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3.3 Subaru SVX/Vanagon Syncro conversion
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

winkshog wrote:
Where do you live so I can buy the house next door and have you come over and help me out with my toys...Man do you do nice work.

sean

One of the few reasons to work for Mircostiff would be I could be in the middle of the US Vanagon capital. People there, I guess, at least, tolerate Vanagons, unlike here where it is dangerous to drive anything that goes at less than light speed.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

winkshog wrote:
Where do you live so I can buy the house next door and have you come over and help me out with my toys...Man do you do nice work.

sean


Man, I WISH you would buy the house next door. My current neighbors suck!

I was able to get the bellhousing installed today. Everything went smooth and I am still super impressed with the quality and thorough attention to detail that RJES has put into their product.

After the original bellhousing is removed, the oil control scroll has to be removed and installed into the adapter which in turn gets installed into the new bellhousing. The oil seal comes pre installed in the bellhousing. The one in the first picture is the old one out of the VW bellhousing.

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A little tape on the input shaft splines protects the new oil seal, some sealer on the gearbox and the new bellhousing is ready to install. It's a really easy conversion. Two of the bellhousing bolts get replaced with longer ones supplied in the kit.

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The bronze cross shaft bushing comes pre installed. The new slave cylinder bracket bolts on perfectly with no fitment issues.

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The factory issue Subaru throwout bearing fits right onto the RJES modified cross shaft and the OE Subaru starter bolts into place on the bellhousing just like factory.

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I decided to add the third center motor mount to the SmallCar engine mount in an effort to help add some stability to the engine. The center mount needs to be modified a bit in order to fit in between the two outer mounts. A little trim is all it takes.

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WBX man
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SWEEEET Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
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pete000
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking Good !
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got the top of the motor buttoned up, replaced all the fuel lines, replaced the original charcoal canister with the Subaru unit and mounted the Subaru fuel filter.

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I removed the original fuel filter (which is a royal pain to get to on a Syncro) and used the original screws and bracket (with a few added bends) to mount the Subaru fuel filter in the right front portion of the engine bay.

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Oh yeah, I also trimmed the firewall for cooling tube and intake clearance.

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klepic
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Chris. I see why you haven't had time to reply to my lame emails. Smile

Hope things are all good with the neighbors from tre huggin' hell!
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting closer. Lot's of time consuming details at this point.

The first order of business was to make the intake fit. The SVX throttle bodies sit quite a ways forward when installed in a Vanagon. Using the RJES bellhousing moves the engine forward by about 16mm over an adapter. I cut the rubber boots down as far as possible and used narrow clamps from Aircraft Spruce. I also had to modify the lip on the throttle bodies just slightly in order for the boots to seat as far onto the throttle bodies as possible. The intake still sits too close to the fuel tank so I will have to modify the intake by cutting it down to make it slightly narrower. I will do that at a later date.

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The SVXs only came as automatics so I had to convert it using a flywheel and clutch from a WRX. The RJES bellhousing comes with a new input shaft bearing and ring spacer. New flywheel bolts had to be purchased from Subaru as the flex plate bolts are too short.

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The gearbox (with the RJES bellhousing attached) bolted up to the engine just like factory. You can probably see the unused bolt holes in the bellhousing. The bellhousing is designed to fit multiple Subaru engines.

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This bellhousing leaves lot's of room between the Syncro fuel tank and the Subaru starter.

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The stock SVX air box will be placed in the lefthand air inlet pocket. The lid on the air box needs to be flipped 180 degrees and some small tabs need to be cut off to allow the clips to function properly. The MAF housing needs to be relocated and the old hole filled. I used some vibration stand-offs to mount the forward tabs on the housing and built a bracket that bolts near the left taillight to hold the rear portion of the housing.

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The rear airbox bracket construction.

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I used some engine mount modification brackets from Vanaru to add some support to the engine mount where it bolts to the body. These are designed for conversions using an adapter, I had to modify them slightly.

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If anyone is interested, there are a whole bunch more pictures at:

http://public.fotki.com/loogy/33-svx-vanagon-conv/james-syncro/
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klepic
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Chris. Now find a way to get past the immobilizer on the newer 2006 H6 and we'll swap a ez30r into the RS. Smile

Perin has that engine turbo'd with over 500hp. Some guys are saying 900hp would be possible. ZOINKS! Question


Last edited by klepic on Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bunker108
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

Amazing!
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The swap was nearly wrapped up and I was getting excited to be done. I only needed to build the exhaust from the header out but was waiting for the muffler to arrive. I decided to fire up the engine briefly to be sure that everything was connected correctly. The engine acted as though the timing was way off. From the personal encounter that I had with the engine rebuilder along with various items that I found wrong with the engine during my time with it , I wouldn't trust him any further than I could throw him. As a result, my thought went to immediate went to the timing belt thinking that it very easily could have been install incorrectly. That turned out not to be the cause of the timing issue. According to the codes, 29 to be exact, the ECU is not getting signal from the crank angle sensor. The engine wiring harness on this engine had been burnt at some point in it's life and the connectors are broken. I did as much repair work as I could given it's condition hoping that it would be OK. Obviously I didn't do a good enough job. I decided to put a new engine harness in it if for nothing else but to be able to put that portion of the system 100% right so as to eliminate that as a possible source of the fault. The new harness should be here next week. Hopefully that cures the problem.

In the mean time, here are some of the last pictures of the installation.

Here is the hammer beaten but shiny SmallCar header.

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I don't really understand why SmallCar does not manufacture their header so that the stock EGR tube can be installed without having to modify it. The EGR tube is made of fairly thin walled stainless and even though I heated it up with a torch, it was still a royal pain in the arse to get it to fit. I'm really not happy with it but I guess it will work.

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The last thing that I installed was the ECU onto the original VW ECU mounting bracket. The SVX ECU is large enough that it doesn't really fit inside like the VW one did, so it has to be mounted outside. The hamb fisted brute who removed the harness from the car (Not me. Care to guess who?) broke all of the tabs off of the fuel pump relay and main relay connectors. This left me with no way to mount them. I used some tie wraps that have provisions for screw mounting attached to mount them to the bracket. I left the diagnostic connecters out on the floor so that they can be accessed by simply removing the kick panel.

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[img] http://images109.fotki.com/v788/photos/5/545581/4766630/IMG_1619-vi.jpg[/img]
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The last few things that I did was to lengthen the skid bars and fill the system with coolant. When I filled the system with coolant, I used my garden sprayer to add the coolant under pressure into the hose that connects the coolant expansion tank to the reversed coolant manifold on the top of the engine. I simply took the hose off of the expansion tank and plugged the nipple on the tank. Then I used a brass hose barb fitting
to connect the garden sprayer hose to the hose from the coolant manifold. This worked beautifuly to quickly add the coolant to the entire system and purge the air at the same time. Very easy to do.

I just realized that I forgot to download the pictures of this off of the camera. I will add them as soon as I do.
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vw_nick
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is impressive stuff loogy, looks like a real clean install.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, it's fun.

Here are the pictures that I mentioned in the last post.

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When extending the skid bars, the assembley must be dropped down slightly to prevent the skid plate from hitting the SmallCar header. I used a thick paint stir stick to act as a spacer bewteen the header and the skid plate while I tacked up the assembley. The finished product has some groovy curves in bet I guess it looks factory enough. I still need to paint it though.

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When SmallCar does their wiring harness, they use the high pressure oil pressure sensor wire to operate the check engine light at the dash. This yellow wire has to be moved from it's original position on the dash wiring connector to the position previously occupied by the blue/green colored oxygen sensor counter light (which is no longer needed).

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T3Technique.com or contact me at [email protected]


Last edited by Christopher Schimke on Wed May 16, 2007 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Van-go108
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Chris,
What is the overall material cost at this point? Beer time or "Labor" aside
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the parts and price breakdown. Keep in mind that this is full retail, the SVX engine had to be converted from automatic to manual spec for use with the RJES bellhousing and some of the parts on this list were necessary for replacing worn or broken parts on the engine.

Basic installation parts:

$1218.29 RJES Bellhousing Kit (R J Engineered Solutions Tel. 07761 788669)
$ 75.00 Used WRX Flywheel
$ 214.95 Starter (WRX 215 Part# F5000-165663 from Autopartswarehouse.com)
$2460.03 Wiring, Engine Mount, Exhaust Parts, Throttle Cable, Power Steering Hose,
Etc. (SmallCar Performance Tel. 253-473-2474)
$ 91.95 228mm Clutch Disk (CB Performance Tel. 559-733-7967)
$ 185.00 WRX Clutch Kit (GripForce Clutches Tel. 562-905-3233)
$ 804.63 Reversed Coolant Manifold Kit and Shortened Oil Pan (East Coast Vanagon Tel. 570-561-2023)
$ 33.28 Bellhousing, Starter and Clutch Bolts (Subaruparts.com)

$5083.13 - Total

Misc. additional items:

$ 259.98 Various Subaru Specific Hoses- vacuum, coolant, etc. (Subaruparts.com)
$ 395.62 Oil filter, Air filter, Knock Sensors, Oxygen Sensors, etc. (Subaruparts.com)
$ 251.54 Purge Valve (duty solenoid), Back Pressure Valve. (Eastside Subaru)
$ 25.00 Various nuts and bolts not included with engine mounting kit.
$ 26.62 15W40 Oil, CableTies, Fuse Holder. (NAPA)
$ 166.57 Fuel Injection Hose, Hose Clamps, Fuel Filter. (NAPA/CarQuest)
$ 22.22 PCV Valve, Vacuum Hose (B&B Autoparts)
$ 11.77 Heater Hose, Check Valve (NAPA)
$ 52.20 - Transmission Fluid Redline MT90 6qts
$ 18.60 Screw Clamps for Intake Boot (AircraftSpruce.com)
$ 50.74 Misc. Bolts, Clamps, Hoses, Adapters (NAPA, Tacoma Screw, McLendons)
$ 56.16 Subaru Approved Coolant (Eastside Subaru)
$ 150.00 Engine Mount Adapters (East Coast Vanagon Tel. 570-561-2023)
$ 31.53 Exhaust U-bend 2 steel
$ 4.98 Exhaust bolts
$ 3.39 Power steering fluid (Shell Dextron II)

$1526.92 - Total

$6610.05 - Grand parts total

This list is VERY complete as so depicts a very accurate estimate of the final parts cost. I used factory Subaru parts in areas where I felt they were necessary and justified. Note that this list does NOT include the cost of the engine, the cost of rebuilding the engine or any of the items that would normally get replaced on a donor engine since they were already included in the rebuild (like the timing belt and pulleys, various gaskets, etc.)

By the time I am done (completely), I will have well over 100 hours into the project. Much of that time was spent repairing damage caused to the engine and it's sensors and wiring by the engine rebuilder and also building factory looking brackets and such. I like things to be clean and easily serviced as well as look like they could have come from th factory that way. Sometimes it takes longer to do thing "right" than it would to just get the job done using a minimal effort but in the long run, it can end up costing a person in either time or money.

I'm sure that this job could have been done for much less but I take pride in my work and will not do something if I done feel that I can do it to the best of my abilities. It's just the way that I am.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad day here at the house. James' Syncro left last night. I was kind of fond of the thing and hated to see it go.

The engine wiring harness did the trick. It fired up instantly and ran beautifully. I had to put a new radiator in it (which I should have done in the first place) as the original one was plugged up so bad that very little coolant was making into the return pipe.

I put 100 miles on it yesterday and man, what a joy to drive. That 3.3 has so much torque that, even in a Syncro, it flat hauls booty.

Just a James was on his way over to pick it up, I was checking things out and discovered that the alternator had quit working. Kind of weird because the indicator light would come on while cranking and then go out but if you just turned the ignition to the run position, the light would not come on. Checking revealed that it was not putting out anything. Luckily I was able to get ahold of James and he picked up a replacement on his way over. 5 minutes worth of R&I and it was all good to go.

Anyway, anyone who is considering installing a 3.3, I say DO IT! You will not regret it.

The last of the pictures. The muffler was put on without a cat because the way SmallCar designed the header, there is VERY LITTLE room between the 90 bend and the rear shock. Not only that but the angle at which the cat must be attached to the header is just not right. It takes WAY to steep of angle to gain enough room for all of it to fit. The solution to adding a cat? Not sure yet.

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More pictures can be seen here:

http://public.fotki.com/loogy/33-svx-vanagon-conv/james-syncro/page12.html

If anyone else is interested in have a conversion done in the Seattle area, let me know. I really enjoy doing it.
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Last edited by Christopher Schimke on Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crankey
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that 6 legged manifold looks soooo good Cool

I was looking at the MPG ratings of the SVX vs other Subies and it didn't seem much worse than the 4 bangers. overall, ya think the SVX swap will be much more than other Subie swaps ? seems like alot depends on the deal you get on the engine. even after what you were saying about the cat location, I do like the muffler can on the side like that.
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pete000
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Work, great fabrication !
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1990 Vanagon RS 2.1
1967 Deluxe 21 window
1974 Porsche 914 2.5
--------------------
Koni Shocks
H & R Red Springs
Addco Sway Bars Front-Rear
18 X 7.5 and 18 X 8 OEM Porsche Wheels
Recaro Power-Heated seats
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TSR53
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice work Chris. Inspired me once again... Guess I better start saving for this conversion now.
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wwVanayakagon
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: battleCat is rockin Reply with quote

What an awesome job .... no doubt.

This little van has sure given me it's fair share of suprises though.

Thanks to chris I have had telephonic support from 2 different countries and 3 states as I have worked through different little terds that popped up.

Lets see we went through the fuel pressure regulator on the maiden voyage about 150 miles from home.

We did the Arching Alternator Leads & Blown Fuses in BC about 300 miles from home.

Luckily the snapped pulley bolt on the idler was close to home and with on 15 miles to get back I was good to go. The shredded Timing Belt and melted covers were bumming though.

Of course my personal favorite would just have to be the snapped axle and CV join up past whistler earlier in the month. That was a 340 mile journey of 10mph patience.

All said and done I am still in love with this hot little van and were getting ready for the next stage.

I just slapped in complete axles all around w/ new old man emu's too. Next are the coils, and new rims and tires.

More Pics.
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But were still rollin
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James
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:08 pm    Post subject: Re: battleCat is rockin Reply with quote

wwVanayakagon wrote:


Lets see we went through the fuel pressure regulator on the maiden voyage about 150 miles from home.


Now wait a minute, be honest! You ran out of gas. Very Happy

wwVanayakagon wrote:
We did the Arching Alternator Leads & Blown Fuses in BC about 300 miles from home.


...because who neglected to find the correct alternator plug? Not me! Very Happy

wwVanayakagon wrote:
Luckily the snapped pulley bolt on the idler was close to home and with on 15 miles to get back I was good to go. The shredded Timing Belt and melted covers were bumming though.


This would be @#&*in' engine rebuilders fault, right? Not me! Very Happy

wwVanayakagon wrote:
Of course my personal favorite would just have to be the snapped axle and CV join up past whistler earlier in the month. That was a 340 mile journey of 10mph patience.


Man, this is ALL you.


No seriously, James and I have become good friends throughout the course of this conversion. However, like many conversions, it did have a few "teething" problems to figure out.

Thank you guys for the kind words about the conversion, I had a good time doing it. I have to say that even in a Syncro, that little SVX motor scoots.
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