Author Topic: History of my Impreza Part 1  (Read 1120 times)

September 23, 2013, 09:25:02 PM
Read 1120 times

dewarp

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In January 2000 I bought the 1000th Subaru to be sold in RSA (had a press function etc.). It is a MY00 Impreza GT SportWagon (they weren’t called WRX in RSA until 2001). Going on fourteen years later she’s done 368,000 kms and is still going strong as a daily drive. In my opinion WRX’s were never the same again starting with the Bug-Eye.
 
The clutch pedal is heavy, and always has been. The car is noisy, and always has been. (The exhaust portion of that noise is beautiful of course!) The fuel consumption is high, but not when compared to the available performance. The ground clearance is negligible. And that is the end of the “cons”.
 
On the plus side it is a very competent and reliable machine that is just soo much fun to drive.
 
The motor is original!
 
Here are notes on what has happened to it over the past years:
 
The first task was to replace the fog-lights with Hella spot lights (not much fog in Gauteng).
 
At 58,000 km the exhaust was replaced with a 3 inch main pipe with a separate length of 1.25 inch pipe from the waste-gate. The increase in power was immediately noticeable, and it was possible to break 10 l/100km on the open road, something that I had not achieved previously. Of course, with the extra power came extra use of the throttle, so the average fuel consumption got slightly heavier!
 
At 61,000 km I hit a bad pothole hidden below water. Buckled the two left wheels, one of which had to be replaced.
 
At around 70,000 km I fitted an instrument binnacle in place of the top cubby-hole cover. I had three gauges with custom faces made up by Speedometer Services – manifold boost pressure, voltage, and oil pressure. I fitted the oil pressure transmitter in place of the standard pressure switch. The manifold pressure gauge needle vibrated violently at first – solved by putting a spare plastic in-line fuel filter in the impulse line.
 
At 75,000 km came the first clutch replacement. We fitted an STI IV clutch assembly, but this wasn’t a good decision. It was almost impossible to prevent clutch judder unless one took off under full power – a bit antisocial in most circumstances.
 
Front brake pads tended to last about 30,000 km. Once, in the early days, I fitted Bendix pads that had good reports from Australian websites. Bad mistake – these started smoking prior to loosing it completely on a spirited drive down Long Tom Pass. After that I fitted only the Subaru genuine articles, which have performed reasonably well.
 
The original battery packed up after three and a half years. It was a small thing with posts of about 10mm diameter – nothing like that in the country. Put a proper battery in.
 
The spark plugs are supposed to last 100,000 km. At that service they were seriously shot! Since then I have replaced the plugs at 50,000 km intervals.
 
The timing belt and tensioners were replaced at the 100,000 km service. Also the rear pads were replaced for the first time.
 
At 115,000 km we replaced the Left Rear Wheel Bearings – damage that certainly was initiated when I hit the pothole 50,000 km earlier.
 
At 125,000 km I replaced the windscreen due to a bad chip. Unlike the genuine Subaru windscreen, the locally made part has a blue tinted area. Much better,
 
At 136,000 km I had an accident. This damaged mainly the driver’s side A-Pillar. The damage wasn’t too bad, but it took Subaru forever to get the correct parts out of Japan.
 
Tyres. I got about 35,000 km on the original Bridgestone tyres. These I replaced with Avon ZZ or something. These tended to squeal a bit, but the biggest problem was that they didn’t drift much prior to letting loose. A bit scary. However, they only lasted 25,000 km in any case. I then fitted my first set of Michelin Pilot Sport. I was going to fit something more affordable, but Tiger Wheel messed up the order and ended up giving me the Michelins at the same price. Wow – what a tyre! The first set actually lasted 72,000 km – unheard of for me! The handling was exceptional, the only problem being if you got it sideways on running water. The second set of Pilot Sports lasted 57,000 km – not worn out, but two damaged. Then they no longer made Pilot Sports, and the newer Pilot Sport PS2 wasn’t made in 16 inch sizes yet. So I fitted Toyo Proxes PX4. These were terrible in wet weather. On the way home each day there was a hill where the tar was smooth to start with. With the Proxes in the wet, if you floored it in second gear all four would spin. Rubbish! Thereafter I’ve used Michelin Exalto, and now Pilot Sport 3. I’m now a Michelin Man.

September 23, 2013, 09:26:28 PM
Reply #1

dewarp

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At 136,600 km I complained to Subaru about a noisy bearing in the gearbox. Mario and Gus couldn’t hear it. Eventually I insisted they strip the box and sure enough, there was a bearing on its way out. At the same time we replaced the clutch.

At 144,400 km we replaced the radiator. It was leaking through the seals on the plastic heads.

Around 160,000 km I started having boost management problems. Every now-and-again the boost pressure would drop for no apparent reason, and all tests by Subaru failed to identify a fault. This became extremely annoying. Eventually I fitted a TurboSmart mechanical boost control valve, which solved the problem.

At 175,000 km I broke the central exhaust box on a gate rail. Fitted a Wildcat center box.

At 179,400 km the gearbox jammed in 4th gear. I dropped it off at Subaru Bruma. The mechanic got in and found the car drove perfectly – “What did he say was wrong?” Anyway, they stripped the box and couldn’t find anything obvious wrong. We replaced the 4th synchro cone, and the entire clutch assembly since the box was out anyway.

At 200,000 km came the major service and the second set of rear pads. We also replaced the rubbers on the foot pedals.

At 219,000 km I replaced the front disk rotors.

At 238,000 km the front left wheel bearings and hub were replaced. Again, this was probably initiated by the pothole episode some years back. A couple of weeks later a bolt attaching the front left McPherson strut came out and the front left collapsed! This was obviously caused by finger trouble at Subaru Bruma. Fortunately there was very little damage.

Shock absorbers. Around 250,000 km I decided to have the shocks properly tested on a machine. I took it in and the boss man instructed his guys to test the shocks and bring him the result sheets. He took one look at the sheets and asked me “What the hell are you trying to pull? Those are new shocks on that car.” No – they’re original – nine years old. He was amazed – had never seen shocks last that long.

Also around 250,000 km I checked the oil and got a shock to find it almost off the stick! For the first 250,000 km of this car’s life it was a waste of time to check the oil. I can’t remember that I ever topped it up between services (serviced every 10,000 km – Subaru only changed the intervals to 12,500 km when they offered the “free” maintenance plan). Since then it has been erratic – seems to use oil sometimes, sometimes not. So nowadays I take a can of its fancy oil when I go on long trips.

At 268,000 km I lost power steering. The fluid was leaking out of a loose union down by the rack. Mario said it was OK to drive, so I drove 850km back from Rhodes to Joburg. Heavy going!

In the early days a power steering mounting bolt came out and smacked the power steering pulley, which was replaced. The bearing obviously took a hell of a knock, and it was likely that this would be a problem some time in the future. Around 220,000 km the rattling bearing had caused the seal to go, and power steering fluid was leaking out. Eventually the pump was replaced at the 300,000 km service. (No overhaul kit – have to replace complete unit!)

At 278,000 km the clutch assembly was replaced for the fourth time. At the same time the flywheel itself was replaced.

The second radiator replacement came soon after the 300,000 km service.

At 310,000 km the exhaust was damaged on a really rough road. The rear box was replaced with a ProFlow unit, noisier than the previous TNT box, but OK. This incident also thumped the exhaust up into the propshaft, which then had to be replaced (also comes as a complete unit – no spare joints or anything like that!).

At 340,000 km we replaced some bushes in the front suspension.

This year a few of the radiator hoses have failed. The “Check Engine” light kept coming on, which was cured by replacing the knock sensor. Then at 351,000 km the boost failed for the first time! Fearing the worst I took it in to Subaru Somerset West. It transpired that the circlip on the waste gate actuator had worn through. No problem!

Replacing the plugs at the 350,000 km service didn’t totally cure a tendency to misfire. Eventually the long HT plug-leads were replaced, and that did the job.

To be Continued… Not a bad record I’d say.

September 23, 2013, 10:43:21 PM
Reply #2

Stev0

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pretty good post, thanks!
Jeep Commander CRD - GDE Hot Tune
ex Prodrive Xt, X, XT, WRX STI, Outback 3.0R

September 24, 2013, 08:52:10 AM
Reply #3

dewarp

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The second half of this writeup hasn't appeared yet - had to be approved by the moderator or something. HAS SINCE APPEARED.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 04:26:00 PM by dewarp »

September 24, 2013, 03:37:34 PM
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Bravofox

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Post some pics of your GT...
2015 Outback 3.6R-S
-ex- 2006 Impreza 2.0R Wagon.
-ex -2009 SH XT A/T
-ex- 2009 SG9 XT Premium Manual
-ex- 2006 Impreza 2.0R Manual
-ex- 2002 Legacy 2.5GX A/T

September 24, 2013, 07:10:35 PM
Reply #5

dewarp

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I'll try to post this again.
 
At 136,600 km I complained to Subaru about a noisy bearing in the gearbox. Mario and Gus couldn’t hear it. Eventually I insisted they strip the box and sure enough, there was a bearing on its way out. At the same time we replaced the clutch.

At 144,400 km we replaced the radiator. It was leaking through the seals on the plastic heads.

Around 160,000 km I started having boost management problems. Every now-and-again the boost pressure would drop for no apparent reason, and all tests by Subaru failed to identify a fault. This became extremely annoying. Eventually I fitted a TurboSmart mechanical boost control valve, which solved the problem.

At 175,000 km I broke the central exhaust box on a gate rail. Fitted a Wildcat center box.

At 179,400 km the gearbox jammed in 4th gear. I dropped it off at Subaru Bruma. The mechanic got in and found the car drove perfectly – “What did he say was wrong?” Anyway, they stripped the box and couldn’t find anything obvious wrong. We replaced the 4th synchro cone, and the entire clutch assembly since the box was out anyway.

At 200,000 km came the major service and the second set of rear pads. We also replaced the rubbers on the foot pedals.

At 219,000 km I replaced the front disk rotors.

At 238,000 km the front left wheel bearings and hub were replaced. Again, this was probably initiated by the pothole episode some years back. A couple of weeks later a bolt attaching the front left McPherson strut came out and the front left collapsed! This was obviously caused by finger trouble at Subaru Bruma. Fortunately there was very little damage.

Shock absorbers. Around 250,000 km I decided to have the shocks properly tested on a machine. I took it in and the boss man instructed his guys to test the shocks and bring him the result sheets. He took one look at the sheets and asked me “What the hell are you trying to pull? Those are new shocks on that car.” No – they’re original – nine years old. He was amazed – had never seen shocks last that long.

Also around 250,000 km I checked the oil and got a shock to find it almost off the stick! For the first 250,000 km of this car’s life it was a waste of time to check the oil. I can’t remember that I ever topped it up between services (serviced every 10,000 km – Subaru only changed the intervals to 12,500 km when they offered the “free” maintenance plan). Since then it has been erratic – seems to use oil sometimes, sometimes not. So nowadays I take a can of its fancy oil when I go on long trips.

At 268,000 km I lost power steering. The fluid was leaking out of a loose union down by the rack. Mario said it was OK to drive, so I drove 850km back from Rhodes to Joburg. Heavy going!

In the early days a power steering mounting bolt came out and smacked the power steering pulley, which was replaced. The bearing obviously took a hell of a knock, and it was likely that this would be a problem some time in the future. Around 220,000 km the rattling bearing had caused the seal to go, and power steering fluid was leaking out. Eventually the pump was replaced at the 300,000 km service. (No overhaul kit – have to replace complete unit!)

At 278,000 km the clutch assembly was replaced for the fourth time. At the same time the flywheel itself was replaced.

The second radiator replacement came soon after the 300,000 km service.

At 310,000 km the exhaust was damaged on a really rough road. The rear box was replaced with a ProFlow unit, noisier than the previous TNT box, but OK. This incident also thumped the exhaust up into the propshaft, which then had to be replaced (also comes as a complete unit – no spare joints or anything like that!).

At 340,000 km we replaced some bushes in the front suspension.

This year a few of the radiator hoses have failed. The “Check Engine” light kept coming on, which was cured by replacing the knock sensor. Then at 351,000 km the boost failed for the first time! Fearing the worst I took it in to Subaru Somerset West. It transpired that the circlip on the waste gate actuator had worn through. No problem!

Replacing the plugs at the 350,000 km service didn’t totally cure a tendency to misfire. Eventually the long HT plug-leads were replaced, and that did the job.

… Not a bad record I’d say.

September 25, 2013, 11:57:12 AM
Reply #6

dewarp

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Quote from: Bravofox;14247
Post some pics of your GT...

Pic1 is the first photo taken with my first digital camera, when the GT was about 9 months old.
 
Pic2 was taken a couple of weeks back when the GT was thirteen and a half years old.
 
regards - Peter

[attachment deleted by admin]

September 25, 2013, 12:47:24 PM
Reply #7

proze

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Too cool! Thanks for sharing!
2005 XSel slushbox

November 01, 2013, 07:43:26 AM
Reply #8

dewarp

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Last week I got a final drive whine. Turned out to be the centre diff giving notice. I already had bad synchro on 5th gear and a clutch nearing the end of its life, so a gearbox overhaul was indicated. Subaru Somerset West stripped the box. It also needs three gear sets, all bearings, and assorted shynchro parts. Roughly R30k to get it back to 100% condition. That includes another two water pipes (heater) and the 370,000km minor service.

November 02, 2013, 11:56:41 PM
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oreomitch

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What a beauty! She is in good hands =)
2008 FXT

November 07, 2013, 09:39:11 PM
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westcoaster

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Very nice!
It bodes well for a long-term relationship with my S-exy young thing - perhaps it won't be just a fling...
Current: S-edition 2011 Steel Silver (S-exy young thing) - Forged, Chett tjooned, 76mm s/s wrapped DP, King Springs, 225/60/17 G012s, Sump & AT guards, cheap mud flaps, HID fogs, LED parks.
Ex:        2.5X man 2010 Pearl White (Dirty Girl) - LSS lift, 235/60/16 G012s, Sump guard, HIDs and more..