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Subaru Mania - Toronto, ON, Canada

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Tell us a little about you. What cars you are interested, where you are from and why you are interested in learning to tune.

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Paul Szuflita, I'm in my 3rd year studying Automotive Engineering at Ontario Tech Univeristy (formally University of Ontario Institute of Technology), have completed an Industrial Design program including a machining / tool & die year, CNC & CMM training, prototyping, metrology, metallurgy etc. I've always had a passion for cars and have been hooked on subarus since I got my license.

I've owned my 2004 forester XT for 6 years now, bought it at 112,000km, at just over 200,000km now. Have driven it from Toronto to Banff to Los Angeles and back, many trips down to the tail of the dragon, etc. I've run it at many track events, autoX, rallyX, long nav rallies (almost 600km overnight on the Tall Pines roads, known as the Polar Bear Rally), and even won best forester in 2016 at the toronto subaru club Hypermeeting (had a gopnik adidas livery for a laugh, still won)

Slowly but surely I've been modifying it, popped two 5 speed transmissions, and finally it let a ringland go after a turbo upgrade and a tune.

So, I decided to have the motor built as strong as I could afford to, ej22T shortblock (closed deck, oil squirters, block machined for #3 and #5 thrust bearings), JE pistons, scat rods, ver8 spec C crank (dual drilled), king bearings, USDM ej255 cams in ej208 (legacy twin turbo, intake side ported) heads, GSC beehive springs + Ti retainers, working USDM avcs on the stock '04 forester XT ecu. Had a custom rotated setup made with a gtx3071r, tomei equal length headers /uppipe, 44mm tial gate etc.

I spent the better part of two years and every free dollar I had on that build, did all the supporting mods (IAG AOS, killer B pickup, Huge setrab oil cooler (with thermostatic plate), big frontmount intercooler, ID1000 injectors, DW400 fuel pump, IAG billet TGV deletes, 2013 sti 6 speed, MAP DCCD controller & speed sensor, full '07 sti underpinnings etc).

Finally once the car hit the dyno it made over 320wtq at 3750rpm on the first pull on 91 octane at around 14psi (wastegate pressure), which was amazing spoolup in my mind, but after that first pull it never made boost until after 4750rpm, and the tuner told me the motor is junk, that there is "resistance" going on. We were getting power bumps of around 30hp or so for every psi from 14-20, but once we hit 20psi, any more boost added made no extra power. The turbo was able to make upto 24 psi and hold it all the way to redline, made no effect on the power / torque. Varying the timing made no difference in torque or power past 21psi as well.

I drove the car for about 5000km after the tune, did a few lapping days, but had issues with the car cutting out that couldn't be diagnosed by 3 different shops I took it to. One time I had the car sputter and cut out leaving one of the shops, but we couldn't replicate the problem for the next 4-5 hours, and it was only randomly happening.

I was never quite happy with the tune, the fuel trims were -25% / +25%, idle was trash, kept stalling out while idling, hot restarts were so rich that there were usually some flames and a bunch of black smoke. Tip in was so rich that it was pegging my wideband. The car was setup to run a hybrid MAF / SD setup (for good drive-ability on the COBB speed density setup), but my tuner determined that the MAF wasn't getting accurate readings, so it was setup for 100% SD. Also the annoying "flutter" of the wastegate under boost apparantly couldn't be tuned out ( I don't believe that my tuner touched the PID settings or duty cycles of the MAC valve, was running a 4 port setup), so in the end the car ended up with a manual boost controller in parallel with the mac valve. The mac valve ended up only adjusting the boost by around 2-3 psi, so the car was essentially 100% on the manual controller.

Over time the car started making less and less boost, from 21 psi down to 18 psi at which point I had the car taken in for a compression / leakdown test and sent the oil out for analysis.

Leakdown came back , Cyl 1, 2, 3, 4 = (150psi, 0%), (150psi, 0%), (150psi, 0%), (145psi, 20%). My shop noted that the leakdown on cyl #4 sounded like it was bottom-ended (could hear hissing in the PCV system, not the intake manifold or exhaust manifold)

Obviously something was up with cyl #4 (which is the same way my original motor died, also shortly after being tuned by the same person, both times having a perfect comp/leakdown pre-tune).

Oil analysis came back last week, and there is 54ppm aluminum, 137ppm iron, 19ppm copper, 24ppm lead, as well as traces of chromium. Typical ppm values for those elements is around 2-5ppm for each, so I suspect that there is some significant cylinder-area wear, as well as some bearing being chewed up along with possibly some other brass/bronze parts being damaged.

At this point this project has drained all of my funds 4 times over the last 3 years, and considering that all that money spent on shop labour got me around 6500km out of the motor, I figured I couldn't rebuild it worse on my own, and I definitely can't afford to pay for labour on another engine build for at least a few years.

So now I'm here, originally bought the tuning course to trying and correct the tune issues, competed it and got my COBB approved training as well so I have access to accesstunner, but never had a chance to tweak things before the motor started not making boost.

I watched the engine building livestream with Andre a few weeks back and decided to buy the engine building package as well, and am going through those videos now.

I'm hoping to teardown and rebuild this motor during the summer and tune it myself once I have things back together.

I'll create a build journal thread and update things as they happen, and I have a few older impreza's and miatas that I'll be working on as well.

I have more photos on my instagram @todviper if anyone wants to have a look.

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Hello wow sound like the perfect build to learn on best of luck i hope we have all the areas of your build covered

Regards Ross Honnor