A Tale of Two Engines

Well this is a bit embarrassing. Last weekend I was staring at my engine parts, vowing to call a motor shop on Monday and just have them deal with it! You see there’s two problems with this motor.

A. I don’t know modern fuel injected, emissions required, turbocharged engines all that well. They have a lot of hoses and wires… Having worked mostly on 60s motors, then on motorcycles… those have a lot less hoses and a lot less extra stuff. Now that is on me. I’ve been trying, but it’s a lot to learn all at once. Especially because the turner community for WRX’s has done so much amazing stuff over the years it’s hard to parse it as a full body of work.

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1. Speaking of the tuner community I bought as a partial project. I always knew that would bite me… it’s a lesson learned by everyone who sees a cheap project. It looks halfway done, but that means you just have to unbolt that half to make sure it was done correctly. This one was a 2.0 l motor with performance parts, it then blew a head gasket. He got a new bottom end with forged pistons, etc and more performance parts… So now I have two short blocks, but only two sets of heads, I have two turbos, and a single intake manifold, and as I discovered this weekend I don’t have some crucial coolant crossover pipes. I finally identified the fuel lines…they’re aftermarket. I’m missing some hose for the crankcase breather and the 2.5l has an extra breather nipple.

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Stock WRX turbo, AVO 380 Turbo, Perrin Fuel lines and manifolds, AVO and Perrin? inlet hoses, two intercoolers, an STI missing crossover pipes and a normal one that has them. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but I only know the rough shape of the finished product, and I have extra pieces, and pieces from other jigsaw puzzles, and I’m missing pieces… and my rivet gun broke since I’m already whining about stuff.

Thing is though… that’s the most progress I’ve made on this motor in 6 months! I’m so happy about it! Sure I’ve got a handful of things to order or source. Mostly hose and some fittings to adapt to the new block. How did I solve this incredible conundrum!? I… bought another motor… and I’m slowly disassembling and taking the bits I need.

When I’m done, I’ll sell everything, like the long block off on craigslist and hope to make some of the cash back. Even simple stuff, just as I take it apart learning what the order of operations are. Which subassemblies are put together then assembled to the motor. It’s been a fascinating and delightfully addictive process. I think in total I put in more than 10-12 hours this weekend and I still felt like it was pretty leisurely.

It’s just damn exciting to get some real progress on a project I felt like was lagging behind. Might even make my goal and have the motor ready to mount to the chassis in a week or two!

Oh and I painted up the accessory brackets. Might do the same with either of the manifolds I have. I think blue’s a nice theme.

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