EJ25 Report! (Long)

Gidday all.

Les is quite correct, it is about time for a report:
Apologies for taking so long - I have been in the UK for 7 weeks. Not only did I return
from so many years there with a Syncro, but I also returned with a wife and kids so a visit
to the inlaws was in order.I only finished the engine conversion 2 weeks before my family
took the bus to Adelaide and we flyiew out to the UK.

This gave me time only to go for a few bursts out of town and one try at 4x4ing across the
dunes about 30kms from here. First impressions were... WOW...this is GREAT. As there had
been some rain the dunes were not particularly challenging but the increase in torque was
quite obvious when the van sailed through a couple of softer patches that would have
tested the bus with the VW engine in it. Ruth then took it to Adelaide without any
problems with the exception of one issue that I will detail further down.

When we got back to Aus. I managed to drive it in Adelaide a couple of times before I flew
back to Ceduna to start work and last Friday I flew back down to Adelaide and we all drove
home on Monday, giving me my first real chance to give the engine a test. (the trip back
was in 39deg. heat and went without problems
)And am I happy???
You bet your your know what I am!!

With 2 adults, 4 kids (6,6,2 and 1 so not a huge amount of weght) but also 3 suitcases and
s__t loads of toys etc, the engine was an absolute joy. For the first time we can now
overtake road trains without having to wait for slight declines in the road or a straight that
stretches to the horizon (maybe a slight exageration!) but I'm sure you all know what I
mean. The van is by no means a rocket when compared to modern AWD type vehicles but
it DOES hold its own with them.

I really can not talk too highly of the conversion. Sitting at 110k/hr and being able to put
my foot down and having loads more engine RPM available is such a good feeling! And it
does it quickly too. I do not have the tacho working yet so can not give you any info on
that front but we have taken the van to 100kph in 3rd (and to 140 in 4th) without the rev
limiter cutting in and the engine is still pulling REALLY strongly. And the sound....what joy!
It is still so obviously a water boxer but sounds more like a truck at low revs and a highly
tuned racer at high revs. Our 6 year olds scream with delight when we push the engine
hard and even the 2 year old says "go fast, make noise he he he he!" Even the wife enjoys
the sound! The engine is SO much smoother and quieter too.

I could go on and on.....please some one ask me to!!!

I understand that this conversion is not for the purist and I respect the views of you folk
who think this way. Also, I had an AAZ turbo diesel engine in a 2wd camper that I had
about 5 years ago and whilst that engine certainly has some really good points, this SOHC
EJ25 Subaru is in a different world and I would encourage anyone who wants to do such a
conversion to go for it! Even drop over and we can go for a drive- the odd thousand kms it
will take you to get to me would be well worth it I reckon!

I still have a few bits of tidying up to do, particularly a speed sensor issue that causes the
engine to cut out at regular intervals when cruising. It sounds like more of a PIA than it
actually is - all that you have to do is lift your foot off the accelerator for an instant and
then carry on for another 10 kms or so. I know it sounds really bad but the drive back
from Adelaide is 800kms and it didn't bother either of us particularly. Whilst in the UK I
caught up with the fellow who developed and sold the bellhousing I used and he has a
solution to this speed sensor issue, or at least he does to the type of sensor that he used
so hopefully that will be sorted soon. I also have yet to fit the Smallcar tacho, and build
new engine protection bars. And the exhaust I built hangs a touch low in one spot so I will
have to bend it up a little. And rather annoyingly the engine seems to have developed a
leak from inside the cam belt cover so it looks like I'll have to remove that cover and at
least one pulley. Ce la vie I guess!

The worst thing about this conversion is that I have to drive my 2005 Kluger for work
(work vehicle) and my wife gets to drive the Syncro every day!

I am more than happy to answer ANY questions (either on or off list) but I've got a lot on at
the moment so please be patient with regard to me getting back to you. Thanks.


Andy (Ceduna).