Rick's STi is the true definition of a sleeper. It's all about what's under the hood that counts!

Rick's car: 2005 WRX/STI
Instagram account: Built05STI
YouTube: Built05STI


Engine and Drive-train: IAG stage 2.5 closed deck block: 8.2:1 compression; Stock 05 STI heads/intake manifold, BC 272 cams, Super tech valves, Dual springs w/titanium retainers, H-tuff connecting rods w/ 625 rod bolts, 625 plus head studs, Mishimoto radiator, Manley platinum pistons, Heat treated STI crankshaft, ACL Race bearings, 11 mm high flow Orbit ACL oil pump, 8mm phenolic manifold spacers, Custom Equal length ceramic coated headers, TGV deletes, Killer B oil pickup/pan/windage tray, PS 725 FMIC with custom piping, 6262 PTE Ball bearing turbo .82 hot side, 1700cc ID injectors, APS TF fuel rails, Aero motive fuel pressure regulator w/filter, Walbro 450 hard wired fuel pump -8 AN fuel feed line/stock return fuel line, IAG AOS Comp series (Vent to atmosphere), 44mm external wastegate, Tial 50mm BOV, Invidia N1 Race catback exhaust, Boost/EGT/Oil/Ethanol content/wideband gauges w/Defi alarm controller, Exedy twin disc clutch, Speed density tuned, Pitch stop/master cylinder support-Perrin, Motor mounts-Perrin, Trans mount-Perrin, Kart boy short shifter kit, Bushing kit, Rear subframe lock down-Perrin.

Wheels/Tires/Suspension: Stock 17x8 BBS wheels on Bridgestone RE71r 245/45/17 tires.  The suspension is one of the original TEIN coils when they came out may years ago I’m told.

Exterior: All stock with 20 percent tints all the way around.

Interior: Raceseng Slammer shift knob, Boost/EGT/Oil/Ethanol content/wide band gauges w/Defi alarm controller.

Tell us a little about yourself: I’ve been a firefighter since 1998 in Carpentersville. I’ve been blessed to work in a career that is extremely flexible and gives me the opportunity to give back every day I work. I really am fortunate to have chosen this career path. I wouldn't change it for anything, other than maybe the occasional politics that comes with it.  

I started doing portrait photography a few years back and pick up jobs here and there but mostly do it as a hobby now.  This past year I ventured into video territory and started up a YouTube channel.  There is no one in the immediate area representing the Subaru crowd, and I felt I could help bring to light what its all about while sharing my story at the same time.  I really enjoy what the scene looks like and hope to encourage more people to get involved. I have many plans in the works to get the channel up and running. Outside of working on my car myself and my career which keeps me pretty busy on my off days, I really try and focus on the gym and cycling. Helps keep my stress levels down!!!

How did you get into cars? I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie, and it started with ATV’s years back.  My oldest son Ricky had a Mazdaspeed 3 at the time making around 300 whp. The first time I took it for a drive I was hooked especially when I saw what these boosted cars could do.     

What is your dream car? I would have to say probably a Porsche 911 GT3. That is a dream that won’t likely become a reality anytime soon, unless I hit the lotto.

What are your future plans for the car, and what do you like to do with it? I’m likely going to let the car sit as she is the next year or two. I may drag the car this fall at the September shootout. I’m not the best driver so I’m gonna need some practice banging gears!  I will at some point in the future swap the wheels for some more flair.  

Do you go by any nicknames? If so, how did you get your nickname? The guys call me Captain Rick.  I love Captain and Coke. It’s kind of cool cause I am a little bit older than most of the guys I’m around so I try and be a positive role model giving them life advice and what not. I have a lot of respect for these guys and want to see them do well in life, if they can learn from at least one of my mistakes then even better. 

Does your car go by any names or nicknames? Black Betti. I was driving back from Connecticut after all the work was done and the mechanic who put the car together was like bro you gotta name her!!! LOL, I was unsure but after hearing this song I found on YouTube I was hooked.

What's your favorite thing about your car?  The power is the best part, I don't drive it full bore everyday but just love it when she hits boost.  Also, it just looks like a stock STI that's dropped.  People have zero clue what she is really all about.  

What is something that you don't like about your car? It pisses off my neighbors because its so loud.  I already have had conversations with them but it is what it is.  I do my best to keep her down in the am not to wake them or my wife! LOL. 

What is your car like to drive? Raw is the best way to describe it. It just hooks and goes. The car feels extremely manual in its form.  These cars require literally all of your inputs. You really have to make sure your focused when pushing it.  

What was your inspiration or objective with this build? My goal was to replace my 15 WRX that I had parted out. That car was fun, but hit a power wall and saw many of them failing even with a built block.  After grabbing a good deal on this 05 STI our target was 500 whp. I wanted a car that was fast and reliable that wouldn't break down all the time.  A couple of guys mentioned on my YouTube channel the car was bought not built but I don't buy into that. I’d rather pay someone to do it right the first time then constantly fixing items. I’m cool with bolt on work but once you go deep its time to look for a reputable shop. 

Why did you choose a Subaru? My neighbor, I blame Gino’s and him letting me drive his sick ASS STI. One drive in that was all it took!

What was your first car? Wow, we are going way back here but my first car was a 1983 Nissan Sentra. My parents gave me that car so I could be responsible and go to work to raise my son Ricky who now is 22, I was 16 at the time. I started parenthood far to early but I wouldn’t change any of it.  It helped shape who I am today.

What makes your car special to you?  The history behind it.  It started out as a crazy barn find for Paul Scott, the previous owner. The only reason I ended up with him and getting this car is because of my '15 WRX. That car also had a built motor that was swapped for my stock block last year. That guy wanted out of the Subaru game and swapped my stock motor for his built engine. The crazy part is I saw this 05 at the time in the shop and he offered to sell it to me but I wasn't in the position to make the move. This car had a Cosworth long block in it prior to all the work I had done to it making around 630whp with a Garrett 4094R turbo. I’m told it put down 10’s in the quarter mile back in the day on that set up. I could have gotten it in that form but wanted a fresh build.

Could you elaborate a little more on the details of your 2015? Did you total it? Trade it in? Yeah of course. I went ahead and did a full part out. All the parts were sold and traded for stock parts and put up for sale. I was sad to see it go in the end but knew it was the best decision for me. What my research was showing was that the FA was hitting power limits and the DIT was proving to be finicky with fuel delivery. It's a great platform that will likely be the future but the aftermarket needs a bit of time to catch up. This was the same trend seen with the Mazdaspeed.  My son had very similar issues especially on Ethanol. I know you can run higher levels on the FA motor, but many cars were seeing erratic pressure issues including myself. E50 was the max I ran due to this. There is only a limited amount of fuel you can get safely out of the car and decided it was best to not test that limit and move on to the proven EJ.

What is something about you (or your car) that no one else would know about?  Each bolt under the hood on the car is painted, indicating it has been torqued down properly.  It’s just a thing they do at ECS to make sure nothing gets missed.

Any memorable moments with you car that you would like to share?  It’s just been a long road over many months. Parting out of my old car to get this one while also selling the 2015 was extremely stressful.  I ended up in a good position to make this happen thanks to Paul and the crew over there. In the end I’m very lucky to have this car as she sits. I think getting into the mod game is a very interesting subject that you really need to think through before diving in head first.

Any shout-outs to anyone who helped you along the way? I have to first off thank Chitown Subaru’s and all the guys I have talked to along the way for giving me tips and what not.  I always tell guys it’s best to try and find a local shop to work with if you can but sometimes that doesn't work out. I just happened to work with ECS Performance because of the situation I had with my previous 15 engine swap. The work they did was impeccable. I have heard many good things from the local shops and encourage guys to make sure they find a shop and try to establish a good working relationship with them. I’m keeping my fingers crossed Betti stays out of the shop for a LONG while, HAHA.  

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