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Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics
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dsdunbar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:53 am    Post subject: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Hi All,
I have been (semi) patiently waiting for the completion of my Vanaru installation for my 1989 2wd westy. Below are pictures (death by pictures, think there are ~45+ pictures). Before you jump to the pics...the question I have is, what muffler do you have on your subaru conversion and how is it holding up? The Vanaru SS muffler and exhaust is excellent, but it causes a deep growl in the cabin which I am not a fan of. I am told I can switch the muffler (maybe to the small car option?) for it has been shown to be quieter on the vanaru conversion, but vanaru couldnt vouch for longevity of the other muffler options. So if you have a SC or such muffler, how has it held up?

I dropped my van off in October 2019 and picked it up on Saturday March 21 2020. (The long time was due to numerous factors outside of the mechanics and my control). But I now have it back and it is glorious*. Wanted to share pictures and say thanks to Matt Steedle for the rebuilt Transmission and Keith (and Hans) for the Vanaru install!

Transmission (didnt have any pictures of the cruddy trans when it was removed and boxed up, just think dark sooty oily caked on dirt color):
GT4th gear 0.812
FAS Oiling Plates
Aluminum Gear Carriers
Weddle Hub, bearings, seals, gaskets
Peloquin (TBD? ...jk i know there is a thread on this topic)
3/4 slider new oem from VW
Steel Cage idlers
and many more I can't remember

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Engine Conversion:
some pictures from intermediate steps (Clear POR15 applied in engine compartment, SS coolant lines w/ SS tees. Engine: 2011 Legacy EJ25 with 32,511mi (no paper work documenting miles). There are several pictures of the underside of my van for general documentation purposes of overall condition.


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So there is rust under my van. Hopefully nothing debilitating, but something I will have to address in the future (but not likely this year or next).

Thanks for looking!
-Dana
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Last edited by dsdunbar on Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Hmm...not bad...



GREAT! 😷
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Nice job!

what is the stainless box thing between the shifter box and the radiator?

Is you fill plug on the transaxle special? It looks different on the pic I could see, but I can`t tell for sure.
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dsdunbar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

ALIKA T3 wrote:
Nice job!

what is the stainless box thing between the shifter box and the radiator?

Is you fill plug on the transaxle special? It looks different on the pic I could see, but I can`t tell for sure.


Hi Alika,
I believe the metal box is the computer and/or sensors for the drive by wire system:
there is a quick blurb on picture 31 of the following link (I cant figure out how to link directly to the pic)
https://www.vanaru.com/tornado-red-conversion-example

The fill plug...I am not sure if it is special. Matt Steedle said he put in an extra large magnet drain plug, but I dont recall anything special about the fill plug.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

is that a EJ25?

Also how much was that Steedle trans rebuild/upgrades
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dsdunbar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
is that a EJ25?

Also how much was that Steedle trans rebuild/upgrades


Hey Shaggin,
it is an EJ25 from a 2011 legacy (DOHC)

The trans rebuild from Steedle came out to $4500 with all the associated parts.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

RE: Muffler

I use a stock VW muffler mated to a Kennedy EO compliant cat with stock style flanges welded on, like yours, and have a Vanaru header.

You will likely lose performance with a stock muffler.

Your stiff yellow transmission mount or others may be the real issue.


Do tell about those headlights!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
RE: Muffler

I use a stock VW muffler mated to a Kennedy EO compliant cat with stock style flanges welded on, like yours, and have a Vanaru header.

You will likely lose performance with a stock muffler.

Your stiff yellow transmission mount or others may be the real issue.


Do tell about those headlights!!!

Thanks for the info about your muffler. I am not so worried about any performance drop...the low droning noise will drive me nuts on an 8 hr drive.

Your comment about the transmission mount bushing, I had this installed prior to the engine conversion for a couple of years, so I do not think it is my noise issue.

The headlights are done by a fellow Samba member: Vanonimous
He vacuum forms the lenses. I drove to his house one day and we (I watched he wired) it up. It's been great, but I can't compare to the SA options.

Here is the thread on the headlights:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=578291
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

You will love the 2.5! I have been ear to ear smiles since i completed mine on my syncro westy in Jan. Only took me 20 years to pull the trigger. Anyways Im using KEP header exhaust set up. Honestly its pretty cheap stainless as its already showing some pretty good rust. Its louder than stock for sure but I only notice it on take off, at cruise i dont hear a thing. My cabin is pretty well insulated and sound deadened so that may help. We’ll see how long it holds up. I was on a budget (did my conversion diy for under $4k) which is why I chose KEP. Not sure what direction ill go after this exhaust fails.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

I have had the Vanaru header on for 10 years. It just works. It IS good.....

I am so ever grateful to all the Subaru Sambanistas as they all share info which allowed me to be a wise choosing grasshopper.

My Subaru install has been the most painless brainless engine to have in my Vanagon.

There are plenty of smiles per mile to be had with them!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

The pics of the tranny and the mill are some of the best Van Porn I've seen.

Nice

Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

I have had the Vanaru header on for 10 years. It just works. It IS good.....

I am so ever grateful to all the Subaru Sambanistas as they all share info which allowed me to be a wise choosing grasshopper.

My Subaru install has been the most painless brainless engine to have in my Vanagon.

There are plenty of smiles per mile to be had with them!
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Who's oil pan is that ?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Wheeeee!!!

Well done, Dana! It looks like you've got an awesome family rig for a decade to come.

Good work being patient. Sometimes this work can take awhile.

Enjoy.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Congrats on the new stuff!! Looks like Steedle takes pride in his work. And you didn't ask him for the cheapest whambamthankyouma'am.

One thing tranny builders don't know, because they kinda can't know, is how much trash comes off new parts.
The tranny goes out the door and "they are not the maintainer".
They don't see it again for a long time (ideally).

If you want longer transaxle bearing life, get that trash out of your trans early & often.
I'd drive it "easy" and dump at 200 miles for the first time. You can use cheap oil, you're not driving it hard during break-in, right?

Don't lug the engine, and shift 3rd-4th-3rd-4th more often than you'd normally do. Choose the backroads that allow 3-4-3-4-3-4.
Don't lug 4th gear.

I'd add a drain magnet to the filler hole so you can peek at it from time to time. But of course it won't be the same as the drain magnet at the bottom, where steel can drop onto it all night long. Then extend your intervals as you see fit from your clean lookin' magnets. Wink It's reasonable to consider that doubling the HP suggests 4x the drivetrain maintenance.

Specialty oil can provide something like 7-11% better lubricity so with almost double the power it could be better. But it's really hard to "know". The only thing you can "know" is that 7-11% CANNOT possibly make up for the 80% more HP.

But if you're gonna drive 75-80 mph (AFTER the magnet cleans up) you should have the best oil you can afford to keep clean. There is no miracle oil. If there was it would cut the oil arguments short, and nothing does. Prob better to keep it under 70mph when you can.

======== ENGINE =======

That EJ25 is also gonna work it's ass off pushing that brick, rather than it's old ho-hum task of scooting a slippery little sedan. It seems like after 3,000 miles oil burns faster. So add a quart, then when that added quart burns up, change the oil. Good thing you have that huge sump, Vanaru is obviously paying attention as everyone learns about conversion engines.

I have a Vanaru exhaust and Smallcar muffler. I never think of it as 'too loud'.
I wish I shipped my Syncro to Vanaru for the conversion.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

panel wrote:
Who's oil pan is that ?

Vanaru oil pan, believe it is of their own design.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:03 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Wheeeee!!!

Well done, Dana! It looks like you've got an awesome family rig for a decade to come.

Good work being patient. Sometimes this work can take awhile.

Enjoy.

Thanks Jim! ...I am banking on two decades though....for the kids will be gone by that point and Katie and I can have simpler camping trips.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
Congrats on the new stuff!! Looks like Steedle takes pride in his work. And you didn't ask him for the cheapest whambamthankyouma'am.

One thing tranny builders don't know, because they kinda can't know, is how much trash comes off new parts.
The tranny goes out the door and "they are not the maintainer".
They don't see it again for a long time (ideally).

If you want longer transaxle bearing life, get that trash out of your trans early & often.
I'd drive it "easy" and dump at 200 miles for the first time. You can use cheap oil, you're not driving it hard during break-in, right?

Don't lug the engine, and shift 3rd-4th-3rd-4th more often than you'd normally do. Choose the backroads that allow 3-4-3-4-3-4.
Don't lug 4th gear.

I'd add a drain magnet to the filler hole so you can peek at it from time to time. But of course it won't be the same as the drain magnet at the bottom, where steel can drop onto it all night long. Then extend your intervals as you see fit from your clean lookin' magnets. Wink It's reasonable to consider that doubling the HP suggests 4x the drivetrain maintenance.

Specialty oil can provide something like 7-11% better lubricity so with almost double the power it could be better. But it's really hard to "know". The only thing you can "know" is that 7-11% CANNOT possibly make up for the 80% more HP.

But if you're gonna drive 75-80 mph (AFTER the magnet cleans up) you should have the best oil you can afford to keep clean. There is no miracle oil. If there was it would cut the oil arguments short, and nothing does. Prob better to keep it under 70mph when you can.

======== ENGINE =======

That EJ25 is also gonna work it's ass off pushing that brick, rather than it's old ho-hum task of scooting a slippery little sedan. It seems like after 3,000 miles oil burns faster. So add a quart, then when that added quart burns up, change the oil. Good thing you have that huge sump, Vanaru is obviously paying attention as everyone learns about conversion engines.

I have a Vanaru exhaust and Smallcar muffler. I never think of it as 'too loud'.
I wish I shipped my Syncro to Vanaru for the conversion.


Thanks Sodo, I already plan an early dump on the oil (was thinking 500 but I can do earlier). Not pushing her hard I dont think, and I am still learning the proper shift points with the new rpms. Unfortunately I havent driven her much since I picked her up because everything is closed (and my kids school is cancelled for the rest of the year).

The small car muffler is holding up? Not rusted through in 2 years? As always, thanks for your insight based on experience.

-Dana
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

Man, that transaxle looks fantastic!!!

I found the stock 2.1 muffler to be very restrictive and replaced it with a Walker muffler for a 1990 - 1995 V-6 Ford Ranger. Bigger diameter in and out but just as quiet.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Vanaru Conversion complete, M. Steedle Trans - 2wd pics Reply with quote

dsdunbar wrote:

Thanks Sodo, I already plan an early dump on the oil (was thinking 500 but I can do earlier). Not pushing her hard I dont think, and I am still learning the proper shift points with the new rpms. Unfortunately I havent driven her much since I picked her up because everything is closed (and my kids school is cancelled for the rest of the year).

The small car muffler is holding up? Not rusted through in 2 years? As always, thanks for your insight based on experience.

-Dana


My SmallCar muffler is from 2009 and still going strong.
It was the SmallCar headers that cracked up starting at about 8 months.
They had a lot of surface rust, but not thru or anything, it was only "appearance".
But the cracks and welds were so numerous the header looked like bamboo.
I think Smallcar has solved the cracking problem.
But they didn't give me even a dime of consideration on my 1-year $400 broken header, wouldn't even replace it at "their cost".
It was full-pop or nothing.
Rather than risk another $400 bamboo, I bought a Vanaru header for $900 in 2011 and it's still PERFECT.
(pics of bamboo and Vanaru header on other thread here )

==== background that you already know, Dana=======
I have an on-board filtration system that I ran from the first revolution of the trans, it continually cleans the oil every day.
At significant expense, complexity, and hobby.
All gearboxes pollute themselves on a continuum, especially if over-driven.
Nobody knew anything back then and it seemed like the best solution was to vacuum it out on a continuum.
And I enjoyed the project.
======= (and the other regulars who glaze over my posts) ================

It's not the best solution, it's just one.
And consider mine only filters down to 10µ (microns), but FRESH CLEAN new oil starts from CLEAN/PURE for only $20 (bucks).
Bearings prefer cleanliness below 2µ, so the periodic change-method offers a little super-clean respite whereas the filtration system operates continuously in the 10µ range.
But if any big stuff chips off the gears, my system takes it out quickly, whereas with the periodic change, it circulates the trans repeatedly.... until dumped. Confused

If you don't wanna waste resources remember oil purifies itself by gravity sitting on the shelf in your garage.
At the refinery they heat it up and use a centrifuge.
It's mostly the same on your garage shelf, just much slower.
It takes about 3 months and the steel all drops to the bottom (100%).
It stinks and is messy work for $20.
And you can't tell anyone what you are doing or they'll think you're insane.
But it's similar to rinsing out a yogurt cup for recycling.

If you buy $80 oil,,,, the endeavor makes a little more sense.
But considering the MUCH higher duty you will ask of that little 90 HP gearbox,,,, $80 is not so crazy.
But don't tell every person that you buy $80 oil either; or the insane assessment will come from a different group of people.
Remember it's additive.
Regular people don't have to know all the details of your over-engining-antiques program.
What happens in 'Vegas stays in 'Vegas.
Unless you come home on a flatbed.
Lets avoid that too.

When NEW, the trash production is high from the break-in of new parts, and the cleanliness of assembly.
When OLD, the self-contamination is from the parts wearing out.
And with increased duty of a bigger engine (as in your case) the self-contamination will be FULL-TIME.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The 'bathtub failure curve' is a good depiction, but we're referring to lubricant contamination, not parts breaking.
You'll gain longevity by doing shorter oil change intervals in the beginning and in the end too.
How do you know where you are on the curve?
Well the beginning is known in your case, but the steepness in the end announces itself ( Exclamation ) by more steel appearing on the magnet.

Which you can ONLY know if you're paying attention (looking at the magnet).
All you can know fromNOT looking is you arrived at the end sooner than you needed to.

How many people know what a magnet looks like at the first 500miles?
You can count them on your (appendages) and there won't be any trans builders in this pair.
Nobody knows what a magnet looks like at 200miles either so I'm egging you on to provide one example for your Samba brothers & sisters.
Seems like member old_man might do it too.

All I "know" is the basic logic.
There will be more trash than you WANT in your lubricant, and that sh*t needs to get OUT.
If your magnet comes out clean at 200, that's really great info, right?
You could put that oil right back in. (or settle it and use it after 3 months).
And I hope others will post (first change) pics too, so we can all learn.

But your magnet clean at 200mi doesn't mean some other fellers rebuild will be the same. You have no_idea the cleanliness of that assembly, nor the condition of all the other used gears, nor how much trash the new gears are gonna shed. Every trans is different, you have to look at every magnet.

Not really-----you CAN just throw it under the bus and just drive it.
This exercise is for the person who is interested in extending the life of an expensive drivetrain component operated under MUCH higher duty (80% more HP EJ25).
_________________


'07 EJ25 with '12 longblock, (Peloquin TDB on the shelf), locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system. LiFePO
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
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