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Nice! Subaru really upped their shift quality on the newer 5mt's as well.

I noticed there were 2 different plastic 5mt vss gears when I looked in to it. I now believe the difference was they were for standard height cars, or for factory raised cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #363 · (Edited)
After I swapped the VSS and was getting ready to install the OBXT transmission I realized there is a major difference that I somehow overlooked... push vs. pull clutch. So basically my options are to replace my perfectly good, and expensive, clutch in order to run this untested junkyard transmission or pull them both back apart, swap the VSS back and be back at square one. This obviously cheesed me off a bit so I pretty much ignored this project all Summer long and instead worked on home projects and my 4runner.



Only the off-road trim 4runners get the scooped hood so the limited gets the flat hood, even though it gets special bumpers and rocker trim still no scooped hood so I scoured the internet to find a scooped hood in decent shape



Toyota really missed an opportunity with the limited front end and a scoop on top, the white paint on the limited is an extra $1000 from the factory but Toyota still can't put a scoop on it



Climb over the seat while I'm driving down the freeway once, shame on you but climb over the seat twice, molle panels



Eventually I decided to run the FXT transmission until it blows up for real, basically repeat my last post again



I watched a couple videos on youtube about fiberglass repair and now I'm an expert so I started by fixing the big crack at the top, it was pretty deformed so I needed the strap to hold it in place



While I was waiting for the fiberglass to dry I finished putting the transmissions together, I used the center diff assembly from the OBXT transmission in hopes it was in better shape



The fog opening got crushed in pretty bad so the scissor jack is pushing it back out, there's a lot of smaller cracks all around it too so it was pretty delicate and I just did my best to get it somewhat round



I had to use another strap to hold the bottom crack together, added a bunch more fiberglass to the top crack as it worries me the most



The bottom crack was pretty easy to fix, fiberglass repair isn't as difficult as I imagined it's just stinky and makes you feel dizzy then itchy so like weak ass meth



The fog opening really took a beating when the mounting tab ripped it apart, structurally I'm pretty confident in the repair but good god it is ugly
 

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Awesome project! Your FG repairs look fine, at least it's all hidden. I'm curious to watch and see how that goes for you. Is that FG sport bumper you have an aftermarket or subaru part? It looks like a 2.5RS bumper to my uninformed eye, but I thought those are plastic.
(I am also in Washington, living on the Long Beach Peninsula if you ever make it down here!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #365 ·
I can smell your post -_-
We should be able to make gear oil out of something other than burnt assholes in 2021
Awesome project! Your FG repairs look fine, at least it's all hidden. I'm curious to watch and see how that goes for you. Is that FG sport bumper you have an aftermarket or subaru part? It looks like a 2.5RS bumper to my uninformed eye, but I thought those are plastic.
(I am also in Washington, living on the Long Beach Peninsula if you ever make it down here!)
The sport bumper was on my JDM nose cut, it could be factory or Launsport or some other replica. I don't really know the differences that well but they are all fiberglass, the WRC bumpers, sport bumpers, even the mighty 22B bumper is fiberglass. It's like Deckard at the end of Blade Runner, if it's that hard to tell the difference does it really matter?



The crappy Maaco paint was already peeling before I wrecked the bumper so I just sanded the whole thing, I use a pretty rough grit for this first go to get the loose material and any of the chipping paint



I stopped short of getting in the nooks and crannies unless there was clear chipping or damage, I wanted to take it down as far as I had to so that I would have a solid base to build from



After a wash the spots that are going to need the most work are more visible, some exposed fibers and cracks that will need a lot of filler



I mixed up some more resin and made sure any exposed fiber was covered and the deep cracks were filled, there is also a hole in the lip spoiler that I couldn't access from behind so I'm having to fill it from the front



The lip spoiler is so thin it was really hard not to burn through it with the sander, the area that was scraped was barely holding on so I spread epoxy all over it



After I got the transmission reinstalled I decided to stop playing around with the power steering cooler and get new hose so I could use it, it really wasn't difficult at all and hose is something like $2 a foot I was just being a cheap ass



I splurged more and bought some coolant hose to straighten out the lines from the header tank and some more oil hose since I moved the AOS to fit with the strut bar, again I was just being a cheap ass and didn't want to spend $10 on hose when I have a box full of OEM hoses



I was having problems with the brake booster for so freaking long, I thought there was a check valve in the hose or the nipple or somewhere and I was right! There it is, the bulge in the line that looks like a restrictor or a some sort of check valve! It was just installed backwards and now I feel shame



I had it on backwards for so long and I even added a check valve, I'm getting a little more brake boost now. The pedal still feels really stiff but not like there's NO power assist, just not as much as I would like



Back to moving under her own power again! The battery is pretty toast and should have been replaced long ago, the bumper still needs a lot of work, the rear wiper has a mind of it's own and had to be disconnected and the engine is hunting around at idle like there is a vacuum leak so I'm thinking the booster got it's back blowed out. Lastly and on a somewhat positive note, I'm pretty sure the deceleration noise I was so worried about and made me tear apart my transmission is actually my center driveshaft intermittently rubbing on the heat shield. The fuckin' way she goes
 

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Discussion Starter · #366 ·


I went under the car to take out the heat shield and noticed not a drop of oil yet after replacing all the oil cooler gaskets, that feels good but I'm still getting the weird driveshaft noise so I think there is an issue with the driveshaft itself









After sanding all the cracks I filled with more resin I saw a few more places where fiberglass was exposed, the hole in the lip spoiler still didn't get completely filled too so I went back over the trouble spots one last time



I fully expect to scrape here again so I really layered it on, a little more sanding and it's ready for bondo









The bondo started hardening faster than I anticipated so it was a little more difficult to spread toward the end. My main concern is getting the lip spoiler into shape, it never really was a great fitment and my crack repair was not good. Getting the bottom flat all the way across for aero has already used a ton of bondo and where it was cracked in half it dipped in, I'm going to have to use all of my sculpting skills but I have faith that the end result will be perfect
 

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Discussion Starter · #367 · (Edited)
Well, in the 3 months since my last post I have done literally nothing with the sport bumper repair but I did some other stuff with the car...



I got some new tires for the Prodrives, Falken Azenis RT660 225/45ZR17 should be pretty sticky but they will have to wait until Summer to test



I didn't repaint the wheels like I wanted to but they fit well with the motif I have going 'Still pretty from afar but shows signs of neglect, age and abuse'



After the anniversary of wrecking the bumper I got really sad that I haven't driven it hardly at all for a whole year, it just sits in the same spot getting snowed on



Cool story: I was having a really hard time getting the transmission into and out of gear, I thought the clutch slave had gone out because it would not go in at all but even with the motor off it still did not want to go into any gears. I forced it into reverse and when I tried to start it the car lurched like the clutch wasn't disengaged. I could see the fork moving and no leaks from the clutch reservoir so I thought maybe the bearing had come off but the clutch not disengaging wouldn't explain why even with the motor off it is still hard to go into gear. I checked the oil and it looks like a lot of humidity made it into the case so I drained a little of the gear oil to see if maybe a bunch of water got in and froze but no water came out. I just pushed the clutch pedal roughly 300 times and forced the shifter into all the gears until it got really stuck in reverse and I had to put a scary amount of force on the shift lever to get it out. Somehow that was the trick and it operates just fine now, I'm stumped as to what was wrong or how I fixed it but I'll take it



I decided to not wait until the sport bumper is finished and got a brand new RS bumper from Subaru, I ordered fog covers from HT Autos so when they arrive I'll get it painted



The sport bumper had this same gap under the passenger headlight so I'm wondering what is tweaked, the core support? the bumper beam? the frame?



I put the RS hood vents in because the 22B vents just looked out of place to me without the sport bumper, I'm actually really liking this look and I don't know how motivated I'm going to be to fix the sport bumper now



I've needed a new battery since I started the swap so long ago but the freezing temps here finally killed the old one, I know optima gets a lot of crap but I don't have any experience with them and figured I would try it out to form my own opinion



It's not every day that you score like this at the junkyard, let alone during a 40% off sale! I ended up leaving the Cusco bar for somebody else, but the 24mm Whiteline bar is all mine and for only $25



The Forester bar is out and man this thing is huge in comparison, I'm thinking about getting a matching rear bar from whiteline because I'm still using the 22mm Rallitek bar made for the GC. At least the Rallitek bar is adjustable, I had it at the softest setting to match the Forester bar so I am for sure going to move it to the stiffest setting now after feeling all of the understeer
 

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Discussion Starter · #369 ·
I got sick with rona and had to stay home from work for 10 days, you would think traveling to an anti-mask red state during the omicron surge to party all weekend would have no consequences but it does. While I was home from work I spent a lot of time researching parts I want, buying shit I don't need and cleaning out the garage with the goal of fitting two cars in there



The HT Autos fog covers came from Import Image Racing, they fit well but needed a little trimming. I also got turn signals and installed them, I don't really see the need for the little orange vent covers so I think I'll go without them



There are no instructions with the fog covers and the listing says Does not include brackets but on HT Autos it says they are included and my set came with the brackets, I'm just not sure how they are meant to be installed since there is no instructions included or online



Instead of doing anything particularly meaningful I found a better match for Cusco blue so I repainted the strut bar, I used Duplicolor Bahama Blue Metallic and polished up the aluminum too



Finished product looks pretty good, I can't wait to repaint more stuff instead of taking care of things that actually need my attention



I ordered the matching Whiteline rear sway bar so while I'm back there the lateral links are the next to get resprayed and serviced, I started by taking them down to bare metal again



The color doesn't come through in pictures as well as it looks in person, the hue is nearly identical to the original Cusco color and the metallic sparkle really shines



The rubber surround was super dirty and I cleaned it, you can see the color difference next to the subframe. I like fresh paint so much I'm thinking about painting the subframe again for the third time, maybe white or pink



I got a pretty good deal on the sway bar from Tirerack, they have it on closeout but only the 24mm and they mistakenly listed it fitting a 1989 Saab so it took a call to customer service to place my order. I took so much time making sure fitment was correct but I didn't realize the HD mount uses a completely different bushing so it really didn't matter



I got it installed but I had to order the 24mm bushings for the HD mount, the Whiteline US website sucked for finding info to get the correct part number and I emailed customer service to get help but they just replied that it was out of stock and no part number to search or anything. I went to the Australian site and they have way more information presented, the 24mm HD mount has a service kit listed and I just googled it and found it on Amazon with next day delivery



Teaser for future updates...
 

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Discussion Starter · #370 ·
So I picked up a Type-R/RA transmission and R180 thanks to a local member on here, still need to get a lot of parts for it though. My plan is to put the transmission in first and do the R180 swap later, since I'm already running 4.44 it shouldn't be problematic. I've been driving the Impreza more on weekends and trying to take it out at least once a week, still trying to diagnose the deceleration noise I'm getting. I swapped the center axle with a newer one out of a Saabaru and no change. I looked at my rear CV axles and found they were installed in reverse left to right, apparently they are not the same length with R160 like the fronts or R180, I swapped them back to correct placement and no change in the noise. Starting to run out of things it could be...



I drove it to work one day and looked out the window to check on it when I saw a nearby car on fire, this was the last time I drove it to Seattle and I don't think I'll be doing that again



I got a DCCDpro manual controller and harness from iwire, still need to source some bugeye sedan axles to stay wide tracked and fit the older style transmission stub axles



My merged harness already had DCCD wiring equipped so the controller is simply plug and play, the plug is just capped on the engine and install could not be easier thanks to iwire



My Cusco brace was looking funky with paint chips and I decided to repaint it like the other Cusco bits, took it down to bare metal with aircraft stripper and a wire brush



I repainted it using more of the Bahama blue metallic, I don't care whether or not it's a perfect match for Cusco blue it's a good looking color that really pops



The transmission cradle was dropping bushing material when I took it off, the Kartboy bushings had cracked and were falling apart so I think I may have solved my deceleration noise



It looks like for some reason I used a combination of Kartboy bushings and OEM bushings for some reason, the Kartboy bushings held up much better than the OEM but still failed just not as spectacularly

Talked with Kartboy and they replaced the bushings under warranty even though I got them back in 2008, sent replacements express shipping and they sent an atomic fireball for reasons unknown to me but I'll take it



With the intercooler off I decided to revisit placement of the oil separator again, it was full of milkshake and water so I'm for sure connecting the coolant hoses this time



This is absolutely the highest it can be mounted and the furthest back with the strut brace, I wouldn't call this position optimal but it's the best I think I can do with the space provided

Next update is going to be transmission install, my shopping list for the RA swap is still pretty big;
Bugeye WRX sedan/STi front axles
Bugeye STi R180 rear axles
Bugeye STi 5x100 R180 rear knuckles
Any year 4/2 pots

I already got the gravel spec rotors for the rear but trying to source the rest of the list for sane prices is driving me crazy
 

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That is some scary stuff with the fire! I am so scared of my car getting stolen I won't drive it into town (Portland) unless I can park it in my parent's garage overnight.

Your build looks great, I love the foresight iWire has with their merge. I also have the capped plug in case I upgrade to DCCD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #373 · (Edited)
That is some scary stuff with the fire! I am so scared of my car getting stolen I won't drive it into town (Portland) unless I can park it in my parent's garage overnight.
That car had a lot of evidence those people were stealing catalytic converters among other things. There was a reciprocating saw left behind, a bunch of rough cut exhaust pipe flanges, numerous screw drivers, pry bars and a ton of mail from all different addresses. The plates were expired by 3 years, there was burnt foils everywhere, it's a common sight around here. If my car was their next target, it couldn't have happened at a better time or to more deserving persons

Damn I forgot how cheap those kitchens were. Looks hot.
The thing about cheap kitchens is they start out cheap but they just keep getting more expensive while also taking longer than expected

Anyway, the tale of the most expensive cheap kitchen on rs25 continues with probably my 17th Subaru transmission swap


The transmission came with a lightweight flywheel and clutch, it appears the flywheel is an aluminum Fidanza so I installed it because why not


Besides the surface rust, the clutch looked fairly new and still had the Exedy marking on the friction surface


I wasn't sure what I had but after looking up the numbers I found it is a stage 1 (289wtq) a little less torque handling than my stage 1 HD (319wtq) but I think it will be fine with the little td04 and it's already mated to the flywheel so I installed it, saving what's left of my HD clutch for when I'm making more power


I got some heater hose and connected the oil separator to coolant, I should have done this originally but I didn't think it was necessary, hopefully this will keep the return lines from getting full of milkshake


The axles I picked up at the junkyard are from a narrow track but even fully extended there is some movement, barely any at all but they aren't stretched to the max so I think they will work while I try to source a reasonably priced set of OEM remans


One thing I didn't think about was the older transmissions require this spring to keep the shift lever upright, I paid $1.84 for a new one from the dealer before finding the old one sitting on a shelf


I'm not happy about losing the TiC linkage update but I know I would struggle with the shift lever not returning to position, this is the first time I've changed the linkage with the transmission in the car and it is definitely a lot harder


The DCCDPro manual controller install was very easy, I purchased it with the iwire harness so it was just plug and play


As I mentioned before, the bulk harness already has dccd pigtails installed by iwire so it couldn't be any easier to wire up


The harness that came with the DCCDPro controller connected right up but the row of 3 wires pictured on the bottom of the plug are shifted compared to the wires from the pigtail in the bulk harness, I emailed iwire about this issue last night but I haven't heard back yet

I drove around a couple times to test everything out and my first impression is the 35:65 torque split can be scary if you are not expecting it. Actually, my first impression was holy shit I installed the clutch wrong it's making so much noise! It really just took some time to wear in and it quieted down after a few minutes of use. The clutch grips fine and holds power no problem, I thought it was slipping when I tested it accelerating from low rpm in 3rd gear but when I let off throttle the rear end snapped back in line. It was raining out when I was testing but I wasn't prepared to break the rear loose in straight line acceleration from a roll, in 3rd no less. Which leads me to my next observation, the gears are way closer together and it's most noticeable shifting between 1st-2nd. Compared to the FXT transmission all of the gears are shorter except 1st, which is ridiculously short in the Forester. I hadn't discovered the wiring issue yet so I tested the dccd roller in a dirt lot, never felt any difference even between open and lock. I read up on it and when the controller is disconnected the dccd remains open, which is what I'm experiencing and why I started checking all the connections. The other possibility is my dccd clutches are toast and I really hope that's not the case
 

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Discussion Starter · #375 ·
Your build looks great, I love the foresight iWire has with their merge. I also have the capped plug in case I upgrade to DCCD.
Holy shit, I didn't even realize my iWire harness had a DCCD pigtail until you posted this. Win!
You both will appreciate this update then, iwire customer support really held my hand across the street for this one


The plug in the bulk harness (left) was pinned correctly but the ground wire (green) is not included, the VSS wire (blue) is included but not needed with my manual controller, the pigtail that iwire includes with their install kit (right) has the ground wire installed


Instructions from iwire were to simply take the ground from the pigtail and insert it into the bulk harness plug, with a small flathead screwdriver it was really easy to just depin and repin the connector


So the dccd is now wired correctly but when I backed out of the driveway to test it I was experiencing massive binding like the center diff was now locked, I lightly lifted the handbrake just until the light turned on and the binding stopped. With the handbrake test complete, I tried rolling the switch the other way to L and the differential opened back up. One last call to iwire and I was told the older GC switch is reverse polarity from the GD roller switch, depin and repin again this time swapping the red and green wires at the switch plug. Now the dccd controller works and the center differential is for sure able to lock, I'm not going to mess with it much until I flush all the generic oil out and fill with Motul Gear 300


After all that mechanical and electrical fun I turned my attention back to cosmetics, the Autopower roll bar comes painted but it is in no way a premium paint job and I've not exactly been careful about scratching the paint


I thought about just respraying it black but I'm glad I used my new favorite Cusco blue inspired color


It is a pain in the ass to get the roll bar in and out but I'm glad I did it, being so close to the dome light it adds some blue color to the whole interior


I finally got my new bumper in for paint and I picked up a cheap replica STi lip spoiler off ebay, I thought about getting the lip painted too but I decided not to so it will match my sideskirts and spats


Putting the lip on from the front first and moving to the ends was near impossible but I figured out it's way easier to mount the ends first then pull the front into position


I taped off the license plate area because it looked textured like the sideskirts and such so I figured it's not intended to be painted, looking at pictures online I see it both ways and also it looks like some people just cut it out entirely


The fog cover decals were difficult to get positioned just right because I'm obsessive like that, now that I see the bumper fully done I'm tempted to put the clear headlights back on and have a complete facelift
 
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