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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:15 PM
AndrewT AndrewT is offline
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Monsterwagon 2.0

Hi all. Introducing Monsterwagon 2.0 as she currently sits.



I will write up a massive build thread at some point soon - I have a heap of photos from along the way. But basically, I wrecked the previous Monsterwagon as the body was stuffed. Purchased another wagon of the exact same model (white MPFI touring wagon) in Feb 2014. This one already came with a bodgy 2" lift, 14" muddies, EJ22 with adaptor plate setup to 5speed. Generally the mechanicals were in terrible condition, and the body was "okay" but had particularly bad rust in one area. Over the last 2-years I've made a few changes. I'll include a heap of details. Here is a brief summary.


At this point I have the car fully driving and have literally just had it dyno tuned yesterday. It's now at the point where I can drive it daily, which is what I'm going to be doing starting Thursday this week. There is still a HEAP of little things to finish off but now that I'm daily driving it, I may as well put the specs up here.

Specs are as follows:

Engine
EZ30
From a 2007 Liberty
This is the one people refer to as the EZ30R - the later model one with 3 exhaust ports per head, the plastic intake manifold, and AVCS.
Drive-by-wire throttlebody deleted and replaced with traditional cable style from an AU Falcon.

Radiator
Originally a brand new Series1 Mazda RX-7 radiator. Brass tanks, copper core (triple core), fairly heavily modified for clearance, filler neck location, inlet/outlet pipe locations and numbers of.Two 10" slimline Davies Craig thermo fans between the radiator and motor.

ECU
Vi-pec V88 standalone unit. (Only the engine loom for the EZ30 remains from the donor vehicle - no original ECU loom at all).
Dyno tune by Sean at ASG - 181hp at the wheels.

Exhaust
Raptor performance full replacement EZ30 headers, stainless.
2 x high flow CATs
Y-piece behind the CATs into a single 2.5" pipe to the rear of the car
2.5" Varex rear muffler (so I can make the car totally silent at the push of a button)

Body
Re-painted engine bay.
Windscreen surround rust repairs and re-sealed windscreen.
Otherwise generally an average condition/looking L series wagon, all the usual shabby bits and dints here and there.

Gearbox
SF Forester 5speed dual range (has 1.4:1 low range), 4.111 final drive ratio.
DCCD centre diff (from some kind of STI) fitted.
"DCCD-Pro" manual controller (not yet connected).
Plan to upgrade this to a stronger SG box later, add front LSD and SF low range etc.
Shifter linkage and mount are cut about 1" shorter to fit the L series.
Dual range selector retro-fitted inside the car.

Tailshaft
Brand new custom tailshaft from "Final Drive":
- Front section 65mm shorter than normal (to suit longer Forester gearbox)
- All Holden replaceable uni joints (the same ones they fit to drag cars)
The only thing they used from my existing tailshaft was the centre bearing assembly which they rekoned was as-new.

Wheels/tyres
As pictured, it just has a crappy set of 16s with crappy road tyres on it at the moment.
There is a set of 4 x 15" Audi wheels, with brand new Kumho KL71 mud terrain tyres sitting in the shed ready to go on, but I need to cut the guards nicely and get some flares before I can fit these.

Brakes
Front: RS-Turbo calipers with brand new slotted and ventilated disks and pads
Rear: RS-Turbo caplipers with brand new ventilated disks, pads and handbrake shoes

Hubs
Front: RS-Turbo front hubs
Rear: Cr0ss-b-r-e-d hubs & backing plates

Front end setup
Full Liberty engine crossmember with Liberty wishbone control arms (no L series radius rods etc). Whiteline anti-lift mount brackets used for Control arm mounts.
Custom 1-piece lift block / adaptors to act as lift blocks where the radius rods used to mount, and provide an "adaptor" to allow the control arms to mount.
Note that this means the front end wheel-track is Liberty spec, so slightly wider than L series. I have put bolt-on wheel spacers on the rear end to match the track.
Whiteline upgraded front swaybar.

Steering rack
Standard SF forester steering rack (ultra low kms, apparently ~30,000kms somehow).
Power steering lines are the EZ30 ones, they plug straight in to the rack.

Body lift kit
3" Strut tops (not the best, they came with the car, I'd like to get them re-done some time).
2" Engine crossmember lift blocks with offset mounting holes to allow the slightly wider Liberty engine crossmember to bolt in.
No tailshaft centre bearing spacers (I had a fair bit of tailshaft vibration before removing them, all good now).

Rear diff
R160 open diff, 4.111.
I do have a clutch-pack diff from an old RX I could chuck in but I'm working on an idea for an air-locker setup so the open can stay in for the time being.

Driveshafts
Front: SF forester shafts. Boots look like they might let go soon, have a pair of brand new "Chinese" E-bay shafts I'll put in sometime soon and see how they go.
Rear: Brand new L series "Chinese" E-bay shafts. Quality seems great.

Interior stuff
Front seats: Black leather from 2007 Liberty, both with full electric movement. (custom mounted).
Centre console: SF forester console. Not finished fitting up, just kindof sitting there at the moment.
Double Din Android head unit (GPS Satnav, media player, reverse camera etc etc), not wired in yet.
Brand new Momo steering wheel, not fitted yet.
Brand new carpet and sound deadening underlay.

Other stuff
Suba-extreme steel full rear bumper replacement, with swingout jerry can and spare wheel holder.
Rola roof racks (not on the car at the moment)
Rola large roof basket to go on the racks (not on the car at the moment)


After picking it up yesterday, I can say that it drives pretty damn nicely. Considering there is no kind of boost involved anyway, this thing really moves. Can't wait to get it offroad.
The exhaust is ridiculously loud with the muffler open when flogging the car, I will need to get two "hotdog" resonators fitted asap. From the outside there is absolutely no hint as to what bits the car is running. It just looks like any old 2" lifted L series with 5stud conversion.

Really long list of stuff still to do - tidy up wiring, fit rear seats, sort out airconditioning, fit roofracks, fit stereo, fit new steering wheel, fit inner wheel well plastics, custom make a bash plate, fit towbar etc etc etc.

I'll put a bunch of placeholder posts in next so I'll have room to write up all the details of the build, with all the photos.
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http://www.ausubaru.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26163

Last edited by AndrewT; Sun 7th February 2016 at 03:52 PM.
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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:16 PM
AndrewT AndrewT is offline
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Many of you would remember the original Monster Wagon – 6” body lift, EJ20turbo, RWD gearbox intended to mate to a Nissan divorced transfer case (transfer case never actually happened).
Info thread here: http://www.ausubaru.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6143

It was a bit crazy, although I did prove the concept. It drove really well. I just never ended up getting the actual transfer case idea happening, and then life got in the way, plus I let the car’s rego lapse. It was just too daunting a task to return it to stock to pass the pits and start all over again. Also the body was starting to get pretty rough, and it was damaged pretty badly in parts from some previous offroad accidents. So I wrecked it, saved most mechanical parts, and sent the body to scrap.

Not having an L series, let alone an offroader did not sit with me very well at all. So I thought I will keep an eye out for another one. I decided to set my sights on modification much MUCH lower, basically so I could have an offroader I could actually use, rather one that is perpetually in pieces.

Found one on Gumtree which seemed to fit the bill:
1988 L series Touring Wagon
MPFI model, all electrics, white in colour – same as the original MonsterWagon, my favourite model, except 1 year older
2” Lift kit
EJ22 with adaptor plate to original 5spd dual range gearbox
27” muddies on Sunraysers
Not running (engine just cut out one day and wouldn’t run ever since)
Registered
A bit of rust here and there but didn’t look too bad
$500

I figured I would do a few mods using some of my big pile of spares / aftermarket bits to get it reliable, comfortable, capable offroad, and usable.

So I bought it and got it transported to my place on a flatbed.
This was around February 2014.

When the car arrived, the car battery was completely dead. So I put a good one in and it immediately started up and ran perfectly fine. So I took it for a drive and it still ran completely fine. However the mechanicals were in a really bad way.

- Lots of really worrying clunks coming from everywhere.
- Rear CV joints were clicking really badly.
- Steering was clunking and had random points of heavy resistance.
- Exhaust was leaking really badly.
- Gearstick was the sloppiest I have ever encountered, as if it had no linkage bushes at all.
- Handling was really really bad.
- Brakes were spongy, ineffective and pulled the car badly to one side when using.
- Realised that it only had effectively half a lift kit. The rear end had no lift blocks at all, just the strut top extenders. That would be why the rear CVs are stuffed!
- Found the rest of the lift kit was a really bad backyard job made of bits of box section way too thin, with no anti-crush tubing.
- Liberty EJ22 radiator had been installed, meaning the lower radiator support had been completely chopped out and replaced with a very thin bit of angled steel (almost like flashing from a shed). Two no-name brand thermos fans were installed, on the wrong side of the radiator.
- Realised that I seem to have the only L series wagon in the entire world with no towbar.

Overall it felt quite unsafe to drive. However it did run and drive and basically worked.

So I used the car a handful of times to cart some things around in the boot. Also tested its offroad abilities a bit going up and down our boggy firebreaks to collect firewood.

Then I thought, well, it’s time to decide what to do to get this thing the way I want it. I already knew (based on all the EA machanicals being shot) that I wanted to go 5stud, EJ brakes, and change the motor to something else. So I decided on this basic mod plan:

- Install my ********* kit to go to 5stud.
- Re-use my original idea from Monsterwagon1 and run a full EJ front crossmember and EJ control arms.
- Use EJ brakes all round.
- Go to an AWD dual range driveline and figure out a few traction aid addons.
- Figure out some kind of different engine for the car, something unique.
- Make sure that the car runs nice and smooth, is reliable, and has all the basic things a car should have (heating, aircon, everything working). You know, like something your wife or girlfriend could ride in or even drive without feeling like they are in Fred Flintstone’s car.

I figured the best way to get motivated was to decide on what motor to base it on.

I thought, well, as far as I know nobody has successfully done a H6 conversion to an L series.

The only one I can think of is something I remember reading about something like 10 years ago where somebody had done it in the USA somewhere, and used one of those old ER27 H6s (the 2.6litre one from a Subaru XT which is basically an EA82 with 33% extra crappiness), or it could have been the 3.3 litre EG33. I seem to remember they had to mount a radiator in the boot or something like that.

My wife’s car is a 2005 Liberty 3.0RB with a modern EZ30 H6. It’s a bloody brilliant engine. Smoothest most refined motor I’ve ever experienced, and pulls like a train.

I read up a few of the build threads from people putting EZ30s into Libertys and WRXs and talked to a few people. A few things became clear:

- Wiring. To have any chance of doing the usual “wiring loom cutdown, use factory ECU” I would have to use the older version of the EZ30 found in early Outbacks. These are the ones with the metal intake manifold and only 1 exhaust port per head. To use the later model EZ30 (often referred to as EZ30R, which has 3 exhaust ports per head and fancy things like AVCS etc), there is no way to cut down and re-use the loom and ECU because it’s based on a CANBUS system, which is too hard to make work without the rest of the car and the original transmission…unless you go full standalone ECU.
- Dimensions. People told me “completely impractical in an L series…you’d have to mount the radiator in the boot”. I slapped a tape measure across the 3.0RB’s engine bay, and across the L series engine bay. Looks like it should fit between the rails. Engine is only ~40mm longer at the front than an EJ20turbo so radiator setup will be fun…but I’ll figure that out as I go.
- Weight. EZ30 is ~40kg heavier. That’s not much really. It’s like having a 14yo sit on the bonnet. I’ll be running my Outback struts and springs too so I don’t see this as an issue.

So I thought, well, if those are the only hurdles I think I’ll just give it a go anyway.

***Note that the early and late EZ30 motors are technically both called the EZ30D, there is actually no such thing as an EZ30R. It’s just something people made up based on the fact the later model version came in the 3.0R and 3.0RB Outbacks and Liberty’s.

I decided what is the point in going to the trouble of getting the thing to physically fit and be cooled properly if I don’t fit the better late model version of the engine? So I researched a bit more into aftermarket ECUs and figured out what was required. Okay, let’s go with the EZ30R.

So here starts the build thread:

I have done this thing unassisted, in my spare time. I have basically NO spare time – which means pretty much 15 minutes to 1 hour per week if I’m lucky. There have been periods of up to several months with no progress at all. Really it’s a solid couple of weeks work at most, just spread over 2 years.

The only things I’ve had outside help from have been:
- Some body panel welding for rust repairs. Credit to a boilermaker I found on Facebook.
- ECU wiring and general wiring advice: (of course) Subarino Dave!
- Final exhaust: Exhaust shop
- Dyno tune: ASG

I had a look at the local smashed car auction and attended one intending to bid on a smashed Liberty, but it went for WAY more than I was prepared to pay. I checked out Gumtree and amazingly there was an engine (by itself) for sale.

EZ30R, in a 2007 Auto Liberty, ~140,000kms, excellent condition.
The guy had purchased a rear-ended Liberty to grab the front panels from to repair his front-ended Liberty. He didn’t need the engine and he rekoned it ran great. I had to take his word on this as I couldn’t run it due to too much of the car being stripped (interior, dash etc was all gutted).

Here are some photos of it still in the damaged Liberty, and immediately after removal. Having no front to the car made things a bit easier – I brought my socket set and trolley jack, and then came back later with my hoist to lift it into my trailer.










Here it is home, sitting near the ready and waiting L series. Rekon it'll fit?

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http://www.ausubaru.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26163

Last edited by AndrewT; Sun 1st May 2016 at 04:02 PM.
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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:16 PM
AndrewT AndrewT is offline
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So I guess the first step is to remove the EJ22 currently sitting in the car.
*yoink*



Both motors sitting in front of the car in the shed:



Next I decided to lower the EZ30 into the car. I was keen to find out if it would actually fit. So here goes:






Yay, it fits. This is with it just sitting on the EA82 crossmember. About 10mm clearance to the chassis rails at the nearest point on both sides. I pulled it back out again after that, it was just a test fit.

On a site note, this car came with quite a bit of rust and a bad bog job all round the seam where the spare wheel well is in the engine bay. Just before sticking the motor in here, you can see I had run a grinder around there to see how bad it was, and doused it in rust converter. More (much more) on that later.
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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:16 PM
AndrewT AndrewT is offline
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So at this point while the engine bay was clear it'd be a good idea to tidy it up alot, see about fixing some rust, and put some paint here and there.

Rusty spare wheel well:


Manky engine bay, just starting to rub it back a bit with sandpaper:


A few shots getting it in primer:





Spare wheel well in rust converter white paint. Quite a few bits missing!


Pulling out the EA82 front mechanicals. In this photo you can also see my new lower radiator support - a big bit of box section. This bit had already been chopped out by the previous owner (to allow an EJ22 liberty radiator to be fitted) but they used a really thin bit of angle for it. I wanted something a bit more substantial, and also different for my radiator plans.



A bunch of stuff for the bin:
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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:17 PM
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More photos of the engine bay getting more primer, and finally getting white. I got some spray cans mixed up in the original paint code to match the car "Arctic White".









During this time I also needed to organise a gearbox of some sort. As time was tight, I didn't have time to organise a custom gearbox (which I'd like to at some point) so went with something I think will do the job well for the moment. SF forester 5 speed. It's AWD, it has a decent low range ratio, and should be fairly cheap.
Found someone with a written off SF Forester and got it for free - can't argue with that. Just cost me $80 to get a guy with a flatbed truck to pick it up and deliver it straight to my driveway. Easy as.

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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:17 PM
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Organised a new clutch kit to suit the SF gearbox. This was bought from ABR in Osborne Park and it's an Exedy kit, although not quite the same. Apparently they're made in the same factory but don't come with the pink paint. This is a new heavy duty pressure plate, new clutch disc, and new spigot & thrust bearings. I also got the SF flywheel machined.





I removed all the Automatic stuff from the EZ30 (torque converter, flex plate etc). At this point I made quite a critical mistake, but more on that later.

SF 5speed flywheel on EZ30:


Pressure plate and clutch disc fitted, and alligned:


Sliding the gearbox on. These two locating lugs had a disagreement:


The locating lug from the gearbox side lost the argument:


Mr EZ30, may I have the pleasure of introducing you to Mr SF 5speed, please go easy on him.
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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 04:17 PM
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I organised a DCCD centre from an STI 5speed gearbox. This was a straight swap onto the back of the dual range SF gearbox, quite easy to do. I hear there are some difficulties getting a DCCD centre to fit but if you get one with the whole housing, it's just a straight swapover.









The red SF Forester I got the gearbox from randomly came with a Whiteline front strut brace. Here's a photo of starting to prep the Liberty front crossmember, bolting the whiteline brace on.
Note - here is yet another mistake, more on that later.

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Old Tue 2nd February 2016, 10:10 PM
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It's about bloody time you came clean on this one! I can't believe you held out so long. I wish I managed to see this in the flesh a few weeks ago but as you know time was against me

I'm super keen for some pics of the engine bay

Looks good, needs a snorkel

Cheers

Bennie
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Old Wed 3rd February 2016, 12:18 AM
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Wow that looks great Andrew!! Some awesome gear gone into it and a lot of time/effort I'm sure too!!
I bet you're chomping at the bit to get it off the black top!!
I don't mind those wheels, but I bet the Audi ones will be mint. I cant wait to see more pics and get a look at MW 2's heart.
cheers, JB
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Old Wed 3rd February 2016, 12:57 AM
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Lots of time yes, but really it could have been done alot quicker if I had more free time. It's been done basically 15 minutes at a time.

The Audi rims don't really look that good but I'm going for functionality over looks really.

Many photos will come, stay tuned
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