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Looking for some help with my Baja....

2003 Baja Head gaskets turbo wheels

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7 replies to this topic

#1 c4pt1n54n0

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 04:08 PM

Hey everyone! I am brand new to this forum and actually joined in order to get some advice from more experienced owners of Bajas and Outbacks. That being said, I am no newbie to working on cars and love learning more about them, anyway, on with the questons... I inherited my '03 Baja from my dad who passed away in February, right now it is in need of heaad gaskets, well basically most of the engine seals are leaking a little, and new metal needs to be attached in the area of the drivers' side rocker panel/pinch weld below. There are other minor things; paint touch ups, some bondo from when it was rear-ended etc. BUT, I was looking into installing a turbo. I don't really know much about this specific engine, but i have heard that the oil and coolant feeds for a turbo are already there. I haven't looked into it at all and am wondering if that is true, and if not, maybe I would be better off getting a new pre-turbo'd engine. Also, is it easy enough to do a 5 speed swap? Or, maybe an H6 5 speed swap {{evil grin}}? I realize this is a big old money pit at this point, but I want to have it for at least another 10-15 yrs, I want a Subaru, and I'd rather my dad's than any other, so it's worth it to me. I'm just sort of trying to get a better picture of what is feasible, and what wouldn't really be worth it. I've got a local welding shop estimating $1200 to fix all frame issues and guarantee the whole thing for 10yrs, and I'm thinking the head gaskets will be another $1000ish, which leaves me with around $1500-$2000 to do some upgrades etc. Obviously some of the above mentioned mods wont get done for a while, but what do you think would be the best use, as far as upgrades, of my extra $2k-ish once all repairs are done? I was thinking about some high mount offroad lights, a turbo, and maybe a new audio system, the current one works intermittently. Basically getting rid of it is out of the question, and I'm going to be having some extra  money to dump into it soon. Let me know what you think, any opinions are greatly appreciated.

 

 

~c4pt1n54n0



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 05:41 PM

Hi, and welcome!

Turbo is a no-go on that engine. The NA 2.5 runs a 9.5:1 (or 9.7, maybe) compression ratio which is way too high to stick a turbo on. You could run like 3-5psi, and the cost vs the power gain just wouldn't be worth it. Rebuilding the engine to run a turbo on it is about $1,000 in bearings, seals, gaskets, and low compression pistons. Then you still have to find the turbo, all of its associated parts, and get some kind of engine management system to control it all.

You could swap in a whole turbo engine from a WRX, or from a Baja XT or Legacy GT. You would need the whole engine, wiring harness and ECU to go with it. Either way, price will be in the $2500-$4,000 range depending on what you need and where you get everything.

H6 swap is doable, and cheaper than a turbo, but again you'll need whole engine wire harness and ECU. Obviously you'll need exhaust parts to match whichever engine you put in it.

5 speed swap also doable, but you'll basically need a parts car. Shifter, linkage, pedals, transmission, flywheel, etc., all hard to buy separately and keep costs down. And then there is always stuff you don't think about or don't know about unless you've done that type of swap before and know the car inside and out and exactly what you need to do the swap.

Another option to get some extra power is a set of cams, new exhaust, and intake, then get it tuned. Easily doable for under $1,500 unless you go hog wild on expensive parts or something. And you can bolt all that on while the engine is out for the head gaskets. If you do the gaskets yourself you can probably bring it in under $1,500 for all that including head gaskets and re-seal.

Audio systems are easy in these, just get a good head unit, a 4 channel amp, and some decent component speakers and you're set. Unless you need mega bass, then you need to figure out where to put the sub.

Some other fun things for a Baja
Lift kit
Bigger tires
Skid plates
Bull bar (to mount those off-road lights on)
http://www.gorillaof....cfm/prd_key/46

Edited by Fairtax4me, 02 May 2014 - 05:43 PM.


#3 c4pt1n54n0

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:27 PM

Hi, and welcome!

Turbo is a no-go on that engine. The NA 2.5 runs a 9.5:1 (or 9.7, maybe) compression ratio which is way too high to stick a turbo on. You could run like 3-5psi, and the cost vs the power gain just wouldn't be worth it. Rebuilding the engine to run a turbo on it is about $1,000 in bearings, seals, gaskets, and low compression pistons. Then you still have to find the turbo, all of its associated parts, and get some kind of engine management system to control it all.

You could swap in a whole turbo engine from a WRX, or from a Baja XT or Legacy GT. You would need the whole engine, wiring harness and ECU to go with it. Either way, price will be in the $2500-$4,000 range depending on what you need and where you get everything.

H6 swap is doable, and cheaper than a turbo, but again you'll need whole engine wire harness and ECU. Obviously you'll need exhaust parts to match whichever engine you put in it.

5 speed swap also doable, but you'll basically need a parts car. Shifter, linkage, pedals, transmission, flywheel, etc., all hard to buy separately and keep costs down. And then there is always stuff you don't think about or don't know about unless you've done that type of swap before and know the car inside and out and exactly what you need to do the swap.

Another option to get some extra power is a set of cams, new exhaust, and intake, then get it tuned. Easily doable for under $1,500 unless you go hog wild on expensive parts or something. And you can bolt all that on while the engine is out for the head gaskets. If you do the gaskets yourself you can probably bring it in under $1,500 for all that including head gaskets and re-seal.

Audio systems are easy in these, just get a good head unit, a 4 channel amp, and some decent component speakers and you're set. Unless you need mega bass, then you need to figure out where to put the sub.

Some other fun things for a Baja
Lift kit
Bigger tires
Skid plates
Bull bar (to mount those off-road lights on)
http://www.gorillaof....cfm/prd_key/46

Huh, yeah that makes sense, i guess I sort of got it stuck in my head that bigger engine=more $$ no matter what. I really am considering that as an option, as long as I can do everything after the frame repair for under $3k-ish I will be extremely happy. I have never driven anything awd with a 3l h6, would you think its comparable to a 3l v6 fwd? obviously more effective acceleration because of the awd, just trying to compare directly to my current daily driver; 98 Maxima I got for cheap. As far as the stereo, my dad put a new system in it about 2yrs ago, but he used this 20+yr old pioneer head unit, so thats really the only thing needing replacement there, other than if I have a bit of extra cash at the end of all this, I may look into a woofer for under the passenger seat. So the h6 is otherwise a drop-in?(besides what you mentioned) WOuld you think I would need the trans from the h6 as well?

Thanks for the help / clarification!



#4 c4pt1n54n0

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:38 PM

Now that I've thought about it for a little while, the cams/exhaust/intake option is seeming more doable, if I go that route, I think I'll do piston rings as well ,and somehow flush out all the coolant lines within the block, since the head gaskets have been letting that and the oil mix for a while now, I've got a nice coating of oil on my overflow resevoir, maybe do a new radiator as well. I think I'll put whatever I would have put into a new engine/turbo setup into PM stuff like all new hoses, pumps,belts, etc. so I wont have to worry about it for a good while. I think I'll stick with the H4 N/A, but i want it running and looking, inside and out, brand new, plus the cams, exhaust, and intake. If i can do that for below $2k, I'll be very happy. I may be having an 02 Outback become available soon for eveything besides the engine, my buddies dad has it and the engine is on its last leg. It's a 5spd, and maybe when the engine finally craps out I can get it from him for cheap. I was looking into a top rack from BAJARACKS, and also a ram bar type thing. When my dad bought it he was having issues with braking because the tires were larger than stock, and not by much, maybe a half inch. If i were to lift it and put big old wheels on it I would want to get bigger brakes too, so I think I'll save that for a year or two down the road, since less than two weeks ago I got new pads, rotors and calipers.



#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:21 PM

Don't bother with rings. That's a lot more work and these really don't have ring problems. If you're worried about varnish on the pistons in the ring grooves run a high mileage type oil or put a half quart of Marvels Mystery Oil in it for 100 miles or so.


Subaru H6 is a low end torque engine. Something like 170 ft lbs at 2,000 rpm, and 225 ft lbs at 4,000 rpm. Around 215-220 peak horsepower.
Later engines have more.

#6 c4pt1n54n0

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:41 PM

Don't bother with rings. That's a lot more work and these really don't have ring problems. If you're worried about varnish on the pistons in the ring grooves run a high mileage type oil or put a half quart of Marvels Mystery Oil in it for 100 miles or so.


Subaru H6 is a low end torque engine. Something like 170 ft lbs at 2,000 rpm, and 225 ft lbs at 4,000 rpm. Around 215-220 peak horsepower.
Later engines have more.

Huh, alright, cool. What do you think about my sitiation caused by the gaskets? should i worry about any sort of oil buildup in the coolant paths in the engine? I was told i should get a new water pump and ratiator, but from that I got thinking, well if it's everywhere else why wouldn't it be in the engine? Also, I just thought of this, I'm not sure if it was an option for 03 but I know it was for later yr baja's, can I install a factory type traction control system? like with the awd torque distribution and everything? there have been a few times that i've had two wheels spinning in snow here in Connecticut...


Edited by c4pt1n54n0, 02 May 2014 - 08:43 PM.


#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:18 PM

"Traction control" systems are more like "Power limiting" systems.
Get dedicated snow tires for snow. That's all the traction control you need.


For cleaning the engine just run a cooling system flush in it before you pull it out. I wouldn't replace the radiator unless you find a lot of deposits in it.

Do replace the radiator hoses, and the bypass hose on the side of the water pump. Also replace the heater hoses if they feel soft or oily.

Definitely replace the water pump (buy an Aisin), along with all of the idlers and the tensioner when doing the timing belt. Get a thermostat from the dealer.

#8 c4pt1n54n0

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:02 AM

"Traction control" systems are more like "Power limiting" systems.
Get dedicated snow tires for snow. That's all the traction control you need.


For cleaning the engine just run a cooling system flush in it before you pull it out. I wouldn't replace the radiator unless you find a lot of deposits in it.

Do replace the radiator hoses, and the bypass hose on the side of the water pump. Also replace the heater hoses if they feel soft or oily.

Definitely replace the water pump (buy an Aisin), along with all of the idlers and the tensioner when doing the timing belt. Get a thermostat from the dealer.

I really wanted the T/C because obviously I cant lock my differential, and I plan on going through some pretty 'slippery' terrain once I do the lift and get bigger wheels/tires/brakes. If there is something else I can do to get the same effect, that would be cool, but I looked at a demo of the Subaru T/C and it looks like it actually would help, I would obviously not want it enabled all the time, but it seems like it would be nice to have. Here's a link to  what I saw... http://youtu.be/kRniF4JQN2U?t=2m18s

 

Edit: after some more research, I found a '03 Baja Sport (same as mine besides the color) for sale in Oklahoma City that says it has traction control, and both limited slip and locking diff. I am REALLY confused, I want to go to a dealer and see if they can tell me exactly what I have. If I can get a locking rear diff that will be even better.


Edited by c4pt1n54n0, 06 May 2014 - 11:23 AM.






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