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a few pics of my project so far

savage bulldogs

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well I thought id post a few pics of my never ending project which has snowballed from telling the wife  "just a exhaust and remap then ill be happy"  to  a full engine rebuild , drivetrain swap and then a reshell :rolleyes:

I started off by looking for the cleanest and most standard uk classic my £2.5 k would buy me 2 yrs ago.I ended up with this my97 uk turbo 2000 which had full s/h 92k miles and was bog standard bar some braided brake lines B)

Photo0271.jpg.c56d480fa519c375c187693247ad2a21.jpgThen kicked off with a k&n panel filter ,air box resonator delete,sports cat ,zigen cat back,sti tmic and strut brace while I was waiting for the 97/98 esl to be released (as I knew I could fit those without needing a remap)  

which changed the engine bay from looking like this


to looking like this


the 2 pot front brakes were so bad they were scary so they were replaced wiith a set of 4 pot front callipers (which I refurbed with stainless pistons and new seals) accompanied by groved and drilled discs and Kevlar pads  


then fitted a hta p1 rep splitter ,moved the number plate and fitted a crystal light pack to freshen the look and detango the lights 



closely followed by a esl remap with twin maffless maps which saw a increase in boost (0.8 bar to 1.2 bar) and power to 265 hp 😄

next I concentrated on a few handling tweeks that wouldn't make the kids chip their teeth in the back seat :) so I went for elbaich pro springs which are progressive rate and only stiffen up under load (when cornering) whiteline rear arb and droplinks and front ally droplinks  which I think is a great combination for road use 😉

as me and my brv both own classics we bought a v1 sti with a few choice mods on in order to round up a few spares and I ended up with the closed deck block sti long engine left over which is where my project starts to snowball :ph34r:


although the engine was making 340 hp with low knock on the apexi ecu controller I decided it would be rude not to strip and refresh the bearings gaskets and seals ;) once I started to strip it down I could see it had been well looked after due to the new water pump and timing belt 


and once the cam covers were off I was surprised how clean the engine was B) bearing in mind it was outta a 20 yr old sti 😉

similar story once the heads were off as the piston crowns showed just a build up of carbon that you'd expect and nothing untoward


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whilst saving for the machine work and gaskets I started to do a bit of work on the heads, light port and polish before stripping them down .

standard inlets


lightly ported and center separation "knife edged" 


and a light polish


I started to lap the valves in but wasn't happy with the amount of contact area for the valves to seal ,heres a pic of before and after


so I sent the valves off to the engineers (with the heads) and he skimmed the heads chucked the through his hot wash and re cut all the valves  


I then re assembled the heads with graphogen engine builders paste and new valve stem seals  


valves and collets in , proppa fiddly job 😐


lash caps in


then bunged all outlets/inlets, sprayed the heads with oil ,wrapped them with cling film and put them in a box upstairs to await the bottom end build




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cheers gambit
I will admit although ive rebuilt straight fours ,v6,s and v8,s in the past, its my first boxer build so I would have been a bit lost if it wasn't for the pdf service manual I've been using. 


next up was stripping the bottom end ,id removed the sump and all the case bolts but couldn't split the block halves they were stuck together at the modine end (bit with the ### marks in the bottom of pic bellow)



so after about 2 hrs of putting bolts in the outer casings and trying to prize the halves apart 😠😤(as I didn't want to damage the block faces poking screwdrivers in) I did all the bolts back up and released the modine end first 😉


I sent the block halves and crank off to my engineer to check them over as id decided to fit a set of drop in pistons while it was apart 😊


 by chance a friend had ordered the wrong rods for his build and sold me these brian crower sport compact rods for a price that couldn't be refused B)


as their rated to 750 hp it seemed a shame not to buy pistons to match :rolleyes: so I bought some race spec mahles which are also rated to 750 hp :rolleyes:


then got the rest of the shopping list together

arp headstuds and big end bolts

rcm oil pump

acl bearings

new block bolts

full oe and group n gasket kit

new timing belt rollers and tensioner

Kevlar timing belt


then got bored waiting for the engineer to complete the .5mm over bore (needed to fit the new pistons) and face skim work ,so I started to polish and paint a few bits .id originally decided to polish the cam covers and had already prepped them  


but after a bit more research had found that they would need to be re polished every few months or sealed with a clear lacquer :rolleyes:  so I painted the bare ally with a  adhesion premotor, enamel primer and enamel paint   


picked up a powder coated inlet for £40 😎



 Then painted a few pipes and polished the throttle body before assembling it all together 




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well the ocd mrs was kind enough to let me use the kitchen table to build the engine on :) and as her kitchen table probably the cleanest environment known to man, it was ideal to build a engine in :D

the engineer said the crank was in perfect condition so I decided to get it ultrasonically cleaned as the 2ltr crank has sludge traps in the oil ways which cannot be rod'ed clean. which also saved me the cost of the 2.5 ltr crank and a thrust conversion ,that's needed to fit the later crank to  increase the capacity to a 2.1"stroker" (due to a longer throw)

Pics of the minty 94 crank and the quality of the deck face .


started off the bottom end by fitting all the acl race series bearings to the B.C rods and then checking the big end clearance with plastigauge , basically (for those who dont know) its a thin strip of wax which you place on the (clean) journels of the crank before you put the big end caps on .



Next  put the caps on and torque to the correct settings then,  when you  remove the caps , the wax has compressed  giving you the excact (oil) clearance between the crank and bearing  (which is measured with a gauge)


next i dry built the block (no liquid gasket between the 2 block halves) fitting the race acl's and plastigauged the main journals  and torqued the block halves together in sequence


both big end and main bearing clearances were well within the standard tolerances and nowhere near the "limit" tolerance subaru give for a rebuild icon_cool.gif

id been warned to check for under bore oil squirter to piston skirt contact ,as the race spec mahles have a deeper skirt to cope with the extra power, so i assembled one of the pistons and rods

slid it into a bore 😒


everythings been going well so far 😐 spose something had to cause a bit of a problem

theres a tiny amount of clearance between the under bore oil squirters and the piston skirt, but not enough for my liking ,so i deleted the squirters  by fitting a blanking grub screw. which is not a problem as newer piston materials dont need as much cooling and the mahles cool the gudgen pin via the oil ring .

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Brilliant thread mate! I love this type of stuff, really interesting. I doff my cap to you good man! People like you who do this type of thing at home just amaze me, I can't even begin to imagine how I'd do this kind of thing myself. But I sure would love to!

Well done!


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Brilliant thread mate! I love this type of stuff, really interesting. I doff my cap to you good man! People like you who do this type of thing at home just amaze me, I can't even begin to imagine how I'd do this kind of thing myself. But I sure would love to!

Well done!



I'm with you :D

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Cheers for the coments chaps and sorry for the late reply but ,what with the rolling road day , my map problems and the mrs being in hospital it's been manic .

I started off by degreasing and blowing everything through with a air line id decided to delete the oil squirters to get over the problem with the contact they made with the piston skirts .Pat ( my engineer) had give me some suitable grub screws and i covered them in loctite (so they dont vibrate loose)


the main reason i started the build in the first place was because of the piston slap my engine has when its cold and as id decided to aim for a maxium of 550 hp the piston to bore clearance was at the lower end of mahles spec .which should make it a bit quiter when cold but meant i had to adjust the ring gaps on all 8 compression rings to avoid the heat expansion causing a piston to swell and trap in the bore .

I checked the gaps with a feeler gauge for each individual bore/piston yet again kudos to pat (engineer) as no matter where in the bore i positioned the rings they all had the same .009" gap


you adjust them by gradually filing (both ends at once) by closing the ring around a file or stone to bring them to the required gap size


i oiled and fitted the rings to all the pistons making sure each ring gap was in the right position acording to the mahle spec sheet .As you dont want the gaps inline cos you'd get "blow by" .before i slid any pistons into a bore i coated the bore walls with graphogen paste to help with initial start up .3A0342F8-orig_zps99de1728.jpg.5fd7f8b658f0414809abfda36264e97d.jpg


As subaru engines require you to fit the wrist pins (to connect the rods to the pistons) via a fidiley access hole i decided to connect the the right bank rods and pistons ,fit the circlips and drop them in the bores 


i could now connect all the rods (and the ones with the pistons attached) to the crank which makes life a bit easier, as i only have to use the access holes for fitting 2 pistons now 😉




once id torqued the arp big end bolts on the b.c rods i prepped the other block halve by fitting the new seals to the water and oilways ,smearing graphogen paste on the acl'd mains and give the block halves faces a coat of threebond liquid gasket


i copperslipped the dowels and lowered the block half (with the pistons and crank in) onto the half with the "o" rings in to keep everything in place ,then torqued up the new block bolts(with new dowty washers on the ones in the waterways) in sequance


i fitted the inner wrist pin circlips and managed to fit the other 2 piston and wrist pins/circlips through the acess holes but was chuffed i only had to do 2 as they are propper fidiley :lol:


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The mrs was fine with me using the kitchen table as long as I put towels then cardboard another layer of towels with a sheet over the top (and of cause flash wiped everything afterwards lol )

And yes gambit those pins are a pig ,you have to remove all 4 to split the block . I used a bbq kebab skewer to remove em lol as you have to take the outter circlip off and tap the wrist pin out from the other side (through the opposite access hole )

Next up i fitted the splash guards ,oil pick up ,group n gasket and sump on .followed by the rcm oil pump, water pump and cool running thermostat .


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Thanks again fellas

started off cleaning the threads out for the ARP head studs and according to the instructions your supposed to just fit them hand tight but, while doing my research (prior to the build) there's a few horror stories about them working loose .so I used loctite on the block end threads and used the small end of a allen key to slightly tighten them into the block . I applied the thread torque grease (that ARP supply with the studs to aid correct torque settings) and the cossie gaskets


degreased the surfaces of the heads and block


coated the ARP studs ,nuts and washers in the fastener lube and torqued the heads down in correct stages and sequance


once heads were on i'd been advsied to leave the cams out so i could re torque the head bolts tomorow (let them settle over night) so i put the cam covers on to keep things clean and plugged all bungs ,inlets and masked threaded holes to get on with wire brushing the block and painting the acid etch primer on



At this stage i could'nt resist sitting the inlet on top just to get a idea of the finished product😊



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Cheers chap

stripped and resprayed the small (black) block water pipes (that come from the water pump behind the cambelt cover),wire brushed and cleaned the bungs/oil pressure sender bevel ,timing belt tensioner bracket,and oil cooler and then fitted them all .

doesn't look a great deal different to last time ( apart from having a coat of red paint )  but heres a pic anyways 😉A0ED5CBB-orig_zps90bb94ab.JPG.0411792adbf236f927dce2bb2ff1d595.JPG


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  • 2 weeks later...

did'nt take to many pics of this stage of the build but, made a fair bit of progress instead ;)



cleaned the cams and cam caps , plastigauged the clearances on the bearing caps (which were fine) coated them in fresh oil/lubed the bearings with graphogen paste and fitted them with the cam lobes at base circle (lobes not pushing on the valves) .Set the cams in postion acording to the manual fitted the rear cambelt covers ,cam pulleys,all the new rollers and new hydrolic tensioner

all that was left to do at this stage was fit the kevlar timing belt ,untill i Could free up a long weekend to fit the engine,because i dont have the suitable auxilairies,pipes,fuel lines water pipes ect ... due to the v1 long engine componets not being compatable with my v3 scoob .So i'll have to strip and clean them off my car and fit them to the forged long engine before i fit it into my scooby ;) chucked the inlet on top and poked the 550's and caps on top to see the finished look (again lol) excuse the !Removed! pink dipstick it was on the long engine when i got it ...:o honest

as for the dog its always under my feet :lol:



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