Installing the WRX Engine

Update by Alan Cesar to the Subaru Impreza WRX project car
Jun 28, 2013

It's not quite a one-man job, but it's close. Our associate editor's fiancee, Zoe Bowman, helped with photography and lent a hand at several stages in this engine build.
The final detail: Maxima Racing Oil's Break-In formulation served as our first crankcase fill.
The culprit: a torn turbo inlet hose.
Our replacement: this bright green piece from Fuku Works.

Installing an engine’s not often a one-man job, but on this Subaru, it’s pretty close. With some help and encouraging words from his fiancee, our associate editor got the engine mounted to the transmission, and proceeded to bolt on the accessories and manifolds. Take note: Cast iron exhaust manifolds are heavy, which makes them difficult to install when you’re laying on your back underneath the car.

The final detail before starting it up, of course, is engine oil. We chose Maxima Racing Oil‘s break-in formulation for our first several hundred miles.

After buttoning it all up, we hit the road for Hyperfest.

But wait, what caused the whole thing to blow up in the first place? It was a confluence of factors.

A torn turbo inlet hose let in unmetered air, which caused a lean mixture. We can blame our burned exhaust valve seats and that one badly cracked valve on the lean mixture alone. Combined with an aggressive tune, leaning it out caused severe detonation on this tired, 200,000-mile engine. Detonation explains the hammered rod bearings and bent crank. Oil starvation explains the spun bearings and damage to the mains.

We replaced that inlet hose with a high-quality piece from Fuku Works. It’s strong and thick, and will likely never tear like the stock one.

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View comments on the GRM forums
belteshazzar UberDork
6/30/13 8:44 a.m.

fiancee'? woo hoo!

jstein77 SuperDork
9/9/13 11:45 a.m.

Now there's a brand name that can be an insult if you say it wrong.

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