TRIKERBOB Trike Builder
The Following pages will introduce you to How I have converted my VW Trike over to a much better preforming, and much more reliable Subaru Motor .
It must be noted here that I am not a good motor mechanic, nor do I want to mis lead anyone in any way to think that I really know much about what I'm going to be showing and telling you here. The knowledge I have about this process and the particular motors that I use, are from just my own personal experience in doing what I've done. Others, with more knowledge about the Subaru motors would no doubt have additional information or might even say that there is a better choice or easier way to do this. I'm just going by what I have done. It has worked very well for me and so I want to pass on what I know about these little motors, and what I believe you will gain from making the switch to a good Subaru Motor.
First off, my experience with these motors is strictly limited to one particular motor class. It is the Subaru 1.8 EA82 Carbureted motor. This motor was found in the Subaru cars from early 1985 up to 1993 in some models. Now it must be understood that most if not all the EA82 series motors you see after 1986 will have been changed over to fuel injection motors by the factory. This does not cause any problem at all. I will tell you exactly what you must do to convert the fuel injected motor over to a carburetor motor. Its very simple and should not be of any concern to you when your looking for a motor for your Trike. In fact, Id say, the newer the motor you can find, the better off you'll be for a couple obvious reasons. They will probably have less miles on them, and the later models were fitted with better heads than the 1st generation of these motors. So get the best one you can find. Understand this, these motors are not as easy to find these days as they were a few years back. You will probably not find one in any of the specialty junk yards. There is not a big demand for these parts any longer so the big yards just don't stock these cars. Your best chance to find these motors will be at your local Pick & Pull yard. Most Pick & Pulls will charge about $300 for a complete motor that you pull yourself. Its a bit of a pain to pull your own motor, but its well worth the hassle when you consider the price of a complete running motor. The only point I want to stress, is that you look for the stamp on the block that identifies the motor as an EA82. You will find the stamp just to the left of center of the block right at the front of the motor. It may be hard to see due to dirt build up, but be sure your pulling the correct motor. So find your motor either an early 85 or 86 carbereted one or fuel injected, pull it and get it home where you can get started making it ready to install in your Trike. At first glance, you might not think the motor will fit where your VW motor fit, but trust me on this, it will fit in the same space as your VW. Its a little heavier and maybe at most, a couple inches wider at the valve covers, but otherwise, its the same size and configuration as the VW motors. The biggest difference is that the Subaru will be a lower profile when done due to being water cooled and does not have that big tall shroud like the VW has.. The other big difference with these motors is the fact that they are SOHC motors. They have timeing belts and are a little different when it comes to timeing them. So find a manual for your motor to follow if you ever find you want to change the belts. I do reccommend that you at the very least, inspect the belts while the motor is out and on the counter where you can get to it easily. Change the belts if any sign of were or cracking is seen. You will probably never have to deal with them again, but it is a little tricky to get the timeing correct after you change them, so get the book and keep the stock flywheel or flex plate on the motor until that job is done. You'll need the marks that are there to set timeing. The marks are not on the adapter plate you'll get from Kennedy, so be sure you keep the stock flywheel handy even after you have your motor installed, you might need it later or at least copy the marks to your adapter for future use..
Ok, lets move on to what you need to do to make your motor, Trike ready.