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Old 05-09-2014, 12:52 AM   #1
ScoobyNurse04Sti
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Default Ringland failure 04 Sti

Hey guys, so here's my story, looking for some advice.

I have an 04 Sti. Bought about 2 years ago. Bad feeling the previous owner beat the f out of it. Only at 87000 miles. But so far have had to do transmission work, among other things, and now looking at ringland failure.

As of now, car has Invidia catless dp and invidia n1 race catback I installed, and Stage 2 accessport tune.

Car was running fine until about a month ago. Then, I noticed at idle at stop lights there was white smoke pouring out my exhaust. It would occur randomly. Not appear while driving. No noticeable change in idle, how it drove etc. I don't push my car hard very often so I wouldn't really be able to say there was noticeable power loss.
Took car to the dealer and had them do compression/leakdown. Cylinder 2 28 psi cylinder 4 80 psi. Smoke coming from oil cap etc. so pretty solid for ringland. Dealership quoted me at 6-7000 for new short block, head work, etc.

I talked to someone who knows there way around these cars better than myself, (im learning things the hard way since i bought it) that would do the work himself. He said I would just need new forged pistons for $500 and a gasket set for $200. Said he would charge $1500 for labor, and cover oil and coolant.

So my question is this. Is that reasonable? Do I really just need new pistons? Or is that a bad idea? what about machining heads, honing cylinder walls etc. Maybe I should get a new short block and have him do that? But thats not necessarily an financial option. im lost. I've looked about a lot and everyone just says different things. I'm sure this will be much the same but figured I would lay out my personal situation.

I am not flush with money so basically my options are maybe do the new pistons for $2200, or sell the car for what I owe (currently is listed and have offers but having a hard time convincing myself to part with it). I can't come up with 6000. So the dealer isn't an option. And since they offered only 4000 to me on trade in (even though i bet they could fix the car for a few thousand and sell it for 17,000 that week) I'm not really that interested in dealing with them anymore anyway.

Also, since test, i have only driven car about a mile home from the dealership, but I did notice it idles rougher now with some noticeable misfires that were not there prior to them testing it.

So let me know your thoughts. I'm all ears. And try to be decent. Not everyone is a guru but they can still care about their car. I appreciate any advice
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:43 AM   #2
A-man07
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I'd have second thoughts about paying a private party to do engine work on this car. They frequently do require bore honing and not just drop in pistons. To be honest it sounds like you can no longer afford the car and if you can get out of it even that is probably your best bet.
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:46 AM   #3
Unabomber
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Visit www.indianaimpreza.org and contact the user dbrier there. Dale is a friend of mine and if anyone local can give you GREAT advice, it is him as he knows everyone with a Subaru within 6 inches in Indiana. You can 100% trust Dale as he does not play around...smart and good looking though I'm prettier than he. If you need a validation of his advice to set your brain at ease or other questions, holler at me.

Source: Guy born and raised in Muncie.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:25 PM   #4
ScoobyNurse04Sti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Visit www.indianaimpreza.org and contact the user dbrier there. Dale is a friend of mine and if anyone local can give you GREAT advice, it is him as he knows everyone with a Subaru within 6 inches in Indiana. You can 100% trust Dale as he does not play around...smart and good looking though I'm prettier than he. If you need a validation of his advice to set your brain at ease or other questions, holler at me.

Source: Guy born and raised in Muncie.
Thanks Unabomber. Sent him a PM on indiana impreza.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
ScoobyNurse04Sti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-man07 View Post
I'd have second thoughts about paying a private party to do engine work on this car. They frequently do require bore honing and not just drop in pistons. To be honest it sounds like you can no longer afford the car and if you can get out of it even that is probably your best bet.
Well yes I agree, that's prob the SMART thing to do. But I'm not that smart. Problem is this car was basically my representation of completing school etc. and 04/05 Sti are my absolute fave cars. So emotionally having trouble letting go.

I too would worry about a private party doing the work. Which is why asked if anyone else thought that is a bad idea. So I will def take your advice under consideration. He is a certified suby tech, but I agree, I don't want to just drop in forged pistons if that's just going to lead to more problems. Thanks for your thoughts. Appreciate it
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
Dave D.
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Another option would be to park it and save some money. In the meantime buy a cheap Honda, etc. for your DD.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
ScoobyNurse04Sti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave D. View Post
Another option would be to park it and save some money. In the meantime buy a cheap Honda, etc. for your DD.
Thought about that too. Currently car is parked and have a borrowed car I'm able to use as my DD for a little bit. Not forever tho. So trying to navigate a solution
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:53 PM   #8
APM Tuned
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If you're going to open up the motor then make sure you're doing it the right way the first time.

You cannot take pistons and "drop them in" to a motor that's been run (and who knows how hard) unless the cylinder walls are magically perfect (which even then some honing is generally required). Then ensure that the machinist knows what he's doing because once you open up cases (if it's needed) then the first main will be whacked so align hone on the mains will be necessary with someone who understands quench values during machining.

We've worked with a lot of Indy guys and the site that Uni referenced is great as it's local to you and the guys (for the most part) know what they're doing. The only thing you'll need to keep in mind is the budget, low key budgets using cheaper parts will mean you'll just have more headaches later...having proper parts for what you need along with someone who's knowledgeable will get you a long way with that car compared to the "garage" tech that some may offer.

-Mark
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