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Last Post 14 Jan 2014 07:55 PM by  Fair
Vorshlag Tester Paul M's SMOD '93 Subaru Impreza Project
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Fair
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24 Nov 2009 07:48 AM
    June 2009 update: Terry at Vorshlag here. a good friend of mine from college, and a local autocrosser and Vorshlag tester, currently has a 2008 Subaru STI running in the STU class, and also tracks it in NASA TTB:

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    This car is well setup on AST 4200s, Vorshlag camber plates, custom swaybars, 18x9.5" wheels and sticky ST rubber (and R88s for track use). Racing seat, COBB bits and pieces, even a custom after-cat exhaust I built. Anyway, Paul has decided to build a serious autox/track car using an inexpensive Subaru chassis that is "disposable" cheap, so he's not running a $35K daily driven street car around a road course with a bunch of other people at the same time. You can only get away with racing around a road course in your daily driver for so long.

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    [I]The "gem" of a Subaru he bought, with the parts piling up[/I]

    So after hours of looking at other Subaru track and autocross build-ups he decided on a class to build around: SCCA Street Modified. This allows him to do all of the update/backdate swapping necessary to run the latest/greatest Subaru drivetrain (2.5L turbo and 6-spd) in the cheapest/lightest Impreza chassis. He picked up a 1993 Impreza L "stripper" with manual windows, sweet teal green paint, FWD and automatic drivetrain from local hot shoe autocrosser/drag racer/Bonneville top speed addict Brianne Corn. This car is a real "diamond in the rough", and here's what it looked like starting this weekend:

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    [I]Starting weight of 2440 pounds is pretty good! The STI starts closer to 3200 in stock form[/I]

    He had also bought the transaxle, rear subframe/axle, fuel tank, brake/fuel lines, dash, interior and pretty much everything from a 2007 STI from another local racer who had totaled their street car. He still needs to source the motor but he has a hot lead on a 2004 STI motor and turbo. The entire STI drivetrain is going into the old FWD Impreza chassis with an '04 STI harness that allows for full DCCD diff control, just like the late model cars have. Its going to have the late model dash as well, which should look pretty slick.

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    [I]The 6-spd transaxle and various other parts from a donor 2007 STI[/I]

    Anyway, the car has sat for a few weeks (with parts piling up on the roof)! so I dragged the Vorshlag scales by Paul's to force him to remove the 100+ pounds of TRASH from the interior, get a "starting weight" on the car, and hopefully kick-off his build project. We were both pleasantly surprised at the starting number.

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    [I]Somehow I got drafted into re-wiring his garage!? More lights, plus 220V and 110V outlets were added[/I]

    While I was there I noticed that his giant air compressor he bought almost a year ago is still sitting unpowered, since he had no 220V outlet in his garage, and he also had almost no lighting or 110V outlets... he can't get any work done in there like that. One thing leads to another and we ended up spending the entire weekend adding outlets and lights to his 3 car garage, moving all sorts of junk out of there, re-arranging the car, and more. It was hotter than hell outside (101°F) and even hotter in his attic, but at least now he can run his compressor, plug in some power tools, and have enough light to work (3 x 8' fluorescent lights).

    Paul's Project buildup picture gallery is located here: [url]http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/8728308_BULQh[/url]
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:00 AM
    September 2009 Update: I went by Paul's one weekend in September to get some furniture we bought from him and saw the Impreza L. Paul's been busy and has all of the old interior, drivetrain, suspension and crossmembers pulled out. The added garage lighting and compressed air did indeed kick off this project as I had expected. ;) The "L" is now stripped down almost to the bare shell - which is how all real race cars should be started. He has acquired a 2.5L STi motor (thanks, Henry Lin!) and all sorts of other bits and pieces for that. Still looking for a stock STI turbo and intercooler...

    We've been both pouring over the rules for SCCA Solo Street Prepared and Street Modified, looking for changes and areas to maximize. Paul noticed that SP (and SM by default) now allows for full weld-in 8-point roll cages, which is a big change from before (it all had to be bolt-in style, before) and now he and I are both contemplating real cages for some project auto-x/track cars. This will let us both run the cars in NASA Time Trials safely and still maintain SCCA Solo class legality.

    While I was there Paul mocked up a wheel and tire on the L (no rear subframe or suspension in the way):

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    This is a TR Racing 18x9" wheel with 245/40/18 tire. Its almost touching the inner fender sheet metal and is pretty much touching the outer section as well. So it would likely need some baseball bat rolling to fit this tire initially, which I think is the route he's going to go. I keep telling him - get it together with the major parts initially, and worry about the tires/wheels last. This way he can get it running and driving and sorted using his HUGE selection of used ST tires and wheels, before blowing $3500+ on the custom wheels & tires needed for full SMOD competitiveness. When its time for 18x10's its going to need big flares, too.

    As for the other upcoming body mods, he's going with some sort of GC8 2.5 RS or STI front end:

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    Personally I think the stock, 2 door GC8 STi look (shown above) is pretty damn sharp. I think we can custom make steel flares that look very similar to the profile in that picture, but just make them wider to clear the 285/30/18 tires.

    Next up Paul is going to finish pulling the dash and wiring harness. After that he is installing the stock '07 STI fuel tank, subframes and suspension, then plumbing new brake lines for the ABS.

    More soon!
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:04 AM
    November 2009 Update: As I said in my quick September update, Paul was busy for a while there and got the stock drivetrain, front suspension/brakes/subframe, and the entire rear suspension out. I finally got a chance to snap some pics. Here's how the car looked Nov. 22 when I went by to help him on the car for about 4 hours...

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    [I]The stock '93 Impreza drivetrain and suspension were all removed in September[/I]

    Unfortunately the project had stalled out for the past 6 weeks, so he needed a "jump start" (literally!) to get going again. His old truck hadn't been started in 2 months and it was dead as a doornail. I dropped by with the jump box, we got it fired up, then headed to Henry's house to pick up the 2004 STI longblock that he had sold Paul. This will be dropped off soon at COBB Plano, along with the new pistons, cams, ARP bolts and other assorted bits for reassembly.

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    [I]Motor parts ready to go to COBB for assembly[/I]

    Paul's garage was a [I]bit [/I]cluttered and hard to work in, so we started out by doing some cleanup. We also hung a new "white board" and made some "to do lists" for this project as well as 2 vehicles he's about to sell. The old front seats went in the truck to take to the dump, then we disassembled the rear subframe and suspension and it all went in the recycle bin (the steel).

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    Next we pulled the stock fuel tank, which was a 2 man job since it still had 8+ gallons of fuel inside. We managed to get it out and only cut one line, and didn't spill a drop. Once it was out we pulled the fuel pump/pickup/sender assembly and drained the contents into a 5 gallon bucket, then poured that into two 5 gallon fuel jugs using a cardboard funnel (reminder - go buy some funnels, Paul). Then the tank was allowed to air out; later it will get recycled, too.

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    [I]Left: the used 07 STI rear subframe was bent. Right: New replacement subframe from Subaru will bolt-in[/I]

    The other big step planned for today that needed 2 people was the dash and main harness removal. The stock 93 Impreza dash was coming out and a '07 STI dash is going back in its place. A wiring harness from a 2004 STI is going to power the car and dash, or so the plan goes. :p We removed dozens and dozens of screws, bolts and removed the old dash in pieces. The main support beam came out next, then the HVAC components came out in 3 separate sections - blower motor, evep coil and heater core.

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    Next we discombobulated both the main dash/HVAC/circuit breaker harness and the engine harness, which ran from the dash area to the engine compartment in two separate runs. The 07 STI dash was then mocked up and its a really good fit. After some minor trimming it should "look factory" and will improve the layout and interior considerably, not to mention it will house all of the diff control switches and other differences between the 93 Impreza and a 07 STI.

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    [I]Left: both wiring harnesses removed. Right: '07 dash mocked up[/I]

    Lastly I showed Paul how to clean up a section of the underhood area, using my top secret techniques. "We made a clean spot" so now he has to finish the rest. By day's end, a good chunk of work was knocked out and Paul is back on track, with plenty of sub-projects planned for the Holiday break.
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:39 AM
    [B][U]Update for Jan 20, 2010:[/U][/B] Paul and I did some engine bay painting last night, using a POR-15 brand product. It was recommended to use a spacific multi-step cleaning process (that sucked) and foam brush the product on in 2 coats (the brushes sucked, too). This was a huge mess, and the cleaning supplies they sold Paul really didn't cut it. Brake Cleaner to the rescue!

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    After a partial first coat was showing massive fish-eyes from oil still on the surface, it was removed via brake cleaner. Next, all of the engine bay sheet metal was [I]really [/I]de-greased with brake cleaner. Then we applied a coat of this white paint, waited 2 hours, and applied the other. Looks pretty good, for a brushed on finish (some drips & runs), but its not as nice as it should have been for all the work that went into prepping this engine bay.

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    In hindsight... probably should have gone the extra effort and sprayed the engine bay with a proper 2-part urethane automotive paint finish. I won't be recommending this brush-on POR-15 crap to anyone, personally. Short cutting the proper process always ends up with compromises.

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    Next up: painting the front inner fender structures. Paul has spent some quality time with "The Crudbuster", a whirling dervish of a power tool with nasty metal brushes, and removed 20 years of crud" from the underside of the front fender shee tmetal. Let's vote for "spraying" on some product this time. And the AST shocks are finally about to be ordered. I cannot wait to see this thing back on 4 wheels!
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:39 AM
    [U][B]Update for Jan 26, 2010:[/B][/U] Went by to work on Paul's car after earlier taking some measurement's on McCall's Z3 LS1 project. Paul didn't have many parts to install onto the '93 that night, so I took the chance to document a little of the work he'd done earlier that week. The engine bay brake lines, ABS hydraulic unit, and some other bits from the '07 STi bolted right into the '93... gotta love a long lived chassis with tons of carryover! There's a couple of holes to drill, and a few broken plastic retainer clips he needs to replace, but for the most part everything bolted right up. Even the '07 brake booster is going to fit. The pedal assembly? Not so much. More on that in another installment.

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    We also mocked up the '07 HVAC under-dash modules. The center section contains the heater core and evap core, so we removed the evap core (this car won't have air con, but it will have a heater and defroster), which came out cleanly. A small block-off plate from sheet aluminum will cover the hole in the HVAC box that the evap core's intake/exhaust lines left behind. We then realized we needed to drill new holes in the firewall for the 2 heater lines, so Paul was tasked with rounding up some hole saws and unibits, which he has since acquired.

    Later this same week Paul started to reinstall the engine bay harness (the '93 cbody harness and the '07 engine harness). He also had a windshield guy come by and remove the front windshield, cleanly and intact (he could have re-installed the old, uncracked stock windshield, but a new one will only be a few bucks more, and new windshields always look clearer than 18 year old stock units). Having that out of the car gives us ample access to be able to fit the '07 STi dash into the '93 unImpreza. The '07 unit is longer and has to be trimmed ever so slightly at the lower edge of the windshield to line up. He's also sourcing some Imprexza RS door panels, which better line up to the '07 dash contours.

    Fitting the newer STi dash bar, HVAC modules, wiring harness/ECM, dash/gauges and making the new and old interior bits fit together is the trickiest part of this swap, but it will look factory when finished - if done right. The drivetrain and brake system swaps are themselves fairly straightforward and mostly "bolt-in" affairs. There's probably 25-30+ dash mock-ups/mod steps in our future. Entire companies exist to create these types of new-into-old Subaru drivetrain, wiring and interior swaps.

    More soon...
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:40 AM
    Just a few updates...

    Paul has been rounding up parts in a bit of a February Frenzy. Here's what he has nabbed in the past 2 weeks:

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    [LIST]
    [*]JDM market aluminum GC chassis hood. 22.4 pounds (see above)
    [*]Some used stock '06 STi struts for temporary use - so we can get the car rolling before the custom AST4200RRs arrive.
    [*]Used, complete gauge cluster/body/engine/fuel tank wiring harness from an '05 STi. The '04 harness he got previously was hacked up beyond use
    [*]Used '05 STi pedal box
    [*]Used '05 STi dash bar brackets
    [*]Used '05 STi Brembo brake calipers/brackets for front and rear
    [/LIST]

    We also dropped off the longblock and other engine parts at WattsShop - a local engine builder experienced with complete Subaru engine builds.

    Once the wiring arrives we can start to put that in, then the HVAC, dash, and interior. Then the fuel tank, rear subframe, and all of the (temporary/stock) suspension can go back in. Then brakes, wheels/tires, and it should roll. After it rolls it heads to COBB for wiring/splicing magic, engine install, and tuning work.

    At least that's "The Plan". [:)]

    More soon,
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:41 AM
    [U][B]Update for Feb 17, 2010:[/B][/U] Went to work on Paul's car last night. Somehow he had convinced Calvin from COBB to stop by and help. Glad he was there, as he knows Subarus better than Paul or I ever will. The first thing I noticed when I showed up was the JDM market STi front bumper cover and support were installed. the car is a lot better looking already!

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    The biggest accomplishment of the night was the fuel tank. The '93 tank didn't have provisions for the rear wheel drive axle, so the '07 tank was to be used. But the '93 had several missing or different items that the tank would connect to. Paul, Calvin and I spent most of the evening re-routing, modifying, and tweaking these differences. Pounds of dried mud fell into my face, hair and eyes - brotha needs to do some [I]cleaning [/I]under this car!

    We found and/or made hoses for all of the different ports on the '07 and made it all work (well... we'll know for sure when its fired up). Mounted the tank, fuel filler lines, fuel feed/return/vent lines, and most importantly - installed the rear wiring harness above the tank from the '04 harness. This had to be routed above the tank, so the tank had been waiting to go in for weeks until the new harness was sourced. The tank is all buttoned up and awaiting the rear subframe install next...

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    The Mishimoto aluminum radiator was in place, and fit beautifully. The new '07 STi rear subframe shown below was to be installed next, followed by a bunch of other rear suspension parts, but Paul somehow lost the subframe mounting bolts... both sets. The ones from the '93 and the ones from the '07 were both missing. We spent a good 30 minutes tearing apart his garage looking for those 4 bolts, to no avail.

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    Oh well, until next time. :)
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:42 AM
    [U][B]Update for April 8, 2010:[/B][/U] Paul is in Japan all week on vacation, but we did some work on his car 2 weeks ago and I am finally getting around to the update.

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    We spent some time here at the shop using the press to push out the old rubber bushings from the front and rear control arms and spindles, then pressing in new Whiteline poly bushings and ball joints. This was a chore - we spent a good 90 minutes on these, at least. Some of the rubber bushings had to be drilled/cut out, because they were stuck in the arms/steel sleeves.

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    Of course I had to take his crusty old control arms and clean them up. They shine like new now.

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    Once the arms were done we went back to his garage and tinkered with the dash some more. McCall joined us and we redrilled the flanges for the '07 dash bar, made some templates for some other dash brackets we need, etc. The steering column now fits, the harness is in, and its close to being wrapped up inside. Paul even found some nice black "2.5 RS" door panels to swap in, which look and fit better with the '07 dash in place (the doors won't close right now with the '93 door panels in place - there's a raised area on those door panels where the new dash now sits).

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    After a lot of pushing and pulling we managed to get the '04 STi main harness to fit through the various firewall openings in the '93 L. It looks almost factory, even though the firewall openings are totally different between the early '90s and late '00s Imprezas. Out back, right now there's a halfshaft that's stuck inside the R180 rear differential (the 07 STI it came from side-swiped a curb, so that halfshaft is fubar) so that needs some attention at COBB to remove.

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    The interior work is crucial to making all of this fit and function and look right, its just not very glamorous work to look at here (sorry). Oh well, the project is progressing along nicely - very close to drivetrain installaiton time. The motor (rebuilt at WattsShop) is supposedly done, so that's going to go in soon. And the AST 4200RRs are due to arrive in the next month or so. Paul has some bolt-on flares he has found that we can use (temporarily) to cover the 275/35/18 tires and 18x9.5" wheels.

    More soon,
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:43 AM
    [U][B]Update for June 21, 2010:[/B][/U] Paul has been hacking away at little bits on the Impreza and I went by last Saturday morning to help him get the R180 rear axle re-installed. He has some other new parts on hand and I snapped some pics:

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    [I]AST 4200 RR shocks and Vorshlag camber plates (front and rear) were delivered. These go on soon![/I]

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    [I]Built 2.5L (Wattshop assembled) motor is back. The crazy Moroso oilpan should help with lubrication[/I]

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    [I]Steering column is in and looks good[/I]

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    [I]L: Paul found a good deal on used STi Brembo calipers. R: The UltraShield+sliding bracket is ready to bolt in[/I]

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    [I]The axle was removed and the damaged halfshaft was pulled @ COBB. R: Its in its new home now![/I]

    There was one rear diff to subframe stud that was buggered up but we fixed it at my shop later that day and Paul installed it and buttoned up the rear axle mounting that afternoon.

    More soon!
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:44 AM
    [U][B]Update for June 28, 2010:[/B][/U] I went by Paul's last Wednesday night to help him with some fuel line questions and he and local AST/Vorshlag tester and SCCA racer Henry Lin were about to install the transmission, so I stuck around to help for a bit.

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    We got the trans in with Henry and me bench pressing it up into position while Paul started the bolts. Then we looked at the fuel lines, trying to get the car's factory lines ('95 Impreza) to line up with the ones on the motor ('04 STi) and the fuel tank ('07 STi). Come to find out Paul managed to get the '04 chassis hard lines to fit the '95 chassis the next day, and all is well.

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    Paul also stuck a front fender on there, as shown in the first row of pics. Since then he's installed some suspension bits, and even some wheels and tires!

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    Paul [I](finally!) [/I]has a bee in his bonnet to finish the Franken-Impreza car in time for the 2010 SCCA Solo Nationals, and there's even an informal [B]challenge between Paul and McCall [/B]to see who can finish their project car enough to "make it around the block under its own power with no parts falling off"... [B][I]its on now![/I][/B]

    More soon,
    Fair
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    16 Jul 2010 10:46 AM
    [U][B]Update for July 16, 2010:[/B][/U] I went by Paul's on Wednesday night to help him do some more assembly on the '95 L, and was joined by local STi racer Henry Lin and Calvin from COBB Tuning. We worked on various stuff for a few hours and got some more work knocked out.

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    [I]The big wheels went from the '08 to the '95, and they almost fit under the stock fenders[/I]

    More importantly, Paul actually worked on the project on his own, since we last met. Amazing! He had installed much of the suspension and brakes, and mocked-up his 17x9.5" wheels... that used to be on his '08 STI. Seeing that car on the itty-bitty stock wheels was kinda funny. :D

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    [I]Ignore the caption in the picture... that's actually a 275/35/18 Dunlop on an 18x9.5" wheel![/I]

    Maybe he really means to sell the '08 after all? I'll believe it when he removes the AST 4200s and puts the stock suspension back on - he can't stand to drive on marshmallow suspension very long. If anyone has a clean GC8 Outback Sport or another affordable, clean Subaru commuter, speak up! He doesn't need a $35K daily driver (that's all too tempting to take and thrash on a road course) with all of his other race cars and trucks. :p

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    The fuel line problems noted in my last update were solved by swapping all the "in-cabin" hard fuel lines to the ones from the wrecked '07 STi donor... with a little wiggling they fit the '95 chassis fine, and now all of the '08 flex lines snap into place with ease - the entire fuel system is now '07 STi, from tank to engine. Oh, and Paul installed the AST 4200-RR shocks, too! The Brembo calipers are awaiting installaiton when the new rear rotors arrive.

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    While Calvin and Henry helped Paul assemble all of the myriad stock parts to the fully built 2.5L long block, I stayed under the car and installed the driveshaft, rear diff cover, and the shifter (mostly).

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    Paul had already installed the '07 dash, steering column, and had a new windshield put in earlier that week. His UltraShield Rally Pro seat and slider (formerly in his '08 STi) bolted in place in the '95 with zero effort. The '95 Impreza door panels don't match the '07 dash, so the side doors haven't been closed in a while. So at the end of the evening we all took the time to install one of the 2.5 RS door cards, and they fit beautifully - and allow the doors to close, finally!

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    We need to address the fenders soon, as they won't clear the 275mm tires without some serious persuasion... of the plasma and hammer variety. So a lot of items have been checked off of Paul's Project Whiteboard. McCall better catch up (there's a bet to see who can finish their project car first) as Paul is quickly catching and passing in his project's progress! :D
    Fair
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    25 Aug 2010 08:57 AM
    [U][B]Update for August 25, 2010:[/B][/U] Stopped by Paul's last Sunday to grab some fire sleeve from him for the E30 project and took a few pics of the latest progress on his '07 STi drivetrain swap into his '95 FWD 2-door Impreza. One of these days the motor might go in and the rest of the suspension and brakes might go on!

    First off, the rear brake rotors are on. Well, one corner. Paul bought "the cheapest rotors money could buy" for the back, just to get the damn thing rolling and to help move things forward. Sure, there's probably some super secret JDM rotor that is .02 pounds lighter, or made from Unobtanium, but "why slow down to get every silly whiz-bang part?" I keep asking him? "Get it running and fine tune this little stuff later!" I remind him weekly. :)

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    Paul found some longer ARP wheel studs and replaced the stock length wheel studs, along with Vorshlag M12-1.25 lug nuts. Of course he had to re-machine the studs a bit to allow for installaiton in the rear without removing the rear wheel bearings. There's a wheel speed sensor hole in the rear brake backing plate that is just a hair too small, but with a .015" removed from the OD of the head of the stud, it slides thru. He machined 10 of them using our lathe in about an hour. Removing a sensor ring from the drive flange allows the old studs to be pushed (hammered) out and the new, long ARP studs to go in. The front didn't take this amount of work, luckily, but he hadn't gotten to that yet.

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    The shifter was still half-installed from last month, so Paul could hunt down some "missing" parts. That he purchased, and when he went to go put them on they were attached... to the shifter. :D The fancy competition type transmission mount assembly he bought from Japan was sitting on the workbench, so I snapped a pic of that. The stock type Subaru trans and motor mounts are a HIDEOUS JOKE, with large amounts of foamy rubber that has the stiffness of a Stay Puff Marshmallow, so these are a huge step up. It's made me look more closely at making Subaru driveline mounts - the choices are extremely limited (with "harder rubber" versions being the commonly used but [I]still terrible [/I]option).

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    Those are... uhhh... Subaru motor pictures. Paul has been chasing down some hard to find doo-dads for weeks and months, some of which are epically expensive aftermarket parts that are now out of production, which will replace some poorly designed factory piece here or there. Most of it, to me, looks like simple fabricated tubing or whatnot. But apparently these rare JDM parts are the hotness, and help the 2.5L boosted engines make more power.

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    Above are more of the same... at left is the US Market "turbulence generators" or flux capacitors or whatever its called. Its not individual throttle bodies, its a way to add turbulence/swirl to the intake port (facepalm!) that supposedly helps with exhaust emissions. Oh gawd... those old tricks rarely work, and always cost power. At right are some "JDM" Subaru parts without the throttle blades, which are hard to get and add power. Looks like the same parts with the throttles/shafts removed to me, but what do I know?

    All I know is that finding these rare gems and JDM pieces is slowing down this build immensely. But with our E30 V8 swap creeping into week 40+, and with the pace never slowing down much below 4 nights a week, I can't throw stones from my glass house. :D

    [I]JDM, YO![/I]

    Keep at it, Paul.
    Fair
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    14 Jan 2014 07:49 PM

    Project Update for Oct 24, 2010: Wow, yea.... long time no update. We kinda got buried under the $2010 GRM Project E30 V8, my e46 BMW DSP disaster, the SCCA Solo Nationals and the GRM $2010 event for the past 6 weeks. I managed to get over to Paul's on the 24th and we got a lot of little stuff done - mostly installing new parts he'd received since my last visit. Paul did so some work during that time period... installed a mixture of 2.5 RS and STi and '95 Impreza brake lines in the engine bay are perfectly routed and buttoned up. He also got the steering column in and installed a few other odds and ends.

    First thing we tackled: the motor got its new exhaust crossover tube (some fancy aftermarket piece) but its still got the stock up-pipe, exhaust manifolds and turbo. Which is odd to me - wouldn't you want larger diameter headers, up-piping, etc? Or at least ported cast manifolds? Apparently Paul has those upgrades in mind when he adds a larger turbo unit - but for now he wants to just "get it going". Which is what I've been saying for the last year, so I can't complain.

    1072861231_oTQVC-S.jpg 1072862046_KH5es-S.jpg

    So we got everything we had on hand to add to the motor bolted on and were about to lock down the turbo when Paul noticed we were missing one piece of oil tubing for the turbo, so he's going to order that. Good grief. I'll come back next weekend and we can get that wrapped up and get the motor IN THE CAR, hopefully? Maybe? After we ran out of motor work we jumped into the suspension.

    1072860751_gP8Cf-S.jpg 1072861623_MQShB-S.jpg

    I spent about an hour under the back of the car and with Paul working topside we got the right rear halfshaft installed, the right rear upright bolted to that strut, E-brake cables routed, the ABS wiring routed, and everything in the rear buttoned up. It was still missing the main spring on the left rear but damn it I wanted to see the car on the ground, and with time running out we slapped on all of the wheels (including a temp spare on the right rear) and dropped the car down onto the wheels for the first time in over a YEAR. Sure, one corner was supported by a floor jack... but it almost rolled.

    1072862512_nfCyu-S.jpg 1072862884_3zvVU-S.jpg

    Costas and I had actually dropped by late the Saturday before and temporarily installed the new DEPO headlights/corner lights, the hood, and one of the new Certifit fenders Paul had rounded up and we snapped these iPhone pics, too.

    1072881994_5pNTg-S.jpg 1072882361_X6XVJ-S.jpg

    More soon,

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    14 Jan 2014 07:49 PM

    Project Update for Oct 30, 2010: Another Saturday spent on Paul M's '95 Impreza and we made more progress, but still no motor in the car. I know, I know... that's all I cared about tackling, but Paul had some worries about something and wanted one of the COBB guys around to make sure we didn't put it in the car without forgetting anything. So with the motor plans dead in the water we jumped into other aspects that still needed to be locked down. We started by swapping the entire doors... ???

    1072883977_2UkQ4-S.jpg 1072882621_oZfs8-S.jpg

    Paul M here had traded Jason M the car's original roll up window '95 Impreza doors (~72 lbs) with a pair of '99 RS doors (~75 lbs/each) that had electric windows. The reason for the swap? Well Paul had already scored a complete set of RS inner door panels + RS interior rear panels, but they never came with roll up windows and he didn't want to cut a hole for the crank... or something like that? I didn't understand, but he wanted electric window RS doors and it was an even money swap so he's happy. It didn't take us 45 minutes to swap and align both doors, and they were in better shape than the old ones, so I won't complain further (3 pounds per door is not much for electric windows, I guess). I bolted in the seat/bracket again, too. Paul took pics of the doors with his camera including the scale, and I'll post them up shortly. Maneuvering these doors was some work - they were freagin HEAVY!

    We also got the spring on the right rear strut, then got the car on the ground FOR REAL and actually ROLLED it back and forth a foot. On the tires. Really! First time the car actually rolled in over a year. Woo!

    We played with ride heights and got the car down to where we think it should be, and leveled the front side to side. Didn't really get a picture of this, but no matter - it didn't stay that way for long.

    985709691_WH7aS-S.jpg 985710178_XwGGb-S.jpg

    So the two pictures above show the 18x9.5" wheels and 275s don't fit the rear (nor the front), and Paul had worked during the August/September time frame on "clearancing" the rear left fender to "fit" them. He spent lots of hours and learned some new body work/metal forming skills from a friend, and had a sort of bell shaped lip added to that fender (see the top left pic in this post). He had to cut the outer sheetmetal away from the inner, and had moved it outboard about 1-1.5". It was barely enough clearance once the car was at ride height - but the tire was smashing into the sheet metal once you added some bump travel. No bueno.

    Paul thought he could work it even more but the metal was already so "worked" it was starting to get brittle. So he was going to plop down $4500 on some composite "wide body" composite panel garbage. Oh hell no. Next he talked about getting some cheap RaceonUSA 240SX bolt-on flares (blah). That would have taken a bunch of work to fit this car. I had a better idea... metal flares!

    1072884908_zsSNe-S.jpg 1072885298_xRNWh-S.jpg

    I popped back to the shop and brought back several fenders and fender flare sections to Paul's garage. Some of you will know what these are, as they are good metal candidates for flaring I've used in the past (E46 BMW fenders). Oh baby, did they ever look at home on this Subaru!

    1072886195_svwLe-S.jpg 1072886620_QdcUw-S.jpg

    This was a major "eureka!" moment for the project. The decisions about tire clearancing were solved and its a cheap solution (if somewhat fab-intensive - assume 40 hours of work to do flares right). We checked the SMod rules and we can clearance the inner sheet metal from the axle mounting face outwards, so we made a mark in the inner wheelhouse section showing this line, then Paul started cutting away interfering metal from there outwards. We bolted the tires on both ends and put it back at ride height.

    1072862512_nfCyu-S.jpg 1072885781_rX8qr-S.jpg

    That's the before and after. The bare metal pic with the re-worked fender looks like it might work, but it lacks clearance for upward travel of the tire. It would only ever work for the hard-parking crowd. With the grafted on metal flares we are allowing the suspension to compress into the bump stop and still have tire clearance. This will also allow for a relatively narrow track width and narrower tire/wheel for autocrossing (18x9.5" and 275mm) as well as a wider track width and wheel/tire for track use (295 or more on an 18x10"), better suiting this dual-purpose race car to these two extremes.

    Next up: I'm still pushing to get the damn motor in the car! But somehow a threaded, blind hole in the block for the knock sensor is stripped, so Paul is on the search fort a helicoil kit. Then it goes to COBB Tuning Plano for some electronics wizardry and tuning. "It will run before the end of the year", says Paul. Ha! We'll see...

    More soon,

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    14 Jan 2014 07:52 PM

    Update for Nov 9, 2010: Went by Paul's on the night of Nov 9, supposedly to install his engine. Calvin from COBB was there, local SMod racer Henry L was there. Problem was, all of the parts we needed to put on the motor weren't there...

    1093657553_PNb4f-S.jpg 1093657833_u7qrU-S.jpg

    They messed around on the motor for a bit, installed a few bits, but the threaded (blind) hole for the knock sensor was stripped when the sensor was being torqued, so that put the brakes on further work (time for a helicoil repair). And the turbo + up-pipe weren't back from SWAIN getting coated yet, so the motor install was pushed back another week or three. I messed around on the rear suspension for a while all night.

    While they were tinkering on the "its taking freagin forever engine", I was checking tire clearance on the fender work already performed out back. Eventually I removed the spring on the left rear strut and compressed the suspension with the tire installed, checking to see if the tire hit the body before the strut bottomed out into the bump stop. Yep, still needs a lot more tire clearance upward. The offending metal is actually the metal inner-fender structure out by the edge of the fender - it curves downward. Luckily SMod rules allow for this to be cut out and modified, so long as it falls in the range "outside of the axle mounting face". We took a straight edge and scribed a line from the rotor face upward and around the wheel well. Then I started cutting away more metal from there out, which got us more bump travel room.

    1093658959_6Uvry-S.jpg 1093659360_QRSYU-S.jpg

    We still need to cut more of the outer fender panel sheet metal away, but keep it within the outline we made with the new metal flares we mocked up last time. The fender flare is just for looks; it will simply "cover up the ugly hole" we make trying to clear the wide tire under bump travel.

    So now its time for me to bring my welder over and get to patching up the giant holes left from Paul's previous "flaring" attempt, spot weld the new metal flare on, then do more "compress the suspension/tire" testing.

    1093659834_44R5q-M.jpg

    Not much to show here, sorry. Other than mauling a few pizzas and cutting a little bit on the rear fender, the night was pretty much a wash. Since then many more parts have arrived and Paul has even installed a few things. There's a window (when Calvin returns to COBB after an upcoming vacation) that Paul is trying to hit (he's taking the car to them with the motor installed, so they can tune it), so he has his deadline and that motor has to go in. Go go go!

    1092412476_t2bwY-O.jpg

    I'll probably go by there this weekend with the welder and see if we can get the fender flares tacked up on the rear, so he can at least roll the car with the car no longer being Hellaflush.

    985708393_wiYv2-M.jpg
    Hellaflush Subaru!

    More soon,

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    14 Jan 2014 07:53 PM

    Update for Nov 27-28, 2010: You can see in the update above that we had already started work on clearancing the fenders on Paul's GC for the wider 275mm tires (and hopefully 285s). Well on the weekend of Nov 27-28 I made a house call and Paul & I tackled the rear fender flare cutting/clearancing/welding, and it came out nice and tidy. Whenever we do flares like this I get a million questions, so we took tons of iPhone4 pics & videos, real pics with the Nikon D90, and better HD video with my Sony vidcam. I'm still splicing video together so that will come in the next installment.

    Picture gallery: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/

    We've got the step-by-step for the rear chronicled in the gallery above, and when we tackle the fronts (3 times easier!) we'll add those pics there as well, plus videos. The rear of any unibody car is always is much more work than the front when adding real flares for substantially wider and/or taller tires. This is because the front fenders are mostly cosmetic and contribute very little to chassis strength - just a thin, formed steel sheet covering the tire. The pretty part. The rear fenders, however, are tied into the rear unibody structure, with as many as 3 layers of steel (common) that all come together at the outer fender lip joint. When you go cutting up that fender arch for more tire clearance, all of that metal gets mangled... and the structure goes to hell. You can't leave these 3 sheets flapping in he breeze. Most of our work was putting all of those pieces together again, properly, with adequate clearance for this much lowered car, with shorter struts, and much wider/taller tires. We probably removed and moved the upper fender arch upwards over 4 inches. Covering the tire with the cosmetic flare (in this case: steel) was the final part... and the easiest step. If you think its easier to do composite flares, think again - the basic clearancing and unibody reinforcement work is the same. Pimpin' ain't easy, but for many racers, this work is necessary.

    985709691_WH7aS-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC3031/985709691_WH7aS-S.jpg" /> 1072883977_2UkQ4-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5438/1072883977_2UkQ4-S.jpg" />
    Left: Paul's attempt #1. Right: Paul's Attempt #2. Both failed.

    Before I got involved Paul tried to use my fender roller to make enough clearance in the left rear fender lip for the wider wheels (above, left), but that didn't work. Next (above, right) he cut away the outer sheet from the 3-piece sheet structure at the rear lip and started hammer forming the lip contour heavily. His second effort actually looked pretty good at ride height (he burned several hours learning/making this fender section) but like many flaring efforts, it had no clearance under suspension bump travel (wheel going upwards after hitting a bump). This might cut it in hard parking/VIP/car show crowd, but this doesn't work at all on a real street or race car.

    1072884461_vrnR9-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5439/1072884461_vrnR9-S.jpg" /> 1121598931_uKmLA-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1918/1121598931_uKmLA-S.jpg" />
    Left: BMW fender flare "graft" mocked up on front. Right: And on the rear.

    That's when I came in and suggested we add real fender flares. Again. Paul and I had discussed this back in 2009 but he was hesitant, mostly because he knew how much time and effort (30-40 hours) in fabrication and bodywork was involved on the 4-5 other flare jobs I've done on BMWs (several of which Paul helped with). He didn't want the delay. But we got to a point to where we couldn't move the car around - the stock wheels were the wrong bolt pattern and the new 114.3mm PCD wheels he had wouldn't clear the fenders at ride height. And the next step after the motor goes in is a trip to COBB, and they need to drive it... so after we mocked up some pre-cut BMW fender section templates I had on hand for BMW use, and they looked like they'd fit, we started cutting for clearance. This was the real work.

    1121598197_EbBxb-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1915/1121598197_EbBxb-S.jpg" /> 1120752984_tai7M-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5727/1120752984_tai7M-S.jpg" />

    Since I wired up Paul's garage I made sure it used the same 220V outlets as my shop and welders, so when I brought my Miller 175 MIG set-up over, it plugged in and worked fine. I normally don't do house calls like this (if I haven't offered, don't ask!), but Paul is one of my oldest and best friends from college, so he gets special treatment. And I've sort of adopted/got stuck with much of this Subaru GC swap project. I also supplied a pair of the donor BMW E46 coupe front fenders, since I had a couple of spares from my DSP E46 project that were already partially hacked up, but not anywhere near the flare sections. Paul still has to round up 2 more fenders for the front (these are around $35 each from Certifit; no, you can't order them online).

    1072883977_2UkQ4-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5438/1072883977_2UkQ4-S.jpg" /> 1093659834_44R5q-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5511/1093659834_44R5q-S.jpg" />
    Cutting and clearancing for full bump travel - the correct way

    This next step is the most critical for flaring any car - and the one most people get wrong. With the spring removed from the rear suspension and a jack under the control arm we kept compressing the strut until it hit the bump stop (and compressed it as well), with the 275mm tire on the 18x9.5" test wheel. We kept cutting the outer fender sheet metal and modifying the inner structure, step by step, until we ran out of suspension travel. Lots of iterations.

    Since this is a car built to the SCCA's Street Modified (SMod) class rules, we knew we were allowed to cut away the inner structure only from the "axle face outwards". So we drew a line around at the plane at the axle face onto the inner structure sheet metal and "pie cut" from there outward that to the fender lip face, then hammered these sections up for more bump travel clearance. Everything inboard from there has to remain stock, but luckily that wasn't an issue, as the inner fender structure arced downward fairly sharply from this plane down to the fender lip. This step took many iterations and burned about 3 hours of cut-install wheel-compress-mark-remove-cut-repeat for the left rear fender.

    1120753058_AVT8X-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5728/1120753058_AVT8X-S.jpg" /> 1121597751_A5mvv-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1912/1121597751_A5mvv-S.jpg" />

    On the right rear fender this clearance work went a lot faster... we drew a "grid" on the rear fenders and transferred the "arc of clearance" from the first fender (left) to the second (right). This way we didn't have the 2-3 hour "hunt and peck" iterations to find the optimal full bump travel tire clearance; it took only about 20-25 minutes to measure, mark and cut that fender. We copied the mirror image fender flare donor section from the BMW fenders as best we could, also. The donor fenders are cross opposites of where they end up.. the left front BMW fender flare went on the right rear of the Subaru, and vice verca.

    1121597292_TY6Wf-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1910/1121597292_TY6Wf-S.jpg" /> 1120753247_3ZzEj-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/DSC5729/1120753247_3ZzEj-S.jpg" />

    The now cut apart inner and outer fender structures were super weak and floppy, so we had to tie the rear structure back together. Since Paul had started cutting on the left rear fender area earlier ("without adult supervision"), he had mistakenly cut away some portions of the inner sheet metal (see above, left), so I had to make and weld on small patch panels around the entire perimeter of the LR wheel arch to tie the remaining inner structure back to the outer fender. These were pieces of lightweight 20 ga sheet, cut in small sections (transferred from cardboard templates), welded along one edge, and hammer former around the arch, then finish welded (this makes a lot more sense when you see the video). The right rear fender was, again, much easier (since Paul hadn't touched it yet!). We knew where we had to end up with vertically, so once that was marked and the outer sheet metal cut, we left most of the inner structure in place. Then just pie-sectioned the inner structure instead of removing it, and I only had to weld in small patch panels for about 1/2 the perimeter of the opening.

    1121599615_ivoSA-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1920/1121599615_ivoSA-S.jpg" /> 1121598869_pyay9-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1916/1121598869_pyay9-S.jpg" />

    Of course the inner sheet metal must be cleaned to remove undercoating and paint, to allow the patch panels to weld on, as well as the outer fender sections (for both the patch panels and the flare sections; and clean off the edge of the donor flare sections, too). This is dirty, nasty work which we did with 3 tools: the MBX crud buster, a 90° die grinder and a 3" (medium) ScotchBrite pad, and a 4" angle grinder with a 40 grit flapper disc. The electric angle grinder worked best but you have to watch out for heat or you'll warp the sheet metal and make for more bodywork later. We must have removed 12 pounds of mud from the car during all of this work - it was frakkin everywhere. And when welding in these patch panels you have to have the rear interior completely removed, of course. The undercoating you can't get to still catches fire constantly as you weld. Paul worked "fire marshal duty" with a small squirt bottle of water, and we had a real fire extinguisher handy.

    1121597315_nhpQm-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1909/1121597315_nhpQm-S.jpg" /> 1121598147_Z9zKe-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1914/1121598147_Z9zKe-S.jpg" />

    Once the inner and outer sheet metal was tied back together with these 20 gauge sheet metal patches (stitch welded with a MIG, at ~1/4" intervals, with .024" wire, on low amperage) we could start on the actual flares. We cut up a donor pair of fenders (you want to use '99-01 BMW 328 sedan front fenders; we used coupe fenders which have a longer trim indention we had to fix via hammer/dolly work) and test fit them until the front of the car's fender arch lined up with the new flare section as close as possible. Yes, the '95 Impreza is made for a much smaller diameter tire, but since we were going to much taller 275/35/18s we had to "open up the arch", and the BMW fender sections worked great. We'll match the rear of the bumper cover opening with a few quick trims with the air saw, later (that ABS plastic cuts like butter so go slowly).

    1121600055_8eCW6-S.jpghttp://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Project...er-flares/IMG1939/1121600055_8eCW6-S.jpg" /> 1121600358_qLo6i-S.jpg

    Welding on the fender flares themselves was the easy part. By far the hardest parts are the wheel/spacer testing, clearancing for bump travel, measuring, templates, inner fender structure/patch panels, and the metal prep. I spent maybe 15 minutes welding on each fender flare section. Slow, steady, skip welding about 1" apart, starting at the front of the fender opening. Paul held a pointed tip of a hammer on the section of the flare behind where I was welding, which puts the flare and the outer sheet metal in contact. We just slowly worked our way around, making sure to spread the heat and stopping to check the metal. We had very few fires to tend to during this step. The right rear had the added bonus of clearance around the fuel door; I cut around the door (using cardboard template I made with a "hand rubbing" of the fuel door opening, transferred to the flare, then cut out - before it was welded to the car) and I'll finish that up with a small patch panel at a later date.

    So that's the basics of the flare job, and it was a solid 3 days of work. We both had a number of hours into the rear testing/cutting/Paul's rolling & hammer iterations, then spent two 6-8 hour weekend days doing the final testing, cutting, patch panels and welding on the rear flares. The rear is essentially done, save for the small fuel door patch panel, some more weatherproofing (to keep water/fumes out of the passenger compartment), and of course bodywork. It doesn't need any more welding on the flare sections, but I might add 100% more than there is now. Doesn't have to be a perfect linear welded seam - which is a LOT more work. We also tested with an 18x10" Enkei RPF-1 wheel. We'll mount a 285/30/18 Hoosier onto that wheel and verify that the flares clear those also, soon (should easily fit). That's the wheel & tire package Paul will likely use for NASA TTS class Time Trial use; he gets a solid 200 pound weight break for using the smaller 275/35/18s in SCCA SMod.

    All of this work makes a lot more sense when you see it on video. We took vids of each step and will splice & edit that and upload it soon. Look for that in the next post. Please wait to ask questions until after I post the vids (soon). Have been on vacation (Playa del Carmen + Chichen Itza) and I am playing catch-up here at Vorshlag on drawings/work, plus I have a couple of other project threads to update first. Patience...

    1121601060_u6iut-S-1.jpg 1121600914_XixsT-S-1.jpg

    Paul's turbo and up pipe are both back from getting ceramic coated at Swain Tech, so hopefully the motor goes in this week. Then we can at least cut the front fenders over the next 2 weeks, for the upcoming COBB tuning and test drive. We'll tackle adding the front fender flares at the Vorshlag shop after its running (that's relatively easy; takes 1/3rd the work of the rears).

    Cheers,

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    14 Jan 2014 07:53 PM

    Project Update for Feb 15, 2011: I had a busy weekend, working on Paul's Subaru project on Saturday and McCall's Z3M LS1 project on Sunday, but we got a lot accomplished on both cars. Here's what was accomplished on Paul's Impreza... most notably the engine is in!

    1187819991_w2has-S.jpg 1188847957_jZv2D-S.jpg

    My wife and I met Paul for breakfast Saturday morning while he had new tires put on his Tahoe at Discount Tire. While we were there we mounted up one of my 285/30/18 Hoosier A6 tires onto his Enkei 18x10 mentioned earlier. We went back to his place and I slapped it on the rear of the Subaru (see above). Fits great, no spacer - and that's with no camber in the rear (it needs some). With a little fender rolling it will have tons of room at full bump travel. The floor was such a mess I didn't feel like pulling a spring to check that. The whole garage was a complete mess. The car still needs tie rods installed, and the front fenders cut, before we can even hope to get it on up front.

    I quickly realized one thing - Paul hasn't set foot inside his garage since we last worked on the car together late last November. Every tool we left out after that weekend long "fender flare thrash" was still on the floor, as well as all of the dirt, weld spatter, tons of used parts he needs to sell, and hoards of new empty boxes. Oiy...

    1187824677_ZF35Z-S.jpg 1188490038_ouyGJ-S.jpg
    Left: One of many sets of used parts we put in the attic. Right: After hours of cleaning, we had room to work

    So we spent the next 5+ hours cleaning out his garage and sorting usable and sellable parts from useless junk. I took pictures of all of the parts he needs to sell (which I'll post up in a detailed "for sale post" later, and handle the sale of all of this stuff - mostly stock and aftermarket Subaru bits) while we put them away in his attic. Cut up dozens of boxes, swept out the entire garage, moved the car so we could have room in the front to install the motor, installed his wall clock and some street signs he's had for years, and on and on. Paul removed the VIN plate from the old dash, we pulled the Sparco race steering wheel from a busted steering column, stuff like that. It went from a pig sty to a squeaky clean 3-car garage with tons of room around the car once again. Ah, now we can get some stuff done!

    We finally started the real car work in the afternoon. Paul worked for a while installing header wrap on the crossover and up-pipe exhaust sections and installed the turbo, blow-off valve, and some turbo oil lines. He also mocked-up the (beautiful) COBB downpipe he picked up to fit the GC, mostly to make sure we had everything installed the right way. This all gets installed for good once the motor is in the car.

    1188491307_kRDat-S.jpg 1188493081_aC7cw-S.jpg

    With Paul on the motor I installed the new Certifit OEM replacement right front fender, replacing a mangled and ugly green original fender. Then I swapped out the Vorshlag GD main camber plate portions (always meant to be temporary) for a pair of the all new "high caster" Vorshlag GC camber plates. This set-up orients the camber slots in the right direction, and the new HC design adds a good bit more positive caster up top to supplement the added caster at the bushings below. Looks great, very strong, and the caster is maximized perfectly; there's about .025" of room from the inboard camber adjustment bolt to the strut tower ring, so its got all the caster it can get up top. Plenty of max negative camber and total camber adjustment range, too.

    1188491059_7ziJ9-S.jpg 1188490520_2gWXK-S.jpg

    Once I wrapped up those two little projects I helped Paul finally get this lump off the engine stand. Installed the pretty Fidanza aluminum flywheel and aftermarket pressure plate (both balanced to the new motor/crank), but he chose to use an old STi clutch disc. Some weird logic about an organic disc having more consistent (Pro Solo) launches with more clamping force from the pp. I dunno, it sounds kooky to put in a used disc into an all new set-up like this, to me. What do I know - I am not really a die-hard a Subaru guy. I don't have the Scooby hat, for one.

    1188498641_gVALV-S.jpg 1188495502_JzhWz-S.jpg

    Once we got the flywheel torqued and the disc and pressure plate installed (hey Paul - buy a factory shop manual so we don't have to wade through internet forums looking for the proper torque settings, please) and the clutch alignment tool lined up, we hauled the chained up motor over tot he car for the motor installation. The trans was already in the car connected to the drivetrain, but the front crossmember was filthy, so I cleaned that to "shining". Still the car had no connected e-brake, no shifter installed, and no clutch hydraulics. Hmm, I'd sure like to have a way to put it into/out of gear, to hold the drive wheels via the e-brake, and a way to engage/disengage the clutch. I've stabbed many a trans and all of those things being hooked up always help... but what do I know - I'm not a Subaru guy.

    1188500911_qcD9y-S.jpg 1188497612_FgM2C-S.jpg

    Well Paul had never stabbed a Subaru motor, either, and we soon found out that two inexperienced Subaru guys was worth about jack squat. We forked around with that motor for an hour, and couldn't get the splines lined up. Several calls to experts offered up no obvious errors. It was well past 7 pm and we had both skipped lunch, so we called it a day. Paul joined Amy and I for dinner at the Purple Cow and we had a very filling and delicious meal.

    1188499094_9tCLc-S.jpg 1188501233_7EsjT-S.jpg

    The next day Calvin of COBB Tuning Plano stopped by and had it stabbed properly in no time at all. They hooked up the e-brake to help hold the drive wheels, and that was the trick. Color me shocked. Well, at least now we know. Calvin also heli-coiled the buggered-up, tapped knock sensor hole in the block that somebody back in October stripped on accident. So now everything can go back in place above that.

    We still have some work to do before the car is finished enough to go to COBB for the custom wiring/tune and finish-up. All of the top end parts (intake, intercooler, etc) needs to be bolted on, and the power steering lines need to be hooked up before the motor is bolted to the subframe. Tie rods, clutch hydraulics, shifter installed, then things like the hood, the new headlight and taillight assemblies (and associated old-to-new car wiring splice work), brake system hooked up and bled, and fuel added to the car. Nothing we cannot handle in a couple of nights work. Let's just hope its not 10 weeks of waiting for the next work night! Since March is a crazy busy with 5 events already on that months' race schedule, we're trying to cram in as much work on the Subaru (and McCall's Z3M, and our E30, and our Mustang) in the next couple of weeks as possible. And if we're lucky Paul and McCall can get their cars running enough to make some races this year!

    1169717235_UXmdS-S.jpg 1169713481_JHEaH-S.jpg

    Meanwhile, in case the Subaru project gets bogged down further, Paul has his brand new 2011 Mustang GT to play with at track events. He bought it in January and loves it - this car is his new daily driver (the '08 STi is, sadly, gone bye-bye). The GT has the optional 14" Brembo brake package and we're going to install some Eibach springs and Vorshlag plates on it this week, and he can then have fun with it in NASA Time Trial TTB class for a bit. The Subaru's 18x10" Enkei's bolt up to the '11 GT (we're testing them here this week on the Vorshlag '11 GT), so that set of wheels could do double duty on both cars. Once the Subaru is running the GT will likely just go back to just DD status, but at least its a running, fast, reliable car he can take on track with little effort for the short term. Even the stock brake pads are solid, so all he really needs for it is a real set of tires and more negative camber, to keep the tires from eating themselves.

    Until next time...

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    --
    14 Jan 2014 07:54 PM

    Project Update for April 2, 2011: I had this past Saturday open - well, after stopping by the Dallas Cars & Coffee show (pictures here) and then looking at a new trailer across town, so I scheduled half the day to work on Paul's Subaru. It had been 6 weeks since my last chance to stop by and help out on the Subaru project, but Paul had knocked out a number of things in that time. I'll touch on those updates then get to the work we did the rest of this Saturday.

    1239507056_3oksP-S.jpg 1239506470_76N7R-S.jpg

    The picture at left is the Enkei PF-01 we ordered for our Mustang. It is an 18x10.5" ET38 (7.2" B.S.) with a Hoosier 285/30/18 mounted for testing. Paul borrowed this a week ago and slapped it on the front of the Subaru... it fit perfectly without a spacer. Turns lock to lock with plenty of room. Sticks out about 1 inch, but the flare will more than cover that. Too bad it weighs 22 lbs. Still, its worth a look if he wants to use a wider 295 or 315mm autocross tire. Paul just picked up a 315/30/18 Hoosier yesterday to test with on the Mustang, so we'll see it on this wheel soon. At right is some Bondo work. Another friend of Paul's is a body man and had stopped by to help smooth out one of the rear fender flares. The LR flare is almost done, just needs a little more mud and smoothing.

    1239509588_qLchW-S.jpg 1239508870_jey46-S.jpg

    Paul also got the start of the remote oil cooler lines installed underneath the motor, as well as the line built for the Accusump, which is routed through the firewall.

    1239510938_YZEzY-S.jpg 1239517338_LFfqx-S.jpg

    We installed the Whiteline tie rods and got the toe "eye-balled" enough so the car could be rolled around before going to COBB for an alignment. Then we burned about an hour or so getting the shifter installed. Paul had located almost everything we lacked before to install this, and after dropping the trans down to gain more access to start the poly shifter alignment guide at the back, it was all buttoned up. Then the various transmission crossmembers were bolted back up (what a big mess of steel that requires).

    1239512361_YGgBH-S.jpg 1239513353_JHxtN-S.jpg

    With the shifter work underway below I worked top-side and removed the stock steering wheel and airbag from the steering column. I read the "how to" on the interwebs and managed not to screw up the "clock spring" mechanism so all of the OEM '07 steering wheel parts can be sold. Installing the Sparco race wheel and column adapter was easy; I brought proper screws that I used on another one of our Sparco wheel installs.

    1239514233_UUCQg-S.jpg 1239514987_A2PEQ-S.jpg

    Once the shifter was in place we installed the knob and it felt fine. The 18x10.5" on front once again, just to show how much it protrudes. We put the COBB downpipe on, locked down the motor mounts, installed the new aftermarket transmission mount, and then got to the motor. The coolant crossover pipe was bolted on and then the intake manifold was mocked-up. There were several vacuum lines on the intake Paul wants to plug so that isn't staying on lone. He also has some fuel line parts to procure before the fuel system is finished.

    1239518786_iEsFC-S.jpg 1239518021_jQxbr-S.jpg

    Last we installed the radiator, now that Paul had rounded up the factory OEM lower isolators. The STi versions were too large for the GC holes in the radiator surround, so they were opened up and then slide into place. We need to make some upper brackets, but he has to locate the correct radiator hoses first. Finally I cleaned off the white board and we made one big list of items to buy (click thumbnail above for large version) as well as the final work to be performed before it goes into COBB for a custom tune. The list is as big as ever but its also more detailed than before.

    Paul has already purchased almost everything on this list and its in transit so we should have more progress soon.

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    --
    14 Jan 2014 07:54 PM

    Project Update April 11, 2011: Not much to add here, although Paul has been rounding up parts for the past week. Fuel system parts were one of the big purchases yet to be made, plus a lot of little stuff. Just for kicks I mounted the throw-away 315/30/18 Hoosier A6 to my 18x10.5" ET38 mentioned in the previous update. Haven't had a chance to add it to Paul's car yet but here it is mounted and weighed.

    1244733302_STYMJ-S-1.jpg 1244733907_iMtax-S-1.jpg

    That's a lot of tire! 11" of tread on the ground.

    Like I said we'll put this on the Subaru (and the '11 Mustang) soon and shoot some more pics.

    Cheers,

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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    14 Jan 2014 07:55 PM

    Project Update for January 13, 2014: Game on! Paul's project Subie isn't dead - this '95 Impreza L / '07 STi swapped Frankestein Subaru is finally at Vorshlag. It is being worked on again, "for reals."

    _DSC3173-L.jpg

    My last update on this project was around April 2, 2011, and in the nearly three years since that post Paul's Subie has had very little done to it. What happened? Well, you know how it goes... people get busy, priorities change, and life gets in the way. For me, mostly things got very busy here at Vorshlag after we moved into our new building in July 2011 (but we're already looking for a much bigger space). I went from a 5-6 day work week to a 6-7 day work week (and from 8-9 hour days up to 12-13 hour days) with too many races on our schedule (25-30 race weekends a year for the past several years). That left me very little time to help Paul wrench on this project at his house. He obviously needed some motivation...

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    Paul himself also got very busy - with work, with his side business, and with his other hobbies including competitive shooting. Paul even roped me into that and we've done a couple of IDPA shoots together, which were a lot of fun (but it gets expensive for the ammo and eats entire days). Paul also bought a '11 Mustang GT and started racing that a little, then got mired up in the Chump Car build with McCall and me. He did manage to bodywork one of the GC's rear fender flares that I welded on so many years ago, with some bodywork guidance from his girlfriend's brother, which you can see above.

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    Paul (with help from McCall) also built one of the oil lines that will eventually go to the Accusump unit, which is visible at the back of the motor in the picture above. It goes to a bulkhead connector on the firewall, which is the right way to pass a line through a bulkhead or firewall. We mounted the JDM market GC "Version 5" STi front bumper cover, just for fun, and I had all of the front lights installed at one point. And he got one of holes for one rear shock reservoir cut and the 2-piece grommet installed. We will finish the other 3 reservoir holes/grommets and mount all four with some brackets, underhood and in the trunk.

    Getting The Subaru Here Took Two Years

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    This is what we found after we opened the garage and moved a LOT of stuff off the car. It was buried inside a cocoon of boxes

    That's right, it took two years of me hounding Paul to get this car to our shop. I borrowed a key to his house, took my enclosed trailer over there, and we grabbed the car last week. The Subie had no wheels on it, no brakes, was covered in boxes and lawn equipment, and there were parts everywhere. The model of neglected projects!

    20140107_161511_1-S.jpg 20140107_163249_1-S.jpg

    Kyle and I cleared a path, got wheels on it, figured out the e-brake worked, and pushed it down his driveway and dragged it into our trailer to get it to Vorshlag. The front toe setting was about 3" out, so it didn't roll worth a damn and hence the "pushing down hill" comment. Yes, we make house calls, but it doesn't come cheap!

    Small Amount of Work Planned

    Our punch list is fairly short for this round of work on this project car. First, we are going to install a GD Subaru COBB downpipe. Then install some Titanium exhaust, also made for a GD STi. Then somehow make the two fit this 2 door GC chassis... Lots of fun.

    _DSC3003-S.jpg _DSC2984-S.jpg

    The rear valance was trimmed and the (what looks to be MagnaFlow?) Titanium rear section of the exhaust was mounted, tweaked, and rotated until the best possible fit could be found. Its made for a GD chassis but mounted on a GC, so it is a little compromised - but it is SO light. The GD COBB downpipe needs a little tweaking, and is a bit too short to mate up to the GD rear section. Ryan started off by cutting the ball-and-socket flange off the back of the downpipe, which will be replaced with some 3" stainless steel tubing and a slip-fit flange.

    _DSC3022-S.jpg _DSC3014-S.jpg

    Normally we'd weld a V-band onto both the end of the downpipe and the start of the rear exhaust, but since it is titanium... not so easy to weld. In case this rear section doesn't end up working out we want to keep it intact, because Paul could sell it for some $$$ and probably replace it with a custom stainless exhaust that fit better for the same money he sold the Titanium stuff for. The pictures above show the ground clearance, which we are working to improve. There is a lateral misalignment of several inches that will be fixed with a cut/splice on the downpipe as well. New hangers for the GD downpipe will be made to align with the GC transmission crossmember as well.

    _DSC3163-S.jpg _DSC3160-S.jpg

    Next we are going to install the wastegate and plumb the bypass into the downpipe. We've gotten started on that. I already mentioned the shock reservoir mounting and seals for the chassis hole pass-throughs.

    _DSC2955-S.jpg _DSC2964-S.jpg

    Last but not least we are mounting the 3 quart Accusump in the rear seat area. This car is being built around SCCA Street Mod class rules, so it has to have an "interior" but the back seat can be removed. Once this huge oil reservoir is mounted we will make -10 AN braided lines from the firewall bulkhead to the Accusump, then plumb in the valves (he has a manual and an automatic valve). Then we will mount, plumb and test his oil cooler and supply lines.

    DSC_0539-S.jpg _DSC3165-S.jpg

    After all of this is done we will top off all of the fluids, test the systems as best we can, and he is taking the car to another shop (COBB Tuning Plano) for some final harness wiring and a custom tune. COBB is the premier Subaru tuning shop in the North Texas areas, so that is a smart move. They have also worked on these Frankenswap Subies and know the tricks to getting them fired up.

    What's Next?

    After it has the engine properly wired and tuned, maybe it will come back to Vorshlag? It needs a hundred little things to be perfect, and maybe we can tackle some of that here. Its all up to Paul, really. We will stick the front fenders and hood back on it, trim the fenders to clear the 275mm tires, at the very least. Paul picked up some 275/35/18 Hoosier A6s and has another set of 18x10" D-Force wheels we built the flares around, in addition to these 18x9.5" TR Motorsports wheels that are on the car now.

    Lots to do...

    Terry @ Vorshlag
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