The Money Pit

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Introduction

It started long ago as a 2002 Subaru WRX. As you’ll uncover below, the rear seat, headliner, dash, and cylinder heads are just about all that remain stock after work on it since purchasing it new in June of 2001.

My approach to building up this car has always revolved around making a razor sharp overall street and track car that is not breaking every year. My inspiration comes from cars like the Mine’s R34 (video, skip to 11:02), not 2.0-liter cars with turbos that spool up finally at 5000RPM and can’t brake for shit.

It is as complete as it is ever going to get based on life changes that no longer provide disposable income as they did from 2001-2009. If I ever had the money for it, I would take things further by completely redoing the engine internals to remove powertrain losses and improve engine response while retaining strength (WPC treatment, light 9:1 compression ratio pistons, lighter connecting rods, lighter valvetrain parts, full balancing, etc). I would also switch over to a more streetable (but very track-ready) coilover setup like the KW or AST offerings and switch over to the STI 6-speed transmission for its durability.

I’ve put the car through 20 autocrosses, 2 track days at Sebring, 3 TSD Rallies, 12 1/4-mile drag passes, and yearly road trips of 1000 miles on average. It is my daily driver.

Modifications

Power-related

  • Version 8 STI (EJ207) shortblock
  • TD05H-16G turbo
  • Version 8 STI Spec-C intake manifold (omits restrictive TGVs)
  • TiAL 38mm external wastegate & P&L Motorsports cat-less “EWG” up-pipe
  • STI 550cc injectors and Walbro 255l/h fuel pump
  • Element Tuning EMS (Hydra Nemesis)
  • Element Tuning Hydramist (water + methanol injection)
  • TurboXS DTEC electronic boost controller
  • AVO front-mount intercooler
  • Gasket-matched, Jet-Hot 2000 coated, and wrapped exhaust manifold
  • TurboXS downpipe, cat, midpipe exhaust
  • Prodrive WRS axle-back
  • Ported and polished throttle body
  • Perrin turbo inlet hose
  • Ron Davis aluminum radiator, Crucial Coolsafe thermostat, Zero Sports 1.3bar radiator cap
  • ACPT carbon fiber driveshaft

Intentional Weight Removal

  • Recaro SRD front seats.
  • Seibon trunk lid
  • AMS 15lb battery
  • APR mirrors

Drivetrain

  • ACT HD clutch kit
  • STI short-shift kit with Kartboy bushings
  • Version 6 STI RA close-ratio gearset
  • STI Group-N transmission mount
  • STI Group-N pitch-stop
  • STI Group-N engine mounts
  • TIC transmission mount bushings

Braking

  • Stoptech front 328mm big brake kit
  • Goodridge stainless braided brake lines rear (fronts are Stoptech lines)
  • Carbotech H6-size rear slotted rotors
  • Carbotech Panther+ front brake pads
  • Carbotech Bobcat rear brake pads
  • Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 245/40/18 tires

Suspension / Handling

  • Megan Racing coilovers (“haters gonna hate”, but 50K miles of abuse and they are going strong)
  • Hotchkis 25.4mm hollow front and rear sway bars
  • Hotchkis heavy duty rear sway bar mounts
  • SSR Competition 18×8 wheels
  • Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec 245/40/18 tires
  • Kartboy solid rear droplinks
  • STI aluminum control arms (front)
  • STI Group-N lateral and trailing link bushings (rear)
  • Whiteline Anti-Lift (Castor) Kit
  • Whiteline Extended Ball Joint Kit
  • Poltec spherical-joint front end links

Purely Cosmetic

  • Seibon carbon fiber hood (actually same weight as stock aluminum hood)
  • Subaru “Atlantic Blue Pearl” paint
  • WRC titanium shift knob
  • Aluminum OEM-look dead pedal
  • STI clear side markers
  • STI mesh foglight covers

Audio

  • Kenwood MP3-CD player
  • Alpine SPS-170A front and SPS-130A rear door speakers

Other

  • European market STI projector headlamps with HID conversion
  • APS recirculating bypass valve
  • Samco radiator hoses
  • Omori EGT, oil temp, and boost gauges in Subaru OEM gauge housing
  • Escort Passport 8500 radar detector + hardwire cable
  • SPT intake
  • Whiteline steering rack bushings