Author Topic: New to WSC Forum  (Read 522 times)

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Offline rkarakai21

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New to WSC Forum
« on: February 24, 2020, 10:37:53 pm »
Hey guys, I am the proud new owner of an 02 Forester XT, imported into BC in 2017.  I am the second Canadian owner.  I bought a cheap high mileage legacy wagon in 2017 to get back and forth to school and decided that my future cars would be Subaru.  Head gasket went on the legacy at 330000 km recently and decided to upgrade to something a little more jaunty.  This one has 166000km and runs and drives beautifully.  Had to fix a fuel leak but the previous owner was upfront about that, and a couple other little issues.  Love the car, and looking forward to learning more and more about the EJ20.  It is my daily driver so I am going to pamper it and will mostly be going for cooling system upgrades and very mild power increase in the future.  The interior is mint.  Clearcoat needs work in some spots but my bodyman buddy and I will fix that up and buff her up this summer. 

Back in highschool used to dragrace and work on big and small block chevy's (and one Buick).  Owned a 350 auto Nova and a 396 four speed at one point.  Think if my 18 year old self could see me driving a turbocharged Japanese import he would probably have balked, but the truth is this, this Forester is no slouch at all and would have wiped the floor with my 350 buick skylark, and probably my mild 350 Nova, all while getting three times better fuel economy, being comfortable, having decent handling and just being an overall joy to drive.  Did I mention the amazing cargo space??  From a former die hard chevy hotrodder the Forester XT is a sweet little sleeper.  Not only that, with the Fujitsubo muffler this ones got it has just the right amount of burble. 

Looking forward to learning from you guys!


https://photos.app.goo.gl/5SnjTB8G6PzX83sCA

Offline JJx

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 11:47:32 pm »
Great colour! I'm a fellow forester xter although the lhd. In my experience cooling system seems pretty adequate, though the plastic endtanks can crack/separate. For reliability mods with the ej, I would start with an AOS, and possibly the sti oil pan depending on what the jdm ej205s come with.

Offline jellynuts

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 12:28:24 am »
Congrats and welcome!
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Offline thedude

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2020, 12:49:54 am »
Welcome to the forum! Looking forward to seeing your build progress.
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Offline kijho

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 07:42:02 am »
Welcome

Offline rkarakai21

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2020, 08:00:22 am »
What is an AOS?  Also would you recommend upgrading to an STI intercooler?

Offline Mason

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2020, 08:12:47 am »
What is an AOS?  Also would you recommend upgrading to an STI intercooler?

Air oil separator does pretty much what it is called. Catches the oil in the PCV system and prevents it from going into the intake. There is only a couple of reputable brands such as IAG and Crawford that have aos proven to work.

But they also can have issues in extreme cold. The lines can freeze and cause issues worse than if you simply didn't have one. In would recommend them, but only if you in a garage.

Subarus cooling system is also decent and doesn't really need upgrades

Offline thedude

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2020, 08:15:11 am »
What is an AOS?  Also would you recommend upgrading to an STI intercooler?

AOS is an air/oil separator, commonly debated on whether it’s a necessary upgrade. I’m under the impression that if you upgrade the intercooler you will need to re-tune the engine. 

I believe a killer bee oil pick-up tube and baffle is a common upgrade for preventative maintenance/longevity.
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Offline SpdDmn

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2020, 12:17:01 pm »
Welcome! :) Looking forward to seeing what you do with 'er!

PS. I run a stock radiator still  :-X
Rachel M.
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2015 Porsche Macan Turbo
2007 OBP Forester XT [Journal] [RIP]  |  2002 Aspen White WRX  [ST2 167] [RIP]
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Offline jellynuts

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2020, 09:17:03 pm »
Don't do an AOS.  Ask Jukka about how a recent (today) customer grenaded his motor because of one, (albeit, this was caused by poor installation).  I'm still of the opinion that it's engine bling under the guise of preventative maintenance.   

Oil pickup is for peace of mind.  You can read about why the OEM pickup fails, but statistically, I think it really doesn't happen to a lot of people.  Here's an old poll of how many people and what car/year was affected, but keep in mind that the percentages don't mean the percentages of cars that year have failed.  Rather, for eg. 29.77% of those who voted and drive an 06 STI have failed, or 89 people of a total of 299 that voted.  So a very small sample space, and unfortunately, no data collected of people who haven't had a failure.  Still, I'd recommend it.  We had one member here (CanehdianJ) who had his pipe fail. 

Moroso is another brand that makes good oil pickups, as an alternative to KillerB. 

I don't think changing the intercooler is necessary unless you do the turbo and downpipe too.  But either way, like thedude said, you'll need to tune for any one of these mods. 
uckfay, Johnny with the back-handed slap. You're clearly the Oracle.

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Offline Dr Beans

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2020, 09:48:50 pm »
Don't do an AOS.  Ask Jukka about how a recent (today) customer grenaded his motor because of one, (albeit, this was caused by poor installation).

Can you expand? Because I can't even think how this could happen unless you made it just re-circ back into the crank case while forgetting to pull vacuum from the canister.

Offline LilDrunkenSmurf

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2020, 07:43:08 pm »
Yeah, I need more context than "a shop saw it happen".
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I would swim to the bottom, and drink my way up.
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So give me the vodka, and stfu.
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Offline Mason

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2020, 07:49:35 pm »
Yeah, I need more context than "a shop saw it happen".
a shop saw it happen and it was installed wrong

Offline jellynuts

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2020, 06:41:18 am »
Can you expand?

Like how water expands when it freezes? 

I should clarify that Jukka's shop didn't install the AOS.  The car was brought in to diagnose why it wasn't running.  Originally, he thought it was a kink in the line during the installation.  But upon further investigation, it seems to be the classic case of water condensation freezing in the AOS. 

But really, you should

Ask Jukka
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Offline Jukka

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2020, 04:05:59 pm »
I seem to have been summoned.

Yea, customer has a 2009 WRX with a Perrin AOS installed on it, otherwise, fairly stock engine. (K&N intake, COBB AP running Stage 1 tune, dress up stuff, that's about it). He grenaded the engine during the cold snap we had while doing about 125km/h on highway 2. Engine let go really quick too, within 30 seconds of first sign of trouble. Ended up spinning a rod bearing on cylinder one due to oil starvation (closest to the oil pump, so makes sense). We figured it may have been an issue with low oil level as we only drained about 1.5L out of the pan.

Customer did have a Perrin AOS installed on the engine. When we pulled off the feed line for the breather hoses, oil gushed out like crazy. We drained probably close to a 1/4L out of the drain hoses alone. When we pulled the intercooler off, it was filled to the brim with oil as well. We've drained it three times so far and got about 1L of oil out of it. Found oil in the turbo inlet hose, intercooler to throttle body hose, and some in the intake manifold as well. We know that when the block let go, it did spray a ton of oil out, but not 2.5L worth. Checking the exhaust, it was completely coated with oil too. Customer complained just before the engine let go that he did notice a lot of smoke coming from the exhaust, but couldn't tell if it was smoke or fumes from being -35 degrees outside when it let go.

When we pulled off the AOS, we drained 150-200ml of water out of it, and the drain line from the AOS to the block was dripping brown sludgy water (looked like it was dripping a double double out). Turns out what had happened with his AOS was that 1. the drain line was pinched due to how it installs on the block and lack of clearance around the EGR system on the block, 2. the drain line most likely froze as it was getting a ton of cold air rushing over it in it's original routing from the air being directed down onto the intercooler, and 3. in the Perrin AOS, they install a foam filter, which they recommend to remove for vehicles in climates that reach temperatures below freezing. The customer didn't remove this when he installed the AOS himself. The foam must've frozen with all the condensation build up in the AOS from it sitting right above the turbo, the coolant running through it (Perrin one's have a heater element in the base of it to help separate the vapours from the liquid oil), and all the really cold air in the engine bay, causing it not to drain. If there is no free flowing drain for the system, the AOS is then placed under a full vacuum, which would cause the feed lines off the valve covers and original PCV location to start to cavitate and get sucked into the AOS and then fed back to the turbo inlet and straight into the rest of the engine's intake system.

Being 1.5-2L down at minimum would've caused cylinder 1 to have all of it's oil sucked away from it (again, closest cylinder to the oil pump), which resulted in oil starvation on cylinder 1 rod bearing, which resulted in the bearing spinning, seizing, causing the rod to snap into 3 pieces, piston making contact with the head, and one of the pieces jamming into the block and punching a hole through the top.

So, Coles notes version, in really cold temps, AOS froze up, couldn't drain, created a vacuum in the system, started sucking oil out of engine, caused oil starvation on cylinder 1, engine goes boom and has big hole in it.

I have photos of all of this too if needed, just don't really want to host them.

I'd say avoid AOS unless you have reason to really need one due to having an engine with forged internals that will have looser tolerances upon start up. If you're concerned with oiling issues, best thing to do is check it every time you fill up and top up as needed. We're printing a sticker for the customer to put on his fuel cap that just says "CHECK OIL" so he's reminded every time he fills up.

Offline JJx

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Re: New to WSC Forum
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2020, 10:52:15 pm »
Freezing AOS/catch cans have major consequences, and so guess I would agree that they aren't worth the risk on a stockish car here in Canada.

However for arguments sake I would disagree with the diagnosis of the above car however- the drain line kinked or freezing and plugging the AOS would effectively turn it into a catch can- which would function fine. I doubt you could pull much oil out of the breather ports regardless of the vacuum you pull on them (unless he was really railing a corner). The true issue here is that the AOS filled entirely and froze, blocking both the crankcase and valve cover breather ports, creating excessive crankcase pressure. At a certain point this pressure will start venting, probably somewhere it's not supposed to...In some cases this will pop the dipstick out, another place would be the turbo oil drain line- which could blow oil past the turbo seals and into the intake and exhaust sides, which would me my guess in the case above.

Regardless, a frozen AOS can result in a new engine if you aren't able to catch it in time.