Cars of my Past Part 1

To preserve some info on some of my old cars I am starting a short new series of cars from my past.  These are all cars I have owned and loved.  Any I had too little love for of course will not be here.

Car #1- 1998 Subaru 2.5 RS

This was the first car I ever bought brand new.  I got it on Halloween night of 1997.  The color is called Rally Blue Pearl.  I liked the color, but it isn’t my favorite blue of all time.  Although I do think it’s the best blue we have ever been able to get on a Subaru in the states.  I won’t go into too much detail about the stock car, but here are some of the basics:

2.5L H4 dual overhead cam engine with 165 HP @ 5,600 RPM and 162 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM.

It had a viscous center differential and open ones front and rear.

In STS autocross class race trim mine weighted in at 2,830 lbs (my friend’s 2000 weighed 2,750 with mostly the same mods, but lighter wheels and tires and a carbon fiber hood, BTW, we weighed them on the same day on the same scale)

It has strut suspension front and rear. The front anti-roll bar I believe is 19mm and the rear was a weenie looking 13mm

This is pretty much the car that put Subaru on the map in the U.S.  for performance enthusiasts.  Subaru was using it to judge how the WRX may be received in the states since it had slightly bolder looks than the normal Impreza.  It was sold in limited quantities from MY 1998 to 2001.  They added a 4 door version in 2000.  1999 got a single overhead cam version of the EJ25 with less head gasket issues but bad MAF sensors and an extra 3 lb-ft torque.  2000 switched to the MAP sensor.  Of course all of us that owned them wished it was the full-fledged WRX.  But alas, it was not.  We had to wait until 2002 for that.

Since all of this is old news for most people who may see this and since there is at least 80 million websites now dedicated to Subaru I will just move on to what made mine such a great car.

Mod list:

  • Porterfield R4S brake pads
  • Braided stainless brake lines
  • Tein HA coilovers with the Japan spec springs (IIRC they were like 1K stiffer front and rear than U.S. spec)
  • MRT 20-24mm anti-roll bar
  • MRT solid endlinks front and rear
  • STi carbon and titanium strut tower bar
  • Cusco rear strut tower bar
  • Cusco lower arm bar
  • HKS front camber plates
  • Prodrive P7 17×7 wheels
  • Kumho Victoracer V700 tires (I tried Yoko AVS, Pirelli PZero, Falken Azenis, Hoosier road race, and many others)
  • Rallispec intake
  • Borla header
  • Custom 2.5″ exhaust
  • Unorthodox Racing underdrive pulley
  • APEXi S-AFC
  • 4 point racing harness
  • MRT 22B replica adjustable wing
  • Some snazzy head unit
  • VIS carbon fiber hood
  • ACT street clutch
  • Kartboy short shifter
  • Momo shift knob
  • Kartboy shifter bushings
  • Power flex poly suspension bushings
  • STi group N engine mounts

Now while this is a fairly long list of mods, most of them are things you don’t see or notice.  And I am sure some internet fanboy douchebag nut swinger will see this list and think it’s a lame list of mods, but this car was amazing.  I built it for SCCA autocrossing in the STS class.  At the time we didn’t have any race tracks within 300 miles so autocross was as good as it got locally.  A few of the mods like the carbon hood and the race tires came when I decided to try Street Mod.  I tried an upgraded front bar, a tried STi struts and spring before sticking with the Tein HA.  I tried 3 other rear anti-roll bars.  I tried 2 other intakes, and 1 other exhaust.  So yes, some trial and error went into this setup.  What I ended up with was a car with about 180HP that was getting FTD (Fast Time of the Day) against DSP corvettes that ran nationals for years.  I had 1/4 the power, and 1/2 the tire, and just as much weight as those vettes.  Yet, there I was, beating them on raw times.  This car was insanely neutral.  It had great turn-in.  Great brakes.  And sounded awesome.  It also kicked much ass in the snow.  With the stock tires I once had to drive off the road to pass a Land Rover that was getting stuck in the snow.  While I just cruised on by in fresh powder that was as deep as my hood scoop.  Besides lack of power, there is just one thing I wish I would have changed before I sold it.  The rear differential sucked being open.  I am sure it was costing me a lot of time on course.  I also almost got the thing stuck in my friend’s driveway one time when I had 1 front and 1 rear wheel in the air at the same time.  So LSD would have been VERY nice to have.

So if it’s so great, why did I get rid of it?  Easy.  It was an amazingly reliable car.  Until the warranty ran out.  Starting about 5,000 miles after that parachute burned up, I was blowing a transmission and a head gasket every year.  So not counting maintenance and normal wear items, it was costing me about $2,500 a year to fix things that should not have that many problems.  As testament to it’s reliability issues, about a month after I sold it, the timing belt blew up and bent some valves and took out a couple pistons for the poor guy that bought it from me.

There is of course many humorous stories from all the adventures in this car.  From blowing up diffs to getting pulled over for the wing.  But since I had this car for about 5 or 6 years, adding all the great stories I have for this care would take pages and pages and most likely it would be just me laughing at all the lack of awesome.  So I will spare you my readers from that pain.

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4 responses to “Cars of my Past Part 1

  1. I miss mine as well. Mine had a more spectacular fate, well, until it was half ass resurrected. I enjoyed getting my start in auto-x in Dallas and beating guys with much more experience, mods, and time in their cars. Not being a fanboy or bragging, but it was a great car to learn in.

    • The 2.5RS is a great car to learn in since it was the easiest car to drive I have ever had. Easiest car to drive at near 100% that is.

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