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LatentWagen's 2008 Subaru Legacy GT spec B


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2008 Legacy GT spec. B



Cobb AccessPort V3

Tuning Alliance Stage 2+ (~320WTQ/270WHP)

SI Drive Boost Control (Peak PSI: S#/19, S/16.5, I/WG)



Full Cobb Turbo-Back Exhaust (Catted)

Vibrant 3" UltraQuiet Resonator



Samco 2.4" Turbo Inlet Hose*

AEM DryFlow Engine Air Filter



ProcessWest TMIC & Splitter

Forge Recirculating BPV

Perrin Turbo Blanket

Thermal Zero Downpipe Blanket

DEI Reflecta-Gold



STI Clutch, Flywheel & Pressure Plate

JDM STI RA spec C AP SureTrac FLSD*



Brembo STi Front & Rear Calipers

DBA 5000 T3 2-Piece Front Rotors

DBA 4000 T3 Adapter Rear Rotors

Stoptech SS Front & Rear Lines

Stoptech Street Performance Pads

Kartboy Rear Caliper Brackets

ATE Super Blue DOT4 Fluid

TiC Titanium Front Shims (Track)*

Carbotech XP-8 F&R Pads (Track)*


Suspension & Chassis:

RCE Tarmac Coilovers 400lb/400lb (KW Variant 2)

Hotchkis Tubular Swaybars Front & Rear 25mm/22mm

AVO Rear Swaybar Reinforcement Brackets

AVO Front & Rear Endlinks


Wheels & Tires:

SSR Competition 17" x 8.5", ET +48 / Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/40

BBS OEM 2004 STi 17" x 7.5", ET +53 / Dunlop WinterSport 4D 225/45*



Parrot BlueTooth

STI 6MT Aluminum Shift Knob

Redline Italian Leather E-Brake Boot



BaysonR V-Limited Rep Front Lip

OEM Splash Guards


Engine-Bay Accessories:

Redline Tuning Elite Hood Struts

Subtle Solutions Alternator Cover & Radiator Shroud


*parts not currently on the car, uninstalled or out of season


Thanks mostly to Gran Turismo 2 and 3, I've been into Subarus since the days of the lauded Impreza 22B, and it's American cousin (in appearance only), the 2.5RS coupe. After driving one hand-me-down RWD Swedish wagon, then a rusty, over-heating Acura Legend Coupe that I saved for and purchased on my own, I made my first new car purchase a 2002 WRX sedan in Midnight Black Pearl. I was 18, had never driven stick and couldn't test drive the car, but I knew exactly what I was getting into: my first turbo Subaru (and the start of a long and costly sickness). That car started off with a BOV and an MBC, but ended up running a V7 spec C drivetrain that I swapped in with a friend in his garage. Over the next decade, I had a series of other Subarus (two GC/GM6s, two BDs, and two other GD & GG Bugeyes), each was a great car but not one was kept stock.


Predictably, the story with this Legacy is no different... it was January 2013, I and was still daily driving a Bugeye WRX. I truly loved that car, but knew I needed to grow up a bit and get into something a little more comfortable. 3 series, or A4, or something boring like that. I'd always admired the spec B, but never thought I'd find one for sale. When one rolled into my parking lot at work, I had to know more about it. Turns out, it wasn't long before it was for sale, and the owner gave me first shot at the car. On the test drive, the car drove well enough, but admittedly felt a little tired with 129k bone-stock miles. However, from modifying my other Subies, I knew what a little TLC would do, so we struck a deal, and the journey began. Four years down the maintenance and mod path, this spec B represents my idea of a well-rounded daily driver that will keep up with, or best, newer cars costing multiples more. Not too shabby for a four cylinder Subaru with ~200k miles on the original motor & turbo :)


I've posted a timeline & journal below, and will try to post up with new mods, maintenance, etc as I do them. Thanks for checking out my Legacy (and getting this far into my rambles)... all comments are welcome!












LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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I picked up my Legacy in the Catskill region of New York on a 10 degree February morning. The car was on winter wheels (Motegis and Blizzaks), and had just been detailed. Black wheels aren't really my thing, but they didn't look too bad. Also included were the OEM 18"s wrapped in summer Potenzas... both sets would be up for sale ASAP. I took the park roads back home, and stopped to grab a quick first pic:




The interior was spotless, and still had the blue tape on the door sills (!). The previous owner had OCD. This second one does, too.




Already had a turbo keychain waiting to go on :p




In March, the GF and I took a nice road trip down south, with visits in Charleston, Jacksonville, and Naples. We (I) made the drive home to NYC from Naples in one shot, with 2h of stopped traffic on 95 in the armpit of New Jersey. It was at this point that I knew I'd made the right choice with the Legacy. 19hrs of driving in any of my previous Subarus and one of us would've lost our ish, for sure!




Later that Spring I sold the wheels that came with the car, and put on set of clean BBS RK. Nicer than the Motegis, and much lighter than the stock wheels, but they were skinny and didn't work with the car's lines, IMO.




Soon after, I found a set of SSR Competition wheels in 17" by 7.5" +50. Always liked simple & open wheels, and Comps are among my favorites (also 14lbs each, and strong). They came with a set of decent Potenza RE-960, and looked a little more at home on the car than the BBS RKs. So, the fourth set of wheels in as many months of ownership. OCD, and ADD!




Enough with wheels for now, next on the list: address monster-truck suspension. Myles at RaceComp solved that problem with a set of RCE Tarmacs bolted to new OEM spec B tophats, ready to install. They're 400F/400R, and custom valved for the Legacy GT. I couldn't be happier with the coilovers (40k+ on them now). Msprank at Infamous came through with the rest of the suspension bits: Hotchkis front and rear bars, AVO rear bar brackets and AVO F&R endlinks. At the same time, my shop replaced all the bushings on the front suspension, along with new tie rods, new ball joints, and a fresh set of front wheel bearings, all OEM. After dialing in the alignment (-2.0F/-1.5R), all was good :)


The car continues to handle incredibly well. It rides comfortably but corners flat, and breaks away progressively and predictably. I've run everything from coilovers with camber plates to simple strut/spring combos, from KYB to Tein, Prodrive, Cusco, Koni, and many more in my other Subarus... the balance of handling and comfort that this setup provides can't be beat anywhere near this price-point, IMO.




After addressing suspension (and probably driving the car a wee-bit harder with the added grip), getting it off the stock tune was a priority. Having used the UTEC piggyback and tuning software back in the day, I wanted something simpler and plug & play, so that Summer I picked up a Cobb APv3. Stage 1 OTS was a nice little bump in power, and an even bigger step up in terms of driveablity and consistency. It's also awesome to be able to clearly monitor six parameters at once in a small space. Plus, it looks kinda cool at night :redface:




With enough of a power increase to keep the speed bug at bay for a while, I needed to step up my shoe game. It took a while of lurking the FS threads, but before the end of Summer I found another clean set of SSR Comps, this time in Brembo-friendly 8.5" width, when they made a rare appearance. These were made through SSR and Tire Rack in '04-'05 for the 5x100 STi with a 56.1mm hub bore, and +48mm ET. Finally filling out the fenders! Paired with Bridgestone Pole Position S04 245/40 rubber, lateral grip was even better. I got to enjoy the new wheels, tires, and suspension for a little while before cold weather came to spoil the party.












LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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Knowing that bad weather was right around the corner, and that my blocky summer rubber would more closely resemble ice cubes when the temperature dropped to freezing, I resigned myself to picking up a new set of winter rubber. I had already sold the Motegis and Blizzaks, and wasn't crazy about the WS-70s, so I went with Continental ExtremeWinterContact in 225/45 and threw them on the skinnier set of Comps.




According to tradition, I did a few donuts in the work parking lot upon first decent snow. :spin:




I'm not the biggest fan of cold weather, but any properly equipped Subaru enjoys a bit of snow and slush...




All clean:




Random Subaru gathering at the commuter parking lot:




Then, around the first anniversary of purchasing the car, the honeymoon was over...




My shop and I chased the problem for a bit, but couldn't nail it down. It turned out to be a very slight HG leak, which was finally confirmed about 10k miles later when I saw small exhaust gas bubbles in the coolant overflow tank. The symptoms never got worse than the occasional misfire (and a tick or two on the temp gauge), but plans had changed. My mod fund quickly turned into a rebuild fund.








LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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After reading many of the build threads, some successful, some not, I was preparing myself for the worst. So as Winter turned to Spring, I was in savings mode rather than focusing on mods. Thankfully, the car was still performing daily duty without a hiccup, allowing me to get to work every day.




In fact, I was putting heavy miles on the car that Spring, going to work and school, and traveling more with the GF and family. We took a great drive to the Finger Lakes region of NY, checking out wineries along the way. Watkins Glen was cool, as was the racing museum in Saratoga Springs on the way home.




The car made the voyage with no troubles, but I knew things were going to get worse before they improved, unless I bit the bullet. Misfires had been popping up more frequently, and I was finally seeing some undeniable signs of headgasket failure, with bubbles in the coolant after boosting in higher gears for more than a couple of seconds.


I debated doing a full rebuild on the motor, or just dropping in new pistons, and figured I'd wait and see how everything looked once it was all apart. Upon inspection, all indicators pointed to a healthy bottom-end, so I felt comfortable with just a top-end refresh. The rebuild menu comprised HG's, head refresh, STi clutch/flywheel/pressure-plate, timing belt, water pump, idlers, freshly DW'd fuel injectors, new OEM intake mani gaskets, TGV gaskets, alternator, F&R oxygen sensors, MAF sensor, coolant temp sensor, PCVs, and anything else in the way that was in need of replacement. The shop, A&W in Goshen, did a CV joint and speed sensor as well. I highly recommend Waldek's work and experience with any Subaru!




Reborn @ 156,072 miles.


Since I had saved for the worst case scenario, and didn't end up needing a new short block, I had a few bucks left over to finish putting together my brake setup.




The Brembo calipers were taken off a low mile '06 STi. Two-piece T3 DBA 5000s in the front are lighter, they look the biz, and they ought to help keep my puny front bearings from slow-cooking themselves every time I get some heat into the rotors. I went with the T3 DBA 4000 adapter rotors in the rear, rather than changing over to the STi parking brake shoes. This setup feels great, and scrubs speed quickly in drama-free fashion. A set of pads in my OEM sliders would probably have been sufficient, but these are the brakes the car should have had from the factory.


Also made it out to an end-of-Summer car show at the Bear Mountain state park:













LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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Fall '14


It was finally time to lose the stock exhaust. I'd kept my eyes peeled for either a Prodrive, SPT, or Cobb. Luckily, a Cobb in nice shape came up, and I was able to snag it (thanks to El Gabito on these boards). Full Cobb TBE, re-united!






The new exhaust is easy to look at, and plays a great soundtrack. Maybe a bit loud sometimes. Yup, I'm old :lol:




A few square feet of Dynamat in the wheel well and trunk area did 20% of the job, and the Vibrant resonator finished the rest. Idle is now much quieter, cruise is about 1/3rd improved, and WOT is left unfiltered. Just right. Also, I put a bit of deadening material into the glove box, as per BAC5.2's thread. Well worth the effort. Now there are no more bangs from the glove box over bumps. Also changed the cabin air filter while I was at it.






With the exhaust sorted, the engine bay stood out as the weakest link. Picked up a low-mile TMIC with BMB's own bulletproofing and my OCD-applied DEI Reflecta-gold helped button down any possible leaks and keep the heat out (combined with the blankets, underhood temps are in check). Thanks, BarManBean! Edit: now running a PW TMIC, also thanks to BmB :lol:




Redline Tuning hood struts, Subtle alternator cover and rad shroud, refurb'd battery tie-down, and a little elbow grease went a long way to bring things up to snuff. She cleans up alright:












LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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Fall/Winter 2014


Since the 7.5" wide SSR setup from last Winter will no longer clear my brakes, new kicks come in the form of old '04 STi BBS shod in Dunlop WinterSport 4D rubber. The wheels are actually pretty clean for being a decade old.




Here's the before and after:








After putting a lot of time and money into the Legacy over the past couple of years, I've been sitting back and enjoying the drive. Aside from the untimely death of coil-pack #3, it has run flawlessly... so of course, the tendency is to get antsy. After hearing about Tuning Alliance from other members on the forums, and stumbling upon the opportunity to be a guinea pig for a new product, I finally got in touch with Mike from TA. For my car's hard work as test mule, Mike dialed in a buttery smooth road tune that is worlds better than the off-the-shelf map I was on. S# is set to 19PSI, S to 16.5, and I to WG boost. According to logs, the car is pulling 4.5-4.6 volts on the MAF, so likely somewhere around 340 crank HP, with even more torque. On the way home, the odometer rolled over 175,000 miles :)


Next up on the list is a new set of summer rubber, as my S-04's are pretty roached. Looking toward the Michelins next time.




Two small part failures this year: had to R&R rear endlinks ($90), and the HVAC resistor ($10).


Aside from those two ancillary issues, she performed flawlessly. @ 182k I sent in an oil sample for Blackstone to analyze, and it came back with good results. One piece at a time, I did an interior cleanup & refresh. Relocated my Parrot BT to the center armrest, and installed a JDM STi Aluminum 6MT knob & Redline Italian leather e-brake boot. Also found a nearly new OEM steering wheel, and radio faceplate, and installed them to finish the job. Result:








LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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Very nice thread, I'll subscribe for all future work. I was a little worried since my Spec.B hit 120k that I might be nearing the "replace everything" phase of ownership which is an expensive time but our vehicles were in near identical conditions and you've just barely gone thru that with 30k more miles than me.
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Very nice thread, I'll subscribe for all future work. I was a little worried since my Spec.B hit 120k that I might be nearing the "replace everything" phase of ownership which is an expensive time but our vehicles were in near identical conditions and you've just barely gone thru that with 30k more miles than me.


Thanks man. The first year of ownership wasn't bad at all, in terms of service. 2014 has been pricey, but well worth it.






dem oval tips! :wub:



LW's spec. B / YT / IG
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My first year i had a couple vacuum leaks and thankfully where i bought it was willing to fix for only parts cost. Replaced a lot of seals and hoses for cheap. I just hit month 15 of ownership and so far so good...



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Glad to hear these babies can last! I'm looking to pick up one with 140K+ miles on it very soon. The mileage has me worried but it is just a number after all. Service history and condition/care for the vehicle seems to have much more weight in terms of life of a car.


Will be checking back in this thread to see what other goodies you add!

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