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Old 05-06-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
ricochet
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Default Building for Speed

Building for Speed
Aka: How I stopped worrying and learned to love the build
By Ryan Douthit, Subiesport Magazine

Subaru’s Legacy GT is an often-overlooked performance sedan. Out of the box it has 75% of the performance of the STI, but without the racer looks that turns so many heads. Still, it has the potential to be fast – very fast. For those of us with growing families and professional careers it’s a car that lets us have our cake and eat it to.

Stock, the Legacy GT has a 243chp turbocharged motor that shares many components with the STI. The shortblock is identical. The heads and turbo are the most significant differences – along with only the STI getting the trick DCCD and 6-speed, unless you opt for the Spec B legacy, which does have six cogs. Better yet, unlike the current STI, you can get leather, a moonroof and body styling that doesn’t look like it was an afterthought. In my opinion, the 2007-08 Legacy is one of the better-looking cars on the road today: A trait not commonly associated with Subarus.

Of course, given my occupation, as the publisher of Subiesport Magazine, this car didn’t stay stock long. Shortly after break-in we started the first phase of changes in the “need for speed” category. This included a larger turbo, fatter top-mount intercooler and a Perrin turbo-back exhaust system. All the parts were tuned using an ECUTek reflash and netted a tidy 280whp.



I ran that configuration for a good year and was pretty happy with the overall performance: the 18G Blouch/TDC Turbo spooled quickly and had enough scoot for the occasional track day or Time Attack race. The Achilles heel was the top end. Power came fast, but didn’t stick around, making long straight-aways on the track my nemesis. Also, in hot conditions, such as I faced at the 2007 Tuner Shootout in Nevada, the top-mount intercooler just couldn’t keep hot intake temperatures at bay.

Before we started on “Phase 2“ of this Legacy GT build, our technical editor Tim Bailey and I changed the engine management to a Cobb AccessPORT 2.0 (it wasn’t available for the car’s CANBUS system when we did Phase 1) and played around to see if we could break 300whp mark with the existing configuration. All indications were good, but pushing the tune with stock injectors and “trying some stuff” in an uncontrolled situation, followed by me flogging the car around our test course spelled disaster for piston #4: we broke a ring and smoking immediately followed.

In the tuning world the death of one engine often leads to the development of a newer, stronger mill to replace it. This project is no different. Out with the stock (busted) shortblock, and in with a brand-spankin’-new STI block with a special ingredient: Cosworth forged pistons. This was assembled for us by the guys at PDXTuning in Portland, Oregon.

While the motor was out, we finally installed some larger injectors (from our friends at Deatschwerks), slapped on a larger AVO 420 turbo (installed by Rallitek performance), and fitted a Perrin front-mount intercooler to help keep temperatures more consistent. The clutch was also fried, so in went an ACT heavy-duty clutch kit along with the ACT streetlite flywheel. If you’re keeping score, yes, not much of the original configuration remained when all was said and done.

For the tune, we took the car to Steve’s Pacific Import Auto (PIA) in Tacoma, Wash., where Tim Bailey (Subiesport Magazine's technical editor and owner of Surgeline tuning) was finally able to put together a proper tune on PIA’s Mustang dyno. End result? A safe 320 wheel-horsepower and 320 ft-lbs of torque running 92 octane fuel.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you all the facts about this new build, since it is an ongoing project car for Subiesport Magazine (subscribe now!), and is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue -- we have to keep some morsels for the magazine. But I can say this: It’s fast, but not fast enough. Certainly faster than any stock STI, but that’s not what I want. I don’t think I’ll be happy with this setup until we hit or surpass a safe 350whp, which will require some more changes.

The fact that we’re not done yet is okay by me. In many ways, testing all these different setups is more fun than the destination itself. Stay tuned, as the adventure continues.

###

You can read more about this project (prior to blowing the motor) in the current issue (Issue #21) of Subiesport Magazine, now available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings, Chapters and other fine booksellers. You can also get it here.
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Last edited by ricochet; 05-19-2008 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:34 AM   #2
hutru01
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subscribed
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
QuikWgn
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Definitely looking forward to reading the stage 2 buildup. I've been thinking about the same thing as it applies to an earlier MY Legacy.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
Yello_Rex
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wow right on. lots of love for the leggy. cant wait to read the entire build write-up
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:46 AM   #5
hutru01
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With a FMIC and AVO420 (with all necessary upgrades), you will easily hit 350 whp.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:15 PM   #6
div
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Looks like an awesome build, cant wait to read about it in whatever issue it is released in.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:24 PM   #7
ricochet
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by div View Post
Looks like an awesome build, cant wait to read about it in whatever issue it is released in.
The end-to-end "phase 2" (a Stage 3 or 4 build depending on your views) is scheduled to be in the next issue: June/July #21. We're working to make it as detailed as possible.

Ryan Douthit, Publisher
Subiesport Magazine
http://www.subiesport.com
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
Suby_05
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Test drove the Spec B Legacy the other day, fell in love with it!!
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:33 PM   #9
Han'sGT
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LGT FTW!

Oh, I'm biased.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:36 PM   #10
02REX4LIFE
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"Now its 06LEGGY4LIFE"

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jealous.....
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #11
RS Guy1513
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02REX4LIFE View Post
jealous.....
me too wish i had the cabbage to get my hands on an LGT
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:44 PM   #12
ryanesp1000
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definitely anticipating more...
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:04 PM   #13
ADirtyLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Han'sGT View Post
LGT FTW!

Oh, I'm biased.

what he said!!

Kenda
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:09 PM   #14
srgdrum
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Nice. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:10 PM   #15
NorCalSubie07
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can't wait til stage two, i love legacy's
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:22 PM   #16
07otleSTi
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nice read, very catching, or maybe it was the legacy, whos know =D

-Simon
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:51 PM   #17
Ralliart4
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Brilliant article. Do you mind if I attach this to our local forum?

J. Anderson
- Wheelsjamaica.com
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:02 PM   #18
ricochet
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralliart4 View Post
Brilliant article. Do you mind if I attach this to our local forum?

J. Anderson
- Wheelsjamaica.com
Go ahead and link. If you want to copy-paste the article, you need to keep the URL references and post it in its entirety (including title and byline)
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #19
bsmitty
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I was at PIA one of the days the Subiesport guys were there & doing tuning. Ah yeah!
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:43 PM   #20
hutru01
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Default Had to do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Han'sGT View Post
LGT FTW!

Oh, I'm biased.
+1
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:46 PM   #21
Smonkey
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Dr. Strangelove, best movie ever!
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:49 PM   #22
MeanEditor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutru01 View Post
With a FMIC and AVO420 (with all necessary upgrades), you will easily hit 350 whp.
On what dyno is the question. According to Tim, the turbo is pretty much maxed out where we have it. At 21 lbs of boost the car made only 5 more hp and tq than it did at 18-19psi.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:44 PM   #23
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It's not the turbocharger that's maxed out, there is a bottleneck in the system somewhere. The AVO420 4-5 hotside is good for up to 500hp of flow. If it's only making 5 more hp with an additional 2psi of boost, that points to a restriction in the overall system.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
www.avoturboworld.com
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #24
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subscrizzled
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:59 PM   #25
tikbhoy
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Legacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Han'sGT View Post
LGT FTW!

Oh, I'm biased.


what he said x2
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