Update! Actually have some progress done! We'll turn this into cat/dog chat eventually, maybe once the car is done.
For an 11 year old subframe, it's not that bad. But still, some flaking rust here and there and I've got the 05 bits sitting right there so those are the ones getting the refresh.
Another Organized mess, not all pictured but an all out assault with hammers, breaker bar, cheater bar, electric impact, penetrating fluids and a torch to get things nice and hot.
Also, it's time to unveil the clutch:
Competition Clutch Stage 3 Segmented Ceramic Clutch - rated for 500wtq. Should leave a little room for future upgrades, and hopefully isn't a terrible chore to drive around town.
Dirty as hell rear of the motor, gave it a "I don't care" spray down with some no residue cleaner and called it a day.
Fancy brand new ACT Streetlight flywheel
First time going with something other than a full face organic disk, lets see how I like it.
And finally the snazzy pressure plate, just look how thick that thing is.
And we hit a snag. The WRX/non-turbo both use 6 bolts to hold the PP on, the STI uses 9 bolts. I have another set of bolts but there currently MIA as well as the ACT Flywheel, PP, and Clutch from before I went the turbo swap route, my guess is there somewhere cozy together. Either way, I'm waiting until Monday to get these bolts in, so playing with the rear subframe/suspension it is for the rest of the week. Decide to order the full set of bolts for the flywheel and pressure plate, since I'm already in there it's cheap enough insurance to avoid a flywheel or PP coming apart and venturing into the outside world while at redline or something. Better safe then sorry and I'd kick myself (if I still had legs after) if it would catastrophically fail because of some stupid relatively inexpensive bolts.
Loaded up the subframe and whatnot, borrowed a sandblaster from a friend, and wen't to another friends garage because he's got a nice big 80/100 gallon compressor.
First time ever sandblasting and holy ****, this is nowhere as easy as it looks. Had to do on the hottest day of the week too, temps were up around 32*C and felt like 38*C with the humidity, which is only 100*F for you guys in the US but we're not used to that heat in the frozen north.
After getting part of the subframe done and one or two suspension parts I ran out of blasting medium and with how exhausted I was from the heat and how hard it was trying to keep hydrated, I decided I'd call it a day and just get them professionally sandblasted. Off I went to Winnipeg Sandlbasting (Very creative name, but there's something to say about being nice and direct) and two days later, I pick up my parts
Don't remember this dent in the subframe, but oh well, no idea when it happened or if it was like that when I pulled it off of the 05.
SOOO NICE AND CLEAN!
In the mean time, I started installing some of the little parts that aren't difficult to do but take up time like the ALK, master cylinder brace, sway links, etc.
There is a lot of crap in the way for this installation, it looks like there is, but really there isn't.
And the timing belt is back on, with the fancy new FU bolts in place, and damn this is a pain in the ass to do when you don't have the subaru cam holder tool. Definitely a two person job if you value your sanity and don't have the tool.
Also, the list of things wrong with the Altima is growing longer. Both sway links have let go and were making a terrible knocking noise, so after an attempt to unbolt the sway bar which just resulted in the welded on mounting bolts just spinning in their bracket, I took a sawzall and cut it off at the brackets. One step closer to being a rally car.
And now back to the Baja, more shiny new parts!
I messed up the balljoint boots when I was removing the front control arms to do the Whiteline ALK and changing the front bushing for a polyurethane one. So instead of going with a sensible Moog or other replacement, Whiteline Roll Center adjustment kit it is. Yeah, I know, I'm a bit of a Whiteline Whore. Also figured since I've got the '13 STI trans in there, might as well get a '13 STI Badge, still haven't figured out where I want to put it though.
To remove the old and busted I borrowed this awesome tool from a local subaru enthusiast. Brand new, never used in the original box. Seriously turned a couple potential hours of swearing and cocking about with hammers and chisels into a quick and easy 5 min job. The right tool for the right job owns.
In the mean time, while the parts were all sandblasted and getting ready for paint, I had a friend help who has a home made 50 ton press to press out all the old bushings. There was a lot of mucking about with the old bushings, and pressing the new ones in wasn't that simple either for some of them. The 4 big subframe bushings in the rear for example were fused/rusted into the brackets that hold them and required cutting off the collar on the bushings and a lot of persuasion to come out. The rear outrigger bushings for the diff also put up a fight, from being awkward to push out in the first place, and with pressing in since apparently the spaces where the bushings go turn oval once you press the old ones out, best guess is the heat from the welding at the factory distorted the metal so it goes oval once there's no bushing forcing it to be circular.
To not tie up room at his personal shop, I had them pressed out and in at the same time, so come paint I had to work around the new bushings. Oh well, a little paint won't hurt them. Did the full anal-retentive Por15 prepwork with their cleaner/degreaser and the metal prep spray even though the parts are freshly sandblasted, figured I don't want to do it again so might as well go all out and drink the cool-aid on this one and do it the way they recommend. Once it was all painted, did a few coats of Eastwoods internal frame coat on all the cavity sections of the frame and suspension bits, and went to the garage to empty out the can on the various cavities for the built-in frame rails on the car itself. Crossing my fingers that all this **** works on stopping/delaying rust.
And since the control arms were off anyway (actually put them back on but I'm already painting everything so what's another few mins of work to take them back off again.
Now, since all this crap is getting a nice few coats of paint and I have to wait for it to cure, I have to address the two stuck bolts in the back before this can all go back in. I hate those two bolts. The one that snapped off flush with the body was fun to deal with. Bought a set of left hand drills and while they're great at drilling, they didn't do the nice catch and back out the bolt, honestly with how stuck they were I'm not surprised. Ended up drilling it out to just under the width of bolt that used to be there and grabbed a tap and re-threaded the hole. This whole process is summed up in a nice little sentence, but damn is it ever an annoying tedious process that's nerve racking since trying to hold a drill level and going in straight while laying under the car is not a simple task. Still amazed that it worked out as well as it did. Was really thinking I'd have to get a timesert/helicoil/permacoil or whatever.
Well, one down, one to go, and it's good n' stuck. Tried threading the rod and using two nuts to spin it out like you would with an exhaust stud, and nope. First the wrench opens up instead of turning, so I undo both nuts and put them on with the box end of the wrench already on the bolt, and that just results in the threads on the nut stripping out completely, on a 19mm nut. Once that failed, I grab a pipe wrench and try to turn the bolt, nope. It just pulls off a layer of metal from the bolt as it spins around it. Next, I grab the dremel with a cutting wheel and cut 4 flat faces on the bolt to help the wrench grab something. Nope, doesn't work. Tried using the bolt out sockets before but they just spun out on the bolt. Well, now since the bolt was threaded at the end, it actually grabbed hold, and with a liberal application of penetrating fluid over the course of a few days, and as much heat as I could put into it with a propane torch, and a 6ft+ cheater bar, the bolt turns! Got it turn a few times, each time it clicks and snaps, going 1/8th of a turn at a time. And then this:
So I pull out the stud from the bolt-out socket and keep going, applying more and more penetrating fluid each time. 1/8th of a turn at a time the bolt cracks at each try. On the last few threads, it comes out smoothly, although with much resistance.
AND. IT. CAME. OUT.
Holy ****, what a PITA.
So then, back to more enjoyable parts of working on this Subaru. Picked up some shfancy gloves
As it sat in eager wait of the new trans
My superfancy high precision high tech tool for keeping the motor tilted back a bit to make it easier to slip the trans on.
The New Hotness almost in it's rightful place
Bonus shot of the Whiteline Roll Center adjustment kit and a hint of the Racecomp Engineering Coilovers.
And it went in, no pics yet though. The trans was sitting too high (used the 5spd GroupN mount and the STI trans crossmember which causes the trans to sit a full inch higher in the trans tunnel than the Baja one does. I did not know this at the time and as such had a huge hassle to get the shifter assembly bolted up properly and ran into an issue where the shifter linkage would interfere with the trans tunnel and thus was jammed. Resolved this problem with a small spacer on the trans crossmember bolts and modifying the rear shifter stay so that the shifter would sit a touch lower. Found out what my real problem was when I was putting in the driveshaft, it interfered with the shifter and at that point I checked the two mounts side by side. Now I've got the Baja trans crossmember with no spacers in there (rebuilt it using the bushings and bolts from the STI one) and now there's enough clearance for everything. Would have saved some effort if I had double checked jut how big of a difference there was between the two trans crossmembers.
And we run into another issue. The driveshaft is too short.
Options are either a custom driveshaft which is $$$$, an auto driveshaft from an Outback/Baja but it might still be wrong and it's weaker and the flange is for an R160 instead of the R180 that's sitting in the back, or building a custom spacer since the STI shaft is a two piece design and inserting it lengthen the current driveshaft. I'm going with option 3 and the same friend with the backyard machine shop will be helping to fabricate this spacer. Looks like we're going with 4140 high strength steel.
And finally, to end of a good note, the back end is all back together and ready to rock. Forcing stiff bushings into the proper brackets and then getting the bolts to go through was a fun fight, liberal use of hammers and used punches (the tool, not my fists) to line up the holes in brackets to the bushings before forcing a bolt through. So many times I'd have most of it together and then take it apart again to fit an axle or fit a bolt that has to go through first because it's too long to snake in once the part bracket is in the proper place. Thankfully the other side went much quicker once I remembered what the proper order of bolting everything back up was. Also, drum brakes are FUN to work on. Damn little springs love flying across the room when they slip out of the pliers you're using to stretch them.
Really should have Por15'd the swaybar while I was at it, the rust on the bolts and that bar really stand out against the shiny black bits. On the plus side, everything works back here and should be better than new now.
And that's all for now.