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Ahri's Evolution - My 02 Outback EJ251 to EZ30D Conversion


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#1 KerrosTalde

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:50 PM

It has been quite a while since i last was on here before, so time to drop a wall of text. Get the coffee out for this one.

Last you all heard from me, it was 2016 and i had just finished swapping out a busted 5MT dual range box from my Outback, Ahri, for one from an 01 Foz with the same 4.11 front diff, but the lower reduction gear for low range. At the time i was contemplating an EJ205-7 swap, but instead elected to leave the engine and focus on enjoying her as the daily she was. I bought a TT Soarer as my weekend warrior to satisfy my need to go fast later that year anyway as a friend was moving interstate and i had been in the market for something with a hairdryer on it at the time. But Ahri was still my girl and Bilsteins from a BH5 GT-B and a set of aftermarket rims found their way under her in time. I ended up putting another 60-odd thousand on her from the time i last posted up until a month ago.

 

That's when it happened...

 

Coming back from a friend's place through Gorge Road at about midnight on a Friday, i heard the sound no one ever wants to hear. Rod knock.

I heard it over the sound of my music and in the time it took me to turn down my music and realise what that sound was, it had gone from a light fluttery sound to an ungodly thundering and it began losing power. From the moment i heard the knocking to where i limped it into a clearing on the side of the road it had only travelled about seven hundred meters, but when i clutched in to slow down it died immediately. I ended up having to leave her there overnight and pick her up first thing in the morning.

 

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Needless to say, i spent most of the night thinking of if i had done anything wrong instead of sleeping. I wasn't driving hard or revving her out at all, there hadn't been any warning lights or abnormal sounds or smells come up before the engine made its death rattle, nothing.
I had given the key a turn before i loaded her onto the trailer in the vein hope that she'd spring into life and drive onto the trailer, and that it had been just a vivid nightmare. The damn thing didn't even crank over. Seized solid from a spun bearing.

The whole drive back, i was thinking of what to do. While i did have another car, she was my daily and i had grown very sentimental about her, so i just didn't have the heart to say that's that.
She will live again.
 

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That weekend i spent pulling the blown EJ251 out.

 

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I'm juggling both Ahri plus a friend's Integra getting resprayed in this shed, along with my resto projects, so up to the point of pulling the engine out i was working on my gravel driveway.

 

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Everything came out easy enough and i pulled the clutch and flywheel off just for safe keeping before cracking the pan open to see what the damage was. The oil looked like metallic paint and was very black despite me changing it every 5k with filter.

 

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Now i am not a trained mechanic by any means, but i am fairly sure that there aren't supposed to be gouges there in #2 counterweight. Especially when the others are smooth.

The rod end was blued from overheating and looked like it had almost swelled up against the counterweight surface.

It explained why it still took a two foot breaker bar to turn it over despite not having any plugs in it.

 

Now, the EJ251 is a good engine, but it is pretty slow in an Outback, and from jumping out of a Soarer and into it the lack of "oomph" is exaggerated. There's but one option.

She needs more power.

Naturally, i started looking at a WRX conversion because everything is better with a turbo. That is until you consider the 5MT DR will probably break behind a WRX engine unless driven carefully (I already know that won't last long), so that puts me up for a drivetrain swap too, plus new exhaust, loom splice, tune... It all adds up and i already have too many other projects leeching me dry to commit to that too, i live off noodles as it is!

 

So what is a more powerful engine than an EJ251, that won't cost the earth to swap over and will not require drastic modifications to make work with what i have? An EZ30D!

 

Now, Ahri is a 2.5 Limited, which means aside from a couple of things that were H6 specific, she's got most of the bells and whistles that came with them. Simplifies the wiring somewhat. She is a manual and i am not parting with that! Aside from the fact that the Foz box set me back a bit, it's so much more enjoyable to drive than an autotragic.

Anyway, i decided on going the H6 route and after reading up on every thread i could find of EZ30 conversions to non H6 cars, i elected to track down a whole car instead of just buying an engine.

 

*Three weeks later*

 

Success!
An 01 H6 Outback came up for wrecking an hour away from me. (Hell of a lot better than travelling interstate for a junker which i had started considering; Man, these things are harder to find than i first thought!)

Dudes want $950 for the car or $550 for the engine. Car is listed as a write off from pickels auctions, yet i don't see crash damage. Hmm... How about we start the car first, and then decide whether to buy or not.

Dudes pop the hood to put a battery in and i see an LPG system on it. *eyes narrow* I check the oil and coolant levels and they seem to be clean and reasonably fresh.

Turns key over and it sputters to life choking on propane before running on what sounds like four or five cylinders. Headgasket...? Checks for the signs; no bubbling of coolant, oil isn't turning to milkshake, no smoke from the exhaust. Just sounds like it's missing.

They hadn't started the car before, so they immediately think it's a gasket, but i have doubts. I decide to wait a week and see if i can come up with anything better in that time. If not, i go off my hunch and buy it. A week passes and still nothing so i go back and offer $600 on the Friday. They umm and err about it for a minute, and say $690 delivered to my driveway.

 

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Two hours later it's in my driveway.

 

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"I need your life essence"

 

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I get everything out of the way so i can access the spark plugs, pull the plugs and check the coils, who knows, could be as simple as a dead coil. Not an easy task with large hands as you expect.
 

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Cylinder 4 looks like it hasn't been firing in a while...

 

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A coil on Cylinder 6 is missing a locating tab for its ignition plug and also has a short to earth...

 

So #4 looks fuel washed and #6 has a coil that is shorting to earth, however the plug for #6 looks like it has been firing more than #4 has. I put all the plugs and coils back where they came from, except i swapped the coils for #4 and #6 around so the short is on the plug that looks washed.

Kicked it in the guts and it's still missing, but running waaaaay sweeter than when it was at the yard. Only down by one cylinder now.

Out come all the plugs again and time to compression test. 1,3,5,2, and 6 are all within 11psi of each other but 4 has no compression at all. I comp test again on all four and come up with the same numbers.

Because it was running on LPG, i suspect it had burned an exhaust valve. It really is the only reason i could come up with that would explain the lack of compression alongside the lack of any smoke, coolant, or oil contamination. Only one way to know for sure.

 

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I'm dubbing the EZ30 as the knuckle buster from now on with how little room there is. I spent about an hour just disassembling a hack-job LPG install before i even started getting things ready to remove. Last thing i want is parasite wiring.

 

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Almost there, now where can i get to the torque converter...?

 

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You gotta be kidding me?!

 

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Yes, they are open-ended spanners wedging a breaker bar to stop it from spinning while i undo the torque converter bolts. I actually broke a 3/8 ratchet getting these, they were so damn tight.

 

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Took an hour of jostling and prying to get the engine off the bellhousing. Both dowels had oxidised in place and they were pricks to get to move.

That was Saturday.

 

Sunday followed like so.

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Time to clean it down and strip it down to the lower block.

 

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Broke the cap of the injector on the far left when i removed it from the head. Damn it!

 

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Got a little nerve wracking when eleven of the fifty nine bolts that hold the front of the timing cover on started to round off. I hate allen bolts for that exact reason.

 

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Jeez, these things look convoluted now i am up close with it. Better remember where everything goes.

 

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Doesn't look so complicated now. I'm wondering whether to change the water and oil pumps while it's there in front of me...

 

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There, now it looks like a normal engine. Time for the head to come off.

 

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Bores look clean and there's no obvious signs of damage. Good.

 

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Moment of truth...

 

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Bingo! I've never been happier to see a burned valve before. The seat is probably damaged too, so i'll have a valve place deal with that.

 

And that's where i am up to right now. I know the mechanical stuff will be the easy part of a conversion like this, so i have spent the last two days after work just going through the service manuals to figure out what's different on the wiring side of things. I probably will just change the loom from the B-pillar forward from the H6 into Ahri and then adapt the loom to work with what i have. The benefit of having both the donor and the host cars. (Yay!)

Depending on how much free time i have, i may pull the other head off before the weekend and then just send them both in.

 

I should also say at this point the only other engine i have ever rebuilt was an old aircooled VW 1600 (A toddler could almost put one of those together), so i am pretty much going in blind with an engine this new and complex.

 

Congrats if you have made it through this chapter, it's much appreciated that you have read through my haphazard rambling. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and input.

 

Until next time, o7


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#2 Barbbachello

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:51 PM

Noice. 100% swap the whole harness over and make the rest work. Much easier option. Id do both the heads while youre in there as well. Pumps cant hurt either. Looking forward to more updates


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#3 duncanm

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 07:57 AM

awesome stuff.

 

+1 on the harness -- biggest job is pulling the dash + AC + heater to get to it.



#4 Beckers

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 08:44 PM

awesome stuff.

 

+1 on the harness -- biggest job is pulling the dash + AC + heater to get to it.

But a much easier job than doing head gaskets on an H6.

Must say I'm not that surprised it had a burn valve considering it was running on LPG.

Good luck with the conversion and keep us updated.



#5 KONG

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 03:02 AM

forking sweet!

Interested to see what Cam would say about swapping the harness and if it's what he did... Probably.

Seeing the donor is an earlier revision there may be a couple of small wiring changes you'll need to make on the loom... like headlights and cluster, but other than that I think the same as the boys above about using the loom and I know it's what I'd do too.

Looking forward to updates.
It's been ages since we had a decent build thread going on the forum.

#6 Beckers

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 09:57 AM

forking sweet!

It's been ages since we had a decent build thread going on the forum.

What like my build thread ??

Good to see you are still kicking old man Kong.

 

The door looms will have different connectors, but you could use the door looms from the donor car thats no biggie.



#7 KerrosTalde

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 12:53 AM

Cheers for the responses, guys!

Yeah, after reading through the FSM for both the 2.5 and H6, i am going to just change the whole loom from the dash forwards and then make it work with what i have.

 

Had Saturday free so i took the other head off and it seems to be all good. I'll be sending them both off this week with any luck and i'll be ordering a new water pump along with the full gasket kit while they are being worked on. Couldn't believe the clowns at Bursons are charging $717 for the exact same Permaseal kit that Sprint Auto has for $395! They'll have to order it in from interstate, so it'll be a week for that.

 

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Looking good considering what the other side is like.

 

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I look forward to de-gunking this thing, the power steering pump had been puking all over it for a long time and it looks like it lived ON the beach with how much sand was on top of the block.

 

Took the time to also start pulling the dash apart in the H6 so i can see how to do it in Ahri without breaking everything. The trim is all a different colour so there's no second chances anyway.

 

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Only broke two tabs so far.

 

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There's that glorious 6500 redline. After i've made sure everything is working well, i'm going to work out how to blank off the shitty shift tree.

 

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Defusing the safety bomb.

 

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Time to find a good place to store this, might have some fun launching a witches hat in a car park later on.

 

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Time to haul at it.

 

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Memo to self; don't sit in the driver's seat and pull on the dash at the same time. (copped a face full of gauge surround)

 

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Dash loom, GET!

 

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Time for a cup of tea while i work out the next step.

 

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The SRS module was held down with tamper-proof Torx bits, so that's another new set of bits that will likely never see use again after this conversion.

 

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Now it's looking like a right old mess.

 

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All bolts and connectors are undone, but these pricks won't budge.

 

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It took me fifteen minutes of looking for a missed bolt that didn't exist before it dawned on me to check if there was anything on the outside of the firewall that was holding it on...

I've spent too long looking at it at this point.

 

Mother's day was today (Sunday) so no progress was made.

Got Monday and Tuesday off work so going to try and get the rest of the loom out of the H6 and transplanted into Ahri. Hopefully i don't break anything!


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#8 duncanm

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 08:01 AM

 

There's that glorious 6500 redline. After i've made sure everything is working well, i'm going to work out how to blank off the shitty shift tree.

 

 

You might be able to pull apart the 6- and 4-cyl dash modules and combine the bits..  I wouldn't be surprised if the 4-cyl fascia mask just pops in and covers up the shift tree.



#9 KONG

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:07 AM

Nice, making progress.
This is bringing back memories for quite a few of us I'd say.

The SRS Torq bits...
I said to old mate in the shop "I'm not sure these are the right ones, can I get a refund if they're not?"

They worked just fine and I got my refund lol.

#10 KerrosTalde

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 11:07 PM

 

 

You might be able to pull apart the 6- and 4-cyl dash modules and combine the bits..  I wouldn't be surprised if the 4-cyl fascia mask just pops in and covers up the shift tree.

 

Yeah, last night i popped the H6 cluster apart and it seems like i will be able to just cover it with the 4-cyl fascia. Only thing i will have to look closer at is if the low-range light pinout is there or not in the schematics or whether it just requires a globe put in.

 

Nice, making progress.
This is bringing back memories for quite a few of us I'd say.

The SRS Torq bits...
I said to old mate in the shop "I'm not sure these are the right ones, can I get a refund if they're not?"

They worked just fine and I got my refund lol.

 

It's good to hear that my build is piquing your interests.
As far as the Torq bits are concerned, mine were just a cheap set so i will probably just let them sit in the toolbox somewhere until i either need them again or an archaeologist digs them up five hundred years from now.


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#11 duncanm

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:47 AM

 

 Only thing i will have to look closer at is if the low-range light pinout is there or not in the schematics or whether it just requires a globe put in.

 

 

meh -- the whine in low usually gives it away :)



#12 KerrosTalde

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:31 AM

Alright, took the heads off to a shop that was recommended to me by a family friend and they're his problem now. Going to have them faced, the burned valve and its seat replaced and the rest of the valves re-seated. Also ordered a VRS kit, so both the heads and the kit should come in around the same time.

 

I spent Monday working on my bike as it was up for its 20k service and i wanted to clean up some parts that i hadn't addressed when i resprayed it earlier in the year.

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Fairing has to come off to do the valve clearance, change the oil, and tune the carbs, and a much needed new sprocket and chain set as the old one had reached its full adjustment tolerance. 

 

WARNING! - Most of this entry will be a photo dump of removing the wiring, which was a quick and easy process. (NOT!!!)

 

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Disconnected the air conditioning piping and the ends of the heater core hoses. (Yes i was being lazy when i pulled the engine and left everything else in place)

 

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Most of the car is like this; looks alright until you look closer and then you see the crap built up in it.

 

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Finally i have full access to the interior loom.

 

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Stopped for a cup of tea at this point to let all the redbacks scuttle away from the bumper.

 

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Gaining access to the forward loom turned into an archaeological dig around the bottom of the guards.

 

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ABS unplugged.

 

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Fuse box disconnected and both sides of the wiring were stuffed back through the firewall and disconnected where possible.

 

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Into the engine bay to disconnect the firewall wiring and hey presto, 98% of one half of the job is done!

 

That took most of Tuesday as i was trying to retain as many of the loom fastening clips as i could while doing it. The last thing i want is to hear rattling from stuff not held down, not after this undertaking. I actually took a photo of every single plug and its location but i will spare you of all 103 of those; i did that so when i go to assemble it, i know exactly what should be where. Next task is to pick what wiring i need off the autotragic, shuffle the H6 shell and Ahri around so the latter is in the shed, and then the fun begins.

 

That's about everything so far, next time you hear from me i will probably be suffering from a mental breakdown from all the wiring diagrams i have been checking and rechecking.

Later Days! o7


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#13 duncanm

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:54 AM

great set of photos -- should be the first stop of anyone looking to swap to get an idea of the scope of work, especially with the wiring looms

#14 KerrosTalde

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 11:06 PM

great set of photos -- should be the first stop of anyone looking to swap to get an idea of the scope of work, especially with the wiring looms

 

Cheers man. Hopefully this amalgamation helps anyone else who is deranged enough to undertake this swap.


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#15 El_Freddo

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 11:29 PM

Awesome to see another conversion underway!

meh -- the whine in low usually gives it away :)


You need some auxiliary oil feeders on the low range. While you have the box split, "slip in" an L series low range and a front LSD ;)

Keep up the good work, and the pics Kerros!

Cheers

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#16 KerrosTalde

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:32 AM

Warning! Mass photo dump. Did most of the strip down of Ahri last weekend but didn't have time to upload it till now, spent a few days looking at how to make the wiring work properly between the manual box and the H6's loom and dash cluster.

 

Pushed the H6 out and wheeled Ahri back in and promptly started stripping it of its wiring.

 

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Time to pull it all apart.

 

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Deja Vu.

 

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Swapped the dash loom over at this point so i didn't have to remember to do it later. This will go up in the loft above the workshop (along with everything else i remove) for safe storage.

 

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Fuse box for the 2.5 up top and H6 below.

 

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I was glad there was only a small amount of dirt packed in behind the inner guards. My car cleaning ocd paying off there. Little bit of grime built up under the skirts, so i'm going to clean that off before i refit them.

 

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Front looms from the H6 on the left and Ahri on the right. The VDC wiring definitely bulks this part of the loom out. Unsure whether to swap the pump over so it is a (mostly) functioning piece of kit or delete it if possible.

 

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Before you ask, yes, i did disconnect everything on the other side before removing the heater/aircon cores this time.

 

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Both looms on a table so i could see the differences between the two, and repaired all the butchery that the LPG system had caused on the H6 loom on Tuesday arvo. No photos of it but it was annoying to say the least.

 

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Loom for the 2.5 and manual box, VSS plug in hand will need to be adapted onto the H6 loom. (Obligatory cup of tea included)

 

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Loom for the H6 and the inhibitor tail, where i will tap into for power for the VSS plug and bridge the wires from pins 1 and 4 on the T3 (square) plug, but at the other end which is pins 5 and 10 on the T7 (flat) plug.

 

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I wonder how far i can frisbee this TCU module...

 

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VRS kit arrived! Woo!

 

And now it is time for the skim over of installing the H6 loom into Ahri, this takes place on Thursday as i had the day off (came down with a nasty stomach bug mid Wednesday).

 

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Everything went back as if it belonged there thanks to the extra time i spent saving all of the retaining clips on the loom instead of just busting them off like what i had been tempted to. This way, it won't rattle about. I haven't secured the dash in place as i wanted to check the wiring first at this stage while i have access to mostly everything.

 

This is about as far as i got. I have Friday (today) off so i am going to do a systems check and make sure it's all happy before buttoning everything down. Had a phone call from the machine shop yesterday and the heads will be ready to pick up today. It's looking like i may get the engine reassembled over the weekend. (knocks on wood)

 

That's it for this instalment.
Catch you all next time! o7


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#17 KerrosTalde

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 05:47 PM

Alright, short update this time.

Got my heads back from the machine shop.Refaced and a new valve seat and valve cut to suit. I'm going to do all the stem seals and lap the valves in myself before starting reassembly. Might as well seeing that they're on the bench.

 

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Got them back waaay sooner than i anticipated. Was hoping to have all the wiring sorted before this point.

 

Now it is time for me to break out the tea.

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It's nice to see her power up for the first time... but that auto tree in the cluster is an eye sore that i will be glad to get rid of.

 

Looks like a success, that everything is powering up as i was hoping as i turn the key to accessory. Except one thing... When i turned the key off, everything stayed powered on as if on accessory. Could turn the key off, take it out and set it on the bench and it was still on. I have to disconnect the battery to kill it.

The key and barrel are the original for Ahri's shell and not the H6, but i can press the lock button on both keys and the doors will lock and unlock.

 

I had a feeling i'd run into an issue somewhere down the line, so this must be it. I may have to reprogram the key fob. I don't fancy changing the whole barrel and key over as the H6's key is worn out.

What do you guys think?

Any of you run into this problem with an engine swap?


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"


#18 Beckers

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:39 PM

No I didnt have that problem.

Just wondering if the H6 uses a fuel pump controller ??  Like the turbo does.

If so you will need to run the wiring down to the back of the car or make up a loom for it.



#19 duncanm

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 07:32 PM

Looks like a success, that everything is powering up as i was hoping as i turn the key to accessory. Except one thing... When i turned the key off, everything stayed powered on as if on accessory. Could turn the key off, take it out and set it on the bench and it was still on. I have to disconnect the battery to kill it.
The key and barrel are the original for Ahri's shell and not the H6, but i can press the lock button on both keys and the doors will lock and unlock.
 
I had a feeling i'd run into an issue somewhere down the line, so this must be it. I may have to reprogram the key fob. I don't fancy changing the whole barrel and key over as the H6's key is worn out.
What do you guys think?
Any of you run into this problem with an engine swap?


Sticky Acc. relay?

#20 KerrosTalde

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:13 PM

No I didnt have that problem.

Just wondering if the H6 uses a fuel pump controller ??  Like the turbo does.

If so you will need to run the wiring down to the back of the car or make up a loom for it.

I would have thought the 2.5 and H6 OBK would be the same. I haven't stumbled across any mention of a fuel pump controller in the FSM.

 

 

Sticky Acc. relay?

Dunno, everything had worked when it was in the H6. I will check to see if swapping it out works.


"Wouldn't it be fun to have a daily that you can take racing, tow a boat with, take the kids to school in, go do the grocery run, and hoon in any weather?"

 

"Why do you think i bought a Subaru then?"





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