Djuhnk's Minnesota Wagon Build

Hi everyone, let me introduce you to my ride! after my 02 forester was totaled last February I started car shopping. Ive always been a Honda guy but have had Subarus for the past few years just because they are AWD. So I started looking for RT4WD wagons across the states... I came across one in Seattle I liked but it didn't have A/C. It did however only have 165000 miles and everything was stock, so I flew out and grabbed it the next week. When I actually got in the car I realized right away it needed a lot of TLC. The door locks in the back were seized shut, the fold down seat knobs were broken off, there was a mouse nest in the air ducting under the hood, and there was a pretty sizable dent in the rear driver quarter panel that was relatively fresh and cracked the paint- didn't see it in any of his pictures.

So I got to work right away tinting the car and replacing my door lock knobs, because I had to break the other ones. (rear quarter panel dent visible in this pic)


Mouse nest!!!

Fast forward a couple months and I got some new enkei rims and Kumho tires for ~$600 shipped and a used set of yakima roof racks


Very versatile vehicle with a hitch, 4wd and SUPER LOW

I Found a used 4WD transmission locally, and grabbed it in case I need it.

Then Winter came and after driving it through salt a few months the very small amount of rust on it and open wounds from the dent in the back panel were starting to get concerning so I decided to start taking her apart and try attempting my first paint job. Im going to do door jambs but not the engine bay. I picked a similar color and I don't have plans for this being a show car or anything so my engine bay can be a slightly different color.
I also have started accumulating parts to go forced induction in the future. and I hope to keep updating the thread as I get more progress.
thats all for now!!


  • Good deal saving another wagon! Keep up the good work!
  • Love that you are putting the effort and money into saving it. These wagons are going away quickly. Diggin the wood door lock!
  • andreas542andreas542 Band Wagon
    Nice, great to see a Wagon getting saved!

    P.S. Rusty exhaust tips +10hp
  • DjuhnkDjuhnk Band Wagon
    update time!!!
    was doing body work over the winter, here is the car all sanded down

    Decided to paint the door jambs, so that meant taking the doors off the car for an inexperienced painter

    The biggest dent on the car, trying to pull it out.

    start of the bondo

    body painted- I used epoxy primer, urethane base and 2k clear coat.

    Heres the car mostly put back together
  • DjuhnkDjuhnk Band Wagon
    After the body was done, I fired it up and drove it around the block and then started taking my engine out to do a build

    heres the stock 170k mile d16a6 pulled out of the car


    heres the block all stripped down and taken apart, I didn't find any surprises, the bearings all were in spec and my cylinder walls were still in spec, albeit slightly tapered, but I decided to run std bore and put no notch speed factory long rods and pm6 pistons back in for 10.5:1 compression


    Honed the cylinder walls with 240 grit ball hone- they were pretty badly glazed and the engine was burning a qt of oil per 1000 miles

    heres one slight problem I ran into, I didn't realize the long rods were going to send stock pm6 pistons above the deck- this is about 40 thousands above the deck, my head gasket is 48 thousands, which is too tight for things not to get kissy. So I had to clearance the cylinder head in order to make it all work.

    cylinder head clearanced so the piston would fit up inside it.

    Heres the d16a6 about to get dropped back in

    almost there!!!

    Well, things are running good, im noticing more torque for sure with the higher compression pistons, plan is to break it in and then stick a small turbo on it and get it dyno tuned. Im breaking it in with conventional oil, and revving it hard and engine braking. suggested by an article in by a sport bike engine builder.
    here is a video of it running with the built motor
  • DjuhnkDjuhnk Band Wagon
    Also decided to install A/C before the turbo goes in so that I can work around the A/c and make sure I can get things to fit

    1st step- removing this through passage

    Kinda neat they made A/c so plug and play on these, heres the plug locations that go through the firewall, the top is for the ac lines, and the bottom is for the condensate drain

    AC evaporator ready to go in

    Evaporator installed

    heres the evaporator lines as they come through the firewall

    heres the compressor bracket, compressor, belt and hoses installed as they should be. What im planning on for turbo clearances is changing the discharge line I am pointing to. It wraps all around in front of the headers, which can make things tricky for installing a turbo. im getting a half sized radiator installed and when that happens I can run that hose directly from the compressor to the condenser without the loop de loop. it'll just take a $35 custom hose and a custom compressor adapter.
  • Painting the car in the garage and clearancing the head with a grinder? Good job! Adding A/C to a non-A/C wagon?? My kind of thread here. Props to you!
  • andreas542andreas542 Band Wagon
    Can only second what Arries289 said, very impressive DIY! Painting the car myself and installing AC are two things I am interested in doing too.

    Thanks for documenting your progress, it's so cool to see!
  • BillBoardBillBoard council member
    I see you are in very deep.

    Neat door locks.
  • wftbwftb Wagonist
    Great work. My next project is getting A/C to work.
  • DjuhnkDjuhnk Band Wagon
    Another Update
    I had to install a smaller battery for turbo stuff, heres a finished picture of that


    Bought a traction bar to make room for turbo stuff. And worked on intercooler positioning at the same time, i thought it might be easiest if i made some mounts from my traction bar for that.

    Gotta thread the needle to keep A/C with turbo stuff

    I also realized i was going to lose my front motor mount with the new traction bar, and i was gaining over double the HP so i decided that wasnt a great idea. I welded up a mount for the front motor mount, and i also welded up a radiator support so i didnt have to ghetto lean my radiator.

    Heres a custom A/C hose i had made so i could delete the OEM loop hose coming off the discharge of the compressor

    Time to start making a manifold, step one was turbo positioning, obviously there isnt a whole lot of options while trying to keep a/c and p/s, all while keeping the turbo high enough to properly drain oil.


    Realizing about now that i should have bought a cast pre made collector

    One of my goals for the turbo build was unequal length runners for either cyl 1 & 3 or cyl 2 & 4. I based that off the firing order of the engine to create a rumble exhaust tone. D series just dont sound great... UNTIL NOW! ;)

    All Tacked up

    Finished, I realize the wastegate position isnt perfect but its the best i could do, and turns out its working great. boost is regulated fine, and Verified spark plug #3 is same rich black color as the rest of them.

    Down pipe & exhaust fabbed up- sucks you cant buy an aftermarket exhaust for these cars. I bought one for a hatch, and the terminal part of the exhaust was routed through the axle area, and i tried to keep that route with a little modification, but it is hitting when i hit large bumps so im in the process of moving it to the stock location now.

    After i got a base map made with turbo edit enough to get into boost at 10:1 AFR , i realized quickly that i was having head gasket issues. My Fel Pro MLS gasket was pushing exhaust gases into the water jackets causing overheating and cavitation issues. so i dissassembled the head and bought a new OEM graphite gasket. (kinda wish i would have got OEM y8 MLS gasket instead.) Anyways, i had the head resurfaced, and i decked the block a tiny bit with sandpaper on a slab of flat glass. the blue paint is called layout fluid, and its used to see if you have any uneven spots while you are decking the block.

    finished product

    New gasket ready to go

    All is well now, the new gasket is holding pressure, and the car is very fun to drive, spools up very quickly. the exhaust sound is exactly what i wanted (will post a video of it for you all)
    Only having one problem. my radiator is tucked behind my condensor and ive been having problems with my temp starting to creep when doing more than 75mph on the highway going up hills. I'm thinking it has to be an airflow problem so im currently thinking of ways to route air through the radiator in a more effective way.
    All for now
  • Diggin the fab work! Good job. Thanks for the update!
  • Great custom work on this. I Love it!
  • Do you want to sell me the pass through that you replaced with your evaporator?
  • AMackAMack Band Wagon

    Dan, thanks for all of the info on your build. Were you able to get air to flow into your radiator better? I've been having issues with cooling my Turbo wagon when holding 75mph as well. What brand radiator did you go with? Thanks again.

  • DjuhnkDjuhnk Band Wagon

    I havent dug into my issue yet, winter came around so it wasnt a problem. My radiator is a skunk 2 half size.

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