Obligatory finished picture of the coffee table project my father and I did first. I am in the process of sourcing two passenger side cam gears but everyone wants a mint for them. We topped it with a 2'x3' piece of 3/4" rounded and bevelled glass. Once we decided to go the coffee table route, we settled on raw aluminum and wrinkle red accents with some black to tie it all together. The goal was to make it look like we could pick it up and drop it in a car and it would run.
Girl in the avalon ran a redlight and decided i didn't need a bugeye anymore. The insurance company paid me for the damages (100 less than totaling it out) and I got to keep the car! I knew I was buying another WRX so I wanted to have the shell around because a lot of the parts would switch over.
Updated: Added material list and for reddit.
you will need: Wrecked subaru, hoist, cutoff torch, powder coater, lot of tools, engine block paint (raw aluminum), semigloss paint, Wrinkle red powder (from amazon), 3/4" tubing for glass mount, 3/4" weatherstripping, Felt pads(for bottom of legs), bench grinder, welder, glass top, way more time than sense.
Poor car has seen better days.
Step one is to cut off all this plastic and metal. These engine bays are cramped enough without being pushed in by the L/F wheel on a toyota at 40 or so.
Step one complete, cut off all the bumper supports in the way with the torch and get ready to snatch that bad boy out. At this point we weren't 100% sure what we were going to do with the block, thought about rebuilding it, thought about selling it, thought about a coffee table. but we wanted to tear it down and assess the damage before we made the final call.
That wasn't so bad!Had to cut a lot of the harness and I didn't have a buyer lined up for it so ohh well. This is where the real work begins.
Little info, some of the pics are going to be blurry because my phone camera is on its last leg, theres a lot of good ones though.
As you can see the impact broke off the passenger side gam gears, obviously broke the belt as well, at this point we were just wanting to open it up for internal damage.
So much grease and oxidation.
Man that thing is dirty, I knew I kind of needed valve cover gaskets, but that 200k+ of grime was caked.
Starting disassembly, at this point I went to the auto parts and picked up 2 cans of that gunk gel, and then some aluminum acid based cleaner that i poured on before the gunk, also bought some cheap dish brushes from walmart. I would highly suggest if you go this route to wear eye protection, a mask, and gloves, that stuff is NASTY and you don't want it on/in you.
After the acid and gunk its starting to look a little clean, but the oil has soaked into the pores (obviously) and it became easy to figure out that im not going to be able to degrease it off. , not doing enough to make me happy. Its at this point i started looking for people to hot tank it.
Got the lower intakes off
So here is where I decided "yep, coffee table!" All 8 valves were bent to hell, none broke though. Yes we could have rebuilt it but it wasn't worth it to me.
I picked up some scotchbrite pads, dawn dish soap, and 400 grit paper, rusto semi gloss black, and VHT generic aluminum paint. and went ham.
I easily spent 15 to 20 hours getting the oil off and cleaning every crevasse. I called around about hot tanking and everyone around here gave me the "we don't touch aluminum" bit. I planned on painting it with clear coat after anyway, so I didn't see the harm in just spraying it with raw aluminum engine block paint.
this is what its like when /r/beertrade and /r/diy collides. After countless late night hours of scrubbing I had mocked it up, started to see a little bit of promise.
mocking it up before paint to make sure everything fits.
I drilled out all of the dowel holes in order to make sure it would just fall together once the paint set and final assembly happened.
We decided to not just ditch the rods all together, instead we decided to use them as the legs!
Mocking up the leg pads, seeing if we needed to add any washers or spacers in order to make it level.
we took a level and added a couple of blocks on the intakes to make sure it was level, the rod closest to us in the picture needed about a 1/8th inch shim in it.
Take the time here in order to make sure it wont wobble later, this thing isn't going to be light. You don't want to take it apart and put it together more than you have to.
Decided I wanted to powder coat the lower intake and valve covers wrinkle red.
So I went to the local "wont use this enough to buy a nice one" store, harbor freight and picked up their powdercoat system with that badass 20% off coupon. I think it was around 50 before or so.
It came with black, and I ordered 1lb of wrinkle red off of amazon.
I had already practiced on the legs at this point so I felt good enough that it would work.
The harbor freight powder coater was on sale and it actually works pretty good! Wear a mask people, you will get it in your sinuses either way. A ton less this way.
This being a coffee table I wasn't really worried about taping anything up. These went to bake in a repurposed smoker until the wrinkles set in, time varied from 45 mins to 4 hours at 400* (running low on propane). But they came out really well.
NOTE: DO NOT USE AN OVEN THAT FOOD WILL EVER GO BACK INTO TO BAKE POWDER!!!!!
Im sure this stuff causes cancer, we had an old upright smoker that we now use so stuff like this.
Preheat the part for 10 mins or so, take it out and reclean it (has to be spotless, no oil!), I used rubbing alcohol and then pliers to articulate it while doing so. Hook up the air (20 psi or so) and ground to the part and spray away. Ideally you want to hang the parts to bake after you coat but this wasn't possible for me due to my makeshift oven.
So after all the cleaning, I went through and sanded every nook and crevasse with 400 grit. I threw one coat of VHT self etching primer on the parts and then gave everything 2 coats of the generic aluminum. Damn florida and its afternoon showers, this took a week because to the lack of clear weather.
Fuzzy picture, but I hit every exposed bolt with a wire wheel to get them spotless.
Different angle. As you can see we went ahead and cut the Cams off to save a little bit of weight. It really didn't save enough to matter. The whole thing is still going to be really heavy.
Final assembly of all the painted engine parts.
That wrinkle red worked out pretty well, I wasn't a fan of the plug holes so I went ahead and grabbed the coil packs and did my favorite thing in the world to them, broke out the dawn dish soap… ughhh
Pup shot 2
At this point we were trying to figure on mounting the glass. we thought about alot of different things but then i saw some 3//4" square stock.
As you can see, I took the studs out of the intake and used 4 bolts that are the same size to space the square stock over the intake bolts.
Make sure you countersink the square stock so you don't have exposed bolts, you aren't going to see the holes anyway once you add the weatherstripping.
Finished product! Just waiting on glass and trying to track down some cam gears so I can pull the pin on the auto tensioner. It makes a great living room addition to my new place for while I'm in grad school.
Just a superior shot, I padded the glass mount with door weatherstripping, Has enough adhesion to where the glass isn't sliding off, and it fits perfectly.
Also when cutting the square stock, we did 23", try to center up one where you want it and drill it, then you're going to need a square in order to center up the second one as the intake is offset. it takes a little time but its worth it.
As you can see with the weatherstripping you don't have any of those obnoxious holes.
i just figured someone would ask "hey, is that a Z in the backround?" Sure is, 77 280. And no it isn't for sale, not even for tree fidy.
Hope you enjoyed it!