WARNING VERY LONG INITIAL POST:
It should read more like "Trials and Tribulations of building a Trail-E-Cross." :pissed:
Well I figured I might as well get started on this build thread, as the pictures are piling up, and the check list is getting checked off one by one.
My goal is to build a ride that is capable of weekend rally cross, and to get me up forest, BLM, and un maintained roads, that I sometimes have to go on to get to the trail heads for my hikes. Hence the name Trail-E-Cross
So where did we end off? Oh yes I had just purchased the car, a 2000 OBS. The first thing I did was to replace the flasher relay, so I could have blinkers, and not have people saying hello to me with only one finger :angryfinger:
It also had a bashed in fender, no marker light, and no fender blinker.
Which I readily replaced with a new fender, marker light and fender blinker. I also replaced a few other burnt out bulbs so now all my lights work.
I had noticed on the drive home that the Thule rack makes a hilacious wind turbulence sound. So next was to get the spoiler on it, and throw some sticker bomb on it. And also install my bike mount on it.
Which is where I left you guys with the original posting of it...So now on to the "phase one" of the build.
The first thing was to get rid of that crappy messed up wanna-be-silver tint and get on so real tint... I have a tint guy..and he is the man :lick:
So I started by steaming the tint off, thats the best and easiest way to get it off. The glue and everything comes off in one felled swoop. But first to make my life and his (tint guy) easier I removed all the door panels, and rear hatch panel.
as you can see, steaming it makes life a lot easier.
all clean and ready for tint.
Now for the real deal. I was tempted to go 5% all the way around but I wanted to be able to see in the woods at night, especially when backing up. So I went 5 % on the rear doors, and ports, 20% on the driver side and passenger side and then 5% visor in the front. You don't really notice too much a difference in tint shade, unless it is in direct sunlight. But man oh man does it make a difference on those hot days. So much nicer on the inside. Once you have a tinted car, you will always want it.
Ok "phase two." :punch:
I scored a killer deal on 2.5RS front and rear disc brake assemblies with stainless brake lines, black interior cladding, STI front and rear sway bars, with mounting brackets and hardware, and outback 16in steelies, and a VLSD chunk.
Then I went to my local Pull and Save and pulled off a 99 Outback with only 167K on it, struts, all the lift blocks, bracketry that goes with the lift blocks, trailing arms, the front control arm risers, blackish-grey center console, and every nut and bolt that came off as I was pulling stuff off.
So with only 3 days before I needed to get packed up and head back to the wetside for work, I decide hey it would good idea to put in the VLSD, sway bars, and disc breaks, along with all the maintenance I wanted to do on it :cuckoo:
So I replace the plugs, fuel filter, trans fluid and filter, PCV valve, diff fluid. Then I decide to check and make sure that the timing belt had been done correctly (I knew part of it wasn't because it had regular coolant in it and not Subaru coolant in it.)
So I tear open the timing belt
and take everything off, and check it...its all good and all Suby parts. So I replace the T-stat with a OE style lower 77c* stat and put her back together.
My little trick to getting the belt to stay in place
take the crank bolt off and put back on, get one.
I don't screw around or jerry rig anything...I'm too anal, ocd, perfectionistic what ever you want to call it. I just take extreme pride in my work.
After it was all buttoned up, I put in the Subaru coolant conditioner and coolant, started her up, and ran it till the fans started cycling properly.
O.K. Next phase..so thats what, phase 3...now the trials and tribulation begin.
OK so swap out the front single piston calipers with the RS duel calipers..no problem, plus the PO had just had the pads and rotors done, so score there.
Now time to attack the rear. 1.Get the diff out, 2 get the drums swapped for discs, 3 change out the open diff and install VLSD chunk in diff, 4, put on STI sway bars. Obviously this is all done at the same time, because pretty much all of it has to come off in one way or another to make it all happen...RIGHT :flamed:
Drop strut, Check, un-bolt sway bar links, Check, un-bolt big a** bolt that goes through hub assembly NOT :shootsself: :-x: they were rusted to the trailing arms, so I had to cut them out.
Now for the diff story:
So I finally get the diff out
And proceed to work on getting the chunk out so I can swap my ring gear onto the VLSD and get it all back together. Well the impy diffs (as we all well know) have that stupid spline carrier bearing retainer ring, that is an absolute nightmare to get out...so I learned.
So I don't have the special tool to get there bearing retainer off, nor did I have time to make one. I attempted to do it, but broke two tabs on each side and said I better stop while I am still ahead. So I start calling around. I finally got a hold of a local differential shop and he said bring it in and he will see what he can't do. Man we tried everything, you name it we tried it.
And buy now I was into it too deep to put it back in. We burnt the axle seals out trying to put some heat on it. So with only two more days till I needed to be packed up, I decide to call it.
Since I needed to go to the salvage yard and pick up some lateral arms (I couldn't get those rusted bushings out either) I decided to just buy another diff.
So along with two new lateral arms I got a low mileage 2003 Forester VLSD 4:11 diff, and two axels to go with it.
Once back home I proceeded to take of all the diff covers, and seal them up with some ultra-grey. I wanted to "seal" the diff up so when I am out galavanting around it won't get water logged. Plus I wanted to check if in fact it did have a VLSD and the condition of the diff.
I finally go the diff in, and all bolted up. And every nut and bolt that went back in got a heavy dose of either grease or anti-seize, or both. The only mod I had to was knock off the dust seals on the forester axles as they interfere with the dust seals on the impy hubs.
No on to the rear disc brakes. Since they came as a whole assembly cables, and all. I decide to do a direct swap, and not bother with taking all of my stuff apart (what was remaining of it.) The driver side stainless line did not fit through the stock strut bracket, and came with some jerry rig thing for it. But I just cut a slot in the bracket just big enough to run the cable, and was still able to use the retainer clips. This pic doesn't show that...just the rear disc install. I replaced the pads while I was at it.
My tool box hasn't looked like this since my tech days. It felt good though, even though was having a really hard go at it.
Got all that done. So the third and last day, I was able to run my cables, put in the rear sway bar, detail it, and add some finishing touches.
I pulled my interior out to run the parking brake cables. I finally the car paid me back. I scored a hand gun plastic holster that was attached to the drivers seat. And about 5 dollars in change from the carpets. I vacuumed it all out as well.
I also wanted to put in the Outback center console thinking it would give me more storage room..because it does. But it was too big and I did't have time to customize it. So what I did do was, remove the storage compartment, and un screw the passenger cup holder. Now I have some room with out that stupid thing getting in the way.
Note the size difference in my sway bar compared to the STI. I wasn't able to get the front one in, because I have to figure out how to make the mounting work out. The brackets are way different. Plus its only about 2mm difference, but I am sure it makes a difference.
My Stock sway bar
STI sway bar
And for some finishing touches :lol2:
Ya I know it says "..o f road..." I looked on the placard and it didn't come with an "f" but I very carefully took a white paint pen and stenciled one in. You can barley tell it doesn't look like the same font.
Then a friend gave me this so I had to put it on. Its a magnet.
Go ahead try and resist the cuteness of my dog.
Gettin some hammock time
So I was originally planing on putting the Outback suspension and blocks in along with Forester springs, and the 16in rims and tires. But I am not sure about that, especially the steelies. there heavier then my combo now.
Plus I really like the stance the car has, and man-oh-man does it ever handle better with that sway bar, and VLSD. And stops better too. So I am going to roll with it like it is for a bit, and see how much trouble I get into with the roads I go up. I may eventually put in the "lift" but next step is to build a mild 2.5 for it.
So thats it for now, hope you all didn't get too bored reading a novel. Until next time......:rally-driver: