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Old 02-01-2004, 04:29 PM   #1
Capt Crunch
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Default My conversion plans, are they good?

In the past year I've wanted to learn more about my car, specifically I wanted to have hands on experience, swap an engine, put in a new tranny, but I simply did not have the money. Then I got the bright idea, why not sell my perfectly good car and build one? I would be working with a good shop (physically there), so that I wouldn't mess up my car, but I would learn a good amount too. If you guys could, comment on each compenent or method.

I would start with the oldest, junkiest Impreza L coupe I could find. I would then find the unicorn Subaru, 90-94 Legacy Turbo Sport Manual. Everything would be swappped over, from the engine to the drivetrain.

Let's start with the tranny, from what I gather, the Legacy transmission is very similar to the WRX one. Will it be able to take a high amount of horsepower? I'm thinking around 350 to the wheels. I am good with my transmissions, revmatch, don't go powershifting every straightaway, but I want to have a margin of error. I hear WRX transmissions are glass, but honestly I haven't had a problem with mine. The transmission must be streetable, and while I'm confident I could handle a dog-box on the street, I simply don't want to. Would the Legacy tranny hold up? Secondly, what are the gear ratios like? I don't care for the WRX 4th gear, but what really frosts my butt is 1st being so damn short. I want to avoid this at all costs. Is the legacy 1st gear short too? Are there ways to get around this? I am trying to be cost effective here.

Next is the engine. In stock form I hear it is quite the achiever, but I would like to tear it apart and build it up, mainly because I would like to learn about the internals. However this would also let me raise the rev-limit and run higher amounts of boost correct? Is it worth it to raise the rev limit? How much gains can I expect from building up the engine? Around how much do the compenents cost?

Next my car needs to be balanced, that means suspension and brakes. The shop I will be working with (Delta V motorsports) said they make a coilover setup from KYB AGX. I'm confident that that part will be handled. Hooray for no more understeer. However I don't know what to do about the brakes. I have Stoptech front brakes on my WRX now, and it would be cost effective to reuse them, and they would go hand in hand with the upgraded legacy rear brakes. However, could the stoptechs be made to work? If not, what are my alternatives?

Another aspect of the driving pleasure of the car is the steering. IMO the WRX steering is too slow, and I think the L's steering may be even slower. I drove an Evo and loved it's quicker steering. I don't care if it is psychsomatic, I want quicker steering. What are my options? There is the sti rack, the rev-lab rack, and then there are some ad-hoc options that involve fiddling around closer to the actual wheels. What costs/pros/cons am I looking at?

Turbo. I do not care for peak horsepower. I do not want my turbo to be an on/off switch and be undrivable. My plan is this, I would like to have two maps, one for street that would have a good amount of power, and one that would have even more, possibly tuned for race gas. There are tons of turbos out there but I would like one that is relatively cheap and plug-and play. I will be reusing my TurboXS exhaust and uppipe.

But that brings me to engine management? What do I do? I have a UTEC I could use, but could I even use it? Multiple maps seems like a good idea, and I have no idea of what my other options are.

Intercooler and associated bits. Will I need bigger injectors and a fuel pump? I also want a FMIC, because I am young and stupid. Again, I want to save money, and because I'm not looking to make 500 whp I don't need the biggest APS house-of-an-intercooler. Also I don't know what to do about piping. I won't have foglights, but will normal piping fit? Whats a good cost effective intercooler?

Harness/rollbar - I thought this would be a good thing to have. I would wear my seatbelt on the street, and the rollbar would be far behind my head so I don't have to wear a helmet. I plan on taking this car to the track, so I wanted to increase my safety a bit and have a place to mount my harness. Good idea? How much am I looking at?

Lastly, is there anything that I am forgetting that I need to worry about?

I have tons more questions regarding a widebody kit, wheels and the interior, but I'll leave that for another forum. Thanks in advance for all your help.

Ben
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Old 02-01-2004, 06:32 PM   #2
yamarocket630
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Holy long post Batman!

Seriously, you've got the right idea... sounds like you want something very much your own and very much not stock, so starting with a cheap car is the way to go, because it aint gonna be worth much to anyone but you once it's been modded that much. Not to say the mods won't kick ass, its just really hard to sell a modded car if you decide to, and you WILL lose money, so at least you wont lose as much.

One bit of advice, get a 2nd cheap car, (preferably one you don't really like so you'll leave it stock) trust me, it's always good to have something reliable just in case.

As far as the specifics of your mods, to each his own, so I really can't comment.
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Old 02-01-2004, 06:57 PM   #3
Capt Crunch
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You're correct when you say they I want this car to be my own. I'm not going to sell it. I wasn't going to sell my current car until I realised I wasn't going to be able to do anything exceptionally custom to it, just the normal bolt-ons. So, I don't care what the resale value of the car is, the only thing I worry about is insuring it, if I can get a plan that will cover the cost I put into the car.

That is a good idea about the beater car, but since I'm in college I won't be using my car much, won't want to have 2 parking spots.
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:46 PM   #4
moss
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You would probably be better off putting a WRX engine into the L and building it versus sourcing and putting in a Legacy turbo engine... because first it will have less miles, and second parts will be much more available for it, either that, or opt for a JDM GC8 front clip

Also, when looking into an L, look for a 96 and newer because 1996 is when AWD was standard on all Subarus.

Stoptechs will work just fine on a GC chasis, and suspension is available for the GC as well... everything from Apexi, Cusco, Tein, JIC, HKS... the GC chasis is much more rugged than the GDAs...

Because you came from a GDA, do some research on the GCs and you will find answers to alot of you questions because, well... the GC chasis has been around longer, AND ITS BETTER

keith
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:56 PM   #5
Capt Crunch
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Quote:
Originally posted by moss
You would probably be better off putting a WRX engine into the L and building it versus sourcing and putting in a Legacy turbo engine... because first it will have less miles, and second parts will be much more available for it, either that, or opt for a JDM GC8 front clip
The thing is, a WRX front clip is almost as expensive as an entire Legacy Turbo car, and I wouldn't be getting the rear axles, which I need if I want disc brakes, right? Besides, the legacy block has so much more potential than the 2.0, and it would be nice to have a little more low end grunt from the displacement. I am worried about the trasmission though, I'm not sure it is strong enough. It might be easier to find a 2.2 motor and then get a full transmission from one of the importers here. It would probably cost several thousand more though, although some sponsorships may be in order. That's something I would have to look into once I get closer to actually starting this project.
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:06 AM   #6
moss
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Well, figure this. If you are building the motor up you have several options to look into.

You can buy a new EJ22T block, and put better heads on it, build it. You can buy a new EJ2507(USDM STi) block put heads on it, build it. You can buy a wrecked WRX with engine and tranny for relatively good price, part it, keep the engine and trans, build that motor (stroke it to 2.2L if you want more low end)

You've got alot of options to look into. I'm just starting to figure out what I want to do, I don't know much of what works with what, and all that fun stuff with the EJ engines just yet.

Like I said though, do some research on the GC and the EJ engines (http://www.rs25.com, is a good place for GC stuff), you'll wind up changing your mind about 50 million times, but the end result will be worth it.

I'm still trying to decide between buying a V5-7 engine or building my EJ25 or getting an USDM STi block w/ RS heads... it difficult

keith
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:10 PM   #7
Capt Crunch
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The reason why I'm interested in using as many companents fom the legacy is because it is cheap. To get the entire drivetrain from even an older sti is still upwards of 7 grand, a whole lot more than the legacy.

I really like the idea of the 2.2 because it is cheap and closed deck, but I still don't know enough about the legacy transmission.
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:58 PM   #8
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you could buy a FWD impreza L and use the turbo legacy drivetrain. the 2.2 block is good the head's are crap so you'd have to build the 2.2 up. I don't know about the legacy tranny too besides its hydro and you'll need to swap the impreza's cable clutch to hydro. which if you buy a whole legacy turbo won't be a problem since you'll have everything you need for that swap. also a swap of this kid i'd buy a pre 97 to advoid obdII. if you get a legacy turbo it wont matter if the impreza is FWD or AWD since you'll have the drivetrain from a AWD legacy

A JDM GC8 front clip isn't the worse Idea eather 250hp at the very least with just an overall better motor our wrx's and you'll get a lot of extra's depending on who you go though. which at that point u can chose to sell or keep and put on your car
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:04 PM   #9
Homemade WRX
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Yeah you can buy the old L get the EJ22G(closed block) block swap and swap in some RS heads possibly WRX ones...Get a good turbo kit. If the Stoptechs were bolt on for the WRX they are bolt on for the L. AS far as steering goes...They seem to have the same ratio but the L can be a little lighter.
I believe Ross makes a stroker kit for the EJ22...
Turbo is really up to you...
Roll Cage for ease look into the STi RA from the GC cars. You can keep the back seat!!
For a FMIC (Hyperflow makes a kit) you will need to buy the RS front bumper and beam... or you can use a TMIC.
You can use Silvia Fuel pump or the smaller (physically) walbro fuel pumps.
Engine Management...they don't make any plug and play systems...
The rods in the early EJ18 engines are the same as in the STi of the time!!
Rallispec is looking into a STi gearset for my 94 L...they've never done one before....but as of now my stock tranny is doing fine with WRX engine.

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 02-02-2004 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:06 PM   #10
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you'll enjoy having a 500 pound lighter car...well with the rollcage maybe not so much
For the early Impreza L's they either have ABS with rear disc brakes and horrible master cylinder or non ABS with drums in the rear but a much better single stage master cylinder...
As far as clutchs go, you will have a cable clutch to start...I have an ACT clutch on now and have recieved many compliments on the feel...and compared to my friends RS with the same strength clutch it felt much better!!
Take it easy, Micah
If your going to the Mach V meet I'll probably see you there... I plan on attending.
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:11 PM   #11
Zephyr
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Default Re: My conversion plans, are they good?

Quote:
Originally posted by Capt Crunch
Harness/rollbar - I thought this would be a good thing to have. I would wear my seatbelt on the street, and the rollbar would be far behind my head so I don't have to wear a helmet. I plan on taking this car to the track, so I wanted to increase my safety a bit and have a place to mount my harness. Good idea? How much am I looking at?
If you are looking to just do HPDE's with this car a roll bar is sufficent. Since no one makes a bolt in one for the GC that is sufficient you will have to have one made. I had mine made by Andy Coombs and this thing is a piece of art. I got an extreemly good price on it for the quality of work. I highly recomend geting the bar/cage done by someone who knows what they are doing. You will also need to go with a nice sturday harness as well. I use the Sparco in my WRS along with the Sparco Corsa seats.

It sounds like you have a good direction for your project, just be prepared to shell out alot of money for it. From what I can see you are looking to spend well over 12k on this project so if you are attempting to build a race car you may be better off going out and buying one that is already built and has a log book which you should be able to pick up for a lot less than the cost of building a car. This is the route I plan to take.

Z
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:07 PM   #12
Homemade WRX
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I got my L for $3k so you can plan on going from there...
94 L AWD with ABS, cc, pwr everything
120k miles though but who cars the engine isn't staying

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 02-03-2004 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:27 PM   #13
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got my base model for 2000 dollars. FWD black bumpers no passenger side mirror prob. the lightest impreza out there 4 door means like 20lbs lighter than 2 doors. no power options lucky enough to even have a tape player
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:48 AM   #14
Capt Crunch
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I am actually not trying to build a race car, just one that is fully capable of going on the track. I don't want a full cage because I want to keep it's street manners good. However I am unwilling to buy a built car secondhand because the entire reason why I'm doing this project is to learn as much as I can.

Micah, I estimated $1500 for an old Impreza L. I figured I don't need the engine, tranny, or drivetrain for that matter. I guess power everything would be nice.

If I can't get the entire legacy turbo car for it's drivetrain, what are my other options? I'm hung up on the 2.2 for some reason, but I have no idea what transmission is cost effective and is good. I stopped caring if it was a 6-speed long ago. My criteria is that it handles the power and good gearing (no stupid short 1st gear).
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:51 AM   #15
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Oh and Micah, I'll hopefully see you at Mach V, I really want to go, I have to see if I can get out of a college weekend. It would be good to talk to you, considering I completely missed the opportunity when you were right behind me at the Subaru Challenge.
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:04 AM   #16
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Yeah I'll be taking of work and doing homemwork when I get back to Virginia Beach...
Trying to find any Subaru not performance oriented without an engine or tranny in it will be hard to do...
Check www.cars.com autotrader and ebay
The old Impreza's are 3.9:1 but with a 50/50 front to rear split. Good luck man.
Take it easy, Micah
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Old 02-03-2004, 03:02 PM   #17
Capt Crunch
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Just for my number crunching purposes, how much does a complete sti (lets say ver6 or below, whatever happens to be good) drivetrain (transmission down to the wheels) sans engine cost?

What are different tranny options that I could use? What are the pro/cons of each? Thanks
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:44 PM   #18
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you will want a engine that goes along with the generation of the impreza...i.e. interior...this make the swap much easier. So depends on the year car you are getting...so if you get a 93-96 impreza look for an STI engine that would come out of a car with the same interior....makes life much easier...and they are cheaper too
Take it easy, Micah
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:35 PM   #19
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http://www.gr8wheels.com/page/page/187931.htm
for a JDM engine talk with these guys...they are on the boards too.
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