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Build thread time

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So, the spare motor I pulled from my parts car in May spun a rod bearing 30 minutes into initial idle. Best laid plans, I guess - time for a build thread for documentation and later reference. This motor is going into my 05 LGT 5MT wagon.


The spare motor had been a YNANSB for another member here about 40k miles ago, so has some fresh parts. Though it didn't run knocking for more than a couple of seconds before I shut it down, I'm going forward assuming that everything the oil has touched is contaminated and can't be reused. Will drop the pan and see what I find before I start, though. The only exception is the BNR 16G which was on the parts car, which had a filter on the oil feed line. If the filter is still clear and the turbo doesn't suddenly have signs of damage, it'll go on the new motor.


I work full time and will be starting school again in a week, so timing will be interesting.


Parts already on hand:



BNR 16G - Free courtesy of parting out the parts car



OEM plastic manifold/TB, new vacuum lines - carryover

DW1000 top feed injectors - $150 from SubieRecycler plus $60 flow test at DW. These were swapped for some ID1000s with a friend while troubleshooting, and the IDs left in.

09 LGT rails - $100 from SubieRecycler. Originally started with 06 WRX rails, learned that that's a bad idea.

IAG topfeed TGV deletes - $270 from Oakos

AEM320 - Technically $20 since it replaced a DW65c which was in the tank, and then sold when troubleshooting down the road.


Engine, exhaust and cooling

EJ257 shortblock 2018 STI Type RA/2019 STI, P/N 10103AD020 - $1972 from Sellers Subaru

STI 11mm oil pump P/N 15010AA360 - $144 from Sellers Subaru

Oil pan P/N 11109AA151 - $87 from Sellers Subaru

Various bolts, formed hoses etc - $140 from Sellers Subaru

IAG braided oil line kit - $90 from RSD - may assemble one myself and return if I can quickly find the banjo fitting sizes.

IAG oil pickup - $130 from RSD

Killer B windage tray - $80 from RSD

OEM gasket kit - $260 from Lafontaine Subaru

A buttload of lifter buckets - $50ish bucks from LGT.com members and some local friends

Oil cooler, OCVs, cam gears - Carryover from my 175k motor, which the spare motor was supposed to be replacing after a blown HG.

Half moons - already on hand from my previous wagon.

ARP 260-4701 head studs - $206 from Oakos

Mishimoto radiator - came with parts car

Gates rad hoses - $50

Aisin timing kit - $270 on Rock Auto

Invidia catless UP - carryover

Cobb catted DP - carryover

Perrin knock-off TMIC - $130 courtesy of NASIOC

Grimmspeed EBCS - $115 on Rallysport Direct

Motul break-in oil and OE filter - $45 on Rallysport Direct


Drivetrain and mounts

Exedy Stage 1 clutch - $480 from Oakos

Hex flywheel bolts - $10ish from Oakos

ACT streetlite flywheel - $125 bucks from a friend with ~40k miles

OEM clutch fork - $30 from Lafontaine Subaru

Group N motor mounts - $150 from Oakos

Group N trans mount - $40 from a friend with ~40k miles



Heads from my original motor at Auto Parts Machine Shop & Services in Ann Arbor, MI, for clean, pressure test, deck, valve seals and tipping, valve job - $475


Total cost with tax: $5619 plus $307 tax - $5926


Pics to come!

Edited by awfulwaffle
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Day 1 - Staged all my parts, unpacked the shiny new RA block, got IAG oil pickup, Killer B baffle plate and STI oil pan on.


Motor was out of the car already when I started this process.














Edited by awfulwaffle
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Day 2:


Cleaned up head and block mating surfaces, got head studs in and got heads bolted down. The shot of the cloth shows how much residue came off of the deck surface of the brand new shortblock.


Got cams installed, photo shows the quantity of RTV that didn't clog up the passages or cause cam seal leaks. Drove in cam seals.










Edited by awfulwaffle
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Day 3:


Oil pump, oil cooler, water/oil lines/hoses, turbo, timing kit and manifold assembly installed. Got clutch installed and motor set in the car.


Learned that the bottom tab on the STI oil pump is wider than the LGT, requiring the oil cooler coolant line to have its mounting tab pounded flat to install.








Edited by awfulwaffle
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Didn't take pics this day, but got little things buttoned up. Biggest find was that the plug and play connectors that came with my injectors were all bad, causing the car to run stupid lean. +25% fuel trim with long term fuel trim pegged to 15% (40% cumulative adjustment) and the idle AFR was around 16-18. Smoked the car and was positive that there were no vacuum leaks. Got an oscilloscope on each coil and fuel injector signal and they checked good. Finally, soldered in the correct pigtails to my harness to run the topfeeds without adapters, and voila.


Also wired in AFR and oil pressure, with 3D printed gauge pod. Will have to post some more pics soon.



The next few days were occupied with troubleshooting to find some oil leaks, etc. Then, car back on the road.

Edited by awfulwaffle
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Realized a fun thing while waiting on the new block to come in - the short block that spun a rod bearing on me was built/purchased during this period:




While I have no definitive proof that my spare motor was affected, I'll go ahead and fall prey to confirmation bias and tell myself that it was to help me feel better about what happened :lol:

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  • 1 month later...

Realized that I did this build thread thing wrong, but got my 1000 mile break-in completed today. Switched from the Motul break-in mineral oil to the Motul XCess 8100 5W40 synthetic today, and getting ready to do an E-tune with Cryo. Uploaded pictures to commemorate the occasion, ha.


I have the itch to tune this thing myself, but I'm kind of a wuss and want to know that I have a good map done by a well respected tuner to fall back on if I have trouble.


Have to say, it felt good finally getting into boost a little bit on the break-in map. All fine, no knock, but definitely reserved. Can't wait to get going!

Edited by awfulwaffle
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Oh, just for funsies. The motor that I thought had spun a rod bearing had actually failed a timing belt tensioner. Brand new Aisin kit, and the tensioner looked like this when I pulled it off. The knocking sound I heard was the tensioner smacking around behind the timing cover, as evidenced by the impact marks on the anvil.




Then, things got weirder. I went to scope the cylinders just to make sure no valves contacted, and found a few light dings on one of the piston heads. I pulled the head, and a WASHER detached from the underside of the head and fell onto the piston.


The motor had idled for about 30 minutes before I started hearing the tensioner knocking, so all I can figure is that the washer quickly got pounded into the head and folded over, and was just sitting there for the remainder of the idle until the tensioner went. I think I got extremely lucky. No damage to the cylinder (2 tiny nicks at the very top edge, not on the bore surface), no damage to valve seats, and only superficial damage to the head which was easily smoothed over. Thankfully, the washer was only a bit thicker than the minimum piston to head clearance.


I ended up posting the motor up on Craigslist as a discounted longblock, and sold it to a local fella for what I paid for the RA block. That motor is currently alive and well in his OBXT. Craziest thing that's ever happened to me working on a car.


Edited by awfulwaffle
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:lol: Oh there aren't supposed to be. Best I can tell it got dropped into the intake port while hurrying to get everything together. When I say detached, I mean I think it was pounded into the head and fell down into the cylinder when I pulled the head off. Definitely lucked out with the outcome
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  • 1 year later...

Alright, time for some updates for posterity.


A little while back, noticed that the car loped when cranking. 3 good chugs, and one very weak one, as if compression was low in a cylinder. 35k miles on the clock. Compression and leakdown tested, 1-3 were good, and cylinder 4 measured 60% leakdown and 60 psi compression. Woo.


Pulled motor, pulled off driver's head, and found 5 cracks in the ringlands on the #4 piston. Car spent 20k miles on a 93 tune and 15k on an E85 tune, both from Cryo. I'd poked around a bit with both, but left the timing and fuel targets alone.


Evidence of cylinder 4 getting hot, as indicated by the intake valves and wear marks on the moly patches on the piston skirts.







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