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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

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