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Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/24/22 9:12 a.m.

EJ205 has landed at the Batcave.

All of the plastic timing covers are broken.  All of them, even the inners.

Hoo boy.

Not sure what I want to do for an up pipe.  The stock one needs to die screaming.  The one that came with the $217 exhaust system is way too large ( 2.25") and has a braided flex, which is turbo death waiting to happen.  Can probably get an EJ257 up pipe for about what it would cost to put a real flex in the too large pipe.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/25/22 9:31 p.m.

Edit: I just noticed that all of these pics are vertical.  I was holding the camera horizontal.  Massive annoyance.  Not going to edit and re-upload because I worry about bandwidth/storage costs...

This episode brought to you by the Matco 3 in 1 Subaru cam sprocket holder tool.  And the 6' cheater pipe on a 3/8" ratchet because apparnetly5the 10mm internal hex cam bolts were torqued to 200 ft-lb.

Of course, all of the timing belt idler pulleys except for the tensioner are noisy and awful feeling.  Because I bought just a belt and tensioner, because I have seen tensioner hydraulics go bad on Subarus but never an idler pulley.

Finally got the heads off, and I don't ever remember having to pull the cams off of a DOHC to get to the head bolts... and I found this. 




And 1:

I know the head gasket was weeping coolant because the lower outer head bolt holes on the 2/4 head were full of corrosion and gick. The rear one was so full of corrosion crud that the bolt would not spin out after being cracked loose, it graunched out every inch of the way.  I know the heads have been off because these are not Subaru bolts.  Subaru inner bolts are flat topped, outers have a small dish, all twelve bolts were dished, which is what you get when you get rebuilder bolts.

That explains why the cam sprockets were massively overtightened.

So, decisions.  The plan was to send the heads to the machine shop to have a turbo heat friendly wide valve seat cut, they may refuse to touch these heads.

Current plan is to take them to work, clean them up, and check for warpage before worrying any further.

Recon1342 SuperDork
5/25/22 9:58 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Well, E36 M3. 

I don't know subie heads that well, but in a small block V-8, I'd be looking at new heads. 

dps214 Dork
5/25/22 10:41 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

That explains why the cam sprockets were massively overtightened.

The internet told us that just kind of happens on these engines.....thanks subaru. Our 120k mile engine that had never been touched internally also had the cam sprocket bolts torqued to about a million. Three of them came out with just some gratuitous giant impact gun application, the fourth one caused a lot of issues, I forget what ended up happening to get it out because everything we tried while I was there failed. One pair was much less ridiculous than the other, I forget if it was intakes or exhausts though.

MiniDave New Reader
5/25/22 11:19 p.m.

Are those heads savable? I've seen cracks in the seats fixed as long as they didn't go thru the water jacket, but at the spark plugs holes like that? I too would be looking for new heads, but maybe Subies are different?

StripesSA1 Reader
5/27/22 7:14 a.m.
Recon1342 said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Well, E36 M3. 

I don't know subie heads that well, but in a small block V-8, I'd be looking at new heads. 

Same with the old flat4 air cooled VW heads.... Paperweights

AxeHealey Dork
5/27/22 9:15 a.m.


I know you're a wizard but how are those heads not trashed?

Sgt_Sizzle New Reader
5/27/22 12:37 p.m.

It's all funs and games until you find out your heads are smuggling crack

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/27/22 1:25 p.m.

From what I have been reading, those cracks are pretty much superficial and you will find them on an engine with any amount of miles at all.  That area gets hot and expands faster than the rest of the head because Subaru has a raised combustion director thingy there.


TIL that the machine shop up the street doesn't touch Subarus.  Well, that makes decisions simpler.

Recon1342 SuperDork
5/27/22 1:46 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/27/22 8:53 p.m.

I have seen too many D chunked turbo EJ exhaust valves to not want to at least lap them to a good seal, which also promotes good heat transfer.  There is also something to be said for not having hot exhaust gases blowing through under pressure, too.

This is entirely why I wanted the valves done.  I do not like the idea of lapping valves, as it does not guarantee that the sealing surface is perfectly conical.  It might seal well when cold but when the head grows in diameter with heat it may lose the seal.  (This is why a good turbo valve job has the valve cut and the seat cut kinda wide to allow for this)  Any port in a storm.  Practically speaking, there is a strong probability this won't be the first engine anyway, but I want to at least give it a chance at survival smiley

At least the heads are flat, and the cylinder liners look good.  I am kind of shocked that people say the 2.0 block is weak, sure it is an open deck but the cylinder walls are massively thicker than other open deck engines that are known to take all the boost.  Hmm.   At the very least, it should be strong enough to have transmission problems, which is a nice limit to aspire to.  (looks at historical Giant Pile of Broken Transmissions from 17 years of rallycrossing RX-7s)

For now, I have some goodies in the back of the RX-7 ready for application to Colin.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/28/22 1:33 p.m.

GRM-approved welder has arrived! Thanks timely "what welder?" thread!

As has the radiator- tow package radiator for a Ford Edge.  It is a big mammajamma and I have three sets of fans for them with bad controllers but good fans.  Fan controller can be bypassed but anything that can cool an Ecoboost six with tow package is probably good enough for Colin.

It even fits. Sort of.  But sort of fits is like everything else, so it is appropriate!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/28/22 1:48 p.m.

Big back window scoops and a vent in the hatch?  Please?

MG Metro 6R4 Group B Rally Car: 10,000 rpm 3.0 N/A V6 Sound! - YouTube

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/28/22 2:33 p.m.
GasTungstenArc said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Then I discovered that I could not find .023 wire on a Sunday for love or money. Tractor Supply had 10lb spools of .024 for $60 (!) and if I was gonna do that, I would just use the .025 wire that we had.  So I did.

1) ".023," ".024" and ".025" are all the same size wire, sold as different things.  In the industry, we call it .023".



Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/29/22 6:57 p.m.

Taking shape...


There is very little room to work here...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/30/22 10:58 p.m.

Entered a long post, something locked up while uploading the last pic.  Argh.

Pics now, words after I fume a while.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/6/22 2:07 p.m.

More pictures, only one day this weekend due to crappy plumbing in my ear/throat area.

Fuel tank frame/radiator support done

Millimeter room

Radiator sits this high

Hoping to be able to seal whatever the top ends up being to the metal of the hatchback, so we don't have to do a big Lexan car divider thing in the middle.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/11/22 5:43 p.m.

Tired of working on the back, and realizing I need certain metal and tools to finish the way forward, I went back to the front and finished welding the subframe mounts in, end capped them, and trimmed/end capped the spacers.

Then the welding wire snarled and I decided this is a good time to stop.

Welding these in had me a bit nervous because they hold the subframe in and I know the drivers will be slamming ruts hard enough to get the car up on two wheels and having the new welder is very confidence inspiring.

maschinenbau UberDork
6/12/22 9:55 a.m.

Just loving this project and the pace at which you work. Makes for some great browsing. Nice work!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/12/22 11:12 a.m.

The pace feels painfully slow.  The thread title really should be "Man with ADD builds a car" smiley ("Subaru transmission into a Mini Cooper" seemed a bit too derivative) Trying to stay focused on one thing makes my brain hurt, I work best by jumping around from problem to problem, background processes find a better solution to the first problem while working on the second.

For instance, about an hour ago, I thought of a much better way to do the rear deck than my previous plan.  I have been stressing over how I basically removed all lateral support at the rear subframe thanks to needing to cut all of the chassis rail out to make room for the strut towers.  The gas tank and radiator are in the way of the obvious solutions.   The cage will tie into the towers per Adam but that does not help much, the side loads at the bottom will be heavily cantilevered up at the tops of the towers...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/14/22 9:27 p.m.

Oh yeah.  Sunday.

Subframe verified not bent, control arms removed, rack reinstalled, spacer welding finished, subframe offered back up to car for some sit and stare time.

Where am I going to put the quickener and how will it merge the Mini steering shaft and the Subaru steering shaft.


Removed the outside end of the Mini rack's quill and discovered that it is not in fact 19mm so it will not just plug in to a 3/4-16 X 3/4 smooth adaptor.  D'oh.  If only we knew someone with a lathe.

I think I have a working idea that will not cost $400 in Borgeson parts. The key is that the column end of the equation needs to have two U joints and must telescope in order to accommodate the tilt function of the column.  The end of the column is also the support bearing and the pivot so we can't just put the quickener on the column and have a single shaft from it to the rack.

Thinking about it, there really only needs to be one U joint between the quickener and rack because the quickener and rack are solidly mounted. I think.   I can also bevel the square part of the rack so I can rotate it back 15-30 degrees to reduce the angle of the lower U joint and also point everything closer to where it needs to go.

This is THE next step for the front half of the car.  Steering needs to be done before the floor is made, steering needs to be done before the control arms are made.  Control arm making will also require that the Mini subframe legs to Subaru U hoop joining is completed, which ALSO needs to be done after the floor... which is why we NEED Eddie van Halen

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/28/22 7:54 p.m.

Last weekend was an off weekend.  Took a little vacation.

Just look at this scenery:

And some friends started to show up.

And then things happened.

We had decided a while back to hit the two day WDCR event at Panthera, and due to one thing or another, we drove my RX-7.

The benefits to running the RX-7 included seeing if we could easily share a car despite being a bit different in height, to see how well Evan liked the fast steering, and... I know there were more.

Mostly we came to one rather disturbing conclusion.  At the same time, on a parade lap, in the mid 90s zero shade zero wind heat.

Colin needs air conditioning.


The RX-7 handled it well, in the sense that nothing broke despite the rough courses that got us lots of hang time in spots.  Fuel starvation was a major issue and we lost the final one or two runs of both days due to vapor lock between the tank and pumps.  Makes me happy that we went for the 16 gallon tank with IN TANK fuel pump.  

Definitely thinking to the future and have some new ideas for the radiator ducting now.

GasTungstenArc Reader
6/30/22 2:12 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Colin needs air conditioning.

I see that the old is setting in on you, too.  Would you be hilariously running the AC during your runs?  I wouldn't think that the authorities would have a problem with a few drops of water the way they would on asphalt.  

eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/30/22 3:04 p.m.

Maybe a cool shirt setup would be simpler?

EvanB MegaDork
6/30/22 3:35 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

Maybe a cool shirt setup would be simpler?

Probably, and I have everything to make one, but just seems a pain for a two-driver rallycross car.

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