Oh no! Timing idler pulley broken, engine is all messed up.

Discussion in 'Modifications And Maintenance' started by mcblum, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    So my 2002 Subaru is potentially on its last leg. Repair bill is $3,500 at JM to do the valve job. I had the timing belt replaced around 90,000 miles but it's possible he didn't do the pulleys, which they have told me is something that would have saved this.

    The body of this car isn't in great shape because it's an outside car, but it's not going to rust out in the next year, either. I'm not sure whether to fix it or not or if there's any cheaper way to do this.

    Car has 110,000 miles and a new transmission at 90,000 miles as well. Probably needs suspension as well. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    I would try to just find a replacement longblock engine out of an 02-05 WRX or find a JDM spec EJ205 (check ebay). In either case make sure to get proof of good compression. If you go the JDM route, you'll have to swap a couple of cam gears, the crank timing gear, and maybe a couple other small things (I haven't researched it much). Either can be had for around $1k and might even be able to find one with like a 90 day warranty on it.

    If you go either route, it might be a good idea to do the timing belt and components prior to install just for piece of mind.

    If you have the tools required and a little know-how, this would be the route I would go. Otherwise what JM quoted you seems about right for a complete engine tear down, valve job, reassemble, etc. Labor and machining isn't cheap.
     
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  3. Fienix
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    Fienix Well-Known Member

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    Do you want to keep the car or fix it and turn it? As Joe said, used engine replacement will probably be cheapest.
     
  4. JasonoJordan
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    JasonoJordan Well-Known Member

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    Do you owe anything on the car? Do you have a 2nd car?
     
  5. idget
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    idget Want to pokéman? PM ShortytheFirefighter Staff Member

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    Even doing it yourself is going to be around $1000... Assuming you have the tools (hoist, jack, stands, cam tool, basic mechanics toolbox is another $500 on the cheap cheap).

    Bare minimum you need
    Master gasket kit $200
    Timing belt kit $250
    Oil/filter/coolant $40
    Then heads or block:

    If you buy refurbed heads or have yours fixed, figure another $4-750 depending. Plus a lot of time cleaning up the block deck.

    So if looking for a longblock like Joe mentioned, use the cost (monetary, labor, and down time) as a metric.

    I'm in a similar situation. I was the buyer of a car like yours. Locally, longblocks range from $500-3000 and real solid deals have been hard to find for me.

    This is a wrx? Got pics? Mod list? Might be able to get a couple/few grand for it as is.
     
  6. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    @joebush44 that's a great idea, however, I most definitely can't pull that engine swap off by myself. I have neither the tools nor the know-how for a job that big.

    @Fienix honestly, I want to keep driving it. I love that car, and it's beat up but that's because it's been well loved but also lives outside since we only have one parking spot. I could justify $1,000, but I can't justify $3,500 because even after it was fixed, it's probably only worth $4k or so.

    @JasonoJordan nope, car has been paid off for 10 years or so. It's been fantastic up until now. My wife has a car, but she needs it for the kids. I was driving my Vespa but since it has now snowed, that's the end of that until the roads are totally clear.

    @idget yeah I'm like 99% sure I can't pull this job off. I can do things like breaks, belts, etc... but not engines. I'll grab some pics after I get it back from JM -- I'm not sure where to tow it, actually :) It's totally stock, it's been my daily for 15 years.
     
  7. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    I say, if you love it, drop a motor in it and keep her living! Sure, it will be upside down and nobody will give you what you have into it. But who cares!? You will drive it for another 10 years. :)

    You can throw a motor in it for $3500, or go in debt to buy a newer one. If it’s paid off and has been for ten years, how much has it cost you in those ten years to operate? If you’ve basically been driving an automobile for 10 years without dropping significant money into it, then you can figure-10 years divided by $3500 is $350/year for it to put the new motor in.

    Given, it will need other things as it progresses in years. I say motor swap it!!
     
  8. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    @tangledupinblu I don't think it will even be upside down, honestly. I've owned the car for 15 years and I've spent probably $3,000 on maintenance in that time. The rest I did myself. The car was original $14k, so that would make it $17k to maintain, $21k with the new engine. After that, all of the major pieces have been fixed so I should hopefully be set. If it lasts 5 years more with the new engine, that would be 20 years for $21k -- slightly more than $1k per year to drive the car. I think that sounds reasonable, right?

    Also when you say drop a new motor in, do you mean have it fixed or actually find a new motor?
     
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  9. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    I mean that if you go to sell a car with a blue book value of $1,750 with a motor that you just spent $3,500 on, you will probably not recoup the engine money fully. If you KEEP it, you fully recoup it all because it’s value is no longer pertinent information.

    I’d have Jesse at JM either rebuild the block or source a different engine for you. I can tell you that a brand new shortblock from the dealership would set you back about $3k. Then you’d have the labor of the install. Used, good motor would/should cost substantially less.
     
  10. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    @tangledupinblu Yep, you're right. I didn't realize it was worth that little, even working. Man I wish I could just find a 2004 wagon to buy or something :)

    If I keep it, which I would totally do because I don't want to sell it, I love that car, my only worry is that I'd end up throwing good money after bad. The engine gets repaired and it lasts for 5 years? Worth it. Something else breaks? Now I'm forced to either 1) double down or 2) abandon ship after the $3,500 repair bill.

    I hate these kinds of decisions, honestly. If you know of anyone with an older wagon, I'm in the market I think :)
     
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  11. EricS
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    EricS Nooberator Staff Member

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  12. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    @EricS what would that mean exactly? They make sure the engine is working and the JM installs it?
     
  13. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Yus, to answer for Eric. You could also go junkyarding. But a “known running/operational” block would be ideal
     
  14. jmyhre05
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    jmyhre05 Well-Known Member

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    Just heads up on the cheap JDM motors. First thing is I do not know what kind of regulations or testing that is required with selling used engines imported over, but we see these have a higher failure rate. They are still 15 years old with unknown maintenance history, unknown storage history, and unknown wear and tear.

    Unfortunately we have seen people install ones with major head gasket leaks shooting out coolant when cranking, worn exhaust valves, and spin bearings soon after... and too high of a rate on the last item.

    The cost is the same to buy a used JDM motor with all the unknowns and get it installed as it is to completely rebuild the heads back to OEM spec and use the perfectly good ej205 shortblock you have and know the history on. We just have seen too many JDM ej205s fail and a high rate for numerous reasons. If the engine was not taken care of, burns oil, or has other concerns then that could be worth the risk. But not if it was likely healthy.

    The EJ207s are generally pretty reliable but much more expensive. And at that rate a built 2.5 hybrid is the same price with more torque/hp and stronger still.

    Hard risk though is sticking that kind of money into a car and have something else go bad later on or be committed to other maintenance that may be due (clutch, suspension, brakes, tires, etc...). Tough call. Ones we hate giving advice or persuasion on. But I will say in this situation stay away from the cheap jdm motors unless your going to get a EJ207 or one someone ran for awhile after shipping and storage with good luck.
     
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  15. EricS
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    EricS Nooberator Staff Member

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    I trust JM's experience! Thanks for sharing that. I've just heard decent things about that one particular importer, that's the only reason I brought it up.
     
  16. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I really appreciate this, too. Thanks JM et al. I think that she has been a wonderful car and I was lucky to know her and now it's time to move on. It's so awesome that this forum and this community exists, especially for people like me who don't know as much as we should.
     
  17. idget
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    idget Want to pokéman? PM ShortytheFirefighter Staff Member

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    If you need help tearing the car down and parting it out, I'm happy to help. Not trying to be a vulture here but there are a number of parts I'm interested in and I'm sure you can recoup at least a grand from the shortblock, heads, intake manifold, turbo, trans, brakes, wheels, dash, seats, etc... pm me if interested.
     
  18. mcblum
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    mcblum Well-Known Member

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    @idget hey! I sold it for a grand today. Unfortunately just don't have the time at the moment and since we live downtown, also don't have the space to let it sit while we get all of this figured out. I appreciate your reply and if I had seen it sooner, perhaps! I'm sad, that was my first real car, but such is life.
     
  19. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    Damn... Somebody just got a sweet deal.
     

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