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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I've been on the lookout for some JDM V7 STI seats for a while now. I had wanted to stay similar era and V6 seats not often available. I also preferred the V7 blue as opposed to the V6 red. There is not much available in my local area but eventually found some on eBay. I set up alerts and would receive notifications each time a set came available, but many seemed to be in poor condition...finally was able to snag these:

Rectangle Comfort Electric blue Couch Fashion accessory

Tire Automotive tire Blue Motor vehicle Automotive design

Motor vehicle Chair Comfort Automotive design Automotive tire

The STI logo is a bit worn, so I may have that restiched at some point. After removing the original 2.5RS seats I took the opportunity to vacuum and shampoo the carpet and clean the seats. I have found the the "Green Machine" carpet cleaner works very well for a deep clean. For the seats I precleaned with "Sonex" alcantara cleaner then used the Green Machine and a dilute Woolite solution. I researched a bit before cleaning the Alcantara...and there seems to be no good consensus on how to clean. I erred on the side of safety with a process that would not damage the seats. They came out great.

Hood Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design

Perhaps not immediately apparent is that the JDM V7 STI seats will have the drivers side height adjustment on the US passenger side...because the seats are RHD. This also means the JDM passenger seat is now the drivers seat and sits too high. So, the passenger seat will bolt right in albeit with some extra height adjustment - no modification necessary. For the drivers seat, the 2.5RS rails are lower and must be swapped to the JDM seat to allow it to sit properly. I should have taken more pictures of the rail swap...but once I started getting into it I had finished. Final product is awesome.

The rear seat back is a touch taller than the 2.5RS seats, and therefore does not fit perfectly. The backseat back has three rails that mount to the chassis. I was only able to get the middle rail mounted and the other are just too low...this outcome is endorsed upon my review of the forums. Cosmetically it looks great, and I don't believe there would be any safety implications.

Car Motor vehicle Vehicle Car seat cover Mode of transport

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design

Car Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design Car seat cover
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood

Next post will be V6 STI front end conversion with V6 front lip and grill, OEM hardware, fog light covers with STI decals, and rear spats...all color matched with premium urethane paint. It's gonna be awesome! That will be my first painting project and I am trying to be meticulous in the prep. Stay tuned.

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·

For around 2 years now I've been collecting parts with intention to convert my tradition 01 2.5RS front end to the colormatched V6 STI style along with rear spats. This post is meant as an update to my journal, but also as a DIY so will have quite a bit of detail. I sourced original JDM parts where available and when not available used the highest quality aftermarket components I could find. For clips and bolts I used as much OEM stuff I could find. The following parts were used:

-V6 OEM style front lip - I had hoped to source an OEM JDM front lip but could not find one anywhere. As an alternative I used the highest quality aftermarket replica I could find - RPG Carbon GC8 front lip. I did not want to buy a cheap lip and I am very happy with the quality of this thing. It clips on like a glove to the bumper cover. Looks like they discontinued the one I bought which was just raw carbon with a light coat of primer, purchased for $380. I purchase all the original OEM mounting hardwares as well.
-V6 Front Grille OEM JDM - Purchased new from Rallispec for $243.
-V6 STI Foglight covers - Again, would have liked to purchase OEM JDM parts, but could not find anything available in good condition. Sourced foglights covers with decals from for $69. The quality is decent and comes with the decals. Overall I am happy with the quality.
-V6 STI Pink Grille Badge - Purchase an OEM Badge repainted in pink by Launsport fromt FlatFour in Australia. This was definately an indulgance, but wanted something professionally painted and legit. It was around $120 I believe.
-V6 STI OEM JDM Rear spats - Purchased new from Rallispec with OEM hardware. It appears this kit is no longer available on the website...

Basically everything bolts on perfectly. The except is the JDM rear spats. I did not purchase a JDM rear bumper, but instead mounted the spats to my USDM bumper. The two bumpers are curve slightly different, which means the spats don't sit perfectly flush. I could not allow this so used a heat gun to mold them, then bolted everything up and let it sit for a few days reheating every so often to hold the shape.

Font Handwriting Metal Auto part Label

Grille Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Car

Watch Motor vehicle Font Clock Automotive exterior

Automotive parking light Vehicle Grille Automotive lighting Hood

Automotive parking light Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Automotive lighting

I am an amateur painter with no experience using a spray gun, but wanted to do this job to the highest quality possible. So I spent a ton of time researching on how to prep plastic for paint and what steps are involved to paint correctly...This was probably a 40 hour job minimum. It took forever and the labor involved was pretty immense. I sprayed in a spray tent purchased off Amazon with a box fan taped to a furnace filter. I let the fan run continuously throughout the project to minimize dust and hair. For a garage DIY it worked very well. I have a 30g Kobalt air compressor and used the Eastwood Concours LT100 HVLP Spray Paint Gun.

Tent Tarpaulin Camping Automotive tire Hiking equipment

Table Wood Shipping box Automotive design Landscape

Paint materials used:
-SprayMax plastic adhesion promotor
-Primer - SprayMax Epoxy Primer Gray
-Basecoat - Chromabase Urethane K - Blue Ridge Pearl - 95H.
-Clear coat - SprayMax Clear Glamour Clear

Liquid Product Bottle Fluid Plastic bottle

Steps to paint:
1. Sanded all bare plastic and the primed front lip with 320 grit followed by 400 grit to smooth a bit. The OEM rear spats are textured from the factory, so this took some time to smooth out.
2. Cleaned soap/water then with wax and grease remover. Allow time to dry completely in the dust free tent.
3. Wiped everything with tack cloth.
4. Sprayed with plastic adhesion promotor. Allow 10 min flash time.
5. 3 coats of Epoxy gray primer, allowing 15 min flash time between coats.
6. Removed parts from tent and blew all the dust out of the tent. Primer generated a lot of dust.
7. Sanded all parts smooth with 600 grit.
8. Cleaned with wax and grease remover. Replaced back into the dust free tent.
9. Wiped everything with tack cloth.
10. 2 coats of Chromabase BRP basecoat. Allow 15 min flash time between coats. I learned that basecoats are generally not sanded. as this may dull the pearl or metallic in the paints.
11. After 30 min flash time, I sprayed 3 coats of clear coat. Allow to cure for 12 hours.
12. Applied decals to the fog light covers and sealed them in with 2 coats of clear coat.
13. Allow additional 24 hours for everything to cure. At this point paint was dry and hard to touch and shiny as a mofo. Some areas felt a bit rough.
14. Wet sanded everything with 2000 grit followed by 3000 grit. Everything is looking dull.
15. Compounded everything with microfiber cutting pad. Starting to get some shine back.
16. Final polish with DA machine and finishing polish. Everything is now smooth and shiny.
17. Ready for installation.

Truth be told I made a mistake on the basecoat step and mixed activator when I should have mixed reducer. This was my mistake since the TDS called for "activator." Ended up having to wipe all the paint off and clean with thinner. It was a huge PITA, but overall fine because it allowed me to dial in my gun settings and have a practice round haha. Wasted about $300 in paint, but reasonable cost for education I say.

Tent Grey Wood Composite material Tints and shades


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Discussion Starter · #27 ·

While I was doing the V6 STI front end swap, it seemed an ideal time to install some Hella supertone horns. Browsing around the forums it seems that there are variable ways people mount them with some advocating ties haha. Whenever possible I try to use really nice hardware and do things properly. I am opposed to drilling holes into metal or doing damage that is otherwise irreversible. So I went ahead and spent the money to get this job done right.

Parts I used (part numbers can be found in the image):
-Hella supertone horn kit pair (rallysportdirect)
-Perrin mounting bracket (rallysportdirect). Bought the one for 02-07 WRX/STI.
-Grimmspeed wiring harness (Amazon). Bought the one for 02-14 WRX/STI.

Rectangle Packaging and labeling Carton Font Box

Installation is very simple. The horns mount to the bracket and bracket mounts to the "hood stay latch" by remove the most caudal bolt on the hood latch.

A few images to see how the mounting looks:

Car Vehicle Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Hood

Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Automotive side marker light

Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood

The horns have no polarity so can be hooked to the wiring harness easily. I would definitely advocate for purchasing a wiring harness, just makes things look so much cleaner and easy. The ground eyelet of the wiring harness bolts to the same mounting bolt as the Perrin bracket, to provide chassis ground. Make sure there is clean metal to allow a strong ground.

Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire Trunk

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Car Grille

The male electrical connector from the (+) wiring harness end connects to the factory wiring harness. The original horn is positioned just in front of the battery and can be removed easily. I did have to fabricate a 18" extension. I purchase black 14G wire and identical connectors to keep things looking clean. The factor horn ground can be left to dangle since we already addressed ground to the hood stay latch.
Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Automotive exterior Gas Auto part

Final image with horns installed and functional:

Automotive parking light Car Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Automotive lighting

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
wow, amazing work!! looks like a ton of man hours.
It was brutal to be honest. Especially for someone with OCD tendencies. Ultimately I'm glad I took the time to do it best as I could. Learned a lot as well, which was one of my major goals. Autobody is highly complex and now I understand why it costs sooo much for professional work.

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Looks fantastic! Good call on the adhesion promoter too. I wish had used it on my plastic parts. They're all beat up from rock chips and need to get repainted.
Thank you! Yes we'll see how the paint holds up. They use gravel instead of salt up here so roads can be pretty rough with lots of rock chips.
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