If you’ve been following my IG since 2018 you’d see me talking about fender flares here and there, posting photos of the flares mocked up on Dadbod w/ painters tape, asking followers for opinion on which size flares to go with… etc. And then BAAM, life hits and it became a non-priority.
Shortly after I’ve moved back to Vancouver I’ve learned about the VI (Vehicle Inspection) craze that’s been going on around here. Apparently, Vancouver Police Traffic Department are pulling over any vehicles that appear modified and slapping these vehicles with a mandatory vehicle inspection which had to be performed by designated inspecting facilities. A whole lot of drama revolving this one traffic cop who had a personal vendetta against modded cars, a good amount of folks I know personally had been hit by this particular officer. It’s gotten to a point where some folks would rather not drive their modded rides into Van-City because it’s just not worth the potential trouble.
At the time I was hearing about several lifted jeeps getting dinged too for tire poke and unsafe bumpers. As much as it looks cool w/ the poke, I think it’s time to finally get those flares installed.
I’ve known Ben and Kenny for over a decade now, thru cars of course. Ben actually inherited three of my vehicles as I moved on from them; a GSX-R600, a Buell XB12Scg, and my beloved S14 which I magically ran into when I was out East last year, but I’ll share this story another time. When Ben told me he can squeeze me in on a Saturday to get the flares on, I made the time for it. Ben runs a body shop out in Coquitlam, right by an IKEA (we all know that’s easy to get to). He said to meet at his shop at 11 AM, plenty of time to pack Rosa in the car, grab breakfast and roll out!
Originally, I was planning/hoping to just mount the flares on top of the stock plastic fender claddings (to possibly avoid drilling into the fenders itself). However, they didn’t exactly match up perfectly, so we decided to pop off the stock cladding and see how it matches up. With a little bit of force, the stock cladding came off without any issues, they’re held on by clips and double sided tape. The fenders underneath are grooved for the stock cladding and had holes which the stock piece used for mounting (see pic above)
I never knew lifted Subies were a thing until recently, when I started researching for my build. There a several lift kits available for the car which made things easy for me, I ended up going with LP Aventure's 1.5" kit. Since I have larger wheel wells now I ordered a set of BFGoodridge K02's, these tires should be plenty good for Toronto's Winter months.
Thanks to the 235/70/16 K02's I no longer have to worry about curbing my wheels and can disrespect most pot holes within the City of Toronto (I hear Montreal is a whole different beast, tho). Since there are next to zero performance mods available to this platform I've been sticking to more grown up mods like baby seats and back seat covers. A roof rack/basket setup is definitely in the plans too, for the sake of more storage space and adventure times. Despite the car being much slower than the 86 I do enjoy daily driving this much more, but I am waiting for someone to put a WRX engine in one of these things so I can plan out my own swap down the road.
By the way, I get a lot of people asking me about the wheels. For anyone who's interested in running the same setup I just want to warn you that this setup is not a simple plug/play. Modifications had to be made in order for these wheels and tires to work on this car w/ no rubbing. If you're curious about what exactly needed to be done feel free to get in touch, I'm more than happy to share.
Next on the list is probably fender flares, to smooth out the mad pokage caused by ET-6. I'm currently contemplating on which size/style flares I want to run before I go ahead and do any drilling. This is going to be an ongoing build, so stay tuned for updates! :)