2003 WRX wagon refresh

Discussion in 'Photo & Video Gallery' started by Zombie, May 22, 2015.

  1. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Documenting is motivating! This isn't going to be anything too crazy. The goal is a well sorted reliable street car.

    As purchased. I bought it site unseen (which is terrifying with old WRXs as they are usually modded to death). Its a California car with no rust whatsoever.

    [​IMG]

    The car looked like a golf ball when it arrived. There were door dings everywhere. I stripped the complete interior so that I could save money on the PDR. It still cost me $1000 but it looks new now. Ryan Novak from Finishing Touch is awesome. 651-343-5701

    The side skirts were painted but it was a bad DIY job. They rattle canned them and didn't reinstall all the clips or gaskets. I had those repainted and had an OEM STI scoop and fog covers painted too. I had Raymond Auto Body do the painting. Top quality!

    [​IMG]

    I got some new DEPO blacked out headlights off of eBay and put on some Prodrive wheels I had as well. I removed the window tint, the tinted side markers, and the tinted tail lights too.

    Here's how it looks after that:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  2. blackozone
    Offline

    blackozone Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    1,010
    Trophy Points:
    348
    The wheels alone were a major improvement. Looking very fine.
     
    tehfuzz and Zombie like this.
  3. wagonsrumble
    Offline

    wagonsrumble Member

    Likes Received:
    81
    Trophy Points:
    38
    That wagon looks AWESOME!! I wish mine was that clean. My dad has used Ryan from Finishing Touch and he does great work. White seems like a hard color to keep clean. I like the silver of mine cause it looks clean from a distance even when its not. This is my first silver car and I like it a lot, yea it picks up some dirt and stuff but it doesnt show it as much.
     
    Zombie likes this.
  4. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Time for some maintenance.
    The car had some Tein basics coilovers. The rears were clunking bad so I had them rebuilt. $350 later and they are ready to install with new seals, piston rods, etc. The PO also installed the brake lines so that they rubbed on the inner fender and abraded the exterior sheath so I replaced them with some Goodridge lines.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
    Ntxhuav_Khang likes this.
  5. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Steering upgrades. I had a 2006 STI steering rack with the faster ratio. I also bought the STI steering column coupler without the rubber isolator. I installed them with poly bushings (you need to buy the early and later whiteline bushing kits to install into a bugeye subframe.) You also need to buy some M10 x 1.25 x 60mm flange bolts and modify the STI bracket.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Time for engine upgrades! My brother gave me the bro deal on a rough looking STI intercooler. I used a Nyalox nylon wire wheel on the end tanks to get rid of the corrosion and then hit them with clear coat. It worked great! I did a pressure test and it held 30psi no problem! After these photos were taken, I spent too much time straightening the fins but it looks great now!

    Side note, does anyone know what intercooler this is from? If you compare the top tank to USDM STIs, this one has a unique indent at the center of the top end tank.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  7. EricS
    Offline

    EricS Nooberator

    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Trophy Points:
    248
    JDM STI V9, nice score!
     
    Zombie likes this.
  8. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    This engine was messy once I took the intake manifold off! I spent probably 5 hours degreasing things on top and beneath (after these photos). There were valve cover gasket leaks for probably 50k miles as well as a torn CV boot that was replaced but not cleaned up after.
    [​IMG]

    Intake before:
    [​IMG]

    Intake after taking it to SE Custom Powder coating. Ralph's number is 952-890-7373. Request the special Chad masking to get all the machined surfaces masked like an OEM intake manifold. This was worth every penny of the $110 I spent. Ralph also has experience disassembling and refinishing Brembos. I don't think there is anybody in town that does that besides him! I also had the pink strut tower brace brackets done in gloss black.
    [​IMG]

    A quickie TGV delete. I didn't remove the cross braces or gasket match port them. I tapped the ends with an M10x1 tap and JB welded stainless set screws into them. Quick and cheap.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Ctracey218
    Offline

    Ctracey218 Playpen Wrangler Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    395
    Trophy Points:
    268
    MORE!!!!
     
  10. atacamaR
    Offline

    atacamaR Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    213
    it's coming together very well. the two tone of those tarmac 2's really was terrible.

    If I would have known you were going to take the time to straighten each fin I would have bent a few more for ya before handing it over. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
    EricS and tangledupinblu like this.
  11. tangledupinblu
    Offline

    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    8,862
    Trophy Points:
    573
    X2

    Looks great Chad!
     
  12. Krazylegz1485
    Offline

    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    3,557
    Trophy Points:
    348
    I guess I'm in the minority when I say I dig the first wheels.

    What did you use to degrease the motor? I've got a Legacy with what appears to be many years of neglect stuck all over it. Would be nice to blast it all off at some point.

    Anywho, sexy wagon, I must say. Guy down the street has a white one with gold wheels. Definitely a nice combo.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  13. wagonsrumble
    Offline

    wagonsrumble Member

    Likes Received:
    81
    Trophy Points:
    38
    @Krazylegz1485 Ive used the gunk brand degreaser before on a leaking power steering line on my previous vehicle and it worked great at getting all the fluid off and cleaning it up. Just make sure the engine is cold and if you have a atermarket intake on the car to cover it cause youll use a hose to spray off the degreaser. Im sure you can find some other degreaser from a hardware store and if you have a pressure washer hook that up and do it as lightly as you can but Id try the gunk degreaser first and see what happens
     
  14. JuStaWRX
    Offline

    JuStaWRX Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    661
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Subscribed! Looks great!!
     
  15. EricS
    Offline

    EricS Nooberator

    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Just FYI, to make full use of that IC, you'll need a new splitter.
     
  16. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Assembled the intake manifold. I rewrapped the engine harness because the PO didn't have a turbo heat shield installed and it had cooked some of the wire sheath so it was brittle. I also put in some 550cc 2006 WRX top feed injectors. I had them cleaned and used new seals. I have used this place about a dozen times, they are great! http://cruzinperformance.com/

    [​IMG]

    I also put in a Perrin inlet. The hose clamp created a hole in the stock turbo inlet (which are junk IMO)

    [​IMG]

    I probably should have just pulled the motor but I wanted to try an in car valve adjustment. Access isn't terrible but the position is uncomfortable. I had 3 exhaust valves that were just out of spec on the driver's side (.007" gap) I will be swapping the buckets on those. This is a 2003 so I have shimless buckets. Then I can put some new cam seals in and button this back up.

    [​IMG]
     
    phi11 likes this.
  17. Ron
    Offline

    Ron Member

    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    38
    More subbed...
     
  18. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Not pictured but did a Kartboy shifter and bushings and Walbro pump. Installed a Blouch 16G, Invidia catted DP, GrimmSpeed Up pipe, TurboXS mid pipe, and Prodrive oval tip axleback:
    [​IMG]

    Crank sprocket wouldn't budge so I tapped the 2 holes and made a simple puller:
    [​IMG]

    Be careful if you are installing a Gates timing belt kit. The depth of the small idler is different and if you reuse the stock bolt, you're going to have a bad day. They really need to include a new bolt for this IMO.
    [​IMG]

    New cam and crank seals installed. Belt installed with new idlers and water pump:
    [​IMG]

    Started first crank. Time to get tuned by NF performance and stop by my pal Jeff the Alignment guy. I did a quick drive around the block. The steering rack seems to be the best modification I've ever done.
    [​IMG]

    Engine bay turned out real tidy. Exhaust has a great tone too. Pretty happy with it.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. tangledupinblu
    Offline

    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    8,862
    Trophy Points:
    573
    Looks faaaantastic!
     
  20. EricS
    Offline

    EricS Nooberator

    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Very nice!!! If you're running the stock injectors, you might want to keep an eye on the max IDC during the tune, you might max them out at higher RPMs.
     
  21. skubi1
    Offline

    skubi1 Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    353
    Trophy Points:
    248
    I've read on other forums that with that belt, you're going to end up with blue crap all over your engine bay. Anyhoot, LOVE the build so far! Keep the pics coming!!!
     
  22. TMF
    Offline

    TMF Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    1,550
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Very awesome! One of my good friends from college had that exact car...03 wrx wagon in AW, even had the same pink isport badge. It was one of the first subies that got me hooked... neat to see the progress of the refresh!
     
    Zombie likes this.
  23. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    Thanks! I installed 2006 WRX 560cc dark blue injectors.

    Thanks man! Never heard that about this belt though. I've run them in previous cars and never saw anything like you describe. The timing belt is enclosed by the covers and the blue color isn't a coating but part of the base material.
     
    EricS likes this.
  24. skubi1
    Offline

    skubi1 Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    353
    Trophy Points:
    248
  25. Zombie
    Offline

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    233
    The car made 290whp and 250wtq on the dynojet at MAP yesterday. Big thanks to Nuke for the tune and to his mechanic Roger for doing a pressure test and finding the leaking o-ring on the oil filler neck before we got to the dyno. Those guys deserve the reputation they have.

    [​IMG]

    Stopped by Jeff The Alignment Guy's shop to get it aligned today. The car feels solid, fast, and just seems so sorted. Does not feel like it has 137k miles. I have a road trip this weekend and I'm stoked to have some fun with it now.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015