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Thread: New guy here (long post).

  1. #1

    New guy here (long post).

    Hello everyone.

    TLDR: I'm new to the forum, and to Subaru. Hello.
    TLDR #2: What's it take to join the facebook group? I've tried numerous times. Maybe if I put my WRX in as a profile pic ... ?

    My name is Alex. I hail from Cleveland, MO. Traded up from living in Independence and loving every second of it. I'm in the Air Force Reserve (4 years prior active duty), and spend one weekend a month at Whiteman AFB. If you want to see the highest concentration of Scoobies (and Evos) in your life - visit an Air Force base.

    I've been wanting a bugeye for as long as I can remember, and I finally got one. It's an '02 sedan; less than perfect and ... a project ... and, automatic (subject to change).

    It's not a total basket case. With 177K on the odo, it runs strongly. Previous bunch of owners haven't been kind to it. The engine bay reeks of evidence of past mods, all of which were probably reverted to stock before being sold off. Title is clean, at least. The underbody is dented up pretty well, but not in a way that impacts function. Clearly autocross, or amateur rally car. Rear driver side tire had a permanent 0.0 camber on it, while the pass. rear had the normal -0.5 (i think). I diagnosed it to be a bent knuckle, so I replaced it and the camber is spot on now, but no thanks to whoever sideswiped the curb with it (probably). At least the lateral links are all straight.

    It has an AEM cold air intake (which I'd prefer gone in lieu of an OEM air box, honestly). Some sort of home-brew, wide throat, crappily-welded down pipe, which continues all the way pack in a 3" pipe, tipped with a Flowmaster 40 (louder than hell). A very well 'loved' TD04. Standard WRX TMIC. From what I can see, everything else is stock'ish (injectors, coils, plugs, suspension). Ecu write jumper was already installed under the dash (big surprise), and I went ahead and read the tune from it. Unfortunately getting the tune into a file is about the limit of my abilities in that department. So, I contacted the guys at Off the Line, in Des Moines asked how much they would charge me to have a look at the tune (e-mail) and at least tell me if it's safe for the daily drive. They were happy to do it for free (love those guys), and told me that I have an aggressive Stage 2, basically. I just left it that way, and 3000 miles later it's still doing great, aside from purely mechanical issues. The TD04 is oddly slow to spool, but the turbo shove on this thing, around 4700Rpm is, unreal. I suspect a lot of it has to do with a VERY lazy torque converter. I should get it dynoed, but can't justify the cost, knowing what I plan to do in the near future. Ass dyno tells me it can't be making more than ... 200 maybe (to the wheels)? I know it's faster than the stock due to the fuel map, and air flow numbers on the tune. But I've never driven a stock bugeye.

    Right now I am just catching all the gremlins that show up, while saving money for the REAL work I'd like to do to it. Most recently, I discovered both valve covers weeping oil ... badly - as evidenced by a quart of oil vanishing from the end of the dipstick. Let me tell you guys, valve covers on this thing, without pulling the motor, is not something I'd like to ever do again. The job took me about 10 hours because I also decided to fix the leaky oil pan seal. Moral of the story - just unbolt your motor mounts and jack up your EJ20 (behind the crossmember) about .... 2-4"? Mine took it easily but others may not get away with so much give. You can't get the oil pan off without doing this, but it also eases access to the valve cover bolts.

    Stewie (yeah, I named it Stewie - I heard Scoobie was taken ... a few million times) is leak free now. Except for the tranny oil pan; and tranny cooler hard line connections; and an axle seal; and rear diff; but all those are very slow leaks.

    So yeah - that's my story so far. I'm very excited about my future plans. Obviously I intend to do a full drive train swap because why wouldn't I (and because 4EAT embarassing). Doing a tranny swap means I might as well do it all.
    I'm looking at a full '07 STi configuration: built 2.5, 6MT, axles, drive shaft, rear end, brakes, ECU, gauges, center console, pedals, most of the interior, probably whole harness (because I don't feel like splicing too much), steering rack, ABS relocate, DCCD? maybe - no idea what I'll do there. I'm sure there's a lot more I'm forgetting. There's a list I made, somewhere.

    So, now that I think about it, I plan on doing EXACTLY what everyone says is meaningless. The thing that makes everyone say: "Just get an STi, retard!" But we all know that's not the point, don't we? The blood, sweat, and tears are the point. Making me want to throw the jack through Stewie's windshield, is the point. I'm in it for the experience, even more so than the end result. That's why I only lurk NASIOC instead of looking for productive advice - I don't feel like sifting through 450 replies saying "Buy an STi" just to get a few helpful posts for the effort. I'm so excited about the swap experience, that I've already picked out the car lift I'm putting in my shop for it (BendPak mafia!). I am fully aware that it'll probably spend a year or two on that lift, because I'll have to learn as I go - and I LOVE IT. I'm actually baffled by the animosity on the various forums on this subject. People get flamed, instead of being encouraged. As if taking on a challenging project that isn't monetarily efficient is a mortal sin. WTF is everyone on NASIOC, and accountant? I just don't get it. I know my project will cost me upwards of $15,000. Great! I'm excited to save that amount and spend it!

    Sorry for the novel. But, I see posts about the site being slow, and Facebook getting all the glory. I thought: "Why not give the few regulars a good (subjective), long read?"

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Justin 05 Sti's Avatar
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    I for one enjoyed the novel. Thanks, and welcome!

    Mike (I think his screen name is STiPower) that works at the Olathe dealership had an RS with an STi swap. I thought it was awesome, and I say do what makes you happy. Screw the haters.

    Obviously your easiest route will be to find a wrecked STi that's complete, that you can use as your donor. If you go the piecemeal route you might also consider a hybrid engine build, which would allow you to reuse some of your existing stuff.

  3. #3
    Scoobie Regular
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    Welcome post some pictures of your ride bro

  4. #4
    Welcome! Good post! also If Pete didn't post on the FB page I prob wouldn't have checked the site lol. Make sure you check out and sign up on the FB page. KCSubaru. most people are there nowadays
    ~Dan~ 2011 SSM TP Stage 3

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