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99 WRB GC V9 Spec C RA recce
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Discussion Starter #1
The story of this car starts in a galaxy far away and probably not interesting to anyone. It was born in Japan, sold in USA, been to Canada and later shipped to Russia. From there it traveled to Germany to hit the "green hell". It has been through many stages and transitions of identity crisis, from fast tarmac, to gravel recce, to bare naked, to daily driver...

Point is, there is a lot of "one-off" parts in it, not visible to the eye, and I prefer to keep it stockish-looking

Back in NY:



Attacking Nurburgring




As it stood today, before I stripped it






Engine bay







And its current state




Yep, I stripped it completely, car is currently in the rally shop undergoing chassis preparation (stripping seams and paint), after which I am going to seam weld it and slowly start assembly.

I plan to swap to GD dash, so my beloved flocked dash/STI 280km/h cluster and matching Defis will be for sale (or trade), install ABS back in and mount the unit under the brake booster for a neat install...... well and because I can't put it in stock location because of this:




So there will be a lot of cutting, welding, fabrication and regrets
If I am brave enough, I will install widebody so that I park the car and never drive it again in fear of damaging the kit

I will be keeping the thread alive, because as I go through certain things I will need some guidance and advise, starting with GD dash install :)
 

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99 WRB GC V9 Spec C RA recce
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Discussion Starter #4
Turns out my chassis is in pretty good shape, despite the age, I was expecting to see more disasters










but not perfect...





Before seam welding I decided to first install the GD dash beam and heater core in place



I had to really beat the shit out of the dash beam so it sits flush against the heater core, and I still can't get it to sit right because its hitting heater core central part that connects two pieces.... if anyone has any tips how to go around that, would be much appreciated



Still far from perfect, so more hammering to go tomorrow
 

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99 WRB GC V9 Spec C RA recce
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Discussion Starter #5
Figured out my way about fitting GD dash

First of all, I decided to keep the GD dash center aligning stud, and made a hole in upper part of the firewall



This let me center it out, it stays flat in the middle and sits pretty tight - one piece of advice, take your hvac vents OFF the dash before you do this. Should I followed this advice, I would have made a perfect hole from the first attempt

Another thing I didn't like is the "stretching" effect with the dash beam so I decided to move the right mounting bracket slightly to the right





spot welded with beam in place, and then finished it on the welding table

Instead of cutting the dash, I bent these slightly, no more rubbing!




I have no idea how people fit the GD dash beat with the heater core by just banging on it... so instead of "crushing" heater core plastic, I cut the beam to give it more clearance



Once I felt comfortable with the distance, I used 3mm steel plate that I reinforced by bending sides, inserted into the beam hole and welded around. Forgot to make pics, but will follow up on it later

For dash front side mounts, I did the same thing everyone does - used these metal stubs, made holes and inserted clip-on 6mm nut adapters

 

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Discussion Starter #6
The rest of the day was devoted to seam welding. I gotta tell you, Subaru did a GOOD job back in 99 making those cars..... amount of seam sealant is incredible, it still holds and a bitch to remove/weld through

Started with the engine bay, you can see how the welds go through nicely




Almost done with the wheel arch




Once the engine bay/arches were done, we moved to interior






Working my way to the rear...




Once inside was complete, we had to figure out how to tilt the car.... it was quite a challenge




Bottom almost done from one side, this is how we left it for the day




More fun tomorrow, we will have to rotate it and lift from the other side
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finished with the seam welding today, took two full days in total















now the goal is to smoothen the welds, coat them with acid primer, so they don't rust and put a crap load of seam sealant everywhere

current level of regret: 17.5%
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Smoothing the welds is even worse. I inhaled so much metal shavings I might poop out a crowbar tomorrow

nevertheless, finished all sharpies inside and out






Tomorrow, vacuum and preparation for acid primer

As for now - opening a fresh bottle of Buffalo Trace
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Done for the long weekend, all welds inside the car, arches and in the engine bay have been shaved














Now I need to find motivation to do the underside

I might have had better luck having it sand blasted, too bad I haven't thought of it earlier
 

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2000 RS Coupe
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Wow! Your level of focus and diligence is bar none. This may be a stupid question, but is all the seam welding for increasing the structural rigidity of the chassis?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
yes
first thing I am going to try when everything is done, is lifting one side of the car and trying to open/close the door. If it goes in straight, I did a good job
 

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2000 Impreza RS 2.5
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This is awesome! With seam welding, how do you keep water from going in between the welds and cause corrosion? Is there a special way rally/body shops paint to protect the body for the future?
 

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This is awesome! With seam welding, how do you keep water from going in between the welds and cause corrosion? Is there a special way rally/body shops paint to protect the body for the future?
Seam sealer
 

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99 WRB GC V9 Spec C RA recce
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Discussion Starter #16
you are missing few steps

1) Remove seam sealer, sound deadening
2) Sand blast the chassis or shave it to bear metal where you plan to seam weld
3) Seam weld for rigidity (a quest of its own deserving a separate thread)
4) Clean/smoothen the welds
5) Vacuum 5lbs of metal shavings
6) Degrease everything
7) Apply acid primer to the welds
8) Apply Seam sealer
9) Paint
10) Remember you had to weld some holes you forgot to
11) Regret
12) Repeat steps 2-9 until satisfied
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Baby steps, but some progress

Mocking the dash and tunnel, making new mounts to insure everything fits nice and snug




Made new brackets for HVAC

center core:




And blower motor (I cut and moved OEM brackets with some slight modification to them)



 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've got few concerns and I wanted to hear some feedback from people who have done the dash swap


1. Steering wheel orientation

Judging from the visual angle, it seems to be off-center






2. What column to use - GD or GC? I know about the spindle difference, I have different racks and different joints for them

3. Blower motor filter access - is this normal?




4. Dash beam legs - what is the general consensus about mounting them to the OEM tabs? I can probably cut and move them if I must, but before I go cutting-crazy, wanted to hear some opinions. It also seems driver's side dash beam leg is further away










5. Handbrake orientation/angle. I used GD handbrake with GC rear tunnel mount adapter (that I modified slightly so it fits nice around the handbrake mounts). How did you mount yours?

First of all, its the angle - in the lowest relaxed position this is what it looks like





Second issue is the distance between the thumb button and the shifter trim - is there enough distance? I don't have a GD closeby to measure how it is there

 
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