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Old 08-29-2016, 05:22 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 433616
Join Date: Nov 2015
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Fairbanks, AK
2000 Impreza 2.5RS
Aspen White

Default 2000 RSTi build thread

Figured I would stop goofing around and actually make a build thread for my swap. Before I start, I would like to thank two people:

Spencer Averett: the head mechanic; without his technical skills, I would have never been able to complete this swap, let alone even start the build. Thank you so much for teaching me so many things, and making my dream a reality.

Dominic Shanks (I think his handle on here is Dominator, but unsure): thank you for helping supply information and parts, and teaching me there's such a thing as a Google search bar. Love ya dude!

So. This swap starts right after my Eclipse's (https://imgur.com/94aRcds the OG ricer)electronics nuked themselves. Left carless, my friend sold me his 2.5RS for 4500. I left the car in its stock state for about a month and a half. What prompted the swap was when I did a compression check on the engine and found that 3 out of the 4 cylinders had low compression. Combing that with a slight knock, I decided that I should just swap it. From the time of purchase to the decision to swap it, I had the car for a total of a month and a half, and the only thing I had did to it was switch to 17" Motegis for winter.

The 2.5RS in its stock state: https://imgur.com/fPE2Qnl

Once my intentions were announced that I wanted to swap my car, one of my friends sent me an eBay link for an engine and transmission, and I bought it. No prior research, no knowledge, hell, I barely knew how to turn a wrench properly. Yet, I had dropped 3 grand, and 23 days later a huge box (literally: https://imgur.com/eIoPu5i) was at my front door.

Right before the swap started, Dominic sent me a for sale ad for an exhaust system down in Wasilla that matched my car (I believe it was AKGC8 who was selling it). So I made a quick weekend trip to pick up the exhaust. Enjoyed it as best as I could, as it was one of my last adventures in my car in its current state.
Road trip to Wasilla: https://imgur.com/a/KYEVk

The weekend before Thanksgiving, the car got torn apart. Spencer was gracious enough to let me use his garage during the swap (I think that's only because we both thought the swap would be done before 2015 ended.) Spencer had the car all torn apart within a few days while I was away at school.
Gutted 2.5RS: https://imgur.com/c4b1b04

Before we got the engine in, we made a tally of all things I was missing. It ended up being; a turbo crossmember, TMIC/Y pipe, downpipe, needed a wire harness merge done, a proper tune and a boost control tower. Luckily, Dominic was able to supply the turbo crossmember (out of a first ten turbo Legacy, I think) and a monstrous 3" downpipe with a gutted cat.

To tackle the tuning issue, I had two options, as my ECU was unflashable so a tuning shop like P3 could not do anything; either get a standalone ECU, or get a chip tune. I decided to go the cheaper option and get a chip tune. This was accomplished through RobTune, and after MANY months of intermittent contact from Rob, I finally had my ECU chip tuned.

The wiring harness merge was a daunting task that neither Spencer or I wanted to tackle, so I sent my wiring harness off to Brian at iWire in California. iWire is awesome with all Subaru based wire harness merges, and Brian did an EXCELLENT job with customer service and updates throughout the merge. I had my wiring harness back in my hands within a week and a half of sending it off. I highly recommend iWire for any Subaru harness merge.

Once this was all in, I had two major parts missing; the OEM boost control tower (I don't know the official name for this, but that's what I'm gonna call it) and the OEM TMIC/Y pipe. These parts are very hard to find, but luckily one guy on a Facebook group was parting out his EJ20G in Alberta, and was able to supply me with missing parts quickly and at an awesome price as well. The last major piece I needed was an air intake, which I opted to go with an Apexi Power Intake.
Missing parts: https://imgur.com/a/dMU1I

After this, the engine was completely together. So you would think it would be just fine, right? No. That was not the case. While the engine did fire up on the third crank, we realized that it was having a misfire that was killing both cylinders on the drivers side. So, Spencer and I thought it was a spark plug issue. Bought replacement ones, put them in. Same issue. Huh. It must be a gapping issue, right? Regapped the spark plugs, put them back in, still have a 2 cylinder STi. We decided it MUST be a coil issue. So I ordered EJ205 coils to replace the aging 20G coils, and Spencer and I stayed up until 12:30 AM doing the coil conversion. Finished the conversion, put in the new coils, fired it up. Still. Freaking. Misfiring. In a final ditch effort, we retraced the engine harness wires. Turns out on the engine harness, there are two identical wires (green with red stripes) and when we repinned a plug (it got smashed in shipping) we had goofed up the two wires. Switched those two out, the car ran with no quirks. Spencer and I had finally finished my dream car, 4 months behind schedule but we did it.

For the first few weeks of having my car, I didn't really do much to it. I switched out the old Motegis with 17" Enkei EKM3s wrapped in Hankook Ventus Evo V12s (*gasp* a Subaru not rocking RPF1s!?!?!?) https://imgur.com/a/AEJAY

I also had two photo shoots done of the car, one by Josh Chavez, and another by Travis Olsen. I really enjoyed how these turned out, and really gave me a first good look of my project.
Photo shoot photos: https://imgur.com/a/eCmrG

After two weeks of driving the car, I decided I was ambitious enough to drive down to Anchorage to attend Hartley's Tune in the Spring, and also dyno my car. The swap didn't miss a beat once the whole trip, and I got to meet so many people in the Anchorage community that I've heard about but never get to see. It was an awesome debut for the swap, and I somehow managed to get top 25 in my class for the show, so that made me extremely happy.

Photos from the show/dyno:

I decided the last major mods I wanted to do for the summer was to do some suspension upgrades. My sway bar bushings had completely eroded away, so I have them temporarily replaced with '02 Forester bushings. For strut/spring upgrades, I went with KYB AGX adjustable struts with H&R lowering springs (Thanks Dominic for the springs!!!!) These upgrades made a night and day difference on my car handling wise, it now feels like a little slot car in the corners.

Suspension upgrades: https://imgur.com/a/Ntlx8

For my final car event, I decided to make the trek down to Anchorage yet again to attend Honda Day. This event was a blast, and I got to see how my car did in the quarter mile. Managed to get 14.77 (beating my goal of 15!!) but could've done so much better had my dumbass actually used the launch control that I didn't know I had at the time. I also got the opportunity to meet Elora Libal, who took FANTASTIC pictures of the swap. Thanks again Elora! This was a fantastic way to end my summer of modding with my car, and I enjoyed hanging with the ATC crew so much during this weekend. Love you guys!

Honda Day/Elora pictures: https://imgur.com/a/B9iRf

I really started this thread for myself, to actually keep track of what I've done with my car, and to try to keep a journal of sorts with it. Sorry for the long post, as I am super behind. There will most likely be a quite a lull in the build as I am leaving for the Marines in three weeks, so I will not be able to touch my car for quite a while. A huge thanks to Spencer, Josh Cuerdo, Dominic, Hartley Kelly, Tyler Hanson, Dalton D. and everyone else who has supported my dream, and making it come true.

Current mod list as of August 29, 2016:

-EJ20G STi w/ matching 5-spd swap.
-Buschur Racing Exhaust System with a Vibrant resonator.
-Unknown brand 3 downpipe.
-Wire harness merge done by iWire.
-RobTune 440 tune.
-Silicone Intercooler Piping
-KYB AGX adjustable struts.
-H&R Lowering Springs
-Red RallyArmour mudflaps
-Red Hella Supertones
-17 Enkei EKM3s on Hankook Ventus V12s
-Pioneer Double Din Radio
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:26 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 191239
Join Date: Oct 2008
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Anchorage
2015 WRX sedan


Great write up. Love the car!
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:24 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 433616
Join Date: Nov 2015
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Fairbanks, AK
2000 Impreza 2.5RS
Aspen White


Originally Posted by ozma View Post
Great write up. Love the car!

Thanks! It still has a long way to go!
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:13 AM   #4
Scooby Guru
Member#: 159474
Join Date: Sep 2007
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Mahwah, New Jersey
2013 BRZ Ltd 6MT CBS


Thanks for the write up! I'm glad you had so many good people helping you. Dom is a great guy! Your car makes me miss my RS coupe. Your car looks great!

Your pictures make me miss the best parts about growing up in Alaska. Good on ya getting out and meeting good people.
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