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Old 10-03-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
claythrow
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Default USDM 04 WRX 205 rebuild suggestions

Ok. So after talking to several people about this I'm going to rebuild the motor myself. (Spun rod bearing/s….how do I know w/o taking the motor apart? I just know what it sounds like) I haven't removed or cracked the engine apart yet. I'm quite mechanically inclined, the whole car is practically new which I did myself and I'm pretty confident I can do it.


I'm getting rough estimates for $2500-$3k to have it done but if I can do it myself for as much or cheaper and build up my tool arsenal while I'm at it, that is a win/win to me. I have another vehicle, a garage, and I'm out of work at the moment so none of those are a problem.

What is a problem is that this will be the third motor going in this car and my wife has about had it. After this, any more costly repairs and she wants the car gone. For what it's worth, the first motor was blown by the previous owner. Subaru replaced it under warrantee. The second motor I blew because the oil pump failed. Oddly enough both motors went at 60k. So I want to rebuild it bulletproof. Everything on it is stock except the exhaust.It's totally cat less w/ tomei racing headers and UP, cat less DP and stock STI in the final link. (I know it's a little restrictive but it keeps it quiet) EVERYTHING else on the car is 100% stock.

I have the best machine shop in New England right around the corner for any machine work that needs to be done.

Where I need help is I don't know what parts to buy once I open the case. I realize you don't know either as you don't know whats ok or what's destroyed but covering the basics, what parts should I be looking at? Sizes are important too as I was looking at some of the internals and there are so many sizes available and I don't know what my engine uses.

Can you guys give me some ideas of what to look at to rebuild this sucker better than Subaru appears to do it? I'm tired of the rod problem. I know the previous owner and neither him nor I beat on or race the car. Sure we zip around some fun corners when there are no cops around but neither of us beat on this car more than I do my wife's corolla. No more Subaru short blocks for me, I don't trust them.

So, along with sizes, what pistons, cranks, valves, valve springs, case/head bolts etc would you buy so that I can look into them. Ideally I could rebuild the engine and have enough left over for a larger turbo. Nothing outrageous, but not a TD04 so I want to build an engine that is future proof. If I can rebuild it, accumulate knowledge and some tools in the process and get a used larger turbo for $3k I would be on cloud 9. Plus cars are where my heart is, I'll be doing this the rest of my life so I want to rebuild it myself…just to do it, does that make sense?

Can you help by giving me suggestions. Not only on what parts but websites to get them? I can learn as I go and I've got help, but where to start…specifically what parts to suit my purposes I turn to the veterans for suggestions. These are all "what if" suggestions till I crack it open, but it would be helpful to know ahead of time what parts I would want should I happen to need them.

The main goal is a strong motor that will handle a larger turbo (a used STI turbo of one generation or another, nothing gigantic) and that I can have some confidence in as so far, these 205 short blocks have some weak links. If I don't correct them this time around I'll be driving a 2002 corolla for the rest of it's undoubtedly immortal life. As it is I'm dipping in to my 401k to pay for this motor. Thanks for your help and the help I've already received from the gentlemen in Jax FL.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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Also, I forgot what weight oil do you guys use? I use Amsoil 5/30 which is what the manual calls for but it just seems too thin. I'm thinking of going 10 or 15/40 in the warmer months and drop it down in the winter. Anyone else find 5/30 too thin?
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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5/30 synthetic likes to sneak through turbo seals. I'd recommend a 5/40 or at second best a 10/40. Startup is still where you want a good "5w".
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #4
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No suggestions on what valves, springs, forged pistons etc?
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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There's a ton of info relevant to your situation that you can find just by searching but when I was in your situation I couldn't find it all fast enough and made some bad decisions as a result. Here's my recommendation to you based on what I've read by reputable people here:

Figure out what power delivery characteristics you want from the engine. Some want more low-end grunt, others want their engine to be smoother and free-revving, others just want to make as much peak power as possible. Sounds to me like you were happy with how the engine ran, and just want it to be more durable. If that's the case then you don't need to increase the bore or stroke, or change the compression ratio. You can use a stock crank, stock cams, and aftermarket pistons and rods with stock dimensions (although you'll probably need slightly bigger pistons). Which is really good considering your budget (more on this later) Or you can just skip all that and get an ej207. Probably the easiest route you can take, and it will almost definitely be more reliable than whatever you build.

If you still want to rebuild your engine then let me tell you, and most everyone one here will agree with me, that the parts you use are not nearly as important as the work that is put into installing them. The most reliable built engines are not necessarily the ones with the best parts, but the ones with the best builders and assemblers. Piston-to-wall clearance, bearing clearances, deck height and finish, weight balance, etc. are much more important than which brand of parts you use. You need to make sure that all of these specs fall within an acceptable range and that they are nearly identical from one cylinder to another. Don't assume anything--even brand new parts--are ready to be installed, not without measuring them first and checking them for straightness.

Having said that, I'd say that the first steps you need to take are inspecting and measuring the block and head castings. Have the bores and bearing journals measured and checked for roundness, have the decks measured for flatness, inspect the heads to see if they've warped, etc. After that, and ONLY after, you'll know what size pistons and bearings to buy. If you get custom pistons to reach a desired CR or to accommodate long rods or something I'd recommend boring/honing the block first, THEN getting the pistons to match the bore size.

Bore, hone, and resurface/mill the block/heads AS LITTLE as possible. If possible don't even resurface them at all. Resurfacing your heads and block will either advance cam timing on one head and retard it on the other, or force you to use thicker (and thus, aftermarket) head gaskets. Either one of these could cause issues. Use STOCK head gaskets if possible. They are cheaper, easier to install, and more reliable. As far as heads are concerned I won't be of much help there as I didn't rebuild mine Just had to do valve lash.

Now, about brands/companies... unfortunately you don't have a very wide selection there. If you want your engine to be "bulletproof," reliable, and sub-$3k then you're stuck with something like scat or eagle rods, CP or Wiseco pistons, stock or sti crank, stock or STI cams, and stock or ej207 valves and valvetrain. Basically, really budget stuff. You'll spend the rest on tools, machining, gaskets, and other accessories (oil pump, water pump, timing belt, Killer B oil pickup, sti oil pan, etc.).

And as for oil... you won't know what weight to run until your bearing clearances have been decided. Probably around the ballpark of 5w-40 though.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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Default Ej 207

I'll do some research on the EJ 207…in the meantime,

Will that handle a larger turbo than a td04 in the future?

Is it a direct drop in replacement for the existing 205 I have in there?

And how do I know it's not going to have the same rod problems that the 205s have been having?

And where do I get one?



I'm glad you brought this up as what I could do (possibly depending on the above answers) is drop this in my car. THen take my 205 apart and work on that as money and time permits. Basically learning my way around the engine on a spare motor. Or am I missing something?
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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THe 207 v7 or v8 sounds great. Then I could tinker with my 205.

It seems like I would have to swap the engine harness and ECU though? As well as move up to a 6mt? While I would absolutely love a 6 speed, that whole setup might break the bank.

And where the hell do I find these 207's are they just not around anymore?
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Yes, an ej207 can easily handle many turbos larger than the td04. 20g's and gt30r's are common.

For the most part it is drop in. As you said, you will need a new ECU (~$300) and engine harness, but that's it. You will also need to do some wiring (relocate 4 wires and add 6, IIRC), but you definitely don't need a 6 speed. There are a few vendors on here and other sites that sell used ej207s. A full longblock runs between $3k-$4k.

The rods are forged and the pistons (depending on which version you get) are also forged or hypereutectic (pretty sure I spelled that wrong), which is stronger.

All this info is regarding v7 or v8 (2001-2004) ej207s only. Don't know much about v9+
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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Start reading everything you can and everyone has different parts they like. For a simple build that your not going balls out I'd stick with the Mahle pistons and run a tighter PTWC. Keep the stock rods but if you are not happy with them then buy the Manley rod for around 330. I like King bearings and I purchase two sets of each, standard and one with an extra .001 clearance,when your done sell the extra to me. Stay with stock head bolts and use a sock HG. Put a new oil pump since you think you spun a bearing. Send your injectors out to be cleaned and have your heads checked,since you have 120 on them. I'd go with new guides and seals, seat cut and BC springs and retainers, some might say other brands but there's nothing wrong with BC springs for your build.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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A v7 or v8 would drop right in, I could match it up to my existing DP and transmission no problem? The wiring I would have to look into but the new harness and ECU. Would the ECU just be a drop in? Meaning everything would be tuned already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WReXd View Post
Yes, an ej207 can easily handle many turbos larger than the td04. 20g's and gt30r's are common.

For the most part it is drop in. As you said, you will need a new ECU (~$300) and engine harness, but that's it. You will also need to do some wiring (relocate 4 wires and add 6, IIRC), but you definitely don't need a 6 speed. There are a few vendors on here and other sites that sell used ej207s. A full longblock runs between $3k-$4k.

The rods are forged and the pistons (depending on which version you get) are also forged or hypereutectic (pretty sure I spelled that wrong), which is stronger.

All this info is regarding v7 or v8 (2001-2004) ej207s only. Don't know much about v9+
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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You've rebuilt the EJ205 correct?

Really what I need (and you've started to give it to me already so thank you very much, and for taking the time to talk to me on the phone) Is for someone to tell me what parts to buy. Being that this is my first time all the options are just too much to process. After I've done one, and I have the experience under my belt, all these other things will start to make sense.

So after I crack it open if I go that route and I see what is needed, a list of quality stuff would be helpful.

I like the King bearings, I'm sold on those.

Forged pistons are going in no matter what, Mahle's seem to be pretty popular.

I don't know what PTWC stands for…Power to weight ____?

The manley rods are a done deal as well

What gasket set to get

I'd also like to do a valve job on it while I've got it open, no idea where to start there.

What is a stock "HG"?

STI oil pump a good idea?

"I'd go with new guides and seals, seat cut and BC springs and retainers, some might say other brands but there's nothing wrong with BC springs for your build."

I haven't even gotten that far yet to know what you are talking about there.

Should I do anything to the heads besides clean them?


But lets say my engine was hurt in a bad way, which I don't think it was but just for giggles let's say it is. What would be a ball park figure to rebuild it myself using quality parts that aren't going to fold at 60k again? I must admit I love the 207 idea, but having to retune, swap ecu etc is not really what I want to learn. Electrical and telephony are my forte, rebuilding an engine while overwhelming me at the moment is what I want to learn.

I sincerely thank you all for your patience, contributions and for dumbing it down for me as until I have a rebuild under my belt, a lot of the lingo is greek to me.

BTW Dnorton, you were going to email me the calipers and measuring devices at claythrow1@gmail.com. Maybe you already did, I'll check my junk mail now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnorton View Post
Start reading everything you can and everyone has different parts they like. For a simple build that your not going balls out I'd stick with the Mahle pistons and run a tighter PTWC. Keep the stock rods but if you are not happy with them then buy the Manley rod for around 330. I like King bearings and I purchase two sets of each, standard and one with an extra .001 clearance,when your done sell the extra to me. Stay with stock head bolts and use a sock HG. Put a new oil pump since you think you spun a bearing. Send your injectors out to be cleaned and have your heads checked,since you have 120 on them. I'd go with new guides and seals, seat cut and BC springs and retainers, some might say other brands but there's nothing wrong with BC springs for your build.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:58 AM   #12
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For the oil pump, I would get a 10mm polished and shimmed. Having too big of an oil pump can also cause issues, like too much pressure.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:32 AM   #13
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Don't know if you're talking to me, but yeah I have rebuilt an ej205.

Like I said, for parts the brands don't matter too much as long as they're "name brands." Ask Josh at Import Image Racing or the guy (I forget his name) at maperformance for quotes and recommendations. They tend to have really good prices on everything.

PTWC = piston-to-wall clearance
HG = head gasket

Sti oil pump, as far as I know, is the same as yours. If yours is in good condition, you can keep it but I would get it inspected.

Get an OEM gasket kit. It should have everything you need.

As far as the "extra work" you have to put into the ej207... it's not much at all. If I had to do it all over again I could probably do all the wiring and swap the ECU in 2 hours. And you will need a retune anyway, so that's not an additional cost to you. It is much, much easier to do an ej207 swap than rebuild your engine. Plus you'd end up with AVCS (variable cam timing, basically).
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:12 AM   #14
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I only have a minute while I'm having my morning coffee but I'll throw this out there as a somewhat of a guide to what it would cost to build your motor on your own.
!. Pistons w/rings 500 ---- 9. Valve Springs 200
2. Rods 300 ---- 10. Head work, this is for either way you go 500
3.Oil Pump 100 ---- 11.Hone torque plate 130
4. Bearings 100 ---- 12.You might need to get the Total Timing belt kit,
5. Master Gasket Set 250 ---- 13.Bore Gauge 150
6.Timing belt 60 --- 14. Mic set from 2'' to 6'' 150
7. Plugs 30 --- 15.Fugi Bond 40
8. I assume you have a Torque Wrench ?

I'm sure there's something I'm over looking but I just woke up. I think that's it beside the water pump and pulley's that come in the timing belt kit. Also don't for get either way you go you still need the oil pump,water pump and timimg belt with pulley's, gasket set and head work.

Last edited by dnorton; 10-04-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #15
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Another thing you might want to consider, if you can pick up an short block for a good price you get the cases,crank,rods and pistons. Then you can sell your cases for 300 if lucky, rods 50, crank 150. You just need to weigh your options, time and money you want to spend.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnorton View Post
I only have a minute while I'm having my morning coffee but I'll throw this out there as a somewhat of a guide to what it would cost to build your motor on your own.
!. Pistons w/rings 500 ---- OK
2. Rods 300 ---- OK
3.Oil Pump 100 ---- OK
4. Bearings 100 ---- OK
5. Master Gasket Set 250 --- OK
6.Timing belt 60 --- Whole new timing belt kit installed 200 miles ago. Belt, tensioners, cogs, pulleys, water pump, thermostat
7. Plugs 30 --- Also brand new 200 miles on them
8. I assume you have a Torque Wrench ? A nice one
9. Valve Springs 200 OK
10. Head work, this is for either way you go 500 OK
11.Hone torque plate 130 I don't know what this is but I'll figure it out
12.You might need to get the Total Timing belt kit - Unless it got trashed I should be good.
13.Bore Gauge 150 --- OK
14. Mic set from 2'' to 6'' 150 ---- OK
15.Fugi Bond 40 ---- OK.


I'm sure there's something I'm over looking but I just woke up. I think that's it beside the water pump and pulley's that come in the timing belt kit. Also don't for get either way you go you still need the oil pump,water pump and timimg belt with pulley's, gasket set and head work.
So about $2700 give or take if I include some headwork and the engine puller and work stand from Harbor Freight.

And at this price point it's unlikely to spin another rod bearing at 60k?
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WReXd
Don't know if you're talking to me, but yeah I have rebuilt an ej205.

Like I said, for parts the brands don't matter too much as long as they're "name brands." Ask Josh at Import Image Racing or the guy (I forget his name) at maperformance for quotes and recommendations. They tend to have really good prices on everything.

PTWC = piston-to-wall clearance
HG = head gasket

Sti oil pump, as far as I know, is the same as yours. If yours is in good condition, you can keep it but I would get it inspected.

Get an OEM gasket kit. It should have everything you need.

As far as the "extra work" you have to put into the ej207... it's not much at all. If I had to do it all over again I could probably do all the wiring and swap the ECU in 2 hours. And you will need a retune anyway, so that's not an additional cost to you. It is much, much easier to do an ej207 swap than rebuild your engine. Plus you'd end up with AVCS (variable cam timing, basically).
I keep getting different feedback on this. Some saying its a nightmare, it won't pass emissions, it will burn out my 5mt.

But it does 280 hp stock, not much more than the 255 hp I was doing, how is that going to waste my tranny?

Twin scroll, variable valve timing, will drop in.

The vendor here says that an 04 WRX actually uses the same wiring harness as the v8 so it's just plug and play...is the ecu swap that big a deal???
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:06 PM   #18
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its only a big deal if you want to have functional AVCS, and in my opinion, its not worth the swap if you aren't going to take advantage of all the EJ207 features.

also, this having two threads on your rebuild is getting confusing..lol
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:14 PM   #19
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I'll see what I can do about the two thread thing.

What I mean is actually swapping the ecu...is the work involved that complicated. And then there is the emissions problem, I've heard they won't pass
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:26 PM   #20
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the ecus are basically plug and play, but there is some additional wiring if you want functioning AVCS. its fairly easy though. as far as emissions go, I can't say, I don't have those problems where I live.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #21
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Both my friend and I have passed smog here in california with ej207 engines. Mine was a v7, his was a v8. We both threw in the stock USDM ECU just to be safe, but I've heard of others passing with the JDM ECU.

The ECU is plug and play, meaning they use the same connectors. But like I said earlier you have to relocate/repin four of the wires and add 6. It's really no big deal especially if you're good with electronics, like you said you were.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:22 PM   #22
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Also I would add to dnorton's list the following:
16. Plastigauge $15? I forget
17. Sti oil pan $110 (if you get a v8 ej207 it'll come with this)
18. KillerB pickup $170
19. Assembly lube $15
20. Shimless buckets $100-$350 depending on used or new

And don't forget supporting mods if you're going to get a bigger turbo... intercooler, fuel pump, injectors, intake, etc.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WReXd
Both my friend and I have passed smog here in california with ej207 engines. Mine was a v7, his was a v8. We both threw in the stock USDM ECU just to be safe, but I've heard of others passing with the JDM ECU.

The ECU is plug and play, meaning they use the same connectors. But like I said earlier you have to relocate/repin four of the wires and add 6. It's really no big deal especially if you're good with electronics, like you said you were.
Did u have an sti or just a WRX? I've been told the plain WRX requires no repinning at all...just swap for swap for a v8 which is what I would be getting. Is anyone running their 207 catless with the tomei EL twin scroll kit?...This

http://www.tomei-p.co.jp/_2003web-ca...nifold_en.html

Lastly wondering if I should just get the 6 speed it comes with for the extra 2k or just pray all goes well w/what I got.

I'll still be rebuilding my 205...but the 207 would have me up and running while doing it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:54 AM   #24
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unless your building your 205 up to something awesome, you are taking a step backwards going from the ej207 back to the 205.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:36 PM   #25
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So the engine is torn down to the block. Heads are off, everything.

I'm waiting for a large check to come in for what I want to do. but the 207 is easy.

If I were to rebuild what I have is there a crank set that comes already balanced with rods/journals etc.? I found one from Manley w/a nitrated crank, etc but it comes with ACL bearings. I would really like clevite bearings so is there any other kids I'm missing?

I would also like to do a valve job while I have this apart, the pistons will be bored over as well as the valves anything that comes with all of it? A whole engine rebuild set?

Lastly and even if I can just gt this info I would know where to start. can someone point me to exactly the different measuring tools (websites would be helpful too) I would need in order to do this right? The 207 is very enticing, but switching the ECU every inspection time in order to pass inspection in Massachusett is a turn off. I also son't know how long my 120K 5 speak will last strapped to the the 207. If I could get a full kit for $2,500=$3k thats a much more reasonable price for me.
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