Part IV: Beginning the Build
Once we had the two cars together, all the shop staff got really excited, and there was a frenzy of tearing down the two cars, in preparation for merging them.
Removing the wiring harness from the STi. In the parking lot. Your landlord will love you!
Even with a lot of well-meaning help, at this point we could have saved ourselves some time with some additional care and time taken in labeling, packaging, and indexing the removed parts, and in not breaking stuff as we removed it. Some of the casualties of the dis-assembly process included the hood release cable, the STi airbag/horn clockspring mechanism, and several bolts that broke off in the unibody of each car. I did take a lot of pictures, though, and several of those came in handy later when we tried to figure out exactly how things went back together. Also, I should say that the broken or misplaced items were relatively few -- it might be that a lot of extra time and care being meticulous on the front end would NOT have offset that much savings on the back end. But I think there were times when we all wished we had been a little more orderly in the initial stages.
I had installed a metal folding chair as the driver's seat, but they made me take it out.
We spent a lot of time cleaning everything, which was time well spent in retrospect. It's MUCH nicer assembling clean parts, and they're easier to identify (and identify problems with) if they're clean. I discovered Wal Mart sells a 2.5 gallon container of industrial-strength grease-cutting soap for ten bucks. Who knew?
We did spend a few bucks at the Subaru Tech Info web site. A few hours there got us wiring diagrams of both cars, and plenty of other good stuff that paid off big dividends later on during the project.
The GC Impreza isn't known for its chassis stiffness. We set out to add a little rigidity (and practice our MIG welding skills) by seam-welding the front half of the chassis.
Many hours of welding and grinding later, we hauled the chassis over to get the engine bay repainted in Aspen White, which will eventually be the whole car color.
After a couple of weeks we had the engines out of both donor and recipient cars, along with their complete car wiring harnesses. We set about grafting the GD STi harness into the GC chassis, in preparation for installing the engine and transmission.