2004 WRX - Shoopster's build (or rather, repair) thread by Shoopster

By diyauto
( 1 )

2004 WRX - Shoopster's build (or rather, repair) thread

Compliments of Shoopster @ www.clubwrx.net


Hi all! 

WRB 2004 Impreza WRX 2.0L - Stage 2

Conservative tune at 16psi , +/- 230 HP

I like that it doesn't look like a girl's car - ok, except for the E-4AT lol don't hate - and plan to keep it that way.

12 July 2015

Just over 2 years since I bought the Shoopster and started this build thread! 

Before the Shoopster, I knew next to nothing about cars, let alone WRX. The Shoop came with a Turbosmart BOV (that kept getting stuck), some garden-hose setup in lieu of the oil vapor tubes across the intercooler, an AEM air intake in the fender (that I worried about flooding in the smallest puddles), a busted up-pipe, and a fart-can stuffed with shredded fiberglass with a silencer. I gradually returned it to somewhat stock and we're finally onto some real mods at #21 below. The Shoop is not so stock anymore 

Shoopster's public photo album

I take pics every time I park next to another Subie 

Shoopster's Fb page


- Stock airbox with intake 'speaker-mod'

- ZeroSports after-MAF pipe & silicone tubes

- Okada Projects plasma coils

- Grimmspeed up-pipe

- PTP turbo blanket

- Cobb turbo heat shield (stainless)

- Invidia downpipe + Grimmspeed adapter flange

- AEM Uego WB02 sensor, A:F gauge

- Borla Hush twin tips, 3" catback

- stock/OEM '02 bypass valve 

- GReddy magnetic oil-drain plug

- Cobb oil cap (WRB)

- ZeroSports hoodscoop splitter + rad shroud

- V8 STi strut bar

- Grimmspeed hood struts

- radiator from a jdm STi (repair/replacement)

- Autometer Cobalt triple pod pillar (boost / oil pressure / water temp)

- Wheels: 

-> front Brembos

-> FireHawk 15mm spacers

-> Summer: DAI Revo 17" Gloss Black, blue lug nuts (tires 225/45R17)

-> Winter: gold STi V7's, blue lugs (Nokian Hakka 8 205/50R17)

- JDM limited edition STi nose: Hood, scoop, bumper, big fogs

- Badgeless aftermarket grill

- STi HID headlights, black-housed; PIAA bulbs (score!)

- Subtle license plate delete

- Rally Armor mud flaps

- Stock horns painted gold

- Tinted rear windows

- Debadged rear & plasti-dipped Subaru lettering

- Sticker-bombed passenger's side mirror

- Alpine double-din touch screen

- Ortiz Custom Pods central-air-vent delete gauge-pod

- The Shoopster runs on 94 octane (avg 21 mpg), Lucas Oil 10W40 every 5k km (3100 miles), and has 289,500 km on the clock ( ~180k miles)

Here's a general menu, in case you want to skip the BS'ing (err, I mean experienced advice and witty banter):

1. Up-pipe, brake discs, inner fender (front-left) & Up-pipe again, #25

2. All-weather floor mats

3. Headlights polish

4. License plate delete Plasti-dip (here too) and installationbumper clips

5. Painting front grill and stock hornsstock horns finished

6. Bewbs

7. Radiator belts, oil pressure switch, timing belt et als. (the latter discussion starts here), and engine wash.

8. A few blue touches: LEDs above the license plate, and COBB oil cap. The 3-gauge pod pillar and AEM air intake came with the car. 

9. Sideskirts black plastic, restoration

10. Stock '02 catback scrubdown: Purchased a used OEM because I'm considering replacing the fart-can that came with the car

11. Roof rust removal and paint, and an overall compound/buff

11a. Pref-buff photo-op here, and post-buff here.

12. Winter wheels acquired

13. The Chapter In Which We Finally Have Boost!

14. Vent replacement center of dash

15. Rear badge plasti-dipped black

16. Installed Rally Armor mudflaps ('Classic', black logo)

17. Fixed the heater (refer also to #14 above)

18. Fixed the blow-off valve (see also #13 above)

19. Shhhoopster loses the fart-can and the AEM air intake (stock air intake mod)

20. Blue lugs, sticker-bomb, the Shoopster takes a hit, and STi HID's

21. Invidia downpipe installed 2 Apr 2014, and a temporary WTF tune

22. Compression & Leakdown tests; Borla Hush twin-tips catback installed; adios BOV! 

23. Brembos installation and everything that can go wrong. 

24. Fender rolling and Brembo-clearing V7's for the winter

25. Up-pipe again

26. ZeroSports scoop splitter

27. Blinker fluid or, water in my STI HID's.

28. Busted bumper buildup: JDM nose didn't fit, painting the winter bumper.

29. 2BEWBS 280085 kms

30. STi jdm Special Edition nose

31. P0457 Major Evap P0457 solved! Gas smell at fuel-up, and winter gas-smell

32. Maintenance and upgrades Okada Projects plasma coils, JDM U-frame, Zero Sports stainless rad shroud, quarter-panel rust/touch-up 

33. AEM UEGO WB02 gauge & central air-vent-delete pod

34...Next update: 

- tuned! locally by Walter Turgeon

- misfire cylinder #3, new sparks

- Grimmspeed hood struts

- anti-rattle mechanisms

- bottom grill in the new bumper

- busted radiator & Shoop's first tow, Zero Sports hoses

- ZeroSports after-MAF, STi strut bar

- the Shoop takes another hit (rear bumper scratch)

To-do List

- prestone o-ring gaskets under intake

- TGV delete

- install rear Brembos

- install Mishimoto coolant expansion tank

- install ZeroSports damper pulley

- paint rear bumper + deal with cancerous cells in quarter panels


- JDM cluster for automatic with gear display (shift-tronic steering wheel, transmission, TCU)

- Subtle dead-pedal

- stainless gas/brake pedals

Job 1. New up-pipe.

We ordered an eBay jobber, but it turns out it's a good pipe, not one of those nightmare-mesh-interior ones that shred.

Either end of the pipe was a little warped, it needed to be grinded and leveled for a perfect seal.

And we pulled out this piece of shrapnel still attached inside to the sensor bung. 

(Lesson here: feel around the inside just to be sure it's smooth.)

Lastly, we plugged/soldered the bung and leveled the nub that remained on the inside.

New up-pipe

We wrapped it (then read not to over-wrap it, and) unwrapped it, re-wrapped the non-flex sections per advice (then read that wrapping only one piece can over-heat that piece and the adjoining parts) and unwrapped it again. 

Shrapnel picked off the inside, gadzooks! god save my turbo.


Up-pipe gasket, not a perfect fit, the holes needed to be adjusted/widened

Here is the old, busted up-pipe (stock). 

The torch marks are from opening it, we had to see what was going on inside. Old up-pipe was cracked clean in two.

and the mess inside it



Sensor bung inside the new UP before & after, leveled/smoothed to reduce turbulence

We also did the electronic fix since the EGT sensor is removed (details here). These cost a whopping $1 for 5.

---> Interesting side-story to (and likely cause of) the cracked up-pipe, and I had this terrible throttle lag, took forEVER to take off. About a week after changing the up-pipe, we noticed this awful sound coming from the exhaust (it was embarassing, even). My muffler was stuffed with shredded fiber-glass and I don't think they did it right. We pulled out three foot-ball sized bunches of what looked like the kind of stuff you pack Easter baskets with. The pressure build-up in the exhaust is probably what split my stock up-pipe inside its steel casing. We removed the stuffing, the lag was instantly gone and the Shoopster now takes off like a Shoopster should. Oh and the b-e-a-utiful sound my car makes now Ah yes and the BOV also then made its BBppllllthptptptpt sound heard for the first time since I bought the car. 

Good thing we also ordered a downpipe gasket, just in case, mine was cracked.

Downpipe is stock.

I bought the Shoop for only $7k. I think the used-car dealer knew the up-pipe was a problem (which we had found on inspection), and that there was a serious throttle lag. He didn't know about the stuffing until we pointed it out though, and I'm sure he was surprised when we told him the lag is fixed hahaa!

Job 2. New front brake discs (I think we call them discs in French. Rotors in English?)

These were a Shoopster-warming gift from my boyfriend :-)

Caliper is unimpressed.

I apparently don't have a decent pic of them installed.

Job 3. Inner fender, front-left (in French we call this a "false-wing", fausse aile)

I've no idea how this came to be busted. There are scratch marks under the bumper too, I think one of the prev owners must've run up on a side-walk or one of those parking-concrete blocks.

The part we ordered didn't fit properly, so we've re-ordered it (received) and Job 3 is still on the to-do list.

NEXT/upcoming jobs

4. Timing belt & water pump (and accessories) purchased here. I know y'all aren't crazy about eBay stuff in general, but boyfriend-mechanic is really happy with the quality of the items received, he said it's the same they use at the garage (and shipping was faster than light). Dude's got over 100,000 transactions and 100% satisfied reviews.

5. Turbo heat-shield to be replaced (  at MWF)

6. And the waste-gate actuator is corroded. Waiting on a used turbo hopefully...

Can't really see it too well with the shield on, sorry

And here are some random shots of the engine bay and exhaust.

Don't laugh at my garden-hose attachments, they came with. When I can afford to replace those, they're on the list.

The exhaust seems to be a mix of stock/not. As for the rest, I'm finding out as I go. 

I don't know enough to recognize stock from not, so please feel free to let me know what I've got goin' on here....

Update: Goodies arrived today 

Could have probably found better prices, but buying from a single seller saves me $hipping

Turbo blanket

PTP Turbo Blankets Turbo Blanket Blue Subaru Models (inc. 2002-2013 WRX / STI) FPRO35-009-005 at RallySportDirect.com

Greddy magnetic oil-drain plug

Greddy Magdrain Magnetic Oil Drain Plug M20 x 1.5 Subaru / STI Rear Diff 2008-2013 13901303 at RallySportDirect.com

And my license plate delete from Subtle Solutions.

(it is SO perfectly perfect i'm gonna have to install it with suede gloves on)

Subaru 2002-07 Impreza OEM all-season floor-mat Review

The driver's side floormat fits nicely, that's what counts.

The rear mats are much smaller than the carpets, but since there are no kids to stomp mud or cheerios all over them, they'll do nicely. Nobody puts their feet under the front seats anyway.

The passenger-side floormat is much smaller than the carpet though, about 3" less coverage above and below, which is unfortunate. Another case of bad planning. 

Stay tuned for more exciting stuff.


there's always something.

can't install the drain plug til next oil change

can't install the plate delete without removing the bumper.

gotta get backing clips for the screws, and

if i'm going to remove the bumper, 

need the (correct) clips to put it back on again,

and might as well do something about the peeling paint on my horn(s)


red sky at night...


Cold, rainy day. I tackled the headlights under the carport after watching a couple videos. 

I used Meguiar's PlastX on a dry shammy, and a terry cloth to buff/wipe it away. 

My old headlights aren't in great shape, a little peely in places, there's only so much I can do for them 

(new ones are around $250++  so, not on the priority-shortlist for now). 

Still, I'm pleased with how they turned out, better than I expected (because I expected to scr*w up somehow)

Took about 15 minutes, the taping prep took longer than the job itself.


Then I rinsed this morning's layer of pollen dust off the Shoop and did bf's beat-up Echo's lights too because why not.

Only so much I could do for those too. I didn't have to tape it though because he doesn't give a crop about it anyway.

Toothpaste works too (on the Echo anyway lol I sure didn't try it on the Shoop) 

but it didn't come out as shiny and I re-did it with the PlastX anyway.


#6 on the To-do list: Used wastegate actuator (and turbo) acquired locally! Thanks for the advice Mikie13!

For those wondering, a new wastegate actuator costs about $135 +tx + shipping. 

Used turbo cost less and now I have a spare just in case; it's in good shape, very little play.

And mine is missing the little C-clip too (I just learned) so now I have that too.


Hoping to get this done this weekend.

- Ordered Subaru WRB touch-up pen and all bumper clips to replace the tie-wraps holding up my front bumper.

- will replace the oil pressure switch, mine has a leak.

- will install the LF inner fender, and 

- we're also tackling the timing belt job, water pump and everything that goes with.

Also hoping a friend of mine will (find the time to) show me how to sandblast my windshield-wiper arms and my horns

- picked up some satin-black spray paint for the the wipers, and 

- gold for the (stock) horns but I'm still undecided as to that. I think it would be subtle behind the grill. Thing is, there's no other gold anywhere (yet. Maybe my future winters wheels, we'll see.)

- I don't know if I should paint the grill black too, or leave it bare metal as it is. I think black would look better over the gold horns and overall. 

Opinions welcome. There's a decent pic of the grill and horns (presently faded, peeling metallic red) above, in my headlights-cleaning post.

While I'm waiting, I Plasti-dipped the license delete last night so that it doesn't get permanently messed up with chips and bug squish like my bumper. 

Here's a few pix of the process:

Box-top for a work surface. On the back of the delete, I used a couple of rubber stoppers (formerly from my step-ladder's feet) with some tape to both raise the surface of the delete, so it doesn't stick to the box, and to pick it up if needed without messing up the edges or finish.

Supports are placed strategically so that they don't interfere with the Plasti-dip that may leak/wrap/dry around the delete's edges. No point in dipping the back of it though.

About half an hour between each coat, sprayed it once from each direction to make sure I got all the nooks a crannies, and then a 5th coat for OCD's sake.

The finished product

The screws that go with it are also painted black, but I'm not going to Dip those, because the screwdriver will wreck it anyway, it'd be impossible to preserve. The delete's finish is thus more matte than the screws (but who cares, at least they won't be silver). There's a pre-Dip pic of the delete in post #2 above.

proceeding on schedule...

More goodies!

All teh bumper clips! For my tie-wrap-toting friends, FYI that's

8x CLIP BMPR, 4x CLIP 10x15, and 2x scrivet

And that itty bitty little thing? that's the WRB touch up pen. 

They either underestimate the need, or over-estimate their paint's performance.

And that other little purple thing next to it, is a milk-bag clip, just for size reference.

Oh but milk doesn't come in bags in the US, does it? Well, that should mess with you a little, then.

So, I'd like to update on the floormat situation and report on a very decent customer follow-up experience.

As some of you may recall, in chapter 3 of our story, our heroine expressed some dissatisfaction with the coverage, or lack thereof, provided by the passenger-side OEM rubber floormat.

Long story short, RallySportDirect contacted me and double-checked that I'd received the right ones, and checked the measurements with Subaru as well. To make up for it, RSD offered me a credit worth half the retail price - which I did not expect and much appreciated - and asked me to post my review on their product with a picture, because it was indeed accurate.

(I really didn't mean to make a big deal out of it - I didn't even consider returning them - but there wasn't a single negative review on the product, nothing whatsoever about the major difference in size. How could I be the only one. That irritated me more than the discrepancy itself.) 

IN OTHER good news, following a crushing majority vote of two (including yours truly), the grill is painted black. Easy peasy 

Screws! That's it?? I was ready to put tape everywhere.

Good thing that didn't turn into a big production like some people 

We also removed the horns, didn't need to remove the bumper for that. 

Peely and mucky and gross. It would probably be easier to get new ones. But ain't it always.

Cleaned up with brake & parts cleaner, but the paint's gotta go. That'll be next.


Radiator belts were in poor shape, little cracks all over the place

At first, Boyfriend-Mechanic (hereafter BF) tried to do the job without removing the radiator, because he's done it before. And, because every extra thing that needs to be disassembled comes with the extra risk of another thing breaking or being stuck or both. He's got this tool he fabricated too, looks like a long arm with two bolts soldered to the the end of it, and he usually uses this to do timing belt jobs without removing the rad. But the crank pulley was royally stuck, even with an extra pair of hands helping (not mine.). Finally it took a really small and really powerful impact to get it 

Here we see the Shoop's oil pressure switch, all blackened from a leak.

So, removing the rad. Two collars around the hoses at the bottom broke, PITA #1: extra half-hour.

PITA #2 one of bolts securing the radiator/chassis bracket also broke. He was able to remove the brackets and the radiator, and so but the a/c compressor stayed in place for the duration of the job. He was finally able to drill through and remove the stuck bolt at the end of the evening. Tack on another extra half-hour. Plus extra PITA factor for having to work in a tight space.

I cleaned the timing belt covers  this isn't my good side 

Here's the new oil pressure switch (before engine wash)

Ok this is where it gets interesting. The following are pix of the old timing belt and the pulleys and their markers.

Sorry if some of the pix are fuzzy, it was a tight fit.

Cr*p in the tensioner, and notice how the top of its pin has been worn down, it has a groove.

This is what the thing shouldn't look like.

Below, old/used vs. new. Notice how the blue one is all dirty, and the outside of it is marked and worn from the belt sliding over it, which its not supposed to do. In other words, the belt was turning and the pulley probably wasn't. Not properly anyway. 

old, old next to new, new

Thermostat housing

same piece, after a bit of grinding/polishing

Old water pump below. On its left (your left) is the thermostat, which we (he) forgot to order. Luckily it was in very good condition, and the timing-belt-kit we ordered came with the gasket for it. Following that, pix of the new water pump (before installing the thermostat piece).

For a hot minute, the cleanest part of my engine bay.


This is what BF uses for engine wash

New parts being installed

I washed the radiator fans too, with the same stuff

And here are some pix with the pulleys (and new belt) lining up properly. 

Mechanic's trade secret: plastic surfaces can be polished with parts lubricant. 

Shoopster's first engine wash (+busted bolt removed/replaced)

Started this job at 3pm, finished around 1am. 

During clean-up / smoke break, BF said to me, "You remember a point when I was really upset and swearing?"

Which of course begged the answer, "What? You? Nah."

He said, "I didn't want to tell you this earlier, because I didn't want you to worry. But for a minute there, I thought we were going to lose the Shoopster. I really thought you were going to need a new engine."

Ok, so the lessons here:

1. Don't just replace the timing belt. If you're going to go to the trouble of opening it up, replace everything involved.

2. Anti-seize on every bolt, every time.

In other happy news, the Shoopster made the 220,000km mark today (136k miles)  

Also, the needle on my boost gauge now passes the zero, went up to 10 this morning (this was at 140k/hr or 86mph).

The throttle lag on take-off is g-g-GONE!

And here's Mechanic Smurf.


blue lights installed above the license plate. 

The shoop leaves a blue trail on the ground in its wake 

wasn't part of the plan but ok, those little LEDs are powerful

Gauge pillar at night

(click for daylight)

and I just realized this evening that my P flow air intake is this pretty blue number, which I hadn't noticed earlier, because it's the only thing that's wrapped.


^ I had to ask google.






Gold sticker (wrap) beneath the delete, which hides the 2nd set of license-plate holes 

Also somewhat inspired by what this guy did to his side-badges 

Boost! We has it. 

Every time BF opens the hood, he tinkers with the BOV, adjusts it, and usually says, "I think we should remove this" (to which I say "...maybe. but not today").

Anyway the bolt on the front of it was loose 

Temp gauge connection also located (under the intercooler) and fixed.

Ready to hit the road, jack! After a nap...


Installing a plate delete when the screws don't fit

So, now that I finally have time to sit down and write it: 

Back in May I bought a sweet license plate delete, but couldn't install it

The problem was the two holes for the screws were threadbare and too big for the painted screws that came with the plate. There were two additional holes set further apart that had $%^&*! drywall anchors in 'em. White drywall anchors painted world rally blue. I don't know why I didn't keep that pic.

Had put some kind correct-sized backing or anchor situation for the screws.

After removing the drywall anchors (...) the jagged edges had to be sanded down because the delete wouldn't sit flat and they would've scraped up the finish on the back of the delete (like anyone's ever going to see it but whatever).

Then we inserted a bit of vacuum hose (tubing) on the inside of the bumper cover like so

Specifically this stuff (not my hands.)

so that the screws would bite into it, and cut the tube to the right length so that the styrofoam piece would fit on it properly too. 

This set up allows us to remove the screws and put them back on without having to remove the bumper again.

Then we put some gold tape (sticker) over the gaping holes the drywall anchors left in my bumper cover, which also makes a nice backing for the delete, tying in nicely with the newly painted horns.

So, to recap where we're at, from my first post.

Jobs 1,2,4, been done. (up-pipe, front brake discs, timing belt & company) 

Job 3 (inner fender) done when we took off the bumper... 4 days ago... seems like weeks ago.

Jobs 5,6,7 next: change wastegate actuator, install turbo binky and heatshield.

Job 8 isn't really a job, just a waiting game (magnetic oil plug) and floormats don't count.

Oil pressure switch, horns and plate delete weren't on the list but there it is.

Job 9 new hoses, still on hold because no leaks, just aesthetic.

Let's see what else. Someone said to me this weekend, "You've had your car for two months and still no check engine light? That's great!"

And, thrilled to learn that after an 800+ mile road trip, the Shoop does not consume its oil 


below, temporarily clean, yesterday

my subtle Subtle sticker


After some consultation with the boyfriend, I'm not gonna paint 'em.

You can't see it in the photo, but the side-skirts are textured, like super-fine little dots. I tried to take a pic but it just comes out fuzzy. I'd lose that finish. Plus eventually the new paint would get scraped and it would look twice as bad. And yes there are some major scratches in 'em. See how it looks 'dirty' under beneath the sticker? That's not dirt, that's gravel burn (I don't know if that's an actual term) it is totally scraped up.

And then he said, "Wait a minute, you mean paint them yourself??" and he started laughing lol 

"Knowing you, you'll be in tears when it doesn't come out perfect, forget it." 

I think I'll wait til I can afford new ones 

There are scratches. there are major scratches. Ahem, previous owner, of course 

Found 'em on Amazon for $150, but I can't tell if those need to be painted


Photo op yesterday!


Plasti-dip on the license plate delete took a bit of a beating, it seems. Gravel and/or high velocity bug splatter, I guess.

Tore off the Dip and the delete's as good as new, so I'm re-dipping it tonight.

The corners inside the lettering - the X in particular - were a PITA to remove completely; FYI green tape (or blue) does it.


Side-skirts update:

Turtle Wax Trim Restorer for exterior plastics and rubber.

Left/before - Right/After

Believe it or not, the "before" was clean

Doesn't look new, but still looks better than before


Home from a spontaneous road trip (!) to Burlington.

Picked up an '05 stock catback for $50! Twin tips, yes!  

Here's a pic from the for-sale ad, in decent shape. 

My current setup came with the car. I don't know what this no-name job is, but it's fugly and I can't wait to get rid of it. I don't mind the sound, but the cap rattles and I can hear that, and it's too loud without the cap.

Why stock? Because cheap and tuneless.

Budget is presently dedicated to getting the roof repainted next week, to get rid of some rust that's started above the windshield and around the sunroof, and an overall touch-up/buff for the rest. After that, gotta save up for the winter wheel setup.

Heater's busted, that'll be next. 

Then the catback, 

then the turbo improvements (wastegate actuator, blanket, heatshield).


After one day of scrubbing: sandpaper blocks, "plastic" wool, CLR, Soft Scrub, water, rubber gloves.

My right arm is dead weight today.

I expect this exhaust to last a year, maybe two, time enough to save up for a new one while I take care of other priorities.


Update! The shoop's in the bodyshop for rust removal and roof paint. 

thought there was just a bit of rust above the driver's side windshield  

Thought I'd get ahead of it, take care of it before it progressed any further.

Event the bodyshop had suggested touching it up instead and waiting til next spring...

Windshield came off successfully () and it turns out the whole frame along the top was rusted, dude said he was surprised I didn't have any leaks coming thru. SO glad I insisted.

First two are the 'before' pix, a deceptive little patch

And here the entire top of the frame has been sanded (ground) down


Update! Today's pix


Update! The shoop's almost done! 


Update! Roof painted and the rest of the car buffed and waxed, and you can actually see a reflection now  what a difference!

Tape still on the windshield when I took these earlier

(click here for a before-pic)

My chip-ridden front-bumper's a lost cause though, we'll let it get a little more f***ed up this winter and tackle that next spring.



A couple of 'professional' pix taken on last weekend's fun run:

this one's my favorite

what's ma name? 

Other than that, update: The rubber around the front windshield wasn't changed when they did the roof paint job, I guess they were trying to save me some money or something (?) and so the rubber ended up fraying and cracking at both top corners. So back to the shop went the Shoop yesterday, to replace it, which meant removing the glass again, and the windshield broke. So, Shoopster's getting a new windshield - which is great because it was full of chips - and the bodyshop is covering the cost, yay. Should have it back later today.

But wait it doesn't end there. The subcontracted window-guy scratched up the pillars to either side of the windshield and they (grrr) retouched it with the pen. Great job. So it's going back again next week to fix that too. Not sure how good a fix they'll do with the windshield on again....


Update: Shoopster's got a brand new glass


I entered my stats on Fuelly today, average 23 MPG.

Not great but better than I expected  

Didn't distinguish between city & highway because I live 500 yards from the on-ramp; city driving represents maybe 5-10%.


This happened today! 

STi V5 for the winter


Ok have I got an UPDATE!!1!  

The Shoopster was having boost issues since I bought it in April. For the longest time it was no boost (just vacuum), and since the up-pipe and timing belt (etc.) jobs it had never topped 8 psi. Until today! 

I'd like to start by thanking Simon for his work on this today, the guy who sold me the wheels 

Referring to pictures below: There was this garden-hose kludge across the bottom-front of the intercooler (1) because the blow-off valve's 'trumpet' couldn't be installed over it, apparently. We learned this, in fact, while re-installing the metal pipe that goes there (5) (2nd pic). 

The BOV is a Turbosmart Dualport, came with the car; it can be 50/50 (atmosphere/recirculating) or 100% recirc with a blank (delete) installed. The plan was to try the blank first (6) and if that didn't do the job, to install an OEM bypass valve that I bought from zax (thanks zax!).

Next, the boost gauge was connected to a "T" just before the BOV (2). This had to be rerouted (arrow) and connected elsewhere (7) (8).

My stock heatshield (3) looks a lil' something like rusted swiss cheese (click). The wastegate actuator was heavily rusted, and missing the c-clip. Respectively, replaced and installed. 


(AFTER) (open in new tab for larger image)

Also installed the PTP Turbo blanket I bought back in May (2 weeks into owning the shoop) and -FINALLY!!- the Cobb heatshield michaelwfox GAVE me!  

And wouldja just look at that nice clean actuator 

We went for a ride around the block (country-side block, a couple miles) and much to our suprise... nothing. 


Well, almost nothing. The turbo blanket was smoking, that was a little disconcerting. (I left Mattypants a panicked voicemail lol)

So, Simon's currently rebuilding a 2004 WRX/STi swap. The body is a barenaked skeleton, sitting freshly painted on freshly painted wheels, its innards are strewn across his garage. He made a call to ask his friend's advice, then he fished a boost control solenoid (4) from his mountain of parts and switched mine out. (In fact, EJ257 told me how to test the BCS just last week, but I didn't quite understand what I was listening for  ) 

Off we went around the block again and like magic, BOOST! 

The change was immediate and evident. 

The gauge needle used to hover below zero (in vacuum) unless I really pushed the throttle, up to, say, 100mph. Even then it used to struggle to get to 7-8 psi, the needle would shudder like it was suffering.

Now it's out of vacuum (needle at zero) as soon as I press the gas. Hard acceleration, pushing a solid 10-11, easily. Peak is an unbelievable 14.5 psi at WOT. 

Next plans: a road trip and a WTF tune. 


Another update, it's just raining repairs  now it's ready ^ 

BF replaced my interior's (center-left) air-vent that was missing the directional thingy. Here's a step-by-step.

Scroll up for install step-by-step 

If anyone needs one of these extra parts, holler at me 

- the right vent

- the front panel (outer frame, silver)

- the inner frame that holds the vents

- hazards-light button

- no cup holder, sorry


Thanks Ben! When the car is clean, the gravel road just breaks my heart.

My paint's already chipped up though... with a new-ish car, like yours, not even if you paid me lol 

Got my RA's this weekend, gonna install them soon! Black on black.


Plasti-dipped my one remainining badge yesterday. Thank you mrrogers747 for the detailed details!

First, I prepared my work surface. You can never be too careful  

5 coats, took the whole afternoon to do it.

FYI the *best* tools I found to remove dip around the edges and in tight spots (the S stands for SUCKS) are a sturdy business card (plastified), 

and a manicure tool, a soft orange-wood cuticle pusher:

I want a Subaru emblem. On a keychain 


I cleaned up the engine bay yesterday in between dip coats (a damp microfiber and the tinyest dab of this Mothers stuff I use for the interior) and so here's a pic of the shoopster's engine bay when I got it, and one of how it looks now. For those of us (noobsters) with a less educated eye for these things, most recent changes are detailed on page 15).





Rally Armor mudflaps installed today 

Classic series, black on black.

Another small toolbox :/ a headless ratchet-screwdriver set, a mini mini snap-on ratchet

The lighters are for reference, and they're good to have around, but not required for the installation itself.

Removing the jobbers that came with the car, I don't know how anyone gets this job done without this miniature thing. LOVING the non-stainless steel screws and the extra holes that were punctured into the body, good job previous owner 

Uggers finally removed. They really didn't look any better on the car than they do on the floor. Better than a kick in the butt? I'm not so sure.

And here are the RAs installed. (I was sure I took a pic of them lined up on the floor, guess it disappeared.)


lol thanks guys, too much. maple goo-gone and poutine tune lmao. i don't think that's what Matty means by local factors :/

Speakin' of my exhaust, I was cleaning the tip today when Boyfriend says, hang on I can do that it'll take me a second. He comes back outside with this brush attachment on a drill, and shined up the ole' fart-can, lickety-split. (Where was this tool when I was working on the '02 catback?! Pffft.)


UPDATE! The heater, she is fixed. 

The problem with the heater was that the temperature knob was near impossible to turn: the cable was pulled completely tight, and the pulley that the cable moves was stuck. No choice but to open up the entire dash to see inside.

In post #231 I replaced an air vent because the thing that changes the direction of the air was missing. Obviously it was broken, but I hadn't given much thought to where (nor how) it could have gone...

Does this look familiar? 

It fell down the air duct and was blocking one of the flaps from opening. Problem solved, no new parts required!



A while back, we blanked/deleted the blow-off valve, one effort among many to nail down a boost issue.

You can hear what my BOV used to sound like in this video at approx the 11-12 seconds mark. Kind of a ppbblblblblbltt (whoopi-cushion-like) rather than a PPSHH!

We opened up the BOV this weekend: The piston inside was completely stuck. It took alll kinds of hammering and bashing to pry it out. Previous Owner (I'm assuming) put a couple of metal washers inside - to harden it, I guess? More resistance for the spring? - and these were not stainless, so they rusted. Here are some pix of what the inside of the blow-off valved looked like.

scratched, friction, oxidation

Marks on the base of the piston - someone had already taken a hammer to this thing before, to try to pry it out. This means Previous Owner (or the dealer) knew about this and left it there.

Here is our temporary solution to fit the oil-vapors pipes (across the intercooler) across the BOV's trumpet, until we have time to pass some tubes underneath it instead.

And now here's what my BOV sounds like (like it should) at 50/50 recirc


Time for an UPDATE! It's been a minute!

Got a lot of little things done, but unfortunately nothing that I can cross off the To-Do List...

- New filter on the cold air intake = notable difference in mileage per tank (400km on 38L, compared to 360km/40L before)

- Trying out a new motor oil, Lucas Oil 10W40. Seems to be running more smoothly, sounds like it anyway...

Headlights: Blue halos have been moved to surround my daytime-running lights, so that we can still see them when full headlights are lit. Support rack behind driver's side headlights also fixed: the Shoopster had a droopy eyelid, one of the headlights had fallen inside and was pointing down to the ground

- Transmission fluid: 2 flushes completed, 2 more to go. The first flush, we drained 2 litres and added 3.5  Anyway a huuuuuge difference in my E-4AT shifts

  • And finally, the check out the Shoop's new digs! Every time I leave, it's Open Shoopster-Bay Doors and countdown to Shoopster launch 


CEL P0420, reset twice, waiting to see if it comes back a 3rd time.

Yesterday I noticed that the BOV was way too soft (opening too soon, throttle lag), and so we hardened it again. Lag's improved, but CEL returned (so, this was the 2nd time).

Oh yeah and this happened:

STi V5's + Nokian Nordman 4 (not studded) 205/55R16



Two weeks ago we removed the fart-can and installed the '02 WRX catback twin-tips that I picked up last summer. When removed it, the donut gasket crumbled like 10 year old pastry.

We now call the Shoopster, Shhhpster

Also changed the downpipe for another (stock, used, below). Mine was blackened under the catalyst section, probably what was throwing the P0420 code. I'll know more on that when we get around to opening up the stock shielding.

Today we tackled the air intake: Shoop is currently a WTF tuning candidate, and after my first logs Matty asked me to re-install the stock airbox. Since I'm missing a couple of the original parts (those that go in the inner fender), we decided to try this airbox mod that we read about here. I don't expect gains like the one in this blog, but it's a quick and cheap fix and it'll reduce some turbulence.

And, with the air intake (and windshield washer container on the other side) removed, we also tackled changing the spark plugs.

Fiiinally cleaned the MAF sensor

And the sparks, NGK Iridium

A brief drive around the block and the Shoopster's running more smoothly. Hope to log some pulls this weekend.


Everything seems to be in shape. If it were a fuse, I'm told, the check-engine & code would come back almost immediately after clearing it... So now, when it comes up - 3x since last update- I just do what it says. I check the engine, clear the code, and have a smoke. :/

UPDATE! Dang it's been a while. (Dear Diary...)

Executive summary:

1. Correct blue lugs finally received and installation completed. And the twins. (exhaust. not bewbs. like I don't know y'all by now.)

2. Somebody swiped the Shoop's passenger mirror on a narrow street. I'm assuming. Because I have no idea how the scratch happened. So we sanded it down and the Shoop got a sticker-bomb 

3. On Christmas Day, Santa dropped a Corolla on my bumper and hood, front-passenger. (I guess I've been bad.) I was parked, pressing my clicker, and she didn't see me when she came up the ramp from the launching pad. (Corolla got no business on a Shoopster Launch Pad anyway.) But she should've heard me honk fer chrissakes. She just kept coming, full tilt. I wish my reaction had been to reverse instead of honk.

Blood type WRB on the perp's weapon 

Scene of the crime. 

4. Finally! JDM STi HID's! Yay! 

Black-housed, installation deets to follow below. I thought I'd miss the angel-eye halos, I was planning on getting the Lightwerkz kit but they look awesome as is. And, my current position (parking) lights illuminate as much as the halos did, which I now realize, sucked! I couldn't see pewp!

(Custom tie-wrap bumper-mod)

STi HID housing blackout & installation

We followed these instructions to the letter. Didn't know we could remove the headlights without taking off the bumper cover, joy!

Blackout Headlights 04-05 WRX/STI Tutorial - NASIOC

chrome's gotta go

One of theme had a cracked outer casing and housing. A bit of expoxy and good to go.

Black pearl (with blue speckles)

First coat

Second coat

A bit of restoration: sanded, goo'd and buffed




The Shoop's just been flashed! Temporary map courtesy of Matty and WTF Tuning LLC because catless downpipe and stock exhaust. So, boost limited to wastegate pressure (7-8 psi) in the hopes of avoiding nasty things like boostcreep (shiver), overboost (yikes) and (gasp!) a lean AFR.

Boyfriend flashed the Shoopster and said, "Oh no!"

me: "WHAT?! What's wrong??!"

"Your warranty is officially f***ed" 


Hopefully the Shoop won't linger in wastegate pressure limbo for too long. 

- I'm hoping to pick up a Borla Hush tomorrow night. 

- Uppipe gaskets + smoke/compression/leakdown tests scheduled for Friday afternoon.

- hoping Matt can get me the wideband o2 to match my current set of gauges,

and then Shoop's very own automatic WTF, the first of its kind I'm sure 

Here's some pix of the downpipe install:

My 2nd busted OEM downpipe in a year. It was beyond loud.

with Cobb heatshield on the TD04



Wow I've missed some notifications :/

The Autometer (Cobalt series) wideband 02 is a new product, hasn't been out long. I did write to them to make sure it's compatible with my car, but I've no idea if it's compatible with RomRaider... My current gauges are boost / water temp / oil pressure. I'm thinking of ditching the water temp and replacing it with the 02 in my triple-pod, since there's a temp gauge built-in the dash... Not a fan of All The Gauges look...


I purchased a used Borla Hush locally - from a guy who's buying an Invidia N1 because he wants ALL the loud lol. It's got a couple of dents in the underside but no leaks, installed it yesterday and it looks great and sounds just like a subie should: low RrrRrrRrrumble, not enough to attract cops but a low enough tone to set off my friend's car alarm. And to someone who doesn't know what they're looking for, it looks like the stock tips from far. I love it!!! This was one of the first things on my wish-list (first post) and I moved it to the Mod List today!  I'll post pics & vids asap!

Also had tests done, and for a 250k km block, the Shoop is ship shape! Some numbers:

Compression: cyl#2 152 psi; cyl#4 152; cyl#1 155; cyl#3 155

Leakdown (high pressure) : #4 8% ; #2 10% ; #3 10% ; #1 8%

Finally, my TurboSmart Dualport blow-off valve had a huge leak, both at the intercooler-flange and within the bov itself, between the blue knob that turns (to make it softer or harder) and the same flange. The piston in the bov also got stuck at least twice in the last year - it was stuck when I bought it (and the former owner clearly tried to unstick it because it had lots of hammer marks) and again after the winter because all sorts of crap must've gotten in it. So we installed the bypass valve I bought off Zax... last year lol 

I miss the "PSSH!"... I guess, much like a recovering addict misses drugs. You know it's not good for you, but you still want it. *sigh*

Next up, the (cheapo eBay) gaskets that came with my up-pipe last year are finito, but we didn't have time to do that yesterday. Small leak, not enough to affect boost, but you can hear a fine sssssss if you've got a trained ear (which I don't.) Long story short, they're made of paper-ish material and don't have a metal ring around the inside like the OEM gaskets, and the layers get split up by the heat. Yes, they work, but no they don't last long. 

In other news, my right-front brakes jammed yesterday on the highway, that was interesting. Steering wheel started to shake (is it in my mind or is it getting worse) and then it started to shake a lot. Luckily there was some slowed/stopped traffic because the cops stopped some motorcycles; it gave me a change to pump the brakes (see what happens..) and weave the steering back and forth a little (like when racers warm up the tires?). When we slowed down I could feel the Sshhk - sshhhk - sshhhk of the brake, and then at some point it stopped. So. 'Brakes' and Gaskets make their way to the pole position on the to-do list, and 'new bumper' drops to 2nd place.

ROB! Thanks for the offer! But I do need to get my own and like Matty suggested, once it's on it's staying on 


So the brakes. Where do I start. I've been driving around, what we thought was a busted passenger-front caliper. It was jammed, clamped down on my disc and (on top of my temporary WTF-limited-wastegate-map) was slowing me down. Lag like trying to wade through mud. Turned out the driver-front caliper was also jammed. When we removed the brake-discs, the calipers came with, had to pry them off :/ ... like cold, dead hands o_O

(Stock Caliper looks much happier than the first Brakes job last year, which didn't impress him at all.)

The difference in brake-disc size:

My 17" wheels are DAI Revo in gloss black, they came with the car when I bought it (I believe it's the least expensive model DAI makes, to give you some idea...). They are 17 x 7.5 / 5x100 / offset 42. We weren't sure they would clear the Brembos, but my friend's 42's used to clear them without a spacer (because of the spoke design) so we compared my friend's wheel with mine by mounting it on the Shoop, and measured that my spokes should have maybe 1/8" more clearance than his.

"Should have" lol . No, it didn't clear. 

We tried a 3mm spacer, but two of my wheel spokes were touching / scraping the giant caliper - indicator that my wheel isn't straight. 

My boyfriend decided to grind the offending area of the wheel (I'm nearly in tears at this point, on the verge of a freak-out), we don't have a plan B if they don't fit, and I'm watching him do a questionable job to my (admittedly inexpensive) wheels. 

We considered mounting my friend's wheels temporarily, but one of them had a nail in the tire; no go.

Then his friend pulls out this box of Firehawk 15mm spacers that he had bought a couple months ago for his '02 STi. :

I'm upset because I'd read that spacers are bad. No choice, at 10pm we are trying 'em or we're parked. 

These spacers have ten alternating holes - 5 that fit onto the hub's original bolts (where the lugnuts would go) - and 5 with their own locked-bolts to fit the wheel/lugs. 

Google says: One of the dangers of using spacers is that it reduces the amount of threading meant for the lug-nuts. While that is not the case with this particular model, spacers move the center of rotation out and away from the suspension, which can have all sorts of negative repercussions on handling. Also, the extra fitting = a potential weakness / mobility in the joint. All I can say is that this spacer business is hopefully a temporary situation until I can afford new wheels. 



We might have time to do the rear Brembos today. There's a little bit of squish in the brake pedal so we need to bleed 'em again; so, the 'stopping' power doesn't impress me yet, I really have to put the pedal to the floor to full-stop. But the lack of resistance caused by my former clamped calipers, that's nice.

Coming back to the wheel situation, my boyfriend's got a set of Enkeis for me for the winter, which DO clear the Brembos. So, this'll be my setup until September, when winter returns. In three and a half months. 

All that being said, aesthetically, it looks great. All the Grrrrr ! 

But, I feel like guilty, like a mom who has no choice but to feed her kid junk-food: 

- it's crap but there's nothing else available; 

- funds are limited; and 

- it's not good for them but the kids love it. :/

Pix to follow.

^ yep, can't say the Shoop sees any track time either... we kept the original hubs in front so I have an extra set.

and taking it real easy today.... at


Fuunny! I assure you, it was much, much slower. Even with the Brembos, the trailer pushed me at a couple stop signs (new experience).

I couldn't wait for the day to be over; when the trailer came off, I was like "I'm FREE, FREE at LAST!"


UPDATE on the wheels setup

I had the fenders rolled in because omg the scraping on turns! If a passenger was in the backseat they had to sit in the middle  

My fenders were all rippled and jagged (?) so I it needed to be done anyway.



Aaaand, I found a local guy looking to trade his Brembo-clearing V7's for my V5's, so it looks like we'll be rolling goldies for the winter again! ...and losing the spacers 

UPDATE! 1 year later, up-pipe again...

First job when I bought the Shoop was the up-pipe - it was my first post in my build thread. We knew that the gaskets were garbage and that they wouldn't last, but at 1am you used what you have. Here's what cheapo gaskets look like after a year. All the leaks.

The eBay no-name up-pipe itself, also lasted a year; the inside sheathing is broken.

So, lesson learned and after much research and debating, I picked up a Grimmspeed flex uppipe through Matty @ WTF Tuning 

The flex section's location is largely similar to where the OEM one is placed.

Next to it, the eBay special.

The hardware that comes with it  quality stuff. The gaskets are even better than the OEM ones: thicker, with a more substantial ring around the inside than the OEM

This cancerous piece of heatshield was cut away from the vicinity (headers, I think)

UPDATE!! Zero Sport stainless steel hood splitter

Some 3m tape to keep it from rubbing against the hood & scratching the paint, and of course whenever possible, switching out old rusted screws for stainless. 

Stock '04 WRX hood splitter 

Zero Sport w/3M



Gratuitous Shoopster pic

UPDATE on the STi HID's

Driver's side headlight was out for a while, and there was a major humidity situation going on inside. (Would you believe) I found a local guy who sells HID's for $30? So, got a couple of 6000k - white with a barely blue-ish tone - and my headlight still wouldn't work. 

But where is all this water coming from? 

Next step then, must be the ballast. ...Just a lil' water, eh?

Here's a pic of all the water than poured out - had I even expected this, I would've video'd it, sorry, but it just kept pouring out... I guess a ballast holds quite a bit of water lol 

When I bought this set of headlights last winter, we opened them to blackhouse mod. We had found the casing was cracked, and had to epoxy that. 

Apparently that's where my infiltration was. But to find it, we took out all the bulbs, sealed it all up with tape (and hands), and blew compressed air into each of its compartments (which also dried the inside). Found the leak (bubbles in the white-ish glue, below) and sealed them (again) with gasket-maker (the orange stuff)

We dried everything out, the wires, the pin-clips, put the bulbs and new ballast back in... and still no light. Drove around for another week with a busted eye before finding time to remove the headlights again... 

Good news this time though: we forgot to re-connect the ballast LOL I love an easy fix. Headlights are go.

UPDATE on teh busted bumper situation

So, my bumper's been busted since Christmas morning when a Corolla landed on it on the Shoopster Launch Pad.

New (OEM) bumper is too expensive, with paint would cost about 500$. Plus my aluminum hood is dented too (another 500$). So for that price (approximately) I decided to get a JDM nose a couple months ago; I had found this black beauty with giant fogs - pretty rare on a sedan, eh? Yup. That's because it was a wagon nose and didn't fit.

Is that a beauty or what?

Too large... this is what i might've looked like if it had fit...

If you didn't know, the wagon bumper is a couple of inches larger than the sedan; to fit, you'd have to install the wagon fenders too - which is somewhat of a downgrade, body-wise. 

So close, and yet, so far :sigh: 

My pastry-flake bumper beam is gone, though. Replaced it with a JDM one temporarily (I know, I'd better not hit anything...)

I've already bought a used - proper, steel, also rusted but ok - bumper-beam that we'll install when my new nose arrives -- a Limited Edition WRX (sedan) nose with big fogs -- it'll probably need to be modified to fit the fogs & their bezels....


Tired of the Shoopster looking busted, avoiding the big meets; quotes for fix & paint are too expensive (for a winter bumper that would just crack again), I decided to sand and spray-paint it myself with Grimmspeed WRB. Which, it turns out, is a surprisingly close match! I'd say only the texture/finish is different (duh) other than that it's spot-on...

I didn't bother with putty, and it took a whole day of sanding; painting took maybe 4 hours plus drying overnight. 

First round of sanding (drove around with the bumper like this for a couple weeks...)

And my one-day intensive pictorial:

Leftover sticker-bomb behind the license plate delete, because I didn't have any gold left .

Yep, that's Felix in the X.

And, my "finished" winter bumper - all told, 2-3 coats of primer (2 cans), 2 coats of WRB (2 cans, plenty left. Shoulda done a third.) 3 coats of clear (2 thin 1 med per instructions)

Da-da-DONE ! 

...For now.



So, this happened recently  

Haven't had time for the build thread in a while, planning a mega update.

The mod list and to-do list on the first page have been updated though.


Shoopster gets a facelift - USDM WRX to Special Edition STi (a.k.a big fogs!)

Ordered this special edition STI nose-cut from a JDM shop in Montreal.

(message me if you want store info, I don't think I'm allowed to post that info here)

In the yard in Japan

Picked up after 2 months of travel by shipping container

Not in perfect condition (used, shipping) so no worries about installing it before winter

OEM (USDM) bumper beam had to be modified, cut to make space for the big fogs, and a quick coat of Rustcheck.

That's a Zero Sports (JDM) splitter

Shoopster's caretaker <3

When the fogs are off, they look blue, but they shine yellow (look at the sofa). And that's me! 

With the STi hood too

P0457 Major Evap - solved!

P0457 Major Evap - solved! (bonus: winter gas-smell has also disappeared)

Last winter I had this terrible gas-smell in the car on cold days (recall, I know!).

So I went out and got the fuel-rail kit, but never got around to getting it installed (because removing the intake is no small job)

Earlier this winter though, a new problem appeared. A Minor Evap (Small Leak) CEL (ignored, deleted, ain't nobody got time fo' dat!) turned into a P0457 Major Evap.

Which eventually turned into a bad gas smell immediately after fueling.

So, I finally took the Shoop in for a smoke test.

Smoke came out from under the chassis, here (too) but we couldn't find the source.

And then we suspected the charcoal canister, a common culprit; discovered it has a tube that goes nowhere. Turns out it supposed to be like that, when the evap system is working properly, fumes are vented away.

Lifted the back seats; dirty as hell but no leaks

So then we go searching for the evap purge solenoid, which is behind the alternator.

Removing the alternator - what's this? Nevermind "loose" bolt, that' thing's not even in.

What's this? A hose that's not connected to anything (dead center of the pic, below/behind the alternator)

A 1/4 to 1/8 adapter between two hoses was broken

That blue T is known for breaking, but not this time. 

But the broken adapter - the black one - to be replaced comes in the same package.

Boom! No more gas smell, not even in the winter.

Side-note, I also used to have a squee-squee-squee when backing out (turning) of my (indoor) parking in the morning. That's gone too; I'm assuming that broken bolt on the alternator was involved...

Maintenance and upgrades, in no particular order

New U-Frame! Mine was so rusted, my boyfriend stood on it and bent it with his hands. 

A new one at the JDM shops costs between $150-$200. 

I can feel an enormous difference in stability when taking curves. Feels like I installed a anti-sway bar. Or two. Easily one of my best maintenance-upgrages to date, for next to nothing.

* * * *

Sometimes when you buy a JDM front end it'll come with some interesting things, for instance...

- Okada Projects Plasma Coils

My OEM coils were in bad shape, and the OKD are worth nearly $300 each. Yes, I'll take them please, thank you.

Up until this point, I was still on Matty's WTF safe tune. Custom tune got done locally, shortly after the coils install, update comin' up.

Zero Sports rad shroud, matches the Zero Sports splitter I bought from a friend.

Clean engine bay 

Rust check!

Had a bit of rust starting on the passenger rear quarter panel, just above the rear bumper. 

No monies for a proper paint job before winter brings more rust (got quoted 350$ per quarter), so I decided to do a small fix using a dremmel and a small, light sanding tool.

I'm nothing if not thorough about paint prep (lol)

The size of the area is not much larger than a quarter (25 cents piece), sanded and primed

The finished job, the rest of the Grimmspeed WRB I used for the bumper last summer, and clear. Good enough 'til next year.

AEM UEGO WB02 Gauge & Central Air-vent-delete pod

Pop the dash bezel and remove the air vents

You'll probably break one of these clips

Central air-vent delete gauge-pod by Ortiz Custom Pods

I like the texture, I decided not to paint it

It said no modification required, but we did have to shave some of the back of the delete, as well as the OEM air-vent, to fit behind it

Really no big deal, very satisfied with it

Interesting side-story - because what can possibly go wrong during an install, right? My boyfriend passed the wires throught the firewall by drilling a small hole where the main harness passes through (it looks like a big rubber plug, passenger side). He finished the installation, turned the motor, and it ran like CRAP!! I thought my car was going to explode! PANIC! 

Turned out he knicked a ground wire for the cam position sensor when he made the hole. Patched that up and everything's fine 

Next update, tooned!


We've come a long way since my first buy & build thread in 2013! The Shoopstermatic underwent a #megaswaptronic job this year.

Nutshell version: Everything under Shoop's 315k km body is now only 145k km old, Japanese, and in nearly showroom condition. (And damn near every bolt has anti-seize on it!)

Spring 2016 I bought a 2001 jdm bugeye WRX with OEM shiftronic (manual option) transmission. It couldn't be registered here because it's a RHD under 25 years. To even consider this swap project, we needed the whole car for everything to work.

AFAIK, the shiftronic bugeye WRX, with paddle-shifts on the steering wheel, was available everywhere except the US/Canada market, which didn't see  the shiftronic option until after the drive-by-wire/electronic upgrades of 2005+ . I belieeeeve this makes the Shoopster the only shiftronic GDB in North America, and quite possibly the only shiftronic GD with a moonroof anywhere

[I've no idea whether this transmission option was ever offered, anywhere, for the blobeye WRX; if you have one, I'd love to hear from you. ]

I think it would be easier to list what's still original/factory (USDM Sept 2003) on the Shoopster, because most of the body panels have been swapped too, at some point: So, the Shoop still has its original trunk, shell, three doors, sideskirts, rack & pinion.

The man who made the impossible possible, my boyfriend Sebastien Gagné, who must love me very much to make this the greatest birthday present in the history of greatest birthday presents.

Shoopster's #megaswaptronic album on Imgur (to be sorted and elaborated)

Shoopster's MOD LIST - OEM JDM from the bugeye
- 2001 EJ 205 with AVCS, ECU, entire harness
- Transmission TV1B4YB1AB, Final Drive 4.44 (Shoop's old USDM 4EAT was 3.9)
   -> high/low shifter, Auto / Hold / Power
- Interior:
  -> Momo steering wheel, silver center, paddle shifters
  -> Cluster with digital gear display and outside temp
  -> Special Edition WRX front & rear seats, door cards
  -> Special Edition rugs (Impreza, RHD though) and rear center rug
  -> Pioneer Carrozzeria speakers
- Climate control heating & a/c system (to be completed)
   (standard in Japan since at least 1993; available for US as of 04 STI)
- Entire suspension, drivetrain, gas tank, everything! has been swapped for the bugeye's, except
  -> rear brakes STI RA v.6 with slotted rotor (front Brembos installed since 2014)
  -> v.9 STi crossmember (reinforced with support bar)

Shoopy's Exterior
- Nose: 04 STi
  -> bumper, big fogs, HID's (OEM harness! joy!), fenders w/sidemarkers (ditto!)
  -> hood with STi scoop
  -> JDM radiator from a nose-cut (must've been WRX because Auto)
- JDM STI rear passenger door, lightweight (?)
- JDM OEM smoked (tinted) both rear windows
- JDM OEM smoked rear glass and wiper
- JDM OEM rear bumper
- OEM 2006 STi roof vane

Shoopster's MOD LIST - Aftermarket
- Zero Sports stainless steel hood-splitter
- Modified OEM airbox and HKS high-flow filter
- Zero Sports after-maf stainless steel 3" tube
- Okada Projects plasma coils
- 2JZ Fuel pump
- Zero Sports damper pulley
- Zero Sports top & bottom rad hoses
- Zero Sports rad shroud
- Perrin intercooler coupler & collars
- GReddy magnetic oil drain plug
- Mishimoto Expansion Tank
- Mishimoto silicone ancillary hose kit
- Grimmspeed flex up-pipe
- VF28 turbo (STi v.6)
- PTP Turbo blanket (blue)
- Cobb heat shield
- Invidia catless downpipe
- AEM wideband o2 and gauge, in an Ortiz Customs center-vent pod
- Autometer Boost/Temp/Oil Press. / pillar pod
- Borla Hush twin tips catback
- Sickspeed horns (painted gold & blue)
- Rally Armor mudflaps (black on black)

The Shoopster runs on: 
- Lucas Oil 10W40 Synthetic every 6k km
- Amsoil 75W-90 Gear Lube (diff)
- Subaru ATF
- NGK Iridium spark plugs BKR6EIX
- Summer: Dunlop Fierce Instinct ZR All-Season 225/45ZR17 94EW on DAI Revo Gloss Black (7.5" +42 with Firehawk forged 15mm spacers)
- Winter: Nokian Hakka 8 215/45R17 on STI v.7 goldies

Shoopster's TO-DO LIST in no particular order
- Power steering leak
- Driver's side valve cover leak
- Install Mishimoto turbo inlet + new manifold gaskets
- Install STI pink injectors (cleaned & flow tested) & a tune
- Swap front seat belts
- Install jdm door harnesses
- Re-install radio
- Lost honking in one horn
- Install LED over license plate
- Connect driver's side-marker (extend wiring)
- Clean up fuel-harness spaghetti-bowl in the trunk
- Connect big fogs (were previously modified to fit USDM WRX harness. oh, the irony.)
- Install driver's side window-controls (complete panel) on passenger side too
- Make a hole for cabin temp sensor in trim below windshield
- Complete the jdm climate control console (heat, a/c)
- Complete front & rear wipers
- Cluster indicates Driver's door is open when locked :/
- Wiring for moon-roof and roof lighting (no moon-roof on bugeye)
- Install heating elements in front seats (JDM are unheated) + wiring
- Fab & install WRB Auto-folding mirrors & inverse mirror-control right-left button (because JDM yo)
- Install OEM rain-guards (over the doors)

Shoopster's wish-list
- another set of WRB GDB sideview mirrors (to motorize)
- Zero Sports trunk spoiler
- EJ207

More pics and Shoopster's Parking-Next-to-Other-Subarus exploits

Shoopstercam - The Shoopster's dash cam footage compilations


I'll start with the Completed Swap Story, and later on down the thread I'll relate individual upgrades and installations.

The Shoopster was ready to roll literally the very morning of Quebec's biggest annual Subaru meet, Subiefestival 2016. Finished installing the interior plastics at about 6 a.m. with a lot of  $%#@! cuts on my hands, no sleep, and made it to the convoy!

About an hour into the drive, almost at the entrance of iCar Mirabel where it was held, Shoopy started sputtering while rolling along at a calm cruise. But then it also happened all the way home, about an hour's worth of what felt like misfires. The gauges weren't re-installed yet, there was no way for me to know what was going on until I reached home.

We spent a week wondering what it could be, my ECU popping all sorts of transmission CELs, struggling up my steep driveway, a nightmare! Well, finally we had a good laugh: the green test-connectors were still connected  talk about a n00b mistake.

The CELs disappeared, and Shoop seemed to be running ok... except every now and then, when cruising calmly at say, 5-10% throttle, you know, just keeping up with traffic, or slowing down gradually to match its flow, Shoopy would start to sputter; she sounded like she was drowning, even stalled a couple times when I came to a stop light. By this time my AEM wideband o2 was re-installed, and its readings in comparison with the car's own front o2 sensor (via Tactrix) were identical, so we knew the readings weren't off. Shoop would not only fall mega rich, like  down to the 10's, for no reason (but idled ok), but would also fail to correct itself for a good 5 seconds or more. NO CELS >.<  And it was happening more and more often.

We spent most of August through November looking for the problem. We tried
-  4 different MAFs (Shoopy's 04 one was no good apparently, two others we had laying around were no good, either. Finally the one that worked properly was the Bugeye's original MAF, go figure.)
- changed the fuel filter, still did it.
- tried Shoop's old fuel pressure regulator, no change.
- new spark plugs, nope.
- thought it might be the fuel controller, so he hard-wired that the to 12v. Not it, put it back.
- fair to say that there were several weeks' worth of "F*** this", much logging, we even consulted JR Barrios who generously offered his advice (o2 sensor)
- tried another (used) front o2 sensor, no change
- I was convinced my fuel level was involved somehow or some valve (I'm no mechanic, but that's the second time I fill and stall). But it also happened on bumps & potholes (which can also make your foot 'stutter' on the gas-pedal) so Boyfriend-Mechanic was convinced there was a bad ground somewhere.
- He added a ground (I couldn't say where, exactly, sorry) and then (coincidence?) he got a CEL for the o2.
- I bought a new Denso o2 sensor (about $100 less than from Subaru), and that worked! ... for about two days >.<  Then I filled up the tank to about 3/4 full went down the ramp to my garage, and stalled on the way down (O.O omg handbrake!).
- Seb tried several different maps, did some modifications in the ECU, nothing helped.
- The worst part of all this was, we had no idea if the bugeye had this problem prior to #megaswaptronic .  We had only test-driven the bugeye up and down the block a few times - a couple o' WOTs to check out the manual shifting setup - but we couldn't take it out for a real drive since it didn't have plates/registration.

Into November 2016 now, and so Shoopy was Parked 'Til Spring as far as we were concerned, largely due to a severe case of F*** This-itis. Meanwhile, an auto WRX shows up on his lift at work, which gave him the occasion to sort through a bunch of ECU's that were stored on the shelves at work. The identifier for the program on Shoops' jdm ECU is A4SD501A, he found a A4SD800B, which seems to be a Revision. This stock map, when compared with mine, had three tables (charts, references) that were absent from the jdm bugeye's.

Long story short -- low battery, he almost bricked my car lol -- the new map works! Shoopy's AF ratio stays awesomely normal now. We're wondering if maybe at some point there might have been a recall for this, but since we've no way to check the Japanese VIN, I guess we'll never know. Which is why I'd love to talk to any other shiftronic bugeye owners overseas, to see if they ever had that same problem...


I brought my passenger airbag in for the Recall mid-swap. Walked it up to the dealership with it in my arms
5 bolts. Still took an hour

OK, so where do I start? How about the body? *Before #Megaswaptronic*
Some paint, roof-vane and rear-windshield with wiper
PICS: Backglass with wiper, roof vane, and other bodywork - Album on Imgur

I took Shoopy into Car-Pro body shop in Montreal twice, whom I highly recommend. They're known for their attention to the most minute detail. On the menu:

- Paint and install rear jdm bumper (blond chick didn't know how to park, scraped her Echo's rear quarter on Shoop's bumper. I saw her do it and she continued to deny it, she was convinced she would have "felt it", and when I showed her the identical primer & paint-dust scratch along both our cars, she was like, "But that's gray, neither of our cars is gray!". She called her boyfriend and I got the impression that he knew she's a bad driver because he told her to just fork over her insurance information lol )

- Rust around gas cap & both quarter panels (OMG they did the madman job! Cut, welded, opened up the quarters, filled them in, rolled them back in, painted. Better than factory, you run your fingers along the inside of the arch and it's totally smoothe!   )

- I had two roof-vanes, one OEM and one ZeroSports. The OEM was the just-in-caser, I really had my heart set on the ZS and my friend Claude at PharesA9 had done a sick paint job on it to match my headlights housing. Turned out the ZS is a replica; it doesn't follow the arch of the GD rear, and so wouldn't fit into the OEM brackets. So I get a call from Car-Pro, they gotta go with the OEM. I unfortunately don't have pics of the installation itself, but they have this old-school machine that installs rivets with a kind of metal tubing between the inner and outer rivet, for threading through it to fit a bolt. As such, the roof-vane brackets can be removed (which I never will, but anyway...) and the holes under the brackets are properly weather-proof  If you look at any installation video on YouTube, you'll find that most people just drill holes in the body and bolt it on

- And so, while we're at it, let's change out the back-glass. This is prior to bugeye swap btw. I bought a backglass with wiper & motor at the same JDM shop (ask me). It is smoked from factory (not a tinted wrap), and also has the squiggly defrost lines under the wiper's resting position. For the rear wiper to work, you also need the wiper-arm (on the steering wheel) and a windshield-washer-reservoir from a WAGON, in addition to some wiring and tubing, of course...

- Aaaand, while we're at it, I also scored two JDM WRB rear sedan doors from the same shop, also with OEM smoked windows. We installed driver's side rear door (which is very light compared to my USDM, I don't know why...) because mine was rusted along the bottom. Swapped out the door harness, the speaker (Alpine! Score!), put the door card back on. I had Car-Pro blend driver's side paint (because JDM nose, USDM driver door, JDM rear door) and install the smoked window and other speaker in the passenger-side rear door.

You might have noticed in the pics that my front bumper was missing a few bits. Yep, Shoopy's 2nd front bumper took a hit winter 2015-16 -- two hits, in fact, within a week of each other -- I'll post about that, next update.