Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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

Post by Nitro350Z »

So it turns out we're ineligible since the GPS/Nav issue is finally resolved, and they only care about recurring issues that the dealer/manufacturer can't fix. Constant problems and time spent in the shop don't matter unless it's always in for the same problem. Definitely wish the laws were more in line with the how the US handles lemons.

Anywho, here's an update because I've been lazy/busy/preoccupied with whatever.
Myself wrote:
The first instance of having issues with the GPS and Nav unit happened all the way back in April ...

Well, that was finally fixed and by that time the Nav unit was having issues yet again. Another unit was ordered. They managed to nick the dashboard and the steering when installing the latest radio. Made an appointment for them to attempt a repair, and three weeks later it's "repaired"

Unfortunately the dashboard is textured and the steering wheel was nicked in a high traffic area, so we were left with a flat/non-textured spot on the dash and the steering wheel fix was already starting to come apart. We pushed for a replacement and now we're waiting for the parts to arrive to have the dashboard and the steering wheel replaced.
Quoting myself all the way back from Nov 2014. JUST NOW WE HAVE AN APPOINTMENT SCHEDULED TO REPLACE THE DASH. So yeah, took them long enough :bravo: Going to take some high res 'before' shots of the interior in case they manage to mangle the install somehow, who knows with them.

The Sparco surprise still has to wait, there's custom parts involved and they have to be actually made before I get them hence the long lead time. Not in a rush. I swapped out my winter set for the summers a while back, there's quite a difference in size, our weather was very yo-yo-ey for a while there with +20 one day, and snow the next (wish I was exaggerating)

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Learned a valuable lesson about not forgetting you used wheel chocks, eh they were dirt cheap from Canadian Tire and they still work.

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Parked the Baja and the Veloster on the same street, and wow the proportions on them are just an odd contrast of mid 2000's vs 2010's. The Veloster looks like a porker beside my minitruck. It just kind of struck, hadn't really compared the two in a row like this before.

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I'm also pleased to inform that I am once again gainfully employed. My project was described as better than my resume on the interview, and my resume is pretty damn good. It's an engineering related summer position and I'm really loving it there. So there you have it, a project car can have some return on investment and isn't just a burning pit that's fueled by money.

Look at the lovable scamp that got me an awesome job, oh yes, you!

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And the ever faithful Altima has been stripped of it's clean metric bolts and nuts, and assorted valuables (Aluminum rad, strut bar, battery, catalytic converter) and has been towed away to the land of compactors and chop saws where it may begin life again as a toaster, or a refrigerator. Godspeed, you were one of the best beaters I've had.

In non-automotive news I splurged and bought a set of wicked expensive glasses. I really really liked them, and I went all out with the lenses getting some pretty pimp coatings and transitions as always.

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Lazyman sunglasses are great, and the future is awesome.

I've also transformed my messy computer room/office from this hazmat location featuring a Gordian knot of wires that would make any self respecting rat insanely jealous. (picture in progress of cleanup, forgot to take a real before pic, woops)

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Into this sleek and clean computer room/workspace:

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All thanks to the famous Swedish maze/store known as IKEA.

I did also manage to almost get side swiped by an inattentive driver action happens at 12 seconds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apStb-B959E

And here's some AI popcorn to end off this post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxZ1r_bmASM

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I would like to begin this update with a short moment of silence for the little O2 sensor that could.

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[s]Rest[/s] Rust in piece little guy!

Big things have been happening this month, and it's time for a proper update. First off, the Baja has been as good as ever, so I gave the engine bay a quick 303 shine to get all the rubber bits nice and soaked. Gave it an oil change and threw on that new accessory belt finally, keeping the old one for a need-it-in-a-pinch spare.

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While that was happening I stole the new set of hella horns that I was going to install on the Veloster and I replaced the Baja ones. Now they're all shiny and new, and ready for car-show season. The mounting spot on the veloster probably won't be visible anyway so w/e, it can have the slightly beat up horns.

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The week before a local subie owner started parting out the aftermarket parts from his car and I managed to pick up the steering wheel I've been lusting over for almost 3 years. It is heavenly. GT-Spec D-Shaped wheel, the leather feels amazing after I did a full day and half leatherique treatment, the grip surfaces on the wheel just fit your hand perfectly, it's incredible. I can't gush about this thing enough.

I went from this:
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To this:
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So now it's time for the big unveil, partially brought to you by SpeedFactor Racing in Winnipeg and Sparco themselves: Sparco Chrono Road front seats with sliders and brackets!

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Weight Reduction Bro! (Dirty carpet, and a jealous Veloster in the side mirror too)

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All in! Now I just have to lose some weight, they're a bit snug and I've a wedding coming up so time to nut up and get serious about weight reduction.

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These seats are comfy! And quite big, they just barely cleared the B-pillar. I thought that aftermarket seats would sit lower down, but they're actually about the same seat height as the factory Baja seats, although with much more support and they're cloth! No more sticky leather in the hot summers, or freezing cold flash-frostbite sitting experience in the winter, should be perfect even without heating elements.

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Further pampering the Baja, it went in for tint on Monday and I have to say it looks great. Now the front is just a touch lighter than the rear instead of a huge difference as with just the factory tint. Unfortunately I've been busy and I haven't taken photos. Oh well, you'll see them eventually. Since all this work is being done on the car anyway, I decided to finally refresh the grille. It did not survive winter at all. The finish was garbage and it was time to put more effort into it. I sanded it down, used some more body filler to smooth it out somewhat

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Threw a coat of high-build primer

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A quick wetsand later I threw on a few coats of duplicolor dark metallic grey (FOR FORD COLORS, uh oh)

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I also cut out a new mesh piece for the grille and threw on a coat of fresh black paint and threw some cheap clearcoat on there for a little bit of a shine factor.

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Once that dried IT WAS TIME TO BE ALL SHINY AND CHROME. VALHALLA AWAITS! (You have no idea how much will power it took to not shout WITNESS ME and become ALL SHINY AND CHROME)

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I still could have done better (seriously, the chrome spray is finicky as hell and the finish is as soft as butter after being left alone for almost 2 days)

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Used some of the finest JB-Weld I had available and with the help of some pipe wrenches and a square metal rod, I bent the mesh around the grille and epoxied it in place.

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CALL THE :siren: AI BADGE POLICE :siren:

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I think I've done a pretty A-OK job (At least it's much improved over my Ver.1 proof-of-concept grille)

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Killer B
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Killer B »

You have such a beautiful Baja. The red/silver was my second color choice after yellow. I get excited every time I see a new post update from you because your posts are so in depth and also have great photography included with them. I love seeing all of the personal customizations and mods you have done. What makes it even more rewarding is your Baja project was even able to get you that awesome new job.

I also liked seeing your before and after with the computer room setup. The after looks great and I like the new desk you got from Ikea. My self employment job is also heavily computer based so I know the great feeling of having a good workstation setup.
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bajaguy
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by bajaguy »

Awesome! Hey, what type of engineering are you? There seem to be a lot of us engineers driving Bajas.
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

bajaguy wrote:Awesome! Hey, what type of engineering are you? There seem to be a lot of us engineers driving Bajas.
Electrical Engineer, One more year until I'm finished my bachelors. Maybe the quirkiness of the Baja attracts the engineering type?
Killer B wrote:You have such a beautiful Baja. The red/silver was my second color choice after yellow. I get excited every time I see a new post update from you because your posts are so in depth and also have great photography included with them. I love seeing all of the personal customizations and mods you have done. What makes it even more rewarding is your Baja project was even able to get you that awesome new job.

I also liked seeing your before and after with the computer room setup. The after looks great and I like the new desk you got from Ikea. My self employment job is also heavily computer based so I know the great feeling of having a good workstation setup.
Thanks! I try to keep things fairly well documented, party for my own memory, and partly for helping out and entertaining others. A good workspace is amazing for productivity, it's definitely worth the effort of setting it up and maintaining it.

AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR AN UPDATE.

First off, Baja news! I entered into the Driven 2015 car show here in Winnipeg as part of the Top Tier Imports group, and TTI had all the entering members come out for a photoshoot for the promotional website they created for everyone.

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Before the show it was a mad detailing session, the two days before the show was the cleanest the car has ever been. Friday evening dropped off the car at the Exhibition grounds and we were all set for the show.

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Driven itself was a great time, Winnipeg has a surprising amount of really nice cars running around, especially when you consider how crappy our roads our and that it's not *that* big of a city. There was a charity auction for RAY (resource assistance for youth) and I managed to win two great prizes, a $250 gift certificate to AutoGallery for service, and a luxury car rental from Nott (local luxury/exotic car dealer) This is perfect for me and my fiance as we were wanting to get something nice and fancy for the wedding in September, and now we have a certificate that guarantees us that we will have something! I'm really hoping for a nice convertable, like a Jaguar F-type convertible. Would be pretty awesome for the us to hop into a nice convertible grandtourer and ride off into the distance at the wedding.

Also, same as two years ago, I got to be placed beside my favorite forester in the city :drool:

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And the Baja won Best in Class - Truck / SUV at the show! Pretty happy with that.

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY (not really) DIFFERENT.

I bought a car! Specifically a 1998 Subaru Forester S with 300k km, a recent timing belt and WP change, and a little overheating problem. For $425.00. Yeah, that's the correct price.

[Sellers Photos:]

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The Foz was about 20 min north of Gimli (So about an hour north of Winnipeg) and it made it the entire way to the city without overheating, in the city on the other hand... after fueling up it started overheating, I was less than 3 minutes from home so I just limped it the rest of the way. It made it!

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This thing is pretty nice, it's got a nice body with minimal rust, suspension feels pretty decent, drives pretty well, it's got the coolest AC I've ever felt in a car, and it's clean inside and out. It does need a couple things: tires(dry rotted), windshield (cracked along the top), both front inner CV boots(ripped), and the overheating issue addressed. From the symptoms, I figured it was just a bubble in the cooling system, but after a flush with fresh fluid and a test run, it looks like there's a pinhole leak that opens up once the system pressurizes, I guess that's why it was ok on the highway, didn't build enough pressure in the cooling system until it lost airflow through the rad. Bought a brand new rad but haven't picked it up yet.

To start things off, I went ahead and gave it an oil change, new airfilter, and a new set of headlight bulbs. Tracked down a windshield locally from someone parting out their 2000(?)forester and also picked up a few extra goodies from the same guy. Replaced the rear wiper since it looks like old one just broke off.

Picked up an old set of tires for $60, pretty much full tread, soft sidewall, and no dry rot at all. Should hold over for at minimum until it gets a safety and then I'll be shopping for a good set of winters.
Sellers Photo:
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... and it turns out I bought whitewalls! In the photo I thought they were just dirty, and in person you really couldn't tell, but after about an hour of scrubbing and rubber conditioner, here they are:

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One of the extra goodies I picked up was a door to replace the one with the little rust spot, it seemed easier to replace the whole door rather than fill, sand, paint, and repair the rust spot properly.

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Well, it turns out the 2000 forester has different plugs for the door harness to body harness transition, so since I have to swap locks anyway I just went the extra few steps and transferred the wiring harness as well.

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Threw the new door on and it's good as new!

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While the wheels were away getting their tires replaced, I tackled the CV boots. And nothing ever goes easy so of course a caliper bolt had to snap. I blasted it with kroil, and now it's been siting in rust converter for the last day, hopefully it'll come out without trashing the threads and I'll just pop a new bolt in there and we'll be good to go.

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Got the passenger axle out, and there's one ripped boot

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Took it apart with the speed of a cheetah in heat, I've done enough of these futzing around with the Baja axles that it's almost second nature now. With the help of the HF ultrasonic cleaner I got the joint nice and squeaky clean and inspected for damage. Must have been recently ripped since the bearing shows no signs of scoring or wear. In really nice shape.

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This furry troublemaker decided he wanted a better viewpoint to observe my work

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Best tool investment ever for CV boots, without that crimper I would be swearing and tossing axles around the yard from frustration. Packed with fresh grease and a new CV boot (from the pile of boots I have in my shed) and we're good to go.

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Turns out the drivers axle is less that pleased about leaving it's home and it's seized in the hub. I've been soaking it with penetrating fluids for the last day and half and I'll probably try to remove it tomorrow. Since that axle had won this battle, I went ahead and replaced the rear diff fluid, in a pretty ingenuous way I might add.

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And sweet! the tires came back from mounting and balancing! Looking pretty snazzy for being cheap temporary tires

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It started getting late so I didn't grab pictures, but after doing the rear diff I did a full undercoat on it, so it should be good for the foreseeable future. So far I'm pretty happy with how this purchase has turned out.

So, Overall cost of the car, including purchase price and the follow parts: door, tires, windshield, radiator, rear wiper, oil+filter, air filter, center console, and headlamp bulbs, comes out to only $741.00
Pretty damn good if you ask me.

And to finish off this post, looks how soundly these troublemakers sleep, without any issues from their earlier automotive transgressions. Absolutely evil creatures.

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

Post by bajaguy »

Is the fozzy a winter beater?

I keep trying to believe the people who tell me cats are evil but they always win my heart anyway.
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Killer B
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Killer B »

I can vouch for the "cats are awesome" side. We have two who put a smile to my face or make me laugh everyday.
Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Cats are fun, but you're never really their owners, it's more like the cats own you. With dogs they're the happiest when they see you. Both are great animals, they're just different. As much as I complain about them, I love the little fuzzballs.
bajaguy wrote:Is the fozzy a winter beater?
I think so. Original plan was to flip it, but it's too nice for too good of a price, so I'm starting to think I want to keep it. Would make a good commuter for my last year at university. Great driving a beater since parking lot dings are "who gives a crap" vs "WHY, OH WHY! THE HUMANITY!"

Onto an update:

THE BAJA IS BOOOORING GUYS, LETS TALK ABOUT MY AWESOME SUPER DUPER FORESTER!

Where did we finish off? Oh yeah, the drivers axle is stuck in the hub. Vunderbar.

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Was soaking for a day and a half in Kroil, and now for two days in rust converter. Liberal application of BFH didn't budge it. Soaking it didn't work.

So I tried upping my game.

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And, well... Damn.

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F**K IT, WE'RE DOING IT LIVE!

Took the axle stub out, hammering out the axle pin (do I ever hate this, almost lost the pin after it got stuck in the old axle grease on the front cross-member. Handy princess auto extended magnet pickup tool to the rescue!)

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Busted boot with enough clearance to replace it

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Snap ring pliers are too long in their current form to remove the snap ring at the end of the axle, so we must TRANSFORM

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LIKE A POISED VIPER OR HUNGRY ARACHNID, THE SNAP RING PLIERS EAGERLY AWAIT THEIR NEXT MEAL.

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After a little bit of back and forth, the new boot is in.

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Just threw the axle stub back in to the trans and slid the axle onto the stub, realigned it twice, and put that annoying. roll pin back in. Sometime while I was doing that, I also succeeded with the stuck bolt. Another triumph for the mastercraft bolt extrator kit. It's seriously pretty good, was not expecting it to be that good, but there it is.

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Next issue is the cracked radiator. I think I found the problem:

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While the rad was out, I figured I'd double check the PO's claim of a new timing belt and WP.

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Yep, looks like it's fairly fresh. So another plus. Changed the front diff fluid as well since I might as well. Looks like the PO might have topped up with ATF instead of gear oil, came out with a red tinge and was pretty watery compared to 75w-90. Should be good now with fresh fluid.

The shiny new rad ready to go in:

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Filled with fresh coolant and burped, and IT'S WORKING! No overheating so far, goes all the way up to 95°C and the fans kick in to knock the temp down without issue. Took it for a few quick spins around the bay and no issues.

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Looks like the problem is fixed!

Admiring the interior after the cooling system test

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2015 vs 1998: Quite a bit of progress

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But I have to say, the temporary whitewalls are pretty sharp.

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Oh, and to finish off this post, here's a fun fact: The 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX uses the same Nissan sourced heated seat switches that the 1998 Subaru Forester does. The EXACT SAME PART. If it works I guess there's no need to change. Replaced the Foz switches since the PO broke them with the ones I had from the rollover WRX engine donor.
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Now, for the long awaited update!

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We begin on a sad note, the Baja is ill. Cancer.

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It's a trouble spot on this chassis as many owners know. I've delayed the inevitable for a while, but regular winter driving has taken it's toll.

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I'm hoping to catch it in these early stages, before it eats away at all the good metal. There's also rust that formed from rock chips around the windshield, and I've found more under the weather sealing around it. I'll be removing the windshield and repairing the damage before it becomes terminal.

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All in all, this means the Baja will be [s]bed[/s] garage-ridden until next spring when I'll have time to properly address this, as well as removing all the body cladding to check the condition of hidden metal. I have been wanting to repaint with something wild, so that may or may not be in the works, if the body work is going to all be off anyway...

In any case. Rest easy little Subie.

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Well, since it turns out I drive a rusty pos subie, I guess I'll get my [s]fiance[/s] wife to push it around.

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Speaking of that, I am now officially a married man! The wedding and reception where a blast, the costs were astronomical and there was a lot of bending and begging for lube when it came to payments but thanks to generosity of both of our parents and some careful saving/budgeting the whole affair was paid for successfully and we even ended up with a couple thousand in savings by the end. THANK GOD THIS WHOLE THING IS OVER.

As I mentioned earlier, we won a charity auction at Driven YWG 2015 for a luxury car 'rental' from Nott Autocorp. And well, they delivered. This 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet was ours for the wedding. Coincidentally this is the wretched car that has made me fall in love with Porsche, I was hesitant at first but now it's full blown WANT, as I mentioned I hope to be in a position to afford one in a few years. Got to start the wedding day by detailing this 911 with my best man, I think we got it picture ready for the wedding.

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The day I picked it up, there was a huge thunderstorm. Streets flooding, black as night during the day, the whole shebang. It was biblical. A trip that takes normally 35 mins took 2 hours as I snaked my way through the city avoiding flooded streets and being stuck with traffic as everyone else was trying to find alternate routes as well.

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This gave me a lot of time to admire and critique the interior and day to day characteristics of the Porsche. The navigation system is terrible (as expected really, although surprisingly enough I like the Velosters implementation when it's actually working) but beyond that there's not much I can fault the inside for. It's elegant, the surfaces feel high quality, the seats are comfortable, and the sound system is adequate.

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The gauges grew on me instantly, in photo's they don't show all that well in my opinion. But in person, with the tach dead center and the other gauges cascading out on either side in order of descending importance, it just felt right.

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The gear lever is nice, and the shift action is unambiguous, although it's somewhat loose. Although having the reference point of the S2000's shifter in mind makes almost anything seem poor in comparison.

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The power is really nice, the flat 6 has a wonderful engine note, and 380bhp feels really nice and quick in the car. Being N/A the throttle response and instant torque is refreshing, but even though this has the Baja beat for power and overall speed, I still feel like the Baja throws you harder into the seat below 4k rpms, but that could also be due to the gearing on the Porsche, which appears to be incredibly tall.

All in all, it was a great car and it really helped make our special day just a little more special. Driving off from the ceremony with my newly wed wife in the drop top was perfect.

Curse you Porsche, making me want to buy a 911!

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My bride and I went for our Honeymoon to a swanky resort in the Riviera Maya, Mexico the very next morning. The reception ended at 1 am, and by 3:30am we were in a towncar headed to the airport. Flying hungover was definitely not an experience I want to repeat. We arrived in Mexico and made a beeline for some food and then off to the room to relax and refresh.

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Nice big suite, we got a swim out room which was nice to just walk out and be in what's essentially a semi-private pool.

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We explored the resort and it was really nice. The heat was intense though, we had 30+°C with high humidity throughout our honeymoon. It takes it out of you for sure if stay out for too long.

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During the cooler nights, the place comes alive, lots of interesting artpieces around the resort.

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The beach was small, the resort was mostly a pool resort, but it sufficed for suntanning and sipping drinks by the ocean.

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These little (to large sized) guys were running around everywhere. Pretty chill demeanor.

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We also brought the wedding dress and did a little "trash the dress" session. It was something my wife really really wanted and I think the photo's turned out really neat.

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Something about underwater photography just looks surreal.

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With that off our bucket list, we enjoyed more drinks, more spa sessions, and we checked out some local natural treasures. We took a trip and swam in some Cenotes

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Tons of little fish swimming around (Guppies! and various others), it was a pretty great experience.

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We also took a dip in the ocean and observed some sea turtles!

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Pretty neat to actually see them in person in their natural habitat.

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And to show off the rings, I'm pretty happy with mine, has that Automotive insanity touch, and my wife loves hers. So win-win.

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After a long relaxing Honeymoon (conveniently missing any drama fallout from the wedding :P) it was time to return, Sunday night we flew back, and Monday morning I was back in classes for my last year at Uni.

Back to the topic of rust, the Forester went for a safety inspection and was very close to passing. It too suffered a little rust and the inspector was able to poke a pen through the wheel well into the rocker area. He feared that the entire rocker would be rusty underneath and stipulated on the form that I had to come back for the reinspection with both rocker covers off. Well, I was in luck. Subaru put a drain hole that's only an inch and half or so ahead of the corner, this resulted in the rest of the rocker being essentially rust free and the only affected area was the last one and half inch of rocker.

I have no welding skills, nor welding equipment, but I did have surplus from the Air Canada service hangar from when they shutdown and were throwing everything in the garbage.

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This stuff is intense, 7 day cure time and is supposedly for creating structural patches in air-frames. Should be good enough for a little Subaru. I wire brushed the affected areas to the bare un-rusted metal, and cut fiberglass patches that were ridiculously over-sized and went to town with the epibond.

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After it cured, I continued on my ruberized undercoating binge on the Forester and got it nice and covered.

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Took it to be reinspected, and it passed with flying colors! (Although now I've been too lazy to put the rocker covers back on so it's been rocking this look for a few weeks.)

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It's pretty nice on the underside, considering it's done over 300k km and is over 17 years old.

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So now all that's left is to address the headgaskets. Turns out that while the radiator was indeed cracked, the headgaskets are toast. It runs and drives without overheating but it bubbles exhaust gasses out of the overflow. I've already ordered all the pieces I need to do a little overhaul on this motor with a little twist. Huge thanks to FunctionAuto for their help and guidance, I've decided to use the EJ251 that I have sitting in my shed, the original Baja motor, and use the block with the forester EJ25D heads and accessories. The larger rod bearings and having 100k km less on the block are the driving force behind this franken motor, and as an added bonus it should be a little more powerful and fuel efficient as the swap results in a slight compression bump.

So I guess I can't just 'own' a subie without doing something odd with the motor.

Also have to buy a set of winter tires for the forester, bought this set of wheels for $100, should make for a decent winter set and surprisingly enough 16" tires are cheaper than 15" ones. Guess there isn't much running around with 15" anymore.

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And speaking of wheels, the wife managed to scuff up the Veloster front wheel a while back. It's nothing too major but it's been bugging the hell out of me and it turned out to be cheaper to buy a set of two used wheels than to have this one repaired.

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So I've just got to get the tire swapped over eventually and keep the other good one and one scuffed wheel as spares.

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And that should be all for now, maybe...
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anarchy1024
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by anarchy1024 »

Congratulations! Wish you and your wife all the best!

Sad about the Baja... and I just noticed last night (while working on something else) that mine has rust in what appears to be the same spot at yours (where the rear doors close, just in front of the rear wheel well). Already got the rust around the windshield done at a friend's body shop. Toronto winters FTW.

What are your plans for taking care of it?
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Thanks!

And the plan so far is to get it down to bare metal and fully assess the damage. Like I mentioned going to be taking off some cladding to check the hidden areas, they were fine a few years ago and it all looks good underneath but it's prudent to check what might have changed. If I need to I know a few guys who can weld so I can bug them to help me out with sheet metal repair if needed, otherwise sealing it once it's all cleared out then paint. I've been toying with a color change but we'll see, don't know how much more I want to throw into the Baja (Time for a house, family, all those fun things, and maybe even another project) and a full paint job is a huge expense. Might stick with the original idea of just doing a vinyl wrap.
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by anarchy1024 »

Any suggestions for someone who doesn't have the time or money to strip it down, weld, prime, and re-paint? I know that's the most complete way to guarantee the problem is addressed, but is there something that can be done to, at least, ensure it doesn't get worse? I was looking into rust converters and rust inhibitors... some people swear by it... some say they do nothing... any thoughts?
Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

I've had good luck with POR15 so far on my rear subframe and assorted suspension bits. You could probably wire wheel then do the POR15 prep (prep is key to good application, a lot of the of the issues from what I've read come from incomplete or improper prep) then apply POR15 and you'd have to seal it with something, it's sensistive to UV from what I remember (although apparently it doesn't affect the performance of the coating, it mostly affects the appearance from what I've read)

The idea is to encapsulate the rust, once it's completely sealed from external elements it can't progress any further. If you're talking about chemical rust converters, I've used baths of the stuff for bolts and small metal pieces and it works fairly well I'd say, if you could soak a cloth in it and keep it applied for a few hours it should have some effect. It would still need to be sealed afterwords, preferably with a POR15 (or other, I've heard Chassis Saver is good too) treatment.

Enclosed channels and rockers I would use Eastwoods internal frame coat, I really like how it worked on the suspension bits and I used the left over in the 'frame' rails on the underside. There's a nozzle on the end of a long flexible hose so you can snake it through enclosed areas and give a rust proofing coat.
Nitro350Z
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Posts: 153
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

We begin this update with Wedding things!

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On the wedding day, cats were cats and both were unamused

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Dog was confused.

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Cuff-links were all automotive related and different for each groomsman.

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The best man was sent in my stead to 'buy out the bride' (also known as paying the ransom for the bride) as per Russian tradition. Mixing three sets of tradition, Canadian, Polish, and Russian, was interesting. Compromise was key.

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He returned successfully, my bride walked down the isle, and we got married! The wedding was great, we lucked out immensely with the weather, the only negative was the persistence of the mosquito's

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Definitely my best day my life so far.

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Hmm... Where was I? Oh. Right. Forester Engine.

First things first, I had to dig up where I stored the Baja EJ251. Buried in the back of the shed.

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Pulled out 3/4 of the junk that's in the way and pulled that sucker out and scooted it over into the garage. This lazy floof couldn't help but lay exactly in the way.

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After some sketchy maneuvering of the engine stand over gravel, it made it all the way to the garage unscathed. Dissasembly begins.

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JDM YO!

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Valvecovers off, not too bad for ~200k km. Bask in the glory of SOHC

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Heads off, naughty bits exposed.

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And for the main attraction, what this whole operation is about. The shortblock! Dirty, carboned up, and in need of a good cleaning. The sand fell in when removing the heads, going to have to be very careful to ensure it's all out before slapping the new heads on.

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Mostly stripped down and ready for a good cleaning.

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While that was being done, the old forester motor had to come out. It's really crazy just how far you can get with just a 10mm and 12mm socket.

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Add a 14mm and a 17mm socket and you've got the whole thing out.

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So much room for activities!

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In related news, I bought winter tires (mounting included)for $200 more than I originally purchased this forester for! :lol: They'll be installed on the fat 5 spoke wheels that the forester should have come with. Should be pretty nice for winter!

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And in other news this is the weirdest body kit I've ever seen:

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Oh, don't worry. I didn't miss the in-the-engine-bay pic this time around.

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Nitro350Z
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

This week has been a lot, and I mean a lot, of cleaning to get the carbon deposits off of the pistons on the old motor. Cleaned up and ready for new heads, I used this weekend to start transferring over the parts onto the new block.

First that meant ripping apart the old motor.

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Timing gear out, removed the intake, removed all the various crap for the PVC and EGR system and unplugged any on-the-block sensors and pulled that manifold off. Surprisingly enough the intake gaskets did not rip at all, but I have new ones so I'll use the new ones anyway. The heads aren't looking too shabby for 300k+ km.

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Not too shabby at all.

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The cam journals are nice and clean, no worries there.

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Got the new block into position to plop the old head right on there.

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Inspecting the old headgaskets for their failure point(s)

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It's comfirmed, they were done for.

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Pulled the head from the EJ25D and cleaned up the carbon deposits with some more skysol wipes. Did it quickly and didn't want to turn the head upside down so that I wouldn't have deal with the pain the a** that is adjusting the valve clearances on a DOHC subie motor. Everything comes out exactly as it goes in and the buckets stay seated without being removed.

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Now, eagle eye-d viewers may have noticed this. The way I had the EJ251 oriented on the stand was not the orientation it needed to be for the RH head. I managed to torque down the head, throw in the cams, and I almost got around to putting the valve cover back on when I took a step back, wondered for a second as to why the timing gear would end up sitting on the back end of the motor, and proptly did a massive face-palm. Undid what I just did, and turned the block the rightway up and re-did it all again.

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Flipped it over again, and now I was onto the other side. The bores are nice and clean, you can still easily make out the factory crosshatching. You can see how much cleaner these pistons look now compared to where they started at.

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For reference:

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And the EJ25D (with another blown headgasket to boot)

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Everything came together, and it's assembled. The Franken-motor is becoming a reality.

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The gods must have smiled upon this unnatural union. Just as I buttoned it up, I turned around and saw this shining signal from the heavens.

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With divine blessing, I threw on the rest of the timing kit and threw on a timing belt.

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All is aligned and was hand spun for a few revolutions and everything matches with no issues rotating it around. One step closer to life for the Franken-motor. I also monkeyed around with the water pump, the EJ251 from the Baja, and the EJ255 from the WRX both do not have the coolant/oil heat exchanger, and while I did initially want to swap it on from the EJ25D from the forester onto this new block, it turns out I do not own a deep 24mm socket. Short, I've got a few, Wrenches, yup have em, deep sockets? My largest is a 22mm. Stores are closed because of Sunday and Canadian thanksgiving, so oh well. Swapped the lower rad hose housing from the Baja waterpump onto the new EJ25D waterpump and did the coolant/oil heat exchanger delete. Plenty of Subies never came with one, and I remember reading that some people delete them anyway for whatever reason, so I don't think it'll be missed.

Also, while I have the engine out I changed the spark plugs since the PO never mentioned when they were last changed.

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:shock: I'm surprised how well it ran with those in there.

That's it for today. Tomorrow is a holiday in Canada, eh, so I'll be finishing up with this motor and it's being transplanted back into the patient.
Nitro350Z
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Dropped the motor in:

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Turns out, the EJ251 in the Baja uses 4 studs mounted on the motor to attach the transmission, the stud that is by the starter is actually too short with an automatic transmission. So the motor went back out and I removed that stud. (It was a pain, really did not want to come out, liberal application of penetrating fluid and torch was used to aid in its removal) And then motor goes back in.

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Today I buttoned most of everything up, didn't take many photos though, so here's one when I just started.

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Once most of everything was together, just have to finish filling the PS and burp/fill the coolant, I tried starting the motor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVyL8J42Rq8

ITS ALIVE!

(I lied it, it was the second start, first time around I did the usual of swapping the fuel lines around. I swear its my version of the USB uncertainty principle, 50/50 chance and your first choice is always wrong.)

But it runs! PS pump is making noise (did before too, and now still needs to get the air out so it makes sense) and I think I might have not finished tightening the intake support bracket so there's that. But it doesn't sound too terrible. [smilie=666.gif]
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