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Just another wagon

Old 02-03-2017, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 8
Car Info: 2004 WRX JBP Wagon
Cool Just another wagon


No seriously, there really is no reason to subscribe to this thread, its just a place I decided to document the stupid things I do to my 2004 WRX Wagon DD mobobble.

Mmmmm... stock wagon...

I love this shot because you can't seen all the dents and scratches

She's (almost) all stock and definitely all mine! Paint code is 18L Java Black Pearl and there is now 156k/mi on the clock. From what I understand she was slammed and wide wheeled and generally molested by one of the previous owners, but that guy kept all the stock parts and sold them to the guy I bought the car from. Second that guy did a fantastic job of putting it back to stock so I'll take good care of her and try not to screw anything up too badly. I've installed a nice clean axleback off a 2005 STi so its got a slightly deeper exhaust note, but other than that its as stock as I've ever seen one of these things.

The plan is to fix things that need fixing, maybe add a little power and keep it as stock and reliable as possible. I've done the modded car thing before and its a slippery slope so I'm going to try not to get too nuts. Wish me luck!
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 8
Car Info: 2004 WRX JBP Wagon
After driving the car since 2015 I've finally done something to the car other than change the oil. Well, several things actually!

I started getting a really nasty popping the grinding from the pass front of the car a couple weeks ago. A quick disassembly of the brakes showed no issues, however digging a bit deeper and it turns out its the transmission side CV joint. Both the drivers and passengers side CVs had split boots and had dumped all their precious grease all over the underside of the car. With the car in the air I got it up to 30mph and confirmed the drivers side also had some noises going on. Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

I also discovered this...

They are not corded, but its not an ideal situation.

After seeing the tires like that I suspected there was probably no reason to get the car aligned until I figured out why my right front was so badly worn. As I was already going down the rabbit hole of pulling apart the front suspension to do the axles, I started checking all the other components as well. The lower ball joints were completely knackered and the lower control arm (transverse link?) bushings were also completely shot. The front ones had the rubber all torn up and cracked, and the liquid filled rear ones had released their magic schmoo some time ago. I know the car was not exactly babied before I got it, so I figured its probably time to pay the piper. Well, looks like its time for a front end refresh...

Parts list:
- 2x SU1100R1 - 2004 (early) WRX Wagon front axles

WVX34 Repair Kit Imp Wag - 20090FE000
- 1x 20219FE000 - RH Lower Control Arm
- 1x 20219FE010 - LH Lower Control Arm
- 2x 023508000 - Self locking nut for swaybar endlink
- 2x 902350006 - Self locking nut for front transverse link bushing
- 2x 20207AA000 - Self locking nut for rear transverse link bushing

Subaru Group N "STI" Front Lower Control Arm Rear Bushings
- 1x B0200FE000 - LH Bushing
- 1x B0200FE010 - RH Bushing

A word on the WVX34 kit: This is a dealer "repair kit" that is supposed to cover SOA Service Bulletin WVX-34 (you can read about it here) and it includes a pair of brand new wagon specific updated lower control arms (transverse links) with OEM lower ball joints and OEM front control arm bushings pre-installed. From what I can tell this is a revised LCA as the welds and seams are a little different, and they weight about 3lbs more each than the parts I removed. It also includes new replacement OEM locking nuts for all the nuts you need to remove. The stock arms were not exactly bad, but I don't own a press to do the front bushings, and the additional cost was negligible once you add up all the component prices.

This is what it all looks like assembled!

Its so, so nice working with fresh factory parts.

I reused the rear bushing end snubber rubber and washers because they looked fine, and no reason to replace something that works. I also decided to leave the factory plastic swaybar endlinks alone, because I didn't want to spend more money. Installation was a real bastard because I swear to $DEITY that every damn bolt in the suspension has a torque spec over 100ft/lbs. Who the hell do they think I am, the goddamn incredible hulk? Good thing I own many tools, including a 1/2" drive torque wrench that goes up to 250ft/lbs. Because I'm awesome like that. Apparently not awesome enough for air tools, but I rent so I can't get too crazy just yet. Everything was reassembled with antiseize (because that is the kind of crazy I am) and torqued to spec with weight on the wheels, just as the Factory Service Manual states.

I can hear you already: "y u no install aluminum STi control arms?" Well, the PAIR of replacement steel LCAs with preinstalled bushing, replacement nuts and ball joints was less than the price of a SINGLE replacement STi arm. Plus I'd need to order sedan axles instead of wagon axles, and there is almost no point in pushing the wheels out with the STi arms when I still have the wagon fenders...

All in all it was a totally worthwhile upgrade. The turn in and steering feel so much better and I no longer have that ...vagueness in the front end that I've never really liked about the car. I had concerns about the Group N bushings adding a bunch of NVH but honestly, I cannot tell the difference. I seriously should have done this years ago.

Because the car was in the air, I took the opportunity to change the oil in the transmission. I had previously filled it with Amsoil MTG 75W-90 but I failed to drain at least a quart of the old fluid out when I did the change, so its been shifting like crap ever since. This time I decided to go with Genuine Subaru High Performance Gear Oil 75W-90 (PN SOA427V1700) and did a much better job draining the transmission. I put 3.5qts into the trans and I'm just at the bottom of the dipstick line, so I'm trying to decide if I want to top it off with HPGO or try adding in something like Synchromesh to really help smooth things out. I know a lot of guys like the Motul 300 gear oil, but the HPGO is literally $10/qt cheaper than the Motul. I'd rather save the fancy fluids (and money)for the becauseracecar project. For the record, the rear diff is filled with Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-90 because that's what I had on hand.

The trans is still a bit tough to get into 1st (but I understand this is an issue with all Subaru 5MT) but everywhere else there is a noticeable improvement. Definitely worth the price of admission. Still not sure if I want to try the synchromesh top up or not.

So that's about it. I've got a couple other maintenance things in the docket, but I need to wait for it to stop raining before I can tackle them.
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