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John Hall's 2007 specB - Daily turned Restoration (Respray, Engine Build, Air Ride, More!)


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It's all about the learning process. And at the end of the day, it's just paint, and can be sprayed again.

 

Maintaining that wet edge is very important to avoid the tiger stripes you referenced, as I've learned (also the hard way!). Nibs and bugs will happen unless you're in a perfect booth, and even then, it's not foolproof. We painted my 944 outside in my driveway, for what it's worth. Nothing will be perfect, and chasing that is more trouble than it's worth!

 

Exactly! I'm just glad that I can put the car back together and shoot it as a whole. No doubt it is still some decent time to sand it all down and re-shoot it, but not nearly as much work as I went through.

 

I know I'll end up with nibs and bugs, and hopefully I can lay down enough clear so that I can remove them with confidence. A friend and coworker sprayed his LS400 at his shop around the same time I did mine. He laid down 5 or 6 coats of the SPI Universal clear which is promoted as staying soft / very friendly to cut and buff even a month or longer after spraying. He put a lot of effort into wet sanding out all the orange peel and man, it came out fantastic. Its a black car and the paint just looks like glass. Its great motivation for me :D

 

Thanks for the words of encouragement :D

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Exactly! I'm just glad that I can put the car back together and shoot it as a whole. No doubt it is still some decent time to sand it all down and re-shoot it, but not nearly as much work as I went through.

 

I know I'll end up with nibs and bugs, and hopefully I can lay down enough clear so that I can remove them with confidence. A friend and coworker sprayed his LS400 at his shop around the same time I did mine. He laid down 5 or 6 coats of the SPI Universal clear which is promoted as staying soft / very friendly to cut and buff even a month or longer after spraying. He put a lot of effort into wet sanding out all the orange peel and man, it came out fantastic. Its a black car and the paint just looks like glass. Its great motivation for me :D

 

Thanks for the words of encouragement :D

Each time you paint, you get better. That's the best part about making mistakes :lol:

 

We ended up using a relatively hard clear from Automotive Art, with a different approach since I was trying to keep some peel. 3 good wet coats, and then light buffing. I love the look of glass-smooth paint, but was going for an OEM appearance.

 

Keep up the good work, definitely tuned in over here.

LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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Each time you paint, you get better. That's the best part about making mistakes :lol:

 

We ended up using a relatively hard clear from Automotive Art, with a different approach since I was trying to keep some peel. 3 good wet coats, and then light buffing. I love the look of glass-smooth paint, but was going for an OEM appearance.

 

Keep up the good work, definitely tuned in over here.

 

I hear that! Thanks again for the kind words :D

 

---

 

I had some shop time over the long weekend and made some headway, finally!

 

I applied butyl sheets to the LH floor pan. The factory sound deadening had delaminated. I also hit the floor pan with some epoxy sealer before laying this stuff down. Sorry for the bad picture but you get the idea!

ZzKst9N.jpg

 

One of my many "while I'm there" things was replacing my worn out trunk, fuel door and parking brake cables, all of which were stretched out beyond the tolerance of their respective adjustment mechanisms. Trunk and fuel door were first, sorry no pictures of that but use your imagination. With the interior all taken apart, replacement of these is a breeze. The parking brake cables required a bit more effort but ultimately came out with ease. I have all new everything for the rear of the car; I'm super excited to see it all come together!

 

Exciting picture of old vs new parking brake cable, oooo, ahhhh, ooooo!

rcnD7fK.jpg

 

Finally, and last on my list of "stuff to remove" was the crusty fuel filler neck. Miraculously the tank is in pretty good shape all things considered. This sucker didn't want to come apart from the flex hose that couples it to the tank but with some careful convincing I got it out without any damage.

vw61cIf.jpg

51Erawc.jpg

 

Next up is some grinding of some surface rust on the underside of the car around the rear suspension mounting points, then a fresh coat of epoxy sealer and undercoating. Not looking forward to this step but once that's done I can start putting everything back together which I am VERY VERY excited for :D So that is going to be my motivation to power through the "not so fun" part :)

 

Thanks for reading!

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Did you pull your tank to replace the filler neck?

 

No, you can remove the filler neck without removing the tank!

 

I did however, end up removing the tank anyhow :lol:

 

---

 

Since I want to grind away some rust on the undercarriage, and seeing as I've got the whole rear end apart anyhow, I decided I might as well drop the fuel tank since I don't intend on ever having another more convenient time than I'd have now. The tank came out with ease; I had my wife help me balance on the way down but basically just put a 4x4 on the floor jack to sit in the center of the fuel tank that straddles the driveshaft and we kept it steady as I lowered the floor jack.

 

The tank itself is in OK condition, it does not appear to be leaking from the seams but some of the brackets on it (e.g., for EVAP hoses and such) are pretty toast.

mP6z1rH.jpg

 

I scooped up a low mileage fuel tank out of California that is in excellent condition that will be replacing this one.

 

Nothing to hide here, the underside of the car isn't clean by any stretch of the imagination but its also not terrible. All the rust in this photo can be removed, which is what I'll be doing next. You can see a little bit into the dogleg area that I've done some epoxying before as these are a known weak area on these cars. Sometime ago I ground away any rust in that area and epoxy'd it, and as you can see its holding up great.

mPnaajl.jpg

 

So, next on the agenda for me is a whole lot of time on my back with the grinder, yayyyyy :lol: Once I've removed everything I can get to, I'll be applying a couple fresh coats of epoxy and some 3M undercoating to breathe more life back into this rig. I'll do the mid/front of the car at another time once I put a lift in my shop since those areas dont require nearly as much effort to access compared to the rear of the car.

 

And finally, another glamour shot of the front fitment :lol: I'm super excited to get the rear suspension back together and test fit the rear wheels which have bigger lips than the fronts :D

VnAEnn9.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Happy Monday! Update time!

 

In what will come as a surprise to no one, my rear brake line brackets were a bit crusty after nearly 200,000 miles across 13 years in the north east, Seeing as I'm replacing/restoring literally everything in the rear suspension, I just couldn't leave these brackets in such a state of gnarly. After learning that new OEM parts would cost me well north of $100, I decided to go about restoring them. Not that I'm opposed to shelling out for OE parts by any means (I just bought all new rear brake hard lines!!) but I also like to keep cash in my pocket when at all possible, like everyone else :lol:

 

First, I cleaned them up with a brush to remove all the loose stuff, then I soaked them in white vinegar for a day or two. They came out looking like this:

ykGyYV3.jpg

 

Next, I used a rotary tool and wire brush to continue cleaning them up -- voila!

6nY6T0r.jpg

 

I knew that if left like this, they'd rust again right away. I soaked them in a metal etcher which leaves them with a "cloudy" type of finish, like this:

u7dwY9q.jpg

 

Finally, I hit them with some epoxy that dries hard and protects the surface of this metal. Nice!

5kCMgCo.jpg

 

These little details got me excited to see everything back together so I loosely bolted one side of the rear suspension together so I could (mostly) see it. There are a couple little things missing that I'm going to sandblast and refinish this evening. Otherwise, just need a couple of new nuts and bolts to complete the refresh back here.

FV7DJcq.jpg

 

And last but certainly not least, I made substantial headway on removing rust/scale from underneath the car. I spent most of my day yesterday lying on my back with a variety of abrasive tools; mostly an angle grinder with a flap disc and a couple pneumatic die grinders with wire attachments. I'm definitely feeling that in my back today :lol: I ran out of wire attachments so decided to call it a day. I ordered more abrasive attachments that will be here on Tuesday so I'm hoping I'll be able to finish cleaning this up and have it ready to apply new coatings by the end of the week.

QoB2BYZ.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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I have been doing a lot of the same work. I should post some updated pics on my thread.

I replace the bushings in the subframe and gave the whole thing a fresh coat of paint. I have a California car so rust is not an issue but now that I’m in the east coast I figure a fresh coat of paint is cheap insurance

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This is the definition of "labor of love". Well done!

 

Thanks!! "Labor" is definitely the right word for it :lol:

 

I have been doing a lot of the same work. I should post some updated pics on my thread.

I replace the bushings in the subframe and gave the whole thing a fresh coat of paint. I have a California car so rust is not an issue but now that I’m in the east coast I figure a fresh coat of paint is cheap insurance

 

That sounds awesome man!! Definitely post some updates!! I don't plan on doing too much to refinish the subframe/crossmember as the one I got from California is in perfectly good condition and at this point, I'm just itching to get the car back together :lol: I'm really excited to finish up my work on the chassis though, it's been a lot of effort and I know the outcome is going to feel great!

 

----

 

The abrasives I ordered that I think should be all that I need to finish up the grinding should arrive today, so I'm excited to hopefully be done with the super dirty stuff as of this evening. Woohooo!!!!

 

Last night I took a trip to our YouTube studio (check out Bag Riders on YouTube!!) and used our nice sand blast cabinet to clean up miscellaneous smaller parts: trailing arm to crossmember braces, the little brackets that sit under the fuel tank, the bracket that holds the brake line union, and some other random small parts that came off the car during this whole ordeal.

 

Here's a photo of one of the trailing arm / subframe braces all cleaned up and ready to be recoated. Very exciting, I know :lol:

3Wkcr7E.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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New (to me) fuel tank and straps showed up, woohoo!

CqgS8fr.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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All these little bits eat up time.

If I had the space I would just buy a blast cabinet and an old oven and powder everything myself. My local powder coater is a good distance from me and I was not totally satisfied with my last transaction with them.

 

I think the end result is definitely worth the effort though. when I roll under there to see everything looking fresh and corrosion free is very satisfying.

 

Also I have the "Back from the Dead" thread going as well if you want to see what I am up to.

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All these little bits eat up time.

If I had the space I would just buy a blast cabinet and an old oven and powder everything myself. My local powder coater is a good distance from me and I was not totally satisfied with my last transaction with them.

 

I think the end result is definitely worth the effort though. when I roll under there to see everything looking fresh and corrosion free is very satisfying.

 

Also I have the "Back from the Dead" thread going as well if you want to see what I am up to.

 

I hear you man!! I've used a number of local powdercoaters over the years and am lucky enough to have found a good one that is close to our office, but that's about 30 mins from my home. Our business is nearby other automotive shops which makes it convenient to leverage their specialties when needed -- for example I had a shop down the road vapor blast all my aluminum parts and they came out great!

 

There is only so much I can do for the chassis on my back with various grinding tools. One day I'd love to do a full restoration on a rotisserie but this just isn't the right time or car for that.

 

I'll check out your build thread!! Thanks again for sharing!

 

---

 

Well, another setback but no real surprise given the circumstances. I found a small area on both sides of the frame crossmember near the tow hook brackets where the rust has compromised the metal. Fortunately, it hasn't spread to the inside yet and its a pretty simple and flat surface so I'll be cutting that out, treating anything behind it, and welding in some new steel before laying down the epoxy and undercoating.

 

The journey never ends :lol: I am happy to have a project car that gives me so much opportunity to learn and practice and refine my skills. Its my hobby after all :)

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Happy Monday all!

 

Spent more time grinding over the weekend, my new favorite hobby (sarcasm)

 

Aside from grinding, I also painted the parts that I sandblasted last week: rear suspension braces (the ones that go from trailing arm mount to rear crossmember), the bracket for the EVAP box that mounts in the LH rear wheel well, the bracket that holds the rear brake line junction, as well as the odd box shaped things that bolt to the chassis kinda near the fuel tank.

 

I used two products on these: Rust Bullet Automotive and POR top coat. Rust Bullet is similar in many ways to POR-15 but I personally like it better since it can be applied with HVLP and proclaims a bit less "magic" than POR-15. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of POR-15 and had the pleasure of meeting some of the folks behind that product at SEMA a few years back and they're just genuinely passionate about their stuff, really nice to talk to. But anyhow, I've had great success with Rust Bullet - like any coating, preparation is very important. These parts already went through the sandblaster so application was straightforward, just followed the literature for recoat times and it came out great.

 

"Base Coat" (Rust Bullet) - Applied with a brush on these small parts

4nmtevp.jpg

 

"Top Coat" (POR top coat product, not POR-15) - applied from aerosol can

gBclWBJ.jpg

 

I am so close to behind done with grinding the chassis, which is exciting. Safe to say I've got about 10 hours in just grinding as of now... ready to be done with it! I decided to pull off the plastic covers under the cabin area of the vehicle and wire brushed where it was needed. Another couple hours of grinding and I'll be done.

bvzZfKE.jpg

 

I also picked up some aluminized steel panels to weld in the couple of "problem areas" I mentioned in a previous post. Once I'm done grinding, I'll weld those panels in and proceed with the coating process.

 

Steps ahead of me are:

  • Finish grinding/wire wheel removal of rust/scale
  • Cut out / weld in patch panels
  • Scuff untouched areas with 150 grit to give epoxy coating something to catch
  • Clean / degrease undercarriage and apply metal etcher to bare metal
  • Apply 3 coats of Rust Bullet Automotive via HVLP spray gun
  • Apply Rust Bullet top coat via HVLP spray gun
  • Apply seam sealer where needed (e.g., some factory seam sealer was removed)
  • Spray on 3M rubberized undercoating
  • Crack a beer and celebrate

 

These steps have some serious overlap with a restoration project but I refuse to call it that since in reality this is nowhere close to a "real" restoration and thus comparing it would be a major discredit to "real" restorations :lol: Regardless, I try my best to do things "the right way" as much as the situation allows. In this case, having the car fully stripped on a rotisserie would allow for a more thorough job but that is just not the right choice for this car when clean BL chassis' can be obtained with relative ease unlike old classics that are more typical for a rotisserie-level restoration.

 

The principals behind the steps above are to first protect and seal the metal chassis with the Rust Bullet Automotive coating, which penetrates, dehydrates and seals the metal. It of course also protects metal that is in not rusted, obviously a good thing! With the metal protected, seam sealer is applied around the factory seams where I may have removed factory-applied seam sealer, and also on any weld welded areas for further protection. Finally, the rubberized undercoating is mostly aesthetic for a unified appearance, but also provides yet another layer of protection along with some minor insulation characteristics.

 

I think once I'm done I'll have to spend some time just laying under my car looking at it before it all goes back together to never be seen again :lol:

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Well it looks like you and I are under taking very similar tasks when it comes to the under carriage.

I was debating doing some undercoating to my car, but right now it is very clean with no corrosion. Side note, I have heard mixed opinions on the rubberized under coating products. I think it is an application issue, but some people get cracking which traps moisture against the panel making things worst. If done right I am sure it works as promised.

My solution will be to treat any corrosion early before I need to take extreme measures, also I don't plan on using this car as a winter driver. Money wise it is just cheaper to lease a civic or an elantra and use that for a daily versus my 20mpg turbo car with thousands $$ under the hood, just to have salt eat it from the bottom up.

 

I will probably just apply a fresh coat of paint on top of the existing undercoating for my car given I don't have to remove anything. The only real reason I have not done that already is I am not looking forward to using a spray can while on my back and end up in unintentional black face.

 

Your progress is looking great, keep us posted, Maybe one day some of us will plan a road trip where we can put some miles on these fresh beast.

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Well it looks like you and I are under taking very similar tasks when it comes to the under carriage.

I was debating doing some undercoating to my car, but right now it is very clean with no corrosion. Side note, I have heard mixed opinions on the rubberized under coating products. I think it is an application issue, but some people get cracking which traps moisture against the panel making things worst. If done right I am sure it works as promised.

My solution will be to treat any corrosion early before I need to take extreme measures, also I don't plan on using this car as a winter driver. Money wise it is just cheaper to lease a civic or an elantra and use that for a daily versus my 20mpg turbo car with thousands $$ under the hood, just to have salt eat it from the bottom up.

 

I will probably just apply a fresh coat of paint on top of the existing undercoating for my car given I don't have to remove anything. The only real reason I have not done that already is I am not looking forward to using a spray can while on my back and end up in unintentional black face.

 

Your progress is looking great, keep us posted, Maybe one day some of us will plan a road trip where we can put some miles on these fresh beast.

 

All very true man! I bought this car well under book some years ago, knowing it had a considerable amount of rust. Truthfully, that is what lead to me doing fender flares in the first place since I didn't want to do a real quarter panel job... cutting out the rusty quarters, welding them up and slapping on some flares was easy peasy and I didn't hate the look but I do prefer the more "intentional" look that the fiberglass kit specific to the BL chassis gives, albeit surely not everyone's cup of tea... and that's OK! I didn't ever plan on doing the stuff I am now, that's life I guess! I honestly enjoy it, as weird as that might sound to some (probably most :lol:) Aside from all the current rust work, I also replaced all four doors that were rusting at the bottom edges, so once I'm done with all this stuff I should be pretty well done with it.

 

I've had heard the same thing re: undercoating and totally agree that it can absolutely do more harm than good when applied incorrectly or haphazardly. I think folks run into problems when they think they're doing themselves a favor by just getting in there and going to town on the undercarriage with little to no prep work... obviously that's far from the case here :lol: I'm trying my best to recreate what the factory would do with a bare shell i.e., epoxy it, seam seal it, then apply undercoating with a mil thickness that should avoid any delamination, porosity, cracking or otherwise anything that would compromise the finish (the same goes for the epoxy coat). I have confidence that these steps will ensure success! The epoxy is really what is providing the protection to the metal whereas the rubberized coating is a layer of protection above that. Like you pointed out, addressing corrosion before it starts eating into the metal is by far and away the best option. Once that option has come and gone, the only thing to do is grind until clean metal is found, which is where I'm at now!

 

While I originally bought this specB as a fun winter car, I started tearing into it last winter with the intention on having it done months ago but other things took priority like they tend to. Once I'm finally done, I do intend on driving this car during the winter months but only on clear days. I intend on putting it on some wide cast wheels with winter tires to have something cool to drive on nicer days. I just finished a rebuild of a 2005 Outback that, like this Legacy, I got a bit out of hand with (albeit not nearly as far) and ended up doing a full interior swap + custom upholstery, engine rebuild, panel replacement, steering rack.. a whole bunch of stuff. That is my winter rig, especially on nasty slushy days and/or when temps are super low and road crews unleash the magnesium chloride... that stuff is nasty and eats through our japanese steel like Kobayashi does hot dogs. I've got another thread for that car: https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/operation-outback-amalgamation-another-project-john-284155.html

 

Anyhow, thanks for keeping me motivated, I can't wait to start putting this thing back together and get it off jack stands.. if nothing else to finally give my shop floor a good clean :lol:

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 1 month later...

It's update time!

 

After what can only be described as a tremendous amount of work, I finished up with undercoating yesterday. Here's the steps I took and some photos from along the way. I wish I took more photos but it isn't super exciting stuff and I was absolutely covered in crap most of the time so I wasn't super eager to go grab my phone haha.

 

There is a "before" photo a few posts back.

 

Step 1: Grind, grind, grind away surface rust. Seriously-- so much grinding. I used a variety of tools and attachments. A flap disc on an angle grinder made fast work of big flat sections like frame rails, whereas the smaller areas were addressed with wire and sanding attachments on pneumatic die grinders. I can't even begin to tell you how many rogue wires I pulled out of my coveralls during this process. Safe to say I won't do this sort of thing again unless the car is on a lift or rotisserie.

 

Here's a shot from the grinding process:

RWpNTDT.jpg

 

And here's me after grinding away undercoating and crap for hours on end. I look exhausted! I must have spent at least 10 hours grinding away rust and exposing the early stages rust under old seam sealer and undercoating. I'm glad I was so thorough!

 

PS - peep those DIY cement weight plates! i made those last spring as we couldn't find any at a reasonable price due to COVID demand, so made my own out of 2" PVC (to accept the barbell), some planting saucers (forms), and 1/4" chicken wire for reinforcement mesh. they've held up about a year now and were dirt cheap!

NZEgEoJ.jpg

 

Step 2: Repairs. There were a couple small areas above where the tow strap anchors are (below the dogleg area) where the metal was compromised from rust, so I cut those out and welded in patch panels. Fortunately, the rust hadn't spread to the outer skin so this repair was done at a great time!

6e05Gox.jpg

qeJcMwa.jpg

 

Step 3: Masking. This should have been step 1 :lol: I had to clean a whole bunch of dust out of the inside of the car, but bagged it sometime along the way to keep any additional dust out, and of course to protect from overspray.

wVYzDgg.jpg

 

 

Step 4: Surface prep. Sanding, Cleaning, Etching, and more Cleaning! First I cleaned the chassis with a degreaser, then went over all areas with a 120 grit scotchbrite on a die grinder that hadn't been hit with a more abrasive tool during the rust removal stage. This was done to provide a roughed up surface for the epoxy to achieve a strong mechanical bond. As you will see, I epoxied the whole floor pan for an additional layer of protection atop the factory coating.

 

Once the surface was mechanically prepared, it was time for the metal etching spray that is a precursor to the epoxy coating I used (this is common for epoxy rust encapsulators). It leaves the metal looking almost like a galvanized steel. This was a nice sight for me! Following the instructions, I then cleaned the chassis AGAIN with hot water, wiping it up immediately as to not let it sit on the bare metal. This was time consuming, but I knew I was getting close.

I9qnlvP.jpg

bVuD6f9.jpg

ShRG2lQ.jpg

 

 

Step 5: Epoxy!! Finally!! This was the step I had been waiting for. This coating was a two-part coating. The first coating is an aggressive epoxy that penetrates the metal and the top-coat is a thick epoxy that provides an additional layer of protection along with a smoother finish. The first coat goes on heavy and subsequent coats go on lighter. The goal is at least 6 mil of material buildup. I don't have a paint depth tool but I'm confident I achieved that with my many coats.

 

Silver coat (penetrating epoxy)

87V0HlV.jpg

e9te5EH.jpg

 

Black coat (color coat / epoxy)

ht1rcxN.jpg

AHJrXje.jpg

 

Step 6: Seam sealer and Undercoating. Since I removed a fair amount of seam sealer and undercoating throughout the process, of course I couldn't just leave it off! I picked up a couple tubes of 3M seam sealer and applied it via caulking gun, then followed up with a stiff bristle brush to cover the seam entirely. This isn't terribly exciting (is anything in this post exciting to anyone other than me?? lol) so I didn't snap many pictures, but yeah... seam sealer, neato!

uhgBoyF.jpg

 

And finally, the moment I had been so patiently awaiting since I started this process... undercoating! I'm so happy with out how it came out.

Eicphnr.jpg

4GqpOgT.jpg

RgtMemE.jpg

bVod2X6.jpg

 

So that's a wrap on the restoration steps -- now its finally time to start putting the car back together... right? Well, almost. In classic "me" fashion, I immediately pulled the front end apart in order to bring it up to par with the refreshed rear end. Obviously the front end is much easier to work on then the back end, so I made quick work of the disassembly.

 

Up front, I'm going to clean up the LCA's and uprights, and give the uprights a fresh coat of paint. The brake dust shields are toast so I'll be installing new ones. I really despise the OEM end links so I'll be swapping those out with a nut & bolt style endlink from the aftermarket. Last but not least, I had one wheel bearing on its way out and a torn inner axle boot so both of those are on the docket for repair. While I have everything out of the front, I'll grind away a bit of surface rust and give it a fresh coat of paint to bring it up to par with the rest of the chassis.

 

Here's the state of my shop now:

y0WdM7g.jpg

 

Sometime later this year or next, or if the engine decides to blow, I plan on dropping the engine/trans and doing a refresh on those, plus the rack & pinion and crossmember, along with painting the engine bay. Maybe it would have been better to do all that stuff now / during this past year of work, but there is some merit to limiting the number of mechanical changes at any given time. I plan on getting the car back to driving before dropping the engine/trans and completing that next step of restoration. By that time, the chassis will have nearly 200k but I'll be damned if anyone would ever suspect it!

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by BagRidersJohn

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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To say this is impressive is a massive understatement. Great work buddy!!

 

This is amazing work. I steam-cleaned the underside of my wagon (multiple failed cv boots) and thought I should be proud. This is over the top and looks great

 

Thanks fellas! I really appreciate the kind words, especially coming from folks like yourselves with awesome builds of their own!

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Saw the post on Instagram and immediately came here hoping for the long-form. Did not leave disappointed.

 

Always love seeing build updates!

 

Man you have no idea how happy I am to hear that!! Don't get me wrong I enjoy IG and all, but I really feel like it has been the catalyst for an unfortunate departure from community-oriented forums like this one, and also a departure from the detail-oriented long-format build threads that were (to me at least) a treasure exclusively found on forums.

 

To me, writing an update is an outlet to share my excitement and passion for the projects I work on which often times fall on the unexciting side of "car stuff" outside of a very specific audience :lol: So I really do appreciate you taking the time to read :)

 

Simply awesome work, can't wait to see this finished!

 

Thanks a lot, and me too!!

 

great job , i really appreciate the effort you putting on this !

 

Thank you madrig! Your exceptional, detail-oriented work is and always has been a big inspiration for me. I really appreciate the kind words regarding my efforts, and the attention to detail that is evident in your work!

 

I would not say my build is awesome, not yet at least. But that is the goal!!!

With folks like you in the community the bar is mighty high to earn that distinction.

 

You're making me blush :lol: You definitely inspired me to freshen up the front end a bit before I get the car off stands, but I'm not going into nearly as much detail as you have been... at least for now! Like I mentioned in the conclusion of my last post, I do plan on dropping the engine/trans at some point to paint the engine bay, at which point I will almost certainly replace the rack and either blast/repaint or replace the cross member. I've gotta put my foot down in this case and say "no more!" until I get this thing back on all fours and drive it around a bit. I've also got some big stuff I want to do with my WRX and would prefer to have the Legacy on the road during that time so I have something fun to drive around, but as the saying goes, sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too but I'll be damned if I don't try!! :lol:

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Yeah, Instagram has really diluted reality. Most pictures are carefully staged and are only binary before and after. Never mind the man hours and thousands of dollars it took to get there.

 

I got into a small disagreement over a Coyote swap in a classic Mustang. I said this should come with a big disclaimer since this is not an easy swap... The internet did not like that, "You can totally do...", "you must not know cars..." you get the idea. My point was the coyote is really wide up top and requires metal work which most people can't do with simple hand tools. You get some poor guy in way over his head just to find out the motor don't fit, that sounds shitty to me.

 

Maybe I'm just getting old and behind the times since my attention span is more than a few seconds but I miss the long form discussions, and detailed build threads. The wealth of information is so deep on the forums. Kids today don't really know what they are missing out on since for older cars they can just do a quick search and every thing is there for them already figured out. What they are forgetting is that this information is there because many many members took their time to do testing, go through the trial and error, and wrote it all down in painful detail.

 

 

We here might be a dyeing breed gents.

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  • BagRidersJohn changed the title to John Hall's 2007 specB - Daily turned Restoration (Respray, Engine Build, Air Ride, More!)

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