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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/6/21 8:42 a.m.

Took some better photos of the rust - well, what it turned into after I introduced it to its new friend CoroSeal. Here's the driver's side:

Oddly enough on this car, there is less corrosion on the passenger side on a lot of things, including inside the wheel arches:

Now all I have to do is get some paint once this has cured and touch up the paint. Of course the auto parts stores have zilch...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/6/21 12:11 p.m.

Good news, I don't have to install the new rear calipers.

Both of them had the backside machined where the banjo bolt goes in. One of them has it machined crooked, and I can't even get a banjo bolt in by hand. The other one is machined level but I think they machined off too much, so I can still move the brake hose sideways on the banjo fitting after I hand tighten the banjo fitting. This is what the "good" caliper looks like in the back:

I still don't quite understand why someone decided that milling down the back of these calipers was an idea worth pursuing.

Looks like these are going right back to the parts store and I'm going to hop down to the Subaru dealer and see if they have some OEM ones. After the disaster with refurb calipers on the Jeep last year I really should've known better.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/7/21 10:01 a.m.

Well, expecting that the local Subaru dealer has these brake calipers in stock was probably a bit much, but they should have them by tomorrow. Apparently they don't offer remans at all, so I'm getting two brand new ones. Yes, they're about 2.5x more expensive than the refurb ones, but at least I expect that they fit and haven't been attacked by someone with a mill who doesn't own a right angle and mills E36 M3 off that's kinda, you know, useful.

Oh, and amazingly enough, the dealer didn't even have World Rally Blue touch up paint in stock, although I don't know if it's the same colour used on the WRXs or if the one on the BRZ is a different colour (which might explain why they didn't have it in stock). Not that any parts store appears to have it either.

The parts store took the calipers back without batting an eyelid, but that's more or less what I expected. Of course it's going to take up to a week to get my money back, surprise.

Fingers crossed that the front parts store ones are in better shape, because I don't fancy ending up with four new calipers. The front ones are just a *tad* more expensive than the rears.

On the better news front, I picked up a new Interstate battery for the car. It continues to amaze me how much cheaper it is to buy batteries from CostCo compared to the local parts store. I think in this case the difference was a cool $50-ish.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/7/21 12:21 p.m.

Latest WTF moment:

Yes, not only are the two bolts of different lenghts, they've also got different threads. I have absolutely no idea why.

For comparison, this is what the driver's side looks like:

Not so ninja edit - as someone on Reddit pointed out, it's very likely an aftermarket camber bolt. Nothing against aftermarket camber bolts, but finding one on one side of the car doesn't exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

adam525i
adam525i Dork
5/7/21 12:48 p.m.

Yeah, looks like an aftermarket crash bolt or camber bolt, the tab under the head is the give away.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/7/21 2:03 p.m.

And indeed it was. Now I'm extra nervous, because now I'm trying to figure out why one would have one on one side of the car only.

Not the first time in the last couple of weeks that I've been cursing myself for being a cheapskate and not just going with plan B.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/9/21 3:52 p.m.

Picked up the new rear calipers yesterday at the dealer. Also ordered a set of new front strut/hub bolts which of course also weren't in stock. So far it appears that the only two in-stock items were the oil filter and the drain plug washer.

As of right now, the rear suspension and brake work is finished, and the front passenger side is sporting a Koni strut as well. The driver's side is waiting for a Sawzall blade so I can cut off the endlink - who thought that holding the endlink with a 6mm allen key was a good idea in rust country again?

Once I've got the struts in and the bolts replaced, I should be able to fit the front brakes, bleed the brakes and declare victory on the brake and suspension front. How much victory we'll see when I take it in for an alignment, when I find out if there was a reason for the single crash bolt or not. I'll order a set of camber bolts just in case.

Next big job after this is to pull the front bumper cover and swap out the radiator for one with an integrated oil cooler, then it's onto the header and exhaust.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/10/21 8:54 p.m.

Managed to find my way into the shop this evening. I'm trying to get the car put together by Sunday as there is an HPDE the following weekend. Well, one can dream...

This is as far as I got tonight:

Bumper cover is off and the airbox and snorkel are out. There are a lot of missing clips on the front bumper and the various air guides, so I think it's safe to say that someone's been in there before. For what purpose I can't tell, though.

It looks like I'll be pulling the header tomorrow, at least I'm hoping I will. The main reason for that rather than deal with the radiator is that I'm also replacing the radiator hoses and the bottom hose looks a lot more accessible with no header in the way. Not to mention that I noticed what looks like coolant deposits on the header heat shield right below the bottom radiator hose. I'm hoping that it's not an indicator of a leaking water pump but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

The Mishimoto sound tube delete kit doesn't appear to fit, so I may have to go to plan B to deal with the annoying sound tube. I also noticed that one of the tabs that hold the airbox in is damaged. Not bad enough that I can't fit the airbox back in the car, but enough to annoy me at least.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/10/21 9:31 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

Well, expecting that the local Subaru dealer has these brake calipers in stock was probably a bit much, but they should have them by tomorrow. Apparently they don't offer remans at all, so I'm getting two brand new ones. Yes, they're about 2.5x more expensive than the refurb ones, but at least I expect that they fit and haven't been attacked by someone with a mill who doesn't own a right angle and mills E36 M3 off that's kinda, you know, useful.

Oh, and amazingly enough, the dealer didn't even have World Rally Blue touch up paint in stock, although I don't know if it's the same colour used on the WRXs or if the one on the BRZ is a different colour (which might explain why they didn't have it in stock). Not that any parts store appears to have it either.

The parts store took the calipers back without batting an eyelid, but that's more or less what I expected. Of course it's going to take up to a week to get my money back, surprise.

Fingers crossed that the front parts store ones are in better shape, because I don't fancy ending up with four new calipers. The front ones are just a *tad* more expensive than the rears.

On the better news front, I picked up a new Interstate battery for the car. It continues to amaze me how much cheaper it is to buy batteries from CostCo compared to the local parts store. I think in this case the difference was a cool $50-ish.

I'm absolutely shocked that the OEM Panasonic battery on my 15 still works great. The freezing cold winters and boiling summers on Illinois tend to annihilate batteries quick, like less than 3 years quick. Odds are I'm going with another Panasonic when the original dies.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/12/21 7:22 a.m.

Didn't get as much done last night as I wanted to. OEM header is loose but still in the car as I have some (not entirely unexpected) trouble detaching it from the overpipe and ran out of time. Looks like I need to detach the overpipe from the front pipe, but that part isn't cooperating. I'm hoping I'll have more time this evening and will actually be able to detach the front pipe, ideally without disassembling more of the exhaust.

Also found out last night that the Perrin exhaust uses a different exhaust gasket than OEM and different bolts to attach to the front pipe. Let's see if Perrin will be happy to sell me at least the gasket or not.

At least the metal blades for the Sawzall turned up yesterday so I should be able to "detach" the endlink from the sway bar and pull out the front strut.

Oh, and it looks like the coolant leak is not coming from the waterpump. No signs of residue around the weep hole of the water pump, so it looks like it's the radiator hose that's leaking, and I already have a replacement for that.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/12/21 8:17 p.m.

Hallelujah, the header is finally out. I ended up disassembling half the exhaust so I could pull back the overpipe far enough to separate it from the header, but it was worth it:

Taking exhaust apart also explained the noise levels on the car - it looks like pretty much every exhaust gasket was past it and blowing. Not even sure if the header was tight - unfortunately two of the studs came out when I unbolted the header, and given the state of them I'm wondering if the nuts on them tightened the header enough against the head to create a gas tight seal. I'm a tad surprised by that because I thought that the recall work would've involved taking the header off as well.

Either way, I now have to figure out how to get the header/head gaskets off the head as someone glued them on. I managed to get one off, but the other one is a lot more stubborn. Fortunately I have a new set of Grimmspeed gaskets basically for everything, and Perrin got back to me with a link to the correct gasket for their exhaust.

Also, the new Sawzall blades arrived and the corroded endlink didn't stand a chance. The Yellow has now spread to all four corners of the car:

I'm debating replacing the overpipe given how far I've got everything apart. There's a surprising amount of corrosion on the studs, heatshields etc and right now, it's relatively easy to get at although I probably need to lift the block a bit to get it out. OTOH ordering that now will pretty much guarantee the car is not going to be finished in time, but it's looking very tight already and any delay in getting any of the other parts will nix the HPDE in ten days anyway.

Either way, I want this thing done.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/14/21 1:53 p.m.

Good news - pretty impressed with Perrin. Ordered a couple of smaller parts including the exhaust gasket from them on Wednesday evening with two day delivery, items showed up today.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/15/21 2:26 p.m.

More good news, the dealer actually had the exhaust manifold/head studs in stock. So theoretically with enoug motivation I should be able to swap out the radiator, coolant hoses and header.

Anybody seen my motivation as I appear to be running a tad low? I guess the bit about missing another HPDE next weekend isn't helping. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/17/21 8:07 a.m.

Some progress, after a bit of my motivation returned. As mentioned I'm still waiting for parts, including some paint to paint over the areas I treated with rust converter, so again I won't be able to make the next HPDE, coming up this weekend.

Anyway, some of the parts I ordered did show up, including the Perrin endlinks and exhaust gasket. Pretty impressed with the speed Perrin dispatched the parts with. As the dealer had received the suspension bolts (and amazingly enough had a couple of exhaust studs in stock), I was able to put the front suspension together. Well, other than being 5Nm short because my "big" torque wrench only goes up to 150Nm and those bolts call for 155...

I then turned to the second "big" modification, changing out the radiator for a Jackson Racing combined radiator/oil cooler. That turned into "removal and waiting for more parts" - we'll get to that in a second.

Anyway, the front cover shows clear signs of someone having been in there for the valve spring recall not too long ago. I could've done without signs of oil leak as part of the signs someone's been in there, though.

As mentioned, there are also signs of a coolant leak at the thermostat housing. Fortunately it looks like it might be more of an issue with the hose than the water pump - as you may be able to see there are no signs of leaks around the weep hole themselves, at least not ones I've managed to see.

Onto removing the radiator then. Progress here was slowed down by random bolts refusing to budge until introduced to my new favourite tool, CRC Freeze-Off. It is really weird how random the corrosion is - yes, it's a rust belt car, but there are oddities like well protected bolts being heavily corroded when others that are more exposed come lose with no drama. A bit odd.

Anyway, it did take more time than expected to get the radiator out, with the only casualty being  one of the bolts on a bracket that holds the evaporator to the radiator. Of course it had to break off in the evaporator, not the radiator. I'm probably not going to attempt to drill out the remains as with my luck, I won't get the remains out but drill a hole in the evaporator instead. Probably going to put some foam tape between evaporator and radiator so the two don't bang into each other.

Everything came out eventually and now there is so much room for LS swaps, err, activities:

So why has this turned into waiting for parts again?

Well, the radiator has pieces of foam glued around it to ensure air actually goes through the radiator and not down the sides and over the top of it. After nine or so years, the foam is in pretty bad shape and a bunch of it actually came apart in my hand. So, time to order new pieces - they're pretty cheap, but who knows how long it's going to take them to get here. In the meantime I should finish the brake job and deal with some of the other loose ends, but work has ground back to a bit of a halt right now.

Next target, HPDE towards the end of June. This year, I hope.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/18/21 7:09 a.m.

Foam pieces ordered - they're surprisingly cheap with the whole set being about $20, so there is really no reason to not change them out. This time I did end up paying more for shipping than for the actual parts as I didn't want to wait two weeks for them to show up.

jfryjfry (FS)
jfryjfry (FS) Dork
5/18/21 8:03 p.m.

With that single camber bolt and the missing clips, have you found any evidence of crash damage???

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/19/21 7:34 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry (FS) :

Oddly enough I haven't, and it isn't because I wasn't looking. Obviously the car has had a minor crash in the right rear, but that didn't go near the suspension and that camber bolt has been in there much longer than the crash repair.

I have had a suspicion that it had slid off the road at some point as the passenger side underbody aero panels are missing (which I stupidly didn't pick up on when I bought the car), but other than the damage to the right rear corner that I had repaired, I cannot find any evidence of other accident damage. There is evidence of panels having been taken off (like the front bumper), but no evidence of actual body parts having been replaced or straightened (again, other than the repairs I had done).

Damaged or missing clips are supposedly not unusual for these cars according to the local bodyshop as they break really easily and generally are not good quality so they often break on removal.

What I am wondering is if one of the longer term owners of the car modded it and then un-modded it, which would certainly explain some of the signs of panel removal etc that I noticed.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/27/21 7:27 a.m.

Behold, a monolith appeared in our backyard:

I'm guessing that'll be the new JDM underbody aeropanels to replace the missing panels and a new clutch pedal spring. At least that's what's supposed to be in there.

Not much progress otherwise, spend some more time cleaning things up - right now I suspect that the coolant leak at the thermostat housing was due to all the crud that had accumulated on the housing itself. Currently hoping I don't have to replace the housing. Also, finally managed to get the other exhaust gasket off. They were glued on with some silicone like substance, so now I get to figure out how to best remove all the residue from around the exhaust ports so I can get a good seal on the new header.

Also finally managed to get the paint sorted - the touchup pen I got from Subaru just isn't up to the task of covering all the rust removal work. Checked with our local NAPA and while they don't mix paint on premises, another NAPA in the area does and is shipping the ready mixed paint to them. Should be here today or tomorrow at the latest.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/30/21 4:34 p.m.

Best laid plans of men and mice...

I was planning to put most of the car back together yesterday and enjoy the Indy 500 today. To start off the effort on the right foot, I managed to hurt my back first thing on Saturday. Yay. Proper job, too, I couldn't even bend down far enough to pull the radiator out of its box.

Somehow I managed to get the front brakes put together yesterday despite creeping around the shop like Quasimodo's uglier and more invalid brother. At least all four corners now have new rotors, pads and new/refurb calipers.

Today I was well enough to pull the radiator out of the box and test fit it. Once I figured out how to get it in - as it has an integrated oil cooler, you have to hook one of the oil cooler connections under an a/c line just so - I tried to assemble the rest of the parts to get it ready to be put into the car for good. That would've been a lot easier if my memory of owning an AN-10 wrench actually had some truth to it. Yes, I could tighten the AN fittings using a regular 1" wrench which I do have, but I'd rather use the correct tool. Let's hope that Amazon's promise of delivering one tomorrow actually matches the reality.

Got to try and fix the fuel leak on my garden tractor tomorrow before I go back to working on the car. Let's hope I can bend down far enough to get at the leaking line.

colinshark
colinshark New Reader
5/30/21 10:15 p.m.
The freezing cold winters and boiling summers on Illinois tend to annihilate batteries quick, like less than 3 years quick. Odds are I'm going with another Panasonic when the original dies.

My 2017 Panasonic battery went out and I got a replacement under warranty this year, but it wasn't a Panasonic replacement. Looked USA made, with a Subaru sticker on it. I wonder if you can still get the Panasonic ones.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/2/21 7:34 a.m.

Radiator, I haz it.

Progress is still more glacial than usual due to to my back issues. In fact, the radiator progress stopped here because the oil filter seems to have been given all the ugga duggas and trying to get it off its mount is literally painful at the moment.

Oh well, fortunately there is some choice of things to do that's left...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/6/21 6:46 p.m.

Something weird happened, I appear to have reached the stage of putting more parts on the car that I'm taking off. No idea how that happend.

The radiator fans and hoses are in. The oil cooler hoses are routed such that they (mostly) don't touch anything. One of them touches some wiring, which I'm not super stoked by, but at least it looks like nothing is touching metal that might damage the hoses in short order.

Yes, I've sprung for black hose clamps. Fancy, me.

Looking all shiny and chrome, err, aluminium:

I'm 99% done, until I noticed that I didn't have a thin wall 27mm socket. Amazon promised to deliver one today. I'm sure that based on the wording, you can guess how that went. As soon as I get said 27mm socket, I can snug down the hollow bolt that holds the adapter plates onto the oil filter pedestal and put an oil filter on.

Because I was mainly done up top, I put the header on - with fresh Grimmspeed gaskets. You can just about see the header lurk here:

While waiting for the 27mm non-delivery, I pulled out the Perrin exhaust and removed the OEM exhaust from the car. The less I say about the removal the better, let's just say I nearly dropped it on my head because I had to remove the two rear sections in one piece. Only way to separate those two sections involves an angle grinder and I'm not going there.

Old and newer side by side:

What I appreciate about the Perrin exhaust is the build quality - the exhaust uses V-band clamps for all connections other than the one to the mid-pipe, plus it's got these neat rings to hold the exhaust hangers on:

Anyway, got the exhaust on - well, the two rear sections as I haven't started reassembling the OEM bits from the header back - and I must say it looks better than the OEM one. Let's hope it's not ear bleeding loud. Hopefully I'll find out soon.

Oh, and the tool of the day award goes to this contraption:

If you need to remove exhaust hangers, get one. It's insane how quickly and easily you can pop them off the mounts with this kind of tool.

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
6/7/21 3:48 p.m.

I just finished reading for the first time and I'm not over that rusty brake caliper.  Bleah!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/8/21 7:51 a.m.

In reply to Harvey :

Yeah, those calipers were something else. Seems to be not uncommon, either.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/9/21 8:21 p.m.

Now that I've got the right size socket, I managed to snug down the oil filter adapters, so the actual installation of the JR radiator is finally finished. Celebrated that by hanging - but not snugging down - the rest of the exhaust. Tomorrow I'll hopefully get some time to dump out the engine oil and put some fresh synthetic juice in.

Got to address some minor other things I found and possiblz get some additional replacement fasteners, but overall it looks like the car is slowly coming back together.

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