Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Vancouver Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in British Columbia

Vancouver Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in British Columbia

Some local gas stations were advertising 107.9 this morning. Luckily enough, the weather has been nice lately (even though they've been forecasting rain) so I've been able to get on the Burgman quite often. I'm starting to see more riders now, too. It's a blast twisting that throttle, leaning into a curve, and feeling the wind against my body. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorite because I get to ride the Burgman and drive the STI.

Edit: By Friday, prices were up to 110.9!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

2006 Subaru STI: K&N Typhoon Sound Clips

There was one more thing I had to reset after installing the K&N Typhoon short ram air intake yesterday and that was the shift light and alarm. I set it go on at 5500 rpm. Anyway, today I grabbed the camcorder and my wife helped take some video clips to record the sound. I made the image small to keep the file sizes manageable, but left the audio "as is" so you can hear what the Typhoon sounds like on a stock STI. Actually, it's hard to capture the true sound because it's so dynamic. The sound of the engine sucking in the air is just phenomenal. There's just nothing like experiencing it first hand :big_grin: Others have described it in many different ways, but it still reminds me of a big windup and then cracking a whip.

Video Clip 1 - Windows closed
This first clip is with the windows closed. Because I was accelerating quickly, you don't get to hear the air winding up that much.

Video Clip 2 - Windows open
In the second clip, I had both front windows open to see if the sound would be louder. The only problem is as the speed rises, wind noise becomes more noticeable.

Video Clip 3 - Driveby
For this third clip, my wife was standing at the side of the road as I drove by.

Video Clip 4 - Cruising
This last clip is on the street, acclerating more slowly so that you can hear the sound of the air sucking in a bit more.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

2006 STI - 5033 km - Cracking the Whip! K&N Typhoon Short Ram Intake Installed

UPDATE: Sound clips

Oh, yeah! Woo hoo! Yee ha! Kowabunga! Yippee ki-yay! Scooby-dooby-doooo!!!

Can you tell that I installed the K&N Typhoon intake today? I was able to swap out the stock air box in about an hour just taking my time following the steps provided by K&N and snapping some pictures along the way. I finished just in time before dinner, so I used the trip to the restaurant for a short little test drive. I didn't get a chance to really wind it up on the way there, but boy, on the way back I sure did! My wife laughed out loud because she said I had a huge grin on my face all the way back home....

How different is it now that the K&N is installed? Most noticeably is the sound--and what a sweet sound it is! How can I describe it? When the RPM rises and the turbo starts to spool and hit boost, the increasing amount of air that gets sucked in sounds like a snarly pit bull or an angry slithering snake. The pitch rises higher and higher, winding itself up until you press the clutch in. Then like the crack of a whip you hear the by-pass valve (BPV), shift gears and away you go and it all starts over again. I can't get enough of it!

Installation went smoothly and here are a few notes. This is a picture of the stock air box in the engine bay:

This is the air box is removed. You are looking at the top of the air filter the object in the shadow to the right of it is the MAF:

This is the bottom side of the air filter. You can see how much dirt has accumulated after 5000 km. The MAF is on the left and below that are the two lower bolts that hold the stock air box:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, two little bolts for holding the MAF were missing. I called Lordco and they weren't very helpful. The K&N parts list said "M4 x 8mm" but I had no idea what that meant until I went to Home Depot. "M4" is a metric sized bolt (which is quite small) but Home Depot didn't have any the correct length (8mm). I went to several places including B&J Parts and Machine and PoCo Building Supplies, but only Canadian Tire had a good selection of metric bolts and exactly what I was looking for. This picture shows the difference between the stock bolts and the ones specified by K&N. The stock ones look to be a bit longer, maybe 10 mm:

For the installation I disconnected the negative terminal on the battery. After reconnecting it, the car didn't start until I cranked it the second time. I've already reprogrammed the seat belt chime delete, and I'll also have to set the clock and redo all my radio presets. I'm planning to try to capture what the intake sounds like on tape, and I'll post that up when I do. BTW, someone around here has a red Ferrari Testarossa Sypder. I've seen him twice already: once last night in PoCo and again today on the Plateau. The first time I saw one in person was back in the 1980's on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

2006 STI - 4861 km - Husky Liners: Front

I had originally ordered Husky Floor Liners for the rear seats back in December. Somehow, Lordco lost track of it, and when I went back at the end of January they had to order them again. They finally arrived today, but they were for the front (part #34031). I decided to keep them anyway, because the other day I was practicing heel-toe shifting and my foot seemed to get caught up on the mats I had bought from Costco.

The Husky Liner has way better coverage and is more flat. I had to do some trimming around the trunk latch to make it accessible and some around the dead pedal (which is normally completely covered by the liner) because I wanted to be able to see the Autospeed dead pedal I installed. The set for the rear is on back-order, so who knows when I'll get those ones.

It came!

Imagine my surprise when I came home today and found a big box sitting inside the doorway! I opened it up and checked it out. The only things missing were a 9/64 allen key (which I have already) and two little bolts for holding down the MAF sensor on top of the intake. The instructions give part numbers so I'll try contacting K&N or see if Lordco can get them for me. Once I get those bolts I'll be able to install it.

It's coming!

The K&N Typhoon short ram intake I bought has cleared customs and is on it's way. I can't wait! It will probably arrive at the end of the week, but I want to put some more mileage on the STI before I install it. The first service is scheduled for 6000 km so I'll have to put on another 1500 km in the next few days :eek:! Too bad gas prices hit $1.06/L yesterday :double_eek:!!
  • Out of Foreign Customs, March 21, 2006, 12:57 pm
  • Into Foreign Customs, March 21, 2006, 9:54 am, CANADA
  • Arrived Abroad, March 21, 2006, 9:54 am, CANADA
  • International Dispatch, March 19, 2006, 6:22 pm, KENNEDY AMC
  • Enroute, March 19, 2006, 6:22 pm, JAMAICA, NY 11499
  • Notice Left, March 18, 2006, 4:25 pm, GAITHERSBURG, MD 20898
  • Acceptance, March 18, 2006, 8:39 am, GAITHERSBURG, MD 20879

The carbon fiber roof vane I ordered is in production now and will arrive at the vendor on April 3. Hopefully, they'll ship it out soon after that.

Monday, March 20, 2006

2006 STI - 4790 km - Sit Tight, Go Faster

Yay! The CG-Lock I ordered arrived in the mail today. The picture shows all that came packaged with it. It was fairly easy to install and allows you to secure the lap portion of the seatbelt tight (like on an airplane) while still leaving your upper body free.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

2006 Subaru STI - CG-Lock

Well, one of the other things I ordered was the CG-Lock. I noticed that the STI seats don't hold you very well during more enthusiastic driving. They're too wide and you tend to move side to side, so the CG-Lock is supposed to prevent that from happening. Here's a little blurb about it from European Car.

2006 Subaru STI: K&N Typhoon Air Intake - 69-8001TWR

K&N Filters

Someone on IWSTI was selling his. My brother is supposed to be picking it up for me today. K&N states that there are some improvements in performance, but the biggest change is supposed to be how it sounds.

From K&N:
69-8001TWR Product Specifications
Product Style: 69 Series Typhoon Kits
Estimated Horsepower Gain: 12 HP @ 5150 RPM
Color: Red
System Type: Short-ram intake system
Weight: 9 lb (4.1 kg)

2006 STI - Roof Vane Spoiler

From Subaru Canada: "A new-for-2006 roof vane spoiler at the top of the WRX STI's rear window helps direct airflow towards the rear WRC box-type spoiler for exceptional aerodynamic performance and reduced lift." The OEM one is made of steel and at 10-12 lbs. it's quite heavy. The group buy that I entered is for a carbon fiber version that is much lighter.

The Search has Ended: WedsSport TC105N


It's been a long search, but I finally decided on a new set of wheels for summer. It's been hard finding lightweight 17" wheels with the correct bolt pattern and offset to clear the Brembo brake calipers on the STI. There just isn't that many to choose from. These Weds are a brand new design and will be imported directly from Japan. The ETA is 6-8 weeks which means I'll be on my snows for a little longer than I planned, but it will be worth it. For comparison, the forged BBS wheels that I have now weigh about 19 lbs each while the new ones weigh less than 15 lbs. each.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

2006 STI - 4478 km - Seat belt Chime Delete

One of the "features" on the 2006 Imprezas is that if you don't buckle your seatbelt within 30 seconds, it turns on an incessant beep. Now, I never drive without my seatbelt on. I feel naked without it. But there are the occasional times where I'll be in my garage or parked somewhere working in/on the car and that beep is very annoying. The owner's manual does explain how to temporarily disable it, but it reverts back to normal the next time you start the car. Here's how to disable it more permanently:

1. Turn the ignition to ON. The engine should be off.
2. Within 30 seconds, insert the buckle in and out 20 times. You can hold the release button down if you like. Just make sure to remove the buckle all the way so that it "registers" in and out.
3. The next time you start the engine, you'll get the initial seatbelt chime, but it won't give you the continual warnings afterwards. You should notice right away that after the initial seatbelt chime, the seatbelt light will turn off and no longer flash.

I had to try it a couple of times until I got it right, but it works. To reset it back to normal, just disconnect the negative connector on the battery for 30 seconds and reattach.

2006 STI - 4470 km - Meguiar's Deep Crystal System

We've been having really weird weather. Most of the snow that fell on Friday had melted and Sunday was an absolutely beautiful sunny day. Yesterday morning it snowed again for a short time, but the afternoon was warm and sunny again. Today it started as rain, but as I type it's changed to snow again.

Anyway, yesterday I used the first day of Spring Break to give the STI a complete cleaning and a good coat of carnuba wax. The NXT Tech wax that I used about four weeks ago was holding up well on the hood and the roof because water was still beading. But it had already worn off on the sides and the trunk. I'm really looking forward to installing the Rally Armor Mud Flaps because there is a lot of splash back. I decided to use what I already in my garage: Meguiar's Deep Crystal System which includes a 3-step process. First comes the Paint Cleaner, then the Polish, and then the Wax. It was very time consuming, but it looks great and I'm confident that this will last a lot longer. I was very thorough and made sure to get everywhere (including the door jambs) so that this will work as a good solid wax base. I intend to use the NXT Generation wax for maintainance.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Spring Break

This is what I woke up to this morning....


Wind chimes

A view to the north

Another view to the north

Outdoor table

Children's toys

Of course, in typical Vancouver fashion, it's all melting away very quickly. Outside right now it's sunny with blue skies and puffy white clouds. It's supposed to get up to 7 celcius and rain/snow in the afternoon.

Update - 1:12 pm: I guess the forecast was wrong. The skies have cleared and the sun is shining brightly. No more precipitation for now.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Group Buy!

Well, I've entered my first group buy. It's for a new product that is in production right now and should be shipping at the end of March (no more hints right now)--Woo hoo, I can't wait! I'll post up pictures when it arrives. I've also ordered some Rally Armor mudflaps that are at my brother's place right now. I won't receive them until my dad picks them up for me in April.

Currently I'm on the hunt for new set of wheels. It's extremely difficult finding good quality lightweight 17x8 wheels with the correct offset and bolt pattern for the '06 STI that won't take 2 months to arrive from Japan. The OEM BBS wheels are forged and reportedly about 19 lbs each. That's not really light for a forged wheel, but it's supposed to be very strong. I prefer something the same weight or lighter. I've almost taken the plunge a few times but I can't decide if I want to sacrifice weight or not.

As for the STI, I'm enjoying it very much! I'm getting much smoother and I'm practicing my launches. You can see from my fuel consumption stats that it's only slightly better than the Sequoia and I think that's mostly because I do a lot of city driving. Plus I love to hear the sound of the boxer engine :big grin: Speed is really deceptive in the STI and sometimes I don't realize how quickly it zips until I notice that all the cars behind me are suddenly tiny little dots! Bends and twists are amazing because the STI corners so flat. The more I drive it, the more I want to try it out on a track--I feel it calling out to me....

BTW, I just looked out my window and it's started snowing again. The weather this winter has been really weird.

Happening Now

The wind storm the forecast for last night didn't really hit that hard, but snow is coming down hard now! I took this picture a few minutes ago and all of that accumulated over the last 40 minutes--which is unusual for Vancouver!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Park Bench

Here's one more picture I took from this morning. I retouched the photo by removing the colour and cropping it.

Last Snow?

It was snowing this morning so I snapped a few quick pictures before I left for work. Of course, down the hill it was mostly just rain. We haven't had much of a winter this year but another wind storm is supposed to hit hard tonight and tomorrow there may be snow flurries in the rest of Vancouver.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Waterland was my very first web page and I created it almost eleven years ago in 1995. I'm surprised that it's still up. That page links to some places we travelled that year (unfortunately, not all the links work anymore). It was the year my wife's airline benefits kicked in and we took advantage of it. The most memorbable moments included when we went to Japan and Taiwan during spring break shortly after the big earthquake in Kobe. Once, I accompanied my wife to Osaka and came back on the turnaround flight after I saw her off at Kansai Airport--it was a long commute but at least it was in business class:0). Another time we opened up the flight schedule book and found the farthest place we could fly to in one weekend. We left for Glasgow, Scotland on Friday, bought tickets for a show at The King's Theatre on Saturday, and returned home to Vancouver on Sunday. Along our travels we also had close encounters with Joe Clark (former prime minister) and Jeff Goldblum (who was filming Jurassic Park in Kaua'i). We also rented a 4x4 and visited one of the beaches where they filmed Waterworld.

Oh yeah, the title "Waterland" is a reference to the movie of the same name released the year my wife and I married.

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