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Old 03-09-2011, 02:40 PM   #1
watchdoc
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After years of rallyx and daily driving, I took my 02 2.5 RS with 92k miles on it to VIR for an HPDE. In my 7th session (maybe 80 laps of track time), I cracked a ring land while bounching off the rev limiter. In retrospect, the SRS-20 reflash may be leaning things out too much on the top end. The block and one head are trashed but the crank, rods, cams, and three pistons look fine.



So far here's what I have planned.

find a nice set of case halves
find a head and mill them to achieve approx 11:1 compression
ACL race bearings
Moroso Oil pan and pickup
Accusump
upgraded oil pump
reuse my Delta 1500 cams
upgrade SRS-20 reflash to SRS-30 and actually have it dyno'd for safety
Not sure which rings I'm gonna use or head gasket


suggestions?
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Last edited by watchdoc; 03-24-2011 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:59 PM   #2
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The big things are cooling and a reliable tune. Do you have any gauges to monitor oil pressure/oil temp/coolant temp? Do you have an oil cooler or upgraded radiator? Has the reflash been run on the dyno to ensure it's not knocking?

I'd use HX clearance on the rod bearings, OEM rings, and OEM 04-06 sti headgaskets.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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No, the reflash is the Crawford SRS20 91 octane reflash and I'm running 93 for a safety margin. Temps were in the 60's all weekend. My coolant temp never budged. I do not have mechanical guages to monitor anything and no oil cooler or upgraded radiator.

How important would this stuff be for what would be considered a slow car on a track day. My top speeds on the back straight were consistantly 110mph.

Also, AFAIK, there is no custom tuning you can do to the 98-02 2.5 RS ECU. Once it's all together, I will get it dyno'd.

Also, i plan to upgrade the oil pump so i added to the original post.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:17 PM   #4
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I run the same setup in my track car.

Mishimoto radiator and an oil cooler keeps the temps perfect no matter how much I beat on it.

If you're going to rebuild the bottom end - I believe - the biggest thing is a proper machine job. We have a few ok machine shops up here in CT, but I go to this place in Groton called Larry's Auto Machine (you can ship them your block btw).

If the bearing tolerances are good (stock is fine), run a high Zinc content oil and you'll be fine. I ran a stock (minus cams) motor all last year without a hickup. Just change the oil often.

It's an NA - it runs forever
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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Are you doing bearings, rods, pistons, etc? how much are you actually replacing here?

One small note, a good race motor is a loose motor and high oil flow. Longevity for the most part will be a matter of how well the motor is built. Do it wrong, and you might find yourself spinning a bearing at 1000 miles. Now with the cams you're running, you really aren't revving the motor beyond stock. This does mean the forces will be stock like and quite safe. You're not exactly mechanically stressing the motor, so it's not really as big of an issue as it would be building a real race motor that winds out past 8k where forces get much higher and clearances much more critical.

On a side note, you have the option now to lighten up internals. Wiseco pistons are the lightest made for these motors. Probe also makes very light pistons and very, very light piston pins. Combined, the Probe set is slightly lighter. The lightest rods are also the cheapest, Eagle. Depending on mileage, you might also be looking at a clutch and flywheel, and can hop to a light option there too. These light weight parts can make the motor significantly more peppy.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:35 PM   #6
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Can i ask why you wouldnt just run the SRS-30 with bigger cams? Thats the one intended for motors with aftermarket cams. The SRS-20 leans out fuel up top. Works great with oem cams but When i talked to Bill at Crawford about my build i did, He told me for optimal power you should def go with the SRS-30(as long as i had aftermarket cams)

I was running

Delta 2000 cams
LW crank pulley
9.5LB fidanza flywheel
Ganzflow intake
SRS-30 ECU
EL headers Catless trackpipe
Tsudo N1 Catback

never had it dynoed but i could hold stock WRX's all day.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:41 PM   #7
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I spoke to bill as well and he specifically suggested the SRS20 flash over the SRS30 for the milder 1500 series cams but said they would reflash to SRS30 if I later decided I didn't like it. Delta said the same thing.

I already have ACT HDSS clutch and Streetlite flywheel. I also have OBX catless headers into an Sti catback.

I hadn't considered light weight pistons but I might. Gotta open the motor up and survey the damage first. I will report back when I know more.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:40 AM   #8
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First post updated with carnage.

I could actually bore the stock block to 100mm and order custom pistons but that's close to $1200.

I'm leaning towards finding a rebuildable core and using stock pistons with milled heads. Seems a whoooooole bunch cheaper.

Opinions?
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:32 AM   #9
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1) You're probably not going too lean. "Too lean" for an NA isn't until you're well over 13. More than likely, you killed it with knock or oil temp.

2) I PROMISE you that you're having oil temperature problems. All of the GD RSes that I've stuck an oil temp gauge in hit a 280-300F oil temp without being beaten on as hard as you were doing. An oil cooler (a relatively big one) is absolutely critical for what you're doing.

3) The header is absolutely critical for what you're doing. Yes, it'll add power, but that's not the point for you. The reason the power goes up is that the scavenging gets better. Better scavenging results in less residual exhaust gasses in the cylinder (and therefore less free radicals). This'll help keep temps down AND help reduce knock. For what you're doing, the only header on the market I'd feel comfortable with is the TWE 4-2-1 HO. This is for no other reason than that it scavenges so damned well. You'd gain quite a bit of safety overhead from just that.

4) It sounds like your goal isn't to make more power but to make an engine that you can beat on at a track day and be sure of driving it home. If this is true, I'd do something that'll piss off a lot of the bench racers here:

a) Stock pistons
b) Stock rods
c) Stock crank
b) Stock block

e) Non-stock bearings. Have your machine shop spec bearings that result in bearing clearances absolutely no tighter than the loose end of the factory-specified tolerance. For example, the 2005 EJ253 has a spec for the rod bearings of 0.00063 — 0.0017in. You'd want to go no tighter than the 0.00017in end of tolerance. Similarly, the spec for the mains is 0.0001 — 0.0012in. Again, you'd want to be absolutely no tighter than the 0.0012in end of things. Why? Heat expansion. You want your bearing clearances to stay big (for high oil flow) even after you get that engine mother****ing hot on the 80th lap. Maxwell will tell you to go even wider than this, but I think this is a reasonable compromise for an engine that's also a daily. For others reading this, keep in mind that I'm only suggesting this because the OP is getting, and keeping, his engine HOT and revving the piss out of it at the same time.

f) 9mm oil pump. Increased bearing clearances require increased oil flow. Your stock pump is a 7mm. Try a 9mm with 5w30 oil with an HTHS of 3.5cP or higher. You should be building no less than 10psi per 1000RPM of engine speed. If you're not making enough oil pressure, you want to go to a 10mm pump. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE MAKING 20 OR MORE PSI PER 1000RPM! People go off the deep end with this one all the time. 10-15psi/1kRPM is fine for an RS motor spinning to 6-7kRPM.

g) Use ONLY oil with an HTHS of 3.5 or higher. Preferably, use a 5w30 with an HTHS of 3.5 or higher. Yes, this confines you to only using good oils, but you need it

h) Send the pistons, heads, and valves off to Swaintech. Take the money you saved by not buying forged pistons and whatnot and spend it on coatings instead. This is where you make the engine much less stressed when you're on track. Get the piston skirts coated in PC-9 and the piston crowns coated in TBC. Get the combustion chambers and exhaust runners coated in TBC. Get the faces of the valves coated in TBC. What does this get you? Less knock and more control of heat. Several good things happen with all this. First, the TBC helps prevent the formation of carbon buildup on the pistons, valves, and heads. Carbon buildup causes knock. Less carbon buildup=less knock. Second, the TBC keeps the surface temps of the components cooler due to better heat rejection into the charge. Cooler surfaces=less knock. Third, the improved heat rejection reduces heat transfer into the coolant and oil. Lower fluid temps means less stress, better lubrication, and quicker recovery when you get off the throttle.

i) YOU MUST GET BETTER GAUGES. You need oil temp and coolant temp at minimum. Your stock coolant temp gauge is worthless. It basically has 3 states: "I'm cold", "I'm within 50F of normal", and "I've blown up". You'd like to see coolant temps rising before you get to the "I've blown up" stage. Same thing with oil. If you get a 300F oil temp, you want to know that so you can take a couple of "recovery" laps before you lose the engine due to oil failure.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
1) You're probably not going too lean. "Too lean" for an NA isn't until you're well over 13. More than likely, you killed it with knock or oil temp.

2) I PROMISE you that you're having oil temperature problems. All of the GD RSes that I've stuck an oil temp gauge in hit a 280-300F oil temp without being beaten on as hard as you were doing. An oil cooler (a relatively big one) is absolutely critical for what you're doing.

3) The header is absolutely critical for what you're doing. Yes, it'll add power, but that's not the point for you. The reason the power goes up is that the scavenging gets better. Better scavenging results in less residual exhaust gasses in the cylinder (and therefore less free radicals). This'll help keep temps down AND help reduce knock. For what you're doing, the only header on the market I'd feel comfortable with is the TWE 4-2-1 HO. This is for no other reason than that it scavenges so damned well. You'd gain quite a bit of safety overhead from just that.

4) It sounds like your goal isn't to make more power but to make an engine that you can beat on at a track day and be sure of driving it home. If this is true, I'd do something that'll piss off a lot of the bench racers here:

a) Stock pistons
b) Stock rods
c) Stock crank
b) Stock block

e) Non-stock bearings. Have your machine shop spec bearings that result in bearing clearances absolutely no tighter than the loose end of the factory-specified tolerance. For example, the 2005 EJ253 has a spec for the rod bearings of 0.00063 0.0017in. You'd want to go no tighter than the 0.00017in end of tolerance. Similarly, the spec for the mains is 0.0001 0.0012in. Again, you'd want to be absolutely no tighter than the 0.0012in end of things. Why? Heat expansion. You want your bearing clearances to stay big (for high oil flow) even after you get that engine mother****ing hot on the 80th lap. Maxwell will tell you to go even wider than this, but I think this is a reasonable compromise for an engine that's also a daily. For others reading this, keep in mind that I'm only suggesting this because the OP is getting, and keeping, his engine HOT and revving the piss out of it at the same time.

f) 9mm oil pump. Increased bearing clearances require increased oil flow. Your stock pump is a 7mm. Try a 9mm with 5w30 oil with an HTHS of 3.5cP or higher. You should be building no less than 10psi per 1000RPM of engine speed. If you're not making enough oil pressure, you want to go to a 10mm pump. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE MAKING 20 OR MORE PSI PER 1000RPM! People go off the deep end with this one all the time. 10-15psi/1kRPM is fine for an RS motor spinning to 6-7kRPM.

g) Use ONLY oil with an HTHS of 3.5 or higher. Preferably, use a 5w30 with an HTHS of 3.5 or higher. Yes, this confines you to only using good oils, but you need it

h) Send the pistons, heads, and valves off to Swaintech. Take the money you saved by not buying forged pistons and whatnot and spend it on coatings instead. This is where you make the engine much less stressed when you're on track. Get the piston skirts coated in PC-9 and the piston crowns coated in TBC. Get the combustion chambers and exhaust runners coated in TBC. Get the faces of the valves coated in TBC. What does this get you? Less knock and more control of heat. Several good things happen with all this. First, the TBC helps prevent the formation of carbon buildup on the pistons, valves, and heads. Carbon buildup causes knock. Less carbon buildup=less knock. Second, the TBC keeps the surface temps of the components cooler due to better heat rejection into the charge. Cooler surfaces=less knock. Third, the improved heat rejection reduces heat transfer into the coolant and oil. Lower fluid temps means less stress, better lubrication, and quicker recovery when you get off the throttle.

i) YOU MUST GET BETTER GAUGES. You need oil temp and coolant temp at minimum. Your stock coolant temp gauge is worthless. It basically has 3 states: "I'm cold", "I'm within 50F of normal", and "I've blown up". You'd like to see coolant temps rising before you get to the "I've blown up" stage. Same thing with oil. If you get a 300F oil temp, you want to know that so you can take a couple of "recovery" laps before you lose the engine due to oil failure.

Now if I had the same question but about a 2010 Sedan. What would you tell me?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:47 AM   #11
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williaty, thanks for the in depth response. I plan on dyno'ing the car once it's back together but how can I monitor knock on the track and or do anything about it? It wasn't oil temp since it was only lap three of the session after a full cool down. I was coming out of a twisty section bouncing off the rev limiter a lil too much. It pulled to 110mph down the straight and then the CEL started flashing and it shut off. I could hear the piston bits chewing up the head.

I will prol pick up a WRX center console guage pod with oil temp, oil pressure, and water temp. It would be awesome to find a A/F guage with knock light or something along those lines.

I must admit I'm not familiar with the HTHS 3.5 rating. I was running castrol Edge 5w30 in this engine for a couple years.

I'm not gonna be able to afford the TWE header AND Coatings so I will likely stick with my OBX header and get the coatings.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:52 PM   #12
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ok, looks like I'm gonna score a great deal on a new set of STi case halves EJ257 so I'm in the process of ordering parts and have some questions.

1. I plan to stuff the RS internals into the new Sti case. I need a single piston. I have THREE 2002 2.5 RS pistons and THREE 2001 Forester Pistons. Can I mix and match these to come up with a good set?

2. Is there an OEM kit I can order that comes with bearings, seals, head gaskets, etc? If so, what is the part number?

3. I was planning to order the 10mm oil pump but I'm wondering if the 9mm pump is plenty? opinions? part numbers?
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:52 PM   #13
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Yeah, between the two, I'd do the coatings now because you can only do them at build time. In a year or two, pick up the header.

You really can't monitor knock at the track. Well, I guess if you bought a KnockBox or something, maybe.

HTHS is a property of the oil. It's something most people ignore because it isn't talked about much in the US but it's the most important spec about the oil.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watchdoc View Post
1. I plan to stuff the RS internals into the new Sti case. I need a single piston. I have THREE 2002 2.5 RS pistons and THREE 2001 Forester Pistons. Can I mix and match these to come up with a good set?
Look up the part number on OpposedForces.com. If they're the same part numbers, go for it.

However, more than likely, you're not going to be able to re-use the pistons. Unless you mean the EJ257 is "new" as in a perfect virgin block straight from the factory, you're going to need to have a tiny bore to get it square again (they wear tapered) and a re-hone. After that, you'll find that a normal A/B piston won't fit tightly enough. You'll need to order the very-minimally-oversized pistons Subaru offers.

Quote:
2. Is there an OEM kit I can order that comes with bearings, seals, head gaskets, etc? If so, what is the part number?
Seals and gaskets yes, bearings no. The Master Gasket Kit is what you're after. Again, look it up on OpposedForeces.com

Quote:
3. I was planning to order the 10mm oil pump but I'm wondering if the 9mm pump is plenty? opinions? part numbers?
9mm for now. You don't want too big of an oil pump. I'm fairly confident a 9mm will work even with massive bearing clearances since you don't have a turbo or AVCS/AVLS (all of which require extra oil). If you get low oil pressure, then you step up to a 10mm but you want to prove the 9mm doesn't work first. Too big of a pump is a bad thing (and obviously too small of a pump is a bad thing). I've actually got a brand-new, never-installed 9mm oil pump that I disassembled, inspected, measured for tolerance, and rebuilt that was supposed to be for my big build that got canceled. If you're interested, PM me.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:15 PM   #15
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Yes, the block is a Virgin EJ257.

Yes, the pistons appear to be the same for an 01 Forester and 02 2.5 RS. Parts #'s 12006AC830 "A piston" or -840 for the "B piston" so hopefully I can get 4 good matching pistons for the new block.

So which MASTER KIT do I order? The orginal EJ251 kit for my 2002 RS or a EJ257 kit for an STI, or something in between? I have a feeling there might be a combo that utilizes all the right parts and saves the most money.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #16
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For your 251. The block is kit-agnostic but everything outside of it cares.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #17
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UPDATE:

Now that SuperTech is making oversized high compression pistons, I'm gonna bore my block to 100mm and reassemble with Sti rods, ARP rod bolts, and ACL bearings. Should save a bunch of money and be more reliable.

Boooooo.... The SuperTech high compression pistons use Sti valve reliefs which apparently won't work without modification so that leaves me back to custom pistons. Back to the drawing board.

Last edited by watchdoc; 03-29-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:57 AM   #18
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What's the cost on the Supertech pistons?

Post pics when you get them. I'd like to see how close to TWE's design they've gone.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #19
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sorry to hear about your trouble watchdoc, VIR is sort of my "home" track and i'm there from time to time...would have liked to give you a hand with your predicament if i was there. sucks to bust things far from home. were you hitting the limiter coming off the uphill esses (just curious based on your description), if so that's moving pretty good if you were in 4th!

i think Williaty nailed the jist of it, but i'd 2nd the urge to get an oil cooler on there. i'm almost positive Patrick Olsen has done oil temp logging as well on his legacy which he tracks a LOT, and its similarly high considering our power output.

have you considered Killer B's oil pan over Moroso? looks like it will fit our cars (correct me if i'm wrong) better without that biiiig slice Moroso has cut out for the turbo guys, and give you a nice 1.3q boost in capacity. you could do the pickup at the same time for insurance. maybe smooth out some oil passages if you have the chance. anything to help our oiling is a plus.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:00 AM   #20
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Hey Scotty, I am in 4th going about 90 at the top of the uphill esses before I tap the brakes. I tried to do a throttle lift turn but the car go sideways at 90+ and I managed to pull a recovery out of my ass. Finally, years of rallyx pays off!!

The failure took place on the short straight after the pits. I was going thru roller coaster faster than I had before (I got it right) and instead of tapping the rev limiter once, it kinda hung there for awhile. I shifted into 4th and the car pulled good down the straight but then it let go and shut off.

No big deal. I ordered a low mileage salvage engine with a good warranty to carry me thru rallyx season while I build a pull on track engine at my leisure.

here's the recipe

11-11.4:1 4032 low expansion forged pistons (maybe a flap top with valve reliefs only)
bore and hone to 100mm
stock heads with maybe some light port work
reuse my Delta 1500 cams
ACL race bearings
Moroso Oil pan and pickup (maybe killer B)
Accusump
upgraded oil pump
upgrade SRS-20 reflash to SRS-30 and actually have it dyno'd for safety
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watchdoc View Post
I tried to do a throttle lift turn but the car go sideways at 90+ and I managed to pull a recovery out of my ass. Finally, years of rallyx pays off!!
ha...right on, always good to practice! that's a nice pace through there. i'm just glad you didn't blow a hole in the block and spin on your own oil. seen that happen a few times and it pretty much never ends well.

what oil pump are you thinking of using? 9mm, maybe shimmed? i guess it will depend greatly on your bearings.

keep us updated on the build...
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
2) I PROMISE you that you're having oil temperature problems. All of the GD RSes that I've stuck an oil temp gauge in hit a 280-300F oil temp without being beaten on as hard as you were doing.
What's the oil temp limit where one should slow down? I have an oil drain plug T sensor, and I suspect it indicates temperatures on the lower end, as it's at the coolest point of oil flow.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #23
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i personally wouldn't want to see oil temps over 275 ever, 250 max for short durations. good realistic operating temp when you're pounding on the car is around 210 to 235 for us N/A guys.

at 300 the oil is basically toast. i forget the general rule but at that point it's breaking down at a rate that's shortening it's life by 3 or 4 times normal rate.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #24
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Depends on the oil. If it's a mineral-based oil, I wouldn't want to see anything more than 230F at the pump outflow (which is going to read hotter than where Blue is sampling). If it's a PAO-based oil, maybe 270F or so with the expectation of changing it after the event. With an all-Ester oil, maybe 300F, but again change it right after.

Those are failure limits. I'd still want, regardless of oil, to get the peak below 250F. Well below, if possible.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:21 PM   #25
Patrick Olsen
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Not to be a dick, but there's really no reason to ever be bouncing off the rev limiter at a track day. Not saying that's what caused the failure, but I can't imagine it helped.

I used to see ~130C oil temps. Adding the OEM Subaru oil cooler (the one that goes between the oil filter and block) dropped that to 120C (and didn't seem to raise coolant temp at all). Coolant temps have always been ~100C on track for me. I don't know if the newer cars have better radiators, but they don't look appreciably different/better from what I've seen, so I would say additional cooling is a good idea.

Sounds like you'll have a pretty fun engine once it's all said and done. Keep us updated on how all this turns out!

Pat
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