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09 outback xt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK so I just picked up a fairly nice 09 outback xt with the 2.5L turbo and the 5sp manual from a guy I work with, I've seen the car run and operate with no issues but that was prior to him having these issues and than parking it for the last 3 years. I paid $700 for it knowing it had issues, was hoping a blown head gasket but I'm leaning towards ring land failure as well as a bad turbo. Shudders at idle as if it has a misfire, consistently smokes out of the exhaust as if it's burning oil, check engine light as well as traction control light flash. Performed a block test to see if any exhaust fumes were in the cooling system and that came back negative. Pulled the turbo and that's shot, already purchased a vf52 for an upgrade. Getting ready to preform a leak down test and compression test to see what other damage I might be looking at. With all of that being said, what are your opinions on replacing the motor with a short block directly from subaru and reusing the heads after having a machine shop inspect them? Also, does this generation and model have the ej255 or the ej257? If I do a new short block and if mine currently has the 255, would I be able to replace it with the 257 as a direct swap, with all the bolt on parts that would need to be swapped over from the current motor? How true are the rumors of the 257 being stronger and more durable than the 255?

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2020 Onyx
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It's a real beauty and worth whatever it takes to make it all good. Lots of experienced people here - I'm just a spectator and I like what I see!
 

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My advice is if it needs a new motor get an OEM short block from Subaru and reuse your heads as long as they are in good condition. In my opinion, that is the only way to go as the turbo engines require meticulous maintenance and they aren't so forgiving when you neglect them. That means that a used engine could be risky unless you rebuild it before dropping it in but it doesn't seem like thats the route you plan on going.

Example; 05 XT I own went 5,000 miles between oil changes, burned up all of its oil in 2,500 (ish) miles, and thanks to the previous owner not checking it, it is now sitting in my garage about to throw a rod :)
 

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09 outback xt
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
My advice is if it needs a new motor get an OEM short block from Subaru and reuse your heads as long as they are in good condition. In my opinion, that is the only way to go as the turbo engines require meticulous maintenance and they aren't so forgiving when you neglect them. That means that a used engine could be risky unless you rebuild it before dropping it in but it doesn't seem like thats the route you plan on going.

Example; 05 XT I own went 5,000 miles between oil changes, burned up all of its oil in 2,500 (ish) miles, and thanks to the previous owner not checking it, it is now sitting in my garage about to throw a rod :)

I plan on going new just because it doesn't seem like there's much of a price difference between that and finding a used one. But I'm curious as to which block I need or if it even matters
 

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2008 OBXT Limited FSTi 6MT
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It came with a 255 and yes you can replace with the 257. Mine has a 257 short block with the stock D25 heads
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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That's my thread, it has become the poster child for how to do it right the first time.

You'll also want to spend time on that Forum too, as the LGT and XT's have a lot of the same parts.

There is no real difference in compression ratio between the ej255 and ej257.

With that vf52 you'll need a custom tune, most of us buy a Cobb AP V3 and then buy a custom tune from one of two tuners, depending on where you live.

If in the west, Cryotune Performance | Dyno Tuning | E-Tuning

In the east, email Mike at [email protected]

You can run the vf52 on stock fueling as mine has been for over 154,000 miles. You'll need a 3" catted downpipe from a place like Invidia. It will be fine with your stock midpipe and mufflers.
Upgade the clutch, I use a Spec Clutch 2+ and there LWFW with the replaceable friction surface. I buy directly from them as I have a contact there.
 
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09 outback xt
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It came with a 255 and yes you can replace with the 257. Mine has a 257 short block with the stock D25 heads
Did you notice any difference in performance using the 257 block with the d25 heads? Was the swap pretty straight forward
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·


That's my thread, it has become the poster child for how to do it right the first time.

You'll also want to spend time on that Forum too, as the LGT and XT's have a lot of the same parts.

There is no real difference in compression ratio between the ej255 and ej257.

With that vf52 you'll need a custom tune, most of us buy a Cobb AP V3 and then buy a custom tune from one of two tuners, depending on where you live.

If in the west, Cryotune Performance | Dyno Tuning | E-Tuning

In the east, email Mike at [email protected]

You can run the vf52 on stock fueling as mine has been for over 154,000 miles. You'll need a 3" catted downpipe from a place like Invidia. It will be fine with your stock midpipe and mufflers.
Upgade the clutch, I use a Spec Clutch 2+ and there LWFW with the replaceable friction surface. I buy directly from them as I have a contact there.
Thanks for the input, I planned on doing a down pipe, possibly up pipe, injectors, fuel pump, cold air intake, maybe attempt the bullet proof intercooler, and custom tuning. Was also planning on doing the clutch while the motor is out. I also live in Colorado so there's a shop in Denver called Boost Creep that I've been referred to by a couple people, apparently he uses a heart break dyno which is better? I'll have to check out that site and read through your write up
 

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No need for a uppipe, your is catless.
No need for a cold air intake, the stock one is good until your in the 350 whp range. Both my cars have K&N panel filters, lightly oiled, cleaned before Winter, along with the MAF sensor.

My wagon was on a heart breaker Mustang dyno. the 280whp/300ftlbs feels great. Over 143,000 trouble free miles on my ej257.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No need for a uppipe, your is catless.
No need for a cold air intake, the stock one is good until your in the 350 whp range. Both my cars have K&N panel filters, lightly oiled, cleaned before Winter, along with the MAF sensor.

My wagon was on a heart breaker Mustang dyno. the 280whp/300ftlbs feels great. Over 143,000 trouble free miles on my ej257.
That's good to know, that should save a little money haha. Do you think I'd be okay getting a new short block 257, having my heads taken care of at the machine shop, replacing the oil pump, water pump, timing kit, and reassembling with everything else off the old motor? I've read a lot saying to take the screens out of the banjo bolts as well? We have a lot of mountain passes in our area with extreme elevation changes near pikes peak so I'm hoping to just do mild build that makes it fun. Hoping to have it all together for around $4000 including tuning but not sure how realistic that is. Subaru dealer here wants $2500 for the 255 short block. Bought the vf52 used for $200, was told it has about 50k miles on it but there's no shaft play what so ever. Figure I could find a down pipe and accessport used for a fair price
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh my God you're jumping into the Subie money pit.
I did a JDM swap with an ej20x and I could never be happier.

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
What made you go that direction with it? Was it a direct swap or did you have to change things up with wiring and sensors?
 

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What made you go that direction with it? Was it a direct swap or did you have to change things up with wiring and sensors?
I wanted a daily driver. I'm not looking for monster power. I get the 55 or 65 pretty quick.

Yes a lot of swapping of intake and sensors. It does require a professional tune. I stayed stock, new Subaru turbo, stock exhaust.

I'm in upstate New York near Syracuse. My mechanic with Steve Dudak, tuner K-Nasty.

I get better gas mileage and it's still fun to drive.

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 

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@Crash734
It would be a good idea to pull your heads and see if the cams are scored before you get to far.

There is very minor difference between EJ255 and EJ257 shortblock (pistons), there will be no power difference.
I've done 2 EJ255 swaps to EJ20X/Y.
In both cases I used the EJ255 Intake manifold. One I used the twin scroll VF38 JDM turbo, in the other I used the VF40 stock turbo.
I purchased a salvage car that had a EJ20X and HKS downpipe for the VF38, so that is why one of my swaps I used the twin scroll turbo (it quite difficult to get the VF38 n downpipe)

 

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Another option, if you can find a low mileage EJ255 engine, all these models have the same longblock.
2006-2014 WRX
2006-2013 FXT
2007-2009 LGT or OXT

An STI EJ257 longblock has dual AVCS as of 2007, no other USDM model came with dual AVCS
 

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That's good to know, that should save a little money haha. Do you think I'd be okay getting a new short block 257, having my heads taken care of at the machine shop, replacing the oil pump, water pump, timing kit, and reassembling with everything else off the old motor? I've read a lot saying to take the screens out of the banjo bolts as well? We have a lot of mountain passes in our area with extreme elevation changes near pikes peak so I'm hoping to just do mild build that makes it fun. Hoping to have it all together for around $4000 including tuning but not sure how realistic that is. Subaru dealer here wants $2500 for the 255 short block. Bought the vf52 used for $200, was told it has about 50k miles on it but there's no shaft play what so ever. Figure I could find a down pipe and accessport used for a fair price

That's pretty much what I did.

Contact Dave at Cryotune Performance | Dyno Tuning | E-Tuning

You can tell him I sent you. Ask his advice and buy from him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Another option, if you can find a low mileage EJ255 engine, all these models have the same longblock.
2006-2014 WRX
2006-2013 FXT
2007-2009 LGT or OXT

An STI EJ257 longblock has dual AVCS as of 2007, no other USDM model came with dual AVCS
Thanks for all of the input, from everything I've found online I'm leaning towards sticking with the ej255. Now that you've given me a list of options to choose from for that block, I might look for a wrecked car. Do you know if those vehicles would be a direct swap one for one or would I have to swap parts to make them work? Just trying to get an idea as to if it would be worth it to buy an entire car just for a long block (which you did mean long block correct?) or if there would be more to it that I could use?
 

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Thanks for all of the input, from everything I've found online I'm leaning towards sticking with the ej255. Now that you've given me a list of options to choose from for that block, I might look for a wrecked car. Do you know if those vehicles would be a direct swap one for one or would I have to swap parts to make them work? Just trying to get an idea as to if it would be worth it to buy an entire car just for a long block (which you did mean long block correct?) or if there would be more to it that I could use?
Block and heads, (which is your longblock), are the same, so you would have to use your Intake manifold and Turbo. Cam, crank, oil pressure sensors are all the same, some times temp sensor is different so confirm and swap if needed (connector would be different).
Timing gears, covers, exhaust manifold, up-pipe all the same.
 

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Subaru made improvements over the years, with the latest EJ255 rev in 2012, by subaru, so a 2012 or newer model or a 2012 shortblock (which most turbo models have had LOL) is the latest shortblock.
 
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