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New/Old Familiar Wagon

Old 11 April 2018, 08:05 PM
  #121  
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Have you actually tried these on a Wagon yet?
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Old 17 April 2018, 11:58 AM
  #122  
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Both lower arms replaced. No additional charge so presumably they haven't replaced anything else. Nearly 2 weeks without any communication from Subaru until today, when I was told it was all done. I guess I should be pleased that they have done the work without questioning the validity of the recall.

Can't pick it up until Friday.
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Old 17 April 2018, 12:56 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by TECHNOPUG View Post
Both lower arms replaced. No additional charge so presumably they haven't replaced anything else. Nearly 2 weeks without any communication from Subaru until today, when I was told it was all done. I guess I should be pleased that they have done the work without questioning the validity of the recall.

Can't pick it up until Friday.
Really good to hear they've fixed it free of charge. Do you know if they've fitted new bushes as well?
I remember when modrich had the arms replaced on his wagon, subaru left the alignment miles out so it may be worth getting the geometry re-set.
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Old 17 April 2018, 01:07 PM
  #124  
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No idea what they changed - only that there was no charge. Presumably the arms will come with bushes pre-installed. Not sure about the rear mount/bush though.

I think I'll hold off until I install new suspension before I get the alignment done - unless it's way out.
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Old 17 April 2018, 02:54 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by TECHNOPUG View Post
No idea what they changed - only that there was no charge. Presumably the arms will come with bushes pre-installed. Not sure about the rear mount/bush though.

I think I'll hold off until I install new suspension before I get the alignment done - unless it's way out.
Genuine Subaru part should come supplied with all bushes and balljoint unless they have special stock for these cases.
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Old 17 April 2018, 08:18 PM
  #126  
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That was my assumption.

It's a cliche in engineering to say if it looks right, it is right but the steel arms just look so wrong compared to the alloy ones.

I expect the new ones will outlast the rest of the car though.

I've been enjoying driving the Bug again. Overslept this morning and had to hussle to the airport for my flight. New personal best of 37mins to do 35miles via Central Bristol. Everything works better when pressing on; suspension loaded, heat in tyres and brakes etc.

Had a nice little triple figure blast along the M32 with a silver Bug saloon on the way
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Old 19 April 2018, 02:54 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by TECHNOPUG View Post
Have you actually tried these on a Wagon yet?
No.
They'll only sit 5mm lower at the rear, than the sti saloon, because they are linear (front and rear), in their operational range.

Last edited by 2pot; 19 April 2018 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 04 September 2018, 04:44 PM
  #128  
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An update finally….

I’ve had 3 months off work but most of it has been spent hiding from the sun – weather has not been at all conducive to spending hours under cars wrestling with bolts….

I’ve completed swapping all the parts I want over from the Bug to the Blob. The first issue tackled were the brakes. I wanted to put the APs from the front of the Bug onto the new Wagon. These were powder coated black, with the rears standard unpainted. The Blob had both front and rear calipers painted red after recent rebuilds. I could therefore paint the APs red and just swap the fronts or paint the Bug rear calipers black and swap the whole lot over. In the end I decided to rebuild the Bug rear calipers and paint them black in the process to match the APs. Predictably enough both the inside pistons were seized but I managed to remove them with an airline and mole-grips. I cleaned up the bores and fitted new seals, dust covers and stainless steel pistons. The kit came with new bleed nipples also. I then painted them with black VHT paint which after a few coats left a gloss finish.

I had to fit a new wheel stud to one of the rear wheels and at that point I decided not to swap the discs as they were similar width and winding the brake shoe adjuster was bad enough once, I wasn't prepared to repeat the contortionist feat a further 3 times! I had already decided to swap the braided brake hoses across and although the Blob already had some fitted, it turned out to be prudent as the current ones had rubbed on the arches and had made a couple of grooves down to the metal. Either incorrectly fitted or maybe just abrasive braiding. Either way it was a good move to change them and gave me a chance to repaint the effected areas in the arch. When fitting the APs to the front, the hoses had also rubbed on the arch and required paint. (when swapping the hoses across, I bought some brass M10 end caps to fit over the brake lines and minimise fluid loss and mess). I gravity bled the brakes with the usual second bleed required after driving and engaging the ABS. First time I’ve gravity bled but was easy and fool-proof. Have done subsequent cars the same way and it’s now my preferred method.

I fitted new OE steel wheel nuts as although I liked the black ones, the paint had started to chip and flake with rust in places and I wasn’t interested in paying for titanium ones. Then onto swapping the suspension. The Bug came apart easy enough (as I had fitted it….) but the Blob through up a challenge with every nut and bolt. Clearly fitted by “Professionals” – as everything was overtightened or cross-threaded. One of the captive nuts on the front Meister R strut that holds the brake hose had broken off and the proved all sorts of fun & games to remove. In the end though I overcame and the Koni/PCA struts were fitted. I also fitted some brand new Whiteline drops links I remembered I had sitting in the shed.The Bug however is still on axel stands as I haven’t got round to fitting everything back on it from the Blob.

The first noticeable improvement came when I discovered that I could now get my trolley under the front lip. I’ll be raised the Bug to the same height once it’s back on 4 wheels. This allowed me to change the oil and filter for the first time since I’ve had the car. I’ve got new fluid for the gearbox and diff but they are less pressing issues. The car now handles so much better than on the coilovers. It settles far quicker and is more composed in every way. The Konis also feel less harsh than when on the Bug and perform better the faster you are going.

So the car now looks better, rides better and stops better. The final piece of the puzzle was to have the alignment setup. I booked in with Peter Cambridge again and we would aim for the same settings that we used for the Bug. The one thing I noted though was that the Bug had very quickly worn the front inside tyres after the previous alignment. Tyre wear like that is usually caused by excessive toe, rather than camber or castor. I knew we didn’t have issues with the static toe previously. We surmised that the issue was with the dynamic toe due to worn suspension bushes. Basically the toe settings were all good when the car was parked but when moving, the play in the bushes caused the toe to deflect considerably and lead to the excessive tyre wear. With the newly fitted control arms (including bushed and ball joints) along with the drop-links, I’m hopeful I will avoid such issues this time round.

We got the settings we were after without too much fuss and Peter was very pleased with how balanced we managed to get the front end, especially considering I had fitted KCA335 top mounts set to max castor (although there is no adjustment in them). It’s now a revelation to drive. The steering weights up nicely and understeer is all but eliminated short of ham-fisted idiocy not suitable for the road. I still have an STi rear bar fitted but I have a 3-Way adjustable one to go on and play about with the balance. For making progress during everyday driving, it really does feel like it’s on rails. I took my BiL out in it and he was actually scared at the speed we could carry round local roads I knew and I wasn’t even pushing it. I think it’s easy to quickly get used to Imprezas and their handling and you take it for granted but it does surprise people, even those with an XJR and Corvette ZR1…..

So I’m very pleased with the dynamic setup of the car now and don’t have any more spannering to do for the foreesable future. Although there are of course still a few niggles and possible areas of improvement as ever. The steering is still to slow – I think I’m just delaying the inevitable DAMD purchase! The PFC-Z pads are not as responsive as the previously fitted DS2500s; they lack initial bite. I might try some more aggressive pads next time round. Finally, the bonnet is rubbing on something. Just above the sprayer bottle on the passenger side. It’s touching something as it creaks when you push it. I can also hear it creaking when driving. I can’t see what it is though – it’s in the area of the bonnet alarm plunger but everything seems in place and nothing untoward.

Will try and get some photos up at the weekend.

Last edited by TECHNOPUG; 05 September 2018 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 04 September 2018, 05:47 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by TECHNOPUG View Post
One of the captive nuts on the front Meister R strut that holds the brake hose had broken off and the proved all sorts of fun & games to remove. In the end though I overcame and the Koni/PCA struts were fitted.

The first noticeable improvement came when I discovered that I could now get my trolley under the front lip. I’ll be raised the Bug to the same height once it’s back on 4 wheels. This allowed me to change the oil and filter for the first time since I’ve had the car. I’ve got new fluid for the gearbox and diff but they are less pressing issues. The car now handles so much better than on the coilovers. It settles far quicker and is more composed in every way. The Konis also feel less harsh than when on the Bug and perform better the faster you are going.

So the car now looks better, rides better and stops better.

We got the settings we were after without too much fuss and Peter was very pleased with how balanced we managed to get the front end, especially considering I had fitted KCA335 top mounts set to max castor (although there is no adjustment in them). It’s now a revelation to drive. The steering weights up nicely and understeer is all but eliminated short of ham-fisted idiocy not suitable for the road. I still have an STi rear bar fitted but I have a 3-Way adjustable one to go on and play about with the balance. For making progress during everyday driving, it really does feel like it’s on rails.

The steering is still to slow

Will try and get some photos up at the weekend.
I settled on 365mm front ride height (blob/hawk sti arches, slightly higher cut than the wagon), lower than that (with a normal strut) and you've got too little bump travel + spoiler lip damage + trolley jack/ramp access issues. I'd be interested as to what the Koni/pca ride heights are, on the heavier blob wagon, compared to the bug wagon.

Glad the Koni inserts are suiting you.

More rear toe-in would give you more instantaneous response to steering inputs.

Last edited by 2pot; 04 September 2018 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 05 September 2018, 12:29 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by 2pot View Post
I settled on 365mm front ride height (blob/hawk sti arches, slightly higher cut than the wagon), lower than that (with a normal strut) and you've got too little bump travel + spoiler lip damage + trolley jack/ramp access issues. I'd be interested as to what the Koni/pca ride heights are, on the heavier blob wagon, compared to the bug wagon.

Glad the Koni inserts are suiting you.

More rear toe-in would give you more instantaneous response to steering inputs.
~0.05 Rear Toe both
Total 0.11
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Old 05 September 2018, 12:56 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by TECHNOPUG View Post
~0.05 Rear Toe both
Total 0.11
That's enough rear toe-in.

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Old 07 September 2018, 06:20 PM
  #132  
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Love your thread, just enjoyed the read with a cuppa!

What flasher relay did you order in the end? Iím replacing all of my bulbs for LED and will need the same.
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Old 10 September 2018, 11:33 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
Love your thread, just enjoyed the read with a cuppa!

What flasher relay did you order in the end? Iím replacing all of my bulbs for LED and will need the same.

Thanks for reading. I find it useful reading other's projects as I can usually find an answer quicker that way than post a new topic. I must try and include some more photos but most of the time it's just generic installations and when I'm lying on my back covered in grease, I tend not to think to reach for my camera.

This is the relay I bought that worked:
Amazon Amazon

Further update, I went to tax the Blob online on Saturday only to discover that I couldn't as it didn't have a valid MoT.....further investigation shows that it expired at the end of July! Whoops....
My MoT garage of choice send me out reminders a month in advance but as I hadn't had the Blob MoT'd yet, I obviously didn't receive one. Couldn't get it booked in anywhere on Saturday and as I needed a car to take to the station on today (Monday), Sunday was spent hastily putting the Bug (MoT'd and taxed, just in bits) back together. No issues to report. It was just one strut and then the front discs/calipers/hoses. Put a freshly charged battery in and it started first turn of the key. Obviousy the alignment hasn't been set and I only had time to bleed the brakes once (they alsways need a second bleed after you've engaged the ABS a few time) but it was driveable.

My wife keeps nagging me to sell it and altough having a third car has come in useful (today for example) it does need to go. Still need want to swap the interior over and I need to remove all the stereo then it will be surplus. So if anyone wants a very cheap winter hack or project, keep you eyes on the For Sale section.
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Old 10 September 2018, 10:42 PM
  #134  
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Thanks chief! 👍🏻
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Old 17 September 2018, 01:13 PM
  #135  
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Car went straight through the MoT without any issues/advisories
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Old 11 January 2019, 12:50 PM
  #136  
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Haven't updated in a while as no time to do any work on the car due to weather and other commitments. I did change the wheels over to my winter ones a couple of weeks back (Nokian WR A3 tyres). I've noticed that 2 of the wheels have slow punctures and the tyre sidewalls are showing signing of cracking, so I've order a full set of Continental WinterContact TS 850P 215/45 R17 91V XL. Were supposed to be delivered today but are on back order.

A more pressing issue is that when I was pumping the tyres up at the train station last night, with the engine running, there was a definite sweet smell (like vannila or almond extract) which suggests that there is a coolant leak somewhere. I'm hoping that someone can suggest a cause with a simple fix that doesn't involve the words "head" and "gasket"......
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Old 11 January 2019, 01:14 PM
  #137  
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Good to see it's still running. Based on my leggy I'd look at the pipes around the header tank. I've seen a few people on here who gave had issues with the top rad hose too.
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Old 11 January 2019, 01:18 PM
  #138  
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I'm hoping it's an external leak but my spidey senses suggest it's blowing out the exhaust. It could be simply dripping on the exhaust somewhere.

Do you happen to know which coolant you used as I want to top up the levels and monitor it?
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Old 11 January 2019, 01:29 PM
  #139  
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I'm presuming that it's an organic coolant as it's pink and I can't see why you'd use a silicates/phosphates product.
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Old 11 January 2019, 02:03 PM
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A header tank leak could drip down the back of the engine to the turbo/exhaust area....
I can't remember the exact coolant, I think it was Castrol and in a white bottle, but it would be what's in the handbook. I'll see if I've got any left when I get home tonight.
if I get home. The A14 is closed...
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Old 12 February 2019, 05:38 PM
  #141  
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Did you get to the bottom of the coolant smell?
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Old 19 February 2019, 04:22 PM
  #142  
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Nope. I'm just ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Which probably works as well as ignoring rust....

Will have to get a block tester next week.

I had a look on TDR website at engine rebuilds and had quickly run up a budget of £5k+......hence why I have been ignoring it ever since.....
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