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2010 2.5XT Limited Automatic
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Discussion Starter #1
I have come to terms with the fact that I need to do some pretty serious engine work soon. Sounds like a bad bearing in the crankshaft that is only audible at 2k rpm. I need help with two things.

1. I need to get it to a place I can work on it. I have a machine shop about 180 miles away that I can do the work at. Right now there are no engine codes and the car seems to start and drive alright, but I know that it will only get worse over time. How much damage could I do by driving it that far? (I changed the oil with full synthetic and new filter about 2 miles ago) The answer to this could depend on the answer to the next question.

2. [New Shortblock] or [JDM EJ20Y w ECU tuning]

- Its obvious that a new shortblock and full rework of the engine is the best option for reliability and compatibility. The downside is... I have never even done a head gasket or owned a Subaru before a week ago. (lesson learned, never trust humans again) I have done a lot of car repairs though before, alternators, starters, turbo's, etc. Just nothing of this magnitude. I will have the help of someone who has at least dropped engines and many other people who have worked on cars are around for advice, not to mention two of every tool imaginable. How bad of a job is this, could I reasonably expect to be successful?

- The used 50k mileage EJ20Y engine is a fairly appealing option. Sure there is a lot to extract off the engine but from everything ive read the ECU is compatible and will only need re-tuning. Price is similar to Shortblock and way less to screw up.

- For someone not concerned about performance at all and only reliability, which option makes more sense with in-experience taken into consideration.


Any thoughts or information on this would be very much appreciated. Also let me know if there is a better forum to post to.

Thanks!

Eric
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
Eric:

<snip>I need to get it to a place I can work on it. I have a machine shop about 180 miles away that I can do the work at.
The place you work depends on how you attack the problem. If you buy a short block, then good practice is to send the heads out for a rebuild. The heads should come back to you ready to install. You don't need a machine shop to put the parts together. Do it in your garage.

Rent (or buy or borrow) an engine stand. When it's all put together, rent a hoist to put it in the car. Working on a Subaru engine out of the car is not bad at all.

Right now there are no engine codes and the car seems to start and drive alright, but I know that it will only get worse over time. How much damage could I do by driving it that far?
How did you determine it was bad bearings? Try removing your oil filter and cutting it open. Full of metal --> bad bearings. Just a few flakes --> something else is making that 2000rpm noise. As for the long drive, you could probably make it, but it's not clear why you would need to do this.

[New Shortblock] or [JDM EJ20Y w ECU tuning]
- Its obvious that a new shortblock and full rework of the engine is the best option for reliability and compatibility.
Unless you have some specific goal in mind which requires the JDM E20Y engine, then stay with the short block. You can opt for forged pistons or other goodies if your budget allows (and you plan to audition for Fast and Furious 28).

The downside is... I have never even done a head gasket or owned a Subaru before a week ago. (lesson learned, never trust humans again) I have done a lot of car repairs though before, alternators, starters, turbo's, etc. Just nothing of this magnitude. I will have the help of someone who has at least dropped engines and many other people who have worked on cars are around for advice, not to mention two of every tool imaginable. How bad of a job is this, could I reasonably expect to be successful?
You will be successful. Rebuilding an engine (new short block plus rebuilt heads) simply requires patience and paying attention to details. Subaru engines aren't that different from other Japanese engines. Don''t rush. Have a friend or two handy. Don't be afraid to ask questions. A good tool collection really helps. That the engine will be out of the vehicle really helps.

Go with the short block. Someday, you can tell your grandkids about it.
 

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2010 2.5XT Limited Automatic
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Dave,

Reason for needing the rebuild: When the Subaru dealership did my oil change and inspection (thought I'd have them look at it since I just bought it) they found metal in the filter, a slight knock every once in a while (which I havent heard the knock yet) and some squirreliness coming from under the timing casing, that I have heard now. They recommended replacing the engine (which I now know meant the short block). The dealership is pretty reputable and I don't believe that they were just trying to pull something over on me.

Reason for needed to drive 200 miles: I live in an apartment building within the Chicago city limits. I have to fight to find a parking place sometimes, no place to work on/store the car for sure. My parents business is in Michigan however and they have a full car lift + all needed tools and space. (heck even CNC's) Driving there really is my best option currently. Would any of the components that I need to save like the heads or turbo be damaged by driving that distance?(obviously checking oil a few times)

JDM Route: The reason I was considering this was primarily cost and the appeal of just dropping in a working engine. This is now last resort and I am not really thinking about it.

Re manufactured Longblocks: This is starting to look very appealing too. While certainly a more expensive option, it would save a lot of time and there is a lot less that I can mess up. Plus I think I could work on it a solid 4-5 days with memorial day, with this option I could potentially drive away at the end.


Any thoughts and answers are like gold right now. Trying to order parts soon if I could.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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With those options in mind, I would go with a new shortblock that has forged pistons in already - Mainly because there is the possibility of ringland failure, even on a stock engine without mods......Forged pistons is likely to rid you of ringland woes. Then get your heads rebuilt and tested etc, then slap them together with a head gasket of your choice between them - You could even throw in some ARP bolts if you don't like the idea of Subaru head bolts.

A rebuilt LongBlock could be good, again if it had those all important forged pistons in and had some kind of warranty - I think IAG do longblocks but no idea if they do any kind of warranty with them.

If you have a machine shop available to you with a lift etc, I would go that direction.
As long as the oil level is kept up to spec, I don't see you doing much more damage than there already is to the engine - If the oil is fresh and you have a decent filter, the turbo should be ok for 200 miles in those conditions.
 
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