('98-'00) Scotty's 98 wrx swap - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Scotty's 98 wrx swap

Hey im sort of new to posting but have been around these forums for a while. Also active on nasioc and have had 4 subarus personally including a hybrid 6speed 04 wagon.

So I bought a 98 forester for cheap not running. Got it running but still having issues with it. Soooo I picked up a wrecked 2004 wrx (with bugeye front end) for cheap. The swap will be happening soon. I am swapping everything over. Intake to brakes. Also the wiring harness and dash (and maybe seats)

Few questions but first off I have seen 02-03 swaps and the wiring (aside from the rear body and doors) pretty much swaps over. But are there any other issues with the 04 wiring?

Thanks and stay tuned for more!

Here they are



How the Forester sits to date (11/30/2013) (mod wise)

Engine/Exhaust:
-2004 WRX 2.0l
-STi intercooler
-Samco intercooler hoses
-Fuku Works Turbo inlet pipe
-Open source stage 2 tune
-MAW composite TGV Deletes
-STi cat back
-STi up pipe (heat wrapped)
-Catless Downpipe

Drivetrain:
-2004 WRX 5 speed
-2004 WRX rear diff
-2004 WRX axles, driveshaft, hubs, knuckles, etc.
-Kartboy short shifter
-Kartboy Front and rear shifter bushings
-GroupN trans mount

Suspension/Brakes:
-2004 WRX struts & springs
-2004 WRX subframes, control arms, etc.
-2004 WRX rear sway bar
-Whiteline 22mm Adjustable front sway bar
-Moog endlinks
-2004 WRX calipers
-Stoptech pads
-Drilled and slotted rotors for a 2004 WRX
-Steel Braided brake lines
-STi Reman steering rack and pinion
-2004 WRX steering column

Exterior/Interior:
-2004 WRX dash, steering wheel & center console
-Rally Amour mud flaps

Last edited by scottyg2890; 12-24-2013 at 08:16 PM.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: California
Posts: 414
Car Year: 2013
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: Automatic due to bad leg.
;) Heeheehee, best reply I could find at the moment.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Hahaha that's great!

Been a slow go so far, Getting a parts list together and ordering/picking up parts. The WRX needs a few maintenance things replaced so I figured I would do them right away while its apart. (timing belt, water pump, axles, brakes, o2 sensor, etc. )

Also, I am picking up a catless Godspeed (iirc) up pipe for super cheap. It has a very loud muffler welded onto the factory wrx axle back as well so I may be picking up a different axle back. That will probably come later though. With it having 161K (and being a poor late start college student) I plan to keep it mostly stock. Aside from a k&n drop in, up pipe, and axle back that is. Also am trying to figure out some more mods to increase reliability, such as a killer-b oil pan baffle. Any other suggestions?

Hopefully I will get both cars down to the shop I work at this weekend and start the swap. Should be done in two weekends and maybe a few week nights to finish up odds and ends.

My projected completion date is July 7th, no later than the 14th.

Last edited by scottyg2890; 06-26-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 08:32 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Reading PA
Posts: 163
Car Year: 1998
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5 MT swapped
Any progress? Slowly swapping my foz too )
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by civichx97 View Post
Any progress? Slowly swapping my foz too )
Not really, hit a wall trying to get parts together. The important parts won't be in until this Saturday and I am still trying to get a catless up pipe for cheap locally. I'm tired of waiting for parts to ship haha

I need to get both cars down to the shop I work at this week or early next week and I can start tearing them down after work each day. Then next weekend I can do all the heavy stuff and get the swap mostly done. The week after next will probably be spent finishing up wiring and various odds and ends to make it complete.

I plan to take a lot of pictures and I'll try and make note of any oddities I cross to help out others in the future. Heck I have a month off work before I go back to school, maybe I'll make a nice write-up with pictures and what not.

I'm getting excited gathering parts, I'm dying to get it started!
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 1,253
Car Year: 1997
Car Model: Forester S/tb
Transmission: 5 speed
Im glad my Fozzy came with a EJ20 I am done with my days of engine swaps good luck with everything hopefully you get everything in there nice and smoothly
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
So it's been a while since I have been on here and I apologize for that. My hard drive crashed in my laptop and I have been super busy getting ready to move up to Penn State. Anyway here is the update:


Some before shots.




I started removing things from the WRX before we moved it onto the post lift.



The swap happened the weekend of the 13th and 14th of July. I started at about 8:30 am on the 13th and had both cars motors, trans, front subframe, front brakes, etc out by 11 am. I had access to a post lift and a floor lift. For some reason when pulling the cars into the shop we put the Forester on the post lift first. After pulling the motor, trans, exhaust, driveshaft, front suspension and brakes out of the Forester we dropped it onto a roller and moved it out of the way.

The Forester motor, trans, subframe, brakes, etc.



Empty Forester:



How we moved the Forester




Then we pushed the wrx onto the post lift and dropped everything out from under the car. I mean everything. Engine, trans, all suspension, brakes, subframes, rear diff, exhaust, driveshaft, gas tank, etc. We then dropped the WRX onto a car-o-liner frame rack and pushed it back over the floor lift. We pushed the forester back onto the post lift and pulled the rear end and rear suspension out. We then installed the WRX rear end, subframe, suspension, and brakes.

Forester motor etc. is hanging on the chains, WRX lot is on the wheel jacks in the background. There are parts everywhere for both cars at this point haha. You can see the WRX on the car-o-liner rack all stripped out and the Forester ready to be pushed back onto the post lift!



Then I tackled tearing out the rest of the WRX. I pulled the rest of the interior (already removed some at home). Then the dash and steering column. Then the wiring

Almost there.... sorta



Then I removed the Forester interior and dash and all the wiring. This wasn't as bad since nothing was being reused except carpet and seats.

Then I replaced the brake pads all the way around on the WRX brakes. The rears were in the Forester already while the fronts were still attached to the subframe/motor/trans. Made it pretty easy to change them. I did the timing, pullies, tensioner, and water pump on the WRX motor and replaced the p/s & alt belt. Then I tried to replace the axles and found out I had the wrong ones.

I believe thats all I did on Saturday and I left the shop at about 3:00 am

Last edited by scottyg2890; 11-17-2013 at 09:21 PM.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Then on Sunday after stopping by the parts store for axles (they only had one in stock) and a few various other things. I started up again at around 10:00 am. Had to wait for help to come to drop the Forester onto the WRX motor. In the mean time I had to re-drop the rear end and gas tank to swap the wiring harness on the top of the tank. Huge pain by yourself. Luckly I had a trans jack to help me out. I replaced the one front axle. After that I worked on more of the wiring and dash until help showed up.

This is the full WRX wiring harness! (-doors, gas tank, roof, and trunk harnesses)



Around 3pm we started to drop the Forester on top of the WRX motor etc. and had it in in about 45 min. After that my help left and I bolted everything down, wired up the motor, and installed the suspension, exhaust, driveshaft and put some wheels and tires on it.

I worked on the dash and finishing up other things until about 4am. I had to fit the WRX fans to the Forester radiator (they don't fit) and had to modify the cap on the Forester radiator.

***This is an important point, for anyone putting a wrx or sti motor into a n/a car and keeping the stock radiator. You MUST bust the pressure seal out of the radiator cap. The tank pressure return hose has to connect to the top over flow nipple on the radiator and coolant must be able to flow through there at all times.

Well after what I thought was everything being hooked up I went to start it and nope... nothing....

The fuel pump wasn't kicking on. I had swapped pumps but not the entire sending unit and earlier in the day we had pushed the WRX back into the tow lot at work and it was locked up with the sending unit in it. I didn't have a key with me for the lot.

Last edited by scottyg2890; 11-17-2013 at 09:24 PM.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Well monday after work I grabbed the WRX sending unit and some more stuff out of it that I needed and started at it again. Well after swapping the sending unit I still had nothing. Decided to check over all of my wiring and grounds. Everything was in place. After a copious amount of searching I found out I was missing my fuel pump control module... Now where the heck is the thing...

Searched through the Forester and all over the shop. Then started searching in parts boxes I had and found it at the bottom of one of the boxes from the WRX. plugged it in and bam! started right up!

I called it a night after that at about 11pm.

Then throughout the rest of the week I finished everything up and I had the car home the next wednesday IIRC. Still had a few things to do before getting it inspected and I was going on vacation so I just let it be for a bit. After returning from vacation I got temp tags on it and collected the parts needed. I just had it inspected today and failed for a few random things.

I move on Friday so I'll be trying to get things done Thurday and then next weekend to get it through inspection and on the road for good!
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Sorry for the lack of pictures. Like I said my harddrive crashed so I lost everything. I have a few pictures on my phone I can up load later.

Some key points that I can remember off the top of my head.

-Be careful of the Vehicle Speed Sensor on the top/side of the trans, mine broke off and I didn't notice. spent about 6-7 hours getting the broken off part out and $65 on a new one.
-You have to use the WRX clutch master cylinder if you use the WRX trans
-Not required but I would recommend using the WRX throttle cable. The throttle bodies are opposite and the Forester one is just a bit too short.
-some people have said to reuse the Forester trans crossmember or the linkage won't have room. I used the WRX and it fits just fine.
-The dash is NOT as easy as everyone says. Or at least not for me. A lot of cutting and banging and what not. I had to use the Forester dash bar to clear the heater core and blower motor. But getting the WRX dash pad to go over it was a pain.
-My 04 WRX harness plugged directly into the Forester tailight harness. The third brake light is wired up in the same conector as the rear wiper on the Forester so I just used the old pigtail off the Forester and spiced in the one wire for now.
-the rear tag lights need to be spliced (easy two tires)
-The rear defrost clips right in but its about a foot and a half too short so make a jumper harness.
-The headlights, marker/turn signals, and foglights all had to be spliced (easy, wires are the same colors just different conectors)
-The wiper motor uses a different connect, but again the same colored wires. It also is on the other side of the body so you need to make an extension. I cut off the WRX connector, added about a foot and a half to 2 feet of wire and spliced them into the Forester pigtail.


Thats all I can think of right now...

Like I said I will have pictures up soon!!

Last edited by scottyg2890; 11-17-2013 at 09:26 PM.
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Well the list of why it didn't pass inspection:

-Brake lines not secured (had forester brake lines and wrx struts so no way to attach them to the struts.)
-steering rack leak
-carrier bearing in driveshaft
-steering shaft bearing at firewall (the gasket fell out and is a pain to get to so it's loose)
-front and rear rotors
-wiper blades

I got myself a set of ss braided lines for a wrx and have them in. I'm bleeding the brakes now (not so fun by yourself)

Installing the brake lines:


I have new wiper blades
I'm going to see if the forester driveshaft fits into the wrx trans
And I am trying to source a used STi (or wrx) rack and will fix the steering shaft bearing at the same time when I do the rack.

Last edited by scottyg2890; 11-17-2013 at 09:28 PM.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 09:28 AM
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Car Model: Forester L
Very nice! Looking forward to some pics and more updates! I'll be doing a similar swap over the next year and always enjoying reading about other peoples swaps. Keep up the good work!
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-23-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
So I keep forgetting to post pictures and updates.

I have been going home from school almost every weekend to work on the car. It passed inspection a few weeks ago.

Before passing I replaced all the rotors with upgraded ones, put in a reman STi rack and pinion, and put in a whiteline 22mm adjustable front swaybar with bushings and endlinks. I already mentioned the brake hoses, and the driveshaft carrier bearing mount was never tightened up so that took care of that issue.

After it passed I installed some Rally Armour mud flaps (got them for free!)

Then this past weekend I did quite a good bit of work to the car.

It was throwing codes for the TGV's getting stuck closed, so obviously the best idea is to get rid of them haha and the turbo inlet was leaking.

On Saturday I picked up MAW TGV deletes, a Fukuworks inlet pipe, and some exhaust heat wrap from MachV in Virgina. Then I went up to Baltimore (near where I am from) and picked up (used from a guy off NASIOC) a catless down pipe, STi up pipe, STi intercooler with samco hoses, Kartboy short shifter, and a few other pieces I needed.

The fun began around 7pm right after it decided to rain, which turned into a monsoon for most of the night.

I worked straight through the night until 6:30am and had most of the hard work done. After resting for a few hours I just had to put the downpipe in and put the intake manifold back on.

I did this and then flashed a stage 2 rom with my Tactrix and it runs great. It is way more smooth than before and with the TGV deletes and inlet tube it gets better gas mileage too! I averaged about 25-26 miles going back up to State College and there were times I wasn't driving to conservatively
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-23-2013, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westminster, MD
Posts: 39
Car Year: 98
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5MT
Pictures: Finally!!

Rally armour flaps are not in the pictures.




Before all of the work this past weekend:



During:




I sanded and painted the intake manifold while I had it off:


After:


Last edited by scottyg2890; 11-17-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-23-2013, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Car Model: forester 2.5x
Transmission: 4at
sick
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