2nd Generation (and possible others) DIY Guides
In this thread you will find various DIY articles related to the Second Generation Subaru Legacy.
These are all DIYs that I myself have put together or other members have. All credit is given to others who have contributed to this.
TRANSMISSION AND AXLES
Exterior & Interior DIY Guides
Morimoto Mini H1 Bi-Xenon Projector Retrofit
STEERING & SUSPENSION
Front & Rear Sway Bar Install
ELECTRICAL & ACCESSORIES
broknindarkagain's Grounding Mod Kit Install
I am writing this kit for the grounding mod kits that I have made and sold, however if you make your own kit or buy one from somewhere else, you can use this guide as a general reference.
In this guide, I am photgraphing a 1994 Impreza L...however the install is identical between it and the 95-99 Legacys.
Time Needed :
10 minutes - 30 minutesTools Needed :
Just basic tools. Scissors and a few sockets (10, 12, 13, and 14mms)Before you even start, lay out all your wires straight on the ground and figure out what wire is what.
Order from longest to shortestNOTE:-Passanger side strut tower
For those of you who are using some kind of grounding block setup, this guide is going to be pretty much the same. The only difference in your install will be how it connects to the battery terminal.IDIOT WARNING Do not attach any of these wire to the positive (+) / red battery terminal. You will short your electrical system if you do and likely catch your car on fire. Only attach these wires to the negative (-) / black battery terminal.
Take the nut off of the negative battery terminal. I suggest leaving the terminal on because it will make your life easier in a little while if its not wiggling around. On this car, I had to pop off the battery cap to get my wrench to fit onto the nut. Its sometimes easier to use a socket to do this...but I had the wrench already in my hand so I did it the hard way lol
Step Two :
I find it a little easier to install starting with the longest wire and working my way down to the shortest.
NOTE : If you're a WRX, STI, newer Legacy GT, or any other turbo Subaru with a TMIC, you may have to remove the intercooler to access the torque mount.
For 95-99 Legacys, you may have to remove the torque box (big black plastic box) that connects to the throttle body if you're unable to work around it.
Now you're going to work your way over towards the middle of the firewall. Take a look for a dogbone sort of looking thing going from your engine to the firewall. Thats your torque mount. Take the bolt out of it on the firewall side and sand the paint off....install the wire...and put the bolt back in. You're going to run this wire along the brake lines just like the last one. Grab the other line and tie it to the brake lines with the one you just put on. Ziptie locations will be right above the torque mount on the brake lines, and where my finger is in the second picture.
Step Four :
This step is easy. Same thing you did on the passenger side strut tower, but now do it on the drivers side. After you have the wire attached to that strut tower, drop it down under the fuel filter.
Step Five :
There isn't much to this step. Take the wires from the firewall and the other strut tower and lead them along the wiring going between the starter and battery (big wires). Ziptie them along the way and join the driver strut tower wire in there as well. Work your way up towards the battery with them. DO NOT let any of the wire connectors touch the positive battery terminal! Your wires will be following the starters positive wire to the battery. Once you get close to the battery, stop and leave them where they are at.Step Six :
Now you're going to install your engine block ground. Follow the oil dip stick down and look for whats pictured. Take the bolt off and put the ground wire onto the bolt...then re torque the bolt. Run the wire up towards the battery.
Step Seven :
Now you're going to run your last wire. Its going to attach to the upper radiator support on the drivers side You can put it under the metal bar, or on top of it...doesn't really matter. But what does matter is that you take that bar all the way off and sand the paint off thats under it. You're going to run this wire behind the drivers headlight and around the driver side of the battery.
Step Eight :
Now connect your wires to your battery terminal like so and torque down the nut.
Front Brakes - Part 1 of 2
In this guide I will go over the basics of how to replace your brake pads and rotors on a standard disk brake setup. Just like most of my other guides, this one covers *most* vehicles. There is usually very minor differences between each type of car.
This guide does NOT cover drum brake systems, brake bleeding, etc
Don't ask me to provide a DIY on drum brakes either. I hate drum brakes and I avoid them like the plague.
Time Required :
30 minutes - 1 hour
Tools Required :
This varies on each car. The following will usually cover most applications
Metric Wrenches (GearWrenches work the best. If you don't have any, buy them.)
Torx & Hex sockets
Large Flathead Screwdriver or Small Prybar
On some cars, you may have to have a bearing race kit and an assortment of punches if you're bearings are the kind that sit inside the rotor.
As well, some vehicles have rotors that have screws holding them in. The BEST way to get these screws out is by using an impact screwdriver. You can pick one up on any tool truck (Matco, Snap On, Mac, Cornwell) or at most auto parts stores. You can see one in the last tool image. They simply work by hitting the back side of it with a hammer. It transfers the hammer blow into sudden turning movement (by a gear inside the tool) to bust loose stuck screws. Its a lifesaver. Most Hondas have rotors held in like this.
The car I've used in this guide is my personal 1997 Subaru Legacy GT. It has a basic disk brake setup and is similar to most vehicles on the road.
Step 1 -
Make sure you're parked on a level surface. Place blocks behind your rear wheels (if you're doing the front brakes), pull up your e-brake, ,and put the car in park (or 1st gear if its a stick). Break your lugnuts loose (but don't take them off) while its still on the ground. Now jack it up and support it with jackstands. NEVER rely on the jack alone to hold up the car while you're working on it. ALWAYS use jackstands. After you get the front end up in the air, remove your front wheels. Personally, I like leaving the jack under the car with the jack stand to provide a second layer of protection.
Step 2 -
This is an optional step, but a good idea to do. Since you have your tires off the car, take a close look at them. Look to see if you have any abnormal wear indicating that you need an alignment. As well, look for any nails in the tires. In the picture below, I found a small nail in one of my front tires
Step 3 -
This as well is optional, but it will make your life A LOT easier for the following step.
Use a large c-clamp and hit the outside brake pad and the back of the caliper with it. When you compress the c-clamp, it will push back the brake piston a little bit. This will let you flip up the caliper easier later on.
Step 4 -
Take a look at the back side of the caliper towards the bottom. You will see the bolt in the picture below. There is one on top and one on bottom. Leave the top one in and remove the bottom. Once you break it loose, you should be able to remove it the rest of the way with your fingers easily.
You can turn your wheel either direction to make it easier to get to the back sided of the caliper. If you're working on the right side, turn the wheels to the left....and to the right for the driver side.
Step 5 -
Now you're going to flip up the caliper. If its tough to flip, you can use a screwdriver or small prybar to help you out.
Step 6 -
Now that you have your caliper flipped all the way up, simply push straight back on it. It will slide out of the machine bracket. You don't want to just let it hang around from the brake line (it can damage the line) so hang it from the strut or tie rod. Note on the right side the long pin. Remember this for later. Its called a slider pin. You're going to have to grease it later on. The second slider pin is still in the machine bracket and it too will be greased later on.
Step 7 -
Remove the brake pads from the machine bracket. If they are stuck a little bit, you can use a screwdriver or small prybar to help you get them out.
Step 8 -
Go back behind the rotor and look for the two bolts that hold the machine bracket on the car. I have a wrench on the two bolts in the pictures below. Remove these bolts and the machine bracket will come off.
Picture # 3 below shows the setup I usually use to take these bolts out. They are usually pretty tight, so a long ratchet that gives you extra leverage is very helpful.
Step 9 -
Now that your machine bracket is out of the way, you can take the rotor off the car. If you're working on a Honda, remember to use the impact screwdriver to take out the screws. Most other vehicles the rotor should basically "fall off" now. Sometimes they rust onto the car a little bit so you have to hit it with a hammer a few times to help break loose the rust.
Step 10 -
Now its time to push the piston in the caliper back. Grab one of your old brake pads and a c-clamp to do this with. Some cars (like the one pictured below) have two pistons in the caliper. Thats OK, the process is still the same.
Part two of this guide is continued HERE
Step 11 -
Now its time to start greasing everything up. The grease will help your brakes move more freely, and it will cut down on brake noise as well. When you buy your brake pads, you can ask the parts guy for "caliper grease". He will know just what you need. The following lube points are the automotive industry standard :
Catch the machine brakcets where the pads rub along them with lube. Both top and bottom.
Get both slider pins we talked about earlier
Get the caliper pistons
And get the front inside part of the caliper that rubs against the outside pad.
Step 12 -
Now you start putting everything back together. If you're replacing the rotor, sure you spray it down with brake parts cleaner to remove all the oils from it.
Put the rotor on
Put the machine bracket on
Put the pads in
Put the caliper on
Put the wheel on
Lower the car
Torque the lugnuts.
IMPORTANT NOTE :
BEFORE YOU DRIVE YOUR CAR YOU HAVE TO PUMP UP THE BRAKE PEDAL. Since you pushed back the caliper pistons, you are going to have to pump the brake pedal several times in order to get the pads to meet the rotor. Don't forget to do this or else you won't be able to stop your car. Just pump the brake several times until it gets stiff and you will be good to go.
There are a few minor differences for the rear, but if you understand how to do your front brakes the rears will be EASY to figure out.
In the guide above, I removed a bottom bolt from the caliper, the rear you have to take off the top bolt. To replace the caliper, just undo the brake line and put the new caliper on...Pretty easy.
As far as the parking brake shoes, try adjusting them first. You can do so by an adjuster wheel inside the assembely of it.
In this guide I photographed a 2011 Subaru Outback. There are minor differences between it and our cars when you change the oil, but its generally the same. The biggest difference is where the exhaust sits around the oil filter...but as soon as you get under your car, you will see what you need to do.
Time Required :
20 minutesTools Needed :
This varies on how you like to do it or what tools you have available to use.
Step One :
Jack up BOTH SIDES of the front of your car and secure them on jack stands. If you have drive up ramps, you can use them and it would be a little bit less work.
Step Two :
Pop your hood and take off the oil cap. If your car is still hot from running, let it cool off for a little while before you proceed to avoid getting burned by the exhaust or hot oil.
Step Three :
Now get under the car with your 17mm wrench / ratchet. Look for the oil pan. Its right on the bottom of the engine. Its a big black pan...you can't miss it. The picture below shows the drain plug on the bottom of the pan. Yours will be on the bottom / side of the pan. Use your 17mm and remove it to drain the oil into your drain pan. You will probably get some oil on your hand...this is why I had said to let the car cool. Hot oil sucks. Let the oil drain all the way out until its just trickling out, then put the dain plug back in and get it tight. You don't need to get it super tight, just nice and snug. Thread it in by hand first by several threads, then use your wrench to finish the job.
Step Four :
Now you need to locate your oil filter. Its close to the front passanger side of the engine. Its going to look like a black/blue/white/orange or other various color can. The filter on this car was white. On your second gen Legacy, your exhaust manifold is different from the one pictured below, but the filter is going to be in the same spot. It spins on and off. Remove it and put the new one one. There is a gasket that sometimes gets stuck to the car, so take a look and make sure the gasket came off with the filter because your new oil filter has a gasket already on it. Take a bit of engine oil that you just drained and dip your finger in it, then run your finger along the gasket on the new filter. Screw on the new filter and only get it hand tight. DO NOT use a tool to tighten it.
Step Five :
Now that you have your new filter on and your oil drain plug back in, you can get out from under the car and fill up your engine oil. 2.2L engines take 4.5 quarts. 2.5L engines take 4.7 quarts. After your finished filling up the oil, put the cap back on.
Step Six :
Now you need to start your car and let it run for 10-15 seconds. You may notice a little bit of valve train noise when you do this if you have a high mileage car. This is normal and should go away within a few seconds. As well, when you first crank up the car, you will see your oil pressure light (teapot looking light in the pic below) stay on for a few seconds. This as well is normal because your engine is just building up its oil pressure. It should as well go away within a few seconds. After your car runs for 15-20 seconds, shut it off. Now get out of it and lower the car onto the ground and check the oil level to make sure its OK. Clean up your mess and you're all done!
Subaru EJ Alternator Replacement
I've been asked by a few different people to provide a walk through on how to replace an alternator on a Subaru.
This guide covers any 4 cylinder EJ series engine from Subaru. Both turbo and non turbo models. (basically any 4 cylinder 1989 until now).
The car in this guide is a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX.
Tools and supplies needed:
- New Alternator
- New Alternator Belt (not required, but its cheap and a good idea to replace while you have it off)
- Assorted Sockets (10mm, 12mm, 13mm, and 14mm if I remember right. Deep sockets work best)
- A Prybar or Long Screwdriver
- Needle Nose Pliers
Time Required :
If this is your first time, probably about 30 minutes. I can do these in about 10 or 15 minutes myself.
Step one -
Sit there and stare at your Subaru for a minute. Why? Just simply because its a bad ass car.
Step two -
Gather up all of your tools and supplies and have them ready.
Step three -
Open up the hood and disconnect the battery. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you fail to disconnect the battery, you will be grounding out your tools and making all kinds of lovely popping noises and sparks. You don't want to do that lol. It can screw up your electrical system. So make sure your battery is disconnected. Actually, this is good practice when doing any kind of mechanical work to a car. The car I was photographing for this guide got a new battery with the new alternator, so I had to completely remove it from the car.
Step four -
Take the plastic cover off that sits over the belts on the front of the engine. Its a couple of 10mm bolts. Easy to get off. On the WRX and STI, there are some lines that clip to the top of it. The easiest way to get them off the cover is to use needle nose pliers on the bottom sided to undo the clips.
A bottom view of the cover. Towards the middle / bottom / left you can see one of the clips that clip on the lines
Here is what you will end up with after you remove the cover
Step five -
Now you need to loosen the tension on the belt so you can take it off the alternator pulley (or take it all the way out if you're going to go ahead and replace it.
First, loosen the mounting bolt on the driver side of the alternator. You don't need to take it all the way out yet (actually that would be a bad idea), just get it loose. Its close to the AC Compressor
Now, go to the other side of the alternator and look for this :
[img width=359 height=600]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/broknindarkagain/IMAG0321.jpg[/img]
Now that you found it, look right under where the belt was and you will see this:
Loosen the bottom bolt (don't take it out).
Now go back towards the top of the tensioner assembly and start loosening the top bolt. This will take the tension off the belt. You're going to have to go quite some ways. After you get it loose enough, you will be able to slide the belt off the pulley. You may have to push down on the alternator at the end to get it to move all the way down
Step six -
Take a look at the top of the alternator towards the back and look for a red rubber boot. Pull it out of the way and remove the 10mm nut that sits under it. then look to the left of that to the green clip that snaps into the alternator. Remove that as well. Both can be seen in these pictures :
Step seven -
Remove the driver side bolt and the bottom bolt on the belt tensioner from step five. Be careful of the driver side bolt however. There is a clip on the back side of it that will fall down and get lost if you don't have your hands on it.
Step eight -
Lift the alternator out of the car. It may be kind of hard to get out, so a pry bar and a hammer may help it break free.
Step nine -
Compare the new and old alternators to make sure they are the same. This includes electrical connections, pulley grooves / size, bolt holes, etc.
Drop in your new alternator. You may have to pry on it a little bit or tap it with a soft hammer to get the driver side bolt hole to line up.
Now just continue to put it back together by reversing the above steps.
I've heard of some new Subaru alternators requiring a 15 minute break-in period before they will put out a charge. So if your new alternator isn't putting out 14 volts right away, don't panic. Just let it idle there for 15 minutes then re-check it.
If you follow this guide, you should not run into any problems. I do not take responsibility for any damage you may cause to your vehicle while working on it following this guide. As always, if your vehicle is rusted, use penetrating oil to help break the rust free. Don't over torque bolts, and use common sense.
You may use and print this guide for your own personal use. If you would like to re-publish this guide, please contact me for permission.
General Safety - Tips & Tricks
The biggest thing to keep in mind is to use common sense. A lot of bad things happen when people make simple mistakes. Think about what you're doing before you do it.
Make sure you don't get in over your head. Do your research if you're about to do something you have not done before. The guides here should be a good starting point. Remember that there are no stupid questions. If you're unsure of what you're doing, ask someone who knows.
Never work under the car if its not stable. ALWAYS use jack stands. Never work under a car thats only supported by a jack. Jacks fail, I've seen it several times. The last place you want to be when a jack fails is under the car. It will kill you if it falls on you. I personally like to leave the jack under the side of the car I'm working on as a second layer of protection if the jackstand were to fail (not common, but I have seen it happen before). So, if your setup is like the picture below, you should be fine. As well, always block the wheels that are still on the ground. Usually a big rock or a block of wood works fine. Always try and work on flat level ground. Only jack up a car thats on a slight hill if you have no other choice...and use extreme caution if you do.
When using a wrench or ratchet, always try and push away from your body on it with an open hand. This helps avoid busted knuckles and elbowing yourself in the chest. Both hurt lol
If you're draining fluids, bleeding brakes, taking off fuel lines, etc....ALWAYS wear safety glasses. I've got most automotive fluids in my eyes over the years. The most painful ones are brake fluid, brake parts cleaner, and gasoline. The other fluids don't bug you as much...but its still not pleasant. If you get something in your eyes, go flush out your eyes for a few minutes with luke warm water. If you get excessive amounts of fluids into your eyes, its best to seek medical attention. This is especially true if you get fluid in your eyes that may have metal shavings in it (oil from an engine with a rod knock).
Wear rubber gloves while you're working. It helps keep your hands cleaner. Even if you don't mind getting dirty, when you bust your knuckles open, you will hate scrubbing all the grease and dirt out of an open cut. If you wear gloves, then you won't have to worry about this. It will already be cleanish...and just a normal cleaning of the wound will be good enough.
Make it a habit to take the keys out of the ignition when you're working on the car. This helps prevent accidents like the fans turning on and cutting your fingers off.
Always keep a can of PB Blaser, Deep Creep, etc handy to help with rusted bolts. Even if you don't live in a snowy area, there will still be rusted bolts on your car.
Know the limits of your strength and don't push them. I've pulled muscles and torn ligaments in the past because I put too much force into tools.
Know the limits of your tools and use good quality tools. Every tool has its breaking points. A good rule of thumb is to stick with major brands and you will get stronger tools. Personally I use Great Neck sockets, Husky ratchets, Kobalt box wrenches, Stanley screwdrivers, Craftsman prybars, Matco pliers, Gearwrench branded ratcheting renches, and all of my specialty tools are either Snap On or Matco. For air tools, I either use Ingersol Rand or Matco....and Ingersol makes Matcos anyways...so I guess all my air tools are Ingersol Rand.
Lift safely. Back injuries are no joke and chiropractors get expensive. Don't lift too much for you to handle. If you need help, get help. Always bend your knees to lift and carry the weight close to your body.
If you don't have enough strength to bust loose a bolt, you can put a pipe on the end of your tool to get more leverage.
If you're not a professional, please don't try and modify parts of your vehicle with something that you designed. This almost always ends failure. I've seen everything from fuel lines being held on by bungee cords to brake master cylinders that are patched with duct tape and card board. PLEASE, do things right. If you're in over your head...get help.
Front Struts and Coilover Install
Rear Struts and Coilover Install
Morimoto Mini H1 Bi-Xenon Projector Retrofit
All credit goes out to Thomistopheles for this awesome write up!
I've had a bunch of requests for a DIY guide on my retrofit, so here it is.
2 piece USDM headlights and cornersTools Required:
DremelBench testing bi-xenon solenoids
This is very important, you need to make sure the solenoid that flips the cutoff shield down for high beams is working flawlessly. Sometimes you might have a sticky plunger, or weak spring. Use a 12v power source to cycle it at LEAST 50 times. You will hear it click, but make sure you actually watch the shield move. If everything's working, great! Get to work you bums.Splitting the headlights and corners
Preheat your oven to 210°F. Remove all bulbs, screws, and the four clips on each headlight housing. Place a flat baking sheet in the oven. I baked the headlight housings for 12 minutes and the corners for 7 minutes. To split the baked headlights, stick a butter knife or flat head screwdriver between the headlight lens and housing. Gently give it a twist to start opening the gap, and work your way around the lens. Once you have a gap, you can pull them apart by hand. To split the corners, you will have to pry them apart with the prying tool of your choice. The corner light lens slides out toward the front of the car, not straight off the lens. Keep the tabs in mind, and do not pry too hard or you will crack the lens.Cutting and trimming the headlight housings
Remove the bulb shields. There's a small cover that clips on over the mounting screw for the shields. Pull out the wire headlight bulb holder as well. You will need to use your dremel with the cutting wheel to cut down the bulb holder on the housing. Here's a photo of what the bulb socket looked like after I cut it:http://i489.photobucket.com/albums/r...psbcf095ed.jpg
You will need to cut a hole in the bottom of the housing to clear the bottom of the projector, and cut off the area the stock bulb shields screwed into.http://i489.photobucket.com/albums/r...ps781e1b48.jpg
You will need to trim the bottom of your shrouds to clear the housing. I didn't get any photos of that, but you're schmart peoples and I have no doubt that you can figure it out. I don't want to see any posts saying "Directions unclear, penis is stuck in ceiling fan. Please send help."Painting
Strip the chrome from everything you intend to paint, either chemically or via sanding. I used Glad Press n Seal to mask off a chrome ring on the ends of my shrouds when I painted them, and did the same thing when I masked off the turn signal reflectors in the corner lights. Lightly press down just enough to seal, then trim with a razor.http://i489.photobucket.com/albums/r...ps96fa4e1f.jpg
Mounting the projectors
These projectors mount really easy, you should only need to adjust rotation. Run the bi-xenon wires through the hole you cut at the bottom of the housing.Projector reflector bowl | Small silicone washer | Headlight housing | Metal washer | Lock nut | Bulb holder
Don't crank down the locking nut. Make it tight, but so that you can still rotate the projector with a bit of force. Put your headlights on the car and adjust the rotation so the cutoff is level, and then lock down the nut good and tight so the projector is locked in place. The wiring harness is plug and play, I don't think I need to write a section for the wiring or HID install.http://i489.photobucket.com/albums/r...pse2e5c750.jpg
^You would have your shrouds mounted at this point. I didn't. Wanna fight about it?!Seal those sexy sons of seabiscuits back up
Run your solenoid wires through the hole in the bottom of the housing, and use the kydex sheet and epoxy or adhesive sealant to seal up the giant hole you made. All done? Wunderbar! Preheat your oven to 210°F again. While that's warming up, take your headlight sealant and put it into the channels on your lights. Bake them the same amount of time as when you split them to soften the sealant. Press the lenses back into place, put all your screws and clips and thingamajigs back on. Now go take your new lights and aim them.
As of writing this, I haven't been able to properly aim my lights since the adjustment screws are stuck... but they'll move soon enough. I'm going to pull the lights and really soak the hell out of the screws. Anyway, feel free to PM me with any questions. I didn't get many photos of the process since I zoned in on what I was doing at the time and forgot about taking photos along the way.
This should be a sticky...
Thanks for posting this up. Edited title to reflect 2nd Generation "nature" of the thread.
3/8 Drive8 through 19mm will cover most jobs. You want both deep and shallow sockets, preferably 6 point to avoid rounded off bolts. You can buy a complete set of Great Neck sockets 8 - 19mm that includes both deep and shallow for $25 from Autozone.
1/2 DriveRatchetsYou will especially need 1/2 drive if you plan on doing suspension work. I've had the best luck with impact rated sockets because they are stronger. You can buy the cheap sets from Harbor Freight and they usually hold up just fine (as long as they are impact). You're going to want to get at least 15mm - 24mm
I've always personally used Husky ratchets. They are pretty cheap, and they are VERY tough. As well, they carry a lifetime warranty. You will want to get both a 3/8 drive and a 1/2 drivePliers
Various pliers are needed for many different things. You can buy a 8pc set of pliers that would work just fine for about $10 from Harbor FreightWrenches
Standard Box WrenchesYou're going to want to get a set of 8mm - 19mm. My set is Kobalt and I've had it for a few years. I've pretty happy with them. As well, 21mm, 22mm, and 24mm come in handy sometimes too. However, I can't think of anything off the top of my head on a Legacy that needs these sizes.
Ratcheting WrenchesExtensionsI don't believe in using anything other than Gearwrench branded ones. I've used all of them, and Gearwrench seems to be the only ones that hold up to the abuse (besides Matco or Snap On). Sears has sales on them occasionally where you can pick up a set for about $35.
You're going to want various extensions in both 3/8 and 1/2 drive. As well, swivels are a good thing to have.
Other things that come in handy are PB Blaster, a pipe to use as a cheater bar, assorted screwdrivers, vice grips, a c-clamp, etc.
The ground mod looks awesome although extremely painful for the intercooler part lol really don't want to remove it :P
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