No announcement yet.

Paul Magyar's 1995 Subaru Impreza L - Street Mod/Track build

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Project update for June 23rd, 2020: It has been six years since I updated this build thread, but today I did! I no longer cross-post to the other forums that are linked in the first post of the thread (they are all effectively dead - but Vorshlag forums is still here, going on 2 decades!) Paul's 1995 Impreza has actually been raced a few times in 2016-17, but after a re-focusing of goals and then sitting for about 3 years on jack stands, it is under the knife once again.

    Paul has 28 hobbies and this car fell by the wayside. But after years of relentless nagging, soul crushing meme abuse, and some inner itch that he had to scratch, Paul has restarted work on this 1995 Impreza / STi swapped build.

    Another friend (Jason, his co-driver) and I have gone over for a couple of work days recently to help keep the momentum going, working in his very hot garage during the Summer of 2020. Let's cover the gap of the last 6 years then get caught up to current.


    From January to April 2014 the Subaru was at Vorshlag where we mounted a lot of items, built the exhaust, plumbed and mounted an oil cooler, mounted and plumbed a filter and Accusump, and some other bits and pieces. All told it was about $2K in work and parts for what we did, which was pretty cheap considering.

    This Subaru then went straight to COBB Tuning Plano, about a block from our 2014-2018 shop in Plano. They completed the 2007 to 1995 chassis/engine swap wiring, fuel system plumbing, coolant system plumbing, and more. They got it started, aligned, and dyno tuned with a COBB V3 Accessport. It was there for about 8 months and Paul spent "more than he did at Vorshlag" getting the work done. There was 40 hours of wiring alone, and some hard parts. I don't have many pictures from that period. It left COBB in December 2014.

    The work they did was pretty good, and considering what a Frankenstein build it was, the price was more than fair (I'm not sharing that). The dyno above is with a 93 octane tune, 23 psi max boost pressure on an HTA68 turbo and a built 2.5L 2007 STI engine. Not bad for an autocross car, and about half the boost that I see the "grenade" TT builds use.

    COBB changed names to Growler Tuning Labs in about 2017, as each "COBB" service shop was sold off by the investment group that bought the main company. About 2 years later they abruptly went out of business in 2019 - right after taking a lot of deposits for parts and builds. Real shame, but many saw this coming. At least Paul's car was gone before the world caved in on Growler.

    The Subaru came back briefly to Vorshlag in March 2015, where we did a little fab work to build a brace for the top mount intercooler. I'm not a fan of top mounts, and begged him to use a proper Front Mount Intercooler. We are still arguing about that to this day, hehe!


    Paul worked on the last remaining pieces he needed to get it out racing in 2015, including this sheet metal work covering the mismatched hole in the aluminum GC hood to mount the 2005-06 STI scoop + a rear bulkhead to block off the trunk from the cabin. He installed all of the interior panels, door panels, and carpet required to run SCCA Street Mod (SMOD) class.

    He and his co-driver Jason autocrossed it 3 times from 2016-2017. I managed to snag a few photographs of this multi-colored melange at the June 2017 SCCA Pro Solo, where it was rainy and hot.

    I was there with my #JankyStick, giving him some grief for the multi-colored panels on this Frankencar build. They couldn't roll the windows down, as the chassis wiring from this 1995 car was made for crank windows. Why he didn't keep those ... ??

    There were lots of little things that were unfinished on this car, which I pointed out with the Janky stick. I'm not allowed to do this anymore, as it hurt too many feelings (and now some of my own cars look a bit janky under construction, too!) The left rear fender flare I welded on way back when was bodyworked and primed, but that's about it. The rest was either just cut for clearance of these 18x10" wheels and 275mm Hoosier A6 tires, or rusty tack welded flares (right rear).


    Well life got busy for Paul and his 28 hobbies, and the Subaru sat awaiting the next round of mods for over 3 years. Paul had good intentions, and made some good plans, but things just stalled out. We had long discussed the ever evolving rules of SMOD class and how things that were once legal on this car suddenly were not.

    There were other rules that prohibited him from using the larger wheels he wanted, from allowing the geometry changes the car needed at the lower ride heights, and some things that didn't even jive between SCCA autocross and SCCA Time Trial classing. Paul was worn down from decades of SCCA rules clownery and my relentless pressure to ditch the SCCA rulebook...


    After removing the burden of arcane SCCA autocross class rules he can now run the wheels he wants without horrendous ballast needed to run a very high minimum weight. He is going to instead focus on more straightforward NASA based "power to weight" classes and then just run "whatever" class it fits in with SCCA autocross. This car should be more fun on a road course anyway, but still would be a damned fast cone carver, too.

    Paul ordered these custom spec'd 18x12" Forgestar F14 super deeps from us at Vorshlag in September 2018, which came out great in this dark bronze powder coat he had sprayed locally. I gave him some old 335/30/18 Hoosiers to mount up and we mocked those up on his car. Without the burden of SMOD class rules he could finally clearance the chassis properly to fit tires like this.

    We mocked up some Clinched universal flares in their 3.9" / 10cm Eurolook versions in August 2019. These might even be a hair too big, even for the 18x12s, so we will try some more versions soon. Vorshlag is a dealer for Clinched and we have a couple of styles on hand for mockup, but don't normally make house calls. Paul is an old friend, so I make exceptions. There are still more suspension changes to make before the wheels are properly mocked up.

    Paul had ordered these drop spindles from Full Spectrum Performance and custom tubular rear subframe / diff mounting frame from TSS Fab. The goal with these is to improve suspension geometry with a lower ride height. The axle is moved up relative to the chassis, which reduces the CV joint angles. The spindles are moved up to improve geometry at a low ride height.

    These parts took months to come in, and arrived in 2020. After a little planning Jason and I met at Paul's in June 2020. The two of them worked on removing the rear subframe and mocking up the new TSS Fab tubular bits for two work days over two weeks.

    The reason why the mockup was so necessary was that these parts pass under the stock fuel tank. And Paul wanted to make sure everything fit before he powder coated the subframe. TSS Fab told him the steel fuel tank would need to be "massaged" and they weren't lying. Wow, lots of hammering was needed. Then the bolts that came with this kit were far too long, and those had to be altered in length - otherwise they would poke right into the tank. Part of the joys of dealing with aftermarket parts designed to fix geometry - they tend to create new problems you need to fix. This stuff is always a compromise.

    After going in and out of the car a number of times, and after swinging some hammers on 2x4s to nudge the tank for clearance, it is finally ready for powder coat.


    Another thing that was holding this car back were the full weight, power window doors he had to run for SMOD class. Without the comically high "minimum weight" he would need to run for SCCA he could remove the ballast weight he had bolted in the trunk AND get some more interior bits out. This car will never be a "Daily Driver" without air con, so why not shed some weight in the doors?

    Paul earned his NASA Time Trial license over a dozen years ago and this car will be run in track events (SCCA, NASA, etc) and autocrosses alike. It already has a nice 2007 dash and center console that we worked extensively to fit this 1995 chassis, and I am encouraging him to keep that. But things like the door panels, carpet, those can go away now that this car is no longer tied to SMOD class.

    Now the sharp eyed out there might have noticed he went from dark blue doors (circa 2014 at left) to these aqua doors (today at right). The dark blue doors were original 1999 RS coupe electric window doors he bought from Brianne Corn back ~11 years ago when he started this build. He needed those RS doors because they had the correct inner door panels to better fit the 2007 dash... all of this hassle was done to meet SCCA "interior" rules for SMOD class.

    With those rules out the window, Paul and I went down to Brianne's ranch about a year ago and bought this car's original "crank window" 1995 doors. It was bout 7 hours of driving and we had to cut the chest-high grass to get to the car that had these doors on it, but we found them and brought them back for this car. He also felt less guilty about cutting up 1995 Impreza crank window doors than original RS doors.

    I spent a few hours over two different days removing as much weight as possible from these WHILE keeping the doors strong enough to take a side impact. Why? There is no cage in this car, and until Paul adds one these doors need to keep the crash beams in place. But that still means I could remove the glass, regulators, and cut away the inner sheet metal.

    Getting the glass and regulator bits out was a bit tricky but we did it without breaking the glass. Once that stuff was out of the way then I got busy cutting the inner sheet metal away. This is there to mount the door panel, window motor, and other bits but it provides minimal additional crash protection.

    As you can see the inner "beam" is there, as is the upper structure at the base of the windows. I left the felts in place to give the top a more finished look. This is all the structure doors got back in 1995; modern doors have more structure and heft. After getting both doors cut down I used an old detailers trick - WD40 - to get these nasty doors cleaned up. They spent years sitting in a field so they had some funk on them. They look and fit great now.

    The dark blue electric window 99 RS doors started out at 72 pounds and the 1995 hand crank window doors started at 70 pounds. The final weight on both "partially" gutted doors was 36.0 pounds. So in the end we dropped 72 pounds out of this car from the door work, and when he goes to a cage I can get these doors around 20 pounds each, so another ~30-32 pounds out.


    Who knows what else he has in mind? We are going to keep pushing Paul to get this back in race trim and then go so some fun track and autocross events in it. THEN PAINT THE DAMN THING! Of course we always encourage folks flaring for giant tires to do some testing before it is painted. And in this case, I think he will do some testing with the 12" wide wheels before he even flares the car, so make sure the clearances at the unibody and inner fender areas are all adequate before it is "locked down". Then we can work with the Clinched flares, then test again, THEN go to paint. Lots to do - and as the build moves forward I will update this again in the future.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Fair!; 06-23-2020, 04:59 PM.
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev