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build updates



Windshield installed from the parts car.

So our current order of operations is to get the car running, windshields installed and to test the radiator system for proper cooling and subsequent adjustments (if needed).

Step 1 is done.

Picked up front and rear windshield seals from KGPR.

Step 2 is to get the fuel system worked out.  More later on this.



Determining the year of JDM Subaru engines

If you are doing a Subaru conversion (Subaru engine into a VW), you’ll see many Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) engines available.  Many times these engines will be listed as a range.

Here are some EZ30 engines on eBay as an example:

(It still amazes me that you can buy 280-300HP for under $1,200)

So if you look at the listings above some will have a date range for that model engine.  The last listing shows an EZ30R with date range 2003-2006.  So if you are interested in that particular engine how do you tell what year it is?  From what I’ve found there are no year markings on the case, for example.
Some time ago I ran across an obscure forum entry that said Subaru prints the build month and year on the inside of the oil cap!   

So lo and behold, I checked the inside of our EZ30R’s cap and it shows:

Which we’re interpreting as a motor built in July 2005.   I don’t think many JDM sellers know about this. It’d be trivial to swap caps, for example.  But if you’re picking up an engine off eBay, you may want to ask.  



Vintage plates


We’ll see if the DMV will accept these.



An objet d’art…

So I just caught up on a few of the Basilari related threads on The Samba.  Got a chuckle out of the “looks like it may have become an objet d’art…” comment in this thread.

We’re back folks.   C’est vrai, we’re pushing for a fully functional, take my girl out of a date while triggering parked car alarms, rolling objet d’art.. :)

Deck lid script on the parts car.



Back in Action!

First, let me apologize. There was an insanely long break between updates here. Many projects like this tend to lose steam and drift away due to “life circumstances” as they say. Some of that effected this project as I was deep into flight miles related to my job.

When the car arrived back on the east coast, it was running poorly due to the rusty original tank providing just enough rust to clog up the fuel injectors. A foreign car repair shop tore everything down and had a mason jar on display with all the rust sediment at the bottom showing just how bad the tank was. :(  I have a pic but that was 2 phones ago (lol).

So we decided to disconnect the fuel tank and prep the car for storage as I looked for a local builder to finish the project.   And so we found one!  We were excited to tow the car to the local builder and have the next phase of this get underway. And then..


.. the car sat for over a year!

The problem was, this is a personal project which pretty much always takes a back seat to family and work. I was so busy that I didn’t really push to get the car moved up in the queue (or to keep it from being bumped to the BACK of the queue).  After a chat with a buddy of mine from back home, we decided to move the car to his brand new restoration shop as client numero one!

So, we’re on the move (even if towed), back on track and have a plan – more updates to come.

Back on the move!

Back on the move!

A low light in low light.

A low light in low light.

(It was incredible how many thumbs up and “\m/” hand signs I got towing the car! People either know a Ghia, or know that what they are looking at isn’t “normal”. Either way, the reactions are priceless!)



ECU Plan B

We’re moving to Plan B for the ECU.  The guys at Redline don’t appear to have the time or resources to figure out the Subaru trigger wheel.   The issue is with the crank position sensing ability of the map in the Redline unit.   The car does run with the ECU once it syncs but it’s a long, battery draining process as the ECU struggles to find its place.   But it seems to run very well when it all syncs up:

As mentioned in a previous post, Plan B is to get the evenly spaced trigger wheel (with missing sync teeth), pull the motor, install and remap to a known/proven config.   If all goes well, we’ll be back up and running in about a week.  After that, we’re finally shipping the Basilari home for the more cosmetic work!

Other videos:



ECU Programming and Running Engine

Well, we got the engine running – sort of.. We have some early problems getting it to fire at first due to the ECU not being able to recognize or deal with the stock Subaru trigger wheel (Subaru calls it a crankshaft plate – see pics below).  Kevin usually specs an aftermarket trigger wheel from Outfront Motorsports with uniform teeth.   The stock Subaru trigger wheel has a non-uniform pattern of pulse teeth and this is the essence of the problem we’re dealing with.  We needed to get the Redline ECU to understand this stock wheel.

Kevin and the gang over at Redline worked together to get support for this Subaru trigger wheel.  I found a few diagrams online showing the tooth pattern of the Subaru wheel.  I also found a pulse pattern graph and mocked up a tooth count for my own understanding.   I plan to do some software tinkering when I have the chance as the latest Redline ECU’s now have the ability to data log everything.  Data and software I get – wrenches, not so much. :)

Below are the images I found related to our situation.


Stock Subaru trigger wheel (EZ30R)


Subaru crankshaft diagram.


So the car starts after prolonged cranking as the ECU struggles to get in sync.  Once synced, it runs:

Longer version:

So our next step is to get another update from Redline that should have consistent, reliable and spot syncing with this wheel.    Once done, we should be moving on to the body work phase!



Stance (again)..

It was only when I stepped away that I fully appreciated just how this stance is shaping up.



A skinny “Fat Chick” gets weighed.

Got the car on the scale.  She weighed in dry at 1,895 pounds giving us a 66/33 (rear/front) weight distribution.  The weight distribution will be tuned up a bit before heading back to the east coast – would like to be at 62% rear bias.

At the moment, no complete interior, no bumpers, no fuel/coolant and no glass.

A stock Karmann Ghia is about 1,850 lbs.

Category update.



914/EZ30D video is back..

The video of the Brazilian Porsche 914 with EZ30D motor (not the EZ30R) is back online.  For some reason the guy made it private, but it’s now public again.  I know a few people wanted to know what happened to it (914/EZ30D video).

For the two guys that have sent email with questions, I’ll reply sometime this week.  I’ve been traveling quite a bit.  Thanks for the correspondence!

Oh and here’s a shout out Kyle Rice and his 1967 Karmann Ghia project!  He’s doing a Ghia with Subaru 4-cylinder and transaxle.



air intake work..

First round work on the air intake.. looks massive..






Body to chassis work..

Just wanted to toss up some pictures of the front-end stance (top row) some folks on ShopTalkForums wanted profile shots.  These aren’t full profile but it’s all we have at the moment.

The first picture is the result of the initial body to chassis merge.  I wanted to see if we could go lower.  Kevin then tweaked the suspension to drop the front a bit more.    I keep forgetting that these are 17 inch wheels – and as pictured, no rubbing, lock to lock! Trying to find the optimal mix between aesthetics and performance.

Ghias have narrow rear wheel wells.  So on the rear we rolled the fenders a bit to comfortably fit the 205s, but now we can (and will, eventually) go to 215s with no problem.




Exhaust work

Today Kevin sent a few pics of the exhaust work.  Welding will be finished and then it’ll be sent out for Titanium-color heat coating.

Underneath the car looks great.  On top, not so much. :)




Body on new chassis..

A car is born.

A couple of photos of the body fitted to the new chassis.   17 inch wheels all around.  Front wheels don’t rub.  Stance looks very similar to the Bader Ghia.  Kevin will check to see if we can go a bit lower as we’d like to have a bit of “tuck” on both front and rear.



Aerodynamic exploration

Tinkering with a wind tunnel simulator on the iPad.  The low light is extremely slippery in the wind.  Check out the laminar flow.



Chassis completed!

Sorry – I posted the Hot VW Drag Day photos before posting the completed chassis photos.

Here you go:



The Basilari 306R chassis featured at Hot VWs Drag Day

First public showing of the Basilari 306R (well, the chassis at least) and apparently, the chassis was a hit! Kevin said that his booth had visitors checking on the chassis all day long. Photos below!

The Drag Day is an event held twice a year in Southern California. Since we brought this event back just over 10 years ago, it has been a tremendous success.”



Chassis assembly – coming together..

Good updates received today.  The Redline ECU was delivered.  All parts have returned from powder coating and Kevin has installed the radiator frame and coolant pipes.   The motor was re-bolted to the transaxle as well.   The car is really, really coming together although we still have a long ways to go.

Next up – kafer bars, completion of the starter system, ECU installation, fuel system and finding some cheap tires.



Back from powder coating

More suspension and brake parts have arrived back from powder coating.   I haven’t talked to Kevin for about a week – been super busy at work.  The roll cage and the kafer bars aren’t shown and I’m not sure if they are back yet.  It’s very cool seeing this car come together – back to work for me though. :)

Kevin scooped me and posted these on The Samba with this pics – enjoy..