Eric Tischer's (other) page on the Web

This page is dedicated to my 914 project,

and my friend Aaron, who supplied me with tons of free parts.

Engine adapter already bolted on subaru motor, modified flywheel also in picture. Complete engine adapter ( item 5500 ) was 626.68 after tax and shipping from Kennedy engineered products, KEP. This also included a 125 dollar core for the 914 flywheel, so figure on spending $500. From Pick and Pull, the engine was $255. This included the computer, wire harness, air flow meter, alternator, turbo, audi expansion tank, audi shroud, and audi cooling fan. Another item you may want to pick up is the computer that runs the knock sensor. The engine does runs without it. It is mounted inside the door jam on the passenger side of the XT turbo models. You should beable to identify it by the wire colors. (its about the size of a pack of cigarettes)

Air dam under construction. I used a box from a shop light as a base and just started glassing over it. The top of the air dam is folded, and is sandwiched between the metal bumper frame, and the rubber bumper cover. The same screwes that held the bumper cover on, now hold both the cover and air dam. Inside the wheel wells, the air dam is attached using ordinary "C" clamps. I chose option rather than screwing into the sheet metal. This allows the air dam to give when the car bottoms out, or hits a curb, rather than bend the sheet metal, or crack the air dam. It also makes it easy to remove when I need to attach the tow bar.

Once I had a rigid frame, I trimmed the edges with a dremel cuttoff wheel. The spiral cutting bits also work well.

Again using the dremel, I cut holes out for the air intake to the radiator, and molded in a scoop. I have had only one problem with the airdam. Once the bottom eventually wore through the fiberglass ( from bottoming out ), the cardboard got wet and corregated center eventually seperated. I took the airdam off filed the hollow center, and added some structual supports at the edges of the opening. Since then it has been fine.
##add picture of completed air dam##

A 1" square piece of tubing was welded in to add support that was lost when the intake hole was cut. Additional pieces were welded in to support the trunk latch. Upper radiator mounts also attach to this 1" tube using hyme joints. Sheilds were later attached to the upper radiator mounts. This was done to prevent the hot air from the radiator from flowing over the top of radiator and recirculating. The sides and bottom gaps were filled with foam. A metal frame and grille were welded into floor of the front trunk. Only the flat part of the trunk was cut out, since this doesn't add as much structural support as the curved parts.

Radiator, cooling fan, shroud, expansion tank are from the Audi 5000 ( 5 cyclinder). It has a thick alumnim core, and bonus, its made in Germany. I paid $65 for it brand new in the box on ebay. Mercedes benz airflow meter rubber isolators were used as bottom radiator mounts.
Even in summer the cooling fan only runs about 1/2 the time (in traffic, worst case). Engine temp is maintained at 180 deg. The cooling fan draws significant current (enough to fry a 30 amp relay), so a heavy gauge wire was run directly to the battery. The fan relay was also wired to the air conditioner idle boost solenoid to kick up the engine RPM when the fan is running.

Copperlines were run through the rear firewalls, along the center tunnel, through the front firewall, and under the gas tank. Mild (very mild) "smashing" of the tank was required. This basically was folding the seam on the tank. Still no leaks...

11/00 added a heater core from a Ford Festiva? Fiesta? The Fiesta dash is bolted on with about 10 nuts and bolts. It only took about 20 minutes to get the core out. A ball valve was installed to turn off the water to the heater core. The knob from the brass valve was aligned with the hole in the carpet which was originally there for the defrost indicator light. The stock 914 (late model) foam pillow (where passenger puts their feet) was trimmed and fitted to provied a flat surface. I have since replaced the speedo cable with the early style, and got rid of the black box.

Top view, showing hole cut in shelf and exposed heater core. The fan draws air through, then blows it into the two black ducts.

Top view showing the cap installed to plug the heater duct hole. The cap was purchased at home depot in the pvc aisle.

Top view of completed setup. The fresh air fan is mounted upside down to suck air through the heater core. Also note the fresh air intake housing has been cut, and sealed. This was to direct the rain water to the drain, and away from the stereo. The housing was cut on a bandsaw. It was then set on alumnim foil. The sides of the foil wrapped around the plastic housing. Fiberglass resin and mat were used to fill the bottom of the houseing. The foil was removed, a hole was cut and pvc fitting was epoxied inplace to allow water to drain into the drain tube.

(old picture) The original relay board was replaced by piece of plastic. All the wires from the plug were screwed down to a screw terminal block. Wires ( fuel pump, rev lights, tach, ignition) were connected to the engine from the terminal block.
It took a bit of trouble shooting to get the engine to start. If I remember the efi computer got its signal from the distributer. When I hooked up only the coil to the distributer I got spark. When both the computer and coil were connected, I got injector signals, but no spark. I put a 100 ohm resistor in series with the wire to the computer, and that solved my problem ( I got both spark and fuel injection and motor started). I guess the computer put too much of a load on the distributer wire, or the computer put out a voltage to the coil that masked the distributer signal. Perhaps Im missing a diode somewhere in the harness, but its working with the resistors, so Im leaving it alone.
A bleeder for the cooling system was added, just after the thermostat. This was made using a 1" x 1" x 1/2" copper T. A 1/2" brass insert with 1/8" pipe thread was soldered in, and a small valve was screwed in. The brass insert was purchased at A-1 Plumbing supply in Chico (530) 891 6428

The oil leaks have since been fixed... How ugly, I hate this picture. The motor mount bar is from early 914. I used 1/4" flat stock and 2" "C" shaped channel stock. 90 degree corner cuts were first drilled to avoid sharp corners and reduce stress concentrations. I had the mount professionally welded cause I wouldn't trust my welds against fatigue. Bracing and gussets were also added just to be safe.

Mild smashing of the long shift rod was needed to clear the early style motor mount bar. The later motor mount bar has a hole in it for the shift linkage. The early shifter rod may work without smashing, unless they were only used with sideshift transmissions.

A pocket needed to be cut in the rear trunk for the turbo to fit. The pocket is about one foot long, 3" deep and 4" tall. This pocket could have been smaller, or eliminated by fabricating new mounts, oil lines, coolant lines, and intake pipes, and moving the turbo. I had a heavy sheet metal box welded in place in effort to maintain the original strength.

A screw on lid in the trunk was installed, and can be removed to access the o2 sensor and disconenct the exhaust. The battery, and brain were relocated to the rear trunk.

10-00 Added Intercooler from a Turbo Renault. Turbo to intercooler hose is from volvo, and a non turbo subaru intake plenum was used. A 2" X 1 1/2" copper reducer was also needed, purchased at A-1 Plumbing supply in Chico (530) 891 6428. A nissan air filter housing was also added to get cold air from the corner of the engine compartment. A 2" rubber 90 degree elbow connects the intercooler to the throttle body. This piece is from home depot, and used for sewer plubing, but it hasn't yet failed (been about a year).

Oh yes.. Aaron and I did alot of body work, and painted it too. Yes, outside in the middle of winter. We painted it again 2 days later. This was one of the first things I completed. Aaron also showed me how to rebuild my tranny, thanks Aaron! The stock clutch has a bit of trouble keeping up, I would reccomend an upgraded clutch.

Added a turbo bypass valve. This valve opens when the throttle closes, redirecting any boost from the turbo back to the inlet of the turbo. Without this valve the turbo would blow against a closed throttle, and quickly loose its momentum. When the throttle opens again, it will have to spool up, increasing turbo lag. Now that I have the valve, when the trottle closes the pressure just circulates through the intercooler. I noticed reduced turbo lag and the funny "darth vader breathing" noise from the turbo went away.

Note the Bypass valve needs to connect after the airflow meter. This is a intake boot from a later xt, it has an extra hole for some reason. Fuel injection systems that use a map sensor to measure air flow can vent the bypass valve (blow off valve) to atmosphere. Since I have an air flow meter style, any air that escapes will cause a rich condition.
Well, turned up the boost to 9lbs from 6lbs stock. Without the intercooler it was running 7lbs stock, I guess I lost a pound due to resistance through the intercooler. Lots more power! The way I increased boost was by bleeding off pressure from the wastegate. The brass T and needle valve can be seen in the above photo; resting on the airfilter housing.

Well, turned up the boost to 9lbs from 6lbs stock. Without the intercooler it was running 7lbs stock, I guess I lost a pound due to resistance through the intercooler. Lots more power! The way I increased boost was by bleeding off pressure from the wastegate. The brass T and needle valve can be seen in the above photo; resting on the airfilter housing.

March, 2002. Engine has been backfiring about once a week blowing off hoses and vacuum caps; and stalling out the engine.

April, 2002. Engine backfired exploding the top off the intertercooler. I bypassed the turbo and intercooler to get home after the intercooler exploded, this let the turbo spin with no load, dammageing the oil seals.

I bought a welder and fabricated new tanks for the intercooler, and new intake plumbing. Added a pop off valve ($26 on ebay) to reduce risk of further problems. Turns out the backfires were caused by the ignition shutting off while driving, usually at full throttle.

9-27-02 Think I have a blown head gasket again.

Replaced the stock 65 amp alternator with a 140 amp unit. At redline with my cooling fan, headlights, foglights, intercooler fan, heater fan on, my voltage would drop below 9 volts. Now with everything on, Im maintaing 14v at above 1500 rpm. I had to shorten the top pivot, and lengthen the adjuster.

This page continues, click to see my Subaru 2.7 liter 6 conversion

After all's said and done I have spent $3500 - $4000 on this project. I paid 1200 for the car, 300 for back registration, 200 for stereo and speakers, 200 for primer and paint, 110 for 5 synchros and tranny seal kit, 250 for rims w/ tires, plus numerous maintance and non conversion related parts. Realistically you should set aside around $1500 dollars to complete this conversion ( and alot of time ).

If you are interested in doing this conversion, I would start work on the cooling system first. This was about half of the work involved. The car can still be driven while you work, which is a bonus. It was only three days from the time I was driving an aircooled 914 to the time I was driving with the watercooled motor. A solid day was spent on the wire harness, and a solid day or two on fabricating the motormount and exhaust. Well, good luck! Feel free to email me at
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