"Help! My engine and/or turbo just started making weird noises/won't drive/just blew up/ad nauseum whatdoido???!!?!?"
We read this just about every day. And just about everytime, we recommend the same thing: New shit. New motor, new oil pump/cooler/OCVs, and new/rebuilt turbo, at the very least.
You are about embark on an engine rebuild adventure! This will be trying, painful, and quite possibly the most expensive thing you've ever done. You will lose money, time, and maybe even your wife/gf/homosexual life partner/dog/job/virginity. Pick two, depending on your age and living situation.
But Tris, I thought bad things came in threes?
They do. The first one was your car. I'm just helping you look out for the next two.
Thanks, Freddy Foreshadowing!
It's ALWAYS Engine Rebuild season here at LGT, and to help many of you out, here's a quick list of what you'll need.
1) Brass nuts/Chutzpah/Spunk.
Reach down, give 'em a little squeeze. Now take a deep breath and sniff your fingers like Mary Catherine Gallagher. Think that's gross? Just you wait -- Engine rebuilding isn't much cleaner.
You're a man, and you were meant to do this. This is guy shit. And whether you're a seasoned wrench-turner or only used to turning tricks for tools, if you've got balls, you were born to work on a Subaru. You bought the car, you're paying for it, and you're most likely the one who broke it. Be a man, own up to it, and make it right. Remind yourself that this car didn't pick you, you didn't "end up with it"; you sought this car, you HAD TO HAVE this car, and it's your goddamn dreammobile. Maybe you just wanted to be one of the cool kids and have a turbo Subaru. Now that you have one, and you're doing this, you'll have WAYY more street cred than the 'rex and STi twats who seem to think that they're the only ones who have turbo Subarus and anything else is inferior.
You can get pretty far with a basic set of metrics. 8mm-17mm, plus 22mm, 24mm deep. 14mm 12pt for the head bolts.
T-25 Torx screwdriver for the fuel injector screws.
Things that make it easier:
Pretty self-explanatory. You just blew yours up, or it's on its way out. Either way, you're gonna need to get back and forth to work/the grocery store/Local NAPA/Machine shop. Score a beater on CL, or borrow/rent one. Way cooler than taking the bus. I'm currently rockin' a '91 Plymouth Sundance with White Tiger seatcovers and pro-'mosexual bumper stickers. My coworkers flip me shit about it all day long, but at the end of the day, it's what gets me there so I can sexually harass them all day long and that's what counts.
Some of you are young guys like me and don't have a real house with a garage or a carport. I highly advise against doing this in your apartment parking lot. It's probably expressly forbidden according to your lease agreement, and more importantly, not secure. I'm doing my rebuild in my late grandfather's garage. He's got all kinds of tools and knick-knacks readily available, and my grandma loves seeing me 3x a week. Win-win.
I hope you've got a good relationship with your local credit union, or at least, a high limit (and good APR!) on your credit card. Hopefully you've had the car for at least six months and either have good LTV, or the opportunity to refi and pull some cash out to fund this project.
I'm being realistic and honest, here: You're gonna need about $5k to do this right. Three, at the minimum, but, just remember: The Six Million Dollar man was born a mere mortal just like everyone else. . . And then they dumped like, $6mil into him and he becomes frickin' Iron Man or some shit. I don't know, didn't see it. But you do the math.
A good job/Job security.
You simply cannot do this without a decent paycheck. Kinda should be part of that last line-item, but deserves its own bit because it's so important. This rebuild project will be taking up a major portion of your life until it's done. Meaning, you'll be spending alot of time here, asking questions and looking at pictures of engines in various states of undress.
How do you know if someone's a vegan?
Don't worry, they'll tell you.
You might as well be embarking on a major weight-loss campaign -- This will consume your life and everyone will know what you're doing because you're going to talk about what you're up to. Expect some people to roll their eyes. Expect others to ask lots of questions. Expect a handful of experienced 'car guys' to try and tell you that the "Armchair/Internet Mechanics" here don't know what we're talking about and are just trying to get you to spend your money and that it's easier and/or cheaper to do what they suggest instead.
Don't listen to them.
Seriously, don't. Unless they own and have rebuilt a late-model turbo Subaru, they are talking out of an orifice just as loose and stinky as their asshole. They are disrespecting you AND the Subaru brand. Smile, nod, and tell them that you'll take their advice into consideration, and then immediately forget what they told you because it probably won't work and/or will result in you cheaping out and having to do this all over again because you wanted to save $100.
On that note -- This quickly becomes a nickel-and-dime project. After you've already spent $2-3k on your basic bits, another $100-200 becomes trivial when you think about the peace of mind, performance, or safety/reliability it will provide. It sucks, I know, but this is what it takes to do it right.
Expect your friends and relatives to think that you're insane and/or stupid to drop this kind of cash into a five to (nearly) ten year old car. Remind them that your car was $30k (or more) brand new, and, including your car note, you'll only have paid half that (or less!) and have gotten what is basically a brand-new car. Ask them if their $15k Kia/Hyundai/Ford/Civic has 250+ hp, AWD, turbo/FI @ 15-18psi, and leather seats. Make note to take them for a ride when you're done.
Company 23 Single AVCS Intake and Exhaust Cam Tools
Will run you about $100 if you order them from AmazonPrime. Or, since you're only gonna use 'em once, do like I did and drag the engine to your local Subaru shop and flip 'em a Benj to do it for you.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Get into the Regional Forums for your area and find out where all the cool kids take their cars. Hint: It's NOT the dealership. Find a Subaru-Only/Specialty shop near you and stay away from the the dealership if you can help it. You're here now, and after reading this post, you'll be more competent/qualified for the Service Writer's job than he is.
Engine Crane/Hoist and Stand
Harbor freight is your friend here, but, so are your friends. Ask around, I'm sure someone you know has a set that you can borrow. It'll save you about $300. Or buy 'em. You keep this car, and this won't be the first time you'll have to do this.
I'll start with the basics, and then I'd ask for the old-timers to help me out -- Max, Turkey, Covert, JmP6889928 -- Looking at you, fellas. I'll try my best to update the OP with parts and prices as they come in.
For new OEM stuff, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better price than Heuberger. Service is great, and prices are (nearly) unbeatable. I personally have had an incredible experience with them going well above and beyond to make sure I got what I needed from them. Buy with confidence from Heuberger. (If you call, ask for Bryce in the Parts Dept and tell him Tristan from LegacyGT says Hi!)
* New OEM shortblock
(Can be 255 or 257 -- Both nearly identical, save for the piston dish.) $1645 from Heuberger Subaru
* Master Gasket kit: PN 10105AA720
It's the OEM master gasket kit. Does it need any more explanation? $230ish from Heuberger.
I personally ordered this combo and had it shipped to my door (FedEx) for $2081. I believe that's what the price is for everybody in the lower 48. Alaska and Hawaii, sorry -- You're always gonna get the short end of the shipping stick. Expect to pay more. Canada -- I don't know. Can I get an 'Eh-men?
* Oil Cooler:
Again, from Heuberger, but from their Amazon Storefront. Did I mention that Prime is the shit?
* Oil Pump:
Amazon will try to say that neither of these will fit your 05-09 Subaru Legacy. Who you gonna believe? Shut up and buy that shit. Now.
* OCV (Oil Control Valve/Solenoid)
Originally Posted by JmP6889928
1. Machine shop will pressure test.
2. Hot tank
3. Clean the valves and inspect to make sure there is enough sealing surface on the valve itself and if not, replace.
4. Inspect the valve guides and replace if necessary.
5. Inspect the valve seats and replace if necessary.
6. Grind the valves themselves on a valve grinding machine.
7. Grind the seats with a valve seat grinder.
8. Deck the heads (gasket surface) enough without being too much-enough to make sure that they both are flat.
9. Install the valves into the head with assembly lube.
10. Install new valve stem seals on each valve.
11. Reinstall the springs onto each valve stem.
12. Insert your cams and buckets and switch buckets around until they have the valves correctly lashed as per specs.
13. Call you up to come and get them and pay them $400.00 or more, depending on exactly what else is needed.
Bring your heads (the big pieces), also the cam towers (other half of the cam slot) cams, and the little pieces on the ends. They need the cams and the cam tower bolts as well, in order to set the valves. From the Gasket Kit, bring 16 valve stem seals. (8/ea of the grey and 8/ea of the green little circles). Inspect the cam journals for excessive wear and pray that you don't need new heads. The castings alone (bare head castings are ~$500 each side!) Handle them with care. This is especially important if you've had oil contamination due to rod bearing failure or turbo failure. Foreign material will cause excessive wear and can potentially damage much of your longblock.
A turbo rebuild for a stock VF40 runs about $500 at most rebuilders. If you have damage to your center section, you cannot get away with an Ebay CHRA for $300. What did I tell you about cheaping out?
A new OEM turbo is about ~$11-1200 from the dealership, but there are plenty of options available to you from our Vendors. Ask around. Now's a great time to explore your options. Plan on $750 getting you something decent in the near-stock category.
If you're in need of a rebuild and would like to not only stay stock, but also support a forum member, send a PM to JmP6889928
. He has a few options available, from basic rebuild to upgraded wheels, and soon, ball-bearing units. I personally am running a VF40 that he rebuilt, with an upgraded billet wheel capable of 20psi. I am pleased as punch with this unit, and punch is very definitely what it's got -- even at wastegate boost levels! (~8.9psi) I'm still waiting to get tuned, so final numbers aren't available yet; however, I'm actually a little scared to run factory boost levels, which are nearly double where I'm at right now!
If I had to recommend any rebuild or upgrade to your turbo, this is it. JmP's rebuilds provide a next-level bump in power and reliability while still maintaining cost-effectiveness in terms of performance and savings. Have a chat with him (be patient with his response times -- this is a side-gig for him!) and he'll explain why your stock turbo really is the best option over a larger unit, like a VF52, or 16G, 18G, etc.
Just remember, if you want to go with a bigger turbo, you'll also need to factor in the cost of converting to top-feed injectors (new injectors, rails, TGVs, or a side-feed conversion kit), as well as a bigger TMIC, or converting to FMIC -- all of which will run you another $1500, at the very least.
This is the cheapest and easiest way to get your car back on the road. At the bare minimum, you WILL need all of these things. Doing this yourself will save you ~$2k in labor costs. Estimate to add that much if you decide you don't have brass nuts and/or aren't really a man and can't/won't do this yourself. That said, it'll be done in a week or less at a shop. If you're like me and take your time, plan on at least a month, maybe three.
Start a build thread, ask questions. We're happy to help!
~$3500. Leave room of ~$250 for fluids, etc.
Originally Posted by Max Capacity
odds and ends.
Make sure you have PB Blaster and anti-seize compound. Spray all the nuts & bolts before you try and remove them. Apply anti-seize to all nuts and bolts before you install them. Yes, even lug nuts.
Have a supply of common hardware nuts bolts washers, screw type clamps, or know where to go to get them. (Extra 10mm (M6x1.0, 1.25 x 20-25mm) nuts and bolts, especially, as they tend to get lost the most, also 12 and 14mm -- M8 and M10, respectively, if you're going to order fasteners from somewhere.)
Have 2 gallons of coolant on hand, I also had enough oil and filters for the first four oil changes. The first oil change comes after 20 minutes of run time. Next one at 500 miles, (some say to do it at 150) then the after the next 1000 miles, then another 1000, That's when I went to synthetic oil.
Have a plan so you have an idea of whats coming.
This also assumes that your turbo inlet is good (which it probably isn't, see "Extras" below.) and that you haven't broken anything during the teardown. Plan on another $250 in misc parts. (Like cam gear bolts! $40 from TurnIn Concepts
Looking for more power? Wanna "kick it up a notch" while you're there?
Let's go Stage 2!
You'll need the above PLUS:
Replace the stock with any three-bolt variant of an 07+ OEM unit (Commonly referred to as an "STi Takeoff") or your choice of aftermarket. ($100+) You really can't go wrong here unless you leave the stock on there.
Cobb, Invidia, CNT -- Go with Catted, though. Catless isn't any better for HP, and certainly doesn't do you any good if you've got to get smogged at some point. Love Mother Nature and get the hi-flow catted version. Runs about ($500-700 Brand new; can be found used for $250-$400)
Apparently CNT stands for Cat Not There -- Find CNT DPs, UPs, and CBEs here
Personally, I use Cobb, but, there are tons of other options. See the Vendor tab at the top.
This is stuff that's not necessarily needed, but is nice to have/reasonable upgrade/helps along the way -
*Group N Engine Mounts
I looked around and found the best deal on them from Flatirons Tuning
NOTE: You will need at least two extra M6x1.0 hex nuts to install these.
Also recommend the pitchstop rod for the 5EAT crowd, and of course, the 5MT/6MT mounts for the manual folks -
FWIW, people can't say enough good things about these mounts -- The added NVH is marginal, and for the most part, not noticeable by many; the improvement to handling and response is very much noticeable over stock and is widely touted as one of the basic and best "bang for your buck" mods.
*Killer B Oil Pickup
Can be had from Amazon (see a trend here?) for ~$170.
also makes a pickup for us, though I only know of a few people who run it. It's about half the price of the KB.
Or, you can get a new stock one for ~$20.
I wouldn't necessarily call these bits "extras", as depending on your MY, your pickup tube may be defective and need to be replaced anyway. No matter which you choose, I suggest replacing the pickup tube when running a fresh block.
* Turbo Inlet
Your stock one is likely ten years old by now, and showing its age. It can be the cause of boost leaks, and, if left unchecked, bigger issues can arise from running with a defective one.
I personally went with a
inlet I bought used from another member here, however, there's much debate on the effectiveness of aftermarket inlets, and some choose to replace with an OEM unit. Your call.
Every good engine build has these. Much, much easier to install than the OEM head bolts, with their in-n-out, torque to here, then turn 45 degrees while standing on one foot and reciting The Preamble. Turn 'em in, make 'em nice and tight, then it's 30-60-90-90 on the nuts and you're done.
These babies are NIIIICE. Double thick exhaust and turbo gaskets are not only extra protection, but they're from Grimmspeed, so you know they're hella legit.
(Pasted directly from the GS website
While you CAN run without either of the intake gaskets, I chose to use the gaskets recommended by GS:
These little gaskets felt flimsy and kinda jelly. To me, this means they'll seal really well. I ended up using this particular gasket on both sides at the final install. Toss or donate the metal and rubber one that comes in your gasket kit.
I'm personally running the 8mm version of the phenolic spacers, and, honestly, I can't really tell a difference, since I don't have an accurate "before" comparison. However, for the ~$80 I spent on them, it's nice to think that my intake temps are just cold enough to prevent detonation. Note: I'm still running a stock TMIC, and, even with these spacers, I don't have fitment issues due to height or hoodscoop clearance.
K&N Panel Filter:
is a pretty basic bolt-on deal. Some may experience issues with MAF readings or rough running due to oil from the filter getting on the MAF and screwing with the readings. This should be easily remedied with some MAF cleaner.
If you find yourself often taking your TMIC off, putting it back on, taking it off, putting back on again. . . You might need this gasket. Infinitely reuseable, it's made of silicon and aluminium, which helps it seal very nicely. Great to have, even if you don't take your TMIC off often. (say that three times fast!)