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1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings from the Boston area, I've used rs25 for many years now but haven't started a thread for my car yet. Been on Nasioc and had a thread on new england subaru forums for this car 5+ years ago, but went off to college and couldn't bring the car with me, so it was left in VT.



*Nardi sti wheel on ebay , best $90 I've ever spent, what a work of art...



It started life with the pre-face hood, grill, and bumper, but now runs the 97+ hood/ bumper/ grill. It also started life an automatic but the neutral drops by high school me took care of the torque converter. Sourced a fwd 5 speed out of a legacy and collected the other parts for the swap (probably won't do this swap ever again purely due to the sweaty struggle that is swapping pedal assemblies) but oh my gawd did it change the car. At the time I also threw on fresh stainless UEL's from ebay and the car went from absolute grandma snail to reasonably exciting slug that made great noises. It remained in my parents driveway up until last spring when I decided to attempt a rescue.



All in all this little beast has been through a lot, but I plan to put it through more; the basic goal is to go lightweight, better brakes (jdm 4/2's with whole rear assemblies and ebrake cables, etc), simple stance set up (currently on KYB GR2's/stock srpings + just picked up LGT snowflakes 16x6.5 with 205), and na high compression set up (I helped build an ej25/ej18 frankenmotor back in high school and the NA torque from that motor was intoxicating.)

Current set up:

EJ18
Drilled airbox
Stainless UEL headers, cat delete, 2 inch back (needs 2.5)
Legacy FWD 5 speed with short shift mod (my friend did this by changing one of the shifter arms in the linkage- I'll try to get more info from him and some pics but I think its a widely known mod)

KYB GR2's all around
Stock springs because Vermont roads
Impreza 15" stockies
Factory FSB no RSB ( looking into options, possibly no RSB because FWD..?)

Nardi STI steering wheel
Forrester interior matched seats, surprisingly high bolstered and probably going to keep them
Stripped interior (everything except driver seat, dash, pillar trims, and radio)



The car weighed 2780 on a recycling scale before I stripped it, which was surprising but I guess it doesn't have any of the weight from center dif, driveshaft, rear dif, rear axels and all that other stuff I have't had to mess with lol. I'll go get pictures on the same scale, but post-stripping weight was a delectable 2460! (there was a lot of s*** in the carpet and an unknown animal nest in the trunk) It actually moves now too, still not anywhere near quick, but impressively better.



I have some parts on the way and plan on getting my baby back on the road in the next couple weeks as my commuter tdi Jetta was hit and totaled. Figure I can put a small portion of the money they gave me for it into parts to get the suby on the road again and save the rest, so stayed tuned, its probably gonna get hectic... parts I have / have on the way for her:

JDM WRX 4/2 pots with knuckles (and hopefully everything else I need to make the discs work in the rear, probably going to be some interesting DIY to make some form of outter axel stub hold the hub on)
LGT 16x6.5
(still need to choose a tire)
1 inch spacers (to clear 4/2 pots)
New GR2's
H and R sport or Eibach's, still deciding on this one, but definitely needed, my front right spring is actually broken
Experiment with sway bar set ups to accommodate for understeer, possibly no RSB?

And Paint! I've been doing some rust repairs and practicing my thin sheet welding on the old girl so I'll throw up some shots of that. Really this car is a practice bed for me to learn more and continue to experiment with the incredible GC chasis as well as the FWD variant in general, but not too much... I plan on DD'ing it within the next 3 weeks into the foreseeable future so upgrades will be strategic, reasonable, and probably weekend-based. Stay tuned!
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Vermont likes it's salt, and brine... really wonderful...



Rebuilt with a BMW arch generously donated to me from the body shop next door. I rebuilt the other rear arch too but have no pics...



The drivers side rear must have had water pooling in the compartment next to the trunk because the passenger side rear was fairly clean...



Just decided to hack off the lower bit and box it in, with new drain holes at low corner



A few more bad spots to come, a bunch of hours grinding/sanding (all I have is time,) paint, a nice drenching of POR15 and I'm hoping I don't have to touch it again for a while. Surprisingly the classic New England patches (where the bumper cover meets metal) are pretty clean. 馃檹
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Attempting to drop the entire rear suspension by disconnecting struts and dropping the subframe: dropped the exhaust and did some other miscellaneous things.



I have all the bolts on the rear subframe loose, brake lines disconnected, rear strut top nuts off, but was stopped by the salt monster at the trailing arm bolts. Let them soak in PB for the day and tried with all the PSI's from the air gun but no sauce. Even tried a 6 point with a breaker bar resting on a jack and another on retaining nut, jacking the 6 point lefty-loosey, no sauce. Probably going to cut or torch them out on Monday and get new hardware, I have trailing arms coming with the rear brakes so I'm not to worried if I trash them. Look at that monster truck height! The automatic springs raised the car a 1/2 inch when I swapped in the lighter 5 speed.



Brake parts and pads should be in Monday, trailing arm bushings and hardware, new stainless headers (pretty rotted) and gaskets , but still trying to work with KYB and find the right spring for my set up. Sounds like there might be another run of P11L's from 2pot but not sure I wanna spend 300+ for springs. Any spring suggestions for a 1 inch drop and slightly more aggressive spring rate are greatly appreciated!
 

Registered
1995 EZ30 Coupe
Joined
559 Posts
I dropped the trailing arms with the whole rear assembly, F that noise. I was able to get penetrating oil right on the three bolts that connect them to the chassis because the bottom rear of my rockers are rusted open. Rust actually helped me deal with rust.

Anyway looking forward to seeing this play out. I love weight reduction.
Also very impressed you were about to drop over 300 pounds!
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That's awesome, I probably should have tried that before welding my rockers back up... Thanks for the input! I might try drilling holes in the back seat to access those 3 nuts for that plate: I assumed they were welded to the chasis but I know they're corroded enough that they'll probably break.

I'll get the car on a couple different scales with pictures so I'm not just talking out my butt. No ABS helps and I'm going to delete the AC and knock off those ~30 lbs, too. I used to have 0-60 video before and after I stripped it; 11s before and around 9s after. More to come Monday!
 

Super Moderator
2000 RSTi
Joined
278 Posts
I wonder if you could still find one of those OBX front LSD's they used to sell. Also, 00-01 RS 6-spoke wheels are about the lightest OEM 16" alloys Subaru put on cars (to the best of my faulty knowlege). The 5-spoke 14" legacy wheels you are currently rocking are even lighter, though.

Additionally, if you want 4/2 pot level of braking but want to save weight (and mucho money!), this combo uses the same brake rotors. 2002-2005 WRX fronts, 2005-2009 Legacy GT rears. That's the combo I have run on my 1st gen Legacy turbos over the years, and they slow down a 300hp+, 3000lbs car very nice. Want even lighter brakes that will still be way-overkill for your car? The 2 piston front brakes that came on subis with a 2.5L engine. Such as outbacks, RS's, Foresters, etc, along with their rear disc setup.
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the tips! The shop next door has a rusty Forrester that's about to puke the rear strut tops through the towers, but all the brake parts look good, I'll have to look into it. My friend used to have a legacy with 4/2's and I loved how they could pull your face off. I'll have to experiment with the WRX fronts and Legacy GT rears. I'm just excited to have some 5x100 rear knuckles that use rotors in the rear! Which arrived today 馃

I also managed to pull the whole rear suspension today, had to grind the trailing arms bolts at the body because they just weren't havin' it. I made a template and drilled 3, 2 cm holes (just large enough to fit a 19 mm) above each bolt holding the trailing arm brackets to the body so I could access the "welded" nuts because they broke off in the frame. I have them soaking in the good stuff now, but if they don't break loose on Wednesday, out comes the grinder and I'll at least be able to pull out the scraps and feed fresh new hardware with access holes from the top. I have some toaster quality iPhone 4 shots that I'll throw up tomorrow.
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)


Used a broken dolly that I could slide under the rear with a bottle jack between its rails and just lowered the whole thing and rotated it out from under.





Now all I need is a FWD Rear subframe because mine is just too crusty to mess with. I know the AWD one could work but it definitely weighs more than the skinny rail I had in it. Only place I can find it is Subaru and they want like $400 for it, lol. I guess I'll just have to keep searching marketplace or post a WTB, there must be someone near with a left-over from an AWD swap.
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10


Tank and hardlines out



Replacements on the way while I brush, prep, and POR15 everything underneath.

Also decided to give my rear subframe a shot, just nipped the old lateral link bolts and went to town...



Quick sandblast, cut off the weird bracket on the back that literally does nothing, a couple coats of primer and more POR



Filler neck too



Gots me a donor car with a 251 that I'll use for the frankenmotor eventually.



Exhaust, spacers and some other bits showed up today. More to come next week. 馃

 

Super Moderator
2000 RSTi
Joined
278 Posts
You can find them on car-part.com,.look up your car and type in "engine cradle" and pick "rear FWD."

I recommend one from the west coast, like that one from Tacoma, Wa, since we don't salt the roads in the winter.
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I do love car part but I couldn't find any close and close to here is probably more rusty than mine. If I were to go out west I'll just buy a whole car... someday
 

Super Moderator
2000 RSTi
Joined
278 Posts
B&R will mail it to you, they have the one I was talking about, in Tacoma Wa

 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Awesome build fam! I recently purchased the same Nardi wheel but I was wondering, did it fit on with no problems or did you have to use an adapter of some sort? Also I know earlier impreza models have some differences that might favor the nardi wheel swap versus some of the later gc8 models which have some differences in the clock spring/top of the steering column. Can you please help?
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks! I bought an ebay boss adapter for like 25 bucks, search subaru nardi boss adapter kit. I think it might show dimensions so you can crosscheck your wheels backing plate but it was 6 years ago now so I'm not certain its the same.
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So I pulled an all nighter last night finishing wire wheeling, cleaning, undercoating the rear, gas tank area, and gas tank today, and then waited for parts to show up. Finally got the stuff, but I ordered the wrong fuel hard lines and need to sort that our tomorrow. Did get the proper brake lines and suspension bolts, though, so should be able to start getting those in while I wait for more fuel lines tomorrow. This all I got for now...

Sub frame POR'd and ready



I'll get some more shots tomorrow. If I get the right lines, I might be able to start it and maybe roll it. I unbolted the old rear struts from the hubs to see how they differ with my new knuckle set up. Wrecked a 19mm with the 3 speed Ryobi doing so~


Looks like the new knuckles have the axel behind the strut mount by an inch or so, compared to the FWD rear hubs that mount the strut directly above axel, but I haven't tried fitting both yet so we'll see tomorrow. Lots of things happen tomorrow...
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Made a lot of progress in the past 3 days, cleaned and por~15 everything, got exhaust and inevitably spent an hour heating and banging until it fit. I literally bought the cheapest one I could find, but it fits not and is painted with some vmt. Got the rear hard lines in and fit the gas tank straps to receive the tank, freshly brushed and por15'd with clean rubber, but still waiting on 2 of the 3 gas lines running the top of the tank.

Cleaned up the LGT wheels, which are now awaiting paint after I fit tires. I'm just going to assume the tire shop will scuff them and paint them after



I also wanted to use the alignment bolts for the rear FWD subframe/suspension so I lathed and pressed some poly bushings that fit the FWD alignment bolt, into the STI lat links. Definitely an experiment, but I took 2 tries when the first pressed into the link too easily, made the second super snug to the lat link ID which took much more force to set with the press. We'll see how they stiffen things, probably will just go to Whiteline if bad things happen...



Lastly I tried mocking up my strut to knuckle situation with the trailing arm bracket bolted in and it doesn't look good...
*blue knuckle, *white strut:



I've read the FWD struts should bolt up to AWD knuckles but these are 2+ inches apart at vertical so I was a bit stumped; and after 3 days straight of brushing, undercoating, swearing at, and sweating on this disgrace to Subarus everywhere, I gave in and got a beer. Let me know if I need AWD top hats, AWD struts, both, or something more expensive...
 

Registered
1995 Impreza L FWD
Joined
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Its alive! Well it runs at least, after replacing the gas vent lines on top of the tank, reinstalling all hoses and throwing a new battery in it. I also only have the header and cat on it so it won't throw any codes and so far so good, gloriously loud though. Still trying to figure out my rear strut issue, I found that by using the opposite strut, the angle is perfect and the knuckle aligns, which seems strange. Did they really just make the top hat reverse-able? And if so will there be problems with me using them like that? Probably going to bolt everything in to get an idea for my tire fitment.

H & R springs and set of General Tire G-Max AS05's arrived today, so Ill get those mounted up asap; I stepped the sidewall down to 50 to see how much it shifts the handling from the 205/55 and I also got a good deal from tire rack so we'll see how they do.
 
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