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Discussion Starter #141
Got a few things done today. First was the STI rear diffuser I picked up from the dealer yesterday.

With the diffuser I got the rear bracket and bolts for it. I had ordered the other 3 "body" brackets but realized I couldn't use em and saved myself about $9/bracket. t3hWIT inspired me with his L-brackets however!



This one was a pain to install...


Looks subtle
 

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Discussion Starter #144
It was a very tedious 2 hours, but these are the only cables you see of the grounding kit. Very curious to see the difference it'll make...
 

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Discussion Starter #145
Not the greatest pic, but finished the install of the new head unit last night. It's gonna be a bit weird not carrying around a faceplate for the first time...

 

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Discussion Starter #146
Nothing terribly exciting as of late, just maintenance stuff, but had the left 1/4 panel taken care of this week.

There was technically nothing for my bumper to hang on to. I caught it early and it was only a 2" wide x 4-5" high patch. Came to $800 painted and everything. Re-sealed and undercoated on both sides too...



 

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Discussion Starter #148
Ya, stock EJ251. Other then maintenance I haven't done anything to it so haven't listed it as a "mod". I'll eventually build something for her down the road.

I have the previous owner's history (who boosted it) at home and find out...
 

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Discussion Starter #149
Nice ride, are you on stock internals? How many miles boosted now?
So I looked through the previous owner's history and I'm not sure at what mileage mark the car was turbo'd, but it was done in Apr. of 2002, and the car was assembled in Apr. of 2000.

I bought the car in 2005 with just under 90 000 km's on it. It works out to an average of 18 000 km's a year; so, roughly at the 36 000 km mark? That would mean I'm nearly at 200 000 km's of boosted mileage I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #150
Haven't had anything 'fun' to update with in a while so here's a preview. Hi-Rise hood scoop coming soon to a hood near mine!

 

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Discussion Starter #151
Took about an hour to install as 3 of the 6 bolt holes didn't line up, but the hi-rise scoop is painted and installed. Me likey!





 

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Discussion Starter #152 (Edited)
Nothing terribly exciting to update with other then some maintenance stuff. New A/C compressor & recharged, a new axle, etc...

But after nearly 9 years of ownership, one would think that any previous owner's bugs have finally been worked out. Well, no, not in my case...

I really thought after replacing and re-wiring some of the gauges that there couldn't be anywhere else for surprises to be found, but I found 2 yesterday!

The past few months I've been trying to trace a leak. It was driving me nuts cause it would only happen in the rain and when my car was parked at the particular angle my driveway happens to be at. The carpet under the pedals was wet and nowhere else. I managed to squeeze in the time with a friend at his family's body shop and we found it to be coming from between the window molding and the body about halfway down the windshield. His dad who's been at it for 30+ years in the field mentioned that the plastic clips that hold the molding to the car sometimes dry out and let water squeak through.

I ordered a new molding with new clips & screws, etc. from the dealership as I was certain my old one would break removing it, but surprisingly didn't and was super easy to replace included putting the seal back in. When removing it, one of the white plastic mounting clips for the screws wasn't like the other! It looked like it was for something else that was just jammed in there! It was even re-drilled a few times in order to line up with the molding's hole. It was also the area the leak was coming from; I had to break it apart in order to get it out of the body.

I thought that was really strange. While I put the new molding on I noticed that my new one didn't come with that little tab of mystery that sticks out, that no one really knows what its for...



Now that I knew how the molding held together, I thought I'd try and take the tab out of the passenger side for some added symmetry. I pulled the seal down a bit to get to the tabs screw, and the tab just came out by hand!? I looked up and there no screw in that part of the passenger molding! Only the seal on that side was holding it in place this entire time! I re-used an old screw from the driver's side and put that back together.

I started thinking as to how the hell that could happen and my best guess is that the car was. or someone attempted to, break into her damaging stuff, and whatever shop did a shoddy job putting everything back together. It would also explain the faulty operating, overkill alarm that came with the car...
 

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Discussion Starter #153
Nothing really exciting again over the last little while cause I moved and had a few summer trips. Did however had to replace the radiator; did so with one from NAPA for now, changed tranny and diff fluid, got the A/C working again... but these puppies showed up today!



First of a few 'big' things between now and the rest of the year ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #154 (Edited)
Changed the valve cover gaskets recently, but the suspension's in! It was pretty much a full day taking my time and a lunch break, but otherwise uneventful, which was surprising considering how many other things the previous owner screwed up. I think an actual shop had installed the springs. The only hiccup was on the right, rear corner, the rear, top nut was slightly rounded but still managed to get it off...







After a quick test drive, tomorrow I think I'd like to raise the front just a little bit; scrapes on turns sometimes. And just double check that the back's level.

Initial impressions are good! It's seems to be a nice blend of being able to feel the road better, but it's still comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #156 (Edited)
So my new year's been off to a bit of rough start. Had to replace a dead hard drive in my computer earlier in the month, but then this past week has been a bit of an adventure.

Last Sunday I'm leaving Ikea with my g/f when before she has a chance to put her car in gear, a bum on a bicycle decided to try and shave the license plate off her bumper with his pedal. Man, was she pissed! I call around and find a parts store that has to suppose-to-match mini cans of Plastikote spray paint for her paint code. It's a Sunday and they close soon, so she drops me off at my car and told her I'll meet her there.

My car doesn't start the 1st attempt. Doesn't start the 2nd. 3rd attempt and I hear a snap and a horrible grinding sound. I decided against attempting a push start and 2 tow trucks later I get her home. Under a street light in the above-ground parking lot with my g/f holding a flashlight, I pull out my starter to find this!



I pull out the starter and find a chunk missing. I thought, great, at least I found the problem... wait, where's the rest of it! The missing chunk was sitting in the starter hole. It would've fallen in if it was smaller and/or if I didn't have my fat clutch. It was a clean break too, no other pieces anywhere.

I got this starter online in 2011 with a 1 year warranty as it was significantly cheaper then a new one locally. I didn't have that luxury this time and prices have thankfully gone down since. New/rebuilt ones are about half of what they used to be and not much more then my now old, online one.

Didn't look like there was any damage to the clutch & flywheel from what I could see. The guy at NAPA who's been there for 20 years said it was only the 2nd or 3rd time he's even seen this happen!

I put the new starter in, but needed a jump from my g/f's car. Thought the battery must've gotten low from the ordeal and decided to go for a boot on the highway to run some errands and charge the battery back up.

Stopped at the grocery store, came back out, and my car wouldn't start again? Cranking over fine, but not firing. After a total of 5 or 10 minutes it finally eventually fired up on the 4th or 5th attempt. Thought it was weird, maybe the battery hasn't topped up yet. Stopped at the hardware store and again wouldn't fire up, though cranking fine. Again after about 10 minutes she finally fires up on the 6th try or so.

I decided to head home before I'm left stranded. Came home and before I shut the car off I popped the hood to check things out. She was running fine and everything, though I happen to notice I lost about 5psi of fuel pressure on the gauge. I shut the car off to attempt more troubleshooting but she wouldn't fire up the rest of the night.

I thought I had a hot retart issue, so I plug in the laptop and get my engineering cousin who tuned my car the first time and welded my up & down pipes on the phone. After about 45 minutes of troubleshooting, we came to the consensus it's most likely my fuel pump. Great. I wonder though if I fell victim to a knock-off Walbro back in 06, or if this is a real Walbro that simply ran its lifespan...

I didn't have the luxury again of sourcing and/or waiting for another Walbro (and seeing a real one would show up), and for my setup it's not *quite* needed. I sourced and found a new fuel pump intended for an 04 STI. Plug-n-play with the enough flow.

I managed to get my car mobile and running under its own power in time for the scheduled steering rack replacement I booked a month ago and spent the last 2 months slowly piecing together.



Newly rebuilt OEM steering rack with Whiteline bushings and tie rods. Even got new tie rod locking nuts from the dealer just in case. The tie rods are part of a kit that comes with ball joints too. I picked up a 20mm 04 STI front sway bar from a fellow member and got the Whiteline bushings and endlinks for it too. I decided to go with an OEM steering rack as there were too many variables involving attempting to get an 04 STI rack to work that I wasn't comfortable with...

The steering rack went in without a hitch but turns out that sway bar I picked up is slightly too long and doesn't line up with the mounts on the control arm. I asked if all the new Whiteline bits could then be used with the OEM sway bar and the bolts that come with the endlinks are too big for the control arm mounts' holes, so that wasn't put in.

Turns out there's not a lot of pressure on my front sway bar in my case, so I'd like to take a weekend in the future to see what I can rig to make it work in the front seeing as how I have all the parts.

Car starts like a new car, and seems to even run a bit smoother with the new pump and almost even slightly easier to drive. Steering feels brand new and solid. A perfect combination of response and comfort IMO.

Big thanks to the guys at New Way Auto for helping me with what I couldn't do at home! It was a good thing I took this project to them instead of attempting it by myself at home cause it turns out my OEM ball joints were seized and the locking bolt even broke off one side. It took a 8 foot pry-pipe to work the ball joints out and one came out in 2 pieces. I would've been screwed with my car stuck at home and no real way to even get it safely towed to the shop just to have them replace them anyway. Probably good I replaced them now before one would snap in half on the road or something stupid like that...
 

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Discussion Starter #157
Well, a bit more drama to round everything off lately. I was going to head to the border yesterday to ship my old steering rack back, and I couldn't leave my g/f's place as my battery died.

It didn't just need a jump, but about 10 minutes of charging with her car so mine would start. And voltage was dropping again each time I went to start just getting her home.

This is the 2nd Optima red top that's failed in 6 years and I've grown tired of the drop in quality of these things.

I found out that a battery for an SVX fits in the Optima cage I have in the trunk, just a bit taller. I have a battery that I'm not completely thrilled about, but nothing else was open yesterday being that it was a stat holiday around here. Oh well, I'm kinda stuck with it, so I'll keep it til it starts dying and get a really nice one then.

My g/f said after that she didn't want to tell me, but had a bad feeling about me heading out yesterday. I guess I avoided something...
 
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