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Great job.I think I'll be doing the rear diff bushings as well.Any nvh after install?

I also got the rear endlinks off of the GB,just waiting to order the sways & front enlinks first & then install all at once.

Have to put off mods till next month because of the damn car insurance payment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The arrow is pointing to the IAT sensor,not the MAF. The MAF is up in the tube. Two wires towards the top
Oh, thanks Donkey. I sprayed that too, but I didn't mark it. Would spraying the IAT hurt it at all?


I will fix the original post to avoid confusion today.


Great job.I think I'll be doing the rear diff bushings as well.Any nvh after install?

I also got the rear endlinks off of the GB,just waiting to order the sways & front enlinks first & then install all at once.

Have to put off mods till next month because of the damn car insurance payment.
No NVH that I noticed. It may be me, but I hear my engine going into engine braking a little bit more now with fluctuations in throttle. I'm guessing becuase I don't have that time where my driveline is squishing to get back on the throttle smoothly. I might be all wet too. I would strongly advise these inserts. Even my girlfriend commented that the car feels better.

If you have them handy, just throw them on. You aren't repeating any work, and it's wasn't hard at all for me to work around the sway bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Driveline 'Overhaul':

So this covers most of the 6MT Super Shift Kit group buy from a bit ago. To summarize:
  • KB 6MT Short Throw Shift Lever
  • KB 6MT Pivot Bushings (They go in the actual lever part)
  • KB 6MT Linkage Bushings (These go in the linkage before it hits the tranny)
  • KB Front Shifter Bushing (This helps hold the pivot point of the lever in place)
  • KB Rear Shifter Bushing (Same as Front Bushing, only in the rear)
  • Group N Transmission mount (Big rubber brick that is inbetween crossmember and transmission)
  • TiC Crossmember Bushings (they are cherry blossom red, enough said)

I have them labeled with pictures up above under my box of goodies if you want. I didn't take too many pictures compared to stock.

Install:
Agh. That was rough. Hands down, (expected) hard install for me. I am still a mechanical noob, and I was not sure that I'd be able to finish this installation after getting into it. There is a lot that can go wrong in this install, and I first hand found everything. If you plan on simply following instructions, plan for the car to be in the air for two days. Instructions should just be a supplement - you need a frekin battle plan for this.

I would be more than willing to offer advice to anybody that does this. There is advice all over the internet - I used all of it, and still have some further tips I think. Really read around before trying this. I have some pictures to help anybody in question out, and will comment as I go through them. It was too long and stressful of an install to have organized thoughts and full install instructions.

Basically, my battle plan looking back at it:
-Get back of car on ramps. I like ramps. They always work as expected.
-Take center console apart to get shift lever out
-Prepare KB lever, being careful to not drop a pivot bushing down drain
-Jack front of car up as high as possible
-Remove crossmember parts and tranny mount. Use jack to manipulate transmission.
-Extend and block reverse lockout (I was out of order, but it works either way)
-Loosen front bushing stay thingy
-Somehow, get the linkage unattached from the transmission
-Assuring that the rubber is free from the metal plate inside of the car, pull entire assembly down
-At bench, replace all bushings - soak rear in hot water to get it on. Use grease.
-Somehow, get assembly back to where it was
-Thread one bolt of the rear bushing on as a temporary support
-Somehow, get the linkage back attached. Verify you didn't screw up the orientation of the linkage.
-Get front stay back attached - don't snap bolt
-Somehow, get both the rear stay bolts threaded and torqued
-I put the lever back on here so I could test it out here.
-Verify that the shifter works as planned, and secure reverse lockout cable to the stay (away from drive shaft)
-Remove reverse lockout mechanism (mine was a cut off nail)
-Bolt new transmission mount back on
-Bolt crossmember parts back on, replacing bushings as you go
-Hope you didn't screw up
-Put console back together and drink copious amounts of beer after testing

Pictures (Large and over kill as normal):
Prep your interior. There will be grease involved. I can't imagine that alcantara gets along well with white lithium:


First group are pictures to take the center console apart. Hopefully this saves some sorry soul from breaking any little clips.
First two screws to undo:


Next, get the parking brake boot loose. Careful with the leather. I started by getting the clips loose on the bottom by pulling up as shown:


Remove screw under parking brake boot:


Pull piece straight BACK:


Remove crap from cubby hole. Pull piece mostly back - take some muscles but these clips are more durable:


I just popped the light power off - there is enough slack you can just set it on the floor too. This is what you are left with eventually. There is no snap for the shifter boot. Just pull it up over the little ledge its on after removing the shift knob:


After you take the rubber bolts off and get the dust boot out:


Note the evil C clip. Even with C-clip pliers that sucker is a PITA for me. Also, you will need to loosen that metal 'frame' piece to pull the rubber part down later on. I'd just do it now.:


Everything out and compared to stock:


Beer break time. Yes I'm cheating and starting before the fat lady sings. This install sucks. Take it in small doses and take lots of breaks for your own good:


On my car, this was my inital view of my target area. Note all the sharp crap between me and my goal:


Pair of tin snips and a reality smack from another member led me to save my hands, put the car on a tad bit of a diet, and maybe kill a tree or two. This will not be going back on:


New target, now visible:


I used a 2" or so nail without a sharp point on the end and jammed the reverse lockout. There was a convieneint hole in both parts so I figured why not. Worked very well. Picture A:


Picture B:


Shifter assembly amazingly out of car. New bushings on. Note the time lapse where I was too ****ed off to take any pictures. Good luck getting to this point. Jack manipulation under the tranny is key throughout this whole install. I shoved the transmission over, but I had to push so hard I thought I was going to break something. It took most of my strength. No idea why. But, I got it. Sucks to be you - mines done.


One thing I noticed was that the kartboy bolt would not thread when I went to put the rear bushing up. Note how the stock one has a 'helper' area:


I tried going at it with a dremel. As expected, it didn't help anyhow. Just man up, get the passenger side one threaded first. Then get the driver side one in there somehow.


Yep. I got it. Its on there and torqued to whatever my arm felt like torquing it to. Those little bendy-joint socket extensions that I never find a use for saved my ***. Again, one of those, 'sucks to be you' issues. Just keep trying and don't strip it out by strong arming it.


So that's my install help. Feel free to ask me any questions about it if you haven't done it already. Really, I had a hard time with it. But, it was completely worth it...


Impressions:
Wow. Just wow.
First impression - I could feel when my shifter was in the gate. Clearly. With a nice, 'thunk' confirmation. No fluff or questions asked. It was in there. Could feel it enter the gear all the way down to the transmission without any loss of feeling.
Second impression - holy short throw. I had the factory short throw. To my understanding, the linkage on it is shorter, so that multiplies the affect of the KB lever. I don't know how true that statement is, but its really nice and short nonetheless.
Third impression - I can feel/hear my transmission now. A nice 'whirrrr' in lower RPMs and mostly 1st/2nd gear. I love it. I could see some not liking this. Mainly girlfriends and men without balls (cough, mango). Just kidding. The car is noticeably louder inside. I mostly blame the mount and Xmember bushings. I would not look over this detail if you are concerned about noise.
Fourth impression - I feel much more connected to my car. Even less slop in the driveline. I like it a lot more. A whole lot more.
Fifth impression - In addition to the third impression, the transmission at higher RPMs is an even better experience now. It adds a lot to a WOT pull that is impossible to describe.

Now I want to put my engine mounts on ;).
 

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Very nice write up & pics.

You're right about the rear bushing bolts.I got the first one in easy,then fought with the the second one for the good part of an hour.Somehow I got it in there.I do not know how.

Someone told me that the whine you hear in 1st & 2nd is due to the new rear bushing.I for one love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks guys. Trust me, if you don't have these, you should get them. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the shifter feel before this - other than going into 3rd instead of 5th time to time. Now I know what it should have felt like from the factory. Wow. Even my dad got in and was doubting the change on the way to the car. He popped it into reverse and, "Wow. That is really, really nice and crisp."

Very nice write up & pics.

You're right about the rear bushing bolts.I got the first one in easy,then fought with the the second one for the good part of an hour.Somehow I got it in there.I do not know how.

Someone told me that the whine you hear in 1st & 2nd is due to the new rear bushing.I for one love it.
It's hard to describe. The whine is pretty cool. The really awesome feeling is under WOT now though. Just as the pitch stop gives you a bit of vibration in your seat, the transmission mount adds to it when you are in the higher RPMs for me. I am really stoked for the engine mounts, but I am fighting the urge and waiting until I get a set of sway bars.

I'm torn on what to do next. I want to get my car aligned finally, but there are a few things I'd like to put on if I'm getting it aligned. I'd also really like a set of either RCE blacks or yellows as well as a set of their sways. I may just go get an alignment with nothing fancy for now... Then sways... Then after I get one of my two loans paid off in a month or two I can put some money aside for the full blown strut/spring combo from RCE =).

Car is a blast to drive now though. Everything I've done has really helped the car out, and pretty glad I picked the path I did so far.
 

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If you are looking for a Whiteline front sway bar ,it might be difficult to get.I got mine at a good price after a lot of searching.I was really hoping to put my front sway bar over the weekend,but sadly it will only get here on Monday.

Over the weekend I learned a lot about alignments.I took my wife's SUV to get the alignment done.The guy does alignments for rally cars & he explained a lot as well as I got a lot of info from Big Sky WRX.Although I don't have to wait till after the sway bar install ,I thought I'd install it anyway & then get it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
If you are looking for a Whiteline front sway bar ,it might be difficult to get.I got mine at a good price after a lot of searching.I was really hoping to put my front sway bar over the weekend,but sadly it will only get here on Monday.

Over the weekend I learned a lot about alignments.I took my wife's SUV to get the alignment done.The guy does alignments for rally cars & he explained a lot as well as I got a lot of info from Big Sky WRX.Although I don't have to wait till after the sway bar install ,I thought I'd install it anyway & then get it done.
I was debating between whiteline and RCE. It seems the big advantage of the whitelines are that the rear comes with the additional braces which seem to help out a good bit. RCEs are a bit lighter, they don't 'walk' like the whitelines do without a hose clamp, and everybody seems to like them a bit better than the whitelines (a bunch over on iwsti have had both brands). I think I'm gonna go with RCEs and later on pick up a set of yellows/blacks from them. Can't hurt to have a set of springs that were designed with the RCE sways in mind.

I've given up on price hunting. I just work additional overtime and say screw it at this point. The only thing I'd really want to pick up used at this point is a set of gold 17s for winter use. I have been looking around, but most STi patterns are 18s. I know some wheels come with both bolt patterns on them though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Driveline Overhaul #2

Group N Engine Mounts and Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings

Install:
No pictures for this one. In catch up mode. In a nutshell, I didn't get the engine mounts on earlier. Luckily, my friend from work came over and helped with the engine mounts. Ended up dropping the engine cross member instead of jacking up the engine. This saved us from possibly crushing the oil pan, and I had to loosen the steering rack up anyhow to get the steering rack bushings on. The mounts would have been tough to do by myself. Steering rack bushings weren't too bad. Hardest part was getting the steering column back together. Kinda a tight area to work, difficult to line up, and those knuckles take a toll on your hand - mine was beat up pretty bad by the end. Feel free to shoot any questions my way. I don't mind talking more about the install, I just am doing some catch up on the rest of the stuff I've done.

Results:
Was happy with the results.

I actually really enjoy the engine mounts. The noise wasn't nearly as bad as I expected, and it 'balanced' everything out. Before the install, getting into first gear was 'clunky'... although very notchy after the shifter/bushings install. Afterwards, it felt like it should. Notchy, but not like I'm forcing it in or jamming it in at all... Just a light pop and it was in gear.

Steering rack bushings weren't as noticeable as I was expecting. Made the steering more firm, but not nearly as dramatic of a change as I had expected. Biggest difference seems to be over bumps - the steering wheel goes where the wheels do. None of that 'mystery angle' stuff that I had before. Just a bit more connected to the road =). I'd still recommend them. I'm sure on older cars this would make a much larger difference - the rubber bushings on mine were still in great shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Suspension Overhaul

RCE Front/Rear Sways, RCE Blacks, and an alignment.

Install:
Install was pretty much as expected - the springs did take longer than I had anticipated though. I found the spring compressors to be fairly useless due to the shape of the spring. I couldn't fit them in a manner that compressed them in a useful direction (always pulled at an angle). Also, lining the tophats up on the rears was an unexpected one. I spent a good hour or two thinking of a scheme to align the back passenger one. Then my friend came over, stuck the driver side one in, and just turned it with a long screw driver in about 30 seconds. I'd say go for the later for the time savings, haha. Still not too friendly with car mechanics, so was a pretty educational install. Definitely one to have a friend handy for though. The RCE youtube video does make it look absurdly easy. If the install goes that nicely for you, you deserve a pat on the back. Sway bars went in as expected.

Alignment was done at a local shop - hard to find a shop that will do custom alignments around me apparently. Went with a place called 'Foreign Traffic'. They sell fairly high end imports normally, but do service on them as well as detailing. They aren't cheap, but they are honest, upfront, and do good work - money well spent. If they mess up (which they all do, whether they admit it or not), they let you know and fix it up right. I went with a mild camber (-1.0) upfront and tried to minimize toe all the way around (setting the toe to zero in the rear caused my camber to go crazy apparently). I would go more aggressive upfront next time.


Results:
Car felt generally tighter. Noticed the car pulled to the right as well... Turns out its just tire wear due to me rotating the tires and the crappy factory alignment. I will throw up the alignment specs in a bit.

Car actually felt like it understeered worse. This was due to a not-aggressive-enough alignment I think, but more so due to the fact that I accidentally switched my sway settings. Putting the rear on 'firm' and the front on 'soft' cleared up the issue, and I have a pretty neutral feeling car now. Will be looking to get some rear control arms and try again next year with another alignment most likely ;).

Also, I still to this day haven't cleared up the end link pop over bumps (I've gotten them as straight as possible - I think the sway bar moves too much within the guides when going at a slow speed) or the spring perch creaking when I pull out of a parking space or something. I'm going to call RCE and see if they have any suggestions about the spring creak... it is pretty annoying and I can feel it slip all the way up to the wheel. Will confuse my traction control time to time over low speed really sharp uphill/downhill bends. Still, the car felt very good.

Not as simple as the driveline bushings (more tweaking required)... but still a good one that I'd suggest. Car just feels more 'behaved' on the road.
 

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Hows the ride comfort after the springs? Even tho we have different years its nice to read some more feedback on these parts. I have alot of the same ideas as far as suspension, bushings/mount upgrades in mind. Thanks for the write ups.
I am jealous by the way. My build is spinning in the mud. lol. Someday I will get there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Hows the ride comfort after the springs? Even tho we have different years its nice to read some more feedback on these parts. I have alot of the same ideas as far as suspension, bushings/mount upgrades in mind.
I didn't notice much more as far as harshness goes with the springs. The only place I noticed it being more harsh was when going over pretty decent potholes at a moderate speed. Even then, it's not too bad and better than bouncing around for five minutes. On past years, they will make the car have less understeer - the '11 has stiffer rear springs. Still made the car more enjoyable to drive though.

Bushings are awesome. Nuff said. I'll do the control arm ones eventually.

I am jealous by the way. My build is spinning in the mud. lol. Someday I will get there.
Good luck! If I'm up that way sometime I'll give you a hollar on here.

Will continue the write ups here in a bit =)
 

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I didn't notice much more as far as harshness goes with the springs. The only place I noticed it being more harsh was when going over pretty decent potholes at a moderate speed. Even then, it's not too bad and better than bouncing around for five minutes. On past years, they will make the car have less understeer - the '11 has stiffer rear springs. Still made the car more enjoyable to drive though.

Bushings are awesome. Nuff said. I'll do the control arm ones eventually.

Good luck! If I'm up that way sometime I'll give you a hollar on here.

Will continue the write ups here in a bit =)
I havent made my decision on my spring and strut combo. I have a few ideas as to what I want. Thats why I ask and continue to read about them.
Anytime your up this way get ahold of me. I am just about always home.
 

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Heide264 said:
I didn't notice much more as far as harshness goes with the springs. The only place I noticed it being more harsh was when going over pretty decent potholes at a moderate speed. Even then, it's not too bad and better than bouncing around for five minutes.
This has been my impression of the RCE Blacks, as well. Anything other than tarmac (concrete highways, gravel/unpaved roads, potholes, etc.), the RCEs are noticeably harsher. On tarmac, the RCEs have reduced the bobble-head effect, making them more comfortable than OE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
Lathewerks SS ball shift knob, weathertech liners, & hella horns

Love the added weight of the stainless steel. Complemented the shorter shifter lever/linkage & stiffer bushings well. Looking back at it, I would have rather gone either heavier/larger, or a lighter material. I'd highly recommend a thick pair of gloves (the wool ones that have a pullover mitten instead of fingers are where it's at) if you are set on it. Also, not too happy with the 'grip' finish I got. I am sure if I call them they will fix it up no questions asked, but it's smoothed out and is actually chipping a bit here and there now. I'd go with a black matte polish next time. Still, great buy in my opinion. Notice it everytime you drive.

Can also see the mats a bit in this one. I did not take weathertech specific pictures. Only grip I have with them is that they don't cover the entire dead pedal - so water runs down it a bit behind the liner. Still a great product for winter, and the fitment on both the front and rears really are great. I may take them out come spring to change it up a bit and go back to fabric, but these are a no brainer for winter.







I don't have any pics of the hellas on hand. I like them. I got them mainly to yell at stupid people. Amazing how many people out there don't know how a four way stop works. Only note is that they are extremely directional. Very loud straight in front (or in a garage.. Could hear the inspection guy yell some nice words) - otherwise oddly quiet off axis. Not a bad buy for the price. Not a huge fan of the looks. I may paint them black if I'm ever motivated to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Reserved for some pictures of the winter wheels and snow tires eventually
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Invidia down pipe, nameless mid pipe, SMY cluster w/boost gauge, lc-1 w/ gauge, and GrimmSpeed EBCS

Got the Invidia on and heat wrapped. I went with DEI titanium heat wrap and some stainless zip ties from Lowes. The heat wrap is actually soft to the touch - not what I was expecting. Seems like high quality stuff though. The zip ties suck, but they work better than nothing. They don't keep a lot of force on the wrap, but I used a bunch and they are holding it on pretty well - just a bit loose in my opinion. Don't know if the wrap helped at all, but I thought it would be a better solution than making a heat sink for the wide band sensor (was getting some really strange readings at idle after a hard drive without it).

The Invidia pipe itself... Couldn't be happier. Car is a lot more responsive now, and it expanded my power band down a good 300rpm. I cruise at a much lower RPM now compared to what I used to. I had to pull a lot more timing than planned on - but that's a good thing considering the power gains in my opinion. Car just feels 'like it should' power wise. Sounds mean now.









As far as the SMY cluster goes, it works. It fits (after you get all the clips firmly pushed in). Probably as good as you'll get and keep a stock appearance. I wish the gauges sat in a bit further and angled up towards me a bit. The wiper 'stalk' actually bumps the front of the boost gauge time to time. Still - it matches and holds two useful gauges for me.

LC-1 install was a pain in my opinion. I hate electrical work on cars. Always a huge ordeal to get wires run. I mounted the controller on a small bracket above the turbo. It's probably a bit hotter than ideal, but oh well. I think it'll be just fine. Ran the wires through a hole in the firewall behind the IC. What a pain.

That being said, I don't understand how anybody can tune a car without one. No longer taking a shot in the dark. I just plug it into my OP2.0 and it goes to town when I hit the defroster.




EBCS... Meh, I figured why not. Seems to work. I have bad boost creep issues after the down pipe install though. Unit was a nice quality unit and bolted in with a bit of work. Needed a good bit of work tuning wise, but I could never get the boost spikes stabilized with it... Lesson learned - can't fix a mechanical issue with a bunch of tables sometimes.. Still, having an interrupt type solenoid instead of the stock bleed type is not a bad thing at all.

 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
KS Tech CAI - Stock Sized MAF Housing

KS Tech CAI - Stock Sized MAF Housing

Product seemed top notch at first. Intake had a pretty nice construction and I got the fancy red power coating. Looking back at it I would have left it chrome and just coated it with something to help reduce intake temps. Regardless, it seemed nice.

Had some frustrating issues getting the heat shield on. Just force it in and use an awl to get the self tapping screws started. It works.

Car feels a bit more responsive. Not much louder at all. Can hear the turbo spool up a bit and can hear the bypass valve a lot more.

Tuning wise, I can tell it helped up top in the rpm range. Just a heads up - you will need to slightly rescale your MAF despite claims (I suspected this anyhow). Otherwise, I was running about .5-1afr lean up top - which is bad in lay mans terms.

Before:


After:


General Pics:




Old one:


Filter:


Filter sits right in here at the top of the compartment:



Sucker does through a high MAF code if I enter boost within 8 hours of a touchless car wash (no underspray either). Who knows. 'Tis a CAI, ha.
 
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