Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, just wanted to share a project I’ve been working on for a very long time. I know it's nowhere near as fancy as 90% of the builds here but maybe someone might appreciate it :)

I was a Subaru fan from as long as I can remember. A friend of mine took me for a spin in his Group N WRX in the early 2000’s and I was instantly hooked. GC’s always appealed to me more than the GD chassis, no doubt due to it’s rally heritage. In about 2005, my father managed to find an immaculate ’95 GM6 in Florida for less than 500$. We drove it back the same week, thrilled to start our first ever build. Even with the piddly stock 1.8 the lightweight chassis had me excited. We didn’t have much of a budget to complete a full build immediately so things took quite some time. Sourcing a EJ255 from a wrecked LGT through Copart was the official start of the project. I still remember the day we started salvaging parts and my father standing over me, teaching me everything I needed to know about wrenching. A couple busted knuckles and lots of “I told you so’s” from him and we managed to get everything lined up and positioned in the engine bay. Wiring was another obstacle. iWire wasn’t even on the map when we sat down and spent dozens of frustrating hours going through schematics of the LGT harness and the 04 STi ECU we were going to run our motor with. I learned to solder, terminate wiring, and most importantly patience during that time.

Trying to fire it up for the first time was a disappointment, an errant wire spliced in the wrong place prevented the ECU from getting power. Countless hours later we got it running with an open downpipe and bunch of angry neighbors. As a young teen that was by far the proudest moment of my life, a memory I’ll never forget. With smiles all around we took it for a spin, my childhood memories finally coming true. Even though it had a stock tune I felt I could take on anything on the road and win.

After a few months of driving, the stock motor dropped a valve, splitting a piston in half and scoring the cylinder walls. Frustratingly we pulled the motor, took it apart and started calling shops for options on how to properly build it up again.

Unfortunately school and other priorities got in the way of our build, and our Subie sat undisturbed in a garage for the better part of a decade. A year ago I saved up enough to fully build a longblock, and this time it was my turn teaching my dad how to gap rings, assemble heads, and time the motor. It took us a while but we got it together and running last summer. A few hiccups along the way and we went on our first test drive in the new motor on a hot July day, no AC of course. I still remember him yelling at me for throwing on a silly burble tune that sounded like an M240 as we drove down residential neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the drive was cut short by a total loss of power, SBF-5 was blowing. Swapping them out didn’t help so we pushed the car 2 miles home cursing the whole time. We spent days trying to figure out what was going on, the heat didn’t help at all so decided to wait until the cooler fall months to take out the wiring harness and try to find out what was going on.

My father died of a massive heart attack on September 11 of last year, a few days before we were set to pull the dashboard and harness.

I couldn’t bear to even look in the garage for months after without completely breaking down. I’d never again pass him sockets and wrenches as he racheted underneath the car for those lower downpipe bolts or have him hold up the fifth iteration of an exhaust we were trying to make fit.

Earlier this year I got it running again. It was something silly, just like he said it would be. The main relay was faulty and only one contact was clicking, providing power to interior electrical systems but not to the ECU. A stupid 10-dollar part prevented us from enjoying our newly built motor together for months, something we will never do together again. That first fire-up was bittersweet; I was elated that it fired up on the first turn of the starter, but he wasn’t there to hear the gravelly rumble of the 280 cams.

Since then I threw on parts we didn’t get to last year. I was dreading pulling rear knuckles due to the rear lateral arm bolt, but of course my father predicted this and slathered it in anti-seize over 10 years ago so they slipped right out to my surprise. Everything I touched reminded me of something he’d teach me, from spraying some WD40 on exhaust hangers to get them in easily to not bolting down one side the intake manifold down fully before hand tightening the other side so everything lines up.

I don’t know what my future plans are with the car, it could use a good coat of paint after 26 years and maybe some flares, but I’m sure as hell not selling it for as long as I’m still around.

Miss ya Daddy.

Here's some shots from last year, ill throw up some new ones soon.
86825

86826

86827


Engine
EJ57 case halves
Turbo Tuff I-Beams
CP pistons
ARP 625 studs
D25 Heads
Ferrea Beehive Springs
BC Stainless Valves
BC Stage 3 280 Cams
11mm STi Oil Pump
Killer B Oil Pickup
Perrin Catless Up-pipe
Nvidia Catless Down-pipe
Vibrant Catback
Moroso Alum Oil Pan
TD06 20G Deadbolt Turbo
TurboXS Front Mount
MBC
Omni 4 Bar MAP sensor
K&N Short Ram

Drivetrain
Stock Clutch
Stock 5 speed
WRX 4 Pot Fronts
LGT Vented Rears
Hawk HP+ All Around

Suspension
DMS 40mm Coilovers
'04 STi Steering Rack
'05 STi Front swaybar
'05 STi Rear swaybar
Karboy front endlinks

Exterior
JDM STi Ver. 2 Aluminum Hood
JDM STi Ver. 2 Front Bumper
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Hey, I just picked up a GM6 and just want to thank you for sharing your build & the story of it.
Internet forums need more content like this. Please take the time & continue to keep us updated on your progress!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, I just picked up a GM6 and just want to thank you for sharing your build & the story of it.
Interest forums need more content like this. Please take the time & continue to keep us updated on your progress!
I definitely will! Looking through other other Member journals makes me jealous as hell as it seems the average user has outspent me by a few orders of magnitudes on their builds, but at least it gives me ideas of what I can improve.

Post up yours too!
 

·
Premium Member
98 2.5RS - V2 WRX Swap
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
First of all Welcome! That's a great story, and it's clear how much you love the car. I'm sorry about the loss of your father, but it sounds like you have a lot of great memories with him and working on cars. You guys built a tidy little coupe...Thanks for sharing!
 

·
Registered
1995 1.8L Impreza Coupe
Joined
·
89 Posts
Only in racing does money spent actually start to matter; cars are a representation of their creators. Don't worry about the money, you've built an impressive car already. Very nice build, and look forward to seeing more.
 

·
Registered
'96 OBS
Joined
·
349 Posts
You did good finishing it up. I know your dad would be proud. You better keep that car forever come hell or high water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

New update:
Bought a FXT radiator, clears the AC lines with ease but the fans are a bit tight against the lower coolant line leading to the oil cooler. Biggest problem is that my hood won't close!

Ill either have to notch the underside of my hood or borrow a TIG and modify the inlet. about a half an inch lower. Also had to invert the top support bushings since the rad is a bit taller.

 

·
Super Moderator
2000 RSTi
Joined
·
1,239 Posts
Regarding that radiator, does it sit in the stock lower holes? And what fans did you fit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Regarding that radiator, does it sit in the stock lower holes? And what fans did you fit?
Yup its flush against the bottom brackets. Stock fans that look like this: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51VQ2AX71BL._SX425_.jpg

The left fan is touching the crossover to the oil cooler but I can grind away at the fan bracket a bit to get some room. Kinda dont want to spend 200 bucks just on fans and then have to make custom brackets to make them fit. I was surprised it doesn't fully fit since stock FXT radiators bolt right in apparently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Spruced up my brakes a bit with a fresh coat of paint. Thought of going red but had a can of burnt orange paint in the garage so just went with it.

Also finished installing a center console gauge panel:

It's a mix of a ton of different mfgr's and the orange prosport backlight doesent match the red of the other gauges but as long as they work im happy!
 

·
Registered
'96 OBS
Joined
·
349 Posts
On your hood not closing with the rad: I had a similar problem with my supposedly stock fitment koyorad. I ended up making my top rad brackets a bit adjustable (slotted them out a bit with a drill) and tilted the rad back another half inch or so to make it fit under a higher part of the underside of the hood. Not a good option for you if you already have fan clearance issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On your hood not closing with the rad: I had a similar problem with my supposedly stock fitment koyorad. I ended up making my top rad brackets a bit adjustable (slotted them out a bit with a drill) and tilted the rad back another half inch or so to make it fit under a higher part of the underside of the hood. Not a good option for you if you already have fan clearance issues.
that's a good idea, didn't think of that! ill try to throw it in again without the brackets and see exactly how much clearance i need. the 4 fan arms are thicc and i think i can trim one down without compromising the strength too much.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top