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


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Night and day difference between the before and after on the rear diff-any special tools needed to repair/rebuild? Looks very clean! Always nice to see some rex pics too

 

Thanks! Nothing special to do what I did, but I didn't take apart the actual diff which would require some special tools. There is actually a really good video on a drivetrain shop rebuilding an R180 on YouTube that you should watch if you're considering doing it. What I did was an aesthetic overhaul more than anything since upon opening it up, I found the diff to be in good condition with normal looking wear on the gears.

 

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Haven't had much time in the shop recently with stuff around the house and life in general, so when I'm out there I've been doing little things like fiddling with wheel fitment and dialing in the air ride height sensors. All that is going good!

 

I dialed in the left rear wheel fitment last night. I think I nailed it! I'm going for an aggressive stance with what would be considered "moderate" camber in the stance world. I'm guessing this is somewhere around -5 or -6 which is indeed very moderate considering double digit negative camber is super common.

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I like the look of lip to fender with the lip of the wheel just barely protruding past the wheel arch. I very likely will need to make some adjustments when i have tires on these wheels, however.

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Little random detail, but I wanted to try something different for leader hoses. This is just an aesthetic thing for me; I like stuff to be black. Leader hoses are steel braided air hoses that are a good choice for MacPherson applications as the strut turns with the steering and therefore the air hose is generally more exposed to road debris than e.g. a rear air spring or a front spring that isn't part of a MacPherson assembly. I used some abrasion resistant nylon sleeve material from McMaster and heat shrunk the ends for a finished look.

l4EeRh2.jpg

 

For the front height sensors, I mounted one of our sensor brackets to the front crossmember using some nutserts and M6 hardware. These brackets are super handy as they lend themselves to pretty much any sort of installation. They can be bent, cut and reshaped with ease. They're slotted for both the sensor orientation as well as the mounting slots which helps get the position and sensor travel really perfect. I'm going to hit these with some black paint once after a little bit more testing.

 

The purpose of the height sensor is, hopefully quite obviously, to determine the height of the vehicle for the purpose of maintaining a consistent aligned driving height when adjusting the air suspension. Height readings are always a reliable means of determining the suspension height of the vehicle, very much unlike air spring pressure. Take for example, changes in cabin weight e.g., adding passengers or cargo. As weight in the cabin increases so does air spring pressure, however the height of the vehicle is lowered by the added weight. So pressure goes UP but the vehicle goes DOWN. Therefore, you cannot rely on a set of air spring pressures to consistently yield the same driving height whereas you can ALWAYS rely on the values of the height sensors to yield the same driving height.

 

Installing height sensors is probably the most dreaded aspect of an air ride install as they can be tricky to find an ideal location, therefore it is very common for folks to skip this step altogether and instead rely on air spring pressures. You can absolutely get by with air spring pressures alone, especially if you don't often have passengers or cargo, but there is no arguing that height sensors are the "end all be all" to determining your suspension height. It should come as no surprise that OE's will use height sensors with air suspension every time.

 

I could go on and on about the importance of height sensors and how to install them, but I think this post is already getting quite long so I'll save you the reading :) Anyways, here is the location for my front height sensors. I simply bent the bracket and notched it for steering arm travel. I shortened the linkage rod and installed a stud on the lower control arm to receive it. Clearance is tight around the swaybar linkage, but there is no interference throughout suspension travel. It appears that I'm utilizing most of the sensor's travel range which is ideal for accuracy. Once I fire up the system, I will know exactly how much of the sensor I am utilizing via the air ride controller.

kj1EJIL.jpg

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I intend on chopping the sensor arm down to remove the unused portion, but otherwise this is ready to go!

 

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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Night and day difference between the before and after on the rear diff-any special tools needed to repair/rebuild? Looks very clean! Always nice to see some rex pics too

 

For replacing seals yes and no. The only "special tool' You might need is someway to keep the pinion from spinning when you are trying to remove, and re-torque the nut that holds the flange to the pinion shaft. Otherwise hand tools.

 

If you are replacing bearings that is another subject. Then you need a dial indicator and some way to remove the bearings from the carrier, and prob a shop press.

For most people this level of work is best done at a shop. Before I sold my Jeep I swapped the differential in that thing to a larger stronger unit with and LSD. I replaced all seals and bearings. I took the pinion and the carrier to a shop, and did the rest myself to include checking backlash. Rebuilding a diff is definitely, and rare thing for most guys to do at home. Not rocket science, but it is just much cheaper and easier to have some one else do it.

 

If all you have is a leaky side seal you can do that on jackstands, if you have some humming going on. Then you should drop it, buy the bits and have a shop rebuild the hole thing and save yourself a lot of headache.

 

Hope that helps.

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Everything socalsleeper said about a diff rebuild is spot on! Since what I did here was just really a reseal and aesthetic refresher, I didn't require any special tools. If there was something wrong with the diff, I'd have handed it off to some drivetrain specialists to get the job done right!

 

Not much for an update this week unfortunately. Typically my "all day shop day" is Sunday and this particular Sunday got away from me. My wife and I went to meet my FIL in town and on his way there, he was having issues with his clutch pedal not returning. I figured his fluid was shot or some failure in the plumbing caused a fluid leak. Well when we got to his location, I could smell the burning clutch. Sure enough the reservoir was just about empty so I filled it with fluid and that fixed the pedal issue, but he then mentioned that the car was making a terrible noise when the clutch pedal was depressed. Now you have to understand my father in law is very hard of hearing, so for him to complain about a noise really is saying something. I hopped in the car to hear it for myself and knew right away, the throwout bearing was toast.

 

I offered to drive his car back to my shop about 25 miles away. I managed to do so while only using the clutch pedal twice for two first-gear starts at a red light and getting off the highway. I pulled the engine out knowing that I'd be doing a clutch job, and man oh man was I right about the TOB.

kBpDD7n.jpg

 

The clutch wasn't far behind so I'm doing that plus throwing a new flywheel in there. Should be good to go for a while after that!

 

The only things I really got done on my Legacy were building my wheels and reassembling the rear parking brake.

 

All new parking brake stuff, nice!

64r2XoS.jpg

 

Sealing up 3 piece wheels is easy but a bit time consuming, having to torque 40 bolts per wheel and seal up the flange with silicone. I always enjoy taking my time to make this part look really nice, although one will never actually see it aside from tire changes...

yb3IxBV.jpg

 

One night this week I hope to make it into our shop to do the mount and balancing.

KA6R9GS.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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Happy Monday LGT fam. Most of my free time last week was spent doing the clutch replacement on my FIL's Outback and doing some family stuff, but I got some solid time out in the shop on Sunday and managed to reach a major milestone which was getting the car OFF JACK STANDS!!! WOOO!!!

 

It feels like it has been in that same spot on jack stands for a LONG time so I turned to my photo album on my phone to get a more accurate date and turns out, it was on May 18th 2020 that it went onto jack stands... almost a year ago!

 

I'll be mounting tires onto my Rotiform splits later this week so until then I have it sitting on its old winter wheels.

 

Not a very exciting picture, but a big milestone for this project nonetheless. Literally everything came off the underside of the car and was replaced or refinished, both for the front and rear suspension. Man let me tell you, it a good feeling to crawl under there and see all the new goodness and wrench on fasteners that aren't bound by decades of rust!!

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At some point here I'm going to make a thread for installing air suspension on a LGT covering where I routed lines and wires, and go into a bit more detail about how I mounted the height sensors. Height sensors are one of my favorite details of an air ride install because they require critical thinking and problem solving. When done right, they make for an incredibly enjoyable system.

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for lack of updates, life has been busy!

 

I mounted the tires up on my 3 piece wheels and fit them on the car. I immediately realized that the inner lip on the fiberglass body kit had to be removed in order to achieve the fitment I desired. So out came the paint marker and angle grinder and I proceeded to carefully remove material from the kit until I could get the wheels to fit nicely. I also finished up the rear air ride height sensors and filled my rear diff with fluid which marked the completion of "drivetrain stuff" so that was a big milestone. I proceeded to get started on the electrical for aftermarket audio but didn't make a whole lot of headway.

 

I adjusted the suspension length so that when the air springs are fully deflated, the lip of the wheel is < 0.5MM from the fiberglass kit. I hope this will help mitigate the risk of the kit being damaged from the weight of the vehicle.

3iDypQK.jpg

 

Perfect fit! The rears are 18x10.5 -6. I certainly could have gone wider and/or lower offset but wanted to keep negative camber in the single digits.

FVjpWgA.jpg

 

With the suspension travel dialed in, it was time to set up the rear height sensors. The objective is to utilize as much of the sensors travel range as possible as this will make the air suspension computer able to achieve height presets more accurately. For the rear sensors, I added some nutserts to the rear crossmmember and reference the travel of the lower lateral link. I used a handy dandy sensor linkage clamp on the control arm to add a mounting point for the M5 sensor linkage. This photo was taken at "full droop" so the sensor travels upward during compression. At full compression, the lateral link is about 1cm away from the sensor body.

14dLVco.jpg

 

I think I mentioned before, but I'm adding 14awg speaker wires to the doors and new tweeter locations. I'm adding 2-pin Deutsch connectors for an OEM+ type of install. It would have been better to replace the wires in the OEM door plugs but I don't think the thicker wires would have fit in there, so this is the next best thing IMO.

 

Chassis plug:

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In the door grommet (as you can see, i have some wet standing and buffing to do here!):

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I'll end with a photo of the car on the ground :cool: After countless loops of removing wheels, trimming the kit, adjusting suspension arms, rinse and repeat, I finally got the the car sitting how I envisioned it!

VmtcKYy.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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WoW. Just wow. Props to you for your dedication and for your awesome hard work. I wish I had this kind of time and a place to do this. My cars still in good shape but when something small breaks or goes out, it’s a slippery slope! Replacing one thing turns into replacing the 100 things around it, Lol. Cars looking awesome every time you look at it when it’s done you won’t think about the work you’ll just be happy with the end result. Keep it up!
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WoW. Just wow. Props to you for your dedication and for your awesome hard work. I wish I had this kind of time and a place to do this. My cars still in good shape but when something small breaks or goes out, it’s a slippery slope! Replacing one thing turns into replacing the 100 things around it, Lol. Cars looking awesome every time you look at it when it’s done you won’t think about the work you’ll just be happy with the end result. Keep it up!

 

Thanks a lot! I appreciate the kind words and encouragement :)

 

cant wait to see this thing on the road !!

 

Haha me too :lol: It is getting closer!!

 

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Unfortunately I do not have a very exciting update today. I spent most of my free time doing a bit of work to my WRX so I can enjoy daily driving that car throughout the limited warm months we get here in northern VT.

 

That said, progress is progress! I ran RCA cables from the HU to both amps, and also ran power for both amps. I already had big 0awg wiring run from the battery to the trunk of the car for my air ride, so I added a couple distribution blocks to split that power to the amps. Honestly (you should always be honest!) the aftermarket audio wasn't something I planned on doing when I tore the car apart but here we are. I'm glad I made the decision to go ahead with it, I think it will be a nice QOL improvement while driving the car.

 

Anyways, here is what I did on Sunday morning:

 

Templating on some card stock

orZ2VPV.jpg

 

Using magic, I turned the card stock into 22ga steel.

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Seriously though, I cut the metal with an angle grinder, cleaned it up with a flap disc and bench grinder to round the edges, then bent it in a vice with a few whacks from the ol' peen hammer

 

Next, I used my favorite leftover "kubota grey" enamel as my choice of color coat

QEGKJ2M.jpg

 

And voila, it's in the car! This sits behind the carpeted panel completely out of sight. It will probably be forgotten about, but to me the stuff you don't see is just as important as the stuff you do see. I need to label the wires but you get the idea!

h7Ogm0N.jpg

 

I'll be making more progress on wiring and interior stuff, maybe reassembling and hanging the door panels. We'll see!

 

Happy Monday all, I hope you have a great week!

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...

Heyooooo sorry for the lack of updates! The start of summer has been crazy busy both at Bag Riders and home life. I have however been chipping away at my "to do" list on my Legacy!

 

As I believe I've mentioned before, I decided to do a complete audio install as there was "no time like the present" with the car so taken apart. Rather than use the factory speaker wiring which runs through the factory tweeter before the woofer, I decided to run new 14AWG wires and terminate them at the door grommets with 2-pin Deustch connectors. I think this is very OEM+ and clean. Here's how those look:

 

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I'm using Polk DB6500 speakers at each door with components up front. I'll be mounting the tweeter in the A-Pillar. I added some ordinary speaker foam tape to the back-side of the speaker before mounting it to the adapter bracket. I'm using PVC adapter brackets from Patrick Henry at http://carstereoadapters.com/, very friendly and responsive individual, would recommend!

 

p7uM2J6.jpg

 

I added a bunch of sound deadening to the door panel, especially behind and around the speaker cavity, but throughout the inner and outer skin as well quite liberally. I'm using Noico 80mil butyl along with some adhesive-backed MLV that's about 3/8" thick.

EPQVPIM.jpg

 

To create a better acoustical seal I'm using some compression gasket from McMaster on the back-side of the adapter bracket.

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I was pleased to avoid any soldered or butt splice connections between the spakers and the amplifier; just the 2-pin Deutsch connector at the door. I crimped on these small spades to complete the speaker wiring.

zISgSrz.jpg

 

And the completed speaker:

Lj77Cmc.jpg

 

After I wrapped up the speakers, I spent a few hours giving my carpet a really good deep clean. The last time I cleaned this carpet I didn't remove it from the car, nor did I have a carpet extractor. It cleaned up really well and went into the car, where I then proceeded to pull through the speaker and power wires for the 4-channel amp and set that where it will end up living under the passenger seat. A separate amp located in the trunk will power a sub, also in the trunk.

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Finally it was time to get the doors back on the car! Big shouts to my wife for helping me wrangle these in place.

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It had been a LONG time since I had seen the car with so many panels on it!

wpHOqtD.jpg

 

But, this was short lived. I mentioned a while back that I wasn't 100% happy with my respray job and was determined to try again. So, I began masking the car up in preparation to sand it down i.e., just wanting to keep dust out of the interior since I've had to wipe it down so many times over the last year and just put the clean carpet back in.

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I quickly remembered that sanding is not my favorite activity lol.

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My wife was on a camping trip with friends last weekend so I spent about 15 hours on Saturday just prepping this car. I managed to get the entire thing including bumpers and the GT skirts sanded down. I'm glad that's over with!

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One of the issues I had while spraying was lack of airflow in my paintbooth aka, my entire shop. This time, I decided to build a temporary booth. I had a bunch of random lumber kickin' around from previous projects (mostly building a deck) so used what I could from that, and bit the bullet and bought a bunch of 2x3's for the rest of the framing. I have some non-insulated framing work I want to do in my workshop's attic so I should be able to repurpose some of these 2x3's for that. While I really dislike knowing I overpaid for wood, I do need to build a booth and if it helps make for a better outcome it will be worth every penny.

kmVZ0Ih.jpg

 

The booth will end up being about 20' long by 13' wide. There will be a total of 5x "trusses" i.e., one every 5' including both "gable" ends. I bought a 10' by 100' roll of plastic that, once the frame is built, I'll wrap around and hammer staple in place, ultimately creating a relatively tight seal. I'll be mounting lights inside the booth to the "trusses" to ensure I have great lighting in there. Once the plastic is on, I'll be mounting intake and exhaust fans by creating a boxed-in frame and mounting it to the "trusses", then cutting out openings from the inside and sealing to the exposed fans. I've got an industrial-grade exhaust fan that I'm confident will do a great job evacuating overspray.

 

I'll share some photos of the booth once I'm done with it sometime in the next week. I've got a super busy week ahead with family stuff but I might get some time out there on Saturday... we'll see! I ordered the additional clear coat I will need and hope to spray the car one day towards the end of June or early July. I'm very excited to try again!

 

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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I made some solid headway on my DIY spray booth. It's not quite done yet but I should be able to finish it up with a few more hours of work. I'm out of down this weekend as I was last weekend so time in the shop has been minimal. Oh well, I'll get it done!

 

My main objective with this booth is to affordably create a contained space that does a good job of evacuating overspray, which became problematic in my last attempt at spraying. I think what I've done here will achieve that and serve as a good enough spray booth for my at home paint job.

 

I put up the "trusses" with the help of my wife. I added some 45 degree braces to help keep them from falling over. I didn't have enough lumber to add "blocking" between them, but this approach worked just fine.

Nh0rmqQ.jpg

 

With more help from my wife, we went around the perimeter of the booth with 4mil 10' plastic sheeting. I hammer stapled to the vertical members and left a couple inches of excess material which I then duct taped to the floor. I used the LED lights I had purchased for my last spray as interior lighting in the booth. It looks neat from the outside.

gdbU1zN.jpg

 

And inside! I need to add another light at the front and back but otherwise, there is ample lighting in here for spraying.

4zviSk6.jpg

 

Next I installed an exhaust fan (left) and some intake fans (right). The exhaust fan is a super high CFM "whole house fan" that pulls a ridiculous amount of air. I plan on making some basic ducting to direct the airflow out of the shop e.g., using plastic wrap and PEX pipe. The intake fans are 20" box fans with some HVAC filters on the inside to avoid blowing dust into the booth. I plan on installing 2 more intake fans on the opposite side of the intake fans pictured here to try to get closer to the CFM rating of the exhaust fan.

tzGwbet.jpg

 

One interesting problem to solve is making the booth sealed, while still being able to get myself in and out and also be able to move the car in and out, or other parts, with relative ease. I devised a system for this that I think will work.

 

The "gable end" of the booth that faces the garage overhead door is only "semi permanent". I used more 10' 4mil plastic wrap for this, and rolled up the excess 3' or so around a 2x4x8 that rests flat on the ground. This allows me to easily roll up the plastic of that gable end so e.g. a vehicle can be rolled in/out. I'm adding velcro to each side of this gable end so that when it is "rolled down" i.e., sealing up the booth, it doesn't get vacuumed into the booth by the exhaust fan.

 

This leaves the issue of egress i.e., allowing myself to get into and out of the booth after the gable end is "sealed up". For that, I designed a basic door out of cardboard and added some framing to have a solid surface to velcro against.

 

I had a big thick cardboard box from an old windshield from Subaru that I used for the door. Of course I chose to cut out the section with "SUBARU" :)

bhkrXeX.jpg

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So the "order of operations" here is:

  • Roll up the "semi permanent" gable end
  • Roll the car into the booth, or put parts into the booth, whatever
  • Roll down the "semi permanent" gable end, add weight to the 2x4x8 + plastic on the ground, and velcro the sides to seal up the booth
  • Enter/exit the booth via the human door

 

I still have a few things to do before I'm ready to spray:

  • Add velcro to the human door and also the sides of the "semi permanent" gable end
  • Roll the car out of the booth
  • Lay down some plastic wrap on the floor of the booth
  • Add a couple more lights into the booth

 

I also need to re-mask the car, blow off any dust that has collected on it while I built the booth, degrease it again... basically all the general "before spraying" stuff.

 

I'm getting real close! As I mentioned, I'm out of town this weekend but should have the booth finished up next week. I plan on spraying the bumpers and skirts first, then spraying the car another day. I figure I'd rather do any "troubleshooting" with the booth setup while painting small parts instead of the car itself.

 

Thanks for following along, I'm very excited to try this again!

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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when i saw you sanded the car i was thinking you going to buff ! this clear is easy to buff and give show car result !

 

Unfortunately I didn't lay down enough clear last time, so as I began to sand with Trizact dics I was hitting base coat before orange peel was gone. This time I will do a few coats to ensure I have enough material to work with!

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 kinds of awesome in this thread.

Keep it coming.

 

Thanks man!! I will do my best :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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Man this is really awesome to see and inspiring. One day I will get to this level

 

Thanks! I really love the process, and learning new skills :)

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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Alright good news! I'm pretty well done with my booth and intend to start spraying parts this weekend. I'm going to start with my skirts and bumpers, then do the car some time next week.

 

I added 2x more "intake fans" on the opposite side of the booth as the other ones. I used the same 20x20x1 HVAC filters to help keep dust out.

 

Also visible in this photo is the velcro strips I added to my "human door" on this side of the booth. This is some strong velcro and does a great job holding the door shut with the exhaust fan turned on.

qSsMbbR.jpg

 

I mounted a long power strip near the exhaust fan, and routed all lights and fans onto this power strip so now I can turn the entire booth on/off (i.e., all fans and lights) with one switch!

Vv7Khmx.jpg

 

Finally, I added some hooks and chains to the "gable end" so I can roll it up and secure it while moving a car (or panels) in and out of the booth. I added velcro strips to both sides which seal up nice.

Kj7Wmd7.jpg

 

With the exhaust fan on "2" there is a noticeable vacuum in the booth. I am excited to see how it performs while spraying!

 

I went to start the car up last night and just before turning the key forward, remembered that I put in a new gas tank that is bone dry :lol: So today I'm heading to the hardware store to add to my collection of gas canisters and grabbing some fresh gas on the way home. I did save all the 93 that I drained from the old fuel tank but its been in 5 gallon pails for like a year now, so I think that's gonna end up being lawn mower gas :lol:

 

The agenda for the next few days is:

  • Move car to other side of shop
  • Lay down plastic on floor of booth
  • Spray sealer on GT side skirts + lip for my WRX
  • Spray color coat on WRX lip (black)
  • Spray color coat (red) on Legacy skirts + bumpers
  • Spray clear coat on all aforementioned parts

 

With the small parts done, I'll put my Legacy back in the booth and mask it as my schedule allows, then spray base/clear one day after work.

 

Hope to have all the painting done in the next week or so :)

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 really like the subaru door for the booth ! nice touch !

 

if you intend to sand buff the car you can do the 3 coat process with the clear . if you not in the rush , they recommend 30 minute flash time between each coat .

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I Seattle area, there's a local shop that rents their spray booth for $400-600/hr depending on the likelihood of you making a mess.

 

After reading the last several posts, I'm mildly interested in learning to paint in a home-built spray booth. Racecar paint is a 50 foot at best quality standard.

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i really like the subaru door for the booth ! nice touch !

 

if you intend to sand buff the car you can do the 3 coat process with the clear . if you not in the rush , they recommend 30 minute flash time between each coat .

 

Haha thank you :) I put 3 coats of clear on the bumpers and skirts with 30 minute flash time exactly between coats. I am using a clear coat from southern polyurethanes and they're very helpful on the phone, not to mention the forums there are a wealth of knowledge!

 

I Seattle area, there's a local shop that rents their spray booth for $400-600/hr depending on the likelihood of you making a mess.

 

After reading the last several posts, I'm mildly interested in learning to paint in a home-built spray booth. Racecar paint is a 50 foot at best quality standard.

 

I definitely I could have brought the car to a spray booth, I have a few local friends that do autobody, but I just really wanted to do it myself at home so I could do it at my own pace and schedule. The home-built spray booth isn't quite as nice as a professional booth but it certainly gets the job done, plus it was a lot of fun to build :) Building the booth reminded me of building forts as a little kid; planning it out, building upon ideas and making improvements. Overall, I'm really happy with the functionality of the booth and material cost was reasonable despite paying about $200 for the (20) 2x3s that I used for the framing. I had leftover lumber from other random projects that I used as well. I intend on leaving the booth up for a bit as I have other things to paint aside from my Legacy :)

 

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I had a busy family-filled 3 day weekend, but managed to find time in the shop and sprayed my bumpers and side skirts on Saturday evening! A couple runs in the clear to sand out, but overall I'm really happy with the results.

 

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It was really nice out yesterday so I put the parts out in the sunshine to cure for a few hours. The gold flake in the paint really pops in the sunshine!

 

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Maybe I'll give my old Outback a fresh coat of paint... maybe :lol:

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Yesterday evening I spent some time cleaning up the shop and shuffled my Legacy back into the booth. Nights this week will be spent prepping the Legacy to paint someday this weekend. Sunday looks like it will be a nice day so I'm shooting for then! Wish me luck! Thanks for following along :)

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 LGT fam! I sprayed my specB this weekend and it went pretty good!

 

Probably my least favorite part of this whole process is masking, but like every other step of painting a car it is extremely important! Since I already painted the jambs and all, I was careful to ensure my tape lines would be covered by trim panels. I used 3M foam tape on the door edges which worked perfectly.

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Before spraying, I made an improvement to the exhausting of my booth by adding a sort of "hood" above the fan to create a basic ducting. It may look janky, but it worked exceptionally well to keep overspray out of the rest of my shop.

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Finally it was time to dawn my PPE and get to spraying. My wife insisted on taking a photo of my attire. It was about 82 degrees out on Sunday which was great for spraying, but man oh man was I sweating in that Tyvek suit!!

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The color coat went down great, no sags or drips! I tried to do a "drop coat" or "orientation coat" to improve the metallic look. After 3 coats, I was happy with coverage!

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Finally it was time to spray the clear coat. After getting a couple of runs on my bumpers I was keen on avoiding that problem on the rest of the car so I tried to move the gun a bit faster.

 

My wife got home was I was spraying and snapped a quick action shot!

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I love how glossy the clear looks before it cures

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I think I ended up moving the gun a bit too fast as I got more orange peel than I wanted, but no runs! I put three good coats of clear on the car so I'm hoping that will be plenty of material to work with for a nice cut and buff.... that's next on the agenda!

 

I have a ton of respect for professional painters that get glassy finishes right off the gun. It is really a work of art to do that. There are many variables that go into spraying... the settings on the gun, the distance from the panel, amount of overlap, how fast you're moving, reducer speed, ambient temperature... the list goes on! I'm just happy I got the down with only a couple of issues.

 

Here it is after pulling the masking off. I'll start the wet standing process this week. Glass is scheduled for the 19th. Hoping to have the car back on the road sometime in August or September depending on how many late nights I want to do. I have lots of family events coming up and around the house projects I've put off in order to get the car painted. I chose to use this specific clear coat because it has an "infinite buffing window" and is intended for projects that get painted in pieces and assembled months later. Perfect for the hobbiest like me that works around a busy life schedule!

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Thanks for reading, I'm excited to continue moving forward and put the car back together for the final time :)

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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Dang, that looks amazing...

 

Now you have me thinking about repainting my wagon 86F Blue Steel Metallic :lol:

 

Thank you very much, I appreciate the kind words! If you have the space, free time, and willingness to learn, I say go for it :) It is a very rewarding process in my opinion, but not the sort of thing I'd recommend if time is of the essence! I do find it fun and enjoyable; a kind of therapeutic process for me after long days at the office. I wouldn't describe any individual step as particularly difficult in itself, but that is absolutely not to say that achieving a professional finish is easy to do... very far from it! But I do think that with enough patience and willingness to learn from your own mistakes, anyone could do what I did for sure.

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!! My hands feel pretty weird today as I spent about 10 hours yesterday maneuvering a palm sander around the vehicle. I'm happy to say that I have nearly completed color sanding the vehicle, thought I've not yet started on the bumpers which have a couple of runs I need to knock down before sanding begins.

 

Before I got started sanding, I figured I'd take advantage of having no rear glass to vacuum and wipe down the rear parcel shelf. Speaking of which, the glass is going back in this afternoon :) I vacuumed the rear parcel shelf and used some detail spray and a detail brush to give the plastics a thorough clean

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For this process I'm using 3M Trizact discs on a 6" short stroke DA, all with an interface pad. I started with 1200 grit dry which makes relatively quick work of orange peel, but is the most tedious and stressful step in sanding the clear coat. It is critical to be mindful of body lines in this stage as this is where burn-through will most likely occur. It sure does feel wrong to take a sanding disc to a fresh paint job, but it is necessary to achieve a glass-like finish!

 

Here is an in-progress photo while sanding with 1200 grit dry. I got a little ahead of myself and installed the tail lights and rear bumper cover before I started sanding. I removed them shortly after taking this photo.

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Plenty of debris build up occurs during this step, so I like to keep a scotchbrite pad on me and regularly clean off the sanding disc. This not only extends the life of the disc, but helps avoid "curly q's" or pigtails while sanding.

 

Here is the driver side all knocked down with 1200 grit. The purpose of this stage is to eliminate orange peel, so the perfectly flat, matte finish you see here is what you're looking for.

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I finished off the car in 1200 grit then moved onto 1500 grit, also dry, in order to remove the 1200 grit scratches. Scratch removal is apparent as the finish becomes less "milky" in appearance as the higher grit does its thing. I wont bore you with any progress photos of this stage, as it doesn't change very much. 1500 grit sanding went much faster than 1200 grit since it is doing more refining than correcting.

 

With 1500 grit completed, I moved onto 3K Trizact which is a foam-backed sanding disc intended to be used damp, not wet. I keep a spray bottle of plain tap water on hand and mist the panel and the disc occasionally. It is important to moderate the amount of water on the panel as excessive amounts will result in the disc hydroplaning across the surface and not refining the 1500 grit scratches. I find the 3K discs to be very helpful in refining 1200-1500 grit scratches near body lines (both convex and concave) since they have far less cutting characteristics than the dry discs.

 

3K and 5K go pretty similarly with the same type of "damp" usage. The 5K step is ostensibly unnecessary, but I already own the discs, it goes very quickly, and saves some time in subsequent steps so I figure why not do it. After a long day of sanding, I called it quits after finishing the roof, pillars and rear quarters in 5K.

 

As you can see, the surface is beginning to have gloss to it after sanding with 3K (doors, trunk) which only improves with 5K (roof, rear quarters)

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You can see one more glossy area in those photos on the rear pillars. I decided to do a little test section to motive myself :) Here is a close up -- this reflection is from only one step of refining using Meguiars M105 and a Meguiars microfiber cutting pad on my Griots DA polisher. I'll follow this up with M105 on a heavy polishing pad then M205 on a fine polishing pad. I have confidence that this 3-step process will yield a beautiful finish after seeing the following results after only the first step!

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I'm taking the afternoon off so that I can head home and be present while the glass people install the front and rear glass along with the rear quarter glass. I've also got a new windshield going into my WRX so while they're working on that, I'll be finishing sanding the specB with 5K and then continuing onto the 3-step polishing process I described.

 

I'm so excited to see the car all shiny, then reinstalling the body kit and wheels :) I'm getting so close! Thanks for reading along, and have a great week!

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

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