If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

My Car Life in Japan, Also Known as the Law of Unintended consequences, PT 2

Here is part 1.

As we left off on the story of my first ever car build, I had finished all of the chassis, handling modifications. It was originally only supposed to be a Chassis/handling upgrade. However, due to personal issues in my life, I decided to do a mild turbo, tuning, and induction upgrade to my 2003 (MY 2004 in US) WRX wagon. It was therapeutic to pull apart my car. First things first, the WRX is a difficult car to tune. It's an interference engine, meaning if you mess up the timing belt, (it's also a 100,000KM maintenance item) say goodbye to your valvetrain, also the boxer engine's timing belt is like 50 feet long (I know, it's an exaggeration) First things first, I had to research what parts to acquire. Second was to determine the type and quantity of outside help I needed.


That being said, I had a bunch of good resources to use. Nasioc and Scoobymods, two excellent technical forums where extremely helpful in helping me identify the goods and venders who were helpful (able to ship, and supportive to military members). NASIOC member Unabomber put me in touch with AndrewTech automotive, giving me wonderful service (and discounts), on a pretty comprehensive set of items. Based on what I was reading, a TurboXS intercooler, Blouch 16G XT-R turbo, and Deutchwerks 650CC injectors where what the doctor ordered. I also ordered the Walbro 255 fuel pump and Tomei UEL headers through rallysport direct. Here is all the parts when they arrived.

Also, I got my first experience wrapping headers.... I did not enjoy it, and I will probably just pay for ceramic coating..... BTW: If it's fiberglass based, use gloves.


I had decided that tuning was beyond my expertise. So I had asked around to other service members who utilized our Auto Hobby shop, which is basically a garage furnished to service members so they can learn automotive skills, cheaply repair their POVs, and, oh, build hot rods. I came about SEED racing, which was an automotive shop whose head mechanic's day job was chief engine tuner for the Super GT Mugen CR-Z. The original idea was I do the mechanical work, and they would do the cleanup, maintenance (I decided that I cannot do the timing belt, and injectors). It did not turn out that way....

Through my research, one of the things that had diverged between the JDM WRX and its USDM cousin, was that the downpipes are of different lengths and shapes, due to the difference in the location in the steering rack. The JDM option has a much longer downpipe. Also, what came back to haunt me was the lack of domestic support for the WRX, versus the STI. In Japan it's kind of seen as a redheaded stepchild between the popular base impreza and fire breathing STI. Meaning, it's aftermarket support was slim.


So based on all the reading I could do in the English speaking press, the STI and the WRX downpipes are identical for my MY. However, in reality the GDB-C (the chassis designator, with specific refresh, for Japan) is different. It had a twinscroll turbo. More on that in a bit.

So I go to the hobby shop and start working on the car....Finally get the turbo out. Here is the new TD05 16 XT-R next to the old TD04.


After a few unfortunate incidents......(I broke the oil sump hardline....and job that required pulling the intake manifold). I decided to let SEED handle most of the mechanical work as well. Here is them tearing everything out and fixing my mistakes:


I'm going to have to write part three, because I've used too many images on this post....Immediately to follow.


Here is Pt 3

Share This Story