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Old 02-03-2004, 03:36 AM   #1
rallyblues
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Question 2.5rs sti conversion - the making of the supercar

***I have edited this post ***
I love my subie but I'fell in love with ej257 and its capabilties, BUT after reading anything and everything written on USDM STI, the car isn't perfect.
I love the styling of 2.5 rs , it has potential for great handling with few mods but most of all it needs more power.

MY PROPOSED BUILD:

1. My stock 99rs impreza $0

2. Crate STI EJ257 Motor $5500
3. Wiring harness + ECU $775
4. FMIC est. $900
6 IC water spray system $130

8 Turbo est. $700


9 Ver.6 WRX RA 5MT est. $3000
(I'm not sure if this can handle 300+hp)

11. Standard WRX brake upgrades $500

12 new suspension est. 1000


15. turbo back exhaust ?????


estimate $12,000

Would like to hear some suggestions.
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Last edited by rallyblues; 02-03-2004 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:55 AM   #2
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You could just throw a version 3 in the 2.5rs like I have

280hp should put a smile on your face, prior to ANY other mods, right out of the cart from Japan
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:02 AM   #3
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I don't really know where to begin, but unless you've really got more money than you know what to do with i suggest you reconsider your plan, for your sake. You do realize that with what you've planned out you'll have a car running low 13's, that handles well and stops well. That is not alot of performance for 25k
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:21 PM   #4
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yeah...seems like alot of $$$ and your only running on non-adjustable struts/springs
if you really want to build a 'GC8' body style car, sell the RS and buy a '93-'96 AWD Impreza (they are lighter than the RS) for cheap since your replacing the whole drivetrain
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2.5rs sti conversion - the making of the supercar

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
BUT after reading anything and everything written on USDM STI, the car isn't perfect. I also looked in to the nimble evo, it also had some downsides.
Every single car will have downsides to it. Stop right here and find a new argument if you are using that to justify yourself. Flaw with this project? You cannot resell it and expect much more than the value of a stock 2.5 RS. Chassis is also inferior to the EVO or GD chassis. Project car also comes to mind. No matter how much work I do to my car, it will always have some problem that has yet to be worked out.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
I love the styling of 2.5 rs, it has a potential to handle almost as great as the evo with few mods but most of all it needs more power.
Almost all cars have the potential. The precision found with the Evo is a combination of well tuned dampers/springs/anti-rollbars, a stiff chassis, stiff bushings on suspension parts, and a quick steering rack. However, even if you can make something handle like a Porsche, it doesn't mean it will drive like a Porsche. Keep that in mind.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
And why bother with ej207 when we finally have the sti.
Why bother? Because the EJ207 is Superior in many ways. Twin scroll, better cams, better heads, bigger intercooler, standard cable throttle body etc. This is not to discredit the EJ257 though, because it has been able to put out some big numbers so far.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
This engine plus the fact that rs is 400lbs lighter = INCREDIBLE SPORT' CAR.
The GD 2.5RS weighs in at 2965lbs. Add the weight of the turbo drivetrain from the standard WRX and you have 3085lbs. Add the weight of the new-age STi and you get 3263lbs. With all that extra hardware, your weight is going to go up. Your RS weighs in at 2800lbs. If you go with a standard USDM drivetrain, you are not going to have a 2800lb car anymore. You are going to have a 2920lb car. If you go with the USDM STi drivetrain, you are going to be closer to 3100lbs. You are now no longer 400lbs lighter. Mind you the weights are going to be different, but the same theory applies. The 6MT, for instance, adds on an extra 50lbs alone over the standard 5MT. I've generally considered the WRX drivetrain to add about 100lbs.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
1. My stock 99rs impreza with exedy flywheel and street clutch - both should handle 300 hp. $0
If you go with either the WRX 5MT or the STi 6MT you cannot use the clutch or the flywheel. They are designed for the naturally aspirated transmissions and will not work with a turbo transmission.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
2. Crate STI EJ257 Motor $5500
I would assume this is brand new from Subaru? Have you checked to see if they are even available? Have you investigated what you actually get with a long block? You probably aren't getting near what you would get if you bought a long block from a reputable vendor.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
3. Wiring harness + ECU $775
Not from Subaru you aren't. The ECU alone will be around $500. Ever priced out a brand new wiring harness from Subaru? It is well over $1500 in parts. Now the proper way to go about doing this is to get the complete drivetrain from a wrecked car. However, since they are in such limited supply, you will be gouged and probably still won't get all you paid for.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
8 IHI VF 30 Turbo $695
C'mon. After all the trouble you are going to put a weak-ass turbo on there? You should be able to provide for an APS SR40/50, an AVO450/500, or a Forced Performance 20g or FPGreen.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
9 STI 6MT w/Adj cd and front LSD $4995
10. Conversion kit, inc. fly, clutch, DCCD wheel, etc - all may not be necessary ($2499)
OR Ver 6.0 STI RA MT with adj. DCCD and LSD $no price ?3-4K
Have you looked into posts about getting the DCCD to work in a GC chassis yet? None too fun. Though, you have chosen the right place to attempt it.


Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
11. STI Brembro brake kit F/B $3000
OR standard WRX upgrades $500
Unless you are tracking the car, big brake kits are unnecessary and can sometimes lead to worse braking performance.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
12.STi RA Strut Set -- $750
13. Eibach pro springs $300
14. Brand X sway, 2 strut tower braces $500
If you are going for a vastly superior car, then you should do more than just struts, springs, rear sway, and strut tower braces. That is entry level suspension stuff. A truely well-handled car is not individual parts, but the sum of them all. Toss some suspension parts at the car and you may not have the greatest setup and it is going to take a hell of a lot to match the well-matched Evo.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
16. air intake????
You are talking about superiority and then you add in an intake? Please read some posts and understand what is going on first before suggesting such a thing.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
15. ???Vishnu turbo back signature exhaust $1650
I'm sorry, but this all sounds like a pipe dream at the moment. Everything you have chosen has been brand new and has been the most expensive possible. If you want an improvement over what you have, start with a complete drivetrain. Once you have that, start upgrading if you still feel the need. My car is at 280hp right now and it will be way more than I can drive come race time.

Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
There is gotta be a way to keep the costs down without sacrificing performance.
You go in here with a budget and you are going to blow it. As the saying goes: "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

-Jon
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:33 PM   #6
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You guys really ripped it apart!
Jon, that's some great and methodical feedback, the best I have ever received.
I admit, I was suffering from insomnia last night and in this hypnotic state I conjured this up. I should have done more research before I posted it up.

The truth is for the past year I have been looking to upgrade my gc8.One thing I learned is that before you spend a dime on the first mod you need a plan - am I going N/A, turbo or with a swap.

Since my mechanical skills are drawn from HS Basic Auto SHop and limited to changing oil or brakes, I'm looking for:
1. RELIABILITY (less time in my garage, more on the road)
2. LONGEVITY (would like to at least hit 120K)

But in order to do that I either do some modest N/A mods like intake, exhaust, etc. and with mild increase in power
or do the engine swap which is commonly done with the WRX 2.0L.

The prices and info I've gotten from rallispec and http://www.subaruwrxparts.com/per-wrx-drivetrain.html
The STI engine comes as a complete assembled motor with flywheel, heads, intake manifold, fuel rails, injectors, drive belts, etc.- everything but the intercooler and turbo. for 5500.
HOWEVER you are right is not available at the moment.

I did checked previous threads to see if something similar was discussed but I couldn't find none. It seems like everyone dismisses the idea of putting the STI engine in a RS b/c it's more cost effective to just buy the STI car.
If this was discussed before please provide me the link, If anyone has any suggestions how it could be done feel free to post here.

P.S. I didn't get your comment on air intake, you still need some plastic pipe with a filter to feed the turbo, the crate engine doesn't come with that. The WRX STI has some elaborate way of scoopin the air from under the hood to aspirate cold air.

Last edited by rallyblues; 02-03-2004 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Structure828
You could just throw a version 3 in the 2.5rs like I have

280hp should put a smile on your face, prior to ANY other mods, right out of the cart from Japan

Nice. That's 2.0 L right? Twin-turbo? How much?
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Old 02-04-2004, 08:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
Nice. That's 2.0 L right? Twin-turbo? How much?
2.0L yes....single turbo, the twin turbo motors don't fit in the US car w/o alot of manifold work to route the piping for the turbos
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Old 02-04-2004, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by rallyblues
Nice. That's 2.0 L right? Twin-turbo? How much?
Not a twin turbo. The TT's generally come from Liberties and are not the most desireable engine. Twin Scroll (like the V7's) and Twin Turbo are two very different beasts. As for pricing on a clip? A complete clip will go for anywhere from $2500-$6000 depending on model, model year and source...
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soon2Bgreat
I don't really know where to begin, but unless you've really got more money than you know what to do with i suggest you reconsider your plan, for your sake. You do realize that with what you've planned out you'll have a car running low 13's, that handles well and stops well. That is not alot of performance for 25k
damn ... where were you when I bought my wrx? could have saved me some money
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:08 AM   #11
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Stimpy Wow OUCH.


Blues I would say go for the swap, the GC is a great car to start with, Keep the RS as a base. Where do you live, there are some good shops around that you might want to check into. LaChute in canada or 4Start Motorsports in Canada, I-speed, or rallispec, all do swaps and will be a wealth of information.

Your car IS much lighter than the new age WRX, my swap with a full tank spare and everything weighed in at 2780lbs with out me in the car, this is with no weight reduction mods.

Like the others have said I would plan on a smaller scale, talk to some of the mentioned shops and learn about the swaps offered. A JDM swap is nice though I went for the USDM WRX swap and am happy so far. I can add the STi short block later when upgrading and have a growing aftermarket for the USDM stuff.
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:19 PM   #12
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RallyBlues,

If a GC8 with an EJ257 is what you want and you can afford, I say go for it, don't comprimise. Banter back and forth about what is cheaper and makes more sense is really moot. Lets face it, when it comes to a car, its purpose is to get you from point A to point B. As far as this goes, a $7000 Hyundai will do just as good of a job as a $30,000.00 STi. It becomes personal choice about how much you're willing to spend to get from point A to point B. You could very easily do the project in stages. Personally I'd start with brakes and suspension, then plan the drivetrain swap. Just make sure that anything you buy and install in the first stage will be compatible with drivetrain stage. Do your research, work with vendors and put this thing together...Damn the critics and full speed ahead...!!!

Stimpy,

Get some decaf...or some sleep...or some sex...Whatever it takes to mellow you out a little.

Regards,
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:55 PM   #13
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The cynicism was there since, after spending $25k, he would be left with a car marginally faster than a WRX. I've seen too many 17 year-olds come on here with illusions of grandeur. I've got a lot on my mind and I took a rather harsh approach to adding criticism to the thread. For that I do apologize.

Nowhere did I say that it was absurd or couldn't be done, but he sounds like he still has a lot to learn about it all.

Just to clear something up, people are not dismissing the EJ257 because it costs too much. People are dismissing the EJ257 because it is so rare, people either can't find the drivetrain or they are being gouged unbelievably. If I had the extra $2-3k, believe me, I would have done a complete STi swap USDM or otherwise.

-Jon
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:57 PM   #14
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slightly faster than a WRX? From what I hear if you still the tranny from your RS you will be good to go too. Weight wise we already know that a WRX is a beast to a RS Coupe and just as somebody already said, weight reduction, aluminum hood because we all know the hood weighs a ton, aluminum doors maybe. Just a start. Also what about a JDM STI engine, don't think many cars, WRX or STI will be beating you with that swapped in, drivetrain and everything. A 2950 lb JDM STI drivetrain I think I could do that, actually that is what I want to do. If I am way off somebody enlighten me because I am under the assumption, buying a 5-8k JDM STI engine would be more cost efficient than buying a 30k new STI and it ain't a coupe.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by stimpy
[b] The cynicism was there since, after spending $25k, he would be left with a car marginally faster than a WRX. I've seen too many 17 year-olds come on here with illusions of grandeur. I've got a lot on my mind and I took a rather harsh approach to adding criticism to the thread. For that I do apologize.[b]
If you could, would you add your comments in my thread? I'm 18 and I am doing something similar, however I am trying to be as cost effective as possible.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=494901

Not counting the bodykit, I've gotten to about $15k for a 350 whp car. However I have several questions, most notably about the tranmission, that I still have.

I'd like your input.
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Old 02-04-2004, 04:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Re: 2.5rs sti conversion - the making of the supercar

Quote:
Originally posted by stimpy
If you go with either the WRX 5MT or the STi 6MT you cannot use the clutch or the flywheel. They are designed for the naturally aspirated transmissions and will not work with a turbo transmission.
Why would anybody swap out an RS transmission for a WRX one anyhow? The RS has better gearing, and the WRX doesn't add any reliability.

And if he does keep the RS tranny, he can certainly use his stock flywheel.
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:21 PM   #17
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The post was to serve as a litmus test (got lots of acid here . I'm still deciding which way to go.
The ej257 swap I wouldn't even consider right now b/c they are very hard to get, my engine has only 55K and they are expensive. I just wanted to find out how FEASIBLE it is before I blow a s*$# load of money on N/A mods.
I'd prefer the ej257 b/c like JT said smooth acceleration and 300 hp stock! and also it has a potential for more power with few mods.

I really don't care for 6MT - I think it just hurts the 0-60 times, as the engine is powerful enough. All I'd need is a smooth 5MT that could handle the power, suggestions?

Quote:
Originally posted by stimpy
The cynicism was there since, after spending $25k, he would be left with a car marginally faster than a WRX. I've seen too many 17 year-olds come on here with illusions of grandeur. I've got a lot on my mind and I took a rather harsh approach to adding criticism to the thread. For that I do apologize.

Nowhere did I say that it was absurd or couldn't be done, but he sounds like he still has a lot to learn about it all.

Just to clear something up, people are not dismissing the EJ257 because it costs too much. People are dismissing the EJ257 because it is so rare, people either can't find the drivetrain or they are being gouged unbelievably. If I had the extra $2-3k, believe me, I would have done a complete STi swap USDM or otherwise.

-Jon

1. I didn't say it's too expensive, I said it's more cost-effective to buy a brand new WRX STI with all the bells and whistles...and a WARRANTY

2. I got lots to learn, that's why I'm posting...it's not like they give a course on this in your local JC.

Quote:
Originally posted by geronimo66
Stimpy Wow OUCH.


Blues I would say go for the swap, the GC is a great car to start with, Keep the RS as a base. Where do you live, there are some good shops around that you might want to check into. LaChute in canada or 4Start Motorsports in Canada, I-speed, or rallispec, all do swaps and will be a wealth of information.

Your car IS much lighter than the new age WRX, my swap with a full tank spare and everything weighed in at 2780lbs with out me in the car, this is with no weight reduction mods.

Like the others have said I would plan on a smaller scale, talk to some of the mentioned shops and learn about the swaps offered. A JDM swap is nice though I went for the USDM WRX swap and am happy so far. I can add the STi short block later when upgrading and have a growing aftermarket for the USDM stuff.
thought about the wrx swap, but figured if I ever proceed with the transplant I want to supersize it
Quote:
Originally posted by FletchMY98
RallyBlues,

If a GC8 with an EJ257 is what you want and you can afford, I say go for it, don't comprimise. Banter back and forth about what is cheaper and makes more sense is really moot. Lets face it, when it comes to a car, its purpose is to get you from point A to point B. As far as this goes, a $7000 Hyundai will do just as good of a job as a $30,000.00 STi. It becomes personal choice about how much you're willing to spend to get from point A to point B. You could very easily do the project in stages. Personally I'd start with brakes and suspension, then plan the drivetrain swap. Just make sure that anything you buy and install in the first stage will be compatible with drivetrain stage. Do your research, work with vendors and put this thing together...Damn the critics and full speed ahead...!!!

Stimpy,

Get some decaf...or some sleep...or some sex...Whatever it takes to mellow you out a little.

Regards,
Chris
good idea, need better supension anyway...
Quote:
Originally posted by FutureSTIer
slightly faster than a WRX? From what I hear if you still the tranny from your RS you will be good to go too. Weight wise we already know that a WRX is a beast to a RS Coupe and just as somebody already said, weight reduction, aluminum hood because we all know the hood weighs a ton, aluminum doors maybe. Just a start. Also what about a JDM STI engine, don't think many cars, WRX or STI will be beating you with that swapped in, drivetrain and everything. A 2950 lb JDM STI drivetrain I think I could do that, actually that is what I want to do. If I am way off somebody enlighten me because I am under the assumption, buying a 5-8k JDM STI engine would be more cost efficient than buying a 30k new STI and it ain't a coupe.
Nothing wrong with JDM STI coupe...
ej257 appeal for me is that 300 hp is not its full potential...
aluminum hood is a great idea - what do these go for??? I never looked in to the lightening mods..
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:01 PM   #18
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Have you been over to the Factory 2.5L Turbo forum i the past few days? How about three blown engines? They are pretty consistently a result of bad rings that speculation suggests is the result of detonation and boost creep. Just ffod for thought. It appears that the STi ECU still needs some work, so you better figure at least a reflash if not stand alone engine management into your budget...

and I agree with whoever said you could keep your tranny over a WRX tranny. If you are gonna change the tranny later,get an STi one and remember that the clutch will hold the factory 300 hp. Drive it until you wear it out or get a bigger turbo and need a better clutch. And just remember there is a used market for all these things. You can usually get about 50 cents on the dollar selling off mods like the clutch you have now...
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Old 02-05-2004, 01:16 AM   #19
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everybody that does a swap thinks way to much!
Find out what motor you want and go with it, have fun with it, putting it together is most of the fun. Everybody on here tried to plan how much time, how much money, things change a ton from your orginal plan. So, find youself a motor that you want figuar out what you need to upgrade before you put the motor in ie. clutch, flywheel and such. Get in the car and drive it, make sure it runs well if it runs at all. Then have fun modding. But realize you will need good suspension since your going from 165hp to 280hp or so.

p.s. you will learn a lot as you go!
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:01 AM   #20
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An alternative you may want to consider would be an STi block ($1500 from the factory) with WRX heads and piping. That will give you everything you need for about half the price of a STi longblock, and you'll only lose about 50hp.

This is what I'm considering, though it's a long way off. I only have 67k miles, so it will be a while before I can justify the cost of a swap.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:03 PM   #21
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I have serious doubts you could swing a warranty on any of this. It is too unique and Subaru wouldn't touch it.

The reason some choose to swap out transmissions is because of life. Some RS transmissions are old enough where they are showing signs of aging. Whether that be grinding, whining, synchro problems, or whatever. The nice thing about getting a complete drivetrain is that you can either keep the transmission and install yourself if you need to or you can sell it and make some money off of the whole thing.

I chose to use the WRX transmission since my car had 82k miles on it and the synchros on a couple gears were going. Others have chosen to keep their transmissions; even some of the older L transmissions.

-Jon
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:17 PM   #22
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Oceanside, CA
Vehicle:
ECU ReProgramming
Dynapack AWD Dyno

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Yeah, why change the tranny...it just takes extra work. After working on the car for an extended period of time you just want it done! Besides....don't you want to know just how much more abuse your original tranny can take
My initial OBS conversion retained the stock 2.2 tranny. It had 97k original miles on it. After the conversion the tranny lasted an additional 15k more miles. Not to shabby for a tired old salty dog

Chris
I-Speed USA
cescamilla@i-speed.us
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:05 PM   #23
rallyblues
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix
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2015 RC350
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Contents of correspondance with a RalliSpec.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We can do the engine swap you are interested in. At present, availability
of used EJ257 engines or drivetrains is very limited so it would be
difficult and pricey to get these parts. If doing this in a year or two it
is likely availability will become more common as more and more STi's end up
in salvage yards.

Pricing for engine only swap with US engine is $2200 in labor. For complete
US drivetrain it is $2700. This does not include any parts costs.

If you intend to stick with the 5-speed then it is best to run an upgraded
gearset such as the STi RA or Kaaz to handle the high torque output. A WRX
5-speed may be preferrable since it will allow you to run a better
clutch....but it is not essential and you could stick with your RS gearbox
(with upgraded gearset).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Changing the gearset is a great idea... I always thought the ratios are bit too close on the impreza and with more power one can certainly space them out some more. The STI set goes for about #1500 and the STi ratiosare : 3.166 (1st), 1.882 (2nd), 1.296 (3rd), 0.972 (4th), 0.738 (5th) . Question can they handle the power if ever decide to mod some more to like 350 or so.

I certainly think this is starting to look like it's financially feasible and cost maybe 2-3 grand more than a wrx swap. I'd probably wait for a year or two untill the engine becomes more available and swaps more common. Meanwhile, I'd like add N/A mods to satisfy my craving for hp. I'm sure I can sell it later on ebay when I finally do the swap. Thanks for all of your input.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:07 PM   #24
rallyblues
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Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix
Vehicle:
2015 RC350
Black

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Quote:
Originally posted by Layman
An alternative you may want to consider would be an STi block ($1500 from the factory) with WRX heads and piping. That will give you everything you need for about half the price of a STi longblock, and you'll only lose about 50hp.

This is what I'm considering, though it's a long way off. I only have 67k miles, so it will be a while before I can justify the cost of a swap.

I got look in to this, does that make a 2.5L WRX?
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:42 AM   #25
geronimo66
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Member#: 26929
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Macomb Twp. MI
Vehicle:
2000 Impreza
with Gremilins

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Done right,

Sti 2.5block
STi V7 heads
Sti spec c cams, or Sti USDM cams
18G turbo
EcuTek
Modded USDM injectors (740cc)
APS GC FMIC
STi 6SPD
R180 Diff
STi breaks F/R

Plus all the up pipe and down pipe and such.

This would be very streetable, very fast in the straight and corners(suspension depending).

Total cost for buildup 20K + car.
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