THE REBIRTH OF THE JAPSPEED IMPREZA

Our Scooby had a tough time in 2013; the introduction of Brett Castle to the team at the start of the season left us with an experienced driver in a notoriously hard to tame car, which unfortunately led to a number of breakages and early retirements throughout the year. Having been on the receiving end of constant abuse since 2010 and with Brett having a reputation for breaking things it was decided to fully rebuild the car once the season was over.

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It all started with the strip down; the removal of every single component until we were left with nothing but a bare shell and roll cage.

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All necessary repairs and tweaks to the shell were made at this stage as many areas of the body would be inaccessible once the car had been assembled – all unnecessary holes were also welded up at this time.

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Once we were happy, the shell was then taken away for a fresh coat of our trademark white paint.

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With the paintwork complete, we turned our attentions to laying down the engine bay essentials: the brake master cylinder, brake lines and the oil filter relocation setup.

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The interior also started to take shape, with the pedals, seat subframes, brake lines and power cable being refitted.

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The rear-mounted radiator setup was also reinstalled along with the fuel system (consisting of two Bosch 044 fuel pumps)…

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…the bespoke fuel tank…

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…and the radiator cooling panel.

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As we are using Evans Waterless Coolant in the car, we felt the little reminder sticker was necessary!

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With the basics of the interior complete, we turned our attentions to the underside and treated the shell to a fresh dousing of protective underseal.

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The front subframe and steering rack were also cleaned up…

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…and so was the bespoke tubular rear subframe.

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We then headed back to the engine bay, where the freshly rebuilt 1JZ (featuring forged pistons and billet rods) was accompanied by the refurbished Owen Developments GTX3076 turbo and Japspeed manifold. Other ancillaries such as the fuel pressure regulator, power steering pump and alternator were also installed.

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We then diverted our attention to the rocker cover and tubular front end which were both cleaned up and resprayed in our trademark white.

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The suspension arms were also cleaned up and replaced where necessary. The car uses a mix of Nissan and Subaru items thanks the bespoke subframe and hub setup in use.

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The arms were then refitted – as you can see the front uses a Nissan lower arm, tension rod and tie rod combination, although unlike a Nissan the tie rod sits in front of the lower arm as opposed to behind it.

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The D2 brakes were then refitted…

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…along with the HEL braided brake lines.

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The Daiyama coilovers were also replaced by KW Competition 2-way items.

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The next job was attach the intercooler core and headlights to the tubular front end, a design that suitably improves both engine bay accessibility and damage limitation in the event of a crash.

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The final components were then added to the engine setup…22 (2)

…before the front end was bolted on. The guys and girls at Samco also treated us to a care package of brand new silicone hoses for the engine bay to keep everything looking cool while also being ultra reliable.

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The final touches were then added to the rear mounted cooling setup: the pipework and air ducts that draw air in from the roof and rear door mounted vents.

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We also added a Varley Red Top battery and bracket, both of which are available from our online store.

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The Quaife gearbox was then mounted up along with the shifter setup and emergency fire extinguisher pull chord.

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With the majority of the underpinnings now complete, it was time to get cracking with the exterior.

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While the bodywork was being prepped and subsequently painted, attention turned to the plethora of wheels that our cars run. After many successful years of using Rays Gram Lights on the Subaru we decided to switch up the look with a set of extremely cool XXR 527s, all finished in our traditional bright orange.

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They were then fitted with a set of Maxxis MA-Z1 tyres…

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…and mounted to the freshly painted Scooby.

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We instantly thought the new wheels were an improvement over the items they replaced in the looks department but we were far from finished with the car yet!

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The next piece of the puzzle was the custom engine loom, built by Will from Will Pedley Racing.

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With the Autosport International show deadline drawing ever nearer it was all hands on deck for the final few weeks, with Will and Ant working on the loom…

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…while Dave from Sign Services set to work on the livery.

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The final touches were also added to the interior during this time, including the digi dash, gauges, Quaife display unit and personalised Corbeau seats.

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With the loom complete and interior all back together it was time to stand back and admire what we had rebuilt…

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….but not for too long as we had to load it on the trailer to the Birmingham NEC moments later!

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The car spent the duration of the show on the Maxxis Tyres stand where it went down an absolute storm, with everyone commenting on the cleanliness of the fresh build.

The idea of a RWD, Toyota powered, Nissan suspension equipped Subaru is still a novelty to many people and the uniqueness of our Scooby still never fails to impress.

All that’s left for us to do is to get it back out on track and see how it performs – let’s hope Brett doesn’t break anything!

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