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Old 03-14-2011, 11:26 AM
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Rebuild or Short Block my subaru 2.5DOHC

I have a clean (extra Clean) 98 Subaru Legacy 120K. Used engines are 900-1300 with a 100K. Mine has a rod knock at cold start for 3-5 secs. Its not piston slap casuse it knocks at no load too (between shifts or whenever I free rev hold up and down the rev range its silent)

I can rebuild mine for 1000 (turned crank, new pistons bored block) Topline components brand guy said he sells 20-30 a yr without complaints.

Or I can buy a subaru short block (no warranty from another dealer its been on the shelf for 6-12 months) its a simple Short Block, crank rods pistons still wrapped.

with a new oil pump gaskets and getting my heads cut its 1650.


Is a factory short worth 650??? I have 4 cars so being down one doesn't hurt plus I work for a car dealer (not subaru)


These are PITA to reassemble ive seen though the guys that do em regularly say they're easy as pie once you learn the secrets.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:26 PM
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The fgactory short is well worth the 650, if it is a factory short.
I put one in a turbo model a while back and that one was 1650 our cost (because of forged internals)
The soobies are pretty easy once you see one apart. You will like it.
They are pretty simple.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:24 PM
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I agree with using a short block if it's a factory version. They are a PITA to work on while in the car because of the boxer design and lack of real wrench swing room, but out, no different then any other metric car. Just make sure you can get the right gaskets and timing belts before doing the project. I used Fel-Pro the last time I had one apart and was much happier then using the OEM stuff that was a LOT more expensive for less pieces.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:32 PM
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Let me throw another step into the process.

In the last 4 weeks I have done 4 sets of head gaskets on Subaru 2.5's for myself and my co worker in and out with heads is 3-4 hours. Barring we have a spare set of 2.5 heads ready to install. Otherwise the base flattening takes a couple hours depending on the machine shop.

To pull this thing out it ll take me 45-1 hour. Its a VA car No rust and its mine, so its at work on a hoist in a heated shop.

The Short Block is a genuine subaru part. It is a Crank Rods and pistons assembled no pan, gaskets, oil pump. It was purchased at a dealer then sold to a non subaru dealer and left sitting hence no warranty I was told it is clean, and its only a few months old. Problem is subaru is sellign only short block hybrids, with pan pump screen and waterpump, techs' bolt on heads and go. they've been doing this for a few yrs now, and I am worried the guy is lying to me. (dealer wholesale cost for my yr is 2325)

THe rebuild is new pistons, bearings, bore, the works.

The Short is quick and painless.


I am leaning on the rebuild side because eventually I will have another one to do and I might as well learn on my nickle instead of a customers.

Also I have owned and sold 3 subaru's in the past ten days. bought this and another one to fix. Bought one needing head gaskets and sold it to my boss for a 750 dollar profit without doing anything.


I am on the fence Ironically my wife said i should build it and that she was fine if I did it at home.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:18 PM
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We have a place here just a few miles up the road that has a wharehouse full of used subaru parts. Its all they do. she has probably 50 engines of various types.2.2 2.5 dohc sohc etc.
I can give you her no. if you like.
I would opt for the shortie but you do what you think is best, If you plan on getting into subarus it may be handy to have an outlet for used engines and also to have a new reman on hand of the more popular ones.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:47 PM
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BTW the shortie we got straight from subaru didnt have an oil pump or pan or windage trays etc.
It came in a little box that was easy to carry, it was about the size of a small microwave
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:55 PM
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The number would be great. I am not necessarily getting into subies but I like to stick to one brand for a while.

I used to do a lot of taurus's when I was in GR. MI but jap cars sell better and blown up Hondas are still way to expensive to rebuild.

I still go back and forth. I'm goign to pull the motor and tear it down tomorrow night if the crank and cylinders are in good shape I'm prbably goign to turn the crank. Let my shop hone the bores and reuse the pistons if its smoked I will buy the shortie.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:21 PM
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Well if you're rebuilding your you might as well add some go fast parts as well.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:48 PM
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After you have done it once, you can have the engine out of one of those in less than an hour.

Just a side note, a lot of the 98 and 99's made noise on startup. There was an issue with oil drain back if I remember correctly.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:39 PM
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Go fast parts, If it were a GT 5spd wagon maybe but not a auto, outback model. Not to mention a forged crank runs 2000-3000 and forged pistons are 700-1200 a set.


This noise isn't only at startup Tbucket its between shifts, and at free neutral rev it rapppps ocasionally. I am familiar with the piston slap startup. Subaru USA said in its tech bulletin that it would effect engine life by less than 10% I am not the lucky type.

Hoping though a crank turn and 90 in bearings from the dealer will get me rollin again. I will post pics of the tear down. most likely.
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