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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is mostly the progress of my srp 2001 L coupe, but also some 98L and 2018 brz stuff.


I got the car in August 2011 with 100,500 miles. It was my first car, and it had lots of problems at the start. Almost sold it a few times, but once I read about all the swap stuff, I decided I had to keep it.

I messed with weight reduction, and fixing/upgrading the suspension while I gathered funds for the swap...lots of maintenance too...although the ej22 ran strong the whole time. It really was bulletproof. I had to have the transmission rebuilt, but was finally was able to start the swap summer 2014 and I got an ej205 in and running.

Fall of 2015 it was totaled (not my fault) and I spent a year slowly fixing the car myself with no collision experience. After tons of spot welds, test fits, wiring, and double checking......I got the car inspected and legal to drive again in November 2016, with a reconstructed title.

2017 and on will be dedicated to rust repairs,weight reduction, and self tuning.

Here are some up to date pictures, regardless of the different seasons:

The goods:


-USDM 02/03 ej205 (6/28/14)

-TGV deletes

-Grimmspeed catless uppipe, ceramic coated

-Cobb catted downpipe, ceramic coated

-02-05 wrx, Invidia q300 catback

-STi oil pan

-KillerB oil pick-up tube

-Avo turbo inlet

-lighter crank pulley, and no p/s or a/c pulleys

-Protune by Jermaine @TurboXS

-v3 accessport

-iWire merged harness


-'01 5mt (3.9) and cable clutch;
AndrewTech rebuild

-custom reinforced clutch fork

-'01 (oem) TOB, and pivot ball

-'06+ wrx clutch

-'06+ wrx pressure plate

-'06+ wrx flywheel

-TiC shifter linkage update and pivot bushings


-KYB excel-g struts (2/2/14)

-Eibach pro-kit springs 2/2/14)

-Group N front top hats (2/2/14)

-3/8 saggy butt spacers (2/2/14)

-18mm Outback rear sway bar

-20mm WRX wagon front sway bar (6/28/14)

-JDM GC8 crossmember (6/28/14)

-Whiteline steering rack bushings (6/28/14)

-Whiteline rear endlink bushings

-group N front-of-trailing arm bushings

-power steering delete


-Currently about 2690~ lbs.
-***Was at 2590, but the turbo engine swap and a full-size spare added well over 100 lbs back.

-Aluminum jdm gc8 hood

-USDM front bumper beam cut in half

-deleted a/c

-deleted power steering

-washer fluid tank relocated to trunk

-battery relocated to back seat

-removed hunk of metal from glovebox and under dash

-removed most sound deadening

-stripped trunk besides spare

-lighter wheels

-removed keyless entry system

-random little things. More soon.


Here's the progress from the beginning mostly in order. I'm going to add in some dates/mileage later on. Bear with the potato pictures for the first few pages. I eventually got a digital camera, and now a DSLR, so the pictures get progressively better in quality.

Warning, picture heavy:

-Bought late August of 2011, bone stock.

--some actual wheels to replace the steelies and decent tires too.

16x7 with 205/50-16 Conti DW

--This is the oldest pic I have of my car, and the only pic from the beach driving I have left.

--Rally armors, which get used on a daily basis on PA's crazy roads :unamused:

--Homemade light bar that mounts 2 hella 500's

How it looked last winter:

--Polyurethane rear end link bushings

This is when I learned how hard pressing bushings is.....

--New outer tie rods, ball joints, and front wheel bearings.

This is when I learned to hate wheel bearings and ball joints......

This is a ball joint removal tool......mine were really stuck.


Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
--ALL axles have been replaced at least once, some multiple times.

--New trailing arms, with group N front-of-trailing arm bushings already pressed in.

--Valve cover gasket, tube seals + grommets replacement.

--Picked up an RS hood, scoop, vents, and all painted SRP, REALLY cheap. I was gonna get one when I do the swap anyway, so why not?

--A deer ran into the drivers side of my car, yea ran into me. Right into the side, dents from the front fender to the rear 1/4 panel.
All fixed up, new door, and half the car repainted. Here it is after the body work:

--Ended up rattle-canning the wheels. Don't like the machined lip, dark spoke, style.....

How I bought them (unfortunately)

Better than how I bought them....and somehow the spray paint is holding up to the gravel roads.

--Dealer I got it from put some water-thin oil in the gearbox that left me with all gears grinding for over a year.
The transmission was rebuilt and new clutch installed by Andrewtech. They did an awesome job. Got the TIC shifter linkage update, and 5mt pivot bushings installed at the same time.

No more shifter slop or grinding gears! :banana:

--New "taco link" front lateral links with new bushings, new rear wheel bearings

--here's how it sat at 130,000

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

--Picked up an 18mm swaybar from a '98 Outback for $25. Direct bolt-up and easier to find than one from a WRX. It was at a u-pull-it place and the bolts were rusted, so I found another way to remove it:

The Outback was sitting on its brakes, so I couldn't get underneath to pull the bar out the normal way....instead I had to pull/wiggle/wrestle it out from the drivers side. Took like an hour of turning/pulling/yelling/more pulling to free it completely.

-Got my a/c discharged and deleted the system. Getting to this bolt on the compressor was the most difficult part.

-Compressor out:

-Pulling the condenser:

-After looking at all the bent fins on the condenser I concluded the radiator needed some protection from bugs and stuff:

I have some black mesh material mounted in front of the radiator where the bumper and grille open up. It gets gunked up from bugs after a while, so I just make another. I made a stencil so I can just cut a new piece of mesh quickly.

--Here's all my weight savings:

Total weight dropped: ~31 lbs. This was just the start of my weight savings. Next was the trunk:
-no donut
-no tire well cover thing
-no carpet
-some paneling removed
-some metal removed
-sound deadening removed

--Changed up my aux. lighting set-up. Moved the hella 500's to the bumper and bought some rigid industries LED's...and they are bright!
Stock headlights:

Headlights + LED floods:

On two SPST switches:

--picked up an RS wing

--More sound deadening removal. I used dry ice:
~under rear seat
~passenger side floor
-drivers side floor

The only stuff left is on the firewall and trans tunnel.

*more weight savings
--deleted washer fluid tank
--removed hunk of metal from glovebox
--lightweight crank pulley
--power steering delete
--lighter intake

Last time I got it weighed it was 2590....but since then I've added the full size spare which is around 35 lbs. Once I get a lighter battery and remove some more stuff I hope for mid 2500's with the full size spare.

Stuffing the rack with wheel bearing grease:

Empty engine bay:

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

--rattle-canned the wheels a darkish gold for winter.

--Michelin x-ice xi3's on right now.
Been getting use out them this winter:

I have new struts, springs, group N front top hats, and all the other stuff waiting to go on in the next few weeks...just waiting on a few more parts.

...and since I decided on a swap a LONG time ago, I finally got started on that. :banana:

Blown up ej205:

Bought that 2 weeks ago, and I've been tearing it apart in my house with hand tools. Got the heads off last weekend, and finally got the damn pistons out tonight. Gotta go get a 12 point socket to finish removing the case bolts and I can split the block tomorrow, well today now. Lol it's pretty late.

Had to get creative for the c-clip things:

Looks/feels like it was rod bearing from #4 that died. This is my first Subaru engine teardown, but everything else looks pretty clean to me. Cross hatching is good right?

Hoping to have it all ready to drop in, harness and all, by spring.

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Thanks! Today I finally got the block apart:


Everything else looks pretty good. Just gotta get it all to a machine shop next, to see how it looks in the nitty gritty and see what needs to be replaced.

Now here's a problem I ran into while splitting the block.
I broke this:

The oil cooler bolt threads into there.....and too many threads broke off so the bolt isn't long enough to tighten down.
Since those threads are on the block itself, is this bad?? The ONLY thing I can think of is finding a longer bolt...or even having one made.

Also broke this little bracket off whatever this piece is:

Atleast that is replaceable and I can just bolt another one on....the oil cooler bolt issue may be a real problem....

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
2001 Impreza L | WRX swapped | lightweight daily driver project

--The other week was single digits everyday, and a fuel leak developed. I smelled gas occasionally, but the super cold days allowed me to see exactly which hose was I replaced this little guy:

--Since the ej205 is completely torn down I've been cleaning up the parts to get it ready for the machine shop.
Got the valve covers almost all the way clean:

--FINALLY got rid of the stupid accordion shifter boot. Also cut the shifter down and re-threaded it back to 12x1.25 so I can use my stock knob. Got bored and made a few "knobs" out of random stuff....but this is the only one that turned out OK:

It's from that ej205. Not permanent.

--2 weekends ago, my impatience got the best of me and I decided to do my struts and springs myself. I rented some spring compressors and used all hand tools....wasn't too bad! Had to get some special sockets and wrenches but me and another friend got it done.

My car had the original L model struts/springs which were all blown, except one...which was like half blown, lol:

Since mine is about 200 lbs lighter than an RS, I think the RS stuff would lift me. I also didn't want to go too stiff because I really like the gravel roads around here. So I went with:
-KYB excel-g struts
-Eibach pro-kit
-Group N front top hats
-standard rear top hats
-cut bump stops
-3/8 saggy butt spacers

Broke all these:

Really evened out the ride height....not too low, and not too stiff.Maybe an inch drop. Maybe. Before, I could EASILY fit a full fist up front and the back sagged a lot...The 3/8 saggy butt spacers were the perfect size.
The whole set-up took out some body roll, less squat/dive on accel/braking. Much improved cornering and turn-in. Very happy so far.

Now. It actually sits really even, this is on uneven ground:

After working on it for waaaayy too long, I was able to just barely make it on time to my alignment. I swear, as soon as I tightened down the last lugnut I started the car and left :lol: :

--Finally found a bottle that I can use for my re-located & smaller windshield washer set-up. It's not the color I want, but is the right size so it'll work for now.
This is just a mock-up....I will paint the silver strap black or red, and run the hose and wire neatly:

No need for a gallon on de-icer and that huge container. This smaller one shouldn't really be visible since its behind those brake lines.

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Had some fun before the big snow came through:

We got tons of snow here yesterday, this was the beginning of the storm:

--The snow stopped for a little and I ran out to get some all weather floor mats. The nicer ones seriously weighed like 30 lbs. so I got the cheapest, thinnest ones I could find. These will definitely get the job done, and weigh next to nothing. :D

--It cleared up today so I was able to finish the washer tank relocation. I still need to find a better container but I wanted to make sure my mount would work...and run the wires and hose to the other side. Just had to swap the hose set-up around to make the factory hoses reach the passenger side.
Need to go back and use black zipties....but yeah it doesn't look the best up close, although you can hardly tell its there being behind the brake lines.

See....its pretty hidden behind those brake hardlines.

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Almost forgot about weight reduction....although I'm kinda running out of stuff to remove. A lighter battery is in the plans but I'm working on little stuff. Hope to be back in the 2500's soon, since the full-size spare bumped me back up a little.

Got started on removing some metal from the trunk. I already kinda started this before but I got more of it out today. There's some rust on the right corner so even more will probably come out later....not sure if that was any type of "bracing" but if so I could easily add some vertical structure back (3rd picture, lol).
After that I want to remove the jack bracket/mount, and the two tabs that held the spare tire cover. There's also some wires + their connectors I can trace, pull back, and cut.

Also removed both the broken cup holders. Kept the front part for the one on the dash so it looks nice and neat like one is still there....the one in the center console was all messed up and always fell off the little track. Probably going to remove the entire center console and get the rest of the sound deadening soon.

Formed a mud flap back in shape was bent in a "U" between the tire but luckily didn't get ripped off....stupid snow. Here's a random shot from today, usually they don't even plow the gravel roads:

Might get around to cleaning up more of this ej205 stuff tomorrow. I wrapped it up as soon as it was apart. :D

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Cleaned up the block halves and valve covers. Used chlorinated brake cleaner and probably turned my driveway into an EPA disaster.

Missed some spots and ran out of brake cleaner but most of the gunk is off.

The heads are supposed to be good, but I think I want to check them out and maybe refresh them too. Going to try to get the valves and springs out this week/weekend and finish cleaning everything off.

Started taking the glovebox out so I can remove the evaporator thing under the dash I forgot about.
Just want to be in the 2500's...

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

--Finally got that evaporator out last week. Combined weight with leaves and stink bugs was around 3 lbs. :D

--Last night I disassembled the ej20 heads. Other tools didn't work, so I used the c-clamp idea I read about, and it worked awesome. Then today I cleaned the heads and valves/springs/retainers....everything looks pretty good...but I think I want new valves at least:

Also last week I broke my fog lights...stupid ice...the LED's are fine though.
I filled the old holes and crack from where the lights broke from their mounts, and sanded it all down. I was about to finish re-spraying that spot but I got snowed out...2nd picture is how it will basically look like for a while:

I don't really like it...might get some circle lights again...or maybe I'll try to get a new/different bumper paint matched this spring...I've always liked the v3-v4 (I think) bumper.

On the bright side, since the engine is all the way disassembled and some-what clean, it's ready for the machine shop! :banana:
Gonna drop it off in the next few'll probably be there for a month or so...which means I can start gathering parts. :banana:

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

--Finished the bumper and light set-up repair, from when the lights were ripped out/broken.

All sanded down:


I really like this I might get one paint matched this spring. It will also allow me to cut my bumper beam and make it lighter!:

Also removed the old Hella 500 wiring and switch:

--Put a friends exhaust on for him and he practically gave me his set of wrx wheels. Probably gonna use them next winter or maybe for gravel fun this spring/summer:

Last weekend I basically had the whole interior out, cleaning under the carpet and seeing how the bare metal floors held up this winter....and they still look exactly the same...which is awesome! Got some other stuff done while I had the carpet up:

--More weight reduction!
Finally got more of the trans tunnel sound deadening. This stuff was THICK...and amazingly I was able to just rip it off with no dry ice or heat!!

Some stuff I remove is solely for weight reduction but some is old, broken and unneeded stuff. Like this part from the glovebox that was almost seized....which probably explains why I've always hated my it's really smooth and easy to open/close:

More stuff removed was:
-drivers side, REAR seat belt
-lots of nuts/bolts
-old wires/switches/plugs
-part of the center console

So maybe another 10 lbs or so?....getting close. Gonna try to get weighed this week/weekend at an accurate scale that also can tell f/r weight distribution...

....and since I randomly started thinking about weight distribution, I moved the washer fluid tank to the trunk. Needed to start moving things back, so this is a good also means I NEVER have to remove the washer fluid tank to work on the driver's side of the engine bay.

I plumbed the wires and hose through the same firewall grommet I use for my aux. light wires...then they run next to those 3 fuel or brake lines on the drivers side under the carpet...up onto the rear strut tower...and into the trunk.

I somehow read the size wrong and ran a slightly-too-large hose to connect the nozzles to tank...I didn't realize until I tested it out because the hoses still fit nice and snug....just not snug enough, and it was slowly seeping out. Got these watertight connectors, some pipe thread sealant, and...problem solved:

Found a fabric I like for my shift boot. It's almost like a canvas material, but softer. Here's a mock-up, but not sure if I like it yet:

Might go back to the connecting rod shifter. Also for the trunk....I'm gonna fill EVERY hole with body filler, sand the whole trunk down, and spray/dip it black or white. Gonna start at the trunk and work my way towards the front...just cleaning and protecting all the interior metal. Thankfully there isn't much rust, and I want to keep it that way.

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Thats a awesome shift knob you made haha
The connecting rod?

Thanks, haha. Can't tell if you're serious, or yanking my chain. :lol:

I've seen them around a few times and thought it was pretty cool. It screws on like a normal shift knob too.

Now you got me wanting to put it back on....although the shorter one in my last post feels really nice and solid with the newer shifter bushings I have.

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Smaller update.

50,000th mile I've put on this car, she's getting up there!:

...and so it begins.....this big box came on Tuesday:

Still needs ecu, but that should be what I need.

Yesterday I dropped off the ej205 block and heads to the machine shop. Roads are rough around here :lol:

Still can't decide on internals though. 79mm crank would be cool, but $$
Gotta see what the machine shop says first...

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Ok, bad news from the machine shop the other week....the threads I broke on the block are gonna cost too much to fix, so it's best to get more case halves or a new shortblock.
These threads: (oil cooler bolt)

Which is fine, but now I'm not gonna do the 2.1 I'm just getting a complete, running, used ej205 to swap in. This will save me like $2,000-$3,000 total in the swap, and make things easier for me. I wanted a new engine, but low mileage will do for now.

I also bought some more parts for the swap recently, and started digging this money pit even deeper:
-true gc8 crossmember
-dash harness from a '99 OBS
-new wheels

Will post pics of the harness and crossmember when I get it, but these are the wheels....I call them my "budget rally wheels". :D

16x7 with my 215/50-16's summers from last year:

The last update I put the washer fluid tank in the trunk, and there's an issue when doing that:
While braking down hills or heavy braking in general....washer fluid would shoot out without pressing the a valve of some sort was needed.

BRZcory gave me the idea to wire up a solenoid to the button....and it worked perfect.
Wired it in parallel with the button and placed the solenoid right before the nozzles. Since electricity travels faster than water, this set up works perfect! No more random washer fluid shooting out.

I need to clean up the install, wires and maybe mount it underneath the pitch mount, not right on top. I really just wanted to make sure it would work:

I also re-mounted my auxiliary light switch. Since I removed my old Hella wires and switch, I needed another switch plate to hold my one remaining switch. I just modified one of the blank switch covers:


Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Mostly ordering and waiting on parts now...since I'm attempting a weekend swap I'm getting everything done that I can, while still driving it. The ecu came the other week and I finally sent all the stuff out to iWire for the merge.

-slowly taking the dash/console stuff out and labeling connectors

-installed the new fuel pump early. I knew it would save time for the install weekend....especially since I broke a stud on the gas tank. :mad:

Dw300 pump. Larger, and better reviews than the 255:

-more parts came last week:
--gc8 crossmember
--gc8 hood/intercooler splitter
--wrx wagon front sway bar (20mm)
--v3 accessport

Wrx wagon bar is 20mm to my surprise...I thought it was 19. The 2-hole wrx brackets won't work, along with the bushings. I think the L/RS brackets and bushings work....I'll just ream the 19mm to 20mm.

I quickly sanded and sprayed the x-member and sway bar....both were pretty clean, but I want NO rust on my new stuff.
Since the x-member is near the exhaust I used high temp. paint....and the store only had flat black....sway bar is ok with regular stuff so I used red.

More little stuff to do and order this week...and hopefully I can order the engine finally. I was supposed to last week but never got ahold of the guy.

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

Been wanting to redo my de-powered rack for a while. Still waiting on my steering rack bushings and new clamps, but here is my new and improved manual converted rack. My last one was done in a rush but I still really like the way it feels...this new one should be even better.

Its a new (reman) rack...most of the factory PS fluid was already drained out due to poor shipping from FedEx....the lines were all bent up and leaked the fluid. Good thing I don't need them:

I drained the remaining fluid and plugged the 2 holes by the pinion gear. I used 2 of the fittings, cut and removed the hardline, filled with metal epoxy and painted them (3rd is a different story):

The other 2 holes, see below, are supposed to be looped together to equalize the air between sides or something.... I just used some rubber hose, copper 90's and hose clamps. I didn't do this last time, and I think it will make a difference:

This time I used Lucas oil red 'n tacky for my grease. I cleaned the factory grey colored grease out of the pinion housing and pinion gear best I could, then covered it with the new stuff:

Entire assembly. No PS lines is nice:

Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
806 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
2001 Subaru MoneyPit (Impreza L)

I pulled some steering rack brackets off a junkyard impreza and cleaned them up. sprayed the rack with a few layers of black for extra rust protection, put on the Whiteline bushings, and bolted it all up. I had concerns before, but it all fits :banana:
Nothing is torqued down, that'll happen once its on the car:

The engine came a couple weeks ago...some broken and missing parts but the most of it was there, just dirty.

Peplaced some parts and did some maintenance. New TGV motor, got the flywheel off, and cleaned the threads of almost every bolt I pulled out.

I Installed the group n motor mounts. Rustoleum for nuts and bolts because Pennsylvania:
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