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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so let me start by saying this is my first subaru but definitely not my first engine rebuild. With that said, let the story begin.
So I just bought this car maybe a month ago. I bought the car with these KNOWN mods.. Cobb CAI. Invidia catless downpipe. Invidia full exhaust. Process west TMIC. Figured it was tuned. Turned out it wasnt.. uh oh... I bought the car while I was moving to texas from Virginia so I didn't really have time to really dive into this car to find out more about it. Well that screwed me. Turns out it was burning oil. By the time I realized it, it was to late. 3.25 quarts low on oil, the engine started knocking. I threw a rod. Great.. time to rebuild.
Unpacked all my tools and started removing all the ancillary stuff. Power steering pump, alternator, ac compressor, intake manifold.. the easy stuff.. then really looked it. So first thing first, I found a cigarette butt under the intake manifold. So clearly this car has been worked on. Well the downpipe is 3". It has a stock turbo, 2.5" piping. So there is some ******* designing there.. then off came the fuel rails.. now it starts to get really weird. The car has injector dynamics 1000cc injectors in it. Which I'm assuming has to have a new fuel pump. And that is where I'm at. Confused lol
So here is my theory. Previous owner built this car and removed everything that was still worth some money. I think he had a bigger turbo to go along with the injectors and a stage 3 tune. That's my guess anyway. Removed the bigger turbo when he decided to sell the car and put the stock one back on (downpipe ******* enginerring). Reflashed the computer with the stock tune (bc a stage 3 map on a stock turbo would be bad). Obviously a CEL would come on but id be willing to bet the dealership just reset the CEL so that they could sell it bc when i went and got the code reader, it definitely threw a code for emissions (could be catless downpipe or the injectors) without a CEL showing. Now since the car is essentially stage 2 minus the tune at this point, it started burning oil bc of the stock tune. So there's the reason I was burning oil which led to the knocking. Okay moving on...
So here's my list of questions/goals..
If I break this motor open and find all forged internals in there, I'm just gonna replace what I have to, close the motor and get a bigger turbo plus tune. Suggestions on turbo and suggestions on a tuner would be great (I'm in the Houston area)
If I break this motor open and find all OEM internals, I want to replace it all with OEM parts, keep the injectors and just get a tune. Suggestions on rebuild kits would be great.
Anyone that has done this before and want to give me tips/ideas/suggestions/theories of what I got myself into with this car etc etc etc would be awesome.
Of course money is of concern. I don't want to spend 20k on this car, but at the same time I know this is going to be a costly endeavor. So let's just say I'm Ballin on a budget.
PLEASE HELP ME lol
 

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First off, from that picture I see an aftermarket crank pully. You have to tune for the injectors as well, you could seriously hurt the car that youre spending all the money on to fix and potentially break it again. However if you tune for them its not an issue. Also, some people get CEL's with the lightweight crank pully installed so that could be causing you to throw a code as well. Im by far the most knowledgeable on the forum, but if money is of a concern I would sell all aftermarket parts, buy Subaru oem replcements and flash a stock map. Because if you start building the motor with forged internals, it will become less reliable.
 

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Also, if you threw a rod, odd are youll need a whole new shortblock. Im not trying to be negative or anything, but youre already looking at north of 5k most likely to just go with an oem stock setup, and if you're other post on here you had said you had 2500 saved up. If I were you I would sell all aftermarket parts and go with a stock setup so you know everything is good, and go from there in the future If you decide you still want more power. Also beyond stage 2, most owners list mods (The other thing I can think of being Stage 3 is Erics Map from torqed performance which is a dp, EBCS, Intercooler and a tune. with his map, you can run stock turbo). Like I said, im sure more experienced members will give you more advice, but this is just my .02
 

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If it had ID1000s and no tune it would run VERY poorly, if at all. The car would be dumping nearly twice as much fuel as it should, there would be raw fuel coming out of the exhaust, and it probably wouldn't be able to idle.... so, it sounds like there must be some sort of aftermarket tune on there. Hopefully the ECU isn't locked out.


As far as rebuild kits go, I would just buy a new OEM shortblock from Subaru. That should run around $1800. You'll need to have the heads completely turn down, cleaned, and rebuilt. Some machine work will be required, decking the heads, valve job, etc. Then you'll need to replace the oil cooler, oil pump, probably turbo too.. pretty much anything that has oil going through it. I would use all OEM parts, except I would go ahead and replace the head bolts with ARP head studs.


As far as what turbo you should put on it, that depends on your power goals and how you want the car to drive. I would probably stick with the stock turbo, maybe run flex fuel. If you really want more top end you could install a Cobb 20g, or Blouch Dom 1.5xt-r.. I wouldn't really go bigger than that unless you want to put a bunch more money into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also, if you threw a rod, odd are youll need a whole new shortblock. Im not trying to be negative or anything, but youre already looking at north of 5k most likely to just go with an oem stock setup, and if you're other post on here you had said you had 2500 saved up. If I were you I would sell all aftermarket parts and go with a stock setup so you know everything is good, and go from there in the future If you decide you still want more power. Also beyond stage 2, most owners list mods (The other thing I can think of being Stage 3 is Erics Map from torqed performance which is a dp, EBCS, Intercooler and a tune. with his map, you can run stock turbo). Like I said, im sure more experienced members will give you more advice, but this is just my .02
Yeah I have 2500 saved up but I also have a quite a bit of money about to come in. I deleted my last thread bc everyone was so focused on the 2500 I posted. Doesn't matter really.
So a new short block is the way to go obviously. Along with all the head work and replacing pretty much everything oil touches (or SUPER cleaning). I don't want debris getting left anywhere and potentially destroying everything. So my options are an OEM EJ255 short block or spending a lot more dollars on a built shortblock. What about getting an OEM EJ257 sti shortblock? Is that an option? If so, what all would that entail? How's reliability with that?
I don't want to get the tune until I have the motor put back together so I can tell my tuner exactly what is in it. Obviously not gonna run the new build on whatever tune, if any, is on the car now bc that too could be catastrophic.
If I get a new turbo, that will be down the road and I'll fight that battle when the day comes.
For now, I would like to keep all the aftermarket parts that I can. The idea of going back to bone stock doesn't really excited me much lol
 

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So a new short block is the way to go obviously. Along with all the head work and replacing pretty much everything oil touches (or SUPER cleaning). I don't want debris getting left anywhere and potentially destroying everything. So my options are an OEM EJ255 short block or spending a lot more dollars on a built shortblock. What about getting an OEM EJ257 sti shortblock? Is that an option? If so, what all would that entail? How's reliability with that?
I don't want to get the tune until I have the motor put back together so I can tell my tuner exactly what is in it. Obviously not gonna run the new build on whatever tune, if any, is on the car now bc that too could be catastrophic.

You could use either an ej255 or an ej257 shortblock (they cost the same).. the only meaningful difference would be that ej257 pistons with the WRX head would be 8.78:1 compression ratio. ej255 pistons with the WRX head will be 8.55:1 compression ratio. Since you're going to need to run a custom tune from before you even attempt to start the engine you could go with either one. Higher compression will have more torque off boost, but also be more prone to detonation. Theoretically could run more peak boost without detonation on lower compression build.. but if I had to guess the difference wouldn't really be noticeable either way. If you have good high octane gas where you live, and/or plan on running flex fuel then I might lean toward higher compression, and vice versa.

Some parts, like the oil cooler, simply cannot be cleaned well enough to reuse, so you pretty much have to replace them. I would try to save the head castings and cams, but they will need to be carefully inspected to make sure there's no scoring.. same goes for the turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You could use either an ej255 or an ej257 shortblock (they cost the same).. the only meaningful difference would be that ej257 pistons with the WRX head would be 8.78:1 compression ratio. ej255 pistons with the WRX head will be 8.55:1 compression ratio. Since you're going to need to run a custom tune from before you even attempt to start the engine you could go with either one. Higher compression will have more torque off boost, but also be more prone to detonation. Theoretically could run more peak boost without detonation on lower compression build.. but if I had to guess the difference wouldn't really be noticeable either way. If you have good high octane gas where you live, and/or plan on running flex fuel then I might lean toward higher compression, and vice versa.

Some parts, like the oil cooler, simply cannot be cleaned well enough to reuse, so you pretty much have to replace them. I would try to save the head castings and cams, but they will need to be carefully inspected to make sure there's no scoring.. same goes for the turbo.
Well I think I'm gonna go the EJ257 shortblock route. So the 2 blocks are completely interchangeable with wrx heads? No special anything needed beside tune?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, clearly I'm not great at forums so please be patient with me lol..
So I have about 9600 saved up now. And it's time to do something with this car.
I want to get a ej257 long block. I know that if I do that then I need to get the entire drivetrain changed out as well.
But let's not focus on that.. for now, my questions are.....
Do yall think is would be better to do a stock ej255 long block swap, a ej257 shortblock with my current wrx heads, or an ej257 longblock?
And if I do the ej257 longblock swap, what all will go into that? As in will the wiring harness just plug in? I doubt it will but here's hoping. Current downpipe? Headers? Oil and water pump? Cam sprockets? Intake manifold? Etc etc. Will it all bolt up from my current wrx parts to a ej257 block and heads.
 

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I know that if I do that then I need to get the entire drivetrain changed out as well.

Why's that? It would be a lot cheaper to just keep the transmission/diffs/axles/hubs/wheels that you already have.. granted the OEM STI drivetrain is considerably better in terms of being able to handle abuse, as well as getting power to the ground.
 
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