Watching Subaru EJ20 motors being built is supremely satisfying

After three decades of production, the Subaru EJ20 engine is coming to an end. To mark the occasion, Subaru has released a video of how they assemble the boxer four that has powered everything from speed record Legacys to S-series WRX STIs. With white-gloved technicians at every step, it’s a process that is both mesmerizing and very satisfying to watch.

Building an engine sure seems easy when you have machines that can tighten several fasteners simultaneously, or dispense exactly the right amount of sealant every time. Also, having various stands orienting the engine in the optimal position sure beats a grimy piece of cardboard on your driveway.

For the closing run of EJ20s, which will go into 555 WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition cars, Subaru will balance the engine internals and crankshaft. With significantly stricter tolerances, it should be the most precise version of the engine ever made for a non-race application. It’s a fitting send-off for an engine that has served for so long.

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6 Responses to Watching Subaru EJ20 motors being built is supremely satisfying

  1. Lindsay Druett says:

    Even before the EJ series engine, Subaru have done such an awesome job with their horizontally opposed engines. If it wasn’t the mere fact that Porsche is European, and for that fact a high end European car manufacturer, Subaru would be the leader in producing cars with horizontally opposed engines.

    For the people who believe Fuji Heavy Industries copied an engine from Porsche, that is not the case at all. FHI, being an aircraft manufacturer produced a light aircraft, the FA-200-160, and they replicated the Avco Lycomings O-320 engine, which is a 320 CU (5.2 Litre) air cooled horizontally opposed engine with cylinder heads, the concept is the same, but a completely different engine.

    Basically, on the basic concept of the Lycomings flat-4 engine, FHI built their first horizontally opposed engine from scratch.

    • Lindsay Druett says:

      ..”which is a 320 CU (5.2 Litre) air cooled horizontally opposed engine with cylinder heads”

      I meant each cylinder in a Lycomings engine has it’s cylinder and cyliner head.

      The idea behind this is to provide some *cough* redundancy in event of a partial engine failure in mid-air – it never works out, but never mind.

      A lot of Subaru engines have ended up in light aircrafts, most in Light Sports Aircrafts and Experimental Aircrafts doing a better job with less fuel burn.

      • MikeRL411 says:

        A friend of mine wanted to put a turbo Corvair engine into a Benson Gyro Copter. He asked Chevrolet the weight and center of gravity of the assembly. Once they found out what he wanted to do they replied that they had enough problems with Ralph Nader and hung up on him !

        Posted to point out that there was a third air cooled horizontally opposed engine.

    • You might look a the German Goliath water cooled boxer engine & Subaru’s FF1 engine & tell us what you think……..Oldone

  2. Ian N says:

    I’d be happy with just one of those engine stands!

    (it certainly pays to have the right tools)

  3. Russel Burtt says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

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