Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I'm pretty proud of my little Impreza.  I often get questions about things I've done to it, so I try to make sure I've got more than enough info out there to satisfy fellow enthusiast's sweet tooth for these cars.  I've neglected to mention anything on this blog about my wheels that are on it, so today seemed like a good time to fix all that.

My car started off as a base model 2.0i, so it came with 15 x 6 inch steel wheels with hubcaps running on 195/65 R15 89H All-Season tires.  I had these on my car until September and they were good for what they were.  But for the kind of driving I was doing, which was a tad more spirited than economy tires with only 6 inches of grip, I wanted something a little sportier.  It took me awhile to actually nail down what I wanted.

At first, a friend had given me a set of Gold '98 Impreza RS wheels.  I wasn't thrilled with the idea a gold wheel on a silver car, so these wheels never actually made it onto the car, despite the hard-to-find nature of these wheels.  I did manage to keep the tires off of these to go on a set of '05 WRX wheels that I purchased from someone in the NSOC.  They were 16 x 6, so they looked a little more aggressive on my car.  I thought this was going to be what I'd stick with, though the color seemed a bit off.  There was a blue-ish tint to the Ice Silver Metallic on my car and a gold-ish tint to the '05 WRX wheels that just seemed a bit off.  I decided I'd have those wheels powdercoated the same dark gray that the Impreza Sport has on it's stock wheels.  In order to do this, I had to obviously take the wheels off my car again to send them out to get painted.  A good friend of mine in the NSOC let me borrow a set of '11 WRX wheels to ride on until my wheels were back from the powdercoating... and this would prove fatal.  In a good way, of course.

I absolutely loved how the '11 WRX wheels looked and felt on my car.  The lower profile tires, the 5-Tri-Spoke design, the same dark gray that I wanted on my car to begin with... on top of a 8 inch wide tread that gave me improved grip that was instantly noticeable.  As such, while the '05 wheels were off getting powdercoated, I was searching high and low to find a set of '11-'13 WRX wheels until I found a set on NASIOC.  Had 'em shipped over and wrapped in 225/45 R17 Goodyear Eagle GTs.  When the old wheels came back from the powdercoating, I gave them to my good friend to use on his Legacy.

I've been stuck on my current wheels since November with no complaints.  They grip, they look great, and folks often think my car is either the new WRX or a sport-package Impreza.  Nope!  She's a meager base model with an obsessive owner, that's all!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Family Grows

Being involved with sales for Omaha's Subaru dealership has been a lot of fun.  Come September 1st, I'll have been here a full year.  In that year, I've managed to switch friends and family over to the "Subie Side".  Part of it is timing.  People I know happen to be looking for cars.  Part of it is support, as my family has been more than encouraging when it comes to this new chapter in my life.  Either way, it's really starting to look like Subarus are "All We'll Drive" when it comes to the people that matter to me.

This week was no exception.  I sold my first 2013 Subaru Legacy to a longtime friend of 17 years and his dad came in the other day to drive off in his new 2014 Subaru Forester.  We've been spending holidays with many of our friends since we moved from New England to the midwest, so they're considered family at this point.  I'm incredibly proud that they trust me, and the product I'm behind, with their vehicles.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moving Buddies

So I just purchased my first home and what's the driveway look like for move-in day?  A Subaru Showroom.  My '12 Impreza, my Fiance's '04 Outback Sedan, my Mom's '13 Outback, and my Dad's '14 Forester all pitched in to help bring cleaning supplies, furniture, and other stuff to get me moved in!

And then, of course, my first set of furniture isn't exactly what most folks would consider "conventional".  There may or may not be a full WRX interior sitting in my basement.  Yup... this is definitely, without a question, my house.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Impreza Upgrades!

Well, in the past week, I've gotten quite a few things done on my '12 Impreza that had been sitting on the back burner for quite some time.  In two days, I managed to install a 19mm STi Rear Sway Bar with Kartboy Endlinks, OEM Side Skirts, Rally Armor Urethane Mudflaps, and a Pioneer AVH-X1500DVD head unit.  With all that, the addition of Fog Lights about a month ago, and with my car finally cleaned up, I figured some pictures were in order.  My car will likely stay like this for awhile, as I move into my new home today.  Focus on funds will primarily fixate on the house while my Impreza continues to turn heads.

Overall, many of the changes have simply made me more confident behind the wheel.  The new sway bar gives me fantastic control in corners.  Handling just feels much more even and body roll has significantly decreased.  The new radio, as silly as it sounds, is just so much easier to operate than the AppRadio I had in there before.  Even on my base model 4-speaker audio system, the sound is great and the touch-screen is quick, responsive, and has clear resolution.  The Rally Armors have made my gravel adventures far less daunting.  I sort of wish I had installed these long ago, as they probably would've helped save my wheel wells and lower body panels a little better... but now the gloves are off when I see a less-than-paved road ahead of me.

I honestly don't know what else I'm going to do to my car from this point on.  Normally I'd have some sort of list of future modifications, but this past weekend really knocked a lot of my "To Do" list out.  I'm incredibly happy with where it's at right now!  Next up is my Fiance's Outback sedan while she's away in London for a few weeks.  Got a few fix-it things to address, but nothing major.  Should be attacking that in a couple weeks as I settle in to the new workplace.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Side Skirts / Rally Armor Install

Got quite a bit done on my Impreza today thanks to help from a great friend / coworker.  We knocked this project out in just a couple hours in his garage.  12 years of experience turning wrenches for various automakers was more than enough for him to figure out a way to install Side Skirts on my base model 2.0i Impreza.  We installed the Rally Armor mudflaps at the same time, since installation of those would've required us to move parts involved with the Side Skirts anyways.  I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out!  Not to brag, but I haven't seen anyone else with an Impreza like mine out there... and I intend to keep it that way!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sway with Me

16mm Stock RSB w/Stock Endlinks
19mm STi RSB w/Kartboy Endlinks
When I first got my car, there were no endlinks or swaybar.  Mounting points existed to hook them up, but Subaru didn't include them on the base model Imprezas.  So, when I started working at a dealership, I managed to nab a stock rear sway bar (16mm), endlinks, and all the hardware to hook 'em up.  The stock setup provided some nice control in turns, but it was still pretty soft for spirited driving, as most factory setups are.

After doing some research and seeing what other 4th Gen Impreza owners were doing with suspension setups, I decided to nail it down and move in on some KartBoy Endlinks and a 19mm STi Rear Swaybar.  Install was pretty easy, though we had trouble with the stock endlinks, as they appeared to have been installed upside-down.  Fitment of the new parts was perfect, so we closed things up and I took it around a few turns.  Instantly I could feel the difference!  Handling seemed much more even and balanced, body roll was noticeably reduced, but it wasn't too harsh to drive.  The added control was easy to feel and I really enjoyed the quick trip around the lot.

Really looking forward to taking my Impreza up on my usual cruise routes to feel it in the turns!