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legacy knuckle in ea82 5 lug conversion


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15 replies to this topic

#1 MilesFox

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:38 AM

So i have been in the middle of installing xt-6 parts on my rx for the suspension. I had one side put together when all of a sudden i just up and parted the knuckle off my 95 legacy to see how it fits.

the suspension is MAXED out just to get it to fit, having a 98 forester strut in there as well, i think i should need a 2-3 inch lif to go with, can you say suspension travel?

one thing i noticed is the axle angle is very extreme, as well as that of the the rod end. i will have to find my key to unlock the steering to see how straight the assembly is, and to see if the tie rod clears the knuckle, bit i think it will end up being toed out.

lets just say my legacy is parked on the street with one xt-6 knuckle and 3 14 inch steelies at this moment, and drives this way. the wheel on the legacy is toed inward.

so this prompts me a question. how different are legacy knuckles form imprezas? since the legacy is definately different than the xt-6. i ask because i want t onow what the options are for tie rod lenght and where it fits in relation to the knuckle. i will have to take some measurements so long as i know which way to measure it for comparison(are there such dmensions for tie rod mounts in relation to the hub?)

another thing i noticed is the legacy axle doesnt quite fit right on the xt knuckle, since the seat on the spindle interferes withthe seal on the xt knuckle, and the threads arent quite long enough to take up the entire nut. (and this is why i tried fitting the legacy knucke in the rx, because i dont have xt6 axles)

i have some pics but i need to upload them

and what is the possibility of swapping steering racks between the legacy and the rx

and withthe ide aif a lift in mind. how about the whole front crossmember? (yes i know i will have to account for the lower control arm mount as well)

i am almost willing to tear my legacy apart just to compare parts.

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:49 PM

here are some pics to start with
Posted Image

you can see the extreme angle of the suspension, mainly because of the forester strut. the lower control arm is fighting the swaybar to stuff this whole assembly in there.

Posted Image

here is the tranny end of the axle

Posted Image

here is the angle on the tierod itself

Posted Image
and the whole assembly.

According to these pictures, about how much crossmember lift would be aprropriate to offset this extreme angle if i keep the forester struts?
opinions and advice please from those of you who have built lifts and installed 5 lugs please...

#3 MilesFox

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 12:08 AM

i guess no one is going to reply. i guess the one time i actually ask a question, i will have to be the one who answers it.:clap:.. anyway....

for the other side i am going to mock up the xt6 knuckle with the forester strut to see how that fits. the xt6 knuckle obviously will be a better match for the tie rods anyway.

although i do like the idea of swapping the legacy steering rack or possibly retrofitting the entire front crossmember, that is too much work to get into.....unless i had a welder:)

anyway i will keep the pictures coming, and try different combinations just to explore possibilities beyond the xt6 knuckle.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:05 AM

you have the axles and knuckles matching right - both legacy?

Is this what you have?:
Forester strut
Legacy knuckle
Legacy axle

the tie rods can be adjusted, right, so you could pull them in if you wanted? or is it maxed out? i would match the tie rod end links to the knuckle.

i wouldn't be surprised if an EJ rack swapped right into an EA82.

i'm surprised at how much that forester strut is affecting those angles. did you do anything to the top strut mount?

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:29 AM

you are correct:
98 forester strut
95 legacy knuckle and its axle/rotor/caliper

i will have to take pictures of the legacy tie rod, since it is parked on the street with the xt knuckle installed.

as far as the strut tops go they are a direct match. no modifications to the strut tops themselves. what you are looking at is a sirect pill off of a legacy strut assembly. i did ream the holes out slightly with a 3/8 drill but i think the strut tower is slightly distorted on the rx anyway. if there is a difference on the holes it would only be a difference of about 1/16th of an inch

i already had the xt knuckle in the rx with a 2wd legacy strut. but since i was working on it i just kind of "borrowed" the whole strut from my legacy to see how it fits.

once agian this notion came about for the lack of a proper xt6 axle, because the legacy axle doesnt quite fit right in the xt6 hub.

#6 Numbchux

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 04:00 AM

The tie rod mounting point is definitely closer to the center of the car, so you'll need to adjust the tie rods a bit. but there's enough to get it all to work.

I've heard that EA81 rod ends are the way to go. shorter than the EA82 or EJ stuff. will allow toe-in.



legacy and impreza knuckles are identical.


I would think that if forester suspension on any other EJ car works without dropping the crossmember, it would work on a 5-lug swapped EA car.

#7 john in KY

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:23 AM

Miles, this combination worked for me when I converted my FWD XT6:

2002 hubs,springs and struts
reused the XT6 top hats
Legacy FWD axles

Car maybe sits an inch higher in the front but has none of the problems you have described.

The XT6 axles can be made to work with the newer style hubs. Just take the outer joint to a machine shop and have that seal surface machined down to accept the newer style grease seal. I had this done for something like $30 but for some reason didn't use the modified XT6 axles when I did the conversion. Wish I could remember why but can't.

I don't think you will ever get the ride height right using the Legacy struts.

#8 MilesFox

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 11:11 AM

i actually dont mind the idea of having to lift it for proper ride height. because if so, i would have more travel then the traditional ea82 lift. good advice on the axles, though. if i had to purchase axles, i'm sure FWD legacy would be cheaper than xt 6's.

i am thinking you meant fwd legacy because the seal seat is different but now i think of it did you mean 23 spline for a non turbo xt? this is the RX so i need 25 spline axlses if this is what you meant.

#9 grossgary

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 12:22 PM

i am thinking you meant fwd legacy because the seal seat is different but now i think of it did you mean 23 spline for a non turbo xt? this is the RX so i need 25 spline axlses if this is what you meant.

john's is a 25 spline XT6, so it should be the same as yours. the FWD imp's are the 23 spliners.

#10 john in KY

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:07 PM

Used the FWD axles only because the length is close to the XT6 axle.

#11 MilesFox

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:08 PM

gotcha. you said legacy and not impreza. good point.

here are some new pics:

the xt6 knuckle/caliper/rotor on the legacy with FWD 91 legacy strut
Posted Image

angle of the legacy tierod on the xt6 knuckle
Posted Image

axle nut where it doesn't thread on all the way(bottoms out against rotor)
Posted Image

wheel alignment with xt knuckle on legacy's tie rod, steeringis centered
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

#12 Numbchux

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:03 PM

just thought I'd add. my current setup is '92 FWD legacy hubs, struts, axles, etc. with '02 WRX springs. ride height is lower than stock EA82 4WD, but only by a bit.

#13 MilesFox

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 03:35 PM

just thought I'd add. my current setup is '92 FWD legacy hubs, struts, axles, etc. with '02 WRX springs. ride height is lower than stock EA82 4WD, but only by a bit.


what did you do for tie rods? did you have to use different ones or adjust tnem for toe?

#14 Numbchux

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 03:49 PM

I'm actually using the loyale rod ends. they appear to work OK, but will be switching to EA81 ones soon.

and yes, I did have to adjust them for toe. I put it all together, leaving them where they were with the 4-lug setup, and went for a test drive, and the front tires squeeled while driving in a straight line the toe-out was so bad.

#15 discopotato03

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:04 PM

The usual combination here in Australia to 5 stud an RX turbo is to use the std RX 25 spline half shafts with 2WD early Liberty CV joints . The only XT6 type bit needed is the front control arms because they suit the Liberty type ball joint . Actually ours are modified L series arms as we didn't get XT6's .
The tie rod ends used are MY ones .

I'd worry about sleeving a Liberty knuckle down to take an L or MY ball joint because I'm not sure if the crab bolt retains the joint if it comes loose .
I'm told that to copy the XT6 arms taper you need to ream the same taper deeper into the arms outer end .

BTW , what are you doing for a park brake ?

Cheers A .

#16 MilesFox

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:56 AM

i have decided to stick with the xt6 knuckle. i finally have all 4 wheels on and off the jackstands.

my only problem now is the spindle seat where it meets the rear bearing seal, its sortof crammed inthere now.

i noticed i have 2 different axles, both from an legacy, butone is thisnner with a smaller dia. DOJ.

i could not get the skinnt axle in because it did not move inward enough to install the bakk joint stud(reamed out control arms)

i am wondering if this axle i ended up with was for a fwd legacy or some sort of awd impreza?

i will have to get pics soon.

as for the parking brake, the knuckle and caliper are all xt6 now.




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