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dollraves Reader
9/7/23 7:48 a.m.


So it turns out...I'm relocating to Australia! Holy frijoles! So yeah, selling off some project cars I just won't have time to get to.


  • It's a Subaru Baja!
  • It has turbo!
  • It runs!
  • Previous owner swapped the pistons to put on a bigger turbo (but did not follow through on the turbo part). I have the original pistons.
  • I have a spare drive shaft, the tailgate extender (not installed), some other extra parts and cosmetic frippery.

The BAD: Took it to Turbo Time in Sanford, NC. There is so. much. bad.

  • Both upper and lower radiator hoses are swollen
  • Transmission output shaft seal is leaking
  • Both front ball joint boots are torn
  • Random bolt installed on open port on the side of the transmission
  • Exhaust flanges have rusted away
  • Rear subframe is rotting due to rust
  • Brake union is extremely rusty and could fail anytime - huge safety concern
  • Passenger valve cover gasket is leaking
  • Coolant hard pipe from the water pump to the oil cooler is rusted
  • Lower radiator hose is seeping at the thermostat housing
  • Transmission cooler soft lines under the radiator are dry rotting
  • Rear separator plate or rear main seal is leaking
  • Does not look like the timing belt components have been replaced due to the level of corrosion on the water pump


  • It's silver. :(
  • It did get rear-ended in 2017, but the tailgate was been replaced and overall looks good
  • Does have wear commiserate with age
  • Must pick up in Moncure, NC. (It's driveable...I just, you know, would NOT recommend!)

No trades, unless it's food I can eat before I move to Australia in January. :D

Pix from March here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vP6ULuKceuNec9bm9
Going to take new pix, including interior and under hood, will add to album in a few hours.

PAYMENT IN FULL ONLY - no holds! Once paid, car needs to be picked up by Sunday October 8th (I'm heading out of town for a month).

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/7/23 8:00 a.m.

Im pretty sure ill take it. Can you shoot me some pictures? Call or text me at 828-260-1254 if that makes things easier. Im about 1.5 hours from the car.

ExcessKuma Reader
9/7/23 3:04 p.m.

I will patiently wait out to hear about the other project cars coming across the block haha

Good score Micheal, I'll trade ya:p

clownkiller Dork
9/7/23 6:49 p.m.

Have fun in Australia.  Please post up any crazy looking car here.

dollraves Reader
9/8/23 10:18 a.m.

In reply to clownkiller :

You know the first thing I'm gonna do is find me a Holden Ute... devil

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/23 12:29 p.m.

In reply to dollraves :

The best answer.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/11/23 2:55 p.m.

Watch here for longer term baja stuff.

Looking forward to meeting you Saturday dollraves!!

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/16/23 5:55 a.m.

Today is the day!

Excited to go meet dollraves, and hang out with folks. 

Getting my first forced induction car will be very nice too.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/16/23 7:38 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

OK, now buy Nocones' rusty WRX, combine and become Legend.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/16/23 9:06 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

I hate rust. In all honesty, im waiting to make plans about the future of this car until i get it on the lift this evening. I don't want to get my hopes up too far until i get a solid assessment. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/16/23 10:20 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Oh no, I was ASSuming Dollraves' Alabama Brat, I mean Baja was rust free, and the Diffs, stick, and tahrboed engine from NC's WRX would go in it. 

Armchair quarterbacking at its best.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/16/23 10:28 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :


Nocones wrx needs transplanted into a 99 legacy 2.5gt sedan in black  (lottery build in my head)

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/16/23 10:37 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Can't argue with that, also, the Baja already has its own turbo. We'll be watching...

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/16/23 4:18 p.m.

Dollraves is an AWESOME person to hang out with. Whole lot of fun, and could have stayed way longer. 

Obligatory gas station picture

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/16/23 8:56 p.m.

Im smitten. It checks out good enough to save, and ive gotten about 20 miles on it. I really like this thing from the drivers seat!

So, undercarriage shot:

For having been up north, its really clean. Im happy i can save it.

Its got some needs, and i have some wants. Having never been a subaru guy (i owned 3 or 4 over the years as appliances) im new at this whole thing. Ive never had any forced induction before. 


Known Needs: timing belt, valve cover gaskets, all fluids, tune up, filters, rear trans seal leaking significantly onto cats, exhaust garbage. Is there other need to do maintenance that i dont know about? Its sitting at 204xxx and is a complete unknown as far as history. 

Known wants: faster!!! Im thinking better flowing intake and exhaust parts since im already in there. Apparently some stuff from the forester xt fits? I gather from reading i want a catless uppipe and bigger downpipe? And an intake? Im looking just for challenge budget power here. Id also like to improve throttle response while im at it. Seems kind of soggy. 



Known needs: fluids and filters. Ac needs charged. Theres reported rust in brake lines at the back junction,  but i cant seem to locate it. Struts are definitely not healthy. Brakes are funky feeling. Clicking from dead stop that feels like either cv shaft or driveshaft hitting. Looks like rear trans moint collapsed. Address some surface rust. Seat heaters inop, seats only semi-move. What needs am i not thinking of? What don't i know yet?

Wants: better sway bars, lowered. Killer ac. Killer brakes. 

General: what interchanges with what? Amy turbo special maintenance? Any reason NOT to free up intake and exhaust? 

This is to be a daily driver, and 2025 challenge car. So keep all that in mind. 

What other information do we need, or what am i not asking or thinking of? 

Thanks yall!!

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/16/23 9:00 p.m.

Did you get any more info on the turbo pistons?  Is there a post cat O2 that removing the cat will trip up the ECU?

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/16/23 9:18 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Forgot all about those. And yes, downstream o2s that will kick a cel if cats are deleted. However, i don't have emissions inspections here....

akylekoz UltraDork
9/16/23 9:30 p.m.

Number one thing to do is change the filter in the turbo oil line, somewhere near a banjo bolt.  I've heard they plug and then bad stuff happens.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/17/23 8:24 a.m.

Ill need to look into that and take care of it. Especially since ill be all over other maintenance!

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/18/23 2:14 p.m.

Sorry I couldn't make it down to lend a hand. I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.

onemanarmy Reader
9/18/23 2:48 p.m.

in for this save!

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/18/23 9:38 p.m.

So. 60 miles on it tonight. 

Rattles in the rear suspension. Exhaust leaks. Stereo sucks. Seat needs attention. Ac blows marginally cold. Remote start is awesome. Keeps driving better and better. 

Im actually scared of screwing up a good car by modification. Its a really, really nice car. I quite like it!

Think ill just begin hunting deals on replacement and maintenance parts while i finish up some ongoing projects and repairs to other stuff. I WANT to knuckle down hard on this, but time is just not right. Its ok enough to pass inspection, plate, and use as a yard waste hauler while i rebuild the fence at the top of my property though!


Never had remote start. This is a nifty widget. Its gonna stay.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/21/23 6:51 p.m.

round one of cleanup done. Its much more better. The tonneau weighs 75lbs or so. Its not going back on. Nor is the spare.


Liking this thing more and more. 

Mr_Asa UltimaDork
9/21/23 7:38 p.m.
dollraves said:

In reply to clownkiller :

You know the first thing I'm gonna do is find me a Holden Ute... devil

Wanna mail me a couple turbo bits for a Ford 250?

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/22/23 1:27 a.m.

Oh, heated seats. My wife loves them.


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