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Old 04-08-2004, 09:45 PM   #1
themoldycow
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Default Dad's car, worth it?

Ok, I might end up replacing my present civic with my dad's '99 Outback Legacy because it may suite my life style a little better in the next few years. I could get this car for basically nothing (even free because he wants a new car but loves his Subaru and wants to keep it in the family) and am wondering if I could have some fun with it. What got me on this idea was this... . The car is a manual and has the 2.5L. Is this basically the same drivetrain as the 2.5rs? What are the differences? Do you think an aftermarket turbo kit would be better than a WRX/STi engine? I will be in Pennsylvania next year and, though I don't know for sure, I doubt emissions are that strict there. I have also been reading into the EJ20 turbo swaps and, though I think I could handle something as simple as a Honda swap, I doubt I could do the Subaru swap so that will have to be considered. I might be able to do the turbo kit , though. Also, what would be the best kit for this application?
Basically I'm asking what you guys would do with this car, since it's basically free I have a large budget (about $12.5k). I was also considering just buying an old Impreza and working with that. Would this be a better option for the same budget?

Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:16 PM   #2
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An STI swap is very expencive. I am planning on a Forced Air Tech stage 3 kit in the next month or so for my 01 Impreza RS. With your budget U could get a turbo kit and some internal engine work done and have a real beast of a motor. That's just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:58 PM   #3
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not to mention a sleeper and a half
although with 12.5k you can get an older impreza and make the toy car and have the wagon for the daily driver...
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Old 04-09-2004, 12:05 AM   #4
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with that money I would call bill @ i-speedusa and see what he has to say. I would just build the current motor. with all forged internals... etc. and get a soilid custom turbo kit. Thern I would even get TEC III... wish I had 12.5 grand anyway checkout www.i-speedusa.com
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Old 04-09-2004, 12:48 AM   #5
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It depends on what final outcome you want and who you want to do the work. If you want some custom stuff that may or may not be reliable but will make lots of power do that. Or if you want more reliability have a ej20 swap professional done and you won't have to worry. It's not just the cost of the power goodies but the other things you need to keep in mind, upgraded brakes, suspension, gauges, clutch, flywheel. The little stuff that goes along with it adds up pretty quickly.

As for emissions, PA just switched over to ODB-II scanning. So if you can't pass a scan you'll fail. This pretty much rules out stand alone ECU's....which makes big custom builds rather difficult. Personally, with your budget I'd try to source a STi front clip and get it professionally installed. Depending on what you find it could include all the major systems and parts you would need to upgrade...and it'd be a badass sleeper!

Brian
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Old 04-09-2004, 10:32 AM   #6
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I would still say with $12.5k keep the wagon as the reliable daily driver and get a project car like an old impreza. I've spent a total of 9k on my 94 so far. The 9k includes the 02 WRX engine swap, Link engine management, used Compaq Armada, some gauges, LM-1 wideband O2 sensor, new ACT clutch, AGX struts with prodrive springs, downpipe, borla cat-back, and also the car...so I think for all I have done it has been pretty budget...not to mention on the WRX stock power it can run high to mid 13's...
Now I have my FMIC waiting and the RS bumper is on the way

now I need a bigger turbo
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Old 04-09-2004, 08:05 PM   #7
themoldycow
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Wow, thanks for the replies, though they didn't help my decision too much... I think just about every option possible was proposed. This seems to always be the case with Subarus and they're all equelly good. But, doesn't the OBD-II testing kinda rule out many STi engines? What version JDM engines could I get that would pass the OBD-II test or could they be converted, I've heard some talk of that?
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Old 04-10-2004, 12:47 AM   #8
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from a reliability and practicality standpoint a USDM WRX swap is probably your best bet, the EJ25 is pretty famous for not lasting too long turboed unless you are REALLY lucky. The STi swap would be nice but it's pricey and not too available, whereas the WRX parts are very available. The WRX or STi swap is also the only thing that will be fully emissions legal. It is 100% legal to swap a newer model year motor into an older model year chassis. So when they hook the OBD2 tool up when the thing gets smogged it'll read as a '02+ WRX motor and you'll have no issues there. If you get a JDM motor you will have issues with the computer because some JDM computers don't interface with our USDM emission thug hardware 100% of the time. It sounds like you have a pretty hefty budget, I'd go for the full USDM STi drivetrain conversion, that would make a pretty amazing car. with the full swap and a few minor boltons, there is absolutely no reason the car will not be a 100% reliable smog legal daily driver for years to come assuming your dad took pretty good care of the chassis. The WRX swap should be do-able by yourself if you feel confident doing the honda swap, however the STi swap is an entirely different creature. Plus it sounds like you are entering college soon, or just getting out of college and have the typical few years of nomadic lifestyle ahead of you and having 2 cars will be pretty impossible. I say go for the STi swap so you will be able to beat down 'vettes and still haul furniture around in the same vehicle.
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Old 04-10-2004, 05:00 PM   #9
themoldycow
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Full USDM STi swap? The prices I've seen for just the engine are close to $10,000... that doesn't leave much for the transmision, final drive, ect.... Is it really doable?
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Old 04-10-2004, 05:21 PM   #10
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I would say if doing a swap just do a USDM WRX swap...
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Old 04-10-2004, 09:03 PM   #11
no-coast-punk
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Quote:
Originally posted by themoldycow
Full USDM STi swap? The prices I've seen for just the engine are close to $10,000... that doesn't leave much for the transmision, final drive, ect.... Is it really doable?
ouch, I haven't priced out a full swap, that's pretty bad. In that case I would just dig up a USDM WRX motor and ECU, keep your existing 5 speed (it's identical to the WRX's, just with different gearing) and drop your favorite flavor of strengthened gearset in because you WILL start breaking drivetrain bits if you move much past the stock WRX power. On a bulletproof 5 speed and WRX motor you can still go REALLY fast, just with more work than the STi
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:30 AM   #12
themoldycow
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Is there anyway to get the JDM ECUs to register on the OBD-II tests without any problems? I heard something about Lachute being able to do something with this.
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by themoldycow
Is there anyway to get the JDM ECUs to register on the OBD-II tests without any problems? I heard something about Lachute being able to do something with this.
sure you could send the signal to a OBD-II plug but not sure how it would work...
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