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wentz912

Wentz's Five Lug Swap/Build Thread.

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This MIGHT belong in the retrofitting forum, but I'm more comfortable posting it here, since this area gets a little higher traffic and therefore makes the thread more visible to people who can benefit from it. Plus, the thread is going to be centered around the build of my car, and not just the retrofitting portion of it.

 

Anywho, here we go.

 

My car is a 1985 Subaru GL Wagon with an EA82 and 194k miles. Manual steering, 5 M/T with D/R, currently rocking 14"x6" Peugeot "Turbine Style" alloy wheels fitted with 205/60-14R Falken Ziex ZE512 in the front, and Nexen something or others in the same size in the rear. Spare is another matching Falken.

 

Pics:

 

4192012005.jpg

 

4192012006.jpg

 

My decision to five lug this car came about after one particularly spirited drive back down the hill from a bonfire at a friend's house. The car wasn't particularly adept at handling 25 MPH corners at the 50-60 MPH I wanted to take them at. The rear of the car wants to roll a lot, causing a stupid amount of understeer, and the front feels much "squishier" than I was feeling comfortable with as well. So the hunt began.

 

Next day I had a visit with Spencer, aka "obk25xt", and he happened to have some parts I needed:banana:

 

So from him I got:

XT6 Rear; Swaybar, Rotors, calipers, backing plates and wheel hubs.

Also got the front sway bar, and a good power steering rack with the crossmember still attached, and some other random goodies.

 

Pics :banana:

 

4192012010.jpg

 

4192012008.jpg

 

Day after that, I was cruising CL and happened across a guy that was parting out a 1997 Impreza Outback wagon, AWD, 2.2 with A/T. He says I can have all the front end parts I want for $200. Soooo, I make the hour and a half drive each way and this lands on my garage floor once I'm back.

 

4192012003.jpg

 

Got struts, Knuckles, hubs, brakes, control arms and axles. :banana:

 

Unfortunately, quickly discovered that the cups on these Impreza axles are the finer, 25 spline version. Darn, means I'm going to at least have to switch those out. Haven't yet had a chance to check out the length yet and compare it to an EA82 to see if I can get away with just swapping out the inner cups. Anybody have any input here? :confused:

 

I also got started with tearing the assemblies apart so I can get everything cleaned up and inspected, as well as ditch all the ABS stuff while I'm at it.

 

First I pulled the calipers and struts off, and then ATTEMPTED to break the axle nuts loose. Two broken ratchets later :dead::banghead:, I decided to take them over to the tire shop down the street and borrow their air gun to get them loose.:lol:

 

That finally worked, and the one side pulled out of the knuckle just fine, the other one, not so much. :banghead::banghead:

 

Pics of that mess:

 

Easy Side.

 

4192012012.jpg

 

Not so easy side.

 

4192012011.jpg

 

As you can see, I got the shaft off, bu the stub is still in the knuckle. Got the splines soaking in some Kroil right now, later I'll try and beat the stub out of the knuckle. :horse::horse: If not, I'll have to get a hold of a press and push the little bugger out.

 

Another odd thing I noticed is that the axle nuts were not the same size. Is this just a factory vs. aftermarket thing, or did somebody jam the wrong axle into the hub? :confused:

 

My "other" next step is to get the wheel bearings out so I can inspect them and, if needed, replace them, as well as get the last of the ABS junk off.

 

Also waiting on my replacement right rear door to show up from shortysayhi sometime today, mines got some rust/bondo issues where a PO apparently tried to repair it and did a less than stellar job. had some saggy trim so decided to pull it all off the car, and a large chunk of bondo came with the piece on the right rear door :(

 

4192012007.jpg

 

That's all for right now, time to do some research on those wheel bearings.

 

Feel free to vocalize any questions, comments or concerns and I will do my best to respond to them in kind.

 

Also, for more/bigger pictures, my photobucket account can be reached here:

http://s92.photobucket.com/albums/l17/wentz912/

Edited by wentz912

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Well progress on the swap came to a SCREECHING halt today. Drivers side axle stub is very thoroughly stuck in the hub, so now I get to find another knuckle and hub.

 

Anybody got 94-01 Impreza parts laying around?? :brow::brow:

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As to the axle nut comment: Older EA cars had 36mm axle nuts. EJ cars like your Impreza have 32mm nuts. I'm not sure of the thread size but I don't think it makes much difference since you have the correct nuts for each.

 

Thanks for posting your experience here. I have an '82 Brat with the rear 5 lug conversion done and I'm putting off the fronts until I have more information. Brat looks a bit odd with 15" rims on the rear and 13" rims on the front.

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Well just got back from a little trip to Portlandia. Managed to pick up the following while I was down there:

 

-Good drivers side EJ knuckle, hub, rotor and caliper off a 94 lego wagon

-Chin spoiler off some random car that I'm going to make work.

-Rear door guards off a turbo wagon.

-Front Mudguards off a newer GL wagon

-Little hook tab thing for my rear cargo cover.

-Set of Newer front corner/parking lights to update the front of Le Sube a bit.

-Rear Window air deflector off same turbo wagon

 

Looked for, but couldn't find any high rise center consoles, XT/RX seats, and other little random goodies.

 

There were several sets of very nice, bright GL headlights, but since I have two PERFECT ones in my car now, I couldn't justify purchasing them as spares.

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Is using XT6 parts up front or any 5 lug subaru up front more beneficial?

 

I had an idea of doing 5X114.3 up front for the STI stuff, and 5X100 in the rear (obviously get matching wheels, but get the fronts in 5X114.3) but I also think it would be easier to just buy a XT6 parts car, get the seats, sway bars, 5 lug parts all in one ya know?

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Is using XT6 parts up front or any 5 lug subaru up front more beneficial?

 

I had an idea of doing 5X114.3 up front for the STI stuff, and 5X100 in the rear (obviously get matching wheels, but get the fronts in 5X114.3) but I also think it would be easier to just buy a XT6 parts car, get the seats, sway bars, 5 lug parts all in one ya know?

 

If you had ALL the XT6 front end bits, it would be more beneficial to use them, with the exception of the knuckles from my understanding. I think the struts on the XT knuckles are still the same type as the EA cars, which would make them not compatible with later Legacy/Impreza/WRX struts, etc. However, it WILL get you the good lug pattern, better brakes that still keep the front handbrake, etc. You also wouldn't have to ream out the control arms to accept EJ balljoints as the taper from XT6 to EJ is the same.

 

Rear pretty much HAS to be XT6 parts, unless you want to get into some crazy home-fab type stuff.

 

Now Marshal, I've let it slide for now, but please refrain from further posts in this thread. Yes, this is a personal thing against you, but it's for both of our benefit. I created this thread to educate like minded individuals with the FINANCIAL AND MECHANICAL MEANS to also complete this modification. This is not the situation you are currently in. Am I singling you out? Yes. Am I being a bit mean? Yes. But what I'm trying to instill in you is a bit of motivation to actually get out there and make something of yourself. If you have further questions. Please contact me via PM.

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There were several sets of very nice, bright GL headlights, but since I have two PERFECT ones in my car now, I couldn't justify purchasing them as spares.

 

 

The reason you have those perfect light is because they were bought as spares...

 

And...

 

I appreciate your honesty my friend...

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Well more progress. I am now in posession of 99% of the parts I need to complete my five lug swap. All I have left to pick up is some new ball joints and some my EA81 rod ends, and some wheels to put my tires on and i will be cruising....

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If you had ALL the XT6 front end bits, it would be more beneficial to use them, with the exception of the knuckles from my understanding. I think the struts on the XT knuckles are still the same type as the EA cars, which would make them not compatible with later Legacy/Impreza/WRX struts, etc. However, it WILL get you the good lug pattern, better brakes that still keep the front handbrake, etc. You also wouldn't have to ream out the control arms to accept EJ balljoints as the taper from XT6 to EJ is the same.

 

Rear pretty much HAS to be XT6 parts, unless you want to get into some crazy home-fab type stuff.

 

so the XT 4 cylinder struts are the same as the EA strut in respect to how they mount to the knuckle. the XT6 are similar to the EJ knuckle including the balljoint size and upper mounting surface.

 

XT6 front spindles will work with Leg/Imp/WRX style struts however you will not be able to use the camber eccentric bolt like the ones that are on the ej knuckles. and you will have to widen the opening on the strut to accept the xt6 knuckle.

short comparison of the two, I can elaborate if you want or just PM me.

 

Ben

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Well more progress. I am now in posession of 99% of the parts I need to complete my five lug swap. All I have left to pick up is some new ball joints and some my EA81 rod ends, and some wheels to put my tires on and i will be cruising....

 

I used XT6 tie rod ends and found some thinner jam nuts because they have to be turned almost all the way in. but they work great.

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so the XT 4 cylinder struts are the same as the EA strut in respect to how they mount to the knuckle. the XT6 are similar to the EJ knuckle including the balljoint size and upper mounting surface.

 

XT6 front spindles will work with Leg/Imp/WRX style struts however you will not be able to use the camber eccentric bolt like the ones that are on the ej knuckles. and you will have to widen the opening on the strut to accept the xt6 knuckle.

short comparison of the two, I can elaborate if you want or just PM me.

 

Ben

 

I used XT6 tie rod ends and found some thinner jam nuts because they have to be turned almost all the way in. but they work great.

 

 

These are the same findings that I have discovered. My COMPLETE parts list:

 

Front:

-1997 Impreza Outback Wagon Calipers and struts, passenger side knuckle and hub.

 

-1994 Legacy Wagon Driver's side knuckle and hub.(Driver's side of the Impreza set was junk)

 

-STI front Strut coils.

 

-XT6 Control arms and sway bar.

 

-EA81 Outer TRE's

 

-1997 Impreza wagon Balljoints.

 

-19?? Loyale Power steering crossmember with rack, lines, and pump.

 

-XT6 Drive axles with inner DOJ cups swapped for the 23 Spline EA82 type and rebooted.

 

REAR:

 

-XT6 Hubs, rotors, backing plates, calipers, trailing arms and sway bar.

 

-Aftermarket coils and adjustable sleeves.

 

-Will eventually be changing over to the Nissan 200SX calipers and rerouting handbrake cables accordingly.

 

 

 

I will update my First post parts list once I have it all bolted together and prove that it works.

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-XT6 Drive axles with inner DOJ cups swapped for the 23 Spline EA82 type and rebooted.

 

 

there is a size conflict between the XT6 axle and the EJ knuckle inner seal.

 

1993 Impreza

NATIONAL Part # 710464 Nitrile Seal, Shaft Size=2.205", Housing Bore=2.846, Outer Diameter=0, Width=0.011in Front Wheel; Inner

 

1990 XT6

NATIONAL Part # 710230 More Information About this Part Oil Seal; Nitrile Seal, Shaft Size=2.283", Housing Bore=2.992, Outer Diameter=3.001, Width=0.307in

Front Wheel; Inner

 

I am not sure if the ~.078" larger diameter of the XT6 axle will cause premature wear or cause fitment issues, but it is something to keep in mind.

 

if you haven't already sourced the axles, you could go with a 93-94 Impreza Fwd manual trans. axle, 23 spline DOJ and proper outer that will fit perfectly with your knuckles.:brow:

 

Ben

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I do already have the axles in my possession. I might end up looking into a cross fit part that will both fit in the knuckle and not wear prematurely from the axle. Thanks for bringing that up though.

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Well, been busy with work and the slight distraction my new motorcycle :headbang: has provided me with, but this is what my pile of five lug parts looks like:popcorn:

 

007.jpg

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Picked up some 17" wheels from an 08 impreza today. Guy swapped them out for some Konigs cuz he curbed a couple of them and one is particularly ugly, but not bent so as to cause any problems.

 

SCORE!:headbang:

 

I will get them cleaned up and possibly either paint them or get them powder coated. Pictures to come.

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Well, gentlemen, more trouble in paradise.

 

Went to clean up my parts today with the wire wheel, and all was going well. Until i decided to finally pull the ball joint out of the "good" 97 Impreza knuckle that I still had.

 

Got the clamp bolt out and noticed that it was threaded for the entire length of the shank.:confused:

 

D'oh, alarms are going off in my head. Somebody has had this apart before, and didn't put it back together correctly. On top of the bolt being of the incorrect type, all but three of the threads on said bolt had been smashed into oblivion! :horse:

 

But wait, it gets better!

 

I think that I'll just go get the right bolt when I go to re-assemble my knuckle, so I go to spread the ball joint ears a bit with my trusty little chisel and hammer. One LIGHT little tap and I hear a slight popping noise. Dafuq?!?!

 

Upon closer inspection, the balljoint retainer ear thingy now has a visible crack from the split where it clamps down on the balljoint, all the way to the front of the knuckle.

 

:banghead::horse::banghead::horse::banghead::horse::banghead:

 

Congratulations, Nic, you just ruined ANOTHER Subaru part! :lol:

 

So I give my nearest p n p a call to see if the legacy that I pulled my other knuckle/hub off of is still in the yard. SCORE! Three hours, much frustration, and almost 100 miles of driving later, I've got the other GOOD knuckle off the 94 Lego wagon that I pulled some other parts off of a few weeks ago.

 

So now I've got:

 

94 Legacy Knuckles/Hubs

97 Impreza OBW Calipers and Rotors minus ALL the ABS/Backing plate BS

97 Impreza OBW Struts/Tophats

?? WRX STI front strut springs

?? XT6 Control arms and radius rods.

84 GL TRE's

97 Impreza Balljoints

 

Waiting on being able to pick up some iPike 17's from a board member next weekend, have them mounted on my WRX wheels, and then the parts swapping commences!

 

Will get pictures of my cleaned/painted parts up soon.

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Well, finally got the parts put on earlier this week. Only a few minor hiccups. Other than that, probably the easiest swap I have ever done on any vehicle.

 

Now for the pictures.

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Having some problems with my front end as of this afternoon. Hit a bump, and on the next one felt/heard a very loud, violent clunk/bump. Had it happen three times in a row before I got pulled onto the shoulder. Low and behold, my left strut has decided to become overly acquainted with the pinch weld on the front inside of the strut tower. I'm guessing the noise I was hearing was it clicking back and forth over the pinch weld.

 

Anyhow. Not sure how the strut moved itself closer to the body like that. Had a problem with the spring not being rotated in the seat properly before. Will check it out once I get the wheels off in the morning. Should probably buy some new struts anyhow. These 97 outbacks are super crusty, and are worn to the point that I can here them coughing and wheezing everytime they move.

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Well, as of last night my 98 2.5RS struts are on their way from Rock Auto. Wasn't sure what all chassis would share common struts with what I have currently under the car, so I went with my gut feeling on the baddest/slickest factory car that I was confident shared a chassis and thus suspension components with my donor car.

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nice choice on the wheels! looks good:cool:

 

Thanks man. I'm still undecided on the way they look. Cant get quite enough sidewall for my liking. Thinking about stepping down to some sixteens just to get some more meat.

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