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1. Tell us the story behind your ride. What made you pick this particular one? Where did you find it? My story actually starts off with what most people into car modding started off with. HONDAS! I was young and at that time modifying Honda's was the most financially fit for me at the time since parts were readily available, cheap, and easy to install. The only other problem with that is that Honda/Acura were also very easy to break into. With that being said I had a 95 LS integra that got physically stolen 3 times and broken into 4 times. With that said, you can easily see why I jump ships and went to a completely different platform. SUBARUS! Most people when looking at a subaru motor sit there and just scratch their heads. I mean that's what I did when I entered the flat world of boxer motors. I figure if I didn't know what I was looking at, thieves would not even bother trying to steal this. So I went on a search for WRX/STI at that time which was WAAAY out of my budget. That's when I fell upon the first generations of Impreza. I will be the first to admit that I had no idea what a GC8 (GM in the US) was and/or their potential. All I knew was that it had the signature rumble and that's all I cared about. Little did I know that it would evolve into what it is now. 2. Describe the modifications you have made. Where did you start, what’s the most recent mod and what motivated it? The car started it's life almost bone stock. As you know these cars never made it into the US market with the known turbo flat four that the rest of the world received. I purchased it bone stock with an intake producing a whopping 165 HP which probably put closer to 100HP to the ground. From there I made small modifications to suspension to really appreciate and learn the chassis and what it had to offer. Once I became comfortable with the stock power levels, I started to do research of common swaps for the car since I knew that the US got screwed and never received the Turbo version. That brings the story to me browsing eBay searching for cheap mods that I could do to the car. I stumbled upon a 2.0L WRX motor from a wrecked car out in California. I read the description and it said that it would come with everything from the motor/turbo/turbo crossmember to the wiring and ECU. The starting bid price was around $400 and I figured I would just have a go at it. I set a max bid price of $1000 and just forgot about it since it was set to a week bid time. Flash forward to a week later....I get a notification on my phone saying that I'm the highest bidder for the motor. I did not expect this at all and not only that...did I have to money to fork out to buy it? Well you should already know the outcome of that :) 3. Of all the mods you’ve made, which do you think offers the biggest bang for the buck? I think the biggest bang for the buck mod for these chassis is suspension components. Being swapped I slightly have more power than a stock STI, but I drive this thing around town like a 1996 Toyota Camry. Being the lightest Impreza out of the generation, these cars are really nimble, and upgrading tires and suspension will really wake up these under power cars. 4. How did you go about selecting the specific parts for this build? Any installation tips to share? I think the key to any build is to gradually add on parts and see how it really affects the car. I first started with upgrading the tires to get a feel of the car as it is. Then I started with swaybars...then coilovers and drove the car at stock power levels to really understand where it's weakness were. That's when I jumped into adding more power by swapping the car and triple the power output. With that I found that braking was becoming an issue and upgraded the brakes to stock STI Brembos. Like I said, build gradually and see where the weak points of the car is. You will also learn to appreciate the car more. 5. What’s been the biggest challenge with this build? The biggest challenge with my build really was just learning the car itself. I went from only knowing how to install intakes, exhaust, brake pads, to being able to pull out a motor and tear a part the motor. This car was where I really learned how to be a home mechanic. I did the motor swap and wiring by myself with the help of great friends and I learned so much through the process. If I knew what I knew now when I started the project, I wouldn't have changed a thing. 6. What are you planning next? I've been at this power level for over 5-6 years now. So my next plans is to now move up 0.5L to a 2.5L EJ257 motor and shoot for the 400-500HP level. This will require a full on wire merge as I will be going from a cable throttle to an electronic throttle as well as Subaru wiring merges are just a PITA. It's a task that very few people can take on their own.
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