ill start off by saying i don't know a tons about these cars. i do know cars in general, and i have read a lot about the 2.0 engine. i have always wanted one, and i finally bought one about 2 months ago. i knew i would eventually need to rebuild the engine, although i was hoping to make it till the summer when i could do it myself. fate had other plans lol.
about 2 weeks ago my 2003 wrx burned a valve. although its still limping along, its time to figure out what to do with engine and my budget of around 4000$. the point of this thread is to look for feedback from people that have gone this route, or information i may have overlooked in my reading in the past few weeks. my goals are 250hp at the wheels and a better bottom end than stock, while remaining very reliable. i want to get 50k minimum. miles out of the new engine. after spending the past few weeks reading tons on here i have narrowed it down to two choices.
1. rebuild the stock 2.0 and go with the tdo4 19t turbo, bigger injectors and fp. the main thing i am worried about here is spinning a bearing and cracks in the heads. my engine right now has 185,000, and i have read that a decent amount of the heads on these cars develop spider cracks and there isn't really a good way to fix them.
2. go with a used ej255 and have it rebuilt stock. im thinking a vf34 turbo. going this route seems like the slightly better choice as its closer to stock and will most likely be more reliable and get slightly better mpg. i get the bottom end of the 2.5 block and don't need to do any real mods to run the turbo. i couldn't really find all that much info on doing this swap though and would like some feedback if someone has done it.
if there is a swap that i have missed i should be looking at, or something else i missed somewhere, please let me know.