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Discussion Starter #1
I am having trouble with the idea of affording a new RS and have found that used ones are going for about the same as new car retail prices.

Should I just buy a used L? What disadvantages am I going to see while trying to upgrade one for road and possible racing use?
 

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95 Impreza L AWD
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The biggest: POWER!!! Don't get one with the 1.8! You will hate yourself for buying it and Subaru for making it! That might be a little exagerated.:DJust a little.

Other things: Looks, probably some of the convenience items (power windows, locks, sunroof), most likely smaller wheels and brakes, smaller sway bar and possibly no rear sway (like mine:curse: ), and I don't know what else because I'm tired and I don't have an RS.:(

:)
 

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99 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I wouldn't wand to go anything smaller than a 2.2l.

There are several used ones for sale currently, only 1 within a hours drive of cincy. I have to drive whatever I am going to buy, that is just how I am built. I wouldn't want to buy and have it shipped here.

Trust me I check out Auto trader, Yahoo auto, i-club, and a few other sites daily. At this point I am still shopping.
 

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overdeveloped beater
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I'll chime in here and second Darrell's comments. Note that after 99, the 2.2 went to 142HP vs 135. That's not a whole lot to give up to the RS considering a spartanly opted would be about 300lbs lighter. They might even have a rear swaybar already. Driving impressions might even prove the two are quite close in performance. The down side is, the prices for THAT new of a 2.2 are on-par with some RS's.

I think that a 2.2 with some minor bolt-ons could be almost as fun as an RS and much cheaper to insure.

Stay away from the 1.8....unless you have a turbo kit sitting in your garage awaiting a home!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Storm

Are you saying that a 99 L is 300lbs. lighter than a 2000 RS? Just need to clarify that.

Sorry, not sitting on any turbos, so I am looking for the most stock power to build on.

Thanks
 

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95 Impreza L AWD
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Stay away from the 1.8....unless you have a turbo kit sitting in your garage awaiting a home!
NO SHIT!!!:curse: 1.8!!!!
 

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99 2.5 RS-T
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Knowing what I know now, I'd have bought a 2.2l L model and tuned it. If you're going to do the complete suspension any way stock swaybars don't matter. Same for brakes, wheels, tires, etc. As for engine performance, the 99+ are quite capable (I know a couple that spank most NA RSs!). Plus you get the advantage of a stronger block if you're thinking FI. Just my 2 cents.
 

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overdeveloped beater
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Here again, I agree. If I would've waited a little longer for a 2.2 with a 5spd to become available, I would've been ALOT happier! I only mentioned the swaybar because the models that didn't get any don't have provisions for mounting them to the rear control arm. Stock mounts and bars are easy to come by, but control arms require a bit more searching. The holes ARE in the chassis though, for the upper mounts.

As for weight...you'd have to weigh each to be certain, but in my tests, with a 96 vs 98 and on....I'm much lighter :)

Go with a post-99 2.2 for a cheaper alternative to an RS without sacrificing much.

Boy said:
Knowing what I know now, I'd have bought a 2.2l L model and tuned it. If you're going to do the complete suspension any way stock swaybars don't matter. Same for brakes, wheels, tires, etc. As for engine performance, the 99+ are quite capable (I know a couple that spank most NA RSs!). Plus you get the advantage of a stronger block if you're thinking FI. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will have to seriously consider an L, heck there sure are more of them out there from what I am seeing. They do hold there value just as well as the RS though.

What about stuff like the tranny, gear ratio, lsd in the rear end, all that? does the stock L stack up? or is there any difference what so ever?

thanks,
 

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The tranny is exxentially the same, I think the gearing is slightly taller (not sure though). As for LSD you'll get one in the center diff (I'm pretty sure) but that's it. All Impreza front diffs (in the US) are open and only the '00+ are LSD rears. The clutch should be pretty close to the same material/clamping force too (the 99+ L's had 140-145hp, only -20hp from the RS so the clutch should be on par). Some one chime in if I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Boy

so taller gears translates into a more open ratio?! would that be better for forced induction, or would a closer ratio be better? by 00+ you mean on RS models and not the L?

thanks
 

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overdeveloped beater
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My 96L has 4.11 ratios. That wouldn't be as good for turbos, since they'll make more power with the taller ratios. They ARE good for accelleration though....combined with smaller race tires and the rev limiter comes up pretty quick.

We know that RS's after 00 got the rear LSD. I don't think the L's did. I could be wrong though. One would have to check dealer specs or similar.

As far as I can tell, the trannies are the same. There was a minor linkage change on 97 and newer cars, but other than that, the clutch should be the same or close. An upgrade would be necessary for any type of major power adder, but general tooling around use should be just fine.
 
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