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Old 10-10-2000, 02:56 PM   #1
Mx5racer
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Location: Michigan
Question Legacy suspension improvements

Hey, this site looks like a good resource, so I'll give it a try.

I am in the market for a 97-98 Legacy GT wagon. I want the 2.5 engine and 5speed, so it looks like a GT for me.

I am interested to know what performance suspension pieces are available.

Who makes good shocks for the Legacys? How good are the OEM shocks, and how long should they last?

Do people sell sway bar kits for legacys? Are these done in pairs, or can (should) you just do the rear bar?

My other car corners like a wild cat, and I don't want to be bored when behind the wheel of the subaru. Just trying to get a feel of what is available.

Thanks!

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Old 10-10-2000, 03:35 PM   #2
nuburu2
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'97 SVX Ebony Pearl

Post

Mx5Racer,
Having just purchased a 98 2.5 GT Wagon a few weeks ago, and being of like mind, I thought I'd share a few tuners addresses with you. There's a surprising number of decent hot-rod and handling goodies available compared to when I first got into Subies (83 GL Wagon)Try www.cobbtuning.com ; home.att.net/~teaguesauto; for starters. Not all the parts are for the Imprezzers! Hope you don't want to tow your RS to the rallies though cuz' I'm not having much luck with getting a nice neat little factory hitch mated to my new wagon! Happy Trails!
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Old 10-10-2000, 03:38 PM   #3
Radio Flyer
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Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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'98 2.5 GT Wagon
Rio Red

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MX5Racer, Welcome aboard!

Well, the GT Wagon will likely not feel like your Miata, but...

There are actually quite a few suspension choices available to you.

Struts: KYB AGX are mentioned most frequently as they have adjustable damping. There are many others. Basically, any strut mentioned for the RS can be used on the GT: Prodrive, STi, etc. As for the stock struts, I don't really know what to say. I've got 32K miles on mine, and they're going strong...

Springs: Again, the choices are many. Eibach is likely the most popular, but H&R, Tein, Ground Control, etc. are all out there as well.

Sway bars: The wagon's rear sway is only ~15mm. You can pull one off of an Outback for a cheap upgrade (they're 18mm). There are larger ones available as well. I've actually not heard of anyone changing out the front bar. Stiffening up the rear eliminates a lot of/all of the understeer.

<ul>Other great resources:[*]The Tech Forum on this board. The engine and suspension are more or less shared between the GT and the RS (the GT Wagon's springs are a bit stiffer; I don't know if the struts are common or different).[*]Subie Gal She's the most vociferous GT owner, and she's tried many suspension setups on her GT -- which she tosses around in the dirt frequently.[*] www.spdusa.com He was the first best resource for Subaru performance.[/list]There are many others. Browse the boards here for a while, you'll get a real feel for what's out there.

And, might I add, a '98 GT Wagon is a most excellent choice!

&nbsp;&nbsp;- Eric
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'98 2.5 GT Wagon - <a href="http://208.9.184.110/MembersList/ViewMemberPics.cfm?MemberID=143" target="_blank">Pics</a> - <a href="http://www.jeneric.ws/eric/radioflyer.htm" target="_blank">Page</a> -


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Old 10-13-2000, 06:49 AM   #4
Mx5racer
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Thanks for the input. It looks like a rear sway bar would be a nice upgrade to get the front wheels to work a little harder. It is funny that the rear one is bigger on the outback, that thing understeers like a dog. Ouch.

I'm finding that I am going to have my hands full trying to find a 5 speed. It would be so hard for me to drive an automatic though!

I did find a '98 GT wagon with 32,000 miles for $14,000. Man, they were giving that thing away. Of course when I went over to buy it, someone had flown almost 2,000 miles to buy it, and had gotten there 10 minutes before me. So, the search continues.
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Old 10-13-2000, 07:36 AM   #5
Subie Gal
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hello.

there are tons of options for you regarding your suspension inquiries!!!

Sway bar - Likely the rear is all you will need to switch out. Not necessary to mess with the front bar.

Strut bar - a necessity in a wagon... You will want one of these.

Tires - Upgrade them along with your suspension - this is your connection to the ROAD... make it count... there are countless threads to search in the Technical forum on this

Struts - I have tried the KYB/AGX struts and was very pleased with them - if you don't feel the need for adjustables, you may want to look at the KYB/GR2 non adjustable struts... Currently I am running the DMS 50MM coilover set up... but that's another world in itself!! 1 thing at a time!

Springs - Intrax no good - don't buy them... Eibach's are ok... I recommend the H&R's that I had on my GT previously. The spring rate was fantastic although the spring height was a little low for off road stuff.

Try a few of these sites for some leads/ideas on whats out there and the cost:

www.spdusa.com

www.autocaresubaru.com

www.mrtrally.com.au/frames2.htm

feel free to ask questions... love to help

Jamie
www.subiegal.com



[This message has been edited by Subie Gal (edited October 13, 2000).]
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Old 10-13-2000, 01:17 PM   #6
pleiades
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81 Fiat Spider

Talking

Pictures of my '98GT Sedan with some suspension modifications. www.highsouth.com/sr/index3.htm
All parts were purchased from Teague's Auto: www.boxer4racing.com
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Old 10-14-2000, 12:14 AM   #7
gtguy
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Subie Gal, did you see the GB for KYB AGXs over on the Vendor page? I'd like to hop in, and emailed Kevin at JC Sports for clarification, because he says that these are for the Impreza chassis only. Is there such a thing? I thought that there was simply a KYB AGX for Subarus, period. I wasn't aware that there were model-specific struts in that same line.

What do you know?

Kevin
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Old 10-14-2000, 03:54 PM   #8
gumball
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Talking

Hey Kevin, I just bought and had Rallispec install Impreza KYB AGX struts on my '97 GT. They are identical. There is just no part listed in the KYB book for the Legacy. Perfect match & fit. Just use the Impreza part numbers.

734007
734006
733010
733009
(I think those are right).
Springs are a different matter, given the difference in weight betw. the 2 cars.

p.s. Subie Gal, what's the latest on
your engine?


[This message has been edited by gumball (edited October 14, 2000).]
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Old 10-14-2000, 07:50 PM   #9
gtguy
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Do you have a wagon or sedan? I seem to recall hearing that the wagons have subtle suspension differences than the rest of the Scooby line. I hope this isn't the case.

Kevin at JC Sports seemed to think (he PMed me) that they wouldn't fit the Legacy. Seems odd to me...

Kevin
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Old 10-15-2000, 11:51 AM   #10
gumball
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Exclamation

Hey Kevin, I have a sedan. I haven't looked at the suspension on a wagon, I can't imagine how it'd be any different, though the rear springs may be heavier on acct. of the heavier weight. One idea is to check subaruparts.com (or dealer), do keyword searches for struts and see if there are diff. part numbers for the rear. I think GTBGuy & RadioFlyer have 95-99 GT Wagons and one of them put AGX/Eibach on- just do a search on Legacy or Tech post for AGX.

Also, the only diff. betw. the left & right assemblies is the placement of the brake line bracket- TireRack shipped 2 right rears to Rallispec & the guys there just cut-off the bracket and welded the one from my old strut on, w/ the correct orientation.
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Old 10-15-2000, 07:18 PM   #11
GTBGUY
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'98 QS Legacy L (auto)

Exclamation

Gumball - Actually I have a '99 2.5GT Sedan, as well as a '98 L Sedan... I didn't need the wagon (plus it looks not as aggressive as the sedan.)
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Old 10-16-2000, 07:02 AM   #12
Subie Gal
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02 WRX/01 RS

Wink

hey gang..

my engine: replaced the short block. Yep. for those that missed it, the #2 cylinder had a crack in it and a whole new short block was ordered and replaced under warranty! *whew* car is running great now!

I myself called KYB and talked to 2 different tech's. We surmised that the part numbers for the Impreza = Legacy. And they fit perfectly!! As far as the wagon goes, i know that the 2000 GT is VERY different suspension from the sedan. I haven't heard that in regards to the 99's or older. ???

Anyway, hope this helps... If you purchase them and they don't fit, you can always return them...

j.
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Old 10-16-2000, 09:12 AM   #13
pleiades
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Very interesting! My #4 cylinder developed a crack at about 37,000 miles. They replaced the short block, and the car now has 60,000. It runs fine now but I wonder how many more of these engines have had this problem.
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Old 10-16-2000, 11:56 AM   #14
gumball
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Unhappy

Oh Great! I've got 500 miles left on my powertrain warranty and ya'll are talking about cracked blocks???? Yikes!!! Phase I ('97 DOHC) engines included in this? Oh well, one more thing to worry about.
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Old 10-16-2000, 03:39 PM   #15
pleiades
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Arrow

My car is a 98GT so it's probably the same. I think a minor problem, i.e. thermostat sticking, may have caused this problem, but I don't know. I drive the car hard and autocross it but the guys at the dealer and I both agreed that you shouldn't have a problem like that unless your cooling system isn't working. Here's my advice: First, if it's not to late get an extended warranty. SOA will even set up a payment plan on a credit card so you don't have to pay it all at once. However if you need a major repair you'll have to pay off the warranty before they'll pay for the repair. But at least you could pay off a $400-$500 warranty and get a $2000 engine or transmission repair. I only went 60,000 miles because of the money, but do the maximum mileage you can even if you go with the lower plan that only covers major repairs. Second, Buy a temperature gauge that actually tells you what the engine temperature is doing. And perferably mount it where it is easier to glance at when you are driving. If you have an RS you can get one of those wonderful gauge pods, If you have a GT like me good luck. That's only reason I haven't gotten one yet.

In any case I wouldn't worry about it to much. Soon the US spec WRX will be here and they will be getting wrecked so there will be plenty of engines to swap.
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Old 10-16-2000, 04:56 PM   #16
BG5
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Bilstein inserts (as well as OEM GT-B Bilstein's struts) are also available in fixed valving specific to the Legacy. The inserts cost about the same as other Bilstein import applications here in the US but they are special ordered from Germany.

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Old 10-17-2000, 12:56 AM   #17
Mx5racer
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Hey,

thanks for the info. Sounds like a rear sway bar and tires will probably be the first on the list. Then maybe some shocks to dampen things out if they are needed.

I appreciate the input!

Charles
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Old 10-17-2000, 04:25 PM   #18
gtguy
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Thanks for all the input, guys (and Subie Gal). I'm in the GB for the KYB AGXs at $325 per set, a price that's too good to pass up. Indeed, there are still plenty of good miles left on my Legacy GT's struts already, but hey...I'll keep 'em, just in case...

And should I go with the Eibach Legacy springs? My plan is KYBs, springs, and 18mm sway bar.

Kevin
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Old 10-17-2000, 08:11 PM   #19
gumball
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Hey Kevin- try a Legacy Forum search on Eibachs- I just went through the same thing but wimped out. There seemed to be a lot of controversy around the Eibach drop (not as mild as w/ the Impreza Pro-Kit) so you may want to read up first then decide. The SPD Prodrive/Eibach springs are no longer made, so that leaves Eibach Pro-Kit, H&R &Tein as options I believe.

And PLEIDES- what were your symptoms & did your gauge ever go up? This cracked block stuff is freakin' me out. But I think the '97 2.5 GT engine has been around since 95, right? '97 was the first manual tranny & maybe around 99 they went to SOHC.

[This message has been edited by gumball (edited October 17, 2000).]
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Old 10-17-2000, 09:21 PM   #20
pleiades
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Yes the gauge went up, but I suspect it was to late by then. When it went up it went straight up! No "oh, I getting hot I think I'll go up some," it went up to tell me it got to hot (past-tense). But don't sweat it to much, just keep an eye on that gauge.

Once again I, along with everyone who has seen my car and driven it (3 at the last autocross) say it looks good and it drives way past their expectations. In case you missed the pics: www.highsouth.com/sr/index3.htm
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Old 10-18-2000, 05:53 AM   #21
gtguy
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Pleiades, I'll try to catch you here as well, about buying your 19mm Subaru bar. I left you a message at the Private Sale board.

Kevin
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Old 10-18-2000, 06:13 AM   #22
lucien2
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Thumbs up

Legacy GT went to SOHC in '00, FWIW
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Old 10-18-2000, 10:36 AM   #23
AWDBat
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The Eibach springs I have for my KYBs run great. No rub, even when taking hard autocross turns. The drop is at most 1.5" - probably 1.25" on my '95 Legacy LS.
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Old 10-18-2000, 04:34 PM   #24
gtguy
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Turns out that Mike Shields over at SPD has Eibach springs made specifically for the Legacy GT. The drop is less than an inch, which is what I'm after.

Kevin
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