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Jeff The 1998 Subaru Liberty RX Bilstein Edition

his name a jef

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#1 Ciron56

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 09:00 AM

Hi Guys,
 
So after a while of searching and debating if we should do it or not, me and some mates have decided that we are going to buy a Gen 2 Lib and WRX convert it!
Ive never even taken an engine out of a car so this will be a first for me and im very very excited. 
 
I think we lucked out a little and picked up a 1998 RX Bilstein Edition for $500.00 from the North Shore in NSW.
The car was out of rego (only a month out), has a hole in the exhaust, electrical issue with the front left headlight, rust around the back window and surface rust underneath the back of the car. 
Other then that, it runs fine! 
 
IMG 20180425 174258

 

Its got dents and pretty bad paint but i think me and the boys will be able to fix it and if we cant then ill just get it resprayed  :sarcastic:

 

First thing i needed to do was to get the car back to the Hills District which is about 40km away. 

After failing a pink slip attempt, i hired a trailer and was able to tow Jeff back to my house (i need to find the photos for this). 

 

After a clean inside and out the car was already looking alot better. The interior is in pretty good condition for the age but i will be looking to replace the front seats as they are abit torn.

 

On the weekend, i got stuck into trying to get the minor issues fixed so we can get the car registered again.

Saturday was a really unsuccessful day after getting new globes for the headlights (which didnt change anything), getting a really really awful Jack and getting the wrong type of sandpaper to get rid of the surface rust under the car  :dash2:

Sunday was a different story! My mate Pat (Patrick27s on the Forums) came over and we were able to get a general idea what was needed to get all the lights fixed and what we needed to kill the rust. 

One short trip to supercheap auto, repco and bunnings later, we had a new Jack (thank god) and a lot of new globes (we found out that both the Parking lights werent working and there was a blown fog light) we got to work and was able to get all the lights working, even the headlight! Turns out the wiring on the left headlight was pretty bad so after some work from Pat (u da best) he was able to get it all working!

 

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We got some sanding tools from Bunnings and started attacking the back of the car. Didnt take that long which was nice and then we gave it a nice spray of black and sliver for the diff. 

 

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Only thing left is the hole in the exhaust which we will deal with later. 

 

After discussing with the boys, looks like we are going to try and convert the car 2 weeks from now!

We will have my garage free for a month (thanks mum and dad) so we are going to try and complete the project 4 weeks and i am very excited!

 

We have decided that we are going to try do everything ourselves (except maybe the wiring loom merger) and we are now searching for a donor car to make our lives easier and means we dont have to get everything seperatly which would be much more expensive. 

Currently, bugeye wrx seems like the cheapest and easiest option with alot of the parts being compatible with the lib! 

 

I will make a post when more progress is made but any advice or tips from anyone who has done the same conversion would be awesome!

Thanks!

 

Ciaran

 

(heres some more pics of the car)

 

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#2 Barbbachello

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 11:20 AM

Sweet more gen 2s. Bugeye wrx is certainly the go. 

Tips for converting:

  • Dont throw anything out until the car runs and drives
  • Do a full service while its out. Clutch and timing belt including water pump and tensioner. Would also suggest a TGV delete silicone inlet pipe if thats in the budget as its a cubt to change with the manifold on which is a lot easier to get off out of the car
  • Pay for a pro to do the wiring loom. Its worth it for everything to work like factory. AM Auto or perhaps ichiban can point you in the right direction
  • Use as much as you can from the wrx donor however being an RX you can keep your existing engine crossmember as well as brake and clutch plumbing. Just have to swap the salve cylinder over to the wrx pull type one. 
  • You will need to swap the GD throttle cable in
  • GD wrx will give some extra fruit like rear 2 pot hubs and the like. Worth swapping over but keep your liberty hand brake cables. Can also swap over all the control arms for 10mm wider track if you can be bothered.

Keep us updated :)



#3 patrick27s

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 01:18 PM

Keen to get Jeff boostin haha looking good man can’t wait to get this build going !

#4 El_Freddo

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:11 AM

Sounds like the basis of a fun project :D

Just like a free dog, they always end up an "expensive exercise" ;)

Cheers

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#5 patrick27s

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:41 PM

So Ciaran hasn’t updated this yet, but, we bought a bug eye wrx hatch which will be a donor for the car, everything looks in good condition aside from a slight hesitation on WOT.

We changed the fuel filter, slight improvement, the coil packs all looked good, changed the spark plug which mad a massive difference only the slightest hesitation around 4-4.5k rpms. I think it’s because the rear struts are shot in the wrx so it’s a v bouncy ride lmao

Some pics of Jeff after we stripped a little bit of stuff of the car

28c5736146e5730365f353711c7ea06a.jpg pulling stuff off the engine

ffda76bbc909ddcd563005e9414a5a03.jpg
Half the interior missing

5f0efe1bfc7f94d38dd3f5ead36fa03f.jpg Gen 2 turbo bonnet - yeah boii

add01e019941af9ad7952b6c74cb37fe.jpg fragile gen 2 dash - yeah boii

5f38cc0dc3949865b313da70900414b9.jpg mad steering wheel to replace the old mono that’s completely destroyed.

7308f95dd42e3c3775d102aae84c4508.jpg spark plugs out - Love the intercooler work bench

491aa7091d750294de5626b87e7cb7b6.jpg new and old plugs


After that we went back to stripping the dash out of the liberty, however we’re stuck on something and it doesn’t want to come out. We tried searching the Internet for a gen 2 workshop manual, however most of the links are dead and we have had no luck. If anyone has one they could email or share with us that would be great !

Also if anyone has any more tips or tricks to help this go smoothly please have your input everything helps.

We’ve taken the coming weekend off work (Friday-Sunday) and we’ve got a case of beer and a free garage so we’re hopefully gonna get a fair bit done on this project.

Another question we have is what do people usually do with the donor car after everything is stripped? And same with the old engine and gear box etc?

Thanks for the inputs guys and we’ll be sure to keep you guys updated when stuff starts happening.

#6 duncanm

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:55 PM

Another question we have is what do people usually do with the donor car after everything is stripped? And same with the old engine and gear box etc?


my local metal scrappie was quite happy to take half a car.. if I delivered (boat trailer to the rescue)

#7 Barbbachello

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 09:11 PM

Tell a scrap dealer you dont want any money for it and they generally will take it. 

 

Probably one of the passenger airbag bolts stopping it from coming out. You have to really get your head in there and look up to see it. 

Heres my stash of gen 2 manuals and some random gen 3 and GC8 stuff lol
https://www.dropbox....qYmwQEkbTa?dl=0

 

Dont throw anything away is my main tip. Take lots of photos for where stuff goes. Use the WRX power steering setup to make it fit nicely. Lines, rack and pump. Youll need to swap in the WRX throttle cable and the cruise if you want to keep that



#8 patrick27s

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 01:03 PM

Ciaran is never going to update this so I thought I might as well post an update.

So the other weekend turned into a big game of wtf are we doing, how do we remove a loom, but we figured it all out and got the loom out and then we never really got back to it till yesterday where we both took the day off and had a big one for us, a lot of first times like removing axels (a lot easier than I thought it would be), the drive shaft/propeller shaft (whatever the real name is) removing the shifter linkages, engine and gearbox mounts, and eventually the engine and gearbox all came out haha, so pretty successful day !

6919843f6c929f9703852bb0c2ab26a7.jpg

#bunningstrade lol

This is the only photo I have on my phone as my hands were covered in grease all day hahaha, but there’s more on someone’s phone.

I think for the next engine swap we might set up a time lapse go pro for the sweet satisfaction after we finish the project haha

Had the engine bay sitting in degreaser all night gonna clean it out and see how it comes out.

We’re gonna swap the power steering with the WRX one, but I think we can keep all the metal brake lines/and unit? Someone let us know if this is the wrong thing to do lmao.

Also I’m assuming we will need to use the Liberty drive shaft, and I’m assuming it will fit the wrx diff and transmission and I’m thinking we should use the wrx front axels (if they fit) as they look in better condition and have done 100,000kms less, same with the hubs and basically everything related to drive train. I’m hoping the rear hubs are as simple as removing the liberty hand break cable and installing them into the WRX hubs (?) if this all sounds good or if I’m completely wrong would appreciate the knowledge of subyclub to guide us. Haha

Thanks to everyone who has had an input and helped us we appreciate it!

Thanks, Patrick

#9 Staxta

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 09:55 AM

All the metal lines can probably stay, I only swapped the GD metal lines from the front section into my GC as I swapped the abs unit and they would have needed a fair bit more bending to fit.

 

I'd compare the prop shaft lengths, and use the GD one if its the same (I used a GD one here in my GC), swap in the newer hubs and axles since its a gen 2 it should all fit.

 

Would swap the rear subframe as well, its only 4 bolts and better suspension geometry.


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#10 Barbbachello

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 11:50 AM

You have to use the wrx lines and pump. I thought itd all line up and it didnt so i had to bend my stock ones and it was a mess. 

Use the liberty tail shaft. Itll match up to everything fine. The wrx axles and control arms (assuming its a sedan) are 10mm wider. All swaps over and essentially lowers your wheel offset by 10mm for more stancenayshun.

Rear hubs are indeed that easy to swap. Everything is the same minus where the caliper mounts 



#11 patrick27s

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 11:56 AM

The liberty is a sedan and the WRX is a hatch model.

We are removing the WRX loom today, but maybe I’ll start removing the break lines from the liberty too so we can replace them with the WRX ones

#12 Barbbachello

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 02:52 PM

Ah ok. Use WRX shafts to make sure its all matchy matchy. Itll all work together. 

Which brake lines are you removing? The rubber lines i assume? Dont really need to for the newer calipers but it wont hurt



#13 Ciron56

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Posted Yesterday, 10:42 AM

Hey All, 

 

Just a quick update. 

 

So we have removed the WRX Engine! It is currently waiting to go into the Liberty which we are hoping to do tonight. 

 

We have also sent off the looms to AM Auto to get merged which is awesome. 

 

The WRX shell is nearly ready to be scrapped we are just needing to get the rear brakes off, remove the diff and hopefully remove the Control Arms but i am having a really hard time trying to get them off on both the lib and rexy. 

 

If anyone wants any Bugeye WRX parts such as Dashboard, Front Bumper, side skirts, full interior (pretty much anything not mechanical) let me know as you are more than welcome to come and grab it before it gets scrapped which will be either this coming weekend or the weekend after. 

 

I will hopefully remember to take some more photos tonight so everyone can get a better idea where we are up to and what is left to be done!



#14 Barbbachello

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Posted Yesterday, 12:27 PM

Dont bother getting the control arms out. Theyre the same as your liberty ones. 



#15 patrick27s

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Posted Yesterday, 12:47 PM

Alright that’s already a good start, we’ll leave the control arms in the WRX haha, one thing ticked of the list before we started

Hopefully we will get the diff swapped this afternoon too, can’t wait to be finished dealing with smelly transmission oil, it stinks

Got some fresh parts to replace the turbo snout which has a split it in, a few gaskets here and there.

Can anyone give us an idea what the go is with the fuel pumps, I’m hoping it’s as easy as opening the hatch under the wrx seat, taking the pump out and throwing it right into the Liberty tank lmao, could be worth an upgrade while we’re at it with an aftermarket pump.

Again thanks for your help guys and sorry for the lack of photos, too hard to take them when your hands are covered in oil and stuff lol

#16 Barbbachello

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Posted Yesterday, 03:44 PM

Should be that simple. For peace of mind get a DW200

 

https://www.carmodsa...ster-97-07.html

 

Goes straight in, plugs straight in and brand new upgraded pump



#17 Ciron56

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Posted Today, 12:14 AM

Thats awesome thanks for that info @barbbachello, youve been so much help in this build, 

just another quick question, what did you do for the steering column? The liberty one doesnt seem to fit right so we replaced it with the WRX steering column but it doesnt sit right :S 

we tried just replacing the WRX knuckle onto the liberty driving shaft but it doesnt fit right

 

 

Also, WRX engine is in the Lib! YAY! It took me and Pat all night but we finally got it to fit in correctly, ill take some photos tomorrow :)



#18 Barbbachello

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Posted Today, 08:55 AM

I love a good conversion, especially into a gen 2. Happy to help. 

 

Use the liberty column. To use the wrx steering rack youll need an adaptor as they changed the splines on the rack for GD

 

http://www.landefabr....com/parts.html. The one at the bottom. 

 

Or get a GC8 wrx steering rack and make the GD lines do. If you unbolt the clamps holding them together there is quite a bit of movement to get them into a different rack. 

If you need a fast answer send me a message on facebook. I sold you the STi nardi ;)






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