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newrider3

1993 Legacy Wheeler/Adventure Wagon

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So I thought I'd finally post a build log for my newest Subaru. I got it about a year ago for $500 with the intention of stripping it down and building a side by side buggy I could park on a flatbed F350 and haul to trails. Well the trans and turbo in the F350 took a massive dump so the Subaru had to be called into daily driver duty.

How I got it:

 

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I knew the car had a bad rear diff when I got it, and I quickly realized I couldn't roll it around with no rear axles :wacko: had to grab a junkyard upright and bearing assembly to rectify that oops.

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It also became evident after trying to drive it a bit that the front diff was smoked too from the previous owner driving around on tires of slightly mismatched height. So I had to swap in a used 4EAT from craigslist, only problem was my workspace was in the street and it was winter.

 

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Once the trans was in, I picked up a set of used Firestone 225/70r14 all terrains and had them mounted on the stock steelies. Of course they fouled the spring perches on the struts but I had to throw them on and see how it looked.

 

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Since I knew my struts were in excellent shape, I didn't want to gamble with a set of junkyard forester struts. So I lifted the car 2.5" at the strut bottom with flatstock, and installed a complete set of Outback subframe spacers.

 

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I managed to get into a little trouble with the car in this form just fooling around on a blocked off dirt road behind my old apartment complex. At this point I decided the car needed a winch before I actually took it wheeling.

 

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I ditched the stock bumpers, and the front fenders since one was smashed and I could sell the other. I scrounged up a bunch of scrap from my house and a buddy's shop and built a set of bumpers, and mounted up a Harbor Freight winch.

 

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Here is a better pic of the rear bumper, also after I decided the car needed to be olive drab.

 

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And some mild wheeling on a camping trip:

 

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And the car in it's current state. You can see the homebuilt roof rack (made of an old futon and some conduit), the PVC snorkel (my air filter was getting soaked just driving through puddles during rainstorms), and the aluminum blockoff plate for one rear window that I made after I got tired of attempting to get glass from a junkyard to replace the busted plexiglass the car came with. Also shown is the rear platform I built and covered with outdoor carpet to provide a flat place to sleep or haul stuff with the back seat removed.

 

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Once I get some extra cash from selling my truck, I'm considering adding a little more lift and a Samurai T-case. I could really use more low gearing, lower than I could get with a D/R swap, and I'd like to see how low I can get the car with a t-case and maintain good ground clearance (I'm not afraid of chopping a hole in the floor). But for now that's just a wishlist item.

Any questions or comments?

 

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I'm in the Denver area.

 

I was fiddling around in the garage today and started cutting up the bellhousing from my old trans. Looks like I can eliminate the front diff and weld up the hole in the case and get a rear diff housing up in the front with only a 4 inch lift. With the engine and trans remaining in the stock position and a second front crossmember to hold the steering and suspension components I should be able to get excellent ground clearance with a transfer case swap and moderately sized tires. I'll lose the stock speedometer drive in the transmission, but I believe I can piece it together using the speedo drive in a Samurai t-case...

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Excellent, do you go to the school of mines? One of those pics looks like you're parked in Golden somewhere? I moved to Cheyenne from Golden about a year and a half ago. We still own our house out on west 44th by McIntyre.

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Yep, hopefully only a couple semesters left at Mines...Golden is a pretty nice place though. Not too far to some decent trails and forest service roads too.

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True, i loved living there. I loved taking my car down to the hot rod cruises on south golden road the first weekend of every month when it's warm just to see people look at my car like, "is that a lifted subaru?!" People seemed to like it and they took pics of it. Maybe I'll run into you one of these weekends when i come down to do maintenance on the rental house. Can't wait to see more on your car here!

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My girlfriend wanted to have a picnic this weekend, so I picked a short trail I hadn't been up yet for a little light off roading.

 

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Always lots of cool old mine sites to see up in the mountains around here:

 

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Then this afternoon I got a step closer to my t-case lift plans, and built a welded 4EAT transfer clutch. Should be plenty stout, and since it's an auto trans I'll have very little shock loading to worry about.

 

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Got another piece finished for my high clearance RWD 4EAT for the t-case swap. Cut the diff section out of the bellhousing and plated over. The new diff will be able to mount up close enough to require only an additional 5" lift. 

 

Mockup:

 

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Welded up:

 

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I cant wait to see this working, LSD front and welded rear? should be a tractor.

 

i remember reading that the early pathfinders use an 4eat that is made by the same company that made the subaru one. might be worth a gander to see if one could be adapted. would be higher clearance and it would have a T-case built in.

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From the pics I can find online that transmission looks very different from a Subaru 4eat, there are probably only minor internal similarities. 
The car will still be my daily, so I haven't decided if I want to weld the rear or not. I've contemplated getting two R180 diffs to use and try to source a pair of mechanical lockers used in Nissan R180 fronts, but I think at least at this point the plan is to keep the stock 3.90 R160 rear diff and source a matching one for the front to keep costs down. 

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Newrider3, I'm new to the forum, got a couple of questions about the legacy, wondering if and when you had time to help me out with a few thoughts. Thanks. I'll send you a message.

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Picked this gem up on Craigslist yesterday for a steal; came with all three driveshafts plus a spare front, and I didn't even have to pull it :D

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These Samurai t-cases are even smaller and lighter than I had expected; should be no problem to find a way to package this in the Legacy.

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Does anyone know if it was possible for any ej25/manual first gen Outback wagons to be equipped with a 3.90:1 final drive ratio? Or were they all lower? I pulled the rear diff from my '98 OB parts car and it's missing the convenient gear ratio sticker...

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The RE4R01A (Nissans transmission) is very similar to the 4EAT on the inside, however the case is very much different, it is designed to be bolted to a V6.  It has been a while since I have been under my Pathy, but I seem to remember the case being a single casting, so the bellhousing would not be able to be swapped.  That being said, there are number of shift kits and heavier duty valve bodies out there that could prolly be adapted to give better shift patterns and whotnot to get the power to the ground for you.  One of those things to mull around for another time, the 4EAT is a pretty good trans and will most likely be a while before you outgrow it, if ever.

Keep it up though I love seeing other T-cased rigs.  -Adam-

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Here are some current photos of this car for those who have been wondering. Major things that have changed:

  • '98 EJ25 DOHC engine swapped in, running on factory '93 computer and wiring.
  • Welded center clutch, chopped bellhousing 4EAT installed with divorced Samurai transfer case. Custom driveshafts, 3.90 R160 diffs front and rear. FWD Impreza front CV axles. 
  • 5" dropped front and rear suspension crossmembers, custom mounts built for all other ancillaries. 
  • 4" over Outback length extended custom struts. Built from 2" DOM tubing, Volvo 240 strut insert cartridges, Ebay threaded coil over sleeves, and QA1 springs (slightly uprated from stock). These inserts have equivalent shock shaft travel to Outback rear struts, and about 2" extra travel compared to stock front struts.
  • 1" wheel spacers were necessary to clear the custom extended struts while maintaining correct camber. Running 235/75R15 all terrains on 15" Outback steel wheels.
  • Ebay stainless WRX header slightly modified to route exhaust around transfer case and lift components. Running a muffler off a SRT Cherokee, with a 1/8" thick stainless tailpipe to prevent smashing it closed off road. 
  • Welded together some scrap metal and a rear hub and bearing unit from a Cavalier into a swing out spare tire carrier. 

For some reason I've had a hard time getting any non dark or blurry pictures of the transfer case swap details. I do have this video of the driveline that shows a bit of detail:

 

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Other recent pictures:

 

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Love what you have done to your wagon so far!! I just picked up a 03 legacy wagon and I'm looking into options to lift it. Seems like you have that department all figured out :D

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