The Subaru WRX STi rarely needs an introduction. Every kid growing up and getting into cars at one point or another dreamt about owning one or had one in their Gaming Garage. Over the years, we’ve been involved with a few STi builds, but when one of our team members decided to get his hands on one, we jumped at the opportunity. Our team was able to acquire this immaculate 2012 STi A-Line from japan.
Outside of Japan, not much is known about the A-line series which for some may be challenging. To summarize, Subaru introduced the A-Line aimed at a more mature audience. The rev happy EJ207 was removed in favor or the torquier EJ257, the 6 Speed Manual was swapped for the 5EAT 5 Speed Automatic transmission, Further Leather and Creature comforts were introduced to the interior, and sadly the loss of the Brembo Brakes. While most will shy away from the Auto, we’re always up for a challenge, as it presents an opportunity to tread a path less followed.
With a baseline plan of attack, and 2-3 Months of Wait (The Average time for cars to arrive from Japan) we sat down with Island Performance Services (IPS) to begin the process of acquiring parts for Phase 1 of the Build. For Phase 1 we planned to scratch the surface of this car and see how it responds to simple yet effective mods. On the table we have:
- Cooling upgrades
- Breathing Upgrades (In and Out of the engine)
- Suspension Upgrades
- Braking Upgrades
- Custom ECU Features and Tuning
A common weak point in imported used cars from japan is radiator Failure. IPS supplied us with a Mishimoto X-Line 3 Row premium radiator which will be more than capable of handling our cooling tasks. This upgrade left a new opportunity, being that the radiator does not contain the built in transmission cooler offering us a chance to design something bespoke to our setup.
Once the Car had cleared customs, it was first order of business. Our partners at H&J Auto quickly began going through their multipoint inspection and tear down. Once the oil pan was out we got our first surprise, an oil pickup beginning to show signs of cracking.
Thankfully, we had already planned on installing the KillerB motorsports oil pickup and oil sump baffle.
After H&J Auto finished up their work and gave the car a clean bill of health, it was back over to IPS for a baseline log and tune which we will cover in our next installment of Project Pablo