drivetrain swap fun ! - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-06-2009, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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drivetrain swap fun !

Thought some Subie hardcores might be interested in this...

First off, apologies for not doing a more comprehensive build diary with photos and the works. As some of you already know, I spun a rod bearing in my WRX wagon, so I was forced to get this project done (and fast !) since the only car I had that ran, is my 944spec race car. My 13 year old daughter was not to crazy about climbing over a roll cage when getting dropped off at school, only to have more attention brought her way with the volume of the exhaust...... oh and numbers on the side of the car !!

What I had to work with was a '95 L sedan, AWD 5spd, with terminal front-end damage, and a '93 L sedan, FWD automatic, which is cosmetically clean, but had a blown engine and the tranny was on the verge of taking a dump and well, it's an automatic. I swapped the engine from the '95 into it a few months ago, with only a couple of small issues with the block harness being slightly different. I drove the car occasionally planning on a complete drive train swap after the weather improved, or when the slush box puked it's guts out on the road.

It took me a week of afternoons to get the job done using hand tools only (air is for sissies !), with at least one big time saver to pass along. I dropped the entire rear end as one assembly, complete with lateral links, hubs, rotors etc. I removed the trailing arms and struts, and lowered the rear sub frame and cossmember with the diff, axles and everything attached using a motorcycle jack. Getting it into the other car was a breeze, after I unplugged all the necessary holes, and swapped gas tanks. All that was left to finish was brake lines and the little odds and ends.

I had to get creative with the rear tranny mount since the '93 AT car didn't have the extra mount under the tunnel for the crossmember. For now I'm using a big U-bolt sheathed with fuel line, and a hockey puck to secure the 5spd to the the AT crossmember. I tried drilling out the spot welds to remove the mount in the tunnel from the 5spd car, but it wasn't going to budge without a plasma cutter, explosives, or both. I doubt that my current solution will be permanent, but I feel like a sub-genius because it's working at all

Swapping pedal assemblies and brake boosters required the usual physical contortions and verbal abuse that you would expect

Getting the car to start was relatively easy. I just used a pebble and electrical tape to keep the park switch (from the AT shifter) open, so that I can remove the key from the ignition tumbler. I jumpered the nuetral safety switch at one of the 12 pin connectors in order to get juice through the ignition, since there was no clutch before. I still need to get my back-up lights working (probably splice into the AT harness) and replace the speedo cable....D'oh !! I hate it when I break stuff.

The car is running decently, but is giving me intermittent CEL's when increasing revs, which I think are due to the tranny computer looking for throttle position info or something like that (haven't read the codes yet) I will try removing the AT brain, and/or probably switching out ECU's when I get around to figuring out where they are

I'd be glad to answer any questions for folks tackling a FWD/AWD--AT/5spd swap. Yes, I have a bunch of extra parts from both cars (including ABS, heated back glass, interior etc.) I'll get a part out listing posted soon on the appropriate forums (RS25.com: Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum) Any input on transmission mounting and computer swapping is welcome. Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-06-2009, 03:52 PM
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dude, you are my hero. that is a crazy amount of work that you seemed to have tackle nicely. Your occupation is listed as manufacturer, are you a mechanic too?
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-06-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Nope, I work for a company that manufactures natural and certified organic lip balm. My wrenching experience is just backyard stuff.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-06-2009, 10:18 PM
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Wagon, that is INSANE, all hands tools?? Congrats on the accomplishment.

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-07-2009, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Despite saying that "air is for sissies", I would have liked to use air wrenches. I borrowed an old compressor from work, that just doesn't seem to want to die, and some impacts from a friend, but wasn't getting enough PSI for them to do any good. I figured I could have easily wasted a day trying to get that straightened out, so I just went for it. It's amazing how many different places I was able to use my 8 foot cheater pipe to break bolts loose !
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-07-2009, 01:27 PM
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Cheater bars are the win!!! That sounds like fun, and satisfying to be able to do a good size project like that by yourself. Congrats man.

rollin on 17's now and they're dirty
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-07-2009, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys, it has been very satisfying putting this together.

Update....

I scored a speedometer cable and an OBD I ECU from a '93 coupe. I forgot that the '95 car is OBD II. It's running much smoother, as I think the fuel trims for the AT are different. I swapped for some parts off the carcass, so parts= $ 0.00, labor= $ 0.00 Knowing what my blistering speed is with the mighty 1.8 = priceless !!

Now all I've got left to finish is the emergency brake. I'm hoping I can turn this car and some of the parts into some dough for a short block. I really miss my WRX !Cry!
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-07-2009, 11:20 PM
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Aweswome on getting some parts and getting the car running better. Best of luck with getting the WRX back up and running also.

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-29-2009, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thought I'd post up a pic of the car. I have to sell it to revive the wagon, which is kind of a bummer. I'm really enjoying it as a DD. In case you're wondering about the stance, I'm using FWD struts, which are slightly longer than the AWD ones to give it a little extra clearance for our third world roads down here

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-29-2009, 10:21 PM
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That sucks you have to sell it after doing some awesome work to it.

Joshua
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Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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