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Old 01-28-2014, 01:30 AM   #51
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 299818
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Richland, WA
2002 WRX 2.5 Hybrid
Aspen White


So this is long overdue, but I just remembered about this thread and figured I would give some closure as a warning to any other SE WA residents who are wondering the same thing. It's a bit of a story so bear with me.

I ended up going with Simmonson in Pasco because of the aforementioned reasons. I also ended up buying an AMS advanced rebuild kit with JE pistons, Manley H-beams, Clevite main and rod bearings, etc to build the bottom end. As I said Simmonson had it for roughly 3 months trying to get it to run correctly. Probably the last month and a half to two months was them stalling so the owner could experiment with my car and see if he could figure it out rather than admitting defeat and telling me I needed to take it to a shop with more know how. It also resulted in me paying at least a couple thousand dollars more than I needed to so they could just start trying stuff they thought may fix the misfire and stall at roughly 4400RPM it was experiencing. Such as the injectors that supposedly needed cleaning even though they had a few thousand miles since they had been professionally cleaned and flow tested, etc. It actually got so bad that I told them they would have it finished by Friday (whatever the date was) after I got off work or I was picking it up either way. Lo and behold it wasn't finished. In fact when I went to pick it up my passenger floor/dash was in pieces and the ECU was laying on the floor plugged in. Not sure WTF they were thinking pulling the ECU but I was in a hurry so I paid the outrageous bill for the unnecessary work and was on my way, telling them I would be back in the morning so they could put my floor back together.

Shortly thereafter I made an appointment at English Racing so they could figure out the issue and give it a tune so I could put the whole mess behind me. My experience at English was amazing. All the guys there are cool as hell, they are completely transparent and tell you everything they are doing and what is going on step by step with no BS. Aaron took it for a drive and logged it and was back within about 5 minutes and knew something was horribly wrong.

He asked who had tuned it last. The previous owner (DerekB707) had it tuned at EQ Tuning down in CA and it was running like a champ when I first bought the car. A few months after I bought the car I had a wheel bearing go out and the car sat in my garage for a couple weeks while I found the time to tear into it. Stupid me left the alarm engaged and the battery connected while it was up on jacks. The battery died, completely. Like dead dead. I took it to Vatozone and they had to put it onto a pre-charge charger before they could put it on the normal one. Ever since that point I had the 4400RPM stall issue I referred to before. It was like hitting a brick wall. That was one of the issues Aaron found. He said it was the screwiest looking "tune" he had ever seen in his life. (I am NOT saying it was EQ's tune that was screwy. It ran like a champ until I had the battery die and I'm sure it would have continued had I not drained the battery. I've seen some amazing stuff come out of EQ and I wouldn't hesitate to have work done there.) It was kind of in limp mode but kind of not. He had never seen anything like it on any platform before. He had no idea WTF was going on with it but figured out the misfire was from Simmonson using the wrong damn spark plugs. The tune he reflashed and performed his own tune.

After the tune it was AMAZEBALLS. Aaron did a fairly conservative tune and it ended up being 343whp/319wtq. The power came on so smoothly, and just kept pulling. It was a completely different tune and felt great. I was ready to put it all behind me... for a week or two. Then a rogue misfire came and went whenever it pleased. I went through every step of the "How to fix a misfire" thread here and was coming up with nothing. Finally, the third time I decided to do a boost leak check I found it. I had a Perrin V2 turbo inlet hose. When I installed my FMIC the day before my motor went tits up, I had to convert from my stock BPV to an HKS BOV because my FMIC kit (Treadstone kit, also a big pile of doo-doo butter) wasn't available with a stock flange. I left the BPV recirc tube and just put a plug into it. Simmonson being the jackasses that they are decided to MELT THE INLET PIPE TO REMOVE THE RECIC TUBE AND PUT IT BACK IN WITH SOME SORT OF SILICON CAULK BS. The misfire was from a vacuum leak caused by that ridiculous move. The CEL popped up off and on but became more frequent as the silicon "patch job" tore itself open.

Unfortunately it was after this discovery (and repair with a new inlet tube) that life came about and I decided to sell the car to get into a better state financially and purchase a house. I ended up selling it to a guy in the Marysville area who paid to have it inspected at MPS before we finalized the purchase. It was there that I found out more of how Simmonson effed me in the A. MPS ended up finding a cam seal leaking among a few other things so I had to drop the price of the car to compensate. Dom ran some logs to check out the tune and to his surprise, a portion of the tune that was on there was his. Initially he thought that maybe it was from Ed when it was tuned at EQ because they're good friends and tune similarly. But when I explained where I was from and a little bit of the history behind the mess I had with Simmonson, he recalled someone from a shop in eastern WA calling him with questions about tuning and he sent him some portions of a map to help him troubleshoot the problem. It got to the point where Dom told the guy it was getting ridiculous and to give the car back to the owner and have them go to a real Subaru shop. Yes, it was my car Dom had helped troubleshoot. Obviously Simmonson didn't heed his words because I had to pry the car from their grubby little mitts to get it back. The new owner actually had Dom patch up the mess left by Simmonson and it put down something like 385whp/wtq.

I'm sure there are other points I'm forgetting as it was some time ago. Bottom line is NO MATTER WHAT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, TAKE YOUR CAR OUT OF TOWN TO A REAL SHOP IF YOU LIVE IN THE TRI-CITIES!!!! Like I said I no longer have the car, but I learned a LOT from my mistakes and hope others who stumble upon this thread do too. I'm using these experiences as well as a ton of research so when I end up getting a hatch here within the next few months () I will do it right the FIRST time. It also taught me the importance of buying quality parts. You get what you pay for certainly rings true. Bottom line it was an effing mess. :sad banana: I have managed to do what I intended and put it behind me though.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:50 PM   #52
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 192117
Join Date: Oct 2008
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Tri-Cities, WA 99336
2002 WRB Sedan
OBP Wagon


I'm from tri cities and I have found about the same as him. I do my own work in garage town on my own cars and select friends. KS is a honda shop for sure. I went in there to get a feel for them 5 years ago and walked right back out. Simonson looked at a misfire problem a friend was haven and couldn't find it. I had a guy named Kenny from the Portland area build one of my 2.0 engines and am haven good luck with it but I will get the tune done at PIA in Tacoma. Those are the only folks other then me working on my cars.
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