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Old 11-22-2004, 12:54 PM   #1
Capt Crunch
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Default To those that want to make stage 4 power or more...

Do you want to make stage 4 power? Want to be as fast as an STi in your WRX? Should have bought an STi. But since you, like me, didn't do that, you have a couple options.

The most popular option is to get some stage kit from your vendor of choice, or piece the components together yourself. The common "stage 4" consists of:

downpipe
catback
uppipe
injectors
fuel pump
some type of turbo (often vf30, vf34, or vf22)
and some type of engine management (UTEC or reflash)

To buy one of these kits new is about $4000. That is quite a chunk of change. You can drastically reduce this price by buying secondhand, and doing cheaper alternatives such as decatting your uppipe or simply not purchasing the catback. However for the sake of argument, lets say that to get into the range of an STis performance you need $4k.

If you want to go even higher, you begin to start taking risks. Big turbos take their toll on the motor, and big power takes it's toll on the transmission. Eventually people with large turbo setups blow their motor or transmission, and end up replacing or fixing it.

There is an alternative, one that has been getting more and more popular lately. Getting a JDM (japanese domestic market) version 7 or version 8 STi motor and transmission. There is a conception that this option is for people with too much money to throw at their cars, however the point of this thread is to show that that this is not the case.

I'm going to use my case in particular because I think it convienently illustrates my point. I'm a college student with a WRX and no job during the year. I wanted a faster car and at the time it seemed that my only option was to either get a stage 4 or sell my car for a cheaper impreza and do a swap. However, after adding up the numbers I realized that I could do a swap in my car.

That summer I made $4000 from my job. I sold my UTEC and Stoptech brakes and other miscellaneous parts for a little more than $6000 total. I bought a complete version 7 motor, drivetrain, suspension, brakes, and front seats for $8000. This is cheap, but deals like this are not too hard to come buy. The trick is to buy in bulk. Get everything at once.

The motor came with a VF30, TMIC and ECU. Adding up the numbers and taking into account $1000 in miscellaneous expenses, I paid $6000 out of pocket. But Crunch you say, $8k plus $1k is $9k. Correct you are, but I had a fully functioning WRX motor and drivetrain, a price cadidate for someone to swap into an RS. I sold the motor and drivetrain for $3k, a steal. $9k - $3k = $6k.

So $6k out of pocket. This is a figure that most people can obtain. What do you get out of this? You get the same turbo that you would normally get from a stage 4, but you also get a bullet proof semi-closed deck block, an 8k redline, the strongest subaru tranny there is, and the matching rear differential. The JDM EJ207 is "only" 2 liters, but it is faster than the USDM counterpart. So for 6 grand, you are faster than a US sti and as fast as a tuned stage 4. 2 grand more than a stage 4 gets you a bulletproof motor, a new tranny, and rear differential. It's worth it. Not to mention if you want to make more than stage 4 power, you have a much more solid foundation than a stock WRX block.

The only thing that messes my entire argument up is that there is no budget for labor. But a JDM sti motor into a WRX is the easiest swap you can do. Everything, and I mean everything, bolts up. Wiring takes 1 hour. The most extensive thing I had done before this swap was replacing an exhaust. I had tons of great help, but looking back, there was nothing that requires a high amount of expertise. Total labor was about one solid week.

Sorry for being so loquacious, but the main point I want to get across is that if you have $4k to spend on a stage 4, consider doing a JDM version 7 or 8 motor/tranny/rear end swap.
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Old 11-22-2004, 01:29 PM   #2
ride5000
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Default

you want me to sell my utec?

nevAr!

but seriously, nice to see the numbers are not that unobtainable. part of the key to a swap working out is selling your stuff while it's still working and in one piece!

ken
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:00 PM   #3
InfamousDX
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Default

I hear your point and I always thought of that but swapping tends to be more involved than just bolting on parts.. which is what scares people away.. ya know?
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:02 PM   #4
Kingpin
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We do JDM V7 and V8 motor swaps in a single day now. Often times this is how it plays out for the customer:

Customer wants a stg4 type setup. Finds out that is going to cost $3000-$4000. He then realizes that for $4500(avg price) he can get a V7 jdm engine that offers, Semi closed deck block, forged pistons and rods, Better crank, Big port heads, AVCS, 8k rev limit, VF30 turbo, injectors and ecu. For $1200 we swap it in. We then sell his stock engine for $1500-$2000.

$5700 for V7 engine and labor (avg cost).
Minus $1800 for the stock engine sale.

Total out of pocket $3900.

Clark
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:05 PM   #5
Capt Crunch
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfamousDX
I hear your point and I always thought of that but swapping tends to be more involved than just bolting on parts.. which is what scares people away.. ya know?
Yes it is more involved, but it is bolt on. All it is is bolts and hoses. The hard part, which is wiring, is very easy, no more than an hours worth.

I'm trying to point out that a motor swap should no be regarded as a lofty unatainable thing. I had NO experience and I was able to do it with some good help.

Replacing the uppipe and turbo is a complete bitch, and with a motorswap you don't have to do it
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:10 PM   #6
cronic
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You dont know how many arguments i have gotten into with people over this topic.. Every time some one posted about i having 4-5k to spend, i would reccomend the V7 swap, rather then the stg 4, and i would catch hell for it from all the non believers.
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:19 PM   #7
InfamousDX
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Default

Also people like to spend money quickly and it's easier to buy parts that are a couple of hundred bucks here and there than saving a few months to grab a few grand. Personally, if I had to do it over again, of course I'd swap but I just don't have the money right now
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:50 PM   #8
subimp6u08
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I will be doing stage4 upgrade soon, and it's only cost me $2500
including labor charges and also i have 4eat so i believe it's harder for me
to do a transmission swap and i just want to make 12-13 sec car
with nice interior, so not more than stage4 is needed on my car.
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:15 PM   #9
LatentWagen
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by subimp6u08
I will be doing stage4 upgrade soon, and it's only cost me $2500
including labor charges and also i have 4eat so i believe it's harder for me
to do a transmission swap and i just want to make 12-13 sec car
with nice interior, so not more than stage4 is needed on my car.
after you get a taste of real power though, its too late. youre addicted. a year from now youll want that v7 motor. promise.
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:38 PM   #10
WHAT
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingpin
We do JDM V7 and V8 motor swaps in a single day now. Often times this is how it plays out for the customer:

Customer wants a stg4 type setup. Finds out that is going to cost $3000-$4000. He then realizes that for $4500(avg price) he can get a V7 jdm engine that offers, Semi closed deck block, forged pistons and rods, Better crank, Big port heads, AVCS, 8k rev limit, VF30 turbo, injectors and ecu. For $1200 we swap it in. We then sell his stock engine for $1500-$2000.

$5700 for V7 engine and labor (avg cost).
Minus $1800 for the stock engine sale.

Total out of pocket $3900.

Clark
Damn that is a great price for that... how many miles are on the motors that you are putting in that cars? Where are you located? This is actually a good idea. If I didn't already have the stage 4 on my car I would really look into this. Hell, even now I am thinking about it. The STi engine has more potentional then the US 2.0. So this would be a good starting point. Slap on a green and a larger front mount and you could sqeeze out more power.
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:43 PM   #11
moremaga
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2002 WRX RA gears
Blk

Question

What would you choose for power if you could throw a built AXIS, Crawford, etc block into the equation? Can you run higher rpms on the built blocks with stock wrx heads? The extra torque would be nice with a 2.5 block...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingpin
We do JDM V7 and V8 motor swaps in a single day now. Often times this is how it plays out for the customer:

Customer wants a stg4 type setup. Finds out that is going to cost $3000-$4000. He then realizes that for $4500(avg price) he can get a V7 jdm engine that offers, Semi closed deck block, forged pistons and rods, Better crank, Big port heads, AVCS, 8k rev limit, VF30 turbo, injectors and ecu. For $1200 we swap it in. We then sell his stock engine for $1500-$2000.

$5700 for V7 engine and labor (avg cost).
Minus $1800 for the stock engine sale.

Total out of pocket $3900.

Clark
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:50 PM   #12
fliz
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Default

How does the JDM STi V7 work out with OBDII emissions testing?

With a stage IV, I can still plug my car into the test station and pass. Does the JDM ECU do the same?
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:54 PM   #13
Jared703
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Crunch
What do you get out of this?
You get some serious downtime! that's one thing you get lol. No, but it would be worth it, i think your setup sounds really nice actually. I hope you drive it on some of the roads near clifton, I know i sure do.

Jared
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:15 PM   #14
ElJefe
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I'm halfways there, I'm getting the 6 speed installed now, and pretty soon will also have a V8 engine. This is a really good way to upgrade a wrx. ;]
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:41 PM   #15
endeavor
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Forgive me if I'm not following something here, but I don't think your math adds up.

So will the DP, UP, catback and pump come with your engine swap path? It doesn't sound like they do, and you're going to need those parts for both paths. And that's probably going to be over a grand. So either you should add the price of those to the JDM path or subtract them from the stg4 path.

That being said, I think you still have a good point.
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:50 PM   #16
Capt Crunch
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fliz
How does the JDM STi V7 work out with OBDII emissions testing?

With a stage IV, I can still plug my car into the test station and pass. Does the JDM ECU do the same?
I actually have not done it, but I can pull codes like normal. I have heard several member get tested just like a normal wrx.
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Old 11-22-2004, 07:27 PM   #17
greenguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WHAT
Where are you located?
Phoenix, Az.
www.Kingpinperformance.com
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:04 PM   #18
zaxrex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fliz
How does the JDM STi V7 work out with OBDII emissions testing?

With a stage IV, I can still plug my car into the test station and pass. Does the JDM ECU do the same?
I know that emissions testing varies by state, so one size does not fit all.

With that being said, I am in the middle of doing a convoluted conversion with a ver.7 ECU and engine wiring harness. OBD port is still active, but I don't know if it can talk to the scanners at DC area VA emission stations, I'll find out the hard way.

On a side note, if you are a real bargain picker, you can spend that $4K on parts that can get you a closed deck 2.5L motor with forgets pistons & rods, blueprinted, balanced with micropolishing, Ver.8 heads and ver.7 ECUw/ wiring harness. Add another $500 for exhaust, $600 for a 6b+ Utec, and $1000 for a big used turbo, and I think I am goig to kiss the STi gearset goodbye
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:31 PM   #19
jigga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnite_wrex
after you get a taste of real power though, its too late. youre addicted. a year from now youll want that v7 motor. promise.

This is the sad truth too..

Only issue is that it is a massive slippery slope.... Once you get the new engine, you will need to ditch your current turbo, ecu, etc etc, and then climb up that ladder again...

Hopefully, a GT30 should keep me happy once and for all with my ej205... I have my doubts though

It is hard, but i think a point comes where one should close their eyes and enjoy what they have....I just dunno when that point will come for me...
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Old 11-22-2004, 09:59 PM   #20
ButtDyno
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Rub it in, why don't you
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:25 PM   #21
zaxrex
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Give me back my manifold, why don't you!
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:33 PM   #22
ButtDyno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaxrex
Give me back my manifold, why don't you!
PM incoming
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:49 PM   #23
zaxrex
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Schweeeet.
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:06 PM   #24
ThisBites
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingpin
We do JDM V7 and V8 motor swaps in a single day now. Often times this is how it plays out for the customer:

Customer wants a stg4 type setup. Finds out that is going to cost $3000-$4000. He then realizes that for $4500(avg price) he can get a V7 jdm engine that offers, Semi closed deck block, forged pistons and rods, Better crank, Big port heads, AVCS, 8k rev limit, VF30 turbo, injectors and ecu. For $1200 we swap it in. We then sell his stock engine for $1500-$2000.

$5700 for V7 engine and labor (avg cost).
Minus $1800 for the stock engine sale.

Total out of pocket $3900.

Clark
Wow that is a really good price. Have you done any CA cars? I wonder if it would pass emissions since it is not the original motor...
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:32 AM   #25
Timdog1650
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Crunch....where do you do your parts shopping?!!?!

That's one heck of a deal on the JDM setup, I almost wish I was in the market for a new motor/tranny since it obviously seems quite lucrative to buy it all as one.

~Tim
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