GC8 Engine Rebuild – Part 1

Well the engine has been broken for long enough, I hummed n harred over various options and what to do with this (weighing everything up from a slap job to a $10k full forged rebuild) engine. In the end I decided it was time to dig out a spare bottom end (A $750 STI bottom end I picked up years ago for this situation), throw on some new head gaskets, ARP studs and send it. I was planning to service the block and heads, including some basic machining, but COVID and lock down has prevented me from transporting the parts over to my usual engine builder.

I missed a few photos at the beginning which mostly included me putting the motor on the stand and then cleaning a bunch of shit off it.

Motor on the stand, ARP studs fitted.

The deck cleaned up with the nylon brush.

Head gasket on

The head is filthy AF.

Lots of brake cleaner, razor blading and the nylon brush to clean these (this is half way done)

Head on

ARP studs torqued to 90ft-lb.

Cams back in for the short term, I need to order new cam cap bolts as a few are starting to round off and will likely fail to torque spec

Half the side done.

This head is also filthy AF.

So it got the brake cleaner, razor and nylon brush treatment as well.

Block cleaned

Head gasket on

Torqued to spec like the other side.

Cams added to that side as well and it’s starting to look like a motor again.

While the VF34 turbo is off the motor, it’s a good time to remove the P20 rear housing. (Legnum’s cute little TD03 rear turbo to the left)

I’ve had this smaller P18 housing ceramic coated and waiting for this opportunity. Hopefully we can reduce the spool down to the low 3000rpm range and improve the transient throttle response.


Till next time!

Legnum Major Service – Part 7

Another order from TME arrived with the new LCA’s and tie rod ends (This job would have been done sooner if it wasn’t for another company who stuffed me around saying they had stock, but didn’t, then ordered it in, then shipped me non-genuine parts instead… Still chasing them for a refund!)

LCA connected to the hub. While I was here, I decided I would look at adjusting the coilovers to get some might height.

After winding off the lower piece of the coil over, it become obvious that there isn’t enough thread to raise the height using the lower section.

I decided 40mm would be enough and would get the rest out of the top.

The spring land was wound higher by 15mm. This will have added some preload to the spring that should give it some static lift as well.

Bolted it all back in.

The steering rack boots and tie rods were trashed, so they were next to get some lovin.

And done!

While upgrading to the Brembo brakes, I’ve decided to get some braided brake lines made up to replace the aging factory one. These are getting shipped to HEL Performance in Brisbane.

GC8 Engine Tear Down – Part 2

And on with part 2!

The special Subaru Cam gear tool was ordered and arrived, $120 later… Sadly if I had not stripped down the CNC for service and upgrades, I could have made one of these….

Semi plastic camgears…

Tool on and time to yeet it.

How does it work here you say?

Here it just pops inside the cam gear and works.

Unfortunately I didn’t have an impact 10MM hex for the bolts, I’ve been wanting a set for a while for these kinds of job, so a trip to Bunnings and I acquired this Kincrome set.

Two gears off.


Giving it a yeet.

And it rounded off… Hoorah!

Drilling time! The Milwaukee M12 drill does the job again and again.


This lets the cam gear off easily and just leaves the bolt core to be removed.

In this case, it wound off with fingers.

Cams out.

They look to still be in reasonable condition.

ARP nuts off and plonked the first head on the floor.

Interestingly one ARP stud has a lot of corrosion on it. I was going to reuse these but will likely just keep them for spares now.

Head gasket is in good condition.

Block is pretty filthy.

Pistons on this side have a bunch of carbon.

But nothing compared to our failure and award winner!
Lean n Mean Melty Piston!

That alloy is toasted.

No other cylinder shows any form of alloy speckling, so currently I’m assuming we have a fueling issue on this one. The fuel pressure regulator, injectors and fuel pump tested in the near future.

The bore suffered some serious damage to the liner.

The bottom has now been thrown on top of the wheel stack so we can pick the odd sensor and hose off it and swap it to the spare bottom end.

This explains the rebuild.

And with that, I ran out of garage time and knocked off for the day.
Next time we should be starting to put the engine back together using the spare block, the new gaskets/ARP studs and reusing the old heads.
We will also look at painting some of the bits and pieces, like coolant cross over pipe, the intake manifold, etc etc.

GC8 Engine Tear Down – Part 1

After yeeting the motor in the GC8 at the track, it’s been gathering a bit of dust in the shed as I ordered a couple of preemptive parts (head gaskets and ARP bolts), but this weekend we finally decided to get into pulling the motor out of the car and begin tearing it down.

The Legnum is still hogging the hoist so this will be an on the floor job πŸ™

I’m not a big fan of jack stands, so I always throw these trusty rims under the wheels…

Dropping the oil showed some interesting colours

Plenty of metal.

Radiator is out and stacked aside

Now to move onto removing the alternator and unbolting the air con compressor.

I will use the AC mounting points as a lifting point.

The AC just moves to the battery bay and gets tied up out of the road.

Bellhousing and engine mount bolts are then removed and we are ready to start lifting.

Nearly out!

And done!

And now it’s on the engine stand, ready for tear down.

The intake manifold was removed.

And then I realized I had made a rookie error, I removed the flywheel before I had undone the crank pulley bolt… So I had to resort to an old trick I learnt years ago. You pull a spark plug out, and you feed a bunch of rope into the cylinder bore. Then you wind the crank to the point where the rope is jammed between the piston and the head. The soft rope prevents damaging any parts but jams up the assembly solid enough to be able to undo the crank bolt.

It did require a big bar…

Then the timing covers could be removed so the timing belt can be accessed and removed.

Timing belt removed, now I just need to order a Subaru SST to lock and remove the cam gears.

Now to remove the cam covers.

The heads are very clean in side, this was surprising but shortly it was known why.

This motor has been previously rebuilt and had a set of ARP 2000 studs fitted. Shame I just ordered some!

Time to remove the engine mounts.

Now to pull the sump off.

Oil has that nice metal flavor to it.

Lots of metal!

Ooo, chunky.

More metal…

Well until the cam gear tool arrives, we’ve got to leave it there.
Part 2 coming soon!

Legnum Major Service – Part 6

Life happened and I stopped working on this for a while, so time to get back into it.

After cleaning the sump gasket surface on the motor, I then moved to cleaning the sump itself. Easiest way I have found is to use a razor blade and some elbow grease.

Then slazed on some good old permatex grey

And back on the motor she goes.

Next up was to start cleaning all the old water pump gasket off. Out came the razor blade again.

Looking better but still needs some more time, maybe even throw a caramel wheel in the drill and zing it off.

Legnum – Brembo Brakes

I happened to trip across some Brembo brakes for the Legnum one early morning and after dilemma decided it was better to buy them now instead of replacing all the existing rotors and pads to find out that brakes are still shit… So I bought them, some face lift front up rights and some other random Legnum parts.

These things a funking big, but the calipers are amazingly light. This upgrades the front to 320×30 and the rear to 300×24

Just slapped on the front of the car by the top join.

The rears needed the dust shields remove to fit, they were just simply spot welded on, so a little pull and wiggle freed them. At a later date I’ll make new ones.

Test fitting one of the rears to see if there was going to be any silly games with the rear handbrake drum, thankfully it went well. However it showed that I need to purchase some new rear drum shoes as these are quite worn.

Mitsubishi were pretty awesome and planned it so these bad boys would fit under stock Evo wheels.

Back side view, plenty of space.

Front side view.

ZZW30 – The Light Bar Of Freedom

I was looking to make an interstate trip, but the ZZW30 has pathetic lights, which left me a little worried about righting it off if I was to have an altercation with a Kangaroo.

Macropus rufus, Red Kangaroo

I found one of these nifty Narva LED light bars with a number plate bracketΒ and the matching Narva wiring loomΒ at my local AutoOne.
Perfect for this little car where I’m not really wanting to drill holes for a light.

Bracket goes on behind the number plate and use the standard number plate bolts to hold it on.

The LED Light bar bolts to that and the hardware side of it is done.

Grabbed the wiring loom kit and hacked it into the car, lazily pinched a trigger wire from the high beam circuit.


I missed getting some photos before taking a trip, but the light bar is insanely good and allows a good 250+m of clear visibility up the road, great for spotting wildlife well in advance of getting close to them. I’ll add some photos and videos to this post at a later date.

Legnum Major Service – Part 5

I pulled the lower sump off the motor and found a fair bit of sludge and crude on the pan walls, some on the pickup and a bunch on the upper sump

This was what the pan looks like after a quick rinse of degreaser.

Heaps of crude in the upper sump. My engine build has recommended removing as much by hand and then running some diesel oil for a bit to break it down and remove it.

Pickup had a little bot cleaned up relatively quick.

More sludge hiding in a corner

One messy motor, a few more hours of elbow grease and I can start reassembling

Legnum Major Service – Part 4

Parts a flying in everywhere.
Radiator and heater hoses, turbo and head gaskets and a GFB Blow Off Valve.

And the heads are back from my local engine builders. They have been cleaned, serviced and are ready to go back on the motor with the new head bolts.

The engine builder has recommend I pull the sump off the motor and check that the oil pump pickup is not choked with sludge, so that’s the last bit of work before I get into the reassembly stage.