New to subaru's

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ncktuley1
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New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:06 am

I don't know too much about these cars yet & would love to learn more about them!
Here's mine, 2003 Baja sport. I'm in the middle of putting an engine together for it, as the original engine decided to make a nice window in the top of the block. So far i am replacing the all of the gaskets, clutch, timing belt, water pump, thermostat & front CV axles. Anything I need to know about these cars?
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Guacamole
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Re: New to subaru's

Post by Guacamole » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:55 am

Hey there, welcome to the Baja club and the Subie world!
My 06 Baja was my first Subie too. Since you're replacing almost everything major that does go bad, there isn't much to go over. Just remember to follow the factory subie instructions when installing everything if you're DIY. The only thing I can caution about if you're going to replace the exhaust down the road is to not replace is the Catalytic converter- these are very finicky in Subies and if it's not throwing P0420 codes, don't replace it. My family just got a used 08 Outback with an aftermarket $200 cat pipe, 3 months later after throwing said code every week the cat is now shot and needs another replacement.
Bear in mind for replacement parts as well, the Baja is Legacy-based so nearly any parts for a '00-'04 Legacy/Outback will be a direct swap from the rear axles forward.
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Re: New to subaru's

Post by ZUBAJA » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:17 am

ncktuley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:06 am
putting an engine together for it
One thing I can add is only use Subaru head gaskets or the special head gaskets from a dealer in Oregon (forgot the name, but I can hunt it down). I have done heads on 2 Subie engines, one a DOHC (1998) and one a SOHC (2006). On each engine I reused the head bolts after doing much research. There was never an issue from doing this. Dennis
EDIT: the improved head gaskets are "Six Star" from All Wheel Drive in Seattle (well, close to Oregon :D). They aren't cheap (about 100.00 ea) but who wants to redo head gaskets on a Subie?

ncktuley1
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Re: New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:04 pm

Yup, all DIY. I'm no stranger to this kinda stuff, just didn't know if there was something specific to look out for.
I just pulled the oil pan off of the donor engine from a 99 forester & everything looked good. The engine was $150 from the local pick a part. No sparkly stuff in the oil & the oil filter was clean.

Thanks about the head gaskets though! I want to make it so I won't have to worry about this engine for quite a while.

I'll be sending the old heads off the baja, out to get cleaned & pressure tested. The Forester heads don't have the EGR port. I know I can drill out the port for it, but that just gives me an extra set of heads that I can play around with.
Maybe port & polish them for another engine that I can throw in my vanagon?

But I've always told everyone that most aftermarket cats are garbage, so I get that. There is a reason OEM catalytic converters are so expensive compared to a couple hundred bucks for an aftermarket one. Luckily I don't have to deal with emissions here in Idaho.
I want to keep everything on this mostly stock, maybe a 1" lift or king springs & a short shifter. But thats really about it. With a lift that high, would I have to worry about wearing out the CV axles or would they be okay?

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Guacamole
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Re: New to subaru's

Post by Guacamole » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:20 pm

ncktuley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:04 pm
I want to keep everything on this mostly stock, maybe a 1" lift or king springs & a short shifter. But thats really about it. With a lift that high, would I have to worry about wearing out the CV axles or would they be okay?
1in off the stock height is pretty much the max you can go before you have to start adjusting the rest of the drive train, so you should be fine. I'm not a mechanic so that info is just off reading.
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Re: New to subaru's

Post by ZUBAJA » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:39 pm

Yeah, I currently have a 2" lift on my front and am making blocks to lower the engine, transmission, driveshaft carrier, and rear axle cradle. Right now, my front CV axles look like the landing gear on a Cessna. Dennis

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Re: New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:24 pm

Oh geeze. I hope they don't look like the ones on the cessna I learned on! (broke a wheel pant on my first landing) 1" lift it is then.

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Re: New to subaru's

Post by ZUBAJA » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:03 am

Keep in mind that whatever lift you add at the strut, there will be a greater lift at the wheel. A lift will also cause a need for alignment. Dennis
I don't think the ones I used to fly even had wheel pants. I think every student pilot has the need for a "runway jack" at some point when they first start doing landings :D. Funny the number of Baja owners who are (or like me were) flyers. D.

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