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· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The following is a lightly edited and abridged thread i made on another site, I tried to modify it to better suit this forum.

Late last year I started thinking it might be cool to have a cheap AWD car to thrash on the dirt roads instead of tearing up my tarmac suited civic, so i started hitting craigslist daily and setting some money aside. Having torn apart an Impreza and a couple Legacies i knew they weren't as hard to work on as most people say, and longitudinally mounted boxers are just the bee's knees. The choice was obvious

Before i ever even found a donor car, a good friend found a crack head deal not too far away for a treasure trove of Subaru upgrade parts that were perfect for the car i would now be completely committed to buying.

Here's the run down of what I've got and what's going into the car.

One Fellow cleaning out his garage for $1500
  • EJ20G swap from late Version 2 STI (may be from Colin McRae 555 limited edition edition)
  • w/ harness, 6K ecu, TD05H, intercooler, all accessories and a few spares, Non DCCD STI 5 speed tranny from the same ver.2 w/ Pull type clutch slave and master cylinder , Viscous LSD rear to match
  • rear diff T frame (needed for AWD conversion)
  • Manual transmission Gas Brake and Clutch pedals (for manual conversion)
  • Shift linkage and shifter
  • front axles from the ver 2
  • turbo intake and MAF/ air box pieces
  • RS side skirts
  • Fiberglass front body kit and rear spats
  • 2002 WRX exhaust
  • a pair of racing seats with rail adapters and one 4 pt. Harness
  • some other stuff i can't remember right now
Things I've procured myself:
  • AWD Gas tank (for awd conversion)
  • AWD rear subframe
  • AWD front tranny brace
  • Rear Disc conversion from Legacy (big) w/ AWD spindles
  • Rear lateral links and suspension arms
  • Manual cable clutch Pedal box assembly (I'll get into that later
  • Drive shaft ( for making a pretty cake)
  • 4 legacy wheels with decent 205 60 15s (for $50 it beats the crap out of replacing the one 175 70 13 i blew out.)
  • EJ22 long block (for just in case)
With a Garage full of Subaru Parts waiting for me I was getting pretty anxious to find the car.

Less than Two weeks later I found the perfect chassis for my project.

It was OBD 1 so it would not need to be converted for my swap. It was just dinged up enough that i wouldn't feel too bad about rubbing against some of natures pylons, but not so badly damaged that i would have to repair anything. It was the right color; ie. Not teal burgundy or purple. It was 2300 lbs big WOOT, and it was FWD and Automatic so i could use all those conversion parts that Mr. KickAss McAwsome sold me ( or so i thought).

So i got my new car; this 1994 bare bones Subaru Impreza L (I guess technically it's a Brighton model)

Even better still the guy was very eager to sell it as is, since in his preparations for smog he had an unscrupulous shop change the timing belt. He told me they couldn't get the timing marks to line up so they put it on as best they could and it skipped a tooth, they tried again and this time it seized.

So for $500 dollars he sold me what he believed to be a heap of unusable shite with a blown motor.

If the shop had known how to use alldata or a service manual they would have known that the sohc 1.8 up to 96 was a non interference motor and maybe would have checked to see if it wasn't just a broken starter housing wedged against the torque converter. El Oh El!

With some fresh head gaskets and a $23 starter from the junk yard I was ready to drive my beater around while i got the rest of the swap together. Or so i thought.

Upon turning the key to the ignition position i noticed the car had this pesky tendency to ground search and pulse voltage to all the accessories and relays. That's fine if you like a car that goes clickity clickity click and constantly primes the fuel pump and kicks the radiator fans on then offm, then on again, not so good if you want to start the engine.

So after chasing back feeding ignition through 2 months of the most aggravating electrical diagnosis of my life, i replaced a short sub harness healed the grounds on the engine harness and replaced all the battery grounds. Bingo Car starts.

A very VERY big thanks To David and Ray, my former co-workers and 12 volt diagmentors, for coaching me through that ordeal and pointing out when i was being a tard.

I decided to get a head start on the Manual conversion. Thought it would be mighty cool and confusing for people to see an Automatic with a clutch pedal. So i get down under the dash with the pedal assembly in hand and start unbolting stuff. I get the old one out and toss the fat A/T brake pedal across the drive way. But I'm having trouble fitting the new clutch pedal in place, I can't see where it needs to bolt in, so I cut away some of the sound deadener to access the firewall. Wrong spot, I move an inch or two over, wrong again, after carving out about 6 inches of rubber liner I decide to go poke a screwdriver through from the other side. Guess what i saw on the engine bay side fire wall where the clutch MC should sit. DID YOU GUESS THE GREEN BAY PACKERS? If you did you would have been just as surprised as i was to find a shock tower. For a moment journeied behind the eyes of the biggest fattest white trash American muscle racist i know as i cursed those little rice eating tricksters sitting in their offices laughing at me for thinking a clutch master cylinder goes behind a clutch pedal.

To make a long story moderately shorter, the master cylinder is on the other side of the brake booster on left hand drive subarus, RHD subies on the other hand , have the pedal and the MC in the right place.

this is the RHD pedal

So this means the pedal assembly i have is useless to me unless i developed a taste for Rally's other drive through lane, or postal delivery, and want to dump several thousand dollars more into this project.

More bad news, North America didn't get any hydraulic actuated transmissions until 1998. That , for the most part, eliminates the junk yard as an option. There is actually quite a demand for hydro pedal box assemblies for GCs on the Subaru message boards, but i don't nee dot tell you that. So it wasn't long before i saw some used ones for sale, unfortunately for that same reason, they are bought up very fast and at fairly high prices in my opinion.

I gave my self the ultimatum for this goal, that i may continue to be cheap, but must for the time being set aside the lazy part. The method i chose was not the easiest thing in the world, but Using the Cable clutch assembly as a base and pictures of the 98+ RS pedal box as a model, I fabbed a reasonable facsimile of the hydro pedal box assembly and installed my clutch pedal and master cylinder. It was actually much more gratifying than buying one, I do so miss working with mild bar stock steel. I put some care into this one and actually got the clearances pretty tight so there is no binding or free play.

Here's the finished product, and a link to the how to thread.

it's really difficult to get clear pictures under the dash.

The other Pain in the Ass i started to tackle was the wiring. That's going to be an ongoing battle for some time it seems. I'm attempting to do this in a much simpler manner than the common harness merges used in Subaru swaps. This should allow me interchangeability with the oem ej18 harness for smog purposes, but it does mean I'm on my own as far as forum support goes.

First thing i did was take a few days to make a table comparing the pin outs of 4 different ECUs that pertain to this swap, so that i can quickly reference what wire goes to what pin location on which plug without having to open multiple documents. All of the ECU side wiring has been fairly straightforward since there is a lot of information available online. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the cannon plugs on the engine harness side, so I'm left to ID each wire by testing and memorizing each sensor.

The original idea was to use all the stock 94 Impreza L wiring all the way up to the ECU, then use this little dingus i made

however with that setup I'd still have to modify the cannon plugs to adapt them to the EJ20 engine harness, and that would severely limit the possibility of reusing that harness with the 1.8 motor.

Since i happened to have a second ECU harness, i decided to simplify it even further and make a removable Engine to ECU to Chassis conversion harness. If it turns out like I've planned, it should essentially be an over sized plug and play ecu conversion harness that appears as the factory wiring would.

Anyone who knows me knows that I barely even need an excuse to split a motor and start stripping it down. I didn't have any time to work on it when I first got it, but upon joining the ever growing ranks of the unemployed it was only a matter of hours before I noticed some coolant sludge in the oil pan. Older Subarus are notorious for head gasket failure due to the graphite composite material that most other Japanese manufacturers ditched in the late 80s. So the manifolds came off the heads were split from the block and I'm currently scrubbing everything down like a meth addict. I actually found a shop locally that regularly orders Multi layer Steel gaskets for EJ20Gs.

So that pretty much Brings you up to speed, the car has yet to be smogged, so that's the next priority. After that I need to get a hold of an AWD fuel sending unit and rear struts from an AWD vehicle, then I'll put the gas tank and sub frame in swap on the rear disc bleed the brakes and re align it. It won't be AWD all the way yet, I'll still have the FWD A/T drive train up front, but it will give me the opportunity to see how good the rear wheel bearings are, if the rotors need to be turned, and whether or not I'll be needing a new booster master cylinder upgrade right away or a proportioning valve. Hope fully in the mean while I'm figuring all that out, I'll be able to find a set of rear axles for the VLSD and i can finish the AWD setup and throw in the EJ22 for the time being.

here's a few miscellaneous pics of some goodies

tranny, rear diff, and rear exhaust section

cylinder heads after some cleaning

block before cleaning

the TURBO!

the BEFORE engine bay

what i bought the car for

My clique


· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
May26 2008

alright, second update: got the AWD rear struts and fuel pump/sending unit.
What this means; I'm now free to begin the AWD conversion, i can drop the fwd fuel tank and rear crossmember, throw on the comparable parts along with the rear diff T bracket and the rear dics brakes.
all that's missing is rear axles for the lsd.

I'll probably get this underway next weekend, with plenty of pics of the process.

May28 2008

So, I had some free time too dick around today, and despite the advice of the internet, i decided to see if i could do a
bastard upgrade of the front brakes.

to make a short story shorter, NO.
well it could be done with some minor fab work, but then I'd have to find a way to mount those uber long Z brake lines and there's no way in hell those calipers would fit under my 15s, so I'd have to swap for a bigger wheel that would likley be open enough for people to see my blasphemy between spokes.
it was a laugh though.
funny to see those monsters hovering over the smallest rotors Subaru makes.

June8 2008

Third Update: I'm waiting on some stuff to go through before the AWD conversion gets underway, but in the mean time I've been working on the clutch hydrualic lines.

Since the Master cylinder I'm using is from a RHD car and the slave Cylinder is a pull type (actuated from the opposite side of the release fork) I don't have the option of pre made factory parts in mounting and installation.
I needed to bend a short section of steel hard-line and find a way to mount the rubber soft-line.

I was able to use the 8" rubber hose that came with the slave, but the hardline, besides being cut, was the wrong length and bends.

I had a couple short hard-line sections from past Honda projects so no need to flare a new piece.

I took one that looked to be about the right length and began bending it in the general direction of the slave cylinder.

hard-line: good

Now I needed to some how fasten the rubber hose to the chassis, nothing too stout, just enough so that the rubber section doesn't put stress on the steel line when the engine moves in the bay.

Since the Japanese car has the MC and lines on the opposite side of the car there are no bracket mounting locations near the LHD MC. On top of that the U.S. Hydro clutch equipped Imprezas use a different hard and soft-line that run to a hydraulic dampener which doubles as the chassis mounted bracket.

So Custom it is.

I had a left over clutch line Bracket from a Honda, so i decided to adapt the subaru hose to fit it, then mount the bracket directly to the master cylinder.

as you can see the opening in the honda bracket is "D" shaped.

while the business end of the hose is "O" shaped with two flats in it further down.

A pretty straight forward fix. I just had to cut down a bit of material to make the "D" shape on the hose.
here it is after the cut.

and here it is in the bracket.

all clipped together.

then a little more massaging of the hardline bends and here it is in the car.

I filled the resevoir and bled the air out to make sure there are no leaks.
Now I'll drain it and clean up the hard-line, pretty it up with a little paint, something to keep the rust off.

· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
June23, 2008

Update 4: the AWD conversion is set into motion, no going back now, the car is up on jack stands and the lug nuts are broken loose, next time they are torqued the car will be transformed.

here's the under side of the rear end right now, FWD gas tank and crosmember, note how the struts mount in the center of the hub

that will be coming down tomorrow along with the complete rear suspension brakes etc.
I have 7 days now from start to finish,
oh, and i also have to swap all the accesories and manifolds onto this 2.2 longblock and throw that in there.

I'll try to snap an hourly progress shot while it's in the works.

more tomorrow.

June24, 2008

update five: got alot done today
got to work from 10 to 2

11am after the first hour

suspension and rear subframe is disconnected,
i spent most of the next hour fighting with the e-brake cables.

12pm got the e-brake cables loose and gas tank down.

scrubbed some of the caked dirt off the underbody while i was there.

1pm got the rest of the exhaust and heat shields out.

spent awhile trying to drain the remnants of the gas tank by myself.

2pm no pic, had to make a drift key to knock the spring pins out of the front axles, after that i had family come into town, so that was that.

I went back to pull the axles after people went to bed, but i just ended up cutting my finger open and bleeding all over.
got a little woozy and went home,
my GF fixed me up with some lidocane spray that's just the bee's knees and i'm feeling like a nap.

June24, 2008

update six: what I've done so far today.

Not too much to report yet, since i'm splitting my time working on another car.

started today where i left off last night, got the axles out

then i started preping the engine bay to remove the engine and trans,
disconnecting plugs hoses, draining fliuds etc.

then i decided to install these spiffy under fender Chassis braces from a 2.5 RS

the fenders on these cars are a fantastic pain in the arse to get off, really not conveinient to have to pull the splash gaurds headlights and bumper to get them out without scratching anything.

anyway, once i got all that bollocks out of the way, it was a simple bolt on procedure.
seems like the imprezas are ready for any oem upgrade you can throw at them, all i had to do was pull the rubber stickers off the threaded bores and bolt the brace on.

here it is all done.

from what i here, they improve steering response a little,
In any case at least I'll have these Placebos.

June25, 2008

update seven: time for another headache and a late night on the forums.

2 diffs, 1 set of axles,
I have the diff i got with the swap for the version 2 sti,

I can't really verify anything, since there are no ID numbers on the diff itself besides the ring and pinion ratio, but it appears to be a viscous unit with standard hypoids and spiders, i could be wrong, I've only seen as much as you can in the pictures.

as you can see there are three seperate splined sections to mate with the axles.
looks as though one side would need a stepped spline to make it operate like anything other than a regular open diff.
like this (right end of the top axle)

however the axles from the donor car are identical right to left

i have not taken the cover off of the donor car's diff yet, but it did look different than mine, the seller assured me it was LSD.
so tommorow, I'll snap some comparison pics of the other diff and check to see if the splines even fit my diff.
hopefully i can make the leap from assumtions to educated guesses.

· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
some of the pics in this post are HUGE, so I linked them.

June25, 2008
update eight: got fairly high on LSD for most of the afternoon. viscous variety
i NEEDED to verify that the diff i pulled from the donor car is lsd (actually just curious) so i pulled that beast apart.

My mind exploded

there you have it, VLSD guts.
the fluid is sticky and thick, and if you wipe it fast enough i acts as though it were dry.
good news;
i had a good time.
bad news, i need one "mechanical" lsd axle for my sti "mechanical" diff.

supose i run the vlsd for the time being.

got the gas tank in and the rear sub frame,
pics will be up in a while.

June25, 2008

here's the RS LSD next to the ver. 2 r160

and this is just me playing around with scoop and vents on a 93-98 hood

June26, 2008

Update nine: last night i got the gas tank up and the subframe in.
i had planned on using a larger capacity MY00 gas tank, but after removing it from the vehicle i found out that it's plumbed differently for the OBD2B evap system, while the other tank i have is an OBD2 it's actually a 95 and has all the same plumbing i need, so i prepped it and bolted it in.
here are the two tanks side by side, note the jungle of hoses on the 2000 tank (the one under the car)

and here's the tank in the car.
then it was a matter of bolting the sub-frame in before calling it a night.

Today: first thing I got in was the trailing arms and spindles.

then put the struts in place.

mounted the diff.

then the axles

I decided to reuse my FWD gas tank heat shield since the one from the donor car has to go back on, it needed a little trimming. here's a before and after.

I also put these nifty rear sway bar mount brackets on as well as rear lateral links with swabar endlinks.
so now I could mount a rear sway bar. if I had one.
here's the bracket.

the engine and trans are also prepped to come out, so that'll probably happen tomorrow afternoon.
then the new tranny and drive shaft can got in.

i still have to figure out how to disable the trans control unit and switch the ecu transmission ID as well as swapping plugs for the fuel pump.

June27, 2008

Update Ten:
As for the day's progress, most of the time was spent dying at the junk yard to find a couple tid bits i needed, with that done and a bit of heat exhaustion, i got the rear brakes done,

now I just need to get the fronts on , flush and bleed them.

Got the engine ready to pull, that happens tomorrow.

I also made some progress on my shift linkage.
the issue: it's sloppy and flacid.
the solution. replace the loose plastic inserts with a solid bronze bushing and nylon spacers.
I also decided to beef up the rear rubber bushing with some extra windsheild polyurethane i had sitting around.

here's the bushing in factory (12 year old) form.

and here it is filled with urethane.

just filled the gaps and built the bushing out a bit further.

it needs to sit for about 6 hours before i can cut it to shape. I'll get the pics up when it's done.

June29, 2008

Update Eleven:
got the ball rolling today by yanking the motor.
then pulled the tranny
dragged the corpse out
and left it to die

June30, 2008

Update Twelve: Not much big stuff, but i did make a lot of progress on the shift linkage.
got anal on the bushings like a pornstar.
the poly rear finished curing, so i cut it to it's final shape.

then I started in on the rod linkage bushings.
popped out the factory plastic peices and opened the bore a bit.

then pressed in the new bronze collar.

I figured that these nylon peices would be a hell of a lot less compliant than the old worn plasic.

but as it turns out, even those were too loose a fit arount the oe 12mm bolt.
so i decided to ditch both and fab up this little bastard

yeah that took a while to make, but now there is 0 play in that bushing.

I also yanked the Auto shift assembly

· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
July1, 2008
Update Thirteen: today the transmission went in,

then got the axles in,

the bitch pins lived up to their name.

then the new front brakes went on.

followed by the freshly stiffened shifter.

the slop has been reduced by by about 50%, but it is still nowhere near what I would like or am used to.
It seems to be a combination of the mechanical components of the tranny itself and the u joint that attatches the trans to the linkage. i could probably clean up another 20% of that slop by drilling the pin out of the joint and replacing it with another using tighter clearances, but that would mean pulling the tranny down again. Besides, i think I've fonund a band-aid for that using oem components.

drive shaft went in as well, so now the drivetrain is all connected.
pull type clutches are odd and foreign to me.

July2, 2008

Update Fourteen: got the engine prepped to go in.

here's the abridged version.

July5, 2008

b]Update Fifteen:[/b] Not alot of pics on this one, but the motor is in. since learning that the space will be usable for a while longer I've taken a slightly more relaxed pace. Not entirely intentionally, but you can only alienate friends and family so much.

Because i did most of the assembley of the motor with it out of the car, it was a bit heavier than when it was removed, so i had to call in help

BIG thanks to
-The Guy-

could not have done it without you guys.
...literally, without your help i would just be a paraplegic pinned under an EJ22.

also got the clutch and brakes bled.
the brakes still feel like stepping in fresh dog shit, so I'll bleed them again, but i have a feeling I might have to live with it for awhile.

clutch is fucking stiff though.

here's the EJ22E in it's new home.

July5, 2008

Update Sixteen: started off the morning (around 2:30pm) by making the A/T to M/T conversion harness.
here it is from start to finish.

honestly I don't know if it will even work, I took the lazy way and followed some instructions i found on a bbs instead of reffering to the FSM or metering, it just seems too easy. I'll probably end up having to meter it all anyway when it wont crank or starts throwing codes.
speaking of fun and good times.
tomorrows wiring project.
this is the wiring going to and from my feul pump.

I. is the connector coming from the pump, it has two level sending units and 5 wires , it is female the connector going to the ecu, it has 4 wores for one sending unit, it is also female
III. is the old connector from the fuel pump, it had one level sending unit 4 wires and is male.

so i need to get 1 and 2 to fit together and get the ecu reading both sending units.
unfortunately it looks like I'll have to cut off one connector and rewire it as a male end, and run one more wire to the ecu.

one more annoyance

FWD muffler won't clear the rear axle, wrx muffler won't fit on the FWD midpipe with out scraping curbs, and as you can see inthe picture, the WRX exhaust can almost reach the N/A cat.

so it looks like i'll be buying an AWD muffler for now.

oh yeah, and that band-aid that I mentioned for the shifter slop

the spring hooks into an oem bracket that is on the linkage, and then to one on the tranny, keeps it taut.
seems as though that was the intention from the factory, but all the other subarus I've been under have not had it and it does not appear in any of my manuals.

well that's it for today, hopefully I can get a bunch done tomorrow.


trouble shooting wiring right now, it always seems to come back to that.
i seem to have the reverse light an neutral position switches mixed up, so whenever i shift into any gear the reverse lights come on, not a huge issue, but i have no voltage at the neutral position wire regardless of gear position, saftey switch/clutch relay bypass hasn't worked either, so it won't crank, I'll go tackle those after lunch.
i did get the fuel pump working though, all wires are plugged in except for one straggler who may be either a second level sender or a temp sensor wire, I can't find either one on any of my diagrams. but the pump works.

oh well, it was almost easy.

July9, 2008

Update , WTF is this one, seventeen:
slackin on the update for a couple days since not much has happened that seemed like i needed to take pics and report.
since the mechanical portion of the conversion is done, I've moved on to the electrical.
It was a task that should have been fairly straightforward, a sort of intermediate job. Of course it never turns out that way,
I have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better.
I told myself I would have a crack at it the right way with integrated wiring , and if worse comes to worse slp the inhibitor switch from the auto tranny case back on the harness flip the switch to neutral and drive it home, then finish the diagnosis there.
Not going to be that simple, now i get to figure out why i can get 12v from the starter switch but no crank, and once i get the neutral saftey shit to work, then i get to diag a crank no start. hooray.

anyway i've got some pics

this is the feul pupm connector i had to spice in,


· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
July11, 2008

Update Eighteen: no pics this time,
figured out the electrical stuff, mostly.
IT RUNS!! :w00t:
got it started up, the idle is a bit rough, but i have yet to plug the EGR hole.
drve train seems to be working, it's still up in the air so i put it in gear and behold, I now have 2 more wheels spinning than i did before.

reverse switch is bad, and neutral switch is sketchy,
I'll be heading back to the junkyard once again for those switches, an inhibitor switch harness, and to check on some wiring i can find in my FSM diagrams.

tommorrow i put the interior back together see how it rolls and god willing, drive it home.

July,11, 2008

Update Nineteen:

getting close to finalizing this thing, just a few details to iron out .

it has once again put its feet on the ground.

so i lowered the front onto ramps then put the rear on the ground, cleared a path, did my preflight checklist, then fired her up, i rolled back slowly at first then began to pick up speed as i realized the brakes were not doing anything (they are supposed to ) got on the e brake just before i rolled into the bushes.
so i have to put the interior back together and figure the brakes out then i can bring her home.[/size]

[quote name='Mikey' post='597487' date='Jul 11 2008, 09:23 AM']is the egr hole the only vac leak?[/quote]
seems to be, the idle smooths out when i plug it, but there's a lot of valve train noise. the HLAs may not yet be properly lubed, but then again, there might be valvetrain issues. whatever, either way, i eventually have to put the ej18 heads back on there to use the smog equipment. the new (used) motor mounts suck alot, anytime there is even the slightest change in RPM the engine rocks out like dethkolk.

July12, 2008

:drum roll:

I got the brakes working finally, (pedal is only as good as it was before conversion, but it'll do)
I got to thrash it around a little bit,.
Goddamn it's a fun little car.
feels a lot lighter than a WRX or RS, very nimble despite the lack of power.
it rotates pretty easily and its not too hard to induce oversteer with the throttle in the dirt. Also, the bigger front brakes in combination with the rear drum prop valve now operating the discs, left foot and trail braking yield allot more rotation.
there's a small coolant leak somewhere (not obvious, and no steam) :whoknows: I'll have to track that down before i bring it home, but it's ready to drive now.

I've already come up with the next batch of modifications, and i should be able to get crackin on them soon, mainly aimed at better brake and clutch response and pedal feel.
I'll also have some post conversion pics up soon.

July15, 2008

Update Twenty one:
took the afternoon to install RS side skirts, yeah it's a departure from the theme of the car, since i can concieve of no significant practical function for these.
but they are pretty cool and I had them laying around.

install was fairly straight forward,
just test fit them without clips, then mark the perimiter with tape, mark the location of the clips, drill them out then just snap the skirt on, about 12-14 clips and 2 screws per side.

here's what it looked like before

then with the rear skirt marked out

then test fitting the rear

then test fitting the front

then snapping them both in place.

there you have it. all sexied up.

· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow. Nice project. Details on your other cars? the MR2?
those a are my friends cars, the red civic belongs to my friend Ben, I put a 170ps DOHC 1.6L VTEC engine w/ LSD in it. scoots pretty good.
The MR2 was originally N/A, my friend Chris bought it with a JDM 3SGTE in it,
its stock with a boost controller and open DP, we dynoed it at 207whp and 217tq. pretty quick car, he recently traded it for a SRP MY00 RS.

I also own a 94 honda civic coupe with Japanese Integra Type R engine brakes and suspension.
it will be quite some time before the Subaru isn't my "slow car".

· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update Twenty Two: After several weeks of using a 30mm socket as my shift knob, i decided to come up with a more long term remedy. since I was not about to shell out $45-$160 for some fancy new oem shift knob, or an aftermarket one carved from some exotic material, i decided to follow the theme of this project and make it myself.

a reasonably simple task that most any monkey could complete.
I started with this long 17mm bolt that happens to be the same diameter and thread pitch as my shift lever.

then used the nuts shown next to it as my core.

Note: the i staked the end of the nut on the top so the lever would bottom out before the end of the knob.

then i got some of this stuff from the hardware store.
plumbers epoxy putty, Its very VERY strong when it cures properly, and this particular type is optimized for use with steel and at temps of up to 500 degrees F.

then i molded it into a sphere around the stack of nuts.
like so

then added a collar to the base.

I'll warn you now, If you plan on doing this, don't get too crazy with the fancy shapes, this stuff sets up really quick, It is listed as a 3 minute work time, and if it is that it's not a second over. I had intended to make another bit to this knob, but there was just no way i could mold it fast enough, so i ended up with this.
this is my early cut, it still has to be cleaned up a bit more, then it will be rough sanded and painted matte black.

the epoxy is about like working with fiberglass resin.
next thing to remedy was the crooked steering wheel and slight wander to the right i was getting while driving down a straight flat road.
though the front suspension remained attached to the tie rods during the conversion, the cam bolts did come out, so it was not suprising that the alignment may be off.
the only way this alignment was different from the procedure for my civic, was that the rear uses a cam bolt for toe instead of a sliding compensator arm (cams alot easier) and the front has factory camber adjustment (WOOT).

I thought i had simply maxed negative camber on both sides when i put the front end back together, but upon measuring, there was a significant difference. it may have been just the cross camber causing the car to wander, but as i found out later, the toe was off a bit as well.

I used the plumb line to measure camber, initially i got .92 deg on the left and 2.51 deg on the right. I wasn't too mad at the right (maybe a bit surprised at that much adjustment from OE cam bolts) so i tried to match the left to it.
that proved impossible, since after readjusting the bolt, rolling the car back and forth and re measuring it, i could not get anything less than 0 deg in the left.
after re measuring several times, i came to the conclusion that the manner in which i've driven on these factory steel wheels may have had an adverse impact on my ability to aquire reliable measurements (they are fucking warped)
the last backyard rally x when i dove hard into a banked corner and came up on two wheels comes to mind.
But I digress, I replaced the wheels and took measurement again, this time it was quite easy to set both sides to -1.8 deg.
All in all the camber set was actually pretty quick and simple once i could trust my measurements. although i did have to bust out the calculator and use some formulas from highschool geometry class

Toe was set to 0 all around, and it was good to go.
i had a fun little test drive afterward, i must say that 215s up front and 205s out back is alot better than i had expected.

[quote name='justin_time303' date='Jul 24 2008, 06:48 PM' post='599861']
nicely done! now its beginning to look like mine!

then you should like this.


· Registered
1998, Impreza L, Brilliant Red
475 Posts
Ha, I swapped my 93L with a 2.2L and did an AWD manual conversion just like you. I did my whole conversion in 3 days with the help of my brother but i had done the AWD and manual conversion before so I knew exactly what to do. How long did it take you.

· yep. you heard me.
‘18 E63s AMG wagon & 10 Subarus
9,328 Posts
im probably gonna want to talk to you guys about the AWD conversion. im doing it in my 95 coupe in a couple weeks. i have the rear subframe + LSD + axles from a 01 leg gt, and the rear discs+hubs+brakes+lines from a 95ish impreza (axles dont match so ill have to get others) + awd gas tank. what else will i need? (besides misc bolts)

· Registered
1994, impreza L /EJ20G
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
elislider, what transmission do you have? got a drive shaft? is the vehicle manual or auto?
I highly recommend you check out NASIOC user Legacy777's write up, it's not Impreza specific, but it is very detailed and he has an extensive parts list with all costs documented. you can find it here:
He's pretty knowledgeable and helped me out with a couple of my issues.

shaggyguy, I initially was planning on doing this over a weekend since i had a limited amount of time, but as my deadline was increased by over a month and i ended up having to fab a bunch of parts, and go to the junk yard about 4 times, i ended up taking my time and doing it over tow weeks, also including stripping down and reassembling another car.

here's my latest installment.

Twenty Three:
did a little finish work on the knob today,
did the finish cut then sanded it.

then cut a small piece of plexi glass about the size of a quarter

traced my design onto the back of the plexi

then scored it in with a razor and painted the design on

stuck the plexi cap on with some epoxy and finish ground it.
then I masked off the plexi and hit it with a couple layers of gloss black.

its not exactly as i imagined and gloss blacks not my thing, but i didn't have any flat or matte, so it'll have to do for now, if i end up doing this again I can think of a few things I'd do differently to make the process simpler and the product better.

the last thing I did was make the jamb nut, I just took a regular 17mm flange nut and ground it to a conical shape to fit the inside of the knob.

here it is in the car.


· yep. you heard me.
‘18 E63s AMG wagon & 10 Subarus
9,328 Posts
ha wow thats a pretty sick knob for completely fabbing it yourself

my car is a 95 coupe, 1.8L FWD, manual trans, driveshaft is coming with my v3 sti setup (engine/trans/other stuff)
looks like the only things i might be missing is a couple arms in the rear.
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