Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community banner

1 - 20 of 310 Posts

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone, this is my first member's journal. I have kinda been a lurker here and on Nasioc, with some occasional posts and questions but didn't want to post a member's journal because I knew it would be a very slow mod path and would be boring to most but I have decided to start it just as a journal and record for myself.

Ok sadly I didn't take many pictures of the car but I will post all the ones I have.

BACKSTORY:

PURCHASED ON Nov. 26th 2013

Here is what the car looked like as shown on craiglist.



The guy was asking 3500 on some 17" black wheels or 3000 on the stock ones.

I actually don't have any pics of the car on the black wheels...


After telling him I wanted nothing to do with the black wheels, when I came to look at the car, they were still on there. He also advertised as 132,000 but it was close to 135k when I looked at it. Either way, car looked nice and well it was my first car and frankly, I just wanted the car... and needed it as well...

So we talked and I asked what the tread looked like on the stock wheels. He said bald but he could get brand new tires for $150 so I said deal and came back a few days later to pick it up. The car made it home fine it seemed...

Got it registered, insured and took it our my family's mechanic to get it inspected and the one headlight was dimmer than the other so we asked them to check that out as well as give it an alignment.

The charged me $40 for inspection (should have just done it for free)
$80 for alignment (is that fair?)
$36 bucks to trace the headlight circuit and replace a fuse LOL
The noted as well, "Sounds like front wheel bearing going bad, R/R Camber off (car was hit) may have bent R/R strut or knuckle.

I was like WTF?! clean title though and insurance is only $80 a month so I didn't really care.

NOTE: NO MENTION OF LEAKING ANYTHING!!

Then it started to become the family taxi lol. Was being driven quite a bit. I noticed that sometimes it would smell like something was burning after getting out of the car. No check engine lights and oil didn't seem low so I just put more coolant in and kept an eye on it. My curiosity forced me to do some research, then I started reading how prone these cars are to head gasket problems and it just went from there... I looked under the car one day and saw this... horrible pictures but you get the point...







I could then tell that whatever was leaking was hitting the exhaust and that was the burning smell. You could even see the smoke coming straight from the exhaust after driving and popping the hood.

I got a few friends to look at it and they didn't convince me of anything so I took it back to our family mechanic and he tells me... "it looks like your leaking from your cylinder head" I said so my head gasket it leaking? he agrees, and says they don't do that repair... I ask where he would recommend to take it to and he said "you'll be lucky to get a $1000 quote, you could get real far with $1000 in oil" I couldn't believe it lol I picked the car up and was just waiting for my coolant conditioner to arrive!

It finally came and I put it in. I proceeded to drive the car around a bit and I realized, it wasn't smoking at all anymore and not to mention, never once did the car overheat on me or even come close, the temp gauge was ALWAYS below the middle, even on an hour long drive on the highway doing 80.


After getting a few different opinions and thinking it over, I kept an eye on the fluid levels and kept driving with the magic coolant conditioner fix, I hoped this would solve all my problems, atleast for a little while.

With the car having 135k, I realized i would need to do the job sooner or later though. I compiled my parts list and waited. I got all my parts finally but by this time the car seemed to be running much better, no more bad smells... and like I said no smoke coming from under the hood , it was starting to snow a lot in jersey and I was loving my first winter with a subaru!





Then I started to get lazy from the cold and snow, I lost track of keeping and eye on fluid levels until one morning I thought to check and it seemed as though all my oil was gone! I put more in as soon as I could. everything seemed fine, didn't hear any horrendous noises while driving or anything so I figured I was good. Until later in the day a CEL came on and I started to get real nervous... I checked the stupid things like gas cap and maybe the oil caps because I was messing with those. Tightened everything up, still on. I checked oil level as well and it seemed low again so I put more in before I went out to pick my mom up from work. No CEL. Then about a half hour later it was back on again.

Went to advance auto parts and they told be they stopped pulling CEL codes, wtf?! went to pep boys and was told it was something to do with evap emissions. but I had made my mind up by that point... I had all the parts, all I was doing was procrastinating. It was finally time to put the car in the shop... That was last tuesday, the 4th. So the car ran for a solid 10 weeks slowly leaking fluids and I put over 2,000 miles on it from the time I bought it.



Ok this is up to current time for the most part so I am going to end this here for now and then come back and edit it some more later... :)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
MODS: (If you want to call them that) LOL

So I forgot to talk about some little things I did to the car while in the middle of purchasing the car and driving it to it's death then finally putting it in the shop.

First thing I did was buy some new headlights..
I still need to get them properly aligned.
Amazon.com: Philips H1 VisionPlus Replacement Bulb, (Pack of 2): Automotive


The center console had a NASTY STICKY substance covering the whole inside of it... i was determined to get that out and I did. That was the most satisfying thing I did to the car yet... LOL

And of course some air fresheners!

Put in a 20mm sway bar! Install was not as simple as I had hoped and had some minor complications but car still feels way better then before!

Also installed some rally armor has mud flaps! ( lost the rear ones :( )


cheap amazon head unit

whiteline rear endlinks

kartboy front endlinks

Borla REP UEL headers

Tsudo test pipe with Resonator


MODS I PLAN ON DOING: (EVENTUALLY)

lightweight pulley
Suspension ( should I go up or down?!)
Tint. (is there a law in NJ or is any % illegal?)

That's all I can think of for now...

I am open to suggestions on possible mods and any feedback is appreciated!

I will come back and edit more...

Sorry for the messy format!
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
COST OF CAR:

I like the idea of this. It will really only make me sad over time but I would like to see the costs of my car over time and see total what I spend on the car.

Car ($3150)
Taxes,tags, registration (Somewhere around $300)
Insurance ($80/month)
First trip to mechanic ($170)
Random **** bought on Amazon so far ($160)
Head Gasket + Timing Belt kit & random parts ($660)
Labor - $802.50
Wheel bearing labor - $262.15
New windshield - $240

Total cost so far: $6064.65

Damn... lol

And that's not including gas...
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
damn, I have now been away from my car for a week and it is really starting to suck! Looks like I might not have her for this big storm coming up wednesday night/thursday...

This sucks :/

I might be forced to buy a beater for the storm!
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
WOW, reading my story back to myself makes me realize how stupid I was really.. I just procrastinated so badly and I should of seen it coming sooner or later.

Oh well, I am hoping once I FINALLY get the car back everything will go smoothly after that.

I have to say though, the car really did drive smooth and well the whole time, never once did it DRIVE like something was wrong, only smelled like it... always was a smooth ride.
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have a question for you guys. My car has the plastic intake manifold... I was thinking of swapping it out but then after doing some reading it seemed like everyone was actually saying the plastic one was better?

What are the pros and cons of the plastic intake mani?
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Sorry for being such a noob guys. After doing some reading I realized that my car is not WRB like I thought...

It is actually pacifica blue, correct?

So I can't just buy a wrx or Sti hood or wing in wrb because it will be a horrible match?

Also I was planning on buying fog light covers but they don't sell them in pacifica blue.

Any suggestions on exterior styling this car?
 

·
Registered
2002 WRB WRX
Joined
·
420 Posts
Sorry for being such a noob guys. After doing some reading I realized that my car is not WRB like I thought...

It is actually pacifica blue, correct?

So I can't just buy a wrx or Sti hood or wing in wrb because it will be a horrible match?

Also I was planning on buying fog light covers but they don't sell them in pacifica blue.

Any suggestions on exterior styling this car?
You can just paint match the wing and hood and paint it. Get some paint from automotivetouchup.com and some primer, sand the old paint and spray away :)

Fog light covers do pop up on the for sale section here and nasioc occasionally, just takes some patience Lol.

I used to own an 05 RS and I think doing the exhaust improved the driving feeling by improving the throttle response.

As far as exterior goes some nice wheels and a slight drop will make it more aggressive. Sways are awesome, some good struts and performance springs will make the car even more fun to drive.

EDIT: where are you located? I have some mint MB Weapon rims 17x7 and tokico D-specs with GF210 springs (performance springs with a moderate drop) that I can sell you for cheap.
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
3000 is a pretty good price even if it did have d a leaky HG. XD
That's what I thought! I didn't know about the HG tho :/ lol
Oh well I am hoping this car will last as long as I need it to for me and hopefully catch a fair price when I go to sell it because of the work I have done to it.

You can just paint match the wing and hood and paint it. Get some paint from automotivetouchup.com and some primer, sand the old paint and spray away

Fog light covers do pop up on the for sale section here and nasioc occasionally, just takes some patience Lol.

I used to own an 05 RS and I think doing the exhaust improved the driving feeling by improving the throttle response.

As far as exterior goes some nice wheels and a slight drop will make it more aggressive. Sways are awesome, some good struts and performance springs will make the car even more fun to drive.

EDIT: where are you located? I have some mint MB Weapon rims 17x7 and tokico D-specs with GF210 springs (performance springs with a moderate drop) that I can sell you for cheap.
Awesome thanks man! It would be sweet to grab some fog covers off of here for a little cheaper! I'll have to keep an eye out.
Yeah I really want to do exhaust. Did you do headers and all or just an axle back?

I really like rpf1s for how light they are bit they are expensive! I'm kinda scared to lower the car because I like having good ground clearance for winter but at the same time I am thinking of having a winter and summer setup. I am a noob still. How hard/ expensive is it to have two different setups?

I'm in south jersey btw. How cheap are we talking lol
 

·
Registered
2002 WRB WRX
Joined
·
420 Posts
That's what I thought! I didn't know about the HG tho :/ lol
Oh well I am hoping this car will last as long as I need it to for me and hopefully catch a fair price when I go to sell it because of the work I have done to it.


Awesome thanks man! It would be sweet to grab some fog covers off of here for a little cheaper! I'll have to keep an eye out.
Yeah I really want to do exhaust. Did you do headers and all or just an axle back?

I really like rpf1s for how light they are bit they are expensive! I'm kinda scared to lower the car because I like having good ground clearance for winter but at the same time I am thinking of having a winter and summer setup. I am a noob still. How hard/ expensive is it to have two different setups?

I'm in south jersey btw. How cheap are we talking lol
I only had a wrx catback (got it for $80 and it only had like 4k miles on it) but that already made a difference since the stock piping is pretty small. Headers and HFC would free up a bit more power.

A different winter and summer ride height setup is a hassle since that means swapping springs each time, unless you have height adjustable coilovers, which aren't cheap, although there are $500 coilovers but I'm not sure how long they last.

Yeah generally light wheels are expensive. Look into the Kong feather, which are pretty light and decently cheap. If your looking for new struts that handle better than stock at a decent price, look into the KYB Excel-G and put on some WRX springs, OR another option is to get some OEM 04 STI takeoff struts and springs, which should greatly improve the handling and also lower the car by .6" (sti suspension is slightly lower ) of course the D-Specs are better struts, especially since the stiffness is infinitely adjustable, so they can be setup to work with any spring set.

btw, I can do $260 for the wheels and $450 for the D-Specs+Tanabe Df210 springs+tophats combo if you're interested (I just won't be in NY for the next 2 weeks)
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I only had a wrx catback (got it for $80 and it only had like 4k miles on it) but that already made a difference since the stock piping is pretty small. Headers and HFC would free up a bit more power.

A different winter and summer ride height setup is a hassle since that means swapping springs each time, unless you have height adjustable coilovers, which aren't cheap, although there are $500 coilovers but I'm not sure how long they last.

Yeah generally light wheels are expensive. Look into the Kong feather, which are pretty light and decently cheap. If your looking for new struts that handle better than stock at a decent price, look into the KYB Excel-G and put on some WRX springs, OR another option is to get some OEM 04 STI takeoff struts and springs, which should greatly improve the handling and also lower the car by .6" (sti suspension is slightly lower ) of course the D-Specs are better struts, especially since the stiffness is infinitely adjustable, so they can be setup to work with any spring set.

btw, I can do $260 for the wheels and $450 for the D-Specs+Tanabe Df210 springs+tophats combo if you're interested (I just won't be in NY for the next 2 weeks)
Thanks for the info again man. Did the catback bolt right up or did you have to have a exhaust shop do it for you?

How do you think the car would ride with your setup in the snow?

I need to save up some money after paying for this HG so maybe hold onto that for me until the summer lol

How much lower would the car be on your setup?

Do you know the weight of your wheels?
 

·
Registered
07 2.5i Wagon
Joined
·
72 Posts
Love the blobeyes!!! Great story man, hope the repair goes well! I love the blue too :)

Ps: You gotta rock the wingless look... if done right it looks beautiful!

PPs: How the hell do you guys get the pictures imbedded inbetween the text of the post?? I've been trying to figure it out but all I know how to do is link them as attachments at the end of the messages. help please :p
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5rs-pacifica blue pearl
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Love the blobeyes!!! Great story man, hope the repair goes well! I love the blue too :)

Ps: You gotta rock the wingless look... if done right it looks beautiful!

PPs: How the hell do you guys get the pictures imbedded inbetween the text of the post?? I've been trying to figure it out but all I know how to do is link them as attachments at the end of the messages. help please :p
Thanks man! Am I correct that my car is not wrb?

I plan on staying wingless for now! Any suggestions are welcome!

I upload all my photos to photo bucket and just copy the IMG code from there. Works every time.
 

·
Registered
2002 WRB WRX
Joined
·
420 Posts
Thanks for the info again man. Did the catback bolt right up or did you have to have a exhaust shop do it for you?

How do you think the car would ride with your setup in the snow?

I need to save up some money after paying for this HG so maybe hold onto that for me until the summer lol

How much lower would the car be on your setup?

Do you know the weight of your wheels?
The midpipe had to be lengthened by around 1" and the flange had to be rotated 90* IIRC. I had a welder fab it up for $50. Aside from that, it's a direct bolt on job.

I can definitely hold onto the wheels and struts for you if you're interested. With my setup the car will be 1.3" lower in the front and 1.0" lower in the back. It's a much tighter setup vs stock and will have MUCH less body roll. Some people use them as entry level auto-x/track suspension instead of coilovers. You'll sacrifice a bit of clearance if you're concerned about deep snow, but should have around 4.8" of clearance. You could always swap springs if you want, ie stock STI springs.

The wheels weigh 18.0 lbs.
 
1 - 20 of 310 Posts
Top