stop and Jake took the wheel for about 3 hours.


I got about 3 hours sleep and we were almost ready for gas. Somewhere in north eastern Oklahoma, we got gas and changed drivers. Turns out the car had been leaking oil, front seal I think, and misting oil all over the bottom of the car. Made a pretty bad smell and some smoke but never dropped the level too low. Still made me nervous!


Dawn. Somewhere in southwest Missouri.


We ended up going through Kansas City in order to avoid and issues or road closures in St Louis from the flooding. It took us maybe an hour out of our way.

Probably 29 hours later...


And maybe 2 hours after that...I rolled into Grand Rapids.


Some reflections...This was the longest drive I'd ever made, and the first 14 hours was the single longest stint I've ever driven. It was nerve wracking being alone, and exciting and extremely cool to drive nearly completely across the country. There's no better way to see the US.
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Last edited by Stew3223; 08-22-2018 at 08:37 AM..
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:12 AM   #3
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Default Stew's '98 L wagon - A daily driver project

I spent sometime on Sunday cleaning the car up. The oil leak had gotten a fine mist of oil all over the back of the car, so I wanted to degrease and blast off the underside of the car, and wash the rest of it really well. This turned into a wash, polish and wax.




I also ended up debadging the hatch. Some dealer had riveted on a dealer badge. So that was fun. I now had two holes I had to paint and cover.



I've been sitting on these stickers since I went to Tsukuba circuit. Figured now was as good a time as any to use one finally!



It's so clean. I did find evidence that it's been resprayed, but not recently. There's still various dings and scratches. Some previous owner must have. I can't find any signs of body damage from an accident. Who re paints an L? It's a decent paint job too. And it's all still in really good shape.


Time to fix the oil leak and daily it as is for a while!
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Last edited by Stew3223; 05-08-2017 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:23 AM   #4
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That thing looks super clean!

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Old 05-08-2017, 09:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariii View Post
That thing looks super clean!

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk


It's clean in a way that I thought is impossible.



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Old 05-08-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew3223 View Post
It's clean in a way that I thought is impossible.



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Holy ****! I just wish the block in my GC was that clean! How is that possible lol

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Old 05-09-2017, 05:39 AM   #7
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wow! clean is an understatement!

welcome to the 98L club!
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:45 AM   #8
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dont see roof vent on your short list..
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:01 AM   #9
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damn, i thought mine was clean when i got it haha. nice pick up, paint looks great!
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:32 AM   #10
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That's pretty insane how nice it is haha.
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