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Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.
Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.
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Old 10-27-19, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

Hi everyone,
Got some questions about my car I need answers to and basically looking for a second opinion from what the shop has been telling me.

Here’s a recap of my car and What brings me here to you all. Had my motor built by a shop in my town. Pretty much all the fun stuff besides close deck or sleeves.

Stock bore Manley pistons
Stock crank
Manley rods
King bearings
FP red 35 r turbo
Perrin Front mount intercooler
Perrin Cold air intake
Perrin 3” turbo inlet
Perrin Air oil separator
TGV deletes
Detschuts works 1300cc injectors
Aeromotive 235 fuel pump
Cobb Fuel pressure regulator kit
3" invidia down pipe
3” Cobb cat back exhaust catted
2.5" Grimm speed uppipe with 38mm EWG
Agency Power equal length Header
Gcs cams 272
Titanium valves
APR head studs.
8.8 compression
Thicker head gasket
Cobb short shifter and shifter bushings.
Act 6 puck clutch

Blah blah. So. 35psi on FP RED made 590/500. Took it in to a shop and long story short is they dropped the timing belt off the front of my car while they were driving and basically destroyed my motor. They found a time Sert in my idler pulley hole in the block on passenger side. After a lot of complaining the shop decided to “rebuild” my motor to what I had it at. They had a machine shop in town do it. They apparently had it built “loose”. The new shop I go to says it’s so loose it is basically worse than a stock motor with no oil pressure and terrible compression. So if you are still reading here’s where I’m at.

Low oil pressure. 60psi oil pressure on start up. 40 when driving. 10-15 at idle.
Low compression tests. 90psi all around
Leak down test at 2%
Excessive oil consumption 2-3 quarts per 3000 miles
Low low end power.
Clicking heads
Can’t make more than 29lbs of boost
Boost doesn’t come on until 4800. Full boost at 5800. FP red. 38mm EWG. Cobb 3 port.
Falls on its face and isn’t fast or responsive.
Oil out exhaust on start up

Shop says the motor is too loose and bearings clearances, piston to wall clearance, and ring gap is out of spec. The 90psi compression test on all 4 cylinders is what worried me. Does this sound like a crap motor or am I missing something. Just looking. For a second opinion before I decide what to do. Thank you all for reading.

TL/DR. Had motor built. Shop blew it up. “Rebuilt” motor and reinstalled. Runs like crap and has no power and really low compression as well as oil pressure. Looking for opinions on this motor. Thanks.
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Old 10-27-19, 02:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

So this car has been to 3 shops? Am i right in reading all of that? Why would they built it "loose" and not back to the prior specs?

Before comdemning the engine, have any of the shops done any other diag besides compression/leakdown. Has the engine been checked for any air leaks/vacuum leaks? What about timing? Has that been verified to be correct? Also is the correct head gasket being used for your engine? An engine can have Low compression across the board but still be powerful but i feel like 90psi all around is pretty low.

All kinds of bearing issues can attribute to low oil pressure but so can a faulty/incorrect oil pump. What kind of oil pump are you using here? I feel like there is alot of information missing here.

I think you need to have a serious conversation with whoever rebuilt your engine.

Last edited by Jay11STI; 10-27-19 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-27-19, 03:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

Where is the oil pressure being read from?

Was the compression checked hot or cold? Are they all the same?

Was the compression ratio ever measured?
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Old 10-27-19, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

What you wrote yourself.

You need a shop you (can) trust.
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Last edited by mheyman; 10-28-19 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 10-28-19, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

Yikes, this is a mess

oil pressure is pretty low. The FSM specs 47 psi >2000 RPMs and 14 psi at 600 rpms at 195 degrees.

Your compression is low, likely due to excessive PTW clearance or bad ring gaps. Generally you want above 100 psi compression, but no more than 10% between different cylinders.

if this were my car, I'd stop driving it and whoever built the piece of shit would be seeing a lot more of me until they fixed it.

thats unacceptable.
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Old 10-28-19, 09:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

My car was re-tuned a year or two ago I was warned that my compression was getting low - at 135 or 145 - I forget . . .

I like to do my own work. I wasn't always set up to do it, and I don't always have time. When beneficial to me I get my car 4hrs away to to a shop I trust. They aren't perfect, but they do good work. They fix the issue and I don't find loose parts or missing bolts. If they break something, I know they can make it right whatever it is.
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Last edited by mheyman; 10-28-19 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 10-28-19, 11:19 AM   #7
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Hey guys. Thanks for all the responses. Yes it is a massive mess.
I don’t go to this shop that did this anymore, call them “A”. For obvious reasons.
But the new shop, let’s called them “B”, wants 8k to redo shop “A’s” mess up. When all this happened I told shop A to fix my car to what it was at before. So low and behold 6 months later they deliver me this hunk of crap. No clearance. No compression ratio. No receipt of what they did. They had a machine shop build the short block. They won’t release any specs to me cuz “I didn’t pay for it” 🙄. This machine shop also does not build Subaru motors well, found this out afterwards. Buddy of mine had his built there and it spun a bearing after 500miles. I’m going with pistons and rings for sure. It just sounds like there could be a lot kore demons inside than I think.
Oil pump is unknown.
Headgasket is OEM
Unknown compression ratio before hand
Compression test done hot and cold. Wet and dry. Did it myself.
Tuner says he can’t add more timing because it will knock. So I’m SOL on that. He also states low compression is why I can’t make more than 29psi. Which makes sense. Wife doesn’t want me to fix this motor or buy a short block so I’m trying to figure it out on what to actually do.

Oh and you’ll get a kick out of this. Upon delivery of new motor and car from shop A. They told me I had to do 5k of break in before they would tune it. 😂. This all sucks. Thank you all so much.
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Old 10-28-19, 11:21 AM   #8
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Oh sorry. Oil pressure read from electric oil pressure gauge. Changed out oil pressure sending unit and confirmed on mechanical gauge as well. So it’s real. It also drinks a ton of oil. And I’m running VR1 20W-50 and still have crappy oil pressure.
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Old 10-28-19, 11:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

yeah, I'm sorry this happened to you.

Since you confirmed oil pressure with a mechanical gauge, your best bet is to get rid of the car at a loss and sue Shop A in small claims for your money, or fix said car.

but it sounds like they had no idea what they were doing, and screwed you in the process.
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Old 10-29-19, 05:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Built motor running poorly. Need some opinions.

Sorry for you. It is sad
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