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Old 04-18-2006, 03:34 AM   #1
CarlitoQC
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Subaru Stars Legacy GT 98 sedan 5-spd

If anyone has enough time to read this post and feel like helping me then go ahead! i only include performance questions/parts. Body mods = JDM Fog lights, JDM Grill, Gold painted 16" rims, black mesh between bumper & radiator and lower body kit painted to match Rio Red. Thinking about new seats and a JDM STI Momo wheel/shifter. Enough bling bling, let's talk about performance!

I bought the car a year ago and before I had a Legacy 91 turbo sedan 5-spd. Ok so here it is. My car is a Legacy 2.5GT 1998 sedan 5-spd. It has 120K miles on it (195000KMs). Body is in perfect shape without rust. I live in Montreal, Quebec so because of winters there's some rust over some parts like exhaust but overall it is in very good condition. I really think i have a great car to build on. I was thinking about selling it and getting a WRX 2002 but finally I prefer to invest money on the Legacy. I have to go for an inspection at Subaru dealer this week. I want to know in which shape my engine really is (it seems very good but from what i've heard i have to watch out for a bad gasket)

Here's the parts i already know i want to buy from boxer4racing:
- NGK plugs
- Stromung axel-back 3.5" muffler
- GFB power pulley kit
- KARTBOY short shifter combo
- lots of bushings/gaskets for exhaust, struts, sway bars, etc.

I was also thinking about other parts but i need advices first.

Here's the part i already bought or planning to buy from eBay:
- Brembo drilled rotors (F+R) - bought
- PBR Metalmaster pads (F+R) - bought
- KYB GR2 struts (F+R) - 218$USD + shipping
- Eibach Pro-Kit springs (F+R) - 209$USD + shipping

The only upgrades I've done so far:
- Toyo Proxes performance tires 16"
- K&N air filter (+5 HP ??)
- 2 front control arms (OEM repair)

*** Be modest/realistic about HP gain estimation, this way i won't be disappointed :P My EJ25=165HP at stock and I'd like to achieve 190HP. Also I can use an estimated time for installation on every upgrades (Exhaust, brakes, etc.) it would be more then appreciated... a rough estimate would be perfect ***


EXHAUST:
My plan is to change only the muffler. The whole line is too expensive for now. My main gold here is to improve the sounds (it needs to be not too loud but something noticeable, i've heard that Stromung are very nice) I'm also looking to slightly improve performance.

1. Since my headers, cat section aren't too bad would it be a good idea to change every gaskets/bushings for the entire exhaust line and add only the Stromung 3.5" muffler? How much HP could i gain?
2. What is the difference if i buy or not the center pipe?
3. Will this be a good setup without the headers and cat-back? and will it sound good?
4. What is the cat section and headers duty exactly? (i know it sounds like exhaust 101...)
5. How much time to install muffler only + gaskets/bushings everywhere between exhaust parts?

SUSPENSION:
After searching on the net, It seems that the KYB struts ar the way to go for my budget and my performance seeking. I've choosed Eibach over H&R because they lower equality both wheels (1.2").

1. Is there any other parts I should upgrade at the same time? Like rods, bushings, struts tops, etc. I want to keep it simple on this upgrade but if there's something important i should do I'd like to know
2. Also a year ago when i've bought the car, the subaru technician who've done the inspection said that the sway bars were defective, i think he said that the sway bar bushings needed to be replace... any advices on this?
3. Should i consider installing a front struts bar? Also do you know if BG5 struts bar are compatible with my BD sedan?
4. How much time to install struts and srpings at 4 wheels?

ENGINE:
My engine is a little more over 120k miles. All i want is to keep it in good shape and add a little power (hopefully next year i'll might have enough money for a swap). I have to change the timing belt because it's time so i figure why not upgrading pulleys at the same time.

1. I have a K&N air filter already, should i consider cold air intake? what would be the benifit and what is recommended?
2. Is the GFB kit is a good option? (3 pulleys, 2 belts)
3. Any other things i should do to help the engine and add power?
4. What happen if my head gasket blows? (cost for repair?)
5. What about engine swap (if sometime bad happens or if i find more $$$...), what are the better options here? JDM EJ25 like i have or some earlier turbo evolution or even a WRX/STI engine? What could be labor cost for those swaps? (exc. engine price) Are you doing it at boxer4racing?
6. NGK OK but platinum, irridium or copper?

BRAKES:
Already bought Brembo rotors + PBR pads at 4 wheels. I didn't bought SS lines because I'm not changing calipers.
1. Anything else i should be doing with this upgrade?
2. Should i replace brake fluid with Motul?
3. They aren't installed yet, estimated time for installation?

DRIVETRAIN:
I'm not sure what i need or want to do here. Probably looking for a short shifter and may be a new clutch.
1. If I buy a short shifter, should i also change the clutch (mine seems to be all right)
2. Is Daikin USA clutch(made by Exedy?) is a good choice.. They seems to be half price compared to Exedy
3. Anything else about drivetrain?
4. Time to replace clutch? (short shifter is suppose to be less than an hour right?)

OTHER:
That's your call here. anything else i should consider... Fluids replacement, electronics?


I know it is a long post with lots of questions. Thanks to anyone that takes time to help me out...believe me i need help, i'm very new into tuning and mecanics.

Thanks a lot, hope my english is good enough to get some help!


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Last edited by CarlitoQC; 04-18-2006 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:46 AM   #2
smoke3006
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I'm new to Subies, but...
I'd think that a 3.5" exhaust on an NA car would cost you low to mid end power and torque? Unless of course you are planning on swapping in a turbo'd engine.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlitoQC
3.5" is the tip only. I think the pipe is 2.25" like cat section..probably headers too (Borla)
My bad.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:10 AM   #4
CarlitoQC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke3006
I'm new to Subies, but...
I'd think that a 3.5" exhaust on an NA car would cost you low to mid end power and torque? Unless of course you are planning on swapping in a turbo'd engine.
3.5" is the tip only. I think the pipe is 2.25" like cat section..probably headers too (Borla)
Stromung at Boxer4racing.com
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:45 PM   #5
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OK im sure you will get lots of replys on this telling you to do it, so here is my input...
For your car to hit 190hp N/A you would need to completely mod your engine with new internals and probably add a piggy back to your ECU. 190hp is close to what a wrx has stock, i believe.

exhaust - if you get a Borla header, take your cat out and get the muffler you will get better sound and about 5 hp gain. The less restriction you have the more hp you will get. time would be 1-1.5 hours

Suspension - the Eibach are stiffer then the H&R so expect a bumper ride, but its a good set up. I would get new sway bars all around and tower braces all around too. Time 2-3hours

Engine - cold air will give you a little more gain at higher speeds but doesnt help with lower speeds. About 3 hp gain. Pulleys are pulleys, dont really matter. To get head gaskets replaced your looking at $800-$1000 to fix. Your choice on engine replacements but if you want speed go with something turbo. Theres alot more to swapping then seems. do more reseach here or on www.sl-i.net. Go with double platinum

Brakes - I would get the braided lines, they help. Replace fluids. time 1-1.5 hours

Drivetrain - short throw is good, maybe a lighten flywheel 11lbs nothing lighter. no need for clutch tell you get some higher hp. time 2-3 hours


Hope this helps some

Take Care
AB
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:02 PM   #6
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I hope you mean 190chp, because if you are talking whp then you have LOTS of money to spend.

I'll assume you meant chp. Changing all of the gaskets would be pointless unless they are leaking. The Stromung sounds nice and flows nice, but you could likely have a custom catback made for the same or less as a new Stromung axleback is going to cost. The headers and cat section are just the first part of the "system". They better they flow the more power. The stock manifold is restrictive, that is why aftermarket headers exist...they flow better. Do some research in the N/A forum re: the difference between the Borlas (unequal length) and COBB, TWE, OBX, RalliTek (Equal Length). The cat is all about emissions and the environment. Take it out and your car will stink, be loud as hell, and have a bit more power. A hi-flow cat is kind of the best of both worlds, it flows better, so more power, but it also works as an emissions device so you aren't polluting so much. A full exhaust, EL headers, hi-flow cat, catback would get you to your desired 190chp.

The reason some of the springs are rated at different drops front vs. rear is that the front will appear to be lower than the rear if the the rear isn't dropped a bit extra. It has to do with the geometry of the front fender outline.

If you want a shortshifter go for a Kartboy with bushings. No real need to do any other drivetrain mods unless you really have the money for a LW flywheel/install.

The GFB pulley kit is underdriven, so that means that your accessories (ie stereo, headlights) might be dimmer than usual. I would avoid the UD pullies and go with a Mr. Josh. www.mrjosh43.com

As for plugs, for the best performance go with Copper. For the longest life go for plats/irid. The copper plugs are under $1.50 each, so that is pretty nice compared to the $10.00 or more for the others.

A rear sway bar would be the other big upgrade. Even an Outback bar will be an upgrade, as it is 18mm, I think, and your's is 15mm. IPD or Whiteline are good choices too, but they are about 2-3x more money.

good luck.

Jared
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:51 PM   #7
CarlitoQC
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Thanks for the reply, please keep posting!

WRX 2002 is 225hp i think (almost sure)

I don't wanna sound dumb but what is chp vs whp?

I was expecting around 190hp based on description on boxer4racing
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:48 PM   #8
Bakergtt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlitoQC
Thanks for the reply, please keep posting!

WRX 2002 is 225hp i think (almost sure)

I don't wanna sound dumb but what is chp vs whp?

I was expecting around 190hp based on description on boxer4racing
Subaru = 25-30% power loss to wheels (whp) from the crank (chp)

190whp = about 255 chp

190chp = about 142whp

im pretty sure the wrx hp is chp which puts them at about 169whp
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:15 PM   #9
Kraziken
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Answers inline

I was also thinking about other parts but i need advices first.

Here's the part i already bought or planning to buy from eBay:
- Brembo drilled rotors (F+R) - bought
- PBR Metalmaster pads (F+R) - bought
- KYB GR2 struts (F+R) - 218$USD + shipping
- Eibach Pro-Kit springs (F+R) - 209$USD + shipping

Did you buy the rotors? You may want to look at upgrading to larger WRX front brakes or H6 rear brakes before investing in expensive rotors

The only upgrades I've done so far:
- Toyo Proxes performance tires 16"
- K&N air filter (+5 HP ??)
- 2 front control arms (OEM repair)

*** Be modest/realistic about HP gain estimation, this way i won't be disappointed :P My EJ25=165HP at stock and I'd like to achieve 190HP. Also I can use an estimated time for installation on every upgrades (Exhaust, brakes, etc.) it would be more then appreciated... a rough estimate would be perfect ***

190 crank hp is possible, but involves quite expensive cams heads, etc. Most people investigate these options and decide it is not worth the cost.

EXHAUST:
My plan is to change only the muffler. The whole line is too expensive for now. My main gold here is to improve the sounds (it needs to be not too loud but something noticeable, i've heard that Stromung are very nice) I'm also looking to slightly improve performance.

1. Since my headers, cat section aren't too bad would it be a good idea to change every gaskets/bushings for the entire exhaust line and add only the Stromung 3.5" muffler? How much HP could i gain?
I would change only the gaskets for the portions of the exhaust I'm replacing, unless you have leak problems. 5 to 10 hp gains I think are possible with a catback. As folks have mentioned, Cobb equal length would probably give you the most power, but they are very expensive.

2. What is the difference if i buy or not the center pipe? Only difference is if you go to a larger pipe. There can be a loss of torque if you upgrade to an exhaust pipe size too large. If you seriously consider a swap, you may want to wait until you do the swap, or look into buying a used catback for a temporary solution.

3. Will this be a good setup without the headers and cat-back? and will it sound good?If you like a louder, sportier exhaust it may sound good. Equal lengh headers change the boxer note, and some do not like the characteristic change, I myself included in that group


4. What is the cat section and headers duty exactly? (i know it sounds like exhaust 101...)

Here is a link on information on headers How Headers work

Here is a link on how cats work How catalytic converters work






5. How much time to install muffler only + gaskets/bushings everywhere between exhaust parts?

A muffler only or exhaust back change does not take long. For somone unexperienced I would say 90 minutes depending on the difficulty of removing any rusted bolts



SUSPENSION:
After searching on the net, It seems that the KYB struts ar the way to go for my budget and my performance seeking. I've choosed Eibach over H&R because they lower equality both wheels (1.2").

1. Is there any other parts I should upgrade at the same time? Like rods, bushings, struts tops, etc. I want to keep it simple on this upgrade but if there's something important i should do I'd like to know

I think a lot of folks change out top hats, but I don't think it is an absolute necessity. I'd only recommend springs and struts at the same time, some folks choose to do them seperately.

2. Also a year ago when i've bought the car, the subaru technician who've done the inspection said that the sway bars were defective, i think he said that the sway bar bushings needed to be replace... any advices on this?

Sway bar bushings are not very expensive, and are very easy to change. Kartboy or Whiteline are popular replacement items. But I would go ahead and replace these when you replace the swaybars

3. Should i consider installing a front struts bar? Also do you know if BG5 struts bar are compatible with my BD sedan?
It's generally considered a front Strut bar is mostly for bling. There's nothing wrong with that. Just consider future upgrades. If you do want a turbo engine, the front strut bar may limit your intercooler options if you choose to go larger than stock WRX/STI. BG front struts should work with your Sedan.

4. How much time to install struts and srpings at 4 wheels?
With no experience, I would probably schedule out a whole day and also rent some proper spring compressors and such. Professional services can have it installed in a few hours

ENGINE:
My engine is a little more over 120k miles. All i want is to keep it in good shape and add a little power (hopefully next year i'll might have enough money for a swap). I have to change the timing belt because it's time so i figure why not upgrading pulleys at the same time.

1. I have a K&N air filter already, should i consider cold air intake? what would be the benifit and what is recommended?
Expect from 2 to 5 hp gains on the cold air intake, however, you do give up a considerable amount of civility in noise. Most people, including myself, have been surprised by the new roar coming from the engine compartment with a CAI. You can expect some gas mileage improvement, but you can also expect a loss in gas mileage, as most people will ride the throttle harder with the new found power, however slight it is. You will lose some low end torque, in exchange for more power higher in the rpm range

2. Is the GFB kit is a good option? (3 pulleys, 2 belts)
I can't comment as I have no experience in this area, although as mentioned underdrive pulleys are not recommended if you have a large stereo, etc.

3. Any other things i should do to help the engine and add power?
Cams and heads, again, this is expensive. There's also weight reduction at the increase of NVH

4. What happen if my head gasket blows? (cost for repair?)
Head gasket repairs can range from $1000 to $1500 from what I've seen. The parts are not too bad if your willing to try to tackle the repair job yourself. This is if your engine block does not have any warpage problems from overheating

5. What about engine swap (if sometime bad happens or if i find more $$$...), what are the better options here? JDM EJ25 like i have or some earlier turbo evolution or even a WRX/STI engine? What could be labor cost for those swaps? (exc. engine price) Are you doing it at boxer4racing?
Complete EJ20 USDM, or JDM engines can range from $2500 to $3300 from what I've seen. Certain JDM STI and the USDM STI engines can range from $4000 to $6000 for the motor (intercooler, turbo, electrical wiring etc). This is just a rough guess from what I've seen when looking for theses sources.

Labor cost is dependant on the engine and what electrical is involved, such as swapping out the complete STI ecu, drive by wire throttle, etc (in my case). By far the biggest cost is the actual parts, not the labor from what I've experienced and researched.

Good sources are all over the place. The cheapest and slightly riskier sources are e-bay and also in the for sale member forum in Nasioc. Checking former seller rating is important here. Otherwise, looking in your local NASIOC region chapter and asking local members of shops that can obtain the hardware and labor sources is your best bet. The cost of parts/engines etc may be more expensive, but you're also going to a reliable source, and have less chance of getting ripped off.

Also consider the age of your transmission and what power you will be pushing. You will most likely need either a rebuild, or replacement of your current tranny. NA Subies use a Push type clutch, while Turbo cars use a Pull type clutch, so if a swap is in your future, you may want to hold off buying an expensive aftermarket clutch.


6. NGK OK but platinum, irridium or copper?
I can't comment on type, but NGK in general appear to be brand of choice on all the car forums I visit

BRAKES:
Already bought Brembo rotors + PBR pads at 4 wheels. I didn't bought SS lines because I'm not changing calipers.
The SS lines is a good upgrade, for the most part, should work with most future brake upgrades

1. Anything else i should be doing with this upgrade?
Consider WRX fronts and H6 rears as I mentioned earlier in this post. Larger brake rotors will give you better brake "feel."
2. Should i replace brake fluid with Motul?
Have no experience with Motul, but I have used Super Blue racing fluid.

3. They aren't installed yet, estimated time for installation?
Brakes is one of the areas most home mechanics can tackle, I would alot 3 or 4 hours if you've never done it. Check out Scoobymods.com

DRIVETRAIN:
I'm not sure what i need or want to do here. Probably looking for a short shifter and may be a new clutch.
1. If I buy a short shifter, should i also change the clutch (mine seems to be all right)
A short shifter has no relevance really to the clutch, it can be upgraded at any time

2. Is Daikin USA clutch(made by Exedy?) is a good choice.. They seems to be half price compared to Exedy
I have no experience with Daikin, check out the drivetrain forum. Clutches can be something that has a lot of personal preferences in regards to feel, etc. So I would research before committing to one make

3. Anything else about drivetrain?
Shifter bushings are not very expensive, and greatly improve feel. Upgraded tranny mounts also helps remove the "slop" in our transmissions, but again at the expense of NVH.
4. Time to replace clutch? (short shifter is suppose to be less than an hour right?)
Clutch replacement, is serious work. It is considered a headache by most, I would alot a whole day if you've never done it before. Short shifter about an hour is right.[

OTHER:
That's your call here. anything else i should consider... Fluids replacement, electronics?

I'd recommend brake and suspension upgrades. Power upgrades are very sexy, but the cost is the issue. Power can be had in N/A form, but the cost is to an extent it is not worth the hassle. Max out the suspension and brake mods that you are comfortable with and your car will be much more rewarding to drive.

If you seriously consider a swap, definately consider the negatives (resalve value, down time involved,). There are more and more swapped Legacies it seems. There are also plenty of folks who have left the Legacy platform, and just traded in for a WRX or new Legacy GT that is turbo from the factory.

My question in this regards is always, how much do you love your car? The Value in a swap is the use you get out of the car. The costs is something you'll never recover monetarily.



I know it is a long post with lots of questions. Thanks to anyone that takes time to help me out...believe me i need help, i'm very new into tuning and mecanics.

Thanks a lot, hope my english is good enough to get some help!
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:29 PM   #10
Wiscon_Mark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlitoQC
I don't wanna sound dumb but what is chp vs whp?
chp is Crank HorsePower
whp is Wheel HorsePower

There is no such thing as a perfect machine, so you will never have the same power at the wheels as the power at the crank (which is how most auto companies rate the cars). Unfortuately, because we have AWD, instead of one differential, we get 3, so that's adding more "machines" to the power equation, thus losing more power. AWD Subaru suffer from ~25% power loss to the wheels, which means that an STi making 300 chp is only making slightly more than an SRT-4 making 250chp (as SRT-4s are FWD).
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:38 PM   #11
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Thanks Kraziken! Lots of good info.

BRAKES
I already bought the Brembo and PBR brakes...less than 300$ I guess for that price, it will be a good upgrade. I didn't look for bigger rotors..i though calipers had to be change with them... Anyway brakes will be better this. I've heard that SS lines only modified feel on brake paedal and it wasn't worth it with stock calipers.
EXHAUST
There seem to be a leak somewhere around the cat section (sounds a little wear and some exhaust smell) so this is why i'm considering changing gaskets. I have an inspection tomorrow at Subaru so I'll figure out where the problem is with the technician. I'll change gasket where it have to be change, i agree with your point. And yes i'll add the Stromung muffler... mostly for the look and sound...and any HP improvment i can have
SUSPENSION
KYB GR2 + Eiback Pro-Kit change at the same time. Here, Quebec roads are very bad so that upgrade will be very noticeable, this country is a shock killer! Anyone thinks that 1.2" drop could be too much for my region?
ENGINE
underdrive pulleys? i'm not familiar with this either. I have a 400w amplifier? not very big stereo but more power than stock for sure? any help here. I thought since i have to change the timing belt let's invest on that upgrade. They look awesome and everywhere it says 5-10hp. Any other caracteristics?
I think I'll keep my K&N air filter replacement. No engine swap in sight, may be in 50 miles if my EJ25 die, than simply swap a JDM low melage EJ25. I don't feel like spending 8K$ on power. Shhort shifters are probably awesome to drive and my clutch is in good condition. Less performance upgrades could result in a few exterior mods.

Thanks for any comments, it helps!
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:05 PM   #12
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Either the front or the rear upgrade, allows you to re-use the calipers. I can't recall, but if you search this forum, you'll find it. It's been awhile since I did this upgrade, but I think it is the front.

If your concerned about bad roads, I think you might want to look at Whiteline Control springs. I think they offer the Least amount of Drop.

I think a complete swap can be done in the $4k or $5k range. Depending on the engine choice, etc.

Any extra power draw, like an AMP and I'd recommend just a lightened pulley if anything. I don't think they offer much. Underdrive pulley is a smaller pulley so it is less of a drain on the engine.

A lot of this is covered already, but I thought I'd give you a head start. The FAQ at the top of this forum and searching are valuable tools.

When you have a section of expertise you want to investigate, don't forget the other technical sections of this forum as well.
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