Jump to content

tweedbean's Subaru BRZ

Recommended Posts

Day 35

So its been a long wait for the slam panel, but its finally arrived from Japan.  Subaru called today to say the parts are in but the local dealership was closed.  They then offered an olive branch that they would deliver it FOC as they had a driver passing by house, so a contactless delivery happened this morning. 

So excited as this was the final piece of the puzzle for the front end that I didn;t have alongside the little brackets/seals in the picture that also arrived.  It means tonight I can start building the front bumper and bolting the brackets to the front wings etc. 

49776721162_b7ca7152c6_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I will also get the rest of the car stripped down ready for paint with all the mirrors, door cards, handles, seals etc to be removed.  Will try and do removal videos for each items coming off the car to add to the "how to" content on my youtube channel.  As mentioned the car will be getting a complete colour change so all door shuts etc need painting.  

Once this is done I need to sort getting the car over to a friend to ensure it is all straight, he will also do all the welding to fit the new slam panel so we can test fit the lights, bumper etc to to help line up the front end before it goes over to the bodyshop which is 5 mins away from them.  This is all dependent are who is still working or not through this as I know even getting the car there may be an issue as not sure what transports companies if any are still working and the car isn't in a position to be driven on the road.  

So for now I will work on what I can get done at home to prep it all and see what responses I can get off the other links in the chain.  

Also as I have gone for the USA spec front bumper bar cover with no number plate holes, I purchased a number plate holder that bolts to towing eye threads

49775857918_51285a9586_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Luckily I don't need any more body parts to go to paint, the genuine STI skirts, lip and rear bumper trim all come finished in black so no need to get them painted to match the car, decided to wait until all this blows over and order the genuine STI parts direct from Japan rather than go for rep parts.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 37

So another £300 order put in at Subaru today for parts including:

- 84942CA010 Headlight seal left roughly £30 plus VAT plus 84942CA000 Headlight seal right roughly £30 plus VAT - These are small rubber seals that sit between the headlight and front bumper, needed if you are fitting brand new lights aftermarket or stock as they arent supplier with the lights.  As my original lights were destroyed I didn't have the seal to swap over from my stock lights.  Without them you will have a gap between the lights and bumper in the corner.  

The green part in this image:


- Front washer jet covers for the facelift bumper, these were roughly £50 a side, pre painted and I couldnt find any used examples.

- Miscellaneous clips/bolts I was missing.

- Both front wheel arch liners roughly £50 plus VAT each 

In other good news the car is booked in next Thursday if all goes well for welding in the slam panel and an alignment/check to ensure nothing else is bent.  I've spoken to the bodyshop and they are closed as all the paint suppliers are also closed so they cant get any paint however as soon as they open back up, I'm first on the list.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 38

A video that should have came on day 1 but I didnt have chance to record it back then.  Its a video introducing the project BRZ to my youtube channel.  Over the coming months there will be plenty of how to content uploaded to the channel as well as blog style videos providing progress updates as I work to get it back on the road then modifying it.  This video covers why I purchased it, what I purchased and the plans for the future.  Thanks for watching



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 40

Updates will get more interesting, but at the moments its all around an accumulation of parts. 

Today I received a Mishimoto Sound generator delete to clear that piping from the engine bay.

49797488922_7a03bea895_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


I also have purchased a used 2018 BRZ facelift instrument cluster to retrofit into my car.  This will give me the additional little screen to give the dash a more modern feel.  Not a lot of gain but I thought why not.  I have also ordered the Geralds Just Projects retro fit kit to give me a controller joystick replacing the blanking plate behind the gear stick, I will be ordering black controls so it doesnt stand out like in the picture below.  This gives me full control of the little screen without having to retro fit the facelift steering wheels, clock spring and wiring.  



49797181456_dbeaccf7b9_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Hopefully if everything goes to plan I should have a SARD style spoiler delivered later this week.  I think the tuner style look works well with what else I have planned for the car over the duck bill I originally planned to purchase.  Here is an idea of what it looks like:



I'm also purchasing a new rear bumper as mine has damage to the centre diffuser section and I didnt realise it was moulded into the bumper, seems stupid to paint a bumper with damage that cant be repaired.  


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 47: The repair process begins again.

So last week I had a contactless collection of the BRZ as its booked in at a crash collision centre to get the slam panel welded in and ensure everything else is straight.  I'm waiting on an update from them this week. Once its done it will come straight back for me to start preparing it for paint.  

49825090302_c4bbd97d8e_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I also purchased a used SARD style wing which I had delivered via courier.  The clear coat has a bit of damage from a pigeon strike, however that will be repaired by my local bodyshop and the side brackets are in solid condition but needed a refresh so I removed the stickers, sanded them down and gave them a blast over with primer before they go full matt black.  Once finished it will look like new for a fraction of the cost:

49824768391_4af4717f6d_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I also received another delivery from Subaru, this time the wheel arch liners, numerous clips, 1 of 2 washer jet covers (The other is on back order from Japan) and the headlight rubber seals (2 of the most expensive bits of rubber I will ever order, ridiculous but needed to bridge the gap between the headlights and the bumpers).  I also purchased a used rear bumper as mine was damaged by the previous owner reversing it into something.  It was damaged on the textured part which I didnt realise was moulded to the entire bumper, so decided theres no point painting a damaged bumper if I cant replace that textured bit at a later date, hence the new one.  If anyone wants a cheap white rear bumper with a couple of marks on the textured part, give me a shout.  

I have also joined the group buy run by Jordan for the HID setup for the Vland headlights to get some decent light output from them.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 49

While the BRZ is away at the crash specialists, I decided to start work on the wing brackets.  They weren't in the best visual condition, but it was all superficial: 

49833402087_e792fbc6a5_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


- So I used a heat gun to remove the GT86 stickers.  

- Followed by a light sand with fine grit to remove any minor surface imperfections or corrosion

- I then cleaned down with a panel prep spray and clean cloth

- I used a number of coats of grey primer

- Finally finished in matt black

49832520098_28120505e2_c.jpgSard style wing part refresh by James Baker, on Flickr


I am looking into what protection a matt clear coat over the top would provide as not used it before.

Also had a photo from the crash specialist who are busy working away, they have the slam pane in place and are currently working out if everything else is straight.  Once, done it can come back for me to paint the slam panel and get the rest  ready for the bodyshop to paint it.  

49830192127_f90df14fb7_c.jpgSlam panel is on by James Baker, on Flickr



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 51 - More Progress

The car is now completely straight and panels aligned.  The passenger leg was bent backwards, but this has now been rectified using the fancy jig setup they have.  I'm just waiting to hear when the car can be transported back to me.  Excited as its starting to actually look like a car again even if I know the front end has to come apart again.  

49840302933_5cb48642a1_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Photos from when he was lining it all up:

49840302923_715a6a03d8_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Here you can see the gap left if you dont buy or re-use the stick on rubber seals from a BRZ especially if you are doing the 2017 facelift bumper retro fit like im doing.  I have the seals on the shelf to stick on when the car gets back to me:

49840302938_493e71a8a4_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Finally I picked up a super cheap set of used Rota Grids 18x8.5 et44 they need a refurb and are currently sitting on a new set of budget tyres Avon ZV7 that came with them, these will keep me rolling while I work on the car and will allow me to sell on the stock wheels which have decent tread and have been painted black by the previous owner.  Eventually I will replace the Grids but for now they look better than the stock wheels:

49840302918_5ab310e9b4_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 61

Last week the BRZ arrived back via contactless delivery.  Fully aligned and ready to go.  Ignore the bonnet gap, the bonnet is open as I needed to fix the lock before I close it:

49881393783_1edf7ce9fb_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

However my first job was to start stripping the front end back down so I could fit the rads/aircon/fans.  Super easy job now I have done it multiple times.  

49881394018_6981d47985_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

My make shift painting station where I painted everything within the engine bay/front that had come from other cars or had come from Subaru in the black primer type finish.  

49881393748_e69d82e2af_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I decided to go with matt black for a simple clean look.  I will eventually do the entire engine bay in matt black as it will tie in with whichever colour I do the exterior and the engine isnt coming out for the respray so its easier for me to paint it matt black and get a decent finish.  Hence why you can see paint under where the front wings will go.

Next I fitted the radiator/air con/fan assembly, I had to swap over the air con metal hoses as mine were also damaged from the crash.  I then followed the correct process to fill/bleed/test the radiators with no signs of leaks:

49881393958_b737e6c330_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

This was a relief as it means I can move the car with no fear of damaging everything as this now means I have a running car.  Idles perfectly, the engine seems good with no error codes which is a bonus.  

Once that was done I set about bolting up the front end, fitting the crash beam, crash sensors etc and accounting for all the hanging connectors.  All went back perfectly.  I also refitted the airbox, snorkel and the surround that sits between the two.  New items added to the list of bits to buy include the radiator filler bracket and a new filler neck for the washer reservoir:

49882230147_be554e41f1_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Next I plumbed in the new washer reservoir which had been destroy in the crash.  Check for leaks and all good.  Now I need to order some washer jets for the headlights but other than that the washer system is now fully functional again:

49881919421_867700a908_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Prep for paint

Fixing wise there isnt much left to do so the car can now go for paint, however I need to strip the car to keep costs down.  So I stripped everything needed to get the car painted including:

  • Both wings
  • Rear Lights
  • Door Seals
  • Window Seals
  • Aerial
  • Roof trim
  • Wing Mirrors
  • Kick Plates
  • Door cards (I will replace weather seal plastic once painted)

49882229962_a4a51209c7_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


So the only things left that I need to do this week are the:

  • Rear Bumper
  • Door Handles

Then its ready for paint:

49881393603_51b37fcef6_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

49881393768_2f0f86f84e_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flick


Also my bonnet lifters arrived, they will go on the shelf to be fitted once the car has been painted as they will only have to come off again:

49881393788_618ecdb285_z.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Also a courier today is collecting a Boral Unequal length manifold and a Milltek Overpipe that came up for sale at a great price.  I fancy a bit of Scooby rumble from the boxer while I save up for forced induction.  


Removing Exterior Door Handles

If anyone has any tips for doing this on a BRZ/GT86/FRS that have the touch sensors, please let me know.  Only way I can see so far is to remove the glass to get to the connector to disconnect it.  Its super easy for cars without this feature as its one torx headed bolt and you are done, not so simple on the UK spec cars with the touch sensors.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 63

I had confirmation yesterday that the bodyshop can now get paint so the car is being transported over there this coming Monday for paint to begin.  So yesterday I removed the final parts, the door handles and the rear bumper.

The rear bumper must have been off previously as half the clips were missing.  

The exterior door handles looked to be a tricky task as the UK spec car has an extra sensor which I was told you need to remove the glass to disconnect the connector before removing the door handle in the normal way.  However under investigation I worked out you could just pull really hard and the connector comes out with the handle then you disconnect once off, saves the faff of removing the glass:



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 63 Continued.

After waiting for a while due to Covid I finally put in an order to Japanparts.  This is my first order with them so hoping for a good experience.  Ive gone for the following, all none UK parts:


Genuine STI lip kit including front lip, side skirts, rear bumper trim and STI strut brace:



Alcantara/suede visor cover with red stitching:



Black buttons to integrate with the controller for the retro fit cluster which comes in black:



Driver and passenger side TS upper door trims in Alcantara/suede with red stitching:



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 64

I decided to test fit the facelift dial cluster which contains the additional digital dials.  Pretty much plug and place on push button start cars.  This is part one of the install, once I have the controller unit to make up for the lack of steering wheel controls I will do a second video:

49895074056_38b74fe711_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Also my Borla unequal length manifold and Milltek arrived today, this should release that Scooby rumble:

49895382102_79a304a41c_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SiCaln said:

Great work mate, ticking off all my plans, assume the new cluster didn't adjust to your odometer reading, are you gonna get that adjusted?

Thanks, no unfortunately odometer readings are stored within the cluster.  I'm not particularly fussed RE the odometer reading on my car due to the fact its a project car I plan to keep, from what I have read, its not illegal to show the incorrect mileage it is only illegal to mislead others when selling a car on if the mileage is lower than what it is actually done.  I have kept a log of the mileage the old cluster had and the mileage the new cluster had when fitted for future reference if needed.

You have a couple of different options, there are plenty of companies out there that can reprogram a cars mileages, a quick google search will find them.

The other option is around dismantling the clocks, apparently if you are electric savvy you should be able to disassemble the clocks and read the memory chip and send the file to Gerald Just in the states and he will modify the file for you so you can write it to the chip. Not something I fancied attempting but possible. The simplest solution is to purchase a used cluster that has similar mileage to your car if you didnt fancy faffing with the above.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 68 - Things are moving along nicely

So yesterday I gutted the dash so I can get the trim painted by the bodyshop to match the exterior and all the grey trim rings etc will be going matt black:

49908319403_9d862c88a4_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


This morning I dropped the BRZ off at the bodyshop for its respray, cant wait to see the new colour on it.  I've asked for progress photos throughout so I can keep you all up to date.

49908834151_3807aeeddd_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


I also test fitted the Grids on the car, just to check they actually were 5x100

before I get them refurbed.  Note coilovers will be ordered come pay day to reduce that wheel gap.

49908833271_46b5b7aa25_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

49909134092_b82bd79e59_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


I also used my day off today to take a trip to City Wheel Refurbishment to drop the Rota's off for a full refurb.  Going for a matt finish, for the first time from them, I've always gone gloss from them.

49908319098_5e4a483bce_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr  


My plans are starting to come together now, its just a shame I still dont have the V5 due to Covid closing down half of the DVLA, 68 days a counting since they received the paperwork.  


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 71

Well the BRZ is away at the moment so I have very little to progress until its return.

SARD Style Wing Refresh Part 2

In regards to the SARD style wing, the brackets etc I refreshed and look like new, so focus turned to the wing, this had suffered a pigeon strike when fitted to the previous owners car.  Luckily the carbon wasnt damaged, just the clear coat.  Therefore I dropped it off at a local bodyshop that I have used in the past to repair similar carbon items.   They flicked off the damaged clear coat and then worked their magic.  As per the pic below you can see a before, during and after repair.   The final picture is the clear coat being applied, once that has dried for a couple of days they will be giving it a full polish:

49919150517_784736cf37_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Really impressed with their work, its a bodyshop that used to do all the bodywork/paint jobs for lots of the Max Power cars of the past so they know their stuff.  


I love buying a used item like this a bringing it back to life for a hell of a lot cheaper than buying new.  Obviously there are certain components I tend not to buy used like coilovers items as you dont always know the history/true mileage/amount of cars they have been fitted to, but visual items like this especially have little risk if you know the right people you get big rewards.


BRZ Fog Lights

As mentioned above, some areas of a car you have to go new, such as the front bumper as I couldnt get any used parts but with the fog lights I refused to pay the ridiculous amount Subaru wanted for a brand new fog lights.  So I went for some generic ones on ebay for £20 a pair.   





Ive then bought some H8 female wiring connectors to attach to the cars wiring as my connectors were ripped off anyway and these will plug straight into the new foglights:



All the electrical components have arrived for me to wire up my fog lights.  On a BRZ the wiring goes into the bumper mounted DRL then back out of that into the fog light.  Therefore I had to use a multimeter to identify the fog light wiring amongst that.  Once the car is back I will get some photos of this.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 76

More Parcels

Finally my parts from JapanParts are here.  First of three parcels to arrive were the alcantara with red stitch door toppers and instrument cluster cover from the JDM TS version:

49939540527_b35ca35241_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


I love alcantara, I cant wait to get these in alongside some other bits once the car is back from paint.


Next up with have my SARD style wing.  I collected it from my local bodyshop and oh my they have done an amazing job.  Its like glass, theres so much depth to the clear coat now with no sign of the previous damage, I would go as far as to say the clearcoat is better than when it was new for sure:


49939540512_e698cbcb10_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


I'm expecting more parts tomorrow.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 77

More parts from Japan, this time a full STI kit including front lip, sideskirts and rear bumper trims.  All finished in a satin/matt black finish and will be fitted as they are.  Glad I went for the genuine bits over rep parts as they should fit no issue, even if they hit my wallet hard:  


Side Skirts

49941365032_9312aa5df4_c.jpgSTI BRZ Parts by James Baker, on Flickr


Front Lip

49940548763_2d8cdb672f_c.jpgSTI BRZ Parts by James Baker, on Flickr


Rear Bumper Trim

49940548878_f2719c7c9e_c.jpgSTI BRZ Parts by James Baker, on Flickr


I also have black controls so I can remove the silver ones to work better with my theme:

49940548818_05fac1d020_c.jpgSTI BRZ Parts by James Baker, on Flickr


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nerdstrike said:

Lots of these bits look great. Is it going to be ok with matt skirts and glossy carbon finish on the wing?

Yes I have no concerns with this, they are nowhere near each other and the car itself will be gloss.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed installing my STI front lip.  My advice is to use an electric screwdriver and hex-base drill bits to drill the holes with easy control and slow speed.  The fit is very good but the templates are not all correct for the facelift BRZ - double-check by offering up the lip and marking through its holes.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 78 - I finally legally own the BRZ

After 78 days of waiting the V5 finally turned up today which means its actually SORN'd and legally mine. 


More parts arrived.  Firstly suspension components, I went for Tein Flex Z as I wanted to stick with a Japanese made component where possible and I got a bargain on a brand new set that the owner never got chance to fit.  He also had Whiteline droplinks which I also snapped up as no doubt the stock ones will need cutting off, which is a known issue.


49945167562_7af040046c_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


49945167742_55000392ba_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


I also removed all my silver interior trim before the car went off to paint so I could paint them myself matt black.  Not a big fan of matching these to body colour so went for something simple.  I sanded, primed, painted matt black then used matt lacquer for protection.  I'm intersted to see how long they last, if the finish doesn't hold up, I will invest in some carbon parts but for now this was a simple and cheap fix.  

49944372108_5580b1a890_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Also an interesting package arrived from Japan, a flexible STI strut brace:


49944874511_ccf79c1357_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Unlike a conventional rigid brace, the flexible one is split and joined with pillow ball joints in the centre to be longitudinally mobile while helping laterally stiffen the body of the car.  Here is some blurb from Subaru:

"Different from a rigid bar which is designed just to increase rigidity of the body of a car, the concept behind this bar is to constantly enhance traction of the wheels by strongly holding in a transverse direction at the same time as moderately handling the impact from the ground, in order to realize a ‘flexible yet elegant driving feel’.

As a result, responsiveness at the time of steering improves without compromising comfort, which allows the driver to actually feel that the car can turn as intended, and when they want to go straight, it provides a stable drive without too much impact from uneven road surfaces. As described, this product will further deepen your pleasure of driving."




I will let you know how I get on with it, it came as a bundle with the other STi bits so I haven't lost anything by trying it.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 86 - The wheels are back from the refurbisher

As mentioned above, I picked up some super cheaper Rota Grids that looked like they had seen better days to get me off stock wheels until I can get some TE37's.   I sent them off to City Wheel Refurbishment https://www.citywheelrefurbishment.co.uk/ in Birmingham who have done many sets of wheels for me and other mates in the past.  I decided to go with a matt bronze finish, I have had the gloss version from them before but fancied something a little different, this colour should work well with the new body colour once done.  It took a couple of weeks for them to turn them around due to whats going on at the moment but they did a great job especially for the price.  £205 including tyre remove/fitting/balancing, it could have been even cheaper at around £30 a wheel if I had gone for a more standard colour such as black/silver and they didn't have to remove/fit/balance tyres.  Great service if anyone is looking for somewhere to get theirs wheels done.  

Ignore the budget tyres, they came pretty much free with the wheels and are literally brand new so threw them on to keep the car rolling while I continue to build it.  

49973866457_d8668c8245_c.jpgUntitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now