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Old 03-26-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
Subachouli
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Default 98 BK GT w/ rust or clean 99 Brighton? (long)

Ok fellow Legacy fanatics, I have a dilemma.

I have a 1998 Legacy GT wagon with 150k. I purchased it about a month ago. I love the car and the "GT" options. The car has moderate rust/rot in the rear quarter panels and rust on the bottoms of the doors. I paid $2000 for it.

Monday I have an appointment at a body shop to repair the rust (patch, not new OEM panels). The car is in need of a repaint, which would be done this summer. Color would also be changed.

Today I stumbled upon a local 1999 Legacy Brighton with around 120k. I can pick it up for a little more than the cost of the body work on my GT. I have yet to take a closer look, but the car appears to be rust free. I'm also happier with the color.

Option A: Buy the clean Brighton. Swap over my GT exterior bits (bumpers, hood, side skirts, spoiler), leather interior, and alloy wheels. Swap Brighton parts onto my rusty GT, and sell it to recoup the cost.

Option B: Forget the Brighton, fix my GT, paint it, and hope the rust doesn't come back.

I know that with the Brighton I'll be losing the 165hp 2.5 liter, but my plan with either car was to clean up the body and drive it til it died, and then swap in an EJ205.

What else would I be losing that couldn't be fixed with fun go fast aftermarket parts?

My head is spinning a bit at the moment and I'm sort of wishing I never saw the Brighton.. but rust is the death of these cars.

thanks for any advice
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Last edited by Subachouli; 03-26-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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1996 Impreza coupe

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I personally would rather have the GT just for the EJ25 rather than the EJ22. Not that it's a huge difference, but the extra power and torque is always nice. And the EJ25 is more likely to die sooner (due to the ol' head gasket malady) than the EJ22, so you'd be able to move on to your EJ205 plan quicker. Other than that, there's really nothing on the GT that can't be replicated with fun go fast aftermarket parts.

As for swapping the GT body parts onto the Brighton... The bumpers on the '99 should be the same as your '98 GT. The front bumper should be identical, but the Brighton probably has the foglight delete louver things, or just nothing at all in the foglight holes. The rear bumper should be identical, too, but the Brighton doesn't have the rear lower air dam thingy, but that just bolts on. The side skirts would be a problem - the GT rocker panels are different than the non-GT rocker panels. The non-GT ones don't have any holes for the plastic clips that hold the GT side skirts on.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
Jonathan
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Quick Silver Metallic

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If your GT only has rust on the lower doors and rear quarter panels, then I would stick with the GT... On the other hand it is highly likely that there is much more rust all over the under-carriage. Get it checked out before you commit money to the car.

My guess is the Brighton will be more durable and get a few more MPG.

If you are only really interested in basic no frills reliable transportation the Brighton might be the better choice.. although having power windows, mirrors and basic stuff like a tachometer are all things I would prefere...

Also understand that the Brighton doesn't have a whole lot of sound insulation, and the suspension and brakes are fairly whimpy. Its fine for normal day to day commuting, although driving in Massachusetts really doesn't count as "normal" commuting, IMHO.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
huntz0r
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The Brighton has softer suspension and smaller brakes with rear drums, and an open diff in the rear. You could swap those bits from your GT also, but it's not like swapping seats an wheels.

Tach and cruise control are easy to put into a Brighton.

I happen to like the bare-bones-ness of the Brighton (given a few small additions like CC) and its lighter weight. But it will take some work to be as fun as the GT. Also if you're going to wait for that 2.2 to die so you can do an engine swap you're gonna be waiting a long LONG time heh.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
PMDSOA
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Stick with the gt. I love the ej25, i drove an 98 outback with a 99 2.2swap, 5mt and it wasnt as enjoyable as my outback with the 2.5.

Unless you pick up the brighton and have them both, use the gt until a HG problem and use the brighton. Thats what id do. Just rustoleom the rust for now

Ive also read thay the 99 2.2 has a timing belt eating disorder. Because they tried making a perfomance single cam engine which made it more prone to timing belt failures. I could be wrong.

Last edited by PMDSOA; 03-28-2011 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:50 AM   #6
Subachouli
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Thanks for the advice everyone. The GT is currently at the body shop. I'm having the rust cut out of the rear quarters. New panels are being welded in, and when I get the car back I'll being giving it a healthy dose of POR15.

It would've been too much work to swap everything that I like about the GT into the Brighton. I had no idea the Brighton was so bare bones. I already have a loud and stiff WRX for the weekends and I wanted something more refined as my daily/family car.

Also, it turns out the Brighton wasn't as clean as I had thought. The underside was no cleaner than mine (which is in exceptional shape considering the rust spots that formed on my quarters). The title was also branded "True Mileage Unknown", which wasn't a deal breaker, but gave me more reason to stick with my GT.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:49 PM   #7
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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TTIWWOP

Any chance you could post some "before" and "after" photos of your GT ?
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:03 AM   #8
Jpilch16
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Default T.b. issues

Ive had my brighton since 174k its at 210k now and the belt is still perfect
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMDSOA View Post
Stick with the gt. I love the ej25, i drove an 98 outback with a 99 2.2swap, 5mt and it wasnt as enjoyable as my outback with the 2.5.

Unless you pick up the brighton and have them both, use the gt until a HG problem and use the brighton. Thats what id do. Just rustoleom the rust for now

Ive also read thay the 99 2.2 has a timing belt eating disorder. Because they tried making a perfomance single cam engine which made it more prone to timing belt failures. I could be wrong.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:38 PM   #9
Charlie-III
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpilch16 View Post
Ive had my brighton since 174k its at 210k now and the belt is still perfect
A 6 year thread bump for that?

Glad your TB is fine, when was it changed last?
Our 99 Impreza L 2.2 never ate a timing belt. Shrug.
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