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Old 05-17-2009, 11:27 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 200455
Join Date: Jan 2009
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Connecticut
2004 WRX Wagon, WRB
06 Triumph Speed Triple

Default Crappy situation, need advice!

Hey guys. Let me start off by saying that yes, I have used the search function and I can't seem to come up with anything relevent to my particular issue. I'm just hoping for some honest advice here...

My scoob is a 95 Legacy L wagon. AWD, 2.2, manual...blah blah blah. Served me without fail or any major difficulties for the last 2 years in spite of its 207k and some change miles and being driven about 90 miles a day just commuting to work. And now it's broke...

I'll make a long story as short as possible. Started getting an intermittent knocking sound at idle from under the hood. Went away when the rev's were raised. Ended up finding out the outside of my harmonic balancer was wobbling around. The rubber in the balancer looked all dry/cracked/hard so I ordered up a nice lightweight crank pulley from Perrin.

Went to install it Friday evening after it came in the mail and ran into some BIG problems. I've had this car for the last 2 years and I've never had to really touch anything under the hood with the exception of a set of valve cover gaskets. But it looks like the place that did the t-belt before I bought the car did a real hack job. As we were backing out one of the bolts that holds the cooling fan in place on the driver's side, it came out wet and coolant started leaking on the ground. Some jerkoff used a bolt that was too long and drilled it right into the side tank of the radiator!!

Where it gets bad is when we went to take the old crank pulley off. The bolt that holds it in place was only like hand tight!! Someone forgot to use proper torque specs and/or Locktite! The keyway on the old pulley is MANGLED. Then we were worried about the crank. Removed the timing covers and found the end of the crank is equally destroyed. So...now I need an engine it seems, or a new car.

Thankfully, it's summer and I was able to scramble around yesterday and swap my registration and insurance over to my project truck so I at least have wheels while I figure out what I'm going to do. I've got a few options on the table...and I have about 6 months I figure before snow starts flying and renders my 2-wheel drive, lowered Nissan pickup useless.

1) New car.
2) Used 2.2 with lower miles. Pop in a new t-belt kit and all the trimmings, a new clutch and radiator and drive into the sunset.
3) A DOHC EJ25 swap.
4) A WRX EJ20 swap. (This is just one of those "That would be freakin' cool!" moments...not something I'm really taking under SERIOUS consideration.)
5) Haul my engine out, put it on a stand and rebuild it.

Here's where I have questions:

1) If I'm going to go through the trouble of tearing my motor down and rebuilding it, I'd like to squeeze some extra power out of it. No need to be a rocketship...just parts that are better than stock that'll give me a little extra grunt. Is it possible to pull off on an EJ22 without major Frankenstein modification? Higher compression pistons? Camshaft regrind?

2) The DOHC EJ25 swap seems the most doable as long as I can find a viable engine with a complete harness and ECU. However...Are the gains worth the expense and hastle of performing the swap? Or would I be better off to just go out and find a GT wagon?

If you've read this far: Thanks!

Just need some opinons so I can get myself moving in a direction. I'm having a really hard time digging up any relevent information anywhere...so hopefully some voices of experience can chime in.
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