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Old 01-14-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
John@TA
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Default WRX Swap into BD Legacy (97 GT)

Hey guys

I got my hands on an 02 WRX for a decent price and I'm wanting to do a full swap into my 97 Legacy GT

My goal is to have a complete WRX inside the BD shell. Engine, turbo, trans, rear diff, ecu, wiring, etc.

Mechanically I know everything will work. I'll have to change the driveshaft (shorten it I believe) and use the WRX cradle to bolt up the engine (due to turbo piping right?).

My biggest concern is the wiring. I'm wanting to have as close to stock WRX wiring as I can. By this I mean ALL of the wiring will come out of the BD to be replaced by the WRX wiring.

How difficult is this to do and how much of a headache will it be? I'm sure someone out there has done it that can chime in with a bit of advise before I tackle this project.

Thanks
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
Jonathan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John@TA View Post
My biggest concern is the wiring. I'm wanting to have as close to stock WRX wiring as I can. By this I mean ALL of the wiring will come out of the BD to be replaced by the WRX wiring.

How difficult is this to do and how much of a headache will it be? I'm sure someone out there has done it that can chime in with a bit of advice before I tackle this project.
The wiring is very difficult. Even with the schematics from both the Legacy and WRX Factory Service Manuals it isn't uncommon to spend literally months attempting to make sense of it all.

East Coast Swappers had a service by which if you sent them both wiring harnesses and ~ $ 900.00 USD they would perform the "merge" for you. From what I have read about the hell that others have gone through attempting to do this on their own, I think it is money well spent.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
aekOne
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yeah the best bet would be to send the two wiring harnesses away to get spliced. that way they'll just plug straight in and you'll be good to go. There's a guy over here in Australia that does them for $600 so i'd assume there must be someone you could find to do it for a similar price in the US
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:07 PM   #4
John@TA
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I guess what I'm missing is what would there be left to splice if I just used ALL the wrx wiring?
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #5
Dan Cech
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As someone who has actually completed a full conversion, I can tell you that there is a LOT more wiring and fabrication involved in going that route vs just splicing in the engine-related functions.

You will need to splice all the wires for the doors, roof harness, trunk harness, front lights, radiator fans, steering column & HVAC. If you retain the Legacy ABS you will need to splice that too. You'll need to fabricate items like new brackets for the interior fuse box, gauge cluster, the list goes on.

In the end if you're not comfortable reading wiring diagrams and handy with a soldering iron, you're going to end up with a real mess on your hands.

The engine harness merge is very well documented here and on rs25, and is far simpler than the full conversion.

Good luck!

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Old 01-14-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
Dobes
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If you want a complete swap, you're going to have to swap gas tanks too otherwise your WRX ECU will not be happy with the '97 Legacy emissions equipment. Ask me how I know...
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:16 AM   #7
John@TA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Cech View Post
As someone who has actually completed a full conversion, I can tell you that there is a LOT more wiring and fabrication involved in going that route vs just splicing in the engine-related functions.

You will need to splice all the wires for the doors, roof harness, trunk harness, front lights, radiator fans, steering column & HVAC. If you retain the Legacy ABS you will need to splice that too. You'll need to fabricate items like new brackets for the interior fuse box, gauge cluster, the list goes on.

In the end if you're not comfortable reading wiring diagrams and handy with a soldering iron, you're going to end up with a real mess on your hands.

The engine harness merge is very well documented here and on rs25, and is far simpler than the full conversion.

Good luck!
Thanks for the info!

You did your conversion yourself right? Is there any other words of wisdom you can share?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobes View Post
If you want a complete swap, you're going to have to swap gas tanks too otherwise your WRX ECU will not be happy with the '97 Legacy emissions equipment. Ask me how I know...
I should have clarified this a little more in my orignal post. With the engine, I'm also talking about all related emissions equipment. I need it to pass emissions. I know the ECU can be spoofed into "always ready" (a few local guys have done it here) to avoid failing OBDII emissions, but I would rather keep everything the way it should be.....at least as much as possible lol
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:06 PM   #8
Kraziken
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I have an 04 STI drivetrain in my Legacy.

As for the driveshaft. The longer driveshaft from an automatic transmission Legacy should mate up and you won't have to fabricate one.

Follow Dan's advice. You can get everything working properly without going thru the trouble of swapping the whole harness.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraziken View Post
I have an 04 STI drivetrain in my Legacy.

As for the driveshaft. The longer driveshaft from an automatic transmission Legacy should mate up and you won't have to fabricate one.
I think you mean shorter. The 6MT is longer than the 5MT, so you need a shorter driveshaft. It just so happens the 4EAT driveshaft works like a charm.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:29 AM   #10
ballitch
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In John@TA's case he would need the auto driveshaft from a 96-99 legacy.


~Josh~
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
TDIpowered
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraziken View Post
I have an 04 STI drivetrain in my Legacy.

As for the driveshaft. The longer driveshaft from an automatic transmission Legacy should mate up and you won't have to fabricate one.

Follow Dan's advice. You can get everything working properly without going thru the trouble of swapping the whole harness.
Alright man so let me ask you(or whoever else knos) a question. I know that the diff, hubs, brakes, engine, transmission, and all that good stuff will bolt up to the BD chassis legacy. but what about the cross members, tierods, control arms, and pretty much everything else from under the car? could you use the ones from an sti on the 96-99 legacy's? I guess what im asking is will they bolt up to the legacy chassis?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #12
Dobes
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My '97 WRX swap used a new GC8 turbo front cross member. It has a depression in it that helps clear the exhaust. From what I heard, you can also use a turbo Legacy cross member but I don't know which one.

All the tie rods, controls arms etc are still from my '97 Legacy. That includes the axles too.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:59 AM   #13
TDIpowered
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobes View Post
My '97 WRX swap used a new GC8 turbo front cross member. It has a depression in it that helps clear the exhaust. From what I heard, you can also use a turbo Legacy cross member but I don't know which one.

All the tie rods, controls arms etc are still from my '97 Legacy. That includes the axles too.
well thats what im wondering because on paper it would seem that the legacy parts wouldnt be as beefy as the sti parts. correct me if im wrong of course
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:18 AM   #14
Kraziken
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Thanks for the correction Patrick.

The Legacy parts are not as beefy, but isn't a concern unless you are really beating on the car (drag racing, etc.).

I am considering swapping all STI gear. Going with the STI arms/axles, etc I believe pushes the track wider, which will cause fender rubbing issues. Someone correct this if I'm wrong.

As I'm considering a 5x114.5 swap, and going that route, my plans include body work and widening the fenders.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:42 PM   #15
TDIpowered
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraziken View Post
Thanks for the correction Patrick.

The Legacy parts are not as beefy, but isn't a concern unless you are really beating on the car (drag racing, etc.).

I am considering swapping all STI gear. Going with the STI arms/axles, etc I believe pushes the track wider, which will cause fender rubbing issues. Someone correct this if I'm wrong.

As I'm considering a 5x114.5 swap, and going that route, my plans include body work and widening the fenders.
yea i figured it would so something to the track width but that would just make it handle that much better. take care of the fender issues and you would have a legacy that would really carve.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:17 AM   #16
smb_usmc
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Man...that sounds like a lot of work. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:48 PM   #17
GuamSTI
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I was wondering how hard it would be to just swap the JDM 2.0 Twin Turbo motor. Send the harness to ECS and then install the motor. The problem is that I am not good with electrical and I would not be able to remember where all the ends plug into.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:27 PM   #18
Patrick Olsen
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And you probably have a LHD car, which means the twin turbo motor won't fit.
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