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Thread: Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

  1. #1
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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    After owning several VAG cars (Mk6 R and Mk6 GTI) over the past decade, and recently selling my Lexus IS-F, I decided to buy a brand that I have always liked but never owned before.

    We have the Audi SQ5 for the main car and family duties, so all I needed was a toy I could tinker with. I set myself a budget of $20k and jumped on Carsales. I did consider a large number of cars, but ultimately I needed something with some level of practicality, so it was down to a 4 door hatch or sedan.

    Fast forward a month or so later and welcome to the 2008 Subaru Liberty GT tuned by STI - a car i have always liked ever since they were first released. Found a one owner 2008 model which was in very good original condition and low km's. Full Subaru service history and no accident damage so hopefully it will turn out to be a good car to own for a few years. The original owner was well into his 50's and loves his cars so it's been well cared for.

    I have always been interested in owning a turbo Subaru to see what they are like....so here goes.

    Obviously the normal Subaru Liberty GT is very popular and on the roads everywhere, but this one is a little different in that its a factory 'tuned by STI' version which has the following additions as standard:

    - Only 250 made per year and each car is individually numbered (mine being #85 of 250 for the year 200
    - 18" STI Enkei rims
    - Bilstein B6 struts and STI lowering springs
    - Braided STI brake lines
    - Brembo calipers and larger disks (4 piston front and 2 piston rear)
    - STI front lip
    - STI rear spoiler
    - STI alcantara seats front and rear
    - STI 6 speed transmission
    - STI suspension arms (lower control arms, trailing arms etc)
    - An extra 10kw over the normal GT due to revised ECU tuning

    The engine is the EJ255 (2.5L 4 cyl turbo) which is the same engine as used in WRX of the same era.









    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)-subaru-front-quarter-jpg

    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)-dsc03461-jpg
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 16-07-2020 at 10:10 AM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

  2. #2
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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    As I purchased the car sign unseen from Melbourne, my 1st task was to get the car booked in for a blue slip so I could register it in NSW. It passed the blue slip with no issues thankfully.

    Next order was to give it a good service and a once over for any wear and tear, and to give it a detail inside and out (although it was very clean already).

    Considering the car had full Subaru service history, i'd bet my left nut that the cabin filter was the original 12 year old one that came with the car - it was filthy. I actually removed the filter and cleaned it with the vacuum while I waited for a new one to come in the mail.

    The air flow meter was really grotty, so it got a liberal spray with CRC mass air flow cleaner and looked brand new afterwards.

    The spark plugs appeared to be the originals too, so they were changed for good measure, and the brakes (and clutch) were flushed and bled with new fluid.









    Last edited by Lucas_R; 27-03-2020 at 03:21 PM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

  3. #3
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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    Windows tinted 22% to try and match the factory privacy glass.




    New DAMD steering wheel fitted to replace the factory MOMO steering wheel (which was too thin and too large in diameter). New wheel is much nicer to hold, and smaller in overall diameter.




    And AVO Turbo catback exhaust to release some of that famous Subaru rumble. Sounds great and its a great quality exhaust. Forgot to take a pic of the rear mufflers but they are also from AVO.



    Last edited by Lucas_R; 03-04-2020 at 12:01 PM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    Early March 2020 gave the car another basic service. The sump plug was butchered from previous owner/services (barely managed to get it off the first time I serviced the car) so knowing I needed a new one, I bought a high quality magnetic sump plug. Carbon clean, new oil filter and new oil.

    Also checked the timing belt as the car is 12 years old / 97,000km and despite having full Subaru service history, there is no mention of the timing belt ever having been changed. Thankfully it looks to be in good shape with no cracking or obvious wear, although I will likely change it within the next 12 months for piece of mind.

    And a wheel alignment.













    Last edited by Lucas_R; 08-04-2020 at 04:05 PM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

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    Power steering pump and centre diff were replaced with rebuilt/reconditioned items shortly after I purchased the car. I knew about the power steering before I bought the car (quite common on these Liberty's to need power steering pumps replaced), but the centre diff was an expensive surprise and doesn't show itself unless you drive the car for a good 30 mins and get everything hot. Needless to say it didn't show up on a test drive and didn't show up when I had a mechanical inspection done because they only drive for a short period of time.

    Thankfully I found Corgiwerx in Sydney who specialise in rebuilding these parts, and offer an exchange program.

    So a good $1,500 later (parts and labour to install) I now have a quiet power steering system and a centre diff that doesnt bind when turning sharply.


    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)-27912991_1527269454047052_6647581813948614726_o-jpg

    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)-18623267_1284688331638500_8132953679833394109_o-jpg

    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)-14207596_1039798492794153_6556068742674502273_o-jpg
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 08-04-2020 at 04:21 PM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

  6. #6
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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    Some pics and JDM mods courtesy of Cusco and STI.











    Last edited by Lucas_R; 08-05-2020 at 04:43 PM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

  7. #7
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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    Ah now I understand where the Liberty comments were coming from...

    Nice car. Welcome to the rabbit hole that is Subaru.

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    I remember have one of the Cusco Brake Stoppers on my S14a 200SX back in the day...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigger73 View Post
    Ah now I understand where the Liberty comments were coming from...
    Quote Originally Posted by tigger73 View Post
    Nice car. Welcome to the rabbit hole that is Subaru.
    yes and yep. H3Adga$kEt and r!NgLaNd fAiLuR3. Im going to leave this one pretty stock mechanically (and overall) I think, but will be getting the ECU tuned as apparently the stock tune isn't very good. There's also a cheap mod here to fix the cooling issue with cylinder 4 that leads to the dreaded cyl # 4 detonation and subsequent ringland failure scare in the EJ series engines. Although this is probably overkill for a stock engine/turbo combo, its a small price to pay for piece of mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by ope126 View Post
    I remember have one of the Cusco Brake Stoppers on my S14a 200SX back in the day...
    Haha yep. I used to have a green S14a back in the early 2000's (my parents bought it new in 1997) and then had a blue S15. Loved both those cars, but wish I had invested in an LSD because they were so tail happy it was scary.

    Attachment 48274

    Attachment 48275
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 06-05-2020 at 11:36 AM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

  10. #10
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    Non VAG content...My 2008 Subaru Liberty GT (Tuned by STI)

    A little OEM+ mod for the Subaru courtesy of the JDM market. A new genuine Subaru armrest riser arrived yesterday from Japan. Took all of 2 minutes to install - fits perfectly as you would expect being OEM. Add's about 8cm to the height of the armrest.

    Finally the useless (far too low) armrest can now actually be used to rest your arm on - who would have thought! Will be fitting a wireless phone charger in the top cubby as its the perfect spot for one.






    Last edited by Lucas_R; 16-07-2020 at 09:35 AM.
    2008 Subaru Liberty GT 'Tuned by STI' fun car RIP written off in floods July 2020. New car incoming.
    2015 Audi SQ5 family hauler

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