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Old 12-28-2018, 11:23 AM   #1
jayeeyee
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Default Need feedback on local builder in NYC

I was window shopping on ebay for built blocks to gauge at some pricing points since my 04 STI needs one. I found a local seller on there with short blocks that are priced very reasonably so I hit him up and we discussed about my budget and the build spec. One thing I'm unsure of is his reputation since I really can't find any info of him on here or anywhere else. He did mentioned he's a "Subaru Master Mechanic" and he travels around the states to rebuild blocks for dealers/shops. The guy is a Jamaican fellow (from what I assume), his ebay username is 'soulisland', and he's located somewhere in the Brooklyn area.

If anyone has ever used his service/installed his blocks, what are your experiences? I'm asking solely to find out if he does good work and not looking to put him or anyone else on the spot. Any more info is well appreciated, kudos.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:35 AM   #2
viper_crazy
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Can't give you info on what you're looking for, but I will give you some advice.

You get what you pay for.

I realize getting a built block (and I assume you refer to a forged internal variety) can be an expensive endeavor, but if you're not savvy enough nor have the proper tools to build your own, don't cheap out on a block from some guy on eBay...... Like, I hope you recognize the irony in this situation. It's very easy to make any claim on the internet. I mean, there's Indian call center scammers posing as the IRS and many people believe that lie.

All that said, go with a company you don't have to ask questions about. IAG Performance, Outfront Motorsports, to name a couple.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:17 PM   #3
Homemade WRX
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There's a very long list of shops doing quality builds to choose from. I would heed that advice from Viper.

Also, there is more security in buying from an actual business and not someone doing it on the side.

ARFab, Turn In Concepts, Woolman Performance (formerly MPS), etc...

Certain shops will deal specifically with what you need for your application, others stick to the cookie cutter layout and you get one of the blocks they sell.

Example is most shops only run 2618 pistons, but if you're a lower power street car, 4032 pistons would suit you better.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:33 PM   #4
jayeeyee
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I understand the "you get what you pay for" concept very well. I'm not trying to cheap out or anything but if I'm able to save a buck or two, that would be a bonus in my book. I don't see why paying top dollars always equate to the best of something you can get. If all else fails, I plan on going with an IAG block as fallback.

The guy in question I'm inquiring about seems to know what he's doing. I've actually visited his place before and he has a handful of built motors just lying around in his house. He doesn't do the machining, he sends it out to a machine shop that I also know of is reputable. I'm just asking about the builder himself, if anyone ever had any issues with his "work" as I can't find any. If I had the space and tools, I'd rebuild the motor myself but unfortunately, I don't.

Last edited by jayeeyee; 12-28-2018 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
GK1707
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I've got a built block from him (his name is Shawn) running in my 04 STi, Cosworth pistons, King bearings, refreshed heads etc. So far 1100 miles on the build and I'm installing all my new parts myself (big turbo, dw injectors, aps inlet).

The motor ran great for break in, pulls vacuum as it should. I have not had it compression tested yet but all seems well.. so far. I'd just be sure to get a good tune. I wasnt too worried about the break in tune as I ran the stock setup for break in. Now I am going with a E tune from a member here on the forums.

Ironically, I sold a Tomei FPR the other night to a local STi owner who also got a motor built from him and seems happy so far with it. I went with his as opposed to a big name local shop (EFi, Precision, Prime, PAS) obviously because he charged a bit less, however after talking to him and seeing his work area (built blocks and tools) it was clear he knew what he was doing and has been doing it a while.
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayeeyee View Post
I understand the "you get what you pay for" concept very well. I'm not trying to cheap out or anything but if I'm able to save a buck or two, that would be a bonus in my book. I don't see why paying top dollars always equate to the best of something you can get. If all else fails, I plan on going with an IAG block as fallback.
I can surely appreciate that. I mean, if he checks out, great. I built my own motor and saved a ton of money, but I chose that route knowing I have tools, space, knowledge, other means of transport, etc, etc. 13,000 miles on it so far.

Does he offer a warranty? If so, what terms and conditions are there? That's kinda the price you pay for a more expensive block. Not saying warranty is guaranteed to be paid/honored, as every manufacturer has conditions, but in the off chances that there's a manufacturer defect or fault, if you don't have the time and space for it now, is warranty going to be a huge deal for you?
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:16 PM   #7
jayeeyee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GK1707 View Post
I've got a built block from him (his name is Shawn) running in my 04 STi, Cosworth pistons, King bearings, refreshed heads etc. So far 1100 miles on the build and I'm installing all my new parts myself (big turbo, dw injectors, aps inlet).

The motor ran great for break in, pulls vacuum as it should. I have not had it compression tested yet but all seems well.. so far. I'd just be sure to get a good tune. I wasnt too worried about the break in tune as I ran the stock setup for break in. Now I am going with a E tune from a member here on the forums.

Ironically, I sold a Tomei FPR the other night to a local STi owner who also got a motor built from him and seems happy so far with it. I went with his as opposed to a big name local shop (EFi, Precision, Prime, PAS) obviously because he charged a bit less, however after talking to him and seeing his work area (built blocks and tools) it was clear he knew what he was doing and has been doing it a while.
Thank you! Your experience with him reassures my assessment so far. Of course I'll still do my due diligence on my end but thanks for your feedback. If you don't mind me prying further, how long ago was this and you mentioned your motor has around 1xxx miles on it, I assume it's still in the break-in process; how is the break-in tune? I know he has a tuner that does his tune but I know nothing about him either.

I already plan on going to tuning shop to have it tuned once the break-in schedule is completed.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:30 AM   #8
GK1707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayeeyee View Post
Thank you! Your experience with him reassures my assessment so far. Of course I'll still do my due diligence on my end but thanks for your feedback. If you don't mind me prying further, how long ago was this and you mentioned your motor has around 1xxx miles on it, I assume it's still in the break-in process; how is the break-in tune? I know he has a tuner that does his tune but I know nothing about him either.

I already plan on going to tuning shop to have it tuned once the break-in schedule is completed.

The break in tune is not all that great tbh. I did not meet the tuner he uses and the car does not seem to be tuned for the IAG big maf intake I have on it. No big deal as I'm having it E tuned once I finish my install of all the go fast bits. But the engine runs good so far and I have no complaints.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me for my number if you're local and connecting.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:40 AM   #9
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How about Prime Motoring in Wallington NJ. Home of the JR Tune.

Ian,
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:47 AM   #10
Kcoupe
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Chameleontuning.com
He knows what he's doing. Nice guy too.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:33 PM   #11
Subie_Joe
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Does this guy have any contact info outside of ebay? I recently purchased new rods, pistons, bearings, and a crank with the intention of building my shortblock. If he's reasonably priced I may just have him get the machining done and assemble it for me.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:56 PM   #12
GK1707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie_Joe View Post
Does this guy have any contact info outside of ebay? I recently purchased new rods, pistons, bearings, and a crank with the intention of building my shortblock. If he's reasonably priced I may just have him get the machining done and assemble it for me.

His phone number should be in his ebay listing. Thats how I contacted him.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:11 PM   #13
GK1707
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Just wanted to provide some feedback on here, I've gotten now 5k miles on this motor (only a weekend driver) and had it recently dyno tuned at EFI Logics. Makes about 330 whp on a Blouch 20g XTR. AFRs and Oil pressure are all stable and run great.

However I have been having an untraceable oil leak for months now, I'm hesistant to say since day one almost but its so slow I cant seem to trace it. I suspect the oil pump as well as the oil pan are both leaking. I have put UV dye in the oil and have been taking it to MR Performance for work and hopefully we should be able to track down the source of the leak.

When I tried to tell shawn about the leak he didn't have time or space to take the car in and made some excuses, so I won't be going back to him for any work as he clearly does not stand by his work.

In about 3 weeks Im going to be taking it on a road trip around 1000 miles round trip so trying to make sure there are no leaks or ticks. Otherwise the motor runs good, keep your fingers crossed for me though.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:18 PM   #14
BlackFighter
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Quote:
How about Prime Motoring in Wallington NJ. Home of the JR Tune.

Ian,
If you looking for a tune then Yes, yes and once again yes. Jr is a subi tune god in my eyes. He was the only one who i would trust with a tune. When i had my built STi it ran hard and smooth with never a issue. Cant say anything about their eng building but im sure its on point.

When it came for eng built i went with Dave from RalliSpec. Great guy, and knows a tone. Been around for a while building rally cars. They are also located in NJ.

Was pushing 420whp mustang dyno with a FP HTZ Green on 93

Last edited by BlackFighter; 10-08-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:21 PM   #15
Enalband24
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I know youíre asking about the specific builder you mentioned, but I gotta second Prime Motoring out of NJ. They rebuilt my built FA20 in my BRZ, couldnít be happier. Upgrading the trans and turbo now, then itíll be back down there for JR to bump it up to 750+whp. Also working on a very high HP build for my FADIT, shooting for 800+whp. Bottom line is they are a very high quality shop. I mainly work with Phil there, very knowledgeable guy. Ian who does the actual assembly is incredibly meticulous, every detail is poured over with care. Honestly, I went the cheap route with building my FA20 the first time around, got what I paid for, damn straight. Engine blew within a year, didnít get half of what I paid for. Trust me, if anything, give Prime a call and at least chat with them.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:46 PM   #16
subaru_gc8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayeeyee View Post
I understand the "you get what you pay for" concept very well. I'm not trying to cheap out or anything but if I'm able to save a buck or two, that would be a bonus in my book. I don't see why paying top dollars always equate to the best of something you can get. If all else fails, I plan on going with an IAG block as fallback.

The guy in question I'm inquiring about seems to know what he's doing. I've actually visited his place before and he has a handful of built motors just lying around in his house. He doesn't do the machining, he sends it out to a machine shop that I also know of is reputable. I'm just asking about the builder himself, if anyone ever had any issues with his "work" as I can't find any. If I had the space and tools, I'd rebuild the motor myself but unfortunately, I don't.
I hear ya, but the biggest thing is if there is a problem, how are you going to adress it and is he going to honor a warranty. kinda hard if hes far away and stuff. if it wre me, I would either buy a stoeck oem block or if I was going for bigger power, I would get a IAG block but yeah, its up to you.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:07 PM   #17
BlackFighter
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Far away? Prime is prob 1 hr away from NYC. Hell I once drove to get my race built 330whp Ford Focus 3 states to get to a tuner i trusted. Jr has been paid to fly to other countries for his tune. That must say something.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:20 PM   #18
GK1707
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So updates on the motor, had to re-seal the oil pump, oil pan and change the oil cooler O ring. Leak free finally. Motor made it on a 1500 mile road trip last month and ran flawlessly. Drove close to 24 hours split up over about 6 days (really only 3 days of driving with vacation in between) and averaged about 23mpgs.

Summary of mods are Blouch 20G XTR, Precision 46mm EWG, ID1050X, IAG 76mm big maf intake 21psi on pump 93 dyno tuned made 325/323. Built motor has about 7k miles on it now and doesnt burn or lose any fluids. Aside from PS fluid from a leaky steering rack.

So far aside from the troubles I had before, the motor is solid, just a bit of piston slap at cold starts in winter but all seems good. Somewhat of a threadjack, so sorry to OP for going off topic but just my feedback on the motor I got from this builder. Anyone who needs updates lmk.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:31 PM   #19
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Thanks, im sure your review is very valuable to others in the same boat.
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