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How to find a bullet-proof Subaru 2.5 non oil drinker
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: How to find a bullet-proof Subaru 2.5 non oil drinker Reply with quote

I searched, I'm sure this was covered, but I gave up after the first 10 pages. There was a recent thread on finding a cheap 2.2 but that is the opposite of what I want.

I want to make sure I get a very solid subaru engine the first time and spending what I have to is ok. My last 2.5 used a lot of oil and I don't want one of those again. The first one, JDM the rod bearings started to come apart. I also want to make sure I don't get one that had any damage caiuse by head gasket failure.

I need a whole donor car anyway, so I am looking at used cars. I am not looking for anything from a junkyard or wrecker, or even a business. I am beginning not to trust everything I hear.

So how can I make sure I get a good one this time? I am thinking a used subaru car that I can drive for a while with a relatively low mile (around 100K) or one w/ a previously rebuilt engine, say 70K miles. I've seen some in the $3500 range when they are beat up looking, like the hail damage we get here or some non engine related issue. This way I can drive the car for a while and make the motor is basically perfect.

I see some dead subarus cheap that I could pull all the donor stuff from and either have that motor rebuilt or buy a rebuilt motor. Also wondering if a brand new short block is a good option? I see non driving donor cars come up with bad engine and or tranny for well under $1000.

I want to stick with 2000-2004 SOHC 2.5. They may be harder to come by, but they are out there if you have time and I only need one.

Your suggestions and pros/cons are much appreciated. Having problems with 2 prior motors, I really want to avoid that this time. Thx, Dave
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wasserbox
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call these guys. Tell them what you want. Go pick it up.

http://www.superrupair.com/
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Farfrumwork
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superupair is a good source, Blotz bought a 00-04 SOHC motor form them last year (with harness). Not sure what he paid, but it was a decent deal.

Also consider a rebuild from Ken Welter. He would install new bearings, pistons, rings, ARP head studs, STi oil pump, etc..... which makes for a MORE bullet proof motor than stock.

I have one of his 'built' DOHC motors that I run with a EJ22 ECU/harness. So far, so good!
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, you could give these guys a call. They have numerous engines in stock and can find you one quickly. I went back with the bulletproof EJ22 but had a full rebuild with some suggested better bearings and other parts.

http://www.jdmengineswapdepot.com/
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Subaru still sells new EJ25 shortblocks.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, called SuperRupair and waiting for a call back. They said they put you on a waiting for when an appropriate donor car comes in. Still a little nervous about getting one from a business. Well see what they say.

The other ones are just engine places, so you are saying buy the cheap non driving donor for the harness, etc.

The brand new short block is tempting vs a rebuilt engine. Any idea what the cost difference after the heads are installed from the donor motor? I'd probably have what the heads inspected/repaired at a professional shop.
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vanis13
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very easy to rebuild one you get.

I did my complete rebuild - valves, main bearing, pistons, etc, for less than $1,000 including outsourcing the machining.

The trick was going local on the shop work and finding on-line subi dealers that sell the OEM gasket kits at good prices (PM if you go that direction)

The engine shop work was done while I did my own harness, tranny flange seals, etc.

It was fun.
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I can send you the capacitor to Fix/prevent Vanagon Syndrome and/or smooth out idle - See here - http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5445671#5445671
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a local Subaru speed shop rering my EJ25 and I just drove 1300 miles to Key West with no discernable oil consumption. 😃. Prior trips would have used a quart or more. The shop said the old rings were clogged with carbon. We'll see how this rering job holds up. So if you buy anything used be sure to open up the top end and check the condition of the rings.
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Join the Vanagon Rescue Squad on the VanAlert app.
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanis13 wrote:
very easy to rebuild one you get.
That's good then it won't cost much to have a professional do it. Very Happy

Same thing for re-ringing it. In my quest for a reliable problem free engine, I am better off not doing the work myself.
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off topic, but didn't you have a 1.8T before??
Why the change to a Subaru, inquiring minds want to know??
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rubbachicken
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you have a man in your home town that could find or build you exactly what you need.
i can't think of his business name Embarassed

rocky mountain westy, go see mike, i'm sure he'll put you in the right direction
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dave:

The main reason used Subaru engines in Vanagons sometimes are oil burners is the rings. The second reason, not nearly as common, is valve stem seals.

These engines often sit, unused and not run, for many months before someone purchases them for a swap or otherwise. In that timeframe, there is ample opportunity for the rings to virtually glue themselves to the ring grooves in the pistons as a result of the various chemicals in the old (usually dino) oil, existing carbon, varnish from all the cold-start-short-runs, etc.

Being horizontal engines, gravity does not drain this awful witch's brew away from the rings and into the crankcase. The ring to groove clearances are slightly tighter on the Subaru pistons compared to the WBX new spec (0.02 mm compared to 0.03 mm). The Subaru piston skirts are much shorter than WBX skirts, and the gas-ported pistons allow more gunk into the ring grooves.

The factory does an excellent job of piston and ring matching and ring break in. It is hard to re-ring and get the factory results. Honing and re-ringing are, in my opinion, a poor choice on these engines.

Instead, a great solution is to add the maximum amount allowable of Yamaha Ring Free to your gasoline and watch your oil consumption drop and your compression improve. This product is excellent and was created for two-stroke engines that create a lot more carbon than four-strokes, but it works beautifully I four strokes.

If you buy a running Subie car with good compression and no significant oil consumption, leave the rings alone. If the Subie uses oil, try the Yamaha Ring Free fix first, before trying a ring job.

All the used Subaru engines, no matter the mileage, (excluding, obviously, a two or three year old 30,000 mile engine) should have the head gaskets replaced. Doing it yourself means it gets done right, not the sloppy Subaru dealer spec replacement, which actually involves using a whizzy wheel to "surface" the gasket mating area on the head. See for yourself:

http://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-repair/
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rubbachicken
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've just looked online to see how much the parts cost, for the short block, i'm surprised, very affordable
main bearings, big end bearings and piston rings, and a full engine gasket set for under $325 shipped
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kalispell365
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,
Ive covered this in here a bunch...youre going to need to do rings even if you get a 15K motor, the torque curve/ rpm in a Vanagon is completely different than a Subaru and 99 percent will burn oil even if they didn't in the Subaru donor. I have built literally hundreds of these motors, its all I know. Its what feeds my family.

Accept this up front and have someone do rings in any used motor and you will thank yourself.
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Last edited by kalispell365 on Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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climber2377
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i started the search too... i went to craigs list and ebay first... i have an automatic 96 subaru 2.5 but it is 260+ on the clock... it had head gaskets done at about 125 and i have had it for 2 timing belts... the oil changes itself as i like to say... just add it as it goes down and change the fiter every few months. i m caught between using it as a donor and rebuilding the engine so it is back to zero and finding a manual shift with the idea that i might get the tranny in there somehow later in the future as well. either way i m sure i ll do engine work before it goes in the VW. keep us posted of what you do.
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mack00
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good option if you live close to there locations.
http://www.copart.com/us/home.html
I'm lucky having four locations within 75 miles. I waited for a running low mile car. You can go to the yard and hear it run. I had winning bid and had it delivered that afternoon for $50. Good luck.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalispell365 wrote:
Dave,
Ive covered this in here a bunch...youre going to need to do rings even if you get a 15K motor, the torque curve/ rpm in a Vanagon is completely different than a Subaru and 99 percent will burn oil even if they didn't in the Subaru donor. I have built literally hundreds of these motors, its all I know. Its what feeds my family.

Accept this up front and have someone do rings in any used motor and you will thank yourself.


That's interesting and a little disconcerting. My 1st choice (I thought) was to buy a used car with lowish miles and drive it until I was sure it didn't burn oil, ran great, and had good compression. Now even if I do that, you're saying it will still burn oil unless I have the engine worked on beforeit goes in the van. Bummer.
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalispell365 wrote:
Dave,
Ive covered this in here a bunch...youre going to need to do rings even if you get a 15K motor, the torque curve/ rpm in a Vanagon is completely different than a Subaru and 99 percent will burn oil even if they didn't in the Subaru donor. I have built literally hundreds of these motors, its all I know. Its what feeds my family.

Accept this up front and have someone do rings in any used motor and you will thank yourself.


I would agree. My last EJ22 always used oil. It got bad and was using a quart every 700 miles.

The new one has over 4000 miles and does not use a drop.

kalispell knows his stuff. I probably could have gotten away with just rings again in mine. But it was approaching 10 years and 200k miles. Time to retire...
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alaskadan
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive got an oil drinking 2.5. It had 47k on it when i got it. Funny, prior to swap i researched for 6 to 7 months and really didnt read much about this common problem. I really had hoped not to work on this engine any time soon.
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WLD*WSTY
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalispell365 wrote:
...youre going to need to do rings even if you get a 15K motor


Would you care to explain exactly why this would be? It's hard to believe that Subaru became the prime engine of choice for Vanagon conversions if it were true.
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