Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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Nitro350Z
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Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

I've posted it on some other forums I frequent, and I figured I might as well open up a thread here too. It might read a bit funny because it's been reposted a few times, but you'll get the gist of it.

This project has taken entirely too much time and way too much money but in the end I'll have a good story and a fun car.

Alright, so lets begin. I purchased a 2003 Subaru Baja back in 2009, it is my first car that I could call my own and it's been a blast to own. The styling on the Baja I've found to be love it or hate it, for me it's quirky and I think it looks great. I've used it for anything and everything, hauling wood/appliances/sheet metal/furniture, taking it autocrossing, light offroading and mudding, and of course as my daily driver.
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It seems like I caught the mod bug, I'd always upgrade something and then a few months later I'd find something else that could be improved, I've spend entirely too much on the various little projects with this car but I guess that's part of the fun. As I was autocrossing, I learned to push my car to the limit and I was surprised at how well the Baja managed to perform snaking it's way through the cones. It was definitely a sight to see. Last year I started thinking I could use some more power, so I looked at turbo-ing my car, after more research I started looking at just buying a newer Turbo Baja but they're really rare in Canada and would be pricey to import, and with this being my first car I have become attached to it somewhat. I Toyed with the idea of swapping a turbo engine into mine but ultimately I decided it would be smartest to just buy a dedicated autocross toy.

Well, I didn't do the smartest thing. In January I saw an opportunity when looking at the SGI salvage auction, a blue 2010 Subaru WRX rollover and the idea of an engine swap seemed like an awesome project. So I put my bid in and purchased this hunk of metal sign unseen for $1500 and payed $500 to have it shipped to my house.

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It definitely wasn't pretty when it came. What came after was a whole lot of months of tearing the wreck apart and buying replacement parts to get it back to running condition.

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As you can see, everything looks broken and covered in a nice layer of battery acid from the accident. Seeing the Cam gears broken made my heart sink, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the valves and pistons were ok. From the original auction pictures you couldn't tell that the timing gear was trashed. At this point I figured I could at least get money back if I part it out if the engine is trash.

So time to soldier on, had a good friend help with disassembly of the wreck, here's a picture of the interior after we got the dashboard out

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Backside of the wreck
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The garage at this point, looks positively clean compared to now.

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Close up of the timing gear, showing just how bad it looked before:
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

The rest of the engine bay was covered with a mixture of battery acid and dirt/grass. It was a whole lot of fun to clean up.

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Got really nervous when I looked at the turbo, I thought it moved somehow and got really dented on the bottom here. I started looking at used turbos on NASIOC and was not looking forward to paying for a new one, thankfully after looking through the listings, it looks like the legacy style VF52 that's in the new WRX is supposed to look like that. Who would have thought?
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Here's some pictures to show just how much force is involved in a rollover, motor mounts split in two and lower control arms found a new exciting shape to be in.

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Back to progress:
Freed the motor from the wreak and put it in the garage, was fun moving the hoist around, where the wreck was it's gravel so we put down a sheet of plywood and had fun pushing it up onto the driveway and finally into the garage.

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And now the fun starts. Took the motor apart, cleaning as I went. Took the heads off and checking pistons and valves to make sure it's viable. It was a good thing I did since the head aligment pins were all bent by about a cm, so instead of being a straight tube they were offset. Definitely good would have made some interesting noises if I started it up that way.

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Yes, the head has a piece broken off on the exhaust. I took the head to a friend who has a machine shop in his backyard and he welded the broken piece back on.

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It broke off from the force of the impact. The exhaust manifold cracked on the outer side, but on the inner side it took a piece of the head with it. Thankfully it was repairable and I didn't need to buy a whole new head.

Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

From the looks of the pistons, I'm guessing this WRX has seen a very boring life so far.
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I cleaned off all the carbon on the pistons after hours and hours of cleaning using special wipes that apparently are used to clean the carbon off. looked fairly shiny after, unfortunately I didn't snap any pictures.

After it was all put back together, put on timing belt and hand cranked it to make sure there weren't any clearance issues.
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Look at that fine motor, so much nicer than what it looked like back in the wreck.
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painted the intake manifold wrinkle black since the batter acid splash wasn't really my style.
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After the timing covers put on, and mostly back together
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Had fun and put the scoop onto the hood to see what it would look like
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After reading on NASIOC about the oil pickup tube cracking, I took a look at mine and it showed signs of cracking, took it to a good friend who does welding for a living and he strengthened up the tube at the failure points, I'll eventually go with an aftermarket pickup, but for now this should hold. Pictures after I re-installed it.
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Once that was done and all together, it's time to get this started
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Right before the swap
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Settled into it's new home for the next little while
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Old and dirty
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Taking apart the interior
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Taking everything apart, getting it ready to take out
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The engine hoist is waiting, patiently...
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Transmission is out
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And out with the old!
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Car has now went from having ~170hp to 0.
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Now it's time to find room for the new rats nest. Wiring has been a nightmare beyond believe, my ultimate goal is getting everything functioning and looking as though it was factory. I purchased a subscription to the Subaru technical site which has all the factory service manuals for the WRX and my Baja, so it's been a fun time splicing systems together trying to get everything to play nice and work. Had to make a few custom wiring harnesses when some systems went through connectors on the passenger side when the new wiring has them on the drivers side. Also since the fuse box is located on the side that recieved the brunt of the impact, I had to remake the entire harness that goes to the main fuse box since pretty much everything got damaged on that side.

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I decided to use the new gauges from the WRX, partly because they look better and I've gotten used to looking at mine, and partly because when I looked at the wiring diagrams for the cluster it seems like it would have been nearly impossible to get the old gauges working with the new ecu and wiring. I think I had a mini aneurysm looking at that mess on paper.

Made a backing plate from wood and covered it in 3M carbon fiber wrap so that it would fit into the mounting spot of the old gauge in the dash. Here's a picture of a mockup before it was all together. The wrap in this picture is pieced together from scraps I had from previous jobs, the final wrap was done in one piece so it looks much better.
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Here's the test fit from before I had the car apart
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Here it is all plugged in
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And then finally, after months of on and off again working on this project, I had everything ready for the first start. Oil in the motor and all the electricals just put in all willy nilly so that it would just work and I could see if all that hard work would result in a start or if all I would hear would be click click click, or worst, click click BANG!

My heart was pounding, everything up to this point has been an uphill battle and this was it, the moment of truth, to see if the next steps were putting it together with the new motor, or undoing all the work done and putting the old motor back in, defeated and having a failed project on my hands.

So here's the moment that decided what's happening next:
http://youtu.be/3I7b4SispaY

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It runs! It was such a relief to hear the motor fire on the first try. There was so much that could have been off, it was a miracle it all came together.
After that point I got busy and put a whole lot of the interior together, put in the cooling system, got the heater working, the venting working, the rear lights, and headlights, and various other essential electrical systems.

At this point this is how the interior looks
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And here's a video of it running after I was testing to see if the radiator fans were functioning properly
http://youtu.be/x_ct3LuyUJE

I think it sounds really nice, I'm loving it. It'll definitely be one of a kind after all this work.

I'll have to snap another picture of the engine bay sometime later on since it looks much more presentable now than it did in the first video.

Future plans involve a whole bunch of aftermarket parts and a good tune and hopefully I'll have my goal of 300whp by the end of next year. Already have a whole bunch just waiting to be installed but I want to run the motor as stock as possible for a while before I start modding again to work out any problems that might arise from it being through that kind of accident. Haven't finished putting the thing together and already I've been bitten by the mod bug.

There's still a whole bunch I've left out to this point, I'll probably end up posting about the rest of the work at a later day.

Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

And now I hit a little stumble, something interesting happened. Changed the oil and filter the other day and wired up the rad fans permanently. I was bringing the engine up to temp and a thing happened. Water temp was 60*c and the engine was idling, just touched the gas pedal and it stumbled and died, refusing to start after. Checked wires thinking maybe a ground came loose somewhere, checked fuses to make sure nothing blew, and it was still refusing to start. Eventually it started for a split second but it made a weird noise so I shut if off immediately, not sure if it actually started or the unburnt fuel just decided to ignite in the exhaust.

Well, I didn't have time until tonight to do some work on it so I bought 20l of premium, a set of nkg plugs, and a compression tester to see if the motor is sound.

Getting to the plugs on a turbo subie was indeed a pain. Had to come up with a weird system where I loosen the plug and then lightly tighten it again so I had enough clearance to take the wrench off the extension and then use my fingers to loosen it rest of the way while hoping I didn't tighten it too much to do it by hand. Makes changing the plugs in the NA motor look like a cakewalk

old plugs ended up looking kinda dirty and cyl 3 had a decent amount of oil on it.
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Did a compression test and it looks like the motor is sound, this is what I found:

Cyl 1 - 146
Cyl 2 - 143
Cyl 3 - 145
Cyl 4 - 140

So next step is to figure out if fuel is fine and to make sure I'm getting spark. Probably wouldn't hurt to double check the grounds either. Hopefully it's nothing too [s] difficult[/s] expensive to fix

I've been posting on other forums more often so here are some more updates!

After changing the plugs it went from no start to running on 3 cylinders. Cyl 2 is the one that's misfiring, unplugged the coil pack from it and the engine runs the same. Thought it might be the coil pack but moving them around had no effect, unplugged the injector on Cyl 2 and nothing changed so I removed injectors 2 and 4 and cleaned them both and swapped them. Cyl 2 still misfires. I can't seem to figure this one out.

From the compression test it seems like it shouldn't be a problem with the piston or valves. Anyone have any ideas why Cyl 2 would still misfire after moving both the injector and coilpack?

I figured I'd check the timing just incase something went wrong, was running out of ideas so I figured I'd check anyway. When I took the timing cover off there was oil all over the rear timing cover on the passengers side. I'm guessing the intake cam seal is leaking, so it looks like I've got lots more work to do.

And another update for the Baja, I've put it on storage insurance for now since I doubt I'll have it good to go any time soon, exams are coming up so I'm short on time. It looks like I'll be taking the motor apart again to figure out what the problem is. When I'm in there what can I do to guarantee that the heads are fine? If I had the motor running smoothly before and it just suddenly stopped running when warming up after an oil change, what could have gone wrong? It only started after switching out the plugs but still misfires even after playing around with the plugs, coilpacks, injectors, and ground wires.

I'm just a little stumped as to what it could be. Cyl 2 is on the passenger side while the brunt of the damage occurred on the drivers side, but it's possible the passenger side suffered some damage. If it has something to do with the valves or damage from the accident and it's not something I would have visually picked up during disassembly/assembly what should I be looking for? Seeing how it ran seeming perfect for a while before it suddenly stopped while idling I'm not sure what to point at here. Anybody have any ideas?

If I'm doing the tear down again I guess I'm looking at getting some more parts. Question is which parts would I be ok re-using and what should I buy replacements? Head bolts aren't torqued to yield on Subaru motors so I was right with reusing mine, correct? If the motor was running fine before and with those compression numbers, should I still be suspecting valves? If I need new ones, any recommendations for what/where to get them? Any recommendations for things to replace and beef up if It's going to be apart again?

As of now I've been really short on time and haven't been able to get anything done with the car so all I've been able to do is think of what could go wrong and what I need to do to fix it. With some luck I'll have plenty of time to tinker with it after finals.

Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

And now for an update:

Yesterday I decided I needed a study break so I managed to get something done. The goal was to get the engine out so that I could figure out what's happening with the misfire and fix that mystery oil leak. Figured I might as well find a killer B oil pickup somewhere and install that while I have the engine, maybe find a turbo inlet since the one I tried getting of a NASIOC member never came :(

So onto the update:

Started out by taking the fuel lines off and actually remembered to take a picture. Got the nice 210,000 BTU heater sitting beside the Baja, it's definitely the next best thing to a heated garage.
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Heater in action
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I've been running the heater for about 30min - 1hr (depending on how long of a break I've decided to take) with the garage partly open then closing the garage and turning off the heater. This has given me about 2hrs or so before I need to turn it on again to keep working. It didn't have much fuel in it when I got it so it worked to heat up the garage once but didn't have enough to start it up again so I needed fuel. It runs on either Kerosene or Diesel, probably some other fuels too. Went to the local home depot and Kerosene is at over $3/L after tax and the heater has a 50L tank. Screw that, Diesel it is at $1.20/L. Went to gas station after and realized I left my wallet at home. **** :doh: Once I eventually actually got fuel for the heater I'm back in business

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This is the first time I've pulled a Subaru engine without taking out the transmission first, every other time I've taken out the transmission for one reason or another so I was hoping I wouldn't hit any snags. Unbuttoned everything and it's time to pull that engine. again.

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Thought I might get lucky and not have to pull the radiator out but there wasn't enough clearance to pull the engine off the transmission so after another two bolts, and a lot of wiggling, it's free and out.

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And I've got to buy a proper engine stand, would make working on this so much easier. Now it's time to spend more on parts to keep replacing things and disassembling pieces to make sure they're (still) good. On the plus side it ran nice for a little while so it shouldn't be too hard to get in almost new condition.

Anyone have any good tips for cleaning a garage floor after all various automotive fluids have had their way with it?

Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

And now for a long overdue update:

So yesterday was a nice and hot -8*c, almost beach weather here in Winnipeg, so I finally managed to get a leakdown test done on the motor. I found some interesting results and I could use help figuring it out.

Leakdown results where as follows, all done at TDC:
Keep in mind the motor hasn't been started in a few months and it's still pretty cold here.

Cyl 1 - 25% @ 100psi / 90% @ 100psi through intake or exhaust
Cyl 2 - 25% @ 100psi
Cyl 3 - 25% @ 100psi
Cyl 4 - 25% @ 100psi

So Cylinder 1 is the odd one, I've previously messed up my piston numbering, so Cyl 1 is passenger side front. It's the same cylinder that was having the misfire. I thought that my intake valves were ****ed on that side since the first time I did the leakdown, it was showing 90% leakage at 100psi coming through the intake. I tested the rest of the cylinders and then came back to #1, the second time around it was showing 25% @ 100psi, like the rest of the cylinders, I thought maybe I screwed up somehow. After some more playing around it turns out that when it's TDC after the compression stroke it has 25% @ 100psi, while if it's at TDC after the exhaust stroke, it leaks through the intake, or exhaust depending on how close I actually get it to TDC, a tiny movement of the crank will change which way it's leaking out. The other cylinders seem to have both valves closed at TDC after the exhaust stroke for longer, while cyl 1 seems like there's almost a crossover where both valves are open.

Am I right in thinking my valves are OK and that I need to re-do the valve lash on that bank, or do these numbers point to something else?
And can anyone confirm the valve lash should be set as .008" intake and .010" exhaust?

Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

It's been quite a while since the last update and it's time to get back to work and get something actually done. I'm cross posting this on other forums so it might read a little funny but the info should all be there.

In the spirit of doing the little things first, I managed to focus on the following while it was still too cold to do any work on the motor:

Figured I should get some practice with fiberglass so I played around with making a gauge pod since the aftermarket for the Baja and 00-04 Outback is pretty much non-existent, and the universal fit stuff pretty much always looks like ass from what I've seen.

The first time around I made one that didn't have a hood and was so-so for fitment. It did teach me a lot of how to work with fiberglass. The weather was very cold still so I had to be creative with using a heat gun and various hot lamps to get it to cure.

First was making a fiberglass pad to build the pod off of, used the classic trick of aluminum foil to prevent marking the dash and for easier removal. Used a hot glue gun to attach the gauge cups once the fiberglass cured and put in the gauges to see how it would look sitting in the drivers seat.

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Next step was to put the fiberglass onto the top so that it would have a nice back, that was kinda tricky as the gauges extended about 1/2" back behind the cups so I had to make sure they would still slide in after the back was made. Then used liberal amounts of bondo to smooth out the rough shape of the fiberglass.

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After more sanding and a coat of black wrinkle paint I ended up with this result. Bad colour match, bad texture match, needs much more sanding, and fitment issues. But I got lots of experience so time to try it again and do a much better job.

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This time around I had an easier time using the fiberglass since I knew how it acts and how I could mold it so that it's easier to fix later on.

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With the ingenuity that comes from using what you have lying around around at the time, I used some painters tape to support a bondo made hood to this pod, after building the original one I found that I would prefer the look of a hooded pod.

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Fitment on this one is much nicer thanks to using a heat gun to make the fiberglass flexible and bending it to shape before applying the bondo.

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After some more rough sanding.

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And finally more sanding and some glazing putty to get the small imperfections out. Still have some work to do to get it perfect. After this step I gave it a coat of primer to help spot the imperfections and that's where it sits today. Will eventually get it done but for now that's as far as I got. Went to the local rondex paint supply store and paid $stupid for proper paint that supposed to match the dash perfectly, paint that's supposed to match the light gray a pillars perfectly, an automotive dash texture spray, and a proper primer for the pod. Hopefully it was worth it for it to look like it might have came from the factory in the car.

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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

At this point I found something else to spend time on that wasn't mechanical work. Got a perfect condition shift knob from a WRX to replace my worn one since I can't find an aftermarket shiftknob that I like, and used some red thread to make it look prettier. Scientifically proven that a little red stitching adds 5-10 hp.

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When I was a friends garage, after a few hours of helping out with his car I found this exhaust tip in his garage that he says came off of a pontiac vibe. With a torch nearby I remembered that race/rally cars get that bluish tint to the exhaust because of how hot their exhaust gets, so I added the two together and tested my theory that if I could recreate the heat I could get that finish on the tip.

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and wouldn't you know it, it worked!

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After played around and it turns out you can sand it off.

So I grabbed my exhaust and after a quick clean up and polish, I tried it out. The first time it was uneven at the top as I overdid it a little, but the colour was really nice and strong. I took it off and tried again, this time I was too far from the edge when heating and got a bronze ring around the edge with the bluish colour a few cm's inwards. Took it off again and tried one more time:

Clean exhaust before last attempt:
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After:
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Turned out ok, but the colour is much less intense than the first time I tried. Not sure if that's because of how much I was heating it, or if by doing it multiple times I changed something with how the metal reacts to this type of treatment. I'll probably try it one more time before I put the exhaust on.

Oh, and I finally caved and purchased this beauty:
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Got tired of spending 40 mins on a 10 min job because I can't find the tool I need. Canadian tire had it at 40something% off so for a total of $650 plus tax for the entire cabinet I now have a place to put all my tools, the previous organizational technique was akin to a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter. It's not some crazy professional model, but it's nice and large and the sliders actually feel pretty nice, much nicer that most of the other consumer tool boxes I was looking at.

And finally onto some actual work on the motor. Still not sure why it was misfiring but hopefully after taking it apart and putting everything back together while checking clearances I'll have inadvertently fixed the issue, also throwing new shiny parts at it so fingers crossed that everything goes well.

First had to take the motor apart, got most of the intake and assorted off the top fairly easily.

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After more time and effort I pulled the head off and tried to see if there's anything that could point at the cause of the misfire. Couldn't see much but the head gasket had a little coolant between the layers so maybe it was a contributing cause? I've got a new set of headgaskets ready to be installed so no worries there anyway.

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New headgasket on the block:
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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

You can see with this picture how the cylinders look after the cleaning and running for the short time I had it running well.
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Pile of parts and the new and old heads:
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During the long break, I picked up a set of heads from another 2009 WRX and had them checked over and they seem like they're perfect. They also look much nicer cosmetically than mine so that's always nice.

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So currently there is one new right side head, ie the passenger head, which I torqued down following the service manual to the letter.
Next step is to replace the other side and then start putting it all back together, cross my fingers, and see what happens.

Hopefully this thread will be updated more regularly, especially since the weather's being cooperative and I want to get the Baja onto the road.

I can't wait to get this on the road and enjoy the turbo goodness.

I've got some clear header paint, picked it up since it seemed like I could find a use for it, maybe painting the exhaust tip with that will help with durability.

So onto progress. Yesterday I put on the head, set the valve clearances, put everything together, and changed the oil pickup and windage tray.

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Out with the old
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New and shiny
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Everything buttoned up:
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Oh, and I found my cam seal oil leak
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So hopefully today I'll find the time to change the other head and put everything back together again.

So, I'm terrible at updating my thread it seems. Oh well, better late than never.

Since the last update there's been some progress. Motor got put back together, all the accessories and whatnot, put on an aftermarket turbo inlet and damn the fitment on aftermarket parts is terrible. Also triple checked the cam seals since I don't want to have to pull the timing belt and cam gears to get to the seals again, here's to hoping I did it right.

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Nitro350Z
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Was definitely an exercise in frustration to try to pull through the inlet so that it would go far enough back to the turbo. On top of that the section that the intake connects to is a few inches farther forward and to the side than the stock inlet so the silicon after maf hose is now the wrong shape and too long for the intake to fit in my engine bay so I've been doing a snorkel looking mounting while I wait for a shorter straight section of silicon hose to arrive.

Also, very jealous of my friends S2000 with how much space he has to work on it :(

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Finally got everything back in one piece ready to drop back in

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Get in ya Bastard!

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And it is back in its rightful place!

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The beast has woken
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tevvHTlmc9c


In my haste to get it back up and running I managed to forget to tighten the turbo oil line and the drivers side AVCS line which proceeded to fling oil around like it was going out of style when I was cranking it over for the first time. First thought that the puddles growing under the car were the cam seals but thankfully it was just my own idiocy. Mopped it all up and fixed the issues and it was time to start it. As the earlier video showed, it worked!

So, since I was planning on using the upgraded TMIC and I'm getting really excited to get it on the road, I put it on. Using the new Cobb blow off valve since my stock one was a little damaged and I didn't want to wait to replace it while possibly having a small vacuum leak where the line from the intake attaches to the bov.

New TMIC is much bigger and looks much better.

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So with the new intercooler on, and my intake acting like a tiny snorkel, I threw the wheels on got giddy with excitement

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As an aside, I do the little things before I get to the big important things (as always). Took the exhaust and figured it would be a good idea to paint it with some ceramic header paint and heatwrap it for[s]the bling[/s] better heat retention and to keep the engine bay temps down.

Started with masking of the mating surfaces since the paint probably wouldn't help with getting a good seal.
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Last edited by Nitro350Z on Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nitro350Z
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Posts: 153
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Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

All these pipes cost entirely way too much, but at least I wasn't paying full retail.
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Scuffed up the exhaust with a combination of 220 grit and a red scotchbright pad and got to painting.

Once everything was all fine and dandy I started wrapping it. I had the new 2" titanium DEI wrap and a bunch of wrap that the headers and uppipe came with. The new titanium stuff is so much nicer to work with the white fiberglass wrap, painting the parts also helped since it seemed like it make the wrap had more traction on the painted surfaces and was easier to wrap around without it slipping too much. The older white stuff is easy to tear and makes your hands and arms all itchy after working with it for a few minutes. I like a fool also bought the $texas DEI stainless steel zip ties and a package of 50 longer and wider zip ties off amazon that were on clearance for around $16 I think.

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Currently ordered some 1" titanium wrap that I have to go pickup, read online that the 1" wrap is easier for small bends like I have on the headers. Those tight bends are going to be *fun* to wrap.

Now, back to the Baja

Took it for a quick test and holy crap it pulls like a freight train. I only got it up to 4k rpm and from my obd2 scantool it looks like it hit a max of 12psi of boost. I'm getting a tgv stuck code so I'm guessing it's in limp mode because of that. I've got grimmspeed tgv deletes waiting to be installed and I'm picking up an Access port tomorrow most likely so those will be going on today. Also purchased the aps tgv servo plates since I found them for cheap and figured why not, there's a lot of black in the engine bay and might as well add colour, or resell them.

Here's the video of the test:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBtj3e9H40c

Yes the rear brakes are squeaky, using the ebrake as well since there appears one of the hardlines at the abs unit didn't seal right and is leaking slightly which let in air and resulted in a brake pedal that feels like stepping on a marshmallow

If you listen closely you'll notice it stall right after the pull. Right after that it started to stall after a second or two of running, really rough/lumpy idle, would occasionally stall on idle and was loosing vacuum. I though I managed to mess something up already and was panicking for a little bit. I started taking off the intercooler to find the suspected vacuum leak and as I was pulling it to separate it from the throttle body hose, the hose just slid off the throttle body. Looks like I didn't tighten the clamp enough and popped off when the engine actually made some boost. Crisis averted

With that issue out of the way, It's back to running perfect... ish. After another quick drive or two I noticed something smelled like raw fuel, quickly checked on the motor and it looks like I have a leaky injector. So todays tasks are to fix the leak, fix the brakes, and change out the TGV assemblies for the deletes.

As it stood yesterday before I started taking it apart again.

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This has gotten me really excited and I'm hoping that I can get the drive to get everything finished on this project nice and quick.

So my work ethic when it comes to this project isn't exactly crazy, I'm kinda all over the map doing the little things. Didn't help I just worked 12hr shifts this last week so didn't have much time.

Anyway, now that its been a *couple* days, Here's another update

First off, the turbo looked kinda chilly so I put on this perrin heat blanket to keep all warmth inside, also have to install the matching heatshield but that'll come after I get the Crawford AOS in so that I don't have to keep taking it off and putting it on.

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Here's a full on shot of the engine bay, before I got some silicone couplers to put the intake in the right place. If I was a crazier man, I would keep it this way and just make some holes in the hood.

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And once more from the side

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And finally with flash with the intake put in place properly.

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Last edited by Nitro350Z on Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nitro350Z
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

Now, onto some actual progress. The center gauge pod is completed (ish) I will probably take it off and smooth off the rest of the imperfections but for now it looks presentable and there are more pressing matters to attend to, ie getting it back together to drive around.

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Started with doing the hood scoop. Marked it out first and put the splitter that came with the intercooler on to see where would be a good place to cut.

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It's a really weird feeling drawing on a perfectly good hood let alone cutting into it. But it must be done.

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Using some blocks of wood and tinfoil so that the fiberglass doesn't stick, I put on the first layer of fiberglass that will blend in the hoodscoop for a nice OEM look.

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Gap is set at 3.25" so it should be plenty for the intercooler. I'm off to the states for the weekend so probably won't be another update until mid next week...ish


And I forgot to mention, I started making a pillar gauge pod.

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Again, because nobody makes anything aftermarket specifically for the Baja that would look nice.

Nitro350Z
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Baja WRX - Car? Truck? Turbo!

Post by Nitro350Z »

As for the steering wheel controls, I've used the 2010 bulkhead harness so it was mostly plug and play for the steering wheel control system. The really tricky bits were getting all other systems to play nice with each other. Still have a lot of wiring left to get everything working, but I have windows working for now and I'll play around with the various luxuries throughout the month.

As always, this is cross posted from other forums so it might read a little funny.

Picked up my shinny new gaskets and oil sandwich plate.

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Also finished wrapping the headers. It's quite a bit of overkill but it looks pretty and it should hold the heat in like a champ.

First is the progress that I forgot to post about, individually wrapping the headers was a bitch of a job, wasn't particularly difficult but threading the entire wrap between the runners got old fast, especially where the collector is :unamused:

One down.
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Two down.
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*Magic*

All wrapped
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Being a fan of overkill I wanted to wrap the pairs of runners together as well as individually but I ran out of wrap, so I got some more and finished it today when I got back so that I can now finally throw on the aftermarket exhaust.

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Alright, where did I leave off...

Oh right, Exhaust.

Old vs New
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Stains on the driveway from the rear main seal leak on the Altima, will have to eventually figure out a way to clean that up.

The new exhaust is on and damn if the Baja doesn't sound like a murderer
http://youtu.be/AQEQ9ShDW9c
Last edited by Nitro350Z on Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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