I started off on a journey in 2017 of trying to get my beloved Subaru Impreza WRX300 back into a roadworthy state after years of neglect. Now that it’s at a stage where it can be driven around and is booked for NCT, it’s high time I try and document the various pieces of work since the car was mounted on axle stands.

The car was taken off the road in 2014, due mainly to some economics around a house move, a pay cut, an expanding family and a long commute by road. Life priorities changed, and the Saturdays that used to be spent polishing the World Rally Blue paintwork were now being filled with family memories which we’ll all treasure forever. So it wasn’t long before the former pride and joy was looking the worse for wear, as the pictures illustrate.

The first job was to get the car mobile again and move it to the shed. Well actually, the first job was really to reclaim aforementioned shed from the plethora of Peppa Pig and Minnie Mouse outdoor toys plus much cooler outdoor toys with blades, chains and engines. Once accommodation was sorted, it was time to get the car moving with a new battery. As expected, the car was rough, tyres deflating, covered with dirt and in need of TLC. The rear suspension clunked and the brakes were either seized or severely corroded. On the plus side, it fired up with relatively little drama and still made a nice rumble when the idle evened out.

Once it was in situ, it was put on life support with a trickle charger and I went through my box of service spares to see what was needed to service the car. Luckily, I had enough for an oil change, oil filter change, air filter change and only had to order spark plugs. These were all done and the car fired up again, the new oil and plugs making a noticeable difference in the idle. My happiness with this was short-lived however as during one of my regular startups of the car to keep it turning over, the revs raced to 2500 rpm during the warm up cycle, instead of dropping lower as the engine warmed up. My code reader suggested a fault with the idle air control system and sure enough the IAC valve was stuck. A thorough clean later and the code cleared, and the idle was fixed.

Now that the car was serviced, firing up reliably, smoothing out with each bit of running, I had reason to be optimistic. There was lots of work waiting in store for me, however.