Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Power Source is Here!!!

So I must start by apologising for not posting anything for almost 3 weeks now. Been a little tied up with work and loads of activities on the weekends. Of course as someone who works on a computer all day the last thing I want to do is get on one when I get home.

I can promise that I have several things to post. Thought I would start with this one.

I have finally gotten a motour for the Paisley's Subie.

I used to think that I had been spending a lot of money on my BMW. After all the true meaning of those 3 lettres is actually Bring Money Willingly. Now after further thought, I'm into that little Kraut Kruiser for far less than the Subaru.

Right away there the purchase: $2k
Then upon getting it home, a wheelbearing: $95 and my own labour
Then there was the oil change: $19- first time shop customer coupon.
Brake pads and sensors for all 4 corners done at a shop: $400
Fan Clutch done at a shop: $180
Mass Flow Sensor done at a shop: $300 - it was a remanufactured unit. New would have been $500 before the labour was added in.
Head Gasket, VCG,Timing Belt,Valve Grind,Several cooling hoses,O2 Sensor,Oil Change, tune up and other miscellaneous work: $1753.
Two new tyres: $201

Not too shaby for a 22 year old car especially since I could have gotten a nicer looking E30 in a lesser model such as the 318 or the 325 e or 325 i. I chose the one I have since it's the 325 is. This was the model that BMW manufactured for country markets that did not receive the M3 model. This car has the high output 6 cylinder and tighter suspension and other sport goodies without going into much further detail. Essentially: this car is the shit.

Now onto said Subaru.

Purchase: $10,200 (or somewhere around there anyway)
For the first year there was the routing oil changes of course: $65 per change.
Air filtre: $10
PCV Valve: $20
Brakes on all 4 corners: $700
Head Gasket Service (including rebuild of oil pump, oil change, coolant change, new transaxle on one corner, woodruff key on the main crankshaft) $2700
Knocksensor: $110
5 new tyres: $465

So far not too bad. Lets consider that this car is now 10 years old. The cost of owning this car has far exceeded the cost of the other. What happened to quality? The Paisley really likes the all wheel drive feature and sitting a little higher up. I can go for that. I like those things as well.

What I can't stomach is the fact that the dealership wanted $7k to do a new engine!!! No way was I going to let them rape me for that kind of cash when they are the reason we're in the engine buying market to begin with. That and I don't even get a kiss from anyone there after I've bent over and grabbed my ankles.

So the tech who services my car actually diagnosed the Subie this time. As good as he is, the best deal he could find was a low mileage engine for $2700 and another $2500 to install it. Better than the dealer, but still out of our budget at this moment. His opinion: park the little bugger in a bad neighbourhood and leave the key in the ignition. Not bad, but we still owe on our little Subie. We must fix it.

We my tech says that if I can find a better deal on an engine he will install it. That's one hell of a tech. Most shops won't do that for you. I let him know I'll keep him posted.

So for the last 3 weeks I've been engine hunting. Not much out there on Craigslist for what I was looking for. It seems that the 1998 model year and the 2000 and up model year of the Forester has a DOHC (dual over head cam) engine. For the model year 1999 (our model) it was a SOHC (single over head cam). Apparently the SOHC is pretty hard to find. There were plenty of the DOHC engines out there and most places wanted pretty hefty price for them. Most wrecking/recycling yards wanted $2500 and up for them. Most of the rebuilder shops that had them totally rebuilt were starting at $3800.

Why is the Subaru flat four waterboxer so expensive?! This just puzzles me. Volkswagen has been making a flat four engine for years. Ferdinand Porsche first put it in the Beetle prototype for Hitler in 1932. It's basic design hasn't changed much since then and it's evolution into a water cooled engine hasn't changed much either. Why can the Germans do it for so much less than the Japanese?

I joined an online forum for Forester owners to get some tips and pointers. They've been pretty helpful. I can say that I will be keeping the old engine. Apparently the SOHC engine is the best one to stick a turbo on. That will be fun.

NOTE TO SELF: do suspension mods to Forester before installing turbo engine.

So then I started thinking about one of my former employers of my youth. They may have what I'm looking for.

I haven't always been a travel agent. I worked for 9 years for two area dealerships in VW and SAAB parts and even a stint at the Subaru dealership in parts that I detest so much.

The VW dealer has a recycling yard and they have been handling Japanese parts as part of their line up for about 10 years now. So after a little search of their system on line, they have an EJ25 SOHC. No price and no mileage listed though. Email to follow my search. Waiting for an answer.

After about 2 days I get the reply. $1700 and it has 160k on it. Youch!! That's a lot of money for an engine with that many miles. Well at least it has been tested. They just pulled it out of the car. The compression in all four cylinders is at the high end of good. I call the boneyard and tell them to wrap it up and ship it to me. DOH!!! They can't ship it since I'm not sending it to a shop. Damn. I have to pick it up. It's 25 miles north of where I live. No worries. I have that avenue covered. For my troubles of having to pick it up, the yard has taken $100 off the price. That will be pretty helpful since it will cover most of the core charge. The core is $125. I'm keeping the old engine and rebuilding it for the trouble it's been to find one of these buggers.

Well here it is. Sitting in my friends garage on a cart waiting to be installed. Three weeks of headache:
It sure doesn't look like much right now. Hell it hardly weighs anything. I've got a friend that can pick this thing up like it was a cottonball. Of course when you're 6'7" and 290, you can pick up a lot of things without effort. I've witnessed him lifting the back end of cars for fun.

Well I'll have to make sure that I document the removal of the old engine and the installation of the new one. A blog for a later time.

1 comment:

paisley penguin said...

Another fun thing about the Subie is the winter package. Heated front seats and side mirrors!