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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all my name is Mark.

First of all I apologize for the book here lol,
but this is all I can think about lately and I am looking for HELP / words of wisdom

I am looking to purchase my first STI... FINALLY! I have wanted one since I was a kid and I think I am ready to get back into the car world. I have had many cars in the past, have always done most of my own work but I am pretty out of practice. Has felt good these past few weeks really researching hard and reuniting so to speak. After a lot of searching I found a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. (not sure if its the limited) It is at a local dealership and they got it from auction. It has a super low 44k original miles, clean carfax, everything looks great. Carfax showed a good bit of maintenance records since it was purchased. I would be the 4th owner but it seems like the last 2 were dealer swaps. Something worrying me is the car has had a lot of modification it would seem. They were asking 23k I talked them down to 21.5k all things considered....

There has been a good bit of money put into this thing approximately 10k miles ago. Things such as upgraded turbo, fmic, perrin intake, cobb maf, cobb turbo heat shield, turbosmart bov, tein coilovers, short shifter, and a laptop tune of some sort... but no records.

I decided to take it to a local shop who was able to do a leak test, compression check, and thorough preinspection. He automatically had a huge smile on his face and said it had a good bit of work done to the engine, compression was good and engine is extremely strong. He also showed me some more minor stuff, cabin & new cone air filter, little rust in the rear axle parts. Very light surface rust. Air condensor is leaking (neon green crust shown at bottom), radiator cap seems to not have been on correctly and after running hard for a bit there was a little wetness at the cap just enough to see and barely smell. Clutch feels a tiny bit softer than I personally like but engagement is perfect and it grabs hard!

I want to daily drive this car. My concerns are that I am not totally sure what has all been done to it, what type of tune, e85 or 93 fuel... The car is as is obviously with the mods. There is a ton of good here and it seems to outweigh the bad, am I crazy? The STI hatchback is my dream car... I know what I would be signing up for but I think it would be worth it to have a fun car / daily car that is going to be a pain in the ass sometimes lol
 

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Im glad to see someone actually did research before asking for help on here about buying lol. I see you did a compression/leakdown test along with a pre purchase inspection. I think thats a great step forward and shows how serious you are about buying this thing. With that being said, ill offer some insight.

Although the car is modded, its seems to be in good shaped based on what you've reported from your inspections and test. At this point the only thing that you cant really verifiy is how long the car has been modded for and how it was actually driven. Yes you said modded 10K ago but is that really the truth lol? We may never know to be honest. Keep in mind that the EJ257 engine isnt glass but it also isnt indestructable. The fact that it has an aftermarket turbo means its most likely making beyond stage 2 power levels and may be at the "max" limitations of the stock block.

I think if you're set on buying this car, the first thing i would do is change the oil and get a protune on the car. That way you know exactly what tune is on there and who actually tuned the car. You should also do some more reseach on here to help with owning a car like this. Continuing a good maintenance schedule is important in my opinion.

One huge tip with these cars is staying on top of oil levels and not lugging the engine. Just those 2 things along really goes a long way with these cars.
 

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Better to get a pro tune or a cobb accessport right away? Or both? lol I'll definitely be changing the oil / oil filter consistently (I've been hearing royal purple, mobil 1, rotella, or motul... also nothing but subaru oil filters? How about k&n or mobil 1?) and also I will definitely be checking my fluids / hoses / clamps / bolts like a hawk on this thing. I know a big thing with these turbo engines too is adequate warm up and shut down time, tips?... I want it to last me a long time! Wish me luck 🤞 I'm like a kid on Christmas day 😬

Here are some more pics / video. I pick it up this week sometime.
 

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Well to get a protune you will need an accessport. So yes both lol. I would also HIGHLY advise you get a tune from a reputable subaru pro tuner and not just some guy. E-tunes are popular these days but in your case i think an actual tune on the dyno would be best for you.

As for oil, many oils are popular on here. The most common are Motule and Rotella T6. I dont think ive herd of to many if any guys here running royal purple lol. For oil filters, most of us go with the Subaru OEM blue filters. No need to get anything fancy and expensive.

As for warming and shutting down, that stuff is kinda ehh. I usually let the car get off cold before taking off and then just take it easy untill the engine reaches operating temperatures. Keep in mind oil temps take longer to reach then coolant temps. As for shutting down, i give the car a good 30 seconds before shutting it off after having a hard spirited drive. Other then that, after just normal driving i just give it a couple seconds and turn it off.

Btw, i cant really tell if this car actually has a upgraded turbo or not since the heat shield is in the way. One thing is for sure, that air filter should be changed lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well to get a protune you will need an accessport. So yes both lol. I would also HIGHLY advise you get a tune from a reputable subaru pro tuner and not just some guy. E-tunes are popular these days but in your case i think an actual tune on the dyno would be best for you.

As for oil, many oils are popular on here. The most common are Motule and Rotella T6. I dont think ive herd of to many if any guys here running royal purple lol. For oil filters, most of us go with the Subaru OEM blue filters. No need to get anything fancy and expensive.

As for warming and shutting down, that stuff is kinda ehh. I usually let the car get off cold before taking off and then just take it easy untill the engine reaches operating temperatures. Keep in mind oil temps take longer to reach then coolant temps. As for shutting down, i give the car a good 30 seconds before shutting it off after having a hard spirited drive. Other then that, after just normal driving i just give it a couple seconds and turn it off.

Btw, i cant really tell if this car actually has a upgraded turbo or not since the heat shield is in the way. One thing is for sure, that air filter should be changed lol.
Without a doubt lol I already ordered a new one. Thank you for the insight man!

Edit: yeah from what I can tell it doesn't seem to be a HUGE upgrade if really upgraded at all. But that could be a good or bad thing I suppose depending how you look at it lol
 

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As for oil, many oils are popular on here. The most common are Motule and Rotella T6. I dont think ive herd of to many if any guys here running royal purple lol. For oil filters, most of us go with the Subaru OEM blue filters. No need to get anything fancy and expensive.
Aren’t the blue filters made by FRAM and have the wrong pressure rating for the relief valve? I wouldn’t trust those on my car, and I don’t.

@MMJR I’d either get the original Tokyo Roki Made in Japan ‘Subaru Black’ filters that are still used in Japan (Part# 15208AA130. Not sold at dealer, usually ordered online) or, get this, the 09-11 Mazda RX-8 filter! Part# N3R1-14-302. It’s essentially the same as the black filters - made by Tokyo Roki, same/correct pressure valve rating - but only a bit larger (longer) so higher capacity. Which in my opinion is a good thing. Best part is if there’s a Mazda dealer nearby they should be readily available. Plus how cool to have something from a different manufacturer on your car, nonetheless a rotary RX-8! :cool:

As for oil, seeing how this is basically the Achilles’ heel of our cars, I’d make sure to use something good. Depending on how deep you want to get into this topic, and believe me, you can get real deep, I’d skip the fancy, expensive ‘exotic’ oils and just use what’s commonly referred to as ‘German Castrol’ or ‘GC’ - Castrol Edge 0W-40 A3/B4. It has all the good stuff you want in an oil. Research it you’ll see. It’s also readily available in a 5qt jug at Walmart for like $22-$25 depending on whether or not it’s on sale. You can get it at your auto parts stores too but it’s much more expensive. Rotella used to be a popular choice but they changed the formula, plus it was always a bit controversial being aimed for diesel applications (although technically perfectly fine for gasoline engines as well).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aren’t the blue filters made by FRAM and have the wrong pressure rating for the relief valve? I wouldn’t trust those on my car, and I don’t.

@MMJR I’d either get the original Tokyo Roki Made in Japan ‘Subaru Black’ filters that are still used in Japan (Part# 15208AA130. Not sold at dealer, usually ordered online) or, get this, the 09-11 Mazda RX-8 filter! Part# N3R1-14-302. It’s essentially the same as the black filters - made by Tokyo Roki, same/correct pressure valve rating - but only a bit larger (longer) so higher capacity. Which in my opinion is a good thing. Best part is if there’s a Mazda dealer nearby they should be readily available. Plus how cool to have something from a different manufacturer on your car, nonetheless a rotary RX-8! :cool:

As for oil, seeing how this is basically the Achilles’ heel of our cars, I’d make sure to use something good. Depending on how deep you want to get into this topic, and believe me, you can get real deep, I’d skip the fancy, expensive ‘exotic’ oils and just use what’s commonly referred to as ‘German Castrol’ or ‘GC’ - Castrol Edge 0W-40 A3/B4. It has all the good stuff you want in an oil. Research it you’ll see. It’s also readily available in a 5qt jug at Walmart for like $22-$25 depending on whether or not it’s on sale. You can get it at your auto parts stores too but it’s much more expensive. Rotella used to be a popular choice but they changed the formula, plus it was always a bit controversial being aimed for diesel applications (although technically perfectly fine for gasoline engines as well).
Thank you for the insight! Are there any actual advantages / disadvantages in this case to use a 0w40 oil as opposed to the manufacturer recommended 5w30? I'm in Pennsylvania. Castrol edge + k&n oil filter sounds like a good plan to me.
 

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Thank you for the insight! Are there any actual advantages / disadvantages in this case to use a 0w40 oil as opposed to the manufacturer recommended 5w30? I'm in Pennsylvania. Castrol edge + k&n oil filter sounds like a good plan to me.
My pleasure! Trying to spread what I’ve learned thanks to the members on these forums to protect our babies :)

The understanding is that the ‘0’ weight will get oil to the places it needs to be (read: main bearings!) when cold to protect everything, and then once warmed up the ‘40’ weight is thick enough for a hot turbo engine to continue protecting the bearings and keep everything safe. Being in PA this seems perfect. Up until 2010 or so Subaru Owner’s Manuals called for 5W-40 (in the US, still do in Japan) but in order to boost fuel ratings they switched it to 5W-30, and on top of that, GF-5 ‘resource conserving’ oils. These are actually closer to a ‘20’ weight to begin with and shear to a ‘20’ only after a little bit of mileage. If you go with OEM oil or OEM ‘approved’ this is what you’ll be getting.

For the filter, just go to a Mazda dealer and ask for a ‘2011 RX-8 oil filter’ (09-11 is what you’re looking for <Part# N3R1-14-302> but, since you drive a 2011...:p) and feel like a badass man! I get it. Idea may be a bit off putting but plenty of guys running them including myself with no issues (no reason for there to be any). I wouldn’t trust the K&N either. Tokyo Roki or nothing else!

I’m not an expert on this stuff by any means. I’m regurgitating what I’ve absorbed after doing a good bit of reading. Here’s one of the resources that breaks everything down if you’re in the mood to torture yourself :LOL:
 

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^ some pretty good info up there and i am not dissagreeing with it either. The oil topic on here can get real thick and heavy. Its arguably one of the most fought over topics everywhere when it comes to subaru. I think the best advice when it comes to the whole oil thing is to change the oil often and use quality oil.

As for the subaru filter being a fram....honestly i remember reading something about it many years ago but i dont remember what came of it. In my opinion, its an oil filter lol. I change my oil every 3K, sometimes even sooner depending on my own time schedule. Id personally just rather stick with oem filter. They way i see it, its been used since production of the EJ257 and is still being used on 2020 cars today. I cant see it being completly incorrect after all these years and continued to be used and produced lol. One other thing to mention, i could be wrong but i think the Type RA and S209 have upgraded to a 5w-40 oil if im not mistaken.

Again, the oil and filter thing i think is very subjective and often times comes down to prefferance. To this day, i dont think there is a right or wrong answer.
 

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Lol right, it’s just oil and filters. I was amazed at the depth of discussions on the topic. But a recurring theme was engine failures due to oiling issues, so I caved and dived deep. You don’t want to overthink it, but also not under think it if that makes sense?

I don’t know when SOA switched to the blue filters, if it was before or after 2004 when the STi was introduced in the States. Aside from the possible FRAM issue, the relief valve pressure is incorrect in the blue filters. In Japan they still use the black filters made by Tokyo Roki with the correct valve pressure. That must be where Subaru specialist sites selling them get ‘em from. Essentially the same as the 09-11 RX-8. So make of that what you will. Since Subaru USA doesn’t carry the black ones anymore, either order online or grab a Mazda one locally.

Like you said, use good oil and check it religiously and you should be fine :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I decided to buy the car, talked them down a little bit. Took it to a local very reputable shop the next day to get it thoroughly looked over, pro tuned, and dyno'd. They said it ran extremely well and felt strong.

So far it's assumed that it has:

-Front Mount Intercooler
-ID1000 injectors
-Cobb Fuel pressure regulator
-Grimm Speed Electronic Boost Solenoid
-Upgraded fuel pump
-Turbosmart BOV
-Invidia Turbo back exhaust
-Cobb intake & maf
-TEIN Coilovers
-Possible aftermarket turbo not sure size
20lb boost

I am deciding to get the following done...
-IAG v3 air oil separator
-Koyo aluminum radiator & expansion tank
-Cobb accessport v3

Also new timing belt, thermostat, spark plugs, filters all the way around, belts, fluid drain & full all the way around. Should be a lot of fun as a daily driver. Thoughts? I am attaching the dyno sheet. They said it is right around where it should be. Apparently on their dynojet they consistently get 220-230awhp on a stock STI. Mine did 287awhp 303tq
61388
 

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Obviously the #1 issue I see is the BOV but if there is an aftermarket turbo setup on there then it's possible it can be ran just fine. I assume if the tuner didn't mention it or didn't see any log numbers jump out at them then it is fine but it's always something to watch for.
 
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