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$3500 to spend...

559 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Storm
i thought i was going to spend this on turbo'ing my car, but the more i think about it, the more leary i get. everyone around me is getting boost crazy with their subarus, and while i've been researching this for quite a while, now that i'm coming back down to earth i'm having second thoughts...

i LIKE the way my car is now. it costs me NOTHING to run, never gives me any trouble whatsoever, and i'll be DAMNED if i screw that up. it just needs a *little* bit more's neck and neck with a relatvely stock RS.

so i was considering building or buying a kit, or swapping in an EJ20T. but the thought of having something i'm going to have to constantly tear apart and troubleshoot for months or that's going to leave me stranded because of some wiring snafu like my last vehicle keeps me on the fence. i have all my research done, and while it could be done, i'm not sure i want to...

my other plan, would be to buy some DMS or cusco coil overs, and spend some $$ on swapping over the hood and the front end so my car looks proper. so i guess i'm torn between A) having a FAST car that may be a 50/50 shot as far as reliability goes, OR B) having a relatively quick (and better looking) car that i don't have to worry about driving at it's limits, and that can be driven hard on a daily basis. the more i think about it B sounds like a better idea. and my rear struts are creaking like an old mattress...


i'm interested to see what others would do in this situation, not that it's necessarily a BAD one to be in... ;)
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Are there any more mods than what's at the bottom of your post? I have a 1.8 as well, and I definitely know what you mean about needing more "oomph". I have considered many times what would be the most reliable way to get more power out of it without hurting it. You could probably go turbo and run 4-5 psi and not have to worry about too many problems, in my opinion. I would love to do that to my car, but I don't have the money right now. You could get some KYB struts and some less expensive springs and then spend the rest on a turbo. That is probably what I would do. Subachad on this board has a '93 1.8 that he turbo'd and his website is very helpful-you may want to check that out. He did his for about $1500 and even makes the up and down pipes for the 1.8. I emailed him a few times and he was very helpful. I hope this helps a little bit, and let us know what you decide to do. :D
Well you could get a 2.2l block, and then get cams and heads for it. Or a 2.5l block I suppose, but then I think you'd need a new ECU. Weren't the 1.8 and 2.2 interchangable?
If I recall correctly, the EJ18 and EJ20 parts are interchangable, as they share the same block, and the EJ22 and EJ25 parts are interchangable, as they share the same block. I'm about 85% sure on this. Just my 2 cents.
i could get a set of DMS 40s ($1700) and still have more than enough $$ left over for an EJ25. you can run the 2.5 off the 1.8 electronics and such...

instructions are at

i think this may be the smartest way to go...keep in mind, my car has a LOT less weight to lug. suspension first though...those rear struts are driving me NUTS. :lol:

i want something i can start using for track days, and a home-brew turbo engine doesn't seem like a good idea on a 100 degree day at sebring. yeah, this worked fine to and from ping ping BOOM!

i'm still weighing my options, but like i said, now that i've come back down to earth a bit...having something that will run every time sounds much more appealing.

a slower car is still faster than one that doesn't run.
I'm pretty sure the 2.5 will not run off of the 1.8 electronics.

But there should be plenty of wrecked 2.5l cars out there... maybe grab a motor out of a rear-ended Outback or something. And the ECU while you're at it.

You've got a FWD, which means your rear strut tops are at a funny angle, meaning you can't use the STi top mounts, and the DMS might need to be half-baked to put in there... I know Jamie had some sort of issues doing the rear of her rally car.
yep, i checked with her...the camber on the rear will have to be corrected initially after installation...other than that, they fit. :D

unfortunately, they're the only other struts i can find that fit (other than the cheeeeeeeeeep-o model KYB's), so upgrading my suspension is pretty much an all or nothing thing.

the 2.5 will run off the 1.8 ECU...did you check the site? ;) although i'd imagine you give up a few hp initially bolting it up to the 1.8 headers, running no knock sensors, etc.

i dunno, i'm still researching...i may still just throw a JDM EJ20 in there and get a link seems like it would simplify things a lot...

as in i'd need the engine, link ecu & tuning module, legacy turbo crossmember, exhaust piping from the turbo to the back box, and i'd be set. no worries about the issues that come with turboing an existing engine.
Sounds like a totally half-assed way to do it... using the smaller 1.8 throttle body, exhaust, etc.

I suppose it might work, but why is the guy going through the trouble? It's not like he doesn't have the 2.5 ECU from the wrecked car he bought.
i dunno, but EFF it...i'm gonna turbo the damn thing. :D i've made up my mind. i'm going to suck it up, be a man, and turbo it. there. :lol:

nothing else is going to work quite right, so...i might as well go all out. heheheh...
Good call Adam, just gotta keep it conservative until things can get dialed in. I'm here when you need me Adam, just give me call and we can start the INSTALL!!

:biggest: Graham
I didn't check the link yet...

I think that with your ProECM chip and the addition of a S-AFC and/or FPR, you could run the 2.5 on a 1.8 ECU. Of course you'll need an A/F gauge to monitor the mix but it should run with no problems. You may not make all the HP of an OEM 2.5 because of timing tables, but the chip can alter that. It'll take more tuning to get right then leave it alone.

I also plan on doing a 2.5 swap into my AWD 1.8. All the restrictive parts on the 1.8 can be switched over to 2.5 parts astime and money allows. It'd just be like adding mods.

I say go for the swap. Stay N/A for reliability if you like. Conservative boost levels are proven to be pretty reliable too as Chad is showing so don't count out a simple add-on turbo to your 1.8.

Now I'll go check the link and edit my post as necessary....
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