Saturday, May 17, 2008

On the Road

Well, Green is finally on the road, all fixed up (mostly) and legal (mostly). I'll have to say that the car is more fun to drive than I thought. Pretty peppy for a non-turbo 4-cylinder car, and of course the AWD system gles it to the road. There's a few curvy roads I look forward to trying out. I did notice a little more road noise and "feel" compared to y LSi wagon, but the cars are from two different levels, so that's to be expected. I will miss my leather seats, but the ones in Green will be fine, I think. I for sure need cruise control, so hopefully within month I can pull what I need off the donor car and get cruise working on Green. That's the joy of buying an older car: you're never finished little projects on it. But, as a whole, I suppose this is the completion of Project Green Machine...

Mini Tune-Up

Today I changed the oil in Green, replaced the air filter, and replaced the spark plugs. The plugs were Champion, so I know hey weren't the original set, but they did show some wear/age. I put NGK back in. I never had such a struggle with simple things as I did getting the plug wires out the heads on this thing. Anyway here's a few pics of the old plugs and of this handy spark plug starter tool I've had since my mom gave it to me way back during my freshman year at college.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Green Light for Green...

Well, I got word last night that all the paperwork went through at Frankfort OK and that Green is ready to legally hit the pavement. I'm going to add it to my insurance policy tomorrow and start driving it on Saturday. I've got a few little things left to do, like finish the install of the roof rack fog lights, and then re-install the center console with the new fog light power switch. The mount tabs for the grille were mostly busted in the crash (both of them), so I'll have to secure the grille to the radiator support a little better too. Oh, and the wheel swap. I'm taking the alloy wheels off my 95 LSi wagon and putting those onto Green. I had hoped to buy some wheels for Green, but these will have to do until I find a decent deal on some. My Legacy rims will look much better than plastic wheel covers, though.

See you on the road!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Almost There...

Well,Green is together...for the most part. There are still some little things to do, but hopefully the poilce inspection will happen this week and all the paperwork can be processed in Frankfort. If all goes well, I will be putting a license plate on Green this Saturday and driving down the highway. I did drive it around the road a little today, which was neat. I like the fit/feel of the car. It was a cold, windy, rainy day today, so this isn't the best photo. Hopefuly, I'll have better shots next week.

Almost there...

The weekend was a progressive one as far as getting Green to actually look like a car again. It felt great to see that it wouldn't be long until this project would soon be finished and on the road. The body work that my frame guy did was great! Most people would never be able to tell that this is a rebuilt vehicle by popping the hood.

Not Exactly a Match...

Well, the donor car was the exact same color/shade of green, but the two-tone turned out to be a different shade. This pic will show the difference. This would include the front bumper and the leftt fender. I have no plans as of now to re-paint. I will, however, pull off the pinstriping and replace with some that better matches what is on the rest of Green.


One of the other accessories found in the 2000 OBS donor car was this nifty cargo cover. Also in the back was the rubber Impreza cargo mat. They look nice in their new home.

Light it up

The donor Impreza had a few more options than Green. One of the things I wanted was these nifty driving lights that were factory. I snagged the dash button, which already had the wiring clip in Green, so that was pretty simple. The actual wiring harness for the lights themselves had to be removed from the donor car and plugged into a clip that was at the left headlight plug. Rote the wires behind the bumper cover, mount the lights, and I'm good to go...

Timing is everything.

Well, Green was all straightened out, but after pulling back the radiator/fan assembly, it was discovered that the timing cover had been cracked/busted in a few places. So-off came the old cover, and I decided it was best to go ahead and replace the timing belt now, at 71k, than to wait 30k and have to get access to the thing all over again. It was already opened, so why not change it...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Waiting Game...

Last week, Green was hauled over to the frame shop and is currently awaiting the next big step in the rebuild process. Hopefully, it will be pulled and back home within another week, depending on how busy the frame guy is. After that, the car is pretty close to getting on the road. I still have to swap steering wheels, hook up the fog lights, and finish up some little interior things, but hopefully it can get the sherriff's inspection quickly and get my paperwork to Frankfort for the rebuilt title. Then...I can finally hit the road and take a spin in Green.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well, I picked up a slightly used amp for next to nothing, so I thought it'd be fun to put a subwoofer in Green. I bought a 12" from Wally-World for just under $40, and so I have $50 invested in the getup. Not the most high quality, name brand equipment, but I think it will work just fine for what I want. I wanted the ability to remotely turn the thing off and on from the diver's seat with a quick flip of a switch, so I installed a switch on the dash. This way, I can easily de-sub the sound if so desired. Duing the initial install, all was well. I made sure everything worked, then installed most of the interior in the car. A little while later--burzzzaap! It blew a fuse...and another. Grrrrr. I had to wait until this Saturday to take a look at things. Turns out a part of the power line was smashed under a mounting clip for the side trim at the headliner. Fixed easily enough.

Time to move on. I came up with a sub box to fit in the driver's side of the hatch. I kept it close to the specs listed on the box, but just a smidge smaller in depth. I wanted it at the side and so the retractable cargo cover would conceal it.

The pressed word I used for the box came from a discarded desk, so the cost for this part of the project was nada. The cost for the upholstry was $6 from Wal-Mart. 3 yards. My dad already had some leftover upholstry adhesive, so I snagged that for free as well. The desk wood probably worked better than new pressed wood because the snazzy wood grain finish was a better surface for the spray adhesive.

I tried to run the wires for the amp as clean as possible. I think I achieved that. With the sub box removed, you can easily tuck the power cords and the RCA cables away cleanly or completely. The ground wire is the only one that doesn't hide away as easily, but no biggie. For the cheap investment placed into this thing, I think it sounds pretty good. It goes boom and rattles the trim. Not the deepest or the loudest or the cleanest bass on the block, but it sounds good enough for me. A guy in his 30s probably doesn't need a car with super bass anyway...

We Be Jammin'

OK--When I installed the mounting arm for my PDA on the pillar trim, I ran the wires through the bottom of the trim and under the dash. My new CD player has an input jax for AUX devices. Thing is, I didn't want some cord draping across the front of the dash. So, I drilled a hole in the back f the little storage tray that is mounted just below the CD player and ran the audio cord from the PDA through it, providing a nice, clean, minimal look.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Green Light

I wanted to do a little something to the hatch area in the way of lighting. Origionally, I wanted to put these little green lights at the top, but didn't really see a good place to locate them. So, I went for these side panels at the rear. The effect is nice but subtle. I wired these directly into the factory wiring for the dome light.

How Tweet it is...

My current ride, '95 LSi wagon, had the factory Sube premium sound, part of which is a pair of tweeters. The factory system in this Impreza seems pretty anemic. I knew the factory tape deck had to get yanked. I knew I wanted a sub in the back and an amp. I knew at least the front door speakers would need an upgrade. And, I knew I wanted to install some tweeters. I picked these up for $9 at a little audio shop and they sound good. Here's how I installed them on the dash.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One Project = More Projects...

With deployed airbags, you obviously have to do some tearing apart of your dash. This past weekend I successfully took out the old passenger side airbag and put in the "new" one from the donr car. (Sensors had been replaced the previous week.) I also replaced the airbag control unit. (Yellow cables anywhere mean airbag wiring.) Haven't attempted the steering wheel swap yet.

Well, since I had the dash apart...and since I had the headliner down and all the side trim loose or off (to work on the roof)...I thought I might as well do some sound upgrades. I thought about a factory Sube CD player, but I'd need a tape/CD combo in order to use the PDA sometimes. Plus, a used unit has little or no warranty, so I ended up finding an affordable stereo at Target that like the "feel" of. I picked up a wiring harness adapter a couple days later, and that made the install better. I also ran wires for the PDA unit, in addition to a power wire from battery to dash switch for an amp to be in the back with a 12" subwoofer. And, a power cord from battery to dash switch for a sleek pair of fog/driving lights I plan to mount on the front crossbar of my bike roof rack. You have the dash ripped apart, might as well get multiple things accomplised at once so you don't have to tear it apart again later.

Or so I thought...Grrrrrr. I had my sub and amp hooked up and playing music for a couple hours. Wanted to make sure it all worked before I put the interior back together. So, obviously, a little later--after headliner, trim, and dash were mostly back in order, the amp power lead starts blowing fuses. I have no idea what would make it start doing that suddenly. Maybe when I snapped all the side trim back in place I pinched the power wire that runs to the back of the car. I dunno, but it was pretty stinking frustrating. So, I may have to tear some of the interior apart again...