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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1999 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe
Silverthorn Metallic
5-Speed Manual


Found this online in Washington State. My friends at Tino's Automotive (All Fours Rally Team) gave it fresh head gaskets, water pump, timing, clutch, and flywheel before driving it all the way to Ojibwe Forests Rally where I met them and finished the 2,000 mile journey back to Omaha! This 1-owner rust-free RS Coupe had 148k miles on the clock by the time it rolled onto my driveway and it's replacing my tried-and-true RS Revival. I've already swapped some of my favorite aesthetic bits over from the other car to get me started but there's more in store for this car down the road. This is Take Two!

STI Version 6 Grille
ABS Fog Light Covers
Depo Clear Corner Lights
JDM Tail Lights
Prodrive RB5 Rear Spoiler
RallyArmor UE Mudflaps
17" BBS Wheels w/Yokohama Tires
JDM STi Version 7 Front Seats
JDM STi Version 7 Rear Seats
Zealous Interiors "JDM Blue" Door Inserts
Gray Painted Center Dash / Shifter Trim
STi Duracon Shift Knob
STi 5MT Short Throw Shifter
Group N Rear Shifter Bushing
Rebuilt 2.5L SOHC Subaru Boxer Engine
FHI Carbon Fiber Strut Tower Brace
KYB Excel-G Struts w/RS Springs
Stromung Catback Exhaust

* - Table of Contents
A Clean Slate
 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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470 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Bast!

So when I drove this thing home, I had a 7-hour journey back to think about what I really wanted to do. Outside of more immediate things like "replace the damn windshield" and "swap my favorite bits over from the old RS", I already kind of had a wishlist of improvements to make.

The first is steering and suspension. The power steering is failing on this car and I had always wanted to swap in a STI steering rack. Been doing some research and trying to find a good solid way to do it without breaking the bank. A Brand-new 2017 WRX STI steering rack would be fun, especially considering it's the quickest rack Subaru has made to-date... but I keep wondering if it'll be just as effective to just swap in one from a 2004, since it will work with the stock RS crossmember. Thanks to this thread I've managed to find a lot of answers about older model swaps onto our beloved "GC" Imprezas.

I'm still crazy, so I'm still planning to rallycross this '99 RS and the one thing I remember in the turns was turning the wheel a lot to get a little. A quicker-ratio steering rack would make the twisty turny rallycross courses much easier to manage. As such, I have also been strongly considering picking up a L&E Fabrication "Impreza Late GC Quick Column" but am still digging around for more information.

I've never done work on a power steering column before so to anyone who has done something like this, I could certainly use some pointers! Thanks!
 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #5
On the one hand, this car was a bit of a time capsule when I picked it up. The original RS seats were still in it and nearly mint. The original owner had put seat covers on them so they weren't faded or worn at all. They were super comfy, but the second I turned the wheel sharply I was reminded why I loved my Version 6 seats so much.



With the interior back the way I like it, there's a few more things I've been working on. With my other RS, I remembered that the first couple of months were spent simply fixing and replacing things that needed work. It's a 1999 so not everything is perfect, regardless of how much care was taken to keep it in good shape for 17 years. I've got a new Master Cylinder, Clutch Slave, and new lines on the way to fix the odd clutch pedal feel it's got right now.

A short list of other things I need to fix or improve has been brewing. Here's what's in store for round one!
  • Replace A/C Fan Control Resistor
  • New Blower Motor
  • Replace Front Windshield
  • New Brake Lines
  • Subaru Front 4-Pot Calipers
  • Subaru Rear 2-Pot Calipers
Got more things on the docket that I'd like to do, but I'll go with this list first before adding on more! Phase 1 is off to a good start!
 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #6
Dear RS25.com,

If you have an Impreza with side skirts and you haven't cleaned them out... you really should! Dear Lord in Heaven, mine practically had potting soil and pine needles packed in them!!



What I expected to be a 20 minute Rally Armor UE install on my '99 Impreza Coupe imported from Washington State turned into a two hour clean-athon through the side skirts and wheel wells! It looked like my car had diarrhea on my driveway when I was done.




Luckily no rust or rotting in those skirts, but I was surprised to find so much gunk in a car that had been garaged every night for the last 17 years. I cleaned 'em all out and installed my rally armors quickly thereafter. Went with the dark gray logos.



And, ironically after all this cleaning, I'm taking her to it's first Rallycross this weekend! Still got things to work on but the car is solid and OEM suspension seems to be really compliant for rallying.
 

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gm2 coupe / gf4/ cb7 saloon
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congrats on the score on the new one. glad your old one will be cared for as well. hopefully i will get to see this car someday. its inspirational. and thats a real rb5 wing? im considering finding one or a p1 spoiler does it mount in the rs holes?
 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, man! The RB5 Wing mounts in the holes already drilled for the RS Sedan and Coupe wing. However, the third mounting point (closest to the rear glass) needs some slight modification to do right. Instead of a screw, the USDM trunks use a plastic peg. The wing I have has another screw there, but we got it to work.

I've been puzzled about this RB5 Wing since I got it. There are a lot of replicas out there, but most of them don't have the "PRODRIVE" logo set into the sides. However, all the RB5s were in a dark gray, not silver. This one had been painted silver when I got it, but there's a few scuffs on the wing where the paint has been worn away. Underneath there's no sign of gray paint. It's a light yellow color through the paint. The rear brake light works fine and the connector fits in the OEM plug to power it. Printed on the thrid brake light is a "HELLA" logo. I suspect the wing a replica, but it's good enough for me!

 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #12
That makes me feel pretty awesome! So it's a legit RB5 wing!

Sit rep: the car was epic for Rallycross. To keep building on points for the season, I registered my mostly stock RS in "Prepared AWD" class. I literally got to compete with my old RS in the same class. Call it driver mod or whatever, but I kept up (and frequently bested) with my prepared-class rallycross coupe the whole weekend! I was really happy with how flawless the car performed and how compliant the stock suspension was for use in Rallycross.

gc-2831 by 86Reverend, on Flickr

There were two full days of Rallycross and everything felt solid. I also noticed there wasn't a cloud of dirt and dust accumulating in the new car... something the old one was notorious for. I don't think I ever got the door seals quite right when we replaced the drivers side door on it so puffs of dirt used to make their way into the cabin and get things dirty pretty quickly. It was nice keeping the interior relatively dust-free! I know it's not a racing advantage, but little things like this remind me of how much better of a car this one is to start off with and keep working with instead of battling problems with the old car.

gc-3003 by 86Reverend, on Flickr

I've been kicking around the idea of a swap with this car pretty much since I got it. And usually the "mod bug" kicks in even more after a race. However, the mostly-stock RS did so well that weekend that I actually had an even harder time trying to convince myself to go balls-deep into an expensive EJ207 swap or something like that. Heck, I may even keep the stock suspension longer than I had anticipated and spend more mod money on other silly ideas!

gc-3547 by 86Reverend, on Flickr

On the list of those silly ideas is more "dress up" for this car. I was on the fence about them for a long time, but I finally splurged and ordered a set of blue door inserts from Zealous Interiors. They won't perfectly match the blue on my Version 6 Limited Seats, but it should be close enough. Plus I've always loved the "22B Feeling" I get driving this thing, and catching the aesthetic cue of the blue on the door cards as I drive will just further continue that idea. No, it's not blue. No, it doesn't have a wide body kit. No, it's not turbocharged. But maybe it'll have some of that later!

Speaking of 22Bs, those brakes are up next on my mod list. Been sourcing some parts and pricing things out to hopefully have it done this fall. I've got a buddy who recently put a set on his black RS coupe that I've been bugging for details.

Oh, and here's a shot I got before the races with my old RS next to the "new" one.
IMG_2015 by 86Reverend, on Flickr
 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #13
I know it's not the "correct" matchup and the blues aren't identical... but I just couldn't resist doing this.




In 1998, my Version 6 Limited front seats would be paired with the standard "JDM Gray" rear seats (as per this photo) with matching gray on the door panels. Well, the rest of the car is already Silver instead of Rally Blue like the one the seats went with, so I've decided to swap that idea. Thanks to a stripped interior of a 2004 WRX STI, I've now got blue rear seats! Matching blue door card inserts from Zealous Interiors are on order as well.

The only downside to this is that the blue on the front seats is cloth, not alcantara suede like the rest of the blue on the seats and door cards. The blue matches close enough not to bother my OCD-ness too much and they could probably use a good cleaning to brighten them up a bit which would help match them even better.

I wanted to go with a bit of a "22B Interior" look with this so the blue rear seats and door inserts will help tie in that idea. Can't wait to get the Zealous inserts in there!
 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Why did you get a new RS?
I wanted a RS that would last... and my '00 RS Coupe wasn't promising. Rust was always an issue with it and I tried my best to get rid of it, but I kept finding more problems with it. It no longer made sense to keep upgrading and improving the car with recurring rust issues threatening the longevity I had hoped to get out of that car.

I decided to sell it and start fresh. This car will be similar in some ways to what I had already done, but I am much more confident investing in this car knowing that it is clean, has been cared for, and is rust-free to start with. It's a good car to build on.

Speaking of that, I finished out the NRSCCA's 2016 Rallycross Season with a class win. This also locked in the overall win for Prepared AWD two years running for me!




I competed in the last two events of the 2016 season in this car, which is still very stock compared to the other cars running in Prepared AWD. It's a testament to how solid this car is but also inspires confidence in my abilities as a driver to be competitive in a car that isn't modified.

 

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1999 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #16
So I picked up some JDM Blue Alcantara door card inserts from Zealous Interiors. I've got the front doors installed right now, but I'm holding off on installing the rears because A: they're a pain to do on Coupes and B: the color matching stuff is bothering me.

A month ago I installed some 2004 WRX STI rear seats to get a 22B / RB5 look going for my interior. The blue from those was slightly darker than my front seats, which are Version 6 Limited STI seats. They're pretty much Prodrive seats with a different logo etched into them. But now with the Zealous JDM Blue in there, they really look off. Essentially I have lighter blue seats, slightly darker rear seats, and even more dark door cards.

I think I can remedy this by finding some JDM Blue Alcantara seats, but USDM ones sit too high for me. Trying to find RB5 or 22B seats seems nearly impossible (unless I'm just not looking in the right places) so I was thinking of going with Version 7 STI seats. They're out of the "Bugeye" but I need to see how high they sit. I really can't give up any headroom in my RS thanks to my helment for rallycross. Been looking around and these seem relatively easy to find but most of them have stains or excessive wear on the bolsters from what I've been finding so far.

If any of you can help me find some suitable seats to match the rest of my interior, that'd be great!
 

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