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Old 04-20-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
mikeb23ft
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Default Potential of 97 Legacy GT...

So I may be the proud new owner of a 1997 Legacy GT that I'm getting in trade for a (broken) Focus SVT. What I'm trying to figure out is whether it's a good base for modification or not. I realize that all Subaru engines and trannies are basically interchangeable. Also, I have concluded that the stock motor is garbage, and that a swap is needed, so a WRX swap of some type will go into it eventually.

So what's the downside of the early Legacy GT platform? It's not terribly heavy at 3100lbs. You can bolt any WRX stuff onto it. It looks fairly cool. Am I missing something? Is there a reason the 2.5rs prices are insane and Legacy GTs are dirt cheap? I've only seen 4 or 5 swapped Legacys but I see swapped RSs by the dozen. What gives? Is the weight difference that big of a deal, or do people just want to drive Imprezas, or is it harder to swap a Legacy...? How good is a 97 Legacy GT as a swap project car?
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:56 AM   #2
NSFW
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I think people just like coupes. They're a little smaller, lighter, and only two doors days "F U I'm going my way and I've only got room for one more." Plus there aren't as many of them.

I know a guy with an STI-swapped 1999 and it's pretty cool...
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2199060
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:00 AM   #3
that one legacy
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there were a lot more Legacy GTs than 2.5 RSs, and since the 2.5 RS is actually fairly highly valued there is a pretty big discrepancy between the prices of the two even though they are essentially the same car mechanically. the stock EJ25D isn't really a crappy motor, but you're definitely not going to be extracting a huge amount of power out of it.

watch the head gaskets as the EJ25D is known for failures. the front O2 sensor likes to go out every 60,000 miles or so, but the rear one usually doesn't have many problems. the fuel pump on my 95L went out at around 220,000 miles, so be mindful of that. other than that, there aren't too many maintenance issues that are out of the ordinary for a car of that age.

modwise, lots of it is going to be custom. there aren't many intakes or exhausts available. most people just got with a hybrid intake (aftermarket intake pipe attached to the stock air box) and then a custom cat-back exhaust. I run K&N filters in both of my 95 2.2s, but lots of people have had problems with them. most people tend to run unequal length headers to get that boxer sound out of the exhaust, but equal lengths will give better power gains. you really shouldn't turbo the stock motor, cause they've been known to fail even with low boost.

suspension wise, there are still some options out there, but they're getting harder to find. stock outback sways are a good start for a cheap mod, but whitelines are really good for aftermarket replacements. stock WRX struts and springs will bold up as long as you change out the rear top hats, and will drop the car a bit. you'll suffer on camber though.

body wise, aside from JDM parts and the few kits you can find on eBay, there isn't much available that's bolt-on. everything is pretty much custom. brakes from pretty much any other subaru will bolt right up, but you'll have to change out your wheels for some of them.

and of course, stereo equipment is all custom, but that's normal. good luck with the car, i'd love to have one of those myself.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:24 AM   #4
mikeb23ft
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Well I really don't care about body and stereo. I'll leave the body alone if it's straight and put a decent HU and front speakers in it. That'll be it in that department.

What I'm mostly worried about is the drivetrain, and making sure that it's just as easy to swap a Legacy as it is to swap a 2.5RS. Also if stock WRX suspension bolts up I assume aftermarket bits will too, at least to some extent. I don't want coilovers, but if there's an Eibach Pro Kit for it I'll probably look in that direction. I really like the body of the car and I think it would make an excellent 300whp sleeper.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:10 AM   #5
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb23ft View Post
What I'm mostly worried about is the drivetrain, and making sure that it's just as easy to swap a Legacy as it is to swap a 2.5RS.
No differences at all. The cars essentially were the same chassis at that point, with the Legacy having a few inches added into the wheelbase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb23ft View Post
Also if stock WRX suspension bolts up I assume aftermarket bits will too, at least to some extent. I don't want coilovers, but if there's an Eibach Pro Kit for it I'll probably look in that direction. I really like the body of the car and I think it would make an excellent 300whp sleeper.
Yup, suspension pieces are very much compatible. I'm running STI pink rear trailing arms, Hotchkis adjustable rear lateral links for a WRX (no longer made), and will soon be installing STI front control arms. About the only Legacy-specific bits are the swaybars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by that one legacy View Post
there were a lot more Legacy GTs than 2.5 RSs...
Have you ever seen a break-down of production numbers for the 2.5GT? I've seen production numbers for the '98-01 2.5RS, so I know there weren't very many of those made, but considering how few 2.5GTs I've ever seen it doesn't seem like there were tons of those made, either.

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Old 04-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #6
Dobes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb23ft View Post
What I'm mostly worried about is the drivetrain, and making sure that it's just as easy to swap a Legacy as it is to swap a 2.5RS. Also if stock WRX suspension bolts up I assume aftermarket bits will too, at least to some extent. I don't want coilovers, but if there's an Eibach Pro Kit for it I'll probably look in that direction. I really like the body of the car and I think it would make an excellent 300whp sleeper.
Heh, I saw your other comment about my car with the suspension and UK17 wheels a few posts down. I should mention that I also have a pretty complete WRX swap (engine, transmission, rear LSD diff) too. While I didn't do the swap, I don't think the mechanical part is that difficult. Wiring is the harder portion but it shouldn't be any different than for an RS swap. One word of caution, Subaru switched a lot of emissions equipment for the 1998 model year Legacy so if you're planning a WRX swap, you'll need to swap gas tanks too so that all the appropriate emissions equipment is present and functions which keeps the WRX ECU happy. In other words, the 1997 is bit more of a headache than the 1998 version because of this.


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Old 04-21-2010, 05:13 PM   #7
mikeb23ft
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If it's important for the ECU being happy I'll do it, however if it's just for emissions reasons I don't have to do it since South Carolina really doesn't give a crap. I've seen enough third gen camaros and C4 corvettes with Gen1 small blocks and carbs to know that.

It looks like the best bet is to get a 98, or get a 97 and find an entire donor car, no? Maybe a WRX hit in the door. Then I could get suspension stuff too, wheels, brakes, etc.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:57 AM   #8
Dobes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb23ft View Post
If it's important for the ECU being happy I'll do it, however if it's just for emissions reasons I don't have to do it since South Carolina really doesn't give a crap. I've seen enough third gen camaros and C4 corvettes with Gen1 small blocks and carbs to know that.

It looks like the best bet is to get a 98, or get a 97 and find an entire donor car, no? Maybe a WRX hit in the door. Then I could get suspension stuff too, wheels, brakes, etc.

I'm pretty sure it just has to do with emissions, but am not 100% sure. For sure a 1998 car will be easier, but it's not impossible with a 1997, it just depends how "clean" you want your swap to be. I was interested in no CEL's and no problems passing emissions every year. So far so good!

It's always better to have a donor car but that requires a lot more space and could potentially be a lot more expensive.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
Meat Supply
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i really like the looks of those later 90's 2.5gt's. the wagons are sweet looking too! i'd say go for it.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:28 PM   #10
rinna chan
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Estimate your total before you start, WRX's are getting cheap.
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