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Discussion Starter #81
I also came across things that people dont tend to document, like how to remove the fuel cap, most people wont need to do it unless they are having the whole car painted, most wrap places dont fully wrap inside their so people dont remove them. The hinge is held to the car with two rivets, these have to be drilled out to remove hinge and cap from the car. Then to refit, I tried my own pop rivet gun but it wouldnt quite fit due to the tight angles. So I ended up using a riv nut gun to provide a thread section to then bolt the hinge to the car. I did take off some material off the back of the hinge where it touches the car to thin it out and ensure the additional depth(a couple of mm at most) of the riv nut leading edge didnt stop the petrol cap sitting flush. A blast over with some paint on the back of the hinge ensured that part was sealed and then I bolted it on with normal bolts and washers. Now sits perfectly, this was literally the last bit of body work back on before the MOT.
Ignore the ugly temp bolts that was just to prove it would work.


Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Its on the road

Well I'm glad to say the BRZ flew through the MOT, with one advisory for a nail in the rear tyre, meh I have new wheels going on soon. So glad to get it to where it is, but this is just stage 1. Stage 2 involves modding it, plenty to come. Therefore its now taxed and insured. Heres a picture as it sits now:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #84
Thanks, modding has now begun. I have a pile of parts ready to go.

Grimmspeed Intake:

Firstly I fitted the Grimmspeed intake, a nice and easy install. Out of the intakes for this platform this one seemed to get good reviews and picked up a used on cheap. It has a black wrinkle finish so subtle in the engine bay and makes a nice noise:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr


Grimmspeed Pulley Cover and STi Flexible Strut Brace:


Not the best picture, as it all needs a clean due to polish dust from the final polish the bodyshop did but while in the engine bay I also fitted a Grimmspeed pulley cover, again another used bargain and changes up the look of the engine bay in a subtle way. Also features a little tool tray while working on the engine. You can also the see the STI flexible strut brace which came as a package from Japan with my STi exterior parts:

P1120709 by James Baker, on Flickr



Coilovers, drop links and new wheels:

Next up I wanted to fit the Tein Flex Z coilovers and Whiteline adjustable drop links. Great bit of kit, super easy to fit excluding the seized stock drop links which I end up just cutting off as I had the Whiteline to go on anyway. I know is a common issue, easily sorted with an angle grinder and lots of sparks.

Out with the old:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I did touch up the painted calipers which the previous owner had done, not a big fan of painted stock calipers but didnt have any other colours to hand so atleast they were tidy as I touched up the chips etc:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

In with the new, dont worry about the wet looking components, it was all getting a wash while I was under there:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I now need to give it time to settle before I adjust anything else. I threw on my Rota Grids, I have new black lug nuts coming in the post as well as black centre caps, so excuse the missing items, tyre fitting grease etc. Once settled I will play with the ride height and may even space out the rear wheels slight, lets see

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Looking forward to finding some time to fit the STi front lips etc in between the day job and DIY which seems to be endless.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
My black lug nuts arrived today, internal drive ones so I chucked them on this afternoon alongside the centre caps:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I also gave the car a quick wash so I could coat it in Meguiars ceramic hybrid ceramic wax to give it some protection as I haven't had chance to give it a proper coating of wax just yet:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

It was nice seeing BRZ alongside my other Porsche RS green car, my R53 Mini:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #86
This week I managed to find time to fit my STi front lip that came from Japan. It was a bit nerve-racking drilling my freshly painted, brand new front bumper, but needs must. I have to say I am glad I went for the genuine product over the replica pieces as the fit and finish was perfect. No need to paint/refinish the item, all the holes lined up perfectly with the existing holes and the stick on templates made it so easy to line up where to drill the new holes. It uses a couple of clips and rubber well nuts along the bumper to fit, I was really pleased how secure it is. I have the STi sideskirts and rear lips to go on in the next couple of weeks:

STi lip by James Baker, on Flickr

STi lip by James Baker, on Flickr
 

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Looks ace, really tempted by these / gt86 after spending time with one in Scotland. Always dismissed them as being under powered but they are pretty capable and Most importantly fun Cars. Yours looks ace modded 😀👍🏼
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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I like these, as I still need to scratch the 100% RWD itch, and there seems plenty of potential for mods with lots of suppliers in the aftermarket. As such I'm interested to see where this project will go, even if the work to date has already been amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Looks ace, really tempted by these / gt86 after spending time with one in Scotland. Always dismissed them as being under powered but they are pretty capable and Most importantly fun Cars. Yours looks ace modded 😀👍🏼
Thanks, agree, you have to drive one to get it. Too many people go off pub banter type info on these cars.

I like these, as I still need to scratch the 100% RWD itch, and there seems plenty of potential for mods with lots of suppliers in the aftermarket. As such I'm interested to see where this project will go, even if the work to date has already been amazing!
Tonnes of parts available, its makes the Mini aftermarket scene look tiny. Fully recommend driving one to see what you think.

Today I have been busy sorting out the interior. I had a load of carbon bits to fit such as door sills, window control surrounds, seat heater button surrounds etc. I also fitted my JDM alcantara type material binnacle cover, super easy swap, takes 30 seconds:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr



I also fitted the JDM door tops again in alcantara type material, really please with both these items, this was a door car off job as they are held in with around 7 screws from the back:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr



Next up was my custom steering wheel that I had done, again easy fit. Battery off, screwdriver in 3 holes to release the airbag, disconnect that, 17mm bolt to remove the steering wheel, then reverse it all. Really pleased with it and makes the interior feel so much more modern with these little touches:



Alcantara steering wheel by James Baker, on Flickr

Alcantara steering wheel by James Baker, on Flickr
 

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Thanks, agree, you have to drive one to get it. Too many people go off pub banter type info on these cars.

Tonnes of parts available, its makes the Mini aftermarket scene look tiny. Fully recommend driving one to see what you think.

by James Baker,
watched this the other day

 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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I'm not going to quote you, but yes, I drove one of the BRZ Subaru's when they came out; a nice blue one (I used to run Outbacks so the dealer was kind enough to indulge me for a prolonged test), and it was great, with a truly lovely balance, it was excellent at donuts, and surprisingly light on fuel. It did need better tyres and some stance though.

I was still loving the R53 (still am), so I couldn't afford another car at the time, but it's still on the list (along with an S2000, but they're increasingly hard to find around here). The thing is, anything RWD is basically only going to be a 'summer car' where we live - the frozen north - so it really is an indulgence. I've also been curious to see how well Moog's BRZ went around the Sydney raceway in MCM, another YouTube channel you may have heard of.

So, that being said, tell us about the driving experience. Any track day plans?
 

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Discussion Starter #93
I was still loving the R53 (still am), so I couldn't afford another car at the time, but it's still on the list (along with an S2000, but they're increasingly hard to find around here). The thing is, anything RWD is basically only going to be a 'summer car' where we live - the frozen north - so it really is an indulgence. I've also been curious to see how well Moog's BRZ went around the Sydney raceway in MCM, another YouTube channel you may have heard of.

So, that being said, tell us about the driving experience. Any track day plans?
Yeah watching Moog initially he was really down on the car and didnt rev the nuts off it, which you need to do to get any performance out of this engine in stock form. But as the episodes have gone on, it seems to be really growing on him, interested to see what supercharger he goes for. As for track days, no plans with the BRZ, its being built as a fun street toy. I do plan to take the R53 on track, going to tag along with Millsy next time he books something and take it out.

Been busy the last few days, I fitted the STi side skirts, super easy to fit, only one hole needs to be drilled on each side, the rest uses existing fixings. Again as they are OEM parts they slotted right on without any fuss, the templates they provide helps you line them up perfectly. I'm really impressed with them, I think they really make the side profile of my car.

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr

You can also see I fitted the STi rear bumper corner trims as well, again super easy to fit, no drilling this time, all existing fittings. I then fitted a rear diffuser lip that I had picked up ages ago, again a few clips and one new bolt to get that to fit perfectly. I fancy changing the rear diffuser at somepoint, but more than happy with this look for now:

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr

Then to balance out all that aggression at the bottom edge of the car, I fitted my SARD style carbon wing. Really pleased how this came out, the bodyshop did an amazing job on the clear coat, it looks better than new. Also a nice fella on facebook sent me some new brackets as the ones I had were the extended ones to work with a ducktail spoiler,which I dont have and it looked weird sitting half way along the boot lid just to get the wing to line up with the back of the car, thanks again, the new brackets made such a difference:

Sard style wing by James Baker, on Flickr

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr

Really pleased with how the car is turning out, I need to get some miles on it now. Driving it yesterday I noticed a couple of knocks, so going to check the drop links as they may be a little play that just needs tightening. But little niggles are expected with changing so much and will be a simple issue to sort. Still cant believe it looked like this only a few months ago:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

And now:

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr

STi kit fitted alongside the wing by James Baker, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #95
I think it has a hint of Skyline to it from that rear side on shot (y)
Thats my favourite angle

Something I am looking into over the coming weeks is improving the audio system in the car. In my other cars I'm lucky to have Harmon Kardon/Meridian setups from factory, even in my old R53 so when I jump into the BRZ its shows how poor it is even with my aftermarket head unit. Doing some quick research, I didnt realise how tiny the rear speakers are, they are more like tweeters. The front door speakers offer little bass so I think I am going to do something I haven't done since I was about 20 and add a subwoofer to the car. Looking to use the spare wheel well to house the sub and the space around it for amps so I don't lose any boot space.

Will be looking to:

- Swap out the front door speakers, front tweeters and dash speakers while I am in there. Review the rear speaker situation, probably wont need anything but want to take a proper look

- I have a bunch of silent coat left over from my previous Mini Clubman build which I can use

- Add a subwoofer and amp into the spare wheel well

- Add a second amp to power the front speakers

- I learnt a lot from upgrading the speakers/wiring in my clubman so will go a similar route with quality cabling, as for speakers, I am open to considering other brands but was impressed with the Focal kit I used previously so that will be my starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter #96 (Edited)
This week I was planning to look up how to build a subwoofer box in the spare wheel well when I received a message that there was one for sale up North. I managed to pick up a custom made box for the BRZ which already contained a JL Audio 10" w0v3 sub. This saved me a lot of time and money, especially for the price I paid including the sub. Therefore I now have a ready to fit solution which I test fitted yesterday. Now I know I still need to line the wheel well with sound deadening and I also have a speaker grill to fit to protect the cone but I can confirm it fits flush which is what I wanted as I didnt want to lose any boot space.

Subwoofer by James Baker, on Flickr

So I am now in the market for an amp to power it, speaking to JL Audio and the previous owner, both recommended the JL Audio JD500/1 Monoblock Class D Subwoofer Amplifier, 500 W to power it. The JD series is new this year so will ensure I pick up the latest version and I am hoping I can mount it somewhere hidden to again retain boot space.

I also need to sort wiring out. I am thinking of running a single 0 gauge power cable from the battery to the boot then split this with a distribution block so eventually I can added a second amp for a new speaker setup I am getting. While everything is apart, I will run 3 lots of RCA cables for the sub, front speakers and possibly rear speakers. Going to go with Sky High cabling again from Blade Ice Audio as was impressed with the quality when doing the clubman.

Not decided on the speaker/amp combo for up front so go to shop around and see what is available.
 

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Discussion Starter #97
So this weekend I fitted my Borla UEL manifold. The plan with this was to add some extra volume, some weight as you lose the first of two cats and being unequal length should add that Subaru burble.

Borla UEL compared to stock by James Baker, on Flickr

Now it was actually a pretty simple process to swap the manifold and it actually took me longer to jack the car up safely than to actually swap them over. My biggest issues was swapping over the O2 sensors as one was seized due to the heat cycling of the metal. I nipped up to Millsys Autos who help me out by applying some heat and out it came without ruining the thread.

Here is the fitting video for anyone interested in trying it yourself:


Now in terms of feedback on the actual outcome, of my three drivers above:
1. Extra Volume - I am really finding it hard to say I can notice any volume difference, therefore if there is any its very little
2. Weight Loss - Its definitely lighter than stock so this is confirmed
3. Rumble - It has changed the tone and you can here some slight rumble but its not had the change I had hoped

Clearly I need to mate this to a catback exhaust system to get the most out of this sound wise, which is fine as this was the plan but I was interested to see what impact just fitting this would have. Here is a quick before and after video, I initially did have an exhaust leak as I didn't quite nip up the over pipe bolts enough, however this was quickly resolved with the car on jacks. There is a slight rattle when I lift off when stationary, when I place my hand on the exhaust tips it goes away so I think something along the line may be making slight contact or I have a rattly exhaust tip, either way I will sort that when fitting a catback as it can only be heard when you sit there and rev the car stationary, which I dont do to often.

Here is a before and after video, comparing the cold start up and revving over both a stock setup and stock catback with UEL:

 

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Discussion Starter #99
Love this car, awesome work 👌🏻
Thanks, in all honesty I was disappointed with the Borla UEL in terms of the sound difference, I thought it would be more dramatic, however thats easily sorted. To hear the rumble that UEL puts out, I decided to go for an Invidia N1 catback exhaust, which I collected from a nice guy on the GT86 parts facebook page. Really helpful and the exhaust is in great condition. Only gripe with it is someone has taken what looks like wire wool or sand paper to the tips to give them a brushed look which didnt come on the N1. That should be an easy fix and for the price I paid, I cant complain. I have some polishing discs on the way to get the entire thing looking like new in no time and from what I read online should restore the polished finish on the 4" tips. While collecting the exhaust I noticed a tuning developments decat front pipe 30 mins away so I decide to collect that while I was there, gives me the choice to fit to my requirements if needed as that was a decent price too.

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Here you can see the sort of brush finish on the tips vs the rest of the tail pipe:

by James Baker, on Flickr

Also my amp and wiring kit arrived this week, I've got to find some time to fit that too. According to JL Audio, I managed to get one of the first JD amps in the UK which is nice:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

I went for 100% the oxygen-free copper (OFC) wiring kit this time, heard good things and didn't cost much more:

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr

Clocking up the miles in this now, finding every excuse to drive it at the moment, gone through 2 tanks of petrol in the last few weeks, more than I think I've use in the past 4 months.

Untitled by James Baker, on Flickr
 
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