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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought this 98 RS back in August of 2020, I parked it in December of 2020, Left it there for about 6 months and someone tried breaking into it, so moved it to my father in laws. I recently bought a house and finally brought her home. I originally wanted this car to learn on as I went but as I got further into it I realized the entire car just needs to be completely restored. The jack points are gone, rockers aren't that bad but there are holes in the passenger side. Jack points are gone and there is a bit more rot than I really accounted for. After getting it inspected by a few shops I was told it's all repairable. I originally was looking for a new shell at the very least but after taking a look at a few over the past few years... mine really isn't that bad. I have very little experience working on cars. I've changed a few sensors, brakes, struts. This is likely biting off more than I can chew and I don't know if I'll follow through. But I bit the bullet and bought the subie saver rear quarters and rockers last week. I have a body guy coming this week to get the ball rolling. It currently has/had a weird NA/T setup that was constantly burning through O2 sensors and choking itself out. I plan to gut it and WRX swap it. I don't know if I'll actually ever finish it all myself which has led me to being hesitant to post about it.

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Good call on not messing with the NA/T setup, more headaches than benefits!

If I can swap an RS, anyone can. It's one of the most modded platforms out there so documentation and knowledge is out there for practically anything you'd ever want to do. Just a matter of tracking everything down!

Post up here with any concerns, there's a ton of people on this site ready to help.
 

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Save the Unicorn!!! I love it!! These Acadia green 2.5 RS are super rare, they made a ton of base models this color but very few 2.5RS!! As said above same here, if I can get a swap running anyone can! If you need wiring help I can't say enough good things about iwire. I sent them the harness's from my coupe and donor (02 WRX) and it all went together without a hitch and fired up on the first attempt! Please keep us in the loop with pictures, updates, and questions!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good call on not messing with the NA/T setup, more headaches than benefits!

If I can swap an RS, anyone can. It's one of the most modded platforms out there so documentation and knowledge is out there for practically anything you'd ever want to do. Just a matter of tracking everything down!

Post up here with any concerns, there's a ton of people on this site ready to help.
Yo thanks dude, I was kinda hoping that by making a post I could get some help on stuff I'm uncertain about.

Save the Unicorn!!! I love it!! These Acadia green 2.5 RS are super rare, they made a ton of base models this color but very few 2.5RS!! As said above same here, if I can get a swap running anyone can! If you need wiring help I can't say enough good things about iwire. I sent them the harness's from my coupe and donor (02 WRX) and it all went together without a hitch and fired up on the first attempt! Please keep us in the loop with pictures, updates, and questions!!
I am in the process of removing the dash to get the wiring harness out, but I'm hoping its still usable. I think the previous owner cut into it and used a lot of legacy parts. I've been looking at 02-07 donor cars and found one the other day for $2k (no title or anything) but I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on my swap yet and I have nowhere to put another vehicle atm. I'm waiting for a swivel head socket so I can get the two bolts at the front of the windshield off, should be here tomorrow. I have a truck with a gas leak and I'm waiting to get that into the shop to get it taken care of, but as soon as it's ready to roll I'm going to harbor freight to get a crane and start working on pulling the engine. I can't even figure out how to get some of the bolts off on the turbo kit lmao. There's no space to work in there but I figure worst case scenario I'll just cut stuff out since I plan to use none of it. I'll post again once I've got the harness out (hopefully tomorrow)

As far as it being green, I couldn't believe my luck. I used to have an old gf8 that was green and I loved everything about it. I initially started looking for one specifically green, but realized yeah. that's not going to happen. I finally was first to getting to see this car after about 2 months of searching, no pictures just a bad facebook marketplace ad. I pulled up and saw it was green and couldn't believe it. Super stoked to have the color as I'm not a huge fan of the other colors.
 

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Yo thanks dude, I was kinda hoping that by making a post I could get some help on stuff I'm uncertain about.



I am in the process of removing the dash to get the wiring harness out, but I'm hoping its still usable. I think the previous owner cut into it and used a lot of legacy parts. I've been looking at 02-07 donor cars and found one the other day for $2k (no title or anything) but I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on my swap yet and I have nowhere to put another vehicle atm. I'm waiting for a swivel head socket so I can get the two bolts at the front of the windshield off, should be here tomorrow. I have a truck with a gas leak and I'm waiting to get that into the shop to get it taken care of, but as soon as it's ready to roll I'm going to harbor freight to get a crane and start working on pulling the engine. I can't even figure out how to get some of the bolts off on the turbo kit lmao. There's no space to work in there but I figure worst case scenario I'll just cut stuff out since I plan to use none of it. I'll post again once I've got the harness out (hopefully tomorrow)

As far as it being green, I couldn't believe my luck. I used to have an old gf8 that was green and I loved everything about it. I initially started looking for one specifically green, but realized yeah. that's not going to happen. I finally was first to getting to see this car after about 2 months of searching, no pictures just a bad facebook marketplace ad. I pulled up and saw it was green and couldn't believe it. Super stoked to have the color as I'm not a huge fan of the other colors.
$2k for a donor is a steal if it has a good engine and trans. If you get that you will want to do a harness merge, so that's where you will have to figure out what you have and what you need, and that's where I found the value in the iwire service, but if you are willing to dive into the harness side, go for it! I'm not sure what would be different from your NA/T setup and what it might need, but the stock base model or RS harness needs to be merged with the WRX harness to get it to work with the WRX engine and ECU. I stripped my donor, sold what I could and eventually gave the shell to a someone trying to get into rally. I never expected the title to actually come through, but after a year of back and forth the title actually showed up, and I gave that to my new rally friends too... trying to keep a decent bugeye serving its life purpose before it gets sent off! It was rust free but pretty beat up, perfect for rally!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
$2k for a donor is a steal if it has a good engine and trans. If you get that you will want to do a harness merge, so that's where you will have to figure out what you have and what you need, and that's where I found the value in the iwire service, but if you are willing to dive into the harness side, go for it! I'm not sure what would be different from your NA/T setup and what it might need, but the stock base model or RS harness needs to be merged with the WRX harness to get it to work with the WRX engine and ECU. I stripped my donor, sold what I could and eventually gave the shell to a someone trying to get into rally. I never expected the title to actually come through, but after a year of back and forth the title actually showed up, and I gave that to my new rally friends too... trying to keep a decent bugeye serving its life purpose before it gets sent off! It was rust free but pretty beat up, perfect for rally!
Theres a couple cars i've seen running for $2,500. I'm pretty sure i can re-use my 5 spd trans so im waiting to find something with no title/bad trans for even less.


little update, i got the engine pulled out today. I'm really proud of this! Definitely did some ghetto stuff to get some stuff off but goal accomplished in the end.

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I also got most of the dash out, but no pics on my phone of it. I gotta say those airbag clips are a BITCH. I ended up breaking one, no other casualties. Got the guys here today starting on rust repair. the amount of tools I have has increased 10x easily, it took me ages to get the 2 bolts at the front of the windshield out
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I used to think the airbag clips were a bitch until i realized you just squeeze the green tab and it pulls right out. The most annoying part is that the unitt is held in with star pattern screws.

The front windshield dashboard bolts are easy if you just run like 24" of extensions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used to think the airbag clips were a bitch until i realized you just squeeze the green tab and it pulls right out. The most annoying part is that the unitt is held in with star pattern screws.

The front windshield dashboard bolts are easy if you just run like 24" of extensions.
mine are blue and yellow I'm pretty sure? it shows an arrow to push in on the yellow part, then you push a tab on the blue part, 2 of them came out really easy but the other 2 took me a while. and yep... those star pattern screws was another trip to harbor freight (30 mins one way). all in all with the cost of the shop crane i spent around $400 on tools. I initially ordered one of those swivel head sockets off amazon thinking that would be fine, but of course not. I ended up just buying a bunch of extensions
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
wow you work fast!
Thank you dude it would have been a lot faster if I had all the tools and didn't wait days for Amazon to bring me the stuff I needed, the guys are here again today I gotta make another trip to harbor freight for a mig welder. After the body is done I have to wait a while to get a donor. My wife and I are both out of work (my son was born 2 months ago I go back to work Sept 1st) but we both aren't getting paid rn and she's expensive lol. So hopefully next summer I'll grab a donor and when primetime is over I can start working on the WRX swap. I might end up going with a sti swap depending but I want to just keep things simple. Fun little car easy to fix and cheap when all is said and done. Either way having a lot of this rust off is making me happy
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STi engine swap isnt physically much different than a ej205 swap aSIde from adapting to DBW. They are a little more expensive to purchase and buy maintenance parts for in the long run, so that's something to keep in mind if you're growing your family. You can mod an ej205 to put out close to stock STi numbers pretty easily and reliably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
STi engine swap isnt physically much different than a ej205 swap aSIde from adapting to DBW. They are a little more expensive to purchase and buy maintenance parts for in the long run, so that's something to keep in mind if you're growing your family. You can mod an ej205 to put out close to stock STi numbers pretty easily and reliably.
Yeah I really think a WRX will be fine and when the tranny goes I'll go for a 6 spd.
I have 3 kids so it'll just be a summer commuter for the most part and the occasional out of town trip with my wife. Never gonna be a track car. Honestly I just sold my 07 sti and I wasn't crazy about it. A WRX is fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
This is going to be a fun project to follow. Great looking work so far!
Thanks bro, the work isn't perfect and likely won't ever be perfect but its good enough for me. Ended up not using a MIG welder which is why you see some burn throughs. All I really care about is that the rust gets off my car. I ordered some new rear coupe trims and a new antenna to replace my broken ones. I'm getting the trim removed and holes filled along with this job. I also purchased both fenders for $150 combined shipped from ebay. Pic of my P1 wing, had this sitting in my closet for a bit along with some series mcrae confetti recaros. Next time I post hopefully the body work is done. the harness is completely out apart from one weird little black box... there were a few aftermarket things in the engine bay, connected to the harness. no clue what they are lol. I really don't know if the wiring harness will be salvageable.

Oh another side note, I'm considering leaving the plastic skirt covers off the car (I'd have to find new ones anyway), curious of opinions on that

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yeah so heres this mess. There was so much extra after market wiring. I'm already beyond intimidated. I found a person that has a my98 harness... I'm hoping I can just start with a fresh unmolested harness but everywhere I've looked they say to stick to the original. I sent these pics out to iwire to see what they think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Nice progess, keep it up!
yo, thanks dude. little update, i did contact iWire and they said the harness is fine, they can chop out all the aftermarket garbage. So that's huge. still considering a donor car. I got super lucky with an "investment" recently into reddit avatar NFT... turned $300 into $28k cash in my pocket so far and i have around 50k sitting there unsold at the moment. Pretty insane and doubt anything like that will happen again. currently getting the knob and tube removed from my house and trying to get my 3rd unit up and running, but i should hopefully have a donor by next year and progress will resume. I'll likely still stick with a wrx swap + big brake kit
 
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