Engine Installed

While my son was here over the weekend, we were pretty much able to get the engine installed all the way. The intake is now on and all the vacuum lines hooked up (or awaiting their home). The next big step is getting the radiator in, which is being quite a chore. We also started looking at the wiring.

For the radiator, I took the approach I’ve seen elsewhere, but cutting the core support at the top, then inserting 1″ angle iron in its place. This allows for a removable portion of the core support which allows for the radiator to go into and out of the engine bay with the engine in … at least that’s how the theory goes.


Here is how the core support looked with the piece in there (note: I’d already cut it out, but wanted to show where it’d be).


Here it is with it cut out. I angled the cut to allow more clearance for the radiator, yet not interfere with the support of the headlight. I was able to cut a piece of the angle iron to fit. I then drilled holes down through the core support and from the front back, right next to where the headlight will go in. I then marked where the holes would go on the angle iron and drilled them out with the drill press. I took this tap, which is an M6x1.0 (I believe) to create threads in the angle iron. This worked out really well.


There is a reason you keep extra fasteners around after you tear something apart. You’ll find you’ll always need something. Today was no different. I was able to find several bolts which worked out perfectly for my needs.


I then bolted the angle iron into place where the core support used to be.



It was amazing the amount of support bolting this into place makes. It firmed up the entire assembly, to include where the headlights go. It really amazed me.

We are still going to have to do some work getting the radiator into place. There are a couple of things to still work out. One of those is the radiator is still too close to the engine on the passenger side. The upper radiator connection sits precariously close to the engine. I’m not sure how we are going to get the hose to fit the upper connection and over to the engine. The lower connection will not be an issue. I’ll have to get some adapters to go from the 1.25″ on the radiator to the 1.5″ connection on the engine. I’ll need to get them for both the top and the bottom.

As it stands, things are coming together. There is still a ton of work to be done. We are still wondering where we are going to mount the EG33 ECU in the car. I have an idea we are going to gut the A/C core out of it’s box and mount it in there. I will then put some kind of barrier between the ECU and the where the air flow occurs inside the box. He won’t have A/C, but he’ll still have heat. The heat still uses this portion of the HVAC to traverse to the different parts of the vehicle. It’s all a trade off. Hopefully we won’t have any issues making happen.

Krazy Glue and You

I’m in the process of getting the top part of the intake manifold together on the EG33 so I can bolt it down and have that part done on it. It’s quite a chore with all of the vacuum lines they ran on the engine. Really, I guess there weren’t that many lines, but there are a few. My son was able to find this vacuum chart which helped a whole bunch. I had most of the lines figured out, but some I had the wrong idea for, so was able to adjust fire and figure some stuff out.received9510154771542021062

There were a couple of things I had to buy to put it together right. One of the things was the vacuum check valve (#8 one-way valve). I bought one of those cheap Dorman products you see in the “Help!” section of most of the popular parts chains. Paid $5 for it and it was worthless. I didn’t want to go buy another one as it would probably have the same issue. I didn’t want to purchase something off of Amazon and figure out if it was going to work or not (size wise), then it would take at least two days to get here even using Prime. I started wondering what I could use instead. Then it came to me. My daughter’s fish tank has check valves on the air lines going into the tank. This is used to keep the water from syphoning out of the tank and back down the air lines. I took one of hers out and tested it under vacuum (yah, I sucked on it). It held the vacuum like nobody’s business. I put her air lines back together and was on my way to Walmart. I picked two of them up for less than what it cost me for non-usable one from the parts store.

In the process of pulling the manifold off, I broke the Purge Control Solenoid Valve (#10). One of the nipples broke off of it because the lines are so stinking hard, things got broke. I looked around on the EJ22 to see if there was another one like it, but couldn’t find it (I believe it was bolted to the fender and the son removed it … never to be found again). I then looked online for a replacement I could buy. Yah, right. $110 for one. I again started thinking about how I could fix it. I figured out I could probably put a new nipple on there if I did it correctly. I found a butt adapter for the vacuum lines and cut one half off so there was a rather large flat portion I could use (large relative to the nipple itself). I then took the solenoid to my bench grinder and gently shaved off where the old one was broken from, making it very flat. I picked up a tube of Krazy Glue from the store and applied it to the nipple. Five seconds later it was bonded to the solenoid. Seems air tight as well. I’ll trade $2 for a tube of Krazy Glue any day of the week instead of dropping $110 on a new one. Krazy Glue FTW!


Because we have to chop part of the core support out, I went down and bought some angle iron the other day. Cost $30 for a 20’x1″ length which they cut in half. I’m going to use this to rebuild the core support after we chop it. It will also support the radiator at the top. The bottom is held in by the two grommets used for the original radiator. We drilled a hole in the core support, then used a step drill to cut a much bigger hole. These bigger holes will support the old grommets and the radiator in just the right spot. I was really impressed with how the step bits I bought from Harbor Freight did, and the wonderful job of cutting the holes. I highly recommend them as a cheap but effective way to get the job done.

Since we will no longer have the core support across the top of the radiator, there will also no longer be a latch we can use. My son bought these instead.


These are JDM, direct from Japan. Hood pin latches with locks in carbon fiber. I’ll have to cut some holes for them, then recess the lips so these will sit flush with the hood instead of sitting on top of them. They’d work if on top, but it would be ugly as sin. Cutting them flush will look a lot better. He said these were relatively cheap and there are better models. Even so, these should turn out okay as long as I can get them installed easily.

These will probably be some of the last things to get installed. Plenty other work ahead of them … like getting the engine running! I gotta get the engine back together first, like getting the vacuum lines completely sorted. There’s only a little bit more in that department, then I can slam the top part of the intake manifold back onto the engine and call it a day. Still lots to do. It’s a lot easier when my son is here to keep me motivated. If I’ve found nothing else in doing this project, it’s that I have an awesome son who I can work with. He even listens … that’s something I’d never seen before :o)

… in with the new.

After all the troubles we had yesterday with trying to fit the engine into the Impreza, we got it in today with minimal effort. It was amazing.

Just to make sure I hadn’t screwed anything up, we pulled the engine back out and took the clutch/pressure plate from the engine. I tested the pilot bearing on the transmission input shaft and was actually a little dismayed at how much slop there was between the pilot bearing and the input shaft. It went right on, though, so I am not too worried about it. I put it all back together, torquing it properly, and greasing the pilot bearing inner race to ensure the tranny input shaft would have its best shot at going in without issue. I also put more grease on the input shaft to ensure it would slide into where it needed to go. Here are a couple of gratuitous shots of the flywheel and clutch assembly on the engine.



And yes, I cleaned the flywheel before putting the clutch on. For anyone who cares, the flywheel bolts get torqued to 58-62 lb-ft (I torqued these to 60 lb-ft), while the clutch bolts get torqued to only 11.6 lb-ft. I broke out my 3/8″ drive torque wrench and torqued them to 139 in-lbs.

Once everything was back together, we brought it up and over the core support, down into the engine bay again, put the bottom two studs into the bottom of the transmission where they go, wiggled a little bit, adjusted the jack under the transmission once, played a little bit more with the cherry picker, and the thing went together slicker than anybody’s business. I could not believe it. After fighting with the stupid thing for over four hours yesterday, just how easy it went together today.

Here are a few pics of the engine in the bay … after all that work, I just have to sit back and admire it a little bit.




It was a lot of work, but the ends make it worth it. You can see how tightly the front end of the engine is to the core support. Just a few inches of space. With the accessory drives in place, there’ll be about an inch of space between them and the radiator. I’ll need to cut the core support up top and work some angle iron into its place.

Still a lot of work left to do. Now the hard part begins with the wiring harness and getting everything to fit up correctly. Not that this swap hasn’t been done before, but when you’re doing a swap like this for the first time, nothing about it seems easy.

Out with the old …

My son came up from North Carolina on Thursday. They came in late, so we all slept in on Friday and got a late start to getting going on the Impreza. I get Friday off every 2nd week on payday, so I take my wife out for a day date. We’ll either go to breakfast or lunch. This Friday we had Indian food at a local place here in the ‘Burg. When we got back, I’d discovered my son had already jump started the process by draining the radiator and having the hood off the car. He had also removed the front bumper and the rest of the front end components which could possibly get in the way. Here are some pics of the front end. I’d actually taken these pictures so I’d have reference after the fact.




Nothing too uncommon here … just a 96 Impreza with a EJ22 engine in it.

In what seemed like just a little while, we were able to get everything apart and pull the engine. I was amazed at how little time this really took us to get things done. Here’s the little EJ22 on the cherry picker. Not a very large engine at all.


When my son first got this car, there was a massive oil leak from on the right side (passenger side) cam seal. It was leaking down onto the exhaust and basically made a mess of everything. At that time we had changed out the timing belt, water pump, idlers, and cam seals. This shut down the oil leak, but the oil stayed put where it was … which was all over the bottom side of the engine bay. This is very evident from this picture.


There was a ton of grease everywhere. This is what nearly 300k miles worth of grime looks like. With a large cleanup task head of us, I pulled out the power washer and had at it. Here’s what the engine bay looked like after the cleanup.


Mucho better! Since I had the power washer out and running, I also took a stab at the EG33.


We had done our best to tape everything up and cover it where possible. This didn’t keepĀ all the water out, but it did keep the vast majority of it out. It clean up nice, but as you’ll see in my next blog post, I’ll still have to do more cleanup.

There is still lots of work ahead of us, but the work is pushing forward.

There and Back Again: An Impreza’s Story


Last weekend I made a trip to North Carolina to pick up my son’s Impreza. The trip was fairly innocuous.


This is my selfie view headed down to NC … to bad I’m not more adept at driving and taking selfies. It’s funny you cannot see the trailer out the back of the truck … the only way to see it was through the side view mirrors.


Here is the truck all loaded up in the morning and ready to travel back to the ‘Burg. We had to muscle it up onto the trailer. My son and I just couldn’t quite get the rear tires up onto the trailer, so enlisted the help of my Daughter-in-Law and Daughter to help. With them it went on fairly easy.

I had two issues during the trip. The first was on the way down there. It was dark out at around 9:30pm. Traveling down I-95, towing a trailer, without many other vehicles around. Up ahead in the distance I could see another pickup truck. It was driving very erratically. I had to jam on the brakes, which of course, cause the empty trailer behind me to start bucking.

U-Haul car trailers have a very nifty built in braking system. Built into the tongue of the trailer is a master cylinder which pipes fluid down to the brakes at the wheels. When you step on the brakes in the towing vehicle, the trailer slides forward on the tongue and engages the brakes. The amount of braking force is proportional in the trailer to what is being applied in the tow vehicle. Very ingenious … if there’s weight on the trailer. If the trailer is empty, it tends to react late and over react when it does engage. When you step on your brakes too hard, the trailer will tend to buck and this time was no different.

The second issue which appeared was my check engine light came on a few miles after getting the car and driving back towards home on Sunday morning. My usual “rule of thumb” here is if there doesn’t seem to be any change in the way the vehicle is running, the problem probably isn’t an emergency. Since the truck kept running the same, I figured this was probably one of those times. The strange thing about it is, after I dropped the car off at the house and returned the trailer, the light went out on its own. When I got back home and was able to put a scanner on it, the problem was the B2S2 O2 sensor. It showed it as Circuit Low Voltage (P0157).

Check Engine Light

What this problem really did for me was tell me I need to ensure I have my hand held scanner with me when I go on trips of this type. It’s better to know what’s going on than to worry about it for nearly 300 miles.