The Baja Restoration

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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DC Rally
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The Baja Restoration

Post by DC Rally »

Hi there!

By way of introduction my name is Donal and i recently added a Baja to the long and varied list of cars I've owned! :)
Its an 03, in Baja Yellow which i had to have.

I'll post some pics of the work I've done in the hope it might help some folks as I've got so much help from this forum!

Its ended up being much more of a restoration that first planned!!! I've been watching for a long while to find a clean Yellow Baja, so i jumped when i seen this one. It lived most of its life in Muskoka Canada, which on the pro side means the body you see is in incredible condition, no dings or scraps at all. The cons... the underneath is not quite as pretty.

Anyway some pics!

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The Day i got it

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Front bumper beam not in good condition...

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Valve Cover seals done, easy one to do, replaced every bolt ring at the same time
Cracking Guide to DIY here:
http://www.rs25.com/forums/f105/t51254- ... stall.html

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Valve Cover seals done, easy one to do, replaced every bolt ring at the same time

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Tidying up the back end. Ordered every single Torx in the bed and tailgate brand new.
The 'Swinging' licence plate was rusted beyond repair, so I removed it. Trying to replicate the initial adverts for the Baja which the keen eye's amongst you will have noticed does not feature the hinged licence plate! I'm not a fan, I think it messes up the rear end...

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See! Original PR shots show no hinged licence plate, the look I am trying to recreate :)
Last edited by DC Rally on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DC Rally
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by DC Rally »

These are pictures from the past 6 weeks or more... the Baja is still not on the road.... Grr!!!
Bought with the heart and not with the head I think... ah well in too deep now, must keep going! :)

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Dismantled the hinged licence plate, removed the wiring for the licence plate bulbs and mounted them up into the plastic piece above

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Happy with how it came out, switched to 2x LED's. Just have to get two circles made up to fill the two holes remaining to get it flush.
Previous car was a Transformers Edition 2010 Camaro... Meh i guess it works here too :) :) :)

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Stipping back all the exterior plastics of the bed. All new torx bolts everywhere, coating everything in rust protect before it goes back together.

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Polishing up the metal underneath the bed... I'm proper nuts I am willing to admit it, trying to get this back to as clean as the day it left the factory!!

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Retapped many of the holes for new Tonx Bolts (Previous owner had a homemade tonneau on)
Last edited by DC Rally on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DC Rally
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by DC Rally »

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Work Continues. Still trying to find a new front bumper beam at this stage (since have got one, later pic coming!)

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New front Emblem

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Engine work all done. New Valve covers, K&N Air Filter, all new plugs, Coolant, Thermostat gasket, engine oil, transmission oil, diff oil all done my Subaru... that was an eye-watering bill.
I also replaced.... almost every bolt under the engine Bay. New rad supports with bolts, air intake bolts, upper rad hose & clamps, water bottle bolts, headlight bolts... many of these sheared as I took them out and holes had to be retapped. Wiring for 4x roof hellas ran at the same time.

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New front fogs and the 4x roof hellas arrived.

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New bumper beam required asap... :(

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Before...

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After...

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Got it valet'd too, really impressed with the job they done, carpets look brand new!
Ordered from Subaru what turned out to be the last set of Baja OEM floor mats in Canada... delighted :)
I'm pretty sure I am putting my local Subaru dealer's kids through college...
Last edited by DC Rally on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DC Rally
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by DC Rally »

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The Baja is now sent off to a bodyshop to get its rust taken care of properly.
Not too bad behind the cladding...

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How did the bumper beam get this bad.... did they park it into a mountain of salt every night??? :)

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Finally some progress!!!
Eventually tracked down a front bumper beam - FYI its the same as the 03-04 Outback. Found one in mint condition to take it from in a scrap yard.
Rust coated it, painted it mat black.
Also oil spraying the hell out of everywhere when its apart :)

Thats as far as I've got! In Summary:
- These cars are now ~13 years old - expect some work if your buying!
- I bought this when i seen the shine from it, it looked/looks amazing up top. Some work to do underneath and behind the panels as it turns out..
- I also put a brand new front (upstream 02 sensor in). FYI - even aftermarket stores like Napa etc prices are expensive, but I found on a forum the Denso Part no and got it for ~150.
- I done an excel tracker to add up what I've spent so far... an eye watering 3k. I am nuts, I've literally replaced every bolt under the engine bay, in the tailgate, new handle, new latches, everything you can see is brand new. Probably should have concentrated on getting it through safety test first... but i do enjoy trying to return to factory fresh!!!
- Next is suspension, likely 05 springs, maybe new struts Gorilla 1" lift I think.

More to come....
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bajaguy
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by bajaguy »

WOW! Looks great! Like new! How did the bumper beam get so bad and you haven't had suspension issues?

What is your plan for driving with the tailgate down? If you are interested in a folding license plate I have one that works great for sale... pm me.
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DC Rally
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by DC Rally »

Thanks Man!

I have a third licence plate that i'll attached to the Bed Extender!

Finally got the front end finished.
It is a joy working with brand new parts, fog lights , bolts are all new, everything that holds on the bumper brand new - very satisfying to see it start to come together!

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Some image enhancing (wish it was this yellow!) but happy with how the new fogs look.

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DC Rally
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by DC Rally »

Might as well finish off this in case its off use to anyone else!

Delighted she's all done!!! A tonne of work but its finally finished. All rust issues taken care of, every tiny bit behind the cladding is all done all then covered in oil spray, underneath looks brand new again - got her back to Mint condition :)

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Finally all done!
Thats the Gorilla Mudflaps as FYI

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anarchy1024
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by anarchy1024 »

WOW! Very impressive! I'll have to eventually do that to my Baja, which spent most of its life in Toronto. Nice to see another Ontario plate in here!

Did you have any trouble taking off the cladding that runs from the rear doors to the back? Looks like I might be getting some rust in that area...
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Skemcin
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by Skemcin »

Great work on this truck.

If you're interested in a set of our (Gorilla Offroad Company) coilovers, I'd provide them at cost for you. We also have a left over Offroad Bar from the last build that would be an awesome addition to your project.

Talk to you soon.

[thanks for choosing our products to be a part of your project]
BiGChocolatE93
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by BiGChocolatE93 »

Beautiful work man! Your Baja looks cleaner than factory!

@Skemcin if you still have that leftover bar, I'd be happy to take (purchase) it off your hands for my Baja :D Rocking your Mud flaps as well !
HaHaBajAlcyone
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Re: The Baja Restoration

Post by HaHaBajAlcyone »

Great work DCRally. :shock:
I saw this vehicle on Kijiji... how did you make out with the sale?
Owen
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