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Old 03-20-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
spydrb8
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Default '73 VW Super Beetle - '07 STI EJ257 swap

I'm starting a conversion on my race bug so I thought I'd put up a thread here of my progress. This isn't a standard swap, and not a standard car, but should have some good info none the less.

Some history:
I bought this bug a few years ago as a replacement chassis for my last race bug. The current bug's name is Lucy (as in the daughter of the devil), and she is a track special that can still be street driven. I swapped on 944 turbo S2 suspension, 911 turbo (930) brakes, got the roll cage welded in, and dropped in my current race motor. Current motor is a fully built 2165cc, t3/t4 turbo, all forged internals, dry sumped, ITBs, cnc heads, and megasquirt2 ecu that I built from the ground up. The car weighs 2050 with a full tank and me in the seat, and it puts down 330hp to the wheels. I run 17x8 and 17x9.5 fikse fm5 wheels with 245/40r17 and 275/40r17 hankook z214 c71 rubber respectively. I usually autox in OSP (over street prepared), finishing 2nd in class and 8th overall last year. I've been autoxing for 12 years, hill climbing for 4, and championed 4 times.

Some pics of the bug as it sits now:








The reason for the swap:
I ran two drivers in my car last year, which is like doubling your season. I noticed that no matter what I did, my head temps kept creeping up to 400-425F. A new turbo and a header swap helped reduce back pressure into the heads but didn't pull temps down. I could switch to e85 but as it sits now I can burn through most of a tank of gas in 20min of track time, e85 wouldn't even last that long. The sti motor being water cooled should get better milage and nearly equal power with minor bolt-ons. Reliability and cooling are big motivators for this and the newer/cheaper parts certainly don't hurt.

The new hotness:
I picked up a 2007 US sti 2.5L, 45k miles, looks to be in decent shape and I just started tearing it down. I plan on doing tgv deletes, lightened flywheel, throttle body swap, shortened/baffled oil pan, 11mm oil pump, and accusump for starters. Dry sump pump and pan will come later once i get the motor tuned, I already have a cooler and tank.







I've also got a 5sp subaru ty754vbaaa transmission on the way which will get a center diff delete/coupler and a 3.9:1 flip ring and pinion from subarugears.com. I've got a new OBX diff on the bench getting cleaned up and reworked with new bolts/washers.



I'm hoping to learn more about the motor and trans here, and see if there is anything special I need to do to make the two work together or hold up to track abuse. Ultimately I'm looking for track worthy mods, and track reliable 450hp
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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Forged pistons are going to be a must for this. Cool car.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:06 AM   #3
RonW
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Oh man, this is gonna be good!!! Subscribed
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badler View Post
Forged pistons are going to be a must for this. Cool car.
Not exactly true. I know from personal experience.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #5
icanfly
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spydrb8 -
Nice to see you biting off this conversion.
I've been putting my 05 sti engine in the back of my 69 IRS chassis for a while... I've been too busy building the car to get my build up online, but I've been doc'ing the whole thing so a build journal will be coming soon.

Let's talk about your wiring setup / ECU and fuel system. Have you spec'd the parts for this section of your build yet?

(also - I am JMD from Germanlook so you can poke around over there for more details or ask anything you wanna know)...
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
spydrb8
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Icanfly/JMD: seems like there's a lot of germanlook/stf cross pollination going on here

As for wiring, fuel and ecu, here's what I have on paper so far:

Wiring:
I'm really tempted to re-wire the car because I need more circuits now and I have seen the short comings of my limited switch panel. I have already started putting circuits on paper and I need to find a good resource for colored/striped wire spools (12-14ga mostly). I've also been eyeballing a digital dash setup, aim mxl pista, racetechnologies dash2, or racepak iq3, because they can fit in the stock dash which I'd like to put back in the car. Another change would be a move to motorsport/aircraft style breakers instead of fuses. It's a little spendy up front but I think it's worth it.

Fuel:
I need to ditch my current ATL well-cell fuel cell to use the spare tire area for the radiator so I'm on the hunt for another fuel cell that will fit up front. I'll be employing a surge tank this time around since I was hitting starvation at high lateral g's when the tank got down about half way. I'll probably go with twin bosch 044 motorsport fuel pumps and get another aeromotive fuel pressure regulator since the last one worked flawlessly. For the first phase I'll probably stick to stock sti injectors (unless I find a good deal somewhere) and use braided line and fittings again.

ECU:
I'll probably go with a megasquirt 3 this time around, mostly because of cost and familiarity. I've had a few MS units now and I want to upgrade to the newest one. I need to verify, but I believe the 07 sti uses a 36-2-2-2 crank trigger wheel, and the MS3 can use that. The MS3 should be able to control the intake cam AVCS if I ever choose to employ that feature as well. I'm looking for a good motorsport wiring connector so that the engine wining can be quickly disconnected. I totally dig the new megasquirt pro, but I don't know if I want to spend that much just yet.

Finally, here's some more goodies for the folks who don't know much about the bug. A few autox videos for you


No muffler installed in this one, just a 3" down turn off the turbo... yes, it was loud

And lastly, and external view where you can hear the car starving for fuel after a left hand sweeper
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
Hondaslayer
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More important than fuel, wiring etc..... What are you doing for cooling? Front mounted radiator?
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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I already have the radiator which is a koyo 3rd gen rx7 radiator iirc, and the radiator fan is a 1200cfm spal unit. For pipe work i have aluminum pipe tube and several feet of gates reinforced hydraulic hose (overkill). I also have an upgraded ford lightning air/water heat exchanger and bosch water pump for the intercooler setup.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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I too have my water stuff sorted out... I'm using a Scirocco Radiator, stock for now - once I figure out the cooling issues I can upgrade / downgrade as needed but it was cheap and fit the space it needed to fit. I am running hoses from front to back and while I am in a VW chassis I am using a non-VW body so my setup will be just a smidge different that SpydrB8s solution.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
RonW
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humble,
i have nothing against megasquirt, i love it, kinda miss it, had an ms3/ms3x/sequential fuel/spark set up but just curious why you are going that route vs the stock ecu? the stock ecu is fully programmable and you can even run a cobb if you wanted to since its USDM
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:00 AM   #11
spydrb8
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One of the big reasons I'm not using the stock ecu is that I don't have one and even if I did I would still need the immobilizer, gas pedal, etc. that the '07 requires. I could buy an ecu and a cobb tuner, or I could get an ms3x cheaper and spend the saving on motor bits. I've dealt with the MS3 and done the wiring before so it's a known quantity. Like you said, once you have MS2 or 3 its hard not to go back
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:42 AM   #12
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roger that. mario is always tempting me put one in. if i ever run into insurmountable hurdles, i will. hauler when you need a hand.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
icanfly
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I am running the 05 STI engine, stock harness and ECU but I have the complete immobilizer package. I am curious to see how the MS3 Works out. Spyderb8 - are you going to be changing your throttle body out for a drive-by-wire or will you keep it servotronic?
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:32 PM   #14
kcpaz
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Cool project, but personally, I wouldn't mess with the Megasquirt when the OEM engine management is so capable, and easy to use (even with an immobilizer). The ECU's aren't very expensive, and you can find everything you need to make it work on Ebay.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #15
spydrb8
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icanfly: I'll be swapping to a cable throttle body but I need to see if they will swap straight across. One potential problem is the idle air control valve, servo driven drive-by-wire TBs don't have them because the ecu just uses the throttle accordingly.

kcpaz: The prices I found when looking, it was cheaper to get an MS3X with 4bar maps and rtc mod for time stamping on board logs than it was to get all the subaru electronics/harnesses. Also, the MS3X has many more capabilities than the stock ecu and I'll be making use of those features. I'm already using MS2 so it's not a stretch for me.

===============

Now on to the good stuff! I started tearing into the STI motor some more to see what I bought, but the more I looked, the more I liked. I pulled off the crank pulley and timing cover to take a look at the timing belt and crank trigger wheel. The timing belt was in great shape and didn't have any cracking or defects much like the accessory belts I pulled off. The trigger wheel is a 36-2-2-2 setup which will make setting up the megasquirt nice and easy since it's a supported tooth profile.





While I was at it, I pulled the coils and spark plugs, and checked down the bores with a bore-scope. Cylinders and piston tops look great, and the plugs are all iridium tip gapped to .028". Coloration on the plugs was good and there was no debris or flecks that signal detonation. While the plugs were out I put a squirt of oil down the bores and put the motor through a few rotations and everything is smooth.



Got my new (to me) flywheel in this week. It's a gently used Aasco aluminum 11lbs. flywheel that should be perfect for race duty, purchased off one of the nasioc guys. I had to run down to the subaru dealer to grab some flywheel bolts and I'm hoping I can use the vw flywheel tool to help tighten them.





I spent the day Saturday on this little project. On the newer Subarus they have a small half-butterfly in the intake called the tumble generator valve, or TGV, that helps develop turbulence which keeps fuel droplets suspended in the air and improves low speed driveability. Unfortunately, even when they are wide open they block a lot of airflow, about 50%. I've seen TGV delete manifolds for sale but I figured I could do the work myself and it would be a fun project.

First step, pulled the butterflies and shafts from the TGV bodies. I got excited ( a little frustrated ) and had to drill the screws out of the butterflies which seems to be a common problem, but in the effort I forgot to take pics. Here's the TGV body in the vice, and I already removed the divider on the left side with a hacksaw. The TGV only blocks about 65-70% of the opening and you can see the lip the butterfly rests on in the body.



After a little work with a die grinder to smooth the edges here's a nearly finished TGV body, and then both of them together.





Once they're all cleaned up, you put in some plugs where the throttle shafts were and you're done! All in all it took about 3-4 hours to complete and should make a big difference in flow, especially since I took the time to port match the TGV bodies while I was at it.

================

But wait, there's more! This is like the never ending update. It was also a race weekend! During the week I had replaced the throttle cable, and tweaked the tune to help the cold start a bit. The bug was running much better, and more than a couple folks had noticed at the autox. The course was very tight and technical, which is kind of a bastard thing to do for the first run of the season while folks are rusty. The last few corners were particularly bad with 150 degree turn backs between short sprints. I managed a 50.117 and beat my nemesis by .040 seconds, so close!

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Old 04-02-2013, 10:51 PM   #16
spydrb8
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Got some more parts in this week. Finally got my transmission, a TY754VBAAA from a ver 5/6 sti.





After doing some research, the Aasco flywheel I picked up takes a larger 228mm clutch disk and beefier pressure plate. Coincidentally, the later VW Bus, and earlier 911's also use a 228mm clutch. It'll work with the trans but not without some modification. There's a bunch of webbing in the bellhousing that will need to be clearanced and i'll have to do lots of test fits with the motor off the stand.



I also got my new megasquirt MS3X ecu this week. I opted for a prebuilt unit with a couple mods, the mapdaddy 4bar dual baro sensor, and the real time clock to time stamp logs. I've temporarily turned the dining room table into a lab and started testing and programming the MS3X. I'm looking into a lot of new features I didn't use/have on the ms2.





What I've setup so far:
waste fire ignition
batch fire injection
radiator fan control
tach output
boost control through table blending
water injection pump control
water injection valve control
front axle VSS input
transmission output shaft VSS input
VSS output to drive speedo
traction control with dial-a-slip%

I'm also looking into adding:
oil pressure
fuel pressure
dual cylinder head temp
exhaust temp

That's it so far, I'm still configuring everything. I need to get a couple 3 wire potentiometers to use with the adjustable boost and traction control settings. I have the wiring looms ready to go and once the motor/trans are ready the fun can begin!
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:20 PM   #17
RonW
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humble,
very nice! you gonna run the avcs? ms3 can control that iirc.

im gonna shot for NorCalUFO 4/21, you still have your type1 in correct?

ron
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:33 PM   #18
spydrb8
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I know it can control the AVCS but i'm not sure about running it yet. I need to know how the stock ecu figures TDC for #1 if the intake cams move around... unless there's another cam sensor I haven't spotted.

I'll be at the 4/21 event in marina but I'm in OSP running group 6 in the afternoon. I wouldn't mind doing some ride shares to see how the cars compare
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:19 PM   #19
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Fastest bug I've ever seen! Subscribed.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:36 AM   #20
ambrynmc
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Hey Humble!!


Looking for a nice but not crazy expensive 30 pin bulkhead connector? Look at this one http://www.eficonnection.com/eficonn...spx?ItemId=761

Looking for fancy striped wire? Look here http://www.eficonnection.com/eficonnection/Wire.aspx Not very cheap, but VERY nice selection.

This place has less color choices, but is very affordable www.wirebarn.com

These guys also have a bunch of solid colored wires and decent prices http://www.awcwire.com/Default.aspx

Looking for super cool relay and fuse blocks? Go here http://www.rallylights.com/SearchRes...?CategoryID=54

Hope this helps!!
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:04 AM   #21
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Oh yeah, here's one more. Crazy selection, prices are good too http://www.prowireusa.com/


This article is full of good info for making bullet-proof harnesses. No one can afford to do everything they talk about, but good info. http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/wiring_ecu.html
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:06 AM   #22
spydrb8
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Hey dude, great seeing you at the autox this weekend, wish we had more time to chat. All of these links are super helpful and I'll probably start buying wire, fuses, and relays shortly.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:07 PM   #23
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Subscribed.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #24
icanfly
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ambrynmc!

Your last post was so absolutely helpful. Thank you for posting that information.
I am jumping into the part of my build right now and was looking for exactly what you posted!

cheers.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:11 PM   #25
spydrb8
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Time for some updates, bad and good.

The last autox was on 5/5 and I had a chance to play with the tire pressures again. Raised them up to 18psi front and 19psi rear, which made the front end stick soo much better than before. Unfortunately the rear was quite a bit more loose and I had a hard time keeping it under my thumb. I was running 2 drivers and towards the end of the group we were basically hot lapping the car to finish up, which meant we didn't change the tire pressures. When my co-driver was driving, I noticed the engine had a weird tone to it, and when I finally got to drive I felt it was down on power. Very noticeably down on power. It sounded like there was an exhaust leak, but this was something worse. You can hear in the video is sounds like 2 different sized engines running in sync making a weird harmonic. The video was my 3rd run, and I tried to get one more out of it but shut the car down half way through due to oil pressure loss. My guess is that one of the lobes on the cam is going flat which means I have to do a full tear down to fix it. I can't be too upset, that motor has seen over 4000 race miles without failure, and only got tune ups and oil changes. I also placed 1st in class on a double points event, and I happen to have an EJ257 sitting in the garage.

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