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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 wrx wagon
bone-stock save a few silicone hoses.
200k, auto

First of all, the car broke down on Saturday and now it's waiting at a dealership shop to be diagnosed. I should have a diagnosis by Monday evening. Kudos to the shop being willing to get me in on such short notice.

So I was driving at 75mph on the freeway, beginning to stroll up a large hill, the motor downshifts and I hear a small 'pop' and the car starts to shake like a tire is flat. It also starts losing power - the gas pedal does nothing. I pulled over and as soon as I stopped the engine died, CEL flashing. After sitting in silent dread for a few minutes I turned the key and it turns slower than usual and just doesn't sound 'right'. It coughs at each turn like it wants to start.

I then plugged in my odb2 reader that I happened to have and it found no codes. I cranked it a few times and it did throw misfire codes for cylinders 1 and 4. I inspected the engine bay and I didn't see anything out of place, no obvious loose/disconnected tubing or anything like that. No oil or liquids leaking. I checked the oil twice in the past 2 days (I like to check each time I get gas since it has high miles) and the level has been fine. It's had a recent oil change.

The car recently had the intake off and had a bunch of rotting hoses/fuel line replaced. Also the plastic intake that feeds the turbo. It more recently had some oil leaks fixed and other general maintenance. All done by professionals.

So if it's an easy fix I will hopefully drive it home on Saturday. I like to assume the worst however and that's why I'm posting this.

If I'm looking at a blown/garbage engine, what can I expect in terms of price to get it fixed? Labor will likely be $120/hr if I have it done at the shop its at or $80/hr if I bring it back home. Bringing it home involves a 400mi tow, so I don't know if the cheaper rate is worth it.

I see a few options if the engine is blown:
-Buy a new ej205 short block, swap over existing parts. I worry about this because I'm not sure parts with 200k will come off cleanly. I imagine them calling me over and over requesting to buy additional parts.
-Buy a rebuilt/warrantied ej205 long block and have it installed. Pricey but maybe cheaper than a rebuild?
-Buy a low mile jdm long block and have it installed. I worry about claimed mileage and also compatibility with my USDM automatic and wiring harness.
-Part out the car.

My goal, if a rebuild is necessary, will be to keep it stock. Anyone been in the same place? Which route did you take and how much did it cost? Am I crazy for wanting to keep it stock? Would it make more sense to buy a newer model engine if I have to buy one anyways?
 
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