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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I�m making this thread based off of my approach of maintaining a highly modified Subaru. Feel free to add your own input. Firstly, congrats on achieving this power level and turning a vapid econobox into a super car competitor. Secondly, producing 500hp out of a 4 cylinder engine is pushing the envelope of what is reasonably logical and to some it seems like we are merely grasping for any semblance of reliability. Thirdly, the moment you mod a car, you are taking full responsibility of what happens to the car since Subaru only intended the STi to have 300hp. So cast away the phlegmatic attitude of I-don't-give-a-shit about the car since Subaru will cover it. Excluding the plush luxury of a Buggati Veyron, why does it cost so much? Because it is 1000hp warrantied. Without further ado, this is my list of recommendations for protecting your investment:

1. Always, always check your oil every time you fill up gas. Forged motors have potential to burn oil given the expansible nature of the pistons leading to increase blowby before fully warmed up.

2. Warm up the car 1-2minutes after a cold start and before you drive. This is mainly done for the piston slap to subside. Piston slap seen in forge pistons is when the pistons' material haven't expanded enough to seal off with the cylinder wall so the slapping noise is the piston slamming repeatedly into the cylinder wall. That in of itself causes wear and putting any extra load on the car during this vulnerable period, even at partial throttle, can induce more wear than necessary and increase blowby.

While driving, make sure the oil pressure is around 28-33psi idling, depending on your idle of course, (warmer the oil, the lower the viscosity and easier flow and less pressure) before it becomes copacetic to rag on your car since oil warms up slower than coolant.

3. Keep an eye on the oil catch can and empty it every 5 days if daily driven. Better yet, get an air oil separator. I recommend the IAG AOS because it is the most well thought out design on the market (IAG AOS Review).

4. Make sure you get GAUGES. When you have a highly built fuel system, there is always a chance something might go wrong. I nearly lost a motor to a dying fuel pump. Get Oil pressure (vital!), A/F (vital!), and fuel pressure (vital!). Think of the motor as a brain perfused with blood, any disturbances in blood flow or fuel/oil flow will cause an engine "stroke" resulting in irreparable damage (engines don't heal like dead brain tissue remains dead brain tissue). You want to keep a close, close eye on these pressures.

place active gauges (AFR and Fuel pressure) at eye level so during a pull you know when to back off the moment you notice something is awry

5. With Cobb AP, monitor boost Feedback knock, fine knock learning, DAM, A/F correction, coolant temp. More info: *PSA??* Cobb V3 gauge setup: knock monitoring

6. Make sure you don't run below 1/4 tank of fuel. These high performance pumps are thirsty. Although there won't be any drop in performance when you reach low fuel levels, small lapses in fuel within the pump itself will cause it to overheat, cavitate, and lead to premature failure. Also since you are filling up a little more frequently, it gives all the more opportunity to check your own oil.

7. Keep 1 quart of oil on you at all times.

8. GET AN AUTOMOTIVE FIRE EXSTINGUISHER, who knows what fuel line would burst, cause a fire leading to a scorching effigy of your prized investment. This is why you get an automotive fire exstinguisher (halotron) vs. a regular one (dry chem): **PSA** So you have a >400whp fully built setup: Protecting Your Investment
--------Personal experience-----------------


Power steering line burst causing a fire that was extinguished quickly before it caused any major damages, got hose repaired in no time and the halotron extinguisher left no nasty residue to clean up :)

Lugging around a fire extinguisher pays off for the one day/one freakish occurrence that threatens to burn down 9 years worth of work :tup:
-------------------------------------------------

9. Do Blackstone analysis on your oil every 3 oil changes to see if you have increased wear metals in your motor which could be a harbinger for impending failure down the line.

I think the best way to be informed about the overall health of the engine is to do an oil analysis. Sure you can check for knock everyday or even do compression tests daily (impractical) but that doesn't get the full picture of the state of the engine.

Just like how doctors check for heart attacks with cardiac enzymes which go up as the dying myocardial cells spill their intracellular enzymes into the blood from ischemia, your engine does the same thing if something is wrong (Aluminum, Chromium, Lead, etc are what make up your ringlands and bearings). If anyone is familiar with people that have diabetes, the doctors check blood sugar on annual checkups but the best gauge of how well diabetes is controlled is by the HbA1C which encompasses how well blood sugars are controlled in a 3 month period and not at an exact time point. Likewise oil analyses characterize how much wear there is in an oil change interval.

I just liken an engine into a functional, breathing physiologic being :tup:



10. Consider getting expanded insurance coverage for your mods.

11. Be punctual when it comes to maintenance. Oil change intervals can be determined by blackstone oil analysis but go with 3000 miles by default. Use high quality oil like Motul or Rotella.

12. DON'T LUG THE CAR. Try pedaling a bike up a hill/at slow speeds while in high gear, you are subjecting the engine to the same rigors (your bearings will hate you and you'll will get more knock) by accelerating in high load + high gear + low rpms.

Have fun!
 

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I'm about to get my car back - and I'll be doing all of this - now I just need to pick up a small fire extinguisher and see if I can still pick up a quart bottle of T6! I don't have a fuel pressure garage going in but hopefully I'm sitting at right at 400 hp and can keep track of all of it to make sure I'll be safe and sound. Lots of data logs !
 

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Just lost my 04 to a small fire that started from an accident, mostly insurance company just deemed it totaled and won't let me buy it back to get parts off

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
 

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Awesome thread User1029! This is a great guide to follow for those who have a built engine, but I'm going to follow it even for my stock engine!

Thanks for taking the time to come up with this thread!

On a side note, what's your name, I feel silly addressing you as User1029? :p


~Alex
 

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Im glad someone took the initiative to do something like this. I believe that these are some of the guidelines that one should follow regardless if they are built or not. Everyone reading this thread should know how serious and how important all these things are. Protecting your investment should be the most important thing. We all love a built sti, but its always a shame to see an investment go to waste.
 

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2 is 1-2 minutes of unnecessary idling. Build oil pressure and drive easy until warm.

11 - either analysis of every oil change or none.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
2 is 1-2 minutes of unnecessary idling. Build oil pressure and drive easy until warm.

11 - either analysis of every oil change or none.
The idling is to wait until the piston slap dies now mainly. I don't want to put any load on the car when the pistons are cold and haven't expanded since piston slap is where the pistons slam repeatedly into the cylinder walls and any load during that period can increase piston wear and blowby. Warming up idling helps decrease exposure to the pistons at that vulnerable state to any load. I'm not worried about the oil pressure.

That's my understanding of it at least

Doing analysis every oil change can be expensive, I recommend every 3 if everything is okay
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I edited it to clarify it. You don't need to sit and idle until the oil pressure is 28psi before driving it. However, it needs to be at 28psi before ragging on the car
 

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One thing I would suggest is DO NOT get a cheap dry chem fire extinguisher for your car. If that shit blows up on you or leaks (and they do) you'll never get it out of your interior. If you use it on your engine bay you'll need to buy a new car anyways because it will get everywhere and distribute itself through the cabin via the HVAC system. Another reason not to get one is because they require a lot of maintenance and if you live in a humid environment or one subject to significant climate change (not unlike a vehicle interior) the powder will clump together and when you need it most all that will come out is propellant.

Halatron or C02 extinguishers are your best bet for your vehicle.

INSPECT whatever extinguisher you get on a regular (weekly/biweekly) basis and keep it where you can reach it from your drivers seat. No point in having one if its in your trunk. By the time you run around in circles looking for it your car will be a lost cause.
 

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Great guide. A point that I especially support is the oil gauge. I know that some people have stated on the forum that 'oil gauges are not very useful because by the time you notice something it's already too late' but this is completely false, and is due to people not being attentive.

From experience, my last car, base model cobalt 2.2, I turbo'd it, had A/F gauge, boost, OIL PRESSURE and got to learning normal values of the oil pressure gauge during regular driving. One day I was about 3 blocks from my house, I notice the oil pressure gauge bouncing between 5-15PSI when it usually never dropped lower than 30ish. Well as soon as I got to my place, checked the oil and dipstick was dry. There was still oil in there but not as much as there should have been. I was able to add oil and drive it up to my dads (1 hour drive) to work on it, while closely monitoring the gauge. I could tell just by the gauge when the pressure dropped, meaning more oil was leaking. It was not a super fast leak but definitely needed to fix it right away. This saved my engine. I probably would not have noticed otherwise (would have been too late had I waited until my next fill-up or whenever to check my oil) So, short story; GET AN OIL PRESSURE GAUGE.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One thing I would suggest is DO NOT get a cheap dry chem fire extinguisher for your car. If that shit blows up on you or leaks (and they do) you'll never get it out of your interior. If you use it on your engine bay you'll need to buy a new car anyways because it will get everywhere and distribute itself through the cabin via the HVAC system. Another reason not to get one is because they require a lot of maintenance and if you live in a humid environment or one subject to significant climate change (not unlike a vehicle interior) the powder will clump together and when you need it most all that will come out is propellant.

Halatron or C02 extinguishers are your best bet for your vehicle.

INSPECT whatever extinguisher you get on a regular (weekly/biweekly) basis and keep it where you can reach it from your drivers seat. No point in having one if its in your trunk. By the time you run around in circles looking for it your car will be a lost cause.
Very interesting, I've never thought about that
 

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The Oil pressure readings are definitely engine/oil weight specific... mine idles around 35-40psi when hot. other then that, good stuff!
I usually just wait for the piston slap to go away before backing out of the garage, usually happens right about the time the thermostat opens (Engine note changes)
 

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Oil gauge with an alarm works for me. It's a lot easier that replacing the pickup wich doesn't eliminate the need for an alarm/guage. I've considered making it RPM dependant for safer monitoring. Now I just keep an eye on it for abnormal pressures.
 

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so after reading this post I checked my fire extinguisher in the trunk, and it was the dry chemical kind. I went on the OG racing site and ordered a halotron 2.5lb extinguisher along with the Brey-Krause universal extinguisher mount. Took me about 1 hour to position it right in front of the front passenger seat. Here are some pics..
fe1.jpg
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fe3.jpg

I hope never to use it, but if I ever do, thanks for your advice. :tup:
 
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