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

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