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Carb -> SPFI Update for Subieman & Jibs...and everyone else too!


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45 replies to this topic

#1 NVBigBlue

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 02:41 AM

Hey guys,
OK, for those of you that don't know the story.....I met up with Jibs at the Carson PNP a couple weeks ago (really nice guy BTW). He was pulling (pulled) the LSD I spied early in the week, and my son (hmmm....really should get him on this board...) and I were attacking this '88 (ea82) for all of its SPFI guts. It was a fairly successful trip all in all.... got the harness, relays, intake (ha..another story there....), disty and coil, tbi, maf, airfilter housing and ductwork and fuel pump. Was kinda pricey by my standards....they priced a lot of the stuff out seperately (maf, tbi, dist.) but got out for not quite $200 :mad: for all that. And oh ya, it's NOT my fault they missed that ECU sitting right there on top of my tool bag....hehehehe....but Jibs noticed :banana: . At any rate, so far we've done the following to my sons '86 hatch: (we're talking ea81's here)

Pulled the engine (I was right, borrowed a bore scope....valves were burnt)
Pulled the engine out of my other Suby (import engine)
Removed flywheel from hatch engine (bigger clutch)
Resurfaced hatch flywheel ($40 locally)
Stripped import engine of intake and extras
Installed resurfaced flywheel
Installed new clutch kit
Installed import engine into hatch
Installed SPFI intake assembly onto import engine
Disty sent to machine shop for gear swap ($40) ...back tomorrow!!
Wiring harness about 1/2 pulled apart

Problems so far:
We had to remove a small amount of material under the intake to get it to fit. Kinda odd....right at the flange (where the manifold crosses over), where the two halves of the block meet there is a small 3 x 2 inch raised area.....we took about 1/16 to 1/8 off.....just enough to keep the manifold from "rocking" on that point.

The machine shop doing my millwork has been awesome. Most of their work is on ...eh hem....slightly bigger engines....like the the ones used to power boats.....the 50' to 150' kind, and tractor truck (over the road) engines.....now those are big pistons. They do work on some general automotive stuff, but not too many imports. He kinda felt bad when he charged me $40 for resurfacing the flywheel.....had to charge an "extra" $5 because the flywheel is stepped down in the center. Last time I had a flywheel done it was about the same price........and that was nearly 10 years ago (yes, I've been a away from the "working on the car at 12 am on Monday morning to go to work at 6 am Monday morning" thing for a while). Had a odd look on his face when I started explaining what I was doing, but took an interest in it once explained.

So I'm hoping to get the disty back tomorrow, trim off the extra tab, and get it installed, and maybe get the fuel pump installed....of course depends on the weather.....stupid rain.

I'll keep everyone up to date on how things are going with this conversion. And yes, I WILL be posting both pictures and the "manual" I've been putting together detailing this job.

Later guys,
NV

#2 Snowman

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 03:49 PM

SWEET! Rock on:headbang:

#3 Jibs

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 05:30 PM

Hahaha!! Yeah I had noticed when we got out into the parking lot, that they hadn't looked in Big Blue's tool bag at all. He had set the ecu in there to take some stuff out of my wheelbarrow, I guess he forgot to take it back out:) I wasn't about to say anything to Pick N Pull though either.:lol: Thats awesome, BigBlue, I'm glad to hear its goin well for ya. Maybe down the road when I want to switch over I can let you know! Thanks for the update, I was asking Subieman about your conversion today as a matter of fact. keep up the work, and remember to take lots of pictures and stuff!

#4 subieman

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 08:37 PM

Thanks for the update! Keep us on our toes! :brow:

#5 torxxx

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 12:44 AM

man, I'm really gonna have to do mine now... I got the donor car sitting at my shop, I just havent got motivated to do the conversion.

#6 NVBigBlue

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 01:04 AM

OK, time for another update.....
First I have to say this: Kids, don't try this at home!
Ok....that's a little harsh....I should say something more like this...unless you've got the time, the money, and a ton a patience....this swap probably isn't for you. This is definately NOT a weekend project. While it feels like a huge unending project....the end is near.....I think..... we've got the spfi manifold on, the disty modified and in place, almost every hose has been replaced, fuel pump mount modified, fuel pump mounted, hose adapters made and installed, fuel filter mounted, emission canister connected, and lots of other little things. Some of the things that had to be modified or fabricated....... had to make a new disty holddown, modified a solenoid on the spfi throttle body for disty clearance (wait till you see the pics), had to rotate the radiator cooling fan housing assembly 180 degrees to clear the hose from the water outlet, had to trim the fan assembly to clear the radiator inlet, had to trim the fan assembly to clear the radiator temp sending unit, had to fabricate a new water outlet to radiator inlet water pipe (gotta love copper pipe fittings), had to install some copper fittings to get the pcv valve hose to clear stuff and hook up, had to modify the water pump heater hose pipe (the one over the block)......some of this stuff was done for personal reasons....yes, i know a lot of folks would just disconnect the emissions canister, wouldn't care about routing hoses so you can still carry a full size spare, and things like that. But I like to be able to look back at a project, or more accurately, have someone ELSE look at a project, and go....nice.
Of course, it seems like every time we try to do something, we have to FIX something first......like the radiator.....the top mounting bracket came off....so what's a guy to do???? well, you go to lowe's, buy a torch (because the one you got is like 15 years old and sucks...), flux, solder, etc, and spend an hour or so cleaning things up so you can show your son how, when everything is nice and clean, easy it is to repair a radiator yourself and save son $$$.....oh yeah, comes in handy making the above mentioned water outlet to radiator inlet water pipe......
This has definately been a learning experience for my son.....I think he is getting a crash course in learning.......
OK, so what's left? Well, we have to build an air filter assembly mount (pics to come), mount the coil, secure the battery, relocate a few things (nothing major), and the big one.....wire the beast. We should have no problems here....we grabbed (with Jibs's help...) the entire wire harness from the ecu forward.......I think with another couple days work....this beast will live!
Basically, we took the position of installing/fixing/modifying/fabricating all of the mechanical/"tube" connected pieces first, and leaving the electrical for last.
OK, so that's where we stand. Hopefully, everyone will be able to enjoy a semi-final update after this next weekend. And YES, I do plan on creating a document detailing the process, and posting up a bunch of pics.
On a seperate note.....I located not ONE, but TWO little hatchbacks right down the road from me! According to the owner....."I just drove them until they just stopped running....."
Hehehehe.....can you say cheap..cheap..cheap?
Sorry for the long post, but hey....now you know as much as I do!:)
NV

#7 subieman

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 08:30 PM

Holy crap!!! What a project! I know all your time and effort will pay off in the end. I can't wait for the full write up and pictures. I hope to see this car in person SOON!

#8 Jibs

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 08:37 PM

Thats sweet man! I'm glad (or maybe not) to hear how you've done!:) It better be worth it! I think that wiring the thing could get fun, but at least you won't have to tear another fender apart to do it.:lol: I've looked at my car after that day at the yard and though to myself how nice it is to drive an older car that doesn't have wires everywhere and that everything is in plain view. Jeremy - did you get that part about the cheap hatchbacks?:) Anyway, sorry for my rant, I'm glad you're doin well, and have fun. Keep us updated!

#9 chef_tim

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 08:51 PM

So was this project to put SPFI onto an NA EA81 or did you put in an EA82 w/SPFI. I'm thinking very much about doing this swap, but it does sound like a LOT of work. Thanks, Tim

#10 Jibs

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:39 PM

So was this project to put SPFI onto an NA EA81 or did you put in an EA82 w/SPFI. I'm thinking very much about doing this swap, but it does sound like a LOT of work. Thanks, Tim


I believe the soob it's going into is an 86 carbed JDM ea81 hatch.

#11 NVBigBlue

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 11:40 PM

Jibs is correct....

#12 torxxx

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 07:22 AM

Thats AWESOME that someone did it for a ea81.. That means my roommates Brat is gonna be gettin it done. Or would it be easier to just put a SPFI EA82 motor in there?

#13 FlyB0y

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 10:58 PM

Thats AWESOME that someone did it for a ea81.. That means my roommates Brat is gonna be gettin it done. Or would it be easier to just put a SPFI EA82 motor in there?


I'm thinking the same thing ... wouldn't it just bolt in if you swapped out the ea81 harness/engine/etc and dropped in a SPFI ea82? hell how about a MPFI ea82?

#14 Jibs

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 11:23 PM

I'm thinking the same thing ... wouldn't it just bolt in if you swapped out the ea81 harness/engine/etc and dropped in a SPFI ea82? hell how about a MPFI ea82?


Thats a whole nother monster there. The wiring on that one is fun. Its been done, check out Garner, who swapped in an ea82 Turbo into a gen 1 brat. He said the wiring was a nightmare. It would work though if you had the time, knowledge and patience. Not too many people can say they've upgraded an ea81 like this though.:)

#15 FlyB0y

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:49 AM

True!! :headbang: I must admit the idea is very tempting :D so I am guessing the same amount of mods would be needed for a brat as for this hatch? (making space, changing piping ...)

Thats a whole nother monster there. The wiring on that one is fun. Its been done, check out Garner, who swapped in an ea82 Turbo into a gen 1 brat. He said the wiring was a nightmare. It would work though if you had the time, knowledge and patience. Not too many people can say they've upgraded an ea81 like this though.:)



#16 subieman

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:58 AM

Well in my experience the ea81 is a much more reliable motor then the ea82. If I were to attempt a EA81-82 swap I would just jump in and install a EJ22. That swap would be worth the time just because of the power gain. With a FI on the EA8,1 the motor would just about be unstoppable! I can't wait to try the mod myself!

#17 NVBigBlue

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 12:32 AM

OK boys and girls......a little Easter treat for everyone......pictures!

You can check out this link:

http://www.geocities...ue/ea81carb.htm

I resized the photos to make it easier for modem folks..... but I am planning on putting up the full sized after a bit.

So basically, the engine is in and plumbed. We built a "new" sub-harness for the engine and we've started wiring things into the "main" harness. Some of the stuff can be wired into the existing harness, some of it can't.....

Between the weather and me starting a new job we don't really get a lot done during the week, but on the weekends we make pretty good progress. Oh yeah, looks like we are going to be buying a house in the next few weeks :D ......so conversion time will be even less....but the good news is that it has a garage! No more dirt in the hair! :banana:

Happy Easter everyone!

NV

#18 chef_tim

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 07:10 AM

Very, very nice work:slobber: . Tim

#19 MorganM

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 01:07 PM

No more dirt in the hair!

Happy Easter everyone!

NV


Hah thats originally why I started cutting my hair 'high and tight'. Once I started working on my Subaru all the time it just got way to dirty... then dirty hair falling into my face... I looked like a moron with a pony tail; so I buzzed it! :lol:

Thanks for the pics Big Blue and happy Easter !_!

#20 Jibs

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 04:45 PM

That's great! Lookin REAL good, Thanks a bunch for the pics. Want to do a brat after yours is done?:lol:

#21 subieman

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 06:40 PM

This I have to see in person! NVBlue if your ever free one of these weekends let me know! I would like to stop by and take a look!

#22 NV Zeno

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 09:53 PM

This I have to see in person! NVBlue if your ever free one of these weekends let me know! I would like to stop by and take a look!


Yeah! Yeah! Me too!:drunk:

#23 NVBigBlue

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 12:38 AM

Hey guys.....
I moved those photos over to a domain I control.....lots of space and no pop-up ads. So here is the new address for the photos....

http://www.bristlene...pfi/default.htm

The old link will still work, but the new one lets you get to the big pics as well. They are 640X480 so not too bad. But still modem users take care...
And Jibs....... I might think about doing a brat.....but I doubt anyone would want to pay what I would ask! :brow:
However.....I have been thinking about what I would differently. I have no doubt I will do another one.......but I'm thinking I might try the mega squirt option. But that's for another day...

NV

P.S. We're making an offer on our house tomorrow or the next day.....so we're spending a LOT of time cleaning up and working on the weekends......so having visitors would be.... shall we say.....rushed? HOWEVER!!!! If we get it.....we're planning on having a big @$$ BBQ party when it warms up! By then we should have it done and everyone that wants to come will be invited! It has 2 acres of fenced parking! hehehe Stay tuned for details!

#24 subieman

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 08:11 AM

P.S. We're making an offer on our house tomorrow or the next day.....so we're spending a LOT of time cleaning up and working on the weekends......so having visitors would be.... shall we say.....rushed? HOWEVER!!!! If we get it.....we're planning on having a big @$$ BBQ party when it warms up! By then we should have it done and everyone that wants to come will be invited! It has 2 acres of fenced parking! hehehe Stay tuned for details!

Sounds like a PLAN!! :brow:

Thanks for the bigger pics!

#25 gunslinger

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 02:18 PM

[quote name='NVBigBlue']Hey guys.....
I moved those photos over to a domain I control.....lots of space and no pop-up ads. So here is the new address for the photos....

http://www.bristlene...pfi/default.htm


thats a sweet write up!! my 82 "3rd eYe" and 86 hatch will probably go the same route. the EJ22 setup in the hatch doesnt look too feasable for me as this time...... wedding and all. EA81's are hard to beat. make SURE to do a detailed write up on the wiring setup for the dash. motor stuff and fabbing is no prob but i HATE rewiring/retofitting harnesses :banghead: . let us know if you can time the thing with where the disty sits, just curious.




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