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Old 07-01-2005, 12:54 PM   #1
Layman
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Default Okay. I'm going for an N/A build...

My 2001 RS currently has about 90k miles on it. It's running a bit rough, and I'll need to change the timing belt relatively soon. I estimate that having a shop take care of everything will run me North of $500. So I'm taking a different route.


I'm buying a used 2000RS engine that already has cams (Ralispec - apparently equivalent to Cobb Spicy) and a pulley. It has about 110k miles on it.

I'm going to take the engine into my basement, take my time building it up properly, install new belts, etc, then swap it in over a weekend.

So, I'm trying to figure out what's worth my time doing to the engine. I want something around 210hp (crank), but that's just an arbitrary goal.

Current power mods:
  • Ralispec 2.25" cat back
  • Borla headers
  • Ganzflow intake
  • Exedy lightweight flywheel


Engine currently has:
  • Ralispec cams (assume Cobb Spicy specs)
  • Lightweight crank pulley

My current planned mods/actions:
  • Change all belts
  • Change water pump? (is this necessary?)
  • Port heads
  • Port intake manifold
  • Install .027 Cometic metal headgaskets
  • Group N motor mounts
  • New strandard clutch

So, here are my questions:

1) Is the waterpump a good idea?
2) Are there any other maintainence issues I should concern myself with while I have the engine out?
3) How much are the head gaskets I mentioned and where can I source them?
4) If I replace the head gaskets, should I buy new head bolts? If so, will stock ones suffice?
5) Do my planned mods make sense?
6) Are there other inexpensive mods I should install/perform while the engine is out?
7) Can I use a dremel for the P&P, or should I have a shop do it?


Thanks in advance for the advice. I'm excited to make a big bump in power. I'm looking for a torque curve like Matt's.
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Last edited by Layman; 07-01-2005 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:00 PM   #2
Matt Monson
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#1. Don't bother with the Pnp. Most of the gains are made on the valve seat, and equalizing flow on the exhaut ports. It is energy wasted.
#2 Yes, change the water pump, and the oil pump as well.
#3 You can get the HG's directly from Cometic for around $110
#4 You can reuse your head studs.

I know my #'s don't correspond to yours, but they are just the points I wanted to make. This set up should easily yield you 210Chp, if not a little more...
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson
#1. Don't bother with the Pnp. Most of the gains are made on the valve seat, and equalizing flow on the exhaut ports. It is energy wasted.
#2 Yes, change the water pump, and the oil pump as well.
#3 You can get the HG's directly from Cometic for around $110
#4 You can reuse your head studs.

I know my #'s don't correspond to yours, but they are just the points I wanted to make. This set up should easily yield you 210Chp, if not a little more...
Excellent. Thanks for the quick reply.

A few follow up questions then:

1) What is the best way to go about getting a valve job and how much does one normally cost?

2) Does the ~210Chp figure depend on having a valve job?

3) Does the higher compression ratio require a higher Octane (I'm at sea level)?

4) What's the original CR - isn't it only 10.5:1 or something? That's a hell of a bump from swapping out the gaskets. Will the new gaskets last as long?
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:46 PM   #4
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Oh, and as something of an aside, I won't be using the lightweight pulley and the flywheel at the same time. So, the flywheel stays and the pulley goes.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:22 PM   #5
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I paid a little over $300 for mine with new guides/old valves but I would think it would depend where you lived. You need to find a good shop that works on "racing engines" perferably with Subaru experience. It also depends if you want a 3 or 5 angle job. You may want some better springs if you plan to increase your ECU rev limiter, they should at least shim the springs you have. While you are at it, clean up the bowls where they transistion to the seats with a die grinder. This " P/P will give the most results for time spent.
Most race shops are real busy during and just before race season. You might want to Bring your "funny little" Subaru heads in the off season when they have more time on there hands to work on something they have less experience with.
I am using the Cometic gaskets without any problems.

Last edited by John*G; 07-01-2005 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John*G
I paid a little over $300 for mine with new guides/old valves but I would think it would depend where you lived. You need to find a good shop that works on "racing engines" perferably with Subaru experience. It also depends if you want a 3 or 5 angle job. You may want some better springs if you plan to increase your rev limiter, at least shim the ones you have. Clean up the bowls where they transistion to the seats with a die grinder. I am using the Cometic gaskets without any problems.
Hmmm. That starts to make this endevour less financially advantageous.

I do have a friend at a good Honda speed shop, but I have no idea how much they'd charge.

When a valve job is performed, is it with the valves in place or without? If it's with them in place, should I then replace the guides before I hand over the heads?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:37 PM   #7
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They need to dissassemble the entire head to do anything to the guides, or you can do that. They will "boil it" and clean out all the oil gallerys, but double check they have yourself when you get them back.
Take your time, save your money and do it right the first time, it will be cheaper and you will be happier in the long run
I doesn't sound as if your ready to press in/out guides.
Regards John
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John*G
They need to dissassemble the entire head to do anything to the guides, or you can do that. They will "boil it" and clean out all the oil gallerys, but double check they have yourself when you get them back.
Take your time, save your money and do it right the first time, it will be cheaper and you will be happier in the long run
Okay. And that $300 charge included the reassembly of the heads with the new guides?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John*G
I doesn't sound as if your ready to press in/out guides.
Regards John
Hahaha. I think you're right.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:44 PM   #9
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John G,
His SOHC heads don't have shims. They are roller rockers with manual lash adjustments. And the stock springs are fine up to at least 7500rpm for NA useage.

Layman,
But I would replace them with stock springs if you are going to crack into the heads. They run around $5 each. If you are getting a valve job, do the guides as well (they'll do them). But my heads have 125k mi on them, with original valves and cams for the last 25k mi on them.

That HP number does not depend on any sort of headwork. You will need to run premium with the bump in CR. I can get away with 89 because I am at 5000ft, but at sea level, I run the highest octane I can find easily. And new HG's will last plenty long...
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:49 PM   #10
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Hmmm. If I can get 210 from just the cams and upped CR, I think I'll forgo the headwork. I honestly don't plan on keeping the car as my daily driver for more than a few more years, at which point I'm sure we'll all be driving 400hp stock STis or some such nonsense anyhow.

Okay, so I'm going to basically just replace the belts, headgaskets, water and oil pumps. No headwork at all.

Is there anything else I should do while I'm in there to improve reliability or longevity?
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:52 PM   #11
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I paid $340 for new guides, three angle valve job, shimmed valve springs, valve seals, cleaned , 10/1000's milled, fully assembled in a reputable race shop. They do mostly Chevy/Ford stuff. But prices may very, as I said.
I would make this a Fall/ Winter project if I was you. Plan for next spring. Keep the engine you have running in the mean time John
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:56 PM   #12
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I do put in new parts in the head, I'll need an adjustment in a few thousand miles, correct?

As I don't know how to do that, that will add an expense...
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:08 PM   #13
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You might, but I don't think so.
I would get a manual for your car, just a $15.00 one at Auto Zone if you don't have one.. Read it carefully to see what you are getting into. If you can swap a engine and do what you say you are going to do, it should not be a problem.
You are going to be doing all this in your basement with a engine on a stand, good light and plenty of time to double and triple check everything.
You get into trouble when you need your car by Monday morning and it is 4 o'clock Sunday. Or your friends are helping you and you just cracked open your third beer.
John
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John*G
You might, but I don't think so.
I would get a manual for your car, just a $15.00 one at Auto Zone if you don't have one.. Read it carefully to see what you are getting into. If you can swap a engine and do what you say you are going to do, it should not be a problem.
You are going to be doing all this in your basement with a engine on a stand with good light and plenty of time to double and triple check everthing.
You get into trouble when you need your car by Monday morning and it is 4 o'clock Sunday. Or your friends are helping you and you just cracked open your third beer.
John
Good point. I do need a good manual.

The swap should be okay with some assistance of some generous locals. They are good at this kind of stuff, and like to work on fun projects.
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:28 PM   #15
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You should change your headbolts to ARP headstuds. You don't know if they will be able to be retorqued properly. Plus whats another $100 in insurance.
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Old 07-01-2005, 06:51 PM   #16
Matt Monson
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Personally,
I don't trust ARP since they had a bad batch of RS studs last year and recalled them. Furthermore, there is no point in studding unless you are going to be tearing the engine apart and putting it back together every few months (like on a race car)...
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:27 PM   #17
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Well then use new bolts. Never resuse. I have built many motors. I would never resuse. Plus was it just you who had the ARP problem. Thats all I use and i have never ever had a problem. I would also use studs because torqueing the studs is more reliable than bolts. Because of the bolt touching all sides of the head when inserted torqueing cannot be properly executed. I hope i said that right.
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:30 PM   #18
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You'd be much better off just adding boost.

Just kidding, everytime I read about someones plan to build a NA subbie I get so depressed I dont have the funds to do it. Oh well, maybe theyll still be around when Im old and gray like how people build up 57 chevys now.
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoeler25
You'd be much better off just adding boost.

Just kidding, everytime I read about someones plan to build a NA subbie I get so depressed I dont have the funds to do it. Oh well, maybe theyll still be around when Im old and gray like how people build up 57 chevys now.
Haha. I hear ya.

Well, for what it's worth, I'm getting the engine pretty inexpensively and I figure I'll eventually sell my engine for about $200-$300. After the costs of the belts, pumps, head gaskets, and groupN mounts, (and including the sale of my engine) my total cost on the project should only run about $500.

This is, of course, assuming that I can round up a good group of local to help with the swap, but that should be pretty easy - they're always up for a good project.

So if you do it on a budget and don't allow for any scope creep, you can keep the build relatively reasonable. Especially considering I would have to pay a dealer $500+ for a timing belt change.
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
John G,
His SOHC heads don't have shims. They are roller rockers with manual lash adjustments. And the stock springs are fine up to at least 7500rpm for NA useage.
I am talking about shims that you put between the valve spring and head. They sit in the pocket. This replaces the spring tension you lose when cutting the seats deeper. You can put in one in 5 or 10 thousands thicker than you really need to get a little more spring pressure. Sorry for the confusion.
Regards John
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Old 07-03-2005, 12:22 PM   #21
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Out of curiosity, what do you do with your ECU when you do these kinds of mods? Can it be reflashed, or do you need a new ECU? I am considering swapping my cams and PnP my heads after I change my exhaust. Unfortunately, I will need my mechanic to do the work since I don't know the difference between a spark plug and an O2 sensor.
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Old 07-03-2005, 12:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OBWagonWheels
Out of curiosity, what do you do with your ECU when you do these kinds of mods? Can it be reflashed, or do you need a new ECU? I am considering swapping my cams and PnP my heads after I change my exhaust. Unfortunately, I will need my mechanic to do the work since I don't know the difference between a spark plug and an O2 sensor.
I haven't thought about it much. I think I can remain stock, but I'm not so sure now...
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Old 07-03-2005, 02:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OBWagonWheels
Out of curiosity, what do you do with your ECU when you do these kinds of mods? Can it be reflashed, or do you need a new ECU?
I would defineately get some sort of engine management. You can get a piggyback for around $300. I have pnp heads and cams and without my unichip plugged in, I cant break the 15's but with my unichip plugged in I am well into the mid 14's.
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWDsub
I would defineately get some sort of engine management. You can get a piggyback for around $300. I have pnp heads and cams and without my unichip plugged in, I cant break the 15's but with my unichip plugged in I am well into the mid 14's.
Hmmmm. Is it needed from a reliability standpoint, or is it just for better performance?
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Old 07-08-2005, 12:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layman
Hmmmm. Is it needed from a reliability standpoint, or is it just for better performance?
You can get away with just your stock ECU (look at Matt Monson's '00 RS ) but if I were you, I'd look into the PerfectPower NA piggyback ECU.

The challenge will be finding a good tuner.
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