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.

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