Author Topic: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!  (Read 14282 times)

April 10, 2014, 09:19 PM #0

Bajaha Offline

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I've reposted this story across multiple forums at different times, so the phrasing might be a little funny if you're reading it here for the first time. But I thought I might as well share this here in case you haven't stumbled across my project before.

This project has taken entirely too much time and way too much money but in the end I'll have a good story and a fun car.

Alright, so lets begin. I purchased a 2003 Subaru Baja back in 2009, it is my first car that I could call my own and it's been a blast to own. The styling on the Baja I've found to be love it or hate it, for me it's quirky and I think it looks great. I've used it for anything and everything, hauling wood/appliances/sheet metal/furniture, taking it autocrossing, light offroading and mudding, and of course as my daily driver.


It seems like I caught the mod bug, I'd always upgrade something and then a few months later I'd find something else that could be improved, I've spend entirely too much on the various little projects with this car but I guess that's part of the fun. As I was autocrossing, I learned to push my car to the limit and I was surprised at how well the Baja managed to perform snaking it's way through the cones. It was definitely a sight to see. Last year I started thinking I could use some more power, so I looked at turbo-ing my car, after more research I started looking at just buying a newer Turbo Baja but they're really rare in Canada and would be pricey to import, and with this being my first car I have become attached to it somewhat. I Toyed with the idea of swapping a turbo engine into mine but ultimately I decided it would be smartest to just buy a dedicated autocross toy.

Well, I didn't do the smartest thing. In January I saw an opportunity when looking at the SGI salvage auction, a blue 2010 Subaru WRX rollover and the idea of an engine swap seemed like an awesome project. So I put my bid in and purchased this hunk of metal sign unseen for $1500 and payed $500 to have it shipped to my house.



It definitely wasn't pretty when it came. What came after was a whole lot of months of tearing the wreck apart and buying replacement parts to get it back to running condition.







As you can see, everything looks broken and covered in a nice layer of battery acid from the accident. Seeing the Cam gears broken made my heart sink, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the valves and pistons were ok. From the original auction pictures you couldn't tell that the timing gear was trashed. At this point I figured I could at least get money back if I part it out if the engine is trash.

So time to soldier on, had a good friend help with disassembly of the wreck, here's a picture of the interior after we got the dashboard out



Backside of the wreck


The garage at this point, looks positively clean compared to now.



Close up of the timing gear, showing just how bad it looked before:


The rest of the engine bay was covered with a mixture of battery acid and dirt/grass. It was a whole lot of fun to clean up.





Got really nervous when I looked at the turbo, I thought it moved somehow and got really dented on the bottom here. I started looking at used turbos on NASIOC and was not looking forward to paying for a new one, thankfully after looking through the listings, it looks like the legacy style VF52 that's in the new WRX is supposed to look like that. Who would have thought?



Here's some pictures to show just how much force is involved in a rollover, motor mounts split in two and lower control arms found a new exciting shape to be in.





Back to progress:
Freed the motor from the wreak and put it in the garage, was fun moving the hoist around, where the wreck was it's gravel so we put down a sheet of plywood and had fun pushing it up onto the driveway and finally into the garage.





And now the fun starts. Took the motor apart, cleaning as I went. Took the heads off and checking pistons and valves to make sure it's viable. It was a good thing I did since the head aligment pins were all bent by about a cm, so instead of being a straight tube they were offset. Definitely good would have made some interesting noises if I started it up that way.





Yes, the head has a piece broken off on the exhaust. I took the head to a friend who has a machine shop in his backyard and he welded the broken piece back on.



It broke off from the force of the impact. The exhaust manifold cracked on the outer side, but on the inner side it took a piece of the head with it. Thankfully it was repairable and I didn't need to buy a whole new head.

From the looks of the pistons, I'm guessing this WRX has seen a very boring life so far. 


I cleaned off all the carbon on the pistons after hours and hours of cleaning using special wipes that apparently are used to clean the carbon off in fan rotors of jet engines. looked fairly shiny after, unfortunately I didn't snap any pictures.

After it was all put back together, put on timing belt and hand cranked it to make sure there weren't any clearance issues.


Look at that fine motor, so much nicer than what it looked like back in the wreck.


painted the intake manifold wrinkle black since the batter acid splash wasn't really my style.


After the timing covers put on, and mostly back together




Had fun and put the scoop onto the hood to see what it would look like


After reading on NASIOC about the oil pickup tube cracking, I took a look at mine and it showed signs of cracking, took it to a good friend who does welding for a living and he strengthened up the tube at the failure points, I'll eventually go with an aftermarket pickup, but for now this should hold. Pictures after I re-installed it.




Once that was done and all together, it's time to get this started


Right before the swap


Settled into it's new home for the next little while


Old and dirty


Taking apart the interior




Taking everything apart, getting it ready to take out


The engine hoist is waiting, patiently...


Transmission is out


And out with the old!


Car has now went from having ~170hp to 0.


Now it's time to find room for the new rats nest. Wiring has been a nightmare beyond believe, my ultimate goal is getting everything functioning and looking as though it was factory. I purchased a subscription to the Subaru technical site which has all the factory service manuals for the WRX and my Baja, so it's been a fun time splicing systems together trying to get everything to play nice and work. Had to make a few custom wiring harnesses when some systems went through connectors on the passenger side when the new wiring has them on the drivers side. Also since the fuse box is located on the side that recieved the brunt of the impact, I had to remake the entire harness that goes to the main fuse box since pretty much everything got damaged on that side.







I decided to use the new gauges from the WRX, partly because they look better and I've gotten used to looking at mine, and partly because when I looked at the wiring diagrams for the cluster it seems like it would have been nearly impossible to get the old gauges working with the new ecu and wiring. I think I had a mini aneurysm looking at that mess on paper.

Made a backing plate from wood and covered it in 3M carbon fiber wrap so that it would fit into the mounting spot of the old gauge in the dash. Here's a picture of a mockup before it was all together. The wrap in this picture is pieced together from scraps I had from previous jobs, the final wrap was done in one piece so it looks much better.


Here's the test fit from before I had the car apart


Here it is all plugged in


And then finally, after months of on and off again working on this project, I had everything ready for the first start. Oil in the motor and all the electricals just put in all willy nilly so that it would just work and I could see if all that hard work would result in a start or if all I would hear would be click click click, or worst, click click BANG!

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    Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!
    « on: April 10, 2014, 09:19 PM »

    April 10, 2014, 09:20 PM #1

    Bajaha Offline

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    My heart was pounding, everything up to this point has been an uphill battle and this was it, the moment of truth, to see if the next steps were putting it together with the new motor, or undoing all the work done and putting the old motor back in, defeated and having a failed project on my hands.

    So here's the moment that decided what's happening next:



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    It runs! It was such a relief to hear the motor fire on the first try. There was so much that could have been off, it was a miracle it all came together.
    After that point I got busy and put a whole lot of the interior together, put in the cooling system, got the heater working, the venting working, the rear lights, and headlights, and various other essential electrical systems.

    At this point this is how the interior looks


    And here's a video of it running after I was testing to see if the radiator fans were functioning properly


    I think it sounds really nice, I'm loving it. It'll definitely be one of a kind after all this work.

    I'll have to snap another picture of the engine bay sometime tomorrow since it looks much more presentable now than it did in the first video. I still have a whole lot of work to get it on the road, but I'm hoping within a week or two that I'll be driving it and enjoying the snow.

    Future plans involve a whole bunch of aftermarket parts and a good tune and hopefully I'll have my goal of 300whp by the end of next year. Already have a whole bunch just waiting to be installed but I want to run the motor as stock as possible for a while before I start modding again to work out any problems that might arise from it being through that kind of accident. Haven't finished putting the thing together and already I've been bitten by the mod bug.

    There's still a whole bunch I've left out to this point, I'll probably end up posting about the rest of the work at a later day.
    Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:53 PM by Bajaha

      April 10, 2014, 09:21 PM #2

      Bajaha Offline

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      And now I hit a little stumble, something interesting happened. Changed the oil and filter the other day and wired up the rad fans permanently. I was bringing the engine up to temp and a thing happened. Water temp was 60*c and the engine was idling, just touched the gas pedal and it stumbled and died, refusing to start after. Checked wires thinking maybe a ground came loose somewhere, checked fuses to make sure nothing blew, and it was still refusing to start. Eventually it started for a split second but it made a weird noise so I shut if off immediately, not sure if it actually started or the unburnt fuel just decided to ignite in the exhaust.

      Well, I didn't have time until tonight to do some work on it so I bought 20l of premium, a set of nkg plugs, and a compression tester to see if the motor is sound.

      Getting to the plugs on a turbo subie was indeed a pain. Had to come up with a weird system where I loosen the plug and then lightly tighten it again so I had enough clearance to take the wrench off the extension and then use my fingers to loosen it rest of the way while hoping I didn't tighten it too much to do it by hand. Makes changing the plugs in the NA motor look like a cakewalk

      old plugs ended up looking kinda dirty and cyl 3 had a decent amount of oil on it.



      Did a compression test and it looks like the motor is sound, this is what I found:

      Cyl 1 - 146
      Cyl 2 - 143
      Cyl 3 - 145
      Cyl 4 - 140

      So next step is to figure out if fuel is fine and to make sure I'm getting spark. Probably wouldn't hurt to double check the grounds either. Hopefully it's nothing too difficult expensive to fix

      I've been posting on other forums more often so here are some more updates!

      After changing the plugs it went from no start to running on 3 cylinders. Cyl 2 is the one that's misfiring, unplugged the coil pack from it and the engine runs the same. Thought it might be the coil pack but moving them around had no effect, unplugged the injector on Cyl 2 and nothing changed so I removed injectors 2 and 4 and cleaned them both and swapped them. Cyl 2 still misfires. I can't seem to figure this one out.

      From the compression test it seems like it shouldn't be a problem with the piston or valves. Anyone have any ideas why Cyl 2 would still misfire after moving both the injector and coilpack?

      I figured I'd check the timing just incase something went wrong, was running out of ideas so I figured I'd check anyway. When I took the timing cover off there was oil all over the rear timing cover on the passengers side. I'm guessing the intake cam seal is leaking, so it looks like I've got lots more work to do.

      And another update for the Baja, I've put it on storage insurance for now since I doubt I'll have it good to go any time soon, exams are coming up so I'm short on time. It looks like I'll be taking the motor apart again to figure out what the problem is. When I'm in there what can I do to guarantee that the heads are fine? If I had the motor running smoothly before and it just suddenly stopped running when warming up after an oil change, what could have gone wrong? It only started after switching out the plugs but still misfires even after playing around with the plugs, coilpacks, injectors, and ground wires.

      I'm just a little stumped as to what it could be. Cyl 2 is on the passenger side while the brunt of the damage occurred on the drivers side, but it's possible the passenger side suffered some damage. If it has something to do with the valves or damage from the accident and it's not something I would have visually picked up during disassembly/assembly what should I be looking for? Seeing how it ran seeming perfect for a while before it suddenly stopped while idling I'm not sure what to point at here. Anybody have any ideas?

      If I'm doing the tear down again I guess I'm looking at getting some more parts. Question is which parts would I be ok re-using and what should I buy replacements? Head bolts aren't torqued to yield on Subaru motors so I was right with reusing mine, correct? If the motor was running fine before and with those compression numbers, should I still be suspecting valves? If I need new ones, any recommendations for what/where to get them? Any recommendations for things to replace and beef up if It's going to be apart again?

      As of now I've been really short on time and haven't been able to get anything done with the car so all I've been able to do is think of what could go wrong and what I need to do to fix it. With some luck I'll have plenty of time to tinker with it after finals.

        April 10, 2014, 09:21 PM #3

        Bajaha Offline

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        And now for an update:

        Yesterday I decided I needed a study break so I managed to get something done. The goal was to get the engine out so that I could figure out what's happening with the misfire and fix that mystery oil leak. Figured I might as well find a killer B oil pickup somewhere and install that while I have the engine, maybe find a turbo inlet since the one I tried getting of a NASIOC member never came :(

        So onto the update:

        Started out by taking the fuel lines off and actually remembered to take a picture. Got the nice 210,000 BTU heater sitting beside the Baja, it's definitely the next best thing to a heated garage.




        Heater in action


        I've been running the heater for about 30min - 1hr (depending on how long of a break I've decided to take) with the garage partly open then closing the garage and turning off the heater. This has given me about 2hrs or so before I need to turn it on again to keep working. It didn't have much fuel in it when I got it so it worked to heat up the garage once but didn't have enough to start it up again so I needed fuel. It runs on either Kerosene or Diesel, probably some other fuels too. Went to the local home depot and Kerosene is at over $3/L after tax and the heater has a 50L tank. Screw that, Diesel it is at $1.20/L. Went to gas station after and realized I left my wallet at home. **** :doh: Once I eventually actually got fuel for the heater I'm back in business



        This is the first time I've pulled a Subaru engine without taking out the transmission first, every other time I've taken out the transmission for one reason or another so I was hoping I wouldn't hit any snags. Unbuttoned everything and it's time to pull that engine. again.





        Thought I might get lucky and not have to pull the radiator out but there wasn't enough clearance to pull the engine off the transmission so after another two bolts, and a lot of wiggling, it's free and out.





        And I've got to buy a proper engine stand, would make working on this so much easier. Now it's time to spend more on parts to keep replacing things and disassembling pieces to make sure they're (still) good. On the plus side it ran nice for a little while so it shouldn't be too hard to get in almost new condition.

        Anyone have any good tips for cleaning a garage floor after all various automotive fluids have had their way with it?

          April 10, 2014, 09:23 PM #4

          Bajaha Offline

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          And now for a long overdue update:

          So yesterday was a nice and hot -8*c, almost beach weather here in Winnipeg, so I finally managed to get a leakdown test done on the motor. I found some interesting results and I could use help figuring it out.

          Leakdown results where as follows, all done at TDC:
          Keep in mind the motor hasn't been started in a few months and it's still pretty cold here.

          Cyl 1 - 25% @ 100psi / 90% @ 100psi through intake or exhaust
          Cyl 2 - 25% @ 100psi
          Cyl 3 - 25% @ 100psi
          Cyl 4 - 25% @ 100psi

          So Cylinder 1 is the odd one, I've previously messed up my piston numbering, so Cyl 1 is passenger side front. It's the same cylinder that was having the misfire. I thought that my intake valves were ****ed on that side since the first time I did the leakdown, it was showing 90% leakage at 100psi coming through the intake. I tested the rest of the cylinders and then came back to #1, the second time around it was showing 25% @ 100psi, like the rest of the cylinders, I thought maybe I screwed up somehow. After some more playing around it turns out that when it's TDC after the compression stroke it has 25% @ 100psi, while if it's at TDC after the exhaust stroke, it leaks through the intake, or exhaust depending on how close I actually get it to TDC, a tiny movement of the crank will change which way it's leaking out. The other cylinders seem to have both valves closed at TDC after the exhaust stroke for longer, while cyl 1 seems like there's almost a crossover where both valves are open.

          Am I right in thinking my valves are OK and that I need to re-do the valve lash on that bank, or do these numbers point to something else?
          And can anyone confirm the valve lash should be set as .008" intake and .010" exhaust?

          It's been quite a while since the last update and it's time to get back to work and get something actually done. I'm cross posting this on other forums so it might read a little funny but the info should all be there.

          In the spirit of doing the little things first, I managed to focus on the following while it was still too cold to do any work on the motor:

          Figured I should get some practice with fiberglass so I played around with making a gauge pod since the aftermarket for the Baja and 00-04 Outback is pretty much non-existent, and the universal fit stuff pretty much always looks like ass from what I've seen.

          The first time around I made one that didn't have a hood and was so-so for fitment. It did teach me a lot of how to work with fiberglass. The weather was very cold still so I had to be creative with using a heat gun and various hot lamps to get it to cure. 

          First was making a fiberglass pad to build the pod off of, used the classic trick of aluminum foil to prevent marking the dash and for easier removal. Used a hot glue gun to attach the gauge cups once the fiberglass cured and put in the gauges to see how it would look sitting in the drivers seat.



          Next step was to put the fiberglass onto the top so that it would have a nice back, that was kinda tricky as the gauges extended about 1/2" back behind the cups so I had to make sure they would still slide in after the back was made. Then used liberal amounts of bondo to smooth out the rough shape of the fiberglass.



          After more sanding and a coat of black wrinkle paint I ended up with this result. Bad colour match, bad texture match, needs much more sanding, and fitment issues. But I got lots of experience so time to try it again and do a much better job.



          This time around I had an easier time using the fiberglass since I knew how it acts and how I could mold it so that it's easier to fix later on.



          With the ingenuity that comes from using what you have lying around around at the time, I used some painters tape to support a bondo made hood to this pod, after building the original one I found that I would prefer the look of a hooded pod.



          Fitment on this one is much nicer thanks to using a heat gun to make the fiberglass flexible and bending it to shape before applying the bondo.



          After some more rough sanding.



          And finally more sanding and some glazing putty to get the small imperfections out. Still have some work to do to get it perfect. After this step I gave it a coat of primer to help spot the imperfections and that's where it sits today. Will eventually get it done but for now that's as far as I got. Went to the local rondex paint supply store and paid $stupid for proper paint that supposed to match the dash perfectly, paint that's supposed to match the light gray a pillars perfectly, an automotive dash texture spray, and a proper primer for the pod. Hopefully it was worth it for it to look like it might have came from the factory in the car.


            April 10, 2014, 09:24 PM #5

            Bajaha Offline

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            At this point I found something else to spend time on that wasn't mechanical work. Got a perfect condition shift knob from a WRX to replace my worn one since I can't find an aftermarket shiftknob that I like, and used some red thread to make it look prettier. Scientifically proven that a little red stitching adds 5-10 hp.



            When I was a friends garage, after a few hours of helping out with his car I found this exhaust tip in his garage that he says came off of a pontiac vibe. With a torch nearby I remembered that race/rally cars get that bluish tint to the exhaust because of how hot their exhaust gets, so I added the two together and tested my theory that if I could recreate the heat I could get that finish on the tip.



            and wouldn't you know it, it worked!



            After played around and it turns out you can sand it off.

            So I grabbed my exhaust and after a quick clean up and polish, I tried it out. The first time it was uneven at the top as I overdid it a little, but the colour was really nice and strong. I took it off and tried again, this time I was too far from the edge when heating and got a bronze ring around the edge with the bluish colour a few cm's inwards. Took it off again and tried one more time:

            Clean exhaust before last attempt:


            After:


            Turned out ok, but the colour is much less intense than the first time I tried. Not sure if that's because of how much I was heating it, or if by doing it multiple times I changed something with how the metal reacts to this type of treatment. I'll probably try it one more time before I put the exhaust on.

            Oh, and I finally caved and purchased this beauty:


            Got tired of spending 40 mins on a 10 min job because I can't find the tool I need. Canadian tire had it at 40something% off so for a total of $650 plus tax for the entire cabinet I now have a place to put all my tools, the previous organizational technique was akin to a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter. It's not some crazy professional model, but it's nice and large and the sliders actually feel pretty nice, much nicer that most of the other consumer tool boxes I was looking at.

            And finally onto some actual work on the motor. Still not sure why it was misfiring but hopefully after taking it apart and putting everything back together while checking clearances I'll have inadvertently fixed the issue, also throwing new shiny parts at it so fingers crossed that everything goes well.

            First had to take the motor apart, got most of the intake and assorted off the top fairly easily.



            After more time and effort I pulled the head off and tried to see if there's anything that could point at the cause of the misfire. Couldn't see much but the head gasket had a little coolant between the layers so maybe it was a contributing cause? I've got a new set of headgaskets ready to be installed so no worries there anyway.



            New headgasket on the block:

              April 10, 2014, 09:24 PM #6

              Bajaha Offline

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              You can see with this picture how the cylinders look after the cleaning and running for the short time I had it running well.


              Pile of parts and the new and old heads:


              During the long break, I picked up a set of heads from another 2009 WRX and had them checked over and they seem like they're perfect. They also look much nicer cosmetically than mine so that's always nice.



              So currently there is one new right side head, ie the passenger head, which I torqued down following the service manual to the letter. 
              Next step is to replace the other side and then start putting it all back together, cross my fingers, and see what happens.

              Hopefully this thread will be updated more regularly, especially since the weather's being cooperative and I want to get the Baja onto the road.

              I can't wait to get this on the road and enjoy the turbo goodness.

              I've got some clear header paint, picked it up since it seemed like I could find a use for it, maybe painting the exhaust tip with that will help with durability.

              So onto progress. Yesterday I put on the head, set the valve clearances, put everything together, and changed the oil pickup and windage tray.



              Out with the old


              New and shiny




              Everything buttoned up:


              Oh, and I found my cam seal oil leak


              So hopefully today I'll find the time to change the other head and put everything back together again.

              So, I'm terrible at updating my thread it seems. Oh well, better late than never.

              Since the last update there's been some progress. Motor got put back together, all the accessories and whatnot, put on an aftermarket turbo inlet and damn the fitment on aftermarket parts is terrible. Also triple checked the cam seals since I don't want to have to pull the timing belt and cam gears to get to the seals again, here's to hoping I did it right.


                April 10, 2014, 09:25 PM #7

                Bajaha Offline

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                Was definitely an exercise in frustration to try to pull through the inlet so that it would go far enough back to the turbo. On top of that the section that the intake connects to is a few inches farther forward and to the side than the stock inlet so the silicon after maf hose is now the wrong shape and too long for the intake to fit in my engine bay so I've been doing a snorkel looking mounting while I wait for a shorter straight section of silicon hose to arrive.

                Also, very jealous of my friends S2000 with how much space he has to work on it :(



                Finally got everything back in one piece ready to drop back in



                Get in ya Bastard!



                And it is back in its rightful place!



                The beast has woken



                In my haste to get it back up and running I managed to forget to tighten the turbo oil line and the drivers side AVCS line which proceeded to fling oil around like it was going out of style when I was cranking it over for the first time. First thought that the puddles growing under the car were the cam seals but thankfully it was just my own idiocy. Mopped it all up and fixed the issues and it was time to start it. As the earlier video showed, it worked!

                So, since I was planning on using the upgraded TMIC and I'm getting really excited to get it on the road, I put it on. Using the new Cobb blow off valve since my stock one was a little damaged and I didn't want to wait to replace it while possibly having a small vacuum leak where the line from the intake attaches to the bov.

                New TMIC is much bigger and looks much better.





                So with the new intercooler on, and my intake acting like a tiny snorkel, I threw the wheels on got giddy with excitement



                As an aside, I do the little things before I get to the big important things (as always). Took the exhaust and figured it would be a good idea to paint it with some ceramic header paint and heatwrap it forthe bling better heat retention and to keep the engine bay temps down.

                Started with masking of the mating surfaces since the paint probably wouldn't help with getting a good seal.

                  April 10, 2014, 09:25 PM #8

                  Bajaha Offline

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                  All these pipes cost entirely way too much, but at least I wasn't paying full retail.


                  Scuffed up the exhaust with a combination of 220 grit and a red scotchbright pad and got to painting.

                  Once everything was all fine and dandy I started wrapping it. I had the new 2" titanium DEI wrap and a bunch of wrap that the headers and uppipe came with. The new titanium stuff is so much nicer to work with the white fiberglass wrap, painting the parts also helped since it seemed like it make the wrap had more traction on the painted surfaces and was easier to wrap around without it slipping too much. The older white stuff is easy to tear and makes your hands and arms all itchy after working with it for a few minutes. I like a fool also bought the $texas DEI stainless steel zip ties and a package of 50 longer and wider zip ties off amazon that were on clearance for around $16 I think.



                  Currently ordered some 1" titanium wrap that I have to go pickup, read online that the 1" wrap is easier for small bends like I have on the headers. Those tight bends are going to be *fun* to wrap.

                  Now, back to the Baja

                  Took it for a quick test and holy crap it pulls like a freight train. I only got it up to 4k rpm and from my obd2 scantool it looks like it hit a max of 12psi of boost. I'm getting a tgv stuck code so I'm guessing it's in limp mode because of that. I've got grimmspeed tgv deletes waiting to be installed and I'm picking up an Access port tomorrow most likely so those will be going on today. Also purchased the aps tgv servo plates since I found them for cheap and figured why not, there's a lot of black in the engine bay and might as well add colour, or resell them.

                  Here's the video of the test:


                  Yes the rear brakes are squeaky, using the ebrake as well since there appears one of the hardlines at the abs unit didn't seal right and is leaking slightly which let in air and resulted in a brake pedal that feels like stepping on a marshmallow

                  If you listen closely you'll notice it stall right after the pull. Right after that it started to stall after a second or two of running, really rough/lumpy idle, would occasionally stall on idle and was loosing vacuum. I though I managed to mess something up already and was panicking for a little bit. I started taking off the intercooler to find the suspected vacuum leak and as I was pulling it to separate it from the throttle body hose, the hose just slid off the throttle body. Looks like I didn't tighten the clamp enough and popped off when the engine actually made some boost. Crisis averted

                  With that issue out of the way, It's back to running perfect... ish. After another quick drive or two I noticed something smelled like raw fuel, quickly checked on the motor and it looks like I have a leaky injector. So todays tasks are to fix the leak, fix the brakes, and change out the TGV assemblies for the deletes.

                  As it stood yesterday before I started taking it apart again.



                  This has gotten me really excited and I'm hoping that I can get the drive to get everything finished on this project nice and quick.

                  So my work ethic when it comes to this project isn't exactly crazy, I'm kinda all over the map doing the little things. Didn't help I just worked 12hr shifts this last week so didn't have much time.

                  Anyway, now that its been a *couple* days, Here's another update

                  First off, the turbo looked kinda chilly so I put on this perrin heat blanket to keep all warmth inside, also have to install the matching heatshield but that'll come after I get the Crawford AOS in so that I don't have to keep taking it off and putting it on.



                  Here's a full on shot of the engine bay, before I got some silicone couplers to put the intake in the right place. If I was a crazier man, I would keep it this way and just make some holes in the hood.



                  And once more from the side



                  And finally with flash with the intake put in place properly.


                    April 10, 2014, 09:26 PM #9

                    Bajaha Offline

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                    Now, onto some actual progress. The center gauge pod is completed (ish) I will probably take it off and smooth off the rest of the imperfections but for now it looks presentable and there are more pressing matters to attend to, ie getting it back together to drive around.









                    Started with doing the hood scoop. Marked it out first and put the splitter that came with the intercooler on to see where would be a good place to cut.



                    It's a really weird feeling drawing on a perfectly good hood let alone cutting into it. But it must be done.



                    Using some blocks of wood and tinfoil so that the fiberglass doesn't stick, I put on the first layer of fiberglass that will blend in the hoodscoop for a nice OEM look.



                    Gap is set at 3.25" so it should be plenty for the intercooler. I'm off to the states for the weekend so probably won't be another update until mid next week...ish


                    And I forgot to mention, I started making a pillar gauge pod.



                    Again, because nobody makes anything aftermarket specifically for the Baja that would look nice.

                      April 10, 2014, 09:26 PM #10

                      Bajaha Offline

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                      As for the steering wheel controls, I've used the 2010 bulkhead harness so it was mostly plug and play for the steering wheel control system. The really tricky bits were getting all other systems to play nice with each other. Still have a lot of wiring left to get everything working, but I have windows working for now and I'll play around with the various luxuries throughout the month.

                      As always, this is cross posted from other forums so it might read a little funny.

                      Picked up my shinny new gaskets and oil sandwich plate.



                      Also finished wrapping the headers. It's quite a bit of overkill but it looks pretty and it should hold the heat in like a champ.

                      First is the progress that I forgot to post about, individually wrapping the headers was a bitch of a job, wasn't particularly difficult but threading the entire wrap between the runners got old fast, especially where the collector is :unamused:

                      One down.


                      Two down.


                      *Magic*

                      All wrapped


                      Being a fan of overkill I wanted to wrap the pairs of runners together as well as individually but I ran out of wrap, so I got some more and finished it today when I got back so that I can now finally throw on the aftermarket exhaust.



                      Alright, where did I leave off...

                      Oh right, Exhaust.

                      Old vs New

                      Stains on the driveway from the rear main seal leak on the Altima, will have to eventually figure out a way to clean that up.

                      The new exhaust is on and damn if the Baja doesn't sound like a murderer
                      Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:54 PM by Bajaha

                        April 10, 2014, 09:28 PM #11

                        Bajaha Offline

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                        Also played around with the hood scoop some more. Had the redo what I had before since the openings weren't completely even on both sides with respect to the normal hood line, played with fiberglass and bondo and so far it's sitting like this now. Few more coats, lots of sanding, and figuring out a good way to build in the splitter is what awaits me.





                        Once I got tired of working on the hood, took a break and ran all the wiring for the gauges and setup two power sources in the cabin. One is straight from the battery to an 6 pole auxiliary fuse box, and the other is switched by the ignition via a relay to another 6 pole auxiliary fuse box. Both lines are properly fused at the battery. Wired in the gauges according to what their directions say and voila, they work!



                        Up to this point I haven't actually tested the sensors so it was a relief to know I wasn't sold any bunk gauges.

                        Once all the gauges were working, I bolted in two seats and took it for a spin. Oh My God, does this thing ever pull, it just throws me back in the seat. I think I'm in love. And the noises it makes, such variety, it's like listening to an automotive orchestra :D After coming back I noticed an injector was leaking again.:grumpy: I took it apart the next day and I think my fuel rail is really finicky, took two tries to get it seat correctly, the o-rings are new and they are in perfect shape so I don't know why that one injector is a challenge to get seated. 

                        Either way, I can't permanently run around with a cat-back so I tried getting an exhaust shop to adapt my old cat-back but apparently they couldn't figure it out. They sent me a piston ring across town to hunt for a flange and when I got there they told me to find a better exhaust shop, with a recommendation from them I have to call around on Monday to book an appointment.

                        In the meantime, I added this with a matching one on the other side, since we all know stickers are +10hp a piece.


                        Also put in the new airbag cover for the steering wheel. The car is starting to finally have something that resembles an interior


                        And that is all for now. More updates in the coming weeks.

                        Tried taking a video with my friend following behind when I went to put some fuel into it, you can somewhat hear it but his exhaust/intake noises are mixed into the video. Will have to figure out a way to get good quality sound. Also will post up the dyno run video when it's getting tuned in about a month.



                        But back to some progress. Sanded down the hood scoop some more, took pictures at various points of the work so it may jump around with progress, though I'm not sure if it's really visible in the pictures. Either way, these will give you guys some idea of how it looks on the car and I think it'll look fairly sharp once it's painted.





                        Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:54 PM by Bajaha

                          April 10, 2014, 09:28 PM #12

                          Bajaha Offline

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                          Today I managed to get started on the hood splitter. It's just roughly fiberglassed in, but it looks like it works and when I put the hood on, it's only about 1-2mm off towards the turbo, front back seating is dead on so I say close enough. With some rubber molding around the edges should seal everything perfectly. The drivers side is blocked off and shaped towards the intercooler, for the turbo side I was thinking of keeping it open to give some airflow to passively cool that area. Good idea? Eventually I'll track down some black fine mesh and put it right before the splitter to stop various crap from flying in there.



                          Looks kinda nice without a hood. (yeah the bumper is held on by a few clips and some twist wire. It's quick and dirty since I've got some more I have to finish underneath the bumper and I just needed it on to drive around without being hassled)



                          Also stopped by where I have the other altima, going to steal what I need off of and scrap it sometime this week.



                          And finished off the night with a nice cruise in a friends S2.



                          Hopefully more updates soon!

                          I'm really happy to be finally driving it on a regular basis, only downside is that every other car I get into feels really slow, I guess that's not that bad of a negative. I know I'll have a lot of learning to do at autoX since before I could keep it flat out pretty much the entire course, but now it has enough power to swing out the back when on throttle :banana:

                          So time to play catch-up. Last week I was working on the hood, had it primed and all good to go for paint, I had just sanded down the rear corners a little to shape them a little so that they would blend in a little nicer, I must have made it too thin because later that night I had noticed that the corners cracked, just a small crack but there's no way I can easily fix it. I ended up undoing all the work that was just done and throwing on another 3 layers of fiber along each corner and then covering the entire scoop in a layer of fiber. After another long process of sanding, body filler, and more sanding, I primed the hood again and this is what I got:


                          I ran out of body filler on Sunday and I ran down to the local partsource to grab a small tin of the stuff since Rondex was closed. Huge mistake. I mixed and put on the partsource body filler and waited for it to cure. 10 mins still soft as putty, 30 mins no change so I mixed in much more hardener since it was still soft, 3 hours later I scrape it off, takes an hour or two to get it off :furious: Had to scrape as much as I could off and then used 40 grit to get it off but it kept clogging up the pad. Wasted an entire night playing with that ****.

                          Monday morning I buy the good stuff and then got on with the work. The hood goes in for paint on Wednesday, and I was supposed to pick it up on Friday morning but it turns out the clear was still too soft to handle in the morning so I end up picking up the car and the hood Friday around noon.



                          Bolted down the hood and drove home since I had a lot more work to finish before the show.
                          When I said that wiring can be nightmare, here's what an electricians hell looks like


                          As I mentioned the WRX main rear wiring harness connector is on the drivers side, while the Baja one is on the passenger side. I've got to run wires through the dash to merge both sides. there's still alot to connect and I can't do the solder connections yet since I want to have everything hooked up so that I don't end up with excessive length wires. Anyone know a source to get a variety pack of wires? all I've got is wires that are color coded by gauge, which will end up with an indecipherable harness if I keep using the red wires. 

                          Well once that unholy mess was zip tied, electrical taped, and hidden away behind some interior trim panels, it was ready for a good cleaning before the show. Quick clean and a quick wax later, it looks almost brand new.

                          Of course it had to rain on Friday pretty much all day so after I threw the parts on I made my way to my friends garage where I could detail it out of the rain. When I arrived there it stopped raining, go figure.




                          As I've said earlier, I displayed it at Driven


                          Had the hood half propped to show of the engine and show off the scoop, ended up running down my battery since I decided to leave the gauges illuminated.

                            April 10, 2014, 09:29 PM #13

                            Bajaha Offline

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                            There were some cool cars so I'll throw some of the pictures here, I had forgotten to charge my camera :unamused: so I only snapped one or two pictures before it died, so the pictures below were taken by a friend.









                            And the award I received, surprisingly hard to take a picture of with a cellphone. Have to really charge my camera...


                            There will be an actual update soon, hopefully this week, but I'll just leave this here:



                            New suspension is on, no more comical body roll or lift during acceleration :( Just needs an alignment now.

                            There's still a laundry list of things to finish with the car. Electrically I have to get the power seats, heated seats and mirrors, power mirrors, power locks, sunroof, dome and puddle lights, and I think that's it. It also needs a stronger pressure plate, I have a new one that's rated for 425ft-lbs but I need a different flywheel for it to fit, thankfully it's already on the way. Also have to play with the grill, the hood release interferes with it slightly so I'll have to modify it so it fits better, plus there's a lot of rough edges on it that need to be fixed so that fits perfect. I am really fond of the WRX emblem on the side so I'm keeping that. Originally had the Subaru logo there but I think the WRX looks nicer.



                            That's all for now, I'll update again when more things happen.

                              April 10, 2014, 09:29 PM #14

                              Bajaha Offline

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                              Just arrived in Calgary last night and took the Baja to get tuned today. Went to Sunny @ Airboy Tuning and he threw the car on the Dyno and I am impressed. Had a great experience and Sunny is definitely very knowledgeable and takes pride in his work, I'd definitely recommend him if you're around Calgary and in need of a tune.

                              Baja started out at 243awhp and ended up at 270awhp. I am definitely grinning like mad everytime I drive, it's so much smoother through the rev range and pulls like a freight train. It's shy of the 300 I was shooting for but honestly it's perfect as is, probably was more than fast enough before the tune. For comparison a stock 2010 WRX puts down around 205-215awhp on his Dyno.
                               




                              More Pictures and automotive updates to follow once I'm back from my vacation/rocky mountain adventure.

                              Anyway, I took a 2.5 week trip out to Calgary and B.C. to get the Baja tuned and to go for a nice vacation in the mountains. The trip was a lot of fun, and an insane amount of driving. I think I ended up trying to put too much into the short trip so it was a lot of time driving through amazing scenic roads and not enough exploring.

                              But I digress, onto pictures since everyone loves to look at pictures and not so much reading :p

                              Saskatchewan was ... flat.


                              I ended up doing the Winnipeg to Calgary stretch in 1 day there and 1 day at the end of the trip, there's not much to the prairies and there's no reason to extend that stretch to 2 days if I didn't need to.

                              Arrived in Calgary safe and sound, and the next day took it to Airboy tuning to get it tuned. Awesome experience and would definitely recommend him to anyone who needs a tune. It's worth the trip.



                              While the car was on the Dyno we waited in a little side room, on the computer there I found this



                              found it amusing (I think it's pretty much universal that into cars = topgear fan) and watched a few episodes while waiting for everything to get done.

                              Here's a video of one of the dyno runs. The video doesn't begin to capture just the shear volume of the noises that the car was making.



                              And once all was said and done, the Baja is now proven to make 270whp and 315wtq as I've posted before.


                              Not too shabby, it's shy of the 300whp I was shooting for, but honestly it's more than enough power and holy does the car ever run nice with this tune. Couldn't be happier, and quite a nice increase for just a tune.

                              After Calgary wen't through crowsnest HWY 3 by the border to get to vancouver, went across the ferry to Gibson and stayed there with family friends. Took a day trip to Whistler and then went to stay in Vancouver itself, after that I went up through the sea to sky HWY and then back down to Kelowna, up to Kamloops and then through HWY 5 to Jasper then Down HWY 1 to Banff and back to Calgary. Ended with over 6000km of driving on this trip. Was quite the adventure.

                              When I was in Blue River BC, I got stuck behind a train while looking for a campsite for the night. It was one of those ridiculously long rocky mountain trains and it stopped when it was halfway through the crossing, was stuck there for about 45 mins waiting for this to pass. No cell reception so I couldn't google map the area to find which place to stay and everywhere we checked so far was booked.



                              Ended up driving through the night for another 40km or so and found a lodge in the middle of nowhere. Ended up being one of the best places we stayed the entire trip.

                              In non-automotive related news I saw some cool sights
                              Old school snowmobile by the Athabaskan glacier


                              Crazy buses that took us onto the glacier so we could explore and drink some of the crisp cool glacial water. 6x6 full lockers, massive tires, and air suspension to adjust the level on the bus to let it scale up to 36% grade hills. Twas a fun experience.



                              In Gibson, BC went to a local market and saw these little guys, was tempted to pick one up but didn't have anywhere to put it.



                              Saw this little scamp on the side of the highway, he had quite a crowd stopped and watching him.

                              Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:55 PM by Bajaha

                                April 10, 2014, 09:30 PM #15

                                Bajaha Offline

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                                In the Okanogan valley we ended up going to a fancy winery and learned much about all things wine.




                                When in whistler we took the gondola and then a ski lift to get to the summit, when we went there was cloud cover at the summit. I am not a huge fan of heights, the gondola is no problem but when it feels like all that's holding me on the lift is a small tab of metal gripping the cable and I could slip off the seat at any moment, I am not a fan of heights. Going through a cloud near the top and not being able to see the ground was not helping either.



                                Oh, and the things you find in a small town candy shop



                                Took a helicopter ride in said small town and because of wind conditions we couldn't fly the regularly charted route and got special permission from parks Canada to fly over the city of Banff and lake Minnewanka. It was incredible, breathtaking views.



                                Managed to even get some nice shots of the car while out there







                                When I was back in Calgary, ended up helping a friend get his new $25 65" projection TV from the other side of town. It fit just perfect in the back, somehow left the ratchet straps in his condo so all I had a small bit of twine to secure it, because of the heaviness of the base and the fact that it was a nice tight fit we took it slow and got it back to his place. Oh, the **** I do on vacation...



                                Unfortunately I had a few casualties on this trip. The rear wheel bearing on the passenger side started making noise and now sounds like a helicopter at highway speeds, and it chewed through a set of tires. I'm one of those idiots who ruins a car by lowering it :( It ate through the set since the alignment wasn't done before I left and the tires were plus sized on the Baja originally so when I dropped it on the new suspension the tires interfered with the bottom spring perch when they were loaded (I guess the sidewall flexed enough in turns to cause them to rub on the perch), unless they're cambered to the max +ve setting which I did partway through the trip when I noticed the wear. It's on the all-season set of wheels now which have smaller tires mounted so no interference issues and it had an alignment done now. I've decided to get coilovers and a set of summer tires that have a shorter sidewall in the spring to fix the tire wear issue. I wouldn't mind the car being a cm or two higher off the ground just to fix these issues and there's no way to do that easily without going to coilovers. I've been talking to Jamal and got a full set of rear bushings from whiteline on order, they're expected to ship 30-90 days from now so they'll be going in the car in spring.

                                The boost sensor also decided to give up the ghost at the end of the trip. Right after banff it stopped displaying the boost and got stuck at 140 kpa, playing with the sensor causes the gauge to move around, and it does the full sweep on startup and sets warnings correctly so I'm  assuming its the sensor and not the controller or gauge itself.

                                It actually broke shortly after this picture



                                There was construction on HWY 1 after Banff, 2 lanes merging into 1, and it looks like Albertans can't figure out construction because it took an hour of rush hour style stop and go to get past the construction.


                                Other than those few issues that need tending to, the Baja held up well on the trip.

                                  April 10, 2014, 09:31 PM #16

                                  Bajaha Offline

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                                  Took some pictures a few weeks back, thought I'd share some of the *very* few that turned out ok. Need to get more practice with a camera again. Threw on the in-between seasons all-season wheels and hoping that the winter wheels aren't too wide/big and I don't run into the same issue as with the summers that I had on the trip, I can probably survive the winter on these tires if need be and get a set of coilovers so I can raise it just a smidge and get some more room for tires.







                                  And ended up looking through older pictures and it's weird to see how much the car has changed.



                                  Have to dig up a picture without the toplights, looks completely different.

                                  As for actual updates on the car, I still haven't replaced the rear wheel bearings, have them both in hand but Uni's been busy because of midterms so I haven't found the time. Hopefully this coming weekend won't be too crazy. Replaced the supposed original battery, it was showing some trouble starting at just below freezing so it was bound to fail sooner rather than later, with an Optima Red Top :banana: Cranks perfect now and won't have to worry about those cold winter mornings anymore.

                                    April 10, 2014, 09:31 PM #17

                                    Bajaha Offline

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                                    We start this update with the following:



                                    I now understand why some people call Nissan the Chrysler of Japan.
                                    Changed the thermostat since it was opening too soon, or was getting stuck open, it would take forever to blow heat last winter, and when it did it was still more of a lukewarm than actual heat. For something that should have been a less than 15 min fix, it was a bitch. Everything is rusted, all the hose clamps are over-tightened and rusted tight and of course there's a clamp in the way of one of the bolts on the thermostat housing :furious: Figured I'd do a coolant change too while I'm at it since I've got no idea when the last time it was even looked at and it was cheap enough. Drained while doing the thermostat and once it was all buttoned up again, I filled the radiator with the new stuff, pumped the rad hose and filled some more then started it up. All was fine for a while, waiting for more bubbles and topping it up as necessary, all with the cap off. It started puking it's cooling out in an ol-faithful style geyser. Shut it off, sounded like the coolant was boiling off inside the block but the lower rad hose was still cold so the new thermostat hadn't opened (I tested it in a pot before putting it in so it's a known good one) filled it up again and with the cap closed started it and warmed it up a little, It almost filled the overflow bottle this time so I turned it off and let it cool off, same thing with the cold lower rad hose, this time fans turned on and wouldn't shut off, dash gauge indidcates it doesn't think it's overheating.

                                    Took off the hose going from the water pump and it does have coolant, had a thought that maybe the head gasket is toast for a second because of the pressure in the coolant system, maybe the water pump has a ****ty impeller is finally dying, who knows. Dropped it down, filled the rad, and started it again after it cooled off. Lo and behold, it blows hot air, heats up fine, lower rad hose now gets hot after the car warms up, seems to be working fine. **** if I know why it wasn't working before. :confused:

                                    Well after that was sorted out, I was frisky and decided to do the rear wheel bearing in the Baja, finally I could drive around without sounding like a helicopter! Was a little bit annoying, I've done the front bearings but they came with the hub in one unit so they were simply unbolt and put back in, the rears didn't. Took the back end apart and got to town, was a little surprised at how it's all put together but it wasn't too crazy.



                                    Once the bearings were out, I had to separate them from the hub, wish I could have ordered a hub/bearing assembly, but oh well. Pulled the old bearings off the hub with this fancy 3 prong puller which was used earlier to get the whole assembly off the drum brake part. Had to be creative with the prong placement to get it to work. Used the wheels to hold it all nice and straight, was easier than doing it on a garage floor.



                                    This worked, for the most part. Only issue was that the inner race was stuck on the hub, and no good way to get it off. After much swearing and a dozen methods that didn't work, resorted to taking it to a friends shop where he torched the inner race cutting it a little and managed to bang them off. Cleaned up the old hub and pressed the new bearings on and assembled it all back together and it all works. Yay!

                                    It is WINTER! We have a nice first snow fall and as such, it is the duty of everyone on the road to test how their vehicle reacts in slippery conditions.

                                    Also, I found out that launch control works wonders when you have very little grip and don't have to worry about burning clutch or exploding diffs:


                                    And that concludes the updates up to the present, more to come as long as I don't forget!

                                    Anyway, onto an update! Had a little bit of a Subaru meet locally, we had some fun playing in the snow, was a little deep but that didn't stop us. It was freezing, temp right now sits @ -27*c with a wind chill of -40*C, tomorrow morning it's supposed to be -30*C with a windchill of -43*C. All done by a fellow subaru owner: (click for big)










                                      April 10, 2014, 09:32 PM #18

                                      Bajaha Offline

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                                      As always, cross-posted, might read funny, yada yada...

                                      So this might be the last update for the winter season unfortunately. (****ty Cell Pics ahead since I never have my nice camera on me when I want to take pics)

                                      This weekend I made my way out to the good ol' US of A, so I washed the car and got it all pretty for the trip.



                                      I was planning on taking the Baja but the day before the trip the transmission starts making a wirring noise. At the time I didn't think too much of it as it wasn't a really scary noise, was fairly quiet, and only started after the coldest days we had. I figured the noise was because of the extreme cold or whatever and was planning on checking it out when I came back. As a precaution I borrowed my parents 2013 Civic and parked mine in the driveway, while parking I heard some clunking and it was bucking a touch moving around the driveway, I got really worried that something went awry in the transmission but I figured some packed ice had fallen from the wheel well and was rubbing on the tire and I was driving over what had fallen off. You know, being optimistic and not too paranoid.

                                      Well, either way it would have to wait until I get back. On the trip much shopping was had, Christmas stuff was being cleared out so we ended up buying a ridiculous amount of ornaments and tinsel, and even one of those pre-lit fake trees. Packed the civic beyond belief and I picked up the awesome package I had waiting for the Baja:



                                      The rear end should feel so much nicer after these all go in :)

                                      Once back, I swapped cars and started driving home, got maybe a 200ft away and the transmission starts bucking, making terrible grinding and clunking noises. Immediately I turn back and limp it to my parents place where it proceeds to drop out of reverse when I was turning around and almost refusing to go into second all while making very expensive sounding noises.

                                      Anyway, it's parked for now, pulling the insurance on it and turning it onto storage insurance while I wait for the weather to warm up so I can figure out exactly what the hell happened. And of course University classes started today, looks like it's public transit for the next few months! So much for washing it and buying it new bushings :( Here it sits as of now:



                                      I guess it's looking like there's a 6spd swap in the near future, I've had really bad luck with the 5MT, right before the wrx swap the old transmission killed it's center diff and transfer gears and shortly after that was fixed it had to be completely rebuilt, ended up to the tune of around $5k for both services at the time because I was in a bind and needed a driveable car, only got about $1k back after selling it. For those prices I'm doing a 6MT swap and not looking back.

                                      The other night got a friend to help me take it to a heated garage, where this weekend I'll have time to lift it up, listen to what is actually making noise, and drain the fluid, If there's metal shavings (probably) I'm just going to say **** it and swapping the 6MT. Going to be looking for an 09+ transmission as they're newer with less miles (less likely it's been abused or worn out) and with the wrx swap it already uses the abs sensors instead of a vss so I'm good on that front.



                                      Anybody know if I can swap over the push style clutch/flywheel/pp assembly from my current 5MT over to the 6MT? Haven't been able to find a concrete answer, I'm leaning towards no, but if I can reuse my pretty much new current setup that would be a big bonus.

                                        April 10, 2014, 09:32 PM #19

                                        Bajaha Offline

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                                        And today I managed to lift it up



                                        And I listened to where it was making noise, it's not pretty.



                                        And then I drained the trans oil



                                        Yup, that's metal.



                                        I'm pretty sure Extra-S isn't supposed to look like this after only around 25k km, the picture doesn't really capture the alluring shiny silver metal tone to the oil.



                                        More goodies left in the pan



                                        So, it's definitely a 6 speed swap for me now, parking the Baja for the winter and I'll get to it in the spring. Going to tear down the 5MT and see exactly which part looks like it caused it, I've got some theories but I'll hopefully know once I take it apart.
                                        Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:56 PM by Bajaha

                                          April 10, 2014, 09:33 PM #20

                                          Bajaha Offline

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                                          So, updates! Cross-posted from other forums so the timing/wording etc might be a bit wonky but the gist is there:

                                          So, in the interest of getting a reliable daily driver, I had a few options. Was looking at the local auctions for something nice to go through and there were some deals I missed but there's always the chance of hidden damage and unexpected costs so I'm not too bummed about it.

                                          Started thinking of financing something newer than 2010 so I looked at a few used dealers but didn't find anything too great for the prices. Mazda 3's seemed to be the go-to as I was checking out 2 2010 ones but after financing they were north of $16k. That's within spitting distance of some cheaper new cars, and you get a warranty with anything new, so me and my fiance started looking at new. We settled on the Veloster as the compromise between sporty, practical, quirky, and affordable. Plus it'll be a fun car without being too tempting to play around with and mod, I already have one project and I wasn't looking for another. After getting jerked around at one dealer where we were looking at a grey automatic base, we went to a competing dealer and ended up with a blue 6mt fully loaded turbo financed @ 0% for a less that $4k more than the grey auto would have come out to after financing at the other dealer.





                                          So far we're loving it, lets hope it treats us right.

                                          In other news, here's a quick video showing off how awesome the Altima's clutch is, It's been like this for about a year or two now, kinda acts like a torque converter if you ever accidentally dump the clutch at a light. I really want to take it apart once it gets retired from duty, the clutch/pp and flywheel are probably a work of art by now.



                                          Kinda shaky but I tried youtube's stabilization and it just made it look like complete ass so enjoy the shakes!

                                          I do want STI brembo's, the only issue is that I've got the 5x100 hubs on there now, and I just threw on a set of brand new wheel bearings on all 4 corners, would be a bit of a waste to replace them again that quickly.

                                          If I get my way with buying a salvage STI that's 08+ then I should have plenty of parts to work with, not going to delude myself in saying I'll make up the difference selling parts, it's been a huge hassle dealing with NASIOC and (non)buyers in general and I still have a pile of parts that aren't sold. Best bang for buck seems to be going the salvage route, unless I get a really good deal on most of the pieces I need, I just don't want to be nickle and dimmed buying all the little extra's that I'll need.



                                          As you can see, the oem brakes on the Baja are no slouch, my current setup is vented brembo disks w/ Hawk HPS pads all round. Although with the extra weight of the turbo motor... More braking power never hurts, and the brembo's just look cool too.

                                          Then again, fitting STI hubs all round (assuming they are a direct swap, or easy enough to swap anyway) should save me the trouble of having custom axles fabbed up. A guy locally had them made up by some company in Indiana I believe and he's saying his ran him around $400 a pair, so $800 for the set. Only thing is I would have to go wheel shopping again.

                                          With how the rear suspension is setup, I don't know if it's possible to swap on STI hubs in the back anyway, I think I heard they're physically larger than other subaru hubs but that's not confirmed and I might have just confused something or dreamt it up.



                                          The Baja's rear suspension design, disregard the X-ed out parts, I used this photo to show what I wanted from that salvage Baja I was mentioning before.


                                          So, my reliable daily driver isn't really reliable. Cold temps have caused a no start condition with the Veloster, it was at the dealer yesterday and the day before and they couldn't reproduce it, but looking from the video I took of it not starting they're thinking it's the ignition relay. Today it refused to start again, called the dealer and now I'm just waiting for a tow truck to take it to the dealer so they can do a proper diagnosis on it.

                                          Video of it having trouble starting:

                                          This was already after a few attempts, this time I decided to actually record it

                                          The altima started this morning without a hitch, and it wasn't plugged in (the plug actually fell off because of the cold a few weeks ago :p), the Veloster is sitting pretty in the driveway.  :x  We bought a new car to avoid this type of problem. :evil:

                                          On the advice from another forum, the rear brakes are fine left alone while I play with putting something bigger up front, been looking at a stop-tech big brake kit that looks pretty sweet. If I do end up with an STI wreck then I can always sell off the brakes as a kit (they seem to go fast on NASIOC so I don't think I'll have too much trouble moving them) to fund a StopTech BBK or go the Nissan Z32 Calipers + LGT rotors route.

                                          The DBA rotors (specially made to fit STI Brembos with the WRX size rear parking drum) with the STI brembo's in the back would look really neat, but all that extra expense for something that doesn't have any real benefit, and might actually be slightly worst, doesn't seem worth it. The stock brakes are surprising capable with proper pads, but it would be nice to be able to really push it without worrying about brake fade and any of the different brake upgrades I'm considering look cool too.

                                          So far the list of **** that needs to get done in order of descending priority are:

                                          Fix 5 Speed to get it driving
                                          Source and swap an STI 6 speed, either full running gear from someone or buy a wreck and take it apart myself
                                          Put on a set of Racecomp coilovers to replace the whiteline lowering springs and tokico hts struts, I want it to sit about 1/4"-1/2" higher to give me more clearance (ruined a set of tires because of a lack of clearance on the BC trip)
                                          Figure out which route to take with the brake upgrade and do that

                                          The huge pile of bushings is going to be put in once I get that rear subframe and assorted rear suspension pieces in the spring.

                                          So this was my Saturday,


                                          This just sucks, we've had the car for exactly a week, it had trouble starting 6 times already (first couple times I thought maybe my fiance didn't push the clutch in all the way or something), it spent 3 of the past 7 days at the dealership (dropped it off Wednesday evening, picked it up on Friday, and had it towed there again this morning) This was supposed to be the reliable daily driver, the whole point of taking the initial depreciation hit on a brand new car was to take advantage of the low financing and have a trouble free car. I hope it doesn't give us any more trouble after this is fixed.

                                            April 10, 2014, 09:34 PM #21

                                            Bajaha Offline

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                                            There has been progress... on the Veloster, not the Baja.

                                            First things first, quick summary of the events that have occured.

                                            We purchased a brand new Veloster and took deliver on Friday afternoon Feb. 21.
                                            Dropped it off at the dealer on Wednesday morning Feb. 26, for the no-start issue, was given a base Elentra as a courtesy car (200km on ODO for the Elentra)
                                            Picked up Veloster on Friday afternoon Feb. 28, gave in the Elantra with ~400km on the ODO. Total driven in Elentra: ~200km
                                            Towed (via roadside assistance) Veloster to dealer on Saturday morning Mar. 1, after another no-start. Picked up another Elantra, this time with ~190km on ODO.
                                            Almost picked up Veloster yesterday Mar. 6, but it faulted right before pickup so left for another day at the dealer.
                                            Picked up Veloster today, Mar. 7. Final ODO in this Elantra: 1043km
                                            They replaced the starter and starter relay under warranty.

                                            Total driven with Veloster: ~500km
                                            Total days with Veloster: 5

                                            Total driven with Elantras: ~1050km
                                            Total days with Elantras: 10

                                            I have owned an Elantra for twice as long as the Veloster we've bought.



                                            During this process we discussed with the dealer some form of compensation for the trouble and inconvenience that was caused by our brand new car not starting (missing work, not being to plan our day, etc) and we've come to an agreement that they're installing the Hyundai Performance Axle-back Exhaust[super]tm[/super] (Really overpriced fancy muffler, dealer would normally charge $650+tax+installation) free of charge and to my understanding we're also getting a $100 gift card to a restaurant of our choice. 

                                            There really isn't much in terms of accessories that we'd want, A factory remote start was out since that's apparently auto only, and the auto-dimming mirror is a US-only option so the dealer couldn't get one in. Other accessories include such fun things as mudflaps that are pretty much there in name alone (tiny, dinky little things) assorted overpriced floor mats, a weird roof diffuser ala the Mitsu Evo style (looks kinda odd in the dealer pic and can't find anyone online who has one so no good pictures to compare), a front strut bar, and one of those awful looking plastic bug deflectors (in my opinion they have no place on anything short of a truck)

                                            Crossing my fingers that we'll have a trouble free experience from here on out. knock on wood.
                                            If there are any more issues like the above, we'll push for them to replace this one with another Veloster or for an outright return. With Canada's lack of proper Lemon laws I'd rather have a longer history of trouble before I commit to dealing with the hassle of getting the dealer to take this car back. So far the ownership experience has been ...rough. 

                                            Only picture from Hyundai's website:


                                            "Add a deeper exhaust tone to your Hyundai with this high flow axle-back exhaust system. Designed as a bolt on application which requires no cutting, this exhaust system will look and sound great for years to come."

                                            And the only picture of the exhaust I could find online because it doesn't look like a lot of people opted to buy this really overpriced muffler:
                                            Apparently the guy who's picture this is says the exhaust note reminds him of the STI rumble. I guess I'll see when it comes in, should be in on Monday.
                                             


                                            And here, have another picture of the non-starting lemon from when we picked it up, contrast set all the way to 11  8)



                                            It's been a while since I did an update with Baja content so here goes. Missing driving the Baja and had some free time today so I thought it would be a good time to warm up the Baja (you know, get it all up to operating temp to make sure it still runs and everything is ok, fine. I came up with an excuse to start it and remind myself what I'm missing) Looking through the vids I have, I realized I didn't actually have any decent clips of what the current exhaust setup sounds like, so here's a video showing off the noise.



                                            Just a quick free rev, small blip, big blip, and some LC action, nothing too fancy.

                                              April 10, 2014, 09:35 PM #22

                                              Bajaha Offline

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                                              I recorded a clip of the Veloster's current exhaust to get a back-to-back comparison with the new one (the OEM one sounds like a Toyota Corolla, really boring exhaust note in my opinion), just have to wait for the new one to be delivered to the dealer and have them install it. Hopefully that should liven it up a little.

                                              Anyway, I missed this part when I was updating this thread:

                                              Might as well list them off for future reference, I'll have to look it up anyway to make sure I'm not putting the bushings in the wrong place and it might be useful for other Subaru Baja & Legacy owners on here.

                                              W63393 - Control arm - lower front inner & outer bushing
                                              W63394 - Control arm - lower rear outer bushing
                                              W63395 - Control arm - lower rear inner bushing
                                              W63396 - Control arm - upper inner bushing
                                              KCA399 - Control arm - upper outer bushing (camber correction)
                                              KCA319A - Control arm - lower inner rear bushing (anti-lift/caster correction)

                                              Those are the Whiteline bushings that I currently have waiting to be installed.

                                              Updates incoming, info is cross posted from a little while back so it might read a little funny, but again the info is there.

                                              So, more troubles with the Veloster and more goodies bought for the Baja, I swear poly bushings are my crack. I'll update the list of bushings and parts once I pick them up from the US.

                                              Veloster somehow managed to tear a hole in the tire bead on a flat smooth road, when it happened I thought maybe it picked up a nail or something, nope, so such luck. Dealer wants over $250+tax for the one ****ty Kumho Solus tire, gave me the run around with saying that I have to contact the tire manufacture directly for any warranty replacements. Calling about a dozen different numbers trying to reach the right department/company and when I finally got through to Kumho directly, all I got was a phone maze where none of the options pick up and there's no way to leave a voice-mail. Talked with the guys at the dealer again and was informed the warranty procedure had actually changed and that they'll take care of the claim. In the mean time I'm stuck on a temporary spare. That whole mess occurred on Monday, as of yesterday, Saturday, they haven't done anything in terms of filing a claim w/ Hyundai. As I posted in the hot hatch thread, we're having a whole bunch of little problems with the Veloster and now we're trying to contact Hyundai Canada directly in hopes of getting a replacement. In the mean time I have to keep alert and take note of any issues we have with the Veloster so that I have a strong case if this issue ends up going to arbitration (no actual cut and dry Lemon laws in Canada as I poster earlier)

                                              The whole point of taking that initial depreciation hit was to have a care-free ownership experience and not having to worry about repairs or reliability. Instead we get to deal with this bull**** every week.

                                              So yeah, it's been a really ****ty ownership experience so far. I like the idea of the Veloster (turbo, 3door, quirky, bunch of tech toys, etc) it just looks like we got a dud.

                                              Currently debating getting a vanity license plate, fiance wants to get TURB-OH, I'm leaning towards KDM POS, just need to figure out how to get it past their screening process.

                                              In lighter/less frustrating news, I finally got a comparison video of the new exhaust vs the old exhaust.



                                              At first the new exhaust sounded really airy, almost like a quieter external wastegate dump from 4k rpms to redline, but after a couple hundred km's it seems to have broken in and sounds a little richer and deeper. I've still got to grab an in-car video of it. For a factory exhaust it sounds ok, quiet around town and on the highway while making some noise when you goose the throttle, makes the veloster not sound like a corrola so that's a plus. Honestly I'm not too big of a fan of it, but it could be worst, and my fiance likes it. If I had actually bought it from the dealer I'd probably be really disappointed, for close to the same price you could easily get a cat-back.

                                              I do like how the Veloster cackles all the way down the rev range, probably one of the best features of the new batch of hot hatches. Video doesn't really capture it well (I need to find a cheap external mic, anything would probably better than the internal mic on the camera) but I can assure you, it sounds fun in person.

                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              Hey, guys... these cookies don't smell right...



                                              Oh, wow. How did that get in there?



                                              Quick test fit for a possible HID retrofit. Picking up a set of Honda S2000 projector housings and figured I'd try my hand at playing with the headlights. I'm aware, I'm a light whore, for me more light is always better! (as long as you're not an asshole who blinds everyone else on the road) Picture is with an Acura TSX projector I had kicking around, don't have the S2k projectors in my hands yet.

                                              Hopefully it all turns out well. Progress will be slow as always, shiny things distract me too easily.

                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              Turns out when people say the S2000 projectors are huge, they weren't kidding. It's getting tough to fit them in without running into clearance issues. I want to stick with the S2k projectors as I've got a set of them and they're supposedly one of the best low-beam projectors out there. All the mockups are done with the old lights and a trashed S2k projector (reflector bowl coating is flaking off). I ordered a fresh set of Depo lights to cut up off of amazon so I can go hog wild with these and not have to worry too much if I **** something up. If it does turn out to be impossible to fit the S2k projectors, I'll have to either get another TSX projector from somewhere or go aftermarket and smaller. 



                                              The projector is already getting really close to the high beam, I don't want to completely remove the high beam so I'm going to have to figure out how to make it work.



                                              I've still got some more room before it hits the lens so I can always try bringing it a little closer to the front to get the rear to clear.



                                              And this is going to have to be figured out. As it sits the rear cover won't close with the projector that close to the edge, can't really move it much lower because of the high beam, Can't angle it because then I'll be projecting into the sky, only options seem to be to either trim the rear cover so that it clears, or moving the projector a few more cm forward so that it doesn't interfere with how the cover locks into place.
                                               


                                              The reflector has huge gabs because I played around with different mounting positions and trying to figure out how to mount the TSX ones in case the S2k ones do turn out too big, I kept trying to mount it too far back and the rear of the projector would not have fit at all. With it that far forward I'm worried finding a shroud that'll look good will be difficult. It'll get figured out somehow. And yeah, for testing purposes, hot glue works wonders. Lets get crafty :razz:
                                              Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:57 PM by Bajaha

                                                April 10, 2014, 09:35 PM #23

                                                Bajaha Offline

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                                                I am getting better with each try.

                                                Took the other headlight out and gave it another go. The pictures are a little boring as they all look very similar, but eh, suck it up.
                                                Much cleaner cut


                                                Fits much better


                                                A little cocked to the side so I'll have to make sure the projector is actually sitting level when I'm doing the final version of the lights.


                                                Front cover fits, and looking good.


                                                Rear has more than enough room to clear the cover.


                                                That's it for now.

                                                  April 10, 2014, 09:36 PM #24

                                                  Bajaha Offline

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                                                  And that should bring everyone up to speed. I'll skim through and try to fix any broken links/pictures, but at a quick glance that should be it.

                                                  Hopefully you enjoyed reading this mountain of text and pictures.

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                                                    « Reply #24 on: April 10, 2014, 09:36 PM »