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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
At first I wasn’t going to do this, but I’ve decided I might as well archive my progress for those who might be starting their modifications post-2020 and for those who are still active on the forums. I’ve owned my car now for nearly 15 years, and I am finally in a position financially that will allow me to modify and restore my beautiful (but needs work) RS. As a general note, here are the upgrades I have completed, those that are in progress, those that I have the parts for but haven’t started, and the parts I have my eyes on in the future. At the bottom of the thread, I'll leave a list of references that help me along the way.

I am a complete noob, so I have a feeling progress will likely be very slow. Luckily, I have a friend who is fairly proficient with cars and can help me with almost every job. Plus, this forum has sooo much information on it.

Here is my general plan for the car:
  • Brakes (Completed!)
  • Body Work/Repaint (summer 2020, hopefully)
  • Handling: suspension, mounts (TBD)
  • Engine and HP (TBD)
Because I really find it helpful to know what people are putting on their cars (especially in 2020 where the options are a little less robust), I’ll leave a list of everything I do to the car with the links from where I purchased the part.

Brakes

After a bunch of research on the forums, I decided to stick with OE parts instead of opting for a big brake kit of some form. Below are parts that went into the brake change.
Body Work

Being a Northeastern car, it has the typical rust in the typical places. Luckily, my father runs a body shop, so I intend on fixing all the body work and repainting the entire car. This is HOPEFULLY a summer 2020 project. Without going into the details above, here is what I got, all from the dealership:
  • Right Quarter Panel (51403FA310)
  • Side Moldings (91069FA360NN, 91069FA370NN, 91069FA340NN, 91069FA350NN)
  • Window Moldings (65023FA000, 65123FA000, 65123FA010)
  • Both Fenders (57110FA040, 57110FA050)
  • AWD Sticker (93081FA110)
  • RS Badge (93081FA030)
  • Subaru Emblem (93060FA010)
  • Might need to get the Subie Saver Rocker Panel…we’ll see when we get there
*please note: since I have not installed any of the parts listed above, I cannot verify that the part numbers are accurate.

Handling
  • Coil-overs (haven’t done research on this yet)
  • Motor/Transmission mounts
Interior:
  • Radio Panel (86225AA000)
  • Compass Pack (hopefully...if I can find one with the wiring for a decent price)
Motor/etc.
  • Equal Length Headers
  • Cold Air Intake
  • Full Exhaust
  • Cams (maybe)
  • Delicious Tuning (maybe)
References
  1. Brakes: Upgrading to High-Performance Brakes
  2. Cold Air Intake: $30 Dollar Ganzflow style eBay intake
  3. Spoiler Stickers: 2.5RS stickers on wing? - NASIOC
  4. Window Pads: DIY: Repair window pads
Pictures
She's seen better days, but this is how it cosmetically looks after being a daily driver for almost 10 years (170k miles). Now, it is garage-kept and hasn't seen rain or snow in 5ish years.

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Discussion Starter #2
Brakes at start of job. Not that you want to see it, but I don't have pictures of the calipers because I wasn't intending on doing this journal from the start.


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Discussion Starter #3
Issues arose. As you can see from the picture, we broke the caliper pin as we tried to pull it out. Now you may be asking: why didn't you just heat up it instead of yanking at it like an animal? Good question. The answer is that we did try that. But, little did we know that it would build up so much pressure and would send the pin flying out like a bullet. My father wouldn't let me post the picture, but it cut his head open (superficially). I'm pretty sure that he would be dead if it hit him square in the head at the speed that it flew out of the hole. With that being said, we tried to pull it out like animals. We failed. And we bought two new brackets since the Universe was telling use the old equipment as a bad idea.

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New Bracket: unpainted


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Discussion Starter #4
Painted brackets and caliper. Not perfect, but much better than before.

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Rear Brakes Installed (will clean wheels later):

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Discussion Starter #8
The Harbor Freight Pneumatic Bleeder was not up for the challenge, so I needed to wait for a friend to help me bleed the brakes. The job is finally complete. Next upgrade is hopefully a set of wheels. Then, maybe the body work this summer. Then, engine. It looks like Rallispec here in NJ does good work, so they might be getting a call at some point as well.

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Discussion Starter #9
As stated before, I am a novice at best, and really, I need projects that are low-risk just to help increase my skill at working on cars. Some post came up suggesting this Honda Accord intake as a cold-air intake solution, and I figured, why not? For about $50 by the end of it, I added a part that probably adds .003 horsepower. But it's the experience that matters. The car sounds meaner in the upper RPM, and I had fun doing it. I'll hopefully come up with a better solution for the black 3" coupler, but until then, it's working just fine.
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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately, I've become aware of the Compass Pack, and I have called every junkyard in the United States that I was sure had one based on pictures. No luck. If I ever find one with the wires for a decent price, I think I want one just because it is so ridiculous. Until then, though, I finally removed the stock CD player which I kept in there when I installed the head unit. Now that I cut that 2.8 lbs (yes, I weighed it), I'm pretty sure I'll be beating V6 Mustangs on the drag strip. Jokes aside, at least the interior of my car looks decent, even if the exterior looks like trash. I'm thinking of maybe doing the airbag delete on the passenger side, and I might do a different steering wheel (though, I think it looks good stock). We'll see.

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Discussion Starter #12
After an eBay deal gone wrong, I finally upgraded my wheels/tires by purchasing from someone on the forums (great guy). Rays TE07 with Yokohama Advan Fleva V701. (I felt like a child when I called to order these tires because of their name....). Weight save of 3.2 lbs a tire/wheel, so I am happy with that. Slowly shaving away that weight! Since I have owned this car, I've had "passenger" tires on it, so I am excited for both the weight reduction and the stickiness of a good set of UHP Summer tires.

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Hopefully, I (and by I, I mean my father while I watch/help however I can) will do the body work and repaint the whole car this winter. We'll see what my job looks like given uncertain times. In the meantime, I could probably increase performance for relatively cheap by losing the 30lbs that I have added over the last 15 years...but I bet it will be easier to just move on to suspension, which will hopefully happen next summer.

Maybe the most amazing part of all of this is the tires that were on the stock 16's (Michelin Hydroedge) have about a quarter tread life left. For being close to 12 years old with 80k miles on them, I'd say I got a pretty good deal. If they weren't starting to slightly dry rot, I'd probably be comfortable putting another 20k on them.
 
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