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Old 05-20-2003, 07:30 PM   #1
Streetman
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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97 Brighton 2.5!
the REAL red

Default 1.8 to ??? FYI: No emissions in Indiana!!!

Let's just pretend for a moment I have a 1997 1.8 Brighton, with 176K miles on it, that's been giving me some troubles as of late...because I do. Little stumble here, sensors needed, axel shafts going, etc. I had planned on doing the full converesion sometime, but not this soon.

So now, I'm thinking it's time to start working towards finding a downer car. I thought I would be looking at getting the 2.5, but with all the latest engine management I've seen for the 2.0 Turbo, I figure "Why not?" Other thoughts of a giant 3.0 have mostly gone away. I just don't have it in me to get through that project. Here's what I need....

Straightforward swap. I need a whole car. I need to know where it came from, to see where to put it on my car. I'm not educated enough to know any other way. Also, I'm not about to nickle and dime all my money down the tube on misc. $50 and $100 parts I didn't get with the engine.

I also want the other goodies that didn't come with a Brighton. You know, the little things like A TACHOMETER. Also, I want a new tranny, LSD, better brakes, etc.

My ultimate goal here is to have the ultimate sleeper. I really don't care about the looks of the car on the outside. I want to haul ass, and handle. I'm getting more and more into off road, so the focus will be there as far as suspension goes. Yes, I know I don't need a 300 HP monster to rally, but wouldn't it be fun? Even funner to swap the 14" hubcapped wheels back on this little turd, and go race "sorry about your penis" cars from stoplight to stoplight.

So with that, I could use some input. I have no emissions testing in Indiana, so feel free to think outside the box. And before this turns into a discussion about that, REALLY, NONE, zero, zilch, nota, never. So someone tell me, am I going about this is the right way? Should I rethink, and go back to 2.5 NA thoughts? Anyone have other thoughts on what I should do?

Yes, I know, wait until the STi gets here, or the Turbo Forester, and buy an engine out of one of those wrecked. If I can, yes, that would be very cool. Don't know if I can wait, or afford one, even wrecked.

What to do, what to do?
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Old 05-20-2003, 10:57 PM   #2
fellfrosch7
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'98 Impreza L Wagon
'90 Talon TSi AWD

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Let me break down my story for you.

I owned a 2000 2.5RS that I sold for $13k in April.

I bought a 98 Impreza L wagon for $5k.
I bought a wrecked WRX with 15k miles on it for $5k.
I sold off the parts that I didn't need off the WRX (interior bits, and the bare shell itself) for about $2k. This is enough to cover the installation labor fees. I will also have the stock engine and tranny to sell after this is done, add another few hundred bucks.

I bought a used TurboXS turboback exhaust for $700, STi engine/tranny/pitch stop mounts for $185, StoneRacing header/uppipe for $350, Samco IC hoses for $100, and I will get the Cobb Tuning AccessPort when it comes out (allows reflashing of the ECU) for $500.

After I'm done, I will have about a grand in my pocket, a 98 Impreza wagon with about 290-300hp on 93 octane gas, and a big smile on my face.
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Old 05-20-2003, 11:09 PM   #3
Aspen
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fellfrosch7 has done it the best way possible. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it exactly like that.

Having a full donor car can definitely save you $$$ and time and would highly recommend it.

I think I've spent way too much on many of these nickel and dime parts that quickly added up...
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Old 05-20-2003, 11:35 PM   #4
Streetman
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the REAL red

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Quote:
I bought a wrecked WRX with 15k miles on it for $5k.
Exactly the number I was thinking of. I've got some friends who can even take me to the salvage auction once a week. Could get to one before it gets to the the junkyard.

Now, how'd the sell off go? I'm wondering how much of it I can sell. I was thinking $2000 is cheap. Just between wheels and tires, suspension, and maybe a radio, I would think you would be up over $1000. I've already got WRX seats, a good radio, don't want the suspension or wheels. However, I do want the brakes, and some other goodies.

I'm seeing $2000 for the install everywhere. Is this to suggest that it would take 40 hours at $50 an hour for a shop to complete? I can't imagine that a shop, with air tools, and a lift, couldn't get it done quicker. Like, half that time. I suspect it will take me a while, but how bad can it be? I"m looking at replacing EVERYTHING, which includes entire driveline with the three wiring harnesses. No splicing. No mixing and matching things. A WRX with an ugly Brighton shell on it's back, basically. I think I could do it in 40 hours without the lift. No?

Also, you don't think staying normally aspirated is economical way to go? I had thought 2.5 for the torque, and not having to tune it to such great lengths. But now, there's just so much for the 2.0, and so many of them, I might have to get on board.

Aspen-

What have you spent on yours now, with odds and ends?
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Old 05-21-2003, 12:42 AM   #5
fellfrosch7
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'90 Talon TSi AWD

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The car had a lot of the interior missing - namely, seats, radio, and the little stuff everyone wants, like the silver dash trim, glovebox, shifter surround, etc. Also, the rear bumper, trunk, and taillights were gone. I still haven't sold the suspension yet, and I may end up with odd parts that I thought I would need, but might not use in the end. Also, only 3 of the wheels are good, but I didn't count those as profit yet either.

The main problem with doing the swap is the wiring, and this is what takes up most of the time. For comparison, my mechanic dropped the entire drivetrain from the donor car in about 2 hours - this was basically unbolting the suspension and dropping the complete front and rear end and rolling it out of the shop, and then took about 5 more hours to get all the wiring out of the car.

I also plan on using the complete WRX wiring harness, drivetrain, and brakes. The suspension will stay stock for now, until I can find a decent deal on used STi v5/6 struts and springs.

I'll definitely get an hourly breakdown of what took how long in the end, and post about it in the Member's Ride gallery when it's all done.
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:54 PM   #6
Streetman
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Vehicle:
97 Brighton 2.5!
the REAL red

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Just got word from the locals here that I can get a 2002 WRX engine, tranny, and harness for $4500. Even has axel, rear diff, custom uppipe, cobb cams, and some other goodies. $4500 for the setup. Probably $2000 if I want this shop to install. Ooooooooooo so tempting.

However, throw in a cross member, intake, exhaust, and on, and on, and I'll probably be in it for twice that. Cool that it has cams and uppipe though. Could be a recipe for a real screamer.

Or a total mess.
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Old 05-21-2003, 08:00 PM   #7
Aspen
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I actually have it harder than the '97+ folks since my car is OBD1 and a lot of wires and locations are different. The '98+ cars had the fuel evap system in the rear and also had the different style connectors and sensors on the fuel tank to name a few. I literally have to strip out only the wires that I'm going to use that is critical to engine operation only. If I did it the other way, I'd have to splice into all the lights(front and back), door sensors, heater, blower fan, Instrument cluster, ignition system, rear defogger, fans, etc...

As for my expenses, it will take some time to add them up again since I've upgraded a lot of parts, but let's just say that I have a very well balanced car(upgrade to every section of the car) and I'm still under a price for a stock used '00 RS.

BTW, Only my shell and dash are original...
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:07 PM   #8
Streetman
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97 Brighton 2.5!
the REAL red

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You know, if someone would tell me what I might expect in doing a 1.8 to 2.5 conversion, I might just get the 2.5 still. I've just got it in my head that it's going to get more and more expensive. However, I have someone that has a 2.5 with cylinder 3 piston taosted. The cylinder walls are ok though, and it even ran in that condition. I could just drop in a cam, replace that piston, and be good up to about 200 HP. A few other tweaks, and I could get it up to ~230. The engine and harness is only $400, as is. Again, so very tempting.

Someone suggested that I could even use the wiring harness in my 1.8, as it is OBDII. It's a 97.

Whatcha think? Just an easy drop in?
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Old 05-21-2003, 10:58 PM   #9
Aspen
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Wiring will be a LOT easier in a 2.5 conversion. Basically, it's a plug and play with the exception of maybe the Throttle body connector which would only be 3-4 wires at most. That is if you were going to use a '97 Legacy 2.5L ecu. If you were to use the Impreza RS ECU, you might or might not need to convert or match up the wiring. Also, if the engine that is available is '00-'01, it will be a map based system and will have to be wired accordingly.

Don't think that you can just slap on cams and have instant 230hp. It's not as easy on a N/A motor and even if you achieved that power level, you might be making some sacrifices down low or have an uneven power band.

You have to weigh your performance goals with your budget and come to some happy median. If you can afford the WRX swap, by all means go with that.

my $.02
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:52 AM   #10
Streetman
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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97 Brighton 2.5!
the REAL red

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Quote:
That is if you were going to use a '97 Legacy 2.5L ecu.
HUH?

I've got a 97 Impreza with the 1.8, and have sourced a 99 RS engine. Where'd the legacy come in? I know the 99 has a MAF, not sure what I've got. I am sure it's OBDII though. No one can tell me much about the 1.8 L.

I figure 230 HP is acheivable with cams, intake, headers and exhaust, and remapping the ecu. No? I think it would be close. So that's what it comes down to. 2.0 is 227. 2.5 can be NA with ~227, I think. which will cost more?

I really like the torque of the 2.5, but might throw that out the window with the tunabilitly of the 2.0. hmmmmm....
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Old 05-26-2003, 11:52 PM   #11
kingsuba
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Here's a few things to think about if you plan on ralling this car.

You will never be in a Production class or Group N.

Open class forced inductioned cars have restrictors on the intake.( I believe 32mm or maybe 36mm,I can't remember at this time)

Buy a Performance Rally Rule book and study.You can get it off the SCCA homepage SCCA Performance Rally Rulebook

You will eventially have to get a anti-lag system for the turbo to stay competitive.(in rally)

There's a few things I'm missing.

And I have a question
Can I use your address when I swap my 1.8 for an WRX or STI?
Cincinnati has emmisions.

A few RAMbling of a CRACKER
Eric Adams
Cincy Region Rally Chairman

If you already know this stuff please disregard this reply
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:00 AM   #12
Streetman
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Vehicle:
97 Brighton 2.5!
the REAL red

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Mail boxes etc rents PO boxes, but uses their address. As in 123 Main ST, Suite 321 is Mailbox 321 in the MBE at 123 main. don't know what they charge, but I used to pay less than $50 every six months for a small PO box at the US postal service.

what's it worth for you to skip emissions? $10 a month? $20?
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Old 05-27-2003, 05:14 PM   #13
kingsuba
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I have a buddy in Lexington KY that said I could use his address.
Plus I was just playing

Eric Adams
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Old 05-30-2003, 06:56 PM   #14
Zerolapse
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Arrest-Me Red :-)

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I have a 1996 1.8L Impreza Brighton, and I have also been looking for ways to dramatically increase my horsepower with a very little budget. Anyway, you may want to consider a custom turbo, a guy on here named subachad has been rather successful in this area and the details are outlined on his webpage at http://www.uniquemotorsports.com/subachad/.

take a look,

ZeroLapse
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Old 05-30-2003, 09:15 PM   #15
Streetman
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the REAL red

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With 176K miles on the clock, she's not getting any boost. It would be fun to see how long 30 pounds would last, but that's a lot of work for a little fun. I'm looking at buying a whole WRX, getting the full brake system, maybe some everyday driving rims, the entire driveline, etc. I can part out the rest it to make up a lot of cost.

OR, I might just go the cheaper, and easier route of a 2.5, provided I find one cheap. Sure wish someone could tell me how much work a 1.8 to 2.5 would take. No one seems to know.
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Old 05-31-2003, 06:09 PM   #16
stentorian
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I bought myself a 93 Impreza wagon for $1800. So far I have been working on suspension and some other misc. stuff. Soon (3rd try may be the charm, 1st was Aron Frost, 2nd was laid off annointed bought what I was looking at buying) I plan to get an older JDM Version 1-4 WRX engine, tranny, etc etc etc to do a complete swap. I plan to find one with the TD05 turbo to start with. But adding to that stock JDM WRX swap, if it was around the 240ish hp range (older models, some versions have 276hp but w/out sti internals), adding 3" turbo back exhaust, engine management, and upgrade the TMIC...I could expect to get around the 300hp range (see annointed's 1st swap). Complete engine/tranny/upgrades and installation/tune w/ brake upgrade and install I am looking to put in about $7-8K.
So take $1800 car + $7-8K for power and brake upgrades + $700 for my suspension + whatever costs for exterior and then paint. That roughly will come out to around $12K (or so) for my completed Version 2 looking wagon in Blue Ridge Pearl with some mad power Oh interior....who knows!

-Joe

But you can do what you want...how much money you want to spend anyhow???? That is what you have to look into....Goodluck
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Old 05-31-2003, 07:13 PM   #17
Streetman
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the REAL red

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Quote:
I bought myself a 93 Impreza wagon for $1800
I bought my 97 Brighton for $1700. I win.

Why go through all the gibberish with a JDM swap, when there are plenty of good US spec motors available for the same $$, and new, which wont' be a pain to get parts for? You can get 300HP out of one, just the same.

As far as what I want to do, I'm thinking if I can use the wiring harness I have, with little modification, I'll drop in a 2.5L, as they are cheap as all get up. It would make a great little AutoCross car, as I have the shortest gearing available in a Impreza, and would have some great low end torque.

The other option is to throw in the US 2.0, and switch over just about everything. That's more work, but I'd have the potential for more car, without a doubt. It's much easier to get to 300HP with the 2.0, than it is the 2.5.

So what's holding me up? Just need to know how hard the 2.5 is to drop into a previously 1.8 harness. If my suspicions are confirmed, and it's fairly simple, I'm all over it. If not, time to find that perfect WRX, which is rolled.
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