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Old 11-13-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 87664
Join Date: May 2005
Default Good candidate for swap or no? 97 GC brighton coupe

Looking for a beater for AWD winter driving then saving up to possibly swap it? I just wrecked my benz and have a nice insurance check. This is the car btw


I think it's a bit overpriced and it looks like rust on the rear quarter panels. What version Sti or Wrx turbo is a better fit or just easie to do? I'm thinking a full dropout would be best, engine/tranny/injectors/ecu/wiring at the very least. Is it common enough? I'm a barnyard mechanic and I've replaced engines before.

I think the Brighton is the lightest of the swaps too?! something like 2600lbs!
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
sense of nature
Scooby Guru
Member#: 112759
Join Date: Apr 2006
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: In the V hole!
2004 Stock OEM AsFu*


Well IMO the earlier Wrx (02-05) are easier, there will still have to be some sorta wire harness merge or swap .It's pretty common nowadays for these to be swapped .Iirc the 4 doors are actually lighter than the coupes due to the crash beam in the doors as well as the doors themselves being smaller.
I have a fully swapped STi 93 L & mine weighs in just a tad over 2680
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
NASIOC Supporter
Member#: 177
Join Date: Aug 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
The 93 W/EJ20K-sold
Subaru-less :(


rust -1
post 1995 -1

the 93fwd is the lightest at 2300

mechanically pretty easy, wiring wise its not easy

read the sticky at the top of the forum on the 99-wrx conversion
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:45 AM   #4
Team Scream
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Member#: 121532
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: SCIC
06 FXSTi, 06 FXTAT
06 STi Wagon, 99 GF Wagon


I think the weight advantage is lost once you convert it to AWD.

So from that perspective, anything up to 1995 if you want OBD-1 and 1996 to 2001 for OBDII (if emissions are less of a concern during your swap).
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
Scooby Guru
Member#: 5218
Join Date: Mar 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: SAUL'S Motorsports
96L Most Over-
Developed Beater


Not necessarily all lost with the AWD. My 96 Brighton weighs in at 2458 these days. Adding a motor only STi or 06+ WRX swap would likely only make it gain another 50-75lbs.

The 97 is a great candidate from an aesthetic view, and the weight should be about 2650-2700 as it sits.

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Old 11-29-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
Homemade WRX
Scooby Guru
Member#: 33782
Join Date: Mar 2003
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Mooresville, NC
96 3MI Racing LLC
search FIRST, then PM!!!


the lightest AWD was the 94 sedan. I paid $900 for my second 96 brighton 2 years ago, however it was in much worse condition paint wise.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:54 PM   #7
Scooby Guru
Member#: 159682
Join Date: Sep 2007
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Maine
1995 WRX
2015 F150


My 95 coupe is 2690 with 170 lb driver and 1/2 tank. So sub 2500 empty. That is AWD with wrx drivetrain and full interior, but minus uneeded stuff like ac, ps sound deadener bumper beams etc.

I like the old cars for swap, no hassles at inspection time. Here in PA 96 and older subaru only gets gas cap check and visual for cat.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:06 AM   #8
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 256218
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Concord, NC
2004 Impreza WRX
FP Black, 380whp


I have a brighton too. Looking to swap it soon.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:49 AM   #9
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 323097
Join Date: Jun 2012

Same here on Brighton owner club. Anyone have any advice on a swap to make reliable power in 400 range?
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:11 PM   #10
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 452801
Join Date: Aug 2016
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston
1997 ImprezaBrighton
Acadia Green


New to forum; 97 Impreza Brighton owner. I'm curious as to what more modern parts I can replace on it. Gonna keep the 1.8l engine; I was told that having a turbo engine would actually lessen torque while dirt driving, causing wheel spin. In the future I may want to push it up to 250 hp but I'm not worried about that.

I'd love to know what I can switch out on it! I can totally afford it.
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