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Old 10-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Boston
2004 STI
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Default Can an amateur do an engine rebuild??

Hello there,

I have an 04 wrx 2.0 that I'm pretty sure has spun a rod bearing. I have a couple quotes for a rebuild that are around $3k for the engine pull lower half rebuild and checking out the rest of the engine.

I would describe myself as an amateur with cars. This particular car I know like the back of my hand. Almost everything on it is new, I did it myself and I have a small shop with very basic tools. I am however meticulous, a fast learner, and I have the shop repair cd for my car. I also have another car so it's not like I have to have this done right away.

What I was wondering is if I pull the engine (I would need to buy the dolly) do you think it would be possible for me to do the engine rebuild myself for equal or lesser cost? THe engine is pretty much all I have left to conquer before I could say that I'm a true car guy.

What I was thinking was this way, not only would I learn as I go (I have a a basic understanding of how engines work, just never rebuilt one myself) but with the money I save, I could buy some higher end parts. Nitrited crank, acl bearings, forged pistons etc. I understand that some items may need to be taken to a machine shop to be resurfaces/machined.

So, my questions are:

Do you think it's possible to do w/out a machine shop, just a rather basic auto workshop? I have access to a machine shop nearby that would charge me for any work they have to do.

Would it save me any money (money is very tight for me right now, I wasn't planning on blowing the motor)

Or could I do it for the same money but put performance parts in it? I definitely want a nitrited crank and acl bearings?

Would this be a good time to go hybrid if I can find a 257 block for cheap? From what I understand, then I wouldn't have to change the ECU etc, all though I would have to have it retuned which is $500.

Am I missing anything? Even if I could do it for the same price it would be worth it to me just to learn to do it myself.

Lets say I upgraded (compared to stock) the major components, what would I be looking at for cost. Labor would be free since it's me.

And my last question might just be another thread depending on the answers to the above but it would be what parts to buy i.e. different cam shafts, pistons etc

I may be over confident, but there isn't a project I have taken on that hasn't been successful. I'm just mechanically inclined and I'd love to rebuild this myself. But I don't want to be cocky and get in over my head here. I'm modest enough to take the advice from the experts if they say this is over my head. Any thoughts on all the stuff I just wrote?

(To give you an idea, I did the timing belt, the axles, tie rods, ball joints, control arms, cat less exhaust front to back, fuel pump, water pump, clutches on other cars etc, so I'm not exactly a noob. But never done an engine…though I'd love to try.

So is it over my head? Could I save any money? Or could I spend the same money and have better parts?

Lastly, what is the best budget engine lift as I will have to factor that in to the cost as well.

TIA for all your help and patience with this
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