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1996 Subaru Legacy Outback

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I just got a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 5spd because its the cheapest subies I can get but it seems like there are not much performance parts for it I cant even find an exhaust system or cold air intake . Will local muffler shops put in a custom exhaust for me ? I dont know what to do . I went on cobbstuning website and they only have the legacys parts from 2005+

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Your subaru has a perfectly good intake already.  Cold air form inside the fender well.

 

Messing with it is for ricers.

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If you want the Subi rumble, you need a header and axleback at a minimum. If your engine is a 2.5, it has dual port heads and you can find Borla replicas ALL DAY on ebay for cheap. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/98-05-SUBARU-IMPREZA-WRX-2-5L-RS-EJ25-NON-TURBO-STAINLESS-EXHAUST-RACE-HEADER-/150816528065?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3ASubaru&hash=item231d5d96c1&vxp=mtr
 

Then have an exhaust shop hack off your stock muffler and put something like a magnaflow or vibrant muffler on with a 12" resonator to get rid of the raspy sound.

For the intake, leave it be; the MAF cars are bitchy about intakes.

If you must mess with it, do a "williaty hybrid" where you leave the stock airbox in place and run an aluminium tube in place of the plastic accordion tubing.

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i know this is a car forum and not a life choices or financial forum....but make it reliable first so it lasts a long time, so it's reliable and you're not dumping money you don't have or skipping repairs or needing to buy another "cheapest car you can find" next year.  okay now that i'm done sounding like an annoying parent....

 

a 1996 Outback manual transmission is the unicorn of outbacks.  it is the only Outback that has an EJ22 (not even automatics in 1996 got it), one of the best engines Subaru ever made for inexpensive reliability.  fantastic motor.  the EJ25 2.5 liter of the same year is a headgasket and rod bearing eating hog - you are MOST fortunate you didn't find one of those cheap.  they're generally really easy to find cheap...and then you'll find you have very bad motor problems in a year or week. anyway - you'd be best served to value that engine for what it is than make it something it is not...but too each his own so more specifically to your question:

 

there's not much gain to be had. the car will always be slow and perform like a Subaru wagon. 10 hp is miniscule to me and to get that or more takes a lot of work. all the improvements are nearly imperceptible, it generally ends up like this after a mod:  "i think it's a little faster...or am i just driving it harder or does it sound better?"  unless of course you're ready to spend a LOT of work and money.....engine swaps, custom work, thousands on turbo's, etc, $$$.

 

if you still want to do mods and play with it - the good news is that since none of it really matters, you can do whatever you want.  you want sound - start there.  you want looks - start there.  you want feel - start there.  you want a stiffer ride - start there. you want audio - start there. you want a trimmed engine bay - start there.  it's mostly novelty so start with what you like the most.

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grossgary is pretty much right on the mark.

 

Intake work and exhaust upgrades are useful, but to the EJ22, they will not induce any measurable amount of added horsepower for the price of them individually.

 

Make the exhaust sound different/louder? Probably. Improve the throttle response? Maybe.

 

If you're looking for power? Look through Summit Racing's web site, into oversized pistons, forged connecting rods, larger valves. Go port the cylinder head and block walls. Port and polish the exhaust and intake ports. Even add higher flow rate injectors and larger fuel rails. $1000 in parts, $500 in machine shop work. it'll be more worth the expense.

 

Even more? Get some re-lobed cams, readjust the valve train to them, and just benefit even further.

 

On top of that, the EJ22 is extremely common. Better yet, buy a rear wrecked Legacy or Outback from the same year, and save yours aside for if something goes awry. For all intents and purposes, everything inside the engine bay is easy to disconnect and reconnect without too much hassle or guesswork. Nearly everything can only go in one place, and can't go anywhere else.

Edited by tincan

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