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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dear Subaru brothers.... I'm installing a JDM replacement motor and I wanted opinions on a few things before I pull the trigger.
1. I am planing to replace ALL the fluids in the car during the swap. All the Drive train, brakes, power steering fluid, cooling...bumper to bumper. Going to use Subaru OEM trans fluid and Mobile 1 in the engine.
Here is where I need opinions from all of you....
I see lots of blown head gasket posts and the overheating issues that go with them. While the JDM engine is out I'm replacing all the gaskets and resealing points where leaks commonly develop. Timing chain cover, valve cover gaskets...etc..
Is it worth my time and money at this point to replace the head gaskets with MLS (multi layer steel) and install ARP head studs? Or just leave the new JDM motor alone (assuming there is no pre-existing issue) and live out the life of the car with careful maintenance?

Little background on the head stud comment... I HATE (with a passion!!) torque to yield fasteners! I just don't think it is a good idea to use bolts designed to stretch to contain a combustion cycle over the life of the motor. That being said I admit I am no metallurgist or a mechanical engineer.
I found a company in California that sells an ARP head stud kit. www.outfrontmotorsports.com $399. This seems a worthwhile investment to keep my new motor healthy.
 

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Don't change headgaskets or timing cover seal. You have more risk with doing it than leaving it alone.

Do change valve cover gaskets and oil cooler gasket.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know there are issues getting the bolts off on the timing cover but I'm more concerned about the water pump on a JDM engine. Those things can sit for years and the seals in water pumps go bad if they are left dry for any extended period. So replacing the water pump is good insurance... unfortunately that means pulling the cover.
Regarding the head gaskets. Other than the obvious...removing the heads and cleaning the surfaces what kind of risks are you talking about?
 

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The obvious removing the heads and get it right. Numerous examples on here and outback.org of head jobs done 2x because the weekend warrior (myself included) doesn't have the experience of having done it numerous times. And even when shops so it, they don't always get it right.

Buy an engine you can trust the heads on. Most people who get JDM's don't refresh the heads.

Tom
 

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Little background on the head stud comment... I HATE (with a passion!!) torque to yield fasteners! I just don't think it is a good idea to use bolts designed to stretch to contain a combustion cycle over the life of the motor. That being said I admit I am no metallurgist or a mechanical engineer.
Good news then, Subaru doesn't use torque to yield head bolts. If you do the HG's just use the original OEM bolts. None of the well versed Subaru people I know use ARP head studs on Subaru's unless they're hitting about twice the HP of a tribeca, they say they're pointless. OEM bolts are a non issue if installed properly. One of the best Subaru shops in the nation has piles of used head bolts they grab from if needed...that's how important headbolts are in subaru's. just don't use aftermarket ones, including Fel Pro's which they try to sell.

If you eat up anecdotal self fulfilling prophecies and in 7 years love the idea of touting how awesome a decision you made (because that is actually a thing) to replace fluids and reseal the headgaskets which would have never failed anyway, then replace the headgaskets. The failure rates are so low either away that you will get that buzz - which isn't a bad thing, we take care of and keep our cars longer when we feel good about them.

practically speaking most people are better off running this one and if you have the rare second headgasket failure crop up - get another JDM engine..or repair that one if you're bent on it.

the cost (opportunity and dollars) of the low percentage "maybe" compared to what you're describing doesn't add up on an old vehicle like this for most people.

but if it does for you, have at it, it is just a gasket.
 

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Little background on the head stud comment... I HATE (with a passion!!) torque to yield fasteners! I just don't think it is a good idea to use bolts designed to stretch to contain a combustion cycle over the life of the motor. That being said I admit I am no metallurgist or a mechanical engineer.
I found a company in California that sells an ARP head stud kit. www.outfrontmotorsports.com $399. This seems a worthwhile investment to keep my new motor healthy.
You will be happy to know, Subaru uses a torque to angle tightening method with reusable head-bolts. Subaru uses high quality metals in their engines including the fasteners.
 

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JDM engine swap into 06

The old engine was leaking oil all over the driver side exhaust and Cross member.

The JDM engine has suttle differences with the old engine
1: The knock sensor is different - US version is 2 wire

2:intake manifold is different
3: main fuel pressure Barb is completely different
4: brake Booster vacuum is on wrong side- JDM has the brake booster and on the passenger side
5: Power steering pump is different
6: a/c Compressor is totally different- JDM lines won’t fit into the American
7:grounding straps are 1 wire on US, 2 wire on JDM
 

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more photos on JDM swap into 06 tribeca

enjoy.
this is not plug and play.

the JDM engine is beautiful! very clean valves- no seeps at front timing case cover


the plan is swap intake over and the accessories.

regasket intake, new thermostat,hoses ,plugs, oil seal by filter

my mechanic is real methodical, i trust this investment
 

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jdm fuel lines are different

more photos
 

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Jdm Engine is great

Just finished a 600 mile run on my JDm swap.
No fluid leaks- no cel codes- no tranny codes
Runs perfect

I spent $3600 at shop for labor ,tranny filter/service/ exhaust /intake gaskets/oil /filter

$1300 on engine shipped to door- from Dallasjdm- fast ship - paid them w cc on Friday night- engine arrived in shop on tues

I spent another $200 or so on new hoses,platinum premium plugs,idler/tensioner pulleys/serpentine belt

I think I got $5100 in the swap. I thought about a replacement used car, however anything equal was going to cost $15k or more

My car runs like new in all aspects; however there are risks, the next year or two is the most critical
 

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My JDM swap has a little over 1k miles on it. I considered doing it myself but the shop gave me a 1 year warranty and 3 week turnaround (2 weeks if you don't count Thanksgiving, 1 if you don't count the tech being out sick). $5345, with new pulley, valve cover gaskets, fluids, thermostat, etc. (did I mention a 1 year warranty?)

I agree, a $5k engine in a car I already know is a better deal than $15K on a car I don't know. If I get 33k miles then the JDM engine has paid for itself.

My only complaint is what sounds like a lot of lifter tick when the engine is cold (<145'F). After warmup, all is well.
 

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valve cover gaskets,

My only complaint is what sounds like a lot of lifter tick when the engine is cold (<145'F). After warmup, all is well.

Having engine out and valve covers, did your mechanic measure valve clearance?

ticking sound on warmup could be the piston slap.
 

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tdelker, thanks for the advice. The shop installed a Subaru filter but used 10w-30 oil (no idea why). I've since changed the oil to a winter weight with a Fram Extra Guard filter (I've never had problems with these on the old USDM motor). At the next oil change I will go with the 5W-30 and a Subaru filter just to verify. Again, thanks

lutek34, I'm not sure. When I get a moment (probably this weekend) I'll ask them along with some other followup questions.

The sound is definitely coming from the front passenger side from what I hear using a mechanic's stethoscope. It's not coming from the timing chain area (thankfully) but seems to be noisiest under the valve covers. I don't recall hearing anything offensive coming from the block but I'll check again this weekend.

Incidentally, Marvel Mystery Oil (with the shop's 10w-30) and Rislone (with the current fill) have done nothing.
 

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JDM swap is going well

So far, I have 8000 miles on my JDM engine. I agree, that my investment wont be paid until I get 25-30k on the swap. So I have 17k to go to break even.

Car drives like a dream. No oil burning,no leaks,no squeaks or oil seeps.

I have no desire "to swap into something newer" as I don't see any benefits

dean
 

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JDM swap is going well

So far, I have 8000 miles on my JDM engine. I agree, that my investment wont be paid until I get 25-30k on the swap. So I have 17k to go to break even.

Car drives like a dream. No oil burning,no leaks,no squeaks or oil seeps.

I have no desire "to swap into something newer" as I don't see any benefits

dean
Jdm swap is going well.i am at 248 k, so I have 33 k on swap.
 
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