IW STi Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As my not so witty title may have hinted at, I have some serious engine wear. After a catastrophic oil leak, my car has started to grind, knock, and burn oil. After taking the car to a trusted mechanic and the dealership, I am sure that I am looking down the barrel of a full engine job. I did my research on the forums, but I couldn’t find much in the way of similar situations or plausible solutions. To make matters worse, I am under a pretty serious financial limitation as I am a freshman in college with no money.

My mechanic and I believe the problem to be a spun rod bearing, but we have not ruled out the possibility of ring land failure (being so common in turbo Subaru’s). I have ordered an Oil analysis but I have not received my results yet. I am going to change the oil in the next few days and use a detergent cleaner to clear out any debris left behind from the previous owner’s poor maintenance schedule.

As for replacing the engine it looks like my options include the following:

I do not have the experience to know if this will be enough to get the engine into a daily driver condition. I am worried that there is damage to the crank and other internals will not be treated by a grind and rebuild kit.

The second plausible answer could be to purchase an OEM short block. My research says that it can easily handle my power goals, but I continue to risk another problem. Transferring my hardware onto the new short block.

The final obvious answer would be to simply purchase a replacement long block and have that installed. I feel that this would prevent unexpected problems during the building process, but I have also read other people’s horror stories about receiving engines that are in poor condition and require more money to restore.

What would you guys recommend for me to do to treat this problem?
What would be the most economical option for treating this problem?
I really need all the help I can get and any recommendations you guys can give me?



I found these questions in another thread:

What do you do with the car? – Before the engine went, I used the car for daily driving and occasional auto cross/ spirited driving on back roads near my house
What do you WANT to do with the car? – I don’t want to do much more than I already did with the car. I don’t plan on taking the car to the strip, or doing high speed pulls on the highway.
What is your budget? – My budget is extremely limited, staying below 5 grand for parts and labor is my objective. I want to try to have the work done over this coming winter if I can keep the price under control.
What are your power goals? – I do not want to exceed 350hp, being able to drive the car comfortably and economically on a conservative tune every day is important.
What is the expected longevity? – I really need the engine to last as long as possible because of future expenses for college, and other problems that need to be treated on the car.
Will you be doing the assembly yourself or hiring it out? – I will most definitely be hiring out the work because of my own inexperience. I hope to use Cruise Daily at Subie Dreams Motorworks to complete most of the work because he is a trusted friend and has treated me well in the past.
Who will be doing the tuning? – I do not know of a tuner yet and suggestions would be appreciated.
What supporting accessories do you HAVE? – The car has a full Mishimoto cooling system, Shaved and drilled flywheel, Stage II clutch, and Turbo back exhaust.
What supporting accessories will you NEED? – I will need to purchase a new down pipe as my current one rubs on the floor pan. In addition the turbo will need to be replaced as it has +140,000 miles on it, and I fear it has been damaged or destroyed by metal in the oil. Other reliability mods can be done, but avoiding them is best in order to find more money for the engine work.
Where are you located? – I am located in Roanoke, Virginia. In the southwest part of the state. I can’t move the car very far without a trailer.

A little back story on the car? –

So I recently purchased a well-used 2004 STi. The car was beautifully clean, and in great condition. It peacefully hibernated for a little over a year in the previous owner's garage. A rubbing exhaust flange, and a little strut clunk were the only issues.
I got the car home and started to daily drive it, but the stress was too much, and the car quietly began to hemorrhage oil. On my way home from work (a 1 hour drive) I drained all the oil in the car, and limped into the parking lot of a church where the car rolled into a parking spot.
A few days later I refilled the oil and rushed the car to my mechanic to have the car treated. By the end of the week it became very clear that there was some very serious damage done to the bottom end. For the past 3 months I have been using 10w-30 to try to keep the engine healthy enough to drive through the fall.
Last weekend, I Pulled the dipstick, and it came out BLACK. If I didn’t know better I would have figured the car was filled with crude! I pulled the car into the garage, covered it with a tarp, and there it sits, dormant, sleeping, waiting for its revenge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,503 Posts
Sounds like 5-6 grand to do it right to get you back on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,112 Posts
If it is a spun bearing, pray that metal shavings didn't get into your head and turbo otherwise you'll have to replace those too :( If it is just the shortblock that needs replacing $5-6k will be enough, if you want a Stage 1 block with forged pistons then IAG can take care of that for you with a warranty on the built motor too.

Next time consider an oil pressure gauge and checking your oil every time you fill up the car. You can never be too attentive to the most vital fluid of your engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If it is a spun bearing, pray that metal shavings didn't get into your head and turbo otherwise you'll have to replace those too
Would a trashed ring land cause the same problems with metal shavings traveling throughout the motor? The car does not knock loudly or consistently which confuses me.
You can never be too attentive to the most vital fluid of your engine.
I swear it hemorrhaged within a few hours of driving, the lines however sat above the oil pan, so it did not create a serious leak when parked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Fwiw when my ringland went there were little chunks of piston and ring in the oil pan but that would be regular looking silver metal. Bearings are gold and sparkly in the oil. The bearings in our stock turbo are the same as engine bearings so if your oil is sparkly but your not knocking it could be a turbo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
Lack-of oil/pressure is what leads to spun bearings.
Detonation/bad tune/bad gas is what leads to broken ring lands.


I'd say spun bearings are the worst of the two evils, cuz when they spin, they spin in the block halves, pretty much destroying the halves. Than all the metal shavings go everywhere that oil does, needing to get properly cleaned out, etc.


With a broken ring land, obviously the pistons get destroyed but sometimes you can get lucky and bore/hone out the scratches in the cylinders, and you can get some oversized pistons :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Well usually a rod will spin before a main will so most of the time as long as you dont throw a rod through the block ot is salvageable. Im not saying mains have never spun before because it happens but the mains are oiled before the rods so the rods usually go first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Fwiw when my ringland went there were little chunks of piston and ring in the oil pan but that would be regular looking silver metal. Bearings are gold and sparkly in the oil. The bearings in our stock turbo are the same as engine bearings so if your oil is sparkly but your not knocking it could be a turbo.
I have ordered an oil analysis kit, but I do not want to drain my oil until I get the sterile containers. I plan to remove the oil pan and try to sift through the oil with a magnet for any metals, and finally strain with cheese cloth. If I cant uncover my problem on my own, the analysis will surely tell me what I need to know.

In other news, I tried running the car with the oil filler cap off, and there was no smoke rising from the oil cap. I read that having smoke is a tell tale sign of ring land failure, so having no smoke certainly restored a little hope for a salvageable block.

In addition, I have not red lined the car, or let the oil drop to a dangerous level since I had the system flushed. Because of this, I remain hopeful that the block will be salvageable and easily rebuilt with forged internals. If the block is wasted, I will just find a cheep OEM shortblock. My power goals aren't any higher than 350 so it will serve my purposes fine... I think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Good luck, I think you can get a 257 shortblock for about $1700+$100 shipping from some of the subie web dealers... check it out...

you have many options, rebuild yours, buy a new oem shortblock, buy a stage 1 or 2 shortblock...

you have to decide which route you want to take, I'd say get either a oem or stage 1 shortblock and keep your block for a rebuild in the future...

EDIT: when you say 350 do you mean WHP or HP?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
Well usually a rod will spin before a main will so most of the time as long as you dont throw a rod through the block ot is salvageable. Im not saying mains have never spun before because it happens but the mains are oiled before the rods so the rods usually go first.


True, I forgot about rods usually spinning first.

That's prolly your "best" scenario. Brand new crank = $350, bearings = $160, and forged rods = $500 (forged pistons = up to you, but highly recommended at this point), than a thorough dis-assembly, cleaning, and reassembly with whatever else you wanna upgrade :tup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Yup, and thats why I dont remove the banjo bolt screens. Because if you remove them and spin a bearing bye bye turbo and cam gears (real bummer if you have dual avcs)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Same thing happened to my motor. Got metal shavings in everything. Turbo, heads, oil cooler, u always need new sprockets (230 x 4 each) blah blah. Cost me a shit ton
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
6k motor (from killer b oil pan to manley pistons to machined heads)
2k labor (old motor out, new one hand built and installed)
5k parts (oil cooler, power steering pump, gates timing belt, sprockets)
5k upgraded parts (dom 1.5xt-r, turbosmart hypergate, 1000cc inj, clutch masters FX400 clutch)
misc included in price above (tax, protune etc)

blah
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top