Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

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Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:08 pm

I thought it time to share my L series build here rather than through the "next bit of kit" thread. This is the short version ;)

I purchased Ruby Scoo from Yackandandah a in 2004 or 2005 for $500.  What we didn't know was that the engine was toast - over heated to the point that one cylinder was cracked about halfway down.

After some research I found that the EA82 engine came in EFI format, so went with one of these and had a steep learning curve into the operations of EFI systems.  Pick a part became my best friend here!  Problem was I lived over 1 hour away.

After a year in the shed she was ready for rego.  This is me learning some 4wd'n with a mate near Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo:
 
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From here I had a few mods done - welded rear diff.  This was a good and bad mod as it gave the vehicle awesome point and shoot abilities but with the lack of lift I managed some damage to the underside of the body, I inverted my floor pans and didn't realise this for some time.

In 2007 I roadtripped to WA with my brother with a "fresh" 9 month old rebuild that was going really well:

SA/WA boarder:
 
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Perth:
 
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Hit a new milestone while I was there:
 
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And we had some fun too:
 
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On the way home we (read: my brother!) blew the side out of the plastic radiator end tank on a hot day drive home.  We were stuck in Tintanara and were trucked home the next day.  After sorting a temporary radiator it turned out that the engine was severely cooked.

For 18 months I put up with a jerry-rigged carb engine over the MPFI wiring.  It got me around while I sorted all the bits for my EJ22 conversion - again pick a part played a huge role in this conversion - this time I got all the bits I needed the before getting into the conversion.  Cutting down the wiring was another steep learning curve and in hindsight quite easy to do, just need to know what you actually need and go from there.

I didn't do the HG's on the EJ as I bench tested the engine and was happy with how it operated.  When pulled from the yard it had 127xxxkms on the clock.  Turned out the clutch was completely fried.  All oil seals were replaced, cam belt replaced and I should have replaced the water pump - did it about a week after the conversion hit the road.

Easiest way to do the Engine and gearbox - out from under:
 
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I cased an L series gearbox in a set of EJ front cases to avoid an adaptor plate and an EA clutch.  This conversion is all EJ clutch and bolts straight up without issues:
 
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The initial test was a bit of fun in the paddock - I should've put the bonnet on though, it wasn't fun to clean!
 
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All fits in like it should be there.  The L series should've come with the EJ from the factory, it's a great combination!
 
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Out at Robe, SA:
 
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After a chance purchase of a lifted L series, in one weekend the swap was done and Ruby Scoo grew to this:
 
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More fun, Otways, VIC:
 
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A few years down the track and a lot of searching I managed to track down a set of the infamous Scorpion 14 inch rims, these ones with the awesome general all rounder Wild Conqueror Super Trippers (can't get them anymore :():
 
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Robe, SA:

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Wyperfeld NP, VIC:

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Lerderderg SF, VIC:

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After two seasons at Mt Hotham and a 4wd'n trip with a "rally section" on the Dinner Plain Track south of the township I got Ruby Scoo airborne unintentionally.  Not realising for some time but I did some extensive damage to the suspension mount on the LHS.  Not ready to part with her I stripped her out and went to work between other things:
 
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While everything was reinstalled I added power windows, mirrors and central locking.  That took a pot load more time than I anticipated and blew out the build time.  I would say this took me 6 months over the summer period to sort out and get back on the road.

Return to the road:
 
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Getting back into the thick of it:  Mt Cole:
 
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Getting out in the High Country with the Subaru Club of Qld (offroad club, can't remember their official title) - most of these guys are online mates from ausubi:
 
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Basalt Knob South Tk before it was switchbacked:
 
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Back at Mt Hotham for another visit (Love this place!)

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New "trick" gearbox - L series AWD locking centre diff, front OBX (cheap!) LSD, 1.59:1 low range, low range oil feeders and 4.111:1 diff ratio (old box 3.7:1 stock ratio):
 
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Diff locking mechanism:
 
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This was an awesome mod - the diff ratio change has transformed the drive for the better.  The ratio matches the tyre size the same as the foresters run so it's a tried and tested setup, just not really done in an L series in this fashion on a regular basis.
 
I added a snorkel for added confidence during water crossings (the next bit of kit thread):
 
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This was 2013.  For the christmas period we were planning another road trip to WA to catch up with some mates I made over there on the cruise in 2007.  Unfortunately after finally getting my AC sorted the Head Gaskets let go.  Not a bad run so I shouldn't complain - just the timing over the silly season slowed down the new parts arriving in a timely manner.  But she's sorted again and running very well.  First time I've had an EJ stripped down like this:
 
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Where I think the HGs let go, wasn't major but enough to run hot on a warm day.  No damage resulted, money saved there :D

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Back together sporting a new radiator conversion (N14 pulsar) and new thermo fans - a good setup so far:
 
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Over Easter 2014 we ventured into new territory out at Walhalla in the foothills of the Vic Alps:
 
First real good use of snorkel - Fulton's Creek Tk, Walhalla:
 
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Messing around, Fulton's Creek:
 
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Trig Track - 12 switchbacks!
 
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Loved this area and seriously cannot wait to get back out there!
 
Last trip most recently was to McKillop's Bridge (very speccie!) and the general Snowy River NP, VIC:
 
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^ Pics do not do this bridge justice, it's very high, very long and has been flooded over several times!

I was with a "different" cohort for this trip with some mates in larger, "real" 4wds:
 
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Ruby Scoo held her own:
 
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Until I managed to blow 2nd gear coming off throttle on a down shift from third.  Nothing harsh about it.  From here it was a tow job, not fun!
 
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Once back on a decent track - logging truck track - we decided to see if I could manage third, using low range as another gear.  This was done to avoid time delays, rocks flicking up and damaging the front of my vehicle and my newish windscreen.  It was noisy in the box but it kept going, at the time I was kind of past the point of caring.  After stopping for the others to catch up (I was rally style, they weren't!) we continued but I think it was too much, once the oil settled in the gearbox bits had moved.  At walking pace I ended up locking up all four wheels.  We were trailered from there, trailer came from Orbost. 

Then another type of towing occurred a week later:
 
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^ These guys were great, they let me park up for a week in their yard very cheaply!  Near M&D's, not quite "home" though:
 
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The gearbox came out at M&D's before I took the car home as I was itching to get it started.

Once the box was stripped we found this damage:
 
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I've since sourced an SG forester gearbox for it's stronger internals as Subaru did a big overhaul on the 1st and 2nd gearsets in these boxes along with a few other things.  My bench looks like this as I work through the little hurdles that are thrown my way:
 
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I've had to modify a few things along the way, the low range synchro hub being one of them:
 
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Latest modification hurdle is the woodruff key for the 5th gear as I want to use the 0.87 ratio I've got in the shed, not the SG's 0.78 as that's what I used to have and I wasn't too keen on it at cruise:
 
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That's where I'm at.  Using Redback (Brumby) as the daily which is what I got her for, but I can't wait to have Ruby Scoo back on the road and 4wd'n again.  I'm also working on some surface rust I've found since removing the gearbox, this is a slow process itself and work/family/social life is getting in the way too.  Weekends are not at home at the moment :(

I can't see myself moving to a "real" 4wd anytime soon as suggested by Dad and a bunch of mates just about every time I rock up in RScoo. Love the ease of working on the Subi, how light it is and it's offroad capabilities. I also like that it's smaller than most of what's on the market and that it's larger than a Suzuki Saira.

I hope you've enjoyed reading and viewing the pics.  While writing this and looking at the large number of pics I've got I've surprised myself just how many places I've been with Ruby Scoo. Many more pics if you want to view!  She's currently knocking on 500k kms...  I've had many great times out bush in this vehicle and I'm hoping there will be a number of years of more good times to come!

Regards

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby nig » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:39 pm

Great write-up :thumbsup:

So are there any original mechanical parts left in her?
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:11 pm

nig wrote:So are there any original mechanical parts left in her?


As it came from the factory no. Basically had a full drivetrain rebuild over the years. This includes swapping out rear swing arms and front hubs to learn how to replace these bearings on a bench without downtime on the vehicle.

It's on its third gearbox, third and a half once the box is back in one piece and reinstalled!

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby beaujest4 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:14 pm

Big write up, doing a good job mate
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby Taziiy » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:08 pm

wow lot of work done on it well done
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:28 pm

I thought a big write up would be the best way to go - otherwise I'd be chasing my tail and trying to answer things in between. Plus I know how members love pics!

My comment about the three gearboxes, I should've also said that each gearbox has been fine when it was removed. The swapping of boxes has always been for an upgrade until this one that popped. The original box had 400k km on it without any issues. It's now running in a mate's car that's ended up as our paddock bomb.

I've loved building this vehicle, and once the body is stuffed I can see myself building another one up.

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:56 pm

Shed time ahoy!

Yesterday I got the front diff settings sorted. This was a really big thing for me to get right. The first gearbox I ran with on the EJ conversion I did by feel and it was running really well when it came out to put this box in.

Leaving out the input shaft allowed me to only bolt up the cases once which made things LOADS easier:

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I've also spent some time installing the low range oil feeders into the SG cases:

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And had to shave some casing to make the L series low range selector fork fit properly. I was privileged to use a mate's air belt sander that created a VERY neat and smooth surface once completed:

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The finished product with enough clearance to make it work without losing the dedent ball:

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Got a lot to do tomorrow but I feel that I've finally got the momentum I've been longing for since Term One!

I'm hoping tomorrow will see an almost complete gearbox if not a gearbox in one piece. I'm looking forward to fitting this back in to Ruby Scoo. I still have to fit the new rear main seal, then the flywheel/clutch etc.

Lastly, this is Ruby Scoo and how she's been "living" for the last 8 months, slowly collecting more and more crap on top of her because it's easy that way :(

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Last night I also got stuck into some rust I've been putting off. Now I wish I got onto it earlier:

Before a wire wheel:

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After wire wheeling:

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This is all under a coat of rust buster and is awaiting further treatment to seal it all up. I might have to go a bit further in areas under the paint due to the rust making "in roads":

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At least this is easily accessible. I'll also have to do the inside of the guard as this is where I think the rust started.

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:50 pm

Geez I need to make more time to drop in and keep the updates regular!

I'll get pics later but the following has occurred:
- July: gearbox finally fitted!
- September: gearbox back out due to being stuck in high range - turned out to be a washer that is not used in the phase two gearbox cases :mad:
- November cup weekend: first trip out to the Strathbogie Ranges near Benalla VIC - car went awesome and this was our first solo trip too.
- Mid to end of December: Cleaned up some surface rust in the guards, replaced the odd drive shaft, front wheel bearings and did some wiring in prep for a big trip
- End of December: Road tripped to Preston Beach, WA via the Nullarbor and Wave Rock in Hyden. Radiator almost didn't let us get there with a leak from about 4 cores near the top of the radiator.
- Jan, radiator finally sorted with a new N13 pulsar dual copper core radiator - works awesome! New thermo fan to replace a dead one too
- later in Jan - snapped some bits in the gearbox while out at Lancelin in their lovely white dunes. Gearbox rebuild occurs.
- late Jan finally road tripping home. Fell in love/became addicted to the Nullarbor stars on a moonless night.
- on return home rear tyres are chewed out on the extreme inner edge, almost on a 45 degree angle
- March: rear bushes replaced. Old units were severely chewed out. Wish I'd found this prior to the trip.

So the gearbox has been a real saga. The bit that snapped was a custom piece and it was evident that the welding had only made about 2mm penetration. With the newly machined up part it's been done properly and I know it'll be good for a long time to come. That's what I get for buying parts on the cheap when I didn't know how they could be done properly in the first place.

A couple of teaser pics for you:

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And my favourite pic of the trip at Koonalda Historic Homestead:

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Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby nig » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:14 pm

Sounds like an eventful trip - look foward to the full report :thumbsup:
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby beaujest4 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:05 pm

Nice teasers, we wait for the full report
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:08 pm

Ok so while posting the WA trip report I remembered there was another trip we did prior to the huge trans continental road trip that can be found here: Strathbogie Ranges first solo trip

And

El_Freddo's trip to WA

That should keep you busy for a while :P

Enjoy

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby Taziiy » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:44 am

:thumbsup: :Driving:
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby El_Freddo » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:56 pm

Another Trip Report to add to the short list:

Toombullup State Forest Solo Trip ;)

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Ruby Scoo - the Offroad Subaru

Postby Foo » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:16 am

:thumbsup:

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