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Old 04-02-2021, 10:40 PM   #1
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default Another RWD Subaru (long story)

Hello people of Nasioc
Been on here a long time but never posted much, I've had a bunch of Subarus and did the usual mods for years. Wheels, springs, exhaust that sorta thing....




None of it seemed different enough to post about...

A few years ago I received a 2005 FXT from a friend that wouldn't pass inspection it needed a filler neck, exhaust work, tires ,brakes the whole lot. It was on it's second engine but had a VF39 turbo. I Fixed as much as I cared to and put it on the road, daily drove it for a while, it developed noise in the 5speed but I had another car so I wasn't too concerned.
Eventually the "other car" turned into our rally cross project.




SO I continued driving the FXT for a while until I went to a drift event with a fiend of mine and got to go for a ride in his early 90's 240sx street/drift car. He was running a holset turbo on the 2.4 Nissan engine that he built up over the previous winter.


I was hooked, but didn't have a RWD platform car, I did have a forester that had a "kinda" broken 5 speed and a welder so I took a locked up center diff and did the usual thing Welded it up!



In case you were wondering later wrx 6speed and earlier 5 speed center diff's are not the same.
Yeah I know I know "great job you welded the center diff, It's not a 240 the diff can't take it"
And it couldn't the rear diff lasted one hard rip and the Limited slip part was dead it was a one legger no good for drifting much less normal driving. I kept driving it for a bit until it completely gave up pulling into my driveway and wouldn't move at all.
And there it sat for a couple weeks, I researched and started trying to get parts together to fix it. I was still looking to drift it but didn't know which direction to go. I had seen some pics of R200 rear diffs in subarus for RWD conversions so that seemed like a good place to start. The same friend with the 240sx found a car with no engine not too far away. We went and grabbed it one afternoon and started pulling it apart.



It got torn ALL the way apart, I got the diff and axles and my friend took everything else.
At that point I had a rear diff and axles, no sure way to connect the Nissan axles to the Subaru hubs ( without spending lots of money) and a still broken transmission. I knew STi 6 speeds were capable of holding more power but they've gotten pretty pricey and come with their own swap troubles.

Enter the Nasioc forums, All the credit for getting this whole project moving forward goes to lodown1 and this thread https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2299743
among lots of amazing fab work He took a BRZ transmission and mated it to his 3.0 h6 powered forester. It took some cutting and welding of the starter part of the bell housing but it worked and BRZ trannys are CHEAP! plus they are lighter and have no front diff so no more front axles. Sounded awesome on paper, I hopped over to fleabay and found one for 425 shipped!
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Last edited by Mul; 04-02-2021 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:41 PM   #2
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default

Once I had the transmission I needed a 5speed bellhousing starter mount, easy, I pulled one at the local U pull it yard and cut it up. Then I had the pleasure of cutting into a perfectly good $425 part I just got. A little scary but no pain no gain right?


I bolted the peieces to a spare turbo block to keep everything lined up and welded the starter mount to the BRZ bell housing. It was now capable of cranking the engine over. Great! next I had to lengthed the BRZ shift linkage to fit it in the stock location in the Forester. Not too hard just made some extender bits and cut the shift rod to extend it, the shifter ended up a little far forward when in neutral (still have to fix that) but it worked! After bench pressing the trans in and out of the car a handful of times and shimming the engine mounts about 6mm it was finally bolted in. I used a push style WRX exedy 6 puck clutch and the brz throw out bearing to make the clutch system work.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:56 PM   #3
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default

Now that I had that part of the driveline figured out I pushed the FXT out of my garage, onto my friends trailer, and unloaded it over at his 1 bay shop to get into some heavier surgery.



No turning back! Not without a new subframe anyway. I measured and measured and test fit the Nissan rear end up in the space in the sub frame, trimmed away parts that were in the way and used the mount plate from the 240sx rear subframe to get the diff up into the forester.



That barely cleared the fuel tank but a hammer made the needed space a reality. The next problem on the list was the axles and hubs, the nissan ones are much beefier and would not fit into the subaru hubs.


I didn't really want to go through a shop to build custom axles, I explored welding cv shafts together but that seemed not safe or reliable and I would be screwed if I broke one at an event without a common spare part. I decided to try to make the whole nissan axle work with the set up. Without access to a lathe or anything I didn't think i would be able to make the nissan hubs fit in the subaru rear bearing so I got to searching the interweb and found V8wrx's website. There was weld it yourself kit for the v8 swap guys to do exactly what i was trying to do so I ordered the kit and went about finding the rest of the parts i would need. The kit uses mustang cobra rear brake parts and some other bits most i was able to find at the u pull it yard again SCORE! the other stuff I picked up online. Once the plates showed up I assembled them and got welding. Painted them gloss black and put
everything together on the car.


A very important part was still missing, I measured for a drive shaft and contacted The Drive Shaft Shop to get a custom driveshaft ordered. While that was in the works I worked on some other stuff on the car like a FMIC, an External gate for the noise (duh), and a fire extinguisher


Also picked up some used bcracing coilovers and new lateral arms to make alignment adjustments easier. Along with that a set of wheels off of a friends brz, staggered fitment with 255 rear and 235 fronts to daily drive on.

Last edited by Mul; 04-02-2021 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:08 PM   #4
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default


The car sat low and I had to run a adapter spacer to go from the Nissan 5x114.3 to 5x100. It was back on the ground though!
I continued tinkering with things like parking brake, ride height, exhaust and so on hoping the driveshaft would come in before the drift event I wanted to make it to happened.

AND it did! On the Thursday before the event. And it rubbed on the body of the car. I made some room with the hammer and took it for its first test drive. Did a few burn outs and loaded it on the trailer to leave the next day and attempt to drift it.

Made it to the event late on Friday eager to try the car out on Saturday, spun out immediately and this happened on the first run.....

Spent the better part of the day fixing the car to try again but there were still problems, the axle was pulling itself apart and the car was down on power making it even harder to get sideways. Still some photographers made it look good.

After getting back home I looked into fixing my axle problem, I found a Gktech product designed to help s chassis cars that were really low with a similar problem they space the outer axle stub in from the hub to shorten the overall travel and keep the cv joint together.
Those along with a spacer I had the local machine shop make up to use on the inside and it seemed like the problem was solved. Oh and the power loss was from my blown out up pipe gasket an easy fix!
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:09 PM   #5
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default

Here's a picture of the spacer for the cv axle to take up some of the space:


I was able to put the axles back together with some new boots and actually daily the car for a few weeks back and forth to work. I did a full alignment and tried to pull out as much camber as possible from the rear.

I was feeling pretty good about the car so I drove it to another event, my friend has his car on a trailer if anything went wrong with the forester we would switch just to get home.
The event went really good! Burned throigh a set of tires and actually was able to slide the car around.
I'll try to get some videos up eventually
But heres a few shots from that event


Last edited by Mul; 04-08-2021 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:09 PM   #6
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default

The car survived a 2.5 hour drive some novice drifting and the trip home!
I was super happy about the whole result and even killed a set of tires. Some of the adjustments I had made to the suspension seemed to have helped as well, just needed more seat time.

I signed up for a 1 day event in another month and kept driving the car every few days, changed the front caster settings and added some steering rack spacers to try to get a bit more steering angle.

This time we loaded the car on the trailer for the event, I got lots of seat time there were only a few other cars.


The track layout was a long straight into the first turn so I was getting all the way into 3rd, made a lot of laps throughout the morning and early afternoon until this happened:

^sorry the quality was not great

I was back to having the same problems with axles specifically the drivers side one. The car sat for a while as I tried to decide how to fix the issue. I didn't really want to spend 1,000 plus for a R200 rear subframe and I really like to do things myself if I have the means.

I pulled the whole rear subframe out, began making measurements and building a jig to make a tubular rear frame that would better hold the r200 in the correct place.


Last edited by Mul; 04-09-2021 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:10 PM   #7
Mul
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default

(reserved)to be continued...
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:23 PM   #8
Jdmcs2
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Member#: 523480
Join Date: Apr 2021
Default

Good luck on your journey!
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Old 04-06-2021, 03:18 PM   #9
Mul
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Member#: 156171
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle:
2005 FXT RWD

Default

Thanks!
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