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Old 08-30-2019, 10:17 AM   #1
brandobot
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Default Things to look out for with a built engine

Iím considering buying a STI with a replaced/rebuilt engine. Is there any specific to look out for when doing this?

Hereís an example of someoneís engine build
Tomei Timing Belt Guide
Killer B Motorsport Ultimate Oil Pickup
Spec C engine mounts
ARP Head Stud Kit ARP2000
EJ257 new 705 casting block halves
Manley Tough Rods
ACL Race Rod Bearings
ACL Race Main Bearings
Titanium GSC Valves Exhaust/Intake
Platinum Manley 99.5mm Forged Pistons 8:5:1 ratio
Subaru OEM Forged Salt Bath Nitrated Crankshaft machine balanced
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:56 AM   #2
rtv900
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yes there is.

Look out for the fact that you have NO CLUE what you are actually buying, so the car should be coming with a steep discount for the fact that it's ultra modified
(please tell us you aren't paying a premium for this)
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:04 PM   #3
bdubblu
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You do know that built motors don't last as long as factory motors right? They also (often) consume oil. They also have been built for a reason... to push them. Just make sure you're getting a deal like RTV said. Folks get enamoured with these cars, overpay, and that's why a 2004 STi with 157,000 miles is going for $18,000 these days.
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:55 PM   #4
brandobot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdubblu View Post
You do know that built motors don't last as long as factory motors right? They also (often) consume oil. They also have been built for a reason... to push them. Just make sure you're getting a deal like RTV said. Folks get enamoured with these cars, overpay, and that's why a 2004 STi with 157,000 miles is going for $18,000 these days.
Good info. This 04 STI has ~100k miles and is selling for 11k, along with a number of other mods (RCE coilovers, sway bars, end links, cobb Apv3, stage 2 bolt ons, wheels, radiator, and a sound system).

So the price definitely seems right, but the re-built engine is the only thing really detracting me right now. My worst fear is that the engine blows shortly after I buy it.

Based on my hours of forum searching, am I correct in saying the 04-05 STI EJ engines are less susceptible to ringland failure compared to newer EJ engines?
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:21 AM   #5
bdubblu
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Ringland failure is about the tune on the car.

Ask who built the motor. Reach out to them. Ask who the tuner was. Reach out. Perhaps you can get a general idea of the health of the car. Get a compression test and leak down.

If it all checks out.. go for it. Itís just hard to weed through the good stuff and the bad in this realm. So really we are just trying to make sure you donít get burned in the end.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:55 PM   #6
kabz
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It's a 2.5 so they are prone to ringlands. It's the 2.0 liter EJ205 in the older WRXs that are significantly more robust.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:44 PM   #7
Brother EddieJ.
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If it’s an IAG motor they are all numbered and documented, meaning they can look up the motor number and tell you exactly what’s in it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandobot View Post
Iím considering buying a STI with a replaced/rebuilt engine. Is there any specific to look out for when doing this?

Hereís an example of someoneís engine build
Tomei Timing Belt Guide
Killer B Motorsport Ultimate Oil Pickup
Spec C engine mounts
ARP Head Stud Kit ARP2000
EJ257 new 705 casting block halves
Manley Tough Rods
ACL Race Rod Bearings
ACL Race Main Bearings
Titanium GSC Valves Exhaust/Intake
Platinum Manley 99.5mm Forged Pistons 8:5:1 ratio
Subaru OEM Forged Salt Bath Nitrated Crankshaft machine balanced
try to see if you can get a build sheet. it will have all the clearances and such. if they dont have one, I dont know if I would buy it
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:09 PM   #9
brandobot
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It is not an IAG motor. The previous owner purchased all the parts and brought it to a machine shop to have everything assembled and machine work done. I will ask for a build sheet.

Would a leakdown and compression test get rid of any doubt that it could be a bad build?
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:22 AM   #10
rtv900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandobot View Post

Would a leakdown and compression test get rid of any doubt that it could be a bad build?
Not even close, that tells you one single detail out of 50.
The only way to remove doubt would be to pull the engine and disassemble it and rebuild it.

$11k for a 15 year old car with 6 figure mileage HIGHLY modified seems priced about right to you??????
seriously man?

Look up the value on my 2016 with 90k miles that is NOT modified and in good/great condition and rethink the value of one 12 years older highly modified.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
brandobot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
Not even close, that tells you one single detail out of 50.
The only way to remove doubt would be to pull the engine and disassemble it and rebuild it.

$11k for a 15 year old car with 6 figure mileage HIGHLY modified seems priced about right to you??????
seriously man?

Look up the value on my 2016 with 90k miles that is NOT modified and in good/great condition and rethink the value of one 12 years older highly modified.
I'm going off market value for similarly aged cars. Perhaps it's my location? I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area where median rent is over $3,500 and average salaries are over 100k...

An 04 with 173k and a rebuilt engine is listed at $14,500.
An 04 with 90k miles and a rebuilt engine and heavily modded is listed at $17,000.
An 05 with 190k miles, stock engine and heavily modded is listed at $9500.
The highest mileage 2015+ I'm seeing has 55k miles and is listed for 31k and another with 52k miles for $28k.

Last edited by brandobot; 09-04-2019 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:31 PM   #12
rtv900
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^meh

some people list houses the same way
I've seen some drop 5% at a time until they are finally at 50% of what they listed and THEN they sell

'listed' at idiotic prices doesn't mean crap, 'selling' means something
but you do have a point, the idiot density in Northern California is no doubt far higher than here on the east coast
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:27 PM   #13
brandobot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
^meh

some people list houses the same way
I've seen some drop 5% at a time until they are finally at 50% of what they listed and THEN they sell

'listed' at idiotic prices doesn't mean crap, 'selling' means something
but you do have a point, the idiot density in Northern California is no doubt far higher than here on the east coast
STIs do have a ridiculously high resale value...
I'm also finding 2010 Audi S4's with 120k miles listed for $11,500, and 2011+ 335i with 80k miles for around 12-13k.

I think it's time to reconsider what car to buy as it seems like i'll be getting more car for my money.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:41 AM   #14
rtv900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandobot View Post
STIs do have a ridiculously high resale value...
I'm also finding 2010 Audi S4's with 120k miles listed for $11,500, and 2011+ 335i with 80k miles for around 12-13k.
.
STI's actually have ridiculous owners, and I suppose ridiculous potential buyers

anyway, and S4 6 years newer or a 335 7 years newer for basically the same money is no comparison. The difference from 04 to 2010+ is huge in itself, not to mention to car quality on top of that.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:53 AM   #15
Fndragn
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This is rediculous. Making $100,000 and paying $3,500 a month for rent. That’s way to much for rent making 100k! And do you mean rent or a mortgage? So much stupid!!!
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
STI's actually have ridiculous owners, and I suppose ridiculous potential buyers

anyway, and S4 6 years newer or a 335 7 years newer for basically the same money is no comparison. The difference from 04 to 2010+ is huge in itself, not to mention to car quality on top of that.
The prices for used Audis or BMWs are super low because repairs and replacement parts are uber expensive. Spend $11,000 and know you're going to need to spend thousands more to keep it running...
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Stretch18 View Post
The prices for used Audis or BMWs are super low because repairs and replacement parts are uber expensive. Spend $11,000 and know you're going to need to spend thousands more to keep it running...
I'll just go with that being 100% true in all contexts. . . .which still means he's comparing those cars that will need uber expensive parts to another for the same initial cost that also happens to be 6-7 years older AND highly modified.

Those two details bump it at the very least into the 'uber expensive' to maintain category along with the beamer and audi, and possibly far further than that category considering the level of mods.

So still makes no sense to spend that on such an old car that modded out.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
I'll just go with that being 100% true in all contexts. . . .which still means he's comparing those cars that will need uber expensive parts to another for the same initial cost that also happens to be 6-7 years older AND highly modified.

Those two details bump it at the very least into the 'uber expensive' to maintain category along with the beamer and audi, and possibly far further than that category considering the level of mods.

So still makes no sense to spend that on such an old car that modded out.
I'm with you. Just hoping the OP doesn't opt for a 'cheaper' 10 year old Audi... yikes...
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:14 AM   #19
brandobot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch18 View Post
I'm with you. Just hoping the OP doesn't opt for a 'cheaper' 10 year old Audi... yikes...
Iíve owned numerous Audis, BMWs, Porsches, Lotuses, and a Ď11 STI. Parts for maintenance are generally not that expensive if you shop online and donít go to dealers for your parts. I take my cars to an independent mechanic and the prices he charges for these cars are very comparable to an STI.

Modding is a completely story. For example, catback exhausts for a Porsche start around 3k, and go as much as 10k. A cobb accessport is around $3,000 for a Boxster in comparison to a Subaru one for under $1,000.

I see it on forums a lot and am still confused at why people think european cars are highly unreliable and extremely expensive to maintain. In my opinion, the STI is probably the most unreliable car Iíve owned and considered, from leaking rear diffs and oil pans, to ringland issues and having to replace the engine.

The b8/b8.5 Audi S4ís from what Iíve gathered on the forums are extremely reliable, with many forum members surpassing 150k miles easily, whereas a majority of STIs Iím seeing over 100k miles has a rebuilt or replaced engine.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:36 AM   #20
rtv900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandobot View Post
whereas a majority of STIs Iím seeing over 100k miles has a rebuilt or replaced engine.
^this is downright ludicrous man

people that can't get to 100k without a new motor are not using that vehicle even remotely in the realm of reasonable use/treatment, plain and simple
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:57 AM   #21
brandobot
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Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
^this is downright ludicrous man

people that can't get to 100k without a new motor are not using that vehicle even remotely in the realm of reasonable use/treatment, plain and simple
Iíd like to believe that as well, but the last 6 cars except one had a rebuilt engine. One of the cars was an one owner car, owned by a man in his 60ís who primarily used it go to snow country (~400 mile round trip), and had a rebuilt motor at 90k miles. Not saying he couldnít have abused it, but he appeared responsible and kept all records since day 1. It was a bone stock car with the exception of a roof rack.

I wonder if being in CA with 91 octane gas has anything to do with it?
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:34 AM   #22
rtv900
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Originally Posted by brandobot View Post
but the last 6 cars except one had a rebuilt engine. One of the cars was an one owner car, owned by a man in his 60ís who primarily used it go to snow country (~400 mile round trip), and had a rebuilt motor at 90k miles.
Wait, so the last six cars YOU had needed motor rebuilds?
smh
And one guy was in his 60's (so there's a 30% chance you know the true background there)

SIX????

I think there might be something else at play in that equation.

I've never even known a person in real life who needed a motor rebuild on an actual passenger vehicle that was not used for racing or a truck that was basically commercially used, both totally different category.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:11 PM   #23
brandobot
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Wait, so the last six cars YOU had needed motor rebuilds?
smh
And one guy was in his 60's (so there's a 30% chance you know the true background there)

SIX????

I think there might be something else at play in that equation.

I've never even known a person in real life who needed a motor rebuild on an actual passenger vehicle that was not used for racing or a truck that was basically commercially used, both totally different category.
The last 6 cars I looked to buy (not my personal cars) had motor rebuilds. Although I've owned one 2011 STI that had an engine rebuild at 46,500 miles before I bought it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:14 AM   #24
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Sorry I'm a little late replying to this! The answer is it depends a lot. "Built" motors can be hit or miss, bolt ons can hold their value as far as not having to pay for them yourself. But once someone tears into the motor I would be wary of who touched it. Any big name like IAG or Outfront Motorsports or RalliSpec I wouldn't be worried about as far as build quality goes, but who put together the rest of the engine and with what parts, and were the parts clean? Used oil cooler, avoid at all costs. Longetivity is going to entirely depend on how the tune is, how it is maintained, and how the car is driven. A bone stock car with a stock tune won't last if you abuse it all the time, just like a built motor with bolt ons and a tune won't last if you beat on it all the time. A built motor by a reputable engine shop with professional installation, a good tune, and regular maintenance will last just as long as any other car. Plenty of Sti's over 500whp have been on the road for 5+ years because they're taken care of, but you do have to be careful about it. Get receipts and service records if applicable before buying and bring someone that knows Subaru's well (especially modified) to have them look at it. Hope this helps!
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:43 AM   #25
rtv900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandobot View Post
The last 6 cars I looked to buy (not my personal cars) had motor rebuilds. Although I've owned one 2011 STI that had an engine rebuild at 46,500 miles before I bought it.
ok, so you are kind of seeking out these cases

that makes more sense
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