motor = blown, 2004 wrx, what are my options
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This is a discussion on motor = blown, 2004 wrx, what are my options within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So i dropped my car off via tow truck and my motor is blown. They said it's a rod. (update: ...

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    Registered User powder's Avatar
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    motor = blown, 2004 wrx, EJ207 swap

    So i dropped my car off via tow truck and my motor is blown. They said it's a rod. (update: turned out to be a bearing on cyl 4 rod) The mechanic cannot find a used motor, and his costs are 5-6k for parts alone to rebuild the existing.

    I wanted to look into an ej207. I called gruppe-s and they said no go, they can't get them anymore. Is there another reputable source? Is it a reasonable swap price wise? (went with JDM Nagoya)

    I know my other option, which is a rebuild. Frankly, with the stories i've heard of spun bearings and all that, i'm hesitant. I wouldn't necessarily build for a lot of power, maybe 250-300 wheel horse, because this is my commuter. I'd upgrade the trans, i'd upgrade the clutch and the turbo. Or the other option is to do a stock rebuild, detune it to stock for a break in and then go back to stage 2.

    I have to have something reliable, i drive 70 miles a day. I've never rebuilt a motor before but i've rebuilt numerous transmissions, done clutch swaps, done my timing belt twice on the wrx, and a number of other things on other cars. I consider myself mechanically inclined and i'm also a machinist. Not that any of that matters because one mistake and i'm up S creek again. I don't know what to do, so please give me some guidance. Any and all advice welcome.

    Update Cliff notes: Decided on an ej207, ordered and should arrive Tuesday the 20th. Bought an Exedy stage 1 hd clutch and Exedy lightened flywheel. Also got the avcs bulkhead wiring harness from IA Performance as well as a Grimmspeed EBCS and a PLX DM-6 with wideband, oil pressure, egt and boost add ons. Tuning with open source, so i got a Tactrix cable also.
    Last edited by powder; 05-22-2014 at 04:46 PM.
    Blobeye Syndicate #2004
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    zax
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    I'd suggest a 2.1L stroker build with some more aggressive cams and a bit of headwork.
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    Registered User powder's Avatar
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    Anyone heard of or used this outfit? WRXUSA - the World's largest supplier for used WRX and STi parts

    Looks like a reasonable price for the EJ-1. Could swap it in in a couple days probably and call it good unless someone else has a suggestion for a used motor source or ej207?
    Blobeye Syndicate #2004
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powder
    Anyone heard of or used this outfit? WRXUSA - the World's largest supplier for used WRX and STi parts

    Looks like a reasonable price for the EJ-1. Could swap it in in a couple days probably and call it good unless someone else has a suggestion for a used motor source or ej207?
    $2800 for a used engine? Meh...

    You mentioned you're a machinist...does your shop work on auto heads?

    If it were me, I'd buy a new OE shortblock (~$2K from dealership), new gaskets/pumps/belts (~$1K), cleanup the heads (hopefully free/discounted through work), and go from there. Similar price tag of the used engine, but more new parts.

    From there, it's really how much you want to spend. Do we have a budget?

    While the motor is out of the car, it'll be pretty easy to get TGVs installed, so I'd put that on your list of "to-do"s. Injectors, too, if you plan on possibly a larger turbo in the future.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I'd be tempted to pull the timing belt, water pump, etc. from the existing motor, since powder just replaced that stuff. Then he'd need gaskets alone for his new block and existing heads.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR
    I'd be tempted to pull the timing belt, water pump, etc. from the existing motor, since powder just replaced that stuff. Then he'd need gaskets alone for his new block and existing heads.
    I didn't see where it was said that TB service was just performed. Considering the price for a Gates OE-replacement kit (under $300), I'd just buy new if it had more than 10K miles on it. You're already spending a bunch of money, and with the motor out of the car, it couldn't be easier.

    Oil pump should be replaced with new.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I recalled

    Timing belt, water pump, oil pump new, 2004 wrx won't start

    but I do see your point. It's a real shame. Good luck to the OP.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR
    I recalled

    Timing belt, water pump, oil pump new, 2004 wrx won't start

    but I do see your point. It's a real shame. Good luck to the OP.
    I'd pull the parts, inspect them, and reinstall (if passes inspection), then...
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I'd be curious to see the condition of the oil pickup tube in the old motor. I wonder if starvation caused this.
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    MTM
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    im doing the EJ207 route. Ill let you know how it works out for me.... ordering my motor this week.

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    Registered User powder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I'd be curious to see the condition of the oil pickup tube in the old motor. I wonder if starvation caused this.
    Just looking through the drain plug hole, the pickup looked normal, but once the motor is out i will pull the pan and see. What i'm curious about is if the oil pump is no good. I bought the whole kit off ebay, oil pump came separate but advertised as new, and looked brand spankin new. Though once installed on the car it leaked from the ports on the bottom of the pump. I tightened them and the leak went away but it begs the question if they couldn't get something that simple right, then was the pump really pumping? I will be interested to see the break point on the rod once i pull the engine. I do know that i'm not taking that chance again. I will buy a brand new subaru oil pump for whatever engine i go with.

    More and more though, i am thinking EJ207. Budget wise, i'm fairly lenient, all of it is going on a credit card that is never used and therefore empty. I don't want to run up a monster bill of 10k but 5-7k is not unreasonable i don't think. The car is paid off as well. The EJ207 comes with a computer from a low mileage Japanese car because their inspection requirements are so crazy over there, no car makes it past 60k miles, so they take and part them out and a lot of the parts end up here. So a lot of the ej207's on ebay are 35-55k mile engines for 3500 bucks or so and come with the VF37 turbo and the ecu. They're timed and include most of the pumps, alternator, etc. I would need to upgrade the fuel pump probably, clutch obviously, and i don't know what i would do with the trans. My trans has 227k miles on it obviously, so chances are it would die a fairly quick death with that much more hp being pushed through it, so my thinking is an upgraded gear set. I will also put an oil pressure gauge in, without a doubt.

    I already have 2 mechanically inclined friends that have offered to help because they think it would be cool. Gotta love having friends that are like me, just doing stuff to do it and for the smiles.

    So i feel a little better knowing that it didn't skip timing, but i do also wonder if my bad habit of 10k mile oil changes contributed. Either way, i can't say i wasn't expecting this at some point. The car was good to me, i won't diss it, but now it's time to make it better and hopefully reliably. That's why i'm thinking an EJ207.
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    zax
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I'd be curious to see the condition of the oil pickup tube in the old motor. I wonder if starvation caused this.
    It's likely. However, IIRC, pickups rarely failed on the EJ205. More likely is that starvation was caused by the flat-bottom oil pan on the 205.
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    Quote Originally Posted by powder
    I don't want to run up a monster bill of 10k but 5-7k is not unreasonable i don't think. The car is paid off as well. The EJ207 comes with a computer from a low mileage Japanese car because their inspection requirements are so crazy over there, no car makes it past 60k miles, so they take and part them out and a lot of the parts end up here. So a lot of the ej207's on ebay are 35-55k mile engines for 3500 bucks or so and come with the VF37 turbo and the ecu. They're timed and include most of the pumps, alternator, etc. I would need to upgrade the fuel pump probably, clutch obviously, and i don't know what i would do with the trans.
    I wouldn't spend $3500+ for a 30K+ mile used motor...

    With the $7K budget...
    $2000 OE EJ205
    $2000 2.1L stroker kit
    $1000 gaskets, belts, pumps, etc
    $500 head cleanup

    Then use the excess money as you see fit. 16GXT turbo, injectors, and fuel pump would run you in the neighborhood of $1700. Since the motor is out, TGVs should be done (easiest time ever to install) and a TMIC could set you back another $1100 or so. VF39 / STI TMIC would reduce the cost, but if you're already in this deep, I'd go 16 / aftermarket route.

    That'd give you a new motor (assuming you didn't have to replace the cams or valves), a better powerband, and more piece of mind.

    I'm not factoring in a tune, because that would be required on both setups. I'd personally take a 2.1L EJ205 (even with stock cams) over an EJ207.
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    MTM
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    Version 7, 8 or 9?

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    zax
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTM View Post
    Version 7, 8 or 9?
    Doesn't matter. I've tried to explain this to you.
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