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Old 22-07-2014, 03:23 AM   #1
Ennoch
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The Red Impreza WRX - paint, modifications & maintenance

Itís taken a while to get around to doing both the original correction, and also getting pictures and a write up pieced together so the pictures here are after a 250 mile drive north into the Highlands, and post quick wash this morning under the watchful eyes of our tame buzzard (I kid you not, it was sat less than twenty feet away for most of it!).

When I first got the car at the start of last year the paint was in good condition in that it wasnít massively chipped on the nose (a notorious issue on thin Impreza paint) and there werenít any scratches. In short it was a cared for car. A filler heavy product such as SRP and a coat of EGP followed by Nattyís Blue worked wonders and did make the car shine well, and to the majority of the population it always looked amazing. However, I along with the rest of this inhabitants of this site, am not the majority and I always knew that while shiny this hid a multitude of small marks and swirls. Finally, and only seventeen months down the line, the car has been corrected, or at least 90% corrected. The last 10% will remain as is. Why? Well the car sees a lot of use on country roads, single track lanes, fields, gravel roads and a multitude of other situations which virtually guarantees that it will need looking at again, and again, and again. Taking a huge swathe of paint off therefore seemed unnecessary, and positively bad.



So what was the process?

Cleaning:
AG Shampoo;
BH Kerrosol (why isn't this more popular on here?!);
AG Tar Remover;
Meg's Quick Clay (I got a ton of the bars on ebay for very little money years ago and I'm still working my way through them).

Not much to say on this process other than the Korrosol is impressive, sticks better than Iron-X but has a smell that seems to soak into the tarmac and leaves you smelling it every time you go out to the car for a few days. Itís not totally unpleasant but it doesnít smell of roses thatís for sure, thereís a definite chemical/sulphuric edge to it no matter how itís hidden beneath fruity covers.

Although not tackled with this hit, a few weeks ago I gave the boot a big clear out and set to rectifying the bockled and tatty boot carpet which seems to be a mainstay of Japanese cars of this era. There was an epic 200SX restoration thread I came across when researching Bilt Hamber a while ago which mentioned using a mens electric shaver to get it back to new condition. Well I gave it a try and half an hour later came to the conclusion that itís a great trick, and one which helped get out a load of fairly well embedded pine needles. Definitely worth trying if your boot has been used for more than taking the weekly Tesco shop homeÖ

You can just about see the Korrosol in action hereÖ:



Öand better here:



Stone Chips:
Tamiya X7 Gloss Red Acrylic (chips)
Humbrol #19 Bright Red (road rash)
Tamiya 1500/2000/3000 Wet & Dry

In terms of defect correction the car had a ton of stone chips on the front. Not much in the way of huge stuff but enough to give white road rash on the lower edge along with a few deeper marks on the bonnet. To deal with this I got a touch up pen bottle from Halfords and filled it with Tamiya Bright Red acrylic red which is the best match I've yet found for the Subaru Bright Red, Subaru & Paints4U included. This touch up stick has a super fine nib, like an architectís pen, and is great for filling in actual chips and smaller holes in the top coat without leaving the same tell tale blob that a brush would. To sort out the gravel rash on the front bumper, bonnet and lower doors I followed the stone chip guide on here by using Humbrol Bright Red diluted down with lighter fluid. I used humbrol rather than Tamiya for this part as the Tamiya is water based and dries too quickly whereas the Humbrol is enamel and therefore gives you a little more work time. I did try some Paints4U stuff I had too but this just dried too quickly and too hard and was an utter PITA to work with. The enamel is a little more orangey than the Subaru Red but for the purposes of filling in the rash it fulfils the job perfectly. Some of the larger chips were flatted back with Tamiya 2-3000 grit wet and dry which I can get quite a bit cheaper than the Megs Unigrit for smaller quantities. All in the contrast is huge, although I foresee myself repeating this quite regularly as Iím already beginning to see more fine pin-prick marks appearing on the leading edge of the bonnet after just 500 miles.

Compound & Polish:
Meguiars Ultimate Compound on 3M Yellow pad
Meguiars Ultimate Polish on 3M Black pad

I then followed this up with Megs Ultimate Compound on a 3M Yellow pad and Ultimate Polish on a 3M Black pad. I don't think these are necessarily the perfect pads, and I know my technique definitely needs practice, but the level of improvement in the paint was huge, probably taking it to about 90% as I mentioned above given Iím keen to leave enough paint on there for future correction! The UC does a great job, and the UP has a great work time which really seemed to make a difference to the glow and reflections in the paint. A great pair of products and while Iíve not got other experience of compounds and polishes other than by hand, Iíve not got any reason to look elsewhere. No dusting or sling so far as I could tell either.

Finishing:
FK 1000P Sealant
Dodo Juice Rainforest Rub
Dodo Juice Supernatural Spritz
Elite Restore
Elite Rubberite

While my normal set of products are SRP, followed by EGP and then Nattyís Blue I fancied something different. I therefore decided to get a trial sized sample of FK 1000P sealant from CleanYourCar (along with the DAS6 and a bunch of other stuff; great service and highly recommended). I the topped up with Dodo Rainforest Rub as another trial but if truth be told I couldnít tell the slightest difference between the two in terms of looks while subsequent beading seemed tighter on the FK than the Dodo. The beading is fantastic from the FK, although I think part of the quality here also comes down to the paint prep. Either way, I'm now a lot happier with the finish of the paintwork on the car which just leaves me with a few other bits and pieces to sort, including a couple of small dents courtesy of a couple of careless and feckless neighbours. In terms of reflectivity the car is way better, and while it was never bad on this part, the sharpness and definition of the reflections is way better.

Two products Iíve never seen on here before but which I was introduced to by a few mates over in NI were Elite Rubberite & Elite Restore. A Belfast based company I brought a sample back of each courtesy of my mateís stash, and I like them both. The Rubberite paints on as a thin liquid to tyres and leaves a deep wet look which doesnít sling once dry (way better than my normal Meguiars Endurance in that regard), while the Restore is painted on to plastics in similar fashion but then once buffed gives a dark but matt finish. It seems to darken plastics mildly (itís a clear product) and leaves a great finish. Itís a bit old school valeter in smell but the finish it leaves on the PU flaps and the interior plastics of the Impreza (which it has to be noted are shiny and plasticky themselves even before products are applied) is great and one which I really like. Five litres of these are under £20 per product so they seem pretty cheap for what you get. All trims, inside and out were treated.





So Iím pretty pleased overall with the results although Iím sure many would be critical of the marks still left. Iím happy though, and a couple of positive comments from the neighbours up here at the croft (well, if you can call the next house in the village a neighbour if theyíre 300m away) did a great job of making me feel a lot better about the effort that went in, even if it is primarily done for myself!

A Quick Wash
AG Shampoo & Conditioner
Simoniz Bug Shifter
FK 1000P
Dodo Juice Supernatural Spritz

After the drive up here there were several kilograms of dead bugs adorning the front of the car so a quick wash with special attention to the front ensued. Iím currently loving the luminous green Simoniz bug shifter so a lot of that went on, left for a few minutes and resprayed as necessary on the warm bonnet to ensure that it didnít dry out and lose itís effectiveness. A wash down and it seemed prudent to throw another layer of FK1000P on, spritzed an hour later with Dodo Juice Supernatural Spritz. Does it work? No idea. It went on easily but thatís about as much as I can say about it so far! I will admit that the wheels perhaps didnít get the 100% treatment in this quick wash but the excuse was that they were about to be caned on a ninety mile round trip to Ullapool so a) the cleanliness would be short loved and b) theyíre the same colour as the brake dust anyway (Ferodo DS2500ís).

Trims dressed with ĎRestoreí but intercooler still harbouring a fair number of bug corpses:





Tyres dressed with ĎRubberiteí and wheels reasonably but not impeccably clean (inside of flaps also missed at this point!):







Reflections are much improved (although still showing old stone chip paint bubbles on the wings which I ran out of time to flat back):





The headlamps were already in great condition for an 11yr old car but a quick run over of the UP on a 3M Black pad really added clarity with minimal effort:



With the APís fitted up front I repainted the rear calipers to match a wee while ago with Simoniz Satin black and some ebay stickers, replacing the dark gunmetal they were originally. The rotor centres were done in Ford Tibetan Gold to match the colour I used to refresh the tired looking gold anodizing on the front rotors. And yes, those white marks on the wheels are gravel rash:



The front rotors need replacing at some point soon as the pads are just about done in and the rotors are a bit too unevenly worn to just throw new pads at them. Theyíre also, rather annoyingly, just below the minimum skimming thickness. At this point Iíll properly refurb the calipers, either in black or orange. While I'd love to go orange I think it would clash horrifically with the red paintwork in reality so in order to keep the Corry Motorsport colours on show Iíll probably refresh them in their current colours, albeit with re-anodized bells in either black or gunmetal.









Much better but you can unfortunately see a few water marks in the paint on this one, as well as the tarnishing on the chromework which will need to be replaced at some point. Well, should be replaced. Iíd be lying if I said it was high on my priority list right now:



This Prodrive exhaust recently replaced a holed STi OEM item. It may not look perfect now but I can assure you that it is night and day compared to the day I collected it. Black with soot, tar and underseal deposits inside and out it looked every inch a used part. Before fitting I used a combination of AG Tar & Glue Remover, a lot of old rags, Korrosol and finally Meguairs NXT Metal polish. To clean the inside of the tip I used some 240g wet and dry on the most stubborn marks followed by a bunch of scotchbrite pads and more NXT polish. I'd like to get rid of the pressing marks in the metal if possible, if only to make cleaning easier. Iíll get a dremel with a scotchbrite attachment on the inside lip at some point to really finish it off but for now, Iím happy:



And finally, the obligatory all in and window graphic shots (I truly hate window graphics so it says a lot that this oneís on here):











And to make most of you cry, this is also what it regularly looks like (taken before the APís went on and the winter tyres came off):

Last edited by Ennoch; 27-10-2018 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #2
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looks like it comes up well and the last pick is what a car is meant for at the end of the day and more so the scoobys .
looks like it gets in a right state lol
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Old 22-07-2014, 11:31 AM   #3
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Absolutely, I've always been one to actually use my cars, even if it does mean you have to spend half an hour jetwashing the underside before you even think of parking it up outside the house! So many Impreza's now seem to be summer carpark beauty queens and that's a shame, because their huge advantage is in crap weather and that's one of the reasons I bought it. It's also quite satisfying seeing the car emerge clean after being caked in forest mud fling!
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Old 22-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
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nice work mate
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Old 22-07-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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That looks great, and good to see it's a car in daily use too

Where were the scenery pics taken, i holiday up in the highlands most years, it looks familiar
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Old 22-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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Looks great
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Old 22-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MadOnVaux! View Post
That looks great, and good to see it's a car in daily use too

Where were the scenery pics taken, i holiday up in the highlands most years, it looks familiar
Thanks! Impreza's should be daily cars unless they have some serious power! No point in spending most of your time driving around in something boring and then saving the fun for 1/4 day a month

The shots were taken on the way back to the croft from Ullapool in the carpark at the top of the hill going out of Dundonnell towards Gruinard on the Gairloch road. It's awesome up here just now; 26 degrees most days and swimming in the sea every day. Epic! Oh, and even with the tourists on the roads the conditions are pretty prime for having some fun. £1.50 a litre in Ullapool for 97 is getting expensive though when I'm mixing a bottle of booster in each time I fill up...

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Old 22-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #8
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Very nice
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Old 23-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #9
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The shots were taken on the way back to the croft from Ullapool in the carpark at the top of the hill going out of Dundonnell towards Gruinard on the Gairloch road. It's awesome up here just now; 26 degrees most days and swimming in the sea every day. Epic! Oh, and even with the tourists on the roads the conditions are pretty prime for having some fun. £1.50 a litre in Ullapool for 97 is getting expensive though when I'm mixing a bottle of booster in each time I fill up...
Aye, i knew i recognised it, i've been up Gairloch a good few times and round Ullapool too...the fuel up there is scary.

Have you ever been down to the beach at redpoint? its stunning on a hot day

One of the strangest things happened one year, we were off upto Achiltibuie, and went into Ullapool for some fuel...and there was Ferarris & Lambos and all sorts of exotica just parked everywhere and getting fuel, obviously some sort of 'event' somewhere, but definitely not what you expect to see in a small higland fishing village!
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Old 24-07-2014, 01:40 AM   #10
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Tell me about it, I'm averaging about 20mpg at the moment since leaving Inverness on Sunday! I'm staying over at my dad's croft near Aultbae and have been out climbing and riding every day so it's safe to say I've been seeing the filling station in Ullapool a lot. I'm heading up to Lochinver to do a loop round Suilven tomorrow and from memory the fuel last time I was up sat at £1.50 for regular! I'll be filling up before I go I reckon.

I know Red Point well, I used to spend every summer up here until I was sixteen so know all the beaches although the closest is Mellon Udrigle which has been awesome as I've been swimming down there every day this week. No jellyfish, 25 degrees in the air and not bollock shrivellingly cold once you're in the water either. Awesome! Some of the winter storms I've seen hitting Red Point and some of the other beaches round here have been pretty awesome too, albeit less well suited to swimming in anything less than a drysuit!

I'd agree with the cars, but you do see some pretty awesome metal up here from time to time even if it's rarely being treated with the firm hand it deserves. We're planning to get the Midgets up here at some point but the 30L tanks may require some fuel dumps stashed away in a ditch somewhere if we're planning to make any long journeys! That Achiltibuie road is great fun, have you taken the road all the way round to Lochinver and then up to Stoer too?
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