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Syncro Westy Build Log - With Pics.
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Hodakaguy
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Joined: April 25, 2012
Posts: 594
Location: Eastern WA
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Syncro Westy Build Log - With Pics. Reply with quote

Hello. I'm new to the forum and to Westfalia's. For years I've wanted a Syncro Westy and a few months ago I was lucky enough to pick up a clean low mile (47K) one owner 90 Syncro Very Happy My father and I split ownership on the Syncro and decided to build it up to be our camping vehicle.

I'll add photo's of the process as I start modifying and doing maint on the Westy. We decided on a list of items that we wanted to add/change to fit our plans.

Engine: I changed the fuel lines, fuel reg, plugs and wires and the stock engine runs like a champ...But. Looking for reliability and a little more HP for high elevation travel we decided to do a engine swap. After doing quite a bit of research we settled on the Subaru 2.5L. My wife drives a forester with this engine so I'm well familiar with it (rebuilt the heads etc a couple months ago).

Conversion Kit: I decided to go with the Rocky Mountain Westy kit. I like the design of the engine mount, exhaust system, etc. Can't wait to start the installation process...more to follow soon.

Other Items: Install a Propex heater, Upgrade the cooling lines, Upgrade suspension and shocks, install a SA Grill, Bumpers/Tire Carriers and other small misc items.

Update (2/11/14): Thanks to Samba Member "designer" for preparing a reference list for this thread.

Page 1:
Automatic window repair/power window repair
Subaru 2.5l Preparation (harness, timing belt, water pump, t-stat, belt tensioner, RMW oil pan, oil pickup fab, modify engine baffle plate)
Dropping Stock 2.1 engine and Transmission
Page 2:
Removal of coolant, fuel lines, gas tank
Firewall modification for Subaru coolant lines
Draining existing fuel tank directions
Transmission prep (cross shaft, input seal)
Differential lock actuator repair
Media blasting and powder coating begins on rear
Suspension removal work begins (rear)
Rear Drum brake restoration
Rear inboard and outboard bearing installation
Rear trailing arm bushing installation (T3 Technique Powerflex)
Page 3:
CV joint removal/tear down – race/bearing inspection/repair
Fuel tank removal
Steam cleaning rear compartment/engine bay/wheel wells/tranny
Transmission repair work:
Removing tranny output stubs how-to
Removing / replacing output stub seals
Diesel TDI starter installation onto the Suby 2.5
(Diff actuator mod for TDI starter install)
Pulling cross shaft bushing and replacement
Clutch slave cylinder install
Continued prep for undercoating application
Undercoating begins(Eastwood gun and Wurth undercoating)
Page 4:
Fuel tank repair focus
Engine heat shield installation
RMW SS exhaust installation
Engine harness/engine installation prep
Stock heater core removal
Wiring harness prep/feeding
Fuel tank leak test and installation
Rear trailing arm urethane bushing installation
GW 2” Lift Spring installation
Fox shock prep and install
Brake hardware cleaning and brake installation
Page 5:
Driver’s side trailing arm installation
Drum brake assembly
GW 2” Lift spring and Fox shock installation
Brake lines installed
Engine prep for tranny mating (there’s a joke there, somewhere)
RMW Adaptor plate installation
Flywheel mounting prep and installation
Clutch disk spline prep
Sachs/Kennedy Stage 1 Clutch install
Throw out bearing mount, input splines/cross shaft arm prep
Engine and Transmission bolted together
EGR tube modification
RMW Engine carrier Prep and installation
Test starting the Suby 2.5
Engine Installation
Info on Hodokaguy’s day job
Page 6:
Firewall trimming for new wiring harness
Tail light installation
Fuel tank strap mod for TDI starter
Rear axel assembly
Lobro CV joints and boot install
Page 7:
Oil Dip Stick installation
Front end work begins
Spring removal with KTC Spring compressor
Axel removal
Dust shield removal
Radiator removal – new SA rad install
Coolant pipe installation
Steering rack removal
CV Joint removal from axels
Bearing race removal from hubs
Page 8:
Prevalent CV banter
Removal of Front Headlights
Relay wiring for new SA lights
Installation of SA grill
Page 9:
Front end powdercoating
Hub bearing install
RMW front bumper installation
Lower ball joint and seal installation
Steering rack rehab begins: bushing removal
Powerflex Urethane steering rack bushing installation
Lower control arm bushing install
Power steering rack installation
Burley upper control arm installation
Page 10:
Upper ball joint discussion/comparisons continue
Lemforder, Meyle, Febi, TRW, Moog
Front axel assembly
Fox shock installation – KTC Spring compressor
Sway bar installation with new urethane bushings
Page 11
Lemforder vs. Febi ball joint Range of Motion test
T3 Techniques end link urethane bushing installation
Brake installation – VanCafe Big Brake Kit
Stainless steel dust shield installation
Custom Brake line bracket fabrication
Page 12
Rear seat re-installtion
Dynamat installation
Propane tank installation/replacement
Hushmat installation
Engine ECU install
ECU cover fabrication/installation
Front axle nut comparison – VanCafe
Passenger side brake line installation
GoWesty radiator air deflector installation
Page 13
Burley CV Protector installation
Clutch slave cylinder work / banjo bolt installation
Brake bleeding
Rubber floor mat cleaning/installation
Aligning the bus
Power steering reservoir installation
Adding coolant
HID light installation
Page 14
HID light installation continued
Terrawagen Postal Flare Installation
Filling and bleeding of power steering system
Fuel pressure regulator and filter installation
Fiamma awning installation
Page 15
Custom awning bracket fabrication
First start of the Subaru
Throttle cables: RMW vs SmallCar vs RJES
Page 16
RMW rear bumper installation
Engine Grounding strap
Fiamma awning bracket fab continued
RMW rear tire carrier installation
Subaru throttle mount fabrication
Page 17
Driver side axel assembly installation
RMW Speed sensor installation
Throttle setup
VW to Subaru tachometer modification
More hushmat installation
Transmission vent line installation
First drive
Page 18
Truck fridge installation
Truck fridge painting/refinishing to match OEM interior
SEM paint specs
Page 19
Old fridge door to closet door installation
Propex under refrigerator installation
Fridge installation continued
Flue vent block off plate fabrication / installation
Page 20
Propex installation continued
Rear table mount modification for Propex tube
Who is the “hodakaguy”?
Page 21
Propex fresh air vent installation
Larger fire extinguisher installation
First campout – road trip
Auxillary battery system installation begins
UB-12220, Yandina C100, Genius 10A charger, Blue Sea Fuse Panel, Blue Sea switch panel, marine tinned wire
Rear 3-way seatbelt installation
Skylight repair / replacement
USB charger installations in factory cig lighter and rear of kitchen
Scangauge II installation
Page 22
More Aux battery fab/installation
Camping/travel log
Page 23
Aux Battery electrical system schematic
Another road trip
Page 24/25
Banter.

Here's a couple pictures of the Westy in stock form.

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A couple weeks ago I picked up the first of the big parts, a 2006 Subaru 2.5L with all the needed parts. The engine has 60K miles on it, I will go ahead and install a new timing belt, water pump, idlers etc while the engine is on the stand. Yikes! 41lbs of wiring!!

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More goodies arriving. Received the Fox Shocks and new 16" wheels/BFG's.

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6-22-12 I'm suppose to be working on a couple house projects today...but I woke up early and was able to sneak in a little Syncro play Smile Decided to get the new tires installed to see what they looked like, I won't be driving it much till the engine/suspension gets installed so the larger tires shouldn't be a problem for now.

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The original owner had the vehicle undercoated when they bought it, it really did a decent job in keeping corrosion at bay under the bus. It did spend quite a bit of time in Alaska on gravel roads so there is some rock chip damage along the bottom rocker panels, I'll be addressing that after we get all the upgrades installed.

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Nice little lip forming on the rotor, looks like new rotors will be in the works. I'd like to do a big brake upgrade, might just re-build stock for now and do that down the road.

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Not Bad...can't wait to see it with the new suspension bits installed!

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Power Windows. I'm not a huge power window fan in older vehicles, when we purchased the Syncro the passenger side window wasn't working, although the drivers side was working great. Fast forward a month and both windows were inoperable. To make matters worse the AC is out of charge and I don't want to spend time fixing it till after the Subaru swap. Eventually I'm going to replace the power windows with manual units...now it's in the 90's and something needs to be done!

I decided to remove the drivers side regulator and have a look at what's going on.

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Door Panel removed.

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Plastic removed. There are some good threads on regulator removal/repair on Samba...Thanks!

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All the plastic parts look to be in excellent cond.

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And here's the problem. The rivet broke that holds the black plastic guide on the bottom of the regulator. The plastic piece is in great shape...this might be a easy fix!

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All good here.

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And here's the problem. When the rivet broke it allowed the tension on the cable to relax...allowing the cable to turn itself into a rats nest! The cable is shot. All the plastic parts in the gear box seem to be in great shape.

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I took the assy to a couple bike shops today to see if they could make another cable for it but they couldn't....after doing a little looking at some industrial supply shops I think I might be able to make up my own cable. All the cable that I found was slightly smaller than the OEM cable, and I couldn't find any cable ends/crimps that were small enough. I'll try and fabricate my own ends and solder them to the cables.

More work tomorrow.

Hodakaguy


Last edited by Hodakaguy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice - so where in E WA are you? On the brakes - I wouldn't sweat a lip like that. Just keep putting pads on it and a rotor lasts a very long time, contrary to brake service folks' preference for constantly turning them down for you. I'm convinced that brake rotors are worn out faster by brake shops than by people actually wearing on them by driving these days. By that I literally mean that if you could weigh the thousands of tons of metal removed from rotors by wear, and by turning them, the pile from shop lathes would be bigger....

DougM
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get the driveway done so we can start wrenching on that
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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

purplepeopleeater wrote:
Get the driveway done so we can start wrenching on that


For sure! Promised the wife I would finish pouring our driveway before working on the Vanagon....got busted yesterday installing the tires lol.

Picked up a permanent fix to my power windows today Smile

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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this thread is bookmarked for sure!!

nice looking ride... cant wait to see the progress.

cheers
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Re: Fox shocks with late lower control arms Reply with quote

The Fox setup must be offset in the lower shock attachment point when used with the cast late lower control arms.
The lower shock bolt has a pinch nut and the arm has threads in it, not a nut like the early arms.
Extreme care should be taken to ensure those threads are not damaged removing or installing the lower shock bolt.
The cast lower arms are NLA and expensive to replace if the threads are damaged.
Alignment will be critical to not have the halfshaft contact the lower shock body.

Hope this helps.
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blake28
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, 47k is impressive.

Personally, I hate power windows in an older vehicle as well. I would swap to manual.
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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Fox shocks with late lower control arms Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
The Fox setup must be offset in the lower shock attachment point when used with the cast late lower control arms.
The lower shock bolt has a pinch nut and the arm has threads in it, not a nut like the early arms.
Extreme care should be taken to ensure those threads are not damaged removing or installing the lower shock bolt.
The cast lower arms are NLA and expensive to replace if the threads are damaged.
Alignment will be critical to not have the halfshaft contact the lower shock body.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the heads up..I was reading the thread on this subject a few days ago. Any pics or details on the offset?

Thanks!

Hodakaguy
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Krautski
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are some serious fuckin shocks.
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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Installed the drivers side manual window regulator this am. Cleaned the regulators then packed them with Sil-Glyde and they are operating as smooth as butter Smile.

Regulator installed in the door

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I was going to mark/cut the hole for the manual regulator but it looks like VW already did it for me Very Happy . Just remove the tape on the back of the panel and instant hole.

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Here's a picture showing the location of the manual regulator hole (located with finger) compared to the electric switch hole. I was going to cover the electric hole with a fold down cup holder...but they are pretty close and it looks like the window crank will hit the cup holder if I went that route. Going to have to scratch the head on this one for a bit and see what I come up with to cover the hole...want it to look professional and not a afterthought.

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More to come...need to get back to driveway work Sad

Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, nice clean example!

With the color, wheels, and when you do the SA grill she will look just like mine..... but with a TON less miles. Crying or Very sad

Congrats and have fun.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Fox shocks with late lower control arms Reply with quote

Hodakaguy wrote:
insyncro wrote:
The Fox setup must be offset in the lower shock attachment point when used with the cast late lower control arms.
The lower shock bolt has a pinch nut and the arm has threads in it, not a nut like the early arms.
Extreme care should be taken to ensure those threads are not damaged removing or installing the lower shock bolt.
The cast lower arms are NLA and expensive to replace if the threads are damaged.
Alignment will be critical to not have the halfshaft contact the lower shock body.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the heads up..I was reading the thread on this subject a few days ago. Any pics or details on the offset?

Thanks!

Hodakaguy


Umm, since GW sells these products with no instructions, I would recommend calling them and letting them know you plan to use them on a late Syncro and see if they have spacers for such application.
If not, they will have to be made.
I made my own.
All of the available coilovers must be offset to work properly.
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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Fox shocks with late lower control arms Reply with quote

[/quote]

Umm, since GW sells these products with no instructions, I would recommend calling them and letting them know you plan to use them on a late Syncro and see if they have spacers for such application.
If not, they will have to be made.
I made my own.
All of the available coilovers must be offset to work properly.[/quote]


I'll contact them, if not I'll fabricate whats needed. If you have any pictures of your spacers I'd love to see them.
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Hodakaguy
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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Work around the house has slowed progress on the Westy.
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I did manage to get a little work done on the 2.5L this weekend.

Received my parts for the timing belt change out in the mail on friday, decided to do a little work on it early Sat morning. The engine only has 60K miles on it but since it's out of the vehicle and on the stand it makes since to freshen everything up while it's easy to get at.

Timing belt removed.

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New water pump installed.

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New idlers, water pump, thermostat, timing belt and belt tensioner installed.

Note the red arrow, this is where the timing belt guide would be if this engine came out of a manual transmission car. The guide keeps the belt from skipping a tooth if its parked in gear on a hill without the E-brake. Since this engine came out of an automatic Outback it doesn't have the guide, Since I will be installing it in a manual Vanagon I will install the guide before I button it up.

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A shot of the guide as listed in the Subaru repair manual. The part is only $5.00 and I figured the Japanese installed it for a reason, I'll install it on mine for cheap insurance.

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Old parts.

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A few more bits showed up for the build. Received the front and rear wheel bearings, hardware and seals. Also received the Burley upper control arms and T3 Powerflex suspension bushings.
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Once I start on the suspension I'll sand blast all the parts and powdercoat them while they are out, should make a clean install once re-assembled.

Can't wait!


Hodakaguy
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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok...Finally go the new driveway poured so the Syncro build can resume. I will be pulling the stock engine soon, lots of work ahead.

I've made a few small steps....hopefully the pace will pick up now.

Tightening the crank pulley. You need clean oiled threads and it needs to rotate at least 60 deg before it gets full torque. Mine went past 90 deg and finally hit torque. Here's a shot tightening the crank pulley.

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Installing the reverse coolant manifold. With the intake manifold removed you can see the stock coolant manifold. The modified manifold will exit the engine on the back side instead of the front...making for a nice clean install in the bus.

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Here you can see the modifications done to the stock coolant manifold. This manifold is from RMW. There is deep corrosion pitting where the coolant hose connects to the manifold on the RMW supplied unit...the core I'm sending them is nice and clean Confused . I will clean up the RMW unit and fill in the pits with metal filler, don't want any leaks at the hose connection.

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Lots of parts Smile

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Had a lighting storm pass over a couple days ago, I drove the Westy to a vacant lot and tried to frame the bus in with a lightning bolt...unfortunately the lightning stopped right as I got set up Sad

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The engine coolant sensor harness needs to be modified to reach the new sensor location. The blue arrow is where the original sensor port was located...the red arrows are where the harness needs to reach now. Here I've started to lengthen the stock harness.

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Harness modified Smile

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Hopefully more progress will be made soon.

Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok...progress is being made...slow....but being made.

Time to install the oil pan, sure is nice having the engine on a stand!

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Pan is off. Here's a shot of the OEM unit next to the RMW shortened pan.

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A shot of the shortened oil pick up next to the OEM unit.

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Here's a close up of the pick up tubes. Notice the stock unit has three points that stick up around the pick up area, if the pan gets dented/flattened these will make sure that there is still sufficient room for oil to make it to the pickup.

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The RMW pan is very high quality and has a thick bottom on it, it would be hard to dent it hard enough to close off the oil pick up.....but I thought I would add a little extra insurance just in case. Here I just TIG welded a couple stainless steel rods to the bottom of the pickup. If the pan gets smashed in it should keep a sufficient gap between the pickup and pan...assuring a healthy oil supply to the engine. Smile

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Shortened pick up tube and new O-ring installed.

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At this point I ran into a little problem. The shortened pan wouldn't fit. The baffle that is welded into the pan is interfering with the baffle that is bolted inside the engine, keeping the oil pan from sitting all the way down onto the block. A email and call to RMW verified that the 06 pan can't be shortened so they supply 04 down pans, I will need to trim the engine side baffle a little to get the clearance needed to install the pan on 06 engine. Should be a easy fix.

On a side note the oil return tube is missing from the shortened pan, RMW said they haven't had any issues with this setup and I'm sure it will be fine but my OCD is kicking in so I will contact RMW about it and see if they have a unit with the tube still in place. I might end up welding in the return tube from the OEM pan if a replacement isn't available.

A shot of the contact points with the shortened pan and 06 engine.

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With the oil pan install delayed a bit I turned my attention to re-installing the intake system. Looking like a engine again Smile. I will leave the AC Compressor and Alternator off the engine until I verify the shortened pan will work, just in case I need to install the OEM dipstick again.

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Now it's time to remove the stock engine so I can start prep for the Subaru installation. Here Mike is disconnecting the shift linkage before we drop the engine.

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Engine ready to lower.

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Separated from the trans.

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Almost out!

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Out!

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Now to remove the wiring harness, trim the firewall, drop the tank and clean it.....lots more to come!

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Hodakaguy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Applause Applause Applause Applause
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little progress after work tonight. Removed the wiring harness and ECU.

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Starting to get quite a pile of parts in the garage.

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Decided to modify the engine baffle plate to get the shortened pan to bolt up correctly. The baffle in the 06 engines needs to be trimmed along the red line to clear the baffle in the earlier oil pan.

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Here the baffle has been trimmed to fit.

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The sections removed from the baffle.

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And a picture of the oil pan so you can see why it need to be trimmed.

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The extra clearance and stronger pan will be a great benefit.

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I still need to verify proper clearance on the oil pick up and seal/bolt down the pan. Lots more to go!


Hodakaguy
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Hodakaguy
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Joined: April 25, 2012
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Location: Eastern WA
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minor work done today. Trans removed Smile

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Now that it's out of the bus I can clean it up, free the stuck diff lock actuator, clean lube the cross shaft, remove the starter and modify the diff actuator bracket to take the TDI starter.

Down to the car wash to clean the trans....but first a quick stop at Mikes to install the engine in his 67.

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A couple cans of Gunk and we hang around for a bit and wait for it to do its magic.

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Before...

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And after.....There is still undercoating on the trans but it looks a lot better. I've give it some hand cleaning at home.

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Next up to remove the coolant lines/hoses and remove the fuel tank.

Hodakaguy
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rubbachicken
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking good, keep the pictures coming
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