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Author: Subject:  Is a EA81 worth it?
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posted on February 16th, 2009 at 11:09 AM
Is a EA81 worth it?


Hi, I have looked at a lot of different Subaru engines for my Superbug. The engine bay has been modified to fit an EA82 but I can seem to find one for sale in decent condition. I can get an EA81 that's good but I'm not sure if it would be worth it.
I could just put my VW 1600 in the car. Would an EA81 be much better power wise?
What about fuel economy? I don't need a really quick car. And I will drive it a lot so I want something that will last. Please help me as I don't have any idea on what would be the best course of action to take.
Thanks:(
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posted on February 16th, 2009 at 02:15 PM



PUT AN EJ22 IN IT!!! :yes:



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posted on February 16th, 2009 at 03:59 PM



Yeah it would be if you already have the adaptor plate and flywheel , or can get them cheap , the motors are starting to get a bit old now and a little harder to get , but there still out there .
I had an ea81 in my 58 beetle 10 years ago and it shit on the old 1600 vw motor that was in it (no offence to the vw motor people }, and was good on fuel from memory ,, I still have the adaptor and another motor thats sitting in my split ute , to move it around the farm , I wouldn't hesitate leaving it in the ute or putting it in my oval , which evers ready for the road first ..( that being said , without cutting anything on the oval or split for the radiator to fit if possible )
I also have an ej20 T in my 89 transporter , which is also much more fun then the old 2.1 and pretty much on par fuel wise with the old motor , and much cheaper to replace if it shits itself .
Anyway go for it if you can get your hands on the bits cheap , it's a good conversion ,, otherwise go for something a bit later .... :cool::cool:
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posted on February 16th, 2009 at 07:00 PM



Personally, I would go the original 1600 with good bits added.

The other option would be the EJ22, but it is a much bigger course of action. The EA series to me is wasted effort. You get a certain amount of extra, but it is just not worth the effort. So in short my option would be EJ22 or EJ20T OR hot Type 1 being an 1835 or 1916.

I would lean towards the hot type 1 in a beetle, and an EJ22 in a bus.




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posted on February 16th, 2009 at 07:27 PM



the EA81 is a pushrod engine and Im not sure if you'll find one in reasonable nick.. The subaru Brumby's (4wd) had them I think and I have driven a type 2 with an EA81 donk in it.. went well enough..
The EA82 was a different beast altogether.. had an overhead cam and a fair bit more horsepower.. also EFI if I'm not mistaken.. No idea on reliability..

Look.. If you have a cheap EA81 and all the mods and plumbing are in your bug.. why not give it a go.. should be good for about 80 horses
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posted on February 18th, 2009 at 07:38 PM



i didnt think it was worth it either till i saw how much abuse the one fitted to Gordons yellow convertible baja bug took

it was all standard cept for a weber and twin cannons and with 4 of us in flogging around the gold coast it really impressed me how well it pulled and the torque especially considering that thing had big mud tyres on it too
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posted on February 19th, 2009 at 12:00 AM



I would definatelly go with a EJ series which has more benefits than the old EA series.



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posted on February 21st, 2009 at 07:47 PM



EJ22 motor & vw adapter plate & fly wheel


FS : EJ22 motor c/w full harness ecu
$600.00

C/w vw adapter plate & fly wheel
$450.00

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posted on February 21st, 2009 at 10:55 PM



Ok.

This is just what I have found while running the EA81 in my BAJA.

To start with my engine has a Webber 32/36 and a Turbo/torque cam.

I got it of a Guy on another forum 2nd hand and have been running it for 3 years on and off road as my main drive.

It has plenty of power and torque to get me into trouble in saying that a EJ engine has more .

in that three years and at times well a lot of the time I have give it bloody hell with never a miss from the engine it just keeps giving.

Apart from normal services and oil changes I have had nothing to do on the engine.

The other thing I like is that it is still a basic engine and is easy to do anything on if you need to.

So for me I will be building over time another ea81 but just a bit more after market stuff to make it go harder so that when the one in the car gets a bit lazy I car just swap over and then rebuild the old one.

This is just my thoughts and it is not what most people would do but I am just a toxic old fart stuck loving carbs.


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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 08:47 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Midlife crisis
Ok.

This is just what I have found while running the EA81 in my BAJA.

To start with my engine has a Webber 32/36 and a Turbo/torque cam.

I got it of a Guy on another forum 2nd hand and have been running it for 3 years on and off road as my main drive.

It has plenty of power and torque to get me into trouble in saying that a EJ engine has more .

in that three years and at times well a lot of the time I have give it bloody hell with never a miss from the engine it just keeps giving.

Apart from normal services and oil changes I have had nothing to do on the engine.

The other thing I like is that it is still a basic engine and is easy to do anything on if you need to.

So for me I will be building over time another ea81 but just a bit more after market stuff to make it go harder so that when the one in the car gets a bit lazy I car just swap over and then rebuild the old one.

This is just my thoughts and it is not what most people would do but I am just a toxic old fart stuck loving carbs.


Marc
no need for a diagnostic computer when you break down either




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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 08:50 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Joel
i didnt think it was worth it either till i saw how much abuse the one fitted to Gordons yellow convertible baja bug took

it was all standard cept for a weber and twin cannons and with 4 of us in flogging around the gold coast it really impressed me how well it pulled and the torque especially considering that thing had big mud tyres on it too
you mean this one

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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 09:38 AM



hmm good thoughts, hmm good tip on diagnostic computer for faults that would be pain versus carbs



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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 09:42 AM



EJ22 has its own diagnostics.....



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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 12:23 PM



oh great!



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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 12:31 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by MickH
EJ22 has its own diagnostics.....
so if i had a whole 92 liberty and sherman adaptor kit is it a fairly simple swap ...baja is wired for ea81




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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 09:34 PM



I run an EA81 in my 1300kg type3 kitcar. I love it. Stacks of torque, enough go, super reliable and cheap to maintain. No ECU, air or speed sensors, fuel surge tank/return lines etc., just so much simpler and cheaper than an injected transplant for the home mechanic. Used a lot in light aviation too due to its uber reliability.

Can still be bought totally remanufactured for less than $1500 complete long motor. Stock engine is 90-100hp, depending on which of the numerous factory manifold/carb setups (two different manifold carb flange bolt spacings, 4 different carbs) it has, and the exhaust. Add a Sherman adaptor, an auto electrician, some exhaust work and some cooling and you've got a brand new, super reliable engine and double your hp for MUCH less than a tough VW donk build.




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posted on February 22nd, 2009 at 09:49 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by sinecure
I run an EA81 in my 1300kg type3 kitcar. I love it. Stacks of torque, enough go, super reliable and cheap to maintain. No ECU, air or speed sensors, fuel surge tank/return lines etc., just so much simpler and cheaper than an injected transplant for the home mechanic. Used a lot in light aviation too due to its uber reliability.

Can still be bought totally remanufactured for less than $1500 complete long motor. Stock engine is 90-100hp, depending on which of the numerous factory manifold/carb setups (two different manifold carb flange bolt spacings, 4 different carbs) it has, and the exhaust. Add a Sherman adaptor, an auto electrician, some exhaust work and some cooling and you've got a brand new, super reliable engine and double your hp for MUCH less than a tough VW donk build.
think im with you man im no efi tech and i need bullet proof:punk:




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posted on February 24th, 2009 at 09:24 PM



Hey Mick , where can I get the fresh motors you mentioned , or new parts for a rebuild , I have a couple of ea's sitting around I wouldn't mind rebuilding , if anyones else has got some info pass it on ... cheers
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posted on February 25th, 2009 at 10:07 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by sinecure
Can still be bought totally remanufactured for less than $1500 complete long motor.


I wouldn't touch any "remanufactured motor" if it was that cheap. I know so many people that have disasters with those sorts of engines. Why do you think it's that cheap? Answer = short cuts. :grind:

what you are really having here is a "EFI/ohc VS carb/pushrod" debate. For me, the EFI and ohc wins everytime. The only time the car didn't get me home was when I gave the ECU a bath. Let's say I won't make that mistake again. However there is nothing stopping you carrying a spare ECU. They'd be as cheap as chips for an EJ22. Re tuning, I haven't had to tune my car in four and half years and the ECU tells me when something isn't working right. Sure, I've had a few little dramas with my engine, but they were nothing I wasn't able to solve without help from forums such as this and people know the EJ series engine these days much better than when I did my conversion.

Go the EJ22, you won't regret it. I haven't heard anyone who's done the conversion say, "I wish I'd gone with an EA series motor". There's the real proof I reckon.

p.s. for $1050 from Seagull how can u go wrong?




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posted on March 1st, 2009 at 03:36 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by froger
Hey Mick , where can I get the fresh motors you mentioned , or new parts for a rebuild , I have a couple of ea's sitting around I wouldn't mind rebuilding , if anyones else has got some info pass it on ... cheers


Forgiveness request. Checked my reciepts and $1500 was to totally rebuild my engine (in an almost two year old quote). The exchange price for a remanufactured complete long was $2300 (again, almost two years ago).

Sorry for the misinformation. For some good news, there was an EA81 Leone with 'very good mechanicals' in the next to last Trading Post for $450 ono. Two 89 sportswagons in the current issue with blown gearboxes for $500 the pair. "Low KM" engines from importers as low as $850 with 3 month warranty. The Australian Rotorcraft websites and associated forums, and ausubaru.com usually have some EA's and parts for sale cheap too (QLD - a good running EA81 for $100 on ausubaru a couple of days ago).




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posted on March 20th, 2009 at 01:17 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Joel
i didnt think it was worth it either till i saw how much abuse the one fitted to Gordons yellow convertible baja bug took

it was all standard cept for a weber and twin cannons and with 4 of us in flogging around the gold coast it really impressed me how well it pulled and the torque especially considering that thing had big mud tyres on it too
just bought an ea81 wit 88500 original kms for 350 goin back in that baja

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