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Old 07-15-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
Dash_Martino
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04 STi
PSM

Default My 04 WRX STi slow build thread

Hey all, in 2008 I purchased a used 04 WRX Sti in PSM with approximately 30K miles on it. In order to buy it, I worked weekends and extra hours to save up for it. It was my dream car at the time. The original owner was Jake @ InfiniteMotorsports.

For sale thread link: https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=1086334



It came with some modest mods. A conservative tune, a turboback exhaust, new brake pads, and a couple other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

For 6 years I drove it and enjoyed it to the point where it needed a motor rebuild. Unfortunately it had to be parked for two years as I had nowhere to work on it.

That is until I bought a house. With a garage.




This thread will be dedicated to my slow refresh / rebuild of my dream car.

Updates to come as they happen.

Don't give up on your dreams.

Last edited by Dash_Martino; 03-28-2019 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:16 PM   #2
ajchxc
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Nice! I'm looking forward to your updates. I'm in the same boat with my '04. I bought it modded but admittedly in much worse shape than yours. Now it's running on 3 cylinders and sitting in my apartment parking lot until I close on my house. Are you doing a stock rebuild or upgrading while you're on there?
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:29 PM   #3
substi143
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sweet...
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:18 AM   #4
Dash_Martino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajchxc View Post
Nice! I'm looking forward to your updates. I'm in the same boat with my '04. I bought it modded but admittedly in much worse shape than yours. Now it's running on 3 cylinders and sitting in my apartment parking lot until I close on my house. Are you doing a stock rebuild or upgrading while you're on there?
I'm looking to do some upgrades but I'd like to lean more towards the conservative side. My goal is overall reliability versus massive horsepower. I'd like to enjoy this car for years to come once it's all back together. There is a shop not too far from where I live that offers a very nice short block package that I'm planning on starting with:

http://www.jscspeed.com/catalog/Suba..._Packages.html
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:40 AM   #5
ScoobieAboy
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Silver

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Sick man I'm actually in the same process also! I also have a PSM 04 I got it w/ about 20k and now I'm at about 122k, my headgasket is going out. So my friends and I are going to be doing a full rebuild! So glad to see the 04s still getting some love!
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
Dash_Martino
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PSM

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Had a little bit of time to begin removing the engine today. Thought I'd document it all so as to give someone another reference if they ever need it. Following the order listed on IWSTI:
http://www.iwsti.com/forums/diy-mods...emoval-gd.html


First thing on the list is to depressurize the fuel. Found the fuel filter relay underneath the kick panel of the front passenger seat. Kick panel comes off easily by removing a plastic rivet.


It's a green plug that is inserted into a white plug, tucked back a little bit. With the relay unplugged, I started the engine and let it stall out. Cranked it several times to make sure it was done.


Now time to take the battery out. 10 MM wrenches to get the terminals off.


Battery out. Looks like the tie downs are a little rusty.


New terminals should be in order too.


Picture of the battery out just for reference.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:19 PM   #7
Dash_Martino
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04 STi
PSM

Default





Intercooler coming out. 12 mm bolts on each side and on the bypass valve.

Little bit of a backstory on why I wanted to pull the motor and go the rebuild route. Several years ago the car started burning oil. Replaced the turbo. Still burned oil. Fixed the PCV valve. Still burned oil. Compression test pretty standard results. After searching and thinking about it, I figured the oil was leaking out of the valves / valve seals. Oil burning would intensify with engine breaking. This dirty rag shows a puddle of oil I wiped out of the cold side of the turbo. Also pictured are oil drops on the intake pipe of the turbo.




Intercooler out. That's all for today guys! More notes as I come along with it!
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:19 PM   #8
Dash_Martino
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Location: Jim Chunk, PA
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04 STi
PSM

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More of a housekeeping update today. Took all the parts I removed so far and moved them into my basement to give myself more room in the garage.


Went under the car to get the motor mount nuts off and the lower bellhousing bolts, but they were on pretty good so I was going to wait until I got a breaker bar. Instead of wasting time, I took the K&N air intake out.


In other news, I was able to finally meet my first financial goal. Through working extra hours I've been able to save enough to buy Area 1320's "Spun Bearing Special:"

The Area1320 "Spun Bearing Special" includes at brand spanking new Subaru short block, a gasket kit, oil pump, and oil pan, plus a Killer B oil pick up, and a set of Manley pistons that are matched to the new block. The EJ25 short block already includes all the rotating assembly, so while the pistons are redundant, the forged Manleys are the best way to ensure your new block is extremely reliable.
Includes:
Subaru OEM 10103AC050 Short Block
Subaru OEM 10105AA590 Gasket Kit
Subaru OEM 15010AA360 Oil Pump
Subaru OEM 11109AA131 Oil Pan
Subaru OEM 21311AA051 Oil Cooler
Killer B 070-110 Oil Pick Up
Manley 612000CA-1 / 612000CB-1 Pistons

Hard work pays off!
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:52 PM   #9
Dash_Martino
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04 STi
PSM

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Quick Update Time!

Underneath the car work is almost complete for now, as per the IWSTI engine removal how-to.


Motor mount nuts and washers removed with 14 MM socket and breaker bar


Lower transmission bellhousing bolts and nuts were a little bit of a challenge. With a 14mm socket, breaker bar, extension, and swivel extension, I was able to get off all the nuts and bolts. Some how-tos recommend using a racheting box wrench, but I wasn't able to get the end of the wrench on the bolts solidly. The nut closest to the steering input shaft (driver's side, lower nut) was the most difficult. Had to pick up a six point socket so as not to round it off. With a little bit of patience, I heard the satisfying crack of the nut coming loose.


Oil also drained:


Up next weekend, I plan on draining the radiator. Probably will pick up some vinyl tubing to attach to the drain valve so the coolant doesn't splash everywhere. After that, according to the IWSTI how-to, I can start tackling a lot of the top of the motor stuff.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:50 AM   #10
lktaylor72
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
Vehicle:
2008 WRX - Stage 2
WRB

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Nice work! Sounds like an interesting journey
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:43 AM   #11
fallnangel7
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very nice work
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:04 PM   #12
08OBS
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2018 Colorado Duramax

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Great process so far. I like how you're explaining everything and taking pictures along the way. Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:39 PM   #13
Dash_Martino
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04 STi
PSM

Default

So my big goal for today was to at least drain the coolant. Got a big metal tub that was pretty wide so as to avoid splashing:

http://i.imgur.com/o1tbsWG.jpg

From what I read, draining coolant can be a little messy. Seeing as the car is 12+ years old, and I didn't think it was wise to re-use the radiator hoses, I figured I would just puncture the bottom radiator-to-motor hose and let the coolant drain into the tub.

http://i.imgur.com/011NhOD.jpg

As suggested in other write-ups, loosen your radiator cap. My car has been sitting still for a few months, so no worries about built up heat or pressure.

http://i.imgur.com/Xxj0cvC.jpg

Coolant draining well.

While the coolant was draining, I decided to take off a few other parts in order to save time. Here is the top nut that holds an electrical connection to the top of the alternator (under the red hood)

http://i.imgur.com/WdnHoIa.jpg

Also took off the electrical connection to the AC compressor:

http://i.imgur.com/stdNULV.jpg

Took off the plastic shroud that guards the belts for the AC compressor, power steering, alternator, etc.

http://i.imgur.com/e0cJXok.jpg

Might as well take out the perrin catch can while I'm at it that the previous owner installed.

http://i.imgur.com/cmD7QLD.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FHbiyxY.jpg

I'm not sure what you guys get out of your catch cans, but when I dumped mine it was some weird oil / water sludge crap.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:45 PM   #14
Dash_Martino
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Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

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Coolant still draining. Might take awhile but that's ok!

http://i.imgur.com/k2hGXHw.jpg

One thing I'm learning too with this project, each time I finish doing whatever I'm doing for the day, I clean up my tools and put them all back. It might take extra time, but it saves guesswork and aggrevation, and helps alleviate clutter (both mentally and physically.)

http://i.imgur.com/FaYibzu.jpg

Running out of daylight so it's time to enjoy a 14th Star Tribute!

http://i.imgur.com/x0nGiyy.jpg

So far I'm enjoying this project. If you have the means, I suggest taking your time. Don't be in a rush or on a schedule. It allows you to think, research, and not feel pressured. This board has always been a wealth of knowledge, and I spent many years lurking and planning before starting this. To all those who worked on their cars before me and posted up how-tos, ect., thank you!
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:11 PM   #15
Dash_Martino
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04 STi
PSM

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So coolant was finally all drained:
http://i.imgur.com/3HI2BgM.jpg

Time to pull the radiator. Unhooked the two coolant lines at the top of the radiator:
http://i.imgur.com/tlLwd0d.jpg

Another quick tip. No matter how much you try to drain the radiator, there will still be some coolant left inside that dribbles out as you move stuff around. Have some paper towels handy to clean up the mess.
http://i.imgur.com/aKgd8hu.jpg

The fan electrical clips on the bottom of the radiator can be a little tricky. Needle nose pliers can help. Try to depress that little grey button at the top near the back of the clip where the wire connects.
http://i.imgur.com/qE4Pg3T.jpg

Another quick tip. There is a power steering line that will block you from lifting the radiator straight out because of the one coolant line that was unhooked as mentioned previously. Take the time to sneak a box wrench UNDER the power steering reservoir and undo these two bolts. I tried to simply bend the power steering line, and a plastic clip that anchored the reservoir broke.
http://i.imgur.com/WMqWrtp.jpg

Lower radiator hose removed from the motor. Another time to have paper towels or a drip pan handy, as more coolant might fall out. Lifted the radiator straight up and out with a little convincing.
http://i.imgur.com/a0Eqctp.jpg

That's all for today! Next time I'll tackle the power steering, alternator, and AC compressor.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:12 PM   #16
subie.tony
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2017 STi
CWP

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Nice work man! Looks like a great start.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:12 PM   #17
Dash_Martino
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PSM

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Beautiful weather in NEPA today. Time to get back on track.

Previous to today, I was able to remove the power steering and alternator. Not too hard. Today on the list was the AC compressor:

http://i.imgur.com/KseWvTP.jpg

Took the bracket off on the side first and bagged the bolts:

http://i.imgur.com/KzMDwlS.jpg

Lower bolts that attach the compressor to the motor:

http://i.imgur.com/IPP7sWK.jpg

AC compressor moved to the battery tray:

http://i.imgur.com/WOGCcnl.jpg

Removed the windshield washer fluid reservoir for more breathing room:

http://i.imgur.com/PMF3rJH.jpg
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:19 PM   #18
Dash_Martino
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Location: Jim Chunk, PA
Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

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Next up, the coolant tank on top of the motor. Tip I found out: when you remove the coolant tank, it's best to have a pan below the motor so any extra leftover coolant in the motor will drain out when you take the tank out.

http://i.imgur.com/2MUfIMp.jpg

Next: the bracket that holds down the power steering lines

http://i.imgur.com/t84PwMO.jpg

Power steering line moved back:

http://i.imgur.com/rb6vP1J.jpg

Time to take the vacuum lines to the boost controller off:

http://i.imgur.com/v32VZuN.jpg

One attaches to the intake:
http://i.imgur.com/H3GUvdS.jpg

One attaches to a T connector by the turbo:
http://i.imgur.com/58IDTxh.jpg

Line removed:
http://i.imgur.com/tqIGJ1l.jpg

Next up on the list is the front O2 sensor near the passenger front wheel. Might be a little tricky. Till next time, thanks for checking it out!
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:53 PM   #19
Blingstrom
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Wish you much luck with your new motor. The picture catalog will serve you well when going back together.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:37 PM   #20
Dash_Martino
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04 STi
PSM

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Another decent day. Time to get that O2 sensor. Took the passenger front wheel off and moved a plastic flat out of the way to access it on the headers. Placed a claw-foot O2 sensor wrench on it, then got out my breaker bar, as most O2 sensors need some convincing to be removed.

http://i.imgur.com/KTpm7nq.jpg

Also took off this brace for the O2 sensor wire. The bolt for it was actually one of the bolts for the coil packs.

http://i.imgur.com/ioDjlED.jpg

I spun the claw foot wrench as far as I could each revolution, then took it off and re-aligned it. The front O2 sensor is in a tough spot, as you can't just freely wrench on it because there's a part of the frame or body that sits very close and prevents you from moving your rachet further. Some people say they use vice grip pliers. Didn't have them so I put the claw foot to use.

http://i.imgur.com/sLVsKBy.jpg

Then it was time for the passenger side wiring harness.

http://i.imgur.com/puoraTh.jpg

Driver's side harness was a little tougher. There's a bracket that holds down the harness clips. Took the bracket off to have better leverage. Then I put a flat head screwdriver in the release button, then wiggled the clip back and forth until it separated.

Clips undone:

http://i.imgur.com/ehkqdvm.jpg
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:40 PM   #21
Dash_Martino
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Jim Chunk, PA
Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

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Cut this zip tie that held together several of the wiring harness chunks, just I could disconnect the whole bundle from another bundle that traveled to the headlights or AC or something.

http://i.imgur.com/cGsHhIU.jpg

Vacuum line from intake manifold to master cylinder was next:

http://i.imgur.com/VdmSQPz.jpg

Finally for today the vacuum line from the stock BOV to the firewall.

http://i.imgur.com/4I026am.jpg

That's all for today, next up on the list is the fuel lines as per the how to I'm using.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:58 PM   #22
Dash_Martino
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Jim Chunk, PA
Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

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Update time. And it's a good one.

Time to get the fuel lines off. They were pretty stubborn near the fuel rail, went for the black thingies near the strut tower.

http://i.imgur.com/iud9qVw.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/zkLMoJW.jpg

A little bit of gas will spill. Good idea to keep some paper towels handy.
http://i.imgur.com/BCTenkm.jpg
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:01 PM   #23
Dash_Martino
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Jim Chunk, PA
Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

Default

Two fuel lines and a small vacuum line removed.

http://i.imgur.com/CnM4B1F.jpg

These 90 degree needle nose pliers are a great help. 10 bucks down at Autozone. They work great on getting off stubborn fuel / coolant / vacuum lines, and they are very handy at pinching those little clips that keep lines in place.

http://i.imgur.com/0kUQVBs.jpg

Next up time for the pitch stop:

http://i.imgur.com/5HGL65K.jpg

14 mm bolts / nuts hold it in place at the motor and at the firewall. Had to move one little ground wire to get at the one by the firewall.

http://i.imgur.com/RXjHqs1.jpg
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:04 PM   #24
Dash_Martino
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Member#: 78728
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Jim Chunk, PA
Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

Default

Next up were the heater hose lines that run from the back of the motor to the firewall to supply the heater core. The clamps on these were pretty rusty so the screwdriver just chewed apart the screws. If you're stuck, grab an 8 mm socket, that will take the clips off well.

http://i.imgur.com/1s77qLL.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/0e3r1LZ.jpg

Be prepared for a lot of coolant to spill!

Next up, two bellhousing bolts on the upper transmission on the passengers side. Much easier to reach than the tough ones underneath the car. Still used a breaker bar.

http://i.imgur.com/To00r75.jpg
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:56 PM   #25
Dash_Martino
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Member#: 78728
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Jim Chunk, PA
Vehicle:
04 STi
PSM

Default

Took the starter out. Needed the breaker bar for it!

http://i.imgur.com/fl7HQcm.jpg

Next up was the hex plug blocking the clutch fork shaft. My model used a 10 MM hex head for removal. Thankfully for christmas, my best friend bought me a hex / screwdriver socket set! Came out with a little breaker bar coaxing.

http://i.imgur.com/dNeUdAf.jpg

Time to get that input shaft out. After looking on the internet, it seems that this part tends to trip people up. Once the hex plug was out, I took out one of the 10 mm bolts from the top of the headlight and threaded it into the input shaft:

http://i.imgur.com/ggaC4wp.jpg

The headlight bolt comes with a washer. Using a pry bar, I put the blade of the pry bar against the washer, then braced the bar against the transmission and used it to wedge out the shaft.

http://i.imgur.com/Udr5NcC.jpg

I needed to move the bar several times, and eventually the bar wouldn't give me the leverage i needed so I just slowly tapped on the handle of the bar with the hammer and gently slid out the shaft.

http://i.imgur.com/UtW6WSe.jpg

Close up of the headlight 10 mm bolt in the shaft after it was removed:

http://i.imgur.com/9taSh0g.jpg

Disconnected this guy:

http://i.imgur.com/TdLmO0y.jpg

And now I'm ready to get an engine hoist and gently work the motor out! Yay!

Thank you to everyone who contributes on these boards, you have made this much easier for me.
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