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Back From the Dead Rebuild Thread


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Well it has been long over due, but I am finally rebuilding my LGT.

 

First a quick introduction. I am a looonnnggg time member and occasional creeper, (meaning I come and go and browse threads here and there, regional threads, classifieds, part outs, etc.). I have been a member since the 4th gens were new in dealerships, and I still have my 2005 Legacy GT, and yes I'm the original owner. Due to a long series of events over the course of many years my Legacy ended up in storage. Part of it was the last recession, and having to put other more important things first; and part of it was a cracked ringland failure meaning the engine needed a full rebuild. Lastly, I moved cross country and the Legacy sat in my parents garage while I got settled.

 

So on to the present. It has been a long time goal to get this girl back on the road and build it 'right' (for me). Last year I made the cross country drive with her in tow, and the rest of my stuff making my move official.

 

How does she sit now?

She is a rolling chassis only no engine, no transmission, no rear diff. I have the block, but the trans and diff were sold off many years ago to make room for an upgrade. The chassis has about 125K miles, clean with only a minor fender bender that was recently taken care of prior to the cross country move.

 

I plan to document my build here, and might even post some videos of the process on youtube if I can bring myself to talk into a camera alone in my garage, that still feels a little weird to me. Stay posted...?

 

So what is the plan?

Now that I'm a little older and wiser turning this into a full on race car I daily drive does not sound appealing. Why, because as much as I love race cars, and I do. They suck on the street, no interior, no ac, loud and shitty gas mileage is not as fun as it sounds, not for a daily. Also this car is too clean to gut and turn into a track-rat. So I will be building a 'proper' GT car, comfortable 'refined' but no slouch either. Plenty of 'GO', and just a little bit of 'SHOW'. The only thing I am still seriously debating is EJ25, versus a turbo EZ30 swap. So feel free to comment below.

 

Lastly, just a little about me aside from being a long time member. I was a professional dealership technician for the germans before I took a desk job about 10 years ago. I am now a Systems Engineer so, sweating the details and long term projects is something I am very comfortable with. Also worth noting, working with electrical systems/wiring, composites, and mechanical is my thing so I want to use this platform as a test for myself. There will be some successes, and realistically some failures, but that is part of the process right?

Edited by socalsleeper
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So right now there has been a lot of cleaning. The car was in storage for a long time so I spent some time taking inventory of how far down the rabbit hole I need to venture. This quickly led into pulling the front of the vehicle off.

 

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I also got into the cowl area cleaned that all up.

 

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Also as part of the battery relocation I also started to make a template for a new panel.

 

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Edited by socalsleeper
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Update 5/16/21

 

I got a killer deal on a R180 locally. This came out of a 2011 STI, the previous owner got it for his WRX about three years ago, sold the car and forgot about it. He was cleaning out the garage and found this guy, he thought it looked kind of crusty so he was letting it go very cheap.

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I ordering some axle seals and a some new fasteners, and other small bits so I can mount this sucker. I already cleaned it up got some fresh paint on it.

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Edited by socalsleeper
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Some updates

I got started on the battery relocation ran the power cable through the firewall by the driver door jam. I drilled a new hole, i know i could have just sliced the grommet but I have a feeling I am going to need that space later.

 

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Edited by socalsleeper
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join date in '05, that qualifies as an OG

 

looking forward to the rebuild!!

 

Thanks I just spoke to one of the more well known vendors in the Subaru community today about my build so I have so decisions to make.

But no matter what direction I go, I don't plan on cutting corners, or cheeping out.

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So I had this nagging problem from years ago and I never bothered to look into it. Turns out I had a broken tab on my seat and a second one about to go out. This was between the front end of the seat and the tilt adjustment.

 

I ended up drilling out the spot welds cutting a scrap bit of 1/8" steel and making a much stronger bracket than before. While I was under there I decided to give the seat base a coat of paint to keep the surface rust in check.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ended up running the multi connector cable for the headunit to the amp while I had the seat out. I forgot to run the new speaker wire, so I guess the seat is coming back up. ugh.

 

I also ran the zero gauge wire through the cabin along the driver side. It was a tight fit but it went together without any hiccups. I tried to wrap the power cable with some sleeving but it was not the right size and gave up after a few feet. I will buy some lager techflex and will finish wrapping the cable later.

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I made some progress on the battery relocation tray. NOTE this is just version 1.0 and I will prob get something made out of aluminum, sheet metal, carbon? For now MDF is a good medium to get some dimensions locked in. I will prob finish this with some rhino liner type material in the mean time.

 

The amplifier rack will be a separate removable panel and will help lock down the battery tray.

 

I'm using Bluesea systems components I have heard good things about their products for a long time.

 

 

Sorry for the crappy pics I'll get some better pics later

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Edited by socalsleeper
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  • 2 weeks later...

So I have been making slower progress that I would have liked for a couple of reasons.

a) I have been ordering parts and I like to have full assemblies ready to install before I start ripping parts off.

b) I have been 'prototyping' the battery relocation tray.

 

This has been a bit of a trial and error exercise. I did not want to just order a plastic battery bucket. While they work they are not especially attractive. (it is not like this is attractive right now either, but some bondo and sanding will take care of that. I think I got the general shape down now. I have made some design decisions for access and maintainability. I think this will go through 2 more evolutions before I call it done. The first will be having this made out of aluminum plate by a fabricator. Eventually, I would love to make this out of carbon, which is why this is taking as long. I am making it to be recreated with different materials in mind. If anyone is interested on why I decided to what i have I can provide some more details.

 

The final goal will be to have a new trunk floor panel that will have a couple of press fit sections. Once removed I will have access to the battery, circuit breaker, and fuse panel only. The second panel will provide access to the audio equipment. The plan for that is a DSP, 6 channel amp, and mono amp. I ran wiring for coaxial rear speakers and components up front with active crossovers. Meaning I have 14 gauge for the mids and 16 gauge for the highs.

 

As far as parts ordered I have a set of Spec B aluminum rear suspension components, a few bags of whiteline bushings, a rear swaybar, and the adjustable arms on hand. I just have an STI brake booster arriving tomorrow I got off eBay and a new OEM master cylinder coming soon. I still need to order new unit bearings before I drop the rear end stuff. My guess is about 1-2 weeks before everything I need is here and I start swapping components, maybe a few days longer as I want to have the aluminum bits media blasted.

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A slim battery was an option, but I did not want to loose all of my reserve capacity. This is a street car primarily. That does not mean I can’t swap out the full size battery with a slim battery with a spacer.

Actually that is why I am making this in modules so I can remove them for autocross or an HPDE day.

I can make the carbon parts. I worked in aerospace and know a bit about composite fabrication. Part of the process of making the carbon parts is to make the plug for which to pull a mold from. This is where I am at right now the initial design phase. I just happen to like MDF as an easy to work material.

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  • 2 months later...

So I finally got enough parts on hand to start ripping things apart.

 

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I got the aluminum control arms back from powder coating, and got the old bushings out and the new ones installed.

 

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I got started on pulling the rear suspension apart and decided to pull the subframe out as well. At this point I was a couple of bolts away, and it makes replacing the differential bushings much easier. Going to give this a fresh coat of paint while I'm at it.

 

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I realized I need to order a few new fasteners, a couple of brackets here and there. Those are coming soon. I need to refinish the calipers with a fresh coat of paint too. I plan to replace them with some Brembos eventually, but for now OE will do fine with fresh pads and rotors.

Edited by socalsleeper
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Glad to see you rebuilding it! I recently came back around to my car on what feels like a very similar trajectory. I had relocated my battery to a Moroso sealed box in the trunk, with a main fuse inside, and an accessory fuse/relay box in the battery’s original place, but have been meaning to fabricate something nicer looking than the 4x4x4 outdoor junction box I currently have. I was thinking about getting a battery shell to make it look stock, but I like how you mocked up the panel so the guts are all in the fore-fender area. Edited by Underdog
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Glad to see you rebuilding it! I recently came back around to my car on what feels like a very similar trajectory. I had relocated my battery to a Moroso sealed box in the trunk, with a main fuse inside, and an accessory fuse/relay box in the battery’s original place, but have been meaning to fabricate something nicer looking than the 4x4x4 outdoor junction box I currently have. I was thinking about getting a battery shell to make it look stock, but I like how you mocked up the panel so the guts are all in the fore-fender area.

 

I am about to go into the garage in a few mins, to finish mount this panel once and for all. I will take a pic, but I have not been able to post anything today :confused:

I think you will like the final product. This will be 'fused' in the front and rear.

My reasoning is if I have a frontal impact the battery is still live and I have a zero gauge running through the cabin with plenty of flammable plastic and carpeting. If I have a rear impact and the alternator is still turning I have the same problem of having a large live cable for some length. No matter what the battery and the alternator can be isolated from each other.

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That makes sense to me. I didn't plan for the forward fuse because the chance of that scenario seemed slim, but it definitely is non-zero. If I ever get around to a v2.0 it's probably a good idea to add in, and not much extra cost or complexity.

 

Here's my setup. The engine bay box was not intended to be permanent but would actually be totally fine for me had I painted it black before hand. I may still do the lid and just wrap the sides with some DEI gold tape because I have a lifetime supply. :lol:

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Here is the final front panel installed. I was going for a "made to fit" look without drawing too much attention. The top connection to the fuse is from the battery in the trunk and the lower terminal is the link to the engine (eventually)

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And here is the panel before I installed it so you can see what I did behind the scenes.

 

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Wow that looks great! So you wanted capped posts for easy to access jumping points? I thought about something like that and maybe a little lcd voltmeter but wasn’t sure they were necessary. Definitely a nice feature though, well integrated and slick fit and finish overall. You def hit your mark. Can’t wait to see more.
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Thanks, I really worked on getting that odd angle right for the fuse box.

And Yes I wanted capped post. I might end up putting a catch can in that location so I did not want there to be an exposed terminal there when I need to drain it. That part is still up in the air.

 

If I do add a volt meter it would be in the trunk so I know I don't have any loss on the line. Although that is unlikely given the gauge of wire I used. Steve Meade has some nice components for that. I added a link below.

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https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item-69955-Steve-Meade-Designs-VM-1-SMD-VM1-Voltmeter.html

Edited by socalsleeper
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