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