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Old 08-18-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
sammyslam
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Angry 2007 ej257 into 02 WRX

Hey NASIOC,

I’m pretty new to posting here, but I’m hoping you guys can help me out. This is going to be a lengthy post, so bear with me. I hope this is the right forum for this question. If not, mods please move it.
I bought a 2002 WRX sedan in September 2016 off of Craigslist. It had 150k miles and, to my knowledge, was mechanically un-modified besides Perrin IC hoses. After about a month of daily driving the car, the engine bogged out and shut off as I was pulling into my driveway. It would not start. Being a university student and rank beginner when it comes to wrenching on cars, I didn’t have the time nor tools to diagnose and fix the problem myself. I flat-bedded the car to a local shop in my neighborhood who informed me that one of the cam gears seized and the engine jumped timing. I allowed the shop to just a replace and reset the timing components. The engine ran relatively well after this, despite a misfire code of cylinder 4. The CEL went off on my way to get the engine compression tested by a trusted mechanic and the previously misfiring cylinder had a compression of 150 psi.
That came and went, engine ran fine for months and I began modding the car. I didn’t want to do anything crazy, I installed an sti catless uppipe, catted bellmouth downpipe, and a catback. I tried to get the car open source tuned by a local tuner but RomRaider allowed him to datalog, but did not allow him to reflash the ECU. I purchased another ECU and we tried again. This reflash failed halfway through, effectively bricking the ECU as it had half of the stock map and half of the new map flashed. So, I purchased an accessport so that he could tune the car without risking bricking another ECU and leaving me stranded. I ran the OTS Stage 2 map in the meantime until I could get it custom tuned and exactly one week prior to the tuning date, I decided to “test it out”, in Mexico of course, pulling through all of the stock 5 speed gears. Somewhere in the mid to upper rev range of 5th, I heard a pop, suddenly lost power. I pulled up to a stop light and the engine was idling so rough that it was shaking the entire car. I could also hear the wastegate on that poor Td04 repeatedly slamming open and closed and I found a safe place to pull over. I reflashed the ecu and the engine seemed to idle normally again, so I drove the car home.
As the rough idle returned I drove the car to a new, but well reviewed performance shop in my area which I won’t name. This all occurred in April of this year. They had worked on and tuned my buddy’s 08 WRX, and he raved about them, so I trusted them with my car. Once again, at this time I did not have the space, tools, time, skills or another car to get to school and work while trying to diagnose and fix the problem. The shop owner told me that the car jumped timing due to a faulty front 02 sensor, all of the coilpacks and sparkplugs were fried due to detonation from the advanced timing, the valve cover gaskets were spewing oil, but the condition of the engine(still running) led him to believe that resetting the timing, replacing the water pump, plugs, coils, and 02 sensor would resolve the issue. He told me the job would take two weeks and $3400, including a new clutch, rear brakes, and rear hub. Due to my current need for transportation I decided to go for it. Two weeks pass and I haven’t heard anything, so I call and the owner informs me that they did all of the work they quoted me then “turned the crank over 180 degrees and pistons hit valves, so the motor is done”.
At this point, I decided to try to keep the car, because I would rather fix what I knew I had instead of buying another used car that could have similar issues AND have to pay for work that went nowhere. In hindsight this was VERY stupid. I was quoted 4500 for an ej20 replacement, and 6500 for an ej257 “complete longblock swap” replacement including turbo, tmic, intake manifold, ecu, engine harness, cluster, from a running 07 sti. The longblock cost 3950 and labor would be 2500. I was told it was a direct drop in swap. I decided to go with the sti longblock. What a nightmare it’s been. I left a deposit of $2000 intially, and the engine was supposed to take 2-3 weeks to arrive. After about 2 weeks, the owner contacted me, claiming to have fraud on his business account, and he would need to an additional $3000 to receive the engine immediately, or wait an additional 10 days or so for the account to clear. Again, pressed to have the car finished, I gave him the additional deposit. Some more weeks go by, and I’m informed that the swap was going to need additional parts, because my car supposedly had Japanese wiring harnesses, so in order to run AVCS, I would need another dash harness. Supposedly, the pin outs on the harnesses in my car had 4 pins as opposed to the 6 pins shown in the Subaru service manuals and diagrams. I believe this particular connector was for the ECU. This caused other problems including AC blower not connecting correctly, so I would need a blower from an Auto climate control car, so I would need to Auto climate control console and switches, which wouldn’t fit under my dash, so I’d need a new dashboard. Additonally, ABS wouldn’t work anymore. I was told on the phone that it would cost an additional ~$4k on top of the 3k I already owed to complete the project. I was also told that I'd need the drive by wire pedals and such, which I wasn't told at the start. I told them to stop working on it. It’s now halfway through August, and all that’s been accomplished is the dash is removed, many wiring harness connections disconnected, headlights and fender removed and the original engine is out of the car. I waited a month for a price to just get out of the project, which I finally got this week. I got another invoice, showing that the amount I owed was 4k, not the 4k on top of the 3k I owed. This is a good example of the poor communication of this whole ordeal. Anyway, I’ve gone through the process of getting another car(not a subie unfortunately) as this has taken a good 4 months, so I still wanted out. They want 1800 for “77 hours of work” and the car will be put back to together, ready for another ej20. I know it’s a little late at this point, but I still want to get to the bottom of this.

Why didn’t they know that the motor was toast before they did all of that work? Has anyone ever done this swap before and encountered these problems or is it unique to my car? Does all of this add up on their end? If I do decide to settle this they way they suggested, and sell the car as a roller would it actually be ready for a USDM ej20 considering that it has a jdm harness? Does anyone have advice on how to move forward with this situation? Any and all constructive input would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:35 PM   #2
Turn in Concepts
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Dude. NONE of this is good... NONE of it. Where are you located?
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:01 PM   #3
aberger19707
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No not good at all. Sounds like you've been given the runaround and they are nickle and diming you. Was it the original motor 02 motor that initially blew? If so I don't understand how it could have the JDM harness in there if it were the stock USDM EJ205 motor. You can also run the motor without the AVCS reducing the headache of wiring. For that amount of money I would think a new running motor should have been installed by now.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:24 PM   #4
hybrid gti 2
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Location: (818) 300k+ ej205 ppg 5mt
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Ok I have been around for some time now. The ej257 swap into an 02 ej205. So the wiring is completely different. You would need to replace the wire harness. This is a rather large job. Dash out that kind of thing.

Now consider a JDM ej207 engine. You can put down as much as 400 hp. This would nearly be a plug and play beyond avcs. Cost $3k -4k for just the engine. No 6 speed. $6.5k to 8k with 6 speed full setup. As well this engine would last longer then a ej257 and have plenty of power.

Now you can get this car going for cheaper with a JDM ej205 with or without avcs. In Socal its as cheap as $750 or as much as $1200.

Now consider your 5 speed can break with added power. As the 02 arc has a trans with an ending code of AA. I have broken these gears. So choose your options carefully. Hope that helps with your new engine.
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:13 PM   #5
sammyslam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Dude. NONE of this is good... NONE of it. Where are you located?
I'm located in the Philadelphia suburbs of Southern New Jersey.
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:14 PM   #6
sammyslam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aberger19707 View Post
No not good at all. Sounds like you've been given the runaround and they are nickle and diming you. Was it the original motor 02 motor that initially blew? If so I don't understand how it could have the JDM harness in there if it were the stock USDM EJ205 motor. You can also run the motor without the AVCS reducing the headache of wiring. For that amount of money I would think a new running motor should have been installed by now.
Unless the previous owner did not disclose it, the motor that blew was the original 02 motor.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:09 PM   #7
sammyslam
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Whats weird is this shop has many great reviews and I trusted them because my buddy raved about the work they did on his wrx. Now I'm seeing horror stories and complaints popping up. Has anyone had a shop try to beat them like this before? Do I have grounds to take legal action here?
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:54 PM   #8
sammyslam
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Bump. Anyone?

How can I tell whether the harness/engine are actually jdm or not? Serial numbers?
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:04 AM   #9
rexworx
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Where around Philly are you located? Im about 1 hr north of philly, just east of Phillipsburg NJ/ Easton PA. I spec/blueprint/build subaru engines.

Im amazed but not at all surprised no one ever jumped to doing a cylinder leakage "leakdown" test, after it jumped timing the firth time. That's the first thing I would have done before claiming any of this stuff would have ever helped anything. Don't even need the timing belt installed if you know what your doing.

Ian,

Last edited by rexworx; 08-22-2017 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:00 PM   #10
MadScientist84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyslam View Post
Hey NASIOC,

I’m pretty new to posting here, but I’m hoping you guys can help me out. This is going to be a lengthy post, so bear with me. I hope this is the right forum for this question. If not, mods please move it.
I bought a 2002 WRX sedan in September 2016 off of Craigslist. It had 150k miles and, to my knowledge, was mechanically un-modified besides Perrin IC hoses. After about a month of daily driving the car, the engine bogged out and shut off as I was pulling into my driveway. It would not start. Being a university student and rank beginner when it comes to wrenching on cars, I didn’t have the time nor tools to diagnose and fix the problem myself. I flat-bedded the car to a local shop in my neighborhood who informed me that one of the cam gears seized and the engine jumped timing. I allowed the shop to just a replace and reset the timing components. The engine ran relatively well after this, despite a misfire code of cylinder 4. The CEL went off on my way to get the engine compression tested by a trusted mechanic and the previously misfiring cylinder had a compression of 150 psi.
That came and went, engine ran fine for months and I began modding the car. I didn’t want to do anything crazy, I installed an sti catless uppipe, catted bellmouth downpipe, and a catback. I tried to get the car open source tuned by a local tuner but RomRaider allowed him to datalog, but did not allow him to reflash the ECU. I purchased another ECU and we tried again. This reflash failed halfway through, effectively bricking the ECU as it had half of the stock map and half of the new map flashed. So, I purchased an accessport so that he could tune the car without risking bricking another ECU and leaving me stranded. I ran the OTS Stage 2 map in the meantime until I could get it custom tuned and exactly one week prior to the tuning date, I decided to “test it out”, in Mexico of course, pulling through all of the stock 5 speed gears. Somewhere in the mid to upper rev range of 5th, I heard a pop, suddenly lost power. I pulled up to a stop light and the engine was idling so rough that it was shaking the entire car. I could also hear the wastegate on that poor Td04 repeatedly slamming open and closed and I found a safe place to pull over. I reflashed the ecu and the engine seemed to idle normally again, so I drove the car home.
As the rough idle returned I drove the car to a new, but well reviewed performance shop in my area which I won’t name. This all occurred in April of this year. They had worked on and tuned my buddy’s 08 WRX, and he raved about them, so I trusted them with my car. Once again, at this time I did not have the space, tools, time, skills or another car to get to school and work while trying to diagnose and fix the problem. The shop owner told me that the car jumped timing due to a faulty front 02 sensor, all of the coilpacks and sparkplugs were fried due to detonation from the advanced timing, the valve cover gaskets were spewing oil, but the condition of the engine(still running) led him to believe that resetting the timing, replacing the water pump, plugs, coils, and 02 sensor would resolve the issue. He told me the job would take two weeks and $3400, including a new clutch, rear brakes, and rear hub. Due to my current need for transportation I decided to go for it. Two weeks pass and I haven’t heard anything, so I call and the owner informs me that they did all of the work they quoted me then “turned the crank over 180 degrees and pistons hit valves, so the motor is done”.
At this point, I decided to try to keep the car, because I would rather fix what I knew I had instead of buying another used car that could have similar issues AND have to pay for work that went nowhere. In hindsight this was VERY stupid. I was quoted 4500 for an ej20 replacement, and 6500 for an ej257 “complete longblock swap” replacement including turbo, tmic, intake manifold, ecu, engine harness, cluster, from a running 07 sti. The longblock cost 3950 and labor would be 2500. I was told it was a direct drop in swap. I decided to go with the sti longblock. What a nightmare it’s been. I left a deposit of $2000 intially, and the engine was supposed to take 2-3 weeks to arrive. After about 2 weeks, the owner contacted me, claiming to have fraud on his business account, and he would need to an additional $3000 to receive the engine immediately, or wait an additional 10 days or so for the account to clear. Again, pressed to have the car finished, I gave him the additional deposit. Some more weeks go by, and I’m informed that the swap was going to need additional parts, because my car supposedly had Japanese wiring harnesses, so in order to run AVCS, I would need another dash harness. Supposedly, the pin outs on the harnesses in my car had 4 pins as opposed to the 6 pins shown in the Subaru service manuals and diagrams. I believe this particular connector was for the ECU. This caused other problems including AC blower not connecting correctly, so I would need a blower from an Auto climate control car, so I would need to Auto climate control console and switches, which wouldn’t fit under my dash, so I’d need a new dashboard. Additonally, ABS wouldn’t work anymore. I was told on the phone that it would cost an additional ~$4k on top of the 3k I already owed to complete the project. I was also told that I'd need the drive by wire pedals and such, which I wasn't told at the start. I told them to stop working on it. It’s now halfway through August, and all that’s been accomplished is the dash is removed, many wiring harness connections disconnected, headlights and fender removed and the original engine is out of the car. I waited a month for a price to just get out of the project, which I finally got this week. I got another invoice, showing that the amount I owed was 4k, not the 4k on top of the 3k I owed. This is a good example of the poor communication of this whole ordeal. Anyway, I’ve gone through the process of getting another car(not a subie unfortunately) as this has taken a good 4 months, so I still wanted out. They want 1800 for “77 hours of work” and the car will be put back to together, ready for another ej20. I know it’s a little late at this point, but I still want to get to the bottom of this.

Why didn’t they know that the motor was toast before they did all of that work? Has anyone ever done this swap before and encountered these problems or is it unique to my car? Does all of this add up on their end? If I do decide to settle this they way they suggested, and sell the car as a roller would it actually be ready for a USDM ej20 considering that it has a jdm harness? Does anyone have advice on how to move forward with this situation? Any and all constructive input would be appreciated. Thanks.
umm...what?

Last edited by MadScientist84; 08-22-2017 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:21 PM   #11
sammyslam
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Are there any differences between jdm and usdm harnesses for an ej205 different anyway? He claims my engine is usdm, but the harness is jdm.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:20 PM   #12
rexworx
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Whats you build date on the vin tag under the hood or in the door jam?

For usdm engine harnesses.

PN 24020AC426 Is for early year 2002-2003 usdm ej205.

PN 24020AD080 Is for the usdm ej205 through 2005.

Sounds like both shops dont know what they are doing and charging you to learn and figure out as they go. It also sounds like they are both full of S##t.

Last edited by rexworx; 08-22-2017 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:39 PM   #13
sammyslam
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Do you know where I can locate these numbers on the harness? Is this from the Subaru service manuals?
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:03 AM   #14
hondaeater69
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is it psi proformance outside of philly?
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:25 AM   #15
hondaeater69
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i certainly wouldn't sit on my hands and let them **** my a**. which it sounds like they're surely doing.

documentation is key when fighting stuff like this. phone calls, voicemails, invoices, dates names and times of conversations etc etc. if you paid any of it with a credit card, you might be able to dispute it through them. i've had success with that in the past. if you have the documentation to prove their incompetence, you can also try small claims court, which is an upfront fee but doesn't require expensive lawyers.

sometimes just calling and threatening them helps. from my POV, they didn't do anything they said they were going to do. in fact they may have ****ed your engine by the sounds of it (improperly installed timing components). at this point i'd want my car back and i certainly wouldn't pay them any more. i'd want some of that money back. ask for it nice. if that doesn't work, let them know you'll be taking them to court.
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:40 AM   #16
D-Rodman
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A Subaru shop told you an 07 motor was just a drop in job on an 02 wrx ? Sure, the long block drops in but the 02 is a drive by cable 16 bit ecu platform and the 07 is a drive by wire 32 bit ecu platform, requires a complete harness swap. You were given bad advice and now they have you on the hook paying. You are getting ****ed hard dude.
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