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Old 07-14-2005, 07:18 PM   #1
Siper2
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Impreza GC8 FXT swaps in to GC/GM/GF -- threads/pics/stories?

While I haven't got the money to start saving just yet (well, very small amounts, but they don't amount to much), I'm leaning more and more towards an FXT engine for the powerplant in my future RS swap project. (Which hopefully will take place by the end of '06.)

I want to go with TWE equal-length headers, and a 2.5" turboback. Might try to stick with my stock transmission for now. As for brakes, I've got WRX fronts already, and will have H6 rears within a week or two. That might switch to four-pot STi fronts, and maybe vented '05 GT rears, who knows... but that angle should be covered.
20mm rear swaybar, STi Group N engine/tranny mounts already on the car.

So there's the layout. I'd like to swap the dashboard in, if it fits... if not, of course I'll have to wire it. And the '04 engine is probably the one to get, because it's before drive-by-wire, and would therefore be less complicated, right? (I know very little about what DBW even is...)

But, I know at least a couple people have done this swap. I'd like to see some pics, read some stories/threads, just get some info on it. If I start planning now, I'll have good info by the time I'm ready. With any luck, I'll have the cash for a decent new paintjob at the same time. (Especially if I save on installation/labor money for the swap by having members help.)

Thanks, folks-
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:13 PM   #2
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yeah I'd love to swap a FXT auto into my 1995 Impreza LX 2Dr.
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:34 PM   #3
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I believe all FXT's (and STI's) are drive-by-wire. The complicated thing about DBW is swaping out the gas pedal, but I'm not sure how difficult that really is. You also might have to use an STI dashboard, or at least a WRX dasboard, cause I know the FXT dash wont fit.

Oh and if you do the FXT swap, you might as well get a motor without an intercooler and turbo and just get an STI turbo and STI intercooler
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:28 PM   #4
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yes all are DBW but the 04s don't have the imobilizer also consider a bajaxt
i would strip out what i have and do a complete fxt swap (the entire harness) and then fix the wires in the rear
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:54 AM   #5
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Kostamojen,

Yeah I think the engines are pretty similar, right? Are the internals any different, or are they identical except for the turbo, intercooler and ECU (??) differences?

It's certainly tempting. That kind of power though, enhh... I'd be too tempted to go beyond that and do a Prodrive ECU chip and a 3" turboback or something... I'd definitely need the 6-speed tranny, plus brakes....... Gets too expensive. Besides, I've been happy with 165hp for over five years, so the FXT's 210hp (I think) would be thrilling. Plus, a 2.5" turboback would probably give it a ~10hp gain, or so?


Jaxx,

Ahh! Imobilizer, that's what I was thinking of, as the difference with the '05s. Okay.



Keep it coming, guys! Thanks again.

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Old 07-15-2005, 12:52 PM   #6
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internals are the same, heads are the same, injectors are the same,manafold the same (just differnt color)

only diff is turbo/intercooler and ECU tune

what is this prodrive ecu chip you talk of ... an ecutek tune on the other hand is a differnt story...
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostamojen
I believe all FXT's (and STI's) are drive-by-wire. The complicated thing about DBW is swaping out the gas pedal, but I'm not sure how difficult that really is. You also might have to use an STI dashboard, or at least a WRX dasboard, cause I know the FXT dash wont fit.

Oh and if you do the FXT swap, you might as well get a motor without an intercooler and turbo and just get an STI turbo and STI intercooler
About swapping out the gas pedal:

The bolt patterns are different. GC's have 2 bolts and STi/FXT have 2, but in different places. I'll see if I can get some pics for you.


Mick

Last edited by Slack; 07-16-2005 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:23 PM   #8
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i "think" most alot of people will use the cable throttle body off a wrx instead of hassling around with the dbw but there could be something more to this.
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
About swapping out the gas pedal:

The bolt patterns are different. GC's have 2 bolts and STi/FXT have 3. Only the bottom bolt matches up between the two. I'll see if I can get some pics for you.


Mick
My FXT only uses 2, and it looks like the same pattern as my old GC IIRC. Even if the 2 holes are in different places(doubtful since the GD and GC are the same) it would be easy to either drill new holes or fabricate a mount to go between the firewall and pedal.

If I ever do this swap, I'm keeping the electric throttle, running the 6 wires needed for it would be a lot easier than swapping out a cable throttle IMO.
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsanto
i "think" most alot of people will use the cable throttle body off a wrx instead of hassling around with the dbw but there could be something more to this.
no
the reason you swap is to retain the ECU to do that you need the DBW. its only 6 wires that are already in the harness
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Old 07-15-2005, 09:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siper2
Kostamojen,

Yeah I think the engines are pretty similar, right? Are the internals any different, or are they identical except for the turbo, intercooler and ECU (??) differences?

It's certainly tempting. That kind of power though, enhh... I'd be too tempted to go beyond that and do a Prodrive ECU chip and a 3" turboback or something... I'd definitely need the 6-speed tranny, plus brakes....... Gets too expensive. Besides, I've been happy with 165hp for over five years, so the FXT's 210hp (I think) would be thrilling. Plus, a 2.5" turboback would probably give it a ~10hp gain, or so?
Yup, very simular motors. Might need the STI injectors though.

I dont think you would need the 6-speed with the STi's 300hp, there are lots of folks still running around on stock trannies with well over 300hp. The reason why I suggested it though isnt so much the HP but how damn cheap STI turbos and intercoolers are If I did an FXT swap, i'd actually want to save up and go with a v8 twin scroll setup since that would take care of all the engine piping along with having a very fun little motor

A turbo back should give you quite a bit more than 10hp, maybe more like 15-20, and mostly on the top end. I would definatly go with an STI intercooler anyway over the FXT intercooler, because its always good to keep the turbo as cool as possible and its not a complicated thing to deal with.

On the brake comment, I definatly think you would need to upgrade brakes with any WRX/FXT/etc. swap. Even lowly WRX swaps will have you running 13 second 1/4 mile times IE you will be going very fast very quickly, and I wouldnt trust stock brakes in that kind of a situation.... 4-pots or 05 Legacy GT brakes at least up front, with good pads of course.
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:52 AM   #12
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Okay, I made a mistake. The STi/FXT pedals only have 2 bolts. BUT, they are not the same pattern as the GC models. I confused myself, because I remembered that the adapter plate that is being made for my car has 3 holes in it. 1 for the bottom bolt (which is the same place on both GC and STi/FXT), one for the GC model stud (top hole for old pedal) to slide through, and the third is for the top of the STi/FXT pedal's bolt to go through. When I get a chance to go over to the shop this weekend, I will take a picture to show you what I mean.

Mick
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:22 PM   #13
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Kosta'-

I'll probably stick with 4-pots, since I like my 16"s for winter time. *shrug* Who knows.
For now I'm pretty happy with the WRX fronts, and the H6 rears will be installed within days (they'll be coming in the mail).


Jaxx,

Well Prodrive has a couple of "stage" upgrades. I think one of them is an ECU replacement/flash/something-or-other. Here, from their website:

Stage 2
The stage 2 pack includes a round or oval tip rear muffler, an exhaust mid-pipe, a silicone intercooler Y-pipe and ECU upgrade, which deliver an improvement of approximately 40 horsepower over the standard car.


Stage 3
The stage 3 pack includes a round tip rear muffler, and exhaust mid-pip, a free flow catalytic converter / down-pipe, a cat-less up-pipe, a silicone intercooler Y-pipe and ECU upgrade. All of these enhancements combined, deliver an improvement of approximately 60 horsepower over the standard car.




Now, granted those are stated for the WRX. So, EJ20. Which I'm not opposed to, since they're plentiful and cheap. But the Prodrive upgrade would be big buck$, and still wouldn't give the nice around-town torque that I like about the EJ25 engines.
Which.... don't have any Prodrive upgrades, as of yet. They're supposedly still planning a USDM STi ECU upgrade, I think...

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Old 07-17-2005, 12:02 AM   #14
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I'm just starting my research on a very similar swap. I have a MY00 Forester and figured the FXT setup, engine wise, would be great for me. Couple of things I've come across.

The only differences between the STi and the FXT are turbo, intercooler, and ecu. Many people with the FXT have been swaping those parts and getting the STi power numbers. Check out subaruforester.com.

Also I've heard that the 210hp number on the XT is conservative. I can't seem track down where I found that though, sorry.

I do wonder one thing though. Are the Outback XT and the Legacy GT similar to the FXT? Do they also just have different turbos, intercoolers, and ECUs? If so you could shop for an engine from any of them and just swap on the three parts from the model you wanted. Can anyone confirm this?

While all the power from the STi would be great I'm concern with the rest of my drivetrain. Its not as beefy as the STi and seeing as how I'll be spending quite a bit to do the swap the last thing I want is to have to buy a tranny right away.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:13 AM   #15
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Why not just trade the 00 forester in for an XT.
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Old 07-17-2005, 02:12 AM   #16
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More of a learning experience this way. I was looking for a project. And the sleeper effect. I figure with the right FMIC, no hood scoop, you'd have to look pretty darn close to realize this isn't you average forester

Oh plus i don't feel like doing suspension and brake mods over again. I figure do everything once and then get a new car and start over.
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:32 AM   #17
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Cool idea, keep us posted on how it goes.

Not sure about the Legacy relationship. Good question.

I did hear that the pre-'06 FXT numbers were conservative. It's getting bumped to an official 230hp for '06, but I wonder how much of that is actual increase, and not just number changing.

Or... maybe the '06 figure will be conservative too.
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:16 PM   #18
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guess i should have said this differntly
the prodrive upgrade is ONLY for a wrx at the moment

it really dosn't fit what you want to do any way
you will really want a custom tune ala ecutek/protuner

kota the injectors are the same
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:34 PM   #19
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Oh okay.

I wonder if the Forester intercooler splitter would mate up to my hood scoop, just out of curiosity... or the STi one, for that matter. (Though, for that one, I guess a GC STi one could be bought--that should fit.)

I'd probably stick with the OE engine for a while, just to get accustomed to it. If you're right about a turboback yielding 15hp+ then that'd be pretty sweet.

Who knows. It's ALL a pipe dream, for right now. I'd like to have folks help me with the install as a sort of DIY job. The money I'd save on labor could get me a new paintjob.

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Old 07-18-2005, 01:54 AM   #20
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my swap will start soon: 98RS-FXT, vf34, TBE, USDM ECU. etc.

i plan on swapping an STi dash in also, but i am still a little touchy on the DBY. Iv heard that i wont have to switch set ups if i use a wrx intake manifold....?

Since the XT/Sti motor are "the same" would it make a difference to use the STi or FXT harness/ecu ?

swapping to a STi dash should make wiring "eaiser", but what about the AVCS? I would need an STi Ecu to regain this?


MIKE D
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Old 07-18-2005, 07:36 AM   #21
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Mmmnnnn, '05 STi dash is what I like. Dat's purdy.

The only thing that would irk me a bit is the difference in surface material from the dash to the doors. *shrug*

Might get the doors re-covered anyway, since there's some small rips here and there.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:02 AM   #22
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The STi and FXT engines are the same with the exception of turbo, intercooler, and ECU. Basically all the wiring is the same and the ecu takes into account which turbo and intercooler you have and uses the proper "tune". If you use FXT turbo and STi ECU I'm gonna venture a guess it won't run very smoothly.

Also have you looked into actually mounting the new dash?

So far I haven't actually seen anyone use the WRX throttle body on this swap but maybe my search button is a little off. Besides if you swap the dash which will take some custom work, brakets and the like I'm assuming you get use the STi dash bar and the DBW pedal will bolt right up.

Basically if you do the dash you already set yourself up for DBW.

I'd tried to do some searching to see if the legacy 2.5t was the same also. Couldn't find anything yet but i'm going to assume its on the same lines as the FXT. Still looking for a confirmation for our more seasoned members.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:07 AM   #23
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Not sure about the dash mounting process. I do know that swapping dashes has become very popular, as even though the labor for that may be a bit complicated, it eliminates the need for harness manufacturing/rewiring.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:49 AM   #24
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I can't believe how afraid people are of the drive by wire. Seriously, if you're afraid of the 6 wires that are involved, and possibly a custom bracket that may need to be fabricated(a piece of sheet metal with a couple holes drilled in it) then you probably shouldn't be attempting a swap by yourself.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:51 AM   #25
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Ouch.
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