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Old 02-13-2019, 09:12 PM   #1
defaultstivaper
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Default 2019 STI engine vs. 2018 STI engine

As most of us know, the 2019s were updated with 5 more hp, stronger pistons, sodium filled valves, and a revised tune. At first I figured these updated EJ 257s would be less prone to issues, but the more I think about it that may not be the case.

Let's be realistic. Ringland failure is less and less common, especially with later model STIs. I'm not sure what was changed, but I haven't read about ringland failure in a while. The true issue is sensitive rod bearings that will eventually lead to rod knock.

So despite the 2019 STIs having strengthened pistons and updated valves, etc., does this really make them safe from the number one killer of EJ engines, being rod bearing failure? From what I can see the crankshaft and rods appear to be identical. Thoughts?

For a teardown of the 2018 Type RA / 2019 STI block and more details:

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2877380
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:38 PM   #2
xX_STI_Xx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defaultstivaper View Post
As most of us know, the 2019s were updated with 5 more hp, stronger pistons, sodium filled valves, and a revised tune. At first I figured these updated EJ 257s would be less prone to issues, but the more I think about it that may not be the case.

Let's be realistic. Ringland failure is less and less common, especially with later model STIs. I'm not sure what was changed, but I haven't read about ringland failure in a while. The true issue is sensitive rod bearings that will eventually lead to rod knock.

So despite the 2019 STIs having strengthened pistons and updated valves, etc., does this really make them safe from the number one killer of EJ engines, being rod bearing failure? From what I can see the crankshaft and rods appear to be identical. Thoughts?

For a teardown of the 2018 Type RA / 2019 STI block and more details:

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2877380
I agree, I think the reason we are seeing less and less issues is because tunes have been getting better and better. People are starting to understand Subaru's ECU much better and coming close to perfecting the maps. With E85 really coming into the tuning scene in the past 5 years, people have been able to push the EJ's even further, safely.

As for strength of pistons, no matter how much additional material they put on a cast piston, the failure point will always be cast inconsistencies. Depending on how much Subaru charges for the S208 shortblock with fully forged components (pistons, rods, and crank) it might be a better alternative to (cost wise) to an IAG closed deck block or such. If it's only minimal price difference, then it won't make sense....might as well go IAG closed deck.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by defaultstivaper View Post
does this really make them safe from the number one killer of EJ engines, being rod bearing failure?
the number one killer is actually owners ruining their engines
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
the number one killer is actually owners ruining their engines
Correct ^ . That along with those same owners flooring it in high gear low rpm situations.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
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Correct ^ . That along with those same owners flooring it in high gear low rpm situations.
OUCH!

welp, 78,000 miles and counting
I'll be sure to make an "EJ self destructed due to lugging" thread if mine ever dies. . .or even starts having issues
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:54 PM   #6
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OUCH!

welp, 78,000 miles and counting
I'll be sure to make an "EJ self destructed due to lugging" thread if mine ever dies. . .or even starts having issues
55k and counting on my lugged engine. I may try to lug it the entire way home today!
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:42 PM   #7
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I have a 19 that I have at 357/411 to the wheels and I won't go any higher until I decide to build the motor. I can't remember if it is just 1 or if there are now 2 19s/RAs down by us that had a piston fail.

Which normally wouldn't be a big deal except that it wasn't the ringland that failed, the piston skirt cracked and ended up taking the head with it.

So we still don't know if that was a freak incident or the new norm.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:59 PM   #8
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55k and counting on my lugged engine. I may try to lug it the entire way home today!
Ok, keep it up
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
So we still don't know if that was a freak incident or the new norm.
I know several guys pushing 500+ whp on the (2019) new internals with zero issue. Now that kinda power you are dancing with rod failure but these guys are like me and do not daily their sti.
I'm currently building a (stock internal) 450+ whp 2019 sti. I baby my car and plan to continue babying it after its built.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by james-30 View Post
I know several guys pushing 500+ whp on the (2019) new internals with zero issue. Now that kinda power you are dancing with rod failure but these guys are like me and do not daily their sti.
I'm currently building a (stock internal) 450+ whp 2019 sti. I baby my car and plan to continue babying it after its built.
James,

I'd like to find out more about your build on the 2019 please.

I am looking for 450whp on a non-daily as well since I am moving to AZ in the next few months and will have another daily.

Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:03 PM   #11
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Ok, keep it up
I have been, for the last 55k!
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by james-30 View Post
I know several guys pushing 500+ whp on the (2019) new internals with zero issue. Now that kinda power you are dancing with rod failure but these guys are like me and do not daily their sti.
I'm currently building a (stock internal) 450+ whp 2019 sti. I baby my car and plan to continue babying it after its built.
I too would like to hear about that build. We can compare notes. From what I've seen, I think I'm ore or less maxed on power without going to FMIC. Well I could still do TGV deletes and fuel rail but I heard that the little bit of power you get isn't worth the labor hours.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
James,

I'd like to find out more about your build on the 2019 please.

I am looking for 450whp on a non-daily as well since I am moving to AZ in the next few months and will have another daily.

Thanks.
I have a build thread going if you want to check it out. Titled "2019 build"
My list of mods is rather long and has been twice expensive as to what I planed for. This is my first sti. I have always read how expensive the EJ257 was to mod but never would i have guessed this expensive. Keep in mind I haven't cut any corners, I'm buying only the best of the best parts. but anyway check out my thread.

Quote:
I too would like to hear about that build. We can compare notes. From what I've seen, I think I'm ore or less maxed on power without going to FMIC. Well I could still do TGV deletes and fuel rail but I heard that the little bit of power you get isn't worth the labor hours
I went with a Grimmspeed top mount. Again ive seen high 4' to low 5's whp with a good quality top mount. Over build your fuel system. Fuel, fuel,fuel. that's just my opinion though.

Last edited by james-30; 02-20-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:33 AM   #14
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Looking at the COBB site closely on their tune plots...the stock 18 seems to be down about 30hp/30-40ft lbs....just ball parking. I realize you cannot compare car 1 to car 2 on different days, different gears, but the way I am thinking about the 2019 with all the changes is that Subaru sort of dis a stage 1+ on the 19. I don't buy the 5hp number....it is like the 22b all over again. Anyone have really good dyne data with controls (same day......) pre 19 to 19...?


TIA.

Have a 19. Love the car. I definitely think the 19 is more zippy than the 18 I tested back to back....it was very noticeable....and my wallet wanted it to go the other way...no regrets. Love the 19 and keeping it stock..


jb
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:43 AM   #15
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I have been, for the last 55k!
me too, for 83k now

I ordered a bumper sticker that says "lug machine" arriving this week!

My custom license plate request of "lug deluxe" was already taken. . ..sucks
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:16 AM   #16
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i feel like most engine failures come from people wanting to push stock internals past their limits and wondering whats going on.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:56 AM   #17
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So, I went to the COBB website, downloaded the pre-19 power maps and the RA/19 power maps. Digitized the stock (lowest curve) map data for HP and torque. Have no idea if the two situations are comparible (car, temp, gear, etc.). But, I hope COBB is semi-rigorous and controls for things in that manner...probably not...but I plotted them against each other in a format one can understand. Torque is lines (see how I clicked backwards once....sorry) and dots are HP.

Per my seat of the pants feel and others', the 19 seems to have gotten a stage 1 upgrade of sorts. Makes sense since they have a 2.4T in the outback now and one doesn't want an outback to have more hp/tq than the STI halo car....my 2c opinion only.


https://i.imgur.com/McQqAhn.png




Quote:
Originally Posted by jcb-memphis View Post
Looking at the COBB site closely on their tune plots...the stock 18 seems to be down about 30hp/30-40ft lbs....just ball parking. I realize you cannot compare car 1 to car 2 on different days, different gears, but the way I am thinking about the 2019 with all the changes is that Subaru sort of dis a stage 1+ on the 19. I don't buy the 5hp number....it is like the 22b all over again. Anyone have really good dyne data with controls (same day......) pre 19 to 19...?


TIA.

Have a 19. Love the car. I definitely think the 19 is more zippy than the 18 I tested back to back....it was very noticeable....and my wallet wanted it to go the other way...no regrets. Love the 19 and keeping it stock..


jb
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:37 AM   #18
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Hmmmm my 2018 Sti got an ECU update for tuning. Does this mean I have the same stock tune now like the 2019? Also, Im in San diego and im afraid I might have to get an AP to tune my car for 91 gas and brake my warranty... any opinions? should I or not?
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:13 AM   #19
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Hmmmm my 2018 Sti got an ECU update for tuning. Does this mean I have the same stock tune now like the 2019? Also, Im in San diego and im afraid I might have to get an AP to tune my car for 91 gas and brake my warranty... any opinions? should I or not?
My best guess is no - the 19's have a new airbox, new exhaust, and new high temp compatible sodium valves....so they probably put the best 18 code in the car.

But who knows...I'd ask your service manager...mine would answer a direct q.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james-30 View Post
I know several guys pushing 500+ whp on the (2019) new internals with zero issue. Now that kinda power you are dancing with rod failure but these guys are like me and do not daily their sti.
I'm currently building a (stock internal) 450+ whp 2019 sti. I baby my car and plan to continue babying it after its built.
I believe it! All over social media are posts of 2019 STI's making some impressive numbers as compared to the previous gens. Not saying they are the exception or they are "bulletproof" differences...but whatever the changes for 2019, they are good enough to make 500whp without grenading the motor. For those in disbelief or have heard horror stories for the 2019's, please post some proof of source.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by xX_STI_Xx View Post
For those in disbelief or have heard horror stories for the 2019's, please post some proof of source.
Says the guy NOT providing any sources...
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:26 PM   #22
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following
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:31 AM   #23
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Says the guy NOT providing any sources...
I thought the already provided examples on this forum were sufficient....but, I guess I'll do the searching for others, again.

Here are some of the "sources":

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...1&postcount=53

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...3&postcount=59 This one is getting there...I have no doubt this car will hit 500whp safely.

Last edited by xX_STI_Xx; 05-21-2019 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:20 PM   #24
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Says the guy NOT providing any sources...
I've heard horror stories of the 2020's
the 2021's are even worse. . . . .ticking time bombs
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:49 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
I've heard horror stories of the 2020's
the 2021's are even worse. . . . .ticking time bombs
Especially the S209.. the forged internals will be very brittle.
Edit: Since the S209 didn't receive forged pistons as planned

I've seen a few people claim that the 2019/Type RA blocks have weaker pistons and are more prone to ringland failure..

They've only been out for a year.. how is there sufficient data to prove that ringland failure is statistically worse for the 2019/Type RA engine? Because a few modified STI's have reported issues on the forums or social media?
  • There will always be people with failures that are stock or tuned (at any power level). This can be the result of driving habits, tuning (both parts & the tune), and maybe manufacturing to some extent.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, there will be people pushing huge power on stock internals while straddling the mechanical limits. Again, how long it lasts will depend on the power level, quality of the tune, and driving habits. Maybe it's just a dyno queen and rarely sees extended periods of abuse. Maybe it goes to the track every weekend and is abused for hours.. in which case it likely won't last as long.
I don't think that every 2019 STI owner can reliably expect 500+ whp for all driving conditions. At the same time, I seriously doubt that the redesigned 2019 pistons are weaker than the previous years.. It'll take a lot more time and data to come to a consensus on a realistic "limit".

Being on an enthusiast car forum, we're always going to hear about the worst-case and best-case scenarios.. and less of what happens to the bulk of the people in the middle. Experienced tuners will have the best idea after they've worked with a lot of cars with the redesigned pistons. Subaru wouldn't have invested the time and money in designing new pistons just for them to be weaker and result in more failures/warranty repairs.

Last edited by WRXnick16; 12-27-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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