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My RMW suby kit build. DONE!
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: My RMW suby kit build. DONE! Reply with quote

Hey everyone,

I will be adding a lot of pics in the coming days but just wanted to give an overview of my swap.

I decided after a lot and I mean a heck of al ot of thinking about what engine to choose to replace my current 2.1. The 2.1 was running very well and I choose to do this now so that I could take advantage of selling the engine at a decent price and feel good about passing it along to someone else.

I choose the RMW kit for several reasons: I liked the quality of everything I saw and they are close by, I had also talked to some people who only had good things to say about everyone there. The hardest decision I made was to go with the suby over a Tenncent engine. I am and will always be a stock engine fan. A few things came together to make the decision for me the biggest being a low mileage 2.2 at a low cost and I happened to have the money to do everything now and I had time off from work to get it done.

My engine: a 1999 2.2 from a non outback legacy. This has actually turned out to be the biggest challenge, since this is a "transition" year this later engine uses much from the 2.5 and has some things unique to just this year (more on this later).
The engine had just turned 100k and ran very well, but it was a real mess, it had that whiteish oxidation all over the block, like it had sat in a filed for a while.

A general overview of the swap: I worked hard, every day for about 3 1/2 weeks. I choose to not do the harness myself after realizing that I would have my hands full with the engine and I was working alone. The other consideration was that the small car wiring diagram cost 135.00 and with the buying of the RMW kit they would do it for 550.00 so for roughly 400.00$ I thought it was a good deal to let the pros do it.

As I said the engine was a mess so cleaning took a long while, I relealed everything but the heads, which after a lot of discussion I decided to leave and add the suby conditioner and hope for the best.

I was able to sell my stock 2.1 for 700.00 and got the suby and harness for 700.00, this included the yard pulling the engine and harness for me...although this resulted in not realizing that I did not have the complete 02 sensor harness...BIG Mistake!!

My experience with everyone from RMW: Through the entire process and continuing with working the bugs out these guys have been fantastic. I simply can't say enough, as I said this engine was a later one and some things were more like a 2.5 than a 2.2...I have learned this and did not have this knowledge a few weeks ago. It resulted in a bunch of head scratching, phone calls to all the RMW guys and I can say truthfully that there was not one time where anyone seemed like they were irked at another question and I had many, Phone calls were returned, everyone had a smile every single time I showed up to ask something or to look at something.
More on this later...

The quality of the parts: There is not much to say here, everything fit and worked. The exhaust bolted right up, the coolant manifold looked like art, Everything looked great and functions just as well. The manual that was included had a lot of detail and I am sure will continue to be added to as time goes on. Again this later engine created a couple of head scratchers for me, but nothing I could not get through.
The wiring harness was also a thing of beauty. Labeled, wraped and expalined in detail when I picked it up.

As I said I will be adding a lot of pics and detail, but as I write it is finished and runs very well. It fired right up on the first turn of the key. I have a couple of issues and debugging that have to do with some routing of evap hoses, but this is all simple stuff. I have already put about 125 miles on it and will be putting many more on soon...more to come on this also.
Todd.


Last edited by tschroeder0 on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: My RMW suby kit build Reply with quote

tschroeder0 wrote:
It fired right up on the first turn of the key.

Nice feeling, right?

Pix please, I like the RMW build quality on all of their products that I have seen.
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I will be posting pics tomorrow when I get up after working the night shift, and yes it was a nice feeling when it fired up. I think after weeks working alone I was a bit burned out and was in a bit of disbelief...if a van starts in the woods type of thing Smile
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI all, I'm finally getting around to writing this up, I hope it helps some people in the future.



Here is my engine, a 99 2.2 phase 2 out of a non outback legacy. I have found out that it is a strange little gem, not quite a 2.5 although it shares many similarities, and not an "older" 2.2. 1999 was a transition year and I found many quirks with this. More to come on that.

The engine was a real mess when I got it and it took a long while just to get it close to clean, but it had low miles having just turned 100k.

You can see here that I have the timing belt off and the water pump.

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Oil pump off, new water pump installed, note the little O ring to be changed located bottom left on the engine side of the oil pump galley
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Here are a few examples of the "before" pics

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and after:

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Note the coolant line that tracks right through the bottom of the throttle body, this threw me later on when I was plumbing everything. Also note that the manifold of this year looks just like a 2.5.



After about a week of engine prep: New water pump, tensioner, all seals, painting, timing belt etc... I picked up my RMW kit Laughing Everything looked super pro. Little details everywhere; chamfered edges on all the aluminum parts, just the way you would do it yourself if you had a shop.
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And the fun starts.

Note the timing belt. This was a major source of confusion with this engine. The later block does not conform to the teeth count of the earlier one's and many service manuals do not tell you this, so it took me a while to be certain that I had it right. The bottom line is: before taking apart, mark EVERYTHING, take a picture, recheck, then remove. LIne up the TIMING marks (not the TDC) marks on all gears (cam/crank) at 12 o'clock (actually the left cam gear is at 12, the right is lined with the cover) put your belt on, rotate and check. My actual teeth count is 47/43.5 (right/left)
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Here is a good pic of the left cam gear TIMING mark at 12 oclock, note the TDC mark at about 2 oclock, do not confuse these.
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This is an up close pic of the timing belt "keeper" found on manual suby engines to help keep the belt from jumping, seems like a good idea on an interference engine, also in the pic is the alignment for the crank gear, note the secondary mark at about 11 oclock for TDC
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A pic of the assembly instructions included with the RMW kit, color pics and some nice write ups of things to be careful of while you work so you get it right.
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first steps:

The engine/ tranny mounting plate

My donor was an auto trans so I had to install my own dowels, note the new rear main seal.
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mounted and read to install the studs that will mate to the tranny

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The beeutfiful flywheel with bearing installed
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prep of the reverse coolant manifold (also a work of art, with all needed bungs installed by RMW)
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new O ring on the engine side mounting area of the coolant manifold
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Mounted up with front to back coolant pipe installed also
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and it's starting to look like something

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Much more to come...
Todd
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. People will want to know--- total cost$$
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd.
Nice job showing it all thus far.
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks guys,

Cost. I am not a keeper of receipts, I find it depressing and it doesn't matter to me as the van will never be sold.

That said, here is what I can estimate. The cost of the donor engine and harness was 700.00. I sold my 2.1 for 700.00 so total engine cost=0.00

The RMW kit minus the SS coolant tubes (I used my stock one's)
was in the area of $3500.00 Keep in mind I had them do my harness too.

The miscellaneous adds up. I put about another 400.00 into the engine in seals,timing belt, gaskets, pulleys etc...
I could have spent more but replaced only those things that I thought I had to right now, but make sure you put a new water pump and tensioner on!

I am also lucky in that I have Subarupair in my backyard here in Boulder, so I can get anything used at a good price and fast.

So, all said I have in the area of 4k into this, depending on the engine miles of your donor and your own comfort level with used things you could spend more, but I do not think you could spend too much less, and end up with a kit of this quality, and the backup from the RMW guys has been nothing short of perfect.
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SOT - Slightly Off Topic . . .

To each his/her own, but IMHO, keeping receipts (especially for big ticket items) can be very useful if it ever comes time to make an insurance claim. Proving that your van is in fact worth as much as you say it is is made easier with receipts. I scan mine to a designated computer folder, and keep originals hard copies as well.

In any event, thanks for the build tread, and congrats on your new engine!

-CJ
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work man!!

Looks great.


RMW kit is killer. A bit more than my SC setup, but the RMW is a better kit (even though I love my SC bellhousing). Mike and crew are awesome as well!

And YES- Superupair to the rescue!! I picked up a new Alt there yesterday for my '85... recently rebuilt (local) and $45 - wooot!


see you around (I'm in Louisville/Boulder)
-Chad

(for reference (pioneer1) my swap was ~$3k, but I did the harness myself, my donor motor/harness was $275, and I sold the 'ol 1.9l for $300)
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I have some more time so here are some more pics...

Thanks for the comments, ClimberJon, I appreciate your thoughts. I tend to differ greatly from most on my viewpoint with insurance.
When I have checked into full coverage (and I have many times) it seems obscene, if I remember right about 4x what I pay for liability. All this so I can fight someone tooth and nail for scraps after an accident.
If I had a synchro I would may see it another way because of the price they command but the reality for me is that in short order that extra money adds up to another 2wd that I can buy and transfer over the things I would want if mine were wrecked. There are many vans that can be had for a real good price around me.
Also I see it as investing in MY life instead of hoping for some idiot to help me out after paying a small fortune in advance and kissing their ass in the process. That money buys gas, adventure and good meals. I could go on and on and I realize many may think I am a fool, but that's another topic.


Back to the build:

A few more views of the engine

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Now on to some engine compartment prep

the RMW engine mounting bar is very sturdy, it mounts to the stock motor mounts and then on each side to mounts that you bolt into holes that already exist and ones that you drill yourself, you do not use the stock mounting bracket. I think this was a well thought out, very smart move. It then allows for more room for the exhaust without any wild mounting tricks or exhaust bends that look like they will be a problem later.


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Here you see top right (dog ear) is where you bolt the motor mount (stock suby) and then bottom the side to side and up/down rubber mounted areas that will be bolted to the RMW mount that bolts to the frame. Also pictured are the bushings and supplied lubricant.

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Nice and Beefy!
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Mounted, note the nice little aluminum plate that covers the gap between the engine and trans. More on that later.

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upright view with clutch installed and clutch centering tool in place

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Here we are back to that plate again. I had a strange thing happen that almost led me to pulling the engine back out to replace what I thought was a failed rear main seal. Suby's do not use a gasket between the oil pan and engine block (what is up with that?) the plate is a tight fit as it should be, but upon tightening it down it got under the lip of my oil pan and broke the seal. when driving the oil leaking from the pan would wick up under the plate and then when stopped it would drip and appear just like a failed rear main. Not so! I took the plate off trimmed it just slightly, resealed the pan (which needed it anyway and I should have done already) and all was wonderful.

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A view of the gap that the plate covers, actually cool that you can see and feel the rear main seal

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Here is a problem others are sure to encounter:

I spent a lot of time fretting over this and being scared of how to get it out ( after I tried heat/penetrating oil) finally I just said screw it. I cut it flush, center punched it, then drilled and tapped it. It worked just fine.

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Yeah buddy



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I was then able to make a quick test fit of the exhaust header. I was truly surprised at how nicely the entire exhaust fit.

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Here is the second half of the engine mounting system fit under the "frame rail" you can't see where the first two bolts are holding but you can see where the three are that you will drill. The fit is tight and I was wondering if it was going to allow for enough room for the bolts to have good purchase, it does. ** in this pic the bracket is not pushed all the way over to the frame where it needs to be**
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Side view front engine compartment

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stay tuned...
Todd
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back again. So, the engine is preped, the engine mounting bar is mounted

here are some shots of the engine bay getting ready to accept the engine:

The "J"(junction) box, all of the main components of the wiring harness will be hooked up here, you can also see part of the brake booster line to the right of the box. That will be hooked up to the intake later.

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you have two round plugs in the J box, one routes back to your harness that runs your taillights, license plate lights, etc.. and the other is the 7 pin connector that will be spliced into your harness. You can see both plugs here.

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and here

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Here I have all the wires from the 7 pin round plug labeled. Do not under estimate the amount of confusion you can have around your harness, take pictures and make a lot of notes, it will save you soo much time and headache

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here you see both the hot wire to my fuel pump(red) and the large wires(red/white) that are from your alternator connection and will be spliced into the alt wires on your stock suby alternator. Again Make notes even if it is obvious, it will help you if you find yourself with different colored wires than are mentioned in diagrams. Different colors happen often.

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I had another 7 pin round stock vanagon plug, so I used this one to splice the suby harness to and now I have a nice disconnect for any troubleshooting in the future.

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here it is connected to the one on the van and ready to be hooked up

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and the wiring harness is picked up from RMW

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So, even though everything looked great and was very well labeled, I found myself very stressed over this. Here is the deal. The business end of the plug that you will hook up is the lower half. The upper parts (aome) will be used also if you need to hook up AC (I don't) and the obdII connector is on the upper half too, but to remove some stress from you diet, you truly only have the connections you see at the lower part of the picture and then the alternator connection. This amounts to about 9 connections to make and it will fire up and run. For some reason every time I looked at this when I was at home I felt panicked. Again, the guys at RMW were great and helped with any questions.

ok from here we will leave the harness stuff because we have to get the engine in the van!

This will be a foray into shade tree or in this case direct sunlight mechanics like you may have never known. Here is what happened. My plan was to go rent a small lift and do it that way, as it turns out I found myself ready to go on a sunday afternoon, the rental shop was closed and I was not ready to quit.

Trans supported, new throwout bearing installed:


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Now, this looks worse than it really was, let me explain.

Blocks at all wheels, Jetta parked at the bumper to prevent any roll. I jacked up only one aide as all I need the van elevated for, was to just get the engine under it. I was actually never under the van when it was like this, well I was but just slightly. Sometimes you gotta do what it takes, but, please be safe. The ladder was to attach straps to to help lift the engine, they never got used.

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again, sometimes you use what you have to

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now under the van!

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here is where having the mounting bar already installed paid off. I just lifted the engine on one side and slowly inserted boards until I was at a good height

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getting things lined up slowly

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from here all adjustment was made on the tranny side, which I had the jack under so I could make small moves

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Contact!
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Mounting up the engine carrier from here was much easier than I expected, note I am in the top mounting hole, the bottom is for a synchro.

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engine in, next we will move on to getting the coolant system installed, in this picture you can already see the stainless pipe that runs up from the water pump to the inside stock coolant tube. BTW The clearance from ground to the stock suby oil pan is about 8 inches, pretty good.


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First I cut out the little area(to be cleaned up latter with a dremmel) of the firewall where the hoses will be connected to the stock coolant pipes

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Here is a good shot of the connection off the rev. coolant manifold and the mounting area and connection of the stock vanagon coolant bottle. In thias picture I used the really nice silicone hose that is supplied in the RMW kit. In the end I had to source my own smaller sized hose because I was using my stock steel coolant lines. When I cut the stock coolant line to line them up to the manifold and the pipe that runs to the water pump I kept everything very close and used some longer hoses than I needed to to insure everything would stay put.

You can also see the routing of that SS pipe from the water pump and the mounting bracket that attaches to the top of the block, there is also a nice bleeder bolt installed in the bung in the top of the pipe.
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further along, connections made that run back to the stock vanagon T's that go to the heater core (rear)

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the above connection was made possible by this nice little reducer

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here is a T that gets used underneath the van to make the correct hose routing in the area of the rear heater T's

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More to come...
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jbnova
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for posting this thread! I've been wondering about the completeness of the RMW kit, as well has how thorough the installation instructions may be. Your experience, posts and photos are going a long way to not only answer those questions, but also help fill any missing gaps.

Thanks so much!

Justin
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good luck with those hose clamps--that type didnt work for me--they don't hold ...nice job overall though--the factory euro clamps with forged teeth hold like you need. mbz, bmw and volvo use them.
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with the Subie, mine has been great for two years and 20,000 miles (had 170,000 on it when I got it). I forget to check the oil sometimes, it runs so perfect I never have to open the engine compartment lid.
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thummmper wrote:
good luck with those hose clamps--that type didnt work for me--they don't hold ...nice job overall though--the factory euro clamps with forged teeth hold like you need. mbz, bmw and volvo use them.


Heed these words.

I finished my EJ22 swap in February, and have replaced more "new" hose clamps than I wanted.

Spend the extra money on some higher quality ones than the local FLAPS sells and you'll be much happier.

The project looks good, and you will enjoy the hell out of driving the van now!

As usual, RMW stuff looks and performs top notch.
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really sure about the hose clamp worry, they are high quality clamps and I actually double clamp all the bigger hoses. So far I have put about 400 miles on, most up in the mountains at high temps and high revs, no leaks, no movement from anything, I have checked everything daily after any driving just to make sure. Plus all of the various pieces have an end ridge to clamp behind, if the hose is slipping off it was not tight to begin with right?
Thanks though.


jbnova- I think the kit is very well done, as I have mentioned because of my crossover year engine there were a few glitches (for example, my intake is much more like a 2.5 than a 2.2 so it required a few 2.5 pieces to route some of the engine venting, no big deal though) nothing very hard to figure out though and any phone calls I had or when I stopped by to talk to the RMW guys were handled right away with patience. I am not joking when I say how good the customer service is, and despite how close they are to me I had never met any of the RMW guys prior to starting all of this.

todd.
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet! Congrats Todd!

We may be heading up to camp outside of Winter Park in June after Telluride. If so, it would be fun to hook up for a beer. Not sure how far of a drive it is from Boulder but I'll get in touch.

Enjoy the ride!

Pete
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet Todd !
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tschroeder0
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Joined: April 14, 2008
Posts: 2027
Location: Boulder CO
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave!

Pete, yeah I will see you in WP it's only an hour away, send me the dates
Todd
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tschroeder0
Samba Member


Joined: April 14, 2008
Posts: 2027
Location: Boulder CO
tschroeder0 is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all, back to add some more to this. i have been driving the van with the suby for a couple of months and have logged a lot of miles. on our last long weekend we put on about 900 miles over many passes and some very hot weather. other than my leaky oil pan that I fianlly fixed by installing a gasket and not just sealer, all has been very good. Lots of power and realy good mileage 22-23!

alright:

wiring harness; remember to not freak out on the hook up you are only putting together about 9 wires and it will run. just relax and take your time solder everything cover with liquid tape and then wrap with electrical tape.

Here I am pointing at the j box and my alternator connection all wrapped up.
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here are the two temp sensors I have since replaced the suby temp sensor on the left back to the stock vanagon type II sensor because of issues with the temp light coming on at random times, since then it has all been good.

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here is a look at the common grounds grounded to the left side of the engine comparment and then the ground strap running to the left engine block.

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Here is a look at the connection to the MAF and below that you see the two connections to the O2 sensors. There is also two plugs visible near the MAF hookup that I did not use and just zip tied them to the harness.
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Let's move on to some emissions and Vacuum plumbing:


Here you see the main crankcase vent into the one way manifold valve, you can also see the main ground to the engine blcok and the plug to the TPS on the throttle body.
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Here is the vac line to the fuel regulator and just above and behind it you see the socend line off the Y at the crankcase breather going to the fresh air intake tube
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and the brake booster line on the right side of the engine
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here you have the fuel intake and return and then on the bottom is the hard line that passes under the manilfold. On the right you will tie into the charcoal cannister and on the left you will tie into the intake manifold (there are many ways to plumb this)
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Here you have the valve cover vents that run into the fresh air intake via a "t"
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Here is the vac line to the manifold on the left side of the engine from the hard line underneath that goes to the charcaol cannister on the right side.
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Throttle cable

This works very well, the cable supplied with the kit is long enough to use the stock cable holder and slao maintains the adjustment, very easy.

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This pic sums up the exhaust very well: It's an ingeneous design. Small aluminum posts run from the front engine cover out to the heat shield and then there is one main hanger that wraps around the muffler (the heaviest piece) and goes to the heat shield. It's all nice and tidy and despite looking like it would not be solid, it is very solid.
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And, there you have it, the whole package. I am very happy with everything. I found many things challenging, but once done I can say that I could do the next one without any stress at all and I would use the RMW kit again. As I said at the start of this post the kit comes with the backup of all the great guys there at RMW to put it together.

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and finally back to the high mountains, fresh air and fun!

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one last pic of the person who deserves a big thank you for really getting it and giving me constant support by saying yes! when no would be so much easier:)
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I hope this makes someone elses install a little easier and more fun!
Thanks everyone for all the help on this when I needed it.
Todd.
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