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Old 12-02-2008, 01:43 AM   #1
fourage20
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Default How reliable are hybrid motors?

i was curious to see how reliable are hybrid motors. im debating on a full sti swap or just built a hybrid. the hybrid i know is easier cause i dont have to swap harnesses or look for an ecu but how reliable are they? its my daily driver so it needs to be reliable.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:00 AM   #2
hybrid gti 2
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Debatable question as there are many opinions.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:15 AM   #3
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^^very true, but I'll share my build to give you an idea.

I've got 18k on my hybrid w/vf39, 255 walbro, 565 injs, and sti cams that I built myself with a spankin new 2.5 block from subaru. I built it with the STI head gasket, so my CR is pretty high. It's got a conservative safe tune, and it's also my daily. I have had no issues at all, it consumes no oil, and is a blast to drive.

reliable hybrids... sure...if you build it with that as your goal rather than trying to make 500whp
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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300 whp give or take. id build one if i wanted to make mongo torque.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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As long as it's put together with quality parts and a competent machinist, there should be no reliability issues vs. a stock motor.

Tell us more about how much power you're looking for, and I can work more from there.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #6
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i have a sti motor with 40k on it. i definetly wanna do pistons rods maybe cams and a gt52. the only reason i dont want to use the sti heads is because of the avcs.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:00 PM   #7
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Definitely understandable about the AVCS. Not sure if you can source a set, but JDM EJ207 heads would be a very nice thing to have...bigger ports, bigger valves, better airflow = more power. However, they are not cheap.

I would go with a good set of pistons (Wiseco is my choice), and rods (Carillo), and have the crank crossdrilled/nitride treated. This combination will handle whatever you throw at it and be a little happier towards 7K RPM. Other than that, I'd recommend Tomei cams. They have a small grind (252's) designed for stock flowing heads, which I'm running and absolutely love, or larger 270's which are designed for higher flowing heads like the JDM EJ207's. A little pricey, but by far the best money I've spent on my car.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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Sti cranks are cross drilled already. Cross drilling is also THE main suspect of the EJ oiling issues. It has been discussed many times in this forum.

My hybrid lasted for about a year but I also had a 35r on my setup. And it did not blow up from lack of strength. I had very low oil because I had the breathers hooked up to the intake and the 35r causes soo much vaccum that it ate oil really fast even though I never had smoke out the exhaust but I am for sure it was that reason because when I took the pistons out they were BLACK. Good luck with the build.

DK
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:19 PM   #9
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ive been doing some reading and i see alot of people have problems with hybrid motors. ive yet to see someone say i have 70k miles on my hybrid motor and still going strong. is there a way i can use sti heads and have the avcs working without changing the whole harness in the car and changing my ecu? i hear that if i get a stand alone like aem or hydra i can get it to work but does that eliminate my ecu or does it work with it? i also hear that i will not pass state inspection with a stand alone.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:37 AM   #10
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Man, the "should I do a hybrid?" debate is one that I've been fighting with as well.

I came really close to purchasing an STi shortblock with forged pistons installed not long ago, with the intention of putting it to use if my 2.0 ever gave up the ghost.

However, after I started reading and getting a general idea of some of the reliability issues that people have had in the long run, and some of the tuning and headgasket issues people have had when trying to deal with the inherently higher compression ratios that most of these setups run, I decided it would be worth it just to bite the bullet and get a long block with an appropriate ECU and wiring harness.

After I finally decided on the above route, THEN I heard that I may not pass emissions with such a set up because, since the VIN logged in the ECU of the donor car will not match up with my chassis, my state may immediately fail me.

I don't know if the above is really true yet, but it sounds about typical, doesn't it? What a freaking headache.

Last edited by J. Steinbeck; 12-03-2008 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:58 AM   #11
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a Good machinist to measure and match everything for your build is extremely important
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:19 AM   #12
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After my engine blew, due to bad tuning from Slowboy Racing, I opted for the hybrid. I can't say that I would do it again, but I haven't had anything go terribly wrong. I've also had it on a few road tracks since then. The only problem is that I can't get the damn CEL to go off. It is always on. I've tried dozens of things to fix the problem, but it always comes back on.

If I had it to do over again I would stick with a 2.0 and a stock turbo.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted dibiase View Post
After my engine blew, due to bad tuning from Slowboy Racing, I opted for the hybrid. I can't say that I would do it again, but I haven't had anything go terribly wrong. I've also had it on a few road tracks since then. The only problem is that I can't get the damn CEL to go off. It is always on. I've tried dozens of things to fix the problem, but it always comes back on.

If I had it to do over again I would stick with a 2.0 and a stock turbo.
Which CEL? I've seen a hybrid locally running strong for 4K+ miles...then again it's done a bit differently. '07 ECU, built EJ257 and 2.0 heads. Maybe it's all in the ECU.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:29 AM   #14
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I have had my hybrid for 30k.......with no issues what so ever.

I am also running a sz49 at 21 pounds.......so its not like i am taking it easy on the motor either. I beleive that all the hybrid horror stories that you hear is from improper install of parts or break-in process.

I have had nothing but sucess from my little hybrid and would do it agian in a heartbeat.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
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If your going to go hybrid, put in the forged pistons righ away because the stock ones will eventually crack. Thats what happened to me and alot of othe peoplr i know with hybrids. My car ran with no problems for about 5000 miles and than just out of nowhere its starts smoking badly and eventuall died and didnt start again. 3 out of 4 pistons craked.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxG View Post
If your going to go hybrid, put in the forged pistons righ away because the stock ones will eventually crack. Thats what happened to me and alot of othe peoplr i know with hybrids. My car ran with no problems for about 5000 miles and than just out of nowhere its starts smoking badly and eventuall died and didnt start again. 3 out of 4 pistons craked.
Agreed, too many issues with OEM 2.5 pistons.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:15 AM   #17
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^^^^ it really comes down to YOUR TUNE.

Is OEM STI pistons the best----NO

Can they handle 300whp-400whp all day long--YES

I agree if you shooting for over 400whp then you should upgrade....no question.

I do still believe that if done correctly the hybrid motor is a cost effective option for a replacement motor....as long as you have a good tune in the car.


But all the people that you see saying that their hybrid only lasted 2k.... 5k.....i have to believe that it was either the improper installation of the swap or the tune.
Something else to think about is most people who try the hybrid build are doing so with a extremely tight budget, so alot of the times they will cut corners on items that should not be re-used. This causing alot of problems which in turns makes makes the motor only last a couple of weeks or months.

Take it with a grain of salt.....only my opinion.

Last edited by JMK508; 12-03-2008 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:44 AM   #18
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Provided you use good quality components from the start, and as stated above, don't reuse parts that really should be replaced, have a quality shop assemble it, and get a good tune, there is zero reason a motor shouldn't have a long, happy life.

The most important is break-in. Make sure you start with conventional, non-synthetic oil, and change it at 500, 1000, and 1500 miles...checking the oil each time. After that, resume normal intervals, and ideally, I wouldn't switch to synthetic until at least 5K.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:36 PM   #19
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Hey JMK508, when you say stock pistons can handle 400whp all day long you mean all day until they break right?

Most people consider all to be more than 20K miles and that one hiccup that it takes to break a cast ringland at 400whp. You won't have that problem with a good set of forged pistons.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:47 PM   #20
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^^^ I agree.........but everything breaks!!!!! EVERYTHING. Requardless whether you have Forged Pistons or not. There is a breaking point for everything. It is added insurance to have a forged setup but by no means makes it bullet-proof.

I have PPG's...........does that mean that my transmission will NEVER break, no matter how much abuse i put it through?.......

I totally agree that forged pistons is a better option than OEM for reliability for higher hp applications.

My whole point is that when someone's engine goes a month later after a fresh shortblock is throw into the mix something other than the block went wrong. Either the tune or the installation of the block.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:49 PM   #21
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I don't get why there are so many horror stories with this conversion. I keep reading about knocks or other failures. Yet I hear nothing but good about running the long block of the 2.5L with the intake of the 2.0L. So why would this option be better since I already know I have to replace the heads anyways?

My goal eventually is to reach around 400whp on a daily driver.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #22
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Ya I wouldnt trust stock pistons much after 350whp...mine didnt last a week and that was just driving it normal to and from work...also wrxtacy2003-"Sti cranks are cross drilled already. Cross drilling is also THE main suspect of the EJ oiling issues. It has been discussed many times in this forum." Sorry but thats not true STI cranks are not cross drilled heres mine
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #23
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trying to learn here, keep it coming.

I'm planning a swap of some kind myself. I'd rather not go the long block route b/c if I did, I would definitely utilize AVCS and therein lies a whole other headache.

I'll be lurking. If anyone is a real go-getter, feel free to PM me with any advice you may have.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evoeater07 View Post
...Sorry but thats not true STI cranks are not cross drilled heres mine
Truth.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:26 PM   #25
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Hybrids are just as reliable if you build them right. Buddy of mine has a 500hp hybrid that has well over 30K miles on it....maybe even more. And he drives it with the intention of using the 500 hp as often as can be had.


That being said I'm building a hybrid as we speak. The 2.0L heads flow almost as much as the STi heads do. The major difference is the STi heads have bigger cams with higher lift. Drop STi cams in WRX 2.0L heads they are almost identical. Not quite but 'almost'.
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