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swcolegacyl 09-19-2012 10:29 PM

1996 Subaru Legacy L Wagon AWD 4" Lift

Hi, This is my 1st Subaru, a 1996 Legacy L Wagon AWD, 2.2L 16v EJ22E, Auto 4EAT. with 196,000 miles. An on going project car, fixing and upgrading. This car is originally from Arizona and does not have a speck of rust on it. It could use to be repainted at some point. she's burning about a quart of oil about every 10,000 miles. not bad, and i'm getting 29 mpg on the highway. So far total 4" Lift with a total of 10 inches clearance. I take her off road as much as possible.

I didn't care much for the automatic transmission when I first got the car. And I had considered swapping it for a 5-speed manual. Since I’ve discovered that the automatic is great for rock-crawling. I believe the ‘torque multiplier’ is helpful for the low range. Another mod I have done was to add a switch inside that allows me to alter the drive-train power distribution. A single toggle switch (DPDT) (On/Off/On) that controls the Duty solenoid 'C' on the 4EAT sending 12 volts for FWD (100/0), stock voltage for AWD (80/20) or 0 volts (50/50) power split front/rear.

Download - 1996 Legacy Owner/Service Manuals and other helpful PDFs I've found:

Work i've done so far:
'95 Legacy Left rear tail lens
'97 Legacy Outback rear hatch lens/reflector
'97 Legacy Outback leather interior door panels
'98 Outback Panasonic Stereo
'98 Outback Front seats.
'98 Outback Rear sway bar
'98 Outback struts and springs (1.5" Lift)
H&R Trak Plus 15mm wheel spacers
Perrin Rear sway bar links with spherical bearings
Perrin Lightweight crank pulley
JDM Head lights, Projector style
JDM Side marker lights
K&N Panel Air filter
Amsoil 20w50 Synthetic Racing Oil and Amsoil filter
NGK Plug wires
Bosch iridium spark plugs
Oil pressure sensor
EGR valve
Subtle-Solutions 1" lift kit
Greddy upper front strut stabilizer bar
15" Impreza rims with Firestone Winterforce 205/70/15 tires
2 sets of 3" 55 Watt Pilot lights wired to the High beams
Magnaflow Muffler with a custom cat-less exhaust and factory resonator
Yakima Roof Rack
Yakima BasketCase
Yakima Fairing
Uniden Pro 510xl cb radio
Garmin Nuvi GPS
Interstate battery
20% Front and 10% Rear tinted windows
Painted the wiper arms with Black Krylon Fusion
Painted lower front and rear trim line and rockers with Black Krylon Fusion
Painted rear spoiler with Black Krylon Fusion
front sway bar links (factory replacement)
both front half shafts with new CV joints
front brakes, ceramic pads
timing belt
fuel filter
radiator hoses
every single light bulb replaced
Alternator belt
Wiper blades
Rear hatch gasket
New windshield
remove snorkus and cut huge hole for air intake below the air filter.
A/C works great. I live at 9,000ft, not much need for A/C so i removed the belt.

This car was stock and in pretty rough condition when i bought it, about a year and a half ago. I think I’m the 3rd owner of this car. The original owner kept impeccable records. I’ve got receipts for every little thing and factory servicing. The second owner ran the car into the ground. But she did have a major service on the transmission done. Including changing the seals. When i first got her the squeaks and rattles came from everywhere. Loud enough that you couldn’t hear the radio, if it worked. I knew the car had penitential after a major cleaning, vacuuming and removing about a hundred gooey stickers inside and out. The basic drive-train, engine and body were in good enough condition to make it worth buying the car. No rust, I’ve removed bolts that have not been touched since the car was built with ease. Where I live, I don’t need a car so this Subaru is mainly used for road trips, off road adventures and camping. She's in great shape now reliable and very fun to drive!

Found some older pics. A work in progress:

And a little bit later...

And now.

swcolegacyl 09-25-2012 12:16 AM

Weekend in Green River, UT
Off road in UT.

arikira 09-25-2012 01:36 AM


mattmattyxcore 09-28-2012 07:52 PM

Digging the look man, pretty much everything I want to do to my 95 BD

swcolegacyl 09-28-2012 08:05 PM

Thank you --it's taken a lot of effort to get the car to look and preform the way it does.

swcolegacyl 09-30-2012 11:43 AM

Engine, Lift spacers, Interior, Strut stabilizer
Engine, Lift spacers, Interior, Strut stabilizer

Rester5350 09-30-2012 11:50 AM

I love it!!! A guy I know just did a 4" lift on his 96, I'll post up picks when i find some time.

swcolegacyl 10-14-2012 11:38 AM

Hi All –A local shop just got a new alignment rack. So I figured it was a good time to get the Legacys' checked out. The tires needed to be rotated anyway. The alignment rack is a brand new Laser Guided, Heat Activated; Turbo charged state-of–the-art rack. Very cool. You can see every aspect of the cars alignment. It even shows the height of the body at all four corners. And if the body is out of alignment. (if it was in an accident) The my car definitely needed to be aligned. The mechanic got her all straightened out pretty easily. So, after the years of neglect, the lifts, parts from other cars, larger then normal tires, and the off-road banging around I’ve done. The alignment zeroed out perfectly! A 16 year old car that has been though a lot in it’s life with 194,000 miles of roads covered. Still runs great, handles awesome on pavement and off-road, comfortable to drive and of course perfect alignment! Kudos -Subaru, i love my car.

rickmfromnh 10-14-2012 04:49 PM

Very nice Subie! How much did it cost to get the 4" of lift? Did you do it yourself, or did a shop?

swcolegacyl 10-14-2012 07:20 PM

Hi –Thank you rickmfromnh. The 4” lift was accomplished by using Outback strut-towers 1.5” taller then stock, Subtle-Solutions 1" lift spacers, and 15” over stock 14” rims and bigger tires gained another 1.5”. the stock clearance for this car is 6.1” now it’s at 10.1”. the struts where from a junk yard, think I paid $75.00 each. Lift spacers $225. The rims I got used and new tires. I'd guess the total for the lift was around a thousand. including all the parts and labor. Most of the 'lift' work was done at a local shop. Installing the struts and strut spacers would have been a real drag without a lift. The body got pushed up by 2.5" everything was under quite a bit of tension. I had to pull down on the lower control arms while the mechanic bolted in the front struts.

A couple other parts I think are important to the lift; when the car body goes up the wheels go in. The wheel spacers put them back and prevent the front tires from rubbing. It also looks better and wider track=better handling. The other is the upper strut stabilizer. Making the ‘front-end’ a little more rigid. That’s about another $500 in parts. The shop installed the wheel spacers.

monkeyposeur 10-15-2012 09:26 PM

Nice lifted leggy! :cool:

I won't hold it against you that you are from Colorado. :p

swcolegacyl 11-06-2012 08:22 PM

New (used) Skid-Plate
Hi Folks –Hope you all voted! I did.

A couple of days ago I was at a friend’s house. He was cleaning out his basement and had a bunch crap in his yard that was headed to the garbage. I noticed a peace of metal that looked a lot like a skid-plate. My friend gave me the plate. And other then having to drill a few holes for mounting, it fit perfectly. That was a nice find! With all the off-road driving I’ve done, I’m surprised that I haven’t done more damage.

Rester5350 11-06-2012 09:07 PM

2 Attachment(s)
This is not my car but the owner is a subie mechanic and has a serious collection of wagons. Enjoy:)

swcolegacyl 11-06-2012 10:03 PM


swcolegacyl 11-08-2012 07:57 PM

New front brakes
Bought some new front brakes today. Duralast Gold ceramic brake pads and Duralast Rotors from Autozone. The total came to $105.00. The forecast is for snow the next few days. So I’ll probably wait a few days to install them. When bought the car the front pads HAD to be replaced. The rotors, well worn where OK for awhile. But recently I started getting a little pulsing from the front brakes. I think the front rotors are getting a bit thin.

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