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Old 09-17-2018, 05:32 PM   #1
MK19
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Default Best replacement for under $2000?

So I bought another Bugeye WRX Wagon (2003) this past weekend and I knew it wasn't running and based off what the owner said, I figured it might have been the timing belt and sure enough - yep, shredded. So, with that in mind, I obviously need to replace the engine, as I am pretty sure a rebuild is out of the question. That leads me to this thread. I haven't wrenched on a WRX/STI since the MustangKilla car back in 2007, so I a, a bit rusty on what options are out there. I am not looking to make mad horsepower or go with a full JDM Ver. 7 swap like before, I just want the best option for my money. As I see it, my options are:

1. Buy a new long block
2. Buy a used motor (local yard,ebay, etc)
3. Tear down and rebuild

The car came with a long list of upgrades and was seemingly poorly put together, so I will most likely part the car out to go back to semi-stock. It lists having a 2016 TMIC, VF48, injectors, anti lag and all sorts of bastardized parts, so I just need to get back to the cars roots and go from there. TIA.
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Last edited by MK19; 09-17-2018 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:02 PM   #2
bp05obxt
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What year car do you have?
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:30 PM   #3
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What year car do you have?
Sorry, 2003 WRX Wagon
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:02 AM   #4
bp05obxt
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Default Best replacement for under $2000?

Iíd prefer a new 2.5 shortblock and rebuilding the heads. That said a lot of people have had great success with JDM swaps in the 02-05 EJ20 cars.

From what I know the JDM ecu is more easily used in these cars and then can have single avcs wired to work as well. This does make emissions hard or impossible to pass legally in certain areas.

If you can get away without worrying about emissions compliance a low mileage JDM V7 swap is a good way to go if you find a low mileage clean engine; it has to be said though it is still more of a risk then build a new engine.
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:35 PM   #5
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for under 2000 you are not going to find anything. the cheapest way is to get a ej205 short block and have that put in. if you were to do the 2.5 you need to get the heads chamber matched which will be like 800ish and then you will need to tune the car for the extra displacement. oh and possibly get bigger injectors. cheapest way is to stay with what you have and just replace what needs to be replaced.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:34 PM   #6
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Ebay JDM EJ205 are <$1K. Some even are compression tested; Some should have been. That's my vote.

Depending on what all the JDM motor includes, you can keep those upgraded parts 'til you decide what to do. You may need to get an ECUFlash/Romraider tune either way, and those parts are easy enough to tune....sounds like you know that.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtdash View Post
Ebay JDM EJ205 are <$1K. Some even are compression tested; Some should have been. That's my vote.

Depending on what all the JDM motor includes, you can keep those upgraded parts 'til you decide what to do. You may need to get an ECUFlash/Romraider tune either way, and those parts are easy enough to tune....sounds like you know that.


The sub $1000 EJ205 usually requires a lot parts to be transferred since they are the older wire on plug type and non-avcs. Not bad just requires more work. The ones with avcs will typically run $1100-$1500 and some that are more. JDM ecu seem to be going up in price and quite often are $200-$400 for 16bit avcs version. Sometimes you can get lucky and get one with an engine. Just make sure it's the proper one for your car and not a dbw version. There are many 205s that are dbw. Can be used in your 03 but you'll need to swap quite a few parts and I'm not sure if the avcs is functional after the swap. Depending on the shop, an Open Source tune runs $500-$700. An E-tune is about half that but requires more time to get done. All said and done, my JDM 205 swap cost me about $4000 once I factored in replacing parts, new gaskets, timing components, fluids, tune, wiring the avcs, and other odds and ends. I did get the engine and 4.44 5 speed trans for $1800 and probably could have saved a little if I hadn't had to replace a couple things because it came out of a Forester.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru_gc8 View Post
for under 2000 you are not going to find anything.
Used good ej205s sell for $1k all the time, drop in and go.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:01 PM   #9
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Used good ej205s sell for $1k all the time, drop in and go.
You guys with your used engines
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:26 PM   #10
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Default Best replacement for under $2000?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru_gc8 View Post
You guys with your used engines


Because there is nothing wrong about sourcing a good used engine. A good used engine is affordable and dependable. I purchase a used EJ207 ver8 to go into a 2002 wrx wagon. Inspected the motor upon arrival, prepped it and dropped it in. That was over 4 years ago, just over 50,000 miles on it since swapped running basic stage 2, not a single issue, not a drop of oil consumption. Purchased another used EJ207 to swap into my 05 Saabaru wagon, two years ago, just shy of 12,000 miles on that swap, not a single issue, not a drop of oil consumption, 100% reliable. Last year I purchase a used ej205 to drop into my other 05 Saabaru to beat on thru the winter months and on ****ty weather days. Again, almost 10,000 miles on that one, no oil consumption, 100% reliable. Meanwhile I go on the built motor thread and it is full of nightmare stories. Motors built by the best in the business with the best parts. I prefer a good used Subaru assembled motor for reliability. That jdm ej205 was like new inside and out, I was amazed by how new and clean it looked inside and out. The seller claimed it had 33,000 miles of use, it certainly looked like it was a low mile used motor. I sealed the oil pan again when prepping it to drop in, put new valve cover gaskets on it, new timing belt kit, new plugs, new clutch and installed it. It is a 2005 wrx motor, didnít have to swap anything from the original motor, itís a straight drop into my 05 Saabaru. I did wire the avcs and e tuned it stage 2, itís been a great motor. I paid $1400 for that motor delivered to my driveway, worth every penny.

Last edited by D-Rodman; 09-20-2018 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:03 AM   #11
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2004 WRX
I just installed a compression tested JDM EJ205 from Chantilly Va. $700 42k registered miles. Long block. Just had the car dyno tuned in Richmond. Would definitely buy another. Itís a high compression NON-AVCS
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:32 PM   #12
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I got a forester ej205 long block w/ avcs from JDM racing motors, 1600 shipped to my door and an e tune from torqued performance for $200. It was plug and play, just hooked my coolant crossover pipe, turbo, and intake mani and hooked up to the usdm ecu. Never swapped an engine in before and it fired right up no check engine lights, runs amazing still.

Other option was a new oem shortblock, gaskets, head work for over 2500.

I trust a subaru oem engine w/ under 50k on it than an engine that has been opened up and maybe or maybe not been put back together perfectly.
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:41 AM   #13
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if you get one with a compression test it will probably last a while. i bought a jdm 205 with AVCS (DBW version). it did not have a compression test. one cylinder had rust in it but i was tearing it down anyway. put 92.5 pistons, rods, bearings and 79mm crank and made an AVCS 2.1 stroker. lapped all the valves, blended the porting ect. other than the water in the cylinder (looked like it had been rained on after it was pulled from the car) the rest of the motor was in really good shape and was a good base to build on.
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:07 AM   #14
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Disparity in price for Denso (Subaru OEM mf'r) AF sensor #234-9011

Hey pals,
Sorry for the garish urls, but for some reason NASIOC will not allow me to post screenshots. My question is simple:

The visibly Denso-branded upstream O2/AF sensor shares the same part number with the Denso OEM ones I'm seeing sold all over for $110-$185. Seller lists the same exchange numbers as the Subaru-branded OEM part (made by Denso) and the Bosch OEM part, but is selling for a titch over $40. Part for sale has got four wires, and the plug looks the same. Here is the $40 eBay Denso AF sensor (#234-9011). Of you look at the photo,
"Denso 234-9011
0606
Japan"
is plainly inscribed on the part:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DENSO-Air-F...7c1b%7Ciid%3A1

... and then there is this listing for another Denso of same part #, but costing over $100 more. The inscription on the part not discernible, because seller is using a stock photo. Apart from that, to my inexperienced eyes, this more-e pensive part looks like it simply must be the same part as the drastically cheaper one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DENSO-Front...7c1b%7Ciid%3A1

Anyone wanna set me straight on this? I read all the old related threads I could find here (which was how I knew the OEM part number for my 2003 WRX's AF sensor was 234-9011), but while much is said about the need to bite the bullet on price and spring for a more-expensive Denso/Subaru OEM AF sensor versus the "universal" one that seems to throw lots of CEL codes and generally not work upstream, nobody mentions anything about finding the seemingly-correct part # by the right mf'r for $40.

Thoughts from anyone more experienced?

Help will be hugely appreciated, 'cause I'm po'.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:13 AM   #15
MK19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snow_bound26 View Post
The sub $1000 EJ205 usually requires a lot parts to be transferred since they are the older wire on plug type and non-avcs. Not bad just requires more work. The ones with avcs will typically run $1100-$1500 and some that are more. JDM ecu seem to be going up in price and quite often are $200-$400 for 16bit avcs version. Sometimes you can get lucky and get one with an engine. Just make sure it's the proper one for your car and not a dbw version. There are many 205s that are dbw. Can be used in your 03 but you'll need to swap quite a few parts and I'm not sure if the avcs is functional after the swap. Depending on the shop, an Open Source tune runs $500-$700. An E-tune is about half that but requires more time to get done. All said and done, my JDM 205 swap cost me about $4000 once I factored in replacing parts, new gaskets, timing components, fluids, tune, wiring the avcs, and other odds and ends. I did get the engine and 4.44 5 speed trans for $1800 and probably could have saved a little if I hadn't had to replace a couple things because it came out of a Forester.
What did you put the 4.44 setup into? I had one in my old 02 Wagon and IIRC, I had to get different axles and subframe mount. Which rear diff LSD, viscous or mechanical?
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MK19 View Post
What did you put the 4.44 setup into? I had one in my old 02 Wagon and IIRC, I had to get different axles and subframe mount. Which rear diff LSD, viscous or mechanical?


Everything came out of an 03 Forester XT. My 05 was a direct install without having to change any driveline components. I did do some upgrades while it was all apart but I didn't have to. Was your 02 an Impreza or a WRX? Only time I've heard of people changing their subframe is when going from NA to turbo.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:36 AM   #17
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Everything came out of an 03 Forester XT. My 05 was a direct install without having to change any driveline components. I did do some upgrades while it was all apart but I didn't have to. Was your 02 an Impreza or a WRX? Only time I've heard of people changing their subframe is when going from NA to turbo.
Mine was an 02 WRX Wagon - I couldn't recall if it was a direct swap or not, it's been awhile. I'm proud to say I had built the very first true V7 STI Wagon here in the US, but my memory on the various builds beforehand are a tad faded...
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:36 PM   #18
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What did you put the 4.44 setup into? I had one in my old 02 Wagon and IIRC, I had to get different axles and subframe mount. Which rear diff LSD, viscous or mechanical?
I swapped in a JDM 5MT & rear diff w/4.44 FD into my 03 bugeye wagon. It was a direct swap. Used my stock axles and subframe mounts.
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