Friday, August 29, 2014

RS Revival: New Motor... almost!

For months now I've been saying "new motor" and "I'll fix the motor" and other excuses.  Last night, I put some truth to those claims as we lifted the original 2.5L SOHC motor out of the RS.  Bit of a recap, if you've missed it, but this motor was a bit tired.  It's main issue was Cylinder #4, which was fabulously holding a whopping 20% compression when we ran tests on it back in November of '13.  It's been like this since I picked it up and, while it idles rough and just doesn't quite have the power it should, it somehow never managed to break down.  Thanks to this hurting motor, this project car has always been mobile under it's own power from garage to shop to RallyX event.

Last night, we hoisted this Rotary Boxer Engine out of it's holding cell.  With the help of some friends and a borrowed lift, it came out pretty easily.  The new motor is from a 2001 Impreza RS Coupe that was rebuilt 7k miles ago.  It also has an Exedy clutch, STI oil pump, and other minor tweaks to it.  We transferred the alternator and water pump over from the old motor, but also found out that we needed to transfer the oil filter adapter and thermostat too.  Were it not for those two bits, we probably would've had the car buttoned up and running!

Alas, that glorious moment when this car is fired up WITHOUT a misfire, WITHOUT shaking itself to pieces, and WITHOUT that flashing Check Engine light will have to wait just a little longer.  I won't have time to tackle it until Sunday, so hopefully by Labor Day, this RS will be running around happily with it's new motor!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dusty Trails

Decided to blow the dust off my '12 Impreza Hatchback by putting a fresh coat of dust on it like I used to.  My focus has been on the RS Revival for so long that I neglected to do much outside of commuting to work in my sporty hatch.  What better way to do this than by bringing a friend along and tearing up my favorite dirt road in the area!  The Waubonsie Loop of the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway is full of winding gravel and dirt roads, but this one section (just south of Glenwood, IA) takes the cake.

The fella in the dark blue RS sedan just picked that machine up.  It reminds me a lot of how the RS Revival started out, as it has many of the same problems that we've tackled for almost a year on the silver coupe.  Shot suspension or not, he also had a great time getting sideways on these awesome roads.  With one of his buddies riding shotgun, it was great to have them along for the ride.  They had never been up this way, so it was fun being their tour guide for this slice of rally heaven.

More pictures can be found in this Flickr Album> Glenwood Glee

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

11 Months

It's hard to believe, but this project is nearly a year in the making!  While there's still much more work to be had, I realized how far the car had come in that time.  I thought I'd take a step back and recall everything that has happened since last September.

Matching Wheels & Tires
New Rear Wheel Bearings
New Clutch Slave
2002 WRX Wagon Rear Crossmember
2004 STI Exhaust
KYB Exel-G Struts w/RS Springs
Aluminium Front Control Arms
Primitive Front Skid Plate
Primitive Rear Diff Skid Plate
Gorilla Top-Mount Cold Air Intake
Replaced Drivers door
Repaired windshield frame/New Windshield
Patched hole in the floor
Clear Headlights, Corner Lights, Side Markers
New Hood & Front Drivers-side Fender
Version 6 Grille
Version 6 Front Seats
Duracon Shift Knob w/Leather Boot
New OEM Carpet

Major preparations to repair the severely rusted Rear Quarter Panels have been made, but new metal won't be welded in until September.  Still, it's not the same car it was a year ago!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some Lines in the Dirt

On the one hand, I'd love to hit these routes below every day if I could, but I haven't got the time!  I've organized Gravel Cruises on these routes before with great success, so I thought I'd share 'em for local owners to check out on their own time if they'd like.

When these routes are used for events, we space cars out 2-3 minutes between each car leaving the starting point to give folks space and to avoid eating a windshield full of rocks.

The three maps listed below are among my favorites.  I still go out and try to plot out new routes, but it's tough connecting bits and pieces of great roads if there's miles of straightaway between them.  They're all in different parts of the Omaha area, too.  One out west, one northeast and one southeast.

View Hitchcock Highlands in a larger map

View Gravel Express in a larger map

Waubonsie Run won't display as a map on here, but you can check out that map here> MAP

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The "Throwback" Cruise

I'm always down for cruising around with fellow Subaru owners, winding through scenic roads on the outskirts of town.  This next event coming is a little different, though.  We're turning back the clocks about 15 years to a time before the WRX hit US shores and doing a "Pre 2002 Chassis Meet" up in scenic Ponca, NE.  It's the same location the Midwest Subaru Meet was held at, so it's more than just a pretty place to take pictures.  It's a fantastic place to drive!

The event is on Sunday, August 24th.  I'm hoping to have more done on the RS Revival in time for this, but at least the car is still driveable.  I've been noticing more older Subarus rolling around, finding owners that are breathing new life into them, so this should be a fun event to get those cars together for some great pictures and an enjoyable ride!

For more details about this event and to sign your Subie up, follow this link to the Facebook Page for it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

RS Revival: Weekend Work Pays Off

This past weekend, the project car really made quite a transformation!  The fresh paint on the front bumper was only the tip of the iceberg with the work put into this '00 RS Coupe.  The world-class hole that had rusted through the drivers-side floor pan got patched up, which meant a whole slew of things could happen to the interior!  After some Seam Sealer and some new undercoating, the new OEM carpet was able to go in!  The old one was gross and had some holes in it that would just allow more moisture and junk to get under the floor and cause more problems, so I cleaned the interior up thoroughly before installing it.

With the new floor in and the interior trim pieces making their way back into the car, there was one more "new" item to make its way into the RS.

I'll explain later this week why these awesome Version 2 STI seats are coming out of the RS.  It's a nice story, but for now, I'd like to show you what replaced them.  These are Version 6 STI seats and, from the bit of information I've managed to pick up, these are not "normal" seats.  Most of the Version 6 interiors had red bolsters on them while these ones have blue.  They're very similar to the Impreza P1 seats from the UK, but instead of saying "Prodrive" in the middle of the seat, there's the World Rally Team logo etched in alongside a "Subaru Tecnica International" logo.

The logos aren't in the best shape, as they seem to have fallen out over time.  Even the Version 2 seats (which are older) seem to have retained more of their stitchng.  Regardless, they look fantastic, they add that bit of "color" I think the car needed.

There's obviously more work to be had, from the engine to the rear quarters, but a lot of "new" has happened to the RS in a short amount of time and it's been wonderful to work on it!  More updates coming soon!

Monday, August 4, 2014

NSOC Platte River Run!

Photo courtesy of Knightsabre75
Had a great time this weekend with local Subaru owners meeting up and taking a spin around some roads nearby the Platte River.  The route is the same as the first one I ever organized with the Nebraska Subaru Owners Club back in April of 2012.  It may not be the longest route or be the most exciting, but it's easy to take big groups through and it doesn't take all day to do.  About 30 Subarus of all shapes and sizes gathered, along with two Evos and a BMW.  We met in a parking lot at the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall, took some pictures and talked cars, and then set out on the route.

Near the end of the route, we stopped by the Strategic Air & Space Museum for some more photos.  It was nice taking pictures of rockets with rockets in the background!  At the conclusion, a few folks managed to stick around to go grab dinner together while others jetted off for other plans that evening.

It was a great event with no real hiccups or issues, so it was nice to close out the weekend with a flawless meet!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

RS Revival: No More Black Bumper

This '00 RS was starting to get known by local Subaru owners as "The Black Bumper RS", but those days have since passed.  This week, the Project Car got a fresh coat of paint on the mostly black bumper that used to adorn the front end.

On the one hand, it was kind of crummy paint job to begin with, as the whole thing had flaked off down to bare plastic.  It has been like this since before the project started.  On the other... it was quite easy to repaint because of this!

Factory-correct paint went on Friday.  Over the weekend, we buttoned up the front end to see that "this might not be a junky car" look we had never seen on this RS before!  It really does look fantastic from the front now... and that Version 6 STI Grille ties things together beautifully!

Overall, the front end of this car has transformed quite a bit.  This car had obviously been in an accident before, which the flaked-off paint already hinted at.  Both front fenders still had part number stickers on the inside, which they wouldn't have if they were original to the car.  The hood had body filler (with rust coming through) and had also been repainted poorly.  Many parts have been replaced or repaired, but things still aren't quite aligned on the front end.  It's not enough to be noticeable, but it's still a matter of cleaning up past problems to help bring this car back to it's glory days.

There's still a lot more work to be had this month for the RS Revival.  While this car looks great from the front, every other angle still shows the obvious exterior problems plaguing it.  It's been a tough battle against the rust on this car.  The engine has also been hurting for awhile and, while it still has never managed to break down yet, we cannot take this luxury for granted.  The ability to drive this car from shop to garage to driveway as it is being worked on has been helpful, but I fear luck might run out if we stretch it too far.

Next up: Interior repairs and additions are made while preparations for new metal in the quarter panels and a new motor are underway!