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Follow up:

Does  anyone currently run an Outfront Suby Stroker engine in their Spyder by chance? It’s a bit pricier than I expected but after talking to the great folks @ Outfront this is the option I’m going to go with I believe. Though the thought of having -220hp is both exciting and a bit nerve inducing.

As for the swap I have a guy that I’m totally confident in to do the work, but does anyone have any bits of info I may want or need to know prior?

Thanks and happy Tuesday!

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@Chappy posted:

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Does  anyone currently run an Outfront Suby Stroker engine in their Spyder by chance? It’s a bit pricier than I expected but after talking to the great folks @ Outfront this is the option I’m going to go with I believe.

...does anyone have any bits of info I may want or need to know prior?





Chappy, I have zero experience with Suby motors in Spyders or Speedsters and thought some folks who did might pipe up here, but since they haven't yet...

From reading many years of their reports here, it seems the biggest issue in a custom Suby install is getting the cooling system right, from sizing and placement of the radiators to routing of the water lines.

Apparently, getting all air out of the system and providing means to bleed that air is an often overlooked design factor. Do some searching in our archives for relevant posts. If you have no luck, someone here should be able to help.

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@Stan Galat posted:

I agree about Phil's motor.

I'd want to see a dyno sheet for that 220 hp. It sounds "aspirational", but maybe once a guy uses the Orange County Correction Factor, it dynos at 220.

I would too, but theoretically it seems almost easy.

Stock(ish) 2.5 Suby is 180-ish HP

These are robust modern engines with four valves per cylinder, a 79mm stroke and 99.5 bore. They come standard with like 10-1 compression (10.7-1 JDM) and some pretty healthy intake runners. Making an exhaust for them is child's play for a good pipe shop. They already rev over 7,000 without complaint.

A Chevy Ecotec 2.5 makes 200 hp out of the crate. That's the world we live in. There's nothing to suggest the Subaru design isn't its equal, at least.

So how hard can it really be to squeeze another 10 percent out of it? Seems to me a little more compression, some port matching, an skosh more lift and duration on the cams, maybe a larger injector and then the all-important computer tune should make it happen.

The only question I have is "who is tuning the ECU?"

I think the only reason it's not already common is because these engines are so easy to turbo, and make so much more power that way, that no one has thought it worthwhile to spend the hours.

All that said...it's too much power for that chassis and suspension. It will make the car less fun.

Last edited by edsnova

Thanks for all the comments and input gents.

john @ Outfront specifically stated their regular non Stroker gets 200hp at about $3500 less than the Stroker which is “220-230hp” I mentioned that I just got the car about 1200 miles ago and where I purchased it. He said Greg has said the Stroker is THE motor he would put in all of his Suby spyders and I believe he has one in his personal one.

I didn’t ask if he has a Dyno sheet but I will when we next speak. I know a tuner here in Portland that specializes in Suby engines so once all the work is done I’ll get it over to him.

john did try to up sell me on the powered coating for $250 which I got a chuckle out of.

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One of OutBack's 230 hp engines is going into my Spyder right now. Along with a Suby 5sp This trimmed about 500 bucks off due to not using a special adaptor and flywheel.

I was quoted 230hp by John but I have tongue in cheek about that number since it was an extrapolation of output on a chassis dyno converted to be flywheel dyno HP output.  Plus what is commonly know as the "California Factor".  Maybe there's an adjustment for salt air at sea level.  After all,  salt water is known to be more dense than fresh water !   My engine came with a Stinger ECU.......Bruce

@edsnova posted:


Seems to me a little more compression, some port matching, an skosh more lift and duration on the cams, maybe a larger injector and then the all-important computer tune should make it happen.

The only question I have is "who is tuning the ECU?"



This is precisely what I had done on my Outfront 2.5 in addition to the ECU having a cold start solenoid output and an input from the AC to adjust idle speed when it's on.

John is doing the mapping. He's done a million of them and according to him and Greg the motor has a base map installed from John's library and given a light run-in on the engine dyno to make sure all is hunky dory. After the engine is in the car and drivable, it's taken back to Outfront where any final mapping tweaks are made on the rolling road.

The Link ECU uses MAP, TPS, IAT, RPM and up to 4 other user designated inputs (like the AC on/off signal, ambient AT, O2 for example) to adjust mixture & timing, so altitude adjustment won't be an issue. I'll excercise that as I can gain 7,000' in under an hour from the house. I'll undoubtably use the car to go visit my daughter in Denver, so 12,000' passes are in it's future, too. That's one of the reasons there's no carbs in my future. It should be a reliable, easy to maintain motor that's zips to redline while supplying plenty of torque and also ample heat and AC (remember this is a coupe).

I think that folks should remmber that even thought these power plants are more modern, putting in a Subie doesn't turn them into modern cars that you can ignore for months on end. It's still a 70 year old platform that requires regular nut-and-bolt sessions, chassis lubing, etc. It won't turn these into Miatas. And that's the point for most of us.

Yup. I’ve got the “200”hp engine.  New short block with stock pistons and built heads. I don’t know if it’s 200 hp but it sings to 7500 rpms at a flick of the throttle in any gear. It’s very fast. Why anyone would need more in a light kit car I don’t know. But you know more is always more. So why not. I have a stinger ECU in my car. It will stall if the engine is not warm but other than having to warm the car up before driving it’s been bulletproof. I don’t think John at Outfront uses the stinger ECU currently. Why I’m building a Type 4 for my next build I really can’t say after my Subaru engine has been so awesome. Hope I don’t regret the decision. I have talked to Greg Leach about the “230”hp stroker and he swears by it. But he also likes the 2332 cc types 1 that Pat Downs is building for the air cooled cars. Each to their own.

Let's just dispel some myths here.

Subaru motors are in a decidedly better state of tune from the factory, and yeah, high compression and 4 valves per cylinder and some of the newer ones(after 2006?) even have variable valve timing.

The mid-2000s 2.5 is 165hp ALL DAY LONG, like a friggin' anvil. That's 100 percent stock.

These are the motors that are getting re-planted in another car. As I've stated, these engines are in a better state of tune than any stock VW ever was. But there aren't any easy-adds power wise. You can't really up the compression too much(detonation), and the heads are REALLY good stock, as are the cams and intake. You might get a few HP from a shorter and more free-flowing exhaust, but 180? Seriously? 200? yeah right, with no displacement increase? 220hp in a stroker? I'm not buying it. Show me the dyno sheet.

The kids just do all sorts of up pipes and down pipes and bigger turbos and remap the ECU in their WRX or WRX STi.

We aren't doing that with a normally aspirated motor. There is no free lunch.

And another little bit of information:

More than 200 hp in a Spyder that is normally suspended is a fool's game.

Spyders are 1500 pounds, maybe 1600 with Suby, adding radiator and hoses and coolant.

Trust me, you won't be able to catch the snap. And with more than 200 horses and crappy touring tires and crappy shocks and no sway bar, you'll be in WAY over your head. So far over you won't know you've gone too far until after it's gone.

That's nearly 50,000 miles of seat-time talking, and a lot of it at or close to the limit.

Unless you just tool around like my grandmother, then why do you need all that extra power? Bragging rights? To impress who?

Last edited by DannyP

"To impress who?"

The coroner, apparently.

EDIT: Ok, the flippant remark is above.  The serious remark is that in these days of 1000+ hp supercars and 700+ hp Dodges, 200 hp sounds wimpy.  People don't seem to understand power-to-weight ratios.  However, when I tell folks my Coupe weighs 1850 and had 180 (that's what @chines1 says, Danny, so nyah nyah!), they all seem to understand it means the car is quick.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

Here's the thing, though, Danny. If Pat Downs can build a streetable 2332 Type 1 to 200 horses—and I believe he does this on the regular—why should it be impossible (or even especially difficult) to build a 2.5 liter Subaru to 220?

As you say, the Subaru is a much better platform out of the box. The overhead cams and 4-valve heads would appear to present no flow impediments.

The compression ratio can't be raised? Really? Then how come the Japanese cars get 10.7-1 and the US version gets 10-1?

Balanced pretty, port-matched with a good header and free-flow intake you'll see gains. You'd have to.

Don't get me wrong: I agree that the stock Suby is already tuned to a state that's much closer to its max potential than any air-cooled VW ever was from the factory. But it's hard to conclude there's not at least another 10 percent in there.

The keys are obviously in the ECU though. Spark advance, A/F and knock-sensing based on the stock CR and cams will have to give way once the lift and duration are bumped. I don't believe the guys building these engines and aftermarket 'puters know enough yet to get everything they deserve from these builds.

And as for your position that 220 is too much of a good thing for @Chappy (or anybody who is not Sébastien Loeb)? Thank you. It means a lot more coming from you than it does from me.

Just want to clarify- I am absolutely not trying to impress anyone. I could not care less about how many HP my car is putting out, I was simply relaying what the motor builder told me. Thus far I haven’t remotely pushed my spyder anywhere near its limits, and even when given the opportunity to do so, I remember Im a middle aged father to a 9 year old and drive my car as such on open roads. Now hitting the throttle from red light to red light and snapping back unsuspecting necks has always been, and will always be a guilty pleasure of mine.

I have a super charged NSX & GT3 for when I want to get my jollies under safe, controlled driving conditions, Im fully aware of the spyders limitations and have zero desire to push them. This is a Sunday cruiser for me.

if all goes according to plan, I’ll have a dyno after my tune w the Suby sometime in March or April.

anyhoo- have a wonderful holiday all

I don't really care what the end number is, or what anyone thinks their end number is, or what anyone thinks is thoeretically (technically, practically, religiously) possible. I haven't mentioned what horsepower I think it'll be, because I don't need to quantify it. To quote @550 Phil, "it sings to 7500 rpms at a flick of the throttle in any gear. It’s very fast." I'm getting pretty much the same motor and I expect it'll do all that without needing valve adjustments every 3,000 miles.

I've raced bikes with a power to weight ratio no car I can afford will ever approach, so I have a pretty good idea how deep the water can get. I have full control of my right foot and my faculties, AKA I can swim well enough. To quote one of our favorite citizens, I'm doing me. These cars a great fun, that's a large part of the point. It's no skin off my nose if someone wants to claim 200 ponies. That's them doing them.

I've got no dog in the hunt. I just like dyno sheets when comparing apples and oranges.

I recently bought 2 different "Mario-cart" toy work vans. My crystal ball says that gas is going to 6 bucks, and Precision Mechanical buys a lot of gas. Our big vans were worn out, and I decided to go with Ford Transit Connects. I'm worried, but I'm in all the way.

I bought a '22 new with a 2.0L (the only available engine), and an '18 with the 2.5L (by far the most common).

From '14 through '18, you could get one of these trucks with a 2.5L N/A four, or a 1.6L EcoBoost turbo, both with a 6 speed automatic. In '19, the vans underwent a (very) mild redesign, and Ford dropped the 1.6L T and added a 2.0L N/A engine with an 8 sp. transmission. Supposedly, there was a choice between the 2.0L/8 and the 2.5L/6, but I've never seen a 2.5L built after '18. For '23 they just dropped the charade. I ordered 2 trucks in April, but Ford only built one, which they delivered in late October. The only engine choice I had was the 2.0L/8. I would have ordered the EcoBoost if it had still been an option.

I've driven them with all of the available powertrains. All of these engines make within a few horsepower of each other, but they could not be more different in how they drive.

The 2.5L N/A made 169 hp at 6000 and 171 lb/ft of torque at 4500.
The 2.0L N/A makes 162 at 6200 and 144 lb/ft at 4500.
The 1.6L T EcoBoost made 178 hp at 5700 RPM and 184 lb/ft at 2500 RPM.

If all you were looking at was horsepower (and indeed, that's all we're talking about here), you'd think these engines would be pretty much the same. That's certainly how Ford sold it to the public.

The 1.6L with the turbo is a monster in this tiny truck - it's got 40 ft/lbs more torque than the 2.0L, and most importantly - it's making it at just off idle, where the 2.0L is probably making less than 1/3 the power.

The 2.5L drives OK - it's got 27 lb/ft more than the 2.0L at 4500 RPM.

The 2.0L in the new truck, and I'm super-glad Brad is driving it. It's really, really bad - nowhere near enough power until you're bouncing off the rev limiter. It's supposed to be the fuel miser, but I got terrible mileage driving it, because I had to rev it to the moon to get it to move.

I bought an '18 with a 2.5L/6 for myself after taking delivery of the '22. I'd have loved to find a gently used EcoBoost, but the trucks within driving distance had all been beaten with a log-chain. There was a nice, low mileage 1.6L truck south of Houston - but it cost more than a new one, and was a flight and a 18 hr trip home away.

... anyhow, back to the 220 hp Subaru. A dyno sheet would tell me a lot.

I couldn't care less what the peak number is. I wanna' see the torque curve.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@edsnova posted:

1.Here's the thing, though, Danny. If Pat Downs can build a streetable 2332 Type 1 to 200 horses—and I believe he does this on the regular—why should it be impossible (or even especially difficult) to build a 2.5 liter Subaru to 220?

As you say, the Subaru is a much better platform out of the box. The overhead cams and 4-valve heads would appear to present no flow impediments.

2. The compression ratio can't be raised? Really? Then how come the Japanese cars get 10.7-1 and the US version gets 10-1?

Balanced pretty, port-matched with a good header and free-flow intake you'll see gains. You'd have to.

3. Don't get me wrong: I agree that the stock Suby is already tuned to a state that's much closer to its max potential than any air-cooled VW ever was from the factory. But it's hard to conclude there's not at least another 10 percent in there.

4. The keys are obviously in the ECU though. Spark advance, A/F and knock-sensing based on the stock CR and cams will have to give way once the lift and duration are bumped. I don't believe the guys building these engines and aftermarket 'puters know enough yet to get everything they deserve from these builds.

And as for your position that 220 is too much of a good thing for @Chappy (or anybody who is not Sébastien Loeb)? Thank you. It means a lot more coming from you than it does from me.

I'll address your points one by one.

1. It's not impossible, but it will be very expensive to get 220 hp out of a  NA Subie.

2. I didn't say the compression can't be raised. I said it can't be raised MUCH. And static means nothing. Dynamic is what I'm talking. Remove some combustion chamber volume, it goes up. Add lift and duration and it comes back down. Dynamically, I'll bet the stock and super-modified engines are pretty close. That is how I'm running 10.2:1 static in a 2165cc aircooled engine on 93/10 on the street.

3. 10% of 165hp is 16.5, or in the vicinity of where Lane's car is. Yes, 10% isn't that hard. It's when you're looking for 20% or 30% or even 33%(55 + 165 = 220) that I start to get doubtful. A 1/3 power increase on an already very well-tuned NA car is not impossible, it's just improbable.

4. An aftermarket ECU is indeed the key, as are intake, cam, head, and exhaust mods. All of them together, there is no free lunch and/or one bolt-on item that will give you 1/3 more. It's just expertise and MONEY.

Show me the dyno sheet, with all parameters listed(baro, humidity, correction factors) and with both HP and torque curves, like my man Stan says. Otherwise, it's just conjecture.

Last edited by DannyP

I don't really care what the end number is, or what anyone thinks their end number is, or what anyone thinks is thoeretically (technically, practically, religiously) possible. I haven't mentioned what horsepower I think it'll be, because I don't need to quantify it. To quote @550 Phil, "it sings to 7500 rpms at a flick of the throttle in any gear. It’s very fast." I'm getting pretty much the same motor and I expect it'll do all that without needing valve adjustments every 3,000 miles.

I've raced bikes with a power to weight ratio no car I can afford will ever approach, so I have a pretty good idea how deep the water can get. I have full control of my right foot and my faculties, AKA I can swim well enough. To quote one of our favorite citizens, I'm doing me. These cars a great fun, that's a large part of the point. It's no skin off my nose if someone wants to claim 200 ponies. That's them doing them.

I'm 100% sure you'll be happy with what you get.

And you are correct, it really doesn't matter what the actual number is. I just absolutely abhor BS which is just another name for a lie. Can't stand liars and thieves. And when regular folks are told an inflated number by a builder, the unsuspecting folks just repeat the lie, over and over. Then the lie becomes what exactly? Common knowledge? Folklore? I call BS. And I always will.

I have a "friend" who keeps claiming his 2366 type4 has 240hp now. Yeah, right. No dyno, no time slip, no nothing. I know Jake Raby got over 220hp on a dyno-tuned 2.6 twin-plug type4. You can guess which one I actually believe.

Stan Galat you really need to go for a ride in Bobbys Lowlight Ghia. Outfront Motorsports built Sti EJ20, Rancho trans, Halltech ecu, it is insanely fast on a mild tune . I have followed him to a few VWs shows and it pulls away from me like I threw out a boat anchor and this was when I had my Markiski tuned 996twin turbo. Granted that is not a n/a engine and has had a lot of work done by Outfront. Cooling is a Misihimoto twin fan radiator that I placed in the spare tire well,then opened up and wire mesh screened an opening under the bumpers and utilized the front two grilles on the nose, built a wall around the cold air side of the radiator, then vented the hot air out under the car and out the front wheelwells. Capped the front section of the radiator on the cold air side and did the same on the hotside of the radiator so that it would not heat cycle. Applied Lizzard Skin to the hot air side metal to insulate it so that the hot air would not heat up the footwells of the Ghia. Bleeder valve is set high in the back and Bobby has had this setup for 6 years now with no issues other than teh occasional speeding ticket. bobbyghiabobby1

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Last edited by Derrek Johnson

Honestly, I really don't understand why guys who go Subaru almost never even consider a turbo. For me - that's the main reason to do it. A boosted engine (blower or turbo) makes power exactly where you can feel it - down around 2000- 2500 RPM, and keeps making it until redline.

An air-cooled turbo is just an invitation for trouble. A water-cooled Subaru turbo is just another day in the office.

@Stan Galat posted:

Honestly, I really don't understand why guys who go Subaru almost never even consider a turbo. For me - that's the main reason to do it. A boosted engine (blower or turbo) makes power exactly where you can feel it - down around 2000- 2500 RPM, and keeps making it until redline.

An air-cooled turbo is just an invitation for trouble. A water-cooled Subaru turbo is just another day in the office.

I 100% agree.

Well, yes and/but/then again: Turbos make a lot of heat and it turns out it's pretty tricky to control and ameliorate that in a Speedster or Spyder envelope.

In a Legacy? Easy: just get all the stuff that Subaru made for the turbo'd version of that exact chassis and bolt it onto the factory tabs. Or get the aftermarket "heavy duty" junk that everyone has. It's on Amazon.

But in a 356 Coupe or similar? Now we're into some science, man.

And you won't know exactly how much science you'll need until about halfway through your first driving season.

Then you can count on another two or three seasons of fettling—by which I mean engine-out/engine-in/engine-out shop work—if you are, or can afford to hire, a good scientist.

We've watched guys on this very board live this truth, have we not?

Stan Galat you really need to go for a ride in Bobbys Lowlight Ghia. Outfront Motorsports built Sti EJ20, Rancho trans, Halltech ecu, it is insanely fast on a mild tune . I have followed him to a few VWs shows and it pulls away from me like I threw out a boat anchor and this was when I had my Markiski tuned 996twin turbo. Granted that is not a n/a engine and has had a lot of work done by Outfront. Cooling is a Misihimoto twin fan radiator that I placed in the spare tire well,then opened up and wire mesh screened an opening under the bumpers and utilized the front two grilles on the nose, built a wall around the cold air side of the radiator, then vented the hot air out under the car and out the front wheelwells. Capped the front section of the radiator on the cold air side and did the same on the hotside of the radiator so that it would not heat cycle. Applied Lizzard Skin to the hot air side metal to insulate it so that the hot air would not heat up the footwells of the Ghia. Bleeder valve is set high in the back and Bobby has had this setup for 6 years now with no issues other than teh occasional speeding ticket. bobbyghiabobby1

Beautiful LowLight, but it’s missing the trim in front of the door.

@edsnova posted:

We've watched guys on this very board live this truth, have we not?

We have. The very car in question, though, was not a "normal" engine and configuration. It was a 300+ hp, boosted to the moon, mid-engine car that was trying to use a radiator and intercooler in the back.

Marty Grzqwpxcvbntzowitc's car had the radiator up front, and had a stock Subaru ECU. It was point and click. No muss, no fuss, just squeeze and hang on.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Outfront used to claim that my non stroker engine was 230hp. Now they claim that it’s 200hp. If Beck is claiming that a stock EJ25 with stock ECU makes 180 hp simply with a free flowing exhaust my Outfront with better cams better heads higher compression and stinger ECU sure as heck can be making 200hp.
However when I spoke with John at Outfront about his 230hp stroker he informed me that he had not had the engine on a dyno. That being said I think that if you want the most powerful most reliable naturally aspirated EJ25 available get this engine. 230hp or not you will be ear to ear grins. I catch myself laughing out loud in my Spyder all the time.

@Chappy posted:

Thanks for all the comments and input gents.

john @ Outfront specifically stated their regular non Stroker gets 200hp at about $3500 less than the Stroker which is “220-230hp” I mentioned that I just got the car about 1200 miles ago and where I purchased it. He said Greg has said the Stroker is THE motor he would put in all of his Suby spyders and I believe he has one in his personal one.

I didn’t ask if he has a Dyno sheet but I will when we next speak. I know a tuner here in Portland that specializes in Suby engines so once all the work is done I’ll get it over to him.

john did try to up sell me on the powered coating for $250 which I got a chuckle out of.

02C0F23C-B80A-4475-8B85-3EE45AAAEAF6DE415E5D-190C-40AB-995C-DF4A0D0A1A1E6385603B-FA7E-4FDE-A130-6538AF90A3EC

When did you take those pics? If that's not my motor it's the twin; o2 sensor and all - on second look, my name is clearly hanging off the tag so yup that one is mine.

As for the powder coat etc, I don't think it was 250 when I did mine but in any case I still would have done it; car is to be the ultimate toy so a little splurging was in order

Supposed body mates to the chassis before Christmas (yes this year! ha ha )

Last edited by msjulie

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