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 |   |  Attitude At Altitude - 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
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Attitude At Altitude - 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX

Colorado's WRX Daddy

Isaac Minon
Oct 3, 2007
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In the distorted space-time continuum that occurs in the publishing world, today is Father's Day - at least it was at press time. How apropos, because the highly modified '02 Scooby you see before you was built up by a father and son team. Denver resident Ryan Curry has plenty of reasons to be grateful to his father. After Ryan turned 19, his dad Tom helped him purchase this '02 Impreza WRX. The transformation from stock to rockstar started soon thereafter with the addition of the Charge Speed body kit. Most gearheads inherit the gasoline in their blood from their fathers, who more than likely inherited from theirs. Tom's ride is a Ford Focus SVT, an already potent performer turned into a powerful pocket-rocket with a supercharger, upgraded wheels and suspension. He even dragged the car a couple of times to the tune of 15.9 @ 90 mph.

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Ryan's dark WRX and its understated appearance, however, keep it and its bevy of modifications under the radar. Having a subtle appearance works for avoiding the police so Ryan has managed to stay ticket-free since he bought the car. Of course, much of that time the car has been in the shop transforming from a WRX to a STi, which brings us to the second part of our story.

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We all remember the buzz when the WRX first hit our shores in 2002. There had been nothing like it. Sure we had the all-wheel-drive Talons and the Galant, but they didn't arrive with the same fanfare or accompanying rally race-related excitement. The minute they saw it, Ryan and his dad knew they had to have one. When they first purchased the car brand new in 2002 they purchased parts and took them to Dave Loiacano at Speedy Roo Motorsports in Aurora, CO.

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First, they scrapped the stock suspension in favor of Tein SS 1600 coilovers that are electronically adjustable and bring the chassis down to earth. The Stop Tech brakes are top-of-the-line. The full-race kit consists of four piston calipers and 333mm rotors forward and 328mm with two-piston calipers aft. With clamping power and diameter like that front and rear, the Scooby stops as abruptly as the end of this paragraph.

Around this time Ryan started to go to a local college for auto mechanics. It was at this point that his dad suggested he apprentice at Speedy Roo under Loiacano, where they could complete the rest of the buildup.

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With the car completely apart Ryan and company acquired the 2.5L USDM STi with semi-closed deck case and proceeded with the motor buildup. A millimeter or so of the block was machined out and then the Darton ductile iron sleeves were pounded in. As opposed to wet sleeves, these dry sleeves are permanent and keep the CP Forged Pistons from cracking through. The pistons are pushed and pulled by Pauter 4340 Chrome-Moly forged rods. These ultra-strong rods are known for their applications in sprint cars. After the head was ported and polished, it was off to Street Concepts in Aurora, CO, for the exhaust, turbo and intake fabrication. GT Spec headers lead to the up-pipe before expelling the nasty gasses through APS 3.5 turbo-back exhaust.

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Other trick engine components include the pricey Autronic stand-alone engine management system and the Innovate wideband O2 sensor. The former replaces the Mass Air Flow Sensor and controls fuel and timing while the latter replaces the narrow band by reading intake air temp - otherwise known as speed density tuning.

Obviously, with the motor pushing 430 hp to the wheels at 26 pounds of boost, a stock transmission wouldn't fit the bill. A JDM STi six-speed transmission ordered through Vivid Racing along with a R-180 STi rear differential helps lay power to the ground by handling 75 percent more torque than the R-160, which has the option to adjust torque from 50/50 rear/front to 70/30 rear/front while the R-180 is fixed. Of course, the power eventually hooks up through Pirelli 215/40ZR18 P Zero Nero tires that wrap a set of 18x7.5 Volk GT rims.

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While installing all these trick parts, Subaru actually had a recall on the driveshafts. Ryan and company found out the hard way, on the track. They busted the driveshaft on the first run. Thus they had Front Range Driveline build a custom unit using the stock U-Joints with a 3-inch diameter pipe and 11/44-inch wall thickness. With custom axles from The Driveshaft Shop, this bad Boxer-powered Subaru is built to lay the power down to the ground, not into snapping parts.

After this, Ryan and his dad are planning on going full-race with a six-point rollcage, gutted interior and water or nitrous injection. Whatever speeds obtained by this father-son duo in the future remain to be seen but one thing's for sure, there's no limit to what can be done when a father and son team up.

By Isaac Minon
1 Articles



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