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Old 07-19-2005, 03:39 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 38629
Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Northwest
1999 Legacy GT (STI)

Default Motor swap options.

Joining the swapped BD club soon.

I'm taking a ride today in a stage 1 WRX. I've never personally driven an STI.

But I'm concerned about losing some low end grunt.

Just wondering some opinions on motor options, opinions from Legacy owners who've taken the plunge.
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Last edited by Kraziken; 07-19-2005 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-19-2005, 03:56 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 52324
Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Pelham, NH
2011 WRX LTD (FS)
1990 T30 miata


the USDM WRX has tons of aftermarket support. Plus, tons of people know them in + out. Also, motors and/or full cars (crashed) can be had relatively inexpensively.

the USDM STI is quite faster, but also MUCH more expensive.

JDM stuff is neat and all, but you've got to consider the legalities involved. nothing like building a car that you can't drive/register/inspect.
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:15 PM   #3
iON Performance Inc
Member#: 7673
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kraziken -If you want to maintain good low end; consider a FXT or a OBXT swap.
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:16 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 38629
Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Northwest
1999 Legacy GT (STI)


Originally Posted by iON Performance Inc
Kraziken -If you want to maintain good low end; consider a FXT or a OBXT swap.
Oops, I meant to edit this post and make it a poll.

I have a 2004 EJ20 WRX motor in my garage now. As Iamrazor noted, WA state just passed some strict emissions that mirror California's. I have no idea when they go into effect so I didn't want any hassles in the future, so JDM options were thrown out the window.

The stage 1 WRX I drove was not too bad. What got me concerned was my brother's 92-X has no power under 3k. And from 3k to 4k it seemed pretty decent.

My options I've thought about.

Get my motor in, and proceed to a stage 2 or so at my leisure.

Sell my complete setup, and buy a WRX STi or Forrester XT/OBT as suggested, (although I think too many soccer mom's own the OB and Forrester, I suspect these are very hard to find).

Buy a EJ257 block and swap my internals. I'll only have the stock 2004 WRX turbo/intercooler, etc, but it leaves me with more growth room in the future. I haven't read any problems on this setup, but this is my daily driver. I don't want any reliability issues.

I just want to make sure I'm happy with the right setup before paying the labor to put it in. Making block changes/etc after the course, I assume would be even more expensive.
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:41 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 36735
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wellington,NZ / Willoughby,OH
99 GF8 Impreza 2.0
2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT


You could run a WRX setup with a UTEC ECM, and a more responsive snail w/ good headers, downpipe, uppipe etc. The UTEC is similar to the ECUtek, and I had the opportunity to check out the Streetuner software on a fellow club member's car (04 WRX wagon). Looked very clean and easy to use, and he was reporting hitting 18psi in 2nd gear, with an 18g turbo.
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:56 PM   #6
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Member#: 60224
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NOVA
2008 FXT Sports 2.5
Dark Grey Metallic


A couple points from my opinion:

1. Canít help you with the decision to sell or swap but I can speak for the EJ20 capabilities. I too test drove a stock wrx prior to my swap and was honestly pretty disappointed in its performance. My swap was built to stage-II before I even got it out of the garage and boy what a difference. Iím currently Stage-III and run nearly 260hp to the wheels and itís a blast. I ran an STI down the 1/4 mile once and was beat by a half car length at 2/10ís of a second to give you a comparison. Stock wrx puts down 170hp to the wheels, I canít imagine stage-I being much more than that. My point is that thereís so much potential out of the EJ20 platform and the ceiling is actually pretty high on stock internals.

2. I would keep the existing wrx bundle whole, either sell outright or use as is, rather then swap the short-block. Personally I wish I would have taken the approach of sourcing an EJ257, then wrx heads, harness, ecu, etc. for my swap project rather then a whole bundle. Now I want an EJ257 and you can pick them up brand new for $1,500 bucks! Alas, just keep building on the EJ20 until it pops, then you can upgrade to the sti shortblock.

For me, Iím going 18g turbo on my EJ20 with a custom liquid to air intercooler setup. Should net me in the mid 350hp to the wheels when all is said and done.
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