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Green 97 OBS
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)



Model:1997 Impreza Outback Sport (GF4)


Current Mod list

Power:

-EJ22T block with oil squirters
-EJ25D crankshaft
-EJ253 intake manifold
-ACL race bearings
-Wiseco +.020 Stroker pistons (8:1 static compression)
-Outfront H-beam rods
-EJ251 heads, fully rebuilt and Delta 1500 cams
-JDM STI 12mm oil pump
-Killer B oil pickup tube
-STI oil pan/baffle plate
-ARP Headstuds
-EJ22T OEM headgaskets
-WRX water pump
-Kinugawa TD-06SL2 20G turbo
-Customized Spearco top mount (3.5" core)
-GReddy type RS BOV (recirculated)
-N/A style UEL header and custom uppipe, coated and wrapped
-3" bellmouth catless downpipe
-2.5" custom catback with magnaflow 14" straight resonator and oval muffler, both straight-through design
-GReddy Emanage Blue Tuner
-Walbro 255 LPH-HP fuel pump
-AEM fuel pressure regulator
-WRX top feed 440 injectors

Drivetrain/Suspension:

-Stock transmission and differentials for now
-Spec stg. 1 clutch
-OEM flywheel
-GR2 struts
-Stock Springs
-Rear disc swap

Miscellaneous:
-Custom Light bar
-Ham radio (2 meter yeasu and 2 meter whip)
-Gauges including:
-AEM wideband
-EGT gauge
-Mechanical Boost/Vac (-30in/hg to 20psi)
-possible oil pressure and temp gauges


Status: Running happily but needs fine tuning.
 

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Green 97 OBS
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Background

I was looking for my college car to replace my first car (90 mazda 626). I was looking for a hatch of some sort, juggling between a mazda 3, mazda protege 5 wagon, toyota matrix XRS, and a subaru impreza or outback. I found this car about 3 hours away, near St. Louis, MO. The previous owners had used it for their private business, something about gardening IIRC so it had a towing package and the rubber cargo mat, that sort of thing. I'd love to see what the previous owners think of the car now :lol:.



The car was bone stock. A little TLC later and I was happy. First things I did was replace blown struts with KYB GR2s, which made a nice improvement all around. Had several snow seasons and absolutely fell in love with this car. Had plenty of room, the ej22 had decent get up and go and kicked absolute ass in the snow and gravel. But I wanted more.



First performance type purchase: single port UEL header (while they were made on the RS25 forums). I had finally achieved the boxer rumble and the bug really bit. I then got my cat-back a few months later, which was a custom 2.5" setup with magnaflow muffler and resonator.


My buddy also was a competent welder and we made a custom light bar which came from a bar for a jeep. His welding, my wiring and I think it came out pretty good.




But as the bug had bitten me, I started wanting more performance and more fun. And my existing engine was starting to lose compression and mileage started tanking. So as I researched different performance methods, I ended up scoring a full ej22 engine for 150 bucks, learned to rebuild it and now had an extra engine for project plans. This was the summer of 2010 at this point. Months of on/off researching got me interested in doing a turbo'd setup, which I was debating on for a year or so beforehand.

I wanted performance that was around that of a WRX, but without the notorious lag of torque without the turbo. And after more looking, thought maybe a n/a build would be more my speed. I thought maybe H/C, stroking, cams, a mild PnP all on premium would get me close to 200chp. Well it's a good idea all in all, but signs pointed to me being over optimistic in the gains.

So I decided a mild turbo kit would be in order and set off with that in mind, still with the WRX power goal in mind. I figured a quick spooling turbo would make up for any lag I might have and the higher compression would make even low boost more effective than a relatively lower compression WRX.

That is until I read into how easy it was to nuke factory pistons. So then I figured that I could use the engine in my garage as a build engine to refresh and put any performance parts in that I found necessary for a mild build and that's pretty much when I decided a full on build was where I was headed.

WRX swaps were briefly considered however I never really liked the idea of doing a wiring harness merge or paying for it, especially with the price being so expensive for USDM or the JDM setups being notoriously easy to loose a rod bearing. Plus on top of all of that, I wanted to do something different than the wrx swap fanboys on NASIOC.

Enter the EJ22 stroker: Stroke gives extra grunt for off boost power and is still has decently strong cylinder bores. It's unique, built to what I wanted, and had the potential to be pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Original Build

I officially began my build about December 2010.

Basic parts list is:

EJ221 block-thrust remachined to #5
EJ257 crank and rods
ACL H bearings
EJ251 heads- with delta 1500 regrinds
Wiseco custom pistons at 9:1 CR
EJ253 intake manifold (big runner design)
WRX top-feed 440 injectors
TD-04 turbo
WRX exhaust manifold, up and downpipe
WRX TMIC and stock y-pipe and bpv
Walbro 255lph-hp fuel pump
Greddy emanage blue tuner

So with those parts accumulated, I began. I had the engine cleaned and machined. Bought the parts as I could find them and researched as I went.

Broken headbolt



Block halves cleaned



Head comparison- EJ22 vs EJ251



Disassembled heads and cams shipped out



Valveless heads, before cleaning and valve seat grinding



Cleaning dirty valves



Head reassembly with cleaned springs, ground seats, and new seals



New cams



Head reassembled




Custom pistons



Block and bearings



Shortblock



Pistons in



Cleaned heads (light sanding)



Longblock



Assembled



TMIC



Custom IACV mount



At this point in the build, I ran across a guy with similar build intentions. His setup was much better than my TD-04 setup, which prompted me to add a bit of money to the setup and buy his when he parted out.

At this point I got these additions

Kinugawa TD-06SL2 20G turbo
Spearco 3.5" TMIC
N/A style wrapped and ceramic coated headers and uppipe
3" bellmouth catless downpipe
Custom intake
Greddy Emanage Blue tuner

What the parts look like on the engine vvv



Engine in, TMIC has fitment problems



Fixed



Tapped oil pan



Header and downpipe on, other half of downpipe was cut and welded on later to reduce shipping costs (from canada to missouri was really expensive for 80lbs of parts)



ECU PNP harness



Fully assembled minus BPV



Finished PNP ECU harness.



Got the build assembled and finally was able to start the car up.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Failure

The first start was about July 1st. After driving gingerly around (the piston slap was getting a bit annoying that it didn't go away when warm- first red flag) I decided to give a bit of a break-in run. Came home to the car having the oil pressure light flickering and engine noise is getting much louder. Not good.

Started car up to pull in the garage and engine had NO oil pressure. After a few hours of diagnosing, I pulled the oil pump and noticed the bypass valve was stuck partially open. Further investigation found that there was a burr on the bypass valve cylinder and when I took the rpms up it stuck open. So the burr was beveled down and I reassembled the engine, primed it and started it right up. I drove the car to a muffler shop to get the uppipe fixed and as I drove it home, I decided that there was something very very wrong. As I came back home again, the oil light began to flicker again. The engine sounded like this:


My suspicions were confirmed when I drained the oil and saw this.

So the engine was torn down and this is what I found





The engine overall was ok, the crank and bearings obviously destroyed. But what I didn't know until after this was the pistons were actually UNDERSIZED from wiseco and the bores were ovalled so the PTW clearances were twice what they should have been, so if this pump had not killed my engine, the pistons would have eventually destroyed the cylinder walls and/or the ringlands would have blown. Shame on me for trusting the wiseco techs and for not double checking the piston skirts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Reincarnation

So my plans shifted to attempting to find a way to use these 600$ essentially new pistons less they become expensive paperweights. Over the last of the summer and throughout the fall I searched for ways to sleeve the block (Darton, Golden Eagle,ect). Unfortunately not only is sleeving expensive (would end up being around 2k when all was said and done) but it also can lead to bores dropping and subsequently hydrolocking engines if not done absolutely correctly. All this on top of the fact that the sleeves wouldn't fit these pistons properly to begin with. So basically these pistons were paperweights and I was out an engine. Fortunately a subaru friend had come across a built EJ22T stoker shortblock for a pretty good price. After I tried one last time to get Darton to give me a decent quote and a straight answer, I finally gave up and bought the EJ22t and put the usable parts up for sale. I have since sold everything but the STI rods and shortblock. Even the custom pistons sold, giving me the extra funds needed to continue.

In the meantime the parentals' forester engine decided to burn a ton of oil and started slipping it's clutch. So I agreed to rebuild the forester engine while we were doing the clutch. The shortblock shows up during this and had to take the back burner until I had the time to do my work. And then my brother's new (to him) jeep grand cherokee needed a front end rebuild and a few other minor repairs so I also put that on my to-do list. Long story short, I haven't got anything done until mid-november 2011.

When I finally got to tear into the block, noticed that all the plugs, oil filter fitting, and 2 main case bolts were missing. And the engine itself looked like this when I split the halves.





And the crank journals were grooved. So 200 bucks later, I have a polished crank and new seals.

But that brings us to today. I've just got the block completely cleaned, the rotating mass lubed and essentially readied it to go together, I just need to get the block seals and I'll have the shortblock bolted together.

So the updated ideas for this build are much more stout and the power expectations.

Build components are this:

EJ22T shortblock with oil squirters and closed deck
EJ25D (96-99 leggy) crank
Outfront H-beam rods
ACL STD H main and rod bearings -oil clearances set at the machine shop to .0017"
Wiseco Stroker pistons- After accounting for head and piston dish volumes, static CR is 8.0:1
EJ251 heads- Delta 1500 grind cams
OEM EJ22T headgaskets
ARP SOHC headstuds
12mm JDM STI oil pump
Killer B oil pickup
STI oil pan and windage tray
EJ253 intake manifold
Kinugawa TD-06SL2 20G turbo
Spearco 3.5" TMIC
N/A style wrapped and ceramic coated headers and uppipe
3" bellmouth catless downpipe
Magnaflow custom 2.5" catback
Walbro 255 lph-hp fuel pump
AEM FPR
WRX top feed 440 injectors
Custom intake
Greddy Emanage Blue tuner
AEM wideband
EGT gauge/probe
Boost gauge



























Power: I'm keeping boost levels to 10 psi until I can upgrade the transmission. I may bump that up to 15 psi but no more than that. I hope that should get me to 250 whp. After the transmission upgrade I'm shooting to approach 400whp with fuel and tuning upgrades at that point.

Transmission plans: Currently I'm running my stock OBS transmission, which is the 5MT with a 3.9 FD ratio. I hope to get a PPG'd transmission or build the blown WRX trans I have in my garage when I get the funds. I have a WRX LSD rear diff which would compliment that, although if I'm building my own via andrewtech, I'll probably be getting a rear-biasing center diff. Right now that is not a priority but that is the future plan.

Here's the startup video. Pistons are slapping away, though I hope they'll be getting quieter. Probably some valve noise too (best seen at 2:20).


EDIT-the noise is from the delta cams.

Exhaust note-

Some quick pulls @ 10 psi-
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Future plans

Future plans/ideas

Plans: 400 awhp with decent reliability and drivability

Engine:
Better tuner, either megasquirt or hydra standalone
Fueling upgrades like injectors and/or additional pump
EWG setup
Very distant future- SOHC heads PnP'd with completely upgraded valvetrain and custom cams- hopefully crower 280 equivilent.

Drivetrain/Suspension:
Trans upgrade (see post #7)
WRX rear LSD diff (already bought)
Clutch upgrade and possible hydro conversion depending on transmission
Sways, endlinks, and possibly strut bar
Upgraded springs and struts-minimal drop

Miscellaneous:
Gauges-Oil pressure/temp
Air-Oil cooler setup w/thermostat
Seats
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Transmission options

I've basically got 3 transmission options that I'm still considering, I thought I'd go a little more in depth. My existing 5MT has 200k on it and will need an overhaul within another 20k I'd expect. 1st gear doesn't go in unless the car is essentially stopped and 3rd occasionally grinds if shifted hard. No unusual noise or feelings as of yet.

Option #1: PPG gearset and complete transmission overhaul.

PPGs are the route I've heavily considered. They'll hold more than I'll ever throw at them and I don't think I'll mind the transmission noise. Andrewtech has quoted me 3850 + 700 install for the gearset. I've located a blown 03 WRX transmission and have it sitting ready to go. I expect if I can find a better paying job, I should be able to get it going sometime soon (I hope). I don't have the capability to do the work myself so I'd rather spend a bit extra coin and have the right people do the job.

Option #2: 6MT swap

The most commonly suggested route. It would involve more money than even PPGs and doing an entire drivetrain swap. And the 6MT has much shorter gearing which I don't particularly care for. Especially the JDM. Nor do I want to screw with wiring and paying for a DCCD controller. Unfortunately the flipside of not having the DCCD is having the same 4kg/100rev center diff that I already have.

JDM v7 swap (with all parts) was quoted to me at 3600$ shipped
JDM v8 swap (with all parts) was quoted to me at 4500$ shipped
USDM swap is going to end up more than that.


Option #3: RA gearset

Much cheaper than PPGs but unfortunately still possible to break. I'm still debating on this because they're rated at 350 whp. Price wise, it looks like it'll be 1500ish plus install. I have not talked with Andrewtech on the RAs. Maybe I'll be happy with getting over 300 hp instead of approaching 400 in this case, it's something I'll have to weigh. This is still going to be my DD after all. It may be better to go that direction.




Center Diff: I'm considering a more potent, rear-biasing center diff, especially if I'm going to be rebuilding a transmission as in options 1 and 3. More likely option 3 if I'm spending less. I figure if I can raise 3-3.5k for the transmission issue, I'll be able to throw a cusco 1.5 center diff in. If not, I have a brand new center diff that came with this wrx trans.

Front Diff: I'm not too concerned about upgrading the front diff. If I had unlimited funds I would be looking into a helical type LSD.

Rear Diff: I've located a WRX R160 LSD diff, which I plan to use. There's no real reason to upgrade it that I can find. Maybe a long time down the road after suspension and everything else have been done.



I'll be trolling classifieds though, if someone has a good transmission unit for a good price, my plans could change.
 

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that sucks about your first motor, i friend of mine bought a rebuilt shortblock for his wrx with from a pretty reputable place ( i don't remember the name) but he had it in his car for a few thousand miles and one day coming home from school we passed someone and the oil light flickered and before we made it to my house it was knocking so bad it didn't have an ounce of power. and he sent it back and they claimed he forgot an o- ring or something in the oil pump which was bs, because if that was true it would have done it within a few hundred miles so he had to eat the cost of everything. glad to see your getting going again, hope everything works out good this time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks!

Yeah if I've learned anything about these motors, its that you have no leeway with the oiling system. If there's ever a problem with it, the motor can pretty much be guaranteed toast. Hence why I went to the Killer B pickup, 12mm oil pump and had the crank resurfaced and clearanced.

Hopefully I'll have it running this week, the motor just went in tonight. I've got to finish hooking a few things up and get the gauges working. We'll see what happens.
 

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Looking good, can't wait to see it come to life. One of these days I'll get the courage to install my shortblock, its sitting all lonely in my living room. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Me neither, I've been getting closer. Good weather is supposed to happen all week, hopefully I'll have time to finish everything early this upcoming week. At least enough to get a test start going.

Good luck with your build!
 

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finally i stumbled upon your build page. i had no idea u had so much work done to that ej22t chris. i must have u help me with my build. ur very knowledgeable. have u checked out my build?
 

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Hey I'm new to this site. I like your build. Maybe you can help me I have a 97 impreza with EJ22 dual port head. I already swap the 04 turbo cross-member. My goal is to made 350 hp, what can I do to make my EJ22 reach that. I have another EJ22 block in my garage waiting. But idk what to do. I basically do everything on my car. The only thing I can't do is electric my weakness. Any help would be betting helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
finally i stumbled upon your build page. i had no idea u had so much work done to that ej22t chris. i must have u help me with my build. ur very knowledgeable. have u checked out my build?
Yeah there's a bit of work involved into it. Probably too much but it's a labor of love.

Hey I'm new to this site. I like your build. Maybe you can help me I have a 97 impreza with EJ22 dual port head. I already swap the 04 turbo cross-member. My goal is to made 350 hp, what can I do to make my EJ22 reach that. I have another EJ22 block in my garage waiting. But idk what to do. I basically do everything on my car. The only thing I can't do is electric my weakness. Any help would be betting helpful.
Hi, welcome and thanks for looking!

That goal is a respectable number. If you get a good safe tune and upgrade pistons I'd expect that would be about the top end of what your engine could handle. Wiring isn't too hard unless you are looking into a wrx swap. If you did that, I'd recommend you invest in IWIRE's services. Otherwise soldering and other minor wiring isn't too hard.

Now, you say you want 350hp. I will say that 250hp will keep you happy for a long time, and 350 is about the upper limit of a subaru to be a fun street car. Any more than that and you start running out of road and/or safe maneuvering room. Plus staying under 250 will keep your transmission safer-going above 300 is dangerous for the gears. Now most of that depends on your driving, how well the gears hold up. I'd guess my power is around 230whp and probably 250-260wtq. Since I'm running a later spooling turbo I have less stress on the gears when I'm shifting (it takes around a second for any boost to build back up every time I shift at WOT).
 

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'97 Impreza OBS
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Hey man I'm working on a complete rebuilt ej22t shortblock as well. I want to use eagle rods(2.047" (52mm) journal, 5.137' length) and wiseco pistons .20 over bore. (unsure as to the specs right now)
Do you suggest using the stock 22t crank? I would like to avoid remachining the block itself for the main thrust bearing... I wasn't sure if you did this on your 2nd build. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! (was also going to use the ej25d heads and intake mani)
 
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