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Finally finished (mostly) my friends WRX engine rebuild

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Posted 03-21-2013 at 02:54 PM by pbrown

A very old friend of mine bought a used SAAB 9-2x (actually a rebadged Subaru WRX). He bought this thing in Texas even though he lives in Anchorage AK. The idea was to buy a used smaller all-wheel-drive car to use as a daily driver instead of the gas hungry F150 Supercrew 4x4 with the 5.4 Triton.

He flew to TX and picked up the SAAB, drove it North to Seattle and left it in my driveway for much of the Summer last year. He returned to Alaska and came back to Seattle to finish the long drive to Anchorage. This is where it gets interesting.

He and I both loaded up the SAAB with the intention of driving the Alaska Highway all the way North to Alaska. Everything was going just fine until we reached a point about 1 1/2 hours North of St John BC. You should totally Google that. It is in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, The engine starts to make some strange sounds and we have a severe power dropoff. We were able to milk it to the parking lot of a small motel/restaurant. I popped the hood and was able to get the engine running. This thing is making quite a rattle.

We called AAA and waited for a tow truck. We waited about 3 hours for it to arrive. Then we ended up riding in the small cab of a flat bed truck back south to St John.

We ended up at a shop that we were told knows something about "imports". This was funny and I'm pretty sure the only other import in the region was the Toyota Tundra we saw in the parking lot.

The engine was trash. Two of four rod bearings had failed. We ended up renting a U-Haul box truck and a trailer and towed the carnage back South to my driveway in Seattle.

Now I had a Winter project. Over the last Winter, I have completely rebuilt the engine and made some performance and reliability upgrades. This thing now has a 2.1L Manley forged stroker kit, K&N intake, complete STI oil system, GrimmSpeed boost control solenoid and some other mods.

I took the car and new engine for a first drive today. It runs okay so far.

There are a couple minor tasks. I still need to install the new turbo heat shield (on backorder), get an exhaust hanger installed, and replace a failed O2 sensor.
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  1. New Comment
    Jeff W's Avatar
    Glad you are done... now I can bring over my 200 for a rebuild.

    Nice work and The Saabaru - your friend is lucky to have you.
    Posted 03-21-2013 at 10:10 PM by Jeff W Jeff W is online now
  2. New Comment
    BillP 98201's Avatar
    Great friends are hard to find
    Posted 03-21-2013 at 10:45 PM by BillP 98201 BillP 98201 is offline

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