Boxer Diesel Import - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Boxer Diesel Import

It turns out that we're not the only group interested in shipping over Subaru Boxer Diesels into the USA. They're also quite handy for aircraft, it seems. I just happened to run across this. If anyone is able to get in contact and get a boxer diesel imported, I would love to see it. Someone has got to do it eventually, even it requires the Radar-O'Reilly "mail a jeep one piece at a time" approach.

Subaru 2.0 liter Boxer Diesel Engine - Page 2 - Rotary Wing Forum

Quote:
Hi Folks,

I'm the person that import the Subaru diesel to the US. The picture above is my engine as well...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifie...php?id=1094200

I have all the specs, weight, size... on request. I'm the only one that provide complete engine in the US.

See you soon.

Greg
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 09:51 PM
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I haven't looked yet, but if they sell the diesel Subaru's in Mexico or Canada, I would think it would be easy to buy one there, and just import it to the US, no? Would be a bit of a fiasco to get it serviced, but I'd think that would be possible. I'm STILL convinced that if Subaru brought all their diesel versions to the states, and launched an epic advertising campaign, they could easily become the leader in diesels. It all comes down to marketing. I'd buy a new Forester diesel immediately if that were so.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 10:34 PM
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I haven't looked yet, but if they sell the diesel Subaru's in Mexico or Canada, I would think it would be easy to buy one there, and just import it to the US, no?
Nope.

The problem is that the EE20 isn't approved for sale in a motor vehicle in the US by the EPA at the Federal level; this means that when you bring it in to the country and declare it at the time of importation to Customs, when they check the vehicle against the approved import list and see that it's not there it'll be red-flagged and cannot move on to the process of registering it with your state of residence. State regulations can also trip you up for similar reasons, even if it were to pass through Customs - especially if you live in a state that follows CARB emissions standards.

Of course, there's nothing to stop someone tossing one on a boat and sending it over from Japan, Australia, or Europe. As long as it's just coming in as parts on the manifest, it's typically less-problematic to import, though there are some engines that they kind-of sort-of look for in fully-assembled form. But if it ultimately ends up in a car after that point, that's between the owner of the vehicle and the law.

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Would be a bit of a fiasco to get it serviced, but I'd think that would be possible. I'm STILL convinced that if Subaru brought all their diesel versions to the states, and launched an epic advertising campaign, they could easily become the leader in diesels. It all comes down to marketing. I'd buy a new Forester diesel immediately if that were so.
The problem isn't that Subaru (or any other manufacturer) doesn't want to bring diesels in, necessarily - it's that CARB has a 15-year history of favouring hybrids over diesels. CARB may stand for California Air Resources Board, but California's the largest single car market in the US and CARB regulations are now in use in something like 12 states and Quebec. If you can't get your vehicle approved for sale in those places, it's going to be very tough to amortise the development and marketing costs of that model out based on where you can sell it, so from a manufacturer's standpoint it's substantially less appealing to manufacture vehicles for that niche market.

(Note that the above doesn't mean I'm necessarily happy about any of this - I'm a diesel bigot and wish that CARB would die in a fire.)

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Last edited by casm; 05-09-2011 at 10:41 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
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yep, bringing an unapproved car into the country is next to impossible. Many extremely wealthy people with a lot of influence and resources have tried and failed.

If this guy can get engines or front clips imported for aircraft, then that would be pretty awesome for someone who has experience doing engine swaps. I'd love to see someone driving a boxer diesel swap down the road.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 10:01 AM
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Yup, still can't even get a forester sti here, definitely not going to get an actual diesel forester here. Theres just no way to register one (and bringing a full car over that isn't listed is next to impossible).

Also the newer foresters all use canbus, so its not easy to swap, especially since it will require the diesel ecu and all those bits. It would then also never be able to pass any emissions inspections.

It would be nice if they could meet the emissions requirements for diesel vehicles. I'm guessing it might be possible soon as a few companies other than vw are now beginning to bring them into the us (such as bmw with the diesel x5)

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 11:07 AM
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Theres just no way to register one (and bringing a full car over that isn't listed is next to impossible).
Even having a Federalised grey-market car can be a nightmare.

Years ago, when I first lived in California, I bought a 1985 CitroŽn CX 25GTi. This was a model never officially sold in the US by CitroŽn, but a company called CX Automotive brought a couple hundred in, fully-federalised them, and sold them completely legally and legitimately. The car that I bought had been out registration in California for about seven years, which meant that it had fallen out of the DMV's computer. When I went to register it - despite having old registration slips showing that the car had been registered in California for a decade - the DMV gave me two options: send the car to one of their certification facilities (at a non-refundable cost of approximately $4000), or export or destroy it.

That was it. There was no arguing with them, even though this was a vehicle they had previously certified as OK. After a couple of months trying to sort it out and getting nowhere, I eventually sold it to a guy in (IIRC) Illinois since they were getting to the point of preparing to have the vehicle impounded despite the fact that it was parked on private property and not being driven on public roads.

Granted, this is California we're talking about here. Other states may be more flexible, but it does at least illustrate the problems you may potentially have to deal with even if the Federal hoops are all jumped through correctly.

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It would be nice if they could meet the emissions requirements for diesel vehicles. I'm guessing it might be possible soon as a few companies other than vw are now beginning to bring them into the us (such as bmw with the diesel x5)
This also comes back to CARB. Back in the first half of the last decade, I watched them - right in the midst of the giant push to have everyone driving hybrids - move the goalposts on diesel emissions repeatedly. VW was seeing decent sales of diesel Golfs and Jettas, but finally gave up on bringing them into California after having to recertify the same models three times in two years. It also killed the Jeep Liberty CRD in the US maarket after a couple of years of California refusing to approve it; Chrysler just couldn't make their money back without selling it in CARB states.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 04:16 PM
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I haven't looked yet, but if they sell the diesel Subaru's in Mexico or Canada.....
SOA won't let any Diesels in. The Oil Tycoons in the States won't let it happen. They wan't you guys to drive gas guzzling SUV's instead of fuel efficient Diesels.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:45 PM
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SOA won't let any Diesels in. The Oil Tycoons in the States won't let it happen. They wan't you guys to drive gas guzzling SUV's instead of fuel efficient Diesels.
They're also responsible for my cat's bad breath, the TV remote going missing down the back of the sofa, and socks disappearing in the dryer!

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:16 PM
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Back to the point of a swap... How difficult would it be into an older (SF) model? No more work than any other swap? I don't see the savings in fuel cost ever making up for the swap price, and it could only be in a state with no emissions testing. (the only good thing about FL)

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 10:19 PM
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Back to the point of a swap... How difficult would it be into an older (SF) model? No more work than any other swap?
Well... Define 'no more work than any other swap'. I won't claim to have extensive gas-to-diesel swap experience, but from the couple I've been peripherally involved with it's not just a case of pull one engine and install another, and in both cases that was with vehicles designed from the get-go to have both gas and diesel variants. So, thinking out loud:

In this case, I'd expect that you'd need the engine and ECU for starters and you may as well grab the wiring harnesses for both as well. From there, you've got a good-sized wiring compatibility project to undertake between them and the existing wiring harnesses; this is in addition to figuring out what to do for instruments and idiot lights because they almost never match up to the signals the new ECU/sensors are sending them (and you now have new lights or displays that need to work for things like glow plug activity and water-in-fuel warnings).

The fuel filler and tank may require replacement as well as all of the fuel lines up to the injector pump, though the first two at least likely fall into the 'maybe' category. You'll need a water filter inline with the fuel lines as well, so will need somewhere to stash that, though it may be part of the diesel fuel filter (common practice these days).

Physical fitment of the engine: diesel engine mounts are typically different (heavier-duty) to their gasoline counterparts, so assume those will need to be changed. If the engine mounting location doesn't match the EJ20/25's exactly, bolting up the transaxle will be an interesting exercise. Getting the turbo and particulate filter (both located next to and in front of the sump) on the EE20 to slot in at the front of the engine bay could be a potential nightmare. And that all assumes that its physical dimensions (which I haven't been able to dig up) are even within the EJ25's to begin with.

There are 8730251 little things that aren't being considered here, either - driveline components, etc. are all now being subjected to nearly 60% more peak torque than they were when the EJ25 was in there, brakes need to be swapped over from the donor since there's no longer any manifold vacuum to drive them, cooling system differences, and a whole bunch of other things.

Quote:
I don't see the savings in fuel cost ever making up for the swap price, and it could only be in a state with no emissions testing. (the only good thing about FL)
Yeah, the distance you'd have to drive to make up the cost of the swap means that you'd pretty much never hit the break-even point in normal usage. If you're doing astronomical annual mileages it can make sense, though.

There's a thread here in which a guy is swapping an EE20 into his Vanagon. While not completely related to putting one in a Forester, it should give some idea of the sorts of things you can run into.

'99 S. 4EAT, leather, lifted.

Last edited by casm; 05-10-2011 at 10:29 PM.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 11:08 PM
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EE20 is a touch smaller than an EJ, in fact. You forgot gear ratios- gasser ratios would be pretty short with a 4k redline. You're right tho that the diesel's torque would certainly try to pull an older driveline apart...
Brakes aren't an issue, diesels have a vacuum pump.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 05:44 AM
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EE20 is a touch smaller than an EJ, in fact.
Interesting. Do you happen to have the engine dimensions anywhere? I've searched up and down for them but apparently can only find the vehicle dimensions.

Quote:
You forgot gear ratios- gasser ratios would be pretty short with a 4k redline. You're right tho that the diesel's torque would certainly try to pull an older driveline apart...
Brakes aren't an issue, diesels have a vacuum pump.
Good points. It's been quite a while since I was around those two conversions (MQ-series Nissan Patrol and Peugeot 205, if it helps to give a timeline), so if that's even just 1% of all I've forgotten I'm doing OK

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 08:27 AM
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no absolute numbers, but there's some info in this blurb:

Subaru Boxer Diesel Unveiled For Forester, Impreza And Legacy In Paris

2009 SH XCdiesel 6MT
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 06:27 AM
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almost right

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Originally Posted by casm View Post
Nope.

The problem is that the EE20 isn't approved for sale in a motor vehicle in the US by the EPA at the Federal level; this means that when you bring it in to the country and declare it at the time of importation to Customs, when they check the vehicle against the approved import list and see that it's not there it'll be red-flagged and cannot move on to the process of registering it with your state of residence. State regulations can also trip you up for similar reasons, even if it were to pass through Customs - especially if you live in a state that follows CARB emissions standards.

Of course, there's nothing to stop someone tossing one on a boat and sending it over from Japan, Australia, or Europe. As long as it's just coming in as parts on the manifest, it's typically less-problematic to import, though there are some engines that they kind-of sort-of look for in fully-assembled form. But if it ultimately ends up in a car after that point, that's between the owner of the vehicle and the law.



The problem isn't that Subaru (or any other manufacturer) doesn't want to bring diesels in, necessarily - it's that CARB has a 15-year history of favouring hybrids over diesels. CARB may stand for California Air Resources Board, but California's the largest single car market in the US and CARB regulations are now in use in something like 12 states and Quebec. If you can't get your vehicle approved for sale in those places, it's going to be very tough to amortise the development and marketing costs of that model out based on where you can sell it, so from a manufacturer's standpoint it's substantially less appealing to manufacture vehicles for that niche market.

(Note that the above doesn't mean I'm necessarily happy about any of this - I'm a diesel bigot and wish that CARB would die in a fire.)
Yes, CARB hates diesel. But you exaggerate, there are NOT 12 states other than CA that follow the CARB dictators. When it was discovered that CARB lied about the reasons for imposing the diesel particular rules, most of the other states backed off and were not made into law. Right now, it is not illegal to register/own a NEW diesel Forester in 45 states. You can even register a used diesel Forester with over 8000 miles IF you could get it to California.
The emission excuse,( yes, excuse ), doesn't pass the bull**** meter. Fugi sells the diesel in Ireland, for pity's sake! What is the POTENTIAL customer base there? Out of population of 7 million people, how many possible car buyers are there? Throw out CALNATZI and the other 4 foolish states and your STILL have a customer base of 200 million+ people in the US.
Somebody explain the reasoning. Fuji will ship to a 7 million person potential customer base. But won't ship the same car (right/left drive no biggy as they make both) to a potential 200 million person customer base. How does this make business sense?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 06:34 AM
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Fuji will ship to a 7 million person potential customer base. But won't ship the same car (right/left drive no biggy as they make both) to a potential 200 million person customer base. How does this make business sense?
Might have something to do with your Govt's restrictions on not importing and not FHI ignoring you at all?

Dunno just a thought.

Peter

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