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Old 05-15-2005, 12:27 PM   #1
Guru Imakuni
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Default L -> WRX swap and insurance

Has anyone done a L to WRX swap before? What does it require? I was thinking you would need the engine, turbo parts, ecu, and exhaust. I guess the whole powertrain. Would the L tranny be able to hold the power though? From what I've read, the RS tranny is basically the same as the WRX's "glass" tranny so has it all come from the original L and LS models?

I'm trying to figure this out because I'm planning to go away to college out of state so I don't know if my insurance would transfer (and MA rates suck). I did an online Geico quote and as an independant I would be paying something like $2,760 every 6 months for my 2.5RS (funny that a 2000 Legacy with the same engine is only $2,040). Now with a 93 or 95 L sedan or wagon (price didn't change between either year or body style) I would only have to pay $1,110.50 every 6 months. Big difference!

I also put in my mom's 97 Accord LX which I'm technically primary on so I'm not paying $3,500+ a year. When I compared the 97 Accord LX to a 93 Impreza L the prices where exactly the same. So in theory if I could transfer my MA insurance out of state as a student I could potentially get an L at the same rate I guess...which is a moot point because I would then be taking the RS for the price of the LX which is the same or very close to the price of an L.

I have also noticed that security features don't mean **** on older cars. It was like a $40 discount on a car alarm for the RS but I couldn't get any discounts on an L even with LoJack!


So what do you guys think? Would it make sense to go over to an L with a WRX powertrain or would it cost too much to build and maintain (brake upgrades, etc.) to negate the RS's insurance rate, which could even be as low as the L's rates in the first place?

PS. If I take the RS with me I'm getting a car alarm so it would reduce my rate by around $40 (or however much it really is worth from a MA insurance company).
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:59 PM   #2
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wow so you need to think about this one step at a time, "your post is confusing as hell" and if you are this worried about how much insurance is going to cost then you may want to rethink the cost of a WRX swap and what you plan on doing with this car. my two cents.
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Old 05-15-2005, 01:10 PM   #3
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yes, your post is very confusing.

yes you can do a WRX swap, you would need the engine, engine turbo crossmember, ECU, full wiring harness for both cars...and the tranny and rear diff are optional, the RS tranny can handle the power.

some see doing a wrx swap as a double ++. it not only gets you an awesome drivetrain in a better looking car, but you don't have the high prce of WRX insurance, which is hish because it comes with a turbo i guess.

oh, and insurance in mass is state regulated. and it sucks. we all hate it.

i pay $5k a year for my L (1998 coupe) even though i DID make some mistakes and errors in judgement and get a few speeding ticketts.
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Old 05-15-2005, 02:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabitnutz
some see doing a wrx swap as a double ++. it not only gets you an awesome drivetrain in a better looking car, but you don't have the high prce of WRX insurance, which is hish because it comes with a turbo i guess.
WRX insurance is higher than some other cars because they are involved in more accidents, due to the yoyo's who buy them. Higher risk drivers causing injury to other people = higher rates. It is not based primarily on turbo, engine, doors...
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:16 PM   #5
subaru16valve
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You pay 5k a YEAR?


.....oh my god. I thought 2k was bad.

-A
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:01 PM   #6
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No, right now I pay like $2,600 as I'm primary on my mom's car. If I was to be primary on the RS I would be paying like $3,600.

When I did the calculations I was going off of being independant in Atlanta, GA so even though the rates would be better than in MA it's in a big city with me being independent so my costs would basically double because I'm a newish driver with my own policy.

What I was trying to ask is if I could put a WRX engine into an L (I know the RS tranny could hold it but wasn't so sure of the older Imprezas) and if the MA policy I'm on could be used out of state. If I can keep the policy then I can rather safely conclude that my rates would stay about the same whether I had the RS or an L/LS because I'm primary on the Accord LX.

I guess I should stick with the RS if I can. My insurance (Hanover) may drop me if I live out of state because they may not offer insurance in GA and don't have claims adjusters down there.

So...how much would a WRX powertrain cost?
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
So...how much would a WRX powertrain cost?

More than you can afford pal!

No, seriously, if you're trying to save money than stop right where you are. This plan is an awful idea if you can't afford your RS. Trust me, the bazillion parts you need will add up, and I doubt that you can do the labor yourself.

Powertrain will be 3 grand easy, and the labor will be probably just as much. Plus, you will own a much older car with a lot more things to break and much fewer places to get them repaired at. The motor and trans might be new, but you will start to go through wheel bearings, axles, etc, and if any sensor or wiring related issues crop up, you're in trouble.

On top of all that, your RS isn't worth nearly as much as you think... if you stil believe you can back what you paid for it. It's worth 9-10k tops.
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:24 PM   #8
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If you are going out of state to school (and are living at school, aka Ma is still your primary residence), then you shouldn't have any issues with insurance. You can keep the car registered/insured in Ma and take it with you. What you need to do though is discuss this with your insurance agent and see how it affects the policy.

Another thing to consider if if you actually need a car at all. If not, avoid the cost and leave the car in MA, have the policy adjusted to say you our a temp driver and car is off road, done deal.

If you plan to establish residency down in GA, then you might have to transfer registration, etc. As a student though, you usually dont have to do this.

Paul G.
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:59 PM   #9
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Can I at the least get some springs or coilovers or whatever they are, americanyouth? I want some STi Type-C or RA or whatever is the best! How much do they cost? And are they adjustable? I want to be able to go from nice and cushy to autocross mode. (Where do you know all your stuff from too?)

paultg, do you think my rate would go up? What would happen if I was involved in an accident - wouldn't they catch on pretty quick that I shouldn't be driving any car that I'm not primary on ala teh RS when I'm like 600 miles away from my permanent residency?
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Old 05-15-2005, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
What would happen if I was involved in an accident - wouldn't they catch on pretty quick that I shouldn't be driving any car that I'm not primary on ala teh RS when I'm like 600 miles away from my permanent residency?
Most likely yes. If you were subjecting your provider to a significant payout, they would likely do some research and quickly find out you are the primary driver and that the car lives in GA with you.

Why have a car at school at all? Think of all the fun you could have with the money you save.
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Old 05-15-2005, 06:20 PM   #11
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Can't really think of much fun I could have with the money. I mean what would I spend it on? Only things I can think of are car, computers, and beer and I'm not spending $2,500 a year on beer! Nor computers. I tend to only upgrade when they absolutely need to run newer games (call me a dork but I'm going into Game Art and Design). Maybe a TV, but - car for a year > plasma TV.

Even though student housing (as well as the apartments I'm looking) are -3 miles away from the college I have relatives about 30 minutes south and a place I would be interested in working at (which is absolutely irrelevent at this time) is 30 minutes north.

This is all kind of why I wanted to do a WRX swap but I guess it costs more then it's worth? Cheap insurance and some nice power and in the event I do make a claim they won't wonder why I have the RS instead of some Accord LX.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
Can I at the least get some springs or coilovers or whatever they are, americanyouth? I want some STi Type-C or RA or whatever is the best! How much do they cost? And are they adjustable? I want to be able to go from nice and cushy to autocross mode. (Where do you know all your stuff from too?)


Huh? Yes, you could buy coilovers. They're a waste of money in my opinion, though, a nice set of Koni Inserts and prodrive P1 springs is unbeatable. Struts from a STi spec-C or a STi Type-RA are not adjustable... if you want a budget adjustable strut try the KYB AGX.

As to where I know all my stuff from.... here! Read the forums and you will learn alot.

Oh yeah, and I'm in the middle of a WRX swap myself.

<-------
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Old 05-16-2005, 12:07 AM   #13
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cars that run are for pussies.

and yes, i do(did?) pay $5k/year for insurance on my L. there is a reason for that. i am a step 28
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Old 05-16-2005, 01:30 AM   #14
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I pay $900 a year for my L

Cut the insurance down to its bare minimum... Liabilty only, higher deductable, etc. etc. to get the costs down. Anything more than $1500 a year for a L is crazy.

Oh and a swap wont make your insurance go up. I know this because I have one thats certified and the insurance company knows about it too
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Old 05-16-2005, 01:51 AM   #15
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Those KYB AGX struts were a cheaper than I thought they would be. But now would I have to get 4 of these ? One for each corner or do they come in pairs like brake pads? Now these lower the car and the cushy-factor changes too?

BTW, a strut = a shock? What's a coilover then? Does the stock RS have a coilover? I know I have a big spring in there.
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:54 AM   #16
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AGX's are $410 shipped for all 4 on the vendor classifieds. Strut = shock, yes. Coilover = both strut and spring combined as one unit. Technically, thats just a short term used to identify the aftermarket coilover setups that have adjustable height and even dampening abilities, but machpherson suspension designs like Impreza's have are generally considered coilovers because the coil (spring) is OVER the strut.

Stock-like Strut/spring set:



Aftermarket "Coilover" set:

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Old 05-16-2005, 09:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
Those KYB AGX struts were a cheaper than I thought they would be. But now would I have to get 4 of these ? One for each corner or do they come in pairs like brake pads? Now these lower the car and the cushy-factor changes too?

BTW, a strut = a shock? What's a coilover then? Does the stock RS have a coilover? I know I have a big spring in there.
You could replaced them 2 at a time, or even 1 at a time if your little heart desired, but the smartest plan is to get all 4 at once. The struts alone do not lower the car, aftermarket springs will. The struts are adjustable, so you can set how comfy or stiff the ride is.

Once the novelty of adjustment wears off, you'll realize you just want KYB GR2s, which are like AGXs permanantly set to 2 in the front and 4 in the rear.
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Old 05-16-2005, 12:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
paultg, do you think my rate would go up? What would happen if I was involved in an accident - wouldn't they catch on pretty quick that I shouldn't be driving any car that I'm not primary on ala teh RS when I'm like 600 miles away from my permanent residency?
Read my post again. I'm not suggesting you lie to your insurance company.

You have a few options though, and all your questions will be answered by contacting your current ins. agent.

Option 1: Have no car at school. Be listed as a part time driver that lives out of state (only drive when home from school). Car stays in MA, and is parked. Also change car usage to mimimal (off road practically).

Option 2: Take car to school, let insurance know about it. See what they say. You can probably stay on their policy (and not reregister the car in GA), but no idea what this will do to your ins. rate. You would have to be listed as primary on the car you have at school.

Option 3: Switch things over to GA, but you'll need to establish recidency most likey, and school address usually dont work. You need a lease and/or utility bill in your name up here, probably similar down there. You wont have proof like that if in school living on campus.

Paul G.
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:55 PM   #19
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Thanks for the info, Kostamojen.


paultg, if I was primary on the RS it would be like $3600 a year for me as opposed to $2600 so I'd really like to keep it the way it is now. If I were to get my own policy it would just turn into $3600 every 6 months with almost no coverage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by americanyouth
Once the novelty of adjustment wears off, you'll realize you just want KYB GR2s, which are like AGXs permanantly set to 2 in the front and 4 in the rear.
I see the GR2s are much cheaper because they aren't adjustable. What do struts actually do performance wise on the car? Less body roll? I really just want the car to feel tighter in turns and go through turns better (faster). Would I need to lower the car to do this with springs or would struts do this? And if I would need springs what are the best ones I can get for the money?

I guess now that going turbo is out of the question I've got to go with handling.

Last edited by Guru Imakuni; 05-16-2005 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
I see the GR2s are much cheaper because they aren't adjustable. What do struts actually do performance wise on the car? Less body roll? I really just want the car to feel tighter in turns and go through turns better (faster). Would I need to lower the car to do this with springs or would struts do this? And if I would need springs what are the best ones I can get for the money?
Correct, they stiffen the car. 4 and 2 are the best settings for AGXs anyway, thats why I sold mine and will be getting GR2s.

Theres no reason you can't use them w/ stock springs, however, you won't lower the car w/ just struts. A complete suspension setup needs more than just struts, you should also get at least a new rear swaybar, endlinks, and depending on what springs you get, tophats as well. Some good springs for the GC8 are made by Eibach, Prodrive, SPT, and you'll find others with a search.
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:35 PM   #21
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So the struts will stiffen up the feel but springs will actually lower the center of gravity and give it more stability?

I have a WRX swaybar but that doesn't count.
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru Imakuni
So the struts will stiffen up the feel but springs will actually lower the center of gravity and give it more stability?

I have a WRX swaybar but that doesn't count.
Right. Why doesnt a WRX bar count?
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:56 PM   #23
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I've noticed some spring heights change by engine size. Is that because the weight of the engine in say the 2.2 vs the 2.5 causes it to drop lower?

I haven't looked at the the SPT or Prodrives because I figure they would be expensive. I checked out Eibach and I want the Sportlines as opposed to the Pro_kits but I don't think they make them for Subarus (I haven't found anyone selling them for Subarus yet). I found some H&R springs that are closer to the Sportline's drop.

So I can get better turning and stability with the springs. It will feel better and cause less bounce with the struts though. Am I right? If I change the suspension I really need to stop the bouncing because the tires (more squared off then RE-92s) really hit the fender liner hard now when I turn, especially when I hit a bump in a sharp turn.

PS. I suppose a WRX swaybar is 1-up from what I had but I thought you meant like super high end stuff.
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:07 PM   #24
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eeeeee you don't want any lower than the eibach .. the suspension travel is too short
the prokit or spt (same) +the agx is a great setup

if you want to go lower you need to look into coilover ... at least doubble the price

i had too low springs on my 2k RS (5zigen) i would hit the bumpstops all the time it also voids the warrenty on the agx
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:35 PM   #25
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SPT's are ~$220 shipped. The spring rates and ride height are ideal. I just rode in a car with the SPT + AGX combo, and it was great, alot like the AGX + Ground Control setup I had on my last car but more livable. Thats why I ordered the SPT's + AGX's and they are shipping to me right now
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