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Buying a remanufactured engine, need to choose options

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My '05 LGT Wagon finally bit the dust in South Texas... at 98k miles. I towed it back to NC and am going to install a remanufactured engine. I found a local shop that sells remanufactured EJ255s for $3000. They also offer several options, whose merits I am debating.. My first priority for this car is reliability. I would like it to be a reliable daily driver for at least the next five years. Secondly, I like a little extra zip over stock. Prior to failure, I had the car running a Cobb Stage 2 tune. Other than the tune and an STI uppipe, it's completely stock.


So, the shop offers the following...


"+$250 for piston top gold coating with Nippon upgraded rings

+$200 upgraded bearings; trimetal with extra oil clearance, and coated with thermal lubricant

+$200 for crank thermal coating

+$200 ARP head studs

+$150 ARP rod bolts"


Are any of these upgrades worthwhile for someone who doesn't intend to go above Stage 2 power in the next few years? So far, I'm thinking ARP rod bolts. Will they provide significantly more headroom/longevity for someone around my power levels? Or should I save the money?


I appreciate any feedback!


For eyecandy: a sad shot of my car being flatbedded away somewhere outside of Del Rio, TX.



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The ARP head studs are a must. the other stuff is just fluff. Read my click here link in my sig.


As said above, you need a 3" catted down pipe.

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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Honestly, I’m always really skeptical remanufactured motor from anyone, (maybe too skeptical...) for the prices you’ve been quoted I’d suggest just buying a stock short block from Heubergers Subaru in Colorado, it’s $1900 shipped to you. Have your heads looked at to make sure their good to go and call it a day. At stage 2 power levels and a good tune, (very important) you should have no issues. I ran my car at stage 2 for 9 years including 9 seasons at the track where I absolutely drove the piss out of it before finally cracking a ring land, (and still drove it the entire winter before getting a new forged internal short block and upgraded heads put in). On a daily driver that isn’t being redlined at the track all the time, I’d go the Huebergers route. Factory built, factory tolerances, that’s perfectly fine at stage 2 daily driver. Sure you could go ahead with the ARP headbolts for added insurance but everything else? Meh... don’t really need it at stage 2 for a daily driver. I recently put a HB stock short block in my daily driver (stage 2 ‘08 Outback) and it’s been flawless. Longevity at stage 2 power levels is really more about a good tune than a built motor unless your taking it to the track a ton. Also you MUST have an aftermarket Downpipe to run stage 2
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