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Ryan's Double Unicorn


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Hello everyone!


Nice to be back here. I'm super happy to have just picked up my 2nd Legacy last week. Looking forward to keeping a log of my build here.


First, here's a long introduction and horror story before I get started with my new car. My first Legacy was a 2005 GT Limited 5spd wagon in SWP I picked up in 2015 with 193k kms. It was mostly stock except for some cleared headlights and an accessport with stage 1 tune. I didn't realize when I bought it just how rare of a car it was but it was my first modified car. I loved it and learned a lot about cars while working on it. I still have a thread here somewhere and a lot of videos with it on my Youtube channel. Unfortunately it met a sad end when its turbo gave out at the exact wrong time. I was on a military course and traveling between Gagetown, NB and Quebec City for the weekend in the dead of winter. I didn't realize what was happening at first because the symptoms were so subtle. I was driving on the highway and found that it was taking more throttle to maintain highway speeds. No weird sounds, lights, or other signs. I was in the middle of nowhere in the dark and drove it until I got to a gas station pulloff. I shut it down and looked under the hood and everything looked normal. I started it back up and looked under the hood I could hear the death rattle of the turbo and then the check engine light came on and I knew I was screwed. 300km from Quebec, 300km from Gagetown, -20 degrees in February. After waiting a few hours I was finally able to get it towed to Quebec but I had no garage over there and ended up having to keep it out in the cold in the base parking lot for about 4 months... I was just lucky my gf and future wife did not need her car and I could use it to drive back to NB. By the time I got back to it so many things had rusted out or were damaged I assume by the cold or the turbo giving out so at 233k kms it wasn't worth saving. My CoC was getting impatient with the car sitting there and I had to part it out quick-time before it got scrapped. I got a lot of things off of it but a full JDM Spec B front end, nameless catted dp, some pretty rad custom headlights and a lot of other goodies ended up in a Quebec junkyard somewhere :(





I was pretty put off and decided I wasn't going to get another turbo Subaru and started to look around for other projects. I decided to get a 2 seater toy and bought a lhd 300zx twin turbo to play with. After about 1 month I hated that car and just had to get rid of it. It felt like it was going to fall apart, all the 16 year old boys kept trying to be my friend and it didn't even feel as fast as my Legacy. A few months ago I started looking for one again. I came close to buying a really clean non-limited gt wagon and a low mileage 09 white Spec B but both times something just didn't add up with the stories.


Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I had an Autotrader and Kijiji alert out for Legacies across Canada. One Sunday I see this 2005 SWP Legacy GT ltd 5spd pop up in Bright, Ontario. Where's that? I have no idea but that's my car! Well not my actual car but what are the chances? Looking at the pics it looked pretty clean and was a good price at $5000. Lots of kms at 251k. I messaged the guy and asked him some questions. He called me back and seemed like an alright guy.




We are from Ontario but we don't live there anymore. It just so happened my wife was home that weekend visiting her parents. I told her about the car and her and her dad went out the next day to check it out for me. It turns out the car was owned by an older couple out in the country that lived on a farm. They were the 2nd owners and the car had been out in that area its whole life, serviced by the same small town mechanic. The thing was bone stock, even down to the catted uppipe. The only aftermarket piece was the wheels because the guy had cracked one and didn't want to replace it. The body was completely rust free and everything was running well. The guy was looking to buy a truck and didn't want to trade it in at the dealer. This was a literal barn find. My wife flew back home that night and after talking for a bit I called the guy up and told him I'd take it, sight unseen. I flew to Ontario the next weekend, spent some time with the parents, closed the deal on the car and got it all set up to ship out to Saskatchewan. The thing came with weathertech floor mats, the privacy shade, all the "case candy", winter and summer wheels, and even the OEM roof racks I could never find for my last wagon which made me happy.




I had already been hoarding up some parts on the classifieds in anticipation for the car arriving and have a few goodies on the way or ready to go. The car finally showed up here in good condition last week with some expired Ontario plates I threw on there to avoid unnecessary questions.




I don't hate these 17" ASA winter rims...




I forgot what it was like to drive one of these but it's such a familiar experience. Now owning a house with a garage and 2 other cars and having all the experience of what to do and not to do from the previous car, I have a lot more opportunity to take my time with this car and do it all right. I expect this motor is going to give out or need major repairs within the next year-ish just based on the amount of kms on it so my plans are to enjoy it relatively stock until then. If/when it does break down it will be time to beef up this engine. If there are still no problems a year from now I'll refresh the engine and start to up the power anyway. Until then it's going to be maintenance, reliability mods, appearance and interior work. Banjo bolts and catted uppipe gotta go! Expect another JDM front end swap in the spring or summer. Still trying to decide between going Rev A-C spec B front like last time or do a full Rev D.


Parts already on the way or waiting to be installed:

Grimmspeed Uppipe

Updated red-stitch STI steering wheel

JDM double DIN

JDM headlights

Homelink mirror



Lots more to come.

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So now that I have the car, yesterday I took it in to do the provincial inspection in SK. The seller literally just had one done in Ontario to get certified before it was sold and it received all new brakes and rotors but of course this province wants to do one too. turns out Saskatchewan says my rear upper and lower control arm bushings are cracked and need to be replaced, my tinted windows need to be removed, the downpipe to catback flange is too rusted and needs to be replaced (even though there is no leak?) and the car needs an alignment. Granted, the car's underbody is rustier than I thought it would have been based on the body but it's just surface rust on everything. This car has had rustproofing done every year for the past 6 years. It was actually just sprayed a week before I bought it and still has the stuff all over it. Frame rails are good etc. Very annoying to have to go through these inspections but I might as well just get this certification done with so I can have some fun.




The guy at the shop suggested just buying new control arms because the bushings would be difficult to remove and replace. I thought about it and also thought about buying this Energy Suspension kit and replacing all those rear bushings with poly:




That looks like a lot of headache. At the end of the day I just decided to go ahead and upgrade. I got a good deal (still more than I was planning to spend) but I just went ahead and got a set of JDM Spec B aluminum trailing arms and upper control arms from a vendor on ebay. The set came with the standard lower control arms and lateral links as well with bushings that seem to be in good condition and all the necessary bolts. $375usd shipped and it should show up next week.




I've never installed those but I'll see how hard it is to do. I might save the trailing arms for another time, I hear you need a longer stud for them anyway. With regards to the exhaust flange, this car is going to see a Borla catback and 3" downpipe in the future so I'm not spending too much on repairing that flange. I think I'll just clean it up myself with a wire brush and sandpaper and buy a new gasket/spring bolt kit for it. Window tint should be easy to remove. Gotta please the man.

Edited by Shogun506
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  • 1 month later...

Ok so it's been a while since I've been able to post since I've been busy with work and getting my hands dirty with the car. So my first task was to get the car registered here in SK which meant having to do another provincial inspection.


I replaced the rear control arms with the ones from the new set. Pretty easy job for a first time doing it. Definitely needs a breaker bar though.

After the lowers I tried to do the uppers but the bolt that bolts to the subframe on the uppers was seized on both sides and very difficult to take off.



I bolted everything back together and took it to a shop. They actually could not get them out even though they had a lift and shop equipment. They wanted to cut the bolts out and charge me an arms and a leg. Bad idea! I took it back to my garage and battled it with my hand tools. If you attempt this you will almost definitely have a seized bolt there as this bolt is prone to rust. Here is how to get it out:


-Soak in PB blaster

-Torch only the nut

-If your 17mm combination wrench still slips on the nut:

-file 2 sides of the nut down slightly

-hammer a 16mm wrench onto the nut and this should hold enough to break it free. It worked on both sides for me.


Here are the old and new arms side by side. I could definitely feel the weight difference in hand. Besides, aluminum doesn't rust right?



Got it installed. You need to jack up the knuckle to simulate weight on wheels and get everything lined up properly. Also keep it jacked up as you torque everything down.



So I finally got that sorted out and did the alignment they require to get my certification. Unfortunately I was .25 degrees out of camber specs in the rear which meant I had to jump through some more hoops. I contemplated getting the Whiteline KTA124 kit to fix that but at the end of the day decided to go with the Whiteline KCA399 camber bushings. These bushings go into the upper control arms I was just fiddling with and provide +/- 1 degree.



Got them installed up and was able to eyeball it into specs.




For anyone that's interested in installing the KCA399s I did a full install video on youtube.


Anyway that got my my provincial cert and got me on the road after about 1 month!





So I said reliability was next right?

Well I decided to go ahead and remove my turbo oil supply banjo bolt. I trusted that the previous owner did that on my last car and I still wonder whether that was the reason my turbo went out. I never got to check the bolt before I had to scrap the car.



My 17mm was too long and I didn't have a stubby. It was a hell of a time getting that thing off.


When I finally did I was surprised and pleased to find that the banjo filter actually wasn't too bad considering the 251k kms on the car. I stabbed that thing and yanked it out.




Replaced the stock shield with a gorgeous Nameless piece I got for around $100 used.





So after getting the whole thing back together I started it up and found oil leaking from the banjo causing a smoky mess. I thought I got the washer back onto the engine block side but I was totally wrong. Apparently I'm not dextrous enough to get that thing back on with everything still in place so I let the car sit overnight thinking about how to get the washer back on. At the end of the day I decided I had this beautiful brand new ceramic coated Grimmspeed uppipe sitting in my garage... so why not make my life easier and do it all at the same time?!


Up on ramps she goes



Intercooler is coming out for this one.



You can get the factory uppipe out easily without lifting the engine if you bend the EGT sensor backward





Some black marks on the bottom of the valve covers..



Hard work is done!



Lastly, I picked up an AP3 from a forum member here and flashed Stage 1. So there it is, I'm off the stock tune, the big 2 are done and my turbo is safe...r. Replacing the banjo bolt + its copper washers is much easier to do with the downpipe and uppipe out. Definitely not necessary but worth doing together. Also I would like to say also that on my previous car I just used an STI catless UP when I did this. This time using a GrimmSpeed aftermarket solution, I could feel more power right away. I would recommend shelling out some extra cash to go with a quality aftermarket rather than the STI UP. I believe it does flow better. That said, my STI UP never gave me problems while maybe this UP will crack in the future like some of the ones I've read about :confused: Time will tell.


While I was poking around in the engine bay looking for leaks I noticed a lot of fluid around the power steering pump. I took a look at the PS fluid and it was very low. No other symptoms but potential problem? I did some research and realized the PS pump gasket O-ring was probably bad and needed to be changed. BarManBean's guide here helped: https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/replace-power-steering-o-ring-247949.html

Anyway I took it apart to replace the O-ring and.... there was no O-ring! Did it disintegrate? Was it never there..? Anyway part number for that O-ring is 34439FG000 and simply putting a new one on there solved the leak. If anyone is having PS issues check there first.



So now that the car is marginally more reliable and powerful, I'm going to start working on some interior comfort mods until the winter is over. I just scored some super rare JDM Tuned by STI Wagon Bilsteins with Pinks that I'll be installing on the car along with the aluminum trailing arms once the snow is gone.



Very excited for the handling upgrade and lower stance!

Other ingredients waiting to go into the mix:


-JDM Double DIN headunit (waiting for black friday Pioneer DMH1500NEX to show up)

-Polk DB6502/652 speakers to go in with new sound system

-Red stitch 2011 STI steering wheel and airbag. Going to try to wire up the audio controls this time too

-JDM taillights


Near-term Projects to come

-Clearing and retrofitting extra set of USDM headlights with HIDs and DRL light bars

-Retrofitting USDM taillights into full LED while JDMs are in

-New bigger than Nexus 7 tablet install using JDM nav bezel because more screenssss

-Mesh grill modification

-Soundproofing the doors and rear hatch

-Cleaning up all that rustproofing stuff from the engine bay and cleaning grounds

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I got into the electrics and knocked out some quick interior upgrades this past weekend. First off some quick LED bulb swaps to brighten up the interior and doors. Also tossed in a Diode Dynamics Smart Tap flasher for my future LED turn signals.





After that I hard-wired one of those mirror dashcams. It looks clean and takes pretty good video but I don't like that the camera moves with the mirror rather than being independently aimable. I might ditch this in future for something better. At least the wiring is in place now.





Finally I wired and hooked up my JDM double DIN stereo. Went with a mid-range Pioneer DMH-1500NEX for Android auto. Nice unit but I miss having a volume knob and keep hitting the wrong buttons on the climate control because it's reversed now haha.




Lastly I picked up a cheap set of 06 headlights I ripped apart to upgrade. I'm planning to clear, repaint these and use them to run some basic LED headlights while I do a more extensive retrofit on my other ones.




Testing out some LED placement



I originally planned to go full JDM headlights but I like working with the USDM ones. Anyone who's interested I have a set of JDM HID headlights with leveling switch for sale on the classifieds.




If I keep going on this headlight kick though I might shield flip and rewire them and increase the price.


I am also now actively looking for a JDM Spec B front bumper with STI lip if anyone is selling. Can't wait to throw that on in the spring!

Edited by Shogun506
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  • 2 weeks later...
Great find! I miss my SWP wagon. Shouldn’t have sold it. Looking forward to great things from this build.


I should have bought it :(


Oh well now I have a pearl white truk.


Nice find OP, I do miss my SWP wagon every day. I loved that car.

I could suck start a snow blower.
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The best part about returning home after being away for the holidays is that all the stuff I ordered for myself is all there waiting for me :)




There's enough there that I can spend my time installing it all over the next few weeks and not have to buy anything. I'm also going to get to doing my steering wheel swap and wiring in the steering wheel controls this time around. The front end should arrive this week too!


Nice , what you have to give for the nose cut and from where?


I wasn't planning on getting one quite so soon, was going to run the USDM front for a year or so. (Un)Fortunately I was browsing ebay and just happened to see it on there as a full nose cut with hood and fenders etc. I didn't need any of that stuff and the seller was willing to drop the price a bit and ship to me without it. These days it seems difficult to find people selling the Rev A-C Spec B bumper, they're all selling Rev D nose cuts. I prefer the older style so I was very happy I found this one and jumped on it, especially because it's 36J Alpine White. Our USDM white is 37J but a heads up to anyone interested - the difference is so minimal you definitely wouldn't be able to tell unless you were really staring at it. Here's my old 05. I was planning to paint the parts as I put them on but it turned out they were so close in colour I put it off and never got around to it in the end. The front bumper and spats are 36J Alpine, the rest of it is 37J Satin White Pearl.



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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been OUTSTANDINGLY cold here and I'm afraid to touch anything in case I snap every bolt on my car. I thought I maxed out the thermometer on my car at -25 celsius but I saw -29 yesterday. It was actually -33... :|




Stupidly I had some time yesterday and decided to try and get my STI steering wheel installed so I can get started on wiring some steering wheel controls onto this new double DIN (video I made on the steering wheel swap a couple years ago:



Turns out I should have stuck to my initial thoughts and not touched anything. When I did this on my last car everything went super smooth. On this car, everything was fine until I pulled the actual steering wheel off of the hub. HALF OF THE CLOCK SPRING CAME WITH IT. The ribbon guts of the clock spring ended up all over my lap like a man's intestines spilling out of him from a gut wound. It took me over an hour of fiddling with it before I finally got it back in with some degree of efficiency. It wasn't pretty but it all got in there and once I got the wheel back on all of the buttons still seem to work with no airbag lights. The only issue is my turn signals occasionally don't auto-cancel. I'll have to replace that clock spring eventually. On the plus side the wheel looks great with the new stereo.




There are some small nicks and wear on this wheel though since I got it so cheap. I might actually upgrade to a DAMD when I have some extra disposible cash but at least I got the steering wheel buttons with this one I can transplant in future.


Electronic cruise control buttons work, next step will be wiring up the illumination control and left side audio controls. I have a plan!

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Well annoyingly the Spec B front end got lost in transit. No idea how that happened but I got all my money back. Unfortunately though that means I'll need to go back on the hunt. I'm now pretty split between doing the Rev A-C front end again or maybe biting the bullet and jumping up to a Rev D Spec B or non-spec B front end since I've seen a couple of those being sold for reasonable prices and I do like the updated fenders etc...


We'll see what's meant to be I guess.

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Well it's official. I'll be going full out Rev D Spec B on this car. The right front end came up, the price was good and I jumped on it. I decided I like the modernized lights and fenders of the facelift front end even though I don't actually like the bumper as much. Going to sell off a couple of nice parts I've been hoarding and some 05-07 headlights I've been customizing to recoup some cash.




I don't really like that whole lip thing on there and will probably replace it with the STI style lip. Swap probably coming this Spring.



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Got my STI flexible strut tower brace installed. I thought it would be a 20 minute job. Ended up spending about an hour wrangling it into place. Had to loosen all the bolts and unscrew the flexible part. A hint to anyone else attempting this - the flexible part can extend and contract by moving the rubber over and turning a bolt.




I'm selling a solid Cusco upper strut tower brace and Tuned by STI lower one if anyone is interested.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I did some stuff yesterday.


I decided to tackle the broken clock spring with a used one I bought. Since I was dealing with the clock spring I decided to hook up the steering wheel controls... Since I was dealing with the steering wheel controls I decided to hook up the the nexus I had... You can see how this spiraled out of control.






Anyway I was able to replace the clock spring with no issues. The airbag light is gone and the steering wheel works fine. Unfortunately there must be a loose connection somewhere since the horn and cruise control now do not work even though they were working before.. nothing is ever easy!


Regarding the steering wheel controls, they are currently not working but all of the wiring is in place and I'm pretty sure it's just the same loose connection as the cruise control/horn. As you can see, the illumination now works on the wheel so who knows. Something to pull apart for another day.




Quite the change from stock I'd say.




Also I solved the Nexus 7 cubby gap issue you get with JDM cubbies by using a USDM nav console and scaling the screen down.



After all of the interior upgrades last night, today this showed up.




Rev D-F front end is here and it just barely fits in the garage.




I'll dissect this, take apart the Rev D-F headlights and probably do my conversion next month.

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Please update on the steering wheel controls if you get to it sooner or later. Exact same thing happened to me when I installed a 2011 STI wheel with controls. Got everything wired up, turn the key to auxillary position and turned on the lights to ensure they were lighting up. They did and then I went to button the interior up and when I went to take the car for a drive to test the cruise they didn't light up or work. Haven't had the time to take it apart and check everything yet.
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