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Thread: Somac's '04 Outback Wagon - How to Ruin a Daily Driver

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Somac's '04 Outback Wagon - How to Ruin a Daily Driver

    Just picked up a 2004 Subaru Outback wagon this week. It's a Limited trim, EJ251, 5MT, Granite Black Pearl (54A) exterior, and black leather interior. 134,000 miles to start with and fairly clean rust-wise. Only thing aftermarket is an unknown short shifter with blown-out-as-can-be shifter bushings and some base model Legacy headlights.



    This is my first Subaru and I picked it mainly because it's slow and NA and makes for a good road trip car - perfect for DD duty... except I can't leave anything alone so I'm probably going to ruin that by modifying it beyond what I planned. I like cars that can handle so most of what I'll be doing to the car are suspension, chassis, and braking mods, with some minor aesthetic stuff.


    My realistic current plans:
    Updated 06/13/17

    Exterior:
    • USDM Outback headlights - Done
    • JDM GT-B tail lights - Done
    • JDM GT-B Type-D headlights - Done
    • JDM GT-B Type-D hood - Done
    • JDM GT-B Type-D front bumper - Done
    • JDM GT-B Type-D front lip - Done
    • JDM GT-B Type-D fenders - Waiting on install
    • JDM GT-B spoiler - Waiting on install
    • JDM Power folding mirrors
    • Paint job - Obsidian Black Pearl



    Interior:
    • JDM Type-D black face meter - Done
    • JDM STI door sills - Done
    • JDM Momo shift knob - Done
    • JDM Momo steering wheel - Done
    • JDM Type-D headlight leveling switch - Waiting on install
    • JDM Power folding mirror switch - Waiting on install
    • Black trim replacing wood trim - Done
    • STI aluminum shifter bezel - Ordered
    • STI shift boot - Ordered
    • WRX aluminum pedals - Waiting on install



    Suspension/chassis:
    • JDM Legacy GT-B Bilstein struts - Done
    • JDM STI pink springs - Done
    • H&R Sport springs - Waiting on install
    • Cusco front strut bar - Done
    • Cusco rear strut bar
    • JDM Legacy GT-B aluminum control arms - Waiting on install
    • Whiteline BSF15 22mm adjustable front sway bar - Done
    • Whiteline BSR12XZ 20mm adjustable rear sway bar - Done
    • Whiteline KLC32 heavy duty sway bar links - Done
    • Whiteline KTA124 rear control arms - Done
    • Whiteline KCA335 Com-C top hats - Done
    • Whiteline KCA313 roll center/bump steer correction kit - Waiting on install
    • Megan MRS-SU-0511 camber arms - Done



    Brakes/wheels:
    • JDM front 4 pot brakes - Waiting on install
    • JDM rear 2 pot brakes - Waiting on install
    • StopTech 950.47005 Front Stainless Brake Lines
    • StopTech 950.47505 Rear Stainless Brake Lines
    • STI stainless brake lines - Waiting on install
    • Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 17x8 +40 - Done
    • Dunlop Sport Maxx 235/45R17 tires - Done
    • Muteki SR48 lug nuts - Done



    Engine/drivetrain:
    • eBay header - Done
    • Tsudo midpipe - Done
    • Bosal Brospeed muffler - Done
    • Custom 2.25" midpipe - Done
    • Kartboy short throw shifter and bushings - Done
    • Turn In Concepts updated shifter linkage - Done
    • 2006 STI ELH oil pan - Waiting on install
    • Killer B Ultimate Oil Pickup EJ25 - Waiting on install
    • Killer B Oil Baffle Windage Tray - Waiting on install



    Before I even bought the car, I already bought the header, JDM tail lights, and Type-D black face meter. Drove the car home, immediately ordered the full Turn-in Concepts shifter kit because the shifter bushings were so blown out. Just bought some regular maintenance stuff for it, too. Waiting to hear back from my friendly neighborhood importer to buy JDM Bilsteins, a GT-B spoiler, Type-D headlights, 4pot/2pot bundle, Cusco strut bars, and a couple other things, but they should all be coming soon.

    I'll be around as much as I can trying to dig through every thread I can. Feel free to drop me some advice or correct me if anything I say is idiotic as I'm sure it's bound to happen.
    Last edited by Somac; 06-13-2017 at 07:10 AM.

  2. #2
    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    So, first order of business while it was a nice day today is to do basic maintenance (oil change, wipers, other fluids) and get these clear tails and header on.



    Unfortunately, Michigan had other plans and as I was getting ready to go outside, it started snowing. So for now, I just get to see the black two-tone cars in my driveway.



    Seeing this really makes me hate these headlights and try to get these Type-D headlights already.

  3. #3
    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Decided to work through the St. Paddy's day aftermath by working on the wagon today. Ended up making some good progress.



    Now installed:
    Tsudo header
    Tsudo downpipe
    Whiteline adjustable sway bars
    Whiteline end links
    JDM outer tail lights

    Only did the outer tail lights because I didn't have a deepwell 8mm socket to do the center garnish. Also saw that my JDM center garnish has a couple pieces of the red broken off of it at the top, so I'm debating buying a new one or trying to find a way to fix this one.

    Also found out the muffler on there is a Bosal Brospeed muffler. Doesn't sound bad but it's definitely still too quiet even with the header and downpipe. Probably just going to make a custom catback in 2.25" with some Vibrant resonators and a more aggressive muffler.

    Type-D black face meter should be here soon, as should the shifter bushing kit. Debating on whether I should do a re-pin of my harness or make an adapter harness to make the BFM work.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Those one-bowl headlights look really strange on an Outback, but otherwise.. the car is looking really good!

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    SLi O.G. 98legwag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    Those one-bowl headlights look really strange on an Outback
    That they do. But I like it.
    My cars:
    2009 Legacy 3.0R Limited
    1998 Legacy L wagon
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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    I hate chrome and they really bug me, along with the grille. The black bezel split headlights look 10x better to me.

    The previous-to-the-previous owner did some hack work on the headlights regardless. To make the single bulb headlights work, he had to cut the stock headlight connectors and wired in a single bulb connector, but now the lights are messed up and the driver side high beam is on all the time, meaning I can't use the fog lights and I'm blinding people. So it's a bit of a priority to get these Type-D lights and rewire the headlights.

    Ended up buying a Dakota SGI-5E to get the ball rolling on the BFM conversion. I'm planning on switching back and forth between shorter STI-sized tires and Outback tires, so it'll be nice to be able to do the kilometer-to-mile conversion and tire size conversion at the same time any time I want.
    Last edited by Somac; 03-19-2017 at 05:08 PM.

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Always a good day when parts arrive! Albeit I'm a bit late on posting this.



    Gonna be throwing the shifter bushings in this weekend and play with the Dakota piece in the meantime. Excited as can be to get this BFM in! Out of all of the mods I'm planning on doing, it's probably the one that has me most excited for some reason.



    Also finished installing the JDM center garnish. The damage isn't as noticeable as I was expecting, which is nice. Still gonna see if I can get it repaired. Probably just going to end up polishing all the lights and calling it a day.

  8. #8
    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Got a little more done on the car yesterday. Pulled the shifter apart, installed a new Kartboy short shifter, Kartboy front and rear shifter bushings, and the Turn In Concepts updated shifter kit and pivot bushings.



    I didn't like how rusty the shifter 'arms' were, even though it was just surface rust, so I sanded them down and sprayed them with some gloss black rust inhibitor. Anything that comes off the car should go back on in better condition than before.

    Also received some goodies I've been excited for!



    I love Whiteline's products and how high quality they look/feel. I'm a sucker for good packaging. Got the control arms, bump steer kit, and Com-C tophats for the Bilsteins when they arrive. Probably going to try to install the arms and bump steer kit next weekend.

    Got my connectors from Mouser in as well. I'm going to try to see if I can cut someone's cluster harness from a parted out BE/BH so I can use OEM color wires to make the adapter harness more bearable, rather than just using the same color wire for everything.

    Edit: Just met up with someone tonight that had a stripped down BH Outback for parts that let me chop some wiring off of it! Now I have all the wiring I need to start building the adapter harness for the BFM. Gonna be working on it at work tomorrow and hopefully I'll have it ready by the end of the day.
    Last edited by Somac; 03-26-2017 at 09:12 PM.

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Ended up having a slow day at work today so I made the adapter harness for the BFM. Used the wiring from the chopped donor car so all of my wiring would still be correct color coded... until I looked closer and saw that the JDM wiring changes colors from USDM, too. Still wired it according to USDM colors.



    Finished up around 1 AM. Got too antsy about trying out the cluster, so...



    And voila!



    Looks like 3/4 rings are burnt out. Haven't checked to make sure that all the idiot lights work, but so far everything is working fine. The harness worked out perfectly. Just gotta figure out how I'm going to route the cables now since the cluster can't actually be installed with the harness sitting behind it.

    Thanks to @rkrenicki for the extremely detailed BFM thread! Couldn't have done it without it.

    Edit: Clearanced the plastic behind the cluster a bit and managed to get it to install. Running and driving around with this is nice! Kind of wish I would have left the purple dimmer wire disconnected because it is pretty dim at night, but I also like knowing I at least have partial dimmer functionality.
    Last edited by Somac; 03-28-2017 at 06:06 AM.

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    ROTM Master peugoby's Avatar
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    I love how quickly you're moving on this project! Lots of nice pieces being put on. I am also a big fan of Whiteline's products.
    '95 Subaru Legacy L AWD Wagon - Original Owner lBBS l CUSCO l WHITELINE l SPT
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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peugoby View Post
    I love how quickly you're moving on this project! Lots of nice pieces being put on. I am also a big fan of Whiteline's products.
    Thank you! I'm not moving as quick as I was planning, unfortunately. Your wagon is a great example of a clean, functional, lowered look that I'm going for.

    Probably going to be taking the car in for paint this week. Keeping the Outback bumpers and cladding and color matching it all to Obsidian Black Pearl. I really don't care for this Black Granite Pearl because it looks like a brown in the sunlight and I'm planning on having blue accents on the car with the Cusco and other pieces and want to have a pearl to match.

    Found some Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2s I'm hopefully going to pick up, too. 17x8 +40. Going to paint/powder coat them gold. Should clear Brembos...

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    SLi O.G. Muse's Avatar
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    Wow, blue halos on the bfm? I don't think I have ever seen that.
    Ivan - 1995 Legacy L wagon. Silver. 5mt.
    1997 Legacy Brighton wagon. White. (Parts car, scrapped.)
    Grace - 1995 Legacy L wagon. WGM. (Sold for scrap. RIP.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancaster6
    A sherpa could rip ass somewhere high up in the Himalayas and my Prius will be blown almost off of the road.

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    Wow, blue halos on the bfm? I don't think I have ever seen that.
    Surprised me as well! Pulled all the bulbs and they're undoubtedly just some aftermarket LED replacement bulbs. Convenient though since I already planned on going with blue halos and the vehicle outline.

    A bit of a trip as well... I pulled ALL of the bulb sockets, and noticed that there were about 10 of them that were just empty sockets. The rest of the halos, some of the indicator lights, etc. Just filled with empty twist lock sockets and no bulbs. Very strange, but explains why the halos and why a few other lights didn't work. I just have to wonder why someone would remove the bulbs and put the sockets back. Oh well, ordered new LEDs and sockets that should be here Friday.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    Wow, blue halos on the bfm? I don't think I have ever seen that.
    @amgarrety put blue LEDs in his BFM. They are pretty slick.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somac View Post
    I just have to wonder why someone would remove the bulbs and put the sockets back. Oh well, ordered new LEDs and sockets that should be here Friday.
    At least they put them back. The sockets from the BFM are not very easy to come by, so if they were missing... you would have a tough time replacing them.

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    @amgarrety put blue LEDs in his BFM. They are pretty slick.
    Can confirm, are slick.

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    I love the blue in the halos. I was planning on doing it already, then started this cluster up for the first time and was surprised with the blue. Instantly reaffirmed my desire to do it. The contrasting blue halo, red needles, and white gauges are fantastic, imo.

    Finally succumbed to my own internal pressure and ordered Type-D headlights. That'll be another fun wiring project. Going to pick up some wheels this weekend, too. Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 17x8 +40 wheels. Undecided on what color I want to go with them. I tried a quick edit of them in gold with the Outback still two-tone and it just didn't look right, imo. They look great in gold with a single color body, but just doesn't fit with the tan bottom half.
    Last edited by Somac; 03-29-2017 at 10:23 PM.

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    It took a couple weeks, but I finally got the picture I've been waiting for.



    Went on my lunch break at work today and drove to a pizza place. Car starts acting funny on the way there - bogging down a little bit, noticeable hesitation when accelerating, and windshield wipers moving very slowly. Hear a nice exhaust pop and pull into the parking lot. Turn the car off, go in the pizza place, hoping time to cool off will change the situation. Come back out and it won't start. No fuel pump, no cranking.

    Get a ride back to work, then come back after work. Check the battery voltage with my volt meter and it dropped to 6V. Jump the car and it dies as soon as the jumper cables are taken off. Battery is only a year or so old Interstate battery so I assume it's the alternator. Replace the alternator in the parking lot, start it up, and the alt/PS belt starts smoking and squeaking. Got so hot I couldn't touch it. Gave up for the night since it was dark and raining and had it towed to my work so I can work on it tomorrow.

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Fixed the issue with the alternator. Ended up swapping out the new alternator I just bought with yet another new one and the issue went away. Unfortunately my power steering pump immediately started squealing, so I picked up a pump as well. Waiting until Monday when the dealership opens to buy OEM double crush washers for the power steering lines.

    On a good note, I got my new (to me) wheels today!



    Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2. 17x8 +40ET, 5x100. Originally gunmetal grey, the PO primed and painted two of them white and didn't finish the other two.

    The tires I have are unfortunately too mismatched (8/32 on two of them and 5/32 on the other two) so I'm gonna try to source some 15+ WRX Dunlop Sport Maxx 235/45R17 takeoffs for cheap. Still deciding on what color I want to go with.

    My quick dirty edit of all black with the gold TDs:


    Not really a huge fan for some reason and I thought I was going to really like it.

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    "FNG" Jacobpockros's Avatar
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    Clean build. Check mine out sometime.
    2001 Subaru Legacy Limited Sedan 5spd
    Tein S-Tech Springs/ KYB Struts/ Paranoid Fabrications 1" Rear Tophat Spacers/ Whiteline Front & Rear Sway Bars/ eBay Front Strut Bar/ Magnaflow 14832 Catback/ DNA Motoring UEL Headers/ Ganzflow and K&N Drop-in/ Drag DR-31 Wheels/ Outback LL Bean Steering Wheel/ Momo Wood Shift Knob/ Yakima Roof Rack/ eBay 3000K Yellow Fog Bulbs/ 150,000 Miles

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobpockros View Post
    Clean build. Check mine out sometime.
    Thanks! I was just looking at yours and used some of your posts to help guide me in the right direction for suspension setups. Yours looks pretty nice, too! Makes me wish I could have found an actual Legacy instead of an Outback.

    On that note, I found a Legacy interior collection for cheap today. Got black Legacy door switches/radio bezel/cruise panel pieces to get rid of the wood grain. Probably going to pull the steering column and trailing arm brackets from that car to aid in the "proper" lowering. Still need to find a manual shifter trim in black.

    Considering making poor choices and ordering a JDM type-D front clip instead of just using the headlights. I keep seeing more and more full JDM front end cars and it makes me extremely jealous, but I still love the Outback front end.

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    SLi O.G. Muse's Avatar
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    The Lancaster front end was similar to the Outback, so you wouldn't have to lose that look and still have a D-type front end.
    Ivan - 1995 Legacy L wagon. Silver. 5mt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancaster6
    A sherpa could rip ass somewhere high up in the Himalayas and my Prius will be blown almost off of the road.

  23. #23
    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Coming across a Lancaster front end is nigh on impossible as a silly American, unfortunately. And I love the Outback front end but I love the sportiness of the type-D front even more.

    Regardless, I'm gonna install the type-D headlights and go from there. If it still doesn't fit in my mind quite right after that, I'll probably end up ordering a front clip, rear bumper, and spoiler.

    Mildly annoyed about the status of my headlights. Ordered them over a week ago and the tracking info still shows "Label created." Apparently their daily FedEx guy hasn't been picking up packages so they've just been letting packages sit in a corner for a week and haven't tried to ship them out. So now they'll be shipped out today.


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    SLi O.G. 98legwag's Avatar
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    Where did you get the lights from?
    My cars:
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    1998 Legacy L wagon
    2000 Outback- Sold

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98legwag View Post
    Where did you get the lights from?
    Purchased from Dallas JDM Motors on eBay. They have plenty of sets of 4th gen JDM lights on there as well.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw...egacy&_sacat=0

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    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Don't know why I did it, but I ordered JDM 4-pot front brakes and a JDM Legacy Momo steering wheel. I normally make fun of my Subaru friends that are obsessed with JDM OEM everything and how much money they spend just to make their car stock, but most of this stuff I can at least justify as actually being better, rather than just being able to say it's JDM.

    I also replaced my power steering pump with a used unit I cleaned up and painted. Having a sandblaster at work is going to be the death of me. Every time I pull a part off, I see surface rust and end up sandblasting it and painting it, then finding something else and doing it and something else and doing it... so I blasted my power steering pump, PS pump/alternator bracket, PS pump/alternator belt shroud, radiator brackets, PS reservoir bracket, and battery hold down and painted them all either VHT Cast Aluminum engine enamel or gloss black engine enamel.



    For anyone curious, the VHT Cast Aluminum engine enamel is an *EXACT* match for our stock accessories. I taped off part of the power steering pump where the rubber hose attaches, then blasted, primed, painted, and cleared the rest of it. I couldn't even tell the difference between the area I taped off and the area I painted. I was blown away at how close they were.

    Finally got a decent shot of the pearl in the Black Granite Pearl paint. I still don't like it just because it ends up looking brown, but I don't hate it in this picture.



    And as a side note: For any of you looking for pin crimpers for wiring projects like making a BFM harness, I cannot recommend these IWISS pin crimpers enough. I did my first whole harness "by hand" with needle nose pliers crimping every pin and I hated every second of it. Of course, after I was finished with it, I looked up some pin crimpers and found these IWISS ones. They do the job flawlessly. I cannot say a single bad thing about them. They work, they work well, they feel good, they're easy to use, and they're cheap as can be at only $25 and useful for several different sizes.



    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  27. #27
    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Made some updates to the parts list. Added in part numbers for the Whiteline stuff in case anyone else is looking to buy them and doesn't want to mistakenly order the wrong ones since years can sometimes be misleading.

    As it turns out, I'm pretty much a big dummy and shouldn't be trusted with money. Just ordered a JDM type-D front clip, JDM rear 2-pot brakes to match the front, and an OEM Momo shift knob. Again with the whole "made fun of my 'JDM everything' friends and now I'm doing it" thing. Gonna try to sell the type-D headlights I just bought locally and scrap a couple spare junker cars I have to make myself feel better about how much money I just wasted to have a car that still only makes 120whp on a good day.

    I am giddy with excitement though, so there's that. I'm just praying that I don't install the front clip and get in an accident the next day. The front clip I got has the optional front lip, so even among those in the US with the type-D front end, I'll still be even more uncommon. The front lip really transforms the front end, imo.

    STILL can't manage to get this other importer to get me Bilsteins he has. The ONLY reason I'm trying to get them from this guy is because they have STI pink springs on them and they're the exact springs I want. To order them separately would cost more than I'm paying for the complete units and then I'd still have to deal with finding them, which I'm having a hell of a hard time trying to do.

  28. #28
    SLi O.G. 98legwag's Avatar
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    Did you get a type-d Outback or Legacy front end?
    My cars:
    2009 Legacy 3.0R Limited
    1998 Legacy L wagon
    2000 Outback- Sold

  29. #29
    SLi nOOb Somac's Avatar
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    Ended up with a Legacy front end. Comparing the costs, getting an AUDM front bumper alone was pretty unreasonable so I just went with the whole Legacy front end. Going to try to do some body work on the Legacy bumper to get it to flow with the Outback fenders since I want to keep the width of them.

    This is basically the front end I got, all assembled, but with a turbo hood and black. Same option front lip and option grill. Might try to get a different grill.



    On a different note, mounted my tires on my Team Dynamics wheels yesterday. Pretty excited to feel the difference in handling once the new wheels and suspension are on. I have until June to get everything situated before my track day with it. Bilsteins, new links, new ball joints and tie rods, bigger brakes, and wider wheels and tires should really transform the feel of the car.


  30. #30
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    One thing to note, you will need Legacy front fenders to get the D-type bumper to line up. I know you ordered a cut, which probably has fenders on it, but the JDM fenders will not fit properly on a North American car. :/

    EDIT: Nevermind, I see that you mentioned that. I think it would need a good amount of metal massaging to get it all to line up nicely with Outback fenders..

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