Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Barbbachello
Learner Driver
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby Barbbachello » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:53 am

Hi guys,

Ive been browsing this forum a bit lately and thought it was time I posted up my story and build. I own a 1998 white Liberty RX. It started life with a 2.5NA with a blown headgasket (not surprisingly), trashed body, beige interior that had been smoked in and just generally rough everywhere else. This will be a bit of a copy paste from Subyclub where my main build thread is but youll get the idea.


Engine:
V4 STi Conversion
VF23
AVO Silicone Intake
DW200
GD WRX metal BOV
Xforce Bellmouth Dump
3" TBE
Alloy Radiator
Grimmspeed AOS
PSR EL Headers
Halfmoon Sump
ARC Super Air Induction Box (Dose Box)
Driveline:
V4 STi Driveline (4.44 close ratio gearbag, R160 Viscous LSD)
Suspension and Wheels:
BC BR Coilovers
STi pillowball lateral and trailing links
Whiteline 22mm Rear sway bar
HD rear swaybar links
Advan RG 17x7.5 +48
Achilles ATR Sport 2 215/45
Whiteline rear camber bolts
2.7 STi Steering Rack
Brakes:
4/2 Pots
Slotted front rotors
Exterior:
GTB Limited Front bar
Legacy bootlid and rear garnish
GTB Projectors
G-Square Fender Trims - In storage for now
Interior:
S401 Momo steering wheel
JDM RS Camo interior
Legacy facelift switches
Legacy steel scuff plates
Legacy floor mats
AEM Wideband
Prosport Halo Boost Gauge
Kapp Industries Fire Extinguisher Bracket + Fire Extinguisher
STi red stitch shift knob
Redline Goods red stich shift boot
Soon.jpg
ESL ECU
AM Auto twist mount
Front mount

The beginning:
The story begins a few months ago when Ty announced he had just bought another white gen 2 RX for $500 with a blown headgasket and didnt know whether to part it or fix it for his missus to use a sheet daily. I suggested he part it as I wanted the climate control and all those neat bits that are a pain to assemble without a complete car to pinch from. Someone then had the smart idea of swapping cars. We/Id fix up the RX and swap in all my good bits, return my current car to stock and he gets my car. Genius. It later turned into swapping the current owners RSK engine out and getting the car for payment. So after 2 months of pestering Ty to pick it up, it has finally happened today! Ive joined the white crowd!
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She needs a lot of work but im looking forward to basically stripping it down and rebuilding it. Engine is smooth and strong and is noticeably better than my asthmatic 2.2; even with nearly 300k kms
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Needs some body work but will probably just get them from a wrecker.
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Also needs a very good wash inside and out. Has been sitting for a while so the outside is covered in paperbark leaves. Previous owner was a smoker so entire interior will be getting stripped and swapped for my interior. Dat cream tho
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Will be dying the headliner and carpets black most likely to freshen it up.
What this is all for
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Barbbachello
Learner Driver
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Re: Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby Barbbachello » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:55 am

I got stuck into stripping and removing the engine. Keeping in mind this was my first solo engine removal let alone head gasket job, but I was confident and asked lots of questions, after doing my own research and searching first.

Ok so a lot happened today. Engine came out with relative ease. Only tricky bit was the drivers side bottom gearbox nut but we got it in the end
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Dirty engine bay is dirty
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Started tearing engine down and things started to go down hill. This engine has definitely been apart before and whoever did it made an absolute meal out of it. Straight off the bat there was 2 forked cam cap bolts. One is totally rooted and needed vice grips.
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The other is still rooted but came off with some careful socket work.
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The next part was done by me sort of. Front cam bolt snapped >: (. That said i put so little effort into cracking the bolt im blaming the peanut who assembled it who probably over tightened it.
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Removing the head bolts and heads themselves was a doddle and good god head bolts smell weird. The heads themselves smelt like an egg fart but the bolts smelt like rancid tomato sauce?
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Heres where I need some help as this is my first time doing any sort of work like this. 3 cylinder bores have rust? marks in them
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Is this a headgasket thing? Is the block still fine to use or is it :fork: d? The engine, apart from the over heating ran fine before hand. What should I be doing about the cam bolt? Obviously it needs to come out but whats the best approach? Drill out etc or new head perhaps?

Heres a photo of the rest of the parts cos why not. Clutch has loads of meat on it thankfully
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Barbbachello
Learner Driver
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Re: Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby Barbbachello » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:58 am

More cleaning and crap today inbetween studying. Intake manifold has another 24 hours of setting but im very happy with it. Looked cartoony red while painting but has darkend nicely.
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Valve covers were FILTHY and ive ran out of desgreaser so theyll have to wait. Will be getting a wrinkle coat in black for sweg/to hide any more black stuff the engine spooges out
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Had the heads decked as the engine had overheated
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Well today went about as well as I was expecting. Made a call to Subaru and ordered some parts I need. Nothing in stock locally but will be ready for tomorrow so thats ok. Cleaned up the block which also went fine
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That stuff will not come off but w/e. Then I bolted the heads on. Those bolts get tight quickly after you back them off 1 full turn. Was hard work.
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I set about reinstalling the passenger side cams. This warning on the assembly lube made me feel good :|
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Hence the gloves
Thennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn i realised the machinist hadn't gotten the bolt out that I snapped. Balls and ass. Gave up and moved to the drivers side where things went fine. Im a bit dubious about the cam positioning but ive set it so that the back of the cam lobe is against the lifter
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Fun times. If i dont post anything else its because my parents have killed me when they find out im doing it in the drive way lmao

Barbbachello
Learner Driver
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Re: Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby Barbbachello » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:01 am

Big ish day on the tools today. Old man river came round in the morning and got the broken cam cap bolt out with no dramas. Mad. Put the cams into the passenger side head and then had a oh crap moment when i thought i put the cams in the wrong sides. But consulting the manual proved i was ok. Managed to get the cam gears all lined up with some anxious effort.
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My mate Will came round again and we resealed the rear separator plate with a donated alloy one. I put in the rear main and then discovered it isnt meant to go all the way home -_-. Good thing Subaru USA dun goofed and sent us like 5 for some reason lol. (Ash ill be coming to Tys place soon). We then torqued down the cam gears once we remembered the cams themselves have a hex section to clamp them down.

Then the battle with the timing belt began. I think we did it about 5 times. We'd get the last gear on and then see its 1 tooth off. Etc etc you know how it goes.
:fork: ing cubt
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Cant imagine having to do it with the engine in the car. Passenger side valve cover isnt sealed up because i lost the spark plug gaskets so they will be done in the car.

Engine will hopefully be going in the car tomorrow then can put it all back together. Aiming for first start on tuesday.

The engine is in!!!! Ended up replacing an idler that was a bit dodgy and put in new tensioner that we compressed properly. Re timed it and gave it a few cranks with a socket, no grinding or bad noises and still has compression so thats a relief. .Got the rear main seal out that i put in too far which was a real pain and replaced it with a spare from me and Tys US order. Then put the fly and clutch back on.
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Ended up having to rent an engine host, $66 for 24 hours so quite reasonable. Getting the damn engine back on the gear box was a real pain as expected. Had to giggle the tail shaft to get everything lined up but some good swear words and a lot of fiddling got it all together. We bolted the exhaust headers on and the up thing as theyre a pain to do when the engine is bolted down. Tomorrow the puzzle of putting it all back together begins. Also went to super cheap and got osme new hoses for things that snapped. Hopefully we can start it tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Barbbachello
Learner Driver
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Re: Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby Barbbachello » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:06 am

Huge day today. Put the manifold and got rid of the parts pile in the boot, flushed the radiator and changed the oil.
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Cranked her over with no plugs to build some oil pressure. Then cranked it with the plugs. Fired straight up! No ticks, no knocks, smooth idle. Winning. Had a few issues with a coolant leak that I didnt tighten a hose clamp down enough but fixed that. Had a big air pocket that stopped the heater working but we bled it for ages and fixed that too.
[youtube]https://youtu.be/I-Pne347vX8[/youtube]
Shut the bonnet for the first time in 2 weeks and started to pack up the tools.
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Then i came back from our weekly meet and found a pool of coolant under the middle of the car. First thought was oh fork the head gaskets are leaking. Climbed under and it seems like the water pump or something in that area. Dicks.
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Big day on the tools for the first time in a while. New pump, gasket and thermostat went on. Old pump was slightly warped so thats why it refused to seal >_>. Had the peanut gallery plus Ty round to help and as expected it flew apart and flew back together. Shes all buttoned up and bled now. Few trickles from the top rad hose which has a small cut in it, its super crusty so could do with replacing anyway. She also needs a battery. Other than that shes sweet. I actually like the buttony clutch once its moving. Looking forward to replacing the shifter bushes and going for a proper row through the gears. Anyway onto the necessary pictures

Shiny new pump with scungy thermostat housing
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Peanut gallery at work. Old man river showed up with even more children. Was more like a day care than a workshop
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Drippy rad hose
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All sealed up and parked the right way round in the driveway for the first time in 3 months
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Feelsgoodman.jpg
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Stay tuned for roadworthy news and skids

And thanks to Ty for helping massively, even if i did try and crush you between 2 gen 2s :P

Barbbachello
Learner Driver
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Re: Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby Barbbachello » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:17 am

I drove it NA while waiting to come off my P's. In the mean time i swapped all the goodies over from the silver GX in the background. BBS wheels, coilovers, 4/2 pots, STi rear arms etc etc.

A year and a bit past. One afternoon while at uni a silver gen 3 wagon came up at the salvage auctions. It had a EJ20K conversion with all the GTB fruit as well! I managed to win it for a little over $2000
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Long story short i took the engine and drivetrain out, sold the gen 3 and GTB parts as well as the haltech Sport 1000 that was running it! And converted my liberty to V4 STi spec :cheer: . The GTB parts paid for the major service and bits and pieces I needed during the conversion so the only money I spent was to buy the donor in the end
Assorted pics off the proccess
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User avatar
sacar-1
Impreza RS Driver
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Glen Wav

Re: Barbbachello's 98 Liberty RX

Postby sacar-1 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:43 pm

A+ for effort :thumbs:
2004 Wrx Sti SE040R (1 of 9 left?)
2002 bug hatch with Sti Conversion

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