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Old 11-18-2007, 09:57 PM   #1
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Member#: 87871
Join Date: May 2005
Default '97 Impreza Brighton to '99 2.5RS Dash Conversion Questions

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Last edited by uberspeed; 01-31-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:13 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 45715
Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: pittsburgh
1995 2.?L miami vice
Heavy Metal


[quote=uberspeed;20093012]Hey guys,

Im in the midst of a 2.5 RS interior swap into a 97 Impreza Brighton. I got into a couple snags that hopefully someone can help me out with.

1. The beam for the dash does not bolt up to the lower mount points. The Brighton mounting points are about 1.5 to far toward the front of the car. Whats the recommendation here? Drill the mount out and move it back? Make a spacer? I was intending to use the heat ducts from the 2.5 as well but those brackets interfere with it as well. Photo included below.

2.The airbag control unit in mounted just fore of the shifter on the Brighton and obviously does not fit there with the 2.5 RS center console in place. Can someone tell me where it goes on the RS? Photo included below.

3.Does the RS gauge cluster use the same plugs as the Brighton (this
is one part I do not have for comparing myself)?

1. I can't remember how I dealt with this one...but I remember I had to do a bit of fabrication. I thought that it was close enough that I was able to enlarge a mounting hole and get 2 bolts in.

2. If you are swapping dashes...you will need to use the newer airbags so you should use the newer module. Then you can remove the 97 module as the 99 sits further towards he firewall.

3. No. They are completely different. You will either need to do some spicing...or ghetto fit your 97 cluster in.

If you get stuck...or need parts hit me up. I have a complete interior that I'll be parting soon. The biggest lesson I learned with the dash swap is that it is ALL or nothing. You need to do a FULL interior (door panels, center console, etc.) to make it fit correctly.
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Old 11-19-2007, 03:53 PM   #3
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Member#: 158940
Join Date: Sep 2007

This is actually my conversion. I'm just not allowed to post yet. =P

I also noticed that the steering column does not bolt up. Do I need to swap the column to make everything fit or can I just get/make brackets?
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:40 AM   #4
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Member#: 45715
Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: pittsburgh
1995 2.?L miami vice
Heavy Metal


My deal is different than yours because I rewired my car and had to use the turn signals and wipers from the new-style dash so that they were plug-and-play. The problem with the column is that the 97 is a different diameter where it goes through the firewall...so the newer style won't just bolt in. Plus your old wipers/signals won't mount to the new column. You may want to see if you can fab your old column to work with the new dash re-bar--that will be your simplest solution. It is possible because I have a modified 96 column mounted to my 99 dash.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:16 PM   #5
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Member#: 90681
Join Date: Jul 2005
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Bel Air Subaru Club
98RS w/07 WRX swap!
02 WRX to 04 STi to swap!


I'm in the midst of this conversion myself. 96 brighton to 01 RS.
Keep in mind that I have not successfully bolted the dash in completely just yet, as I'm swapping the motor too.

1. I simply pushed really hard with my leg until the beam bent in just enough to get a bolt in. I also had to bend the bottom edge of the drivers side in order for it to fit and I removed the heat ducting that leads to rear. The bolt holes dont line up perfectly so you will only be able to get one into each side and in order to get the upper two in, find the closest drill.

2. +1 to pit crew? Mine went bye-bye as I'm not running airbags, so i cant really be of much help here.

3. From what I have read, you can simply re-pin a 98RS or version 4 cluster....there is a good DIY on rs25.com. Anything newer and your going to have to do some splicing. You will also need to pick up an electronic speed sensor to replace the cable sensor in the brighton and wire that in.

4. You can swap just the bracket for the steering column from the RS to the brighton and it will bolt up with no problem. Dont bother swapping the whole column....modifying the firewall and etc. is not worth your time.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:57 AM   #6
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Member#: 31345
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wisconsin
05 LGT, GC8, NA
blue, white, blue


I did the converison from 94L to 01rs. theres another guy on rs25 that did the swap. I'm going to conclude that the 97's are easier to swap since some of the parts u can make work easier vs a 94L

the 93-95 shared a lot of the same parts they changed it up in 96-97.

if u do a search for the dash swap converison on rs25 or here theres not a lot of threads but the ones that do exist are pretty good. rs25 has a really good one
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:08 PM   #7
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Member#: 98807
Join Date: Oct 2005
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: The Mullet Mafia
1999 RSTi


The one thing I can't stand in a Subaru is that tan interior! lol
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:08 AM   #8
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 31550
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: SF Bay Area
2002 WRX


I'm doing a similar thing though mine is a '95 going to '98 interior. The part I am hung up on most recently is the A/C box - the firewall hole is different between the '95 and the '98 so I guess I need to modify my firewall. I haven't seen anyone else go through this yet - done a lot of searching. Any ideas?
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