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Drive Performance WRX
Part 3 – The Exterior Continued


Spoiler Alert!



Not knowing which design the readers would choose for the wrap, we ordered the WRX STI Sedan spoiler from Japan painted silver. That wasn’t going to work with the black wrapping in the rear of the car. Actually, the color is not quite black, having extremely dark brown tones to it. When we received the spoiler, we turned it over to our in-house paint shop, along with a sample of the wrap to match.


Paint and wrap were matched perfectly. On October 20, we loaded the wing into DP WRX and returned to Sommer’s Subaru body shop to have it and a number of other parts installed. Sommer’s technician, Jim Mueller, did all the following work on the car.


Because the WRX STI Sedan spoiler’s shipment was requested from Japan early in the car’s production process, it arrived with no mounting template. That left Mueller with the task of determining how the bolts in the two posts lined up and making sure all bolts had appropriately sized holes for a secure installation.


The Domino Effect


Swapping spoilers sounds simple, even when replacing the trunk lid is involved. But when we removed the original-equipment trunk lid and spoiler, we also removed the car’s center high mounted stop light (CHMSL). Then we realized that the WRX STI Sedan spoiler didn’t have one. That’s how one thing leads to another and nothing is as simple as it seems.


Who needs a CHMSL? It turns out that all cars (and other light-duty vehicles) do! For cars, CHMSLs have been required since the 1986 model year. To compensate for the loss of the original-equipment CHMSL and to make the car legal, we ordered an interior rear shelf and CHMSL (two separate parts) for the DP WRX.


Mueller had to remove a number of trim pieces and unbolt the rear center seatbelt to replace the shelf. The seatbelt goes through the middle of the shelf.


A cutout in the shelf at midpoint across the back provided room for the stop light housing. An indication of the engineering thought behind Subaru manufacturing was finding part of the wiring harness specifically intended for hooking up the interior CHMSL attached to the metal underneath the shelf, ready to be connected.


Another Spoiler


Once the shelf was fitted, we had still more Genuine Subaru Performance Parts to install on the DP WRX, including an Impreza Front Under Spoiler (E2410FG110). Mueller installed it without benefit of a lift, jacking up the front end for access.


Drive Performance previously featured this front under spoiler as part of its step-by-step installation coverage in the Version 5.2 cover story, “Subaru Performance Tuning Modifies the 2008 WRX.”


The net effect of this handsome spoiler on the DP WRX was to add a finishing touch to the front end. It provides contrasting definition to the light-colored wrap.


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