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Thread: New from Manitoba, WTB a Legacy Wagon BP5

  1. #1

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    Default New from Manitoba, WTB a Legacy Wagon BP5

    Hello all,

    New forum member and hopefully a soon to be JDM owner, currently in the research phase.

    I've wanted a subaru wagon for several years now and am leaning towards the Legacy GT BP5. Unable to find anything in Canada that had fewer than 250k km's on it I had all but given up. That is until I discovered you could import from Japan. Currently researching the steps needed to import, learning about the JDM Legacy BP5's and it's differences vs north american versions, looking into importers vs exporters, customs brokers, etc.

    Anyone with any knowledge about importing these vehicles, tips or suggestions about the process or about what to watch out for at auction would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Hey, I'm in Winnipeg and have an 04 GT-B Legacy wagon. I'd be happy to give you some pointers. You should have no problem finding a pretty good example. There are some great importers on here, or I can introduce you to an auction agent in Japan. A bit cheaper that way, but you get better peace of mind and a very nice selection using some of the established importers on here. You'll also need to decide how much of the process you want to handle yourself. Do you want to pick the car, handle the paperwork, do the customs papers, pick up the car from the yard in BC, and drive it home? Or would you rather write checks and collect the car from the train yard in Winnipeg? There are also a few on kijiji that are frankly, a pretty good deal.

    Then think about the exact BP5 you want. The big difference in GT and GT-B is the bilstein suspension, aluminum control arms, and aero sideskirts. Maybe think about`1 the outbacks, which can also be had with a turbo and are basically the same car except they have fender flares and a slightly higher ride height. The GT B's command a premium in Japan, especially with manuals, so be prepared to pay more if that's what you want. If you're not in a hurry, I think they got 6 speeds from 2005. Mine has a 5 speed which is fine but an extra gear would be nice. Most parts from USDM GTs will fit but you'll have to do some research to find part numbers for some of the engine bits as the JDMs got a 2.0 motor with a twinscroll vs the 2.5 regular turbo motor on the USDM. To pass an MB safety I had to replace the rear hatch backup light, the JDMs come with a red rear fog light in one of the lamps, and of course, add DRLs using the wiring bypass illustrated by a member here. I've also had mine opensource tuned to help it run better on Canadian gas. A good idea but probably not mandatory, I did it because I've also got an intake and exhaust on mine. Think about how you want to proceed and I'm happy to answer questions.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply, Olivertwisto.

    Yeah I was actually first drawn to outbacks before I discovered the sportier aesthetic of the Legacy GT and the GT-B. I'm decided on the GT-B, but now it's a matter of trim and edition. WR limited? Tuned by STI? Knowing there's a 6-speed option out there makes me very interested... I'm not likely to purchase in the next year, so i've got time to sit back and wait for the new models to become available in Canada and for the right one to come up at auction.

    I actually have a few questions, if you wouldn't mind giving me your take on it:

    -Block heaters? Do the JDM versions have them. Seems like a necessity if you plan to daily it in Winnipeg through the winter and are parking it outside for any length of time.

    -How much does MPI charge to insure RHD BP5's? Is it significantly more to insure a RHD model vs a LHD of the same type? I've got a clean driving record with the maximum number of points possible, so hopefully that will keep the cost down.

    -Tuning for 91 octane: Makes sense, given that they run 98 octane in Japan. Now, I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that the JDM ECU's couldn't be tuned. Where/ how did you have yours tuned? Do you have an aftermarket tuning device installed on yours?

    -USDM parts fit! That's fantastic news. I was worried I would spend a fortune importing the most basic pieces from japan if I needed replacements. Are there any resources you have come across that give part numbers, etc. for the JDM's vs USDM's?

    -Blown Turbos: Reading the LegacyGT forums has made me aware that that many of the USDM 2.5L single-scroll Legacy GT's have issues with blown turbo's. If I understand correctly a few factors contributing are clogged filters in the turbo's oil delivery pipe, and perhaps damaged cats in the up pipe sending debris directly into the turbo. Most of the users over there scream "catless up pipe" as the first modification to do. Have you heard of the 2.0 twin's having turbo issues? Worthwhile investment or not necessary on the JDM versions? Do the JDM 2.0's have the banjo filter in the oil delivery line as well?

    -How do you find the DRL mod to be? Worthwhile, or does having the dimmer come on make it a pain.

    Thanks in advance

  4. #4

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    Happy to help. I've seen a couple other BP5's around Winnipeg, it's sure to be a popular import. I might get another as a winter beater! About your questions...

    -Block heaters? Mine didn't have one but it's simply a matter of unscrewing a freeze plug and screwing in the block heater. Part is about 30 bucks online. Not sure what labour will cost but I can't imagine more than an hour at a local shop.

    -How much does MPI charge to insure RHD BP5's? Same situation as you. It's about 1200 a year with slightly upped liability and a $200 deductible.

    -Tuning for 91 octane: You can opensource tune the car. Don't know if accessports or anything like that work, and opensource is a much better option IMHO. Get a tactrix cable and download romraider and ecuflash. You will use those to pull your base map and flash new ones. Any e-tuner can make you a map for a few hundred dollars. You'll also need a wideband 02 gauge, which is a couple hundred bucks. If you're not too tech savvy this method could be challenging tho.

    -USDM parts fit! Yup. I've used the parts fiches on to find the actual subaru part number for what I need and have then sourced them from a variety of places. Suby parts are like lego. For example, I think the upstream o2 sensor is common to 04-08 STI's or something like that. I called the local Subaru stealership for the part and got it the next day. Similarly, I got the part number for the MAF the same way and ordered a genuine denso replacement from rockauto (over a 500 dollar difference from the dealership!).

    -Blown Turbos: Don't get too paranoid. The USDM models had a plastic filter leading to the AVCS that would break and plug the turbo oil galleys. My car didn't have them. Not sure if all JDMs are like that or if I got lucky. It's pretty easy to check. If I ever need to replace my turbo I'll buy used from yahoo auctions and have it shipped over. Or go bigger. Also, JDMs don't have a catted uppipe, so no worries about that cat disintegrating and wrecking your turbo. I replaced my downpipe with a catted HKS unit, sounds amazing and doesn't kill the earth as much, though opensource tuning can get rid of the codes from going catless I think. One thing to note, the downpipe outlet is shaped differently for the twinscroll turbos so I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a downpipe here. Again, check yahoo auctions.

    -How do you find the DRL mod to be? Super easy. One wire, about 15 minutes of work. My car has an information display with a 'bright' button that brings the cluster lighting back to full, so the dimmer in the daytime isn't an issue. For the price and difficulty vs an aftermarket module, I think it's worth it.

  5. #5

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    Awesome, thanks so much for the info! Really appreciate the help.

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