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 |   |  2004 Subaru WRX STi - The Green Light
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2004 Subaru WRX STi - The Green Light

Nick DiBlasi's Quarter-Mile Road to Victory

Carter Jung
May 30, 2007

What's loud, green and makes wheezing noises under high pressure? Besides your green phlegm-filled sneezes, this mean '04 Subaru WRX STI.

While the body of this bad boy looks stock, don't let it fool you. Under the lean, custom BASF booger-colored skin is an estimated 850 horses. Let that sink in. And why would Nick DiBlasi, the owner of this WRX, need that many ponies? To whoop ass down the quarter-mile when the Christmas tree turns green, of course-all 1,320 glorious feet of it.

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$18,595 Base Model (MSRP) 24/32 MPG Fuel Economy

A technical sales rep under the sport compact division of JE Pistons, Nick's been obsessed with drag racing imports since the age of 15. He's been through numerous Honda's during the FF heyday, but when Subaru finally introduced the WRX its flat-four turbocharged power skidding all-wheel drive was all he could think of.

"I first got into Subaru's in June of '01 and ever since then, I've pushed every limit I could with them. It was my dream to build one of the fastest, most powerful street class cars out there," says Nick. And build he did.

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Starting with a new EJ25 block machined by Darton with fat 14mm headstuds, Nick accrued an industrial-sized Costco cart full of parts. Near-indestructible high compression 11.0:1 JE pistons and Pro Seal rings (naturally), and Carillo H-beam rods and a K1 Technologies billet 79mm stroke crankshaft were ordered to beef up the bottom end. For the head, a set of Ferrea 1mm oversized valves, valve springs and retainers were matched to BDL cam gears, custom Cobb Tuning camshafts (lift: 0.428-inch intake, 0.412-inch exhaust; duration: 280 intake, 274 exhaust), and Cobb's stage 2 head. Cart brimming, Nick shipped everything to Cobb Tuning where Jeremy Anderson assembled the motor in record time, a sign of things to come.

Once the long block was completed, Nick went to work on a custom-made intake manifold paired to a 72mm BDL throttle body, which took no less than three times to engineer the proper volume. Third time, inexplicably, is always the charm. Afterward, Nick designed a fuel system consisting of two Walbro fuel pumps, an Aeromotive fuel regulator, a set of 1680cc Bosch injectors, a BDL Industries fuel rail, and reels of -10 braided lines all juicy enough to quench the hungry needs of the most voracious turbo.

And a very gluttonous turbo it is. A huge Garrett GT4202 with the appetite of an off-Lent obese brontosaurus devours exhaust gasses emitted from Nick's very own manifold. Bridled by an AEM EMS and ignition, Turbosmart wastegate, boost controller and TiAL blow-off valve, the excessive yet controlled charge temperatures are chilled via a Spearco intercooler. A custom C&R radiator keeps the high-boosting engine cool and a slew of STRI Electronic Stepper gauges spit out important turbo parameters during drag strip duty.

While we tend to giggle hysterically like a bunch of Japanese school girls when we see automatic-modified (ie, autofied) rides, the Subaru 4EAT automatic transmission is a different story. The cryo-treated gears, beefier valve body, Level 10 Performance torque converter, plus the longer length of the four gears is no less than the perfect setup to run passes down the dragstrip all day long. That, and Nick will never ever have to worry about stalling in front of an audience (reason enough for us).

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Keeping the STI pointed down the track straighter than a female-lovin' hetero arrow is a set of D2 Racing coilovers, Cobb Tuning bushings and 25mm sway bars. Cobra Monaco seats and a custom 12-point chromoly rollcage approved for 7.5-second E.T.s also keeps the WRX on point while adding an important layer of jimmy hat-like protection. Tenuous prophylactic references aside, ultra-sticky and slicky Hoosier DOT rubbers are pinched at the tip and rolled over 17-inch thick-like-a-can-of-Pepsi Enkei RP-F1 Kroms. And in case things get a little out of control, Nick calls on DBA rotors, JDM four-piston calipers and custom Hawk pads and lines for the oh-so-important safety words to stop all the action. Much easier on the tongue than fluggen-kliggin-kien!

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Despite offers pouring in for body kits, a side benefit of Super Street famedom, Nick rescinded. When asked why he didn't take up free swag, Nick simply stated, "Dude, it's a racecar, it doesn't need a body kit." Well said, friend. The Spartan look before you-the removed side skirts and mud flaps, shaved antennas and holes, was meticulously performed by MOB Works. Lightened, the entire STI was sprayed a custom two-tone BASF Green. Think Kermit the Frog gone wild.

After nine months of blood, sweat and green colored-tears, and with much help from Nick's sponsors, the car is near complete. "The purpose of this build was to make the fastest street class Subaru. It's been a long road with countless hours of work and it has all paid off in my eyes. It's not just the end result that I like, but the entire build-up and all the trial and tribulations along the way," says Nick.

Long roads, hours of work, trials and tribulations? We think the 850 all-wheel horses and low 9-second passes Nick's STI should run are sweeter, but whatever. What do we know? The only green lights we ever see are on our commute home.

Fast Facts
'04 Subaru WRX Sti
Owner nickolaus
Hometown Lake Forest, CA
Daily Grind Je Pistons Technical Sales

Power est 850 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque

Under The Hood '07 EJ25 block; Darton sleeves; JE Pistons 2618 forged pistons, Pro Seal rings; Carillo forged H-beam rods; K1 Technologies billet 79mm stroker crankshaft; Cobb Tuning stage 2 head, race spec cams; Ferrea 1mm oversized valves, valve seals, dual valve springs, titanium retainers, steel locators, valve locks; DiBlasi Home Edition custom intake manifold, exhaust; BDL 72mm S2000 throttle body, fuel rail, cam gears; Bosch 1680cc injectors; Aeromotive fuel regulator; Walbro fuel pump; Magnaflow exhaust; AEM ignition; NGK spark plugs; Garrett GT4202 turbocharger; Tial blow-off valve; Turbosmart 48mm Pro Gate wastegate, E-Boost boost controller; Spearco intercooler; C&R radiator

Drivetrain '02 Subaru 4EAT electronic automatic transmission; Level 10 Performance 4500 stall convertor

Brains Aem Ems

Stiff Stuff Custom 12-point chromoly rollcage; D2 Racing coilovers; Cobb Tuning 25mm sway bars, bushings

Stoppers DBA two-piece aluminum hat rotors; JDM Subaru four-piston calipers; Hawk brake pads

Rollers 17x8 Enkei RP-F1 wheels; 225/45R17 Hoosier DOT slicks

Outside Custom two-tone BASF Green paint; shaved exterior

Inside Cobra Monaco seats; STRI Electronic Stepper gauges (boost, EGT, fuel pressure, oil pressure, water temp)

Props Sean at JE Pistons, Cindy and Chris at Carrillo, Tom at K1 Technologies, Jeremy at Cobb Tuning, John at Darton International, Scott Kuzma at Ferrea, George at ATP Turbo, Rob at Garrett Turbochargers, Eddie at Peak Performance, Tom at Lucas Oil, Dan at Harman Motive, Greg at Turbosmart, Nick at BDL Industries, Calvin at ATI and STRI, my best friend Jeff Kainec in Florida, and my loving girlfriend Megan for the support she has given me.

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Je Pistons
When you want to make huge power, and we're talking boulder-hurdling, vehicle-flipping World's Strongest Man power, you need to upgrade your motor-namely, your pistons. In the business of power-making pistons for over 60 years, the following JE products are what Nick used in his pursuit for low 9-second passes.

Due to the unique ring package of Nick's pistons, like Kelly Osbourne's oversized crotchless panties, they had to be custom made. Boasting a 4-inch bore and a high 11.0:1 compression ratio, the JE pistons feature lateral gas ports (read: holes) to pressurize the gas nitride top ring for a more complete seal. Pressure-equalizing accumulator grooves between the NASCAR-approved 1.0mm napier (hooked face) iron second ring, and the 1.2mm top ring keep the top ring from lifting.

A proprietary JE Pistons skirt coating reduces friction, and a ceramic-based thermal barrier crown coating reflects heat so you know the pistons have been built for durability. Constructed of 2618 aluminum alloy, the aforementioned Ms. Osbourne after a week long bonbon binge wouldn't break these bad boys belly flopping on them.

Custom weary? Have no idea of what we just talked about? Those of you looking for an off-the-shelf solution for your EJ257 motor, JE offers pistons that are similar to Nick's set. Ask for the "donut dish" piston. Seriously. Cream-filling optional.


Cobb Tuning
Austin, TX 78758
Lucas Oil
Corona, CA 92880
JE Pistons
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Peak Performance
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Darton Sleeves
Carlsbad, CA 92009
BDL Industries
Orange, CA 92865
Mooresville, NC 28117
ATP Turbo
Hayward , CA 94545
Auto-Tech Interiors
Harmon Motive
By Carter Jung
164 Articles



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