No announcement yet.

Merging broken subarus

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Merging broken subarus

    Not a particularly interesting swap, but this thing is the reason I ask naive questions so I may as well share it…

    2 years ago my beloved son died in a sudden and utterly horrific way. My daughter needs me, so I have to stick around. I needed something to fill my brain with minute details to try and suppress the horror.

    Our faithful old ’99 forester GT was sitting abandoned in the yard with a busted gearbox, oil leaking from everything, and all the bushes completely clapped out from me bashing it through the dandenong ranges.

    So because I had no meaningful mechanical experience beyond replacing broken things and adding bolt-on upgrades, I bought a repairable write-off 03 wrx wagon with an EJ207 to keep the broken forester company.

    After having some fun paddock-bashing the wrx, I reversed it into my dirt shed and began removing everything.

    I took zero reference photos while dismantling the wrx, because that would be cheating.
    Intention is to swap 100% of the GD into the SF forester shell, including the interior.

    Because I don’t know what I’m doing, I printed and bound the entire 2,800+ page factory service manual for the wrx.

    The PS pump was totally shagged, oil seal had leaked, bearing was ruined, etc. So i dismantled it, and rebuilt with significantly higher-rated orings.

    Ditto for the rear LSD, which had been cooked hard enough to bake spewed oil out of the breather.

    The brakes had been painted on the car, very poorly, and were looking worse for wear.
    So, OEM rebuild kits for all four, and some fresh paint


      Many rounds of aero paint stripper, filling, sanding, and a little metal filler, and the work wheels were freed from their dense, damaged coats of black gloss. Turns out they were originally white, so I had them powder coated in the same white again.


        subbed. looks good.
        Originally posted by Marv
        Only be concerned if that Dunning-Kruger Motorsports bloke is there and goes all Captain Damphands McGigglefingers on you after a couple of lemon squashes....


        robslothyoung - follow me on insta.


          By this point I’d run out of easy tasks, time to start making the GD dash fit.

          The forester was stripped to a rolling shell, and I massaged the trans tunnel until the GD heater core fit.

          To save stuffing around, I cut the WRX firewall and had a mate weld the piece in to fit the heater and AC lines.


            I like where this is heading, it's like backyard roadkill but doing it properly.
            Originally posted by Faux Forg
            I agree with Rdyno


              Mate, so sorry to read about the loss of your son.

              Cool progress is good! Nice forethought on that firewall too. Keep it up!


                Putting GD dash into GC shell is a solved problem, but there are a few ways to go about it, and all the documented ones are LHD.

                I got it to fit by giving the GD dash bar some firm lovin’ with a cutting disc and welding it back on rotated sufficiently to sit be angled right in the SF. 99 SF5 shell is identical to 99 GC8 in the areas that matter, so if it works for one it works for both.

                I focused on getting it straight, and lined up in the centre. I can fine tune the ends later.

                Generally on first fitment you can expect a decent gap between the dash and the door frame, which is tuned out by elongating bolt holes and similar hackery. I was satisfied with the starting point I’d landed:


                  Sorry for you loss, good luck with the build!


                    Be keeping an eye on this build.
                    Mmmmmmmmm beer.

                    Originally posted by ALLMTR
                    You had one fucking job, Imran. One. Now look, there's Flibberty Gibbets all up in here, seeing straight through your ruse. One. Fucking. Job!


                      Terrible to read of your loss.

                      Looking forward to seeing this come together. As I started scrolling down, I'd envisaged a drivetrain swap between the WRX & Forrester. This however is so much better! Keep the updates coming.


                        So sorry to hear about your loss - this is an awesome project so hopefully it gives you the mental space you need.


                          The welding in the firewall needed to go away for the benefit of engineering, plus there was some surface rust under the battery tray to sand out.

                          nek minnut in a dirt shed with a foam brush and GM flat black…

                          Insulated firewall (carbuilders stuff, would bang again), WRX harness, master cylinder, trans etc in


                            Catching up with current progress now, engine has had heaps of shit done… excuse the shopping list style post :-/

                            turbo: blouch td05 18G

                            fuel: steel hard lines all removed, because that shit is fucking infuriating when you’re trying to remove the manifold. New fuel lines equal length parallel feed, bosch 850cc injectors, old perrin fuel rails, walbro 460 pump, all wire to fuel pump controller and fuel pump upgraded to 10AWG.

                            TGVs gutted, ported etc. Manifold and throttle body mildly ported as well because labour is free when you’re just trying to keep yourself busy.

                            new cosworth 10mm oil pump ($500AU discount. as if i could afford that shit retail)

                            new water pump

                            All pulleys/idlers, tensioner, timing belt replaced.

                            All gaskets/orings/crush washers external to longblock replaced. All sensors cleaned or replaced.

                            Had a great time doing the timing gear.
                            All the idler bolts stripped their holes in the block when put back in. Fucking Good Times™

                            GM IAT sensor in the manifold for speed density tuning

                            I’m going to do the initial tuning if possible, so I put EGT probes at the merge points in both exhaust manifolds. I also have a wideband o2 sensor in the top of the dump pipe.


                              Seriously this is the best thread I've read on PF and I'm not actually a Subaru fan. Cool swap. Thanks for sharing your journey. I'll be subscribing and following with great interest.
                              Originally posted by Walt Kowalski:
                              I knew it. That orange bastard is controlling the weather with HAARP just to save his Mar-a-Lago property where he intends to host his handler, Vladimir Putin, at next years G7 which will be morphed back into the G8.