Wow, it’s been forever since the last update, and a lot has happened in the interim. When we left off, the engine was in pieces and all the rod bearings had failed. Things were looking pretty bleak, and the car had only done 150 miles since the swap.
I decided to try my hand at building a motor, so everything was torn down and cleaned. White’s Auto & Speed is right around the corner, so they cleaned & honed the block, ground the crank for undersize bearings, and reconditioned a set of used STi rods, then fully balanced the rotating assembly. While that was happening I disassembled the heads, gave them a light port match & lapped in the valves, then cleaned and reassembled them with some STi cams.
Reassembling the engine was a great experience, if a little nerve-wracking. Taking things slowly, keeping everything scrupulously clean and following the instructions in the service manual exactly is critical! A couple of good torque wrenches and an angle gauge are a great investment if you’re thinking about tackling this kind of project yourself! Another tool that made the job much easier was the Valco Tube-Grip, a simple dispenser for any kind of sealant in a squeeze-tube. It makes it much easier to control the bead of sealant, and the leverage it provides means that you can squeeze out a narrower more precise bead. I got mine from Racer Parts Wholesale.
While the motor was apart I threw in new rings, a Maxwell Power Services blueprinted oil pump, ACL race bearings, and a new timing belt. I also took the opportunity to tidy up the fuel system with an adjustable Sard fuel pressure regulator and Walbro pump, and replace the intercooler hoses with Samco pieces and t-bolt clamps to ward off any leaks.
Once everything was back together, it was time to put some break-in miles on the car before the much-awaited DomTune. Luckily Dom was coming out to Albany so last weekend I drove the car out there to meet up with all the Albany guys, catch up with a lot of old faces and meet a whole bunch of cool people.
The drive out to Albany was a little nerve-wracking as the car only had a few hundred miles on it and was still running on the base map, but I was able to caravan out with Jim & Brent from CNY Subies and we made it without incident. After hanging out for a while at ACC watching the Autox it was time to get into tuning. Local fanatic (and owner of the crazy Project Pizza Guy STi!) Byron was kind enough to volunteer his garage as a base of operations and while Dom took each car out the rest of us amused ourselves with assorted installs, leak testing, and talking Subarus (and Saabarus).
At the end of Sunday night the Legacy was running smoothly and making enough power to put a very big grin on my face! It still has one small issue with a single count of knock we couldn’t tune out around 6000rpm, but at that point I’m pretty much maxing out the STi “pink” injectors so those will have to be replaced before we can push things any further. After I called it a night at 2am (I have no idea how Dom & the other guys were still up and tuning!) I grabbed a couple hours sleep on Dave’s sofa and headed home.
Now that the dust has cleared a little plans are forming for where to go next, but those will have to wait for another post.
To wrap up I’d like to say thanks to everyone involved this weekend, but especially to Byron & Danielle, Dom, Dave & Allison, Jim, and Brent for all the help with making things come together this weekend.