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I think I know what to do with my Legacy...

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Ok, so as some of you may know the Legacy isn't registered at the moment. I bought a 1997 Pathfinder, and am in the process of junking my 1986 F150 Stepside. Since the stepside project worked out for a while (Until the frame cracked) I need a new project. I always need a specific long-term project or I become unstable. The F150 was good for about 2 or 3 years and a decent chunk of change, and the Cummins turbo diesel project before that was about 4 years and $4,000. Here's the plan for the Legacy...


MSD Blaster Ignition Coil

Boxer 4 Racing Crank Pulley Or Underdrive Kit

Boxer 4 Racing MAF Adapter Plate

K&N 3" Cone Air Filter

Custom Aluminum 1" Throttle Body Spacer (Made From Scratch)

Dual Magnaflow Hi-Flo Cats (To Please The Inspection Station)

Dual Flomaster 40 Series Mufflers

Lou's Custom Exhaust Installation (True Duals From Headers Back)

New O2 Sensors

New Fuel Injectors

AWD Auto Transnission

AWD Transmission Computer

AWD Rear Drivetrain

Whiteline Sway Bar Bushings

Whiteline Sway Bars

New Front Struts (Rears are already new)

New Shift Linkage

New Fuel Filler Neck

New Tires On Black Steel Rims

Power Window Switch

New A/C Compressor

Separate Transmission Oil Cooler

Window/Tail Light Tint

New Trunk Carpet Made From Plywood & Carpet





Approx. $4,000



Approx. 4 Years


The 4 year time estimate is counting the winter months when it's going to be too cold for me to do anything on it, as well as rainy days. I figure I'll buy a cheap tent and put it up over the car to keep it's dismantled carcass from getting all rusty faster than I can fix it. Plus, with the baby on the way I can't just throw money at an 18 year old car all willy-nilly. There will probably be times where I won't be working on the car due to funds (Or lack there-of)


I want to avoid touching the motor internals until they become problematic. Right now cylinder pressure is very strong and it doesn't burn oil, but if there ever comes a time when I need to tear it down I might put DOHC cylinder heads on with Eagle conrods, some Xcelleration cams, and ARP hardware. An overbore would be nice too, as well as port matched heads and intake manifold. I want to stay away from the Phase II pistons though, even if they are lighter and provide a higher compression ratio. On top of the Boxer4Racing crank pulley and MSD coil, I want to make a 1" throttle body spacer to increase the velocity of air entering the intake runners. I have the tools, and even the materials to make this happen. All I need are the gaskets. If it doesn't work out well I'll trash the idea and leave the throttle body alone. Some sort of custom intake tube would be nice too. I'll have to see what I can make fit. Luckily I have the tools and the drive to make something work. Air tools are my best friend!


Depending on the mileage of the automatic transmission I buy I might have it rebuilt, or just buy a rebuilt one to start with, but my thoughts as of now are to just pick one up at a junkyard and hope it works fine. If I have to rebuilt it I will.


Whenever the brakes quit on my again (Since their still brand new) I will probably get a set of NAPA drilled rotors with top notch ceramic pads. NAPA has the drilled rotors for this car for about $117 a piece, and they look like their way better than those OEM rotors that some asshat with a Bridgeport drilled holes in you find on Ebay.


I will try and cram as much Whiteline suspension products into this car as I can. If I somehow find myself with tons of extra cash I might opt for the WRX struts, but those are considerably more expensive, especially seeing as how I just replaced the rears with OEM parts. More info on the WRX conversion would be greatly appreciated. I know there's another thread on here about the swap, but I always thought it was more involved than just WRX struts with WRX top hats in the front. Maybe I missed something?


I'll take care of the bodywork when I get there. For now I'll just cut out some rust and patch it up. I'll take care of some little dings and dents here and there, but for the major damage in the quarter panel I'm going to contact an old bodywork friend and see if he can cut me a deal on shop time. I'm going to need a frame puller to fix that mess. I figure I'll do what I can with my limited bodywork skills then pay a bodywork guy to get the car to paintable status. When everything is smooth and multi-colored I'll bring it home and give her the ol' rattle can treatment. Primer, base coats, clear coat. I'm thinking black. I'm torn between a flat black and gloss black though. I want this car to look like a sleeper, not a ricer who's saving his pennies for MAACO. That's the same reason why I don't want huge rims. I'll paint the stock black rims black again (As well as any undercarrige components I have disassembled while I'm at it) and maybe slap some OEM hubcaps on there just for S&G's. K-Mart has the SAME EXACT hubcaps as the OEM ones, except they don't say SUBARU in the middle. (:lol: @ K-Mart hubcaps) The bodywork is going to be a separate budget. This way I can make the budget look reasonable for a 4 year build without making the GF curious. When the time comes I'll break the news to her and tell her I'm getting the body fixed. :lol: As for the trunk... I'm planning on doing it the cheap easy way, since I was never one for upholstering. I plan on ripping out the factory carpets and cutting a piece of plywood to fit inside the trunk. I'll get some suitable house carpet from the second hand store (We have one around here that sells carpet amazingly). Cut the carpet to match the plywood and glue it all together. Once it's all one piece just cut a handle into the new floor to allow access to the spare tire and it's all done!


And as for the AWD swap... Heh...

I'm going to look for an AWD wagon or sedan around here and rip out the rear suspension in one piece, as with the transmission, center driveshaft, and computer. There are only a few bolts that hold the rear suspension in place, then all there is to contend with it the E-Brake cable, the brake lines, and the center driveshaft. I'm anticipating that I'm going to need new seals on the differential before I even look at any cars. *Sigh* If anyone out there has info on the differences in wiring between the 2WD and AWD models please speak up. I'm almost certain that the wiring from the engine is identical, but are all the plugs the same? What about in the fuse box?


Anything anyone can contribute to make this dream a reality would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm looking forward to the AWD swap more than anything else actually. I think it will be the most fun. for some reason it's always easier and more satisfying to replace or improve something major, but difficult when you're doing something little. I'm actually looking forward to the swap moreso than doing the crank pulley. :lol:


I think there's 4 bolts that hold the rear suspension crossmember to the chassis. After that there are 2 bolts that hold the trailing arms to the chassis. Finally comes the easy part: removing the brake hoses and E-Brake cable. If I'm correct, the AWD rear suspension/drivetrain should bolt into place right where the 2WD rear suspension came from. Both systems use the same struts too. Then it's just a matter of swapping the transmission and installing the center driveshaft. Just for piece of mind I plan on replacing the U-Joints on the rear driveshaft during the installation. If possible, I want to check the transmission at the junkyard to make sure it goes into drive and reverse. Obviously if the engine is missing too many bits, this will be impossible as I wouldn't be able to start the engine to test the transmission.


I think it will be a fun project. Don't be surprised if I start asking a lot more questions on here when I start tearing into things. :lol: The AWD transmission computer is already getting me worried. I suspect that will be the source of most of my upcoming questions. :lol:

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this swap of the drivetrain is very easy. you should have it done in a day or 2. if u have help it will be a breeze, air tools are even better.

i think i have a AWD trans computer if u need one. its from an SS. i just got rid of the other car today. i would have pulled it for u.


anyway, looks like u have a fun build on ur hands. i cant wait to see the true dual exhaust. should sound interesting.

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Thanks! I've got no shortage on air tools and I have plenty of competent help.


I heard unequal length headers make the car sound better than equal length headers. I understand the concept behind this (With the engine layout/firing order), but does this hold any truth? The last thing I want is a car that sounds like an inline 4, although I doubt this is possible with true duals on a boxer motor. The 2+2 firing order of a boxer 4 is the same as a 2+2 firing order on an inline 4, but the true duals should give me the glubglubglub idle I'm looking for. The last thing I want is for my baby to sound like a Honda... :lol:


Also, should I have a crossover pipe or no? What about the O2 sensors? Should I have them weld in a taller bung to keep the sensors out of the exhaust stream like I've read on here or just let the exhaust shop do their thing with the parts I specify? I guess my main quesion is what would be the overall best way to mount the O2 sensors?


What if I just got the computer from an EJ22 L+ wagon or sedan with a N/A engine and AWD? Since that's essentially what the car will become I'm assuming that would work.


Either way, if you're looking to get rid of an extra AWD ECU of any kind hit me up, I'm might be in the market. First I just wanna check out the local junkyards to see if they have anything for me. Let me know what you have though.


Also, the $4K budget excludes bodywork and accounts for junkyard parts except where the word "New" is stated in my parts list. Do you think this estimate is reasonable?

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i personally think 4k is a bit steep. hell for that u can get a nice SS for 4k. better off trying to find a awd legacy with a blown motor for parts. will cut ur bill by more than half. u could probly get one for less than 500. swap the parts needed and sell of the rest of the body parts to make some money back.


the headers need to be unequal to keep the boxer sound. and have a shop do there thing with the o2 sensors. a crossover pipe will work well i think. it gives u some nice tq when installed right. but if ur using the stock headers i dont think ull need it. if u did a custom header where each bank of cylinders comes straight back, then a crosspipe would be needed to get the low end tq back.

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"hell for that u can get a nice SS for 4k. better off trying to find a awd legacy with a blown motor for parts. will cut ur bill by more than half. u could probly get one for less than 500. swap the parts needed and sell of the rest of the body parts to make some money back."


I agree with this, other than the SS part. Chances are he doesn't have the funds available to do this all at once and since he's a fan of projects it's kind of more fun this way instead of instant gratification. But definitely look around since it'll save on shipping and you'll have all the parts you need at once. You buy it, dont register it, get the parts you need within the 30 days then sell the shell or junk it.


Sounds like a fun project though dude and I think you'll be fine. Make sure to update it as you go along. Also...flat black is incredible.

At work I have a picture of one that is just freakin gorgeous, but I'll have to upload it from there Monday. It's so bad!

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There was an AWD '92 sedan with a bad headgasket and a rusted out body for sale in my area recently. I was sooo tempted to buy it for parts, but don't really have the funds or space right now. :icon_sad: For anyone who likes black steelies but would like to go a little bigger, there's these for $56 each. unfortunately they're not a flat finish, but I still think they would look good while keeping the sleeper look.


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Those are some rims to consider. Hell my speedometer is already about 5MPH on the slow side anyway. :lol: This might even make it even!


And Legacy Wagon is correct. I know I could get more for my money by just getting another car, but at the same time I already put about $2K worth or parts into this car. Taking them all out and installing them on the new car would take time too, not as much as the build I'm proposing but still. This way I'm not going to break the bank, and I'll still have a long-term project to keep my busy on weekends. I can't go spending all my money too soon though, since I do have a baby on the way and the GF has to go in for surgery with 4-6 weeks of recovery time, so my income is going to be the only income during that time. Same thing when she takes her maternity leave.


I do understand where you guys are coming from, it would be easier and more cost effective to buy an AWD Legacy or even a Legacy SS, but if I go ahead with this project I can have something to look forward to, and something I can take pride in because I made it. Not only that, but I can just buy the bits and pieces as needed to avoid buying all the parts up front. That way I'll still have money in the bank, rather than spending a lump sum and buying a car that I can just slap plates on and drive.

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Should be fun. Here's that Legacy Wagon :D I did a little editing to it, but that's pretty much how it is.

I wanted to make the rims black, but didn't have time. Looks nice though.



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Right! I was thinking new rims like these although I had

to make them black since they're not originally. I even like

the outback wing he put on there. I should still put mine on.

Got one for $10 off one in a junk yard with screws and supports :D



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Yeah, I have drilled rotors since I was going to take it offroad a bit...figured the dirt would slide through the holes and they would cool down a lot faster since I dont have ABS. Painting them black isnt a bad idea. At least that way they're less like to show up. They are pretty wussy, but they get the job done. It's a light car anyway. Its hard to find good 5 spokes. I dont like them too narrow or too wide and these have a great angle going from narrow at the rim to wide in the center. I just wish you could actually find them in black :/
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That is a good deal. but like "Legacy Wagon" said, why buy a car that I need to drop money into anyway, when I'm already halfway there with my Legacy?


Since I bought my Leggy for $700 I've put $2,000 in JUST PARTS into it. That's including spark plugs, wires, an alternator, brakes, struts, rod ends, CV shaft, and other stuff. Given, some of the parts I've already replaced (Like the exhaust and the transmission flush) will get swapped anyway during my build, but still...... This car has a lot of new parts, and it has given me no reason to question its reliability. It may not be pretty to look at, or have a good shell, but you can bet your life that it's got another 150K on the motor and transmission with all the time, love and tenderness I've given her. Oil changes every 3K, perfect compression numbers across all cylinders, no oil leaks, she doesn't burn oil, and she starts first time, every time. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that this car is the second favorite car I've ever owned, second only to my Cummins Turbo Diesel..... I don't place value on how new a car is, or how many miles are on them. I've had new cars that blew up transmissions, or blew up engines, and it's not the Blue Book value that I take pride in. It's knowing that I'm going to get wherever I'm going and back without having to call a tow truck. When it comes to that, this car wins hands down. People with new cars can laugh at the shell of my Legacy, with its rust and multi-colored body panels, but when I roll pass them sitting on the side of the road with their hazards on and their hood up because their Hyundai auto transmission blew up, I promise you I'll be the only one laughing.....


Plus, I just dropped $3K on the Pathfinder, plus some routine maintenance items on the Pathfinder. I'm going to make that good as new then work on the Legacy. My priority at the moment is getting my house baby-proof within the next 4-5 months. Everything else comes second, and with my GF's surgery coming up and the rest of her maternity leave after the baby is born, I really am not in a position to buy Another used car at the moment. The Legacy project will be small investments over a long period of time that leaves me with a great sense of satisfaction. Simply buying a new Legacy would be one large investment all at once, plus a few smaller investments over time, and would give me a giant yet short lived feeling of satisfaction.


I think I'll take my chances on the Legacy build, plus it will be more fun. If I buy another used car within the next couple years it will be because the Pathfinder died on me, or it will be a cheap Legacy parts car.


Don't get me wrong, I make decent money for my job title, and in the last year I've gotten $1.75 in raises despite the economy, but I still don't make enough to throw money at used cars like candy at a parade... Although sometimes I wish I did with all the steals out there..... :lol:

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Yep, now that you mention it it's just the lighting.

05 WRX from the looks of it.


I do remember reading a post from a guy on rs25 about how he had

his RS and was tired of working on it and trying to fix it up and make

it into something it's not. He ended up selling it and buying an STi and

at first he was ecstatic because of the instant power, built suspension,

great looks, throttle response, handling...everything. Then that feeling

wore off and all he was left with was knowing that he got everything he

wanted all at once. He gave up something he loved for a quick thrill and

when it finally hit him that he'll never end up upgrading the car or anything

it was boring to him. In the end he would have felt much better having

swapped an STi motor into his RS than he did his RS to buy that STi.

It's about the car, the blood, sweat and determination to get it right.

Sometimes when you have cars it's about the journey, not the destination

and that goes for fixing them up too :D

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I don't care what you drive, you just can't take the same pride in a car you drove off the showroom floor that you can in a car you built yourself.

This is why Hot Rods are still around today. Factory showroom cars just don't always cut it for some people.


I'm one of those guys that doesn't take any pride in a car until I've gotten my hands dirty with it. The Pathfinder I just bought is like that. All I've done to it so far is front brakes, an oil change, and spark plugs. While I like the car, I have no attachment to it yet because I feel I take no pride in it. Its like chicks.... You can like a chick that you've just started dating, but you don't fall in love with her until you've become well acquainted. I've had intimate moments with the Subaru that make it special. To me, a car is just a car until I get my hands dirty with it, then and only then does it become MY car......

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