99 WRX - Build Log

Discussion in 'Projects, modifications & how to guides' started by longsh07, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

    Hi all,

    I'm now the proud owner of a 1999 Impreza WRX!
    The car was imported from Japan in 2016 by the first UK owner, its already been modified, I believe in Japan given the condition of the mods, though a couple of bits have been done here. 100K miles on the clock when I bought it and a few little bits to sort out but otherwise a pretty decent car!

    I picked it up middle of August 2017. It was a bit of an impulse purchase as I had two perfectly good cars, a 2005 Nissan 350Z GT4 and a 2008 Honda Civic Type R GT. The Civic being my practical, sensible (but still a bit quick) day to day car and my 350Z being the weekend toy. While I still love my 350Z, I'd lost any sort of desire to drive the Civic. Basically I'd fallen out of love with the car, didn't want to spend money on to fix its minor issues, and just wanted rid.

    By chance I went on Hurst Car's website just for a browse as I wasn't seriously looking to change at the time and spotted this gorgeous 1999 WRX in white in my budget! I spend about two weeks psyching myself up and flip flopping between wanting to go and see it and thinking it was an insane idea.
    Some of the best decisions are the rash ones! :thumb

    Moving on, here's the car as I purchased it (19/08/17):

    And here's the car as it stands today (15/11/18). I'll update this photo regularly as things change:

    Modifications by previous owner(s):
    • Blitz ZZR coilovers or BC-Racing V1's. No markings to confirm, personally leaning toward Blitz as they were fitted in Japan.
      - (Now replaced with BC Racing BR Series Type RA 4/3KGmm)
    • Cusco chassis braces.
    • Cusco Anti Roll Bar 21mm front and 22mm rear.
    • ? Brand adjustable ARB links.
    • SuperPro ARB poly bushes all round.
    • OZ Racing Crono 16x7 ET50 alloys.
    • Project Mu braide brake lines.
      - (Now replaced with HEL braided lines).
    • ProDrive exhaust, backbox only (from a different model as it doesn't match hangers)
    • Kenwood head unit.
      - (Now replaced with Pioneer double DIN unit).
    • Drivers rear reverse light converted to foglight.
      - (Now repaired and UK front foglight switch fitted).
    • Remnants of a boost gauge (vacuum hose) left in cabin.

    Change/Repair/Modification Log (19/08/17 on):
    • Aug 2017 @ 101K miles
      - Electric aerial not extending - Had just been unplugged, now working.
      - Headunit was losing saved radio stations when car switched off - Replaced the old headunit with Pioneer double DIN I had planned to sell on.
      - Leak in boot, puddle found on passenger side under jack - Light units have been sealed by previous owner and there's a bunch of sticky grease or oil or something in the well under the jack... Still had a slight leak which appeared to be coming in through the seam between light unit metal frame/recess and wing/body. Sealed with clear silicon, not ideal but so far so good.
      - Replaced pink 'i' badge with black stars badge.

    • Sept 2017 @ 102K miles
      - Health check carried out by Japex Automotive.
      - Rear fog light button was left floating. Missing dash button suggests it was just pulled through this hole - Replaced the floating basic fog light button with a proper Subaru button.
      - Both number plate bulbs not working and rear indicators dim. Some other bulbs around the car were blue coated which had started to flake - Replaced number plate, rear indicator, and some interior bulbs.
      - Gear stick gaiter and gear knob were a bit tatty, couldn't read gears - Replaced with leather/white switched gaiter, Tegiwa gear knob and some ebay special adaptor to hold the gaiter in place.
      - Cat1 Alarmed and immobilised.
      - All four brake calipers and sliders replaced with new replacement parts (2pot/1pot F/R), OE style but not Subaru (Budweg), calipers and carriers painted yellow, new EBC YellowStuff pads up front, DOT 5.1 brake fluid.
      - Replaced fuel flap spring clip (57651FA040)

    • Nov 2017 @ 103K miles
      - Fresh oil - Millers CFW 10w40
      - Fresh Subaru (black) oil filter
      - Goldplug magnetic sump plug

    • Apr 2018 @106K miles
      - Checked and tightened steering column to rack UJ bolts

    • June 2018 @ 107K miles
      - Replaced missing bumper cover (both painted black).
      - Fresh oil and filter (Subaru Black / Millers CFW 10w40).
      - BC Racing BR series Type RA Coilovers 4/3kgmm front/rear + extenders + new camber/mounting bolts/nuts all round.
      - Both front drive shafts replaced + new hub nuts.
      - Both front hub assemblies replaced (Includes new: knuckles, bearings with seals, hub flanges with studs, ABS tone rings + bolts, ABS sensors, ball joints, pinch bolts, 277mm dust shield + bolts, brake carrier bolts).
      - Replaced both track rod ends.
      - Cut and joined brake hard lines all round. Stainless steel unions used at hose end.
      - Fitted HEL braided brake lines and new hose retainer clips/clamps.
      - Cleaned and painted fuel filler pipe.
      - Fitted Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres (205/55/16).
      - Wheel alignment to standard spec.

    • July 2018 @ 107K miles
      - Fitted Tegiwa brake master cylinder brace (brake stopper).

    • Oct 2018 @ 108K miles
      - Fitted Stack mechanical boost gauge.

    • Nov 2018 @ 109K miles
      - Replaced air filter.
      - Replaced OZ alloys with a set of refurbished Subaru 6 spoke 16x7 ET53 alloys.

    • Dec 2018 @ 110K miles
      - Replaced spark plugs (NGK Iridium IX Heat 7)
      - Replaced HT leads
      - Replaced alternator belt
      - Replaced headlight bulbs with Osram Night Breaker Laser bulbs and sidelights with ABD Prime extreme white bulbs

    • Jan 2019 @ 111K miles
      - Replaced AC belt and tensioner pully/pully adjuster

    • Mar 2019 @ 112K miles
      - Bandaged hole in exhaust centre pipe

    To Do List:
    • Missing square screw cover (under arm rest) on drivers door card.
    • Brake upgrade to 4/2pot setup.
    • Locate annoying rattle on decel. Suspect exhaust as backbox knocks against body at the read as I believe its supposed to fit a bug/blob so is only supported by two hangers. Likely the heat shields on the rest of exhaust are knackered as its standard.
    • Fuel filter should probably be changed out as no idea when this was last one.
    • Boot still leaking when washed/heavy rain. Need to check the bumper vent thing.
    • Replace ARB front and rear including new drop links.
    • Replace radiator as its seen better days though not leaking
    • Fit clear front and side indicators
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  2. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

    Aug/Sept changes
    Just a couple of photos from the changes I've made since owning the car to date (11/09/2017)

    Step 1. Replace badge, this car isn't an STi and I'm not sure I'm happy flaunting a badge for a car I don't own. Black stars badge is much classier IMHO :thumb

    Next, tatty gear knob and gaiter needed replacing. These little metal rings are a bloody nightmare! :banghead: Result was worth the effort though. Also this photo shows off the new headunit. Need to pull this forward a bit but the fascia is just too snug. Bit of work with a dremel will sort that.


    Health check flagged up dim indicators, looking at the bulbs I'm hardly surprised!

    Did a couple of other bulbs while I was at it as there was some that were blue coated and flaking. Just gone back to simple clear yellowy bulbs for now but quite fancy white LED's (daylight rather than xenon effect if possible)


    Interesting LED bulb setup in the centre light. Left that as is.

    Moving onto the rear fog light situation, this was what the car came with... I found it tucked down by the fuse box. Not exactly convenient though I expect it fell out of the missing button/blank hole in the dash. Just left completely floating... Surely that wouldn't pass an MOT?

    Ordered a UK spec rear fog button but it wasn't a simple latching type. Thought about trying to make it work but instead decided to get another front fog button and transplant the fascia. UK button came with a plug. Tried the paperclip method to get the pins out but ended up having to chop up the plug!


    Attached to one of the dash blanks was this brown plug. Not sure exactly what it's for but it has a 12v which is switched with the lights and a ground. As a bonus the plug fit the new button once the white keyway on the button was removed. 12v illumination and ground were in the right place so just poked out the other pins with a paperclip (successfully this time) and wrapped in electrical tape.


    These are the three unknown cables form the brown plug. Anyone got any ideas what they do? None are constant lives, live with ignition, or live with illumination. Pretty sure none are ground either. Red/Black and Red/White are noticeably thicker.

    Hard to see but from the photo but I took the 12v, ground, and cable to the rear fog, chopped off the spade terminal and soldered on the short cables with pins from the UK spec button. They were a tight fit but they did go into the brown plug :thumb I had already insulated all of the short cables with heat shrink (removed when inserted into plug) in the expectation that the brown plug wouldn't fit and I'd have to plug each pin on manually like so:



    Job done!

    Bonus question, what's all this about? Looks to be connected to a gearbox (speed?) sensor on drivers side behind turbo. white wire just left floating not connected to anything.

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  3. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

    Brake goodies just arrived. Four new calipers, slider pins, pad fitting kits. Going to collect some new HEL braided brake lines from ScoobyParts.com later today too :)
    Couldn't afford to buy an upgrade to 4/2pot at the moment so this will do for now.

    Should probably give these a paint, was thinking yellow maybe?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  4. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

    Just a quick update, looking into getting the car under-sealed ready for winter. Found a place online with a few shops around the country, one fairly local, who offer Waxoyl and Mercasol (??) treatments. Info, good and bad, is readily available on Waxoyl but not Mercasol. Apparently its a slight different in application, comes in two parts (rust inhibitor then protective wax coating), and goes on smoother than Waxoyl.

    Anyone come across this before of had any dealing with it? I'm thinking of giving it a go as something is better than nothing and Waxoyl tends to get mixed reviews.
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  5. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

    Morning all, bit of an update.
    Started work on replacing all of the brake calipers last night and as with working on most cars this age you very quickly develop a shopping list as you go! :D

    So after getting the wheels off the car (and discovering the lugs dont really fit the alloy holes and I'm missing a locker!) I thought I'd have a quick look to try and work out exactly what alloys I have and their fitment. Turns out they are 16x7 ET50 and I'm pretty sure they are OZ Racing Crono alloys as they match these exactly: https://japanpartsservice.com/products/16-x-7-0j-50-5h-pcd114-3-oz-racing-crono-wheels-gc8-subaru



    Moving on, I thought i'd also try and identify the coilovers while I was at it. I cant find any marking on them that give away their make but after looking at loads of pictures online I think they may well be Blitz coilovers. Please chip in if anyone can confirm or has any more info :thumb
    Here's an image of the Blitz coilovers which I found here for a GDB: http://www.japperformanceparts.co.uk/product/subaru-impreza-gdb-sti-10-coilovers/

    Looks like I need to adjust this one as the bottom locking ring isn't all the way down. Will get the tape measure out and check all are equal once I've finished with the brakes.

    Rear tops

    Front tops

    Found this on the front coil. Need to look into what this actually means

    Fronts from above

    Now onto brakes. This is what I'm working with. Discs and pads look nearly new.
    Front discs are EBC which is OK, I can cope with that, rears, not sure but I guess EBC as well as I assume everything was replaced together.
    As for pads, fronts have no markings at all and the inner pad on the passenger side is worn on a slant... probably need some new pads! Finding options is proving a bit tricky as everywhere is expecting the car to have Subaru 4/2pot setup. EBC have what look like the right pads in their YellowStuff compound which I've used before and quite like but they are listed under the 96-98 model year so need to check the measurements are correct when I get home from work.



    Existing braided brake lines are Project Mu which is nice to see, shame they've been rubbing don't look overly safe in some spots otherwise that would have been a bit of a bonus.

    The calipers and carriers are currently off the car. I've left the calipers attached to the old brake hoses but tucked out the way, this car has a few good spots to rest the calipers on, I'm used to handing them off zip ties from the springs! Next job is to clean up the old carriers then paint everything before fitting them back on the car.

    Funny how a simple job has added the following to a shopping list:
    • New brake hose clips
    • New brake pads (front)
    • New set of lug nuts
    • New set of locking wheel nuts
    • Coilover C-Spanners
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  6. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

  7. type-ra

    type-ra Administrator

    West Yorkshire
    Best not to start keeping too many notes on what you've spent! It soon gets very scarey:eek:
  8. 53R

    53R Enthusiast

    If you want more information on your car you would do well to CarVX it. Especially as it's a Hurst supplied one.

    In terms of the jack puddle/leak the water comes in between the bumper through the old gasket normally. Every classic I have seen has a puddle to be found :) Those that don't have a puddle haven't found it yet. :D

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  9. longsh07

    longsh07 V-Limited Member

    I'm well over it by this point :D I've spent far too much money on far too many cars that were worth far less than the time/money I put into them. This is my hobby, I can cope with a little excess spending :thumb I've no doubt there are a few others around here of the same mindset :)

    Not come across CarVX, will check it out, thanks for the info :)
    Ahah. OK, so a new gasket or some decent flexible sealant around that vent and I should be sorted. I've not had return of the puddle since I siliconed the seam but that's not to say it inst coming in around that vent too

    Back to the brakes, took measurements etc and have the part numbers. Weirdly (according EBC's system at least) I have the front brakes from a 96-98 and the rears from a 98-2002...

    EBC YellowStuff part numbers:
    Front - DP41134R
    Rear - DP41293R

    Had a quick look on Brembo's brake finder as the rears are Brembo pads:
    Front - P 78 010
    Rear - P 78 011

    Edit: Ordered some YellowStuff pads. Was thinking about going for the Brembo OE style pad as they were quite a bit cheaper and I'm not too fussed about pad choice given I wasn't able to do a 4/2pot upgrade just yet. Unfortunately I wouldn't have got them before the weekend and I'm hoping to take the car to JapShow this Sunday at Santa Pod so YellowStuff it is.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  10. tekkerchrede

    tekkerchrede V-Limited Member

    I am sure Alyn (@asperformance) can sort you out with all levels of brake items. :thumb
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