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Back into turbo land! This time I am building my own....

4667 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  formainc85
Well, here I am again.....
Flash back 5 years or so. Bought a 2004 xt 5speed. Modded it. Motor blew up two winters ago. Parted it out and scrapped the shell....... Big mistake.

How it looked when it got scrapped.......

Currently driving this:

08 base 5speed. It sucks.

Bought this for$500 last summer. Sight unseen:

2004 xt 5speed with around 230km on it. Rotten but everything works, well kinda. Motor barely runs, leak down did not look good. Fuel tank leaks, turbo blown ect ect. It did make a 1hr drive to my buddies shop. Then got slammed out back and parked.

Then this fell into my lap:

05 xt auto with 180km. No transmission, blown motor and missing pieces. Butttt it's very clean.

Here's the plan, put drive train from 04 into the 05. Hoping I can build one motor out of two, I belive(hope) the motor in the 5speed car just needs a valve and a new turbo, motor comes out tomorrow.

Plan is to build as a second (third) car, ie make it fast. Hoping I can swap the front half of the harness to make the 5speed swap cleaner and easier, would like to avoid abs/speedo/immobilizer headaches.

Will be doing the work myself. Best case scenario is to get the blue car rolling in stock form for around $3000 and go from there.
Wish me luck!

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Good luck - I look forward to the progress!
Likewise! Subscribed for progress reports and pics! :thumbsup:
Good Luck!!
Let the car warm-up /dry out over night.
Funny working on a stock car again. I forgot how awful factory heat shields are. All in all went well. Considering a 14/15 year old car from Canada, every nut and bolt came apart(other then the turbo heat shields).

Motor out, ready for disassembly.

Dumped the shell back into the snow Bank . Hoping to make a few bucks selling body panels of it. Unfortunately the bottom is rotten, but hood/hatch with wing and bumpers are in good shape.

Hoping to have a look at the motor tomorrow. Plan goes from there really......

Going to be away for 3-4 weeks so progress will grind to a hault. Here's what my Loose parts plans are, which I'm hoping to have by the end of February. As mentioned earlier, going to be a "budget" get on the road adventure so will be buying mostly used stuff.

Fix motor(still hoping it's just a burnt valve)

Turbo back exhaust
Boost control solenoid
Silicone turbo inlet
Wrx intercooler(just for looks)
Sti lateral links
Suspension (thinking jdm wrx) depends what I can get cheap.

Thankfully I have two cars. So hoping a lot of wear items can be reused/pieced together. The transmission swap should cost me nothing other then wear items. The more I think about it, the more I want to leave the 5speed harness in the rotten car. I really don't want to change another harness haha. And the small amount of wiring and or electrical needed for the swap shouldn't be a big deal. See how it goes.


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Last productivity post for a while:

Played with the motor a bit between jobs today.
Intake manifold off. Turbo/intercooler looked oil free. Popped passenger valve cover off everything looks clean, but that head will have to come off as the dead cylinder is on that side.
Found a set of stock sti top feeds and rails that will work well. Also gonna upgrade fuel lines, delete tgvs and paint the intake.

Leak down from a few days after I bought the red car. Crazy how it fired up first turn the other day and idled(on three cylinders) right up to temp for half an hour.....leak free. Also had lots of oil in it, which makes me happy lol. One day I will have a subaru that doesn't burn oil..... Maybe.

Intake off. Crusty block but (almost) everything is coming apart easy.

Take care everyone. Hopefully some parts acquisition posts to come......

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Well guys, back from my work trip, which was profitable..... (more money for said fozz).

First day back at the shop. Spent some time cleaning up, but wanted to pop at least the passenger head off to see what was what......

Found some very crusty looking exhaust valves. And nasty looking valve seats in the head. Cylinders on that side looked surprisingly great considering 200+ thousand kms. Had copper spark plugs, and what looks like a lifetime of regular fuel. Wondering if proper plugs, a bunch of good fuel and some heavy driving would have cleared this up...... Too late now.

Going to order gaskets and a new timing belt tomorrow. Not going full strip down, just what I touched. Gonna clean heads and replace worn valves myself. Goal to have heads assembled and tested by next week sometime. Then slap everything back together.

Cat in stock up pipe looks like it's about ready to explode. Still had screens in the oil system.

Have a few used part adventures lined up this weekend. Hoping to have motor done and start swapping shells after the 14th.....will see how that goes......

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Today's update:

Injectors out. Was gonna go top feed but decided to stick with the yellows. Sent out for cleaning and testing today. Going to clean and paint tomorrow. Still have not decided on a colour for the intake yet.

Heads disassembled. Everything other then the burnt valve looks great. Nice and flat so won't need machining. Going to clean everything up tomorrow and hopefully get at least one head assembled and tested.
If everything goes well and I have enough time, would love to have the engine bolted up by the end of the weekend. Hate having things laying around open.
Really need to start collecting some more parts..... More to come.

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I like the build great updates. Seeing that foz shell flatbedded I can see why you had regrets. These things are kinda fun to work on sometimes.
Little more accomplished today:

Intake disassembled, parts washer didn't do much. Sandblasting needed.

All cleaned up.

Valves lapped and tested. Three cylinders are nice and tight after cleanjng/lapping. Waiting for two new exhaust valves, after bucket adjustment heads are good to go.
Ordered a boost controller and a new tactrix cable today. Getting excited!

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Well. Long lay off. Work has finally calmed down.... Back to this swap adventure....

Got a bit of shopping done over the last few months.
Buying used stuff as much as possible....

Grabbed a used 3 inch turbo back with catted downpipe and a "turbo xs" muffler. $200 which was awesome.
No photos but also grabbed a rear sti sway bar, taxtric cable, new carpet, and a set of 17 wheels and tires.....


Motor together.

New buckets in and new valves lapped to match. Sealed up perfect. Very happy I did the head work myself. Saved at least $5-600 bucks doing it myself. Not to mention happy to know it was done right.

Sealed up and timed. Ready to go!

Decided to stay stock side feed injectors for now. Going to run stock td04 for the time being, upgrade as needed. Should have the injectors back this week from cleaning and flow matching. Clean up and paint the intake, and bolt up the tgv deletes and the motor is DONE

Finally some nice weather last week. Got the harness out of the rotten car. Cleaned it all up, ready to go into the blue car.

Yanked the broken motor out of the blue car yesterday. Usually pull a turbo subaru motor in around an hour. With no trans/exhaust less then 20min lol.

Hoping to keep the momentum going here. Ordered some sound deadening today. Hoping to strip the auto harness out of the blue car next week and get the floor/trunk cleaned and apply the sound liner. From there new harness in then get the 5speed driveline out of the red car and into the blue car.
3 weeks till its running? I'm hoping less than five. Working for a living blows.


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Getting better at updating(and getting stuff done).

Red car more or less stripped. Transmission and diff out. God that thing is rusty haha
Ordered bushing and mounts for the transmission as they are all shot.

Intake cleaned up and painted. Wish the red wasnt so sti red but hey. Tgv deletes done and cleaned. Ready for cleaned up injectors.
Not pictured. Engine bay of blue car stripped and read for 5speed harness. Dash almost out. If time allows get auto harness out, and 5speed in this week.

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Another Monday full of progress!

Blue car is now fully stripped of its harness. Was going to leave the back half in place thinking it was the same. Turns out the slightly newer car(blue is 05,red is 04) with power adjust driver seat has a slightly different harness. Few different wires on the passenger side, really didn't want to put this car all the way back together to have an issue when I could just swap the whole thing.

Auto VS 5speed "front" harness

No where near ready to start plugging stuff in, but does this make it a manual car now?

With the whole interior removed, will give me a good chance to clean up the metal on the floor. Soooooo much cleaner then the red car but would like to make it perfect. Was going to paint and sound mat after the car was together and working, but with it completely stripped would be foolish not to.

Lastly, some over night jdm parts from..... Russia?


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Work has been all encompassing these days..... Insert excuses here. Thank God this is a want not a need.

Got the sound mat installed today. Went with the kilmat brand from Amazon. 50mil and bought the 50 square foot box. After a pretty unplanned job, ended up with four extra pieces after doing the floor up to the rubber firewall cover. Have lots of little parts to fill in. Going to need another box for sure to do the tail gate and doors. Goal is tone down the road noise.

With the mat in the slow and tedious job of re assembly begins! Dropped the 5speed harness in and made as many easy connections as I could. Also bolted the dash bar in.

Broke a few bolts on the Transmission tunnel, will worry about that when it's up in the air getting the driveline installed. Also found the front section of the drivers side strut tower to be getting a bit cheese. Going to have to slice and weld a new panel in once the car acctully works under its own power.


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Well more time between updates but here we go:
Car is all wired up. 5speed harness is in.
Swapped engine bay over. Took the abs pump out of the 5speed car, and modified(see bent) brake lines to fit the different pump. Wanted to plug right into it, not mess around with re pinning the plug for the pump.
Clutch cylinder swapped.
Motor stuff:
Painted the fuel lines with por-15 to keep them from completely rotting. Also had the stock yellow injectors flow tested and cleaned.
Onto the fun stuff.
Picked up a deadbolt 18g turbo off my tuner, also a 08+sti intercooler. I know I originally said stock stock stock, but the deal was awesome, and I really dont want to play td04 games.
Going to run the stock yellow injectors for the time being, with plans for a top feed set up with larger injectors. I know the turbo will max out the injectors pretty quick, but dont really want to pop the motor right away.......
A few photos:
Vehicle Car Engine Auto part Compact car

Fingers crossed for more progress! Snow is coming!!!!
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Way behind posting but here we go.
End of september(the 30th to be exact) was the day the motor went in:


Transmission install was straight forward. Chased all the holes and threads for the 5speed cross member. Love how lego these cars are, not that I didnt know that allready but damn.

Motor finally off the stand and onto the crane. New stage one ish clutch installed with resurfaced flywheel. Went with a stage one clutch as a breaking point between the power and the glass ish 5speed. Knowing how these adventures go, I am sure I will be pushing that 18g at some point and would rather be changing a clutch then looking for a new transmission...... Used the flywheel off my original fxt from a few years ago for nostalgia, and because I forgot to pull the flywheel off the motor before it went on the stand.......


And in it goes:


After checking, re checking and priming the fuel system, it fired right up first crank! After touching virtually every part minus the crank and pistons, huge relief!

Only leak was the turbo feed line on the head, bolt was slightly loose.
Went into gear and drove itself out of the shop with no drama. Was amazed how well it ran, despite missing intercooler/exhaust/ most of the senors haha
Side notes:
Rotten control arms:

Some may not know, but these cars have an awful track record of control arms rotting from the inside out. Huge bonus, open recall from Subaru! Despite the chassis being almost 15 years old, Subaru of Canada provided brand new control arms, ball joints and all associated hardware! What a win!
Previous owner of the chassis had sliced the wheel studs all around, presumably to run spacers and hot boi wheels. Both front wheel bearings are quite ruined. Dropped the entire front sub-frame from the donor car for the spare rack and the hubs/spindles. Maybe use the turbo subframe for another project in the future????

Donor car stripped:

Subframe dropped:

Moving forward from here.
Pressing new bearings into front hubs. Will likely put new abs/speed sensors in as well. Dont want to play that game down the road.
Put new control arms in with hubs ect.
Fit downpipe /cat back.
Have the strut tower(s) welded up.
Get the thing home and into my garage before the snow flies again! Will do the interior assembly at home.
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Some more updates here as I get closer and closer to having a working turbo car again!
Spent some time Monday swapping out the rusty front control arms. Still cant believe that a 14 year old vin number gets a complete front control arm kit. I guess safety recalls are a thing!

Rusty crusty old arms.
New fresh ones installed.

Put new bearings into the front hubs from the parts car gonna need some new endlinks as the old ones has to be sliced up to get off the control arms out.
Still very pleased with the underbody on the car.

Finally got the intercooler and down pipe on. Went with an 08+ sti intercooler, which as we know is much larger than the stock fxt, and bigger than 04-07 units. With the dead bolt 18g turbo, and the turbo smart BPV, have run into some clearance issues. The BPV rubs/pushes on the intake manifold. Also the passenger side of the intercooler is jammed up on the wastegate actuator. Not exactly sure what I am going to do there next. I know the actuator is causing the problem at the other end with the BPV. It has a 14lb actuator on it which is easy to replace with a smaller unit, or perhaps I "send it" with an external wastage and a screamer pipe which would give tonnes of room, but will have me WAY past my "stock ish" build. Decisions decisions. Hoping to have some time this weekend to mess around with it.
Going to start on interior re assembly next week. Once I have my clearance issues worked out, going to roll the thing onto the dyno and get a base line tune. Would like to see what it makes on stock injectors and stock pump with that turbo. 250whp on a mustang dyno at around 13-14lbs?

List of things I want to sort before the new year:
Finish interior
Some form of brake upgrade ish. Have a set of legacy gt brakes, but the calipers on the car are mint, so might just do good set of rotors and pads.
Get a safety for the thing.
Feeling real good now!
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Few more updates:

Got the drivers side strut tower cleaned up and welded:

Rust cut out and cleaned up a bit.

New metal welded in.
Spent some time with Por 15 on the interior. Had to peel back some of the kil mat I installed. But painted the spare tire well, and a couple other mildly rusty spots.

Got the rest of the exhaust installed. As mentioned, bought a second hand turbo back in the spring, down pipe appears to be Chinese with some form of a cat. Surprisingly fit well. Cat back bolted right up, but surprise surprise to short for the fxt. Plan will be to take the cat out and extend the cat back to clear the bumper better. My last car had significant bumper melting from the same issue, so would like to avoid that if possible.

Took it for a little rip up and down the road to get the juices flowing a bit. Still lots of a vaccum hoses un hooked and no boost control so didn't "send it" to hard haha.

Going to get it registered tomorrow maybe so I can buy a set of plates for it.
Spoke to my tuner the other day, hoping to get that going next week. Toying with the idea of a set of bigger fuel injectors before the tune to be able to use the full force of that turbo right away, but haven't decided yet. Not many choices for side feed set up, and not sure if I want throw a bunch of money into top feed conversion right now.... Decisions!
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great journal so far! you've put in a ton of work, im jealous of your skills.
Keep it up, Im enjoying it. Would like to see what kind of power you make with the turbo/intercooler combo.
BTW, there are a 750 and 850cc side feed injectors available. I have a set of 850s sitting in the garage, havent gotten to install yet... Ive heard that they can occasionally cause trouble with tuning and getting a smooth idle. we'll see!
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Thanks for the feed back sls2121, its coming along.
Currently playing with some abs issues. Without the proper subaru scanner had to resort to grounding the abs plug under the dash out and counting "blinks" of the abs light. Turns out front passenger abs sensor is no good. Not surprised after doing bearings and what not.

Think I am going to end up converting to top feed........Just makes more sense. 1000's seem to be the winner. Should be more then enough for that turbo. I would be really surprised if I cant spin 350whp out of this set up. Have had the chance to see a few stock 2019 sti(whats the plural for sti?) on the dyno and considering they make almost 300whp
stock this thing should be able to beat that.

Hoping to get some time with it up in the air on monday to button up a few things. Thinking two new front ABS sensors, and swap a set of rear hubs I have been sitting on from my original xt that have fresh bearings in them.
Sorting some more interiors parts then that adventure will begin. Got some 2011(I think) Sti seats for an awesome price that will require some work to fit but will be worth it. Really want blue sti carpet for it, but big money new from dealer!

Got my little garage cleaned up enough to fit a forester(poop rod beater test fit). Would really like to get the blue car out of the snow bank at my buddy's shop, at least now I have a landing spot for it!
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