New to subaru's

Technical Discussions - Got a mechanical problem?

Moderator: bajabob

Post Reply
ncktuley1
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:18 am

New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:06 am

I don't know too much about these cars yet & would love to learn more about them!
Here's mine, 2003 Baja sport. I'm in the middle of putting an engine together for it, as the original engine decided to make a nice window in the top of the block. So far i am replacing the all of the gaskets, clutch, timing belt, water pump, thermostat & front CV axles. Anything I need to know about these cars?
Attachments
20190414_072832.jpg
20190414_072832.jpg (1.64 MiB) Viewed 1066 times

User avatar
Guacamole
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 388
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:11 am
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Contact:

Re: New to subaru's

Post by Guacamole » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:55 am

Hey there, welcome to the Baja club and the Subie world!
My 06 Baja was my first Subie too. Since you're replacing almost everything major that does go bad, there isn't much to go over. Just remember to follow the factory subie instructions when installing everything if you're DIY. The only thing I can caution about if you're going to replace the exhaust down the road is to not replace is the Catalytic converter- these are very finicky in Subies and if it's not throwing P0420 codes, don't replace it. My family just got a used 08 Outback with an aftermarket $200 cat pipe, 3 months later after throwing said code every week the cat is now shot and needs another replacement.
Bear in mind for replacement parts as well, the Baja is Legacy-based so nearly any parts for a '00-'04 Legacy/Outback will be a direct swap from the rear axles forward.
Image

ZUBAJA
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: New to subaru's

Post by ZUBAJA » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:17 am

ncktuley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:06 am
putting an engine together for it
One thing I can add is only use Subaru head gaskets or the special head gaskets from a dealer in Oregon (forgot the name, but I can hunt it down). I have done heads on 2 Subie engines, one a DOHC (1998) and one a SOHC (2006). On each engine I reused the head bolts after doing much research. There was never an issue from doing this. Dennis
EDIT: the improved head gaskets are "Six Star" from All Wheel Drive in Seattle (well, close to Oregon :D). They aren't cheap (about 100.00 ea) but who wants to redo head gaskets on a Subie?

ncktuley1
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:18 am

Re: New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:04 pm

Yup, all DIY. I'm no stranger to this kinda stuff, just didn't know if there was something specific to look out for.
I just pulled the oil pan off of the donor engine from a 99 forester & everything looked good. The engine was $150 from the local pick a part. No sparkly stuff in the oil & the oil filter was clean.

Thanks about the head gaskets though! I want to make it so I won't have to worry about this engine for quite a while.

I'll be sending the old heads off the baja, out to get cleaned & pressure tested. The Forester heads don't have the EGR port. I know I can drill out the port for it, but that just gives me an extra set of heads that I can play around with.
Maybe port & polish them for another engine that I can throw in my vanagon?

But I've always told everyone that most aftermarket cats are garbage, so I get that. There is a reason OEM catalytic converters are so expensive compared to a couple hundred bucks for an aftermarket one. Luckily I don't have to deal with emissions here in Idaho.
I want to keep everything on this mostly stock, maybe a 1" lift or king springs & a short shifter. But thats really about it. With a lift that high, would I have to worry about wearing out the CV axles or would they be okay?

User avatar
Guacamole
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 388
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:11 am
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Contact:

Re: New to subaru's

Post by Guacamole » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:20 pm

ncktuley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:04 pm
I want to keep everything on this mostly stock, maybe a 1" lift or king springs & a short shifter. But thats really about it. With a lift that high, would I have to worry about wearing out the CV axles or would they be okay?
1in off the stock height is pretty much the max you can go before you have to start adjusting the rest of the drive train, so you should be fine. I'm not a mechanic so that info is just off reading.
Image

ZUBAJA
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: New to subaru's

Post by ZUBAJA » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:39 pm

Yeah, I currently have a 2" lift on my front and am making blocks to lower the engine, transmission, driveshaft carrier, and rear axle cradle. Right now, my front CV axles look like the landing gear on a Cessna. Dennis

ncktuley1
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:18 am

Re: New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:24 pm

Oh geeze. I hope they don't look like the ones on the cessna I learned on! (broke a wheel pant on my first landing) 1" lift it is then.

ZUBAJA
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: New to subaru's

Post by ZUBAJA » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:03 am

Keep in mind that whatever lift you add at the strut, there will be a greater lift at the wheel. A lift will also cause a need for alignment. Dennis
I don't think the ones I used to fly even had wheel pants. I think every student pilot has the need for a "runway jack" at some point when they first start doing landings :D. Funny the number of Baja owners who are (or like me were) flyers. D.

walfredo
Scoobytruck Contributer
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:17 am

Re: New to subaru's

Post by walfredo » Fri May 03, 2019 8:12 am

ncktuley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:04 pm
Yup, all DIY. I'm no stranger to this kinda stuff, just didn't know if there was something specific to look out for.
I just pulled the oil pan off of the donor engine from a 99 forester & everything looked good. The engine was $150 from the local pick a part. No sparkly stuff in the oil & the oil filter was clean.

Thanks about the head gaskets though! I want to make it so I won't have to worry about this engine for quite a while.

I'll be sending the old heads off the baja, out to get cleaned & pressure tested. The Forester heads don't have the EGR port. I know I can drill out the port for it, but that just gives me an extra set of heads that I can play around with.
Maybe port & polish them for another engine that I can throw in my vanagon?

But I've always told everyone that most aftermarket cats are garbage, so I get that. There is a reason OEM catalytic converters are so expensive compared to a couple hundred bucks for an aftermarket one. Luckily I don't have to deal with emissions here in Idaho.
I want to keep everything on this mostly stock, maybe a 1" lift or king springs & a short shifter. But thats really about it. With a lift that high, would I have to worry about wearing out the CV axles or would they be okay?

Absolutely replace the oil separator plate with a newer style metal plate and might as well do the rear main while you are at it. If you do the rear main, many folks (including me) make the mistake of pushing the seal all the way in. The seal absolutely must be flush with the block and be very careful when installing it that it doesn't go too far in (very easy to do). Luckily I caught my mistake while it was still on the engine stand (I rebuilt my EJ251). But this is a very common mistake.

Also I am running a 1.5" lift in the front and a 0.75" lift in the rear and I have zero problems with axles binding. However, I did need to get an additional camber adjustment bolt for the front (lower strut bolt) to get rid of the positive camber that this lift introduced. I think it was only like $20 for the bolt (I went with whiteline I believe). The rears didnt get thrown off too much as the lift in the rear wasnt too substantial.

ncktuley1
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:18 am

Re: New to subaru's

Post by ncktuley1 » Thu May 30, 2019 12:19 pm

Damn, i didn't do the oil seperator plate. But i did replace the front & rear main seals along with all of the cam seals while i had the engine on my bench. I've had the engine in my Baja for a couple weeks now & so far no issues! I really like how easy this car is to drive compared to my Vanagon.
I'm definitely going to need a lift for it though. The extra ground clearance would be really nice when im driving around the desert.

Post Reply