Is Your Turbo Subaru On Borrowed Time? Read This and Find Out.

Those of you that follow the 1A Auto Blog may remember the 2006 Subaru Legacy GT project car that I bought a few months ago.  If not, you may want to start off by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of the project before jumping head first into today’s post. Then again, maybe you just want to dig right into the meat and potatoes.  For that, I can’t blame you. In fact, that makes you a straight shooter, and that’s what I’ve always liked about you.

Okay. Here goes…

The new-ish VF40 turbo on the 2006 Legacy GT destroyed itself in hellacious fashion recently. Yes. It was quite an experience that I won’t soon forget. Raining, muddy, on a steep hill, on a high speed road, and then shrouded in disappointment from my “towing service” who shall remain nameless. If I had only known a month ago what I know now, this horrible event would have definitely been avoided. So now, I want to inform turbocharged Subaru owners far and wide of this absolutely simple maintenance that can make a destroyed turbo totally preventable. For me, I can only blame myself for not researching this car & EJ25 engine more, because this info is already out there if you just search for it. Sadly, I just didn’t realize that I needed to. Research, research, research when you buy a car that you are unfamiliar with. Hit the car forums. Ask the people that drive them. Be your own automotive advocate. It WILL save you cash and stress.

Now let’s get to the good stuff! Once the red beauty was towed home and placed in the dry, loving surroundings of the garage, I found that the shaft inside the VF40 turbo had been completely starved of oil, and it broke in half at the center bearing. This left the turbine wheel dancing around inside the turbine housing, which is never optimal for peak performance. With the engine running, the sound could have been mistaken for somebody feeding steel chains into a wood chipper. I immediately asked myself “how the heck did this happen?!” The car had brand new oil in it, only about 2000 miles on the oil that I got it with a couple of months ago, and I knew that the previous owner took amazing care of this car because she loved it. I hit the internet in search for the answer.

Much to my surprise, there was 350+ page thread on Legacygt.com that discussed this exact problem in detail, because hundreds of other Subaru owners have had the same exact problem as me. The cause - the banjo bolt (also known as a “union” bolt) that is part of the oil feed line to the turbo. Inside this banjo bolt is a tiny little (stupid) filter. Over time, this tiny little filter does its job and filters contaminates from going into the turbo. Great, right? No. Not so much. Because most people rarely, if ever, replace them. Left untouched for too long, the filter becomes clogged, and your turbo is starved of oil, which quickly leads it to an early death.

Needless to say, I am no longer a fan of this bolt or the filter that lives inside it, and I decided that there was no way that I was replacing it with the same style system. There just had to be something better out there, like maybe an oil feed line with a washable filter, and more oil volume?  ALAS!  The internet saved the day again! A company called “Infamous Performance” in California created an oil feed kit that appears to be far superior to the factory system. The kit that they sell completely eliminates the factory oil feed, and grabs engine oil from a “better” location. It also has a terrific looking, larger oil filter than can be cleaned out easily at your leisure. Since I also needed a new turbo, I went with a hybrid 16G VF40 from BNRSupercars. Both parts got to me fast, and worked perfectly without any drama whatsoever. The car now is now fixed, the birds are singing, and a beautiful red 2006 Subaru Legacy GT is back on the streets again.

Now, for those of you with turbocharged Subarus, don’t freak out yet.  The first step is to find out if your car even had this banjo (union) bolt with the filter inside it (Not all Subarus do. In fact, the majority don’t.). For the cars that do have it though, it is located on the back of the passenger side cylinder head, and it holds down the turbo oil feed line. A super helpful Subaru owner known as “niemkij” on iwsti.com did a fantastic write-up of how to replace one of these bolts yourself. Currently, a new “union” bolt is around $17 new from a Subaru dealer, and probably take between 15 minutes and an hour to replace, depending on your level of expertise.

For all intents and purposes, replacing this banjo bolt with a new one from the dealer is all you really need to do. I go overboard on everything that I do, so I went with the whole new feed line & fancier turbo instead of the OEM stuff. The moral is, this tiny little turbo oil feed filter needs to be replaced on a regular basis. If you don’t replace it, or don’t know when the last time yours was replaced, you may be risking the life of your turbo. Check it out, and report back your findings. I want to hear about your Subaru.

 

Turbo 4G63 Dragster Runs 6.85 @ 195mph

Remember last summer when we watched the 4G63 (read: Mitsubishi Eclipse engine) powered dragster go deep into the 7′s in the quarter mile at 190 mph? Well this year it runs 6.85′s and 195. According to math, science and history, that officially makes this thing sickly fast, and a new record holder.  The guys at turbo4.com deserve a round of applause for really pushing the limits with this engine, and the car that it is strapped into.  Amazing work as always!  Now let’s see what 200mph looks like!

Watching A Lamborghini Crash Is Mostly Just Sad.

Watching a car crash is like, well, watching a car crash. You see the impending doom, time slows down and you start moaning like a zombie. Then the inevitable happens, the car collides with something and your zombie-esque moan turns into a breathy lung exhausting “aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh”.

This video is one of those moments.  You know what’s about to happen from the first rev of the engine. One minute later, the Lamborghini becomes the swirly meat in a giant car sandwich. The only word that comes to mind in this instance is a sarcastic “unprofessional“.  Sorry for your loss of nice bodywork Lambo.

This Was Neil Armstrong’s 1967 Corvette

Back in the 1960′s, if you traveled into space, it meant that you were a pretty big deal. It also meant that when you weren’t strapped to the side of a rocket, you were getting sweet deals on Corvettes. Awesome new Vettes. With Big Blocks. And 4-Speeds. Neil Armstrong was doing exactly this back in December of 1966 and Jim Rathman Chevrolet in Melbourne Florida was the reason why.  See, Jim knew that astronauts were going to be in the spotlight, so if he put them in new Corvettes from his dealership, it would be a hell of a win for everybody involved. He was right. Then, when the next model year Corvette came out, the astronauts typically traded their “old” one for a fresh new one.

Fast forward to today, and I notice that Neil Armstrong’s 1967 Corvette was recently on eBay.  It hadn’t seen the street since 1981, and long ago, it had some rough looking fender flares and non-oem wheels attached . Luckily, the big block and the 4 speed transmission are both still there, and that is what really matters. Unfortunately for the bidders, the auction ended without the reserve ever being met. Apparently $250,090 just wasn’t enough to own this piece of American history.  What do you think it’s worth?

eBay Item # 251051174912

Did You Know: Pininfarina Designs Coke Machines?

Remember when Pininfarina was designing the most amazing looking cars in the world?  Yeah. Well, they apparently can add Coke machine design to their resume as well.  I must say, it was no doubt the greatest coke machine that I have ever laid my greasy mitts upon.  There were about 20 different beverages to choose from, and it felt very much like I was using and Ipod.  Oh, and it also served a delicious fountain Coca-Cola classic as well, as you might expect from such a device.

Is this just plain wrong?  Or is it nice to see a recognizable world famous automotive designer branching out into areas that I can actually play in? What’s your take?  Ever seen one?

 

Kaizen Tunings Mitsubishi Evo X Time Attack Project Car

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel Oliveras of TT Productions. As you’ll see, he is super talented when it comes to visual media, and he recently documented the building of Kaizen Tuning‘s new Evo X time attack project car. Through a series of fortunate events last weekend, I also got to see this  Evo in person at Kaizen’s shop and swoon over it’s good looks. From my perspective, it is everything I would want in a race car (or daily driver for that matter). It has a beautifully built cage, minimalist interior, all wheel drive, assumed huge power from the built engine, and the rumor is that the body kit on it is the only one like it in the United States. In video and in person, this car is amazing from every single angle. The crew at Kaizen did one hell of a job building it.

For those of you that have yet to see this car in person (read: the majority of the world), Daniel has captured it all on film for us and merged it together into an adrenaline spiking cornucopia of eye candy… And this is just the trailer. Enjoy!

Update:  Unbeknownst to me at the time I wrote this, HT Motorsport actually did the fabrication on this Evo.  You may remember HT Motorsport from the incredible LS1 powered Audi RS6 a few months back. Small world right? Or do I just seem to be drawn to beautiful metal fabrication?  Not sure. Either way, it is all around terrific work on this car.

Rusty Hoods Are Cool?

Waaaaay back in January 2010 I shared some pictures  of my friend’s plaid painted hood on his Subaru. Today, we have a different style of customized hood, and you guessed it!  It’s a Volkswagen! This one has more…..well, rust. BUT. It also had equally as much creativity. Haters gon’ hate rusty hoods, but I appreciate seeing some things that are outside the box every once in a while.  This VW most certainly fit the bill.

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