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Thread: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

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    Super Moderator Dead91silvia's Avatar
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    Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    Ok... So smart ass Reuben Called it, I lost a bearing in the GT-B today. I have an extra EJ20R in the shop, but the history is not well known. I was told its god, but I'm not 100% positive it is.

    I have a slight knock above 3K. No metallics in the oil, so the heads and most everything is still good.

    I'm on a budget.... (LOL... I own a JDM Subaru in America and I'm on a budget... hahahahaha )

    I need to know what will be reliable, tunable, or cheap. What will interchange with keeping the twins yet keep from killing the bottom end.

    Should I just rebuild the EJ20R with better stuff or stuff a new motor in it and call it good?

    This is all for the GT-B, so I want to keep it at the power it had, yet maybe give it a little more if I'm gonna do all this damn work to it.

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    Re: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    Play with the crank and pistons a bit, on your other ej20R. See if there's any in/out crank play- (if you can detect any by hand, that's too much).

    Move a piston to TDC, then rotate the crank a little more till the piston starts to retract. Hold the crank in place and push against that piston - if it drops any amount, that rod bearing is shot. Repeat for the rest of the pistons.

    Assuming the block passes the above with flying colors, and there's very very little to no major bearing material in the oil pan, the block is prob in good shape.

    For tuning, there's standalones of course, but another option I recently became aware of is an ESL board. It's a live tunable, and anyone with a laptop and an open mind can in theory tune. They did mention making them for TT's. I believe your ecu should be a 3-plug, ala ej20k style?

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    Re: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    Throw a stock ej22t bottom end in there and call it a day.
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    Re: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevC
    Throw a stock ej22t bottom end in there and call it a day.
    Then you'll have a CR of around 7.1:1, from 8.5 or 9:1 stock.

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    Re: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    Quote Originally Posted by doggone_doglegs
    Quote Originally Posted by DevC
    Throw a stock ej22t bottom end in there and call it a day.
    Then you'll have a CR of around 7.1:1, from 8.5 or 9:1 stock.
    Good point, not sure if the 20r is similar to the 20h which I found a bit laggy around town as it was.
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    Re: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    I'm going to be checking out my extra EJ20R as soon as I finish my customers HG's on his BD.

    I did look into machine work on the bottom end and it's about $400, so I might look into doing that and see if there is a way to make the mains a little stronger.

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    Re: Dead EJ20R-What are the build options?

    Well, if you think the twin turbo is a selling point and wish to keep it, options are simple.

    Easiest to keep it 2L. You can maybe run 2.2, but that's pushing it, and will mess with the tune. 2.5 will just detonate the moment you hit 7500, so that's ruled out.

    Long block swapping, you have two option, keep it pre Phase-II (so inline bolt pattern for the manifold), or convert the manifold to suit staggered pattern. If you do that, you need to make sure you can use the original crank sprocket and cam pulleys, so no AVCS.

    It's easiest to short block swap. As long as you match compression, or lower it, you can roll with anything.

    Rebuilding the original could to be cheapest option, slap some new big ends in, new piston rings for good measure, but the old cast jobbies develop slap around the 150,000 km mark, so you could do those to. Sticking with cast would be good for daily driven, forgies good for the weekend car.

    If you're up for short block swapping, EJ208 from BH5A and B is 8.5: compression, cast pistons, but yeah, good luck finding a short block without heads from one of them. BH5C and D run 9:1, so the car will just destroy itself the moment it hits boost. EJ207 will have good compression for the GTB, and forgies, so any EJ207 short block should bolt in. you may have to run thicker head gaskets for piston/valve or compression compensation. EJ207 between 98 and 00 is phase-II, and just as big end prone, post '00 207 is phase-III, and nice and reliable.
    Single turbo conversion, "How to" can be found here
    JDM 1998 BG Legacy GTB Limited, EJ20K STi swapped
    JDM 1990 BC Legacy Ti type S, EJ25D swapped
    JDM 1995 BG Legacy 250T, EJ20D swapped
    JDM 1989 BC VZ-R - Stock

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    i have the 96 rs sti tuned model also badged as the rfrb ..run fast run bold /it has the ej20r /the ej20r has shortened sleved pistons and has molybedium coating on the piston and cylinder allowing for higher temp running and less friction the shortened sleved pistons are to allow for extreme revving /ej20h etc have standard piston skirts and no coatings the rfrb also had a stage 2 sti manual gearbox and heaps of other parts a mod chip included which differs from standard rs gt types ,the ej20r is the race build engine

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    Dirt Tech / Vendor Reuben's Avatar
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    Some corrections for you sir
    There was no tuned by STi model for the BD/BG.
    RFRB was a body kit only, you could option certain elements when ordering these cars new.
    All EJ20R’s we’re mated to the standard V3/4 STi gearbox, the TY752VBCAA, there’s nothing special about it other than it’s farly short ratios and 4.444 final drive. No ‘stage-1’ this or that. But these are very good box’s, worth keeping around!

    While I’m at it. Regarding tuned by STi stuff. The first gen RS-R’s and RS-RA’s were ‘handcrafted tuning by STi’, with the RA getting a hand done port and polish from factory. then in 1993 they released an auto BF5 wagon which was the first ever actual STi. It had the 220ps RS-R motor (not the RA motor with port and polish though).

    STi moved away from the legacy after that, focusing obviously on the Imprez. There were STi catalogue parts you could buy for the BG though, such as springs, shocks, sway bars, alloy arms, braided hoses, brake pads etc. there was even a 240kph cluster! But no actual STi model. The next STi legacy after the BF5, was the S401, and STi - style Third gen’s.

    Regarding RFRB, the parts I know of include
    Bumpers
    Wing
    Grille
    Clear bump strips
    Decals

    There may be some more. I’ve only ever seen once a car that had the whole RFRB kit, was something else! Was rough as guys though, time had not been kind on it. When it came into NZ, thy owner bought a custom plate for it, “RFRB”!

    There were aftermarket tuned BD’s and BG’s though, that you could get through Subaru, these were the tommy kaira cars. The often put out an extra 20hp on their models, and also had their own body kits too. But the cars that had mechanical modifications, and not just body kits were stamped with a production number. Only a few hundred were made.
    Single turbo conversion, "How to" can be found here
    JDM 1998 BG Legacy GTB Limited, EJ20K STi swapped
    JDM 1990 BC Legacy Ti type S, EJ25D swapped
    JDM 1995 BG Legacy 250T, EJ20D swapped
    JDM 1989 BC VZ-R - Stock

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