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The tale so far .....Josh's Whitekong


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#1 KONG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:28 AM

One of the things I most enjoy about SubyClub are the build threads. I love hearing of the trails & tribulations of enthusiasts who aren't prepared to settle for standard. I find the journeys of others in their pursuit to personalise and improve their rides extremely interesting, inspiring and motivating. So I would like to share my story with those of you who feel the same way in the hope you might gain from my experiences and be inspired to achieve your goals in the modification of your own car to suit your needs and desires.


Nearly seven years ago it all began.

Needing a new car I began surfing the sites in search of an all wheel drive as the roads in my area made my daily commute to Sydney from the Central coast a stressful experience even on the good weather days. I didn't know a great deal about Subys at the time but from what I had heard they were reliable and sturdy cars with much better traction and handling capabilities than the average FWD or RWD. With a recent addition to the family safety was the main consideration in the purchase and the decision to go AWD was made. After a bit of research I decided to start looking for a Gen2 Heritage wagon. There wasn't much to choose from at the time but I eventually found what looked like a decent example in a dealership in Sydney. On closer inspection it was obvious it had a hard life and to my disappointment it was not to be.

The next thing that happened was surreal, like an act of God.
It was a dull overcast day and a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds. I was discussing my disappointment with the missus at the time and I was being blinded by the glare coming off a white car at another dealers yard. It was so bright it hurt my eyes and I couldn't make out what type of car it was. Being the curious type I am I had to know what it was and it was like I was being shown this car by a higher force.

Enter the Gen3 Heritage 99 model 2.5 Auto

I fell in love with this car instantly. Luxurious and sporty will all the mod cons. Completely unmolested and full service history.
It was mint!
Not a scratch to be seen and the interior was like new. It was obviously cared for and maintained to the highest level. A Gen3 wasn't even a consideration prior as the prices were holding around the 17K mark. When I saw the price I could not believe it. It was close to my mark and I couldn't understand why. Then I noticed the K's 230,000! That threw a spanner in the works. After a cooling off beer & lunch I decided to go for it. After all engines can be replaced and the over all condition of the car was almost too good to be true for the price they were asking.

I drove it to it's new home that afternoon.

The crap photo does not do it justice.

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As happy as I was with the initial purchase it wasn't long before I started wanting to change a few things. In general circles "modified" is a dirty word but I believe firmly that if something is not up to the task, breaks or wears out.... then replace it with something better.

After about a year it was apparent the suspension needed some work, particularly the shocks. As you can see in the above photo there is quite a gap in the front arch and the boaty feel was becoming more obvious defeating the initial safety reason for buying the car. My options at the time were to acquire a second hand set of Bilsteins, new KYB or coilovers.

I went with BC V1 coilovers purchased from Ichiban. It was a no brainer. Fully adjustable height setting, camber & damper adjustable. The mod freak demon reared it's ugly head and finally I could drop the car to a more respectable height. I was also concerned if I bought lowered springs it might not have the stance I would have liked. So BC's won.


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Next to go was the 16" wheels. I picked up a set of 5 x Gen4 Gt rims on Ebay for a song as at the time I wanted to keep things Subaru in appearance. 17" tyres are also cheaper than 16" so there was added benefits to just filling the guards a bit. The Gen4 rims were also less fiddly to clean and I liked the Gen4 to gen3 look. New & the old.

It was also time to upgrade some of the suspension components and bushes so Whiteline bushes and H/D alloy endlinks for the front sway bar. The brakes were due for a new set of pads and discs so I replaced them as well.

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Next I picked up a rear boot spoiler and wacked it on for the sporty look. The front grille was starting to look average so I customised a mesh type grill and stuck on the all too familiar STi badge. It gave me about 30 kw atw.

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Like most people trying to get more out of their car, I played with the cold air intake idea. Performance.....no increase. Bling yes.
It saved a few bucks not having to buy air filters when servicing as the pod was washable but apart from that it was tits on a bull and made a horrible raspy growl on gear change. Sounded faster through the revs due to the increased intake noise. I added cannon muffler for some note to the exhaust and the the combo of CAI and Cannon sure sounded awesome on acceleration but the drone @ 110+kph was unbearable.
You live and learn!

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I wanted the turbo look so I tracked down a B4 bonnet. I painted the grille black and pissed off the STi fakery.

Posted Image

The heritage was starting to look the way I wanted and performance was still good even though the km's were rising and quickly.

The whole time I couldn't help but feel like I wanted more!
More power and more manual gear selection. I started thinking to myself maybe I should have just saved myself the trouble and effort and bought a B4 in the first place. Probably should have!

After 5 or so years of trouble free motoring the problems associated with age started to appear. The car had been so reliable up to this point.



TO BE CONTINUED...........

#2 simon

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:56 AM

I like it mate. Nice, neat and tidy.

SOLD Legacy GTB 

SOLD Gen 1 RS turbo wagon

SOLD Gen2 Outback limited

Car less atm.......Whats next??


#3 bigboyscottyb

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:57 AM

I am well keen to read this thread

#4 aekOne

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:12 AM

Haha nice mate. I really like that so many of us have had our cars for so long that there ends up being such a good story/journey that goes with them. Looking forward to chapter 2

: My Liberty :


#5 Morgan

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

Good read so far, mate. Keen for the rest!

IM47Gcv.jpg


#6 Murf B4

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:42 AM

i have a turbo long block cheap ? :P

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#7 skillionaire

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:55 AM

Hi,

Nice write up mate, neat car too.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Nik

#8 KONG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:11 PM

Continued......Age takes it toll.....


I was lucky enough to have had a really good run with the Heritage mechanically. Over five years and no major issues. It was the type of car that you could just jump in and drive anywhere with a confidence you will get to your destination without a hitch. The only money I had spent aside from the purchase price was on maintenance, the odd appearance mod and upgrade. It was by no means a rocket but I loved it all the same. The coilovers and mild suspension mods made it a sure footed joy of a car to drive and although it was an Auto, the suspension meant I could maintain a decent speed through corners, in turn powering out of them a higher speed. Money well spent.

Now there was 350,000 k's on the clock. I could not believe this little Subaru was still kicking on and was so impressed by this. Previously all the cars I had owned had died around the 200,000 km mark.

It was no surprise when age started taking it's toll on the drive line and considering the run I had I was not complaining. I was sad the car I had loved from day one was starting to fail but I in no way regretted buying it. My passion for cars is not shared by members of the family nor my friends. It's a personal thing for me. My only real hobby in life and there was a strong emotional attachment to the car after all the time shared. I felt like I owed this car for it's reliability and time served and was extremely grateful to it for this so I repaired the failing parts.

Wheel bearings, CV boots and shafts, steering rack boots, suspension bushes and a few other minor but annoying components. Again the car was running fine and I hoped to get another 50,000 out of it before the inevitable happened. The motor was starting use a bit of oil also but was still strong. When the front CV boot split it flicked grease onto the exhaust manifold and I cleaned it up as best I could but the remaining grease was burning itself off. It smelled like shit. I was thinking that after a few days the grease would be burnt off but weeks passed, then months and the smell was lingering. Deep down I knew this was not right but chose to ignore the symptoms that there was a bigger issue at hand. Denial.

The gearbox started taking ages to select drive and it was time to get under the car and see if this could be rectified. It was a sad day. It was immediately obvious the rear of the driver side head was leaking oil onto the exhaust manifold and the issue I had chose to ignore was what I expected it to be.

374,645 km on the clock. Decision time.

First option, source a second hand import engine & box with lower K's.
Second option, rebuild existing motor myself and get the gearbox looked at by a pro.
Third option, sell the car at a loss and move on.

I'm not the type of person that could sell a car with issues so it would have been a big loss financially.
The rebuild myself option was not practical although I felt confident I could do it. Time was a factor.
The idea of an import engine was starting to look good but the 2.5 motor wasn't as common as I initially thought.

Enter the B4.

Whilst searching for the engine I came across a damaged B4 on ebay going cheap. Rear ended repairable write off. The damage wasn't that bad!
It was the same colour as the Heritage and was loaded with go fast bits. My plan was now to get this car, fix the damage and use the boot lid & bumper off the Heritage. This would get me back on the road fast and give me the time to source the parts I needed to get the Heritage up to scratch so I could sell it at a reasonable price, in turn, paying for the cost of the B4 in the process. It was going to be a win win situation. I would finally have the car I wanted at minimal cost and the car I had loved would live again and be sold for what it was worth to me emotionally and I could sell it guilt free knowing it was worth the money I would be asking. As much of an optimist as I am, I realise a lot of things in life don't turn out the way you hoped they would.

After I negotiated price with the seller I hopped on a plane to Melbourne and met the B4 for the first time. The damage to the car was worse than described. "Just need to fix the boot, new bumper & new boot lid" he said.
Far from the truth.

The rear end of the car was all but Posted Image'ed. The chassis was obviously bent and the entire floor pan had moved forward about an inch. The rear doors were fouling because of this and there was a crease on the upper rear 1/4 panel near the roof. I was disappointed but all the same was prepared for this. I knew a panel beater and with his help could still get out of the situation cheaply.

So we shook hands and the deal was made knowing at worst I would have to build a car with the best bits of the two I now owned. It would still be only costing me as much as an engine rebuild would and there would be parts left over to sell. The car was drivable and after installing a new battery and acquiring a permit I set off for the 1000k drive back home.

60 k's out of Melbourne.

I stopped to fill up and to my horror when I went to start it there was nothing! The alarm had immobilised me. I spent the night in a motel thinking what had I done committing myself to this idea. I was regretting my decision and the reality of it all was starting to set in. My parents and partner were furious at me which made it all worse. I felt like a complete idiot and I had made a massive mistake.

The next morning the car started and I hit the road hoping to get as close to home as possible to reduce the cost of towing. To my surprise the car drove fine and started first go after my second refill. It was no where near as powerful as I thought it would be but was still nice & smooth to drive. When I hit Sydney traffic I felt a sense of relief knowing I was close to home so after limping it 90% of the way I gave it some boot off the lights...... and Posted Image me it took off like a bullet! I was pinned to my seat grinning from ear to ear. This made me quite happy to say the least :D Things were looking up!

I made it the rest of the way home without incident and here it sat in my driveway.... My new car at it's new home!

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The extent of the damage.....

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TO BE CONTINUED......

#9 skillionaire

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:32 PM

Hi,

Nice camo pants.

Cheers,
Nik

#10 KONG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

Stop perving at my bulge Nik!

Ewwwww!

#11 skillionaire

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:51 PM

Hi,

Genuinely thought that person was facing the other way....

Cheers,
Nik

#12 Zac

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:54 PM

I'm loving this story... its awesome... and I know a part of my car was on your first car... :)

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#13 KONG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:02 PM

@ Nik . Well played as usual.... Posted Image you!

@Zaccy. They have gone to good home ;) and you sir are on my list of people who get leftovers for free. I'll have look at your beast at the Hunter and see if there is anything I can give you to make your car betterer.

#14 nickknack

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:05 PM

Hurry up and write the rest up! Good story so far

#15 Zac

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:11 PM

@ Nik . Well played as usual.... Posted Image you!

@Zaccy. They have gone to good home ;) and you sir are on my list of people who get leftovers for free. I'll have look at your beast at the Hunter and see if there is anything I can give you to make your car betterer.

OMG!!

Too cool dude!

You gets a beer or 2 at HV

Making my car betterer is always awesome!

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2004 Outback Premium 3.0R


#16 KONG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

It's going to take a while sorry. This shit has never been told before in such detail and it never ends.

I do tend to go on a bit!

It was a massive, massive undertaking but the rewards I received from it all could not be priced.

I have built cars before but ...... this is the one!
It's not the greatest car in the world, not perfect nor is it the nicest B4 around. it has it's glitches and bad points like everything in life.

But this one is mine!
I love it!
You can't have it!
V8's fear it!
I made it with my own hands!
By myself!
With no physical help from anyone!
I have touched every part of it!
I know exactly what it is!
It talks to me in it's own way!

And it is ONE OF A KIND!

#17 Tim.

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:24 PM

reading reading reading ....then BAM season break.

Waiting in anticipation of the next episode! Awesome work!

#18 Zac

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:25 PM

It's going to take a while sorry. This shit has never been told before in such detail and it never ends.

I do tend to go on a bit!

It was a massive, massive undertaking but the rewards I received from it all could not be priced.

I have built cars before but ...... this is the one!
It's not the greatest car in the world, not perfect nor is it the nicest B4 around. it has it's glitches and bad points like everything in life.

But this one is mine!
I love it!
You can't have it!
V8's fear it!
I made it with my own hands!
By myself!
With no physical help from anyone!
I have touched every part of it!
I know exactly what it is!
It talks to me in it's own way!

And it is ONE OF A KIND!

Wish I could say all that one day... LOL!

2002 B4 Rev E

2004 Outback Premium 3.0R


#19 Samwise

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:06 PM

COME ON! Don't leave us hanging!

This a great story. I wish I had been bothered to write a story about my car, but it's nowhere near as good.. haha.

I'm also feeling the same about giving the car what it deserves. Buying a newer turbo car would be better off, but I'm feeling like an engine conversion and upgrades is what my faithful steed deserves. It's hard to let go after a few years. Considering it's survived me on my P's and through loss of license and all the crap I give it.

I like to think of it as borrowing someone's car and driving it better than them.


#20 KONG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

Samnutz are you on your phone or are you saying you want to have a conversation with your car?

If so....just do it! I talk to mine every day!


Tim my Whitebrother.
You should know this kind of thing deserves the element of anticipation!

It's a happy ending.

I learnt so much from the process and still learning.....at my age the boredom & routine of life was really starting to set in. I'm glad there are people out there who are interested. 






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