Alright talked with the tech today, and he really knows his Subaru's......
Said that there is definitely a bent valve, possibly two in cylinder 4 and possible piston damage as a result. As I understood it, the knocking noise at startup was the piston smacking the valve closed, which is why it passed the compression check the first time, but when they ran it during the knocking noise, it failed until the knock went away (and slammed the valve shut again). Something to that degree.
Anyway, I'm looking at $2500 to have the heads machined, valves replaced, etc. etc. But if there is anything further wrong with the engine (piston damage, cam damage, etc). That number will only grow.
So, I've narrowed it down to this.......
I've found a "complete" EJ255 from another Forester XT. I found a website (GRUPPE-S
) and they find and sell FXT motors (along with a lot of other STi ones). They called me this morning and found an FXT motor with 40,000 miles. They guarantee the motor for 2 years with unlimited miles.
And this engine is truly complete. Plugs, coils, injectors, heads, intake, belts, sensors, pumps, alternator, etc. are all on the engine, It's just a complete drop in. (and since my power steering pump was going anyway, it saves me a bit of money as well). Not to mention I was nearing my timing belt change.......and I wouldn't have to do that anymore either.
The complete motor SHIPPED to my door step would be $3200. I have an engine hoist, and engine stand, and I've dropped motors before (and have heard the Subaru's are exceptionally easy to swap). So I'm not worried about that.
So I'm thinking I'm going to go with the 40,000 mile used engine, (which will now actually give me a warranty whereas I didn't have one before), and a lot of extra bits I can part off to help pay for it since I get to keep my old motor (no core charge).
Then I'll have a newly awesome motor and a project for the summer.
What you all think?
Picture below is a EJ257, not the one I would be getting, but similar in cleanliness. (unless the EJ257 will work with the stock 4EAT and stock turbo bits???)