Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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Rizzo
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Rizzo » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:15 am

That's neat, I'm jelly.
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Sun May 04, 2014 6:28 am

First up, end of April, and there's snow.
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Second of all, I finally picked up that rear subframe. The best vehicle to pick it up would have been the Baja, but oh well, make due with what you have. Have to track down a leak in the altima now, looks like it developed a transmission oil leak (suspecting the axle seal) after the trip so I'll be lifting it up soon to figure out what went wrong.
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Picked up a bunch of goodies in the US: Osram 35w 4300k SVS Nighbreaker bulbs, pretty much the same as the CBI while giving off a better colour in my opinion (The CBI looks cool, but these will make it easier to see at night especially for long trips) Morimoto 3Five ballasts, bunch of shrouds to play with, really hard to figure out what will look good inside the housing so I bought a bunch of the "B-stock" ones. New headlamps to do a final retrofit into.
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CBI vs SVS shown here: (not my pic)
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Side by side comparison of the retrofit vs OE style.
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Did some cutting, sanding, and swearing trying to fit the nice projectors into the housings and played with the shrouds. I need to extend them on one side because the S2k projectors are monsters and I've got a surprisingly tiny amount of room to work with. Can't decide what colour I should paint them after a built an extension on the side, would have been nice to leave them as is, but that's not possible. Maybe a gunmetal-ish colour, black or white might look tacky in these headlights.

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Bonus shot of the Altima, and my terribly messy storage she- err.... garage.

And in other exciting news, I have a new(ish) 2013 STI transmission with almost no miles, and a bunch of associated parts sitting in Toronto that I need to pickup, so here I go with another roadtrip (Good deal, no shipping, **** it, road trip!)


Oh, and I picked up this bad boy:
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Now I just have to figure out where to place the controls...

Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Sun May 04, 2014 7:56 am

:D AutoX :D AutoX :D AutoX :D


Photos courtesy of SoloSnapshots

First off, of course, snow in May.
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Second, The Veloster is much shorter, thinner, and lighter than the Baja and yet I keep trying to drive it like a wide awd behemoth. This results in having enough room between cones to host a dinner party.
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Last off, going from heavy and awd to relatively light and fwd is taking a bit of adjusting. Add in that I have been off the track for two years and there's lots of adjustments to do before I become smooth through the cones again.
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All in all it was a great time, huge grin on my face at the end of the day. Managed to go through 6 runs (4 timed, two fun runs) and only hit 2 cones on my last run, otherwise all clean runs. Once I figure out the dimensions of the car I should be hitting more cones.

In other news, we should be ready to leave for Toronto at the crack of noon.

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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:16 pm

And onto another roadtrip adventure in the name of the Baja.

We begin with a glamour shot of the Hyundai, the parts hauler in this adventure.

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As you all know, shooting a lot of torque through the 5 speed is a ticking time bomb, and the oversized-for-the-wrx tires weren't helping either. Things went klunk and the shiny metal bits that make the transmission work started to come out, solution was to go even nuttier with the project and pickup an STI trans. Found a 2013 trans swap package in Toronto for a good price, but seller doesn't do shipping, I was left with two options, either find a way to get it shipped, or spend twice as much and just go pick it up myself under the guise of another roadtrip/vacation. You should know which one I opted to do.
Location: Toronto, ON - CANADA (Local pickup only, no shipping)

2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Transmission swap available with 10,xxxKM on all the parts. Everything in proper working condition. Serious inquiries only.

USDM EJ257 Transmission SWAP Including:
- 6 Speed Manual Tranny
- Mounts
- Starter
- Shifter Linkage
- Front Drive Shafts
- Rear Drive Shafts
- Main Shaft
- Rear Differential

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Overall great guy to deal with, ended up spending over two hours shooting the shit at the shop, and even managed to get a shiftknob thrown in.

The drive out was interesting, took two and half days to drive there, and two and a half to drive back, we took our time and enjoyed to road.

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After driving through BC, the sights weren't as visually stunning as the Canadian Rockies, but still cool to see and interesting to look at.

Rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees, and wateeeerrrr!
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The drive through the twisty sections was pretty fun on the way out, lots of elevation changes and winding roads going through the Canadian shield. The Veloster can definitely hold its own, was a blast to drive.

In Wawa, ON we went to a diner for an early lunch and witnessed an older man walk in, order a beer, down it in one go, and walk out to drive away in his truck. Wow is all I can say.

And time for a crazy trucker story:

Single lane highway each way in Ontario, around 10-11pm, car in front going a bit under the speed limit (5-10km/hr fluctuation, no cruise maybe?). Oncoming cars, and I have a trucker behind me who decided to throw shitty blue HID's into his headlights which are positioned at a height that's perfect for shining through my back window, especially since he's sitting a foot or two off my bumper. The inside of our car is lit up to a ridiculous extent, I can see the inside of the car infront being lit up as well. Of course with oncoming traffic there isn't room to pass for about 30 min. 30 mins of being blinded , I'm a little irritated to say the least, and I doubt the car infront is happy with the situation either. Finally there's a passing zone and the truck goes past, I pass the car infront so I can put cruise on and throw on my highbeams to return the favor to the trucker. At this point the starts swerving around the road and is going up on the shoulder, I figure he's trying to kick up rocks but there's a few issues with his plan.

1. I'm far enough back that nothing is reaching me
2. I'm actually in my lane so nothing is being projected towards me

At this point I should note that he's hauling a load of brand new cars, and although I hope they have some sort of protection against debris being thrown from the tires, with him swerving around I think whatever is in place might be inadequate and he might have scratched up some new cars (confirm/deny?)

Once his brilliant "swerve around the road to kick up rocks" plan failed he stops in the middle of the road, and opens his door. It's late, he's road raging, I'm not going to risk a confrontation with a more than likely tired and pissed trucker who's got anger issues and might have a weapon in the cab. I accelerate around him and as I'm going, he throws something at us, and we hear *ting *ting *ting *ting. He didn't have time to reach down so I don't think it was gravel, maybe change or crazy trucker teeth, who knows. We go off thinking that's that and continue on our way. A few minutes later I look in my rearview and there's the trucker, barreling down this single lane highway at speeds I'd estimate at 150-160km/hr. Well, shit, he's actually crazy crazy. We outrun him, get a minute or two lead on him, passing a few cars in the meantime and pull onto a side street, flip around and kill the lights and wait. One car passes, going what appears to be the speed limit, next we see the trucker zoom by at blistering speed. We wait a few mins and pull back onto the highway. Next township we reach we turn off and find a nice motel.

Next morning we assess the damage.

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Two small scratches on the rear quarter, buffed out really easy. Kind of wish we could have grabbed a plate number, but when he was behind us the lights were blinding us, and when we were behind him we were either too far back or preoccupied with getting the hell away.

Well, made it to Toronto! I hate driving in this city. Too many people, and holy shit some of the roads make Winnipeg roads fell glass smooth.
Picked up the transmission, stuffed in the back of the hatch, strapped it down and bungie corded the crap out of it so that it would stay put, and set off to go to Niagara falls.

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And we made it to Niagara Falls

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Very touristy place, but oh well, We're tourists, time to embrace it. We stayed for two nights at a nice hotel on the 8th floor with a view of the falls and it ended up being the most affordable place we stayed the entire trip. Tiny town motels and the motel from hell (more on this later) cost us more than this place, what the hell.

We went to go see the bird kingdom and it was a great experience, definitely worth the entry.

We saw an angry Australian

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And got to play with these Australians as well

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My fiance was apparently not satisfied with the friendly ones that flew onto us, and the ones that were around our feet, and decided she wanted to grab the asshole ones sitting on the anti-social branch and they ended up being very bite-y. Lessen learned.

And saw this radical bird too

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After we had our fill at the bird kingdom we made our way to the butterfly conservatory. It's quite the experience walking into a place with that many butterflies, it's like walking through a fairy tail. Only downside is you go through it fairly quick(30min-1hr compared to a few hours for the bird kingdom) and it's really hot and humid in there.

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After our stay in Niagara, we made our way back and the road was pretty uneventful. We saw a moose. A baby moose. Just standing on the side of the road, looked as though it was contemplating life, not chewing, not moving, nothing but staring into the distance. The only exciting thing that happened was the motel from hell. It's late at night, it started misting, we stop at some motel/gas station and talk to the clerk. The place is called Cosiana/Filane's Motel off of HWY 17 in Schreiber, ON. He orginally wants $130+tax for a room, ridiculous, being tired and unsure of where the next motel is going to be and with the shitty conditions outside, I manage to get him down to $75 tax included, still pricey but better than continuing driving. As we enter the room, it's like stepping into the 70's. 2-3" crimson red shag carpet, a tube tv with no remote, two tiny beds (smaller than a twin, my feet were hanging off the end) and one small 40w bulb to give light for the entire room. Go to the washroom and we find pubes on the bath towels and mold growing around the tub. Ok, so no showering, just sleep and leave. We decided to suck it up and just get a few hours of sleep and leave as quickly as possible in the morning. Well, that sort of happened.

I got woken up at 4:00 am by the sound of mice/rats scurrying through the walls and chewing on things in the room, crazy how loud they can be. I wake up my fiance and we get the hell out of dodge. Nobody is staffing the motel so we have nobody to talk to. Of course there's a really thick fog outside so it takes us almost an hour to get to the next town about 20km away, thankfully after that it cleared up a little and we made it back to Winnipeg.

And we're back

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May 14, 2014 - SNOW.

A few weeks later I finally got around to detailing the Veloster to get rid of the all the microscratches the dealer introduced upon their pre-deliver "detail" and to fix the crazy trucker damage.

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Came out rather nicely I have to say.

Thanks to a poster on another forum I managed to track these down and get them. Made to order apparently, and in a stunning purple. Add that to the pile of bushings waiting for install.

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In a frenzy to get rid of all my money, I bought two sets of tires for the Veloster

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The winter set alone comes out to around $960 locally, so much cheaper through tire rack even after the conversion. I might have forgotten to mention, but I picked up a set of base model wheels for around $200 plus shipping as a set of winter wheels.

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Ordered all these goodies too:

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It's going to be exciting throwing on a proper suspension.

And finally, I got around to organizing the garage to free up some room. Still have to figure out what to do with a lot of it, but at least it's much cleaner and roomier than before.

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I got so used to the Veloster's exhaust that when I turned on the Baja it was like a religious experience. I need to get that subie rumble back on a regular basis.

One last closing remark - need new summer tires for the Baja since I chewed up the last set on the BC roadtrip. This time I'm going wider and shorter. Previously it had 235/55R17 and this time around I'm going to try 245/45R17 which appears to be a much more popular size so tires are cheaper. I keep coming back to the Sumitomo HTR ZIII tires as they seem to be a good performer, get good reviews, I've liked them in the past, and they're probably the most affordable max performance summer tire on tire rack. The smaller circumference should be more in line with what the WRX/STI OEM size is, while still being big enough to fill the wheel wells. Thoughts?

Rizzo
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Rizzo » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:57 pm

crazy trucker teeth

:?: :!: :lol:
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:17 pm

Rizzo wrote:crazy trucker teeth

:?: :!: :lol:
Yeah, definitely a story to remember :lol: Just thankful it ended up with very minor damage and nothing more. Apparently hearing from some Ontario locals stories of road rage are quite common.

So quick update:

The leading solution to getting the axles to play nice is to build hybrid axles using the STI shafts and inner ends, while using the WRX/Baja outer ends for the front/rear respectively. If these are compatible with the axles I have at hand I'll have to get in contact with this guy and order two set:

SuberDave Hybrid Bearing Races
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So I opened up some CV boots to have a look.

Baja Rear Outer CV (6 ball race)
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STI Rear Outer CV (8 ball race)
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STI Front Outer CV (6 ball race)
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WRX Front Outer CV (6 ball race)
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[s]I still have to take out one of the WRX front axles and see what style of bearing cage is in there[/s] I was planning on either ordering through the link above if I can find that all my axles are compatible, otherwise I'll have to look into getting one of the local machine shops to either bore out the WRX/Baja races to accept the STI axles or having ones custom made locally.

Any advice on getting the joint apart? I read there should be a retaining ring holding it together but I don't see anything, don't know if I'm missing something or if these come apart differently, Subaru manual only goes through rebuilding the inner joints (that I've found so far) which are constructed differently from the outer joints.

Edit: From the looks of it, and a few quick measurements, it might be possible to use the STI 6 ball inner race with the WRX 6 ball cage and axle stub for the front axles. The rear is still going to be a little bit of playing around but if the front works how I hope it will then that'll at least be one set out of the way. Cross your fingers.
Last edited by Nitro350Z on Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

Rizzo
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Rizzo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:54 am

IIRC, on that end it's just a pull.

Compression ring in there.

Then get some brass and tap that bearing ring way down, pull the opposite side ball and work your way around.
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:56 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an update.

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First up, the front axles:

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As you can see, the STI joint is bigger than the WRX one and unfortunately there's no easy solution for getting the two to work together. On top of that I was struggling to get the other end of the CV joint apart, pipe trick failed, actually had a friend build the tool I had pictured earlier and that failed to split it as well. I was stuck...

And in comes FunctionAuto, as I was inquiring about even more new and exciting ways of throwing my money at them I casually mention my axle woes, in their reply I found my answer. Apparently I'm a dolt that makes somewhat-reasonable assumptions without actually double checking to make sure my assumptions are correct that have caused me to put a lot more time and effort into a problem that doesn't exist. Turns out that the 05+ WRX & STI share the same axle stub on the transmission side, thus I can simply use my '10 WRX axles and they will slide into the '13 STI transmission. I confirmed my idiocy and felt something that I can only describe as joyful-shame relief.

Front axles are now sorted out. Just have to put together my WRX axle (need to replace the inner boot that has a pinhole since it's apart, hopefully I can order the proper boot since the last time I ordered one I received the outer boot instead and it was too late for an exchange)

Now for the rear axles...

Behold, the organized mess:
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And my saving grace for the rear, the suberdave adapter bearing races:
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They LIVE! AHAHAHAHAHA
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Hybrid axles are all sorted out and good to go. Only thing left is to put on the clamps so I ordered a tool from Amazon that supposedly makes it much easier to do, they are a pain in the ass to do without the right tool.

While I was messing around with the axles, I also tried my hand at replacing the cam seals since one (or more) is weeping. All I have to say is ...
@$#! YOU SUBARU CAM BOLTS!

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Cam bolts are being a pain to take off. R-intake came off no problem, R-exhaust and L-intake had to be taken off by jamming a breaker bar against the frame and bumping the starter a few times, but L-exhaust is being a major pain in the butt. Tried the starter trick but it stripped out in a hurry, vice grips just keep chewing up the outside and keep falling off, taking tiny pieces/chips of the plastic exhaust cam with them. :evil:

Now it looks like next step is to drill it out.

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In a fit of rage I now have a set of TiC FU Cam bolts on order to replace the junk Allen key fitting for the stock cam bolts. Of course they're on back order and I've got my US trip booked for July 11th, hopefully they make it.

In other news, I'm trying to get of my 16" wheel and tire collection and stick to the 17" enkies and gunmetal WRX wheels in anticipation of a future brake upgrade. Have them listed up on Kijiji (Canadian equivalent to Craigslist which isn't too popular up here) for what appears to be market value (from looking at other listings) so we'll see if anyone bites / how bad I get lowballed.

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Also the Veloster is getting new tires to replace the crappy all seasons it came with from the factory

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It also has had new and exciting features, for example the GPS would have you believe the Veloster is an aquatic vehicle:

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Here's the cheeky little thing, look at that, absolutely no remorse.

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Yet another Dealer "Fix my stuff" trip.

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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:24 am

Update Time!

The Veloster tires were getting mounted on the wheels by a local tire guy (works in a performance shop outside of town and does pickup/delivery with a 1 day turn around) so I put it up on jackstands while the wheels are off getting new rubber.

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Doing this song and dance since the guy gets good reviews on the local tuner forum, uses high-end machines for mounting and balancing, and was about half price of what walmart charges for mounting and balancing without the "this size isn't listed on the door jamb, we won't touch it" attitude. Funny enough the two sets for the Baja were about $100 cheaper than the Velosters tires, guess the sizes I got for the Baja are more popular so economics of scale comes in.

How do people keep responding to ads that were sold a week or two ago? Do they find an ad then leave it open for a week before responding, do they write down the number/email and contact me at their leisure? I can't seem to find the old ads when searching so I'm pretty sure they're gone once I take them down.

On a related note, threw these up on Kijiji as well, the Kumho Solus KH25 'Grand Touring' all seasons

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Oh, and I recently found out about the wonders of google's location history. Kinda cool to get an overview of the various roadtrips mentioned in this thread. (Click for Big)

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Gives a nice perspective as to how big Canada really is.

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A little bit of a creepy/cool vibe, Although 'Google Now' has that feeling to it too.

And finally, I did some detailing yesterday. Black cars are both the worst and best for detailing. You see everything on the paint but once they're mirror smooth and flawless they look amazing.

This is the paint condition I started with

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And this is the final result:

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No progress on the Baja, yesterday this took up most of my day and the other days it's a combination of weather, laziness, relaxation, and various home projects.

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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:15 pm

UPDATE:

Axles Galore!

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Ended up clearing some stuff out of the garage and reorganizing to give myself some more room, now I've got less excuses for my procrastination.

Also got tired of trying to free rusted and seized bolts, 10 years of not being touched and Winnipeg winters have made this a very fun experience, so I found another little project to do. I sanded off some of the material from the grill, trimmed the hood release latch, mounted 55w worth of LED lights, and glued the black mesh piece back on the grill temporarily. It's still going to need a lot of work but here's an idea of what it might look like soon.

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They're not actually purple, the camera just seems to have changed their colour. It's a very white cold light, like you'd see with those cheap 5000k HID kits.

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I really need to hurry up and get this thing back up and running, I'm running out of summer.

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bajaguy
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by bajaguy » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:21 am

Love the grille!
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:35 pm

Yeah, I'm really liking it too, just needs new paint and a good sanding, plus some trimming for the back and it should be a-ok.

Update:

I came back from my trip to ND and had the car fully packed to the top.

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Only thing I didn't manage to pick up is the 20 ton shop press. Bought one from HF, specifically asked for the silver one (item 60603) and the cashier informed me they no longer sell the orange one and that they're all the silver ones, as I was packing it in the hatch I quickly check what's in the box and lo and behold it's the orange one. I go back in and ask for a silver one, turns out they sold their last one earlier that morning :( Oh well, returned this one and off I go. Guess I'll have to bug friends and/or others to get all those bushings for the rear pressed out/in.

Also picked up a bunch of goodies for the Baja, but those will be shown at a later date.

Today, I figured I'd have an easy day and play with the HID's.

First up, have to cut up the shroud to fit into the reflector housing.
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I ordered another set of Apollo shrouds that were B-stock off the retrofit source to play with initially, cut a small piece of it to fill in the space on the right. The shroud doesn't extend enough to cover the projector so I had to improvise with the extension.
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Lens thrown on, new butyl seal around it.
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Bake and press on.
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Mounted on the car, using the xB LED amber ring as a daylight running light, should look fairly sharp.
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Boom. Light is on. Now I just have to rinse and repeat for the other side.
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Only issue is that the other 'nice' shroud I got from TRS has a big black blemish on the front so I can't use it, on the flip side the much cheaper b-stock shroud I got from them earlier is in decent shape and looks decent enough to use. Still haven't heard back from them so hopefully I hear from them soon so I can decide whether to just say screw it and use the b-stock one, or wait for a replacement to arrive.

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bajaguy
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by bajaguy » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:04 pm

Really digging the headlights too! I would love to see the grille painted red to match the hood. I feel like it would add something that none other's got. If I try building one, I'll definitely match the body color.
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:16 am

When the gold legacy snowflakes have sold, I found that a void had formed in my heart. A gold coloured, wheel shaped hole. I was tormented, like a part of me had just vanished. I must appease the Subaru Gods.

I found my victims
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Tore off their old damaged coats
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Prepared them for what's to come
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and turned them into something divine
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:20 am

bajaguy wrote:Really digging the headlights too! I would love to see the grille painted red to match the hood. I feel like it would add something that none other's got. If I try building one, I'll definitely match the body color.
Thanks, I look forward to driving around at night and being to see everything. Should be fun.

Personally I prefer the plasti-chrome surround around the grill, gives you a focal point from farther away. Although it would be cool to a see a body coloured grille.

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