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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello subi folk, this is my third Impreza coupe, which is hard to believe. When I was 18 I tried to buy a brand new white 01 2.5 RS coupe, and they "sold" it to me and let me take it home, but after two glorious weeks the dealership called me and begged for me to bring it back because they couldn't complete the deal. 5 years later I could actually afford a car and bought a 95 L coupe, same green as this one. It had a 1.8L with a 5 speed, and I loved that car. I drove it everywhere, sideways in the snow, it was fantastic! In 2006 I bought a new Scion xB and sold my coupe to my friend, who promptly blew the motor but had it replaced with a 2.2L and he still drives it today.... career, marriage, kids, etc... lived in the midwest for 8 years and now I'm back in the PNW.

I found a 97 Legacy in need of clutch and got it for $900... after pulling the engine and replacing the clutch I had built enough (false?) confidence to take this on, and I seem to have good luck when I need it... and I came upon this little subi in need of a lot of TLC with the infamous $1234 price tag on FB marketplace, but a $1000 obo within the add. I almost had a deal and the guy said nevermind, someone made me an offer... and I said, "well if he doesn't give you the $1k you want for it I will" and just like that I secured the deal! I am living in the boonies (at the beach!) and had to drive 2 hours to meet my friend with a truck to rent a uhaul trailer, then we drove 3 hours to go get it, and later 4 hours back to my place, and the next day 2 hours back and forth to the uhaul place to get my car! whew!! I asked if I could give him $900 for it because the grill was missing but it was in the pictures, and he agreed. $900 seems to be my number for Subi's these days, lol.

This car is a 98 L coupe, interior is all but junk, but it seems to have a WRX fold down back seat in good condition which is not bolted in (will that even fit correctly?). It has a 2.2L with a big ol hole in the block, and an auto. There is no rust but the pinch welds were folded over. It has a (salvageable?) RS front bumper, hood and wing. I am currently driving an 06 Mini Cooper S with a stage 2 tune, and I need to sell it to help fund this project, the old Legacy will be my daily driver. And then to find a WRX donor car.... and that's where it's at, nice to meet you all!

Edit 11/3/2021: Fully swapped and running, still a long way from complete but it starts and rolls under its own power now with the full drive train from a 2002 WRX.

Edit 11/28/2021: Interior is partially complete and it is running and driving and wow what a monster! Still a ways to go with interior and body work, etc.
Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I saw this one for sale in the area, I'm also in the pnw. He wanted a lot more before he blew the motor. Looks like you got a good deal now the fun part begins.
I didn't know he was trying to sell before he blew the engine, interesting... a bit of a setback, but I guess it's par for the course, I let my son pull the interior out while I was working at home, and somehow he dinged up the outside... of course he did. Whatever, it was going to need a lot of body work anyway, now it will just need that much more... arrrggggg.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah he wanted like 4k because it was a coupe. Then he lowered it to 2k something about the transmission having issues.
wow, yeah, it wasn't worth 4, it might have been worth 2 when running, but it would have needed a lot of TLC to be a decent daily, it's really a good candidate for a swap!

I'm trying to figure out my best path; I am thinking about getting a wrx with a blown engine and getting a JDM engine for the swap. It seems like this way I could get my best value for a clean interior and a fresh engine. If I get an auction wrx it's a crap shoot, who knows what I'll end up with. If I get a running cheap wrx its going to be hard to find one with a really strong engine and clean interior for the price range I'm in.... I'm also considering that if I buy something that isn't running I have to burn money to get it to my place, so I'm factoring that against finding a running donor car too... keeping my eyes open for the right donor car, I'll find one sooner or later!
 

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I agree, I'm surprised he actually sold it. He would go back and forth about fixing it up and looking for parts and then he would post it up for sale. I'm glad it went to a good home. I have a buddy out in Mollola that is building a similar coupe as well.

Yeah that sounds like a good route plus you will have extra parts to swap over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm making progress, interior is almost all out, engine and trans are out. There is basically no rust to speak of on the car, but the pinch welds are folded flat. Whatever... it is what it is. That will always bother me but it seems like its not going to affect the car or be anything you can see unless you really look for it. On the hunt now for my donor car...


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm going to get a donor car tomorrow, it might need a new transmission but the price is right and it's got a low mileage JDM engine. I'll post more info when I get it home, its an 02 sedan with the OEM wheels, I'm hoping I can use those wheels and LCA and fit without having to go with flares. If that is too wide I can still use the LCA the car came with. We'll see....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Donor car made it home and seems to be a strong runner. I am going to have to get accustomed to lag coming from my supercharged Mini Cooper. I need to start really reading up to figure out what I have. It has a JDM block with approximately 75k miles on it, and it has a cobb v3 accessport. It is running some no name UEL headers and up-pipe and an invidia downpipe and exhaust. So far, I've been able to use first. I know the previous owner was hard on the transmission, but he thought first was blown, but it seems to be working. When I first got it last night it wouldn't go into first and stay in gear at all, but once we worked it into gear and drove it a bit it seemed to loosen up and work a lot better. ... maybe not fine, but not blown... I dunno. I'm going to set about cleaning my garage (pic is my friends shop) and prepping to rip this apart!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello folks, I'm making progress, albeit slower than I would like, but whatever, I expect this project will take a long time.

My daughter has really engaged and now I have both kids helping me. She was excited when I found new interior parts. I am super happy to have a complete black dash and oem 2.5 RS rear seats in excellent condition for it, plus nice (2012 era?) WRX seats and black carpet from the donor car. And the OEM WRX wheels are in great condition for their age, very happy to have those for the project.

I am communicating with iWire and I'm excited to get my harnesses off to them. I decided not to mess with trying to repair my damaged bumper and went ahead and ordered a new 2.5RS front bumper. Progress!
 

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Just pieced through your build thread thus far. It's really cool that your kids are so engaged. My daughter just started learning how to drive not too long ago and has been saving money to purchase a car. I told her if she wants to help me we can find a Suby that needs some work and hopefully stretch her budget. I've got a pretty decent run of buying Subys that need head gaskets done from people that have no idea how to perform the work or the money to pay someone to do it. She seems game...time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just pieced through your build thread thus far. It's really cool that your kids are so engaged. My daughter just started learning how to drive not too long ago and has been saving money to purchase a car. I told her if she wants to help me we can find a Suby that needs some work and hopefully stretch her budget. I've got a pretty decent run of buying Subys that need head gaskets done from people that have no idea how to perform the work or the money to pay someone to do it. She seems game...time will tell.
I'm hoping when we get the garage space back after this project I can do a few subi rescues a year with my kids. Good luck with your project!

I got my new bumper and slipped it on there temporarily just to see what I'm working with. Looks pretty sharp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, so (after a certain little assistant didn't listen and tried to do his own thing) I need a new radiator because the one from my donor is damaged. What radiator do you guys recommend for the swap (EJ205) and what narrow profile fan combo... I understand this is a bit of a difficult subject and may need some fab work... can you point me in the right direction?
 

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I've had good luck with whatever eBay sells for slim fans, and if you want to be fancy get an aluminum radiator. I see no reason a stock replacement radiator won't work just fine though.
 

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The Koyo R1819 with the metal shroud factory fans are working great for me in my EJ205 ‘98 2.5rs. Straight plug and play except for having to trim the upper radiator hose to fit the angle of the coolant pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Managed to get the EJ20 pulled from my donor, with the transmission attached, yippee!! The turbo back is all invidia, fancy flanges and looks nice. The headers are so- so (ebay?) but look decent. The up- pipe does not have a cat or flex section, looks terrible. That will probably get replaced before it goes in. I need to get to the cold side of the turbo to see the inlet, but there is no shaft play, so good start! Slow but sure progress...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Koyo R1819 with the metal shroud factory fans are working great for me in my EJ205 ‘98 2.5rs. Straight plug and play except for having to trim the upper radiator hose to fit the angle of the coolant pipe.
It looks like the R1819 isn't available anymore, and I found one listing that says it was replaced with VH090302

Can anyone confirm if VH090302 will fit the same as the R1819 in a '98 coupe with an EJ205? Thank you in advance!
 

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The description of the item you linked says it replaces the r1819. I'm assuming they have a return policy if it doesn't fit.
 
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