Planning A Subaru Conversion...

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Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by AKG1600 »

Hi Volks;

I am convinced I want a Subaru in my Ghia, and so I am planning on getting it done sometime during 2013 (once I've concluded the body restoration which I hope won't be too long now).
I've done some reading and I'm comfortable that the Subaru motor will give me the kind of Y2K reliability I want for daily use. I'm also comfortable with who I'd like to do the conversion and I'm more or (much)less resigned to the cost involved (more of the retirement fund getting burned up :P ).

However, my problem is engine choice, from the perspective of which engine offers the best fuel economy (a bug bear of mine I admit). From the reading I've done I haven't found a suitable thread that speaks to this. Even the conversion guys I've spoken too don't hazard to guess what fuel economy I can expect (Everyone seems to have racing aspirations except me ;-D).

So I've come to the forum in the hope that the brains trust here will be able to shed some light on what I can expect, or indeed, where else I might look to get the information I need.

The answers I get will pretty much determine whether I go EJ20, 25 or 33? Naturally aspirated, single or twin turbo?

As always I look forward to members input. Thanks!


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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by Hloni »

AKG1600 wrote: However, my problem is engine choice, from the perspective of which engine offers the best fuel economy (a bug bear of mine I admit). From the reading I've done I haven't found a suitable thread that speaks to this. Even the conversion guys I've spoken too don't hazard to guess what fuel economy I can expect

The answers I get will pretty much determine whether I go EJ20, 25 or 33? Naturally aspirated, single or twin turbo?
Brother, I think the last question will give you guidance in regards to you wanting to save money at the fuel pump.
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by AKG1600 »

Hloni wrote:
AKG1600 wrote: However, my problem is engine choice, from the perspective of which engine offers the best fuel economy (a bug bear of mine I admit). From the reading I've done I haven't found a suitable thread that speaks to this. Even the conversion guys I've spoken too don't hazard to guess what fuel economy I can expect

The answers I get will pretty much determine whether I go EJ20, 25 or 33? Naturally aspirated, single or twin turbo?
Brother, I think the last question will give you guidance in regards to you wanting to save money at the fuel pump.
Hi Hloni;

I hear you, but please understand I'm not a tech fiend, which is why I'm here.

Let me explain: from what I've read, on a single turbo, the turbo kicks in late in the rev range (4000/5000/6000rpm depending on whether your running a 147/162/176kw version), but the bottom end is poor. I don't want sluggish low end because I want to get up to speed quickly (to better deal with city traffic).
While I want the conversion, I don't want a custom engine, which translates to added cost in my mind (if I were to adapt the single turbo to suit my need). I want a solution that's a 'shoe in' for lack of a better term. The conversion will require some fettling already so I want to avoid additional fettling, if you get what I'm trying to say.

Which brings me to the twin turbo: this gives me the low end power I want with the primary; with the secondary coming in at 4000rpm. To my reckoning, I'm pretty sure I will have arrived at my desired velocity before then thereby avoiding a kick in the proverbial 'pants' with regards to fuel. I'm speculating now; again the reason I'm here. Reliability 1st, all the other stuff is icing on the cake really.

Ofcoarse, if the advice is that there'll be more than enough power for what I want with an n/a motor then so be it.

Which brings me to my other conundrum. I've been looking round for engines and noone appears to sell a naturally aspirated set up. In which case, of what is available, which is the more suitable for my wants/needs?
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by splitfan »

If no fettling is desired .... stay away from turbo motors , there are always complications with heat and intercoolers ect , keep it simple a N/A Scubbie setup would run like stink with the power to weight ratio you have there and would do that all day every day , remember to look at your brakes and gearbox .
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by vwrail »

Hi,

I'm new on the forum but have been watching from the background for a year or so. I owned a 2.1 waterboxer kombi and looked at doing a subaru conversion. Most of the
research I did pointed to a non-turbo version. If most of the guys were happy with a n/a engine in a bus the ghia should go like stink. :shock:

If you want to keep up with traffic and want reliability I would suggest n/a.

The non turbo's can be difficult to find but just keep phoning the jap motor import crowd and you should get lucky.

Cheers

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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by AKG1600 »

Thanks for the feedback Splitfan and VWRail. I appreciate the input. Why is it that the n/a motors are difficult to come by? Is it because they weren't sold in SA?
Is it possible to convert a turbo charged unit to naturally aspirated, or is that not an option?

Thanks again.
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by retrovan »

Totally a different approach........

Why not look at the Jap Motors, yes there is plenty space in the KG.
The Jap motors are strong
The Jap motor is cheap, as they are imported with less the 30K/Km
And you can get the best fuel economy out of them
On top of that, you have a choice of injection, super or turbo charge.
They come with all the bells and parts needed.
And you can hot them up....

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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by Tony Z »

with the single turbo and that kind of power available, I dont think you have to worry about turbo lag. It will be there to some extent, but you will have more than enough power available for the traffic you mention. You will only feel the lag once the rest of the power kicks in and you notice how much you actually have. IOW, if it were normally aspirated, it would be quick enough (this is your turbo lag period), but then the turbo takes over and makes it damn quick.

Seriously thought, if your main objective is fuel economy, then you need a naturally aspirated engine or a small turbo engine that you run in the turbos peak efficiency area all day long. The higher the compression, the higher the efficiency, which is why a diesel is so fuel efficient.
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by Bugger »

Ok for fuel I would go for the N/A 2L EJ20
Then it all depends on the EFI System you use some have the function of running 2 programs 1 you get the car set up for performance 2 you get the maps set at
fine tuning on the co meters on the dyno for efficiency these types of tuning sometimes take quite a bit longer than Performance tuning
Then with a Long ratio Transmission you will easily get better than 10Km/L fuel consumption

I had a series 4 Rotary turbo in my Double cab before with long ratio transmission and hard driving fuel consumption could be as low as 5KM/L but looking after the
Right foot fuel consumption have been as good as 13Km/L

For what you want I would suggest finding a N/A motor as it makes things 100% easier If you can not find a N/A motor then rather go for the single Turbo motor as the twin turbo makes things difficult when installing in a Air cooled as Starter needs modified and the turbos are very close to the axle boots

Hope this help as the other members have also suggested the N/A route to simplify things
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by AKG1600 »

retrovan wrote:Totally a different approach........

Why not look at the Jap Motors, yes there is plenty space in the KG.
The Jap motors are strong
The Jap motor is cheap, as they are imported with less the 30K/Km
And you can get the best fuel economy out of them
On top of that, you have a choice of injection, super or turbo charge.
They come with all the bells and parts needed.
And you can hot them up....

OmO
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Hi Retrovan;

Are you able to elaborate? (Subaru is Japanese) Are you referring to other Japanese manufacturers? Would they not require more effort to suit the Ghia set up than a Subaru (because they won't be a flat four configuration)?

Bugger, I would want a 5speed transmission as opposed to a std VW box with long fourth. One of those Subaru Gears jobs. Not sure whether you dabble in that area.

TonyZ you, like most of the other ACVW brains trust, make mucho sense.

I'm looking at a budget of R35k for the conversion. Am I off?
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by retrovan »

Yes but the Subaru is not fuel efficient as the Nissan's, Mazda's, Honda's and Suzuki's

You have oddels of space, and these motors are proven fuel savers.

You would be better off with Type 4 modified & twin 34 Webers then a Subaru.

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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by AKG1600 »

retrovan wrote:You would be better off with Type 4 modified & twin 34 Webers then a Subaru.

Herman
Ok, but is it as reliable as the Subaru set up?
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by Tony Z »

AKG1600 wrote:
retrovan wrote:You would be better off with Type 4 modified & twin 34 Webers then a Subaru.

Herman
Ok, but is it as reliable as the Subaru set up?
it is 30 years old.... how much more reliable do you want it? How many other 30yo engines still survive?

Just so you know, the 5 speed conversion into the bug box will cost you about 30K just to buy the parts, this excludes the conversion, labour and body mods.

and 150kW will cost you roughly 30K for the gearbox.... so no, 35K wont cut it, budget closer to 70 or 80 if you want to do it properly first time. Or stick to 35K and replace the gearbox after a few angry driving sessions

There is much more to upgrading than just fitting a bigger engine.
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by MarshallGTi »

any particular reason ur aiming for a subaru motor if its not for performance (purely cos its also a boxer?)
if u want cheap and reliable i would say a 2.0 8v golf motor. they're bullet proof, spares are everywhere, its been done before and it works. fuel consumption shouldnt be too bad either.
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Re: Planning A Subaru Conversion...

Post by AKG1600 »

Tony Z wrote:
AKG1600 wrote:
retrovan wrote:You would be better off with Type 4 modified & twin 34 Webers then a Subaru.

Herman
Ok, but is it as reliable as the Subaru set up?
it is 30 years old.... how much more reliable do you want it? How many other 30yo engines still survive?
I see and concede your perspective Gov'nor however, because of its' age the technology requires constant fettling to keep in good running order. By this I mean the regular valve setting, short service intervals etc.
While I don't mind too much doing the maintenance, I would rather an engine solution that's less time consuming in that regard.
I'm loathe to get into debate over which solution is more reliable than the other, but my reading has led me to conclude that a Subaru transplant is a more sustainable alternative to the VWs.

[/quote]Just so you know, the 5 speed conversion into the bug box will cost you about 30K just to buy the parts, this excludes the conversion, labour and body mods.[/quote]

Understood.

[/quote]and 150kW will cost you roughly 30K for the gearbox.... so no, 35K wont cut it, budget closer to 70 or 80 if you want to do it properly first time. Or stick to 35K and replace the gearbox after a few angry driving sessions[/quote]

Thanks for the education mi compadré, and duly noted. Can you please clarify 'replace the gearbox after a few angry driving sessions'? I typically drive like Miss Daisy.

[/quote]There is much more to upgrading than just fitting a bigger engine.[/quote]

I appreciate this and have taken cogniscance of such. Your comment regarding 'if you want to do it properly first time' is most valid and will consider how to achieve the desired outcome.

Thanks for your continued input.
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