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Old 01-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
blue05wagon
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Default 03 Baja Head Gaskets and Piston Slap

I have an 03 Baja with 149,000 miles. I will be replacing the head gaskets very soon as the drivers side is leaking oil.

When started cold the engine has very bad piston slap which lasts until the engine is very warm. It has had this for a long time but is getting much worse. My question is while I am replacing the head gaskets if I should do something about the piston slap while the engine is out?

Any recommendations on what pistons to use to eliminate this problem. Also, I have had people tell me not to use the oem head gaskets, that I should use STI gaskets so they last longer. Is this a good idea?

Thanks
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
yarrgh
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As long as the engine is out, may as well fix the piston slap. It's much easier to do a job once.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
subi400
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In order to fix piston slap, the block has to be disassembled, cleaned, all 4 cylinders honed, new rings, new bearings, new seals as well as heads possible rebuilt due to mileage. Then, the reassembly of the longblock.

I have some serious piston slap in cylinder 4 in my 96 2.2 impreza wagon and it has had the slap since 121k miles and the engine has 203k miles right now.

You could basically have the engine rebuilt or just do the head gaskets and drive on Depends on time and money.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #4
GEE-OTTO
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IF you are pulling the engine to do heads I would look into a full rebuild or buying a rebuilt short block and save yourself the down time. You could offset the cost with the core (your block) and start where you originally planned to redo (the SB).
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #5
Buck Rogers
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My 05 had piston slap at 27 k and I complained enough that the dealership fixed it. They put two new pistons ( 1 &3) drivers side, honed all 4 cyls, and 4 sets of rings. This quieted it down for about 20 k it slowly came back, but I now have 130k on it. Still bugs the hell out of me, though it's not to bad in the summer, I use a block heater in the winter which helps some. My guess is that it will return slowly after you break it in
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
b4wantab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Rogers View Post
My 05 had piston slap at 27 k and I complained enough that the dealership fixed it. They put two new pistons ( 1 &3) drivers side, honed all 4 cyls, and 4 sets of rings. This quieted it down for about 20 k it slowly came back, but I now have 130k on it. Still bugs the hell out of me, though it's not to bad in the summer, I use a block heater in the winter which helps some. My guess is that it will return slowly after you break it in
Amen, I had mine fixed, 4 new pistons, while the HGs were being fixed and it came back about 2 years later. The piston design is poor and it is what it is. Get custom pistons with longer skirts or just deal with it. I do not have that ride anymore but I always hated really driving until the sound was gone.

Peace,

Greg
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #7
blue05wagon
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Thanks for the replies. I may look into a new short block considering the miles on mine.

I do have a complete long block out of a wrecked 05 Forester that had around 80k miles on it. I bought it right and figured it would be a great back up. I took the heads off and the cylinder walls still have the honing marks. My concern is whether this one would do the same thing.

Also, if I reuse my 03 heads the 05 short block should work?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
Mr.Chow
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I got this great little device called an ipod that I connect to the aftermarket stereo I got with the car. When I hear the dreaded piston slap I turn up the music and keep on rolling. This seems to fix it quite nicely. :P Sorry Roland, looks like it's a new long short block or bust.
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