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Chevy Nick 12-12-2012 06:30 PM

Performance "mod-ability" of 05-09 Legacy GT for road racing
I'm looking for a car that I can beat "like a rented mule" on a road course and not feel bad about if I drive off track pushing it to the edge.

There seems to be a lot of potential with an 05-09 Legacy GT with turbo 2.5 motor. I intend to drive this car for 30 minutes at a time on a road course. I have a couple of general questions:
  • Brakes - are there serious track/race brake setups available? race brake pads, big brake kits, brake cooling kits, etc...
  • Suspension - are there serious suspension parts for road racing available?
  • Transmission/driveline durability - I have heard the WRX 5 speed transmissions are very fragile and can break easily. Are legacy transmissions more robust?
  • Engine power potential - I have also heard you can add bigger injectors, intercooler, up the boost to make really good power on these motors. Are these 2.5 turbo motors easy to mod and reliable at 300+hp?
  • Legacy B-spec: Are these cars worth the extra money? or while I just be removing those parts anyway?

blongo804 12-12-2012 06:32 PM

After I read the first line of this thread, I must say you should look into a different vehicle.


Dujo 12-12-2012 06:42 PM

You can get serious brakes for the LGTs, but you need to get larger wheels to fit them into. Brembos and such do not fit in the stock wheels, but there are bbks that fit if you get at least 18s.

There are some pretty decent coilover options in the more expensive range (teins, etc) or you can get cheaper coilovers for that track car handling with the track car ride. There are also all manner of little bits like roll center kits and bushing replacements. There are sway upgrades as well. Pretty decent options.

The stock 5MT is not a strong transmission. It can reasonably hold 275 to 300 awhp and that's about it. Upgraded clutch and flywheel will help that a fair bit, but if you really want the good tranny, you need to do a 6MT swap from a later year.

The EJ255s are generally considered to be a pretty stout motor. You can get that sucker over 500 with forged internals and the proper supporting mods. Stock internals can handle 300+ (at the wheels), but probably not a lot more than 350.

Spec.Bs are nice. I forget the list of upgrades, but you would probably be swapping most of them out. Get a GT and figure out which Spec.B parts you need if you need them (aluminum lower control arms instead of steel, etc). Don't pay the premium and waste your time on the hunt for a spec.b for a track car.

In the end, a WRX would probably be a better choice. ;)

Enjoy! Welcome to

Dujo 12-12-2012 06:47 PM

Take a look at this to see the power potential (great post/thread):

compsurge 12-12-2012 06:55 PM

-AST 4100 ($2600) or Racecomp Tarmac 1 coilovers ($2000)
-Full swaybar, endlink and bushings setup $700

-Brembo Swap ~$1200+ for rebuilt calipers, pads, fluid, lines, relocation brackets, rotors

-Don't shock load it or launch it and it will last you a long time (new fluid ~$60-70)

- Stage 2 open source tune $150
- Stage 2 supporting mods (High Flow Catted downpipe, 3" to 2.5" adapter, gaskets) - $400
- TMIC bulletproof mod or stock setup $80 - buy a Process West TMIC if going for a bigger turbo
- Might as well save for a new engine, because sooner or later, it will eat the #4 cylinder.
- Bigger turbo on stock block (Stage 3): 18g hybrid + injectors + pump $2000
- Stage 3 e-tune $200 + Wideband cost

It's a Spec.B, and only get a 6MT unit. You'll wish it had a variable center diff and front LSD.


compsurge 12-12-2012 06:55 PM


Originally Posted by Dujo (Post 4200264)

The stock 5MT is not a strong transmission. It can reasonably hold 275 to 300 awhp and that's about it.


Dujo 12-12-2012 07:07 PM

^ My understanding was that stock 5MT was fine for stage 2, but not really stage 3. What's it good up to then, please?

joeleodee 12-12-2012 07:12 PM

Really depends on how you drive it. A number of 350+ whp folks who run the stock 5mt without issue. They also don't dump the clutch from 4000 or more rpm every time they take off. For road course use like the OP is suggesting, I'd assume a well maintained stock 5mt would exhibit good longevity in such an application.

compsurge 12-12-2012 07:23 PM

There are also forum users with over 400 whp on the 5MT.

The general consensus is to avoid WOT in 5th, however. On a road course, this is probably a moot point since you probably will not need to get to those speeds.

Chevy Nick 12-12-2012 08:09 PM

Thanks for the initial info everyone.


Originally Posted by compsurge (Post 4200298)
It's a Spec.B, and only get a 6MT unit. You'll wish it had a variable center diff and front LSD.

Just to confirm; Spec.B is not worth the extra cost, GT model with 5-speed is better value? more durable?

Does anyone run a 5 or 6 point harness with these cars? Aftermarket seats a problem? I've seen cars with STI seats swapped in, is that easy to do?

05wagongt 12-12-2012 08:30 PM

If you want all that, for using and abusing at the track, just get an sti

compsurge 12-12-2012 09:09 PM

You should look at an IROC Camaro with an LS and T56 swap with suspension if you want a beatable track car. Maybe.

Chevy Nick 12-13-2012 07:55 AM

I need a wagon or something that is practical for hauling stuff. I already have a dedicated track car for speed, just looking for something practical, fun, and affordable.

whitetiger 12-13-2012 07:58 AM

if you want to "beat the car like a rented mule" then the 6mt in the spec be is preferable. It will take launching better. the 5mt can hold 300+ whp but it cant take the shock of launching the car at high tq levels like the 6mt can. trust me.

and if you want road race suspension, i have a set of AST's for sale.

underground000 12-13-2012 08:00 AM

Theres a reason why SRRT (subaru road racing team) went from a SpecB to an STi for racing and they're doing a lot better in the STi

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