Archive for Subaru

Phase I, part two: The rest of the transmission

Posted in Auto Articles with tags , , , , on March 29, 2010 by consortiumoffools

The next portion of the 5-speed conversion  involves buying and installing pedals, master cylinder, slave cyl, hard lines, clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing and fork.

Luckily I found all of these parts in the junkyard, except for the slave cyl which I bought on ebay for $20.   This covers the mechanical aspect of the conversion.  I still need to account for the neutral safety switch and the speedometer sensor, and I’m hoping they will be compatible with my car.   I’ll update with more info and pictures.  Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come:  porting and polishing my 2.5l SOHC heads.


Operation 1993 Subaru Legacy: Phase I

Posted in Auto Articles with tags , , on February 12, 2010 by consortiumoffools

So I finally bought an AWD turbo car, a 1993 Subaru Legacy Turbo.  It came with an automatic transmission and a 2.2 liter oil-leaking turbo motor.  First order of business is converting the car to 5-speed manual.  Some automotive experts (mainly drag racing enthusiasts) claim that turbo motors are better supported by an automatic transmission.  The idea is that the engine remains at high RPMs during the quick shifts and thus the turbo continues to spin quickly.  If the turbo spins quickly, more power is actively made.  This idea sounds great if the car’s intended use is straight line racing, but my build is purposefully for small track road racing and auto cross.  I’m opting for the manual transmission because of the predictability and control a 5-speed offers.  The manual transmission allows the vehicle operator to select the appropriate gearing for approaching road situations, such as a turn or another vehicle.

I bought a junkyard 5-speed for $100.  Within the first 30 days (the warranty period) I cracked open the case to inspect the contents.  I inspected the gears for unusual chipping or lashing.  I also verified that each syncro lined up properly and that the tines were not chipped or otherwise destroyed.

After I was finished inspecting, I put gasket material (RTV) on each side of the case and slapped them together.  I popped a few bolts in the case to ensure it stayed together while I connected end case. The end case contains the center differential and output shaft.  After a few failed attempts I realized that all of the pieces of the transmission have to be put back together before tightening down the bolts to spec.  Many clearances inside transmissions are very small, so everything has to be orderly reassembled and tightened down.  When I finished lining everything up and connecting the case, I still had to bolt up the gear selector itself through the rectangular service door:

There’s one black bolt that didn’t seem to seat, but certainly was the right bolt.  And as soon as I tightened down the end of the transmission on in a star pattern, the output shaft’s bearings seated perfectly.  The output shaft is in the foreground on the left, the bolt on the gear selector is on the right and the center differential is in the background:

Above view of the same thing:
The end of the transmission back on:

Now the transmission is complete and ready to go.  I have also already purchased the other necessary parts for the conversion including the clutch master and slave cylinders, pedal assembly, clutch, flywheel, manual transmission mounts, throw-out bearing, fork, and starter.

Next installment:  porting and polishing 2.5l SOHC heads!

All Wheel Drive Turbo: Only a Few Choices

Posted in Auto Articles, General News with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2007 by consortiumoffools

“I’m Leif, Leif, Leif, Leif, I want this, I want this car and that car and any turbo car…”

I now must disclose the possible origin of the above quote. I really do want every car ever: I want a Unimog, a Miata, a MazdaSpeed 3, I want a Ford GT, and a GT3, and a Super Charged Range Rover Sport, and any M3. But recently I’ve really wanted something in AWD with a turbo.

The first two cars that come to mind are the Lancer Evo and the STi. They are each 300 horsepower, each all-wheel drive, and each pushing $30,00 per price tag. And each horribly ugly. With their atrocious rear wings ready for flight, their offensively large hood scoops (which even the Hemi Dart pulled off better), and their “street tuner rice box mod” appeal make me sick to my stomach. Sure they have power and AWD, but you’d expect that from their overbearing styling. Everyone over-rates the Evo and STi, claiming that they are the Alpha and the Omega, the Cream of the Crop, the (insert any cliche about anything overrated here), yet cars of this nature have been here this whole time. They’re just a little bit harder to find.

Take the Audi Quattrro Turbos of the 80’s. Here was a family sedan with turbo and AWD from a well respected German manufacturer. Do you want to stay in Japan? Then the Mazda 323 GTX is the best fix. AWD, hatchback that’s turbo charged. It was made in Japan for years, and was imported to the US for only 2 years. Between 1988 and 1989 only about 1,400 of these cars were sold. Ford has some potent AWD Turbos from over the years, but all were sold in Europe. The Cosworth Sierra and the Cosworth Escort were AWD Turbo beasts.

What do all of these AWDT’s have in common? They are all production cars made by car manufactures to get into rally. The WRC (World Rallye Championship) is a huge world-wide on-and-off road timed extravaganza. Well, not really an extravaganza, it’s just a race. But it’s the most badass race of all time! It tests skills of drivers on snow, ice, dirt, sand, rain, and tarmac. The race is so trying that the drivers have a co-driver to tell them what the road ahead is like.

So how does all of this apply to me, me, me, me? Well, I want a rally car, duh. A car that I can put huge fog lights onto, a car that I can custom fabricate street sign skid plates, and a car that I can actually take onto the dirt, not to mention over speed bumps. My current vehicle is street only, and some days feels like it should be track only. I’ve already complained about mentioned its rough ride. A pseudo Jeep with the power of forced induction ripping through gravel up the west side of the Sandias is what I dream of. Something that looks mean, but not extravagant; powerful, yet not overstated.

Sadly if I even follow through with my car dream of the month, it’ll probably have to be a Subaru. The $30k cars are too expensive, the Mazda is too difficult to find in good condition close to home, and the UK Fords cost thousands to import. I hate the way all WRXs look. If only a 2001 Impreza Wagon could be found for a good price. Then engine swapping we shall go.

Subaru 22B