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Did you guys ditch the AC? The radiator just moves to the front of (what's left of) the core support?

I can't say enough good about this project.

GoLucky Reader
8/30/20 11:05 a.m.

Thanks all for the positivity. I’m extremely grateful to have another way to spend time with such an awesome young man. He is learning so much and developing mechanical skill and confidence that I hope will serve him well.

Cars and bikes are major things in his life right now and I feel lucky to be included in both. Last night our boys and I celebrated life with a night time pump track session.

Good times! 

Post shred we agreed to let the new driver take the Scion and spend the night at a friend’s.  At nearly midnight I got a phone call from the Highway Patrol. *Gulp*

Fortunately, all was well with the young driver (and our car). MHP was checking with the last registered owner. Someone put the truck that I just sold into a ditch a little ways out of town. Whew! 

GoLucky Reader
8/30/20 11:09 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) :

A/C is not happening. We removed condenser and lines but still need to put the compressor in the scrap pile. 

Radiator should hopefully go right where you mentioned. I feel handicapped right now without my MIG (220 only) so maybe we can borrow one or make brackets after we move? 

GoLucky Reader
8/30/20 5:50 p.m.

Today we hit a milestone. There were also some speed bumps on the way. 

We started with connecting fuel and return lines, extending some sensor wires and hooking up the clutch slave. We also put oil in the engine in case we were going to try to crank it over. For whatever reason, probably since the factory PCM isn’t connected, we got neither fuel pump action or a crank with the key. A quick jumper wire and fuel is flowing, with no leaks even. 

We also added a jumper wire for the starter and laid out the harness on top of the engine. 


Yesssssss!!! No exhaust manifolds even. I just wanted to do 2 things: 1. help the new driver see some light at the end of the tunnel. 2. Prove that I sort of understand wiring.  

Made a bit of a mess with the power steering pump. Apparently it wasn’t not 100% empty. We made a to-do list, cleaned up and called it a day.


flat4_5spd New Reader
8/30/20 6:03 p.m.

This is a cool project! I've contemplated doing the same with my Legacy. I'm a little leery due to the spares for the EJ33 being a bit thin on the ground. 

What's your plan vis-a-vis airbags? I think this is a CAN bus vehicle and it might make the airbag controller unhappy to not have any data from the PCM?  (To be clear, I don't have any specific knowledge about this, I'm just wondering if you've considered the issue.)

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/30/20 6:05 p.m.

Supremely awesome thread, this one!

FatMongo Reader
8/30/20 8:49 p.m.

Very cool! Awesome job.

Motor sounds strong.

GoLucky Reader
9/3/20 10:04 a.m.

In reply to flat4_5spd :


I really don’t know what will happen with the control systems. In truth, we just hope the srs controller function is retained. I’m not sure how to even find out? 

GoLucky Reader
9/3/20 10:07 a.m.

Hey there SVXperts and Subagurus of GRM. Does anyone know which heater hoses are feed and which return on the SVX engine and the Forester body? 

flat4_5spd New Reader
9/4/20 11:57 a.m.

I can tell you that on an '07 forester, the top heater core fitting goes to the coolant crossover pipe/manifold on the top of the engine, and the lower heater core fitting goes to a pipe which goes across the engine and down to the water pump. Hope that helps. 

GoLucky Reader
9/6/20 10:12 p.m.

In reply to flat4_5spd :

Thanks I think we’ll try and get it sorted out soon 

GoLucky Reader
9/6/20 10:20 p.m.

Today we made some things happen. We needed to connect the pressure side of the power steering. I measured the OD of the hard line and started wandering around with the calipers measuring round tubes. 

Looks like this random OEM jack component will do. 

Some sanding and filing then some solder. 

Hopefully this will be adequate. If it leaks or otherwise disappoints, we can sweat it apart and braze. 

GoLucky Reader
9/6/20 10:38 p.m.

But, we got even more done: After removal of a rubber plug there was a promising hole in the firewall. Some obstruction was behind the metal, so a 32mm holesaw handled things. 

With the e-pedal out of the way things were shaping up. Not a direct bolt in. I did end up using a factory hole after enlargement and installation of a nut-sert. The lower mount is drilled through the firewall for a long m5 nut and bolt. 

Had to add a spacer under the lower mount, enter a big random nut from the bin. 

The end result is a functional gas pedal. May need to add a stop, but good for now. 

The new driver soldered the SVX plug onto the alternator wiring and then we cleaned up and went for a nighttime bike ride. 

Getting closer. 

Meh, no need for AC up where you are anyway, particularly when you're young.

Fantastic progress. Needs free flowing exhaust for that sweet Porsche/Goldwing flat six sound.

GoLucky Reader
9/7/20 10:25 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) :

Forgive us neighbors for what we intend to do. 

GoLucky Reader
9/7/20 10:57 p.m.

Today was perfect weather; if you like low forties and rainy. Rather than get wet we pushed the Forester into the garage. 

Kicking things off was a routing of heater hoses. Using the info from Flat4_5spd we connected the bottom heater core hose to the SVX connector on the aft drivers side head. This connects to a pipe that goes down to the water pump. For this one the factory Forester hose fit with no modifications. The upper heater core hose we connected to the aft passenger side engine fitting with a length of bulk 5/8” heater hose. We also removed a now unnecessary and highly inconvenient air box bracket with minimal drama. 

Encouraged by the early successes we hoisted the engine up with the cherry picker and got filthy dirty pulling the motor mounts to enlarge the slots. I did this by extending each slot by precisely the widthish of a sawzall blade and bending down the “tab” created by the cuts. I also slightly enlarged the motor mount holes to allow some cheat. Pretty hard to see here after installation. If you are doing a similar swap it would be heaps easier to not have any engine present for this step.  

With the motor back mounted and while I was laying under there it was time to install the manifolds. Easy peasy. 

The high schooler added to our list an item he felt was high priority; stereo installation. This went less well than it could have. On the plus side he completed the solder and heat shrink of the wiring adapter completely solo. The center console, specifically the HVAC cables, were very difficult though. They were also absent from all three of the install videos he watched. We further discovered that the cable to select air flow path is inoperative because of previous damage. Looks like someone was in there before to install a now removed satellite radio. Possibly related? For now we have selected “feet and windshield “ via the drivers side footwell. In the end the stereo did get installed along with the new “push to start” button. This is a feature on which he is quite keen. I suggested attempting to get the key to engage the starter, but this way is more “sick.”

On the passenger side one of the wires to the fan looks to be in terrible shape. I was surprised that the fan even runs. Yikes. Not fixed yet, will have to see how far this is melted. 

While working on wiring and enjoying the new stereo we were interrupted by the sound of fuel pouring onto the floor. Apparently I had mistaken the evap purge line (or something else) for  a fuel  return line. This was not sweet because of attached garage. I spread the kitty litter and we opened the garage door and were less than warm for the rest of our shop day. 

Progress was made. Additional problems uncovered. I feel like we aren’t that far from driving. 

GoLucky Reader
9/9/20 10:51 a.m.

To make things a little more “exciting” we now have some real motivation to get this car driving. As of yesterday, our house that we rent, is under contract. Closing date is TBD.

WE ARE GOING TO LOOSE THE SHOP!  Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Stay tuned for me hooking up the 220 again to make things happen.  

GoLucky Reader
9/20/20 1:14 p.m.

I’m happy to report that we now have a house under contact with a closing date of October 16. Even better, we can stay in this house until it’s closing date: October 17. 

The charcoal canister had become a box full of gasoline due to the “return” line issue. It is now removed. 

Also gone is the purge valve. The “return” line is now connected to a new 5/16” hose that runs to the top of the tank. 

Drill and tap 1/8” NPT. 

Now there is a feed and a return. This seems like the easy way to handle the fuel issues since I am pretty sure that the original system involved genies spinning the pump at various speeds and what not. 

Through a new hole in the firewall go all of the wires. We did have to lengthen the wires for the passenger side o2 sensor but all else was plug and play. The MAF from the SVX bolted in place of the Forester one but the intake tube wasn’t quite right.  We also put in the hideous white vacuum splice to replace a damaged hose off the throttle bodies. 

Our local parts store had a universal 3” dryer duct looking setup that we will try. I’m not sure how well it will seal? For now a chop of the factory duct and slip the silicone joiners over. 

It now fits. 

Pulled out headlights to get an idea of radiator habitat. 

The SVX radiator is shorter and would fit more easily, but unfortunately is ruined. Both of the plastic pins that go to the lower mounts are broken off in a way that took pieces of the bottom tank with them. 

Time to get more cut off wheels and begin surgery. 

GoLucky Reader
9/20/20 10:43 p.m.

With a fresh pack of death wheels I set about making room for the lower radiator hose. Marked out:

I also removed the factory lower radiator mounts to hopefully reuse them. 

I temporarily mounted the passenger side mount and checked for fit. After a few tries with the self tapping screw I was over it and set about connecting the MIG to a breaker that usually powers a certain laundry appliance. It feels so nice to be tacking things again. This is where the passenger side mount ended up being happy. 

On to drivers side; also filled in the chopped out section with Subaru tin and dirty welds. 

Radiator is in its new home. 

The hood also needed some clearance cuts to clear the radiator cap and the driver side upper mount. It is aluminum so super easy to chop up. 

Without the core support the headlights and top of the radiator are quite floppy. I decided to make a brace to give some mounting points and hopefully shore everything up. I started with some stand offs made for bike fender mounts. Cut to size and bolted some random scrap to the fenders. To these end bits I attached a long piece of small angle iron from the archives. 

The headlights also needed to have some trimming done. The cut off parts are the inner mounts so I ended up chopping off the alignment dowels and drilling a plastic screw in through the mount. 

I built from this angle iron and added more angle and pieces of round stock that was at hand and ended up with this:

To further stabilize the headlights I also welded in a brace on each side from the remaining core support to the crash bar bracket. 

Much less floppy. To keep the hood from flying up we got some hood pins. Secure. 

Coolant is in and staying off of the floor. Should be able to drive soon. 

GoLucky Reader
9/22/20 11:28 a.m.

I was informed this morning that it has been 1 year since the acquisition day of this car. In celebration here is the one year status update:


Last night with: “Use the saws all to make the bumper cover fit” as their only instructions, these two did exactly that. Numerous drift spec fasteners utilized.  It was fun observing out of the corner of my eye as I tackled the  exhaust.

I took almost no photos as I was in GSD mode, but this is the start of the merge pipe. The owner went and bought tubes and supplies earlier in the day. There are some real benefits to having a licensed gofer. 


With the exhaust tacked in place we dropped it out and I welded it up. Next it went back in with the merge to tailpipe the only weld done fully in the car. 


After an “exhausting “ session the car went back on to wheels to begin it’s re-maiden voyage. This young man is excited. 

It made it to and from the gas station without incident. Lots of stuff to still figure out but it feels like a win now. 

GoLucky Reader
5/6/21 4:15 p.m.

I’m posting a final entry in this thread. The Forester has moved on to a new owner. I was waiting for a real win to use as an update and this is as close as we get. 

Shortly after the swap the lower radiator hose burst and was driven “not that much more.” The overheated eg33 developed a rod knock but continued to drive for some time. The SVX alternnator ended up crapping out. With the car inoperable  The High Schooler ordered another junkyard fresh motor. It arrived and he had the heads scuffed and puffed, fresh gaskets, paint etc. all on his own.

The engine replacement was scheduled for a weekend. It of course took longer and did not go smoothly. He and a buddy eventually  changed the engine out with only a few broken bolts and timing SNAFUS. This second eg33 ran well until it puked massive amounts of oil out of the crank seal. Turns out the oil pump Phillips head screws that hold the back plate on were less than finger tight. Finally got it all together and functional. By this time a replacement DD had been acquired and The High Schooler was ready to say goodbye to the source of so much frustration, joy and life experience. Fair thee well First car Forester. 

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