2012 WRX STI - Engine Internals (ie. Pistons, Connecting Rod, etc) to support 600WHP+
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This is a discussion on 2012 WRX STI - Engine Internals (ie. Pistons, Connecting Rod, etc) to support 600WHP+ within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Just wanted to start this thread to get some suggestions on what parts to use when getting my engine rebuilt. ...

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    2012 WRX STI - Engine Internals (ie. Pistons, Connecting Rod, etc) to support 600WHP+

    Just wanted to start this thread to get some suggestions on what parts to use when getting my engine rebuilt. I finally got my 400WHP tune setup on my car and with that my tuner said to be prepared to eventually have the ringlands go out. At that point he said if I'm going to build my engine for more HP that would be the time (as they already will have to pull the engine apart so the labor is being paid if I put in new/better internals in or not).

    Here is my current setup on my car:

    FMIC ETS Kit
    TOMEI Exhaust Headers
    SAMCO Sport Hoses
    Light Weight Crank Pulley
    SPT Exhaust System
    DC Power Engineering Alternator
    Cobb SF Intake System
    Perrin Strut Bar
    Crawford Performance Air Oil Catch Tank
    Injector Dynamics 1000cc injectors
    Invidia High Performance Catless Downpipe Exhaust
    Garrett GT35R Turbo
    Cobb 3 Port Boost Control Solenoid
    Stage 3 Clutch Kit
    KOYO Aluminum Radiator
    DW265 Fuel Pump
    Perrin 3" Turbo Inlet

    I currently have two cobb tunes setup for my car (I've attached the dyno charts to the thread):
    Tune 1: 346WHP with 91 octane fuel
    Tune 2: 400WHP with 100 octane fuel

    As I mentioned above my tuner stated the 400WHP tune should be safe for my stock short block but I should eventually expect the ringlands to fail. So I'm trying to be prepared for that moment and know what parts to put in during the rebuild (my tuner already has suggestions but trying to get as much input on this as possible). Also just to be clear my tuner doesn't just tune he knows a lot about working on the engine and everything else. He has been working professionally on cars since he was 18 (and is now older than 30, never asked his exact age). He also is the main mechanic for their rally race car (he doesn't drive just works on it for the driver). So before anyone says you shouldn't have your tuner work on your engine, just let him tune, in this case that doesn't apply.

    Please provide information on what you think would be the best internals to use for the car (price not being a factor...even though it kind of is). Alternatively if you know something like part A is the best but part B is good and is way cheaper that information would also be helpful.

    I have heard from a lot of people that for pistons JE is the way to go but just trying to get input from more sources. I included the build out information above so you know I already have the parts to push the car to the point of needing a rebuilt motor. When speaking with my tuner he stated that with the current setup I could easily push 600WHP with a rebuilt short block, that is why I'm starting this thread because I wouldn't mind the extra HP. I have taken the car to the track a handful of times and have found that just a little bit more HP might not hurt.

    I also understand that with this HP I will need a considerably better suspension than my H&R coilovers to go with it and am open to suggestions on that. I have already decided on the Enkei rpf1 for my race wheels and the Nitto NT05's for my race tires. If you have any suggestions for front and rear control arms, sways bars, etc. I'm also open to those comments.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 91_octane_WHP.jpg   100_octane_PSI.jpg   100_octane_WHP.jpg  
    Last edited by sky_night; 06-17-2014 at 02:17 PM.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Respectfully, deviating from the suggestions of your tuner / engine builder will result in the ability to throw blame around. If you're not going to be doing the build / tune, buy whatever they tell you to buy, so that it is one less "scapegoat" available.

    You're getting into the $12K+/rebuild phase; when something goes wrong, you're not going to want someone to point fingers and say it wasn't their fault (especially if the motor goes right away).

    An individual is not likely going to have the experience to give you advice with enough standing to override a shop you have your trust in.
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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    A GT35r isn't big enough to make 600whp.. at least not on a Mustang dyno. My old engine builder made 601whp with a GTX3582, but that was on methanol, with Ultimate Racing twinscroll headers, a divided 1.06 A/R turbine housing, at 32psi. ..and his heads were fully built and race ported, with Kelford 280 cams.



    Anyways, don't use a drop in piston, you're going to want to go slightly bigger than stock so you can bore the cylinders to get the correct ptw clearance.

    I like Arias pistons myself. Mainly because they will make you a custom piston to your specs at no extra charge. For example, the ones I got are 99.54mm 8.9:1 compression ratio 4032 alloy pistons with an offset wrist pin, and molly coated skirts.


    As for rods.. if you're wanting to push anything over 490wtq, there are really only two really good options that I know of. There are Pauter X-beams, and Manley Turbo Tuff I-beams. I went with Pauter rods for my car, but I know plenty of people who have had success with the Manley I-beams as well.



    I think the King main bearings are a little better than the ACL race bearings most people use. The oil holes are an improved design.. and at least have your crankshaft balanced. I had my entire rotating assembly balanced, and the OEM crank was wayyy off.

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    Yeah, I most likely plan to just go with what he says. All work he has done on my car up to this point has been top notch. Just like to cover my bases when as you said I'm getting into the "$12K+/rebuild phase" Also from what I've found in some of the threads (I've been through a lot) some of the people that respond work for shops where they have performed/had experience with many engine rebuilds and how everything went with certain parts. Thanks for the input!

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Respectfully, deviating from the suggestions of your tuner / engine builder will result in the ability to throw blame around. If you're not going to be doing the build / tune, buy whatever they tell you to buy, so that it is one less "scapegoat" available.

    You're getting into the $12K+/rebuild phase; when something goes wrong, you're not going to want someone to point fingers and say it wasn't their fault (especially if the motor goes right away).

    An individual is not likely going to have the experience to give you advice with enough standing to override a shop you have your trust in.


    Great point.. although in my experience, 95% of shops will play the finger pointing game regardless. The environment is more of a hope and pray nothing goes wrong, because no one will take responsibility for mistakes if it blows up.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_night
    Yeah, I most likely plan to just go with what he says. All work he has done on my car up to this point has been top notch. Just like to cover my bases when as you said I'm getting into the "$12K+/rebuild phase" Also from what I've found in some of the threads (I've been through a lot) some of the people that respond work for shops where they have performed/had experience with many engine rebuilds and how everything went with certain parts. Thanks for the input!
    FYI...my $12K estimate is on the low-end of things, especially if you're going for 500+whp, considering labor rate (conservative $100/hr); you should be looking at keeping the "sources of blame" to a minimum.

    Random part suggestions is one thing...a motor build is another.

    Vendors (or employees of vendors) aren't going to bother wasting their time trying to sell you on parts since they know you won't be purchasing from them. No vendor is going to be able to touch the prices the shop doing the work can give you (if they choose to).

    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame
    Great point.. although in my experience, 95% of shops will play the finger pointing game regardless. The environment is more of a hope and pray nothing goes wrong, because no one will take responsibility for mistakes if it blows up.
    Your car is a nightmare.
    2005 WRX STi (Mods | Virtual Dyno)

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    A GT35r isn't big enough to make 600whp.. at least not on a Mustang dyno. My old engine builder made 601whp with a GTX3582, but that was on methanol, with Ultimate Racing twinscroll headers, a divided 1.06 A/R turbine housing, at 32psi. ..and his heads were fully built and race ported, with Kelford 280 cams.

    --I'm just going off what my tuner told me and everything he has stated up to this point has been spot on. I do believe that he told me there are some custom pieces on the turbo so that could have something to do with it.


    Anyways, don't use a drop in piston, you're going to want to go slightly bigger than stock so you can bore the cylinders to get the correct ptw clearance.

    --Definitely planning to bore the cylinders and going with larger pistons.

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    Well the other day was barely getting on my car and out of nowhere the engine heat level flew up, heard some knocking, shortly followed by CEL (probably less than 5 seconds) and then my engine dying about 15 seconds after that. Let it cool down till the temp was very low and then tried starting it up. Car would idle but as soon as it got above 2,000 rpm it would start knocking. Took it to the shop and they confirmed what I really didn't want....engine is toast (well stuff inside is broken so they have to pull it apart). Really wasn't hoping for it to happen this soon but still kind of excited to get a short block in there that fits the rest of my build. It was kind of funny because when I showed up to the shop someone there made the comment that they couldn't tell who owned the car because no one was frowning/crying. I guess the whole knowing it was eventually going to happen and being excited about the new build made me keep a good face about it

    My mechanic is putting together the build and will post what he sends me once I get it. All I know so far is that it will be a closed deck build (which from what I've read is a good thing).

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about the motor.

    Your thread raised a question for me. Specifically two weeks ago you posted:

    I finally got my 400WHP tune setup on my car and with that my tuner said to be prepared to eventually have the ringlands go out... {SNIP} As I mentioned above my tuner stated the 400WHP tune should be safe for my stock short block but I should eventually expect the ringlands to fail....
    I'm having trouble following the logic there. If the ringlands are going to fail how can the tune be considered safe?
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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about the motor.

    Your thread raised a question for me. Specifically two weeks ago you posted:



    I'm having trouble following the logic there. If the ringlands are going to fail how can the tune be considered safe?
    Well it's safe... ish Basically my tuner said he could tune it to that level and it should last a while but FYI I would need an engine rebuild eventually (probably sooner than later). The irony is I never got to use my 400whp tune. The first time I was going to use it was at a track in Phoenix, AZ about 2 weeks ago. However when I went to go race about 1 lap in my car stopped accelerating after ~4,000 rpm's. I switched it back to my 91 octane tune (~346whp) and it would idle fine but as soon as I would go to drive it would die on me. Come to find out the BOV seized while it was open. So all the pressure was going straight to atmosphere. They took a wire brush to it and were able to get the residue off the cylinder in the BOV that was causing the issue. Ever since then only been running the 91 octane tune which is supposed to be really safe. I don't think this was the tune, I think it was more likely the engine overheating. Like I said in the above reply the heat shot up really fast out of nowhere so I think that may have been the root cause (still not sure why, but I'm guessing my mechanic will have answer on that shortly).

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I wonder if a head gasket failed.
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    I didn't notice any oil under the car and it sat there for a good hour before getting towed. I did check the oil and it was low but I don't think to the level where it would destroy the engine. Also my coolant was past the full mark.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Hopefully the teardown will give you positive answers so that, at the very least, you can take whatever steps necessary and buy whatever (different?) parts necessary to prevent the same failure from recurring.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    Agreed, I know this build is going to cost me somewhere between $9,500-$12,000 so I don't want the new short block blowing up 5,000 miles later The irony is my current short block only had 22,000 miles on it However when I first took it to my tuner/mechanic he said the previous owner had a very aggressive tune on it. So for all I know the engine could have had some unnoticed issues going on that were waiting to fail. Either way at least now I will know the state of the short block.

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    Registered User sky_night's Avatar
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    Well here is the parts list for my new build:
    Manley Subaru EJ20/EJ25 4340 Billet 79mm Stroke Turbo Tuff Series Crankshaft
    Manley 04+ Subaru WRX STi (EJ257) STD Stroke 100mm +.5mm Bore 9.8:1 Dish Piston Set with Rings
    Manley 02-11 Subaru WRX/STi (EJ205/EJ257) Turbo Tuff Connecting Rod Set w/ ARP 625+ Bolts
    GSC P-D EJ257 Beehive Valve Springs w/ Titanium Retainer
    GSC P-D 08+ STi S1 Cams 266/264
    ARP Subaru EJ Series DOHC Custom Age Head Stud Kit
    Manley Subaru EJ20/EJ25 Rod Bearing
    Manley Subaru EJ20 with #5 Thurst / EJ25 Main Bearing
    Killer B Motorsport Aluminum Oil Pan Subaru Turbo Models
    Killer B Motorsport Oil Baffle Windage Tray Subaru Turbo Models
    Killer B Motorsport Ultimate Oil Pickup Subaru Turbo Models
    Cosworth Blueprinted Oil Pump w/ High Pressure Mod & Install
    Gates Racing Timing Belt Kit w/ Water Pump Subaru
    NGK Iridium Spark Plugs One Step Colder 2309 Subaru
    Lower Temp Thermostat
    Maxima Racing Oil Break in Oil

    With the Tune and labor going to set me back right about $13,000 (yikes, a little more than I was expecting, but good parts cost good money). Let me know what you think of the build. I'm going to go with what my tuner says but would still be nice to get some input.

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