Panda has been a good friend for a very long time, and for as long as I have known him he has always driven a raft of Japanese sports car, always modified in his own unique was and always sitting as low as he could wind the suspension down.
So when PANDA came to me with the idea of finally updating to a newer car it had to be low, fast and ‘somewhat comfortable’. We’ll get back to his definition of comfortable later.
We go to thinking of what car would fit the bill and ended up with a Subaru WRX preferably something from the year 2000 or newer. PANDA really liked the look of the GC8’s and had a spare ‘track only’ WRX we could use for parts if we wanted.
Fast forward a few months and we bought 2 WRX’s to turn into his ultimate street car. Firstly we bought him a MY2000 GC8 WRX roller for under $500 and wrecked MY1998 WRX STI that had been involved in an accident, this one was loaded with goodies from a MY2002 WRX STI.
Now on to the fun stuff…
We now have these beautiful Brembo brakes to go on the car. These huge 4 piston fronts and 2 piston rears will more than do the job of slowing down the potential 200+awkw on the occasional weekend track day or ‘spirited late night drive’ around the Victorian hill country.
Next we have the PPG gearbox and Exedy HD clutch kit. Having seen the WRX scene grow from the late 90’s the most common issue owners had was adding a bit of power and stripping gears almost straight away. The PPG 1st, 2nd and 3rd gearset does a lot to reduce gearbox failure under higher loads.
Attached to the PPG gearbox is a EJ207 STI motor, we rebuilt the heads and did a timing belt change just to be safe before we installed it. Pushing boost through the power plant is an AVO400 turbo, 740cc siemens injectors, SARD fuel pressure regulator and to manage the whole package is a MOTEC M800 ECU.
The MOTEC ECU allows for dual stage maps, e85 tuning, launch control, boost control and a whole raft of options to suit Panda’s needs. Needing a good tuner who could understand the customers needs and create a reliable tune we sent the WRX to chequered tuning for a tune and power run.