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Old 12-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need some advice: Subaru Forester Possibilities

Hey all,

So, my great uncle has apparently killed his Subaru Forester's motor (I'm unsure of the year), and there is the slim possibility I can talk him into letting me have it rather than scrapping it if he doesn't get it fixed.

Technically speaking, it'd be very easy for me to get a replacement motor, even go crazy and stuff a Legacy/STI motor in there and have a sleeper. That said, I'm already doing performance work on my Corolla, so why reinvent the wheel? I could really use the beauty of Subaru's AWD, plus the Forester's room and cargo space. Subbies are not known (generally) as high efficiency vehicles, though.

On one episode of Top Gear (S12E4), though, an 'efficiency race' as it were, in which James May chose a Subaru Legacy powered by some sort of Eco-Diesel engine. AFAIK, this doesn't even EXIST in the US, and if it does, I've never heard of it, but it should be possible to import the engine and its associated bits (harness, ECU, etc). If I can get everything I need, I should subsequently also be able to convert that over to bio-diesel, perhaps with some aftermarket kit, and run it for all the distance I want with either bio or dino. In the episode, it got around 50mpg+, which on bio would be very efficient as well as being green.

I'm wondering, what's your opinion on this potential project? Some questions I'm trying to answer here would be:

- Is this a fairly solid plan in your mind? Feasible, reasonably priced, and economical?

- What alternatives might you suggest if not the diesel? EV is out, I don't have the money, time, knowledge, or workspace.

- Any other comments or thoughts?

Thanks all!

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I REALLY wanted to put a 1.4L turbo diesel in a Tercel/Paseo (heck, I still do). They have them everywhere but in the US. It would have gotten me up into the 60-70 mpg range I believe pretty easily. The main thing that stopped me was that if I was going to build a car for fuel economy I was going to plan on keeping it for quite a while. Well, things get old and break and I really didn't love the idea of waiting weeks for parts and paying shipping up the wazoo to get them here. That is ultimately what stopped me from what would have been a really fun project car.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
I REALLY wanted to put a 1.4L turbo diesel in a Tercel/Paseo (heck, I still do). They have them everywhere but in the US. It would have gotten me up into the 60-70 mpg range I believe pretty easily. The main thing that stopped me was that if I was going to build a car for fuel economy I was going to plan on keeping it for quite a while. Well, things get old and break and I really didn't love the idea of waiting weeks for parts and paying shipping up the wazoo to get them here. That is ultimately what stopped me from what would have been a really fun project car.
Thanks Tim. I miss my Terc, and the glory days of TO. Haven't been there in years, wonder how things are. Truth told though, you were right about things breaking with age and such, and I really needed a whole new Terc body if I wanted to have it around for a while.

The nice thing about the Subaru like I said is the utility factor, and if you have an engine that's getting you 50MPG to top it off, well, how can you go wrong, right?

I mean, I could use a winter beater regardless, and cutting down on the mileage as well as being able to take the Corolla out of service temporarily for repair/mods would be nice. If I could manage to swing getting this car, plus even a generic replacement engine, nevermind the diesel, I'd have a great car with great utility that could kick winter's ass while being cheaper than a used Kia, lol.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you could get the Subaru Boxer Diesel back there, it would be perfect. If not, you could still fit either a Volkswagen TDI or another small Diesel such as a Kubota V-2203 on it.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, it seems that there may be something to this in terms of possibility and potential! I'm very excited - it seems someone is already importing the Subaru Diesel EE20 engine!!! It's a "thing" on the rotary wing aircraft circuit. I don't know anything about prices yet, but if experience with various JDM engines says anything, I figure it should max out at around $2,000.

Also, talked to my uncle. He said if he goes to junk it and they only want to give him like $100 or something stupid, he'll just give it to me, but he might try one of those charities. If they offer him like $500 or something, he'll take that. I'll see if I can swing getting him the $500 personally, since, for a shell of a car from that era, that's still a bargain.

He's a heavy smoker, so I would need to disassemble that thing, wash the upholstery, maybe even replace the carpet, scrub down the interior, and probably disassemble and wash the HVAC ducts and such, since all that stuff is going to be thoroughly contaminated by smoke, but it'll be well worth that Downy fresh car smell. :P

I can also try rebuilding the existing engine, since I have no idea what was actually done to it, and then take my time importing the Diesel. Anyway, here's some links regarding this:

Boxer Diesel Import - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

Subaru 2.0 liter Boxer Diesel Engine - Page 2 - Rotary Wing Forum

EE20 Engine Info | Subaru Diesel Crew

WANT!!!
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, and here comes the hitch! The engine imported and with all necessary parts is, wait for it, $5,000-8,000. Umm, noooo...

So, it looks like I'll just try to rebuild the existing engine and maybe modify it to use a larger turbo/IC, and get some nice power out of it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It would still worth to try a Volkswagen TDI swap


Quote:
Originally Posted by ncc74656m View Post
He's a heavy smoker, so I would need to disassemble that thing, wash the upholstery, maybe even replace the carpet, scrub down the interior, and probably disassemble and wash the HVAC ducts and such, since all that stuff is going to be thoroughly contaminated by smoke, but it'll be well worth that Downy fresh car smell. :P
If you would need to disassemble the interior trim, why not to consider replacing the carpet with a washable vinyl floor lining.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It would still worth to try a Volkswagen TDI swap




If you would need to disassemble the interior trim, why not to consider replacing the carpet with a washable vinyl floor lining.
If I can find it at a reasonable price, sure, might consider it. As for the TDI, well, that requires a whole lot more custom fab work, which I don't have the ability to do really. I'd still consider it, but who knows.

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