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Old 10-06-2021, 02:17 PM   #1
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default DrTrae's 2004 WRX Wagon

Hey guys. I'm Trae, and this'll be my thread chronicling the resurrection of my 2004 BlobWagon. Forewarning, it'll probably be slow.

I'm having a helluva time trying to get an img.nasioc account up and running, or getting a hold of mods to help me with it, so please bear with me.
Going to try google drive hosting first, and if that doesn't work, I'll try something else.



I bought the car about 4 years ago from a guy in Schaumburg, IL. This is my second Subaru, after I sold my 97 Legacy Wagon to a buddy of mine. Since then, my wife has also acquired a 2020 Crosstrek.

Loved the car. Drove it back and forth to work every day, played in the snow, Tokyo Drifted in to a corn field in the rain like a jackass and drove right back out of it, etc.
Never could have done that in any of my Volkswagens that I had before.
Then one day it started pouring white smoke out of the exhaust, got REAL hot a couple times, and it has been parked ever since. I've always assumed it needed head gaskets, but never had the time or money to address it.

We bought a house, had another kid, and now I finally have the time and money (sorta) to start going through everything I can to get it back on the road.

When I bought the car, it already had a COBB catted downpipe, K&N Typhoon intake, Cusco shock tower brace, Whiteline rear end links and sway bar mounts, and the Whiteline ALK up front. It also has 06-07 brakes all around.

On to the pictures. Sadly, I don't have any from when I first got the car.

More recently, before I started collecting parts.


The day that I decided it was time to get to work.


Huge thanks to MrSubaru1387 for helping me get this far.


Yanked.




Started building a pile of parts.
I'm planning on going through most of the mechanical bits of the car, and either upgrade them or refresh them.
This may include sandblasting suspension parts and POR-15'ing them, replacing every single bushing that I can, tearing down the motor, etc.

I bought parts to do a sedan suspension swap a long time ago, so I'll be shining these lateral links up and putting new poly in them, as well as the rest of the rear end. Whiteline Rear Vehicle Essentials kit.

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Last edited by DrTrae; 10-06-2021 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Separating thread
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Old 10-06-2021, 02:24 PM   #2
DrTrae
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Bought an STi TMIC, and spent around 11 hours straightening fins and digging out pebbles.



I will be cleaning the TMIC and repainting the STi logo with the Grimmspeed paint pictured above.

I have a complete OEM gasket and seal kit for the motor.
Brand new 04-05 STi hood scoop.
Grimmspeed radiator shroud.
Mishimoto magnetic drain plug.

Lots of plans. Here's to hoping that they come to fruition.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:26 PM   #3
500_19B
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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2002 WRX

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That is a real nice improvement on the intercooler.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:49 PM   #4
Scooby South
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First of all. Welcome.. you are right down the road from me..I am in Beloit. I am restoring my 05 STi...so I can help you a little bit. What is your end goal with it.. Daily?? Track rat??? Weekend shows???? Just get it back to be able to enjoy it like I used to??? We can start there if you want Good luck on your build.. Let me know if I can help in any way..

Bill
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:15 PM   #5
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 500_19B View Post
That is a real nice improvement on the intercooler.
Thanks man, I appreciate it! Was definitely a tedious job, but super satisfying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby South View Post
First of all. Welcome.. you are right down the road from me..I am in Beloit. I am restoring my 05 STi...so I can help you a little bit. What is your end goal with it.. Daily?? Track rat??? Weekend shows???? Just get it back to be able to enjoy it like I used to??? We can start there if you want Good luck on your build.. Let me know if I can help in any way..

Bill
No way! I work in South Beloit, right off of Gardner. I appreciate that man.

So currently, the goal is to essentially restore it (mechanically) to be like a brand new OEM+ 2004 WRX.
I don't want to have to worry at all about something breaking because I didn't address it when I had it all apart. It'll be my summer daily, and I'll probably still run my Tahoe in the winter.

Long term? STi power/drivetrain swap, sedan rear quarters, JDM STi front end, etc. What a STi Wagon should have been, if it had been brought to the USDM.

That stuff is likely years away though.

Edit: I just realized that I was drooling over your build thread the other day. Love it, man.

Last edited by DrTrae; 10-06-2021 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 10-07-2021, 10:37 PM   #6
DrTrae
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Sandblasted sedan lateral links. Will POR-15 them when I have enough stuff to paint to justify popping the lid.


Getting ready to pressure test this STi TMIC, so I made some block-off plates and stuff out of scrap aluminum plate and a pipe cap from work.






There's a guy somewhat locally selling front and rear Whiteline sway bars with end links, and a front subframe with steering rack and steering shaft from an 06 STi part-out. Asking $400... Should I? Or focus on the stuff I'm already doing.. Someone talk me in to or out of it.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:56 AM   #7
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Well, I ran it up to 25 PSI, and I evidently didn't have the coupler clamps on tight enough. Blew that off the front of the intercooler and scared the piss out of my coworkers. So I tightened it back on, ran it up to 20 pounds (more than I figure this motor will ever see anyway) and it held for 30+ minutes. I'd say she's good to go.



Still debating grabbing that subframe/rack/sway bars from that dude..
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Old 10-10-2021, 02:01 PM   #8
Scooby South
Subtly Outspoken
Moderator
 
Member#: 238
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Vehicle:
OG05 STi
51E

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nice... sent you a PM

Bill
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Old 10-10-2021, 02:04 PM   #9
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Did a little bit of work yesterday, cleaning, getting the wheels off, etc. Shut the garage and took a cool pic.



Glad that I talked myself out of buying those sway bars.. because I apparently completely forgot that the car already has a 22mm Whiteline in the rear.



Wife wanted to go get Hibachi with some family, so my brother drove his 16 STi down from Milwaukee.



Now I'm back out to the garage to hopefully get all of the rear suspension torn off the car. Here we go!

Last edited by DrTrae; 10-14-2021 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Broken Image Links
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:10 PM   #10
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Not much of an update, but got some stuff in the mail from SubiMods, and sandblasted a couple more pieces at work today.
Tensioner bolt head snapped off when I tried to get the lock nuts apart, so.. got one of those, both belts and a new pulley on the way as well.



Bunch of Company23 stuff. Cam sprocket wrench, crank pulley wrench, crankshaft tool, T70 socket, Timing Belt Guide, tee kit, and front axle roll pin punch.
And.. a Grimmspeed battery tie down to get me to free shipping. Plus, it looks cool.



Now I can finally get the heads off of this motor, and get moving on that.

Last edited by DrTrae; 10-14-2021 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Broken Image Links
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:58 PM   #11
xtremewlr
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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2006 STI
WR Blue

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Your images are broken.
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:31 PM   #12
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtremewlr View Post
Your images are broken.
Fixed, thank you for letting me know.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:40 AM   #13
500_19B
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Member#: 524021
Join Date: Apr 2021
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: Toronto, Canada
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2021 STI
2002 WRX

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Hey, just to let you know, at least on my computer, the images on posts 9 & 10 are still not showing (the earlier posts are showing just fine).
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:06 AM   #14
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 500_19B View Post
Hey, just to let you know, at least on my computer, the images on posts 9 & 10 are still not showing (the earlier posts are showing just fine).
Welp. I think I fixed it again. Also tried to resend the verification email for img.nasioc again.. Really wish that I could just get that going instead of dicking around with Google Photos.
Thanks for letting me know.
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Old 10-22-2021, 08:46 PM   #15
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Happy Friday, folks. Once again, boring update. Just keeping track of what I'm doing, trying to stay motivated, pile of parts is growing, etc. Here we go.

Got all of the calipers off of the car, and I'm working on getting them ready for a complete restoration.



After MUCH trial and tribulation, a lot of Kroil, and some heat and persuasion, I got the pins out of the front calipers.
The rears were ezpz.



The pistons in the fronts are stuck, so they're at work soaking right now.
I have all of my paint on the way. Decals are coming from Boxer Beauty in Australia.. So we'll see when those show up.
When everything is ready to go, I'm going to:
  1. Take my right-angle die grinder to the rough parts of the castings and smooth everything out.
  2. Dismantle the caliper halves.
  3. Tape off mating surfaces and cylinders.
  4. Sandblast and final clean.
  5. Etch primer, high build primer, let dry and wet sand.
  6. Caliper red, let dry. Apply decals. 2K Clear, let dry.
  7. Reassemble calipers with new pistons and seals, and set them aside to sell years from now because I'm never going to finish this car.

New dust covers for the front, 6 bolts to attach them, and 8 new bolts to mount the calipers showed up straight from Subaru today.



Found a guy to make me some badass vinyl stencils to repaint the STi logo on my intercooler.
May use it to paint the intercooler on my brother's '16 STi as well.
He isn't real high on modifications of any kind, so we'll see if he ever bites.



Two new rear sedan axles, rear hub assembly kits, the parts to rebuild my AC belt tensioner, and both accessory belts came in a few days ago.
Also sand blasted another couple brackets.



Got the rear sway bay mounts and end links unbolted the other day, so that's all ready to come off when I get the exhaust off.
Ideally, I'll find the time this weekend to unbolt the struts, subframe and diff stuff required to drop all of that as one assembly.
Then I'll start tearing that down so I can take the knuckles, subframe, etc. to work to sandblast.
THEN I should finally be ready to open this can of POR-15 and get all of this stuff painted and ready to go back on the car. Phew..

Last edited by DrTrae; 10-23-2021 at 07:57 AM. Reason: Broken image links as usual..
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Old 10-23-2021, 03:22 PM   #16
Scooby South
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Member#: 238
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
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OG05 STi
51E

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AWESOME update. .. I think I have the OE rebuild kit for the front at least.. would have to dig thru my stuff to find them tho..

Bill
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:16 PM   #17
radio_flyer
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Member#: 78934
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Pompano Beach
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Sport Wagon
Tangerine Orange Pearl

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Just found your thread and it's great to see what you're doing for this wagon. I've had my 04 since new, still basically OEM and a reliable daily driver. Good luck with yours, hope to post some pictures of my own soon. Just got paint and I'm in love all over again.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:42 PM   #18
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by radio_flyer View Post
Just found your thread and it's great to see what you're doing for this wagon. I've had my 04 since new, still basically OEM and a reliable daily driver. Good luck with yours, hope to post some pictures of my own soon. Just got paint and I'm in love all over again.
Thank you, and that's awesome! Wagons are the best. I would love to see yours!
Mine needs bodywork and paint badly.. But, just getting it back on the ground and driving again is the main priority, for now.

Happy Friday, again. Time for another small update.

I never got around to dismantling any of the rear end last weekend. Sick kids, sick dog, other chores.. Never found the time.

I DID find enough free time at work this week to wrestle ALL 12 of the pistons out of the calipers.
I have my primer and red paint, just waiting on the clear and the decals.

I realized that the mounting bolts that I ordered for the rear calipers were wrong.. So after I looked through all the parts breakdowns, I found the right ones.
I also found out that the same bolts hold the rear backing plates on, so I just went ahead and ordered 12 of them.
And... a brand new 06-07 STi rear diffuser. I was already paying shipping.. so why not? Right?



One of these days, I swear that I'll actually start putting parts back ON the car. Stay tuned, and have a great weekend.

Last edited by DrTrae; 11-01-2021 at 10:01 AM. Reason: image link...
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Old 11-02-2021, 02:47 PM   #19
ChasedToast
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Member#: 474333
Join Date: Sep 2017
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: So Mi
Vehicle:
2005 92X Aero
DSM

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This looks like a fun little project! All the pictures in your thread worked for me, just as an FYI.


A few pictures did catch my eye however, so I wanted to give you a bit of a heads up. I saw that the rear wheel arches have a bit of rust on them and the swaybar shot that you took also shows some rust on the chassis. Not sure if you've checked the rear strut towers from inside the car yet but they can practically disintegrate if they've rusted. I've seen a few friends cars with grapefruit sized holes back there from when they drove the cars in the winter.



I look forward to checking in on your progress.
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:34 PM   #20
DrTrae
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasedToast View Post
This looks like a fun little project! All the pictures in your thread worked for me, just as an FYI.

A few pictures did catch my eye however, so I wanted to give you a bit of a heads up. I saw that the rear wheel arches have a bit of rust on them and the swaybar shot that you took also shows some rust on the chassis. Not sure if you've checked the rear strut towers from inside the car yet
Thanks! Yeah, the pictures work at first, and then the links get broken. I fix them a couple times and then it's fine.

I have checked the rear strut towers. Bill (Scooby South) advised me to do so a few weeks ago, and surprisingly, zero visible rust inside the car or underneath. I plan on cleaning/degreasing the undercoating, and repairing and/or recoating anything that needs it.

Progress will probably slow quite a bit now that Winter is nearly here. My garage is not heated, and freezing underneath of my car doesn't interest me a whole lot anymore. Lol
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Old 11-03-2021, 01:40 PM   #21
500_19B
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Member#: 524021
Join Date: Apr 2021
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: Toronto, Canada
Vehicle:
2021 STI
2002 WRX

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I hear you on the cold garage floor! I have spent too much time on those!!

The pictures have been all working for the past while for me, so it seems your fix is good!

Recently acquired a set of the "Hawkeye" fixed calipers like you (for my '02 bugeye), so I will be going down the same road...
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Old 11-03-2021, 08:36 PM   #22
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 500_19B View Post
Recently acquired a set of the "Hawkeye" fixed calipers like you (for my '02 bugeye), so I will be going down the same road...
Awesome! Hopefully they're in better shape than mine are..
I have mine all torn down, taped off, and sitting in my sandblast cabinet at work. At this point, I kind of wish I had just bought new ones because of the time and money I have invested in my set..


Last edited by DrTrae; 11-04-2021 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:43 PM   #23
DrTrae
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Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Hey dudes. Well, I wasn't really planning on tearing in to the car any more this year, but my wife tested positive for Covid! Woooooo!

In all seriousness, we were supposed to be going to the Bulls vs Philly game as part of our 11th anniversary celebration, so we had to get negative test results to show at the gate.
Lo and behold, she tested positive. I told my boss and HR at work and got sent home for ~10 days pending a negative test result. Perfect opportunity to seize these last couple warm days of the year!!

So I got to work. Cut the rear exhaust section down, and finally got the sway bar out.



Then after lots of fighting, swearing, screaming, cursing the state of Illinois, etc., this is where I'm at!







And only one of the crossmember bolts broke! ()

Going to clean this stuff up, paint all of it, install all of those new Whiteline bushings that I got, clean up and potentially repaint the underside of the car, and slowly start putting the rear end of this car back together.

Anyway, getting this stuff dropped was a huge relief.
I had been a little upset with myself that I hadn't gotten more done before winter, so this was awesome. I'm that much closer.
It's also awesome to see that it's all in relatively good shape. There's definitely some surface rust here and there, but it's nowhere near as bad as like.. my Tahoe.

Thanks for looking!

Last edited by DrTrae; 11-11-2021 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 11-21-2021, 03:25 PM   #24
DrTrae
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 454659
Join Date: Sep 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Loves Park, IL
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Java Black Pearl

Default

Hey dudes, hope everyone is having a great weekend. Posting this while I take a break from raking leaves with my boys.

Got some more stuff added to the pile of new parts.

New sedan front fender liners. So now I need to get a set of sedan fenders.
Maybe I'll just get a whole JDM front end from JDMRacingMotors or something..


New coated rear rotors, parking brake shoes and rebuild kit.


Then I did some more work on my brakes, and I'm hoping to have them painted by Thanksgiving break.
One coworker is gone and so is my boss, so I won't have anyone to tell me that I can't do government projects.

All 4 calipers have been taken apart and sandblasted.
The halves have now been fastened back together with half of the bolts so that I can smooth them out with a die grinder.
I don't know if any of you are interested in this stuff, but these are different angles showing what has been smoothed out.











Here's both of the rears smoothed out as much as I cared to. Will do the fronts, clean them all again, and start painting on Monday.



Thanks for looking, and have a great Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:49 AM   #25
Scooby South
Subtly Outspoken
Moderator
 
Member#: 238
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Vehicle:
OG05 STi
51E

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Awesome.. .. I am working 12 on and 12 off for the next 2 weeks... 7 days a week.. At least my check will look decent. .. Your progress is noteworthy.. Happy Turkey day..

Bill
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