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Performance upgrades 95 Legacy LS 2.2L/transmission "sportmode" pin change question


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Just bought a pretty clean legacy LS. She has 230,000 miles on her so I'm currently working on doing maintenance work and buying all the gaskets to replace in the motor.

 

Once I'm done with that I'm sure she's gonna run a little smoother but im looking for some ways to free up some horses without killing my budget until I can save up for a motor swap and/or a rebuild and turbo. I'm open to all options.

 

Also loooking into a few rumors of a sport mode feature by changing some pins on the motor? (a little out of my scope to be honest but I'm interested)

I've seen some things on here about it but not sure if it will work with my motor and transmission.

Ej22E motor

TZ102ZA Transmission

AWD model

 

I've already installed hotter burning NGK plugs but that's about it aside from a OEM CV axle b9bc2141cf99edffa85f73046fd02e71.jpg74d92b79d68e626ae36727af8f2d86bb.jpg

 

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Edited by JaxSubie
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If you are going to do some of the things you mention, it shouldn't be a big deal to add a second O2 bung next to the OE front one. Then you can get a wideband for it, but the reason I bring it up is once you have it, make a plug with a pass-through to a pressure gauge that you can see while driving. With that you can check your exhaust pressure at full throttle redline. If you have pressure, as I expect you will, you take the axle back off the car and replace the OE muffler with a straight-through. That should wake it up a little.
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I have an earlier 2.2 and it helped a lot to build a hybrid intake (short ram + factory panel K&N) adding a light weight crank pulley, intake spacers, Iridium plugs and performance wires, grounding kit and exhaust if you want to throw money at it. Also if you're willing to sacrifice it, the AC compressor KILLS acceleration even when the AC isn't on. So you can remove the belt to get rid of that parasitic load.
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Also looking into a few rumors of a sport mode feature by changing some pins on the motor? (a little out of my scope to be honest but I'm interested)

I've seen some things on here about it but not sure if it will work with my motor and transmission.

 

It should work with your transmission. Give it a shot and see what happens. I did the Power Mode mod on my first gen turbo legacy, It was pretty cool. You just ground pin A4 of the TCU iirc. It's simple to install a toggle switch.

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It should work with your transmission. Give it a shot and see what happens. I did the Power Mode mod on my first gen turbo legacy, It was pretty cool. You just ground pin A4 of the TCU iirc. It's simple to install a toggle switch.
So I can just splice a switch in right before the pin and be good to go?

 

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That's basically it. You'll have to double check on that pin position. You can ground a wire directly to the pin but ideally you have a female pin connector from a scrap TCU harness plug which is easy to find at the junkyard. I cut a plug from a scrap car and it had a ton of pins.

 

I wanted a switch that lit up when power mode was on so I figured out how to do it with a relay. It was a bit tricky to figure out. You can see how I did it here: https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/rocker-switch-question-198670.html

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I have an earlier 2.2 and it helped a lot to build a hybrid intake (short ram + factory panel K&N) adding a light weight crank pulley, intake spacers, Iridium plugs and performance wires, grounding kit and exhaust if you want to throw money at it. Also if you're willing to sacrifice it, the AC compressor KILLS acceleration even when the AC isn't on. So you can remove the belt to get rid of that parasitic load.

 

I can spin mine with my pinkie... I think your pulley was fucked lol.

 

If you want power:

fresh tune up

MSD coil

ground strap mod

http://www.deltacam.com/ cam re-grind

EL header

 

full send!

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do not do a lightweight crank pulley unless you are building a legit race car or dune buggy and you're okay with discarding the engine after a short period of time. The pulley has a certain weight to it to balance the harmonics of the rotating assemblies in the engine. Distorting that balance will give you quick acceleration, sure, but it's also going to destroy your engine internals. Don't do it. I will second the thing about leaving the AC compressor off, but don't go back and forth with it. Either remove it entirely or leave it entirely. If you leave the belt off it for too long and then reattach it, your pulley might have gotten a little rusty or gotten some dirt in it, and it's not going to be the same when you go to use it again, and the pulley could totally seize and destroy your engine. Trust me, this happened to one of my 2nd gen legacy engines.
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do not do a lightweight crank pulley unless you are building a legit race car or dune buggy and you're okay with discarding the engine after a short period of time. The pulley has a certain weight to it to balance the harmonics of the rotating assemblies in the engine. Distorting that balance will give you quick acceleration, sure, but it's also going to destroy your engine internals. Don't do it. I will second the thing about leaving the AC compressor off, but don't go back and forth with it. Either remove it entirely or leave it entirely. If you leave the belt off it for too long and then reattach it, your pulley might have gotten a little rusty or gotten some dirt in it, and it's not going to be the same when you go to use it again, and the pulley could totally seize and destroy your engine. Trust me, this happened to one of my 2nd gen legacy engines.

 

subaru said the crank pulley is just a pulley, these engines are not externally balanced. theres a post somewhere from a subaru rep that says lightweight crank pulleys are fine

 

also, if the ac pulley seizes, your belt will just snap, or you will stall.... it wont blow your engine lol

Edited by Thor294
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That goes against everything I've heard. I'd be interested in reading that post if you can dig it up. Do we know if the poster was really a Subaru rep? I mean I could also say that I'm a Subaru rep and that your car has little unicorns inside it that give it better gas mileage.

 

I mean think about critically. If Subaru sold the car with a lighter weight crank pulley stock, they'd save money on manufacturing costs, and they'd be able to advertise the car as that much more powerful. If such a simple little change could give the engine more power and save money on mfg costs without adversely affecting the car's lifetime performance, you'd think they would have sold the car that way to begin with.

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That goes against everything I've heard. I'd be interested in reading that post if you can dig it up. Do we know if the poster was really a Subaru rep? I mean I could also say that I'm a Subaru rep and that your car has little unicorns inside it that give it better gas mileage.

 

I mean think about critically. If Subaru sold the car with a lighter weight crank pulley stock, they'd save money on manufacturing costs, and they'd be able to advertise the car as that much more powerful. If such a simple little change could give the engine more power and save money on mfg costs without adversely affecting the car's lifetime performance, you'd think they would have sold the car that way to begin with.

 

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4835269&postcount=25

 

Probably cheaper to make the pulley as it is, as its steel not aluminum like the light weight ones ;). Imagine the corners some manufacturers cut to save costs lol

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To add to the lightweight crank pulley, there IS a thing as too light (also underdriven isn't a smart idea) but the subaru rotating assembly is internally balanced. It's not like bigger V8s that have harmonic balancers or anything. Subaru used the dampened pulley to reduce vibrations but at the cost of having tendency to rip when they dry out, so it's a common thing to swap to a solid one without issue. I've actually spoken to a number of subaru master techs/gurus and the general consensus is that solid lightweight pulleys are fine and it's not going to cause problems but the affects are so small verse the cost, a lightened flywheel however is a great mod. Between the subarus I and friends have owned with lightened pulleys. I've never seen any sort of issue from lightening the rotating assembly's and I'd say that's collectively 110k miles over 5 different cars with different engines. It's a small sample I know, but I'm convinced haha.

 

Also I'm not ruling out my A/C compressor/clutch is bad, I rarely use A/C even in summer so I leave it disconnected most of the year unless I have a roadtrip or long drive ahead.

 

 

Also also, you can get a nice grounding kit from paranoid fabrications

Edited by Brighton96
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Yeah I have the ground kit from paranoid fabrication, it's a great little set.

 

Regarding the pulleys, could you explain the difference between underdrive pulley, lightweight pulley, and a solid lightweight pulley? I've seen options from Cusco, Perrin, Grimmspeed, and a few others.

 

There's gotta be a trade off with the lightweight pulley though, right? Like it's easier to accelerate but the smaller rotating mass means it's going to take more effort to keep it spinning fast at high speeds, or something?

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Under driven meaning it's smaller in diameter which spins the accessories faster and can cause issues with premature failure of bearings and what not. Solid just meaning construction of the pulley and doesn't refer to weight. It just means that the pulley is made from one piece of material so for example: Grimmspeeds is milled from one solid piece of aluminum. The stock Subaru pulley has a rubber core that separates the center of the pulley with the outside portion of the pulley so it's not solid since the center and outer portion are two pieces.

 

 

 

I don't know the exact wights, but the stock pulley is like 7lbs or more and then a grimmspeed one is like 3lbs, I've heard people having issues (couldn't tell you what issues though) with ones that are too light though, I THINK it was perrin but I may be wrong

Edited by Brighton96
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subaru said the crank pulley is just a pulley, these engines are not externally balanced. theres a post somewhere from a subaru rep that says lightweight crank pulleys are fine

 

also, if the ac pulley seizes, your belt will just snap, or you will stall.... it wont blow your engine lol

 

overlooked that last part of your response earlier. it did, man. it's a hell of a story, but the quick version is that i always left the ac pulley off, eventually had a local shop do the gaskets / engine resto, they hooked the a/c back up as part of the process, and within a week my a/c compressor f******g exploded or some s***, forget exactly what the shop said but i'll try to dig up the records, but they had to put a whole new engine in after that. they had given me a warranty on the original work, so they ate the cost of replacing the motor. so believe it or don't, but that's what i have to say about leaving your a/c pulley off for a while and hooking it back up. keep in mind i do live in a far northern climate and things tend to rust quickly up here.

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The OE cast iron pully is certainly *much* cheaper to make than the billet aluminum fully machined after market pully. Although retail for aftermarket parts is typically a fraction the cost of a stealership part.

 

That is the reason I put a light weight pully on when my OE got damaged. $100 vs. $170, at least at that time. That was almost 15 years and about 150,000 miles ago. And I drive it kinda like a racecar. Lots of harsh rpm sweeps and full throttle.

 

So I'm very sure that the perfectly balanced in first and second order vibrational moments H4 will not blow up if you use a light weight pully. There are some stronger third order vibrations created by the right, right, left, left firing order, but that bears on the engine mounts and main bearings rather than the crank. Also, the H4 has significantly less torsional vibration than a V since the firings are evenly spaced in time rather than having a stutter when the engine crosses from one bank to the other.

 

The only difficulty I've heard of with reducing rotational mass with the H4 is if you are going to use a significantly less advanced/optimized engine management system such as Megasquirt with the 6 tooth crank position sensor. If you have a light weight pully *and* a very lightened flywheel you can allow enough variation in rotational speed between the very few sensor teeth to confuse the less advanced computer. That can be fixed by using a more modern crank timing sprocket with 36-2-2-2 teeth.

Edited by doublechaz
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overlooked that last part of your response earlier. it did, man. it's a hell of a story, but the quick version is that i always left the ac pulley off, eventually had a local shop do the gaskets / engine resto, they hooked the a/c back up as part of the process, and within a week my a/c compressor f******g exploded or some s***, forget exactly what the shop said but i'll try to dig up the records, but they had to put a whole new engine in after that. they had given me a warranty on the original work, so they ate the cost of replacing the motor. so believe it or don't, but that's what i have to say about leaving your a/c pulley off for a while and hooking it back up. keep in mind i do live in a far northern climate and things tend to rust quickly up here.

 

Did you buy a lottery ticket after that? that's crazy. but I've had AC compressors lock up and break belts all the time.

 

The OE cast iron pully is certainly *much* cheaper to make than the billet aluminum fully machined after market pully. Although retail for aftermarket parts is typically a fraction the cost of a stealership part.

 

That is the reason I put a light weight pully on when my OE got damaged. $100 vs. $170, at least at that time. That was almost 15 years and about 150,000 miles ago. And I drive it kinda like a racecar. Lots of harsh rpm sweeps and full throttle.

 

So I'm very sure that the perfectly balanced in first and second order vibrational moments H4 will not blow up if you use a light weight pully. There are some stronger third order vibrations created by the right, right, left, left firing order, but that bears on the engine mounts and main bearings rather than the crank. Also, the H4 has significantly less torsional vibration than a V since the firings are evenly spaced in time rather than having a stutter when the engine crosses from one bank to the other.

 

Yup :) That is what I gathered from my research!

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I'll be cutting the AC compressor belt off once I'm off work and I'll fill you guys in on the results.

Probably striking off a lightweight pulleys until I have an extra motor laying around to experiment with.

 

As with the power mode switch I should have no issue wiring this up into one of my extra slots on my dash correct?

 

My car seems sluggish from the get go, almost plateaus on power a little but around 20mph then finds life again.

 

Really want to build her into a race car but for now I just need her to be healthy lol

Thanks for the help guys. Absolutely love these cars.

 

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As with the power mode switch I should have no issue wiring this up into one of my extra slots on my dash correct?

 

That's up to how skillful you are with wiring and type of switch you use, but yeah it will work.

 

My car seems sluggish from the get go, almost plateaus on power a little but around 20mph then finds life again.

 

Get a new MAF, or clean it and see if that helps. Your MAF is old.

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