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boo-key 02-01-2014 01:46 AM

Boo's build journal and introduction
549 Attachment(s)
Hi guys, Im not really new but, theres not a old member intro anywhere. I wanted to start this thread to introduce myself to those of you who may not know me and also serve as a journal of past, present, and future modifications to my WRX.I see many of you with build threads and find them very usefull. Hopefully I can be just as much of a help as many others are. Bare with me because this will be long winded as I have 7 years of catching up to do.

I'll start by introducing myself and give you a little background. My name is Adair and I have been messing with cars/trucks since I got my first one when I was 15. I am 33 and a mechanic working on city busses now. I started out with mini trucks and then got into Hondas. Once I drove a turbocharged all wheel drive car, I was hooked. It started in 2006 with my first WRX. I traded a Ford excursion I had for a 2002 white automatic transmission WRX. I was a total newb to turbo cars, especially Subaru's. The WRX I bought had a BOV, cold air intake, 18 inch wheels, & cat-back exhaust that my then untrained eye could see.Who knows what else was going on with it. It was more of a impulse buy than a researched purchase. The first week or two I really enjoyed it and thought I was hot $hit with my loud BOV. Paradise didn't last long though. About two weeks after owning it I took a friend for a ride to show him "what it would do". We were doing about 60mph on the interstate when I pushed the skinny pedal to the floor. The transmission downshifted followed by a bang and sound of rotating metal parts. I coasted over to the shoulder to asses the damage. It was pretty bad cause the car would not move anymore. I called the dealer I bought it from and they sent a flatbed to come pick it up. Come to find out, the rear differential blew apart. The dealer fixed it with no charge to me and I was back on the road. Another week or two went by and I started getting CEL's and the engine was missing. This time I took it to my local Subaru dealer. They told me that the cats were clogged. I decided I would do this repair myself. I went out and bought me a catless up and down pipe. Well, that didn't fix anything. It was still driveable and my only mode of transportation so, I kept driving it. One night I got caught in a terrible storm on the way home. I was almost home in flash flood conditions whe it started missing and hessitating really bed. I made it home and the next morning found my air filter on the end of my cai wet. I had enough at this point. Soon as I got it running again I went straight to the Subaru dealership and traded it in on a 2006 wrb WRX TR with 6 miles on the ticker. Best automotive decision I ever made. Worst one was not getting a STI. Keep in mind at this point I was still a newb and learning. The first thing i did was slap a K&N pannel filter on it as I had always done with my previous vehicles. I have always done this simply for the fact of never having to buy another air filter. Just clean it and drive on. I ran this for a while with no ill effects that my butt could tell. Then i found a project car that my then favorite magazine (sport compact car) was building. It was a 2006 WRX just like mine. They had put a K&N typhoon intake on it and wrote about the gains and "suck, squish, bang" noises it brought to life. What did I do....went and bought one! I had no idea about tuning and the possibility of running lean but, boy did it make some sweet intake sounds. I ran this for a while without any noticeable problems. This is about when I joined wrxtuners. I started really researching and learning about these babies. Sold my intake and just decided to take some time to really learn before I purchased anything else. The purchases all came pretty quick over the past two years so, I cant really remember what order they came in. As of now the car has 70,000 miles on it and is in perfect running shape. I will break them down into category's and try my best to tell what i do remember about the install exct.I always have and will do all my own work if i can help it. i will also try to post pics of various parts and the car.

Autometer tripple gauge a-pillar pod: I purchased this from my local hot-rod shop. works great, looks & fits well. My only complaints about it is that it only comes in black which didnt match my passenger side grey pillar. A little black plasti-dip fixed that and actually matches quite well. i also don't like the fact that I had to drill into my factory pillar to mount it and run gauge wires through. I'm only 5'9" and have bumped my head on it a few times but, could see it being a problem for drivers over 6'.

AEM digital boost gauge: Got this for $145 off either amazon or ebay. looks and works great. I love the sweeping LED's. Comes with a silver bezel and black bezel as well as a white face and black face. Downsides are that only the digital numeric readout and sweeping LED's light up at night (I believe all digital AEM gauges are like this). I also hate that there is no - or + before the number in the readout to let you know if you are in boost or vac.

AEM digital AFR gauge: Once again fit and finish are nice. Still has the same lighting where the actual gauge face don't light up. Comes with a weld in bung, 2 faces, 2 bezels, plenty of wiring, and a bosch wideband sensor. Seems to be spot on accurate. i have had mine almost a year and the sensor is still good.

Busted finger datalogging cable:This is a must have for datalogging with a wideband like the above mentioned.It is simply a cable that hooks from a serial wire on the gauge wiring harness to your laptop. What can I's a cable and works.

Subaru STI carbon fiber shift pattern decal: This is purely a overpriced piece of interior eye candy from the dealer. I mean really, who dosent know where the gears are in a normal 5 speed. It was a birthday gift.

LED interior lighting: I replaced all my factory interior bulbs (map, dome, ash tray, glove box, and trunk) with wite LED bulbs. It took me many times of trial and error on ebay to find bulbs that I actually liked. I am happy with the end result. Gives off a more updated look to the interior and a inexpensive mod.

Pioneer FH-X700BT head unit:This is a great inexpensive head unit. Has bluetooth and comes with a bluetooth mic for hands free operation. Lighting display is highly customizable and has tons of colors to choose from. Also has USB port for external drive. Downsides are only 2 sets of pre-amp outputs and the audio adjustments are not user friendly in my opinion.

Kicker CS65 speakers: I used these for a direct fit into my front doors. They are a 2 way 6.5" speaker with a 1/2" tweeter. Power range is 2-100 watts RMS. Right now I have a amp hooked up to them putting out 50 watts RMS to each with no complaints.

Kicker CS4 speakers: I used these for a direct fit into my rear doors. They are a 2 way speaker with a 1/2" tweeter. Power range is 2-50 watts RMS. Right now I have a amp hooked up to them putting out 50 watts RMS to each with no complaints.

Kicker 11dx400.4 amplifier: This is a great amp! I have it mounted under my passenger seat driving 50 watts RMS to each of my (4) door speakers. I came up with a way to securely mount it without having to drill through the floor of my car. I cut a piece of plywood the same shape as the amp and painted it to protect it from deterioration.I then put machine screws coming throug the bottom of the plywood with nuts securing tem. used 3M duralock industrial velcro to secure that to the floor of the car. Laid the carpet over it with slits for the screws to protrude through. Mounted the amp on top of the carpet with nuts on the screws coming through the mounting holes in the amp so, now the amp is secured by the plywood, velcro, and carpet. Unfortunantly this did not work the same way for my under seat sub. So that I didn't have to splice into my factory speaker wires, I ran all new 12 gauge speaker wires under the carpet and through the factory door grommets/boots. It is a 4 channel amp. You can run either 50x4 RMS or 200x2 RMS. Has variable high and low pass filters and variable bass boost.

Kicker 09DCK4 amp wiring kit: This kit comes with plenty of 4 gauge power wire,inline fuse holder, about 3 feet of 4 gauge ground wire, One set of RCA cables, and a long remote wire.Once again I ran all these wires under the carpet.The 4 gauge wire was very flexible and easy to route. I made a central power post on my driver side strut tower to run my many power wires to so, I don't have a million wires coming off my battery terminal.

Kicker 11HS8 hideaway sub: Love this thing! My whole goal with my audio system was for it to not take up any useable space. I'm not looking for big bump. Just nice clean sound with a little added bass. It did just that. I have it mounted under my driver seat.It came with velcro straps that wrap around it and hold it down. Unfortunantly I had to screw the straps to the floor. It is a 8" powered subwoofer that pushes out 150 watts RMS. Very easy to wire up. Has a wiring harness you plug in the side of it and then crimp your ends and hook up the power, ground, speaker, and remote wires in the other end. I used a relay for the remote wire since I was also running a remote wire from my other amp. It also has a remote bass knob which is a nice feature when you want more or less bass. I mounted this in my glove box.

Cobb accessport V3: This is a great tuning tool. I'm not going to go through all it's features and what it does because most of you already know. I purchased the V3 right after it was released because I was worried about my V2 becoming outdated. I ran my wire from the obd port, under the dash, behind the radio, and coming out on the passenger side where I have the tuner mounted right next to the radio. The double sided sticky tape it came with to mount did not hold for me so, I replaced it with 3M dura-lock hook and loop fastening tape. It is great stuff. It's like plastic industrial strength velcro.

STI high pressure radiator cap: This is another overpriced factory item. I guess it raises the pressure of your cooling system. i have it on the upper resivoir but would think for it to really raise the pressure you would need two of them. One for the resivoir and one for the radiator. This was anoter birthday present.

Central power distribution stud: I put a power distribution stud on the driver side strut tower where the air pump used to be. I did this so that I can ave a central place to power up all my accecories that need constant 12v power. It is much cleaner than having many different things hooked to the battery. I am thinking about doing this for all my accecories that need power only when the key is on. Only problem with that is everything will be fused by whatever I tap into.

Mines magnetic oil drain plug: Probably just snake oil because the filter should catch all metal debris. I have only had it on for 1000 miles so, we will see when i change my oil.I may take it off because it just don't seem as solid as the factory plug. It's really lightweight like it's aluminum or something.

One step colder NGK spark plugs: I put these in because the colder heat range is supposed to better for a modified Subaru engine. I don't have the part # but, can get it for anyone interested.

Throttle body coolant delete: Subaru routes coolant to flow through the throttle body for very cold climates. This is said to be able to increase temps in air flowing through the throttle is a simple delete. You can just disconnect the hoses and either plug them ot tie them into each other. I took this oppurtunity to use them to flow coolant through my liquid cooled external wastegate. All I had to do was make a hose at work with a barbed fitting on one side and a fitting for the wastegate on the other side. Killed two birds with one stone on this one!

Ported & polished STI intake manifold: I have always loved the bling factor of the red IM on the STI so, I bought one used with TGV's on it also off nasioc. I got out my carbide bits and went to work gasket match porting the runners. Then I sanded them nice and smooth almost to a mirror finish. Did it help? Probably not but, I wanted to do all I could before I installed it.

Grimmspeed 3mm phenolic spacers: I decided to add these while I had the intake manifold out. I went with the 3mm over the 8mm because I heard the 8mm can cause clearance issues if not using a front mount intercooler. I cant really tell a difference in how hot the intake manifold gets. It's still ot to the touch after driving. The downside to these is you have to buy 2 sets of gaskets. One for each side of the phenolic spacer.

TGV deletes: When I bought the STI intake manifold it still had the TGV's attatched to it so, I took that oppurtunity to delete them myself. I also painted them with a nice black silicone thermal paint. I have never experienced any starting or idle difficulties out of these even in single digit temps.

Air pump delete: This is another mod I decided to do before I tuned for everything else and while I had the top end of my engine apart. I used the KS tech block off plates on the head. I did this simply so I would never have air pump or component failure. I've never experienced any problems with the air pump gone. It also freed up a lot of extra room in the engine bay. I used some of my newfound extra room to mount a power stud so that I don't have all my accesories that require constant 12v power hooked to the battery terminal.

Grimmspeed 3 port electronic boost control solenoid. This is a must in my opinion when getting tuned. It helps regulate boost better. If I'm not mistaken it was required with my external wastegate.Great product!

K&N typhoon intake with heat shield: I liked the first one I had so much that I went with it again. Sounds great and has a nice carbon fiber end cap on the filter. I will probably go with something different though next time I get tuned.

Grimmspeed EWG uppipe and dumptube with tial 38mm wastegate: After not doing my research and getting a catless downpipe I overboosted on the cobb ots stage 2 tune (noob mistake). I was told by a tuner (and I use that term loosely but won't mention any names) that a protune would fix it. His tune was junk and still overboosted so, I decided to just get a 3 port bcs and ewg and be done. I went with the grimmspeed thermal coated ewg uppipe and dumptube with tial 38mm msv wastegate.I heat wrapped and sealed the dumptube as an extra precaution to combat melting the axle boot.As mentioned earlier I robbed coolant from the throttle body to run through the wastegate. The grimmspeed is a nice product that fits more downpipe configurations than any other on the market.It has a v-band connection for the wastegate. They now even offer the uppipe with a 2 bolt or 3 bolt header flange. The wastegate came with all springs for many different spring pressures. This is one of my favorite mods!

Megan catless 3 inch bellmouth downpipe: I got this for a great deal. Megan is not the greatest brand but, I have had no problems out of it. It fit great and looked nice. I also heat wrapped and sealed this.

Grimmspeed wastegate bracket: I used this to hold my wastegate flapper shut on my turbo. works and fits great. This is much better than welding the flapper shut because it is easily reversible.

HKS Hi-power cat-back: I have always loved HKS products so, I went with one of the only decent useable products they make for our cars. I wish they made more than this, a shitty BOV, and turbo timers for the subaru community.

Torque solutions urethane exhaust hangers: Decided to just replace my hangers while I was doing exhaust. These were very firm, hold my exhaust rock solid, and don't make any noise or squeeks. Good product!

Grimmspeed lightweight crank pulley: I got the blue one. Very nice piece and substantually lighter than stock. Best part is no tuning required.

Walbro 255lph fuel pump: Got this just to make sure I am pumping enough fuel for future upgrades. I got the install kit also but, it really isn't needed. I think I had to bend a bracket very slightly to make it fit in the hanger. Easy install and once again no tuning required.

Perrin turbo inlet: Got this used off nasioc since I was going to have the intake manifold off anyway. It says you can install without removing the IM but, I don't see how. It would really be a bitch. I wish i would have went with a hard pipe because I don't like how it sits against other parts of the engine. I actually put a rub guard on one spot as a safety precaution because i didn't like how it was against the engine.

Rotella T6 synthetic oil: I have always used Mobil 1 synthetic 5w30 from 6 to 67,000 miles until i started reading about bad oil analisys on it. Thats when I made the switch to the highly recommended RT6. I always use oem filters.


I dont have any transmission mods and am still going strong on the stock clutch. I devolped a grind going into 5th gear but changed to redline lightweigt shockproof trans fluid and it fixed it right up.


Black pasti-dipped stock wheels: I got tired of the plain ol' silver stock wheels and don't have the money for anything else so I took the poor mans route and dipped them. i chose black to go along with the blacked out look I'm going for. Some tips for anyone that's going to dip their wheels. Clean them really good and when you think you have them clean...CLEAN THEM AGAIN! Use playing cards, index cards, business cards or whatever you can to put between the tire and rim to protect from overspray on your tires. The thicker you coat it on the better it will look and easier it will come off when you decide to peel it off. Be very carefull when removing and installing your lugnuts because if the socket or whatever you use rubbs it too much it will start peeling in the lug holes. Mine has been on at least 6 months and still looks as good as the day I did it.

Continental DWS tires: I chose these because of their all season characteristics. We don't get enough snow here to have dedicated winters but, when we do get a little these do the job.The DWS stands for dry, wet, and snow. The letters DWS are stamped in the tread. When the S wears off they are no longer suitable for snow use. When the W wears off they are no longer suitable for wet use. When the D wears off they need replaced.

Blitz HID headlight kit: Yes I have HID headlights in non HID housings. I also have my flame suit on. They actually are not glaring bright and have good cutoff. I have yet to be bright lighted by any other drivers. I don't think they are that bad because they are in a projector housing.

Ebay urethane front lip: I did much research on this for the best one on ebay before I made the purchase. I have no complaints with it. There are good ones on ebay you just have to do your research. I coated it with 3M ruberized coating out of a rattle can. Sounds weird but looks great and is durable. It has a slight textured finish. If I scratch it up all i have to do is touch it up with this and you can never tell.

Spec c grill pinstripe: This is a easy DIY mod. All you do is get some red 3M pinstripe and remove your grille. Now starting at the top so you dont see the seam where you start and stop, just run the pinstripe around your grille.

smoked lenses: I tinted my head, tail, and 3rd brake light lenses with VHT nite shades paint.Not everyone likes or agrees with this look but, I do. My lights are still very clearly visible with this done. To do this mod with success it takes a lot of prep work. First you remove the lights to be done. Wet sand them with 1000 grit or better sand paper until they have a haze look to them. Clean them very good and just when you think they are clean enough clean them again. Now spray the VHT on in light coats to desired darkness. Keep in mind that they will look a little darker once dry. Now spray as much clear coat as your heart desires. Let them cure for at least 24 hours but I would suggest 48.Wet sand once again with 1000 grit or better sandpaper but, just lightly this time. Now you want to buff them first with some cut buffing compound and then with some finish buffing compound.

LED bulbs: I only replaced my license plate and parking light bulbs with white LED's because the colored LED bulbs did not seem as bright as the regular ones. This may be different if your lenses are not tinted. IDK

Rally armor ## mudflaps: I went with the black/blue lettering ones. These things look great IMO and are very functional. They keep rocks, salt, snow, mud, dirt, and debris from flying onto the body. They are adjustable also.

5% window tint all the way around: I like my windows dark. Not much else to say here.

Debadged trunk: I debadged all but the subaru emblem in the center because it has 2 holes behind it. Most people say to use fishing line but mine just pulled right off with very little residue behind them. A little bug & tar remover or something similar will take this right off.

DIY hood dampers: I'm a cheap ass so, I was not going to pay $100+ for grimmspeed hood dampers. Instead I got some dampers from work (if anyone is interested I can check the length and lb on them) and ordered (2) threaded ball mount studs and (2) ball brackets off ebay. Just take the center fender bolt out and replace with the threaded ball mounts. I had to tap my hole slightly larger because the ones I ordered were a size bigger. Then take 1 hood bolt out and put the bracket on with the hood bolt holding it on. I also had to modify the bracket because it just barely stuck down too far. I had to flatten it back out then re-bend it to work. Mine turned out great and open the hood much higher than the stock prop which is nice.

Hella supertones: I really only did these because I like the way they look behind the grille. For a simple horn upgrade they are kinda a PIA to wire up with the relay but, I highly suggest using it. Sounds better and louder than the stock ones.


DIY rear subframe lockdown bolts with brass bushings: This is a pretty simple and cheap DIY mod that I did. Rather than typing all the details I will just link you to the thread I used. I didn't really notice much with this but, I'm sure it stiffened it up a bit. Part numbers I used from fastenal are on page 2 post 48.
[url=]DIY Rear subframe lockdown bolts. - Page 2 - NASIOC[/url]

Hawk hp+ brake pads: These have lasted me a really long time and feel better than stock. I don't really drive hard enough to ever need them though but, they are there if I do. I have them on the front and rear.

Stoptech ss brake lines: These stiffened up the pedal feel and should hold it nice and firm with no expansion under hard braking

ATE super blue racing brake fluid: This fluid has a higher boiling point than regular and probably some other benifits I'm forgetting. The main reason I choose it was because of the difference in color. It makes it really easy to tell when the old is all evacuated and the new is in there when you switch and bleed. Don't forget that the brake bleeding order in our cars is not the traditional farthest from the MC first. This is because of the funky ABS line routing. It goes passenger front, driver rear, driver front, passenger rear in my 2006.

I don't plan on doing much else for now. I want to start saving now for my big boy mods. I will update and add pictures of past and future mods as I can. Thank you for reading.

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:11 AM

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boo-key 02-01-2014 02:12 AM

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Hks Hi-power

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:13 AM

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Ebay lip and ricer front plate.

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:14 AM

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Supertones and grille pinstripe

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:15 AM

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DIY hood dampers

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:16 AM

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Interior shot

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:17 AM

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Power distribution stud.

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:17 AM

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Best pic of tgv's I could get.

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:18 AM

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Gs crank pulley.

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:18 AM

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External gate

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:19 AM

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Downpipe with wb sensor and modded heat shield.

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:20 AM

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3 port bcs

boo-key 02-01-2014 02:20 AM

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boo-key 02-01-2014 02:22 AM

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Turbo inlet with ghetto rub guard.

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