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Old 08-23-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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Default Finally building my "new" engine - DOHC heads on Phase II block

Last weekend I finally started to do the assembly of the "new" (rebuilt) engine that I'll probably be putting in my car either this weekend or next. This project dates back to Jan/Feb '07, when I pulled my original engine out of the car due to a leaking HG (compression in #3 was down to ~120). That engine was the stock Phase I shortblock with Cobb "stage 1" ported DOHC heads and "street" cams. With appropriate intake and exhaust, the engine made about 50% more power than stock at redline, so clearly the breathing mods had helped a lot.

I figured while the engine was coming out, I might as well upgrade and play around a bit. Keep in mind at the time the engine came out I already had an EZ30R and '06 STI 6MT sitting in my garage, but I wanted to play around with the EJ25 some more before those bits made it into the car, and I was still waiting for the EZ30R engine management situation to become more clear. So, I sent the heads off to TWE to be cleaned up and have their higher RPM valvetrain bits installed. I also had the intake ports gasket matched (I'm still not sure how wise a decision that was, as I think it will cost me some intake velocity, something that is important to maintain in a N/A application). I picked up a used Phase II shortblock and had it rebuilt with OEM 100mm pistons and lighter Oliver rods and lighter piston pins (both sourced from TWE). Using the thinner STI head gaskets the CR should be ~10.8:1, so a full point above stock. To take advantage of the revving ability afforded by the better valvetrain I had a spare ECU re-clocked to raise the rev limiter by 10% (to 7150rpm). By last fall I had all the parts on hand, but I was wrapping up at grad school and getting ready to change duty stations, so I just didn't get the engine put together.

All my stuff got packed up in late December '07, and then I didn't move into a new place until April '08. I didn't get my car moved across country until June (I think? maybe July?), but at long last I'm getting ready to throw things together.

I have a couple of spare intake manifolds, so I sent one of those off to Grimmspeed to be ported and polished. I plan to install the engine with an unported IM, then dyno that and swap to the PnP'd one to compare on the dyno. Should be interesting. Anyway, after getting the PnP'd intake back I figured I'd make it pretty, so last weekend I hit the auto parts store to try to decide how I wanted to paint it. I didn't want the engine to look like an STI poser, because it's clearly not an STI engine. But, I do like the color red, particularly with my silver car, so I picked up some Duplicolor Metalcast basecoat and red (Metalcast is good to 500degF and gives an anodized look) along with some regular red high temp engine enamel. I also grabbed some charcoal Duplicolor Metallic Textured (not rated for high temps, which is my one concern with using it - hopefully it'll hold up). The regular red engine enamal looked very STI-ish. The Metalcast red looks pretty frickin' cool - the only problem is that it's a different type of red compared to my Injen intake hoses and Samco radiator hoses, so I thought it would look a little funny. So, I decided to do the Metallic Textured, and I think it looks pretty badass. Here's what the intake manifold and one of the valve covers look like all painted up:





As you can see, I have the driver side head installed, and I got the oil pump pickup and oil pan installed last weekend. I also installed a new water pump, so that's good to go. I have all new idler pulleys (got them from Rock Auto - literally the exact same parts as OEM, but cost like 15-20% less!) This morning I headed over to Subie Gal's dealership to pick up some last gaskets and seals I was missing, so now it's time to change into some grungy working clothes and go finish the assembly job.

Once the old engine is out I'll need to swap over the coolant cross-over pipe (which I'll paint the same metallic dark grey), the oil pump, the OEM oil cooler, the accessories (I might paint those brackets, too - we'll see...), all the wiring harness and sensors, and the cam sprockets and crank sprocket.

Here's the complete specs / parts list:
- Phase II shortblock bored 0.5mm over (awww yeah, 1% bigger displacement!! )
- OEM 100mm pistons
- Oliver rods (stock 131.6mm length) and TWE piston pins (together about 100g lighter than stock, so rod/piston/pin is about 10% lighter than stock)
- ACL bearings
- N/A DOHC heads, Cobb ported (stage 1), intake ports gasket matched
- TWE valvesprings / Ti retainers
- Cobb "Street" cams
- Grimmspeed PnP'd intake manifold
- Bored out throttle body
- Injen CAI
- OBX header
- Hi-flow cat, 2.25" mid-pipe, Stromung axle-back
- Fidanza aluminum flywheel
- Re-clocked ECU, 7150rpm rev limit
- S-AFC

So, time to get to work.

Pat Olsen
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:13 PM   #2
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[Borat]Very nice.[/Borat]

What ECU did you have reclocked? Phase I or Phase II? If Phase I, then where did you get it done? I thought those models were too "dumb" to bother having reflashed, not to mention an issue with the PROM.

Looks good, and I'm eager to see the results. I'm elbow deep in my own work and a little more eager to see how that one turns out. Not to mention drive my car again.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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[Borat]Very nice.[/Borat]

What ECU did you have reclocked? Phase I or Phase II? If Phase I, then where did you get it done? I thought those models were too "dumb" to bother having reflashed, not to mention an issue with the PROM.

Looks good, and I'm eager to see the results. I'm elbow deep in my own work and a little more eager to see how that one turns out. Not to mention drive my car again.
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Old 08-23-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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^^^ You got a PM coming....

Jay
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:07 AM   #5
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Got the other valve cover painted up all purty and the passenger side head installed. I did find a problem with the cam bearing caps which has me wondering a bit, so I sent an email off to TWE to see if Tom remembers what he had done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnx03 View Post
[Borat]Very nice.[/Borat]

What ECU did you have reclocked? Phase I or Phase II? If Phase I, then where did you get it done? I thought those models were too "dumb" to bother having reflashed, not to mention an issue with the PROM.
It's not reflashed, it's just reclocked - actually changing the reference timing of the computer (in my simple layman's terms ). I got the idea and the name of the guy who did it from Jay Storm, who I think can do the same thing himself now.

Pat
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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Can't wait to see how this turns out. I was thinking about doing an NA build like this to my engine, but, we'll see. Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:39 AM   #7
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My ears are perked waiting for the results.

I wish I had a spare engine lying around and some cash to toss at it.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:58 AM   #8
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So, during disassembly I discovered not one, but two unfiltered, unmetered sources of air that my Injen CAI has been sucking in. I'm not sure for how long it's been doing so, but I think it's been a while. One of the breather hoses has a nice tear in it, and, more importantly, the actual intake tube has a big hole in it! Right where the bracket that attaches the tube to the intake manifold is welded in place the tube has cracked. My guess is that it was a fatigue issue, due to the vibration being transmitted through the ~6" long bracket.

What's strange is that, with the JDM engine in the car now, there wasn't any place to bolt that bracket to, so it's just been hanging out in mid-air, not attached to anything. That means the bracket/tube probably was cracked sometime last year before I put this JDM ebay special into the car. I don't know how I wouldn't have noticed it, though, so that makes me wonder if somehow I broke it after that. I'm not sure how I would've/could've done so, though.







And just to add to the weirdness, I found pretty much all of the intake manifold bolts finger tight. What the... ? Nobody to blame but myself for that one, but I don't know how the engine's been running so well for about a year. Strange.

Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 08-25-2008 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:11 AM   #9
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Wow. I'm glad you're finding this stuff out now...
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #10
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That bracket on the intake not attached to anything could have caused the crack to start because it had no support. That extra mass being cantilevered off the tube would be putting stresses all around the weld (or however its attached) especially when the engine is vibrating @ a low frequency like idle or slow 1st gear starts. Aluminum doesnt like that sort of thing at all. its fatigue life is quite short. Were you tuned to AFR's or just letting the ECU adjust for the unmetered air that you didnt know about?
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:54 PM   #11
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You should have gone for the purple valve covers.

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Old 08-26-2008, 02:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
That bracket on the intake not attached to anything could have caused the crack to start because it had no support. That extra mass being cantilevered off the tube would be putting stresses all around the weld (or however its attached) especially when the engine is vibrating @ a low frequency like idle or slow 1st gear starts.
Hmmm, I hadn't thought of it that way, but you may be right. That would explain why I didn't notice the crack in the tube when I did the last engine install - it wasn't there yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
Were you tuned to AFR's or just letting the ECU adjust for the unmetered air that you didnt know about?
A mix of both. The S-AFC is dyno tuned, but I think that mostly only affects fueling at WOT.

Pat
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:37 AM   #13
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Well, over time the ECU "should" adapt, so maybe it did....
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:43 AM   #14
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The latest "problem" - my intake manifold(s) don't fit! I have to elongate the bolt holes towards the center of the engine so I can bolt the manifold in place. I think the difference is the thinner head gaskets I'm using - they're nearly 1mm thinner than the OEM DOHC gaskets. The block has never been decked, nor have the heads, so the only difference should be the head gaskets. There's just not enough slop in the bolt holes on the intake manifold to make up for that ~2mm. I was a bit surprised to find that out!

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Old 08-28-2008, 08:14 AM   #15
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How thin of a head gasket are we talking about here?

What year manifold are you using?
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:40 AM   #16
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The HGs I'm using are the STI head gaskets, which are 0.5mm thick. I also have a set of the N/A DOHC HGs (that came with the engine rebuild gasket set) and they're something like 1.4mm thick. They're also noticeably heavier, because that extra thickness is a layer of steel. I was actually pretty surprised at the difference in weight - I wouldn't be surprised if it's a pound per gasket!

The intake is just a normal DOHC intake. Both the USDM ones and the JDM one have the same bolt line-up issue.

Here's a shot of the USDM DOHC intake on the JDM engine sitting in the car. This is with a bolt at all 4 corners of the manifold threaded into the holes just to hold the manifold in place:


Here's the same manifold on the Phase II block with thin HGs. 2 bolts are threaded in on the driver side flange, but the 2 passenger side ones won't go. You can see there's a bit of a visible lip where the intake rests on the head, because the whole flange of the IM is shifted outward a bit. In the next pic you can see the bolt hole misalignment.



Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 08-28-2008 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:22 AM   #17
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I've built a couple of these and used the phase I gaskets out of concern for timing issues.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:05 AM   #18
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Pat, the STi gaskets are going to be too thin for the phase I block. At TDC, the pistons protrude dangerously close to the thickness of the gaskets. I did this not too long ago and ended up with a knocking motor. I had to go back to OEM thickness.

I think .027" would be the thinnest I would go.....I seem to remember the pistons coming up about .010-.015" over the deck. I made a few comments about it in other threads a few months back or last winter anyway.....

Jay
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:40 PM   #19
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will the outlet of the manifold and the inlet on the head be aligned close enough to keep turbulence to a minimum? Are you gasket matching to the ports? looks like you have plenty of material there to elongate those holes, so thats good!
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
I've built a couple of these and used the phase I gaskets out of concern for timing issues.
Hmmm, hadn't really thought of that. But I think (based on no actual attempt to calculate what those differences might be) that the gains due to higher CR will offset any performance lost due to timing issues. I hope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm View Post
Pat, the STi gaskets are going to be too thin for the phase I block. At TDC, the pistons protrude dangerously close to the thickness of the gaskets. I did this not too long ago and ended up with a knocking motor. I had to go back to OEM thickness.

I think .027" would be the thinnest I would go.....I seem to remember the pistons coming up about .010-.015" over the deck. I made a few comments about it in other threads a few months back or last winter anyway.....

Jay
It's a Phase II block, so I should be good to go there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
will the outlet of the manifold and the inlet on the head be aligned close enough to keep turbulence to a minimum? Are you gasket matching to the ports?
There'll be a bit of a lip there, which is disappointing, but I'm not motivated enough to try to fix that. The heads and the runners of the intake have both been opened out to the gasket size. Actually, I think the intake runners are a little short of that, so it might line up just by chance.

Pat
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:56 AM   #21
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^^^^ phew!......In that case, I'd just open the holes up s'more. The lip shouldn't hurt anything. There's a big enough lip on the stock stuff, that whatever you end up with shoudn't matter.

You'll be able to see exactly how the cam timing is effected when you install the belt. The marks may be slightly off. ( < .25 degree)

Jay
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:29 AM   #22
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I've been working entirely too much the past couple weeks, and was in at work both days last weekend, so I finally got back to the engine today. I actually did a couple of hours of work during the week, out in the garage from 10pm until 11:30ish, so I did make some progress before today. I had pulled the Ebay engine, transferred the motor mounts over to the new engine, and a couple other little odds and ends like that.

Today I removed the clutch, flywheel, and oil separator plate from the old engine to be ready to transfer to the new one. I got the oil pump installed, along with a new front main seal. I then installed the timing belt, and as I was putting on the front timing cover I realized I had never gone back and torqued the oil pump bolts. Newman! (I use Ultra Grey on the oil pump and oil separator plate rather than "Fujibond". You're supposed to tighten it until the stuff starts to squeeze out, then go back and hour later and do the final tightening. I forgot that hour later part... ) So, off came the timing belt, I torqued the oil pump, then reinstalled the timing belt and put the front timing covers on. I also successfully elongated the bolt holes on both intake manifolds (one stock, one ported and gasket matched), so those are ready to go.

Sunday I need to rearrange all the crap lying around the garage a bit so I can move the new engine over and get it onto the engine hoist. I'll install the separator plate, flywheel, and clutch, and then it should be ready to drop into the car. Hopefully I'll be able to get everything back together Sunday and actually get the thing started. We'll see...

Pat
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:10 AM   #23
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Patrick, I am doing a similar build to yours except mine is using all stock parts for now...98 Legacy DOHC heads/intake on the 05 Phase 2 shortblock.

I am keeping a very close eye on what you have done and what the power numbers come out of it for future reference...

Since cost is also of interest, about how much do you have tied up in the work done to the heads, out of curiosity?

Also I noticed that there was a comment about the STi hg being too thin to use with the Phase 1 block but apparently ok for the Phase 2. I'm assuming that means the pistons don't come out as far on the Phase 2 meaning, in turn, that I should expect to see a drop in compression from what the Phase 2 had originally when I put the DOHC heads onto the Phase 2 block??? If so how much could I regain by using the STi hg like you are using? Is there a difference in the cc numbers between the SOHC heads and the DOHC heads that might be enough to also figure into a difference in cr over the original SOHC engine? Even though it is a "stock" build, every little bit helps, ya know.

Since I have no porting, matching or mods done to the ports, I don't know how much of a port mismatch I'd get mounting the intake manifold using the thin gaskets and widening the manifold bolt holes though could do a little rematching of the ports to fix it if I did.

Thanks and I wil be watching with interest...

Les
Moberly, MO

Last edited by HillbillyLes; 09-17-2008 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:46 PM   #24
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Les - Download this spreadsheet and it will let you play with the combinations and see what CR comes out to. I got that from TWE a year or so ago and Tom Penner said he didn't mind if I shared it around.

You're right, the Phase II pistons don't protrude from the block at TDC like the Phase I pistons do, but when you factor in the different combustion chamber volumes and piston dish volumes it all works out.

I really don't think there's enough of an overlap/misalignment issue with the thin HGs to cause any sort of flow issues, particularly with stock parts. The stock runner outlets are quite a bit smaller than the ports in the heads (from what I recall), so that < 1mm offset shouldn't matter.

Pat
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #25
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Thanks for the info...I'll check it out. I think my biggest question was about what differences there are between the SOHC and DOHC heads combustion chamber cc and between the DOHC and SOHC piston dome/dish/valve relief cc differences. I don't have any data as far as combustion chamber cc for the SOHC or DOHC heads nor do I have any info on either block/piston relative to cc space (dome, dish, valve relief, piston distance from the edge of the deck at TDC, etc)...I'm sure for your program I will need those numbers since you can't figure cr without having the total combustion chamber space at tdc...

Secondly, I suppose I am back to where I was...I spent roughly $150 and 9 hours on the road yesterday to go get heads/intake/stuff from a "10.000 mile" DOHC engine that developed a knock and the guy was parting out on E-Bay....He claimed all was there and ready to be installed and run.....after getting home last night at 9:30 I found out NOT!! Sure the heads had been cleaned and the base head doesn't LOOK bad but there is about 1/4" gunk under the valve covers (Waaaay more than 10.000 miles worth), one of the heads had the cams out and one cam has two worn out lobes and the bearing cap bolts are missing (so cannot even be re-assembled), 3 valve bucket shims are missing, 2 of the cam timing gears are either chipped or teeth are broken and COULD be used (maybe) but probably not if reliability is a goal (which it is), the intake manifold has been spray painted with silver paint...over the cable remnants and hoses, the throttle body is so gunked up it is hard to open and sticks open....again not even CLOSE to 10,000 miles and definitely NOT "mount and go" ready!

So, in essence, to get the engine replaced I STILL am going to have to find a good (actually assembled and usable) set of DOHC heads - fairly low mileage to go on the 30K mile block, cam timing gears, and a usable DOHC intake (complete) in order to even start thinking about finishing this.....This is starting to really get old. The car is my daily driver so the frustration level bites, I have been trying to get this done since the first of July!

Sorry about the rant but every time I think I am getting somewhere and start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, it winds up backfiring or costing more money and time...and in the end assuming I get it pulled together, the only advantage I will realize (hopefully) is the increased reliability of having a newer SOHC shortblock....NO power increase, no efficiency increase, no 'pretty stuff'.....

I suppose since I can't do anything to the engine I might as well just do more research...I will check out the compression ratio thing if I can get the chamber and cc numbers and possibly when I get some money and can find the parts I need from somewhere affordable I will decide if I want to go with the STi hg for at least a little boost in CR.



Les
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