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Old 03-30-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
skep18
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Question Conversion into 96 Brighton Coupe.

So, I'm going to pick up a 1996 AWD Impreza Brighton Coupe this weekend. I plan on having this be my garage toy for the next few years while I work on it. I have no intentions of trying to get this thing running any time soon, though its currently in running condition. I have a DD 2005 WRX, so I'm fairly familiar with the information around the Subaru community. FYI, I've read tons of threads here already, but like everyone says, I've not found one that really addresses my issue. (Watch someone link the proper thread first reply... )

So, my idea is I'd like to buy a full JDM EJ207 conversion from a vendor on here. Idk yet which version (hope for V7+, not sure if older versions are even EJ207's?), but I'll be picking up the engine and attached accessories, ECU, transmission, differential, shafts and brakes. Also probably going with minimal interior and a dash swap from a USDM Sti. I've been reading threads about the pains of getting all this stuff to work in motor swap situations due to wiring harness issues and other things, but they've all been about people wanting to keep XXX transmission with YYY JDM motor, or something like that.

I guess my question is what can experienced people in similar swaps think I should expect? Its my thinking that since I'll have everything basically to turn a shell into a running car, I don't much expect to hit too many barriers that should be "show stoppers" but again, I'm asking before I spend $8k on the conversion.

I'd like to ask kindly that no one reply with "anything is possible, ur an idiot though so don't do it." I am open to explanations as to why a JDM conversion is a very bad idea along with another alternative suggestion, maybe I missed something.

Also, if anyone knows of a link to a similar build, I'd love to see it. I've kicked around on RS25.com or whatever the site is, and searched here, but in the past few days, not had too much luck.

EDIT:

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Originally Posted by skep18 View Post
Just for clarity, I didn't mean to make it sound like $8k was my budget, that's just what I've seen the conversion packages go for. I figured there'd be more costs involved. Also, I will not have to pass emissions and this will be primarily a track car and maybe a little weekend driver.
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Last edited by skep18; 03-30-2012 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Added Information
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
mcwc
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If you are getting a complete half-cut with all the drivetrain components, mechanically, it'll all swap into your Impreza coupe. For the harness merge portion of the swap, contact Brian at iWire.

My buddy and I did a 2002 JDM STI swap into his Forester, which is basically an Impreza underneath, and we swapped in most of the mechanical bits from a half-cut. We got iWire to do the harness merge and it fired up basically on the first try.

Here is my buddy's swap thread, http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2210698. Somewhere in that thread, there is a big parts list that you can use to calculate your costs. The Forester swap was more than your budget of $8,000 in funny Canadian money but we did upgrade quite a few things at the same time. There maybe a few things on the parts list that you don't need. For example, you can use the STI rad from the half-cut instead of buying an aluminum rad.

IMO, if you can afford to do it, do a complete STI engine and drivetrain swap. It'll be a lot less headaches down the road and do it right the first time.

If your state does OBDII emissions, I'd take a look at a V8 swap. IIRC, the V8 ECU is fully OBDII complaint while the V7 ECU is partially complaint. the V7 ECU spits out enough information to pass our OBDII emissions test in Vancouver, BC.

Last edited by mcwc; 03-30-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcwc View Post
If you are getting a complete half-cut with all the drivetrain components, mechanically, it'll all swap into your Impreza coupe. For the harness merge portion of the swap, contact Brian at iWire.

My buddy and I did a 2002 JDM STI swap into his Forester, which is basically an Impreza underneath, and we swapped in most of the mechanical bits from a half-cut. We got iWire to do the harness merge and it fired up basically on the first try.

Here is my buddy's swap thread, http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2210698. Somewhere in that thread, there is a big parts list that you can use to calculate your costs. The Forester swap was more than your budget of $8,000 in funny Canadian money but we did upgrade quite a few things at the same time. There maybe a few things on the parts list that you don't need. For example, you can use the STI rad from the half-cut instead of buying an aluminum rad.

IMO, if you can afford to do it, do a complete STI engine and drivetrain swap. It'll be a lot less headaches down the road and do it right the first time.

If your state does OBDII emissions, I'd take a look at a V8 swap. IIRC, the V8 ECU is fully OBDII complaint while the V7 ECU is partially complaint. the V7 ECU spits out enough information to pass our OBDII emissions test in Vancouver, BC.
Thanks for the wonderful information. Just for clarity, I didn't mean to make it sound like $8k was my budget, that's just what I've seen the conversion packages go for. I figured there'd be more costs involved. Also, I will not have to pass emissions and this will be primarily a track car and maybe a little weekend driver. That being said, I was leaning towards a V8 anyways TBH. Prices don't seem to vary too much between versions.

So by "half-cut" your referring to a front clip? And by mechanical bits, you mean all the master cylinders, radiator (as mentioned), AC heat exhanger, etc? Would I just be expecting to put all that stuff in the car? Would any of it be replaceable with USDM parts should something brake (i.e. master cylinders)?

I understand the USDM STi would probably be easier, but being the long time frame I'm ok with having something difficult. Also, I'm really kinda hopeful for the huge revs I can pull with the EJ207.

But I'll look into your friend's build. I don't plan on keeping much from the Brighton other than the shell.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #4
mcwc
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Yup, I was referring the half-cut as the front clip. Our half-cut came with almost everything but the rear half of the body, gas tank, glass, doors, and a few other things. It was almost a whole car on 2 pallets.

Some of the parts were RHD specific, so we didn't use it. The original parts what we used from the Forester chassis were the master brake cylinder, clutch cylinder, HVAC, AC condenser, AC pump, rear subframe, gas tank, and a few other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. My buddy's thread should give you a general idea of what was used and kept. I'm pretty sure you'll figure out what can and can not be used once you start tearing into your half-cut.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:07 PM   #5
skep18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcwc View Post
Yup, I was referring the half-cut as the front clip. Our half-cut came with almost everything but the rear half of the body, gas tank, glass, doors, and a few other things. It was almost a whole car on 2 pallets.

Some of the parts were RHD specific, so we didn't use it. The original parts what we used from the Forester chassis were the master brake cylinder, clutch cylinder, HVAC, AC condenser, AC pump, rear subframe, gas tank, and a few other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. My buddy's thread should give you a general idea of what was used and kept. I'm pretty sure you'll figure out what can and can not be used once you start tearing into your half-cut.
Yea, after reading it, I see what you meant. So would you say its a better idea that I get a clip vs. just something like this?

Very cool build though. Is he happy about the EJ207? Any regrets/thoughts about not going with EJ257 USDM swap? Just curious.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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http://www.gstmotorsports.com/home/

^this company built one of the fastest Brighton's I know of, I am sure they can help.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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My buddy is happy with the swap. He just needs to get it tuned so he can actually see max boost without blowing up the motor.

With just the engine and transmission package, like the one you linked, it is missing the front subframe that you'll need for the swap. It's either you find a turbo subframe or notch your NA subframe.

We also used the GD aluminum A-arms and lateral links, which increased the track width by a bit. That should be beneficial for a weekend track car.

For my buddy, it was better to get a half-cut and sell off what he doesn't need or use.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcwc View Post
My buddy is happy with the swap. He just needs to get it tuned so he can actually see max boost without blowing up the motor.

With just the engine and transmission package, like the one you linked, it is missing the front subframe that you'll need for the swap. It's either you find a turbo subframe or notch your NA subframe.

We also used the GD aluminum A-arms and lateral links, which increased the track width by a bit. That should be beneficial for a weekend track car.

For my buddy, it was better to get a half-cut and sell off what he doesn't need or use.
For sure. I thought I remembered seeing the aluminum A-arms and th turbo subframe. Not that I'm against a shell, just wondering what options I'd have. And the wider base is a goof point. Speaking of, I thought I saw in that thread the driveshaft was too long or something, the support wasn't in the right place? How was that ever solved? I might remember seeing the axels were a bit longer too? Was that a problem?

Thanks for all the good input on this BTW. I knew the swap was doable, just feel better now that I'm getting an idea of what I'm getting into. I will for sure be using that iWire company, lol! Forget messin with my own wire harness. I've heard horror stories of the time it takes to do that.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:54 PM   #9
skep18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerickRyoung View Post
http://www.gstmotorsports.com/home/

^this company built one of the fastest Brighton's I know of, I am sure they can help.
Very nice. Yea, so far, Roger Clark's ride has been my biggest motivation, haha.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
mcwc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skep18 View Post
For sure. I thought I remembered seeing the aluminum A-arms and th turbo subframe. Not that I'm against a shell, just wondering what options I'd have. And the wider base is a goof point. Speaking of, I thought I saw in that thread the driveshaft was too long or something, the support wasn't in the right place? How was that ever solved? I might remember seeing the axels were a bit longer too? Was that a problem?

Thanks for all the good input on this BTW. I knew the swap was doable, just feel better now that I'm getting an idea of what I'm getting into. I will for sure be using that iWire company, lol! Forget messin with my own wire harness. I've heard horror stories of the time it takes to do that.
As long as you have the Impreza 6-speed driveshaft, it'll bolt right in. If it doesn't bolt in, that means they sent you the wrong drive shaft. Even to this day, we have no idea which drive shaft we had first received. The center carrier bearing of the first drive shaft was 2" too far forward of the chassis' bolt holes. Luckily, the importer was willing to exchange drive shafts.

Since the you will be getting a complete drivetrain to swap in, there isn't anything to worry about rear axles as those axles are specific to the R180 and STI rear hubs. If you swap in the GD turbo subframe and GD A-arms, the 6-speed front axles will fit just fine. The length of the 6-speed front axles will become an issue if you run the GC8 A-arms.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcwc View Post
If you swap in the GD turbo subframe and GD A-arms, the 6-speed front axles will fit just fine. The length of the 6-speed front axles will become an issue if you run the GC8 A-arms.
Not to mention if you use the GC front A-arms and sway bars, the CV boot hits the endlink. GD axle boot is much larger.

If you reuse your GC A-arms/sway bar, you'll have to reuse your axles too.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
subieguy87
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I'm mid swap on my 98 awd L impreza(wrxRS)... Subscribed for more useful info
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:46 AM   #13
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Any news on the car? I just bought the same car and am wondering on swap possibilities.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:15 AM   #14
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Whoops
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