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Ultimate ea82 build


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85 replies to this topic

#1 Tman1058

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:47 PM

Hey all.
So here's the background, about a year ago we got a parts car for my dad's old '86 gl liftback, which is also an '86 liftback, we robbed the motor and tranny out of it for the other one, and now we have an extra ea82 sitting on our shop floor, that is in dire need of a rebuild... (you can feel the good hole hit). Any way, my brother and I think that the parts mobile should become our wheeler... that being the case we need to rebuild the engine. What I'm thinking is build the ultimate ea82, so I'm thinking run ej high performance pistons, Delta cams, etc. So please everyone leave cost aside, because I'm just looking for opinions, post what parts you would do, and why.

#2 WoodsWagon

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:44 AM

I'd put the delta cams in an EJ22, mod an escort distributor to fit the head and modify the intake for a carb. Then take your spare cash and buy/make an adapter plate and flywheel to bolt it to the EA dual range 4x4 transmission.



#3 tweety

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:54 AM

No offense at all Woodswagon but some EA lovers out there get this all the time.  Anyone that likes the EA range and chooses to enhance its meagre output has to endure the hurdle of "go EJ".

 

Briefly, there are often reasons owners want to keep their EA81 or 82.  Be it engine width or the simplicity of the EA engine.There is  more involved in an EJ transplant than what you claim. Some dont have the expertise to do it, therefore much more dosh for experts to do it, or iron out the issues.  Lets accept that the owner has considered an EJ swap and decided not to.

 

Tman1058, I dont know what mods are worthwhile, but I have installed a Toyota Sc12 supercharger on my Ea81 with mixed success in a draw through set up running 5psi. performance is a massive leap from 74hp to 100 and a huge torque increase.  However between the performance of the stock EA81 and the SC12 is the output of a eA81/2 with SPFI and thats the road I'm taking next month. Hope this helps.

 

 

here is the my trike with the ECU from the SPFI already mounted

 

 

This is a pic of the SC12 on top of my EA81

 

 

 

The main downside of the SC12 draw through is fuel usage is high.  A blow through set up with clutched pulley so you only use it when you need it is the way to go.  Any questions feel free to ask and good luck



#4 Corvid

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:22 AM

I'm in the midst of a bearings-up rebuild on an EA82.

 

Overbore pistons, deves pistons rings, acl bearings all around, delta cams, mizpah rebuilt HLA's, all new everything consumable from the dealership, was carbed and I'm going to SPFI, plus paying an engine machine shop to inspect, helicoil, true, etc etc etc.

 

Let me tell you what my opinion is from here out:

 

The EA82 is worth rebuilding, as an educational experience. The engine itself is cheap and forgiving, and doing a full rebuild allows me to touch every aspect of the engine, so I have experience with fixing whatever comes up on these engines now. The rebuild has been pretty doable for me as a first timer, although rebuilding with good parts and no short cuts is expensive. When I get done, I don't expect this engine to have much if any real power over stock, and I don't expect to ever fully rebuild an EA82 again.

 

I think people recommend to swap an EJ series engine when they hear conflicted messages. You can want to rebuild an EA82, or you can want to get a huge boost in performance over your current setup, but those are two different things.



#5 MR_Loyale

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:29 AM

I'm in the midst of a bearings-up rebuild on an EA82.

 

Overbore pistons, deves pistons rings, acl bearings all around, delta cams, mizpah rebuilt HLA's, all new everything consumable from the dealership, was carbed and I'm going to SPFI, plus paying an engine machine shop to inspect, helicoil, true, etc etc etc.

 

Let me tell you what my opinion is from here out:

 

The EA82 is worth rebuilding, as an educational experience. The engine itself is cheap and forgiving, and doing a full rebuild allows me to touch every aspect of the engine, so I have experience with fixing whatever comes up on these engines now. The rebuild has been pretty doable for me as a first timer, although rebuilding with good parts and no short cuts is expensive. When I get done, I don't expect this engine to have much if any real power over stock, and I don't expect to ever fully rebuild an EA82 again.

 

I think people recommend to swap an EJ series engine when they hear conflicted messages. You can want to rebuild an EA82, or you can want to get a huge boost in performance over your current setup, but those are two different things.

 

What is the machine shop you use? I will prob need a good shop this fall when I get my heads on my EA82 trued. I would prefer one that understands Subie and not some GM monkeys grinding on it.



#6 TallonX

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:12 PM

Ej=pos after 96

Personally I've been thinkin of an ea81 swap into my 87 wagon

But... if money was no object, i'd see about a redesigned head, dual port... none of that siamese bs, a redesign of the "wash tub" combustion chamber, possible single timing belt setup... awe hell just go rape a cessna XD

#7 Corvid

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:53 PM

What is the machine shop you use? I will prob need a good shop this fall when I get my heads on my EA82 trued. I would prefer one that understands Subie and not some GM monkeys grinding on it.

 

C&D Engine Performance

12417 NE 124th St.

Kirkland WA 98034

425-821-7172

http://cdengines.com

Chuck DeBois owns the shop, and I have only the best things to say about the work and the customer service. His website says that personal referrals are the basis of his business and I believe it. Also, I believe he does the machine work for All-Wheel Drive on the eastside...



#8 NorthWet

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:24 PM

You double-posted this thread.  Might want to discourage others from posting on the second one.

 

For EJ pistons, you would need pistons from an EJ20, and then have to deal with different piston-pin dimensions.



#9 djellum

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:24 PM

there was a run of EA pistons that had over 9:1 compression.  I cant remember the years, it was way back when on the XT forum.  I dont know if I'm remembering correctly but the SPFI pistons were 9.5 I believe.  that would be plenty of compression to start with.  the bottom ends on these are stout enough so the shortblock should be done once you get the pistons you want.

 

mating the heads to the block is important.  machining for O-rings is good, some people have done copper head gaskets, but i think just good quality gasket is enough unless you go turbo.

 

I would leave the heads alone if it were me.  ive seen people do cross section cuts, custom head work, and many other things.  most say theres just not much to be gained here.  again just use good quality parts.  I know there is a manifold that everyone called the spider manifold and people searched it out because it supposedly flowed better.  I dont know if its specific to certain heads, but I havent heard that it is.  Id search it out and start with that manifold and those heads if there is a difference.

 

cams are from delta, you got that part.

 

might look into lightening flywheels and using electric accessory pumps, but I dont know what all the pro's and con's are with that, so I cant comment on them.

 

I dont know what your fuel delivery is going to be, probably MPFI is your best bet if you have the harness and such.  if not a well tuned weber.  if you go for fuel injection then replace or retune your injectors, cause you will starve the motor if you up the HP too much without modifying injectors.  if you go fuel injection look into an independant management system.

 

do a decent exaust and thats about it.

 

list it all out, and I would start with SPFI pistons, the best available gen 3 heads, delta cams, and the best flow in and out for your fuel and exhaust.  



#10 86BRATMAN

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:55 PM

Ej=pos after 96

Personally I've been thinkin of an ea81 swap into my 87 wagon

But... if money was no object, i'd see about a redesigned head, dual port... none of that siamese bs, a redesign of the "wash tub" combustion chamber, possible single timing belt setup... awe hell just go rape a cessna XD

 

 

So basically if money was no object you'd make it an ej18?



#11 NorthWet

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:06 PM

Tallonx:  The EA82 uses "wedge" combustion chambers rather than "bathtubs".  Not a bad design for a 2-valve CC.  Still, it can't compare to a proper shallow-angle pentroof.

 

SPFI pistons are probably the best bet of the original higher-compression EA82 pistons.  Later-year turbo pistons (they have what looks like more strength and support around pin bosses and lands than earlier t-pistons)  are probably ok for forced-induction... or look at EJ20-turbo pistons, and decide how to deal with the larger pin bosses.  There are (AFAIK) no NA EJ20 pistons in USDM engines, but can be gotten from people getting JDM EJ20's and changing-out the pistons for turbo ones.  Other Makes' pistons might be doable, such as Nissan VG33 +.50oversize pistons.

 

Spider manifolds will mount to any 2-port (MPFI) head.  They look cool, cause you to loose space for your spare tire, and probably don't do jack with stock heads.

 

Stock heads are the main bottleneck for increasing power.  You need increased RPM to get significant HP increases, and you need increased flow to make power at RPM.  The ports have issues, and the semi-shrouded 2-valve CC would limit whatever gains could be made by port changes.  And improvement assumes that you are starting with the dual-intake-port head, which has its own issues because of a tendency to overheat the port divider in the exhaust port, causing ruinous cracking.

 

I have a mad idea involving EJ heads.  Lots of work, and really proves nothing other than anything can be done if you try hard enough.  (The EJ block is a FAR better place to mount EJ heads.) 

 

Cooling.  Devise a plan to improve cooling, and I don't mean external to the engine.  I am in a very small minority (of 2, apparently) that contend that the EA82 block has an inherent (and inherited) inability to flow enough coolant to handle significant power increases over the 1985 carbureted version.  All the coolant that passes to the right-side of the engine has to pass though a small transom-port at the very top of the engine.  In my mind, this cause problems on several levels, as

 

1) the port is small to begin with and resists coolant flow,

 

2) the flow-pressure it sees is also seen by the much more free-flowing path to the left side of the engine. The flow would be proportioned by the ratio between the inverses of the 2 resistances to flow.  (Flow drops off dramatically as a path becomes more restricted relative to the other.)

 

3) A lowering of coolant level (e.g. from leak) could make it so that less coolant is available to pump to the top of the engine and through the transom port.

 

4) Localized overheating in the right-side could generate higher-pressures and steam, both of which would tend to further restrict flow through the transom port. 

 

3 and 4 could cause a runaway overheating event.  (I personally believe that this is the cause of most progressive-onset, as opposed to catastrophic coolant loss,  overheating events in the EA82. Other, often wise, members tell me that I am full of it.)

 

Improve the coolant flow:  Route coolant to the heads first (they are what suffer the most from cooling inadequacies), and provide alternate means for the coolant to leave the block halves.  Or, at least, ensure a good supply of coolant to the right-side bock, possible through the coolant drain on the bottom of the block.

 

Increase the oiling capacity (pressure/flow available).  Provide an oil cooler.

 

A lighter flywheel will probably just make it less drivable around town.


Edited by NorthWet, 09 July 2013 - 03:10 PM.


#12 Gloyale

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 11:23 AM

If you want a reliable engine, that is OE to the car rebuild the EA82

 

If you want any kind of performance upgrade.....EJ it.  Serioously.  Money and time much better spent than trying to polish and port a turd.



#13 TallonX

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:49 PM

Ya know it comes down to how you drive and where you drive...

Mine's an 87 wagon carbed according to the book mines got a bit more oomph tho

82hp@4800rpm 92lbft@2400

EJ18 eem-mpfi

101hp@5400rpm 101lbft@4400rpm

EJ22 eem-mpfi

130hp@5400rpm 137lbft@4400rpm

Dunno about you guys but I prefer slow and grunty as I have drug several vehicles out of stupid spots... focus wagon stuck in farm ruts... jeeps high centered on stumps... but I'm also a mobile mechanic on the southern tip of Capitol Forest here in Washington. I get about 40 mpg, my buddies 00 impreza EJ22 auto equal miles on the clock gets about 30mpg.

That being said the EA82 is a great lil engine and by the numbers is amazing for the power/weight, who needs to play need for speed down the freeway, i'd rather have bragging rights dragging something 4times my size out of a ditch with little effort.

#14 Uberoo

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:25 AM

Ya know it comes down to how you drive and where you drive...



That being said the EA82 is a great boat anchor

 

There Fixed it for you  ;)

 

BTW the EJ18 makes 108 HP at 6000 RPM and 110 Ft/Lbs at 3200 RPM.

with that being said even though they both appear to be peaky based on the their numbers BOTH an EJ18 and a EJ22 have more area under their respective horsepower and torque curves than a EA82 could ever hope to achieve.An EJ22 swap gives enough torque that you can idle up something that with an EA would be a full throttle attack,while still having an overabundance of power on tap should the need arise.

 

Have you ever even driven a legacy or impreza?Or better yet an EJ swapped EA vehicle?There is no comparison between a EA82 and a EJ18/22.The EJ22 pushing around the big heavy legacy is impressive enough, it swapped into a much lighter vehicle is amazing.If it was peaky do you think people would swap their EA81/82s for EJs?

 

 

Here is the dyno of a STOCK EA82 turbo at the wheels,so its roughly the same as an EA82 at the crank

 

While here is a stock dyno of a phase 2 EJ22 at the wheels(I tried to find one for phase one but no luck)

 

So which one have more area under the curve?If you don't know the engine with the area under its horsepower and torque curves is the most powerful/fastest all else being equal.


Edited by Uberoo, 11 July 2013 - 02:11 AM.


#15 Uberoo

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:26 AM

By my rough calculations from looking at each graph

EA82 = .5*79 hp*3400 RPM = 134000 hp*rpm

EJ22 = .5*110 hp*3800 RPM + .5*110 hp*1000 RPM = 264000 hp*rpm

 

which is roughly 2x as much as EA82,makes sense because an EJ22 IS 2X more powerful than a EA82.   :P



#16 tweety

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

Seems that nobody should own an EA series engine at all according to some recent posts. Some EJ lovers seem to think there is no reason at all in owning one.  What about some EA owners only having the knowledge and/or ability to maintain their EA engine. Eg valve clearances, basic tuning or even head work. What about simplicity. Compactness. Educating themselves in basic mechanicals. Power isnt everything.

 

I know where you guys are coming from.  One can read any Subaru forum in the world and read the same debates on the same subject.    Of course the more modern engine will be more powerful, more torque etc etc but I read these replies time and time again.  Cant we have EA owners wanting to rebuild their engines without the EJ alternative creeping in on every occasion?

 

For example.  Tman1058 asked specifically about what mods we'd suggest for his EA82.  The first reply was to modify an EJ. I addressed that with my reply. Now here we are talking about EJ again and that its "double the output".  I dont mean to sound disrespectful but why is the only track to answer the OP (who specifically told us he wants his eA82) the one way track of going EJ? The last four posters are on the EJ train again...The OP didnt mention he wanted to go EJ and I'm sure if he wanted to there is a million threads where he could find out how. I dont get that!  We dont all want to pull Jeeps out of a swamp.


Edited by tweety, 11 July 2013 - 08:33 AM.


#17 Tman1058

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:55 AM

Thank you, tweety, for keeping us on track. I do not want to do an ej. I have an ea82 sitting on my shop floor, and I don't have an ej, it's as simple as that. I will be the first to admit that the ej swap is pretty cool, but I don't want to be that guy. Just because everyone else is doing it does not mean that I wish to. Anyways, i've been doing some thinking, and I think a pull through with a toyota previa supercharger and side draft weber(s)... what you guys think?

Again all opinions are appreciated, but I would like to keep the ej talk to a minimum.
Thanks

#18 NorthWet

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:59 AM

Seems that nobody should own an EA series engine at all according to some recent posts. Some EJ lovers seem to think there is no reason at all in owning one.  What about some EA owners only having the knowledge and/or ability to maintain their EA engine. Eg valve clearances, basic tuning or even head work. What about simplicity. Compactness. Educating themselves in basic mechanicals. Power isnt everything.

 

I know where you guys are coming from.  One can read any Subaru forum in the world and read the same debates on the same subject.    Of course the more modern engine will be more powerful, more torque etc etc but I read these replies time and time again.  Cant we have EA owners wanting to rebuild their engines without the EJ alternative creeping in on every occasion?

 

For example.  Tman1058 asked specifically about what mods we'd suggest for his EA82.  The first reply was to modify an EJ. I addressed that with my reply. Now here we are talking about EJ again and that its "double the output".  I dont mean to sound disrespectful but why is the only track to answer the OP (who specifically told us he wants his eA82) the one way track of going EJ? The last four posters are on the EJ train again...The OP didnt mention he wanted to go EJ and I'm sure if he wanted to there is a million threads where he could find out how. I dont get that!  We dont all want to pull Jeeps out of a swamp.

All too often, instead of providing information that was requested, we post our opinions... even when it is contrary to what the OP specifically asked us NOT to do.  (Yes, the OP did "ask for opinions", but I think not in the way we tend to offer them.)  It would be nice if we could provide the OP with useful information on the requested topic. 

 

Even if it means being blunt.  Admittedly, the OP didn't say what criteria he/she had in mind for the word "ultimate", but this topic USUALLY means increasing the power.  On the EA-engines, you can shift around the peak and slope of the torque curve, but you won't increase it to any significant extent.  Doing stuff like port work or manifold changes is a futile effort.  ("Polishing a turd" may be a little harsh, but reasonably accurate.)  There is no major power increase to be had without forced induction, and cooling will rear its ugly head.

 

Best bets?  Increased compression.  The engine will feel torquey-er, get better fuel mileage and reject a little less heat into the coolant.

 

If it is carbureted (I assume from the year that it is), swap over to SPFI.  It will be a pain, but the drivability will be greatly increased.

 

Have the head surfaces machined to remove the HG's fire-ring groove and other imperfections.

 

Cooling... see my previous post.



#19 NorthWet

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:12 AM

Thank you, tweety, for keeping us on track. I do not want to do an ej. I have an ea82 sitting on my shop floor, and I don't have an ej, it's as simple as that. I will be the first to admit that the ej swap is pretty cool, but I don't want to be that guy. Just because everyone else is doing it does not mean that I wish to. Anyways, i've been doing some thinking, and I think a pull through with a toyota previa supercharger and side draft weber(s)... what you guys think?

Again all opinions are appreciated, but I would like to keep the ej talk to a minimum.
Thanks

I have commented on Tweety's thread regarding supercharger and carburetors.  The basic upshot is that, depending on the pulse characteristics of the SC, your mixture's A/F ratio could be all over the place.  I have no personal experience with Roots/lobed-rotor SCs, but from what I can tell they process air in gulps rather than a relatively smooth, continuous flow.  These gulps cause vacuum/pressure pulsations that a carburetor handles poorly:  Generally, dumping loads of fuel into the mixture during the high vacuum phase, and tending to spit fuel out the carburetor airhorn ("standoff") as the reflected pressure pulse hits.

 

IMHO, better to use fuel injection, and have a large plenum, between the SC and the Mass-Air-Flow sensor, that can dampen/smooth-out the pulsations.



#20 Uberoo

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:18 AM

Not all EA engines are bad. I love the EA81.Its simple,reliable, durable, and takes well to supercharging.The problem is the boat anchor of an engine the EA82. Negligible power increase over  an EA81 and piss poor reliability.The EA82 is prone to timing belt failure and headgasket failure while the EA81 and EJ is NOT.On an ea81 or EJ the headgasket rarely blows unless it was overheated.While the EJ has a timing belt, it works for at least 100K miles.The EA82 timing setup with its complexity and duel belts is very failure prone rarely living past 25K on a good day.The only good thing about an EA82 is its simple and robust SPFI system that can be easily adapted to an EA81.One of the biggest reasons I like the EJ series is their overabundance of power while still having excellent reliability. With an EJ engine passing or go up hills no longer is a floor it,wind the hell out of the little engine, and pray you have enough room to complete the maneuver kind of ordeal.Every time I tried to go up even the littlest of hills/mountains I would need to wind the EA out up past 4K to even attempt to stay with traffic.With an EJ22 I can keep it in a higher gear and just drive up those hills.I live in a town built on the side of hill,I have been here for 10 years and I have yet to find a spot I can park my car without it rolling away in neutral.Winding the piss out of engine everyday just to stay within a stones throw of traffic gets old fast.

 

With that being said an EA81 with a weber carb is hard to beat for reliability.An EJ trails slightly because while its ignition system is completely electronic and has no moving parts to wear out, it has a timing belt that isn't as reliable as pushrods.Also some of those sensors may eventually fail and when that happens they arn't cheap.

 

as for rebuilding an EA82, rebuild it to stock specs.If the rebuild process involves getting more power out the engine just swap in an EJ and be done as far as power and reliability goes.EA81 stuff can take the mods just you will pay alot to play.



#21 TallonX

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:13 AM

Hard to phrase stuff this mornin lol bare with me here...

Lookin at my book as the years went by 83-90 it's really a matter of the fuel management system. In 1988 an EA82T MPFI 115hp@5200rpm 181lbft@2800 this being peak in performance year for the EAs na SPFI being 84hp@5200rpm 137lbft@2800rpm

A mandrel bent high rise intake would be a neat thing to see, fuel atomization is a factor tho. Had some numbers figured out at one point for using motorcycle carbs on an L6 now thas a 6 pack lol

I've personally haven't had a belt issue or a headgasket issue weren't all subi's prone to that 120k gasket flaw? Owners manual says evey 50k for the timing belts but I suppose buying discount belts would slaughter that, currently sittin @ 70k on mine and they are still lookin close to new. I shift @ 5k no smoke and no ToD on startup 2433XX miles on the beastie.

Edited by TallonX, 11 July 2013 - 11:23 AM.


#22 Gloyale

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:27 PM

Thank you, tweety, for keeping us on track. I do not want to do an ej. I have an ea82 sitting on my shop floor, and I don't have an ej, it's as simple as that. I will be the first to admit that the ej swap is pretty cool, but I don't want to be that guy. Just because everyone else is doing it does not mean that I wish to. Anyways, i've been doing some thinking, and I think a pull through with a toyota previa supercharger and side draft weber(s)... what you guys think?

Again all opinions are appreciated, but I would like to keep the ej talk to a minimum.
Thanks

 

I personally love EA82's.

 

In stock cars, for daily driving, not mudding.....driving fairly slow.

 

Experimentally building a one off, side draft supercharged EA82 could be fun..(more likely a total PITA)  I can tell you for sure it won't hold up long at all in a "wheeler".  You'd haver spent a ton of money, and even more time tracking down parts and fabricating brackets and flanges and piping.  Then tuning.   And then your gonna take that several THOUSANDS of $$$$ and blow it up in a mudhole.

 

 

 

 

 

Seriuously, if you like the EA82 and want to do something useful with it, just rebuild it stock.

 

 

There are much better options for increasing power and reliablilty in your subaru.



#23 TallonX

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:35 PM

Strange thought... anyone ever consider lifting the intake any? Technically speaking of course raising it will improve the air/fuel mix especially if you swirl port it as well as lowering the intake temperature, thusly lowering the chance of predetonation and lowering needed octane (I run premium) also could retard the timing as well with the denser mix

#24 Uberoo

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:56 PM

that still wont fix the poor flowing heads.



#25 tweety

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  • Euroa Victoria Australia

Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:04 PM

Yeh, the nature of the beast means poor flowing heads. best to accept that as a given.  Think its all part of accepting most of the restrictions of the EA series and go from there.  My engine builder suggested the raising of the manifold too but I havent got the room above the engine anyway.  Might make it run smoother not that smoothness is an issue.  THe vintage engines that had high manifolds ran so smooth, I had an old Chrylers side valve that was vibration free for that reason but with the 82 a lot of work making spacers. Not to mention height.

 

Absolutely correct about superchargers and their mixture woes.  The work with manifolds etc. Big time consuming issues and as I'm going SPFI and turfing the SC12 it is proof in itself that SC is not the way to go.

 

A good EA82 rebuild and SPFI.  You might be able to pick up a complete engine over there with sPFI on it. Dont know as we didnt get the SPFI here at all. My kit came from your neck of the woods.

 

The SPFI conversion isnt hard at all.  If you rebuild then at least 9.5:1 like the original EA82 SPFI had. Whatever you do get your builder to get the right cam in it. 

 

Dont know about balancing.  Any of you guys balanced an EA engine at all- whats the advantage?






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