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Old 02-06-2020, 09:08 PM   #1
Kostamojen
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1999 OBS Camo Wagon
1993 FWD Base Impreza

OMGHi2U Project "Poverty Spec" 1993 Impreza FWD Autocross XS class/Track Day budget build!

I've been shopping around for awhile to find a car to autox with and just have fun with, but I wanted to do it on a budget, around $5-6k tops. LOTS of miatas out there of course, but they stretch that budget to the max.

Couple weeks ago found this car on Craigslist, its a 1993 BASE model FWD!



What is a base spec Impreza you ask? Its the POVERTY SPEC version with unpainted bumpers, no AC, no power windows, no power locks, no basically anything! Its front wheel drive as mentioned, and according to my old curb weight thread (as seen here: https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=915025 ) it was the LIGHTEST Impreza ever sold in the US!

After contemplating it for awhile, the SCCA announced a new Autocross class for this year called XS. This class is basically CAM class, for those who are familiar, but for all the non american cars. It allows also for JDM cars and right hand drive conversions plus a rash of other interesting modifications AND unlike Street Mod, you CAN'T run R compounds, limited to 200tw only which keeps this class as basically a better street car class for the folks who want to do whatever and just run for fun.

More info here: https://www.scca.com/articles/201339...lo-competition

Within the class rules it states that AWD cars have to weigh over 3000lbs, but in XS-B FWD cars can be as low as 2000lbs. This means that this poverty spec Impreza wound be able to run even with a slew of upgrades and ever more weight reduction as the curb weight sits at 2350lbs (I ran it on scales, it did indeed come up as 2350lbs).

I started off thinking about what I wanted to do, but then with how slow the forums have been I decided to try my hand at other social media. Here is a youtube vid below:


I'm not too comfy with any other social media yet, and other media like Facebook, Instagram, etc. don't work well with keeping all the info in one place and chronologically ordered... So I'm starting this thread!



I have a lot of other photos to post here, but I'll start with just this for now.


Adding current status of car picture in the first post I will try to keep updated:



Mod List so far:

Exterior -

JDM Version 2 Aluminum Hood
Version 5 front bumper
Carbon Foglight covers
JDM front and rear lightweight Bumper beams
Ebay Clear side markers
Vinyl Grey Racing stripes
Vinyl black "Panda" lower stripes
Trackdecals SCCA Autox numbers/stickers
Hella Supertone Horn

Interior -

Corbeau Forza Red Seats
Corbeau Seat brackets
DIY Red Ozite Carpet
Schroth Rallye 3 harness
6overcrest Rear Seat Delete
Kartboy Dead Pedal
Amazon Basics rubber floor mats
Sound deadening removal (whole car)
Speaker system delete
Aibag system delete
AOVise Stereo with built in speaker
Stickerbombed vinyl roof

Shifter -

Modified FWD shift linkage updated to 96+ components
Kartboy Short shifter
Whiteline Bushing kit
Turn in Concepts linkage bushing
Sickspeed 6" Angled Shift knob attachment
Tomei Duracon shift knob
Whiteline transmission mount insert (modified for FWD)

Suspension -

Bilstein PSS9 GC8 Coilovers
Pedders camber front tophats
Group-N rear control arm bushings
Whiteline front control arm bushings
2015 STI Steering rack
Superpro steering rack bushings
STI Carbon Fiber front strut bar
Whiteline 22mm Rear Swaybar
Superpro front and rear trailing arm bushings
SPC adjustable rear trailing links

Wheels/Tires -

Rota Grid 15x8 +20 Bronze
245/40r15 BFGoodrich Rival S 1.5
Motegi Black Lugnuts

Engine/Drivetrain -

EJ18 heads
EJ203 short block
WRX OEM oil cooler
Koyo Radiator
Group N Engine mounts
Perrin Dogbone
COBB Intake (coming soon)
MSD Coil Pack
Odyssey Battery
Kartboy battery hold down
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Last edited by Kostamojen; 06-19-2020 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:18 PM   #2
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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So some of the plans are...

Remove rear seats to save weight.
Switch to lighter, inexpensive racing seats up front.
Use my Schroth harness I have.
Find a lightweight hood.
Swap the lightweight bumper beams I have on my camo wagon to this car.
Swap the front subframe with '15 STI Steering rack from the camo wagon to this car.
Swap some other suspension upgrades (bushings, strut bars, etc.) from the wagon to this car.
Go with as wide and light as possible with wheels and tires but keep it under $1000 or so.
Roll/stretch fenders as needed.
Remove all the sound deadening from the car.
Remove the factory carpet, check the weight and see if a lighter carpet would be available (must run carpet for this autox class!)
Remove the stereo/speakers.
Figure out what coilovers will work with the FWD rear setup and balance quality with price as best as possible.
Upgrade front brakes inexpensively, figure out what rear brakes may work with the FWD rear hubs.
Worry about engine upgrades later
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:21 PM   #3
Kostamojen
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Here are some of the photos from Day 1 when I purchased the car.

Its not in TERRIBLE shape, but the passenger side rear door needs to be replaced, there are some paint issues with both front doors, and the interior has some hickups. Overall not to bad for a car with 344,000 miles!







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Old 02-06-2020, 09:24 PM   #4
Kostamojen
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I had to get a rental to go purchase the car since it was 2 hours away and I had no way of towing it, plus the location selling it was right next to an Enterprise.

When arriving to get my rental, they offered a Elantra, Altima or a Versa I said no thanks, and asked what else they had...

They said "well, we have a Porsche for $50 more" so of course I took it!




I posted a review of it in the Porsche thread in Off-topic if anyone is interested...

I actually enjoyed driving home in this Impreza more than I did driving there in the 718 Boxster, kind of funny
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:44 PM   #5
Kostamojen
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So anyway, figuring out what wheels and tires to run to be somewhat effective is interesting for this autox class. Size is unlimited, but tread wear is not. Anyone who has done any autox in the last year knows there are only THREE competitive 200tw tires right now:

Bridgestone RE71R
BFG Rival
Yokohama A052

Now the problem with all three of these is that when you start doing larger sizes like 17's you start to get expensive. The Yokos are expensive in almost ALL sizes with even having 15" sizes costing $800+

With a wheel tire budget of around $1000, running wide large wheels with wide competitive tires are out of the question. So browsing through all the tire sizes for the competitive tires, I ran it down to just a few specific tires in specific sizes:






As you can see, really none of these are optimal sizes and the ones that are leave me with just a couple hundred dollar budget for wheels. But there is one that I found which I found quite intriguing:



Yes, thats a 245 size 15" tire, and quite short in diameter too. This tire size is mostly run with the Honda and Miata crowd, but considering I'm running a VERY light weight Impreza build this idea seems interesting. The stock diameter of this Base Imprezas tires are also quite small and I like the idea of a smaller, less expensive tire for autox/track use.

I started looking a little more at that tire size, and found something else:



Now this Hankook isn't competitive as it sits, but not a slow or terrible tire from everything I've read about them. It is however a tire that will last longer and work well for any HDPE events I might do (I ran a SCCA track night event last year and it was wonderful not waking up at 5am to go to a track day!!!). Its also more within my budget than the BFG's are, which really aren't that expensive either and I may splurge on those as I haven't purchased either yet.

But finding wheels to fit this tires? Oh man, thats for the next post...
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:02 PM   #6
Kostamojen
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What wheels can fit a 245 section width 15" tire do you ask?

Not many that can fit a 5x100 Subaru is the answer... A 245 series tire according to Tire Rack, requires an 8"+ sized wheel. I knew of a lot of 15x6.5's and 15x7's, but until I started searching, not many 15x8's.

Searching for 15x8 wheels with offsets in the 40 range turned out to be fruitless. There are NO good light weight wheels anymore in that range that I can afford, and the ones that were available have been discontinued long ago (there was a Rota Slipstream 15x8 +40 at one time apparently). I did discover a few different +20 offset 15x8 5x100 wheels, including these from Rota that are in the 14lbs range which is PERFECT for the weight I'm looking for:




Ironically, I ran 16x7 Rota Slipstreams back in the day twice actually, since they were light and inexpensive. Used them both on my '95 Impreza and the same set wound up later after removing the black paint on my BRZ for a bit:




If you are a wheel brand snob, then you should probably ignore this post LOL! I consider wheels "wear and tear" items as they always wind up being curbed and always wind up covered in brake dust anyway. I have no issue rocking Rotas, especially since they were one of the first companies to actively support the Subaru community with offering proper 5x100 wheels in the correct offsets for us.

After browsing the entire RS25.com "Aggressive wheel fitment" thread and not finding any other possible interesting options, I decided to go ahead and order the Rota Grids in Bronze for the Poverty Spec racer! I decided on that over the Slipstream due to the price and the color due to the fact I've never had bronze wheels before and they should look just fine on a white car.

And in case anyone is interested, I DID find someone else who ran the 15x8 +20 wheels for autocross, so I'm not concerned about the offset as much now especially with the small diameter tires and the ability to do whatever with the fenders I want:



Can't wait to test fit them! Going to hold off ordering tires for now until these arrive and I figure out the suspension...
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:23 PM   #7
Kostamojen
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I bought the car last week, and two days ago I started ripping it apart

First thing I did was clean up a couple rusty bits and pieces in the engine bay, along with a wash of course (also, I did go to pick and pull the other day and grabbed a few small items, didn't find a door though). Then I started doing some touch up on the dash. I kept going, and I removed the speakers from the front doors and in the process cleaned everything up nicely.

FYI, for the rest of this thread, I will post pics with weights of every item I removed just for reference. Keep in mind the car started at 2350lbs on the scales!

Weight of the front speakers, not as much as I had hoped, but one of them was broken anyone and they are crap:



Next up I removed the glove box weight:



The truck liners were quite stinky, so I decided they needed to go first thing including the carpet and the moldy trunk cardboard. I threw the carpet and cardboard out before I weighed the car, along with taking out the spare and jack (was weighed at 2340lbs with those out). But I did decide to remove the rest of the liners to at least clean them and check some weights:




Rear liners were not that heavy, so I'm going to keep some parts of them modified to cover up exposed wires in the trunk.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:30 PM   #8
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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I kept going yesterday a bit more, becuase I decided I needed to clean the car a bit along with take a look at the rear strut tops to try and figure out whats going on with the rear suspension. I'll talk more about that in a later post...

So anyway, removed the rear speakers, the rear seats, the rear deck, rear seat belts, and some panels:










As you can see, the seats only weigh about 20lbs. In other cars I've had the rear seats were more in the 30-40lbs range, so these are pretty light. (Side note: Bought this cool little scale off of Amazon for $30, goes up to like 500lbs or something crazy!)

The rear deck was a couple lbs, the seat belts almost 6lbs, and the rear sound deadening pad was lighter than I thought at only just under 4lbs. All of this does add up to over around 35lbs removed from the car so not bad for not a lot of work.

I also compared the weight of the Oddy battery I have sitting around versus the battery in the car already:




Not as big of a weight change as I expected... I contemplated moving the battery to the trunk too, but that would just add more weight to the car and hassle.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:41 PM   #9
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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Yesterday I also took the car up to M45 Automotive ( https://www.m45automotive.com/ ) for a quick oil change and inspection, plus so I could get a good look under the car while it was on a lift, most specifically looking at the leaks going on and what other work might need to be done, plus get a GOOD look at the FWD rear suspension I have never seen before...









A LOT of interesting things going on here, but I'll start with the un-interesting problems first:

Torn axle boot, slipping DOJ boot, rusty axles (going to have to replace those, no biggie)
Oil leak from Power Steering pump (knew this, no biggie, got a repair kit ready to go, done it a couple times)
Oil leak from Camp Plug (Kind of annoying but easy to fix)
Leak from between engine and transmission... (this one is tough, I don't really want to pull the motor unless I'm upgrading it!)

Anyway, on to the interesting things.

If you haven't seen a FWD car before, not the difference with the rear subframe and the rear knuckles. The distance between the control links is smaller than AWD cars, PLUS the rear strut sits right in the middle of the wheel as opposed to above with AWD cars.

The front brakes are TINY on this car! Smallest ever offered. Those will be upgraded for sure. Lots of worn out bushings too, but I already have front endlinks and front control arms ready to go in from the wagon. The rear control links apparently have similar bushings? But I'm going to have to take everything apart in the back to see...

The transmission is EVEN TINY-ER! This was the smallest physical size trans ever on an Impreza, its almost as small as the old EA 4-speeds looks like. The shift linkage is a bit different, so I'm not sure if a set of Kartboy bushings will work in there or not or if I can upgrade it to the "newer" style linkage (which I have a set of the new linkage sitting around too if I can use it).

There is a TON of room for a custom exhaust! I plan on having a custom catback made at the very least, trying to move it as high up in the chassis as possible and away from the ground, and MAYBE make it a little lighter too...
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:52 PM   #10
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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When deciding what to do about the rear seats and the fact they won't be too functional with having racing seats in front of them with harnesses attached to where they are at, at first I though about making something to fit there, or maybe just running some better condition seats I might find somewhere.

But watching this video by Bucky, I saw he had a really cool rear seat delete installed:

Its made by 6oc (6 over crest) and the price is quite reasonable considering JDM rear seats are in the $200-500 range depending on condition, and this kit ALSO includes a deck as well as nice parcel shelf I can drop things in and they won't fly around too much. I can also modify it as needed to access any strut top adjustments or for holes for harness mounts. PLUS I always wanted something like this for my old coupe but nobody made it back then (and if they did, it was carbon fiber and many thousands of dollar bucks!)

Here is the link to the kit, I just ordered it and will post the install for it:


https://6ovrcrst.com/6oc-gc-rear-sea...1-coupe-sedan/

They also do door skins for coupes, and after emailing the folks there, found out they are doing Sedan door skins in the summer! I'll be buying those for sure instead of some JDM "meh" condition ones or just more US spec ones for a few hundred.

I MIGHT do the rear window Lexan kit they have too if I have any budget left over
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:02 PM   #11
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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Today I started a couple of things... First thing I did was try to get more information about the rear struts in this car, seeing as there is very little info on what fits and what doesn't.

MOST of what I've read states that you can use AWD rear struts on the FWD rears but you must use the tophat. Why is that? Well let me show you...




As you can see, the tophat is cockeyed in one direction. This means the strut doesn't attach straight up into where the chassis is with the FWD cars, and that if you tried a normal tophat it wouldn't line up correctly. This ALSO means that any coilovers with included rear top hats will not work with the FWD rear suspension

Now I did have some STI 5x100 rear struts laying around, and put them side by side for comparison to make sure everything else was OK:



The good news is the bolt holes are the same, so any 5x100 strut should at least bolt to the FWD hub. The FWD strut also has the same gap from the bolt holes to the strut tower as the normal GC struts do, while the 02-07 Sedan/STI rear struts have a little extra space there. It does hurt camber a little to run a 02-07 sedan strut like this STI strut, but they should bolt up.

WHAT THIS MEANS is that I'm about 99% sure a coilover designed to use factory rear strut tops from any 93-07 Impreza SHOULD fit... The height of the FWD strut is aprox the same height as a Forester rear strut, and an adjustable coilover will help solve any height related issues. A fixed-perch suspension might be quite saggy, so its time to shop for coilovers!

Any suggestions for 93-07 Coilovers that use factory strut mounts in the $1000 or less price range (used is OK) would be appreciated. I can't spend too much more than that because budget build!
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:09 PM   #12
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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Today, I also removed the rear bumper and weighed it:




CONFIRMED the rear bumper beam is heavy!

Plan is to swap in the unpainted rear bumper with lightweight bumper beam on the wagon onto this car soon, and maybe just spray paint this crummy gray bumper somehow and put it on the wagon (thats an off-road car anyway, no big deal).

I spent some time cleaning up all the dirt in all the hiding places, as well as removed the fender trim. Was surprised it actually weighed on the scale, but I'm sure the amount of dirt these rubber things were keeping stuck to the car weighed more than the rubber itself



I also threw the current 13" steelies on the scale to see how much they weigh...



I think I'll probably GAIN 10lbs per corner with the new wheel/tire setup sadly

Finally, I posted this pic up on Facebook and it already has 100 replies or so, I figure I'll post it here as well... I'm trying to decide WHICH front bumper to run. I can get any of them new at the dealer for around $170 and I'll keep it unpainted to keep the "poverty spec" of the car intact. Post your thoughts!

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Old 02-07-2020, 01:01 AM   #13
Scuby04STi
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Hell yeah . . . I'm in!!! I sadly need to add weight to play in that class. But might give it a shot sense I could toss it all in the rear.

But now I want to find one of these and see you at Nats. Lol

2000lbs or bust!!! enjoy!

As for the bumper, keep it good and ugly!!! It makes it that much better when it wins. I had a pink polka dot car once it did very well. Lol

Last edited by Scuby04STi; 02-07-2020 at 01:05 AM. Reason: Realized there was a question, goodnight.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:00 AM   #14
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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XS won't be Nats eligible this year, but thats OK I'm more interested in just running locally and having fun.

To be competitive on that level, I would need a massive budget for the engine and trans too I'll working on sorting the rest in the mean time.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:23 AM   #15
horsePOOGAS
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Cool build man. If I weren't already building a miata for this season I would be doing the same as you. I had already bought and started building the Mazda before they announced this XS classing. I bought a dedicated track car to beat on rather then race my sti.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:39 AM   #16
Kostamojen
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1993 FWD Base Impreza

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Quote:
Originally Posted by horsePOOGAS View Post
Cool build man. If I weren't already building a miata for this season I would be doing the same as you. I had already bought and started building the Mazda before they announced this XS classing. I bought a dedicated track car to beat on rather then race my sti.
I was looking at this car and thinking of running STH, but that meant running the EJ18 and for sure being non-competitive there along with not being able to fix up the interior and modify the fenders for larger tires. The other idea was DSP but I didn't want to run Hoosiers and swap tires at the track.

XS works out just right for what I wanted to do!
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:24 PM   #17
Rigid80sMTB
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Ooh this is gonna be good. Didn't even know we got those ultra base models in the US. Definitely keep the bumper you got. Maybe do a home depot lip like I did?

https://i.imgur.com/CK7JEDH.jpg
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:22 PM   #18
Kostamojen
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I was contemplating a home depot type lip... It will actually help a little bit with aero.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:00 PM   #19
Kostamojen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostamojen View Post
Today, I also removed the rear bumper and weighed it:



CONFIRMED the rear bumper beam is heavy!

Plan is to swap in the unpainted rear bumper with lightweight bumper beam on the wagon onto this car soon, and maybe just spray paint this crummy gray bumper somehow and put it on the wagon (thats an off-road car anyway, no big deal).
Took the rear bumper off the wagon today and weighed it to compare:



Pretty solid weight savings from the JDM bumper beam out back!

I decided what I'm going to do, I'm just going to paint the gray bumpers and put them on the wagon trying something a little different with paints:



This project of course will keep the bumpers black.

I also decided to weigh the OEM Glass headlights versus the Depo plastic headlights I had on the wagon:




Not as much of a difference as I expected with the headlights... Its going to depend for sure on what hood I can find as to what headlights I'll be running.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:32 PM   #20
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Fun thread, thank you.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:17 PM   #21
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Hell yeah. I need to find one of these.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:21 PM   #22
lub
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This is promising!
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:46 PM   #23
Kostamojen
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Couple days ago I started removing the sound deadeing from behind the seat and the trunk... It really is a PITA, but not impossible. Got about 5lbs of the stuff out so far. Threw some paint on the exposed surfaces just to be safe:





Yesterday I started the BIG project... Which entails:

1) Swapping the front bumper from the wagon to the race car.
2) Cleaning up everything in the process.
3) Swapping the front crossmember, 15+ STI steering rack, Group N engine mounts, upgraded bushing control arms, and upgraded front sway bar from the wagon to the race car.

Probably going to be a 5 or 6 day project or more, seeing as I'm going to do as much as I can while everything is apart. I already pulled the snorkel of course and binned it, plus cleaning out allll the dirt on the race car. A few pics so far:





And the front JDM bumper beam is about 25lbs lighter than the L bumper beam. I think the RS and later model bumper beams are a little heavier:




For anyone wondering, I'm swapping stuff off the wagon because it was a bit too "race car" for what I'm using it for. A more factory, softer setup for various things with that car will work better for the daily/off-road type use I'm using it for. Its a bit too noisy and harsh, which is PERFECT for the race car!
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:46 PM   #24
jvh22a
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I remember seeing it for sale. wanted to drive up and pick it up so bad.

is that $170 your cost or anyone can buy? if its that cheap I might get one before they are discontinued
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:10 PM   #25
Kostamojen
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1999 OBS Camo Wagon
1993 FWD Base Impreza

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvh22a View Post
is that $170 your cost or anyone can buy? if its that cheap I might get one before they are discontinued
The bumper skins? Its the price you will probably find online, dealerships mark things up at different rates though.
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