Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Spec-D Headlights

 The car came with aftermarket headlights still in the box. After the existing headlights were polished, I'd noticed plenty of crazing and cracking on the lenses themselves. I put these Spec-D lights in, and mostly don't like their look. They have the "halo" effect, which I would have loved 20 years ago. But clear optics and ok projector low beams are an upgrade for safety I'll leave alone for now. In researching what these lights were, I found Spec-D has a newer design that follows the style of modern Subarus. At some point, I'll try those, or look for some new OEM lights. I guess the front kind of has a R34 GTR look. If you squint. Or close your eyes completely.

This picture reminds me that I really need to repaint the STI scoop, or get a tamer WRX one. It is silly large. And looks goofy with the stock WRX 16" wheels. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and suggestions.

Upper Radiator Hose

As the break-in miles concluded, I was nearly home when the temp gauge climbed quickly. I pulled over, let the engine cool down, then started off again until it climbed. This process was repeated until I was safely in my driveway. Thankfully I caught this in time to not destroy the motor with a catastrophic overheat. But I didn't know this for sure until I investigated further.

This massive puddle (covered with cat litter) was coolant that leaked out while it sat. I couldn't see any obvious problems with the cooling system. And the exhaust didn't smell like antifreeze. I let the engine heat up after my first post-break-in oil change, and still saw lots of steam coming off the engine. More than you'd expect.

After looking everything over, and not finding much, I gave the upper radiator hose a squeeze and a nice spray hit the alternator. Closer inspection revealed that the alternator pulley had worn a hole in the hose. Which was annoying but a massive relief. I was aware that the upper hose hitting the cooling fan was a problem, and the hose I had included a sleeve for that area, but not the alternator.

My guess is that the aftermarket radiator, being much thicker, put the OEM-style hose too close. It didn't touch when sitting, but must have enough movement when driving to eat through. It took 1000 miles almost on the nose.

At any rate, replacing the hose and refilling the coolant made the car much happier.


 Wheels have finally been chosen and installed. Black Rotiform KPS 18", 9.5" width and a 35mm offset wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S ...