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Old 12-21-2019, 06:36 PM   #1
GrpB
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Member#: 101976
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default 98 Forester - Good for Nothing Cult Car - STI, EFR, WILWOOD

This is my 98 SF Forester. It was originally built to be a year round midwest daily driver, autocross, trackday, rallycross car. Decent at everything, but that means really good at nothing. The bias is toward street car, with everything performance related much lower on the list.

It was intended for SE Michigan where there are still alot of gravel and dirt roads, and lots of snow. For a street car that lives outside, not in a garage, this means it has to behave like a production car even in sub zero weather, you just scrape off the ice until you can open the door, start it, let it warm while you clean off the rest of the ice and snow, and drive away as normal. No long cranking to start, no weird hiccups or lurches, no babying it like a precious jewel.

What separates it from a beater, which is what is described above, is that to be fun it needs enough torque to get it and keep it sideways in 3rd, 4th, 5th, it needs to have enough brakes to slow it down for turn 1 at a roadcourse, it needs to have a good center diff that allows it to be thrown into a corner then claw it's way out.

I think this car met all these expectations so I thought I would document it. I envy those people that preserve stuff, keep it shiny and clean, drive gently with only occasional WOT through the gears in a straight line. I am not one of those people. My stuff is built to be used in anger. Ya it's rusty, that's what happens when you drive year round, for years, on paved and unpaved roads in the midwest. The alternative is not to drive it, and I didn't spend all this money and time to not drive it.

Virtual dyno at the bottom, no big numbers or bragging rights, but decent torque curve and very driveable. Spec list is below, I'll do a post for each subsystem with more pics/detail.

Engine
Hybrid 2.5
OEM EJ257 shortblock
S20 (EJ205) castings from new, CNC chambers for big bore
BC cams 272, WPC treated
Supertech stainless intake, inconel exh valves
Fluidamper crank pulley
JDM STI TGV deletes (aluminum)
STI ancillaries
Koyo aluminum radiator

Turbo/Fuel
EFR6758 IRL
Tial MV44 external wastegate
OEM GD STI intercooler
HKS 4-2-1 exhaust manifold
3.5" downpipe with wastegate merge, then 3" to catalyst
STI (Japan) 3" exhaust - giant chrome tip removed
ID1000 injectors
Walbro 255lph pump, direct wired

Drivetrain
05 STI drivetrain
DCCD Pro controller
Exedy Twin Disk clutch

Suspension/Steering
GD subframes front/rear
FEAL revalved STI struts
RCE Black springs
Perrin 22/22 swaybars with spherical endlinks
GD STI control arms all around
2015 STI steering rack

Brake Calipers/Shoes
Front Wilwood Billet SL6R
Rear Wilwood Billet SL4R
Handbrake Shoes - OEM STI shoes relined with Porterfield R4 Woven Kevlar compound which is designed for mechanical brake actuation
Front brake compounds - vary depending on use
Rear brake compound - Porterfield R4-S - 25mm thickness (the rear calipers are designed for thicker rotors)

Big Brakes/Wheels
Front Wilwood 13.06" x 1.25" rotors
Rear OEM STI rotor
17" x 8.5" 45ET Rota Slipstream with 245/45 tires
17" x 8" 40ET Enkei RPF1 with 245/45 tires

Small Brakes/Wheels
Front Wilwood 11.75" x 1.25" rotors
Rear OEM STI rotor OD turned down
15" x 7" 40ET Team Dynamics Pro Rally 1 with 205/70 tires

Controls
Cobb AP V3, MAF/SD blended
OEM-dimensioned (02 WRX) MAF housing and meter in OEM SF airbox

Body/Interior
JDM SF5 hood and grill
02-03 JDM STI hood scoop, fabricated splitter
02 WRX seats

Note, the 'cult' thing is because I bought the car from a group called the "Order of Christ Sophia", which I think is considered a cult. It was their car in Boston and then in Chicago, where I bought it from 'Deacon Stephen' and brought it to Michigan. That is a neat side story which I might detail in a separate post.











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Last edited by GrpB; 12-22-2019 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Specs Missing
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:12 PM   #2
D-Rodman
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Member#: 110078
Join Date: Mar 2006
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Long Island N.Y.
Vehicle:
05 Saabaru JDM STi
Black Ver 7 VF48 6sp RA

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Very nice, enjoy.
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Old 12-22-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
GrpB
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Default

One of the first things I was curious about was the DCCD system and how it felt and worked. I didn't feel comfortable really thrashing someone else's STI so I decided to put the 6MT and R180 into the Forester before doing any engine work. Since I wanted to do the suspension and subframes at the same time I needed an exhaust that worked with the NA 2.5 motor and STi crossemember.

The right side cast manifold was used and a left side header was made along with the exhaust from the cast manifold outlet to the generic cat. The OEM left side and crossover exhaust didn't fit with this engine config. It was all done in mild steel (except for the v-band stuff and bellows) as it wasn't made for the long term, although it ended up running like this for a couple years. Bottom pic is how it looked during this time. Totally different, because no hoodscoop, haha.

I think I tried to sell the stuff afterwards but it all ended getting tossed. I only took pictures when it was coming apart which is why everything is rusty.










Last edited by GrpB; 12-22-2019 at 04:59 PM. Reason: forgot a pic
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Old 12-22-2019, 04:50 PM   #4
GrpB
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Turbo stuff

This is the turbo setup which wasn't too bad in terms of hardware, the real pain ended up being the compressor inlet and related which will be it's own post. The big problem here was package space. An engine moves around a huge amount in the engine bay. Watch how much the gearshift lever moves around if you don't believe (while someone else is driving of course). Lots of 'custom' stuff breaks because things make contact that are not supposed to.

One of the big drivers here in terms of package was the downpipe which wants wants to be 3.5". This is the the early Indycar version of the EFR with the 0.68 A/R turbine housing, and it must have been dimensioned for a European tube size as the outlet flange is around 84mm which doesn't have a convenient SAE equivalent with off the shelf mandrel bends (I'm not a big fan of pie cuts). In the tightest 321 3.5" OD bend I could get, it would get very close to the firewall, and rotating the turbo in the top view didn't help much. So this clearance primarily drove the compressor inlet location which later caused so many problems.

The other big driver was the wastegate plumbing, as I really like the turbine outlet of this housing which requires an external wastegate. Here the axle was the big problem, as the outlet needed to have clearance for the axle plus the powertrain bouncing around on it's mounts.

The engine was mounted to a bare bellhousing and also a crossemember was bolted up to make sure clearances were adequate. It would have been a pain to do this part in the car.

All of the hotside turbine stuff is 321, the cold side turbine stuff is a mix of 316 and 304 depending. Lots of bracing and room for expansion/contraction to help it live for the long term. It's hard to see but there's also a bracket coming off the up-pipe that bolts to one of the turbo support bosses in the case.



















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Old 12-22-2019, 04:55 PM   #5
GrpB
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Intermediate pipe

And here the intermediate pipe with cat. It's 3.5" until the 1st bend when it transitions to 3" for the rest of the way. Hard to get this super tight to maximize ground clearance as it's tough to estimate how much everything will move. No knocks or bumps so clearance is adequate but I wouldn't mind if it could have been tucked up even more.





The most important part, no giant chrome tip! I had an extra bend so I used it for the tip, note the ever so slight turndown? Don't worry no one else has ever noticed it either.

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Old 12-22-2019, 11:05 PM   #6
GrpB
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Front brakes

For the brakes I wanted to be able to run fairly large rotors under 17" wheels for trackday use but also 15" wheels with tall tires for street/gravel/dirt use. So this for sure meant radial mount calipers that could use different spacers to allow for different rotor diameters. I've always used Wilwood stuff for cars because they bridge the gap between real motorsport hardware $$$ and dress up $tuff that isn't really meant for hard use.

I did want to use catalog rotor hats so that spares could be ordered off the shelf. Luckily the STI 5x114.3 (4.5") bolt pattern is pretty common so Wilwood had rotor hats with almost the same offset that allowed 1.25" thick rotors of different diameters to be used.

The 'big' rotor is a 13.06" x 1.25" on a 12x8.75" hat. The 'small' rotor is an 11.75" x 1.25" on an 8x7" hat. They were for different applications originally so they both needed adaptors to accomodate the small Subaru hub bore.

The small package was made to fit under a Team Dynamics Pro Rally 15x7" wheel, and there is a decent amount of clearance. The 'big' package seems to fit underneath all the 17" wheels I have (Rota's and Enkei's) and there is room for more rotor, but if I was actually serious about track work brake ducts would have been a much higher priority. The fog lamps were eventually supposed to become the brake duct inlets, but it never evolved into a real track car.

To swap from one setp to the other just means changing the rotors and caliper spacers (which are different by about 0.655" in length). Usually the pads would get changed too when the big rotors went on.

I don't have any good pics of the front bracket, but it's pretty simple, a screenshot of the print is sufficiently clear.

Rear caliper setup was trickier, that will be another post.



'Big' setup




'Small' setup







Last edited by GrpB; 12-22-2019 at 11:11 PM. Reason: spelling, duh
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Old 12-22-2019, 11:08 PM   #7
GrpB
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Rear brakes

The rear brake setup was more tricky because the backing plates do not easily accept radial mount calipers and I wanted to maintain the OEM handbrake setup instead of plumbing for a hydraulic handbrake so I couldn't just ditch the backing plate and make a mount directly to the knuckle. In the end a big chunk of the backing plate was cut away and new material added as the radial caliper mount. Don't really have any good in-process pictures but it took awhile because of all the formed shapes in the backing plate. Also had to make a big ass fixture to machine the (welded) mounting surface true and also drill/tap the mounting bosses accurately.

Only OEM rotors are used in the rear because of the need for the handbrake. For the small setup the rotor OD is turned down, I think it ended up being about the same diameter as the small front rotor.

The STi rear rotors are narrower than the BSLR calipers are designed for so I had some thicker pads made with the Wilwood shape as compared to trying to make some kind of pad spacers. Theoretically the pistons could overtravel if the new thicker pads went down to nothing, but that's something that would be noticed long before it happened.

Oh, speaking of the handbrake, part of the appeal for the STI rear setup was the larger drum diameter. So I sent some OEM brake shoes to get relined with a friction compound meant for pre-war vintage racers with mechanical (cable) brakes. They need some heat to start working well, so they're probably not as good for a parking brake, but for a handbrake they're great. Also it's nice to be able to add more braking force to the rear to help the thing turn while using the foot brake.

I had briefly toyed with the idea of replacing the OEM subaru drum actuator with a hydraulic cylinder from a 'real' drum brake, as I did always like the feel of drift cars that had a caliper for both handbrake and footbrake, but who has time for all that???











checking for wheel clearance with a paper template. It fits!

Last edited by GrpB; 12-22-2019 at 11:15 PM. Reason: needs a real editor
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:30 AM   #8
Gigs90
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Member#: 306719
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Troy ,Michigan
Vehicle:
2003 Sti Wagon
@jn_garage

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That downpipe is really nice , Those turbos are very impressive I want one really bad for my wagon as well.

I will keep a lookout for your Forester I am in Troy / Detroit a lot.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:31 AM   #9
87vdub89
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Member#: 402002
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Rialto, CA
Vehicle:
2007 Impreza 2.5i
Newport Blue Pearl Wagon

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bru I would need your help diagnosis my sf5 pm for details asap
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:08 PM   #10
JarHarms
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Member#: 138994
Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: DeKalb-ish, IL
Vehicle:
2006 WRX, 6MT, 5x114
TMIC, FP blue, ELH

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I missed this awesome thread and hope OP continues on with some updates to read through.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:16 AM   #11
AZ-GT
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Member#: 192
Join Date: Aug 1999
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Las Vegas, NV.
Vehicle:
2011 WRB WRX
2000 Impreza 2.5RS

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Yes, this is great stuff. Please continue.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:25 PM   #12
stikid2005
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Member#: 76228
Join Date: Dec 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Tri-State NJ
Vehicle:
2005 STI
Aspen White/Seibon carbon

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Love the fab work good stuff
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:49 AM   #13
96accord
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Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Middle River, Maryland
Vehicle:
2007 Impreza WRX STi
'15 Accord (Daily)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87vdub89 View Post
bru I would need your help diagnosis my sf5 pm for details asap
OP Last Activity: 04-24-2020 10:58 AM

Probably best to PM him as he might get email notifications for that.
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