Saturday, April 7, 2012

Featured Mod: Rear Strut Bar + Painted Mirror Caps

Featured Mod: Painted Mirror Caps/Rear Strut Bar
Difficulty Level: Low/Moderate

Super Shiny
Looks can be deceiving...


First of I just would like to apologize for taking so long to get these up here! Life has been really crazy moving into my new house and all so I haven't had time to post up here. For more real time updates check out my Facebook Page :)

The first mod is going to be the easier one. For everyone who owns a WRX TR or an Impreza, the flat black non-painted mirror caps can be kind of a pain and look rather ugly. I'll show you how to fix that ;)

There's a great company called "Dupli-Color" who will match your cars OEM paint color and send you some in a spray paint can. I got a few cans of my Obsidian Black Pearl for doing little things like this. Also my loyal dedication to Krylon continued through this paint project as well.

The paint

As you can see here, without it being painted it clashes with the rest of the car. It doesn't flow like that perfectly placed minivan in the background. It's not so bad on a black car, but once you see it on a white or blue one it really stands out. 
 To take it off you're gonna have to use a flat head or other prying device and it should just pop off. It's held on by double sided tape on top so don't be surprised about that.
Naked and Spider infested
 Once you have them off you're gonna have to rough up the plastic so it has something to stick to.
Rough and tumble
Next give them one or two nice coats of primer and let them completely dry
All primed up

 Since the mirror caps are a "high chip" area its a good idea to give it multiple coats of paint and clear coat. Just some advice :)
No Clear
 Once you have a couple coats of paint on there you can clear it! I did something crazy like 5 coats or so. You don't need that much but it'll protect it more.

As you can see in the picture the paint isn't perfect, it has some orange-peeling to it. This was done intentionally because the stock Subaru paint does have some slight bumps to it. If you really wanted to get rid of it you should wet sand the paint and a good coat of wax would help.
 To put them back on it's a good idea to put some double sided tape back on the top to hold it down to the mirror.

Next you pop it back into place and there you go! A pretty simple and easy thing to do but it really changes the look of the car.

You can kinda see it here....not really

Rear Strut Bar
While putting in a rear strut bar may seem straight forward, it took me MUCH longer then what I anticipated and there was an actual order to do it so I'll write it up for anyone who doesn't know how...
eBay FTW
If you open up you're trunk you'll see two holes (circled in red). This is where the bar will be coming out of.

First you have to take out the rear seats. Once you take out the two bolts holding in the rear portion of the seat you will expose the bolts holding in the top part of the seat. 
There's four of them


2, 3

Once you've taken out the four bolts you should be able to pull up on the seat and completely remove it from the car. If its getting snagged pull open the rear pass-through.

Now that that's complete you should be here...

If you look in the two upper corners you should see the silver area where the strut bar will attach.

To make your lives easier I highly recommend taking out the rear seat belt retractors. If you don't you'll be fighting with them the entire time and you won't be able to get a angle on the bar. 

Once they're out place the two strut bar mounts on the strut bolts but don't tighten them down. Just thread a bolt or two on there loosely so they can move around a little but won't pop off of the studs. The end of the bars should be sticking through the holes you can see from the trunk. 
Little roughed up

Once you remove your friends and dog from the trunk area...

Shop Dog
...You can connect one side of the bar to the mount, then the other!

Be sure to connect the bar prior to bolting down the mounts, otherwise it wont line up right and you won't be able to connect everything. 

Tighten everything down, put your seats and seat belts back in and you're good to go! Convenient little tie down in the trunk now ;)

Be sure to follow the blog for future stories about the car and Featured Mod posts like this!

-The Subaru Project

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