Type R kind of long story: conversion, restoration, weekend fun

Dirkdiggler1978

Continues improvement
Intro

It took me pretty long time to start this thread. Why so long? I'm quite busy on professional side of my life, two kids takes also their share, end of the day I'm engineer and typical non-essay kind of personality since the primary school.
But I have started to put on my favorite wrx web my experience and life with matured Type R in lhd zone. Since I reminded to myself my invoice book and a long history decided to sit down and start to write.
For many of you Guys it could be interesting pack of information how restoration process looks like in continental eastern part of Europe.


It is a story about detailed long lasting work dedicated to the classic 90' rally queen. Long and well expensive.
The clear target is to be as close as factory set up as possible. Point.

Feel free to comment and ask if any question will rise.

...And action.

Type R ver 4. with unique VIN GC8 066666 arrived to my hands in 2012.
Car was already converted to lhd in Poland as our local law does not allowed to drive rhd legally on our roads. Conversion has been made by local Sub specialist and has been done....far from perfect.

From mechanical point of view it was done correctly but details were missed.

Pictures, everybody likes that so I will try to put as much as possible.

Here is the oldest picture I own. Car still rhd with facelift front and tein suspension.
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Most critical was body condition and rust free body shell. That was my top importance as I have owned before rust ill Impreza gt wagon (in UK turbo) and realized as much effort is needed to maintain it.
Here on my Type R body was fine with little rusty spots on upper window bars and arches. No surprise.

As mentioned I received a car already converted.
Few words about conversion. Forester dashboard has been implements with nasty grey bottom elements.
Job was done correctly but the colour, grey. Came on who wants that.

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Second issue was rhd glove box which, well, does not fit well :)
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From this point does not look too bad, does it?
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Third issue was standard impreza gt steering rack has been used instead of short proper sti rack

Fourth and follow issues reported was floor carpet, tank flap, boot opener remain rhd as well as the mirrors. Can tell you already rhd mirrors does not give a well overview if you are driving from passenger seat ;)

Wheels were also not my favorite.

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Oh Dear what a wonderful decal
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Many days later.

My first point was to take care on the interior.

Dashboard has been removed for flocking

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And flocked dash is back into the car.
Lot of flocks here mainly to cover this nasty gray but also to hide scratches.
Will be reworked again in next chapters of my story.

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If you wonder what happend with rhd glove box I have catched on ebay proper lhd box which was a really good hunting result as this is extremaly rare here.

Complete dash with lhd glove box looked as follow. Good.
In the same time Nardi wheel was installed and first STRI boost gauge as replacement of oem lamco gauge. I was not happy of the results, cabling etc.

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The same spring 2012 I purchased new Milleniums 17s and new Toyo proxes.. Great wheels

Apologize the stolen pictures
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And red poliurethane mood guards
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With Revos and guards car presented as follow.

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Also in Winter time
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The same anno dommini 2012 I have installed new age quick steering rack. Car became more sensitive and generally big positive change I can report.

That was year 2012.
 

tekkerchrede

V-Limited Member
Nice write-up. Looking forward to next chapter.. :) Also being in a LHD country, I find it very interesting what you do. How did you source a LHD steering rack for instance?
 

Dirkdiggler1978

Continues improvement
talbotsteve, fusebox is where it should be after conversion

tekkerchrede

Conversion is big part of the work done on the car. Unfortunatelly have no that many pics from this stage but I will try to answer for your questions.

Generally of course one of the bits you need for conversion is streering rack.
As known, there was no lhd gc8 sti s on the market, so you will not find any donor for lhd car

Here you have three options:
1. most expensive - c.a. 1000 EUR - custom made steering rack - we have one company in Poland who develop this stuff for gc8 - it is 2,1 lock to lock ratio and know plenty of semi pro drivers using this stuff successfully
2. implementation of new age sti lhd rack - 2,6 lock to lock - this is my way, this topic is far known on our American colleagues forum where guys are swaping new age bits to rs25, need steering rack, column, and few more elements which are out of my memory. This solution is slightly more cost efficient than option 1. I purchased low milage sti 2007 rack and total cost incl. work ended at the level of 800EUR
3. You can install standard rack from Impreza GT 3,2 lock to lock - this is cheap as the rack you can get for 150EUR, but for sure not the proper way as a lot of sensitivity is lost.

There is actually a 4th option as well as Prodrive has released few lhd racks for gc8 in the past but those are more rare than 22b ;)
 

Dirkdiggler1978

Continues improvement
Chapter 2

This Scooby has a good home currently. As the 3rd one in family does not spend on the road more than 2000 km per year. Taken for a walk only during nice sunny days, no snow or rain since 2013.
Actually in 2013 car has the last contact with the rain during my younger cousin's wedding day. Bride was always a big fan of rally cars and ask me to borrow a car. I agreed.
Couple wanted to drive just a mile from the church to the restaurant where wedding party was located.

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Murphy's law worked perfect that day :)
After a few hundred meters with newly married couple on board steam exploded from the hood! Bottom cooling hose break down and. What a mess.
Yes this day will be remember for ever....Especially for myself. Instead of having good food a drinks during wedding party I was constantly thinking if the header gasket is gone yet :) You probably know this feeling.
Gasket was fine and engine works fine until today.

Same evening I have ordered a set of Samco cooling hoses from UK. Orange because they have a discount for this colour, as I guess nobody wants that.

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The same year car went for a couple of weeks to my Subaru dealer and tuner.

First issue was a fuel supply problem on the corners. Guys quickly found out the source of the problem. Fuel pump was broken. Not worn out but broken.
New Walbro pump has been installed than.
Fuel problem solved so decision was quick. We do a spark, cables and maf replacement for new and than implement ESL.
My dealer is official retailer for ESL so the job was done quickly and painless.
Having ESL car was mapped for 98 octane fuel which is much easier to find on any petrol station. I believe it is more healthy solution than running 100 Shell fuel which sometimes is tricky to get when needed.
Mayor target was to get safe map for engine, no big power but well optimized access to the power, drivers and powertrain friendly.
When main unit was open for ESL we have found out already a aftermarket board which is unidentified until today. If anybody knows what it could be please share.

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New map gave a lot of nice smooth acceleration, definatelly not so aggressive as before. I can say a different sort of the car.


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In the meantime I found out on ebay a v6 front lip. This lip fits very well changing the face of the car. I like.

Here with my colleague Mitsubishi Evo TME (also Japan Import and conversion to LHD)
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...to be continue
 

Dirkdiggler1978

Continues improvement
Chapter 3

General target is to be as close oem as possible.
For sure some solutions are acceptable even they are not following 100% factory spec.
Good example is suspension. OEM stuff is tough to buy or expensive. Than sometimes you need to go for other proven set as I did.

So I decided to go for new, fresh well known KYB AGX and Eibach Springs. My old absorbers and springs were really dead.


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During the same PIT STOP visit I decided to change few other components.

Complete clutch including pump, bearing, master cylinder and fly wheel.

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Look at those parts. That was the best timing for replacing. Close to disaster. This is what I call well prevention.

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New cooling unit.

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New break discs, pads, steel lines and kits for calipers.


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Calipers were cleaned, sandblasted, sealings replaced and painted
Old nasty red calipers can be forgotten now.
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Nice black finish with white letters.
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Carboy

Well-Known Member
Very nice work you are doing here, that clutch assembly you took out looks terrible almost like its been sitting in water rotting?
 

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