ShadowPR gets a new hobby and learns a few things
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This is a discussion on ShadowPR gets a new hobby and learns a few things within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I bought my 2009 WRX in July of 09. She's been stock until now. Last month I decided to install ...

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    ShadowPR's build thread

    I bought my 2009 WRX in July of 09. She's been stock until now. Last month I decided to install the STI short throw. That was the beginning of my new hobby. This is my DD, and I have no real plans on ever bringing her onto a track, but I might want to try a lap or two once just to see what she can really do if allowed.

    A little background. I know nothing about cars, except how to drive them. My last three cars were a 97 Pontiac Sunfire, 01 Hyundai Elantra, and then a 03 Mazda Protege. All three died in crashes. I installed my own headunits and speakers on them, and maybe changed a few light bulbs. I never had the chance to do any mods.

    Now back to the present. After doing the short throw, I felt good and proud. I wanted to do more. I joined this site, and I knew it was on.

    I decided to break up all the mods I want to do into "phases" in order to make things easier.

    Phase 1: Bushings, swaybars, endlinks.
    Phase 2: shocks, springs, calipers, brake lines
    Phase 3: Wheels and tires
    Phase 4: After warranty is up, CAI, and TBE followed by a tune.

    Phase 1:
    I've had the car on jack stands for a week so far. I'm going slow because I'm only working n it a few hours a day, and it's been cold.

    This is what I ordered and have/will be installing:
    Whiteline 22/24 R/F swaybars: done
    Kartboy f/r endlinks: done
    Group N engine mounts: done
    kartboy pitch stop: done
    Group N trans mount: done
    TiC crossmember bushings: done
    5mt holy shift kit: done
    whiteline subframe inserts: done
    whiteline rear diff inserts: DONE
    WL front control arm bushing: done
    wl rear trailing arm bushing: done
    wh steering rack bushing: done
    TiC rear lower control arm innner bushing: done
    WL alk: done
    wl front roll center adjustment: done
    wl rear camber adjustment: done
    wl rear shock lower bushing: done
    Flapatax mud flaps: done
    Black caliper paint: phase 2.

    I did take a few pics of the parts and the car, but not too many. It was too cold, and I was busy with the car.

    I'll update this first post with what else I manage to do to my baby. It's been frustrating, and fun along the way. Probably would have gone faster and smoother if mother nature decided to cooperate, but what can you do.

    My next posts will talk about what I thought/remember about installing each part. Might help out someone else.
    Last edited by shadowpr; 03-29-2011 at 12:00 PM. Reason: finished more stuff

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    Whiteline 22/24 R/F swaybars: removing the old ones went very smoothly. no trouble at all. i put the new ones up just to see, and they were easy as well.

    Kartboy f/r endlinks: old ones came off easily. new ones seem to be straight forward. Only real issue I saw was trying to figure out where to put the big and small spacer for the rear endlink. Also make sure the rear tires are under load when doing this. I'm using a jack for that since the car is on jack stands.

    Group N engine mounts: might let a shop do them because i honestly don't know where they are. depending on how things go the next few days, I might have to do these cause the local garage shops here charge a lot.

    kartboy pitch stop: very simple. just remove a few bolts to get the tmic off and twist it out of the rubber hose.

    wh steering rack bushing: very easy. the provided instruction made it simple.

    Group N trans mount: was simple. hardest part was removing everything else to get to it, but works out since i did the cross member bushings.

    TiC crossmember bushings: simple as well. once you remove the whole brace that holds the transmission up (use a jack to hold it up in place of the brace), you can take it apart, and just swap them out.

    5mt holy shift kit: Since I already installed the sti short throw, i knew I could do this. I did this after taking the trans crossbember brace out so i had more room to work with. Everything was easy to take out, except to get that little pin out. I used an old thin bolt to bang it out. then I used a bigger bolt to get the second larger pin out. after that, changing out the bushings was easy. only problem was getting 1 bolt back in for the rear bushing. It went sideways. Impact gun got it in though.

    whiteline subframe inserts: after undoing all the bolts and letting the subframe drop down, I was able to install the inserts into the front two easily. I had my dad use a large screw driver to get leverage and lower the rear of the subframe a bit more so I could get the rear inserts in. After that, I jacked it back up and put the bolts back in. With help, I got all the holes to line up. One bolt still didn't want to go in straight. Had to use a impact gun to get it all the way in.

    whiteline rear diff inserts: the two rear ones are easy. the one that is a bit further towards the front of the car has been a nightmare. I can't get that nut to break loose. I've tried breaker bars, impact guns, pb blaster, cursing, begging. nothing has worked so far. I'm either going to let a shop do this one, or use a torch to try again, or break the nut and go buy a new one.


    WL front control arm bushing: removed the front control arms. trying to figure out how to remove teh bushing. shops want too much. I may just drill it out. then might try to use c-clamps to put the new ones in.

    WL alk: removed the front control arms. trying to figure out how to remove teh bushing. shops want too much. I may just drill it out. then might try to use c-clamps to put the new ones in.

    wl front roll center adjustment: removed the front control arms. trying to figure out how to remove teh bushing. shops want too much. I may just drill it out. then might try to use c-clamps to put the new ones in. also need to see what else i need to do as far as taking the ball joints out.

    wl rear trailing arm bushing: removed the rear trailing arm. same situation with teh bushings as above.

    TiC rear lower control arm innner bushing: might let a shop do it, cause i don't want to remove the lower control arm and deal with the shock and spring.

    wl rear camber adjustment: currently trying to remove the rear upper control arm. have one nut that is stuck.

    wl rear shock lower bushing: might let a shop do it, cause i don't want to remove the lower control arm and deal with the shock and spring.


    doing all this I learned a few valuable lessons. First is, the cold sucks. Second is to always make sure you grease bushings. You also want to make sure you don't tighten anything up untill you have all the bolts in at least part way. That will help with making sure everything is lined up properly.

    Another valuable lesson is to make a game plan on what you want to work on first and get the order down. Try to have it flow.

    Next lesson, this is fun. This site is awesome and full of information. This site will also cost me a lot of time and money.

    Hopefully I can get this all done before the March 5th Victory meet.
    Last edited by shadowpr; 02-16-2011 at 06:33 PM.

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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    So...its your build thread...sounds like you're putting in hard work! Goodluck!

    oh yeah and....
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    Sounds like some good work. I'd imagine your car will feel entirely new to you when you're done this phase, and will be quicker all around; more power to the ground and improved handling. Kudos for your excellent game plan, and discipline.

    I've fallen in love with the bushing, "cheap", relatively easy to install, and awesome bang/buck. They end up being so bloody expensive in the end however since there are sooooo many. They make up for their inexpensiveness by force of volume.
    ...Rob.
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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudferret View Post
    Sounds like some good work. I'd imagine your car will feel entirely new to you when you're done this phase, and will be quicker all around; more power to the ground and improved handling. Kudos for your excellent game plan, and discipline.

    I've fallen in love with the bushing, "cheap", relatively easy to install, and awesome bang/buck. They end up being so bloody expensive in the end however since there are sooooo many. They make up for their inexpensiveness by force of volume.
    Well put...all I think about before I want to do bushings is just how many there are and which ones I'd actually get to. I also imagine it'd really change my car up because having an 05, some of the stock bushings are probably wearing down a bit.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudferret
    I've fallen in love with the bushing, "cheap", relatively easy to install, and awesome bang/buck. They end up being so bloody expensive in the end however since there are sooooo many. They make up for their inexpensiveness by force of volume.
    Just means you do a few of them at a time, which gives you the chance to see changes each make.

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    I started out only wanting to do swaybars and a few bushings. After a while though, it turned into "well while I'm there, I might as well change those too so I don't have to take it apart again"

    Bushings get expensive, real quick.


    EDIT: finally got that last nut for the rear diff inserts to break loose. So that is officially done. I also removed the rear upper control arms.

    Just need to figure out how to get the bushings pressed out of everything, and get the new ones in so I can put my baby back together and see what she feels like.

    And figure out how to change the front tie rod.
    Last edited by shadowpr; 02-17-2011 at 12:47 PM.

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    I finished everything that I had planned for the first phase.

    I moved on the second phase. I already ordered:

    Goodridge SS brakelines
    Stoptech brake pads
    ATE super blue brake fluid
    Grimspeed MCB
    RCE Yellows
    Koni Yellows
    Whiteline Camber bolt for the front. Did this since the strut tops won't work with my setup, and didn't feel like getting coilovers. Hard to justify them when I have no job.

    I'm jut waiting for everything to get here.

    In the mean time, I'm working on some appearance items. Plan on painting both the rear and front badge. Ordered a perrin shorty antenna. Will paint my headlights. I also debadged the rear. I will eventually get some carbon fiber covers for the rear trunk trim, and the b pillars. I also plan on painting the chrome under the windows. To keep with the carbon fiber theme, I will be getting a carbon fiber grill soon, and still looking for a cf rear diffuser.

    Pics will be linked to soon.

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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Buddy ya killin me with the bushings..lol you need a arbor press to do them properly though I've removed many a bushing with a socket and a two jaw puller. You just have to be very careful with aligning the puller with the suspension part you want to separate the bushing from.

    Bushings ARE cheap.. as long as you can do the labor yourself.

    You could also use the big socket/little socket and bench vice trick (or two pieces of 1/4" thick steel pipe in respective diameters along with said bench vice.

    See if you can locate someone who has a press or worse off, buy one. If you work on anything long enough you'll need it again and they're not that expensive.

    Google search for arbor press

    and please please please if a bolt doesn't want to go in straight, dont force it ITS CROSS THREADING! Thats bad, and if you ever have to remove that bolt again you're going to have a hell of a time. Best to keep messing with it until you can get it straight and smoothly threaded. Try putting a small dab of grease on the ends of the bolt threads before you start them. It does help. That and dont tighten one before the others. Get all started first and then tighten them down.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    lol

    I'm done with bushings for a good while. I figure I changed just about all of them, so they better last me.

    As for the bolts, whoops. I know the rear bushing one is messed up. It's in there, but no where near straight. Thankfully, I won't be having to deal with that one again.

    The only other problem I had was with a subframe bolt. It went in part way, and then just started spinning. Can't get it to go anymore. It's in there good though. I can't spin it freely, need a breaker bar or impact gun.

    Only issue I've had in the past several hundred miles since I finished everything is a knocking/rubbing/annoying sound coming from the rear passanger side. I have another thread about it.

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    Registered User MMaWRX's Avatar
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    I see that you have listed Phase 1, 2, and 3 as modifications before the warranty is up.

    Are all those small mods like that legit in the dealer's eye? I gotta get started if so.
    2011 WRX Limited 5 Door -- Blue of course

    No mods - YET

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowpr View Post
    The only other problem I had was with a subframe bolt. It went in part way, and then just started spinning. Can't get it to go anymore. It's in there good though. I can't spin it freely, need a breaker bar or impact gun.
    I will be doing the subframe bushings next week.Did you get the bolt back in?how much torque?From everywhere I read ,everyone makes it sound easy.Do I you have to have the car in the air or can I use ramps?
    T0ny
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    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage-wrx View Post
    I will be doing the subframe bushings next week.Did you get the bolt back in?how much torque?From everywhere I read ,everyone makes it sound easy.Do I you have to have the car in the air or can I use ramps?
    You want to use ramps, the weight of the vehicle should be settled on the rear suspension to help keep it in place. You also will want to do ONE bolt/bushing at a time, this way you dont throw the alignment of the rear subframe. Each subframe bolt should be torqued to 106ftlb.

    This writeup has a good solid description of what needs to be done.. even has pics. How To: Kartboy 08 rear subframe bushings - Subaru Impreza WRX STI Forums: IWSTI.com
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Yeah,that was the instructions I've been following but that write up says torque is only 60 ftlb.
    T0ny
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMaWRX View Post
    I see that you have listed Phase 1, 2, and 3 as modifications before the warranty is up.

    Are all those small mods like that legit in the dealer's eye? I gotta get started if so.
    Legit as in they won't affect warranty if there is a problem with the engine. I didn't ask a dealer if they were ok, but to me, they are safe mods that won't affect anything that I think will break on the car. My biggest concern would be the engine, turbo, or transmission. Thus I'm staying away from anything that will affect those. The mounts shouldn't affect them either.

    Quote Originally Posted by rage-wrx View Post
    I will be doing the subframe bushings next week.Did you get the bolt back in?how much torque?From everywhere I read ,everyone makes it sound easy.Do I you have to have the car in the air or can I use ramps?
    I had my car up on jacks while I did all my mods. The whiteline subframe inserts have a top and bottom part, so I had to undo all the subframe bolts to get it low enough to slide the inserts in on the top. I did get all the bolts back in. Like mangostick said, just put them in a little bit each until they are all lined up. The bolt that gave me trouble and started to spin on me, is probably a fluke. I can't torque that one to spec since it keeps spinning, but the others are good.

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