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Project 580 Bugeye

Old 30 April 2018, 04:07 PM
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STI535
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Hi there all

This is a bit of a historical post.

Posting from sunny Cyprus. I have been a member here since probably 2004 under a different user name which I have forgotten. I then see that I was also a member under name HRT with my race car project thread, which was a 1997 WRX. I will have to get about updating that as well in the next few weeks as I parked it up for about 6 years and have just started a rebuild. Why you may ask? Children in final years of high school and then off to Uni in the UK, albeit both musicians in London. So funds were tight then and are now and will continue to be it looks like.... But its time to stop moping about and get cracking with both cars.

Yes I am in the unfortunate or fortunate position of owning two Subaru's. The first one was my 1997 WRX from Australia, where I am from and which I imported to Cyprus in 2001. It was either that or my HSV and my old school V8. Import taxes on a 5.7l and 5.4l put paid to the idea of a V8 in Cyprus, so the WRX it was. It was heavily breathed upon back in the late 90s by Tony Rigoli, who all the older members must remember as he was doing 9s qtrs back then in a WRX. I wont go into the mods of that car as it is all under my other thread. Suffice to say it ended up at 265kw atw (355bhp) which meant in the late 90s and early 2000s there was not much much around that could touch it. The WRX slowly morphed into a hillclimb car in Cyprus and probably in 2005 was fully stripped and roll cage put in.

By about early 2008 I was getting withdrawal symptoms of not having a Subaru daily driver. However salvation came from the for sale section on Scoobynet. A bugeye JDM Sti with a 2.5l conversion being sold by Alan Bell in York. Flew to UK and bought it.

Original sale pictures




Back in Cyprus had to wait for Paul Blamire to come out to map it as it had a methanol map. Duly mapped on the 100 octane fuel in Cyprus. On a Dynojet showed up at 389bhp and 391ftlbs at the wheels.

The spec was the usual 2.5l build, Omega pistons, Par rods, albeit with 11m head studs which was usual for the time.
650cc injectors
Lateral MD 321T+ turbo
FMIC
Oil cooler
AST coilover suspension
Whiteline AL and castor kit, F&R 22mm ARB and rear ARB steel link kit.
Forester Sti 6 speed with long gearing
AP six pot 330mm brakes
Exedy twin plate clutch
Original 2l AVCS heads
RCMS 3" exhaust including decat pipe
intercooler water spray

Dyno backed up again by another mapping session with Paul for some unknown reason 16/10/2009 - 385bhp but it was a bit hotter.

Had many years of using it as a daily driver with no major issues apart from some electrical woes, constant clutch changes as the twin plate clutch wears out quickly when used in traffic, which funnily has nothing to with my left knee being totally worn and in need of replacement at the age of 45. Plus high fuel usage. 15mpg in town but 32mpg on highway due to sitting under 2500rpm at 70mph.

Whilst speaking with some mates they told me that they were bringing Bob Rawle out to map a few cars and would I like to be in. Yes I was in and took the chance to upgrade to the Alkatek ECU. That made a big difference especially in the mid range. I also took the opportunity to get a catted downpipe from RCMS as the Cypriot police were impounding modified cars, mainly due to everyone deciding to turbocharge their old Honda Civics to quoted 600bhp.

Feb 2011 it seems i bought and fitted the following Whiteline products from RCMS
14 mm Camber Adj bolt kit
Front struct top mounts
Roll centre adj kit
Steering rack mounts

Only issues that popped up over the ensuing years were worn front discs and the front ASTs needed a rebuild. Which is a bit of a pain as not cheap getting them couriered to UK and back. Then the 2013 crisis hit Cyprus and within a few months the supplier of the 100 octane fuel decided to stop supplying as I was about the only buyer. So another mapping session for Bob to map it on 98 was organised. However I also added an RCMS 340lph in tank fuel pump, new cone filter as the existing one had seen better days and the inlet manifold heat spacers. During his visit Bob noted that something was not right and I should do a compression test. Sure enough two cylinders were a bit low but I continued to drive it for a while as was safely mapped. So a simple rebuild was organised in 2015 and due to tight funds only the essential work was done, bearings, rings, pumps, gaskets, timing belt and head bolts. Did also add an RCMS baffled sump. Still open deck block. Was not chasing more power rather keep the reliability going.

Although nothing in effect was changed i still needed a remap, however again funds were tight so got it on the dyno just to see what was going on air fuel wise and it was all good, albeit power was down a fair bit on the 100 octane power map, but massive pickup in the low and mid range. Down to 350bhp atw with the catted pipe in but at the low end at one point over 100bhp more on the Alkatek compared to the Autronic. At this time i had problems with my left knee and due to the clutch decided to retire it from daily duties. Instead i am the proud owner of a 50cc 4bhp scooter. Still going strong for past 3 years despite me being heavier than the bike.

So I continued with it as is and finally got Bob back out in June 2016. We mapped again on the 98 octane and despite it being June and quite hot it developed 480bhp at 6070rpm and 507ftlbs at 4155rpm with the decat and with the catted pipe 469bhp and 495ftlbs. Not bad at all. Looking at the graph has over 470bhp at 5000rpm and holds steady until 6700rpm and has 500 ftlbs at 3600 rpm and holds it until 5000rpm. At 6400 still has 400 ft lbs. I do love a 2.5l. Love anti lag and launch control as well. It is fast and a joy to extend 3rd and 4th gear in the mountains. Bob did mention the 650cc injectors were at their max so that was next on the agenda

Nothing exciting apart from a broken suspension spring to report. If you think roads in the UK are bad you should see the aftereffects of the 2013 crisis and what state the residential streets are in.

It as about this time that the modification bug hit and I decided that it was time to start improving the car as times had moved on. First was some sound proofing. Being a little bit older I no longer appreciated the aural delights of the flat four on the motorway. So i ordered an NK Group full soundproofing kit. Took about a day for me to fit. Quite comprehensive and really helped with the noise. It did add some weight but not more than 15 to 20 kilos as brought it back in a suitcase that had clothes in it, on one of my UK work travels. Well worth the effort and weight penalty. Sadly no pictures.

I then decided that as the car was quieter a sound system upgrade was in order as sound was a bit crap and was sick of ipod connections. All new Pioneer speakers installed, Pioneer under seat sub and new Kenwood head unit with Bluetooth connection!!! Moving with the times.

As the car already had the AST suspension and the Whiteline goodies I spoke with RCMS and ordered a Superpro bush kit. As many of you will know prying off 15 year old rubber is not a fun experience and that is why I pay mechanics to do the job. Has totally transformed the car through the corners although there is a NVH tradeoff. I recommend anyone who has not done such an exercise to do it. Say £400 for the parts plus labour, but well worth it.

Then a bit of an expensive problem developed. Had some water leaks which were traced to the metal water pipes under the inlet manifold including the water transfer crossover pipe. There was no way I was going to go used but did end up with a £600 bill for the parts. Took the opportunity to go plastic water header tank, 4 bar map sensor, 850cc injectors and RCM VVT pulley kit, to have ready for the next mapping session.

Despite looking after the paint work, 8 years of Cypriot sun, stone chips and door knocks led to a respray. Also chance to fix some rust that developed around the boot seal and the roof scoop. Actually the boot seal had rotted away and a new piece had to be welded on. I added some black bits to the paintwork and at the same time got a full Gyeon detail and protection system. The jury is still out as to whether I keep the black bits or revert back to blue. Not sure on the bonnet scoop and the centre grill section
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Old 30 April 2018, 04:10 PM
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Old 30 April 2018, 04:57 PM
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Having discussed with Bob the merits of an Aquamist system I took the plunge and ordered the kit. Booked in a mapping session for January 2018.

However decided to get zircotec coating applied to turbo exhaust housing, manifold and downpipe to help with the temps as a Cyprus summer can be brutal.

Plenty of work to do before the mapping such as new radiator as the in situ one developed a leak and installation of Aquamist, injectors and moving the intercooler spray water bottle to the boot. All done and the mapping day arrived, although did not think it was going to happen as the BA flight from UK had a technical fault. Ultimately 5 hour delay with Bob landing at 1130pm. Bright and early start and immediately hit some issues with bleeding of the water system. Quickly sorted and onto the road.

Mapping started with the catted downpipe and all was well with the world. We then came back had lunch and changed over to the decat pipe. Felt really strong but then on full throttle we developed a fairly big misfire. No amount of Bobs time or expertise could fix it. It seemed that we had a faulty spark plug connector. We tried a different used one and there was no difference. Due to time constraints we had to call time on it. Looking at he the engine bay wiring it was evident that over time it had hardened and was brittle. Looking at the in cabin wiring it was evident that no thought process had gone into it when the Clifford alarm was installed and the Autronic ECU. We then added Aquamist wiring on top and it was a right mess. There was no alternative but to get an electrician in to go through the wiring and replace what needed replacing and tidy it all up. Then we could get on mapping again in the future.

Bob also mentioned that despite the new radiator, water temps were high and I may have issues in summer. He also mentioned that a newer gen turbo would help with response. Food for thought, i thought.....

Then what I can only call a divine disaster happened. Whilst we were looking at wiring a few weeks later before the electrician was going to start, we heard some pops like a light bulb exploding from in the cabin and a burning smeall. The Alkatek ECU had been fried. Not a problem you would think, I can get a new one or get it fixed. But no, the designer/maker has decided he is no longer involved with these and has disappeared. So what do I do? Link G4+ ecu, new turbo and radiator. I told you it was a divine disaster. Some higher power decided that i needed more power.

Spoke with Owen Developments who referred me to Simon at Chevron Motorsports. Wealth of knowledge and so helpful. He discussed the car with Bob and what my requirements were and we settled on an OD HTA76. The turbo is a 76hta with a 3.3 in inlet, steel cage wrc ball bearings, inconel exhaust wheel, up rated bearing heat shield, inconel waste gate and pin, water cooled, 9cm2 rear tear drop rear housing. Also ordered one of their combined radiators and oil coolers, plus necessary pipework.
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Old 30 April 2018, 04:58 PM
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Old 01 May 2018, 09:03 PM
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The turbo...
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Old 01 May 2018, 09:11 PM
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Dummy fitting. Very tight as turbo is bigger than the MD321.


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Old 03 May 2018, 03:02 PM
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Whilst waiting to organise the mapping session with Bob, I sent my shocks to AST in the UK. They had been knocking, but when we took them off we noted that one of the Whiteline top mounts had seized. Had them serviced and a new set of AST top mounts installed.

A general tidy up of the engine bay was organised with removal of the oil catch can and associated hoses, which never ended up with anything in it. Blocking of the water pipes to the throttle body as don't live in a climate where freezing is common, moving of horns from in engine bay to the front behind bumper, respraying of the inlet manifold, installation of the new Chevron combined radiator/oil cooler, manifold spacers and the OD turbo. Wiring was also sorted in engine bay and cabin, with a heap of superfluous wiring and brittle wiring that was replaced.

Turbo and inlet piping was a tight fit requiring a few dummy fits and moving of power steering hoses.

Mapping day arrived in mid April. 28 degree day. Link ECU installed and it fired up straight away. After a while of Bob sorting our base maps we hit the road. The new quicker response of the turbo was immediately evident and it felt like a torque hole had been filled. This was just evident in the first few hundred metres. Onto mapping proper on the motorway and it was evident how much stronger the engine felt. Response was so much better. However to Bob it felt a bit soft as if there was a vacuum leak. We headed back to the workshop and connected a smoke machine. I had leaks everywhere. Every intercooler pipe connection was leaking. We removed all old clamps and reinstalled and also deleted the blow off valve and plugged the pipe.

No more leaks. Out again and Bob was able to start pushing it. I find on road mapping stressful as must wait for a clear run when there is no one about as you quickly catch cars and winding it out in 4th or 5th gear to 7000rpm with long Forester STi gearing means a bit of an issue if there is a speed radar up ahead. Funnily enough I got my first speeding ticket after 30 years of driving whilst taking my daughter to the airport a week before on the same stretch of motorway. Weren't actually rushing as was sitting at 110kph but on a downhill section got caught at 125. In our 2001 Honda Jazz. 25 Euro fine and no points.

Mapping went very well and ended up with 520bhp and 545 ftlbs torque. Setup antilag and launch control. It wheelspins through first and into second on fairly warm roads and torque steers as well.

It is certainly quicker than my 500bhp GC8 which is 200 kilos lighter. Felt as quick as a friends 911 Turbo S, but we shall soon see when I do some testing.

I know that the block is on a knife edge so it has now become a project as to what I do next.
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Old 23 January 2019, 12:31 PM
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Back again. Changed jobs in May 2018 after 11 years so have struggled to update. Things have moved on dramatically though. Following the summer I decided that I was not happy with condition of the engine bay both in terms or paint work and intercooler piping. Decided to remove the engine and get a respray done. At the same time decided to clock the turbo compressor, rotate the manifold and redo all intercooler piping. However upon removal of engine I was shocked at how dirty the chassis was, with some surface rust on all parts. So decided to do a full clean of all parts and respray. Some pictures of the filth.


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Old 23 January 2019, 02:52 PM
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I then had a thought that as engine was out i can get it converted into a closed deck, with new high comp pistons as well and push towards 580bhp. Otherwise a waste of engine out!!!

Whilst I was getting quotes for this i decided on a few more bits and pieces.

Xtreme twin plate clutch as wanted to see how well it lasted compared to Exedy
Reverse bonnet scoop
Perrin wing stiffis
Spec C anti surge assembly as did not want to go for external tanks either in boot or engine bay
Mishimoto fans
Spec C front grill
Thanks to Tom at Sprinting Hare JDM for these parts.

Suspension change to Bilstein B16 again to see the difference with the newly rebuilt ASTs.
24mm Whiteline swaybar to replace the 22m one
Lock down kit
Front lower arms with the bush kit
front droplinks
camber bolts
Recommended by Simon at Chevron Motorsport who advised that would make for a far better ride and a car with far better turn in

Also bought
Deatschwerks DW400 in tank pump
Set of used AP 335mm 4 pot kit from RCM
Full rebuild kit for the AP 330mm front kit already on the car

Refurb of my old Simmons OM wheels. I bought these for my GC8 back in 1999 when i lived in Australia and were 18x7. Being 3 piece wheels i was able to order from Simmons in Australia a new piece which took them out to 8.5. These were to replace the Enkei wheels at least for summer duties.
Yokohama AD08R in 235/40 size as a summer tyre

I sent the turbo off to OD for a clocking of the compressor for a smoother exit to intercooler with much shorter piping.

At the same time i was speaking with RCM as i have bought many parts from them over the years. We discussed a CDB 2.5l build which they explained to me why they wont do. We looked at their 2.0, 2.1 and 2.35l options. The plan was to bolt one of these blocks up to my existing STi heads. After many discussions and reviewing dyno charts i went for the 2.35l build as has the best of both worlds. Torque and ability to rev.

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Old 24 January 2019, 06:52 AM
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Hopefully it handles the torque and is a bit lighter to use.

Let's see if these help a bit with the heat.


Went for this as did not want to hear fuel pump in either boot or engine bay. Not a track car so I think it should do the job.

New so expensive...

AD08R and A052 for the track car
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Old 24 January 2019, 10:21 AM
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Now that sounds expensive!
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Old 24 January 2019, 03:55 PM
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Yes and getting more expensive as I go along.
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Old 24 January 2019, 03:57 PM
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So chassis came back from painter.
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Old 24 January 2019, 04:08 PM
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Old 26 January 2019, 01:06 PM
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A few more bits and pieces.


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Old 26 January 2019, 01:13 PM
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These before and after pic really show the difference.



Fully rebuilt with new all new parts and Project Mu Pads. Went for red to match the new rear AP 4pots.
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Old 26 January 2019, 01:26 PM
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AP 4 pots with 335mm discs. Should stop well now with the refurbed front APs.

They are a bit smaller than the Alcons for the track car.
😁
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Old 26 January 2019, 09:38 PM
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looking great so far, keep up the good work. out of curiosity why wouldnt rcm build a 2.5?
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Old 26 January 2019, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by the shreksta View Post
looking great so far, keep up the good work. out of curiosity why wouldnt rcm build a 2.5?
Thanks. Plenty of good things to come
When I discussed with RCM the 2.5 build, they said that what I had was as far as they take the 2.5, cica 500bhp. They said that although many others successfully do the cdb conversions, they never felt comfortable with the fact that the block was composed of two different metals expanding and contracting at different rates. So have to respect their decision. I spoke to a few other suppliers who did them as the 2.5l was my number 1 choice. Howver two did not want to do just as a supply job without them fully controlling the build and mapping and another two took too long to respond. Again I understand the hesitation in dealing with overseas customers. So that pushed me to RCM who are masters at dealing with worldwide customers. Communication is excellent and overall customer service is the same. No hard sell and did not try and oversell either. I am the culprit asking for the best of everything. Spec to follow.
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Old 28 January 2019, 05:04 PM
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So, it looks like I have embarked on a project that I never thought I would do. I was happy with the latest 520bhp power and torque. You can really feel the difference from when running 460 to 480. But that block has me worried at that level.

As mentioned, I was on the lookout for a cdb conversion of a 2.5l which I would have run with higher compression for added response. Have now ended up with a 2.35l from RCM.

The spec was their RCM 500 but with the conrods from the RCM 700 kit.

Full spec:

RCM 14/14 mm superstud head stud kit

Head dowels

RCM 500 2.35 EJ 22 CDB short engine with 2.5l crank and Omega pistons

RCM EJ22 1.1mm head gasket

RCM high grip bracket and Cosworth timing belt

RCM Xtreme H Section conrod

RCM modified 11mm oil pump

Subaru waterpump

RCM billet high temp half moon seal kit

Plus a heap of gaskets and seals

1050X ID injectors

Agreed that compression would be about 8.7:1, which should help with response

After discussion with them did not go billet crank and instead went for the stronger conrods. Aim was to stick with current OD turbo which I believe is good for 550whp or thereabouts and is new. We discussed headwork as well as was concerned that this may now be my weak link with valves that have done 83000 miles. RCM said that the standard heads would not be a limiting factor power wise and do not need to be touched, but I knew that it would be chewing at me. I got a few quotes from them, with one being the minimum required such as new valves and springs, another for a comprehensive build including cams and another with a set of new Spec C heads with everything new.

I hesitated at this stage as the block price was the cost of a decent car plus adding headwork took it into a nice heavily modified car, that I could just buy and run. But what is the fun in that. Thatís what I did in 2008 when I bought it and was happy for 7 or so years before tinkering bug set in.

So, I ordered the block only and waited until we popped open my current engine before deciding on what to do with the heads.

We recently disassembled my current engine and suffice to say that no issues as it was refreshed a few years ago and it was mainly off the road since then with me constantly changing something. Heads looked in decent order as well. But I ca see why the 2.5l open deck design cant handle much over 500bhp.



So after discussing with my mechanic in Cyprus we narrowed the choice down to either sending my STi heads to RCM and have them rebuild them with new parts and cams or go the Spec C route. You may ask, why not get it done in Cyprus when there are plenty of good mechanics and tuners and some very fast cars? Well I remembered a friendís wife who had a brain tumour. She found the best surgeon in Cyprus who said to her yes, I do these surgeries and a do a dozen or so every year. The surgeon then asked them if they had private insurance and pointed them to the UK and one of the private clinics where the surgeons did these every day. He said I know how to do them but if you can get it done by someone who is truly an expert then why not? Which is why I use Bob Rawle or previously Paul Blamire for mapping. Plenty of good mappers in Cyprus, but why not go for the best. Same principle for the engine build.

Going for either spec of heads I knew that I would have the capacity to push beyond the current turbo and go for a 82HTA or rotated in the future and go for bug numbers. Decisions, decisions Ė bank account screaming blue murder.

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Old 28 January 2019, 08:31 PM
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Old 31 January 2019, 11:49 AM
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My as new refurbed Simmons OM from Australia. I have owned them for 20 years originally on my classic and then put into storage for last 10 years. Taken from grey 18x7 to 18x8.5 and will be shod in ADO8R. The benefit of 3 piece wheels. I expect these to be heavier than my Enkeis and if so, the Enkeis will be used as the track day wheel.
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Old 05 February 2019, 02:50 PM
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Right, so decided on a set of Spec C heads. Main reason was I will reuse my current 2.5l block and heads for another Subaru in the future as I have a shed load or parts for another car. 3 inch exhaust, new radiator, the rebuilt AST suspension, wheels, 6 pot Scoobysport brakes from early 2000s, turbos. Thinking of a blob JDM non widetrack STi so I can reuse everything. Probably go CDB as I was going to go but will have plenty of time to sort that. Anyway, that is for the future.

Back to present issues. The decision to go Spec C heads was also taken as I might decide one day that I go for 800bhp. Also, as I was fart-arseing around I was saving more money each month so have more to spend. There is some logic at work.

List is massive as when not using an existing set of heads you must buy everything-

Spec C heads (new)

RCM fast road cam kit inlet 278 degrees duration 10.74mm lift

Exhaust 274 degrees duration 9.98mm lift

Steel nitrided spring seatspacers seat V5

Retainer V5 double spring and bucket shim

RCM double valve spring set

Supertech +1mm V5+ exhaust valve

Supertech +1mm V5+ inlet valve

RCM valve seat cut

Valve Shim

Head drilling for 14mm studs

CNC head porting and polish and of course prep and assemble

Then there is a page of covers, seals, bolts, pulleys, solenoids, water and oil pipes which are not cheap!

Oh and I have bitten the bullet and ordered the billet crank and the RCM dry sump system. Looking at the spec, I had taken it so far that adding these was not a large % increase in price. I work in financial services so % are close to my heart. Do I need either? Possibly not but I am getting the best spec and unless some monumental **** up I should have an engine that can handle big horsepower and last as well.

It is also then setup to be run as a track car if I decide to go that way. I doubt it and will most likely keep it as our second car and for occasional track days and drag races. Have the track car still to sort.

I have just made it as engine is getting close to being complete. Engine should now be with me in early March.

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Old 05 February 2019, 03:03 PM
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WOW.
amazing project and workmanship.
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Old 06 February 2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by wrx2005 View Post
WOW.
amazing project and workmanship.
Thanks. We are trying!
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Old 06 February 2019, 11:36 AM
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So looking forward to the finish. Really enjoying following your thread. Love the wheels and you can't beat blue on a scoob.
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Old 06 February 2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Wouldie View Post
So looking forward to the finish. Really enjoying following your thread. Love the wheels and you can't beat blue on a scoob.
Thanks. Hope to be on the road in May. Engine installed in March, initial running in map in April and try and do 2000 miles asap to get full boost mapping. Not so easy to do 2000 miles in a small country. I love those Simmons. They were on my classic as 17x7 inch fit back in 1998, I went to 18x7 and now modified them to 18x8.5. So well worth the price.

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Old 06 February 2019, 11:52 AM
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The clocked turbo.

Decided on a blobeye bumper and custom made diffuser. Lights sourced as well. Side skirt extensions, being made, 40mm arch extensions and a replica of a WRC front bumper. Copied from an original WRC bumper that was damaged back in early 2000s when Cyprus ran a WRC event. The toughest on the calendar so lots of broken parts lying about on the stages.

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Old 09 February 2019, 10:20 PM
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STI535
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Dummy fitting today
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Old 16 February 2019, 02:22 PM
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STI535
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 43
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Rear end back together today.
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