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Old 04-06-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
DrSaabaru
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Default Replace or rebuild?

Seems like this ought to be a FAQ, but I can't find much info at this basic a level...

Anyway, I've got a 2005 WRX and my bearings are on their way out at 70,000 miles. No engine mods, no mobil 1, just bad luck (or abuse by the previous owner). So, now what?

I've ruled out any kind of swap or used motor, based on reliability concerns, smog rules, and budget constraints. Given the cost, I also don't see much point in rebuilding my old block with stock internals.

That leaves me trying to decide between a new OEM shortblock or rebuilding my old block with upgraded pistons, bearings, etc. There's lots of info here about the details of built motors, but what about the basic choice of whether to go down that road at all?

I'm not interested in big power, but I'm also not interested in having to do this again in 70,000 miles. Seems to me like the rebuild is the obvious choice: for about the same money as a shortblock like the one that just failed on me, I can get something which is at least as good now, and that can reliably stand up to moderate boost increases if I decide to go that way in the future.

What I'm wondering is, am I missing something? Are there hidden drawbacks to rebuilding? I seem to be the only person who's surprised that my bearings are failing so soon, so there's obviously a lot I don't know about the costs of running a performance engine. Given my noobishness, am I better off sticking with an OEM shortblock?
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
kellygnsd
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Quick question, If an OEM shortblock is on the list why are you against rebuilding back to stock?
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
DrSaabaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellygnsd View Post
Quick question, If an OEM shortblock is on the list why are you against rebuilding back to stock?
Because it would cost nearly as much as the options I'm considering but wouldn't be as good as either of them. I figure as long as I'm stuck spending thousands (mostly on labor), now's not the time to cheap out. Or is that a mistake?
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
~snowman~
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Depends on the pistons Id say.

Really, when it comes down to it, anyway you slice it, if you buy OEM vs. Used, you will save around 400 dollars. On a used block, it will be around the same price as OEM block, with forged pistons in your used block.

$400 dollars, almost the cost of pistons, thats really the breaking point between used and new I'd gander to say in my research.

Its a tough choice no doubt, but lets consider you found a great deal on a new block, and you want to toss in pistons, now youre talking 400 over the OEM price at approaching around 2k.

If you want stock go stock, if you cant find a competent machinist in your area Id be leary too.

Or you can walk out the door with a fresh new money smell aluminator, and all the guys at the Subie parts department will point at you and say GO GO GO GO ! WOOOOOOOOOO!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:08 PM   #5
kellygnsd
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I don't know how much a stock 205 long block cost from the dealer but lets say its close to what a 257 is at $1800. You can get forged rods, pistons and bearings along with new oil and water pumps, timing belt and tensioners with that money and still have some left over. I say build it, make it better.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:22 AM   #6
DrSaabaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellygnsd View Post
You can get forged rods, pistons and bearings along with new oil and water pumps, timing belt and tensioners with that money and still have some left over.
Yup.

Quote:
I say build it, make it better.
I guess that's my question... is built always better?

FHI designed our cars the way they did for a reason, and I seriously doubt some guy in a garage is going to build an engine that's better than stock in all respects. A built engine is going to be better in some ways and worse in others, and I'm trying to get a feel for what the worses are.

Like, I just saw in another thread that forged pistons wear out rings a lot faster. So, if I don't plan on pushing things to the point that detonation is a concern, then forged pistons would actually be worse than stock, for my purposes. That's the kind of tradeoff I'd like to hear about.

Let's say my main priority is reliability: I want this engine to stand a good chance of lasting 100,000+ miles, and I want to get the best performance I can given that constraint.

My original stock block didn't make it that far, so maybe it's unrealistic. Should I just plan on putting $1,000/yr into the new engine fund and forget about it? Buy a daily driver? C'mon... WRX engines aren't really disposable, are they?
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
Fongers
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Built RIGHT will always be better but if you're not looking for big power, what's the point of the extra $1K? You can probably build one for ~$2.5K I'm guessing but do ya need it without any mods? not really but it gives you headroom for later.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:23 PM   #8
~snowman~
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Jab and jibber and hype torque plates, hot tanking, words like distorting blocks, piston to wall clearances, rottlers, garage mills and jigs.

Start to get hyped about what kind of machine and work will you get if you choose to get it bored/honed.

Tough call, but making money and being happy isn't easy throughout life, hard to make the right choices. Not neccesarily best bang for your buck, or get what you pay for, and all that garbage, if you have knowledge, a belief, a will, and dedication, things will turn out in the right. And if anytyhing, we will get a lesson in life.

But its too fricken sad some jerks like to keep secrets, and watch you fail. But that is human instinct maybe, or it could be the monkey in us, who knows.

Too much bull**** and secrets. Acting like they arent gonna help advance the human race and spread information and knowlegde and better ourselves as human beings, but keep company secrets and valve clearances, and PW clearances, deck height, piston choices and setup....big secrets man. Aint nobody gonna tell you ****.......Everybody almost loves to see you trip over your feet and laugh.

But "they" got those numbers from somewhere man, trial and error, research and development, no internet forum garbage and there are actually people doing it to it. and thats something we as the little guy in our tiny garage with my little stack and no knowledge cant do. Its sad, but it looks like to go fast cost $$$$.

a $100.00 dollar hone and bore on a $3k dollar engine doesnt sound right. But when you ask questions to not screw yourself not alot of people will baby you along the way. You dont ask a carpenter how to cook a steak, there are recepies, and there a are recepies for disaster. Just trying to avoid the disaster would be good enough for me hahah. I dont know jack about subies either, but it sure seems some people like to keep things to themselves sometimes. But also for that ratio, there are people dedicated and helping out with thier last breath. I'd like to say thank you to those people who put it all out there, hold nothing back, no BS, and help each other out. Thank you.

Last edited by ~snowman~; 04-08-2009 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
kellygnsd
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^^^^
I guess you're pissed at Coke too for keeping their recipe secret huh? Whatever you think its still a freakin' business and shops like Element Tuning with race cars like to win because racing is a freakin' business. Try getting secrets from an F1 team about anything on their cars. You won't because its a freakin' business, a really costly one at that. Fortunately not all builders are like that and the good ones that give you a build sheet give you all the info to replicate that motor if you wanted to do it yourself.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:49 PM   #10
ballitch
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I say, find a used EJ205 block with bent valves or spun bearings, and have it rebuilt. Buy oversized pistons(.020 over), rod and main bearings, headgaskets, cam and crank seals, piston rings valve cover gaskets etc, etc. Take your pick, Ebay, subarugenuineparts.com, Stealership.

Have the block rebuilt while you baby the one you have, then find someone (preferably a knowledgeable enthusiast) local to you that can do the work for alot less than $75/ Hr. shop rates.

If you plan to keep the stock power and maybe up the boost later on, now would be the perfect time for some forged pistons as insurance.

Or you could do what I did, jumped in with cold feet asking questions and getting called a newb. Now working on my car is my hobby and is fun to me. But, obviously, that isnt for everyone.



~Josh~
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:59 PM   #11
dincolo85
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Well I have a 2002, and I am playing the rebuilt game. I was thinking the start of 6 million$ man, bigger better faster strong crap. Its going to end up, doing it all right and everything being a tad over 3 grand, or so. I pulled the motor myself and am going to put it back in myself, which saves a ton of money. but what ever you do, add 15% to what you think its going to cost, or more for that matter. you can never plan for everything that costs money when your looking at it.
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