Newly acquired 96' JDM v2 WRX

LiamSTi

Type RA Member
Hello everyone.

It's been years since I've used a forum consistently but this seems a good place to be so thought I would revive my craving for forum project threads start a project thread of my own for anyone interested.

I made a post a while back introducing myself. I was on the look out for a V2 STi/WRX RA however came to the realisation with prices where they are and "good" examples fetching an eye watering premiums I couldn't justify it with what I wanted to do with the car so I opted for the next best thing and bought a 1996 v2 WRX around February of this year and plan on working on it over the coming winter months as I'm currently undergoing house renovation work and also modifying a defender as i'm also into my off roading which are both swallowing time and funds aaaaghh:D.

The stipulations for the car are it had to be white and it had to be a V2. Personally I prefer the look of the v1/v2 as I'm stuck in the past when it comes to cars and reminisce over old skool VHS tapes I used to watch back in the 90's as a young lad of the WRC/ Donegal rally etc and seeing the group A and N car's stuck with me.

I'm not new to Subaru's however and recently sold my JDM blob widetrack after a few years of ownership for the reason being it just didn't feel raw enough for me and being twin scroll didn't have the classic "rumble" we love so I went on the hunt for a V2.

I put the hunt on the back burner for a while until this v2 came up local to me, it was white and the version I was after however was not the RA I was looking for. After the realisation and goal where I want the car to end up I felt it best not to "taint" an RA and with the far more attractive price tag this WRX was demanding I bought it.

Now the goal for the car is to make a half way "fast road" / GRP A / N type spec car, so stripped interior, bucket seats, cage, Speedline wheels, suspension, anti roll bars etc etc so this car suits me down to the ground and don't feel bad about losing money and "ruining" an RA, plus with the money I have saved I can purchase good parts.

Unfortunately this won't be some crazy big horse power build as I want the car to be a weekend warrior which i can use on a Sunday morning to have a blast around the countryside in and take to a few shows etc. This will also not be a concourse car as I have learnt in the past with cars of such kind you tend not to want to use them in the rain/snow and are constantly worried about stone chips etc and for me takes the fun from the car.

Now a little more about the car itself.

5 UK owner car which was Imported in 2008 and has been sat around for the last 7 or so years covering just around 1,300 miles since 2017 till 2024. The previous owner raised concerns that he thought there was an issue with the thermostat or head gaskets and mentioned that when going for a drive the car would over heat when coming on boost. Now, i took the gamble after seeing the car as worst case scenario that it would be the head gasket(s) with it being sat around for so long but after some digging around when i had a few hours on it discovered that there was no coolant flow back to the header tank and it was indeed the heater matrix which was completely blocked up. After spending a few more hours flushing the system with water and additives the car now idles and drives fine when on boost. The engine will be coming out in the future anyway and getting rebuilt so it wasn't a make or break deal for me if it was the head gaskets. I'll be going closed deck block in the future anyway to run reliable power (300 - 350bhp).


First thoughts after it'd just been dropped off: Remove that hideous spoiler, skirts and wheels.

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First modification - Spoiler removal. Pleased with the condition of the boot lid, easily repaired.

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Next up was the removal of the Bazooka :envy:. I'm on the lookout for something more modest - ideally a Grp A Hayward and scott so if anything is for sale please get in touch.

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Picked up some legacy wheels to be able to move the car around. As part of the deal the seller wanted his wide track wheels back to sell on and as i didn't want them anyway it made the car a bit cheaper.

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RA style roof vent acquired and mocked up for now. This is a remake of the OEM vent and to be honest the quality is absolutely spot on for a fraction of the price and comes with all the hardware to fit as an OEM one would. Just needs some paint.

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Testing the cooling system for exhaust gasses and flushing the system......

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Good grief, no wonder she was over heating. This was after the second flush.

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2 pot callipers acquired. I know these aren't really a "great upgrade" but for now they should be better than the standard GC8 brakes on the front. Fortunately i have access to a sand blaster at work which makes light work of car parts :D

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Ex works Prodrive Carbon WRC seats acquired. These are from a 99 spec period car.

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Now on to the bad parts. As i knew before buying the car the rear arches needed some attention. After removing the bumper and attacking with a hammer i was greeted with this. Fortunately the strut towers are fine as this was one of the main things i checked for before buying the car so hopefully with some new arches and sills it should do the job.

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And this is where the story ends up to now folks. Hopefully I will have some more progress to report in the next few weeks but will keep this post going if people are interested.

Also if you have any nice bits for sale, wheels, exhaust, suspension etc please feel free to message me.

Cheers for now.
 
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And this is where the story ends up to now folks. Hopefully I will have some more progress to report in the next few weeks but will keep this post going if people are interested.
I'd hate to burst your bubble, but with only arches you will not tackle the issue. The reason they rot in this spot is due to water entering the quater panels from the strut towers and c-pillar/bootlid area.
You'd be better off getting the quarter panels out to tackle all of the affected areas.
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These are examples from 'a little bit of wheel arch rust' by experienced companies in Holland.
 
Thanks all for the positive response minus Paul's response :D :cry: *Jokes*. I will do some more digging and hopefully it isn't as bad as those images you posted :(
Good to see an old-fashioned project thread. OP, where did you source the roof vent?

 
Thanks all for the positive response minus Paul's response :D :cry: *Jokes*. I will do some more digging and hopefully it isn't as bad as those images you posted :(


They can be bad, but get in touch with somebody who knows his way around Subaru for the repairs. Bootlid area can go bad quickly as well, but you wouldn't believe what kind of rotten shitboxes are being restored over here.

All in all, good luck. Mine isn't as bad, but I know one day the quarter panels will have to come out due to botched repairs.
 
They can be bad, but get in touch with somebody who knows his way around Subaru for the repairs. Bootlid area can go bad quickly as well, but you wouldn't believe what kind of rotten shitboxes are being restored over here.

All in all, good luck. Mine isn't as bad, but I know one day the quarter panels will have to come out due to botched repairs.
Pulled all the interior and had a good look around inside the quarters. It appears someone has done a repair/bodge before and plated over the strut tower behind the quater strengthening panel to get it through a test in a previous life.

Just working out if it will be easier to pull the complete quater off or cut a section of the quater out and weld it back in once I've strengthened the area up. Removing the whole panel complete looks a bit of a task in itself.
 

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