The STR Build Begins

After weeks of amassing parts, the STR build finally got started this past weekend.

It began with just an HKS Legamax Sports muffler. Easy install, as there aren’t many hard parts, just the two gasket bolts, and *four* hangers (only 3 are reused).

In its current iteration, its quite quiet, but I imagine it’ll get quite a bit louder once the header and midpipe are installed.

Next, the Karcepts rear sway bar. With plans to get the shocks on, I set the endlinks to the recommended length for the ride height I *would* be running here in an hour or so, and bolted it up. Very easy install. Some tight clearances, but none seem to be an issue at all. Great part.

Now, the hard stuff begins. Installing the offset upper control arm bushings up front was quite the undertaking, requiring disassembly of most of the front end of the car, and we were cutting out the front sway bar anyways to ease assembly.

Most of the difficulty was in the removal of the existing metal flange material, but the bushings went in easily, some clearancing done to the control arm to ensure no bind, and torqued down.

While the bushing install was going on, I bolted in the MCS dampers. This is probably the easiest shock install I’ve ever done. The hardest part was just one small hose clamp for the intake sound generator (I think this can be removed?), and the rear trunk linings. Also bolted the control arms back up at this point.

Finally, finished the install (which had been in progress all along) of the Karcepts front sway bar. The initial removal required a cutting disk, and some time, but install was just as easy as the rear.

The last step simply involved mounting up some Continental DWS 225/45/17 tires for all-season use, on some TRM 17×8 wheels. This’ll look a LOT better than the stock wheels for daily use.

All that’s really left now are some easier tasks; rear diff bushing inserts, the header and midpipe install, along with fender rolling and tuning. Hoping to knock this out in the next couple weeks or so.