Looking to buy, few questions.

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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Dr. Pepper PhD.
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Looking to buy, few questions.

Post by Dr. Pepper PhD. »

Hey guys,
First off I do not currently own a Baja but I fell in love with them when they came out and said that someday I would own one. That day has come. My wife thinks they are uglier than all get out, but she has decided that I will be buying it anyway so she will have to get over it. I am a master certified mechanic and an electrical engineer with almost an entire auto shop in my pole barn. I have built inline 4 and 6 engines along with some V6 engines but have yet to play with anything boxer. I have been looking around online as to what to purchase. I have a couple questions because the online information is conflicting depending on where you find it. I then have a few other questions about future options.

I am looking to purchase one with the following specs.
2.5l Turbo
Manual Transmission
Heated Leather Seats
Rear Cargo Cap
Passthru from cargo to rear seats (I believe this to be spec on all models)

1 - My question is that of the models I have found online for sale and info I have found some say that the heated leather seats are 06 only. Yet some of the 05 models I have found claim to have heated leather seats in them as an option. Can anyone confirm if 05 had heated leather seats? Cause the color options were much more plentiful in 05 than 06.

Next is that I am a performance junkie at heart and planning to build an STI engine spec or similar power for it later on. I did see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2531 and his swap of the WRX powertrain into the 03, but I figure that I can do a head swap from an EJ257 and change the internals of the engine for a performance build.

2 - My question here is how does the drivetrain of this thing hold up to higher performance? I don't really want to buy a wrecked STI or WRX to get axles and pumpkins that can handle the power, so does anyone know how well the transmission and drivetrain in these things hold up?

3 - Turbo Guys - What is the longevity of the turbo engine on these things? I am looking at a couple with ~130k miles on them (hard to find low mileage with my spec list). Is there anything to look out for that signals a bad engines specifically on these things.

4 - The crank and pistons in the EJ255... Are they forged or cast?
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Re: Looking to buy, few questions.

Post by bajaguy »

1. Heated seats are a Canada thing. Many owners have just installed them from a Leggy since the wiring's all there. Turbo manual is hard to find so you're probably better off trying to put in heated seats after you find the right Baja. There's a guy on the facebook page who did an STI swap. But he did the whole drivetrain (warning, he can be rude and a know-it-all).

2. Not sure. Most swaps I've seen also swapped the transmissions too since the 6sp is far better than the 5sp in terms of performance and highway rpms.

3. Not a turbo guy myself. Don't let the Banjo bolt clog and they seem to have a long lifespan. All depends on the driver =D

4. I have no idea.

The heated seats I would just look at doing later, the pass through is standard, but the cargo caps are really hard to come by (if you don't want to pay the full $2000 for one new). So if you find one with the cap that would be easier. When they pop up on craigslist they are snatched up really fast. So you gotta have game to get one of those. If you live in New York, good luck with that.
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Re: Looking to buy, few questions.

Post by jaxed »

Near as I can tell, my 2005 is wired for a heated drivers seat. The wiring is there (no switch, though). I bought it new in 2004 and I'm in the USA.
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