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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all! I've been lurkin' around here for a long time and figured I should probably share my progress so far. I bought my 1997 Impreza OBS in September of 2015 with 130k miles on it and has served me well. Since then I have put 25k more miles on it. It made it to Arizona and back and also to Portland and back twice and has only left me stranded once!

Most Current Look in action Before I blew the engine



Mod List
Old Engine Boosted EJ22E
WRX DP
Custom UP With WB AFR Gauge (I also ran Glowshift boost gauge)
06 WRX Intercooler and 04 WRX Y-Pipe I made fit by force.
Turbosmart Supersonic BOV
NGK BK7RE Plugs
Walbro 255
Custom Intake with Spectre filter
Ebay Catch can
Grounding Kit
Optima Red top

Exhaust
Modified WRX exhaust with no name muffler
UEL Header

Interior
04 WRX Front Seats
Center Console With Lid
V3 STI cluster (Yet to Install)
Anti Trunk Rattle Mod
LED interior Lights
Pioneer Single Din Stereo and Speakers

Exterior
07 WRX wheels Curbed edition
V6 Front Bumper
Hella 500's (yet to be wired)
Rallyarmor Basic Flaps
Hella Supertones
JDM Clear corners and Blinkers
Pink I Badge
Roof Basket
20% Front Tint 15% Back

Suspension
KYB Excel-G struts
Stock Springs
WRX 17mm RSB
Group-N Pitch Stop
Brand New steering rack with Whiteline Bushings

Things to do
Swap in New engine
Fix Rear wiper and cig lighter
Alignment

Since my EJ22 is toast I ordered a low mile jdm EJ20E and plan to swap everything over and boost it too. Correct me if I am wrong but it seems I may be one of the first to boost a phase 1 EJ20 NA SOHC

Alright! Throw your opinions at me!
 

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Registered
1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This is the only picture I can find of when I first bought it but as you can see totally stock and unmolested. No rust, and was owned by an older lady. I went to purchase it the 3rd day of my junior year in High Schoo' and became the car I learned to drive standard on!



Shortly after I acquired some LGT wheels a roof basket an some other small things and it made it look like this



I apologize about the camera quality too. If you have a problem with my camera quality you can try and resolve it here :Official Apple Support
The only noticable flaw in the car can also be seen on the drivers door here.



Anotha' Shot
 

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needs more cowbell
95L, 07 2.5i, R6
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9,281 Posts
Where'd you find the curbed edition wheels? Those sound rare, lol. Can't wait to see how the 20e swap goes. Why did you choose that over a dohc jdm na?
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Where'd you find the curbed edition wheels? Those sound rare, lol. Can't wait to see how the 20e swap goes. Why did you choose that over a dohc jdm na?
I only did because of what im pretty sure of is changing or merging wire harnesses. With the 20e I chose because it has like 98% of the same parts as an ej22 also
 

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1998 GF8, 2003 BH9
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156 Posts
My cars stock engine was an EJ20e and they're super reliable. From my understanding they're basically a baby EJ22e so you shouldn't have any issues with the swap. I'm interested how it will handle boost.

Luke
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I didnt do a whole lot else to it during my time in High School, I threw on some authentic JDM Clear Corners, UEL Header, New struts and Hella Supertones and got kids thinking im twin-turboed lol.

After I graduated I moved down to Phoenix to go to school. The apartments I lived in had a Strict Policy on Working on Cars. They were highly against doing so. So as a kid who highly respects the rules, I busted out the tools and got busy. One of the first things I did was buy a brand new V6/2.5RS bumper and installed it.


I also got the hookup on tint ($75!) and got some 07 wrx wheels. Scored some 04 WRX front seats too.


Now this is where the fun begins. One Night me and Buddy decided we were gonna boost my car. We didnt know how we could with the lack of tools and space and resources but we were gonna do it one way or another. So I started gather parts for the conversion. Surprisingly in Phoenix there were more subies around than I originally Thought and I was stockpiling Parts fast! So after I had everything I needed we drove over to your friendly neighborhood Oreilly's and got to work! in the meantime while I was installing my buddy fabbed me an Uppipe. after hours of pain and cursing in the 120 degree sun and a lunch break at Taco Bell the end product was this!



We had finished just in time too. It had started to rain and a haboob (Duststom) was starting to kick up. After I made it home i did a few adjustments and fixes to get it up to good condition and within the next day i was boosting! All wasnt well though my car was only making 1PSI and I couldnt find the problem for another 5 months:bonk: So in the meantime I just drove it and got some night time shots while I was at it



After the" Big" turbo build I finished up school and drove back to Washington the trip back was around 1500 miles total and it was defininitely a fun drive.
After i got home I made it a priority to figure out why I wasn't making boost. I literally tried everything, I had a smoke test done boost leak test, you name it. Nobody could figure out why i was only making 1psi instead of 5! I literally started swapping parts and cleaning them. I swapped turbos, intercoolers, wastegates all of it! Finally one day I had my Blow off Valve apart and decided to clean and lubricate it. A little after I had to run to down to the grocery store to buy a few things. i decided "oh what the hell" and got on the throttle. I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw the boost gauge climb to 5PSI and hear the PSSSHHHH sound, I was so happy that I had figured out why I wasnt boosting. The next day i picked up an MBC from a buddy so I could up it to 8PSI.

A week or so later I decided to go to WCSS by myself since my friends all bailed lol. Saw some nice cars there including a LS Powered BRZ and an all Electric WRX. I had lots of fun and made some new friends. Got some insperation as well. Decided to get her Dirty too :projectsti.com:

 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Since then I decided I definitely need a new clutch since mine would slip going up hills because of the excessive stress from boost. I decided to keep it simple and run an 06 wrx pressure plate, Clutch Disc and Flywheel. But before I could do that, Tragedy Struck. I was on my way home from a friends house late at night and noticed a Burning oil smell. I didn't think of it as a big deal since I checked my oil a few hours earlier and was about to change it anyway. But as I cleared the trees on the highway, In the light of the moon I could see smoke coming from my hood and quite a bit too. Since it was late at night and I was almost home I figured I would be fine and check the issue the next morning. I rounded the next corner and my car seemed to be losing power like it was a boost leak or something. Pretty soon I was struggling getting up the hill I was driving on and before I could pull over to see what was up I heard the noise that would ruin the rest of my week to come. I pulled over to the side of the highway the best I could at that time my low oil pressure light decided to come on which didn't help my case at all. I shut off the car and popped the hood and notice my oil return line was dangling. I shut the hood immediately and called for a tow. I already knew what happened :facepalm: in the meantime I positioned my car by rolling it back downhill so i can get a good spot to hook chains to without being in the way of 3AM Saturday night traffic lol got a tow home and the car sat for the next two weeks while i saved money for a new engine. at some point later I noticed everywhere i drove previously had oil spots on the road but i never noticed any smoke or oil smell. Maybe if I had noticed that I could've saved my engine who knows.

Anyway a few days later I ordered a low mile jdm ej20 from JDM Racing Motors. A week or so later it showed up



I figured I should do the timing belt, rear main seal and valve cover gaskets at least. Im also gonna throw my new clutch setup on too and then swap over my turbo setup. So in between the time of ordering my motor and it getting here I have been busy taking out my old EJ22 and dissembling it to the shortblock. Heads looked good still so maybe ill sell em or keep them for something else. I also busted a headbolt and that definitely slowed my progress and motivation. Iv'e also been busy lately with work and ordering parts that haven't really gotten to work on my swap in the last few days. But anyhow that pretty much sums up the life of my car so far
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Oh and sorry guys if its long and boring im just trying to get all caught up on here with my progress.
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
My cars stock engine was an EJ20e and they're super reliable. From my understanding they're basically a baby EJ22e so you shouldn't have any issues with the swap. I'm interested how it will handle boost.

Luke
Yeah im very curious too. Are the heads better flowing? I also figured the cylinder walls are thicker so a stronger block? But anyways I am definitely going to take it slow on this build. Boosting it will be alot like a science experiment while I record results lol
 

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1998 GF8, 2003 BH9
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156 Posts
I'm not to sure on that. The cylinder wall are definitely thicker but again I'm not sure. My current EJ20e is currently at 323,000 km and with no leaks and doesn't burn oil. Hopefully you have got one similar to mine.
 

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Hey! I'm with you on the ej20e.

I have had mine installed since December of last year... no issues so far.
I'm very interested in you boosting your car as well, because I may end up going that route too.
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Hey! I'm with you on the ej20e.

I have had mine installed since December of last year... no issues so far.
I'm very interested in you boosting your car as well, because I may end up going that route too.
did you originally have an ej22? and if you did did you also have to swap the crank sprocket? ive heard you do and dont just wondering.
 

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I originally had an ej25. Went down in size for reliability and price.

I compiled all the information on this thread:
http://www.rs25.com/forums/f128/t228787-jdm-na-ej20-swap-megathread.html

(I need to update that with the pictures I took:)

Also, I believe there are only 2 style of crank sprockets. Either the one with 3 timing teeth or with a whole bunch of them. Mine were different, so I swapped. It's pretty obvious if they are different or not.
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Well, I finally had a little time after work to work on the ej20 and I got it sripped down to where I needed it to be. Just gotta get the timing belt ordered and clutch and I can put her in!


Also I am probably gonna sell this manifold here if anyone wants it. I'll include the PS pump and AC Compressor for a good price!


One more thing, Im also trying to wire my new foglights but I cant find where the relay goes I was told a pink plug but Ive looked everywhere does anyone have any pics of where it may be? The relay I got looks like this
 

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2000 OBS
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I am under the impression that the fog relay (at least the stock one that's wired to the switches in the dash) is in fuse box in the engine bay. There are more relays there that look to be the same type. Not 100% on that though.

Nice car, I wish I was at a point to be boosting mine right now :(
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza OBS
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Discussion Starter #18
I am under the impression that the fog relay (at least the stock one that's wired to the switches in the dash) is in fuse box in the engine bay. There are more relays there that look to be the same type. Not 100% on that though.

Nice car, I wish I was at a point to be boosting mine right now :(
Alright ill have to check there then I really want to find this thing
 

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The timing belt tensioner looks... strange.

Can you get a better picture/angle? Is it just me, or is it broken?


Wait... I just realized... we have different engines.

I have an ej203 (THREE)... The intake bolts are staggered on mine, and yours are not.
...which I guess also explains why the timing belt tensioner looks so different.
 
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