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Thread: Hydrocarbons To Noise Saabaru Build Thread

  1. #1

    Hydrocarbons To Noise Saabaru Build Thread

    Hi everyone! I'm really glad to become part of this community. I have been interested in building an 818 for years. With the front end and coupe updates, I become convinced it'd be my next major project. All that was left was for the pieces to fall into place. My background is not mechanical, but I enjoy wrenching, problem solving and driving like my pants are on fire! In preparation for this project, I bought a broken modern sport bike with "some sort of bad engine", dug into it and fixed it. I thought if I can't revive a fuel injected motorcycle, I have no business building a car. My garage is almost equipped enough for this project, but I expect the last pieces will come together without drama.


    I have been debating appropriate donors and searching craigslist/Copart/IAAI for accessible, reasonable donors. Finally, after 2 years, I finally found a "good" donor, and with my wife's understanding, pulled the trigger on a 2006 Saab 9-2x Aero (Saabaru).

    The car has 134,000 miles and an auto trans. Per the previous owner, the engine spun a bearing at 90k and was rebuilt with CP forged pistons, Manley forged rods, Cosworth bearings and forged crankshaft, 1000cc DW injectors and a 20g STI turbo. It also got SS headers, uppipe, downpipe and exhaust. The tuning is done with Tactrix Open Source.

    The down sides are it's an auto, and likely has a blown head gasket (hopefully just the gasket) based on overheating at idle after prolonged driving. There is no apparent mixing of oil and water. Also, the body and interior is beat up. It is not a looker (which is a good thing for me - drove the price down)!

    Up next is sourcing a 5MT to swap and a shop to work in, and ordering a kit! Though not necessarily in that order. I could use the garage, but my dear wife would much rather not, as she can accurately anticipate the amount of mess that I'll make.

    I hope to keep my build thread "clean", as in I won't ask esoteric questions here, but in their appropriate sub forums.
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    Last edited by Ipassgas; 09-06-2017 at 05:04 PM.

  2. #2
    fasterer and furiouser longislandwrx's Avatar
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    Bonus points for buying the first donor with wirenuts under the hood. LMAO

    good luck with project, do you know if a reputable shop built the engine?
    A well stocked beverage fridge is the key to any successful project.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ipassgas View Post
    I hope to keep my build thread "clean", as in I won't ask esoteric questions here, but in their appropriate sub forums.
    Thank you so much in advance for doing this. I'd bet 70% of the 818 knowledge on this forum is helplessly buried in 30+ page build threads, though it is getting better.

    As for tools and shop space, I can attest that virtually my entire build was done out of a 3-drawer craftsman hand box. There's a few things like tubing benders and drills that aren't regularly in there, and I took a few parts to work to weld or press something or another, but that was typically more out of convenience rather than necessity. IMHO, it was must more important to have a well stocked hardware store nearby than a world-class shop.

  4. #4
    If wire nuts are good enough for my ceiling fan, they're good enough for my engine bay, right?

    The engine was rebuilt by the PO and his "retired aviation mechanic" buddy, in a shop (per the PO). I figure any information I have is way more than I would have gotten from Copart. Maybe it was done well. Maybe it wasn't. I'll never really know, unless/until something expensive fails catastrophically, or I decide to tear into the bottom end for some reason.

    Also, I think I found a transmission! I just need to get some time to go get it, probably next weekend, pending Hurricane Irma's impact.

  5. #5
    And so I got a transmission. Actually, almost everything to convert the auto to manual. I still need a clutch, flywheel and starter, but that should be it. It's a TY754VN2AA, which looks like it's off a 2002 WRX. From reading the transmission thread, it should work.

    Also, I ordered my kit!!! Production date is 10/28/17, but I may have to move it if I go pick it up. Stewart Transportation hasn't called me back yet.

    Forward!!!!

  6. #6
    Assuming it is indeed from a 2002 WRX you're fine. Make sure you order the proper year half-shafts with your kit, and the correct year clutch kit (the throw-out bearings and pressure plate are different on the earlier transmissions due to them being a pull type clutch slave.)
    Last edited by phil1734; 09-20-2017 at 07:18 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ipassgas View Post
    And so I got a transmission. Actually, almost everything to convert the auto to manual. I still need a clutch, flywheel and starter, but that should be it. It's a TY754VN2AA, which looks like it's off a 2002 WRX. From reading the transmission thread, it should work.

    Also, I ordered my kit!!! Production date is 10/28/17, but I may have to move it if I go pick it up. Stewart Transportation hasn't called me back yet.

    Forward!!!!
    I sent them the production order for mine last week as a response to our email thread and haven't heard back either. Wouldn't surprise me if they just got busy. They were really responsive when I was just asking questions, before I even placed my order. I'll probably call late this week if I don't get anything.

  8. #8
    Today's update involves a call to FFR. I changed the half shafts on the order to the '02 so they'll match the trans.

  9. #9
    Man, over a month without "progress". Well, progress has happened. My shop has been located and I moved a bunch of stuff to it. Stewart is supposed to deliver a car on Friday or Saturday, and I have some Kirkey seats on the way. (I decided to not order seats at first so I could decide exactly what I wanted). I just went with the FFR ones.

    And I got a bad misfire on the donor. Cylinder 4. I pulled the secondary air pump (that I was tossing anyway) and installed the air pump block off plates while I was working on it. Car still has a gnarly miss after preliminary investigation, and I've lost boost. It's going to need some work, before I can get to work.

  10. #10
    Administrator David Hodgkins's Avatar
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    Gassyman, Welcome to the forum. I've upgraded your account for full access so you can use the pic gallery and update your profile.

    Interesting user ID. Sure you wouldn't rather go by Saabaru?

    Have fun with your build; another one pushing the envelope. Happens a lot around here!


    FFR 5369 Pin Drive, IRS, Trigos, Torsen, Wilwoods, FMS BOSS 302 "B" cam , Mass-flo. CA SB100 (SPCN) Registered
    Delivered 4/23/06. "Finished" 4/2012 (still not done!)


  11. #11
    Christmas came early!



    I didn't have time to inventory, so that'll happen today or tomorrow.
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    Last edited by Ipassgas; 11-13-2017 at 12:25 PM.

  12. #12

  13. #13
    I have a question! Where are you building it? It looks like a warehouse park of some sort. Is that correct?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shinn497 View Post
    I have a question! Where are you building it? It looks like a warehouse park of some sort. Is that correct?
    That is exactly where I'm building it. My wife said no to the garage (too many cars, and I'll make too much mess). So I found an offsite shop. It's 800 sq ft, with electric (one 240 circuit, two 120 circuits). No water, heat or AC. It's 5 minutes from work, and "cheap". The whole complex is probably a dozen units. Mine's the smallest. There is also a full time Honda mechanic, a surfboard/paddleboard maker, a guy who has a "buy here, pay here" place that fixes his personal collection, and a "motorcycle club" headquarters. It should be more than I need to get this car built!

    And as for progress, I have successfully removed all the fiberglass parts from the frame and inventoried 2 whole boxes! Man, I wish I didn't have to work.
    Last edited by Ipassgas; 11-16-2017 at 08:24 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ipassgas View Post
    I hope to keep my build thread "clean", as in I won't ask esoteric questions here, but in their appropriate sub forums.
    Someone please get this man an award! He actually knows how to use a forum!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ipassgas View Post
    That is exactly where I'm building it. My wife said no to the garage (too many cars, and I'll make too much mess). So I found an offsite shop. It's 800 sq ft, with electric (one 240 circuit, two 120 circuits). No water, heat or AC. It's 5 minutes from work, and "cheap". The whole complex is probably a dozen units. Mine's the smallest. There is also a full time Honda mechanic, a surfboard/paddleboard maker, a guy who has a "buy here, pay here" place that fixes his personal collection, and a "motorcycle club" headquarters. It should be more than I need to get this car built!

    And as for progress, I have successfully removed all the fiberglass parts from the frame and inventoried 2 whole boxes! Man, I wish I didn't have to work.
    That is awesome!

    How did you find such a park? I have considered getting a warehouse too but I don't think you can use storage places, as they do no allow it.

  17. #17
    Man, it's been nearly a month, and I feel like I have nothing to show for it.

    Shinn, the warehouse park is behind a strip mall. I found this one on craigslist in the commercial for rent section. Most towns of any size have a bunch of these. Usually, they are just off a main artery, and frequently behind something "customer facing". The access is good, but the visibility is bad. Too noisy for housing, and too hard to see for retail. So these get built. Use Google maps satellite imaging and look along the major roads in your town. Once you know what you're looking for, you'll see them.


    I don't have nothing to show for the last month. I inventoried every box, and the only thing I'm absolutely certain is missing is the Rivnut tool.

    I also got some air lines plumbed in the shop, so I have air! Yea!

    More importantly, I got the Kirkey seats I bought from a member here. It was a mess, because the shipping I arranged lost them for 3 weeks. They're here now, so that's great!
    And I got the frame to and from the powder coater. They ran out of my powder (RAL 5005) so I don't have the firewalls or brackets back yet. They promised this week, but since it's Wednesday afternoon, I'm not holding my breath.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member DSR-3's Avatar
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    The "Riv-Nut tool" consists of a hole in the end of the spring-perch adjuster tool and a 1/4-20 screw and nut... Do yourself a favor and get at least a mid-range tool. The cheapo ones may not last through the build, and the nice ones are pretty(or very!) spendy.

  19. #19
    I got distracted by the holidays, and another obligation. I'm back though, and should be making consistent progress for the foreseeable future.

    Since the last update, I got the car on its side, riveted on the floors, fought with gravity and the pneumatic riveter, and finally got it centered on my lift. Next up: firewalls.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    Moonlight Performance
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    Frame and floor pans look great. Only comment is that you REALLY have that floor pan on there now.... depending on the seat brackets and seat belts you want to put in, you may need to take that floor pan off. I used rivetnuts to attach mine because I have to take it off to remove my seats.

  21. #21
    I didn't powder coat my frame, so I'm "lucky" there that I'm going to weld brackets that my seats can bolt to. Once I decided that, I crawled on my back and put the floor up before the engine went in, and man, that sucked too.

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