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It's Alive! (barely) - EJ22 swap story NOW WITH PICS IN LAST POST


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Snowman

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:01 AM

Through some sort of miracle, my lifted EA82 wagon (Roxanne) just drove nearly 900 miles, not with the old EA82 engine, but with an EJ22 under the hood!

This project has taught me two things: 1. Complete drivetrain swaps NEVER get finished in the time you thought it would take. 2. Duct tape, bailing wire, and zip-ties can make ANYTHING work.

Sooo, here's how it went down:

After seeing some sweet EJ conversions in older soobs at WCSS7, I knew that I had to have one. I talked to Austin and others about what exactly had to be done, which seemed like it would be within my abilities. As soon as I got home from the show, I traded my engineless RX for everything I needed to put the whole legacy drivetrain in, since I knew I didn't have time to adapt it to my stock d/r tranny (that will come next summer).

Having less than a month to finish the project in my extremely scarce spare time before I HAD to drive the car to Anchorage for school, I got to work right away. The legacy engine and tranny bolted up easily once I welded the legacy tranny mounts to the EA82 crossmembers. I then got sucked into fixing friends' cars for quite some time and didn't get the engine fired up until last saturday, when I discovered that the radiator leaked. I called up the guy I got everything from, and he said that he had another rad for me and was coming down the next morning to pick up a car so he could drop it off. After installing that rad, I gleefully fired up the engine again only to find that this one leaked worse! With less than a week before I had to drive the car almost 900 miles, this made me less than excited.

Thankfully, my local parts guys found a new rad in Juneau, which they had flown up for me monday afternoon. Yay, no more leaks!

I then got to work swapping over the legacy rear diff (4.11 instead of 3.9) and putting in the EA82T front axles that matched up with the legacy tranny. Well, the rear axles wouldn't come off... and wouldn't come off.... and wouldn't come off.... Eventually, I had to grind away a substantial portion of the joint casing and hit them with a huge sledgehammer. I figured that I could just go to the parts store the next day and get two new axles...

And boy was I wrong.

I ended up ordering two used axles from seattle, which were to be expressed up at a cost of $90. That would give me two days in which to finish the car and test drive it a little. Well, by thursday at 5 pm, they hadn't shown up, and I thought I was screwed (since the new tranny is AWD, I couldn't drive the car without rear axles).

Again, I called up the guy I got the parts from, who lives 250 miles away in Whitehorse, to see if he had any axles. He said that he had some but they were on a car and he couldn't take them off until the next morning. So, I hopped in my mom's outback at 7 pm and drove to Whitehorse at 80 mph, got to his house at 11, slept in his motorhome, and got up in the morning to find that he had to go to a meeting and would be back at 9. We then took the axles off and I was on my way home at 90 mph so that I could finish putting my car together.

After making the trip in 3 hours and 22 minutes including a long construction delay, I was finally ready to finish my car. I threw the axles on, double checked everything, and fired her up. At this point, I still had no alternator or cooling fans and the exhaust wasn't hooked up. Oh yeah, the hood wasn't on the car either. It got some strange looks on the drive through town! I then had to fab up some alternator brackets since they didn't come with the engine, which still need to be revised as the alignment and tension are not adequate. I could only keep the belt from squeeling like crazy by spraying a ton of belt dressing on. Finally, at 11:30 pm on friday, I test drove the car out the highway 10 miles with no problems! Of course, the rad was held on with zip ties, the alternator was held in position with bailing wire, the air filter was duct-taped on, and the wiring harness, ECM, relays, etc were all piled in the spare tire area under the hood.

Amazingly, the trip went well. I ferried the car over to skagway so I could go to a music festival over there on saturday before starting my drive sunday morning at 6. I had to keep putting belt dressing on at every gas stop, but the belt held, and I still had no cooling fans, so once I got into the city I had to turn the heater on full blast and take the most direct route to the campus, but all of my band-aid fixes did hold well enough to get me here. Thanks to the new power boost, I was able to cruise between 75 and 80 most of the way, even over the passes.

That's the extremely long-winded story of my EJ22 swap saga. I now get to spend the next month actually installing everything correctly!

#2 baccaruda

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:37 AM

Wow!


I then got to work swapping over the legacy rear diff (4.11 instead of 3.9)

that must be a blast to drive :D

I ferried the car over to skagway so I could go to a music festival

I admire your ability to prioritize.. it is the mark of success with any urgent project. BTW what is belt dressing? I have some Newman's Caesar in my fridge and my belt is squeaking, do I have to share?

#3 subieman

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 07:09 AM

Great story man. Do you have any pictures? This swap is next on my list! :)

#4 northguy

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 08:47 AM

I admire your pioneer spirit, Kelly.Never had a doubt you could pull it off. Glad to see you back.

#5 84gl

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:24 AM

so snowman could you do a write up on the wiring aspected of it all so i could change may old EA82 in may wagon out its racked up 562k in its life since my aunt bought it new in 86

#6 Snowman

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 06:54 PM

Actually, you should talk to Austin about the wiring...he knows more about it than I do. However, it's REALLY easy to hook up. I spent an afternoon stripping all the tape and conduit from the harness before labeling the necessary wires and like two hours putting it all in the car. Get a chiltons manual for the legacy so you know what color of wires to look for. There are three power connections, several grounds, tach signal, start signal to the ECM, and that's pretty much it aside from plugging in the sensors. (I know there are a couple more hookups, but I can't remember them right now.)I'll try to get some pics of the ugliness, but my digital camera doesn't work now so it might be a little while.

#7 NoahDL88

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 07:09 PM

Congrats Snowman

As far as the wiring, try the adapter harness writeup from Kennedy adapters, its worth every penny of 22 bucks.

I got mine almost all the way ready to go, just need a cherry picker and a few minor parts. ie, clutch and adapter plate. but as far as the wiring, i'm about 75% done.

#8 subyrally

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 10:58 AM

sweet deal, i wouldnt mind seeing that, sounds like a lot of fun though.

#9 NoahDL88

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 02:29 PM

sweet deal, i wouldnt mind seeing that, sounds like a lot of fun though.



If you are talking about the actual wiring, sure i'll take pictures, but if you are talking about the print out that Kennedy has, no dice, nothing personal but they spent the last 7 years and lots of money getting a system that would be CARB legal, so i feel un easy about giving away that information for free.

If you're not talking to me at all never mind.

#10 subyrally

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 06:05 PM

no idea what your talking about. i want to see pics of the car with hte completed swap



If you are talking about the actual wiring, sure i'll take pictures, but if you are talking about the print out that Kennedy has, no dice, nothing personal but they spent the last 7 years and lots of money getting a system that would be CARB legal, so i feel un easy about giving away that information for free.

If you're not talking to me at all never mind.



#11 Snowman

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 11:39 PM

Pics of the ugliness can now be found at: http://usmb.net/gallery/album209

#12 NoahDL88

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 12:37 PM

Did austin help with the wiring? JK ;)

#13 Snowman

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 07:25 PM

Did austin help with the wiring? JK ;)


:lol: The wiring does bear a strong resemblance to that on the yellow wagon when I saw it at WCSS6!

#14 88HatchMonster

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:03 PM

If you are talking about the actual wiring, sure i'll take pictures, but if you are talking about the print out that Kennedy has, no dice, nothing personal but they spent the last 7 years and lots of money getting a system that would be CARB legal, so i feel un easy about giving away that information for free.

If you're not talking to me at all never mind.


Hey, I wouldn't mind seeing a few clear pictures of your actual wiring. Everyone says it's easy, but the wiring aspect of the EJ swap has me pretty intimidated, especially after looking at the latest pics in this thread... :-\

#15 NoahDL88

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:27 PM

It seems a lot of the guys that do the swap leave on a whole buch of stuff that isn't needed, according to the kennedy adapter wiring harness write up, you need a whole lot less, which means down the road there will be a whole lot less to go wrong.

#16 88HatchMonster

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:00 PM

It seems a lot of the guys that do the swap leave on a whole buch of stuff that isn't needed, according to the kennedy adapter wiring harness write up, you need a whole lot less, which means down the road there will be a whole lot less to go wrong.


Yeah, In the pics I see a lot of connectors hanging off not plugged in to anything... I found a write-up on the aussie site that gives a good overview of the process, but no specific information, that is here: http://www.ausubaru....ries_by_RXTurbo

They said all you need is everything coming off of the ECU and nothing else. I like the sound of that, but I don't know if it is totally true.

Subarino has some nice pictures of the harness he made here: http://community.web...134929361hUEpcw

He made a nice little fuse box, which looks to contain a couple of relays and things as well. I'm really in the dark on this one. I've never wired a car in my life... I would just like a list of connections you have to make to make the car start and go. That would be a good start for me. I'm not too keen on getting the Kennedy printout as it is for legacies and I have an impreza motor which I've come to find out has a different ECU with three connectors instead of four...

#17 Snowman

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:01 AM

Basically, you can look at the engine control wiring diagram in a Chilton's manual and remove anything you don't see there. Check out Beefaru's pics/site, which shows the MUCH smaller fully stripped harness in all its glory.

#18 archemitis

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 01:38 PM

you can strip down the harness if you want. there are extra things in there that you will never need, but... if you just leave the wires all bundled together. shove them through that unused hole right in front of the glove box. then run your computer under the glove box, you can leave all the wires on the loom and not worry about them.

i put my computers back by the fuel pump, where the rear seats usualy sit.

next swap i plan on stripping it down all the way, but they dont have to look like a squirrels nest, even if you dont strip it down.

look for my er27 pics, thats as ghetto as id want to drive down the road....

having said that, i have had a computer sittin in the spare tire area, with wiring looking almost as bad as the yellow wagon, and this one. ran just as good :)


wiring efi is super easy. you just need a couple power wires hooked up. i never understood why people use the whole harness from the donor car to rewire the entire vehicle, dash and all... too much work

#19 88HatchMonster

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 12:18 AM

OK, I bit the bullet and stripped/wired the harness for my EJ swap. Chilton's manual was my only reference. You guys were right, not as hard as I thought. Only took the better part on one day. Hopefully it actually works... I am seriously considering doing a writeup on this for the board once I finish the swap since it was easy, but rather intimidating to someone (like myself) with no experience wiring EFI. An important first step I found was to blow up the wiring diagram to a full page size and then to go through and fix all of the inevitable color-coding discrepancies between the diagram and your actual ECU connector wires. Anyway thanks for the help and info.

#20 baccaruda

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 02:37 AM

Can you give more pictures/details for that alternator setup, please?

#21 Snowman

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 02:50 AM

I can take some more pics of the bracket tomorrow. The alternator is a Powermaster unit that came from Summit Racing, and I lied, it's actually a 100 amp, but the tag attached said it put out 107 when tested. The Summit part number is PWM-8002 (can't link directly to the page as the url just gets you to the catalog), and it retailed for $99.95.

Apparently there is an easier GM alternator to swap that requires some minimal adaptations of the factory brackets. A quick search should yield some results. When I ordered this one, I thought it was that kind, but it turned out that it wasn't. I like making stuff, so I went along with it and adapted this one.




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