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Old 08-09-2005, 11:17 PM   #1
Dobes
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Member#: 164
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Philly suburbs
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy GT-T

Default Joining the WRX'd Legacy club....

I picked this 1997 Legacy GT up in December for $3500. It's got 150k miles on it but is in fantastic shape. Then it blew it's head gasket on the way home So I shipped it off to Rallispec after putting about 12 miles on it. Several months later (after quite a few issues with the recycler that supplied the components) I got it back:



Is that an STi muffler tip I spy?



It's got a really clean interior for a 150k mile car:




After many dollars spent at Rallispec, it came back with a WRX motor (with 1k miles!), transmission, rear diff, fuel tank, and a smorgasbord of emissions equipment to make it OBDII compliant. It also got an EcuTek reflash, an aftermarket uppipe, and an Outback rear sway bar. The exhaust is some kind of hybrid consisting of a JDM twin scroll downpipe, and lengthened STi midpipe and STi muffler. Apparently this isn't the most freely flowing exhaust system but it's got a nice rumble at idle and isn't obtrusive at all once on the road so I don't mind at all. Afterall, the goal wasn't absolute power, but a little civility and sneakiness. My other car is the now the dedicated toy so the Legacy has to remain a peaceful daily driver.





After driving my stock engined 2.5RS for the past 7 or 8 years I have to say this thing is loads faster. I don't really plan on doing any other upgrades to the car for now. However, upgrading to WRX brakes and suspension is cheap when those items need replacing

JD
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Old 08-09-2005, 11:19 PM   #2
fibuz
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BE-> GD->GR->SG->BL
WAawd.org

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Wow, good call on the engine! Looks like they did a great job. Congrats and have fun!

fibuz
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Old 08-09-2005, 11:25 PM   #3
janikphoto
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sold Outback & ForesterXT

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how much was the swap? I would like one of those too!!! But it will need premium gas, and that costs a fortune these days...
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Old 08-09-2005, 11:28 PM   #4
fibuz
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BE-> GD->GR->SG->BL
WAawd.org

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Quote:
Originally Posted by janikphoto
how much was the swap? I would like one of those too!!! But it will need premium gas, and that costs a fortune these days...


maybe we'll get lucky janik

fibuz
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:39 AM   #5
MitchGT
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Location: Kirkland, WA
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2012 4Runner

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f'n sweet
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:23 AM   #6
xcntrk75
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2008 FXT Sports 2.5
Dark Grey Metallic

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Looks great, good call on the swap. That exhaust setup is actually very sweet! The STI muffler is one of the highest flowing vs. quietest.

I wouldn't change a thing! Enjoy the drive....
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:52 AM   #7
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Thats a wonderful ride.
Excellent daily driver.

How long have you had it since the swap ?

How much did it cost ?

Any rough estimates on fuel economy city/highway ???
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:55 AM   #8
iamrazor
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1990 T30 miata

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan
Thats a wonderful ride.
Excellent daily driver.

How long have you had it since the swap ?

How much did it cost ?

Any rough estimates on fuel economy city/highway ???

x2

Inquiring minds want to know...
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:12 AM   #9
Dobes
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Philly suburbs
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1997 Legacy GT-T

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I've only had the car since Friday so I haven't even burned through a tank of gas yet. I did reset the odo when I filled up over the weekend so I'll keep an eye on mileage.

All I can say on the swap is that because my car was a '97 it needed a newer gas tank (this one happens to be from a WRX) and all the related emissions equipment back there. If you don't have a donor vehicle and need to source the parts I'm told it's a lot of work. And I know it costs a bit of money :| From what I understand a 1998 or 1999 Legacy GT would've already had the correct tank and emissions equipment so it would've saved me some decent coin. Then again, I only paid $3500 for the car....

I suggest contacting Rallispec if you are really serious about a swap so they can give you a good estimate. I'll say that the basic swap was around $7500-$8500 including all parts (engine, trans, rear diff, new cross member, wiring, turbo, exhaust, etc). This price depends on the price of the used components and I'm sure is subject to change depending on the car and desired turnaround. Of course, I had a few options added and had to deal with the gas tank issues so it was a quite a bit more, but that all depends on your specific situation. While I agree that's a lot of coin, when you look at the final result, there's not much else I could buy that is AWD, turbo, and has four doors. Theoretically the car should be quite reliable since it's just a stock '02 WRX engine and drivetrain so maintenance costs shouldn't be that high. As for premium gas, it's maybe an extra $1-$2 per tank over 89 octane which might come out to $10/month with my commute. I hardly think that's going to put a dent in my budget. I'm sure if I did the work myself I could've saved a couple grand but considering the problems that were encountered (like the gas tank) it would've taken me forever and probably cost me my sanity. I say it was totally worth the hassle free dollars spent!

EDIT: prices

Last edited by Dobes; 08-10-2005 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:25 AM   #10
xcntrk75
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Location: NOVA
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2008 FXT Sports 2.5
Dark Grey Metallic

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Agreed…

I definitely wouldn’t want to mess with the tank swap, better off letting a shop do it. I’ve always wondered where that line is regarding tank compatibility, I guess I got lucky with my 98’ as I was able to use my existing tank and hadn’t ever considered needing a different before I began the swap.

As for the premium petro, if you ever decide to upgrade to a (quality) aftermarket engine management system, you can have a MAP designed for fuel efficiency using 87 octane intended for long commutes. UTEC for example allows use of up to 5 MAP’s which you can switch between on the fly.

How do you like those longggggg legs of the wrx 5MT? Nothing like 80Mph in 3rd at 7k RPM

[EDIT] Does your front sway-bar rub the turbo hump?
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:07 AM   #11
Cajual
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Member#: 12900
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy GT-Turbo
Quick Silver Metallic

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Welcome to the swap club!
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:00 AM   #12
TRH_legacy2k
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Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Vehicle:
2000 Legacy
'68 Spitfire

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This is the part where I wipe up my drool puddle.

My dream swap. (well, the realistic one)
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:34 AM   #13
Dobes
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Member#: 164
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Philly suburbs
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy GT-T

Default

Quote:
Does your front sway-bar rub the turbo hump?
I'm not sure I know what you mean.

I know the intercooler rubbed slightly on the hood so the brackets it is mounted to had to be slightly bent to provide some clearance.

Quote:
How do you like those longggggg legs of the wrx 5MT? Nothing like 80Mph in 3rd at 7k RPM
I like it a lot!

JD
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:40 AM   #14
xcntrk75
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2008 FXT Sports 2.5
Dark Grey Metallic

Default

Often reusing your stock NA front sway-bar is not possible because it will rub on the turbo hump of the new cross-member. Some people have this problem and some lucky folks get away with it. For me, my stock NA bar rubbed slightly however it made for an incredibly annoying squeaking sound when going over speed bumps etc. Got to the point where I couldn’t take it any longer and had to upgrade. Maybe they swapped in a different bar as part of your package. If it doesn’t squeak when going over speed bumps then you’re good to go…
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:34 PM   #15
Dobes
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Member#: 164
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Philly suburbs
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy GT-T

Default

Ahh, I thought you were asking if it actually hit the turbo which is what was confusing me. I think the front swaybar is either from a WRX or turbo Impreza for a few years back, it's not from a Legacy. No squeaking here!

JD
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:52 PM   #16
Teh Legacy
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Location: Never miss an opportunity
Vehicle:
to keep your mouth
shut.

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Could you snap a picture of the muffler from under the vehicle? Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:40 PM   #17
Huffer
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Location: Wellington,NZ / Willoughby,OH
Vehicle:
99 GF8 Impreza 2.0
2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT

Default

Awesome. Nice and clean. Rallispec appear to have the art mastered!
What was the total turnaround time?
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:55 PM   #18
Jonathan
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Location: Natick, MA USA
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huffer
Awesome. Nice and clean. Rallispec appear to have the art mastered!
What was the total turnaround time?
From what has already been posted it seems he got the car back in good working order in ~8 1/2 months. Rallispec has an excellent reputation and perhaps more work then they can comfortably handle. I am not sure just how much time was spent waiting for the work to get started, and how much time all the work actually took
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:33 PM   #19
Dobes
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Member#: 164
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Philly suburbs
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy GT-T

Default

Quote:
Rallispec appear to have the art mastered!
What was the total turnaround time?
Heh, my experience was anything but typical. To make a very long story short, when I dropped my car off around the 1st of the year, there was a 4 month leadtime to have Rallispec even look at your car (that may or may not have changed since). Normally I would've just made an appointment around mid year and dropped the car off for a month or so but after the headgasket went, it sort of expedited my plans. I think work actually commenced around late May/early June - some 6 months later. Then the gas tank/emissions equipment problem reared it's head and delayed progress several weeks while parts were ordered and sourced. Then there were problems with the transmission Rallispec recieved from one of their suppliers being faulty which delayed things again and caused more work.

I think realistically they could get a swap done within 4-6 weeks assuming you wait about 5 months or so to bring your car in - but please check with them first, I am not the expert! Then again, knowing how my car went there are always problems on projects this big. With something like this, you CANNOT be in a hurry to get your car back because it will just cause problems with the installation by cutting corners or trying to work extra fast.

I'll also mention that Dave has become a good friend since around the time Rallispec began many years ago (my RS rollcage was one of the first big projects ever - I think before Rallispec even had a name!). Anyhow, because I wasn't in dire need of the car and Dave had issues with a couple other customers I didn't mind if he bumped some other people in front of me which was further cause for the lengthy turnaround.

Quote:
Could you snap a picture of the muffler from under the vehicle? Thanks.
Sure. Give me a few days.

JD
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Old 08-10-2005, 04:03 PM   #20
Huffer
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Member#: 36735
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wellington,NZ / Willoughby,OH
Vehicle:
99 GF8 Impreza 2.0
2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT

Default

Very useful information. Thank you again!
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Old 08-10-2005, 08:57 PM   #21
janikphoto
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Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Dallas, TX
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2000 BMW Z3
sold Outback & ForesterXT

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much nicer than the swap I have planned... now if I can just find a yugo donor car...
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:19 PM   #22
Gator GT
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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07 specB - 6spds,
4 tips, 3 LSDs, stg 2!!!

Default

Good stuff Dobes. I'm planning on joining this club soon. Waiting for 2 big important parts....

i'll be looking to attack it myself. That way, if anything needs to be maintained or upgraded, I'll know whats up.

Good stuff though, way to keep it sleeper!

GGT
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:39 AM   #23
Jonathan
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Location: Natick, MA USA
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

Default

Gator GT -

I am all confused. My understanding was that your Black Legacy had received a turbo installation to the Phase I EJ25 from Rallispec, the car was then sold to someone named "Craig" in New Hampshire who later experianced Head Gasket issues and maybe sold the car to you afterwards ? and at some point the turbo mod was removed ? Is that correct or am I way off base ?

Thanks, and sorry for the thread hijacking.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:55 AM   #24
KD7000
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2004 Honda Pilot

Thumbs up

That's a nice, clean looking swap you have. Congrats!


--I have to say, waiting 4-8 months for an engine swap is kinda ridiculous. I know the project takes multiple weeks, but only someone who doesn't need the car as a daily driver could ever afford to lose a vehicle for that long. It's fortunate that you could accomodate the wait time, as that kind of schedule is not too appealing to the masses.

Hell, even 4-6 weeks of actual work days seems like a ludicrous amount of time.

-Brian
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:47 AM   #25
LegacyGt05
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Awesome ... looks great!
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