Hands On: Leland Kirton’s 2006 Subaru WRX STI

Photography by Ken Au


Like many young enthusiasts, Leland Kirton was amazed by Ken Block’s early gymkhana videos which featured his old Subaru WRX STI. “The unique styling, engine design and sound made it a must have for me,” Kirton reminisces. “As years went by my lust for the car grew, and I just kept saving my pennies until I was able to finally afford one. Now that I have owned one for quite a while, I find that I still have the same feelings towards it, which is an excellent sign that I made the right choice.”

04 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

Kirton fancies himself a hands-on tinkerer, and once he had the car in his possession, his ability to learn quickly and apply that knowledge took over. He bought a TIG welder, learned how to use it, and made use of those skills as his build got serious. After having an engine failure luckily repaired while still under warranty, he used the next engine build as an opportunity to push the limits.

18 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

He used his TIG welding skills to fabricate his entire turbo system, including intercooler piping and intake manifold, and did a full valvetrain upgrade.

15 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

After hours of research, he settled on a BorgWarner S362sx-e turbo for big power. He had a goal of 500 whp, and sure enough, he made almost exactly that, coming in at an impressive 505 whp on the dyno. “Whenever I choose a specific part, it’s always because I’ve done a copious amount of research and know for a fact that it will fit my build very well,” says Kirton. “Case in point would be my current turbo choice of the Borgwarner S362sx-e.”

17 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

In addition to his newfound TIG welding skills, Kirton also owns a custom pwder coating shop with his brother Taylor, which actually started as a result of Kirton’s personal work on his STI. “I originally wanted to start powder coating my own fabricated parts and then it just spiraled into a business,” Kirton exclaims. “We have now been going strong for over 2 years and are continuously building momentum!” Keep up the good work, Kirton!

06 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

With 58% of the Popular Vote, Leland Kirton was the winner of the PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds award category competition at Top Tier Imports: Spring Awakening in Winnipeg, MB.

ESSENTIALS

Owner: Leland Kirton
Vehicle: 2006 Subaru WRX STI
Location: Brandon, MB
Engine: Subaru EJ25 2.5L H4
Horsepower: 505 whp
Torque: 430 lb-ft

SOCIAL
Facebook: Leland Kirton
Instagram: @lelandsti

19 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

ENGINE

  • GSC (+1-mm valves, beehive springs w/ ti retainers, S2 billet camshaft)
  • BorgWarner S362sx-e turbocharger
  • Treadstone intercooler w/ custom piping
  • Mishimoto rad hoses
  • Tial (Q 50mm BOV, 44mm wastegate w/ hood exit)
  • AEM dryflow air filter
  • Custom 4-inch air intake
  • Modified OEM throttle body
  • T1 Race Development fuel rail
  • Radium Engineering MPR
  • Walbro 450 fuel pump
  • ID 1000cc injectors
  • NGK iridium spark plugs
  • Nitrided OEM crankshaft
  • Manley Turbo Tuff I-beams
  • CP (forged pistons, piston rings)
  • JE Proseal head gasket
  • Outfront Motorsports (half-inch head studs, closed deck block)
  • COBB Accessport V2
  • Fluidampr crank pulley
  • Koyo radiator
  • Cusco engine mounts
  • Shaved engine bay
  • Aquamist HFS-3 water/meth injection system
  • MapDCCD center diff controller
  • Company23 antisurge EBCs

20 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

EXHAUST

  • Custom 3-inch turbo-back exhaust
  • Custom aluminum muffler
  • Tomei equal length headers w/ V-banded up-pipe
  • Custom 304 stainless 3-inch down-pipe

02 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

DRIVETRAIN

  • ACT (6-puck sprung clutch w/ Xtreme Duty pressure plate, streetlight flywheel)
  • Cusco transmission mount
  • Custom solid pitchstop mount

03 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

WHEELS/TIRES/BRAKES

  • Work CR2P wheels – 18x9.5 +38 (f/r)
  • Achilles 123S tires – 255/35/18 (f/r)
  • Girodisc 2-piece slotted rotors

05 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

CHASSIS/SUSPENSION

  • TiC SST coilovers – 7k (f), 5k (r)
  • RCE (swaybars, urethane bushings)
  • GTspec front strut bar
  • Oswald X-brace
  • Vorshlag camber plates
  • Whiteline (anti-lift kit, roll center kit, steering rack bushings)
  • Group N (lateral link, trailing arm bushings)
  • Kartboy (endlinks, short shifter, trans crossmember bushings, subframe bolts)
  • Beatrush propshaft bushings
  • TIC fender braces

07 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

EXTERIOR

  • Grillcraft inserts
  • Custom (aluminum splitter, diffuser, lexan hood scoop delete, aluminum mud flaps)
  • APR GTC-300 spoiler
  • Painted headlight housings w/ TSX-R clear projector lens swaps
  • 2004 STI tail lights
  • Clear turn signals

10 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

INTERIOR

  • Black ultra suede (headliner, door cards)
  • Custom spherical shift knob
  • Vertex King of Vertex steering wheel
  • Works Bell hub
  • Defi BF Advance gauges (boost, fuel pressure, oil pressure)
  • Innovate MTX-L wideband 02
  • Aquamist meth injection gauge
  • ATI triple dash pod
  • Status seats
  • Sparco seat brackets
  • Crow 4-point harnesses
  • WeatherTech floor mats
  • NRG harness bar
  • JDM hazard button
  • Head unit delete w/ custom carbon plate

12 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

SPONSORS

  • Ion Coating

08 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

09 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

11 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

13 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

14 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

16 Leland Kirton 2006 Subaru WRX STI PASMAG TBGLIVE

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