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subarubrat

Baja build nearing completion with lift, tires and wheels done!

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Finally some progress to report. I had been sitting on the lift and suspension waiting till closer to the predicted time that the 255/55/18 KO2 tires would be available and started in on the lift last week. Much to my surprise the tires showed up as in stock at tirerack about 2 days ago and they showed up today! As it sits now the 5in lift is installed and coil overs are set to the same height as stock, I can adjust about 1.5 in up or 1.5 in down from how it sits now. The big metal bits of the lift are in and if all goes well I should have the various hoses and linkages etc all done this week. Then I have to sort out the intercooler and an air plenum for it, so maybe drive it next next week after the exhaust is done too? Then it is STi brakes, tube bumper, and then a dip job. The engine was finished about 2 months ago.

 

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On to the brakes, an interesting project for sure. The fronts are STI 2004 rotors with STi Brembo calipers and Hawk brake pads. The rears shot the cost up a bit, caliper adapter brackets and special DBA rotors that have the STi outer diameter and the WRX(Baja) parking brake with adapters upped the total swap from $1600 t0 about $2200 but stopping this thing as fast as it goes is important.

Edited by subarubrat
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Haven't driven it to test full lock under travel yet, but it looks good. I can dial in more height on the coilovers and can do the same re-profile of that inner rear corner that I did on the other lifted Baja so I have plenty of wiggle room. Funny thing though, of all the work done the one question asked by anyone is do they rub. the only thing holding up progress now is waiting on the stupid caliper paint, I overhauled these 04 calipers and no point in assembling the brakes until they are painted since it is easier to paint off the truck.

 

Speaking of paint, I decided to do a matte black dip job, if you scratch it you can peel it off and respray, should be perfect for slinging gravel. The dip kit arrived and I will be prepping the truck and painting it as soon as I get the brakes finished up. If you haven't seen this system it is a really neat process. You can do some interesting finishes, a bunch if videos can be found here: http://www.dipyourcar.com/Videos-and-Guides.html

Edited by subarubrat

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Sexy Baja! That plasti-Dip stuff is great. Holds up really well. I used it on my Brat front bumper/grill 2 years ago and still looking good. hasn't faded, peeled, or chipped and I put a couple hundred highway miles a week on it. Will be curious to see it on a whole car as I've been thinking/needing to paint the Brat. I'll be watching....... (< creepy?)

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Sure, but there are tons of videos that go into detail and give you the visuals, it might be more help than my description: http://www.dipyourcar.com/Videos-and-Guides.html

 

The short version is that you clean the car and remove wax, then mask windows, lights etc. and spray about 5 layers of thinned plasti-dip like material onto the car. Lasts about 4 years and you can peel and respray when you like. $200~$300 to do a car if you have a spray gun. It started off as just ordinary plastidip like you use for tool grips but now it is a huge range of specialized products.

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I finished up some details last night; pitch rod mount, rear wheel well trimming, refilled the coolant, re-installed the intercooler and took it for a spin around the cauldesac and it feels very solid. The STi front brakes are on but I ran into a glitch on the rears so they are stock for now. The issue is the hub carrier is present exactly where the adapter bracket for the Brembo needs to go, that part is not present on a WRX which is what the adapter is intended for. So Brembo rears are not a bolt on. I am going to have to pull the hubs and fabricate a caliper mount so that will likely get bumped to the end of the project. Next up is front wheel well mods and then drop it at the exhaust shop to get a 3in to the tail bent up.

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Two pics of it in the parking lot at work today. The performance is amazing, as fast as my STi was with some of the first mods like a turbo back 3in, tune, and such, so a bit more punch than a stock STi even with the larger tires! 

 

 

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I finished up some details last night; pitch rod mount, rear wheel well trimming, refilled the coolant, re-installed the intercooler and took it for a spin around the cauldesac and it feels very solid. The STi front brakes are on but I ran into a glitch on the rears so they are stock for now. The issue is the hub carrier is present exactly where the adapter bracket for the Brembo needs to go, that part is not present on a WRX which is what the adapter is intended for. So Brembo rears are not a bolt on. I am going to have to pull the hubs and fabricate a caliper mount so that will likely get bumped to the end of the project. Next up is front wheel well mods and then drop it at the exhaust shop to get a 3in to the tail bent up.

 

Look on other Subaru car forums for a part out of 2006-2007 WRX's. Buy the rear hub assemblies with the backing plates. Its a direct bolt on even for the e brake and allows for 2004 STi rotors (only because theyre 5x100) and any STi brembos. I did that conversion on a 98 Legacy wagon several years back.

 

Cost about $200 from a wrecked car.

Edited by iluvdrt

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The problem isn't so much the parking brake size, but the actual suspension layout, the WRX uses struts in the rear so the rear hub looks allot like the front hub. The Baja uses a multilink suspension that places a large steel vertical hub carrier right where the bracket needs to be. I have a set of STi rear hubs with backing plates and it may be more trouble than it is worth to cut those off and then see if they align before welding them on, might just be easier to fab one up. But since I need the truck for the winter it will be a spring project, right now it stops WAY better than stock with STi fronts and EBC reds in the rear.

Edited by subarubrat

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Just want to give a review of the BF Goodrich AT KO2 in 255-55-R18 now
that I have about a thousand miles on the clock. I read allot about this
tire and decided on it after the rave reviews and that it was in the
perfect size. You will need 5 inches of lift, 20mm spacers, and front
and rear fender well modifications to run this tire.

On-Road:
Since this tire is in the new category of low profile off-road tires I
expected decent on-road performance but nothing as good as it turned out
to be. Compared to stock these tires are not a sacrifice of on-road
handling for off-road traction, they are a major upgrade in handling.
While they certainly would not equal a dedicated summer performance tire
they are closer to that outcome than they are to the stock tire size.
Grip under hard acceleration is excellent and while I can break them
free under power they behave like a good performance tire and regain
traction without any drama. Cornering is also far better than my
expectations, entry speeds into corners has improved with this tire over
stock and while some of that is due to the suspension the tires are
providing a feel more consistent with a summer performance tire than an
off-road tires.

-Off-road: I have not had a chance to run these
in mud or snow yet, but so far on gravel and dirt they are consistent
with the high ratings others have given them and I expect mud and snow
performance will be just as good. The one weak spot that I would expect
from them is rock crawling due to the lack of a large sidewall to
conform over the rocks. That said it is on a truck that lacks the
articulation of a solid axle truck and has no low range and is not ever
going to be a great rock crawler.

All things considered I don't
think there is a tire better suited to maximizing the excellent on and
off road performance that the Baja provides. If these appear in smaller
sizes that could fit on a stock Baja it would be a perfect match.

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The problem isn't so much the parking brake size, but the actual suspension layout, the WRX uses struts in the rear so the rear hub looks allot like the front hub. The Baja uses a multilink suspension that places a large steel vertical hub carrier right where the bracket needs to be. I have a set of STi rear hubs with backing plates and it may be more trouble than it is worth to cut those off and then see if they align before welding them on, might just be easier to fab one up. But since I need the truck for the winter it will be a spring project, right now it stops WAY better than stock with STi fronts and EBC reds in the rear.

 

 

Yeah I thought about that later, how they changed the rear suspension geometry. My bad

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Went back to the dyno with a few more mods and an update of the tune, it may not show in the pic but it squats and screams on full boost now like it never did before, and it was stupid fast then.

 

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I drove back and forth from work to the hotel during the height of the storm in about 3ft of snow and it was great! Throwing snow, blow off valve popping and hissing, exhaust growling and not a hint of getting stuck!

 

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Please repost the pictures so we can see them. This is sounds awesome.

 

I drove back and forth from work to the hotel during the height of the storm in about 3ft of snow and it was great! Throwing snow, blow off valve popping and hissing, exhaust growling and not a hint of getting stuck!

 

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Edited by jmoss5723

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