Monday, September 25, 2006

how to be a JDM bandwagon junkie

RHD GC8 conversion FAQ

Logic behind my RHD;

1. EJ20 requires mad wiring - i suck at wiring but good at mechanical such.

****Took me about 13 hours for the mechanical conversion VS 45+ for wiring by people smarter than me****

2. if you need to hydro pedal box conversion for turbo clutch, the RHD pedal box is included. LHD hydro pedal box is hard to find.
3. Sti RHD quick steer rack is 2.7 turn lock instead of 3.0
4. GC8 Electronic AC is cool looking and neat - no need to work wiring.
5. RHD brake booster, MC and Prop valve are well matched to STi brakes. USDM single stage BB, 15/16ths MC and stock L pvalve are not idea (blow through 1/2 travel, lock rear brakes easily)
6. LHD AC condensor will NOT clear EJ20 radiator. i like having AC (live in texas)
7. JDM cars most came with non-airbag. Non airbag wheel middle is ideal for use with aftermarket steering wheels (easy to make horn work)
8. Use of RHD complete harness allows easy use of EJ20 radiator fans and other such - the EJ20 radiator bundle runs under the apron instead of on top. differnt plugs etc-
9. RHD JDM sti seats will have the proper adjusters for RHD (i need to buy some still)

Downsides to RHD:

1. You have to be comfortable with adjusing to RHD. not hard, but if u already drive like a suck - no dice. must be coordinated with left hand, and be able to force brain to swap sides. ITS FREAKIN WEIRD.
2. you have to fabricate mad brackets. basically, you remove all LHD brackets, all RHD brackets, and fit the RHD brackets in the proper areas. this requires having a drill with an awesome drill bit- i used a 3/16ths Cobalt bit - hasnt broken yet, and corresponding 3/16ths pop riviter. i dont have a welder, would enjoy welding everything but ill take care of it when i have the other bugs sorted out.
3. power windows dont match up. havnt figured out the wiring yet - just got tailights working, should update when i figure this out.
4. your interior probably wont match. o well, not that bad - my USDM interior is tired as hell anyway.
5. a complete JDM carpet is hard to find. i have one though, but its somting to think about
6. you dont need to remove your interior stuffs, leave AC charged if you are using undersized USA radiator and wussy melt-able plastic fans.

what to buy:

1. 1 complte impreza L. ideally with great body and dead drivetrain
2. Complete JDM RHD EJ20 front clip - unmolested, unmodified is much ideal - the whole car if u can baller it.
3. rear Xmember if possible with rear diff and suches

How to do.


- front interior, carpet, center trim bits, dash, pedal box, AC box / Heater box, blower. Steering collum - just remove plugs and unbolt at u joint and the 2 bolts holding the steering shaft to the support member - pull out entire thing with wheel attached!

2. strip the engine bay;

- motor, gearbox, airbox stuff, Brake MC, Clutch MC(if u have one - u probably dont if its a L), Brake lines, Brake pvalve, hill holder thingbob, heater lines, radiator, fans, AC condensor, AC bits

3. remove complete wiring harness. EVERYTHING

- inside bulkhead bundle, ECU, fender harnesses, front radiator harness, Fusebox, Everything. just put back the little bolts in the holes, that way you dont loose them all.

4. pull EJ20 from clip. either pull up, or drop entire crossmember with gearbox attached. thats the best way if u have the space to do it, just drop the whole drivetrain, control arms and everything attached. Leave ignitor and boost solinoids attached to vacume lines, just zip tie it on the intake manifold so you dont get the lines confuzzled later.

5. Set EJ20 aside, pull small engine bay stuffs - airbox, IC water spray, Radiator overflow, radiator and AC if u havnt pulled it yet-

6. transfer the small bits one by one to your USDM engine bay one by one so you dont loose the place.

7. strip out LHD interior, put pieces in a logical order so u can refer to them at reassembly

8. get drill with awesum sharp drill bit and start drilling. compare brackets taht are spot welded and drill out hte spot welds, youll have to do a bit of prying and tapping and such. dont worry too much, you can always bend them back into shape with a metal bodywork hammer.

9. drill out all associated LHD brackets, then fit in RHD ones. steering hole needs to get cut, clutch mount, brake booster mount, throttle cable hole, etc etc. ecu bracket etc-.

10. refit everything.

11. Put in your drivetrain - self x-planitory. fill fluids, bleed brakes, clutch, etc.

12. plug everything in

13. wire in rear wiring harness SMJ to fuel. Plug R1 in the JDM goes from the main harness bundle to the body (controls tailights, fuel pump, etc). you need to hook up fuel pump wires - they are almost the same, and then just find the signal wires and hook those up. took me about 1.5 hours with no diagrams and a test light - EASY)

fire it up. Mine is quite quite quick.

RHD is crazy. the sensation is neat, im getting used to shifting and such now, the 2.7 lock rack is a bit touchy, so i was all over the road. besides not having ever driven a RHD car in my life, the first one i come in contact with is my own . DOUBLE THE POWER, wrong hand drive, crazy short gears, almonst no lag. its a beast of a car

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cali smog BS.

cali smog BS. explained :)

2 splits - OB1 car and OBD2 car.

if your car is OBD1 - 1992-1995 mid, your life is easy.

california smog checks only a few things:

#1. no CEL
#2 no loose crap in the engine bay- everythign is OEM looking and such
#3. sniffer. have a proper cat and if its healthy, it will pass. AWD means no dyno, just 2 speed idle

if you pass all those, AND your smog tec dosnt know you have a JDM ej20 in your engine bay you are A-OK.

id your car is OBD2 1996+ you have to deal with a pain in the ass.

#1. bribe smog guy and get illegal smog. easiest way to do it, going rate in SJ was ~ 300 or so.
#2. usdm EJ205/Ej257 swap. stuff in the full motor and electronics - its really the electronics that pass OBD2, the JDM and usdm mechnicals are almost identical.
#3. JDM ej207 or Ej205 AVCS + usdm wrx ej205 wiring and ecu and intake manifold for TGV's to pass smog. once you pass, remove the weak usdm TGV manifold and swap ecu's to JDM. then you have it.

obviously the obvious needs to be done.

- proper wiring - done up right, no cel's and weird stuff.
- no loose crap, no riceboy BOV or you wont pass visual, engine bay has to look OEM
- you have to run cats and not have exhaust leak or sniffer may be hard. many people pass without cats, but if u going to do it, do it once and do it well.

Friday, September 08, 2006

pedalbox whatnots

swapstar productions

clutch pedal box specifics:

a pedal box includes the brake/clutch pedal and the gas pedal. u dont need the gas pedal, thers no differance. u dotn even need to remove the cable to install hte other 2.

u can get one at the dealer for a huge amount of money brand new or a J-yard like the one i listed above.

shoudl cost liek $100 or so.

what will work is listed above in the post too. u can read rite?

same with the line business.

if u get the USA GC8 2.5RS, u can use oem everything, pedalbox, clutch MC, hardline, bracket to firewall, soft line, etc.

no matter what, a turbo clutch needs a turbo slave cylinder, so it would be up to u to find a slave cylinder from a hydro clutch turbo car.

assuming the convertor is driving either

A: FWD with cable clutchimpreza, AWD impreza with cable clutch, or AWD impreza with hydro clutch and NA transmission

there are:

LHD/RHD cable clutch cars
LHD/RHD NA hydro clutch cars
LHD/RHD Turbo hydro clutch cars.

for a turbo trans:

***pedal box can use: ***
LHD hydro clutch cars
LHD hydro AND turbo clutch cars.

***clutch MC can use:***
LHD Hydro NA
LHD hydro turbo
RHD Hydro turbo - with modification to shaft

***clutch line use:***
LHD GC8 hardline/bracket/softline
LHD GDA hardline/bracket/softline --MAY NOT WORK forsure (however i think it can work - ill check it on my friends car)
RHD GC8 hardline (custom bend) LHD GC8 2.5rs bracket + soft line
OR the easiest solution. custom stainless steel line with adapter to bipass usage of hard line and 90 deg. bend at MC

***clutch slave cylinder use:***
LHD or RHD GC8 JDM EDM UK TDM ADM WRX (basically everywhere but USDM)
USDM Legacy turbo 91-94 EJ22

FWD to AWD conversion info

swapstar productions

FWD->AWD converison how to:

the car:
93 FWD impreza L. cable actulated clutch, FWD axels, FWD small diameter clutch/friction disc, flyhweel

what went in:

94 WRX-STI 4.11 turbo trans, hydro pull style clutch,
GDA USDM WRX exedy clutch and light flywheel,
springs and clips and misc hardware from 94 legacy turbo
97 JDM 4.11 rear LSD diff, axels,
94 JDM driveshaft,
02-03 USDM GDA sti transmission mount,
94 JDM trans H-member(centre/front brace)
01 RS trans h-member rear brace
94 JDM WRX-STI shift linkage
99 USDM 2.5 RS hydro pedalbox, modifitted JDM Clutch MC (shaft should be shortened 2.25 inches) with silly RHD heat shield
stainless steel custom clutch line (fabbed locally)
95 impreza L AWD diff x-member and braces/brackets
1 front axel from 96 legacy 2.2L
1 front axel from JDM 94 WRX

parts already in the car from previous AWD rear end conversion:

98 outback hubs, rear x-member, lateral links,
96 impreza outback e-brake cables,
94 impreza AWD gas tank,
whiteline endlinks, fram mount pads
20mm STI rear sway bar
STI v6 struts/springs

yeha. thats my crazy parts list. not to mention the vented 1 pot rear brake upgrade (JDM WRX or USDM legacy turbo) that went on at the same time, and the frantic business what not.

okay, so u have a FWD. u want AWD. on top of it u want a JDM gearbox from a turbo car.

#1. find about $2K or so
start collecting parts, MAD MAD MAD parts.

the break down*********

trans- the JDM 4.11 trans i got outa a front clip, it came with shift linkage, incomplete trans mount brace, worn out trans mount, slave cylinder with cut flex line, JDM RHD pedal box, RHD clutch MC with shaft too long and funny heat shield and wrong side metal line

what u need:
RHD JDM pedalbox DONT Work. the clutch MC is on the wrong side. u can reuse the clutch MC, but u need to shorten the shaft about 2.25 inches. or get a MC from a USA car. $45 is what they cost used

USA hydrolic pedalbox assembly. u need clutch/brake pedals
canidates to pillage in order of un-obtainum:

usa turbo legacy 5 speed
outback/legacy 2.5 manual
98-01 GC8 2.5 RS
GDA WRX - stimpy says it dosnt fit, ive seen it fit in a 98 2.5RS
dealer. about $350 AND u gota order a million little parts and put it all togeather. bad deal

i got mine for $100+$25 for overnight outa a 99 RS from a j-yard. 1.800.248.yard -brickyard in indiana

MC: if u use the USDM (GC8 ideal) part, get the hardline, the soft line and just plug and play it. if u use the JDM, screw the hardline adn get a custom stainless steel line. about 16" is good, cheaper than buying a hardline $15?, a bracket $15, and a soft line $27.

trans mount- FWD and AWD are completely differnt, by the time u think about doing this u should have a giant box of bolts in all sorts and sizes -HOPEFULLY,or a j-yard that u can grab everyhing at. otherwise u WILL PAY. DEARLY for thses little things.

the AWD trans has a front brace (r-L), a middle bar (F-R), and a rear brace (R-L). the trans mount hang out on the middle bar, 14mm/17mm hardware required. forgot the specs bc i have a giant box o screws/nuts. u need little cusions between the pieces and special plate things (2) one has spaces welded on it, one has 2 studs for it. go to your parts dep. and get a diagram for a 99 2.5RS or somthing. any AWD impreza should work. the pieces new are $$$. paid $75 for the rear brace and about $45 for misc crap ineeded related to it. get it form your J-yard if at all possible.

shift linkage:

im guessing the parts from a GC8 2.5RS or any AWD will work, i dont know for sure. i got my misc nuts/bolts. spacer thing at the dealer from a 94 legacy turbo. also $$$, get it intack if possible, again do the diagram thingy.


the trans has a few things attached to it:
slave cylinder -specific to turbo car, NA wont work
giant round shaft thingy that the clutch fork pivots on
end bolt/slug that keeps the shaft in
clutch fork
spacer thingy and tab for spring guy to clip on to on the outside of the shift fork
spring to keep the clutch fork pulled forward
rubber boot - i got one from a 94 legacy turbo -$17
throwout bearing -any turbo car(legacy, usa WRX) will work
pilot bearing- all subaru is the same
flywheel- JDM GC8 turbo is same as USA wrx and legacy turbo, im using a 14# exedy USA wrx part
clutch cover - usa wrx and JDM gc8 wrx is the same. im using EXedy part for USA wrx
friction disc. same as the previous 2 things.
starter - all manual trans subaru is the same. im using OEM 1.8L FWD 5 speed one from 1993.

so the trans is taken care of.


several styles of driveshaft exist. theres a kind wiht small holes and a slot on one side, theres a kind with big holes and spacer/cusions on each end, etc.

find out waht driveshaft u have and get the parts required for it. i hadthe slotted kind, supposedly all 5 speed driveshaft from impreza should work.

rear diff. if u have a 4.11, a 98-01 GC8 RS is 4.11, 00-01 is LSD, if u get LSD u need the LSD axels too. USDM AT wrx is 4.11 LSD, most likely the wagon axels are what u need, sedan may have widetrack and are longer??

u need also a rear diff Xmember, any AWD impreza will work. its got the 4 studs to bolt the diff into, the cover plate for the front, the rear mounting bolt / plate

okay. thats what i had to do

IF u havnt convered your rear end yet........

u need a AWD gas tank, AWD (disc brake) hubs lines .knuckles. calipers. rotors. the whole shabang, AWD lateral links, AWD disc e-brake cables, AWD struts/springs, might as well do the rear sway bar swap as well, get the links, the frame mounts, endlinks, the bar, etc.


that is my write up on my FWD--->awd converison. it was pretty nuts.



Sunday, September 03, 2006