- AUSUBARU MASTER
- Posts: 11917
- Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:00 am
- Location: Benders (aka Bendigo) Vic
That's quite an effort mate. I can't believe you managed the fans between the engine and radiator.
Does it run cool enough? And will you end up with AC?
Also the sway bar looks like it's on upside down. I couldn't work out the other wrong thing...
Good effort on the engine bay respray too. I can never be bothered!
Yeah I completed the first placeholder back in Feb and didn't bother to put a new post in here to show up in people's "new posts". Figured it'd best contain a bit more information. I'd forgotten how long it takes to bash these posts out especially when there are lots of photos that need resizing etc. There are still heaps more posts to make. Annoying that I used up all my initial placeholders so it's now split across a few pages. Maximum of only 8 photos per post!
In answer to your questions/comments:
Yeah I was determined to get a traditional setup working. Had a few things working against me (already a severe lack of space in L series, EZ30 being longer) etc. Every other EZ30 in L series I've seen done has either the radiator hanging out the front like dogs' balls, radiator mounted on the bonnet(!) or in the boot. Mine is a totally traditional front mounted radiator, not hanging out everywhere, has normal thermo fans mounted in the preferred position, and seems to work fine. Trust me when I say however, technically it really doesn't fit at all. So many parts have been shaved, grinded, squeezed, bent just to get a few extra mm of clearance. A few examples:
- Bottom radiator support had to be replaced to allow for the triple core thick radiator as it's much thicker and also needs to go down lower.
- Bonnet latch needed the guts of it cut out to allow room to squeeze the A/C condenser behind. It also needed the upright brace deleted, and a special extra brace created which is supported by the bullbar. The bonnet latch also needed to be angled up quite a bit, which resulted in the bonnet sitting way too high when closed. So I also had to cut the actual corresponding catch on the bonnet and re-weld it to be a bit shorter.
- Headlights needed some of the plastic surrounds chopped off to get enough clearance for the A/C condenser.
- Hill holder needed to be relocated back just slightly as it was fowling the side of the motor
- Then there's all the other bits not directly related to the engine: Guard trimming to fit the large tyres, firewall mods to fit the hydraulic clutch master cylinder and EJ accelerator cable, dashboard mods to fit a 7" LCD screen head unit. Basically every area of the car has been tweaked to just squeeze in as much as possible.
Yes I believe it runs cool enough.
However, a person looking at the Vipec readouts might be alarmed. It runs up to temperature fine, thermostat opens fine, but the Vipec stabilises at about 95 degrees. I have it set to put the fans on at 95 degrees and turn them off again at 91. This seems quite high, but I am quite sure that the readout is pretty much exactly 10 degrees too high and not actually correct. In the Vipec settings, you can tell it specifically what brand/model your coolant temp sensor is. It's set to a particular Bosche one at the moment. I have no idea if this actually matches whatever the stock coolant sensor on the EZ30 is, so how can I be sure it's actually reading a correct value? If I change the settings to tell it that it's using a slightly different Bosche sensor, the readings are about 10 degrees cooler, but seem to fluctuate really quickly. The original setting works very well so I've left it on that, but ultimately what I need to do is actually replace the coolant sensor with a specific Bosche part number which actually matches the Vipec's settings.
I have bought one of those "Watchdog" temperature monitor setups to run in tandem. This has a temp sensor to measure the actual metal temperature of the engine, independently of coolant temperature. Theoretically the temps should match. I have the sensor bolted onto the thermostat housing. Low and behold, it reads a good 10 degrees cooler on average.
Driving along normally it's low 70s, usually about 72. When stationary it goes up to about 85 or so and the fans kick in (as the Vipec tells them to due to the coolant reaching what it thinks is about 95) and come off again at low 80s.
I did some pretty harsh boggy sand work near my place on a hot day and the watchdog did get up to 95 or so, but I was really pushing it hard.
Overall it works really well and I'm confident there are no cooling issues to worry about. I've driven it for about 3000kms so far and am using it as a daily. The first few weeks were in hot weather.
Yes I am almost done getting aircon going.
I've got a brand new universal condenser fitted up at the front. This took another huge amount of stuffing around to get it to fit, with more bits of the car shaved off to try and get precious more mm's of clearance. Also have all new piping, new dryer, and have replaced the stock thermostat with a new one which is completely independent of the car's wiring. I have a new thermostat knob and an on/off switch on the dash now.
The last part to make this work is to get the two ali fittings off the compressor custom welded to adapt to the standard universal fittings for the new rubber pipes - the original fittings are apparently Korean and don't conform. Just waiting for Vidler to get back from a work trip to sort that out then I can get it gassed up. Just in time for Winter!
I hope this doesn't add too much heat to the front end when it's working. I don't really want to add another thermo fan if I can avoid it, but I think I can work enough magic to actually cram one in to the front end, pushing air through to increase airflow when the A/C is on.
Re the swaybar, not sure maybe you're right. That photo is not actually it's final fitment, it ended up coming back out again and getting entirely re-done onto a completely different engine crossmember. I will get to that.
Thanks re the engine bay painting. It's not that great, just spraycan stuff, and since then it's kindof covered in a layer of basically rusty dust due to copious amounts of welding and grinding for rust repairs. I will get to that.
1) I stopped using the L series as a daily going back at least a year now. It stood up fantastically as a daily and I put a lot of kms on doing this. Very often with the full family of 4 commuting in to work, daycare, kindy, my wife's work, weekend duties etc. But it is pretty thirsty, and I wanted to mod it a bit more. Found a well priced luxury SG Forester and moved into that as a daily.
The L series has prime position of 50% of the proper house garage and is always kept in there now, out of the weather. It is still used heavily - literally every weekend, only missing a few, basing around the big sand dunes at the end of my street, and the occasional other trip out further.
I've avoided rocky stuff given the lack of traction aides (double open-diffs!) and lack of any bash plates at all.
2) Actually right around the time I got the Forester (literally it was on the way back from checking out the Forester for an inspection) I lost a back wheel in traffic. That wasn't fun. The back left wheel just came off, in the middle of an intersection. The studs on the car just sheered off (not the bolt-on spacer studs - these were still all intact and bolted to the wheel). Wheel went rolling off into a carpark and luckily hit a tree and stopped. I managed to get the car up onto the nature strip by basically doing a massive burnout on the brake disc with sparks flying everywhere with the little bit of momentum I still had. Got it home on a flatbed, and had it back driving within about 45 minutes. I grabbed some spare studs, put them in, re-assembled without the spacer.
Before I actually drove it again, I put 10 brand new studs in, and now permanently run no spacers at the back. The rear track is just a bit more narrow than the front.
It would have been my fault ultimately. I would have done the nuts that hold the spacers to the car up way too tight, I should have torqued them properly. They were on there for many years with many kms before this happened with zero warning.
It's been absolutely fine since, without the spacers.
3) Recently (as in 2 days ago) I finally got around to sorting out the major positive camber issue at the front end its had ever since putting it together. I swapped out the liberty lower control arms for STI GD alloy LCAs, and the matching longer front driveshafts. It has decent negative camber at the front now, looks really tough, but the main advantage is that the handling is MASSIVELY better!
4) I think the poor SF gearbox is on the way out, it whines a bit now when under pretty much any load. Starting to get a little hesitant to go into the middle of these really boggy dunes near my place in case I get stranded there with the kids! I do have a good SG box sitting here ready to go, but kindof want to trick that out with 4.444 ratio change, front LSD and SF low range before I put it in, and swap my DCCD onto it. I want to combine that with a 4.444 R180 rear diff swap at the same time....so I can do an air locker.
Other stuff that will / might happen in future....
5) I want to re-build the front-end setup soon, in regards to radiator and general mounting of stuff. Want to put a much larger radiator in, and mount it much further forwards so I can fit bigger fans. The cooling has been "okay" however it can't really sustain continued driving at low speed under load....boggy sand along a beach etc for too long. Just gets heat-soak. I plan to build some kind of a steel subframe that will do a bunch of stuff - support radiator, support the bonnet catch, mount the bullbar on it, mount a winch on it, bolt bash plates to it, mount recovery hooks to it.
6) I recently created and filed a proper official will....so I guess it's time to supercharge the EZ30R L series. Light speed is too slow, so I may as well prepare for ludicrous speed. While re-doing the front-end (above), I may as well chop out the section of the engine bay that is a bit in the way of where the SC needs to go and get that all mounted up. Then I pretty much just need to fit 6 larger injectors and go get another tune.
- AUSUBARU MASTER
- Posts: 11917
- Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:00 am
- Location: Benders (aka Bendigo) Vic
Best get that SG box sorted before the other one goes bang!
I’m keen to see what sort of radiator setup you end up with. I’ve had that same problem with my EJ22 on sand and extended climbs (you’ll have to cruise over and I’ll show you a few real hill climbs ). So far the pulsar N13 or 14 rad (can’t remember which one, but it’s the one with the filler neck off at a rearward angle in the same location as the stock L series filler neck), is holding up well, including loaded in sand, but that wasn’t very soft and it wasn’t overly hot at that time of year for a change.
Also, I know you’re time poor, but this thread really needs more awesome through photos
Thought I'd post up a few notes.
In the last update I totally forgot to mention about almost losing the entire car in a fire. Towards the end of 2017 I was happy to have the car on display at the very first Subifest and won the award for "best offroad vehicle". The very next weekend, we had a house fire at home and the L series nearly went up in smoke. We came home about 7pm and there was thick black smoke coming out the garage. Basically our solar inverter had caught on fire, and this was right next to the L series. It got a bit melted (tail light, some trim) and luckily the jerry can with ~8L of fuel didn't ignite. It was pretty much seconds away from being incinerated but I managed to get the flames down in the few minutes before the fire brigade got there. That was a while back down, it still works fine, but has a permanent smoke smell inside (the windows were down), and the paint and entire driveline has this terrible black layer of soot kindof seeped into it. I've still been offroading it very regularly, and it went along to Subifest 2018 too. We got the house fixed up but the L series wasn't covered. We're still in some legal back and forward and there might be a small pay-out coming to help with at least some paint correction.
I've been watching plenty of YouTube videos on the Raptor Bedliner product. Used in utes to line the bed with. It's a hard wearing coating with quite a rough textured finish. You can get a tint-able version and I'm considering spraying the entire car in it for something different.
Front end rebuild.
I have been making some progress on this just in the last couple of weeks finally. I'll try to divide it out into components as it covers a number of areas:
a) Radiator: I am trying to fit a very large triple-core Aluminium E-bay jobbie. It is to suit a GD WRX. It's very big, and very thick. I have had to "delete" quite alot of the front of the car - basically the entire part in between the headlights, there the bonnet latch normally goes, all the way down to the lower radiator support section which is also totally gone now. I have mounted two Davies Craig fans to the back side of the radiator and got a pretty good idea of where it will go now. The aim here is (unlike before where I heavily customised a radiator to fit the car), I will customise the car so I can fit a standard "off the shelf" radiator. I like that idea better so I can renew the radiator more easily in future. It will also double as an upgrade as the previous setup did work...but got hot on the beach, needs improving. I am still sorting out replacing the bits of the car that are missing and sorting out actual mounts for the radiator. I want to use the standardard two rubber mounts at the bottom and brackets at the top just like a normal EJ car. The EZ30 of course has two pipes at top (one per head) and I have worked out a combination of silicon tubes, joiners, and a T Piece to get it to one 38mm pipe to suit the radiator now.
b) Bonnet latch: I have replaced the part of the car I deleted with one single long piece of galvanised box section I have run from one side of the engine bay (tucked in behind the headlights) to the other. In the middle of that...well almost the middle....I have bolted an SG Forester bonnet latch. I chose that because I had one from a wreck, and because it's a lot thinner than the L series latch. I've run the matching cable and plastic release lever through to the interior and mounted that. I've also mounted the SG jam to the bonnet in place of the L series one. This is pretty tricky as it's offset to the left, and a good 4" further "down" the bonnet than before. I've utilised the original bolt holes and while I have done some welding for this, the up/down force doesn't rely on any weld, it should be just as solid if not more solid than the original latch setup. This still requires some adjusting but I have it at the point now where I can open and close the bonnet.
c) "Chassis": I have used two very solid pieces of steel angle to create my own front end chassis. Basically it slips in between the engine crossmember and body-lift block like a sandwhich, with those two bolts passing through. It then goes along the front chassis rails (hugging them with a right angle), and come straight out the front of the car - at the moment both by a good 40cm of so. They also bolt through where you would normally bolt the brackets for a bullbar. The idea of this is to provide something very strong to help support these needs:
- Bullbar mount
- Winch mount
- Radiator lower support
- Recovery hooks
- Bash plate mount
d) Winch mount: I have welded a piece of box section across in front of the radiator, directly to my two chassis rails (above). I've also done another one in front of that, but with two pieces dropping back in a kindof triangle shape to allow clearance for the bullbar uprights. This has created a rectangular "platform" directly in front of the radiator for my massive new 12,000pound winch to sit on and bolt to. This also is exactly at the right position to sit "inside" the bullbar. The bullbar I have chopped out a bit from underneath (which you can't see) for the bottom of the winch to poke through as the winch is too big to completely side inside the bullbar. There is just enough room behind it for the radiator to sit, taking into account the A/C condenser which I'll also mount there.
e) Supercharger: I have mounted the big bracket to the engine, and explorer "clearancing" for the actual supercharger. It's designed to fit into a Liberty without any mods. Unfortunately the L series of course has almost no room. Plus I have body lift, so the engine sits low. Basically I've cut a massive gaping hole out behind the driver side headlight. I will need to mount the supercharger properly to the motor then look at "rebuilding" this part of the engine bay around it. It just will fill up the wheel guard a bit more on the outside of the car, but it's miles away from the wheel so should be no problem.
f) Recovery hooks: This is a real simple one. I have a couple of proper big dirty recovery hooks I bought way back when I first got an L series but I've never had anything substantial to bolt them to. I intend to bolt them directly to the two big chassis rails I've created. They'll be accessible on both sides from just below the bullbar.
g) Bash plate: Once I've finished the radiator mount I'll put some extra bits of box running back under the car. I haven't "designed" this in my head yet but I'm thinking of mounting them to where the swaybar used to mount on both sides of the engine crossmember, and a couple of others further in the middle going right back to the middle of the crossmember where you jack from. Then I'll just get some aluminium sheeting to fill it in. I think I will have to go in between the headers and leave them exposed. I'll loose too much clearance if I go around them. Not sure exactly yet, like I say, I haven't totally figured this one out yet.
Right now my next step is to mount the winch to the platform - I just finished welding the platform yesterday and plopped the winch ontop of it. Then I'll mount the bullbar over and around it.
Then I'll do the radiator mounts and get it filled up and run to temperature.
I will then stop for a little bit - basically I need to do that much to get it driving again. This is becoming an issue as my two girls need me to get it driving so we can go into the dunes again!
The rest I can do without making it un-driveable for too long at a time so I will progress those when I can.
Then maybe do the Raptor re-spray in time for Subifest 2019!