1997 STi Type RA Version 4 Restoration

Discussion in 'Impreza Restorations' started by Chiefinspector, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Chiefinspector

    Chiefinspector V-Limited Member

    I thought it was about time that I put together a restoration thread, for my own benefit as a 'progress log' if nothing else!

    The car:

    1997 Impreza STi Type RA Version 4
    Imported into the UK 2008 - not covered much mileage since
    I purchased it in 2014 as the 3rd UK owner

    The idea here is to turn the car (over time) into 'my ideal specification'. This will involve restoring some parts of the car back to standard, but enhancing / modernising other areas.

    The car as it was when collected:


    First job was fit a new steering wheel and boss. I ordered a Works Bell 114 boss from Japan Parts, as it retains the OEM indicator cancelling and horn functionality. I chose an OMP WRC 350mm wheel. I have the original STi wheel stored in the garage should I ever wish to refit it.



    I also ordered a replacement Quick Steering sticker, as the existing one was looking pretty tired.


    I then made a start with a full underside refurbishment.

    The vast majority of the under body / suspension components were removed and shot blasted before being powder coated (arms, hubs (new bearings installed), subframes, heat shields, rear diff cradle, brackets etc etc). This also gave me the opportunity to remove all the old bushes and replace with upgraded polybushes.

    All new zinc plated nuts/bolts/washers were used to give an 'as-new' appearance.

    I also upgraded numerous items to Whiteline components.

    * Front & rear Whiteline adjustable rollbars (22 mm front, 24mm rear - both powder coated for durability)
    * Whiteline front and rear gold aluminium drop links
    * Whiteline anti-lift kit
    * Whiteline bump-steer correction kit

    I also fitted:

    * A new set of BC coilovers together with RalliTek tarmac springs
    * A complete set (Front & rear) of Brembo calipers / GodSpeed discs / Carbone Lorraine pads. The calipers were refurbished / rebuilt by Godspeed brakes in 'Brembo red'.

    I took the opportunity to also strip back all four wheel arches, treat and repaint.

    Some pictures:





    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
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  2. Chiefinspector

    Chiefinspector V-Limited Member


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  3. Chiefinspector

    Chiefinspector V-Limited Member

    I then fitted a new exhaust system.

    I wanted something that looked pretty subtle - I'm not a huge fan of the angled-exit, 5" tip exhausts that seem so popular.

    I opted for a 3" Roger Clark downpipe mated to a 3" Revolution Millenium mid-section & rear box. This is a true 3" system (it doesn't reduce to 2.5" at the joins) and sounds just about right for me.


    It was then time to reassemble the underside and get the car on it's wheels once again. I then set the initial ride-height.


    I then took the car to Carnetix in Melton Mowbray (thoroughly recommended) for a gearbox rebuild and MOT.

    The car has a later S201 TY754VB1EA gearbox / front LSD fitted (due to the increased strength it offers versus the earlier TY752 gearboxes), but it was notchy when changing into 5th. It was therefore decided to remove the box and rebuild.

    The difference is amazing - it's now very slick and precise when changing gears at higher revs.

    I then made my mind up that I wasn't happy with the wheel / tyre combination.

    The wheels were too large / tyres too low profile, which had an adverse effect on the car's driveability. I was also after a set of wheels which were a bit 'different'. I searched for ages for the right wheels, until I stumbled across @Joe v3sti and his lovely looking RA.

    I took inspiration and ordered a set of 17" Sparco by OZ wheels (Joe's are 16" but I needed 17" to clear the Brembo's) and a new set of Nankang NS2-R tyres in soft compound.



    I now need to get the tyres fitted to the wheels...
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
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  4. tekkerchrede

    tekkerchrede V-Limited Member

    Did you have all the bolts coated? Seeing them lying in nicely ordered bags. :) Looking nice with all the clean parts! :thumb
  5. Chiefinspector

    Chiefinspector V-Limited Member

    I thought about having the original bolts coated, but in the end I found a local supplier with a wide range of fine / extra fine thread bolts in oem spec zinc plate, so I purchased new...

    Also, a couple of the original bolts snapped upon removal, so buying new bolts gives that extra reassurance...
  6. Dirkdiggler1978

    Dirkdiggler1978 Continues improvement

    Totally cool job done underside. Nothing can beat clean white body.
    May I ask for the pink droplinks color code and source of nice sti decals for them.
    Im starting the same job in October and collecting materials.
  7. Fatharrydog

    Fatharrydog MY98 WRX Type R V-Limited 176/1000

    Great job. Looks brand new underneath and I love the wheel choice. More pics when they are on please:thumb
  8. Keith

    Keith V-Limited Member

    East Yorkshire
    That looks amazing, hope mine looks half as good as that one day :envy:
  9. type-ra

    type-ra Administrator

    West Yorkshire
    Excellent job:thumb

    The car looks fantastic. Keep us posted on your updates please.
  10. red clubbie

    red clubbie Type RA Member

    Sydney, Australia.
    Great job....we need more pictures though.


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