Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Gardendale, Alabama
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Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

So after my Subaru 2.5RS threw a rod and grenaded the block I made a big mistake and let it sit out in my yard (letting my RX-7 take up precious garage space...) Well, last week an 85 year old man smashed into my daily driver and totaled it so now I'm going to have the funds to finally get a new shortblock and finish my long awaited restoration of "Lazarus"; my 1999 aspen white coupe.

....and so it began:
After almost 2 and a half years of sitting out, my poor scoobie had collected alot of pine crap, pollen, pitch, tar, and other junk:


It hurts for any enthusiast to see the car in such bad shape; especially since it's the more rare coupe model.


There was gunk all over the car, but luckily it wasn't too bad, and with enough elbow grease and a couple of friends it was about to get started on the exterior restoration...

Urgh...just hurts to watch it rot...


...but soon enough we were well on our way to making that Aspen White finish come back to life!


As one of my friends pointed out "That's what Subaru's are designed to do - get dirty, and be cleaned off!" to which my reply was "Yeah...but not for nearly 3 years!"


Now were getting somewhere!!!


After just one wash (and like 4 hours of extreme washing and lots of scrubbing) we finally got about 95% of all the crap, pitch, tar, and junk off my precious RS...man it's nice to see that brilliant white gleaming in the sun again! (I bet the guys over at NASIOC would kill me though...)


Now, I'm just waiting for my new EJ253 longblock to come in from florida before I get to start the hardcore fun...oh yeah...not to mention restoring all the interior components (mild mildew, so I'm going to have to steamclean and vacuum, etc the interior!)
...oh! and the last of the surprises (maybe the first, I suppose...) When cleaning out the trunk, there were THOUSANDS of f*in sugar ants that had taken up home in there...so I had to take all the carpet and stuff out and kill them. Joy. Luckily the car hadn't sustained any major damage during it's lengthy sit, or any cancerous rust, so I am INCREDIBLY pleased about that!

...well guys more to come as I raise "Lazarus" from the grave and put this awesome beast back on the road! Stay tuned!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

That poor car. Can't believe you left a rare bird like that 2 door Imprezza sit out in the elements like that. At least you are restoring her to her former glory now. Good luck.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

It had been more than irking me for a long time. I had actually tried to sell my RX-7 on more than a couple of occasions to fund the restorations but just ended up selling the spare race motor...no serious takers.

For the time being i'm going to keep the Subie all motor, but I may turbo it at a later date (providing I can afford/still get ahold of the AVO kit...) My insurance check should get cut this week so she should be on the road in about 2! I'm soooo excited!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

here in jersey we call it washing not restoring...
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 03:57 AM
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

I'm looking forward to seeing this project come together. I have a real soft spot for the old Imprezas. There's a pristine 4 door that parks in the next office block over from where I work that looks and sounds fantastic
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

So, the chronicle of restoring "project Lazarus" continues!

The new Subaru shortblock is in, installed and cranked up and purred like a kitten! That boxer rumble is addictive! All the old accessories, sensors, electronics, and harness were reused to great success! I'm not sure of the condition of the fuel injectors after sitting so long but i'll run the tank of the old gas out, and get a fresh tank of 93 in (the compression on the new motor is a stout 10:1) and start cleaning the fuel system out!

The build price went up a little as the old fuel pump drew almost no current, so I had to get a new one. Thank god it was inline. Also new fuel filter and trimmings. Thankfully this was the only unexpected shortfall thus far.

The brakes are pretty rusty from sitting, but should shed off pretty quick. I'll be testing those as soon as we do the first run through and initial checks. Odds are the rotors are good, but I might need pads within a couple months. Not bad.

Dunno about the tranny, I haven't flushed it yet, that's next on the list, but that shouldn't be a big issue. It was incredibly strong before the car went down and the Subaru auto is actually more strong than the 5 speed for the RS cars. Also need to check my rear differential fluid to check for chunking, but that will be pretty obvious if the car tries to lock up around a corner lol.

Just got a new set of BF Goodwrench G-Forces to replace the set of dry rotted cheapos that were on the car. Didn't skimp on the rubber; it should grip like the Impreza it is.

The Subaru shop is also fully detailing the car inside and out for free for me and getting the mild mildew out of the rear passenger seat. Very kind of them, considering the heavy coin i'm dropping. They also offered to buy the car from me and pay for all repairs done if I wanted to put it towards trading towards a new 2010 STi (very tempting). I had emailed pictures of the car and the restoration to Subaru of America and they may do a spot on me and the car on their "Owner Stories" section of their website. My local Subaru shop really wants my GC8 for their showroom to sit next to their 1969 R2 since noone has unmodified ones like mine that are so kosher.

If all goes as planned, tommorow I will be able to street the car tommorrow and begin breaking in the new shortblock and seating the piston rings. That first 1000 miles is gonna be so tedious trying not to redline it!!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

The 2011 STi's are gonna be available in sedan form again, I would wait on the trade. Looks like a fun Project. Pics when it's done being detailed!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

Yeah, I saw the 2011 vids and pics. My old high school/college friend (also a WRX owner) went to the New York show and saw it and said they are way badass. I should have pics tommorow, because I guarantee I'll be busy putting miles on the car today and driving all my friends around!

edit: It's trying to rain in Alabama today.

Looks like i'll get to test the wet traction of the G-forces!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

Update: Delayed another day! As I feared the transmission required a solenoid that had locked up from sitting. Subaru is replacing this one free of charge. Awesome! I also got this email back from Subaru of America:

Hello Jay:

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and sharing your owner's story with us.

Congratulations on getting your 1999 Impreza RS Coupe road ready, Jay. Or, would it be more appropriate to say off-road ready. Now that you and your friend got it all clean, you will be getting it dirty again, but, with fresh dirt. We wish you many happy, safe and fun adventures in your Impreza RS Coupe.

It is always nice to hear from our owners about their positive ownership experiences with our vehicles. As you can imagine, many people tend to contact a company only when they are unhappy about a particular situation. We find that it takes a very special person to take the time to send a compliment about a product that has given such great satisfaction.

Again, we appreciate that you took the time to write to us about your beautiful, White Subaru Impreza RS Coupe.

Best wishes,

John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
Service Request #1-880693222
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

Looks good dude.

I looked at buying an Imprezza a couple of years ago, but it wasn't really my cup of tea.

Always good to see one of these on the road, especially the classics.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 03:47 AM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

Great Story.
I like the Subaru line and your Imprezza is a great looking car.
So if you have to park for long periods for any reason in the future remember a car cover, it should help with the paint job at least.
More pictures please!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

subscribing to look at later!
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

The brakes are rusty ...but functional. Still some detail work to do on the underside. I guess eventually i'd be swapping the hubs out for STi or Legacy GT units anyway for improved performance.



Now for the good news! The transmission is very clean! All she needed was a new shift solenoid.



Coup de grace! New engine:

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

Picked up the car today! Detail guy was off so it wont get detailed until tommorow. Meh.

Ok...so here's where the fun begins....

Fire her up and MAN does it sound awesome! That boxer rumble is amazing. Hit the road and yeah, the brakes are a little weak, but ok. Steering is kinda weak too, but I disregard it too until I get to autozone and grab some new windshield wipers. I hop over to the DMV and get it re-registered...bummer, I owe backed taxes. I'm still super enjoying the mad power and torque. Never pushing the car above 3k RPM, mostly letting it shift at like 2500-2700. So my mom (who was following me) says she might see a leak. FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU....

So I pull over, and indeed...there is fluid all over the left cylinder head and dripping all over the place. After a check it looks red. Power steering fluid, coming from the reservoir (an L-joint). Its dripping pretty bad. I can't tell if its from a washer, maybe its cracked, maybe undertightened or what. Bottom line is the power steering is leaking and getting everywhere. So I rig up some rag to catch it and carry on to the house.

On the way home, it throws a Check Engine code. FFFFFFFUUUUUUUU. Naturally. Well, I check everything, and its still dripping like mad, and the exhaust manifold is smoking (I imagine from burning off the crap from sitting from so long in the yard). I really dont know what made it throw a code. Maybe the power steering...maybe the manifold. Dunno, but the Subaru shop manager said he'd fix it free of charge tommorow when I bring it in for detailing. Score.

::sigh:: At least it's running!!! Man, it sounds and shifts great, and i'm glad it wasn't an oil leak. If in fact its the cats being like mega-old and making the exhaust over heat: hello track pipe!
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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Re: Restoring my Subaru 2.5RS coupe (lots of pics!)

Your first mistake was not pinning the tach in every gear right away... gotta get those seals heated up real nice!

Sucks about the setbacks, but they're unavoidable and it's usually better to get all sorts of problems out of the way immediately rather than have stuff slowly breaking after a few months of driving.

If you ever feel like a long roadtrip, there's a pretty decent Subaru community here (there was an old-school Suby drive through the hill country last weekend) and Cobb is in Austin now, so you can have them pimp your ride. hehe

Good luck getting everything figured out. Keep the updates coming!
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