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Old 12-27-2005, 11:10 PM   #1
legacy2003
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Unhappy problems with sti/wrx hybrid setup. help!

forgive me for crossposting this one time. i wasn't sure if i would get more response in this forum or the 2.5L one, so i posted in both, in order to get my questions answered before i blow up yet another motor.

as some of you may know, i recently blew my 02 wrx motor in my 00 2.5rs. i replaced it with a known working 04 usdm sti bottom end, with 02 wrx heads and usdm sti cams. motor was fully assembled and had 6k miles on it when i picked it up. we just had to put the timing belt on. my full setup consists of:

-04 usdm sti block
-02-03 usdm wrx heads
-usdm sti cams
-16g turbo
-ultimate racing 785cc injectors
-walbro 255lph fuel pump
-gpmoto tmic
-txs bov
-perrin short ram intake
-sti up pipe
-erz catless down pipe
-stromung 2.5" catback
-txs utec

i had brought it to franz @ ktr performance in massachusetts to get tuned this past thursday. he was expecting about 270 whp on their "heartbreaker" dyno dynamics dyno. however, he couldn't even tune it past 210whp @ 17 psi because my knock count was in the 30's. we couldn't figure out what was going on with it. the car still knocks even detuned at 16psi (1 or 2 knock counts now), and i experience all sorts of hesitation, and a rough idle. i'm not sure what's going on with this thing. i'm scared to say the least because i don't have any more money left. i see some smoke @ wot coming out of the exhaust.

we hooked up a laptop and my a/f ratios look okay. what else could be causing knock? we put the motor into time and we cranked it over 4 times and it was in sync the whole time, so i doubt that is an issue. we're going to check it again anyways.

i did manage to get in contact with the original owner (there's a long papertrail with this motor, i had bought it off a someone who never ran it who had bought it off someone else). what he said to my email was:

"I was the middle man on that motor.. It was how ever in great running shape.. It has US STI cams and US STI headgaskets with US WRX heads. The motor was not in an accident, it might have had glass on it from either when I picked it up or from when it was in marks garage. It came out of the car because it was being replaced by a axis/crawford motor, 35r, ect ect.... Im pretty sure the car made like 330hp/350ftlbs with an 1820 on a dynojet. The 210 numbers sound really really really ****ed up.. It is defintly an 04 motor, I know that some 04s did have a bearing clearance issue that would cause oil blowby through the oiling passages and cause it to end up in the intake ect ect.. in turn you will see it in the exhuast and out the back.. That would lower your fuel octane alot as well and cause knock, it could also be the tune... but from what I undestand the KTR guys are pretty good.. Have you checked all the obvious stuff? what AFR are you running, etc etc. I would just do a leak down, compression numbers will be fudged because of oil in the pistons... Maybe the timing is off? Check belt timing, if timing is off you could have slight valve contact and have bad sealing on the valve seat..."

could this blow-by issue be causing my knock? how do i fix it?

btw, i also have another question... the sti block has 2 outlets for hoses to run oil into the avcs heads. obviously my heads don't have avcs. the previous owner had put breather filters on the ends of these metal hoses on the block. those hoses spit oil, and it drips onto my turbo and burns off, and also drips onto the ground. what would a good solution be for this? could i just take a piece of hose and loop the 2 outlets together, or should i cap the ends?
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Last edited by legacy2003; 12-27-2005 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:13 PM   #2
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cross posting is bad mkay??
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:22 PM   #3
legacy2003
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i'm aware. i just need to get this resolved as soon as possible before this thing blows up again, and i wasn't sure whether i'd get more response here or the 2.5L forum.

forgive me fellow nesic'er.
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legacy2003
btw, i also have another question... the sti block has 2 outlets for hoses to run oil into the avcs heads. obviously my heads don't have avcs. the previous owner had put breather filters on the ends of these metal hoses on the block. those hoses spit oil, and it drips onto my turbo and burns off, and also drips onto the ground. what would a good solution be for this? could i just take a piece of hose and loop the 2 outlets together, or should i cap the ends?

i would attach a set of lines going to a catch can. good luck with your knock issue.
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jam69007
i would attach a set of lines going to a catch can. good luck with your knock issue.
so a catch can is necessary in this case? i just wasn't sure if i could just run a hose from one side to the other, but that wouldn't make much sense since both sides are pushing oil out.
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:49 PM   #6
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What gaskets are u using???
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:58 PM   #7
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i think you're supposed to cap those outlets.
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Old 12-28-2005, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamslow wrx
What gaskets are u using???
gaskets for what? all gaskets for everything are genuine subaru oem, including the headgaskets (which means i run a slightly higher 8.7:1 compression ratio than the wrx or sti).
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Old 12-28-2005, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
cross posting is bad mkay??
but he has an engine that can be in both threads!!! LOL

what kind of smoke is it? smell looks etc

let me know how it goes, i was going to do a JDM swap in the future but because I would need a JDM ecu and I wont be passing inspection like that, I thought of a hybrid.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:10 PM   #10
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Is your mechanical timing correct? (since you had to install the timing belt yourself) Also, why didn't you just stick with the stock WRX cams in the heads? I'm not completely up to speed on the mixing and matching of USDM cams with WRX heads, but the cams are comming from a head design which flows more and is designed to work with cam phasing to a head that doesn't do either. Might be something to look at... also, what are you using for plugs?
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:52 AM   #11
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i dont think the wrx cams can take that power... my guess and what I thought... well hmm a 16g ya cud but somehting bigger maybe not
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:36 AM   #12
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A US STi has AVCS, right? Wouldn't running cams intended for AVCS do some odd things on a car without it?
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:41 AM   #13
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One thing is I know for sure is to check the timing. That may be it. But keep us informed on what happens
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:30 PM   #14
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If we were talking old-school cars, I'd say your timing was 180 degrees off. We aren't talking old school, but it seems some others think timing is the issue too. I don't even know if you can make the timing 180 off in newer cars?!?!?!
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yobtah
A US STi has AVCS, right? Wouldn't running cams intended for AVCS do some odd things on a car without it?
does it?
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLegacy
does it?
Yes... the US STi has AVCS. I looked it up in some other threads. I'm not sure what would happen with AVCS cams in a non-AVCS car. I'd at least expect it to not run very well.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:04 PM   #17
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than it seems to me that needs to can be a factor for problems with this setup

im still very curious how it runs when he gets it working because I was going to do a JDM swap but the JDM ecu would be difficult to ever if i wanted to attempt to pass an inspection some how and id need a place that could tune it
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:50 PM   #18
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Triplecheck your mechanical timing on the engine (this means, make sure you installed the timing belt properly when everything was lined up.) Then if all of that is correct, I'd definatly look at those cams again. The US and JDM STIs both have AVCS and the cams should be different in duration and lift due to this, but how much, I'm not completely sure because I've never had to look into it. Technically speaking AVCS is just phasing, so the cams shouldn't be different, but the engines displacement and head flows are different so the lift is definatly going to be different mainly because you want the STI cams to make more power.

Another thing to keep in mind is that 02 WRX heads had a different cam bucket design then the 03+ WRX heads. I think the change happened in 03, but I know for sure it was in place by 04. The design was in the shims/buckets, but I can't tell you "specifically" what it was. Could also be this playing into the overall issues.

Anyway, good luck with tracking things down.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:47 AM   #19
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hey thanks for the replies. i haven't been on nasioc in a bit to check up on this thread because i had to replace the tranny. anywho, i'm going to run a compression and leakdown test, and i am going to check the timing again. i'm pretty positive the timing is fine, as we did it and turned the crank 4 times and it stayed in time.

btw, we did a utec log, and we watched that when it knocks it is still running rich, not lean or anything close to it (everything looks good). i'll try and post up a utec log when i can if the common consensus here is that it can help you guys diagnose what might be going on.

as far as using sti cams, i actually bought the motor this way. the motor came to me as an 04 ej257 block, 02-03 wrx heads, and 04 usdm sti cams. it was pulled from a running car because the guy went with a full sti drivetrain, rather than the hybrid.

i'm so stumped when it comes to this car (i have the worst luck with this car) that i may just pay ktr to figure out what's wrong with the motor or the tune and just fix it.

btw, the 16g is a RIOT on this car. it's a gc8 with this motor, so it has tons of torque, and quick spool... exactly what i always wanted out of this thing. and the lighter chassis makes for a fun ride.

yeah i was kind of pissed that they closed my thread in the 2.5L forum because i don't even know what to consider this motor, since it's BOTH. i wasn't sure where i would get more responses.

anyway, keep the ideas coming. i'd rather fix this myself than pay someone else. i'm already in the hole enough lol.
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
cross posting is bad mkay??
you're useful

you might have a faulty knock sensor
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Old 12-30-2005, 11:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yobtah
A US STi has AVCS, right? Wouldn't running cams intended for AVCS do some odd things on a car without it?
Im running usdm sti cams on my ported wrx heads. I bought the whole setup along with shortblock from a fellow nasioc guy(si2wrx).

The cams came from ron @axis. The AVCS holes had to be welded shut for use in wrx heads. Check this, and let us know what the deal is.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBW
Im running usdm sti cams on my ported wrx heads. I bought the whole setup along with shortblock from a fellow nasioc guy(si2wrx).

The cams came from ron @axis. The AVCS holes had to be welded shut for use in wrx heads. Check this, and let us know what the deal is.
how are yours working out? any issues with them? i'll have to check that out. what do you mean by the avcs holes? do you mean the 2 holes that are coming out of the top of the block (the 2 metal hoses)? are you running an sti shortblock? you sound like you have the same setup as me. please describe any issues you may have had. do you know if any modifications had to be made to the inside of the heads to accomodate the sti cams or anything like that? do you have any problem with blowby in the intake? the original seller mentioned something about that on 04 blocks. do you have an 04 or an 05 (if you do have the 257 block)?

keep the ideas coming guys.
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:44 PM   #23
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im under the impression these cams needed the avcs holes on them welded shut. I think I have some pics of it as well.



the cams were purchased from axis racing. the heads were done by another company, and Im not sure if any modification was done to the heads to take the cams.

Im running an ej22t shortblock, so I cannot comment on the 2.5 blocks. I just know there are others who have been in the same position as you, but not as many running usdm sti cams in wrx heads. I have no idea if its absolutely necessary to weld those holes shut, as I dont think they'd have oil fed to them in the first place. Just know Im running them and was told it was necessary to run them. You can check with Ron though for sure, he's always been a big help to me.

www.axispowerracing.net/contactus.html
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Old 01-02-2006, 12:22 AM   #24
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bump for some more opinions. tuesday i will be checking timing, compression, swapping my knock sensor, my sparkplugs (brand new), coilpacks, and possibly running a leakdown test too if i buy a tester. any other ideas of things i could easily check without ripping the motor open?

SBW, when you say "I just know there are others who have been in the same position as you", do you mean that you see other people running hybrids that constantly knock even after being attempted at dyno tuning?

i'll send ron an email. thanks for the contact info.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:14 AM   #25
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I cannot speak for whether or not those cams need to be modded to work in a WRX head, but I can tell you this. If you check everything out and it's still acting weird I think the next thing to try would be to swap the cams out for WRX ones for the same year heads you have on that motor. If the head wasn't reworked to flow more air then those STI cams aren't really doing you that much good. The fact that they require AVCS and the WRX heads are not built for this is another good example on why not to run them. In the end it's really your choice, but if this was my motor I would have stuck with WRX cams in the WRX heads... but that's just me. Good luck with it.
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