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Old 07-13-2016, 12:34 AM   #1
tsurugi_14
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Default Reliable OEM+ motor build

Hi everyone,

I am in the process of building a new motor for my 2014 STI. I would like reliability over all else, so that I do not have to worry about things going wrong in the future. This is a daily driver and commuter, so my power goals are not much more than what a stock motor makes.

So far, I have seen:

- remove banjo bolt oil filters
- killer B oil pickup
- get rid of stock tune in favour of a protune (not sure about this)
- keep oem internals, forged not as forgiving of many short trips and is noisy.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:09 AM   #2
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Yes, you have a LOT more reading/research to do before you attempt this effort, especially if you think a stock tune is better than a proper pro-tune
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:39 AM   #3
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Yes, you have a LOT more reading/research to do before you attempt this effort, especially if you think a stock tune is better than a proper pro-tune
I have read the stock tune is not the best and runs lean, which is why I plan on a protune in the near future, just wanted to make sure.

I am trying to keep everything as OEM as possible, with the exception of a few preventive items that may correct upon some shortcomings of the stock motor with regards to failure. My goals are reliability, not power.

I've done a fair amount of research and talked to a few shops, and this is what I've come up with, just looking for advice on anything I may be overlooking
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:40 AM   #4
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Did you already blow your stock motor? If so, why/how?
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:50 AM   #5
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Built does not mean noisy. Mine's as quiet as OEM. I'd skip the pickup...I did. The amount of pickup tube failures is tiny using statistics. I'm not smart on banjo bolt filters so no advice there. The tune will have less affect than your maintenance practices and they practices of your right foot. Drive and treat your car like an asshat and it will return the favor. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and all that....
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:59 AM   #6
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Acl bearings arp headstuds<<<< this is a must if the block is out arp studs that is I would reuse stock rods and get a set of cp Pistons to drop in for ease of mind my built sti sounded no different that stock
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:10 PM   #7
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Gonna go out on a limb and say the BB filters were mostly a GD issue that was rectified through TSBs and shouldn't be on 08+ wrx/stis.

As others have stated, do more research as it sounds like you rushing this.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll give you a little background on my situation:

No, I didn't blow the motor. I purchased the car from someone who ran into oil starvation and damaged the block & heads. He didn't have the money to fix it himself.

My plan is to replace the short block and heads with OEM, and upgrade a few things along the way to end up with a more reliable and newer motor than if I went out and bought a used STI.

I don't want to rush the build, and appreciate the advice. Keep it coming.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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Well if you're getting a brand new OEM Block I would drop some Manley A/B Pistons in there along with ARP Headstuds and call it a day.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsurugi_14 View Post
Hi everyone,

I am in the process of building a new motor for my 2014 STI. I would like reliability over all else, so that I do not have to worry about things going wrong in the future. This is a daily driver and commuter, so my power goals are not much more than what a stock motor makes.

So far, I have seen:

- remove banjo bolt oil filters
- killer B oil pickup
- get rid of stock tune in favour of a protune (not sure about this)
- keep oem internals, forged not as forgiving of many short trips and is noisy.

Any other suggestions?
you can get the Mishimoto Oil cooler, I have seen it on sale often but i keep missing it! I think it was $100 when on sale.

After market headers since the Stock ones keep one side of the engine way too hot and CAN cause ringland failure due to extreme heat.(I got Killer B holy headers with titanium header wrap.)

Huge top mount intercooler to keep temps down, STI TMIC seems to be enough but its future proofing .(I got verticooler, PITA install and clearance issues but works amazingly well in California stop and go traffic.

Thats all I can think of at the moment, I am building up my car with all the support mods first instead of big power. It sucks spending this much money up front and not making much of a performance increase, but a few more parts and I am getting my bigger turbo.

Here is my Wheelwell if you want to get some ideas.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:14 PM   #11
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On a turbocharged motor (in general), the two best upgrades I've found on an otherwise stock motor are a metal head gasket and a set of head studs. Unfortunately, proper install of the former requires correctly surfaced head and block surfaces (i.e. you need to pull the motor).

Beyond this, you should address the weaknesses of the specific motor. Remove the two AVCS filters if installed, and either clean or remove the RH oil feed filter for the RH AVCS and turbo (located on the back of the motor). Whether you remove or just clean is up to you.

Since you have a 2014, I have a feeling these filters aren't even installed on the motor.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphi View Post
Well if you're getting a brand new OEM Block I would drop some Manley A/B Pistons in there along with ARP Headstuds and call it a day.
I'm going to be dropping Manley graded pistons in my shortblock but decided against ARP headstuds as it's my understanding the increased torque can make cylinder out of roundness an issue.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsurugi_14 View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll give you a little background on my situation:

No, I didn't blow the motor. I purchased the car from someone who ran into oil starvation and damaged the block & heads. He didn't have the money to fix it himself.

My plan is to replace the short block and heads with OEM, and upgrade a few things along the way to end up with a more reliable and newer motor than if I went out and bought a used STI.

I don't want to rush the build, and appreciate the advice. Keep it coming.
So, have you pulled the motor and taken it apart?
- Have you evaluated the condition of the parts?
- You may / may not have to replace the crank and / or rods.
- You WANT to replace the pistons with forged pistons. DO NOT use the OEM ones as it keeps coming up over and over how the pistons are a weak point.
- How bad are the heads? What is damaged?

Are you doing this yourself or having it done?
It may be more cost-effective to buy a pre-built shortblock

At a minimum:
- block
- heads
- pistons
- crank bearings
- rod bearings
- ARP head studs
- ARP rod bolts
- crank?
- rods?

If the crank and rods are fine, keep them.
KillerB pick-up and windage tray. Think of the pick-up as insurance. There are quite a lot of pick-up failures. Many times it doesn't get noticed until it fails because everything seems fine. The pick-up is ~ $170. How much is this motor going to cost you in time, money and downtime?

What usually makes for a noisy engine w/forged pistons is the choice of piston. Some have wider piston-to-wall (PTW) clearances ( if that is the right term here ) than others, due to piston material and design. Noisier pistons are those with smaller PTW clearances and are designed to expand more due to their intended use.

Once it is all together, get a pro-tune ASAP, unless you know how to tune and know what you are doing then you can tune it yourself
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurusan View Post
I'm going to be dropping Manley graded pistons in my shortblock but decided against ARP headstuds as it's my understanding the increased torque can make cylinder out of roundness an issue.
Where did you get this idea from?
A properly built motor w/ARP studs will be more reliable, and take more power, than OEM studs. They will not turn round cylinders into oval cylinders

Pure and simple - even if you are not going for really high power, at a minimum, they are an insurance policy, and well worth the cost in my opinion.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurusan View Post
I'm going to be dropping Manley graded pistons in my shortblock but decided against ARP headstuds as it's my understanding the increased torque can make cylinder out of roundness an issue.
How much power are you going to be looking for?

Honestly the ARP Headstuds are still a good investment. My friends car has a new OEM Block with graded pistons along with ARP Studs. Motor is quieter than mine with a specific PTW done by the Machine shop

Still running like a top with 35k km on it of hell.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
So, have you pulled the motor and taken it apart?
- Have you evaluated the condition of the parts?
- You may / may not have to replace the crank and / or rods.
- You WANT to replace the pistons with forged pistons. DO NOT use the OEM ones as it keeps coming up over and over how the pistons are a weak point.
- How bad are the heads? What is damaged?

Are you doing this yourself or having it done?
It may be more cost-effective to buy a pre-built shortblock

At a minimum:
- block
- heads
- pistons
- crank bearings
- rod bearings
- ARP head studs
- ARP rod bolts
- crank?
- rods?

If the crank and rods are fine, keep them.
KillerB pick-up and windage tray. Think of the pick-up as insurance. There are quite a lot of pick-up failures. Many times it doesn't get noticed until it fails because everything seems fine. The pick-up is ~ $170. How much is this motor going to cost you in time, money and downtime?

What usually makes for a noisy engine w/forged pistons is the choice of piston. Some have wider piston-to-wall (PTW) clearances ( if that is the right term here ) than others, due to piston material and design. Noisier pistons are those with smaller PTW clearances and are designed to expand more due to their intended use.

Once it is all together, get a pro-tune ASAP, unless you know how to tune and know what you are doing then you can tune it yourself

Yes, I have pulled the motor and taken it apart. The heads are garbage (scoring on the cam lobes and journals), as is the block.

I've been told it is cheaper to buy a pre-built short block, so that is my plan.

Heads and cams I am on the lookout for. Are all 08-14 Dual AVCS heads the same?

I am having an experienced subaru tech assemble the engine for me, as this is my first subaru and I don't have complete confidence in abilities with these motors.

KillerB oil pickup is for sure. Is the windage tray necessary on a car that will not be tracked though?

Can you recommend a piston that will be quiet and long-lasting? Remember, my power goals are probably not higher than ~300whp, this will be a daily driver / commuter.

Protune will be done as well. Should this be done right away or after break-in?


Thanks for all of your help, my #1 goal with this is reliability and longevity, even though my power goals are not high.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
Where did you get this idea from?
A properly built motor w/ARP studs will be more reliable, and take more power, than OEM studs. They will not turn round cylinders into oval cylinders

Pure and simple - even if you are not going for really high power, at a minimum, they are an insurance policy, and well worth the cost in my opinion.
I got this from people's different PTW measurements with torque plates here on this forum. The cylinders won't go oval...they will have slight bulges around the head bolt area.

As I don't plan on honing and going the drop in method, and don't have torque plates I don't have the ability to measure PTW after the head bolts are torqued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphi View Post
How much power are you going to be looking for?

Honestly the ARP Headstuds are still a good investment. My friends car has a new OEM Block with graded pistons along with ARP Studs. Motor is quieter than mine with a specific PTW done by the Machine shop

Still running like a top with 35k km on it of hell.
I'm not shooting for more than 400whp or so. If it makes sense to do ARP studs then I will go that route, but based on my research so far it looks like OEMs are the way to go.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsurugi_14 View Post

KillerB oil pickup is for sure. Is the windage tray necessary on a car that will not be tracked though?



Protune will be done as well. Should this be done right away or after break-in?
Windage tray is purty, but not necessary at all. You can get a Moroso oil pickup for less. Beefy, not as purty as KillerB.

How are you planning on breaking your motor in? Hard break in , or scared granny oil burning break in ?
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsurugi_14 View Post
KillerB oil pickup is for sure. Is the windage tray necessary on a car that will not be tracked though?

Can you recommend a piston that will be quiet and long-lasting? Remember, my power goals are probably not higher than ~300whp, this will be a daily driver / commuter.

Protune will be done as well. Should this be done right away or after break-in?
The idea of the windage tray is to help strip excess oil off the crankshaft, which reduces drag on the crankshaft caused buy the excess oil. After I installed mine, I could feel the difference in how smooth the engine was running. It an option, not a necessity, but for a mere $70, worth it to me.

Many different brand pistons out there. After doing some research for a rebuild for my EJ205, my choice would be CPs. CP has two (2) different style forged pistons - you would want the 4032 pistons ( pretty sure that is the right number ) because they are designed for less expansion, which would make it quieter. CPs are also the piston of choice of my builder so ...
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:47 AM   #20
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I bought a stock ej257 from the dealer and had my machine shop buddy install ARP head studs assemble the long block. I currently have over 75,000 miles on it at 21psi with a vf52. I did this May 2012.

I'm also still using the stock oil pick tube. But my car was an early build. In Legacy's I seem to recall the later 05 and early 06's had cracking braze joints on the pick up tubes. All the other years have been fine.


I looked closely at my tube when I put the ej257 in at 154,000 miles.

Last edited by Max Capacity; 07-15-2016 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:07 AM   #21
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If it's a stock shortblock, I'd remove the pistons and check the ring gaps. Factory spec for the top gap is like 0.010" which is way too small for a ~4" bore on a turbo motor. Set the top ring gap to something more like 0.020" and the 2nd ring to ~0.024". This gives the rings more room to expand due to heat without their ends butting, seizing to the cylinder wall and popping a ring land (pet theory of mine re busted ringlands in these things...)

With the engine apart and out I'd also replace the oil pickup with a Kill B part. Seems like cheap insurance.

Once the engine is broken in (on, say, Subaru oil), switch to Rotella T6 to help out the rod bearings.

Get a tune; not one designed to eke out every last HP but one that's nice and fat and safe everywhere, especially as the system transitions from manifold vacuum to boost (where the factory tune falls down...)
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurusan View Post
I got this from people's different PTW measurements with torque plates here on this forum. The cylinders won't go oval...they will have slight bulges around the head bolt area.
If that happened, then something must have gone wrong with the build process. Unless you are talking something very minor. After use ( many miles of happy enthusiastic driving ), the cylinders will definitely not be perfectly round, but you initially made it sound like the cylinders turned oval-like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurusan
As I don't plan on honing and going the drop in method, and don't have torque plates I don't have the ability to measure PTW after the head bolts are torqued.
Honestly, why not? Why spend the money to rebuild and not hone the cylinders? If you do not have the tools/ability to do this yourself, and many do not have one or the other or both, locate a good Subaru machine shop and have it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurusan
I'm not shooting for more than 400whp or so. If it makes sense to do ARP studs then I will go that route, but based on my research so far it looks like OEMs are the way to go.
You could probably get away with OEM head bolts, not really sure, but going with ARP bolts/studs seems to be the norm from many if you want a quality build. After all, how much are you spending to build the motor in the first place? Don't cheap out on such a vital item that holds everything together.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:11 PM   #23
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This might help.

http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/pts/5635178408.html

If your HP goal is 300whp that can be done on a stock short block with fueling. I'm on stock fueling with ported heads and made 280whp with the vf52 and catless DP on heart breaker Mustang dyno. I have over years and 75,000 miles on the ej257. The car has a 5mt and is a blast to drive. It's my DD, 32 miles one way to work. The car is a 2005 Legacy GT wagon, weights about 3450lbs.

I use www.tuningalliance.com for my tuning needs, there really are very few tuners that are better then Mike.You really don't need to over think this.

ARP head studs and a great tune is all you need.

Last edited by Max Capacity; 07-15-2016 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
I bought a stock ej257 from the dealer and had my machine shop buddy install ARP head studs assemble the long block. I currently have over 75,000 miles on it at 21psi with a vf52. I did this May 2012.
Vf52 on an EJ257? why? unless you meant EJ255.
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Old Yesterday, 11:00 PM   #25
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LOOOK HERE thats all

get mahle forged powerpacks 4032 (LAST VERY LONG 10x better then OEM )
Sti rods
new crank
king bearings arp headstuds and your good solid 400 hp motor with longevity
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