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1997 Impreza Wagon
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I have got a 1997 Impreza wagon. She's rusty, but she's trusty. I just got the car pretty much this last week, but it's been in the family for years. It was my brothers car, and the thing has pretty much been not taken care of for the past 6 years, so now it burns oil and leaks oil and smokes when you park it. I am pretty much saving it from the crusher.

The plan is to put a motor in it. So why not put something fun in it? The car is getting new brakes and suspension anyway, and since I am learning to do body work, the rust by the rear wheels is going to go away real soon.

But, I have got a problem, and that problem is Subarus. I love them and always have, but I just realized how confused I am by them. So many acronyms! I've spent the last few weeks reading up on what possible swaps would work, transmissions, differentials, the whole nine yards. (I should say now that I am PLANNING on doing a turbo-something swap and a M/T swap).

Now, I'm having a hard time figuring out what would be my best choice. I just found an EJ20K/trans/ecu/wiring harness for like $1800. That sounds like a fairly decent deal to me, but I don't know.

I guess for starters, my question is, what would be the best for my needs? I don't really care TOO much about MPGs, 20's are fine in my book. Money, though, is the issue. I will have some money for this project, but not a lot at all.

If someone can help point me in the right direction for what I am going to have to do and have in order to make a swap like this complete, I would appreciate it.
 

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1997 Impreza Wagon
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I mean, it's going to be something that's going to be happening, but I'm not dumping like $7,000 into this car. I wish I could but it's just not worth it. I could put about $3,000-$4,000 into it. I shouldn't say it's not worth it, but I don't want to drop that much money into the car. I just want a turbo, and a 5spd, and another project.
 

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99 RBP Coupe
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557 Posts
ya i must stress that swapping it may not be the best route on that kind of budget. i would focus on getting it back up to speed maintenance wise: struts ,lowering springs,bushings,brakes,wheel bearings, donor 2.2l motor,sway bars. too the point of where the car feels like a new ride and when you have the budget go ahead and go with the version 7 complete swap, or find a donor wrecked wrx. either way doing the swap cheaply just wont be very productive. if your looking at an ebay for that price my guess would be that it would be a very very early version swap. (pre obd2)
 

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2000 Impreza 2.5RS BRP
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3,555 Posts
I also would not recommend a pre-obd2 swap because if you ever have to sell the car, it will absolutely kill the value of it due to its being a 97. The car wouldn't be able to pass emissions in quite a few states, and that would really reduce potential buyers. My recommendation would be an EJ205 when you were able to save more to account for any hurdles.
 

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1997 Impreza Wagon
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good plan, too. I would be okay with something like that actually.

I do want to do a manual transmission swap with a donor motor. What would my options be? I read that it would be in my best interest to go with a hydraulic style transmission since I plan on doing a turbo motor eventually, which all use the hydro trans. Or, would it be better to just find a 2.2 trans a motor and throw it in and then swap it over to the hydraulic down the road? I feel like doing it now would be easier, and I could just buy a motor when the time comes instead of a motor and trans.

An EJ205 is a bugeye/blobeye WRX motor, right? What exactly is a version 7 motor?
 

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2001 SRP L
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2,513 Posts
If this car is rusty, burns oil, and you don't want to spend 4k, why not just save up for a WRX?

Sounds like a complete waste of time to me.
 

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1997 Impreza Wagon
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't really know. The car has been in the family for quite a while now. I'm the youngest and my brother was finally done with it because we bought him a BMW for his graduation gift, and I always liked the car because it has just been an amazing car. I want to bring it back to life, but the way in the way I want to.

Plus I'm just finishing high school and want another fun project.
 
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