Ownership Verified: You'll never believe what it is this time! - 2007 Impreza Wagon

I'll take a swing and say mild bottom-end noise coupled with aluminum content = failed or failing piston skirt that's wearing on the cylinder wall.
 
Probably. The engine does bog down for one or two seconds every once in awhile like something is digging in, and EJ25s are piston slappy bastards in the first place.
 
Oil analysis results are in. Engine fixed itself (or the first sample was contaminated)

Or, at least, isn't getting worse so long as you actually keep at least some amount of oil in it. Time to book another road trip.
 
I never updated this thread!? Oh my such fun times we've had over the past couple months.

Went out to get a burrito. Came back to the car, got in and started the car and started eating my glorious burrito in the lovely air conditioning. Suddenly WHOOSHBANG very bad noises and a release of some sort of smoke from under the hood. Immediate shutdown, investigation commences.
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Ha ha very funny. The air conditioning pressure line chafed against the battery and wore through, dumping high pressure refrigerant and a shitton of PAG oil everywhere.

So I finish my burrito in the not-air-conditioned car, and head off home.

That did not go well.

View: https://youtube.com/shorts/M-K9a-ng2Xk
Options were:
1) Get another car. Probably the responsible adult thing to do.
2) Junkyard engine. Completely unavailable at the time unless I wanted one with a snapped timing belt or to drive halfway across the country to get one that was almost assuredly not far behind, for $1500.
3) Factory short block ($2200), head machining (couple hundred), various and sundry miscelleneous gaskets and hoses and crap
4) Low mile JDM complete engine ~30,000 miles. $2300, various and sundry miscelleneous miscelleneous gaskets and hoses and crap, but less than option 3.

So, onwards to the obvious choice.
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Whereupon they gave me the single cleanest used engine known to mankind.


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This one had apparently been in a Legacy or Outback or Forester and not an Impreza and thus had a different A/C compressor, wiring harness, and fuel manifold (though the rails were the same). The fuel manifold I was fully prepared to work around (the only difference is a hose clip versus a quick connect) and the A/C compressor is just a matter of using mine - but the electrical difference was a bit sticky - a different water temperature sensor altogether, and deletion of a flow sensor on the PCV. to throw a code if you just block it off or something.

Since the wiring harness is attached to the intake manifold, and so is the fuel manifold, I just swapped to my original intake manifold.

Along the way, I also had to deal with that A/C system, and I made the observation that for as much as it would cost to have an actual mechanic change that one line and charge the system, I could get the requisite licenses and certifications to do automotive A/C work (its ridiculously simple) and buy a used automotive A/C machine (the automotive certification technically does not permit you to use equipment designed for stationary uses - just the much-more-heavily-automated automotive-specific gear). So I did that.

Of course this all happened in June, so I was working on it the like, 3 days a week where the temperature in the garage dropped below 90 degrees between the hours of 8PM and midnight, so it took literally a whole month.
$4000 or so later, all fixed.


And then I heard a noise in the rear end going around corners under load. Back when I got the car, I replaced one wheel bearing, but not the other, but on inspection I couldn't find anything wrong with either bearing, but I could hear a *faint* clicking noise from *somewhere*. Maybe the diff, maybe one of the CVs - and *everything* in the rear end is just so stiff and hard to turn. So I set about the process of disconnecting the axles so I could inspect the components individually and figure out which one was actually making the noise.

I started by trying to take off the one I didn't change the bearing on.



...... The axle was seized solid in the spline.

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I calculate this attempt was putting about 30 tons of pressure on the axle (the nut there is loose and just holding the puller on).
This, plus the torch, plus an air hammer, all at once, didn't budge it one bit.

Thus I had to replace the CV axle, knuckle, bearing, axle, seals, backing plate, hub, etc. as a complete assembly. $400 - not counting the bearing and seals and parking brake hardware I literally had on the shelf waiting to do this side. And that's using a $30 discount aftermarket CV axle of questionable provenance. The Good Subaru Axles™ are $500 on their own.

And now I need to redo the other side because the backing plate over there is rusted to hell and I had to buy a pair to get this one, and it's going to drive me mad.


All this and:
1) The clicking is still there, somewhere.
2) The noise I was initially concerned with? Still there. Because it is coming from the *FRONT*.

I am turning up the stereo until I can't hear it and sending it.
 
... For those keeping score, I sold a 2020 WRX with no miles on it. And bought a 2007 shitbox wagon *generously* worth maybe $3000, for $9000, immediately put $2000 into repairing it, and then another $4400 in repairs at the end of the first year. And I'm still pending $400 in headlight replacements (I have the parts, I just need the stupid thing to stop being broken so I can do it).
 
And you're still missing a snail in the engine bay :(
 
... For those keeping score, I sold a 2020 WRX with no miles on it. And bought a 2007 shitbox wagon *generously* worth maybe $3000, for $9000, immediately put $2000 into repairing it, and then another $4400 in repairs at the end of the first year. And I'm still pending $400 in headlight replacements (I have the parts, I just need the stupid thing to stop being broken so I can do it).
This is my kind of buying cars method :D
 
After absolutely flailing at the headlight replacement for like two months (no, really, that was stupid) I got it working enough to turn it into a tow rig:
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2500 miles, no major problems. Not bad.


The catch?
2500 miles *in front wheel drive*
Both the rear diff and transfer/center diff are wrecked.

The noise that caused the wheel bearing fiasco upthread is one or more of the diff bearings loading up under torque and the ring/pinion engagement pattern changing.
There is also horrible binding under certain driving conditions from the center diff.

This means a new transmission+diff pair. Which, obviously, means manual swap time.

Which means even more money.

Also, passenger rear tire was 0psi flat when I unracked the car from changing the oil before the trip. Couldn't find a puncture or leak. Put 32psi in it by my gauge.
100 miles up the road, put another 10psi in it by the gas station's gauge.
100 miles up the road, put another 10psi in it by the gas station's gauge.
300 miles up the road, removed 3psi from it by the gas station's gauge.

Decided to stop fucking with the tire, and it was fine the rest of the way. Whether I managed to neglect a tire all the way down to ambient, or the tire miraculously healed itself, I have absolutely no idea.
 
More accurately, you install an FWD fuse, which forces the duty cycle on that (electronic) clutch to 0%. The fact that it's a fuse is actually irrelevant, it's just completing a signal circuit to the transmission controller. Fuse is just handy because, well, then they can put it in the fuse box, and you've got spare fuses in there to make the connection in a pinch.
 
Oh right, I forgot how it went. I did the same on the Slowbaru when I wanted to drive it without the drivetrain jittering.
 
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