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97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok here it goes, Version 2.0 finally requires a members journal. My origional journal is lame and has not been updated for 3 years, and my build thread is way too spread out.

The story:
This car is my first car. It is a 1997 subaru impreza outback sport. I purchased it with a lot of hard earned money when I was 15 in September of 2004 for $5900 with 119K on the odo. It spent the first couple of years of its life getting the crap beat out of it by me and my horrible paper route. All of my income came from my paper route which was very rural and looking back I realize I should never have used a awd manual car with the 150+ stops/starts ever single day. All of this abuse went through a lot of mainainance and is the reason I probably could afford a new sti with all the money I have in my car and the reason I will probably never sell it.

It has gone through many changes. It reached its peak of what I consider version 1.0 in summer of 2008. After that it slowly deteriorated until I had the means to breathe new life into the car. I did what I consider a restoration from summer 2010 - spring 2011 in my free time from college and working a summer internship. I will probably not list all of the details in my journal on the restoration but you can see every single detail here:

It is now a completely different looking car (version 2.0). I have recently graduated college and am an IT change management analyst. I have big plans for the car and it will continue to be a project for a long long time. Everything done to it so far has been on a high school or college budget so look for good things in the future of this journal.

Table of Contents:​


97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

Fresh paint (subaru aspen white)
Shaved side moldings, hatch key-hole, antenna hole, roof moldings
Version 5/6 front bumper and replica lip
Version 3/4 euro/jdm rear bumper with spats
RS sideskirts
JDM sti roof rails
Version 6 sti grill
replica sti wagon upper and lower spoiler
JDM tail lights
Black housing headlights, turn signals, etc
35% tint

Engine / Drivetrain:
ej25 engine swap from a 98 2.5 RS
Legacy GT tranny
OBX intake
Full exhaust - Borla headers, custom headerback, magnaflow muffler
ACT LW flywheel and street clutch
Kartboy Short Shifter

Suspension / Handling / wheels
BC BR series coilovers
Cusco Rear swaybar
Adjustible rear lateral links
Whiteline roll center adjuster kit
17x7.5 Rota SDR wheels on 215/40 yokahama parada tires

Customer leather interior
Plaid headliner and pillars

Hella Supertone Horns with scoobymod mount
Wolf whistle horn for the ladies ( they either love it or flick me off)


97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Version 1.0 and a slight history​

Here is the absolutely oldest picture I could find of the car (sometime in 2005)

Yes at one point I did manage to wreck the car into a muddy bank (the reason everything doesnt line up perfect now :bonk:)


Sometime in here I started autocrossing:
2006 H stock impreza

2007 street mod impreza

2007 - Summer of 2008 was the peak of version 1.0... I was a senior in high school, thought i was tough shit, and had some mods done to my car.
At this point it had an ej25 swap, some lowering springs, I had shaved my roof and added a sti top spoiler. It really isnt anything special looking back on it but I thought it was cool.

Me and a buddy of mine

Winter 2008 / 09.... I would have been a freshman in college. I rocked some neon pink wheels for winter, and also got my first set of winter tires. I will never be without a subaru with winter tires for the rest of my days. I had recently installed my 2nd ej25 due to the first one blowing a headgasket. I thought I did everything right by replacing the gaskets on the new one before installing it, but little did I know they would only last a year themselves due to me not getting oem subaru ones.

Jan. 09 I got fed up with the shitty stock obs interior (zebra on crack I call it) and bought a set of custom leather seats that had been in an rs, and custom fabbed the rears to work in the wagon.

Fall / Winter 09
Sometime around here I blew that hg I recently mentioned. I finally got it right on the third try. All new oem subaru hgs and the heads resurfaced. I pretty much considered my car to be a beater at this point. I just wanted it to make it through college, and didnt really feel the same as I had in the past about the car. I did however give it my favorite winter mode setup.
(you can sort of tell its going down hill here from the summer before)

I did decide to do one modification here that stems from the few VW's I have owned in addition to my suby.
All custom plaid doorcards, headliner, and wrapped pillars

I also had lots of fun in the snow this year.... Not worrying about paint chips on my bumper, and pretty much considering the car nothing but a snow toy to beat up at this point, I beat the snot out of it:
suby in snow on Vimeo

But then the inevitable happened.... I walked by my car in the garage one day, tripped on something and bumped into the passenger side rear quarter panel. When I looked down, a hunk of paint that had been all that was holding my rear quarter together was laying on the floor. I looked at the giant brown rust hole that now stuck out like a sore thumb on the rear of the car. It was time to either breathe new life into the suby or watch it slowly die of cancer....

97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

Ok so I know my thread is 19 pages long and has over 14,000 views So I will try to keep this part short and sweet. It is however, a very important part of this cars history ;)

Spring 2010..... Junior in college, had a nice $18/hr internship lined up for the summer, felt pretty rich and ready to start buying things for the suby again. In my mind this thing would be a professionally painted, fire breathing, sti monster wagon before I went back to school in the fall. Yeah right! :mamoru:

I do regret not getting good pics of the rust before we started chopping. But it really did make me sick, not something I wanted to document.

As it was before teardown:

And it begins: (ill let the pictures do the talking)

New problem :bonk:

I drove it like this for a little while

Right about here I got an estimate of $3g to paint my car..... Needless to say, I was back in school, unemployed and SOL.

Sept 2010.
I decided to sell my VW that I was very fond of to fund the suby project. And I picked up "Rusty" the beater to get me around


Then painted it for $30

Cusco Zero 2e coilovers installed.... I didnt like the ride and eventually got rid of these:

Got myself some adjustible lateral links to try to fix some camber issues (which were a huge pain due to my rust bucket of a car)

Jan 2011
I paid a local guy who does paint on the side to finish sanding the body and primer it for $300.... Biggest mistake I made of the project because we pretty much had to sand it all the way back down again. But hey, at least I didnt have to sand all those chips out of the bumper myself.

Poor Rusty.... He was getting some serious winter abuse

Me and my buddy finally got some time to get started painting ( I had decided an amature paint job for just the cost of materials would do me over a $3g professional one)

Feb. 2010 - The actual car gets painted

And I pick up Rusty's replacement:

New and improved rust free Rusty had a bad heart. So I sacrificed Rusty's reliable 2.2L heart to his cancerless younger replacement. (all in one night) The origional rusty is later parted and scrapped.

getting there

wings and skirts

and now we have........

97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Version 2.0 aka Wookie​

** If you are confused by wookie, just think of a subaru's exhaust note and you might get it ;)

and hence the name of this thread..... I have an Illest Grocery Getter

Future plans....
Next up is power, I want the whole origional drivetrain gone if possible. Once I get some money saved up I will be keeping my eyes open for a wrecked sti donor car.
Once I have a donor, I want to pull the old engine, shave some bits in the bay, and paint under the hood before I put another motor in.

After that I want to paint it again (I know, I know, I just did that) but the paint is not perfect, Me and my friend did this in his garage, and by the time I get around to that it will probably look like it needs it.

97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, what's next man? I've followed your entire build and this wagon has come a very long way. Your car is aesthetically Winning man..

I think that you should get a flat fuel door though
Thanks. Yes a flat fuel door is just something that slipped my mind when aquiring the parts I wanted. I also settled for a replica sti lip when I realllllyl want a p1. So maybe sometime I will get those 2 things and get them painted together.

Up next is more powa! Im sooooo tired of this slow ass 2.5 na

MY16 Impreza Sport Limited
4,773 Posts
I remember your car now! Wow great work you've done, I remember your car when it was two tone! Your old Vdub was dope as hell man, and mad props on the plaid, I wanna do the same thing with my sedan!

1985 VW Scirocco 8v
304 Posts
love the wagon. big fan of these, my friend just sold his and my other friend will be boosting his soon. im just the awkward redheaded step child of the group lol
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