Jump to content

Legacy GT Engine Build

Recommended Posts

Hello all. First time really posting here. Looking for some insight/advice/recommendations about my wagon. It's an 06 Legacy GT automatic wagon. Currently everything is stock and has 88k miles. Just recently the car started leaking a little oil from the passenger valve cover. This got me thinking.


I dont plan on getting rid of the car and want to build it to a daily driver sleeper grocery getter. Given the mileage and age, the timing belt should be changed out soon. Might as well change out the headgasket too. My local Subaru shop will do job for roughly $2k. What do you think they could/should do with say a $5k budget for the engine?


Thinking about getting forged internals. Also thinking about getting the turbo rebuilt/swapped to a twin scroll setup. Would changing the headers and exhaust be wise to do now too? Figured seeing as the engine will be out, changing them would be easiest now too? I'd like the initial build to be around $8k. Definitely plan on doing more later on.


So TLDR, 06 LGT Auto Wagon. Stop 88k miles. $5k engine build budget. $8k overall budget. Shop quote roughly $2k for timing belt/head gasket/valve covers. Thoughts/recommendations/advice on where to start. Thank you for your time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd do that timing belt and kit pronto. You're not there on mileage, but you're past the 10 year time limit. Get the filter screens out of the banjo bolts that secure your turbo and AVCS oil feed lines, ASAP:




Also, replacing the factory up-pipe is a good idea, as they're known to shoot fragments into your turbo and ruin your day.


Head gaskets aren't really a thing on turbo motors as far as I'm aware, until you're much higher in miles and/or making considerably more boost. My 05 popped a head gasket at 175k, running 17 psi on a stage 2 tune, but I haven't heard of many others. Certainly not like the '100k headgasket as a maintenance item' reputation of the N/A EJ25s.


$5k will not do what you're talking about unless you can do the work yourself. And even then, it's a bit of a stretch in terms of parts cost so you'd have to shop around and buy some parts used at a good price. $8k is closer, but probably still a bit short unless you get a good deal on labor. For reference, a good friend of mine recently paid $12k for an IAG stage 2 block and supporting mods/tune for his 2004 Forester XT, because he chose to pay someone else to do it. I personally have another $11k on top of the purchase price of my car to do motor, all the chassis/suspension work, wheels/tires etc having done the work myself.


If you do want to do it yourself, MaxCapacity has a very thorough build thread here:




I have a reasonably OK OEM+ pricelist in my kinda-sorta build thread, which may help you figure pricing on what you're talking about. If you are buying an off-the-shelf built block with forged internals, budget at least another $1000 on top of the block I bought. A rebuild of yours with forged internals will likely cost you the same or more if done right, once machining and parts are all factored in:






Honestly, I'd do the timing belt and valve cover gasket now. Then run that sucker till it dies. In the meantime, if you really like the car and want to make it something special, save up another 5k to do a proper build and rework all the chassis, driveline and suspension bits that will certainly need a refresh by now.

Edited by awfulwaffle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just get a catless up pipe, 3" down pipe, to the stock exhaust. Have them install a vf52 turbo and new oil return hose.


Cobb AP V3 and a stage 2 tune.


With a great tune that stock engine should run fine for years.


You don't need forged internals.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What max said^ with 88k mi. And no big issues, I’d just get the timing belt done ASAP, swap in a catless UP, put on an aftermarket DP and buy a Cobb Accessport, flash to stage 2. Really wakes the car up and makes it much more fun without sacrificing reliability. You don’t need forged internals until your pushing big power with means you’ll need to upgrade tons more stuff, i.e.- brakes, tranny, suspension, etc. You’ll spend way more than $8k once you start that odyssey :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you guys for all the advice/recommendations. Thinking I may have the shop do the gaskets and timing belt. Will have them do the banjo bolts too. Thanks for the links awfulwaffle, very informative. I'm going to look into buying a accessport, cold air intake, uppipe, downpipe, and mufflers first. Going to price out a VF52, brakes, and shocks/struts. Will do those myself.


Couple questions regarding modifications to the exhaust. Will a catless uppipe make the car not pass emissions testing? Also, should I change out the header pipes too? If so, equal length or unequal length? I've seen both types available, and to be honest I dont know the pros/cons between them.


Thanks again for all the input. I'll try to take some pics when things get going.

Edited by sez752
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep the stock headers/exhaust manifold.


You should have no problem passing with a catless up pipe.


A catted 3" downpipe will pass emissions fine. Keep the stock midpipe back, no real HP gains from an exhaust. Put that money somewhere else.

Edited by Max Capacity

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wanted to give a quick update on the build status. After giving alot of thought from everyones advice, I've decided on doing some slight mods to various systems. Figured why invest in all HP if you may not be able to put it all to the wheel. Also, can the stock setup handle all the HP. Took advantage of some of the current sales. With that here's a list of the parts purchased as of now.


Cobb Accessport v3

Cobb Catted Downpipe

Aftermarket Catless Uppipe

Aftermarket UEL Headers

Nameless Axle Back Mufflers

Perrin Lightweight Crank Pulley

Grimmspeed AOS

Grimmspeed Master Cylinder Brace

Cosmos Ignition Coils

NGK Spark Plugs

Cobb CAI w/Intake Box

Silicone Coolant Hose Kit

Silicone Vacuum Hose Kit

Grimmspeed Heatshield

Braided Steel AVCS Oil Feed Hose

Stoptech Braided Steel Brake Lines(Front and Rears)

Stoptech Drilled and Slotted Rotors

Stoptech Brake Pads

Hella Horn Kit

JDM Headlights with Switchback Signals

JDM Taillights

Madrig Liberal Spoiler

Madrig Extended Hood Scoop

JDM Double DIN Setup with Pioneer Headunit

Konig Lace Wheels with Hankook Tires

**Working on obtaining a vf52 from a local guy**

**Working on getting a set of coilovers from a member. If no deal is reached I'm still going to buy coilovers.**


I'm sure I'll catch some flack for some of the parts I bought. However, I have the engine getting a tune up with the timing belt and valve cover gasket appointment coming up. With the parts that were bought, every system is getting an upgrade. Wanted to upgrade the brakes for safety. Suspension to get HP to wheel and adjust ride height. Exhaust for performance and sound. Ignition Coils because of the engine tune up seemed appropriate. Obviously the biggest performance boost would come from the vf52. Figured the lightweight crank pulley would be wise to change as I could supply it to the shop for the timing belt service. Obviously there were a few parts I bought for pleasure. I feel this is a solid start for a decent daily driver. Will try to post pics once parts start showing up and are put on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, at 283,000 miles on the car and 140,000 miles on the vf52 I'm still running the coils that came on the car in June 2004.


Don't spend your money where you don't need to.


Same with the stock injectors and air intake system they all came on the car when I bought it.


It's your money...

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Add the following


VF52 (Locked down deal. Picking up tomorrow.)

Tein Flex Z Coilovers

Grimmspeed Boost Solenoid

Grimmspeed TMIC


Thank you again everyone for the advice,insight, and kind words. Big thank you to the guys I bought parts from. Honestly couldn't have the list I have without some of the deals agreed upon. Looking forward to having the parts start showing up. Cant wait to see them on the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use