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Meme's '09 Outback to Legacy wagon!


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Hey everyone!

 

I made a post on the introductions a few months ago about myself, my Outbacks, and my plans for them. Since then, I've sold the '08 2.5i Limited to save on space during a sudden move across town and used that money to invest in my '09 XT. I've committed to my original plan for it, which was to convert it to a Legacy wagon.

 

Seen here the day I picked it up in Denver:

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I'm not talking dropping the suspension a couple inches to the Legacy level. I'm talking ripping off every single thing Outback and Outback-adjacent on this vehicle and replacing it with stock Legacy/JDM parts where applicable. My ideal Legacy is exactly as Subaru envisioned it for their home country, not the Americanized version.

 

Hanging out with some friends:

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The main obstacles I've come across here are the 12 drill holes between both rear arches for the bodywork's plastic retainers, the USDM wagon's unfortunate roof rail humps in the sheet metal, and the simple lack of documentation for some of the finer details on what exactly is different between the two. For example: I was wondering why my engine undertray wasn't fitting with the Spec.B nose cut like it should even though the part number is the same when I realized that it's because there's different bolts and plastic spacers on the car itself to accommodate the larger Outback bumper. I already know the people at the dealer's parts department better than I know myself, so buying new Legacy bits will be a regular occurrence. There's going to be a lot of "oh cool! Turns out I actually need this from the Legacy to make that work" and the car sitting for a week or two as a result.

 

To that end, I'll be installing a complete revision D-F Spec.B nose cut (complete at the time of writing), sideskirt/spats, rear bumper, D-F taillights with trim, and some minor interior work. I'm going into this with a clear goal of what I want, but things always change with time. Goal: mostly JDM 2009 Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon in satin white pearl. I expect welding the holes shut and repainting it to be the big ticket item by a very wide margin.

 

Temporarily swapped the lower panels to DGM:

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FAQ

- Why are you ruining a perfectly good 5 speed Outback XT?

I figured that picking up an Outback was simply the path of least resistance to getting what I wanted, short of hunting down a 2005 Legacy GT Limited 5 speed wagon (which I considered). The problem with a 2005, aside from the sheer rarity, is the fact that it would need a lot of interior work to bring it to my facelifted standards. To me, this would have included Si-Drive. I know some people view it as a gimmick but I routinely use it, and with my plans to get a European D-F center console, it would have been awkward having either a gaping hole where it should be or a rotary knob that does nothing at all because the wiring isn't there and I'm not messing with wiring if I can help it. And honestly, I wanted a challenge! I knew I wanted a wagon, I knew I wanted Si-Drive, and I knew I wanted a Legacy, so I got two out of three to make it all three myself. I'll feel much more attached to the thing, that's for sure.

 

- Why not just get a Legacy sedan and skip most of this headache?

Where's the fun in that? Besides, I love wagons. See above.

 

- Is this skin deep, or are you going to give it what it needs to act the part?

It is absolutely skin deep and I will not be throwing money down the hood scoop if I can help it any time soon. Everything under the sheet metal will be preventative maintenance or suspension. I suppose it's not skin deep if you consider that I'm ripping out every suspension bit past the subframe spacers, but given that I'm replacing all of that with mostly stock parts it circles back around to being a milquetoast JDM wagon. I want this thing to look like someone shipped a JDM Spec.B wagon to the US, minus the drive side and electrical nonsense. Eventually, as parts begin to fail I'll replace them with upgraded alternatives, but honestly this thing makes more than enough power for me to be in love with and is in such good condition mechanically that it's just not a priority.

 

- TL;DR?

Yeah I can get wordy, I know. There'll probably be more of that out of me throughout the thread. On the plus side, updates will be very infrequent between shipping times and the fact that I don't want to post an update for something as minor as "replaced a mud guard retainer clip today". I want to have something worth saying when I say it.

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Edited by Memeticism
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As for the aforementioned Spec.B nose swap, I don't have as many pictures as I would like of the process. I was so hyped about it that taking photos of the whole thing was on the backburner in my mind. I'll update this with some better photos tomorrow.

 

In the last week:

-JDM sideskirts with aero spats

-JDM rear bumper with aero spats (waiting on beam to install)

-JDM Spec.B nose cut, everything except fender liners

-USDM Spec.B driver's seat, more for the convenience of the memory function than anything else

 

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Massive thanks to AW4BYT for his headlight/motor/mirror wiring adapters. Like I said above, hacking up the wiring makes me nervous if I don't have to so having a simple conversion kit made my day.

Edited by Memeticism
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Looking forward to more updates! Excited to see this party already getting started.

It did start pretty early, didn't it? It's felt like ages since I've bought the thing when it's actually only been about 9 months. I was planning on waiting longer until I saw the front end pop up from an importer I've dealt with before.

 

I had originally bought a regular GT JDM front end I saw listed for cheap from him; a few days later the dude calls me apologizing up and down saying someone in the warehouse ran a forklift into the headlight and fender. He texts me some other front ends they had in case I wanted any, and I'm looking at them really disappointed because they were all either JDM Outback or pre-facelift nose cuts. Then he sends the last one which happened to be from a D-F Spec.B. I couldn't say no to that, obviously, especially since I bought a regular nose at a cheaper price. Now that it's here and on the car I can't believe I ever considered not getting the Spec.B style, it's so elegant.

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It did start pretty early, didn't it? It's felt like ages since I've bought the thing when it's actually only been about 9 months. I was planning on waiting longer until I saw the front end pop up from an importer I've dealt with before.

 

I had originally bought a regular GT JDM front end I saw listed for cheap from him; a few days later the dude calls me apologizing up and down saying someone in the warehouse ran a forklift into the headlight and fender. He texts me some other front ends they had in case I wanted any, and I'm looking at them really disappointed because they were all either JDM Outback or pre-facelift nose cuts. Then he sends the last one which happened to be from a D-F Spec.B. I couldn't say no to that, obviously, especially since I bought a regular nose at a cheaper price. Now that it's here and on the car I can't believe I ever considered not getting the Spec.B style, it's so elegant.

 

 

What importer is this? I am trying to find the JDM outback front end for my 09. I quite dislike the USDM front end on the facelifted years.

 

I am also in the process of doing the swap by removing the subframe spacers etc. It has been quite a process, but I bought a parts car to make it easier.

 

 

Also so you are removing the rear Outback fender arches and welding in material to make it look like a legacy gt? I think I read that right

Edited by boneskid1
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What importer is this? I am trying to find the JDM outback front end for my 09. I quite dislike the USDM front end on the facelifted years.

 

I am also in the process of doing the swap by removing the subframe spacers etc. It has been quite a process, but I bought a parts car to make it easier.

 

 

Also so you are removing the rear Outback fender arches and welding in material to make it look like a legacy gt? I think I read that right

 

It's JDM Motor Import out of Long Beach. I deleted the text messages after I got the front end and the website doesn't list it but I know for a fact he sent me pictures of an Atlantic blue pearl (or JDM equivalent) Outback nose cut. I can't remember if it was facelifted or not, I think it might have been pre-facelift. No way it's been sold in the last 15 days so I'd try messaging them.

 

I really wish I had gotten started on the subframe drop before I moved. I was hoping I could get a parts car as well but now it's off the table, my garage is too small to comfortably disassemble two cars and I don't want to be that neighbor with the cars on the blocks all the time. I'll have to order it all separately now.

 

Yeah, so the Outback has the exact same sheet metal hiding under the fender flares as the older Legacy wagons. The difference is 6 drill holes on each side for the plastic retainer clips on the Outback fender flares, seen in this low-quality image:

 

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The section outlined red is where the Legacy's little plastic panel goes, which I've ordered. The Outback's flare normally dips into and covers this area, obviously. All I've gotta do is get those holes covered up, figure out if it's cheaper to just get Legacy doors or cover those holes up as well (because the molding on the Outback door is larger), and the rest of the bodywork is no different than any other USDM to JDM wagon swap.

Edited by Memeticism
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ah I see I will drop them a message perhaps. I looked on their site a while ago, but only saw the legacy clips.

 

luckily I was able to use my parents driveway for the parts car lol. My apartment complex would have thrown a fit.

 

ok that is not as bad as I was thinking. I know the front fenders are a little more different than the legacy ones so I just thought the rear was the same. Good luck! I am stoked to see how this comes out!

 

 

Also I did the same thing to have Si drive. After using it I did not want to give it up. No reason to have Ludacris (S#) mode all the time. Granny (Intelligent mode) is good enough for everyday.

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Also I did the same thing to have Si drive. After using it I did not want to give it up. No reason to have Ludacris (S#) mode all the time. Granny (Intelligent mode) is good enough for everyday.

 

Exactly. I'm puttering around in traffic, I don't need the crazy S# map that seems to go WOT the moment you even remember the throttle exists. Plus, keeping it in Intelligent all the time makes it that much more fun when I do put it in the other modes because I'm so used to it being gutless.

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Exactly. I'm puttering around in traffic, I don't need the crazy S# map that seems to go WOT the moment you even remember the throttle exists. Plus, keeping it in Intelligent all the time makes it that much more fun when I do put it in the other modes because I'm so used to it being gutless.

 

Dude yes! I have the same feeling. Mine is tuned so Intelligent is a little faster than stock. Feels more like factory Sport levels. So when I switch to S# for a little fun it just feels that much better!

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  • 1 month later...

Hacked up the EDM rear crash bar and got the JDM skin installed.

 

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For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what wheels I wanted to spring for. I knew I wanted an OEM set out of principle, so I figured I'd hunt for a set of JDM Tuned by STI wheels since that lines up with my vision. But then these S402 wheels presented themselves to me and I knew what I had to do.

 

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They're not pristine by any means. The one pictured is in the worst condition, it's the only one that has some curb rash. The others have surface scuffs and some peeling on the finish. They've all been well used and could do with some love, but the price was right.

 

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These aren't RE875s with the STI cap inserted, they're genuine STI stamped and all.

 

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I installed them for a bit to see how they look and feel, and the answer is absolutely awful with the Outback's ride height. They look tiny and the whole thing is on stilts. In general, the entire car looks like ass right now with the three colors and duct tape covering up bullet holes. It's sound but it's not pretty at all. I've been putting everything I get on the car so I can save space by getting rid of the old stuff, and I keep telling myself it has to look worse before it can look better because of it. The next step will be to get cracking on the subframe drop, I wanna do all that work before I repaint it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright so I know I said I would tackle the subframe drop next, but I'm easily distracted by rare, "finishing touch" type parts that I think would look good in the long run. In this case I fell victim to an S402 center console, numbered 201/402, with the red illuminated cupholder rings. This made me double down on my efforts to source the EDM LHD center console. A month later I've got new lower dash/shift surround parts from Germany, a center console/shift boot from a wrecker in Spain, and that little cubby with an outlet in it under the radio from Lithuania. The center console smells like smoke and the cubby smells like old lady.

 

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Don't quote me on this but I think this is from an Obsidian Black Pearl sedan because there were some other parts being auctioned as well with the shell sitting in the background. Regardless I'm not really aiming for a reproduction, I just wanted the LEDs, but these are too rare to throw away.

 

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Got the bracket to mount it properly.

 

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Previous owner had a porcupine or some shit because that quill was hiding under the carpet behind the handbrake cable and stabbed the hell out of me. The entire tunnel was nasty from years of spilled drinks. I'm gonna figure out how to wipe it all down if I take the carpet out for cleaning some day.

 

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The right lower panel doesn't fit into the glovebox properly, there's a few notches that are supposed to clip in, so I think I'll need the EDM glovebox. There's also a bracket under the rubber shifter accordion that the side panels are supposed to screw into from up top but the EDM ones are too high up so I need that as well. I also need the gunmetal gray shift surround. Other than that, perfect fit!

 

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Now my cupholders glow (red!) in the dark, I have non-functional rear air vents, and my trim accents don't match. Subframe drop next, I swear.

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those rear vents are pointless without the accompanying ducting coming from the hvac...but I would be lying if I said I wasn't jealous. Also the lights look great

 

Thanks! Yeah they're totally pointless. Plus now I don't have rear cupholders until I get the JDM rear seats and armrest. I don't just need the ducting too, I need the EDM HVAC itself because it's got an entirely different cutout for the rear vents with a motorized door. I mean I could just hack up the USDM HVAC and use the dial on the vents themselves to close it off if I ever wanted to but it would permanently bother me knowing it's been done like that. If I went with the EDM HVAC the climate controls would show in celsius as well, if I'm not mistaken. I don't know of anyone else that's done that to a USDM model so I could dig myself into a hole with that one if I'm not careful.

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Interesting build. I'm contemplating going the other way.

 

Would I need OBXT suspension parts or would regular OB parts suffice? I can probably start gathering stuff at the local Pick-n-Pull...

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Interesting build. I'm contemplating going the other way.

 

Would I need OBXT suspension parts or would regular OB parts suffice? I can probably start gathering stuff at the local Pick-n-Pull...

 

All of the subframe spacers, control arms, etc. should be the same. The only difference I can imagine would be in the struts themselves but even then I don't think there were any. Take that with a grain of salt because all of my research so far has been into the Leggy suspension, not the Outback, but my XT and my 2.5i when I had it both felt the same. I know the driveshaft, which you'd need, is obviously transmission specific as well so just make sure the donor is a 5MT.

 

I'd say look at the Outback to Legacy suspension conversion thread, find the equivalent part numbers for the Outback, then check if the part numbers are different between trims.

Edited by Memeticism
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Interesting build. I'm contemplating going the other way.

 

Would I need OBXT suspension parts or would regular OB parts suffice? I can probably start gathering stuff at the local Pick-n-Pull...

 

OBXT has the exact same suspension as any OB 2.5i or 3.0R. Even the stuts/springs had the same part number when put side-by-side and compared (3.0R and 2.5i).

 

If you had questions about LGT to OBXT suspension components, here's a start:

 

UCA and bumpstops are different arms between the two models, however you can (and it's common to swap LGT UCAs to OBs to allow the suspension to work better (more suspension travel). As previously mentioned, there are body spacers all throughout the OB to give it that factory lift. Spring perches on an OB strut are longer to account for the body spacers, where as LGT have a shorter spring perch. Steering racks are different. Inner tie rods are different.

 

If you didn't, well it's up here anyway for the next bloke who comes along.

MILKRUN photo album - Click Here
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