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Old 07-12-2000, 03:55 PM   #1
Greg I
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Talking 1.8L Impreza wagon build-up - Parts questions

OK.

We recently picked up a '93 Impreza wagon (1.8l) and I'm considering doing a complete overhaul on the thing.

Well, I'd like to figure out what it would take to bring the wagon up to spec. By that I mean 230hp (at least), a complete suspension, new transmission (including an LSD at the back), brakes, all requisite mounting hardware, and whatever else might be necessary. I'll worry about cosmetics later, although I'm fairly sure a new hood will be required (a front mounted intercooler would no doubt be overkill, and more cost and hassle than a new hood and a top mount).

For engine, I don't know if the 1.8 would be worth sticking with and turbocharging. I was thinking of getting a 2.2l (with ECU and wiring) from an earlier Legacy Turbo (low mileage), upping boost, and adding an intercooler. I'm not well versed in the US 2.2 block though, and I don't know how easy 230hp would be to get out of it.

Suggestions would be appreciated. I'd like to keep costs down but at the same time use quality parts. For example, I'll be after a set of stock RS rims ('99 silver please. This car is teal, and while I don't care that much about the looks... well, heh), and whatever other stock RS parts might do the job sufficiently, since they can be had nearly-new for very cheap. In other cases I'll go for new rather than used (sway bars, the rear strut bar, shift linkage, all hoses and mounting hardware, etc.) ...

Maybe a running cost tally would be nice as well (with as little guesswork as possible).

A big concern is finding a suspension that works with the 5-door -- camber plates and an adjustable coilover system might be a good idea seeing as how easy it is to get to all four mounts on the wagon.

I'm sure a lot of you will have a suggestion or two to make.

Greg.
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Old 07-12-2000, 06:47 PM   #2
Joel Gat, 1.8L
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Hello,

What's the final purpose of the car? Is it just to be a fast daily driver? Or a track only car? Or a daily driver that you take to the track?

Reason I ask is that especially if the wife is not a car nut, that makes a huge difference in what you do with the suspension.

As for everything else... any answer I give to each of your questions will likely result in a big long debate.

Examples: see the other thread on 2.0 versus 2.5. For 230 hp, you can almost get there with bolt-on mods and an ECU change on the 2.5... Any way you go, though (2.2 turbo or 2.5 NA or turbo), you would need either an aftermarket ECU or to tear out the wiring harness and replace it. The 2.2 uses a turbo harness - completely different from the NA harnesses. The 2.5 uses OBD-II complient ECUs, so that harness is completely different from the older ones. So it's a decent amount of work...

But on to trannies. I say that the 2.5 tranny is every bit as good as the UK turbo tranny. It even breaks 2nd gear, just like the UK turbo. So use whatever you want and if you want reliable, super strong, then get an aftermarket one (Trey Cobb, for example) or an STi R/RA one. For the same price, though, the Cobb one lets you choose gears...

Anyway, I'll come back later,

Joel
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Old 07-12-2000, 07:08 PM   #3
Greg I
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The purpose of the car is as a quick daily driver. Something enjoyable, but not a monster. Sourcing wagon suspensions seems to be a bit of an issue.

On the engine -- I'd rather go for a 2.2l turbo than the 2.5. I know the TEC-II may be a great solution in some cases, but I'd rather stay away from that route if possible. Do you agree that turbocharging the 1.8 is probably not the way to go?

Transmission -- I was thinking it'd be easiest, and sufficient get either a used Legacy Turbo transmission, or a used WRX transmission.

Greg.
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Old 07-12-2000, 07:17 PM   #4
Overtime
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Talk to Rallispec about their WRX conversion...that'll give you an idea even if you don't purchase it all.
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Old 07-12-2000, 07:54 PM   #5
Joel Gat, 1.8L
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Hello,

By using the 2.2 engine and not the TEC, you get to pull the 1.8's harness and replace it with the turbo harness and ECU. That's a butt-load of work. I started pulling my 1.8s harness to see if it would be feasable to use a 2.5 ECU, but once I saw how many silly things I'd have to deal with, I said forget it!

As for turbo 1.8... Flatline has a turbo 1.8, I think. "Now it's almost as fast as a stock RS" is something he was heard saying at the Buttonwillow event

Think about it this way. 50% power increase from 110 puts you at 165 hp. 100% power increase is only 220. And that should take 14.7 pounds of boost, ignoring all the minor details. So you'd be pushing that engine pretty hard. Meanwhile 165 hp with a 50% increase is 247 hp. So the equation isn't exactly spot on, but basically at 7.5 psi, you'd be at or over the hp you want. What's better, a stock engine at 15 pounds of boost or a stock engine at 8 pounds of boost, reliability-wise?

I used the 2.5 as an example... The 2.2 is viable too. At 220 hp, actually, I don't think there's a difference between the 2.2, the 2.0, or the 2.5, reliability wise. Unless you go internal and change the CR on the 2.2, the 2.5 will be more driveable. But the 2.2 will be cheaper.

Your thoughts on tranny are fine.

As for suspension, for the fast daily driver, you might want to avoid pillowball mounts with adjustible camber plates. They're noisy, harsh, etc, and really you shouldn't be driving so hard in the street that the extra degree or so of camber is that important. If you want comfort first, get a suspension like the prodrive kit. If you want more performance, get something like an STi kit. I'm pretty sure that STi makes a wagon kit... The STi suspension is perfect, in my opinion, for a fast street car. Actually, the prodrive set is more suited for some people who don't like to bounce around as much.

I wouldn't go all out with a non-track car. If you don't really plan to head to the track, it's just not worth the discomfort. I think there are a few people here that would agree with that?

If you do want to go all out, get DMS ($3k) and call up DMS and tell them your intended use. They'll recomend good spring rates

Joel
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Old 07-12-2000, 08:01 PM   #6
Gambit
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Suspension - pick up a se tof WRX springs and go with whatever shocks you like....AGX, GR2, STis, current model OBS shocks etc.... since you're not bringing your ca rto the track you can get cheaper shocks like GR2s which are WRX shocks pretty much. Invest on a good set of tires. Off you go.
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Old 07-12-2000, 10:59 PM   #7
Ethan
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SYMS also makes a suspension for the wagon.
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Old 07-12-2000, 11:42 PM   #8
Greg I
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Turbocharging a 2.5 might be the best way to go -- getting a late model DOHC (with the Phase II block) would be the challenge. I think with the low pressure boost to bring it up to 230HP, a TEC-II won't be necessary. Still a really tough decision. The 2.2 turbo isn't necessarily a better engine, but it should be easier to take care of and set up. These are relatively modest power levels. I'd probably like to stay away from turbocharging the newer N/A 2.2.

Suspension wise, I was thinking STi. I had the STi V setup in my coupe, and it was great (except for some rubbing with four people in the car), and my wife liked it well enough (she still misses that car, she says). The springs are the key here, I assume, as they're going to be different on the wagon due to the heavier arse end. I really don't want to just get any old WRX springs; they have to be for a wagon, and if I'm getting STi springs, I might as well get the matching struts. Syms suspensions are notoriously expensive, although no doubt very good.

Tough decision this. Selling the turbocharged 2.5 idea will be difficult, seeing as the locals here have had some issues with their turbos (Joel and his cracked block (my old old car!), which wasn't necessarily turbo related, but still makes wife think, and Richard's on-and-off issues with his car).

Greg.

[This message has been edited by Greg I (edited July 12, 2000).]
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Old 07-13-2000, 01:22 PM   #9
Greg I
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We actually don't mind the NVH that comes with a fully adjustable suspension, including urethane bushings and solid mounting hardware where possible; it's just a matter of cost vs performance. The car could easily see some autocrossing.

Greg.
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Old 07-14-2000, 12:00 AM   #10
webkris
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Camber plates on you're "daily driver" would be a monster.
I could only suggest camber plates if you were autocrossing every weekend. The max camber on the Impreza is not that bad - if you care at all about tire wear.
KYB adjustables, and Eibach springs should do the trick.
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