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Seized the Engine.

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Hey Gents and Ladies,


Just bought a 09 Legacy 2.5gt used, everything looked fine mechanically when I looked it over before purchase. I had it triple checked by two other mechanics and they gave me the nod of approval. But yesterday while driving down the free way (going around 65) my engine started whining and seized. Apparently the bearings in the turbo shaved off a ton of metal into my engine. According to the mechanic I took the car to, the rod is shot as well as other things. Rebuilding is not an option so now well, I'm looking at a 4 figure bill. Is this something that would have shown pre-existing conditions before happening? Considering I have put a total of 6k miles onto the thing.


I'm a bit newer to car internals still, so please forgive if I haven't used correct terminology.


Thanks for your help!

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Did you or any of your mechanics ever drop the downpipe and check the turbo for shaft play? Did you remove the banjo bolt screen on the turbo oil supply line the day you bought it if it hadn't been removed already?

GTEASER's 2012 Legacy GT - Sold

GTEASER's 2009 XTeaser - Sold

GTEASER's 1992 Legacy SS - Sold


Stapp's Law: “The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle.”


"Simple incompetence is a far more sinister force in the world than evil intent."

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Nah I didn't drop the downpipe, afaik the mechanics didn't either (but who knows). Didn't realize I was supposed to remove the bolt screen. I would check if it has it on right now, but it's currently 3 hours south at a shop.
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Sorry this happened to you. As far as preventative checks that might have found issues -- one would be inspecting the turbo, either using a borescope (remote inspection camera) or pulling the downpipe off (as described above). Another would be a used oil analysis that could have found bearing material in the oil. Sometimes, there is noise from the turbo and/or lack of power. Some people get a CEL indicating problems with the variable valve timing system.


The root cause of this issue is usually lack of regular, frequent oil changes, leading to sludge, starving the turbo of its oil supply. The turbo bearings go out and metal gets into the oil supply as the turbo destroys itself.

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Welcome to the forum, you the first one this week with this type thread. They seem to pop up once a week or so.


You got 6k miles, most happen in the first few day's are even on the drive home.


Read the sticky's you'll get lots of info there.


Most of us have replaced the turbo's in short blocks.




Read my click here link in my sig to see how to do it right, but you need more than I did. But it will give you an idea.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

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Your only option at this point is to completely remove and disassemble the engine and inspect the cylinder heads very closely. If they are undamaged, which I would doubt, but hopefully they are still OK, then you need a new shortblock and ARP studs for it. You'll have to do a LOT of cleaning of oil pan and all related parts.


Look on the forums for a list of parts that you'll need IF the heads are still OK. If the heads are not OK, then your best bet is to find a complete used engine. Look in the sticky above marked IDEA for some sources or look locally.


Good luck.

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