Been a while since I posted anything about the Impreza, but to be honest, not much has changed since my last post.
One issue came up, which are my brakes. The pads are starting to squeal = sign of faded/worn out pads. Gotta get those changed soon before winter comes.
Otherwise, just performed another oil change the previous weekend and I’m thinking of finally switching over to synthetic engine oil on the next change (4800 KM from now). Yeah - I probably should have been running synthetic to begin with but I didn’t have the necessary funds for it at the time. My mechanic just got a hold of Eneos motor oil as well as Motul 8100 so I’ll probably try one or the other then.
One of my best friends just got himself one of his dream cars - an RX-7 FC3S - and all the talk about parts and tearing down/building up his car got me SO excited, I’m itching to buy a new engine right now! As he said, it’s just a vicious cycle - I got my Impreza; he was kind of jealous since I got my own car. Now he gets his FC w/ another owner offering him a 13B Turbo II engine and I want to source out my EJ20K/EJ205 Turbo BOXER 4.
Debating on 3 different transmission options right now. Well, 4 but the fourth would require a lot of saving up.
First option: a 1999 2.5RS Transmission w/ rear diff. Unknown KM’s as of this moment, but the gearing & final drive ratios are the same as the one currently in my Impreza (98 2.5RS w/ 4.11 FD) I don’t know if this transmission will need new front axles to mate with the transmission, but I hope it doesn’t. $500 and about 45min-1hr drive away from home.
2nd option: a 2005 2.5RS Transmission. That’s it. 32K km’s, yanked out of engine in favour of a 6spd USDM STi transmission. Same final drive ratio as my current transmission, but does not come with a rear differential, and requires new front axles to mate with it. $500 and it’s local.
3rd option: a 97-98 Legacy 2.5GT Transmission from the junkyard in Vaughan/Woodbridge area. 190K on the transmission, same exact gearing & FD as the current one, but I’m not 100% if it comes w/a rear diff. It’s at half the cost of the other 2 at $250 but it’s from a junkyard so I don’t know what was the reasoning behind the car being junked.
and FINALLY: Just save up for a complete JDM Version 5 WRX STi Engine + Transmission. The whole thing will probably cost me AT LEAST $3500 w/ install, which is more than half of my car, but it’ll have exactly what I’ve been looking for: a working 4WD unit with a turbocharged engine. I believe the transmission has shorter ratios, but if I go this route, I’ll be sourcing out another transmission that can handle the power of the engine and at the same time give me the same gas mileage/gearing as my current transmission.
Paying to keep my baby in check sucks lol :(. But I love her too much to not care about her :)
Anyway, I’ve had the STi catback exhaust on for about a week now, and right off the bat, power loss in the bottom end because of the wider diameter piping that’s stock on the STi. For anyone who’s thinking about running an STi catback system into a non-turbo Subaru, change the midpipe to a narrower sized one to avoid the lack of pull that I’m having. I was aware of the problem but I didn’t know it would be so noticeable : \ Although with the wider piping I am able to squeeze out more power in higher RPMs, but I rarely even go above 4500 RPM, and that’s only to get to highway speeds on 4th gear.
I found a replacement transmission! 96-99 Legacy GT’s are made of so much win haha. Just gotta save up for it and hopefully I can get a smooth shifting transmission w/ fully functional centre differential in my Impreza :)
Looking at it now, there’s actually quite a handful of things I need to fix in the Impreza. : \ I’m not complaining about the problems, I’m more upset at myself for not being more prepared to handle all of this, with a decent paying job anyway. (NTS: FINISH PORTFOLIO - It’ll benefit me AND my car!)
Starter - Leaving my car out in the open is bad enough, but it’ll get worse in winter. Starts will probably get rough and I’ll definitely need a new one since it already takes 2-3 cranks too many to turn the Impreza on.
Center Differential is going - Tires slip sometimes under acceleration while turning; more so on tighter turns than anything though, but slipping nonetheless.
Humming in engine bay - It’s not the ABS, a mechanic said it could be the intake taking in a huge amount of air, but I feel that it’s something else.
Shifter bushings are gone - When clutched in, the shifter doesn’t always stick to the middle of the gear selectors like a regular car, rather, it’s kind of weighted towards gears 1 & 2.
Rear Differential seems like it’s on the way out too - Again, with the tires slipping, but when reversing into my parking spot at home, it just slips on the smallest, probably 5* incline.
New all season tires - This will be my worry for next spring since I’ll be saving for winters come late August / early September.
Winter Tires - With the differentials the way they are, I want to be able to get the most traction I can with the tires, especially in these Canadian winters.
Finally changed the engine oil in Sophia! :D First time ever doing an oil change so thanks to my bros Alex & Justin for showing me. Guess I gotta buy a socket set, a jackstand & some safety mounts for future oil changes.
And I really gotta stop looking at car parts. Everything I look at that I know needs to get replaced, I want to buy asap. And everything that I want to buy to make the Impreza look & perform like I want to, I wanna buy too! Smh.
Junk yard this weekend hopefully to find myself a new grille (since the one in the car is held by zipties -.-“) and maybe even a rear LSD? Hopefully if I find one it’ll be fairly cheap.
EDIT: & Sound deadening for the hood. Shit’s just tearing right off right now. : \
Had a reeeaaaally scary moment today, although thankfully the situation was handled smoothly.
Bro’s & I were heading out for movies to see Captain America - which was pretty dope and worth the wait. Instead of rolling in 3 different cars, we decided to go in one, to save gas and parking space. So Will suggests that I park the Impreza on their driveway, which has about - I don’t know, roughly 20*-25* incline? It’s a noticeable incline nonetheless. As I shut off the engine and put my handbrake up, and open the door and let go of the brake pedal, the car starts rolling back! Luckily I was able to hop in still and step on the brakes to stop the car, and it didn’t hit anything/anyone in the process. I’m also thankful that it didn’t happen while we were away as injury/accidents/damages could have potentially happened if no one was there to see my Impreza roll : \
*sigh. The things I go through to drive my own car. I love my Impreza regardless though. :D
Just got back from the Philippines! Best 2 & a bit weeks of the 2011 year so far - and probably won’t be topped by anything for a long while.
Sophia’s so dirty! Left her outside since the garage is for my parents’ cars, and it definitely rained hard the past 2 weeks, daaaamn! I missed driving her though, it was great driving around the block last night after getting home :)
Time to address some more of the smaller issues now that I’m back from vacation! Halfway through 2011, and it’s becoming an even better year than I had imagined.
Sophia’s been great! I think I’ve found the spots as to where/when to shift up - although I should have by now considering that I’ve had her for almost 3 weeks already. Nothing really to log about over the past week except for:
i. The inner rubber door trim which divides my driver door to the inner rocker panel is veeeery loose. Loose to the point that even the pins are loose - one even came off! Luckily the pin came off at home and I was able to keep it in my possession. I’ve re-inserted the trim back onto the pins, but I definitely need to glue em down securely, seeing as how there seems to be some glue-like residue on the trim already.
I had my sister’s boyfriend drive the car around his neighbourhood since he also owns an Impreza (MY05 GDB 2.5RS) & he liked it for the most part (shifter bushings & squeaky clutch pedal bugged him lol). Even got to talking about parts & maintenance in regards to both my GC and his GDB. Personally, if I didn’t own this car, I don’t think I’d have any worthwhile conversations with him lol : \
I leave for Philippines with my family in 2 days, and the one thing that makes me sad about leaving is that I won’t be able to drive my car lol.
Got my tune up done yesterday - $200 down :( but a smoother running Impreza :)
i. Shifts into 2nd and 3rd are smoother with the newly replaced transmission oil.
ii. Brakes are much more responsive and have basically no sponge-like feel on the pedals.
iii. Engine stays cooler thanks to coolant flush and new coolant :)
Things that were brought to my attention at the shop while the car was up on the hoist:
i. My rear differential, while it was getting its older and fairly dirty differential fluid out, is showing its signs of wear. Apparently one of the previous owners did not get the fluid changed when they should have which is at around 80-100k km’s. Bits of metal were also found in the magnet+lock combo in the rear diff - again signs that I should think about replacing it within the next 20k : \
ii. There was a hole in the headers that was patched up with muffler cement : \ The cement will hold for now, but I definitely don’t want to prolong running with a patched up header. I figure I’ll source a used, OEM header from a fellow Toronto Subaru Club member, or maybe even a junkyard.
iii. My rear swaybars are shot lol, I’m not surprised though. Rear Control arms will probably need to be replaced next year. Some rust along my exhaust system, and the exhaust piping was made using crush bending techniques, not mandrel bending = a not so smooth exit of waste gasses.
iv. When the car got completely repainted, some of the parts were not put back properly, i.e. the radiator drain plug. When draining the rad+coolant, it should come out in a steady stream if the plug was affixed correctly… mine caused it to rain coolant : \
So the parts list for the Impreza continues to grow, but as with anything, building the car back to perfect takes time. I’m just happy she finally got a fresh set of fluids. Next up, when I return from the Philippines, engine oil!
I truly believe that the more you drive your car the more you notice the SMALL things.
i. I went in for a carwash a few days ago at the local Shell. Everything went well except for the part that a SMAAAAALL bit of water got in from the driver side window. small as in like 15-20 droplets. I know that Subaru never manufactured the Impreza without door frames around the windows, but that still shouldn’t happen…
ii. Wiper blades. I thought getting new blades from the old Legacy would hold up perfectly well with the Impreza. Turns out that I’m missing some sort of lock mechanism/pin to hold the blades in place so as to not have them come loose when using them consistently for a long period of time. Guess I’m going back to using the old blades.
iii. The rubber strip on the bottom of the driver side door wasn’t affixed properly when the previous owner got the car repainted. I’m pretty sure all I have to do is plug the rubber strip back into the respective plugs on the bottom of the door panel, but still.
iv. One of two things - Either my driver front tire’s punctured somewhere, ooooooor my valve stem needs to be replaced - Just like on my family’s MY05 BL5 Legacy.
On a positive note, I’ve finally been able to get the clutch to engage at under 2000 rpm. Yeah, a noob accomplishment, but I’m happy. Any saved gas and clutch wear is good for me :)
Almost 2 weeks with my Impreza and I can’t complain at all :) Just like any car and owner, I’m beginning to notice a LOT of small things that didn’t bother me the first few days with her:
i. One of the plastic pieces by the windshield’s water drainage/redirection system is broken, which leaves some exposed metal. I mean it still holds in place but it’s easily removable - which it shouldn’t be.
ii. The wiper intermittent speed is awfully slow. Even on the fastest setting, it doesn’t seem to move fast enough. I thought the slightly newer wiper blades from my family’s previous MY05 Legacy BE5 sedan would make the job a bit easier/smoother, but it’s the motor or the arms which need to get taken care of.
iii. Some parts of the rear quarter windows rubber mouldings aren’t held in place to the body panel properly : \ I mean I know the car got a fresh re-paint a year or two ago, but whoever did the re-assembly of the body panels didn’t really do a great job…
iv. Shell gasoline > any other gasoline. I originally ran Petro Canada’s 87 Octane fuel in the Impreza (since I only need to run 87, yay!) on my first fill up almost 2 weeks ago, and logged in a little under 300km at half a tank. With Shell’s 87 Octane fuel, I’m at around 240km with still a good 3/4 between the 3/4 tank mark and 1/2 tank (I hope that makes sense). Guess I’m going with Shell from now on. :)
Next on the list - new wiper blades and a tune up.
Plus, I realized I’ll be needing a parts bin for all my used parts/future equipment. I mean I’ll most likely be borrowing tools from my dad for the meanwhile, but I’ll probably want my own in the future. Hopefully my dad lets me make a small shelving/bin unit in the garage to fit my stuff :)
On another note, I knew my driver’s front tire was a little low on air, but I didn’t know that it was only at about 14psi (in comparison to the recommended 32psi by Subaru) o.o” Good thing I finally got around to putting air in it! D:
So it’s been 1 full week since I’ve started driving the Impreza. I’ve gone through almost half a tank because since now that I have a car, I’m now the one driving to Scarborough since they always come up to my place.but at almost 270km, with probably another 15-20km before I actually hit half, I think I’m doing fairly well with my gas consumption.
On another note, my axleback exhaust definitely looks out of place. It’s lead me to looking for cheap alternatives on toronto-subaru-club.com but so far, nothing yet. After reading up on which exhausts provide the best rumble without being too deep or too loud, I’ve come across 2 which I’m really interested in getting (3 if I include a stock STi exhaust, just to keep it really low key and still have a mild rumble) - GReddy Evolution 2 or a Borla (forgot the specific model).
But that’s not gonna happen anytime soon anyway, although it’d be nice if it happens before winter lol. (It’s only June and I’m worried about winter already. smh)
So it’s been a full business week since I’ve had my Impreza, and I’m pretty much all smiles except for the things that I noted before.
A few more things I’ve noticed with Sophia in the past week:
i. Gas mileage is pretty decent in the Impreza. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, but at 150km for 1/4 tank, with 90% street/10% highway driving, it’s pretty amazing to me. Initially, when I was reading up on mileage for the car, I was reading that the Impreza was good for 22mpg combined, but I’ll take it :)
ii. My synchros might be bad :( I got some grinding earlier when going to 4th from neutral while going at a decent speed since I was going down a bridge. I really hope it’s just because I was an idiot and may have pushed my shifter too far to the right and accidentally tried making it going into reverse… :(
iii. The gearing is a little short! I honestly thought that my shifting points were fairly normal, considering that I shift at 2700-3000RPM from gear to gear, but in doing so, I’m in 4th gear at 60km/h. Dunno if that sounds about right to any other Subaru owner, but it seems to be doing it for my gas mileage. That and the fact that (when I manage to control the whole clutching in-let go of gas-shift-clutch out+gas a bit thing) the revs match, I figure it’s a good shifting point.
Otherwise, I’m happy. I love my car :) Now for some serious detailing!
Day 3 because I didn’t think about making this blog any sooner haha.
Went to a fellow Subaru owner, friend and mechanic’s place to get the car checked by both him and his dad. I find it awesome how his dad’s just as involved with Subaru’s and the like, and he’s self taught.
Looks like it may not just be my ABS that’s causing the humming, although I’m really hoping that it is. : (
Brakes will probably need work after informing them that the front left brakes stuck at one point and smelt somewhat burnt.
Full fluid reflush/tune-up is gonna be around $200 including parts and labour, and includes - Radiator flush, Transmission fluid flush+fill, Brake bleeding+fill, Coolant fill up and A/C recharge?
One of my headlights are all derpy - one’s aimed lower than the other. Thankfully Sophia’s equipped w/ those balancer things (forget what they’re called now…) on her headlights, so it’s just a matter of finding out how to take apart the headlight assembly and balancing the bulbs :) She also needs a new passenger side corner light, simple fix and I figure I might as well change the driver side too.
With the heavy rainfall today in Toronto, I remembered that my wiper blades aren’t in the best shape. Thankfully I didn’t have to drive in that intense rain - I mean I love driving in the rain, but that was on some next level.
My shifting has gotten better over the past two days. Smoother shifts into all the gears - including some downshifting - although I still don’t like how high the engine revs on 4th gear / 70km/h. Gotta look into recommended shifting points for economical driving.