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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I haven't been around much lately. There is a reason for that.

I joined this forum over 6 years ago. I had recently purchased a 2006 OBXT with 65K miles. I wanted a AWD turbo station wagon and there was not very much offered at the time on the used market. Audi A4 Avant and Volvo. I was afraid of what a 80K miles Audi might cost me in new used car repairs, so I pulled the trigger on the OBXT.

Foolish Mortal. ?

Here I am 6 years later and I own 2 of these things. My wallet is empty and my spirit is on the verge of being crushed into oblivion. These following pages will catalog my tales of want and woe. 6 years later, both cars have blown motors and the rebuilding and resurrection process has begun.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Auto
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412 Posts
They are the best of cars, they are the worst of cars, cars bought in wisdom, cars bought in foolishness...

;)

(I'd have called the thread "A Tale Of Two XTs", as it scans correctly)
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Cherry has had a successful motor transplant. It was actually pretty rough on my spirit.

I bought a used motor from a salvage operation. It was actually pretty cheap. It was $1650 shipped. It came complete with just about everything except the turbo. The entire top end was complete. Intake, wiring harness, all the sensors, fuel rails and injectors. TB, exhaust manifolds and up-pipe. So, getting all that extra stuff is great.

But I am pretty convinced I did not get the $49K miles block I was sold. There was zero evidence of a compression test. And look at all the metal I found in the oil pan. Yikes



So I am convinced this motor did not come off a "good running car" like I have repeated been told on the phone and by email. Also, the timing components are well worn, worn past the 180K miles timing components I striped off Cherry's block. I did do a new timing belt, a new water pump and new tension-er. I plan on a compression test in the morning and will re-evaluate the need for new pulleys based on the compression numbers.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
They are the best of cars, they are the worst of cars, cars bought in wisdom, cars bought in foolishness...

;)

(I'd have called the thread "A Tale Of Two XTs", as it scans correctly)
Nicely done on catching the literary reference.

That was my 1st inclination for the title. Maybe @eagleeye can fix the title for me.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,305 Posts
This thread makes me nervous about my upcoming XT ownership. :p
 
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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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5,692 Posts
They are the best of cars, they are the worst of cars, cars bought in wisdom, cars bought in foolishness...
I, @traildogck, take you, Outback XT, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live (and, apparently, beyond)......
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
for worse
for poorer
in sickness

The salvaged motor has very consistent compression numbers. The problem is they are all hovering around 90 psi. That number is supposed be between 145 and 175. Looks like I need to make a hard phone call back to this outfit I bought it from.

?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
This thread makes me nervous about my upcoming XT ownership. :p
Your XT has been well cared for, you know that. This motor was not.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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1,341 Posts
for worse
for poorer
in sickness

The salvaged motor has very consistent compression numbers. The problem is they are all hovering around 90 psi. That number is supposed be between 145 and 175. Looks like I need to make a hard phone call back to this outfit I bought it from.

?
Did you have the throttle wide open when you did the compression test? Not having the throttle wide open will lower the figures significantly

Seagrass
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Did you have the throttle wide open when you did the compression test? Not having the throttle wide open will lower the figures significantly

Seagrass
I did.

I might plan on a re test with a different gauge. I was using a Harbor Freight. This motor hit 90 psi on the 1st crank and does NOT build any ADDITIONAL pressure at all with subsequent cranks.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I moved Frankie around a little bit today. I had to steal the wheels off her for Cherry. Since even though the compression is low, the car drives just fine. My tuner says the logging numbers look good so I am planning on driving and logging the car as I fight the battle with the slavage outfit I currently have only one set of all seasons and one set of studded snows. I thought I would be buying a set of 18" wheels and a strict set of summer performance tires this Summer.

Unfortunately, 2 blown motors tends to shift your priorities.
 

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252 Posts
I hear ya on shifting your priorities. My NA engine started to knock so I parked it and just got a free 255 shortblock from a friend but it’s got a spun main and may not be worth rebuilding. I have to get an engine together on my budget before the snow flies so I’m not driving my squarebody in the salt


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
My NA engine started to knock so I parked it and just got a free 255 shortblock from a friend but it’s got a spun main and may not be worth rebuilding.
The rebuilding end is a hard option, it's expensive. But as I have proven, buying any used motor is a crapshoot and likely to also be expensive anyway. If you have pistons, a crank and cams that are usable, then the cost drops. But machining a head, cylinder walls, head gaskets and bearings will break the bank compared to even a new OEM short block.

I think I was just sold a random motor pulled out of a dead car and it was billed as a 49K motor for $1650. I forced them to give me a 1 year warranty. I think their typical 30 day warranty gets them buy. About any motor will run for 2 weeks before it dies. And with 1 week in transit, 1 week to swap it out ... most folks don't know and 2 weeks is the best they get.

Most folks would not have gone through all of the extensive investigation I have done.
 

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252 Posts
Fortunately I have a buddy that works at an engine machine shop and has pretty fair pricing, and I can do all of the building myself other than the machine work, so yes it will be pricey but I’ll have a piece of mind knowing it was done right, and I’ve got some places where I can save thanks to friends with donor parts of all works out. I’m building it to run the NA heads with lower compression so I can turbo it in the near future after it gets me through the winter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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1,246 Posts
If the compression test was run before the engine was started it's very likely your compression numbers will have come up quite a lot. Usually engines that have sat for a while will have low compression numbers.

The **** you pulled out of the oil pan looks bad though.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
If the compression test was run before the engine was started it's very likely your compression numbers will have come up quite a lot. Usually engines that have sat for a while will have low compression numbers.

The **** you pulled out of the oil pan looks bad though.
Thanks for the information. I actually had put about 50 miles on the car after the swap and before the compression test. If I were to make a guess, the valve are worn. When you hand crank the motor there is very little resistance. Usually there is a significant "lope" when hand cranked, this one is almost non-existent. There was also no perceptible difference hand cranking with the plugs in, or out.
 

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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1,246 Posts
Thanks for the information. I actually had put about 50 miles on the car after the swap and before the compression test. If I were to make a guess, the valve are worn. When you hand crank the motor there is very little resistance. Usually there is a significant "lope" when hand cranked, this one is almost non-existent. There was also no perceptible difference hand cranking with the plugs in, or out.
I don't understand why these guys just can't be honest...
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,079 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I don't understand why these guys just can't be honest...
Well, as it turns out, it bit them hard in the *SS. I opened a case with my bank, I used a debit card for the purchase. I explained that I was shipped the WRONG part. The motor was NOT the item that I was sold. I don't expect to pay for it. I backed this up with all email correspondence and pictures and video. I was refunded my money.

Cherry is currently running on empty, nursing a sh*tty transplant. I am motor shopping.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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1,510 Posts
As much as I don't like it, a 20X/Y swap might prove to be the better option at this point. Plenty of stock available, slightly higher compression, and is plug and play for the most part.

255s/257s are just expensive used motors at this point and REALLY a crap shoot at this age. Besides, an OEM short block is only $200+ more than what you paid...
 
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