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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So here is my Suba story.
I got this car July '12 from a buddy of mine that was into VW beetles. It is a 97 Brighton coupe 5sp awd with wrx brake and spring package all four corners as well as having an ej251 already swapped in. Also had wrx seats f+r, 01 rs bumper. Sale price of just $1000. Rode my bike down to get it and drove it back...well limped back. The swap was done by the previous owner and no wiring was touched to make it work. Giving more than 5% throttle caused it to bog and die out horribly

Appeared to have very little rust, just had a little around the one side of the windshield frame, but had a very rusty smell inside.
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Original
1997 Impreza Brighton 1.8l awd 5 speed manual 3.9fd

Current:

Exterior:
99-01 RS front bumper
Antenna delete
rub rail delete
clear side and corner lights
Aspen white 2k paint (51e)



Interior:
98RS interior
04 wrx seats front and rear
subaru 6 cd changer
black headliner/door cards


Electronics:
98rs harness merged with 04 wrx harness/ecu and sti fuel pressure regulator(used Brydons diy thank you!)
98rs fuel tank harness on 97 brighton tank with wrx fuel pump and rs fuel level sender.



Engine:
04 wrx 2.0 99
spt intake
sti turbo back

Transmission:
stock 5 speed with 205000miles on it...should be fun

suspension:
03 wrx steering rack
jdm spec gc moog tie rods
driveworks boots
wrx steering pump custom lines
L&E fab steering uj

wheels/tires:
99RS 6 spoke wheels in silver
very large tires that rub a lot.lol
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
End goal:


Custom usdm 2door wrx build.
I want to build with all factory parts to come up with a reliable car that can be taken to a dealer or easily serviced by the owner

To Do list before posting finished pics:

replacing and upgrading rear suspension/bushings (my car has no rear sway)
installing front sway
find corner and fog lights
safety check/alignment
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
firs order of biz when I got the car was to get the wiring issue ironed out and clean up the engine bay. My buddy Beau put an impreza outback hood on without vents or scoop so it was nasty as all hell. removed the intake painted and cleaned the bay and intake.




I tried everything with the wiring even went as far as swapping the section of shielded crank/cam sensor wiring into my existing loom


this is the 1.8l cam/crank sensor wires at the ecu end.

This is the ej251 cam/crank sensor wires. dont know what car...came in a box with the car

cam/crank wires at engine plug end

firewall grommit

ecu pinning
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Swapping over a large portion of the sensor wires helped but still had idle issues and would have a hesitation at about 2800rpm. still awesome to drive:)I fell in love with awd and the handling of this car.
Sadly while driving it I encountered my first major rainstorm in fl. Within 5 min of rain water was dripping down the a pillars and filling up the floor boards. It became apparent to me that most of the windshield was no longer stuck and had been leaking
With the car not running 100% correctly and the body needing some attention I decided to garage the car and pull the windshield.
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

pulled the interior, doors and windshield as well as all of the wiring
The worst of it was under/behind the drivers seat. The seat mounting braces were insanely rusty and had a broken bolt in one of them. the front seat was being held down with sheetmetal screws.

This is the drivers rear foot well you can see where the rear brace was removed

This is where the front brace for the drivers seat was.


My dad helped me weld in this little patch and get the new seat braces welded in...turns out dad isnt much of a welder/body guy love you anyways thanks for trying.

same shot with the lights off and a light under the car
seeing as its for saftey i purchased my own mig/gas shielded welder and re-did it








Here you can see the edge of the windshield frame.I got weeks worth of naval jelly until the rust was gone. then sandblasted and self etch primer
smoothed it out with some short strand fiberglass once sealed
Then came another nasty blow. Quater panel rust. This car spend its life in tallahasse fl but still had the fender rot







a shot from inside the drivers QP (was quite proud of the gaps here)
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)






drivers side finished and sandblasted just before paint


Passenger side was not as bad at first sight but then just got out of hand. i could have cut less but didnt want any chance of rust coming back




I broke the windshield getting it out so i had to find a new one. after several months of shopping aroudn this showed up in my local junkyard with a good windshield, doors, trunk dash and wiring. I decided that i would take all of it. stuck a deal with the yard owner and proceeded to pull everything that i would need to make the rs work
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #8

By far the most important part of the car is the hood scoop
For the first time since i owned the car i had all of the major body pieces together.








looks like total hell but it was great to see the scoop and vents in the hood!


Never liked plastic craps on my doors so i pulled it off


One of the biggest factors in doing this job is space. The two dents in this pic were put there by me.
Im kinda clumsey and this is my first big project on an actual car. I found it insanely hard to not damage the big body panels while trying to work the car, there were full days spend just moving parts around so i could have enough space to work.



looks kinda blobby and chunky

well its no Tig job but i was ok with it.
In hindsight i would have just fiberglassed(with epoxy resnin) from the inside.
i wanted ultra smooth finish on these and proceeded to warp the skin while grinding it.
Had to put about an 1/8" of short strand filler to flatten them out. It sounds ghetto but hoestly you will use less filler by using filler on these holes.
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Not shown but going on in the background was an antena and wing delete, thats right wingless!!!
the antena just looked lame. they all got welded up. With that all done and the body smoothed out it was time for
some FP410 high build urathane primer.Big thanks to my local Sherwin williams auto. I grew up in Africa where
laquer paints still fly. I played with them lots and was at a loss about all the modern stuff.
They really helped me through the whole process. Stupind questions and all.



Take no notice of the super ghetto paint booth. once running i had a window shaker to cool and dry the air along
with two ac filters, an extraction fan in the roof and a ducted filtered fan at the opposite end.
I wanted to have somebody else paint it once i had the metal work finished but couldnt get a body shop to even come look
at it. The only guys in town were Macco and a restoration place that wanted 5000-10000(without even looking at it)
In the end im glad i did it. Huge sense of accomplishment. I also now have a paint job that looks better than what i
could afford to have somebody else do.($1000 macco job)






Then preped and primed the parts. Here is where my statement from above comes true, on the hood are the door handles.
They were completely dissasembled, primed, sanded, base coat, sanded, base coat,sanded, clear coat,clear coat. A service
not available on a $1000 paint job.

Also had to strip off the rubber coat on the front fenders, it was chipped and rusty. I primed the bare metal with self etc,
then sealer, then put them on the car, taped them off to match the rubber coat on the sills, hit them with rubberizing stuf?
then primed. you can kinda see the black tips on the fenders. looks super oem!

And yes that is the floor bar holding up the bumpers.lol



The big white(subaru E51 white) was the door. I couldnt believe how good it looked after base coat. was very hard to not cover it in
matt clear for a satin finish.

This is the roof after wetsanding with 400 in prep for coat 2. Its been dried off with a paper towel and still had a really nice sheen to it.
older paints dont do that i was pleasently surprised.

Then came the clearcoat


Quarter panel. the white lines are the doors in the reflection:)

no buffing or wetsanding. just 2 of urethane clear, flash and 2 more coats. wetsanding is not needed or reccomended within
72hrs according to the MSDS sheet



It took a lot of doing but luckily i ended up with nice smooth door lines where the rub rail holes were welded up:)
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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170 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Then it was time to put the windshield back in.
Couldnt find much info here, i think ppl say eff it when it comes to this step so ill try get real in depth here.
I want a super factory look when done so i took the time to at least get the parts together.

These are the clips that hold the front and rear upper trim pieces off they clip
in under the windshield and into the metal channel on the underside of the trim

you can see the part that goes into the channel on the left, the two prongs that go into the trim and under it the lip of the edge of the glass

These are the clips that run along the side of the windshield. the notch in the middle(right side) clips over the peg on the
windshield frame. The windshield sits between the two pegs at either end(middle but on the far ends)
then the trim clips into the far left ends.

This is the same clip. the angled side butts up against the windshield frame.
you can see the groove that the windshield sits in on the right

you need 6 for the front upper windshield, 5 for the rear and 8 of the side ones plus the top and side trim pieces

Then you need 5-7 of these on each side. they are different to the windshield ones. they clip into the pegs on the roof gutter
flat(no angle)
We clipped all the plastics onto the pegs, then ran the bead of urathane, placed the windshield and then clipped in the trim pieces.
The clips align/kinda help align the windshield and hold the trim the perfect distance away from the windshield

sadly there are no more photos of what went on that day. phone died
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So while the body work was going on I was searching for a wrx tranny for this project as the original trans is the 1.8l and has 200kmi on it.
i didnt find a tranny but i found a 98RS with "full 03 wrx swap" atomatic
Thought process here being that i can convert this to MT by grounding the ecu pin and bypass the TCU thus only having to really mechanically swap things over. This is assuming that the harness was actually merged

The car itself is trash. its so rusty you can see into the cabin from the quarter panel. The swap only has 99kmi on it:)
Well turns out they stuffed the entire 03 harness under the dash and cut and spliced the rs dash/accessory plugs as needed. no ac no rear signals...no exhaust.
Cant afford a merge right now so diy it is:/

Sadly my roomates split to washington. so i lost my garage and had to spend all my money on security deposits and moving expenses.
So here she is in her new habitat.
 

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99 GF4 OBS
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hell yeah! awesome work my friend. Cant believe all the rust being a Florida car and all. i just bought a 99 obs in punta gorda back in june and still have yet to find the first bit of rust. I stay in clearwater, i got some buddies in bradenton, would love to come check out the car when its done.
 

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'06 Legacy GT spec.B
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Wow. Subscribed. You've done an awesome job so far!

Where did you get the roof trim clips? The previous owner of my car had it painted and they broke every single one of them. Damn previous owners...
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
thanks all I will be glad to show off the car when its running again. The blue black engine turned out better than I thought it would. Sadly that engine is sitting on my porch and has no home for now. Fortunately there is now a usdm 04 wrx engine in my bay. its pretty shabby looking but it was running. don't want to touch anything on the engine yet.
not until im done with the wiring,
 

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2000 RS sedan STM 5mt
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Thanks for the detailed roof trim clip photo/details... I was trying to figure out how many and what type I'd need to fasten the trim down properly. (Lots of threads for part numbers, but no details on how many and which ones go where.)

-as the crappy auto glass place who replaced my windshield a few years ago decided to pop out both trim pieces completely (breaking the clips obviously) and then did a horrible job gluing them back in with windshield adhesive.
 

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1997 impreza brighton coupe
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Discussion Starter #20
No prob. I had a hard time finding info on the clips so I tried to give back to the forum a little. I would be really stuck without this website.

Bretts05 I was lucky enough to have all the trim pieces on my car and even acquired a parts car that had a partial set. I scuffed and repainted mine with matt black trim paint. turned out ok. I still have a good drivers side gutter trim left over. pm me if you're interested
 
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