Ryans GT Forester Build

ryan3Whilst his number pate clearly states his primary source of identity, Ryan has been dubbed “Reginold” by the GDL team. (Why? nobody knows). Ryan and his Subaru GT Forester was never intended to become a serious build, he just happens to be the unluckiest person in the world. As a result he has gone from being a regular client to one of our workshop frequents who has sunk some serious money into the Forester. The story has only just begun for Ryan but we felt it worthy of documenting.
Ryan initially came to us a while back on the referral of a friend. He had worn out his clutch and had asked our opinion of a quote he had already been given for the job. GDL does have the policy of not competing on price just to undercut a competitor. Our price is our price take it or leave it. Competing on price only attracts those looking for the cheapest job and they are generally not good clients. We gave our price which did happen to beat our competitor and we got the job.
The Subaru got a new clutch, however it was the first of a run we had of clutch failures in Subarus. Straight out of the packaging many clutches cost us big dollars in labour repairing the faults. As a result of this issue we now only fit Exeedy products for any clutch. The hours and dollars lost in using cheaper brands are a prime example of, you get what you pay for.
ryan1When complaining to the supplier about this issue, the mechanic adviser the supplier had, told us to just charge the client for the second install with, quote “f*&k him, you did the job too cheap anyway”. We ignored this advice and took the loss on the chin. We never told Ryan that and he is probably finding that out for the first time right now, as he reads this.
As a result, we did the right thing by the client and gained a loyal, top notch client and a good friend. So not long after this happened Ryan was in the shop for a busted turbo oil supply line, then it started blowing smoke on start up, lots of smoke. The piston rings were gone. We discussed options and left Ryan to go home and attempt to win lotto to cover the repairs. He never won lotto but a few weeks later he was back with a split turbo up pipe, then his rear sway bar mounts ripped out of the subframe, next the old faithful Achilles heal of Subaru turbo charged motor issues, the air flow meter died. Finally just as we were starting to feel sorry for Ryan he arrived at the shop and stated “my car is making a funny noise”
ryan2He started it up and we gently told him he no longer had to worry about the piston ring issue because he had a savage bearing knock. Rebuild options were explored and priced up, secondhand replacements were looking more feasable and then Ryan found himself a STI WRX engine. The STI upgrade was a bolt in engine replacement with some improved internals and a much fresher engine.
The upgraded turbo was swapped along with those infuriating silicon flexi intake hoses. New timing belt, rear main, water pump, cam seals, crank seal, rocker cover gaskets, spark plugs and leads were fitted. The new clutch fitted only a few months earlier was swapped over and the motor put in. With everything installed the motor started first go and had no teething issues. A week later the new air flow meter died. Repco replaced it immediately no questions asked and we only saw Ryan in the shop for beers for the next few months.
One morning recently we got a phone call from him “my car won’t go into gear and im stuck on the M2”. This guy is the most unlucky bloke we know. After a long tow back to us we found the manual transmission had minced itself internally. The options were again weighed up, secondhand, new, rebuild. Ryan found from the same place he got the engine that the transmission and the diff were available from the same STI. Done deal. With all the parts sitting in the shop right now. By the end of the week Ryan will be running a full STI drive line, which will give him a STI gear ratio set up and hopefully a more enjoyable drive (if nothing else its better then sitting on the side of the M2 in neutral)
With the foundations now made of solid STI stuff, we’re now trying to talk him into a front mount intercooler, a Haltech and a brake upgrade. With this mods there is no reason why the already tidy looking GT Forester could not be a very aggressive street car.

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