You’re FIRED!

Our President Elect is known for these words, but really, I’m referring to the awesome sound of an EG33 firing for the first time on open headers! YES! It fired! I am VERY pleased, to say the least. I’ll recap …

If you’ve read any of my other blog entries, you know I’ve had the engine in for some time now, but I’ve been unable to get it to start. I’d tried several things, but nothing was working. My son finally hooked me up with a FaceBook page. After a couple of days I was able to get on there and start asking questions. A couple of guys there took some time to get me thinking about things.

There are three things you need in order for an engine to run (some would argue there are four … get to that in a bit). The three things are: air, fuel, ignition. The “fourth” thing some would complain to me is “compression”. My argument about compression is … if everything is mechanically right with the engine, you’ll have compression. An engine could conceivably run without compression. Compression just allows it to run more efficiently … but I digress.

I knew there was air … that’s a given because it’s there … all around you. As long as it’s sucking it in, you’ve got air. The second thing was fuel. I knew the fuel pump was running, so that shouldn’t be an issue either. The third thing is ignition … you need spark. On checking the spark plug and the coil, there wasn’t any spark. I back probed the coil and discovered I didn’t have any power at the coil … well, none to speak of as it read out to have ~.5vdc with the key on. You should actually see battery voltage with the key on. On the wiring diagram I saw where the coils attached to the connectors of the wiring harness at the back of the engine. The connector is B4 in the Subaru schematics. The two power wires for the coils attach to pins 3 and 6. I traced the wires back from the connector and what do you know I found … they weren’t attached to anything. Luckily I was anal enough not to have cut these off, but had left them in the bulk of the wiring harness which was rather “attached” to the rest of it. I’m glad I did, as I just attached them to the switched power I’m using for the other stuff. While I was at it, I also ran a sure ground to the igniter as the ground on it seemed a little flaky. I ensured the fuel pump was energized, then turned the key and it fired right up. I was completely surprised, but thrilled at the same time. Absolutely fired up … I was, that is! After a couple months of farting around with this thing, it lives.

Here’s a short video of the second firing:

Yes, folks, open headers are really loud! Nothing like the sound of an engine coming to life which has been dead for so long.

I still have one small issue I need to work out. The fuel pump is still intermittent. I don’t know why, but it only runs if I ground the fuel pump relay manually … this means the ECU isn’t getting a good ground somewhere, or if it isn’t switching it for some reason. Doesn’t matter. Something is wrong, so I’ll have to figure it out.  I also need to shore up all the wiring. As you can tell in the video, there’s wires strung all over the place. It’s a mess in the cabin, but right now it’s a good mess! I can deal with it now I know the engine runs.

The two big things left to do on the car is get the exhaust put together and get the cooling system sorted. The exhaust is going to be an amalgamation of the EG33 exhaust to just past the cats where it Y’s together, into the Impreza exhaust which will run it out the back of the car. It should work rather slick. The other thing which is left is the cooling. We have a Saab 900 radiator and two 10″ electric fans. Getting it all in will be problematic, but should work with a little bit of fabrication. I bought some 1″ angle iron for just such an occasion.

All-in-all, it was a productive night. I’m looking forward to getting it back on the road, but this was definitely a giant leap for the process! I’ll be back with more news as it presents itself. Until then, watch the video again … gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Back To Basics … and an output diagram.

I got the new ECU in and discovered the old one wasn’t bad. As I plugged in the new ECU, I had the same issue … the fuel pump wasn’t kicking on when I turned the key to the on position. My heart about fell out on the floor. Like I said before, this is R&R wrenching and I do not like it. I then started playing with the wires on the ECU. Low and behold … the pump kicked on. Holy smokes. The problem was not with the ECU, but with the fuel pump relay wire coming from the ECU not making connection at the pin. I then pulled out the pin from the connector, played with it a little bit (read: used a pair of pliers on it to make it have a little better contact), re-pinned it in the connector, and have been rewarded with a consistently working fuel pump since then. Engine still isn’t starting, but the fuel pump runs! Yay, small victories! Even if your victories come after setbacks … argh.

I’ve decided to go back to the drawing board a little bit. I’ve found a couple of charts on RS25.com which will probably help. I’ve seen these charts before, but haven’t given them much mind until now. Yes, folks, I can be dense (enter: not seeing the forest for the trees cliche here). Here are the two charts I’m talking about:

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What these two charts show is each of the important connections at the ECU and what their values should be with the ignition/engine in the off, on, and running positions. The plan for today is to go through each connection at the ECU with the key in the off and on positions, then back-probe the ECU to get each of the values from the pin. I’m hoping in doing so I’ll be able to figure out if something is not reading. It will be an arduous task, but I think it will provide results which may help me figure out why the engine isn’t starting.

The Flow Goes This Way

I haven’t gotten much done to the Impreza over the last few weeks. I’ve been working on a class for my Masters. I also spent most of a week out of town for work, so that didn’t help. Plus the release of TitanFall2 … too much fun and not enough time!

What I’ve been trying to figure out lately is how to get the wiring harness into the Impreza. There have been a few stumbling blocks. I was given some wiring diagrams for the Impreza which were okay, but they were B/W and hard to read. It was VERY hard to tell what the layout of the ECU connector was and the labeling of the wire colors was terrible. Luckily a guy on Stack Exchange provided me with some color ones, which are awesome. Here’s what they look like:

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Looking at the two images, the right side of the top one connects to the left side of the bottom one. The ECU plug shown in the diagram actually looks like this when disconnected:

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It’s actually upside down. Pin #1 is on the lower right side of the connector and runs across to pin #16, then continues down from there. I’ve found most of what I need to cull out of this to plug into the SVX ECU to make it work. We’ll see how it goes. I’m going to clip the wires I need off of the back of wiring harness (probably leave a pigtail) to connect. I’ll blog about it as I’m hoping to get the car started this weekend.

One of the other things I needed was a diode to fool the ECU into believing the “automatic” transmission is in park. Since the transmission in the Impreza is a standard shift, you have to include the diode in the mix so it will think it’s in either park or neutral. Without it, it thinks the transmission is in gear and that’s all she wrote … no cranking will occur. I was wondering what size of diode I’d need and where I’d be able to find one. Luckily, keeping the old wiring harness pays off. There just happens to be a pair of them already in the harness which you can use for this purpose. Here’s what they look like:

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I’m still unsure of how they go into what I’m doing. Not sure of the direction alignment. Not sure of a lot of things, but ultimately I’ll get it figured out.

Like I said, I’m hoping to get it started this weekend. I’ll blog about my endeavours later most likely :o)

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Repin For The Win

Tonight I was able to get the wiring harness in some semblance of order, as you can see here:

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I repinned all of the wires which I will be using back into the connectors, which get plugged into the ECU. There are still a few other wires attached which I don’t believe I’ll be needing.

You can see those wadded up into the zip lock bag at the bottom of the picture and the wad of wires zip tied near the center. There’s a second ziplock bag which is towards the left side of the image. That, believe it or not, is the spaghetti mess called a ground. I’ll be hooking at least some of those up to different points inside the cab of the vehicle. You cannot have enough grounding points.

This begs the question, “Why are all those wires wadded up in ziplock bags and a zip tie?” The simple answer to that is, I didn’t want to cut any wires from the wiring harness. These are still attached to the plugs (upper left in the image) on the engine side, but have no home on the other end. When we have the engine up and running and I know for a certainty I won’t be needing these wires, they will go the way of the dodo bird. I’ll just hack them off and tape the ends off. Until then, they stay put.

The next big plan is to get the Impreza up to the ‘Burg from Fayetteville. That’ll be me. I was going to do it this weekend, but decided not to due to other commitments and such. I am hoping to go down in about a week and get it. I’ll still have to rent a trailer from U-Haul, but so be it. Sometimes you just gotta get stuff done. With it being so late in the month, I don’t see us meeting our self imposed deadline of 30 September. I guess the world will just come to an end, eh?

Strippers Anonymous

I have finally finished stripping out the harness. It isn’t completely together, but it is apart. I have gone through the list of wires which are needed, as provided by taiden (see previous blog entry). I’ll tell you, though, looking for a wire which never existed because you wrote the wrong one down can lead to some agonizing moments. After about 15-20 minutes of searching for C11, I looked at the list again to see I had written it down wrong. The one I should have been looking for was C10, which not only exists, but had been in my hand the whole time! Great fun.

Here is what the rest of the harness looks like … this is the part which I don’t need:

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Here is what is actually needed for the swap:

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As you can tell it still needs to be sorted and made pretty. I’ve started working on it, but it’s still a chore. I’ll be repinning everything which is needed back into the connectors sometime today. There are still some wires in the second picture which I won’t be needing (at least I don’t think I’ll be needing). I kept them with this portion of the harness as to keep with my “don’t cut the stupid thing” rule. I only had to make one cut in the whole wiring harness. There was one wire which was used as the power for an O2 sensor which was intertwined with some of the other wiring … there was a crimper in place holding it together, so that’s where I cut it.

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I will solder and heat shrink it later once I get everything sorted correctly. I put a couple of pieces of tape, one on either side of the cut and marked them accordingly so I could identify where/how/when it should go together. I don’t think it would have been an issue. I think it was just me being me (read: anal).

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My desk area is a complete mess! I’ve got wires and stuff all over the place: wiring diagrams. wires, connectors, tools, etc., etc., etc. Lots of work left to do on the harness, but it’s coming along. Needless to say, even though I’m saying I won’t need anything out of the top picture, that part of the harness isn’t going anywhere until I get the car started and running right. No sense getting rid of something I might need.

A friend of mine will be bringing a car trailer by later today. When it gets here I’ll be loading up the SVX carcass for it to go over the scales at Summit Metal Recycling here in the ‘Burg. That will happen on Monday after I get home from work.  Just for grins & giggles, I’ll post up how much I actually get from the recycler … I’m going to guess about $80.

SVX Wiring Harness Depinning

Before I can do anything with marrying the SVX wiring harness to the Impreza harness, I have to strip out the parts of the SVX harness which I need. Literally it will end up being about 20% of the wires, as I said before. The project for today was to get the harness depinned from the connectors for the Powertrain Control Unit (PCU).

To depin the harness, you have to figure out which connectors you actually have to depin. It isn’t too difficult to figure out if you strip the harness out yourself because the four connectors are inserted into the PCU. The strange thing about them, though, is they are colored bright yellow. In most cars with a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), you’d expect anything bright yellow to be associated with the air bags. In this case, you’d be wrong.

Here are some pics of the aftermath. These first four images are the tags after I’ve tagged all of the wires going into the connectors.

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I really had to be careful with the following wire … I was afraid it might explode :o)

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In the following image, you can see the firewall plug/grommet. I was hoping to be able to pull all of the wires free I’d need from the rest of the wiring harness without making a mess of everything, but it appears I’ll need to pull this apart as well. In the center of the plug there is a bit of sealant which is binding all of the wires together. I won’t be able to work around this, so it’s all going to have to come apart.

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Here are the connectors I was telling you about, right after I depinned all of them. They are looking mighty baren.

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The following is the pinout guide I’ll be using to select the wires and connections I’ll be needing for the swap. I’m using the image curtesy of taiden on YouTube.

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