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Hello folks, I must make this quick, I've got work in 10mins.

I currently own a 93 honda prelude, jdm h22a engine with m2b4 tranny. Puts down about 220~ at the crank. Because of a recent accident I'm looking to upgrade to something nicer, and newer. 04-05 subaru wrx (prob not an sti) is in my mind. Stock they're running about 220hp yes? Any idiot can buy a bigger turbo and push out more psi, but I want to know what the stock wrx engine blocks are made of? Aluminum, or iron? Or they factory sleeved? I'm not looking for anything past 300-350hp, enough to have a nice upgrade from the prelude and to spin it around occasionally.

How well will the stock block / rings / rods hold up to a +100hp increase? I'm not looking to blow my new, 14k dollar DD up. v_v; I will be doing a lot of research on wrx's from here on out, as I like to do things right the first time. But this is where I start.

I apologize if this question as been asked before.
 

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I really have no clue about the engine question but I do have some advice!

If you want to do things right...I would suggest an STi...I went from 190whp with my stock 06 WRX up to 320whp and now I need to replace my stock short block because of low compression and stuff like that. If you do go with a wrx a simple turbo back exhaust and a tune will net you a decent gain and will be more fun then the prelude..which I happen to like the best out of Honda's...its a shame it got wrecked!

My very first mods was a turbo back exhaust, short ram intake and a tune and I got 228 whp. Then I upgraded to an STi TMIC and STi turbo and got around 280 whp...If I would have been smart I would have stopped ...but did I? Heck no....I went to an 18g and EWG and a bigger TMIC and leveled off at 320 whp...but I have an 06 which has the 2.5 block...
 

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Aluminum block...but you're more in trouble pushing your transmission with that kind of power.

If you want to make serious power and go anything bigger than say a 16g turbo or even Stage 2, you'd be best off getting an STI. The 2.0L will run out of breath when trying to push a larger turbo...plus the 2.5L will yield more low end torque and a better power band.
 

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with motors it doesnt matter unless you're talking 2.0 vs 2.5 and even then its about power not reliability. both the WRX and STI have the same crappy pistons so stay under like 350hp on a dynojet and like 320hp on a mustang and it should be fine. although theres no way to tell how beat up the car was. you could go stage 2 and blow the thing. like said with the 02-07 wrx's the tranny is the problem, not the motor. if you're buying used the STI will keep you worry free for the tranny but those motors still go all the time. its a crap shoot. just do your research and invest in a good tune, AOS and take as much stuff off as possible and clean the crap out of it and you should be fine.
 

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with motors it doesnt matter unless you're talking 2.0 vs 2.5 and even then its about power not reliability. both the WRX and STI have the same crappy pistons so stay under like 350hp on a dynojet and like 320hp on a mustang and it should be fine. although theres no way to tell how beat up the car was. you could go stage 2 and blow the thing. like said with the 02-07 wrx's the tranny is the problem, not the motor. if you're buying used the STI will keep you worry free for the tranny but those motors still go all the time. its a crap shoot. just do your research and invest in a good tune, AOS and take as much stuff off as possible and clean the crap out of it and you should be fine.
This. All of it.

OP, if you're talking about 350 chp which is approx. 270 to the wheels, the 2.0L WRX will be just fine. A VF39, STi injectors, fuel pump, larger TMIC, and 3" exhaust + tune will get you the power you seek. If you're looking for 350whp, the STi EJ257 may reach this goal, but you'll be sacrificing reliability. The 2.0L will just not get you there without serious work aka rebuild. Any small-displacement mill looking to produce 350whp ~420 chp is looking to sacrifice reliability. Period.
 

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This. All of it.

OP, if you're talking about 350 chp which is approx. 270 to the wheels, the 2.0L WRX will be just fine. A VF39, STi injectors, fuel pump, larger TMIC, and 3" exhaust + tune will get you the power you seek. If you're looking for 350whp, the STi EJ257 may reach this goal, but you'll be sacrificing reliability. The 2.0L will just not get you there without serious work aka rebuild. Any small-displacement mill looking to produce 350whp ~420 chp is looking to sacrifice reliability. Period.
264 awhp here. Check out he Mods & Pics link in my sig for more details.

It's loads more fun than my previous car - a 2000 prelude.
 

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The huge thing with these engines is proper care and tuning. You can build the block to be a monster and not have a good tune and it will blow up. The tranny, on the other hand (in a WRX) has been known to go on stock 2.0's if it's beat on much. a 2.0+16G+Turbo back exhaust+Tune will probably get you around where you want to be, and (might) not blow up the transmission. Of course, when I say 16G, I mean 16G Turbo+bigger injectors+fuel pump+a nicer TMIC, at the very very least. Also, keep in mind- your prelude will without doubt spin it's tires like crazy if you dump the clutch. the WRX transmission may be technically stronger than a stock prelude tranny, or it may not be, i'm not really sure. But either way, the tranny has to hold atleast 2X the torque your preludes did....So if you're a fan of dropping the clutch, expect things to get expensive.
 

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No Subaru motor was designed to handle big power. The EJ205 is an aluminum block design, is an open deck design, and is sleeved. The block is absolutely NOT the weak link in the Subaru motor. Pistons and rods will go long before you have to worry about the block. The EJ255/EJ257 is a semi-closed deck design (still aluminum), but is bored to 99.5mm from 92mm which means thinner cylinder walls. Pick your poison. I wouldn't want either for a high-horsepower build. The weak link in the EJ205 is purportedly the con rods, FYI. Trust me, when you see the position of the engine relative to the front axle, you'll be thanking the stars that it isn't an iron-block motor ...
 

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Not to thread jack or anything, but what WOULD you want for a high hp build? (As far, that is, as subaru engines go..) The old 2.2?
Personally, I don't think any Subaru motor is built for big power. If any, though, I would go with the old EJ20G or EJ22 DOHC (or maybe even EJ22 SOHC from the Legacy w/ EJ205 heads). Better yet, spend the $15K on a built Cosworth longblock. My opinion -- if you want to build a 650 whp AWD 4-banger, buy a 4G63 EVO. You'll have to live with the crap interior and poor reliability, but it will handle a high-hp build FAR better than any Subaru.
 

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Personally, I don't think any Subaru motor is built for big power. If any, though, I would go with the old EJ20G or EJ22 DOHC (or maybe even EJ22 SOHC from the Legacy w/ EJ205 heads). Better yet, spend the $15K on a built Cosworth longblock. My opinion -- if you want to build a 650 whp AWD 4-banger, buy a 4G63 EVO. You'll have to live with the crap interior and poor reliability, but it will handle a high-hp build FAR better than any Subaru.
This. EJ motors just are not built for reliable high HP. Even those with blocks built to EXTREMES can't expect them to last very long with high numbers coming out of them. If you're looking for a big number car, for whatever reason that continually escapes me, go with an Evo. If you're looking for an all around good, reliable, and fun car, get a WRX or STI, but don't make the mistake of thinking you'll get some ridiculous numbers out of it easily, or cheaply.
 

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It's funny though... the OP isn't looking for big numbers, so we derailed this thread.
 

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Good news, everyone!
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That happens with a fair amount of regularity around here ;)
 
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