TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally car

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TurnNburn
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TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally car

Post by TurnNburn »

Hello all my name is Blake and i hail from the pacific northwest in a sort of large town called Bend, Oregon. Currently coming to the end of building a 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally car. Iv built several cars over the years but i never built a build thread, but with this car i felt i should. The car is like 95% done so bare with me as i digitally word vomit everything at once.

Part 1: The formative years- I grew up around here (Bend) and have been into off roading since i could physically push the petals and turn the wheel. We had 5 acres of pretty clear rural land and a F150 farm truck that i used to smash around on getting the mail and pulling out stumps and stubborn weeds. One day when i was 11 i saw a re-run of WRC finland 1997 while my dad was waiting for F1 to come on. Needless to say the battles between Mcrae, Makinen. and Burns sparked something inside me and right then i knew the seed was planted... even if it took 16 more years before i would actually do it. I eventually decided i hated most jobs that required talking to idiot people and i liked working on cars so i wound up going to UTI for a degree and training. Within days of graduating and coming back to bend i started work at a shop that used to build rally cars.

part 2: Getting my feet wet- With the space, tools and know how i decided now would be a good time to fallow that dream and build a rally car. I initially, like everyone else that wants to rally a subaru, i was looking for a impreza coupe. but for several practicallity reasons i decided to get a legacy instead. Mostly because of three things, a functioning back seat area once caged, dozens of them in the pick and pull for parts, and came stock with disk brakes(only the RS has rear disks and RS's are expensive and im cheap). I was introduced through a mutual friend to someone who was looking to get rid of a beat up stripped out 1990 legacy (he couldnt correctly diagnose the 2.2 had bad head gaskets and couldnt figure out why it over heated all of the time. I offered him a 100 bucks for it. He begrudgingly said yes so i loaded it on a trailer and took it home.

Part 3: Stripping down and cleaing up- Other then driving the piss out of a car on/off road, nothing is as much fun for me as tearing into a new project car and ripping things apart. Removing all of the disgusting/broken/molested pieces of a car down to bare metal. Generlally getting things really clean before getting things really dirty. Now was a good time for me to change/fix all of the neglected items of the car so i could get the CEL to stay off and a tune up to verify the engine i was starting with was worth keeping around. After sitting for 3 years the engine was pretty noisey from the HLA's having lost their charge but a few bottles of sea foam cleared everything right up. Besides the head gasket problem, a couple of bad window regulators, cracked radiator and what some people would call some serious damage to 3 of the doors the car was in pretty good shape and an excellant canidate for prepping. Especially for $100. I swapped 3 doors, trunk (for the wing) and hood(for the hood scoop) from my 91SS donor. And started my color scheme. Iv always wanted a black and red car so i figured now was as a good a time as ever. With the interior cleaned and prepped, it was time to get sent off to get a roll cage, light bar, and skid plate/sub frame.

Part 4: The build- Since i knew the car would be gone for a while and i would have some free time. The engine was caked with oil/dirt and leaked from everywhere so I yarded the 2.2 out on addressing the head gaskets and the many, many leaks an old motor tends to develop. The cage came back looking better then i expected as the guy who fabbed it all together will also be my co-driver. He also fabbed up the seat brackets so i can bolt the seat to the new seat sub frame and re inforced my strut towers with 1/4'' steel plates. And installed my roof vent, which had a previous life of being mounted to the side of a Peterbuilt semi truck as an air vent for the cab (a trick i learned from some old schoolers and half the price as getting the exact same thing from actual rally vendors).

Parts list:

OMP HTE racing seats with 3'' 6 point G-Force harness.

Momo suede steering wheel and a Momo quick release

Swapped over 03 wrx front calipers and rotors(ground down to clear the 15's)

2006 LGT rear brakes with calipers and rotors

stainless steel brake lines

91SS the brake master/booster because i read somewhere on here that it was better although my memory fails as to why. I had it laying around so i tried it out.

2'' exhaust from the manifold back with an extra bung hole for my air flow ratio gauge and totally functioning cat (haha, per Rally America rules) where my muffler used to be.

OEM rear diff protector

Truck bed liner underbody protection

Front skid plate is custom made with 3/16 in aluminum with a reinforced suplementory sub frame to protect the all important oil pan. My light bar is bolted to the front of my skid plate sub frame and reinforced through my bumper with 2 7'' HID and a 20'' LED light bar.

Got my trunk situation taken care of with a full size rally spare. Ammo can bolted to the car that holds my spill kit, triangles, tools, zip ties and other misc. crap. And my custom gas door opener.

K-sport 55mm gravel coilovers- set to 14 in the front and 10 in the rear. Covered up with DIY coilover covers, thanks mom!

Delta cams 230 grind

Coleman 2:1 steering reducer
Last edited by TurnNburn on Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Day one and fresh off the trailer with my SS in the back
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Ripping out the interior and the sound deadening
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Down to bare metal and seam welded
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Yanking the crusty motor, time for...
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Twins...
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New seat mounts
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First install
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Cage all fresh
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Love that red
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Got bored one day
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Modified Intake
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2'' Manifold back straight pipe High flow car
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Skid plate, subframe and light bar
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Time for the makeover
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Wrx ''Big Brake'' upgrade
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K-Sport Gravel Coilovers
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Geared up by the peeps at Pyrotect
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Last edited by TurnNburn on Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
czei
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by czei »

Thanks for posting this! Where did you get the exhaust system?
MConte05
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by MConte05 »

Have you gotten logbooked yet? I'm kind of concerned about those seat mounts to be honest....

Otherwise, things look good. Do the H6 upgrade in the rear with the stock turbo legacy caliper and get some vented rotors. You'll never have to go to 2-pots in the rear, you want to stick with the good ole cast iron caliper. Some good pads (I run RC5+ in the front, and EBC Yellow in the rear) and high temp brake fluid and it should do you well. You don't want to skimp on the braking. It's the one place that you can have the same braking ability as a near top spec car, so use it to your advantage. Need something that will withstand the heat and endurance. I tried running some super cheap rear pads for Show Me Rally just to see what it was like. Won the rally outright, but I was terrified on braking anywhere. Put EBC yellows in the rear and what a difference.
TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Thank you, the exhaust isnt anything fancy though, just something a local exhaust shop whipped up in an after noon.

I actually just got the car log booked by Gene McCullough who is a RA/NASA scrutineer last week with those seat mounts. The seats themselves have brackets that are bolted to the seat and to the new floor mount in the picture if that is what you meant. Its a pretty robust setup.

i didnt know we could upgrade the rears and keep the disk vented. I have some rotors for a 2 pot, is that what you meant? and just get the H6 caliper bracket?


*EDIT* i just realized looking at the picture again that it is only tack welded into place and not fully welded like it is now.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
mike-tracy
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by mike-tracy »

You can use those 06-07 WRX rear rotors with 05-08 legacy GT rear calipers. Only thing you need to do us remove the dust shield.
1992 Legacy SS 5mt, build in progress
Josh Colombo wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2002 10:23 am Wait....I'm confused now.
TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Really?! good to know, i have been hauling those rotors around for a while now with no use for them. Iv moved from 2 different houses with them in my garage. Im glad they can finally get put to good use. Thanks for the heads up.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
czei
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by czei »

"Swapped out a 2nd gen 45 degree angle airbox and fabbed up a free flowing short ram style intake that goes to stock air box with a stock air filter. "

If you're using the stock filter box why bother to create a custom tube? Why not just use stock?
TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

To get rid of the snorkus/silencer and to give the air a more direct shot to the engine. Using the 45 degree box made it easier to make something with just one bend instead of two. Being NA I honestly am not sure if there is any quantifiable performace gain from it, I just had the pieces laying around and wanted to play with it a bit and add a little flair to the engine bay. Plus it sounds better with the silencer removed.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Got my steering quickener in the mail yesterday! Sent my spare steering rack over to get fabbed up by my co driver in his free time so it might be a few weeks he said. For those of you guys rocking a quickener, has anyone had any troubles over heating the PS fluid and burning up pumps? My co driver has concerned that moving the fluid faster would cause problems, and he suggested revalving the pump. I didnt know you could do that on subaru's.I havent read anything about over heating before but it does sound logical. I have a 5X12 auxilery cooler in my parts pile i can put in line to help with the heating and also had that much more fluid.

And with that rear brake setup Mike, im assuming you need the rear caliper bracket for the LGT as well?
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
mike-tracy
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by mike-tracy »

Hi, yes, I grabbed the caliper and bracket. I hit up my local wrecker (B&R) who accessed their national database to have the brakes shipped in from elsewhere.
1992 Legacy SS 5mt, build in progress
Josh Colombo wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2002 10:23 am Wait....I'm confused now.
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by SILINC3R »

Is there anyway to straighten that brake line out. It look like of twisted. Also like the rock mats for the coilovers. I don't rally but I like the look and the fact it would help keep them clean.
Tony
90 LS Spec rio red sold
91 SS rio red R.I.P
90 Mazda Miata
2005 GT SWP
92ss satinsvoice wrote:LOL! that block was like F*** THIS! IM OUT!
mike-tracy wrote:Word. I'd love to get my hands on one of those trannies, but I just can't stomach the cost
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by MConte05 »

TurnNburn wrote:Got my steering quickener in the mail yesterday! Sent my spare steering rack over to get fabbed up by my co driver in his free time so it might be a few weeks he said. For those of you guys rocking a quickener, has anyone had any troubles over heating the PS fluid and burning up pumps? My co driver has concerned that moving the fluid faster would cause problems, and he suggested revalving the pump. I didnt know you could do that on subaru's.I havent read anything about over heating before but it does sound logical. I have a 5X12 auxilery cooler in my parts pile i can put in line to help with the heating and also had that much more fluid.

And with that rear brake setup Mike, im assuming you need the rear caliper bracket for the LGT as well?
Nope, zero issues with PS in my quickener. If you were doing 5 minute long rallycrosses where you are lock to lock constantly, maybe. But for a typical NA rally stage? You should only be lock to lock when you are screwing up. Otherwise its just small movements. PS fluid levels will be more important. Slightly overfilled and it'll spray all over the engine bay (wonder how I figured that out?).

Which quickener did you get? Make sure you have the car around to figure out measurements. It's not as intuitive as you think since if you put it too low it'll mess with the pedals, but too high and won't be able to get around the mess of wires and dash supports. Mine ended up about halfway, and rotated sideways to make sure my feet wouldn't hit it.
TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Great info guys, i really appreciate the input.

Those bags are really good on any coilover even if you are not rallying. Nice for keeping the dirt and road grime out of the shaft seals and especially for protecting the lock rings and the threads they move on. As anyone who has rocked a set of coilovers knows that once those rings sieze up the only way they are adjusting is to cut them off and replace after cleaning up the threads. I built my own using some oil treated industrial tarp, heavy duty 2'' velcro, several feet of bailing wire, and some one on one time with a sewing machine. I built 10 for about $35. which is what 1 brand name Dirt Bagz costs. All credit for the idea goes to Omahasubaru on RS25.com
http://www.rs25.com/forums/f105/t146066 ... nsion.html

Thats what i was thinking about the fluid temperature, theoretically moving the same amount of fluid with less movement on my end shouldnt cause any problems, but his logic was convincing. Thats why im glad to have you guys around to set me straight. I got a coleman, it seemed to have the best reviews from what i could find, and was pretty small and compact. It does look deceptively open down by the pedals but i could see one way or another would interfere.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by MConte05 »

Yep, Coleman 1.5:1 is what I have. Make sure the mounting bolts are sideways in the car, also make sure you put some serious loctite on the spline set screws. Otherwise they WILL back out, get jammed on the tube you have to make, and then make steering near impossible. Want to know how I found that out? :)
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by czei »

Sorry, but a couple more questions:

Does it have electric windows? Did you keep 'em?
Have you replaced any glass with plexi?
What steering wheel and adapter are you using?
MConte05
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by MConte05 »

If you are talking to me, this is whats on my car:

Electric windows for sure. You want them, removing them won't give much of any performance benefit.

No windows have been replaced. I've considered doing the rears, but since it's a frameless window, by the time you fab up a frame to hold the plexi to the curvature, you now have something that weighs just as much as the stock glass. Which really isn't all the heavy to begin with. However I did gut my rear doors and simply drilled two bolt holes for where the glass is held to hold it in place without the motor and scissor nearby. That dropped about 20-25 pounds per side. Remember that you still want a good seal. You don't want water/rain/cold getting in the car. Comfort is key in a rally car, especially since you'll be sitting in it for hours and hours and hours.

I use a sparco suede wheel and a Coleman 1.5:1 quickener. If I was doing sno-drift, I might snag a 2:1 reducer. But the 1.5:1 provides a perfect amount of weight, and more than enough lock to lock without taking your hands off the wheel.
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by czei »

TurnNburn wrote:Great info guys, i really appreciate the input.

Those bags are really good on any coilover even if you are not rallying.
Have you used those gravel coilovers before? I'm curious as to how they're handling differs from my current setup, 2004 STi struts/springs.
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

I do have electric windows and do plan on keeping them. Mostly because i dont think swapping them for manual windows or switching to plexiglass is going to make enough of a difference to counter out the annoyance of not being able to roll them down, also with the boltsters of my seat i would never be able to roll down the right front window without unbuckling. That is why i left the stereo in with the front 2 door speakers. i mean, whats a few extra pounds for the sake of comfort. And this car never came with AC and it gets freakin hot here in the summer. The roof vent helps but its not enough if im going slow.

I used a Momo steering wheel, Momo quick release and momo ''Boss'' hub adapter. I love the suede steering wheel. It grips super well with my driving gloves on. I wish i had known how long the hub adabpter was though, it was much to long and it put the steering wheel to close to the seat which put it in an uncomforable position for me. I had to have it litterally cut its length in half to get it to the correct position. Knowing what i know now i would have opted for a ''short'' adapter from another company since momo didnt make a shorter one and i didnt know i would need it.

Yes I currently have these coilovers on my car. And I had 04 STI springs and struts on my 91SS and i liked that setup a lot for the street. It was a bit stiff and unforgiving off road however. Its a good combo if you can get your hands on a set (i currently have all four sitting in the garage if someone is looking for some). The coilovers i think handle about as the STI on the road just less bouncy, but off road its a totally different beast. Stuff (rockes, branches, culverts, and dips) that would normally make me clench, just get absorbed, everything just gets smoothed out. Like riding in an old school Cadillac DeVille. I have about 100 miles of beating on them off road and so far i like them alot. These coilovers will raise your car about 1 inch over stock, and will not go lower then that due to interference in the front with your outter CV boot. So that may be annoying if you want to keep it low, or awesome if you want to lift your car.

*edit* After thinking about it over night, the super thick sidewalls of the rally tires i have also make the car bouncy on the road as they do not deflect nearly as much. I havent tried these coilovers with street tires on it, but now i am curious to see how they would ride.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by Legacy777 »

A quick comment on the rear brakes, if you go to vented rears you have to make sure both the caliper bracket and caliper are meant for the vented rotor. You can't use a turbo legacy rear caliper with an H6 bracket.

For the steering fluid, use a good synthetic ATF fluid. I use Redline's D4 ATF fluid. Don't use "power steering fluid", that is typically meant for Honda's. You just need to use good synthetic Dextron III compatible ATF.
Josh

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
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TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Thanks, i think going with the LGT rear calipers and brackets is the way to go.

I am using a full synthetic ATF that is made by a chemical supplier called BG products. The provide thier stuff at the shop i work at so it was around and inexpensive for me. I have used Redline's stuff before so if this doesnt pan out i would likely switch back over.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Just got a phone call from Delta Cams and said that with the cams i sent in that i can only get a 200 grind? Something about the cams being a roller rocker vs. a flat pad? I was excited to get this mod but now im just dissapointed. Pulled them out of a 93 as i was not aware of the difference as i thought all of these 2.2s were the same when it came to that kind of stuff. Possibly a swapped motor? i thought roller stuff came in in the phase 2 motor so the only 2.2 that would have had them would have been 97? after reading through posts i have never heard of anyone mentioning this before.

Just pulled the valve covers on the motor that is in the rally car and voila, the cams i need are in there. I was just wanting to avoid having the car be down for a couple of weeks, but at least i know i have a good set.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by Legacy777 »

All the first gen legacies should have gotten the flat pad. Maybe someone swapped the roller cam lifter in.
Josh

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
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TurnNburn
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by TurnNburn »

Thanks for clarifiying as always josh. I thought i was crazy for a second... well at least for that.

Got my new cams back today and put in. I was surprised how quick they were done, 1 week from when i sent them off to when i got them back. +1 for Delta for good customer service and fast shipping.

Was given the "shims" for the HLA's and installed them. I had never removed an HLA before, was kind of tricky until i found the right tool, an interior trim puller. i wish i had some new ones to put in there, it always takes some effort to charge mine back up after they have lost their charge for a while.

Everything in and it runs great. Dropped my idle down about 300 rpms from where they were before, sounds wicked that low but i bumped it back up to improve idle quality. And before my vacuum at idles was right around 20 inches but not its around 17-18. not as bad as i was expecting.

Im not sure how many ponies to the wheels i actually got, i mean im not doing sweet burnouts but it definitely woke up the engine. The power band is a huge improvement over stock.

Image

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Last edited by TurnNburn on Wed May 27, 2015 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
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Re: TurnNBurn's 1990 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 open light rally ca

Post by MConte05 »

Make sure to set the idle with all your lights on and everything at full draw. You don't want to be at the start of a night stage, turn on the lights, and almost have the engine stall out on the start line.

Also a lesson learned from experience. :)
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