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Old 07-16-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
junkforjeremy
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Member#: 362480
Join Date: Jul 2013
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2003 Baja
Regatta Red

Default Hope to make Baja run MUCH better

I am sure if I spent hours, I could find a similar thread, so if there is one, please send a link. I have a 2003 Baja, 2.5L, allegedly 163hp, 5-speed that I bought last summer. It was a 1-owner, and is stock with @142,000 miles. It is slow. I would like to make it unslow. I am thinking around 300hp would be a great entry into performance Subaru. I would appreciate suggestions on the best route to go. Modify existing engine, buy new engine (which one?), new clutch and pressure plate or new transmission? All help appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
HinshawWRX
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Engine swap.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
junkforjeremy
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What engine, and where is a good source to buy it?
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
vrusso
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Bascially you want to swap in a turbo engine.

The 2.5i N/A engine you have are very difficult to achieve any major hp gains. Also you can't just put a turbo on your engine it does not work that way.

You are going to have to look around your area for a tuner shop and explain your desire and they should be able to point you in the direction you need. What you want to do is not a simple task.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
Masta Splint
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Your def def gonna want to do a swap since you have a N/A motor right now. The best bang for the buck and the best motor to swap that will allow you to achieve your goal is a full STi long block with the 6spd transmission. The swap is not cheap though. You can get the full STi long block motor at a decent price threw many performance shops and online sources (I think they run between $3k and $4k). But the 6spd transmission is expensive (usually around $4k for the whole thing, inlcuding axles, cross members, etc.). This is def. the way to got hough if you want 300whp and possibly more in the future. You could always do the STi motor with a WRX 5 spd to save money but you get what you pay for meaning the 5 spd is not very strong and your not going to be able to really every launch the car and will have to be careful when driving hard because the 5spd likes to break under a lot of power. The 6spd on the other hand is basically bullet proof so you would be more then safe driving everyday and driving hard and even launching the car with 300+ whp. But just doing the motor and tranny swap your still not going to be at your 300whp goal, you will then be at the same power as a stock STi and will have to do more bolt on mods and fuel mods to support the amount of power you are after.

Your best bet is to do some searching, because theres tons of people that have done this swap in the Baja and tons that have done it in the WRX, the STi motor and tranny are the most swapped for these cars. So do some searching and you will find some good sources for the motor and tranny and find a list of all the other parts you will need to buy to make the swap work. Also read the stickys at the top of each section, especially unabomber manifesto, they will give you tons of usefull info and help you understand what exactly you can do and better help you understand what is needed to achive your goal. Good luck and happy searching!
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
HinshawWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkforjeremy View Post
What engine, and where is a good source to buy it?
LS7

Chevy Dealer
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:04 PM   #7
junkforjeremy
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Regatta Red

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Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking engine swap, and assumed a beefier transmission to go with it. Initially, I think STI power would be great. I don't want to jump right into 400+hp. From what little I know, I can do bolt-on upgrades to go beyond 300 at the crank if I want to. That way I can ease into performance Subaru w/o hurting myself or my car.
As for a local shop, I talked to a guy here. I live in Clarksville, TN, which is about 45 minutes north of Nashville on the KY state line. He talked a good game, but I checked up on him online, and he seems pretty shady. His shop is called Modified Import Repairs. I am thinking Nashville should have some shops that could take care of me.
Budget-wise, I would like to stay under 10k for the initial engine/trans swap. From here, I realize it is up to me to start researching reputable shops, and I need to check the forums. I am not in a rush, so I have time on my side. Thanks again!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #8
ShadowIMg
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2001 2.5RS Coupe

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You bought the wrong car.

You could probably sell your Baja and buy a Baja Turbo for <10k, but there weren't a whole lot of them. You won't be able to convert your N/A Baja to a Turbo model for the money you're willing to put forward.

What you should have bought:
http://www.edmunds.com/subaru/baja/2...tyle=100399442
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
junkforjeremy
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Regatta Red

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Do my Baja and the turbo Baja not have the same everything except the turbo? Not trying to be a smart aleck, but don't see how the difference in the end goal of starting with a turbo if I am replacing the engine and tranny anyway.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
ShadowIMg
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2001 2.5RS Coupe

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No, completely different everything.

You aren't going to replace the engine and tranny with a WRX/STI drivetrain for <10k.

You CAN get one that came turbo from the factory for <10k on top of your current one. It still won't make 300hp, and I think all the turbo Bajas were automatics.

I would venture to say it's a cheaper and better plan to do a transmission swap in a turbo baja than to do a full drivetrain swap into a non-turbo baja.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
DansSpace
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It'll be tons cheaper to just buy a wrx or sti.

I'm pretty sure a common rule of thumb for engine swaps is:
Make a budget. Now double it.
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