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Spotlight #14, Update on Crosstrek Noise, Subie & YOU! Rewind

Subie Adventures Newsletter - September 5, 2023

Hey there!

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Here’s what is coming up:

  • Adventurer Spotlight #14

  • Update on the Crosstrek Noise

  • Subie & YOU! Podcast Monthly Rewind

  • Quick Hit Items in the Wrap-Up

Adventurer Spotlight #14 with @xtrek_luna

Adventure Spotlight Header

Welcome to the Adventurer Spotlight, an interview series with Adventurers from our newsletter about their life with their Subaru. Here, we learn more about the person behind the wheel and get inspired to embark on new adventures.

Before we get to this edition’s feature, I’d like to thank Rafael / @pearl.the.crosstrek again for being in the last Spotlight. Now, let’s jump into our 14th edition!


Hello hello! My name is Cris and my IG is @xtrek_luna! As my day job, I’m an Application Engineer that works a lot with water, and during my free time, I typically do something car, anime, or game related.

Crosstrek on a gravel road with purple and blue lights on the roof

Which Subaru do you own? What do you like most about it?

I own a 2019 Crosstrek, 2008 350Z, and 2006 WRX. My attention grabber is definitely my Crosstrek, Luna, as it’s the car I take to shows. The meaning behind the build as well as the build itself is what makes me proud to show it off at Anime Cons and local car shows. During the times it is not in a show, I take it out off-roading and camping (I’ve built it for both form and function, and believe it or not, I’ve only flooded the car once so far lol). Otherwise my 350Z is my project car, while my WRX is my daily.

Crosstrek dirving through a river with trees in the background

Why did you choose a Subaru? How many have you owned?

My mom had started working at Subaru and eventually would always bring home different Subarus over the years like WRXs, STIs, Legacys and even a Baja at one point! Growing up, I’ve always wanted to get a Nissan (which is why I have my 350Z as my project), but after having driven one of the Subarus, I grew to love the safety and security you get with it. I’ve driven up hills in 3+ inches of snow with a lowered WRX, and have never once had to worry about losing traction, and I like that predictability. At this point, I’ve owned only 2, but if including my family’s, a total of 8.

Have you made any modifications?

I’ve made quite a bit, ranging from the typical “Subaru Mods” like hella horns and mudflaps, to rare JDM parts like fog lights, and mirrors (that are probably the only set stateside).

The Full Parts list:


  • Auxbeam Auxiliary Fuse Box

  • Crawford AOS System

  • Crawford Billet Power Block Kit

  • Dress-up Bolt Kit

  • Fumoto Oil Valve

  • Grimmspeed Dry-Con Air Filter

  • Grimmspeed Race Version Pitch Stop

  • KartBoy Battery Mount

  • Precision CNC Performance Dressup Covers

  • SMY ECU Protection Cover


  • Asfir 4x4 Front Skid Plate

  • Asfir 4x4 Gearbox Skid Plate

  • Asfir 4x4 Rear Differential Skid Plate

  • Circuit Demon Custom Sailor Moon Headlights

  • Curt 2” Hitch Receiver

  • Custom Front Tow Hook

  • Custom Front Plate Delete

  • Custom Reverse Camera Relocation Mount

  • Custom Roof Mounted Storage Box

  • Diode Dynamics SSC1 Reverse/Running Mount Lights

  • Diode Dynamics SS3 Lights with SMK Mirror Mounts

  • Diode Dynamics SS3 Lights with Diode Dynamic Ditch Mounts

  • Diode Dynamics SS3 Fog Lights

  • Diode Dynamics SS5 7-Pod LED Bar with Custom Roof Mounts

  • Diode Dynamic Stage Series 6" Lights

  • Grimmspeed Plate Relocation Kit

  • Hella Horns, Supertones

  • Ironman 4x4 Awning w/ LED Strip

  • Itasha Wrap, Custom Sailormoon Design with Rushing Riptides Wrap

  • JDM Subaru Fog Trims with LED Strips

  • Midland Ghost Antenna with SMK Mirror Mount

  • ObsidianOverland Badging

  • Prinsu Roof Rack w/ Custom Downstar Hardware

  • Prova V2 Wide Mirrors with Sequential Turn Signals, Yellow

  • Rally Armor Mudflaps

  • Rigid Armor Spare Tire Mount

  • Visual Autowerks Custom Rear Window Vents

  • Warn Axon 55-S Powersport Winch

  • Warn Semi Hidden Winch Mount Bumper w/ Warn Grille Guard

  • Yakima Basketcase


  • Auxbeam Switch Panel with SMK Switch Mount

  • Billetworkz Shifter CVT Adapter

  • Custom Carbon Fiber Interior Trim

  • Custom Trunk Accessory Port/Volt Meter

  • Custom Rear Voltmeter, 12V Socket w/ USB

  • Desertdoesit Seat Risers

  • Diode Dynamic Trunk LED Lighting

  • Midland MXT275 Custom Mount

  • Mr. Grip Custom Shift Knob

  • Orbis Overlanding Door Molle Panels

  • SMY V2 Red STI Start Button

  • Subie Trays Compartment Organizer

  • Tactical Tracks Custom Storage

  • Zero Sports Accelerator Pedal


  • CKE Carrier Bearing Spacers

  • CKE Transmission Insert

  • LP Aventure 1.5" Lift Kit, Custom Powder Coated Illusion Cherry

  • LP Aventure Subframe Spacer

  • Rallitek Overload Springs

  • Relation Race Wheels – RR2-V, 15x7 ET +15

  • Toyo Open Country A/T III Tires, 225/75/15

Crosstrek driving on a mountain road with leaves on the ground

What would you like to add to your setup?

At this point, I have Luna where I want it to be. Some odds and ends here and there such as rock lights, or new suspension, but nothing that’s needed yet.

Favorite road trip? Or favorite thing to do in your Subaru?

Driving down to Clayton, Georgia with a few friends. It was the first time I had ever driven across a river with a car, (at night too) and it was our only way to the campsite. So, we strapped a friend to the roof with a flashlight, while the other hung outside the window looking out for deep pockets and drove across. Was it very risky and dumb, absolutely! Did we go back the next year and do it again, absolutely! Plus, seeing the faces of people in lifted Tacomas and 4Runners as I drive past them to cross the same river as them in a Itasha’d Crosstrek is priceless.

Have a favorite picture of your car?

It’ll probably be this one. It’s not a good photo of my car by itself, but this was the first time I had the car in an anime convention (Otakon 2022). I’ve been to local car shows and, while it would get attention here and there, Luna never quite fit in with the lowered/stance crowd. However, being an Itasha’d car at an anime show with Sailor Moon Livery on the side, Otakon was exactly where the car shined the brightest. Having people line up to take photos with the car, and hearing “Oh my gosh, I can do that with my Crosstrek?!” or “This is my dream car!” definitely made me feel like the Crosstrek was a celebrity that day. I even had someone tell me to get out of the way so they could get photos (they didn’t realize I was the owner lol).

Customized Crosstrek parked indoors for anime show and being photographed by attendees

Where would you like to travel to next with the Subie?

The big travel I want to do with the Luna is going to Sequoia National Park. I want to get at least one photo of Luna in one of the trees lol.

What, if anything, would you do differently, or change, about your Subie?

I don’t think there’s anything I would want to change. I’ve been happy with how the car is, and it reflects the build as how I would have wanted it. (Though maybe a new livery design might be considered down the road lol.)

What is the meaning behind your build?

Luna was built in remembrance of my late wife. The car was originally hers with the purpose of traveling as my WRX and 350Z weren’t large enough to do so. She unfortunately lost her battle with cancer before she could make any modifications, so with the help of family and friends, I’ve built the car in the way it would have been with a bit extra sprinkled on top. I’d truly appreciate if you took a moment to check out Episode 88 of the Subie & YOU! podcast as I fully explain why I’ve built the car as it is today.

Thank you, Cris, for being in the Spotlight! You have a one of a kind Crosstrek, and the story behind it is very special! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Check out the photos below and be sure to follow Cris (@xtrek_luna) on Instagram for more adventures!

🖼️ Image Gallery

Crosstrek with a closed roof top tent traversing water
Customized Crosstrek parked indoors for anime show
Crosstrek on a gravel road with purple and blue lights on the roof
Crosstrek parked indoors with a group of people sitting nearby under its attached awning
Crosstrek driving through water

🚨 Update on Crosstrek Noise

I promise this isn’t going to become a regular segment 🤣 but I wanted to follow up since many of you are also experiencing this. I posted a reel on the mysterious noise I’ve been hearing in my Crosstrek on left turns and got a bunch of comments and ideas, from CV axles to struts and steering components. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Here are two that caught my attention, related to the AC unit:

These stood out because thinking back to when I first heard the noise, it wasn’t until some months after I bought the car in February, as the weather was warming up and I started using the AC a lot. So this past week, we had a few lovely days where it wasn’t as hot, and I left the AC off and didn’t hear the noise. I don’t think this is conclusive, but it’s an observation. I’ll do some additional testing, just not this week. 🥵

I’m over this summer heat.

There are some others from the comments that are testing this as well. Will the mystery be solved? Stay tuned. 😆

🎧 Subie & YOU! Podcast Monthly Rewind

Here's a recap of last month's guests on the show:

In this solo episode Rafael talks about the journey to 100,000 downloads and thanks the community for helping the podcast get to 100,000 downloads.

Quinn joined the podcast to talk about how his Crosstrek has added great value to his outdoor lifestyle. He shares places he has been and places he would like to explore. (Quinn was also featured here in Spotlight #2.)

Dan joined the podcast to talk about his Subaru journey with his Impreza, some of the adventures he has been on, and people he has met along the way.

John joined the show to talk about the origins and progression of Morimoto Lighting, where they are headed with Subaru products, and his own Subaru Crosstrek!

Brian joined Rafael to talk about his GC8 and other Subarus he has owned. He also talks about being an importer of rare Subaru parts from Japan and how that has cultivated some great relationships. We also get to know, “Who is Brian?”

Remember, you can subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, or listen online here. My thanks to Rafael for his ongoing support of the newsletter!

🎁 The Wrap-Up

🥳 We recently hit the 500 subscriber mark for the newsletter! THANK YOU for being here. Any and all feedback is welcome as I really want this to be an enjoyable, and valuable, resource for you.

📅 New in 2023, Subiefest hits the Lone Star State with Subiefest Texas! The event will be held at Lone Star Park in Dallas on September 10. Tickets are available, along with all the details, here.

👕 Pick up a shirt! A fine collection of Subie Adventures T-shirts is available if you'd like to grab one to support the page and newsletter. Thanks!

That’s all for now!

Tom Anderson
Subie Adventures

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