Dez’s 08 WRX Motor build

Back in September we were contacted by a customer who had run into some problems with his motor and now the car was undriveable.  He took it to a dealership first. First they took the motor out of the car. Then they cracked into the motor and tore the whole thing down. Intake manifold off heads stripped from the block etc. Cause of the blown motor was oil starvation. They quoted him an exorbitant amount of money for a motor rebuild 9-10 thousand dollars all said and done. Tell me my 3 year old car needs to have 10 grand dumped into it I’ll probably laugh at you too.

The customer decided right then and there he would not be having this dealership rebuild his car. He made them aware of this and they boxed everything up and sent him on his way. He contacted us and a few other places and decided that we were the best fit for him based on budget time and quality of service. He contacted a tow service and had the car and the box transported to the AJW Performance facility for a full motor overhaul. 

Now we’ve done a few of these motor builds before where a customer takes it to the dealership and realizes there is no way they will pay that kind of money when there are more cost effective options available. That’s no problem by us. The one problem though is the box of parts you receive. Think about how frustrated a dealership is that they’re losing the business how frustrated the tech is that he pulled the motor did the diagnostics and now he can’t finish the build. These boxes can be the biggest blood baths ever seen. Missing nuts and bolts missing parts altogether damaged items from being jam packed into a crate; this is just part of the fun we get to have when taking one of these jobs in.

So now with the car and engine in possession it was time for us to do what we do and that’s build a motor from the ground up to take all a lot of power. CP pistons New OEM rod and main bearings ARP head studs full oem gasket kit and all measurements taken to ensure a quality product needed to be done for this motor. Upon completion of the motor this car would also be receiving a Fast Motorsports front mount intercooler a Walbro Fuel pump and an IHI VF39 turbo. In addition some Lamin-X foglight overlays were added for some protection as well as styling on his 08 WRX.

We received the motor back from the machine shop and started off to work on putting the new motor back into it. Simple enough right? Well theres quite a bit to putting a motor back in making sure every hose is connected properly each bolt fastened to the right place and connecting electrical connectors to give the motor power. Also since we added a front mount intercooler we needed to trim the bumper and mock up where each pipe goes before tightening the hose clamps. On this 08 WRX you can keep the foglights with the FMS FMIC. Let me tell you this kit fits really well and with the upgraded coated intercooler piping it looks great too! Finally button everything up and add oil to the car.

Next step with a freshly built motor is to build some oil pressure and make sure everything gets lubricated. Pistons turbos they all need oil to function. Don’t want to try and start a brand new motor with no lube! Then we reinstall the coilpacks and spark plugs and get ready to start her up.

Start this one up and instantly we knew this motor would not meet our standards. This one would never be seen by the customer. At this point it is 1am on Friday we have a meet in about 8 hours and we are on a course to leave a customer extremely upset. We hate this fact. Nothing makes our business but our customers. If they aren’t happy we are not happy. What do you do in this situation? Give up? Call it a night and then spend another 2 months rebuilding it? Well we are AJW Performance we strive to take great care of our customers even if it means sacrificing the motor from our shop car the unborn child of AJW. Imagine giving away your child?

The decision was instant. We went to work again at 1 am pulling the bad motor out of the 08 and then pulling the new motor out of the project car. Finishing up the bulk of the work around 7am we decided to take a break for a little bit. Get an hours worth of rest before the event and come back in. We spent the morning and early afternoon getting stuff finished up and finally started this thing up! She purrs like a dream! Andrew shed a tear just hearing his baby run. Although it was probably a tear out of sadness. Shut the car off. Change the oil. Add a basemap to the car for break in and shes ready to go! We averted the danger of an unhappy customer gave him a better motor and kept it to the price originally quoted before we jumped into the build. Now if that isn’t customer service well I’m not sure what is.

Stay tuned for results on the final protune after the 1000 mile break in period.

Engine Building- November 7 2011

Since we’ve been taking on more and more motor builds I decided it was time to make a nice blog post that describes everything that must be done while a motor build is being completed. We have some of the best techs motor builders and tuners that work closely with AJW Performance to build the strongest most reliable quality motor possible for our customers. It all starts with the customer service. Right off the bat we will introduce ourselves and get as much information possible about the motor you already have whether is a running motor that you want built for full race duty or a tired motor that needs new life. We like to find out your overall goals and purposes for the car. This will help us in deciding the best parts combinations for you and also is the start of building a fully comprehensive price quote.

Plan of attack is figured out. Parts are decided upon. And you’ve agreed to have us start open heart surgery on your Subaru. Some things to know motors have a lot of moving parts. The full motor needs to be broken down piece by piece so that we know what were working with. Some of the bare essentials that we recommend anytime a motor is opened: Full oem Gasket kit and ARP headstuds. No use in reassembling the heart of your car with bad seals. We ensure that every motor is built to be as reliable as humanly possible that being said we will not cut corners. If something needs to be done it is done. ARP headstuds are some of the best fasteners produced. With turbocharged vehicles the combination of heat and boost will weaken the holding capabilities of your stock studs to the point that you have the possibility of splitting the head from the rest of the block with out new head studs. Also with the Subaru motors pistons are the biggest breaking point. Forged pistons will give you greater durability and more power throughout the spectrum of your cars powerband.

About some of the things we do while your motor is opened up. Check valves. Make sure that nothing is bent. We look for excessive pitting and sunken valves warping in the block valve lash check valve clearances measure buckets and shims. Hone and cleanup the motor if need be. Measure for pistons plus more. This is a time consuming thing because we want to make sure every aspect of the motor is looked at to ensure reliability as well as safely hold the amount of power you are after. If something is questionable we will give you a call and inform you of what needs to happen. Say for example one rod is clearly bent. We will recommend replacing all four. To us it is not worth it have the motor open replace the one clearly bent rod and have a slight variation in one of the other rods that could have been deemed fine cause another blow out. It’s our reputation and our name on the line. Once all the measurements are done its time to make sure all the proper parts are ordered and the engine is prepped for rebuild.

Once your motor has been reassembled we will begin to reinstall it into your vehicle. Make sure everything is hooked up and then fill it up with oil. Prime the motor make sure oil is circulating throughout and let her warm up. Once the motor is warm we will take your car for a test drive to ensure that the car is 100 percent ready for you to drive home. We wont let anything leave unless we deem it perfect.