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'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the second member's journal that I'm making, in part because nobody here pays attention to non-swapped RS journals, and partly because this really is the second phase of this car.

The old member's journal can be found here: Razor7's homebuilt 2000 RS

I also want to document an important endeavor - getting a 2000 JDM STI Version 6 (EJ207) engine California legal with proper BAR, reg, and smog testing.

Base car - December 2010

  • 2000 Subaru 2.5rs Sedan with 176,581mi
  • Automatic
  • Blown engine
  • Blown diff
  • Bad rear right wheel bearing
  • Missing: hood, bumper, headlights, fog lights, interior trim pieces, audio
Phase 1 - 2011 - 2014

  • 2011
  • Make a running car
  • Swap to manual transmission (including full ECU and main harness swap)
  • Replace motor (second time)
  • Replace missing body and interior pieces
  • Add audio
  • Perform "cheap" mods (RS DIY section)

  • Paint and perform maintenance
  • 176,581mi -> 210,000mi / 2011-2015
Phase 2 - 2014 - 2015

  • Buy 1999 STI Version 5 front clip with bad rod bearing EJ207
  • Swap full drivetrain, upgrade all bushings, replace/rebuild all wear items
  • Replace and upgrade 3 Bs: Bearings, Bushings, Ball-Joints
  • 210,000 - 216,000 / 2015-2016
Phase 3 - 2016 - 2017

  • 216,000 - 223,000
  • Replace EJ251 with Ej207 V6 including wiring merge. Add USDM parts for SMOG compliance
  • Get Bar'd
  • Rejoice
  • Coilovers
Phase 4 - 2019

  • 6 speed swap (3.90)
  • Interior - new front seats, new carpet and touch pieces, new audio, backup camera and radio, new steering wheel, fix/replace worn pieces
Phase 5

  • GD/GC WRX front lip
  • Paint car Porsche 930 blue (Minerva Blue Metallic)
  • Get/make sweet wheels
  • Version 5 spoiler

Current setup (04/08/18)


  • JDM Front and rear crossmembers
  • JDM aluminum control arms
  • JDM rear knuckles
  • JDM axles
  • JDM STI pink lateral links and trailing arms
  • JDM V5 carbon front strut brace
  • JDM STI front and rear endlinks
  • USDM RS steering rack
  • USDM front knuckles
  • STI Group N bushings (engine, transmission)
  • Whiteline 22mm FSB, 24mm RSB
  • Whiteline ball joints
  • Whiteline tie rod ends
  • Whiteline anti-lift kit
  • Whiteline subframe locking bolts
  • ST Suspension XT HTA coilovers
  • Cusco rear camber plates
  • TCS rear strut brace
  • Beatrush pitch stop
  • Perrin bushings (shifter)
  • Paranoid Fabrications Fender Brace

  • CA BAR legal build
  • 2000 EJ207 V6 Long Block
  • 2006 STI oil pan, pick up, baffle plate
  • 2003 USDM WRX EJ205 wiring, timing and smog equipment
  • 1999 JDM STI up pipe and down pipe (modified down pipe with rear O2 sensor)
  • 2003 JDM STI mid pipe and muffler
  • VF28 Turbo
  • ID 725cc Injectors
  • Koyo radiator
  • Aeromotive Stealth 11542 w/ STI Slosh Box
  • COBB ebcs
  • 3mm phenolic spacers

    Dyno'd at 272hp and 239tq @ 20psi on tune for CA 91

  • JDM 5 speed 4.44FD with VLSD Front Differential
  • JDM R160 4.44FD Suretrac LSD
  • ACT Streetlight Flywheel
  • ACT heavy duty clutch and pressure plate
  • Braided clutch line
  • Trans and diff get Subaru Extra MT Gear Oil
  • OEM JDM short shifter

  • 2013 WRX brake booster and master cylinder
  • JDM 4 pot front
  • JDM 1 pot rear w/ vented rear rotor
  • Blank rotors
  • Stoptech front pads (Track: Hawk DTC-60)
  • Stoptech rear pads (Track: Hawk Blue)
  • Stainless lines on all 4
  • Motul 500.1

  • 2004-2007 GD JDM WRX
  • 1996 impreza folding rear seats (rare)
  • Alpine - CDA105
  • Dayton 6.5" components with 1" tweeters fronts
  • Tang Bang 6.75" subwoofers in rear deck
  • 16ga wiring to each speaker, loomed
  • Alpine V12 5 channel amp
  • 1.75 Farhad capacitor
  • Upgraded grounds
  • Underside spray-on sound deadening

  • 2013 BRZ/FRS wheels painted gold
  • Custom gray paint with 25% flattener for satin finish
  • Retrofitted 3" projectors with E55 shrouds
  • Nighthawk +25 on every exterior light
  • JDM V5 aluminum hood
  • JDM V5 grille
  • JDM Rear spats
To date estimates

Time - 900 hours
Times bled - 34
Dropped something on face or foot - 22
Bought parts unnecessarily - Arguably the whole car

Current Pictures

Timelapse of EJ207 swap (11/16-1/17)

First trackday with EJ207 swap and finished suspension



'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Phase 1

To get this going, I had to replace the motor and move it. Then, I got to strip it

And take parts off of this (motor, drivetrain, wiring, whatever part was in better condition)

(which ended up like this)

To make this

Which over the years turned into this


'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Phase 2

While the car had been running fine up to this point, some serious work was on the near horizon. From 176,581 - 216,000 I drove this car hard, every day, redlining and rev-matching downshifts everywhere. It was a blast, but tired. The things that needed the most attention were:

- Bearings, bushings, ball joints, hubs
- Clutch and flywheel
- Brakes (the whole system)
- Struts and springs
- Transmission syncros
- Interior normal wear and tear
- Maaco paint dying after 3 years
- Needs more power

From all this a real decision had to be made - keep the car and dump up to $10,000 into it, or sell it and move on to another project. At this point I had well over 500 hours tied up in the build, and being as it's my favorite Subaru body and one of my favorite cars, I decided to press onwards and do a full rebuild.

To kick things off, I bought a 1999 JDM STI Version V clip with transmission and rear end. It came with 2 motors, but one was blown and a phase 1, the other had a bad rod bearing. I basically paid what the body and driveline are worth and got 2 free motors and a bunch of stuff to sell. On the motors, I parted out the blown one and saved the one with a bad rod bearing for future plans.

This ended up in my garage, which was... interesting.

Eventually it was stripped and all parts were set aside for future use

Then I stripped and swapped the entire drivetrain into my car, along with new bushings, clutch, rebuilt brakes, etc.

Basically removed all of these components and swapped them with the JDM counterparts

When all was said and done, I got to drive around in this

'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Phase 3

Now that my complete drivetrain had been replaced, including all new bushings throughout, clutch, flywheel, rebuilt brakes, stainless lines, new fluids, etc, it's time to move on to the motor.

Since the motor(s) I had picked up were either blown or had a bad rod bearing, it was time to source another motor for the immediate swap. As I'm making this swap CA legal, I chose to run an EJ207 V6 with EJ205 timing, intake, and exhaust sensors. Essentially, this is an EJ207 long block with EJ205 everything else.

To start, all of the blown motors were taken apart and parts harvested, and whatever was salvageable was sold off or recycled

The EJ207 V6 was torn down so I could do a full 90k service and replace the entire oil system

From here, I'm sending 3 harnesses down to iWire, who has been a magnificent help in all of this. Harnesses are off a 2001 RS Coupe, 1999 JDM STI Ver. V (for credit), and 2003 USDM WRX.

Also took the time to swap to an STI fuel pump with baffle

And flared my fenders to fit 215/45R17 Pole Position S-04s

And once parts were bought and shipped, the rebuild on the motor commenced.

'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The motor on its own won't pass the CA BAR due to it using OBDI sensors in a shell with an OBDII compliant VIN. They also won't pass the ECU as when they scan it over the OBDII bus it will show a ton of necessitated sensors as being offline and will come up as the Japanese model (which never passed our SMOG compliance). Further, in CA it won't pass visual inspection as it lacks (2) catalytic converters and TGVs in the intake manifold. None of this matters to anyone with a shell that predates the 1996 introduction of OBDII compliance by Subaru. ** I've gotten some responses to this statement, so allow me to clarify. I have heard of people passing their 1993/1994 shells with EJ20Gs off as motors from a 1994 Legacy Turbo and getting them BAR'd. If this is something that works, it would ONLY apply to 1993 and 1994 shells. This may be a loophole that is now closed, they may have just been lucky, or a variety of things may have helped aid the process. Please research this before jumping in! This Wikipedia article will provide some background. **

So what do you do? You basically have to convert the OBDI V6 motor to support USDM OBDII sensors which requires:

EJ207 V5 or V6 Long Block
- Everything inside the cases and heads

EJ205 USDM (2002-2007 WRX, ideally 2002/3)
- Crank gear and timing sensor
- Left intake cam gear and timing sensor
- Intake manifold (2003 was ideal for my build)
- Intake tract with MAF sensor
- TMIC with BOV
- Headers
- Up pipe (catted)
- Turbo (TD04)
- Down pipe (2 cats)
- Cat back
- Main harness
- Fuel pump controller and harness
- Fuel pump
- Power steering pump and tank
- Power steering high-pressure lines
- All sensors: oxygen (2), EGT (1), TGV (2), TGV motors (2), MAF (1), and timing (2) need to be fully functional. When you take your car to the ref it can't show any codes being listed, sensors inaccessible or reading wrong, and it needs to populate as a USDM 200x WRX which necessitates a USDM WRX ECU.

Retaining A/C

- Stock (RS) everything (compressor, condenser, compressor mount, soft lines, hard lines, expansion valve, core)
- Stock (RS) radiator - the JDM one will hit the condenser inlet/outlet
- You'll also have to cut the driver side injector rail cover and bend the mounting point on the hard/soft line running from the compressor to the expansion valve/core

- Wiring merge (I chose to tick every box - avcs, dccd, intercooler spray, etc. all for future plans)
- Misc. things like coolant runners, vacuum lines, etc. off either V6 or EJ205

Since I was in there, I figured I would replace with new (OEM where possible)

- Head gaskets
- Timing belt
- Tensioner
- Pulleys
- Water pump
- Thermostat
- 10mm oil pump
- Oil cooler
- 2006 STI oil pan
- 2006 STI oil pick up tube
- 2006 STI oil baffle plate
- 2006 STI dip stick
- V6 dipstick tube (same length, different mounting point)
- Rear main seal
- Oil baffle plate
- NGK Iridium plugs
- All coolant rubber hose
- All vacuum rubber hose
- All gaskets that touch the head or intake manifold
- Entire A/C system (compressor, condenser, expansion valve, drier, core)

If I'm being honest, I'm not really sure why I went with this choice in parts and replacements. It would have been 1000x easier to have just started with a wrecked USDM WRX and/or buy a EJ205 motor and everything from a part out. And the money spent could have done other more fun things, like twinscrolls and forged internals... What swayed me was the cost of and the condition the clip came in - I wound up with a great hood, grille, and drive-train that otherwise would have been foregone.

Ultimately I'll end up with a motor and drive-train that's good for another 100k mi, but at a higher cost to my wallet and sanity.

'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Getting the car to pass the BAR was both difficult and easy. By researching at end for hours upon hours I was able to match everything from a WRX - down to the turbo heat shields - and have it passed on the first go. This took a considerable amount of work.

That said, the injector o-rings were dry and brittle, causing gas to not feed into the cylinders. You could smell gas every time you floored it.

The next thing to do is fix that issue and get it tuned for a more appropriate road-car. For this I utilized

- 725cc ID injectors
- VF28 from the V5 EJ207
- Retrofitted GR TMIC
- Tune

The result was 232hp and 210tq with serious boost lag. It wouldn't hit 16psi until 4,000rpm due to the 2002 WRX exhaust which contained no less than (3) cats. I also left the restriction pill for the TD04 installed which didn't help.


'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The best SMOG legal exhaust.

OEM exhausts tend to rob the motor of power, and the 2002 WRX exhaust is one of the worst. There are (3) catalytic converters - one in the up-pipe and two in the down-pipe. In order to get the BAR sticker of approval, all (3) cats had to be installed and operational.

However, I want as much power as I can squeeze out of this thing. While I haven't confirmed if this method will work (I'll update after I run a test SMOG on it. EDIT: It worked!) this is what I've come up with to pass the visual portion of the SMOG. Note, that it still may not pass the sniffer test (EDIT: there was none as the ECU is newer than 2000/2001).

In order from left to right: JDM V5 up pipe, JDM V5 down pipe, JDM V7 mid pipe, JDM V7 muffler.

This specific selection was chosen to keep the OEM look while increasing flow. The mid pipe in particular was chosen due to the front resonator looking like a catalytic converter. The hope here is that the smog tech will glance at the mid pipe, see what looks like a cat, and not think twice about it. EDIT: He did. However, if they run the serial number printed on the heat shield, it won't come up as a cat. It's a shot in the dark, truthfully.

The up pipe has nearly 2mm larger ID. The down pipe's ID remains the same as the USDM one, but you're moving from (2) cats to (1) high-flow.

The down pipe had to be modified with a bung for the rear O2. I also chose to run a reducer where the O2 would typically go (post turbo but pre cat) to use the EGT sensor. I don't want any codes to be cleared when I go to smog and would rather retain the EGT. Note though that the reducer doesn't terminate like a stock up pipe which has forced me to buy another adapter, a M12 x 1.25 to 1/8" NPT and run an aftermarket EGT sensor.

Will this all work? I'm not sure, but it's my best bet at upgrading the exhaust to flow at a higher rate without removing the ability to SMOG easily. The goal is to *not* need to swap downpipes every 2 years.

EDIT: The EGT sensor never worked, I ended up plugging the hole and having the tuner kill the code on the ECU. Smog passed on the first try and I got my reg.


'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Around this time I cleaned up some lingering issues from 2015 and 2016, and got to work on suspension.

I fixed the ABS issue (throwing codes for front sensors) by installing tone rings on the front axles. The '99 JDM axles were made for older style tone-ring-on-hub style knuckles, but tone rings for the newer tone-ring-on-axle type knuckles worked fine.

And installed a new streetlight flywheel and HD clutch, since I was in there.

I had already replaced all bushings back in 2015, but it was definitely time to give it some more love. Out with the old (and clunking), in with the new.

- ST Suspensions XT HTA
- Cusco rear camber plates
- JDM STI Pink lateral links
- JDM STI Pink trailing arms
- JDM STI front end links
- Whiteline 22mm front sway bar
- Whiteline 24mm rear sway bar
- Whiteline HD rear mounts
- Whiteline HD rear end links
- JDM STI V5/6 carbon front strut brace


'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Wow, that's a lot of work, might as well build a kit car at this rate, trying to get a 207 BAR'D.

Why didn't you just pick up an OBDI impreza?
I plan to build my own kit car down the road, but probably not for another 5 years. Gotta buy a house and be all grown up and stuff first....

I already had this shell, and since I have 700+ hours of labor tied up in it to date, to dump it for an OBDI shell would have felt like I'm sending a best friend to slaughter. Further, it's difficult to get OBDI swaps legal in CA as you have to pass them as a Legacy Turbo, which only sold from 94-96 (from what I recall).

Doable, and likely *way* easier than all this nonsense, but not without its own headaches.

Plus, I kind of like her.


Premium Member
96 Impreza Coupe
1,587 Posts
^also you may get a OBDI swap past your average Smog tech but if you ever get a State ref ticket you are SOL becuse they will be able to tell that engine doesn't belong there. With the BAR sticker you are good to go. I was able to get a BAR sticker for my version 8 EJ207, passed as a 2002 wrx motor(the 02 WRX ECU runs the version 8 EJ207 no problem). I will need to to this again with my new shell. :(

I dont even think you'd pass an OBDI as a Legacy Turbo, they were 2.2L SOHC motors.

'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
^also you may get a OBDI swap past your average Smog tech but if you ever get a State ref ticket you are SOL becuse they will be able to tell that engine doesn't belong there. With the BAR sticker you are good to go. I was able to get a BAR sticker for my version 8 EJ207, passed as a 2002 wrx motor(the 02 WRX ECU runs the version 8 EJ207 no problem). I will need to to this again with my new shell. :(

I dont even think you'd pass an OBDI as a Legacy Turbo, they were 2.2L SOHC motors.
Well, I stand corrected :)

All of my energy has gone into the BAR program for this car, as OBDII. There's certainly more info out there I don't know about OBDI swaps

Swap scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. :burnout:


'00 RS / V5 STI
584 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
What, you thought I was kidding?

I'm 18 hours in and at roughly 50% (edit: yeah... no. Try 18%). The dash is mostly reassembled, and now I'm just working towards getting everything else buttoned up for the most part.

Stay tuned.

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