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Looks really cool, what year is that engine from?  It is a 4 cam unit I think to be able to get more Hp. 

Can you post the specs of that engine.  It is pretty cool I have a 2009 EJ SOHC. 

BTW that honey shifter ball is pretty cool to and the fact that you made it yourself too.

Postscript:   Are you planning on AC on that car?  A nice AC compressor will be needed. 

Last edited by IaM-Ray

Ray, not a 4 cam, still SOHC per head twin cam, but a different head, intake, cam, etc. I'll get specs from John and post them. I have notes on it from when John and I talked it out, but they are at work and it was 10+ months ago, so I don't have them in the from of my brain.

I borrowed a friend's lathe back when you could stand next to people.  I hadn't used one since I made bowls in high school shop classes. It was a ton of fun turning scraps into something useful and I only almost hurt myself once!

IaM-Ray posted:

Yeah, using tools when you have not done so for a while can be dangerous... come to think of it, sometimes familiarity kills you too.  

It will be cool to know the specs and how they get that HP from a N/A engine.  BTW The dyno results too. 

 

 

Yup, the beginning part when everything is square and lumpy was trickier than I remembered. The tool jumped and inch, I jumped about 3 feet. My jump was the dangerous one!

I've asked them for a complete spec sheet, spare part numbers, etc. I know part of the equation is that we're using a stand alone engine management system from Stinger that will allow fine tuning to take advantage of the much freer flowing intake and exhaust, you can also see in the pictures they are using they're own fuel rails and different injectors from standard. They also added an idle control circuit for better cold running and idling at start-up. More details to follow.

@edsnova I like the SOHC, too. I just heard that Greg is picking up my motor from John to install it, so maybe now is a good time to start listing specs on the engine.  I haven't got the fine detail sheet rom John yet, but I have the invoice and my notes from discussions with John and Jeremy at Outfront, so here it goes.

It's the last iteration of the 2.5 SOHC engine code EJ253 sold up through 2011 in the US.  In stock trim, with cats, running through all pollution controls, full muffler, and air box on Subaru engine management the engine makes ~170hp @6200  and ~165ft/lb torque 4200rpm.  The torque curve is pretty much flat from 3500 to 5200rpm.  Redline is 7,000 max, but a 6-6500 shift point for maximum acceleration seems best. (there was a variable vale train version that bumped hp 5 and torque 10 on the same block and head casting)  Remember this curve the we get to the transmission ratios in a later post on its specs.  This seemed like a great place to start because I wanted two things in my coupe so I could drive it year round: heat and AC.

Talking to John there were lots of options available, including stroking to 2.7 liters.  The one that piqued my interest was their Z-head mod.  It replaces the stock cylinder head with a JDM cylinder head with higher flowing/higher velocity intake tracts, larger valves and higher compression.  It also uses the DJM intake manifold with equal length runners that are longer than the typical EJ253 US manifold.  It has to be modified to accept a throttle cable instead of drive-by-wire.  The normal intake isn't a restriction point, just that the Z-head boosts both torque and hp.  As I recall this had has better cooling passages, too, which helps with head gasket longevity.  The cam is left stock to preserve the shape of torque/hp curve.  The stock injectors are replaced with blueprinted units held in place with billet fuel rails that hold the injectors more securely and maybe helps fuel flow, but mostly looks cool.  An idle control circuit is added to aid cool weather start-up/idling.  Ignition and fuel management is handled with a Stinger control unit using crank trigger and cam trigger.  This allows complete custom mapping of ignition and fuel. The motor has been given a quick tune on the dyno and when the car is complete it will be tuned on the rolling road unit with its exhaust and intake in place.  The exhaust specced is a Subie version of the A-1 sidewinder w/center exit.  The intake is a simple silicone hose with an enormous filter on the end.  John predicts 200+ crank hp and similar torque based on what he's accomplished with these builds before.  That's the sweet spot for me in a sub 2000lb car.  Properly broken in and maintained it should be good for 200,000 miles. 

Other mods include a custom water crossover pipe with with reservoir, this becomes the highest point in the system for the radiator cap and for cooling system bleeding. It has the connection for the overflow tank as well. The coolant inlet and outlet have welded AN fittings for the water lines, the aluminum radiator also has welded AN fittings.  Greg insists on using AN fittings for this and I'm on board 100%.  Greg has had no cooling issues with this set-up; it is well proven in his Subaru builds.  The oil pan is shortened, and in sand rails they have found that if you run the stock oil capacity the new baffling keeps the crank out of the oil and prevents starvation without reducing volume. This means a non-standard dip stick, too.  Outfront typically gives the manifold, valve covers, and bolted on aluminum bits a light polish.  It's not my favorite look, but it does look really nice with the chrome alternator, so the engine compartment will look pretty blingy and I didn't see the point in upsetting John's production process and slowing down the build.  I may change that myself at some later date, but I'll at least put on some ceramic coating so it's easy to clean and to keep it from corroding.  For sure I'll bring it to cars and coffee events or the occasional show and shine, but I'll probably arrive with the front all covered in bugs and the rear covered in dust. Spending Saturdays cleaning an engine compartment with dental floss is not my idea of fun, nor my intent. The intent is to DRIVE, BABY!!!

Next installment will be transaxle specs. Given recent discussions it will be fun to see how different a route Stan and I have taken, but how close we are in thinking and execution at times. 

Peace and clean hands to all,

Michael

 

Thanks, @ALB, I'm going to go 4 speed. We'll get into the transaxle in tomorrow's post, why 4, which ratios, etc. Meanwhile here's another engine picture Outfront sent me when they realized they forgot to charge me for the billet fuel rails. I like their attention to detail and process, note the paint marks on all torqued fasteners, clean harness runs, etc.

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OK. I promised a new installment today. In addition to getting the specs written down, I also want to get my thinking on the why's and wherefores of the decisions. So here is an addendum on yesterday's motor description on why Subaru and not some big beautiful Fat 2300+ type IV monster.  If you don't care, skip to the next post about the transaxle below. No offense will be taken.

I gave two reasons yesterday (real heat and AC) but that's only a small part of it. As mentioned in various quarters I have a long history of building stuff from scratch in motorcycling, and I've also done the car thing. I've had 5 or so air cooled VWs, and a 914, done engine swaps in some of them, driven them as dailies, etc.  I find myself on the other side of a difficult stretch of life 3000 miles from where I grew up. I love it, but I have limited storage, and a limited tool box. I also have limited time (also why I'm not building it, or even part of it). I am blessed to be in a location that allows me to drive from 200' elevation to 7000' in under 2 hours by back roads, and traverse areas where you won't see another soul for hours on end.  I want a set-up that will run smoothly anywhere I go, anytime I feel like going.  I no longer have the patience, time or desire to mess around with carbs. I never thought I'd say that, this is the guy with books on Webber carb tuning, and handmade custom needles for giant Lectron carbs to run alcohol in a big single.  I am more than willing to make things hard for myself...or at least I have been.  I just don't feel like it anymore. 

Next post: Transaxle

Very sound reasoning Michael. I just passed on Chris Kleber's Kitman coupe project that was in the classifieds. I already have one toy car, and it's pretty much finished. It runs and drives great. It's a very good ride for a perfect day. I'm sure I'll continue to do some minor tweaks here and there.

But do I really need another? No, I don't. Do I want to build another car? Nope.

I'll be finding a coupe for those nice days that aren't so nice: too cool, too hot, too wet, too windy. Most probably a used Cayman S. That I could drive across the country, and still enjoy myself!

I applaud your decision to have Greg build you a car. You've made a good choice.

Last edited by DannyP

Transaxle.

First specs, then reasoning on ratios and why 4 instead of 5 para mi.  

All transmission decisions were made after I new what the engine specs were, wheel&tire data, and then use along with personal aesthetics. I think that if one doesn't know these things first you're eating your sandwich from the wrong end. 

This is a type 1 four speed built from all new parts by Rancho, I started with their Pro-Suby build as a template.  The case is a new Rhino case with added gusseting. Internals are all Weddle: ring and pinion, gears, shafts, and synchros with the normal welding on 3rd and 4th gear hubs, plus steel shift forks and hardened keys.  It also has a Peloquin planetary torsional diff. Torsen diff is the common term and this one is much like a Quaife except made specifically for type one cases and made in America.  Add heavey duty side plates and type2 stubs to complete the package. The idea here is to craft as bullet-proof a 4 speed in type one packaging as is possible.

Gearing. Here's where the real fun begins, and Stan had a great post on this recently with his reasoning on gear selection to match his use and how he saw his use for his speedster changing (I also thought I heard hints of a project X, but I digress). Rancho made their suggestion, and then in my own inimitable fashion I researched the heck out of it, plotted gearing charts against rpm, horse power and torque curves, ran scenarios in my head, etc. etc. etc.  I managed to chase my tail back around to what they suggested in the first place.  3.88 r&p and 3.11-1.93-1.22-.82 1st through 4th.  I had played with the idea of a 3.44, but though the ring gear cold be modified for this limited slip diff, Rancho was strongly against it.  This winds up being so close to what Stan has specced out on his that they would be hard to tell apart behind the wheel. I think I have a slightly higher 1st and a slightly lower 4th?  His big difference is that he has a real clutch pack limited slip (lucky bastard) while I have the Torsen style. I wanted limited slip and a clutch type is near impossible to find plus with a very few exceptions I prefer the torque sensing type for this use.  At 10/10ths the clutch type will handle corner entry better but if I get to do more than a track day or two it'll be a wonder.  The gearing chart is attached, apologies for the weird way it formats for export. Hey @Stan Galat, what calculator are you using that makes those nice plots?

This all results in an rpm drop in each gear that's pretty close to the same with the biggest drop in the 1st to 2nd shift.  I think for performance this is good because there's more torque multiplication in the lower gears.  At max acceleration a shift at peak hp would drop to just before peak torque in the 1-2 shift and in subsequent shifts it would drop right into peak torque.  The relative qualities of the motor will allow for putt-putting about in town without the air cooled concerns about fan speed.  A cruising rpm of 3,000-3,500 at highway speeds will be fine. I'm used to that even in my 6-speed MINI Clubman S.  Again, I've hit what I think is a sweet spot for a four speed set-up.

So why 4 speed?  Well there were packaging concerns, but those weren't paramount.  Reason one for me was I didn't want a cable shifter. A Suby 5-speed would have probably (ok..definitely) been cheaper and not hard for Greg to do. I just wanted to get back to the feel of an actual rod going into and actual transmission and moving real shift forks. With a Vintage shifter, new bushings and everything mounted properly this will have a vintage feel. I'll have to do a good job to make clean shifts. I'll need to do a proper heel and toe to snick off crisp downshifts. THAT'S WHAT I MISS. I also miss long pulls as the revs build, too. I'll be getting that again. This motor should have a nice torque curve to surf and these ratios should do nicely for that. I want the vintage experiences I miss, but with a touch of modern for both usability and so my wife will ride with me. Fun things are fun, but fun things shared are funner.

Now I'll get some flack from some quarters for not going 5 speed, either Suby or Berg 5. It's so nice to row gears they'll say, and they're not wrong. With a nice broad torque curve and a safe 7,000rpm red line I can row if I want. With this set-up I'll have to be good at it, though. I watch some in car footage folks post up on youtube and what-not and most of the time it makes me cringe, shifts for no reason, over revs and bogs and clearly upsetting the car just because Ayrton Senna would shift there (no he wouldn't).

About rowing gears.  There is something interesting I discovered in my motorcycle racing days.  I learned it when teaching and control riding. On teaching weekends we would start everyone off by letting them out on track in their relative skill groups equipped with transponders to do a 20 minute session. They couldn't see their lap times, but we were  recording them.  Then after a little classroom time we'd let them back out, but they weren't allowed to shift or brake once they got to 3rd gear: 3rd gear only, no braking, ride as fast as you want.  Then another break followed by another session where they were allowed to shift and brake again.  Then it was leathers off for a longer break where we'd ask them what they thought their fastest session was.  Everyone would say the the last session was their fastest.  ALL of the street riders with no race experience (and about 50% those with race experience did) actually set their fastest lap times when we made them circulate in 3rd gear with no shifting or braking allowed!!! In most cases they were a LOT faster.  This was true whether we were at a track with long straights like VIR's north course, or tight places like Summit Point's Jefferson Circuit.  I was lucky enough to control ride sessions on the school's Aprillia RSV Milles. God what torque monsters. If I added only braking I could still pace the expert group in third gear (not the race group, though!).  What a feeling coming out of a tight corner, rolling on the throttle and having the front wheel gently lift about a foot and slowly come back down as the motor crossed the curve from torque to hp. Mmmmmm.

Oops, sorry, I got lost for a moment.  Where was I? Oh, yeah. Lunch time. See you later

-M

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Last edited by JMM (Michael)
@DannyP posted:

Very sound reasoning Michael. I just passed on Chris Kleber's Kitman coupe project that was in the classifieds. I already have one toy car, and it's pretty much finished. It runs and drives great. It's a very good ride for a perfect day. I'm sure I'll continue to do some minor tweaks here and there.

But do I really need another? No, I don't. Do I want to build another car? Nope.

I'll be finding a coupe for those nice days that aren't so nice: too cool, too hot, too wet, too windy. Most probably a used Cayman S. That I could drive across the country, and still enjoy myself!

I applaud your decision to have Greg build you a car. You've made a good choice.

It is hard to build a second car as both will need as much sorting and well, life's too short to be continually thinkering.

@DannyP posted:

Very sound reasoning Michael. I just passed on Chris Kleber's Kitman coupe project that was in the classifieds. I already have one toy car, and it's pretty much finished. It runs and drives great. It's a very good ride for a perfect day. I'm sure I'll continue to do some minor tweaks here and there.

But do I really need another? No, I don't. Do I want to build another car? Nope.

I'll be finding a coupe for those nice days that aren't so nice: too cool, too hot, too wet, too windy. Most probably a used Cayman S. That I could drive across the country, and still enjoy myself!

I applaud your decision to have Greg build you a car. You've made a good choice.

Thanks, Danny.  I think the best thing I ever did on this build was to find this place.  I lurked while in research mode. After a couple of weeks I paid up.  It really helped going through the resources, old posts, and using the search function.  To think, 5 or 6 years ago I was pondering and SAS coupe...

Anyway, all that led me to Greg at Vintage and I couldn't be happier.

Your Cayman S idea sounds stellar.  If I was just a little bit smarter that's where I'd go. Alas, I yam what I yam.

Great posts, and super-cool project, Michael. I love your attitude and your desire to jump in and get all techy.

Hey @Stan Galat, what calculator are you using that makes those nice plots?

I use: 

http://www.teammfactory.com/calculator

You need a Flash Player to get the graph, and you'll need to plug "0" in for 5th gear. I just snip the screen image and save it as an image in order to repost it. Here's your graph:

Screenshot 2020-04-29 at 5.25.29 PM

Generally, you'd be looking for even spacing 1-4, or for the gaps between gears to get narrower, but with the available mainshafts and the desire to stick with a 3.88, it's just not possible. Weddle makes a 3.11/1.86 mainshaft that moves second up ever so slightly-- if they made something in the 1.60 range, it'd be perfect, then you could use a 1.09 3rd and it'd be perfect (run the plots for grins, it's fantastic)

There is an "S4" mainshaft with a first gear, and a selection of 2nds (one of which is a 1.59). I'm nost sure what the story is there, but it may be for a different transaxle.

The good news is that your Subaru will have plenty of torque to pull anything you've got easily. You may find yourself looking for a longer final drive.

That whole gearset moved up to a 3.44 would fly.

 

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Last edited by Stan Galat

LOL! That made me chuckle. Don't ever say, "You can't do that" to Stan!

Anyway thanks for that link, Stan.  I like the interactive crosshairs feature.  I was using the Weddle site's calculator, lots of extra info (% pull, etc.) but no plotting feature.

For fun I plotted out my transaxle with the 185/65 15 tires I'll run and a 7000rpm max (red) and then yours with 195/60 15 and a 5500rpm max (blue). We're never more than 2 mph apart at any given rpm.  All roads lead to Rome when you've only got 4 cogs I guess.

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Michael, you should have heard all the naysayers tell me I'd never get my transmission back together. I've had  it apart 4 times including the rebuild now: 1-rebuild, 2-3rd gear slider, my fault, missed downshift, 3-broke 2nd gear synchro  @ autoX, and 4-mainshaft circlip failure. Still waiting for "those guys" to eat crow!

Stan and I are the same that way, don't tell us what we can't do!

Greg built me a roller Spyder in 2002. He built me a semi-roller(no trans) in 2016. Literally had a shopping cart wheel bolted to the trans crossmember with a bunch of towels so it didn't scratch the powdercoat. Brilliant!

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