1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby pionte » 05 May 2015, 18:41

Hi Tony, loving this thread.... thank you for taking the time to post.

I am currently converting my California to 2.5 quad cam ( water cooled already so easier than your task ) Im a few weeks behind your progress as well.

A couple of things that you may be able to help me with, have you got any pics of the thrust bearing assembled onto the primary shaft, I cant really work out where all the clips etc go ... I have looked at the CD from Richard but Im a tad confused ! :oops:

Also, did you use any gasket sealer between the RJES bell housing and the VW trans axle ? from your pics I dont think that you did...I would always be inclined to add a touch of Hylomar or similar , but perhaps others ( you included ) feel that its unnecessary ?

What are you going to do about the exhaust ??

Regards

Martin
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 05 May 2015, 19:43

Hi Martin,

Glad you are finding the thread useful.

Sorry I do not have any pictures of the release bearing assembly, I found it a little difficult to get my head round at first but if you reread Richards instructions & pictures in sections 2.2 & 2.3 you should be able to work it out, make sure you click on all the picture links, they should appear in blue text, I missed a few the first time I looked.

You have to remove the spring clips assemblies (2off) from the VW release bearing, depending on the type you may need to grind a bit off to make them fit the new RJES carrier, there are pictures which show you which part to cut off, you then fit the spring clip assemblies to the RJES carrier, then check it fits the clutch operating arm, ie the spring clips line up with the operating forks.

If OK then fit the supplied bearing to the bearing carrier, the other spring clips supplied with it simply hook over the ends of the new bearing & clip round the back of the carrier holding the bearing in place, it's a bit of a fiddle but you will know when it is right as it all clips together.

Yep I used some instant gasket silicon type stuff without any paper gasket between the new bellhousing & the gearbox, which is all fine as the gearbox is filled with oil & not leaking. :ok

I have a plan for the exhaust but I am not sure how cost effective it will be, so will let you know in the next couple of weeks.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 07 May 2015, 17:03

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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 10 May 2015, 16:32

Little bit more done this weekend but not had much time.

Front coolant pipes fitted, they are fitted the opposite way round to correspond to the flow of the Subaru engine, the long pipe needed shortening so I cut a piece out & rejoined it with a straight pipe joiner.

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Fitted the fuel pump on rubber mounts.
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Made up a new bracket for the flexi clutch pipe as the gearbox has moved backwards 60mm the flexi did not reach the existing bracket, I bend the steel pipe to the slave cylinder to suit.

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Just waiting on the loom now, hopefully will be here next week.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby syncroandy » 11 May 2015, 19:39

Hi Tony, your project's looking good.

The harness should have been with you on the 2nd, but I gather its finally arrived, I trust it's in good shape ?
I won't be using 1st. class package again..

PS. Re. airfilter, I started off with a cone filter like that and it was fun for a few weeks, but I soon tired of scaring pedestrians and switched to the stock EJ25 airbox which fits quite nicely.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 12 May 2015, 17:28

Cheers Andy, yep harness received finally all safe & sound looks great!
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Take your point on the air filter, can you post a picture of your set up as the airbox off my 2000 Legacy was directly off the throttle body with the intake in the centre so not sure it will fit.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby syncroandy » 12 May 2015, 20:49

Ahh, good to see a pic, I thought it was gone for good.. I found an old pic showing my airbox setup on my website:

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I fitted a diesel bus snorkel in the LH D-pillar, then was able to make a neat mod to the L side of the Subaru airbox to add a coupling socket which connects to the J-bend on the bottom of the snorkel.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 17 May 2015, 18:31

I took a bit of a gamble & ordered an exhaust from Kennedy Engineering in the US. I spoke to them to see if they knew whether their exhaust fitted using the RJES engine bar, they didn't know, but I thought their engine bar looked pretty similar to the RJES one & they said they had about an inch clearance on their bar. So on Friday the header arrived, I trail fitted & was gutted as it fouled the engine bar, but I had a bright idea, move the RJES engine bar backwards by 20mm, so I cut some new slots in the engine mount plates, offered it up & drilled new mounting holes in the chassis rails so now it fits!
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The silencer should arrive tomorrow so just need to make up a short extension pipe as I did not buy the CAT & them make some brackets for the silencer.
This solution to the exhaust problem has cost me about £550 as I got stung for VAT at customs & the pound is not very strong against the dollar at the moment but it seems to be a nice system.
Also started the wiring, just waiting for some multicore cable to arrive so I can run the new bits to the front of the van, so with a bit of luck I might have it running by the end of May.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby pionte » 18 May 2015, 19:41

Great progress Tony, Im gutted as well that the Kennedy Exhaust didn't fit without modification, If it had I would have ordered one.. I don't really want to have to mod the RJES engine cradle.

Another quick question if I may, I think I have me head around the bell housing fitting now, unfortunately I will have to cut down the release bearing clips, but I am still confused whether I need to fit the pilot bearing ? I am using a manual VW gearbox but the engine came from a Auto Subaru, I already have the correct flywheel but the instructions aren't clear ( to me anyhow :oops: )

looking forward to hearing yours run :ok
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 18 May 2015, 20:23

Yes if you are referring to the gearbox spigot bearing, you press/tap it into the flywheel making sure you fit the steel ring supplied in the RJES kit first so that the centre of the bearing does not bottom out on the flywheel.
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby pionte » 18 May 2015, 20:40

Thanks for the clarification 8)
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 25 May 2015, 17:52

Got it running, sounds great!

https://youtu.be/Tavo4aJDlGk
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby pionte » 25 May 2015, 18:23

Sounds great.. a lot of work, but worth all your effort :ok
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 25 May 2015, 18:33

Cheers Martin. :D
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Re: 1981 Aircooled Westy to Subaru EJ25 Conversion

Postby Dollytony » 29 May 2015, 20:19

With the Aircooled DK 4 speed box it has to move backwards by 60mm with the RJES conversion, so you have to extend the gear linkage, a kit is available from RJES with everything you need.
It involves marking, cutting, fitting an extension tube and welding it all up, obviously keeping it all in line.
This part of the conversion was the bit I was most worried about, but infact it was quite straight forward when you follow the RJES instructions.
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Also fitted the expansion tank.

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