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Old 12-12-2013, 10:28 AM   #1
snobrder540
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Default 08 WRX getting a built 12 2.5 block and worked heads- 350-400whp

Hey NASIOC! OK so I'm in the process of building an engine for my 08 WRX.

I'm getting an 12 STI block assembled by a Subaru certified mechanic. It has the heat treated crank, factory rods, acl rod and crank bearings, and JE forged pistons.

I plan on building the heads myself. I'm planning on new valves, but I'm not sure which ones to go with. I would really appreciate some suggestions and reasons from those who have swapped out their valves. I plan on getting a set of ti retainers. The other question I have is...I don't plan to rev the **** out of this engine often so should I get new springs or will the stock ones work(81k on them)? If I do get new springs they will probably be the crowler springs because I have read a lot of build threads and good things have been said about them. I will be using the stock cams.

My goal for this build is to gain a bit of power, around 300whp, as well as get the engine ready for a bigger turbo in the future, currently running the stock td04. I also have aem intake and turbo back exhaust. I'm looking for an end power goal of somewhere between 350 and 400whp on a 93 tune. This is my daily driver(I do have a jeep for backup) and I track the car a couple times a year, so I plan on breaking her in slowly. Eventually along with the turbo I will be going with probably 850cc or bigger injectors and a higher flow fuel pump.

I will be keeping this thread updated as much as possible throughout the build. I would really appreciate any tips you guys can give me along the way. I attached a pic of my 2008 WRX and the current engine sitting in my bedroom to get the discussion rolling.

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Old 12-13-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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I talked to a Subaru tuner from Area 1320 last night and he told me that the factory valves will flow more than enough for my goals. He also said the factory springs and retainers are fine but with the 81k on the factory ones it may be a good idea to get new ones.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:30 AM   #3
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your factory heads are more than capable of 350-400whp. actually your block build is perfect for it just get a 20g turbo and your right there in your goal range.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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For your goals, with stock cams, Don't waste your money on valves and springs.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax189 View Post
your factory heads are more than capable of 350-400whp. actually your block build is perfect for it just get a 20g turbo and your right there in your goal range.
Good to know. I just checked out the turbo. Reasonably priced considering i found it on google shopping for less than you can find a VF52 and it's capable of 100 more horses. Would this turbo spool quickly enough with the stock headers and up pipe or would investing in new ones be ideal?

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Originally Posted by mod maniac View Post
For your goals, with stock cams, Don't waste your money on valves and springs.
yeah from what I've been reading I will stick with the factory valves. my only concern with the springs is that they have acquired 81K and I am not sure if they may have lost some of their spring.

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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You don't need any headwork to hit 400whp

Just slap a GT35R on there and tune for 21-22psi, done
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user1029 View Post
You don't need any headwork to hit 400whp

Just slap a GT35R on there and tune for 21-22psi, done
Overkill much? GTX3076 or GT3076 are more than capable of 400whp on 93... and will out spool the 35R...
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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Haha I like where this thread is going, with all the suggestions for turbos.

Just went and picked up the factory parts for the heads earlier today. I just need to send them out to a machine shop to get the heads honed and the valves cleaned up. I've done a search and not found anything on how to put the heads back together. Do any of you guys know of a write up on this. If there isn't one I'll def do a write up while I go through mine.

The block is due to arrive on Thurs! I will keep busy with that probably until after the new year and start on the heads after that so I can do my research and learning from now till then.

Based on discussions with the tuner and the advice I've gotten on here I will be keeping the factory valves and most likely the springs and retainers.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:52 PM   #9
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Ok I know it's been a while since the last update. I now have all the parts I need minus the head studs. The heads will be dropped off at the machine shop on friday or monday.

The pile of parts laying on my floor has grown considerably! I now have the new block set up as mentioned earlier in the thread. I decided to go with the BC1600 valve springs with factory retainers. I felt the Ti ones were not worth the extra $ for me being that the car will not be raced regularly, was just looking for fresh springs in the heads. I have an OEM engine overhaul gasket kit that I got for ~240. I also found that 2 of my intake valves were bent, still within spec but figure I may as well replace them since I'm going through this process.

I started work on the engine mon night after running to sears for a torque wrench. So far I have taken everything off the front and top of the engine(pulleys, pumps, water, and oil lines). I will be using all new pulleys however I plan to reuse the bolts.

This week I plan to gasket match the heads and start to bolt parts to the engine. I have been considering painting the block and heads so that may also be done this week. I must finish the gasket matching on the heads this week as I will be dropping the heads off at a machine shop on fri or mon for reassembly. Below is a pic of the engines once I finished working on them on monday night.

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:04 AM   #10
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I started cleaning the valves last night. I have about half of them cleaned and WOW!!! I'm using a chemical cleaner and it's cleared almost all the carbon off the valves. I will get some pics up and more details tomorrow.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #11
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Sub'd
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:53 AM   #12
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Default Valves

Ok so I finally had a chance to upload my valve pics. I soaked the valves in Chem-Clean. I got the Chem-Clean from pep-boys for $28 I believe. The intake valves soaked twice for 40 min the first time and 50 min the second time. The exhaust valves were much dirtier and I soaked them twice as well, the first time over night and again for 2 hrs. When I took the valves out of the Chem-clean I rinsed them under water and scrubbed them with a scotch bright pad. I used this method because I did not want to use something abrasive on the valves.

I am very pleased with the results. They are not perfect, but especially in the case of the intake valves they now look almost new. Below are before and after pics.

Dirty intake valves:


Dirty exhaust valves:


Clean Valves: intake valves are the 8 (2 are new) in front, the exhaust valves are the 8 in the back.


Intake are the top 8 (2 new valves), Exhaust are the bottom 8


I think the intake valves are in good shape at this point. The exhaust valves are good, but may take another swim in the chem-clean. The pictures don't do full justice to how clean the valves are now. What is still on them is a very thin layer of carbon. If I reclean the exhaust valves I will upload a pic at that time.

I will be seating and installing these valves later in the week or next week. I will compile a write-up once I finish that.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:31 AM   #13
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Default Springs

I did end up going with a new set of valve springs. I settled on the Brian Crower 1600 springs. I did not get the Ti retainers (more on this later).


I'm very impressed with these springs. Below are some pics of the BC springs compared to stock. The BC 1600 springs are much beefier with fewer windings then the stock ones.



The higher spring pressure of the BC springs offer extra protection to my top end in the event of a missed shift. I had considered briefly about using the JDM springs, but the ease of finding them vs price and advantages the BC springs just seemed like a better choice.

The reason I went with springs and not Ti retainers is that the factory retainers are actually stronger. It seems to me the reason for going with Ti retainers is that they will raise the RPM at which valve float occurs. Nowhere could I find concrete evidence as to by how much but it seems the general consensus is only by 200 to 300 more RPMs. This could make a huge difference with a more aggressive CAM which I am not going with. I also do not plan to race on the regular or rev past factory red line much, if ever, so I did not find it necessary to invest the extra cash for the Ti ones.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:35 AM   #14
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Info on the BC1600 springs found here: http://www.briancrower.com/makes/sub...lvetrain.shtml
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:33 AM   #15
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I finished porting on one of my heads last night and the intake on the other. I need to get the exhaust side done one the second head tonight then I'll be running out to get a c-clamp so I can begin reassembly of the heads.
On a side note, I also painted the valve covers and engine block over the weekend and they turned out awesome! I will get pics up asap for the heads block and valve covers.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #16
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I have a question for anyone one here who has put valves in before. I do now have a valve spring tool. I figured I'd use a large c clamp and an old socket that I could grind a side off so I could get in there to put in the spring retainers. I will use a shop rag between the valve and the clamp so I don't damage it.
Does this plan seem sound?
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:19 AM   #17
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Best of luck with that. I tried using the c-clamp style valve spring compressor once when I replaced a valve and it was a PITA. I can only imagine a rigged up one will be worse.

I ended up buying the company23 one. There is another one of similar design that may be cheaper depending on where you buy it.

If you are hell bent on the C-clamp style some auto parts store might rent it. I believe advance has one in their catalog.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:32 PM   #18
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Yeah I'm not dead set on the c clamp idea...just that I don't do engine builds often, actually this is my first time, so I didn't want to buy a tool I would only use once. Renting one is a good idea! I looked on the pep boys site and they didn't have one there. I'll give the store a call and see.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:34 PM   #19
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You gasket matching intk/exht ports?
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #20
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You gasket matching intk/exht ports?
That I am! I am not going to grind away all the metal just below the injectors as that would require reshaping the, for lack of a better way to describe it, fin between the two intake valves. It would take a great deal of time to do this.
Subaru actually did a very good job with the gaskets. There is very little that needed to be ground off. Most of the work was done to eliminate the casting marks on the ports.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by snobrder540 View Post

That I am! I am not going to grind away all the metal just below the injectors as that would require reshaping the, for lack of a better way to describe it, fin between the two intake valves. It would take a great deal of time to do this.
Subaru actually did a very good job with the gaskets. There is very little that needed to be ground off. Most of the work was done to eliminate the casting marks on the ports.
The intakes and exhaust doesn't need gasket matching on a 08 WRX; D25 heads. If anything you're better off blending the valve seats to the port runners. Don't waste time on the injector area. Casting marks are not going to make or break 400whp.

A turbo in the area of a gt3076r size with some simple 264 cams will give you a great powerband hitting the power you want on pump gas.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:46 AM   #22
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Between working on this friday night and a good part of the day sunday I finished all the porting and on one of the heads got the valves seated and installed with the springs and all.

I will post a write-up with pictures on head assembly and possibly a video once I have everything completed.

I used a home-made valve spring compressor and it was a PITA but after a bit of tweeking I imagine it worked almost as well as one you would pay $50 for and I only spent $17 plus some time. I admit it isn't perfect but it gets the job done. I will post up some pics and a quick description of how to make it once I snap a few pics.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #23
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Do you have a list of resources you're using for information on building the block? I just pulled my block and am trying to pull together a list. The stickies don't have quite enough info.

Last edited by BeastianSTI; 02-24-2014 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastianSTI View Post
Do you have a list of resources you're using for information on building the block? I just pulled my block and am trying to pull together a list. The stickies don't have quite enough info.
Yeah the stickies are a good place to get started but you really need to search other threads on here other forums and just general engine build articles. I did a good month of reading and researching before making any concrete decisions. I bought the block before really knowing what I wanted... I knew I was shooting for ~400 whp and jumped on the block after talking to a tuner and confirming the stated specs.

Sorry I can't give you a go-to place to get the info but part of the fun (and prob the hardest part)of the build is doing that research.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastianSTI View Post
Do you have a list of resources you're using for information on building the block? I just pulled my block and am trying to pull together a list. The stickies don't have quite enough info.
If you want PM me your goals and I'll try and point you in the right direction.
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