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2004 Subaru Forester XT EJ255 Engine Build… My personal car :-)

After all work on customer projects it was time to build a motor for my own car. So the story goes: phone call from local gentleman stating he owns a 2004 FXT which was misdiagnosed by local Subaru dealer with blown turbo. Turns out it was blown engine AND turbo and the brand new turbo the dealer just put on was blown just 100 miles later because banjo bolt filters were not checked or removed. Bought the car for cheap with intention of rebuilding the engine and upgrading from a 1998 Forester S to a much nicer, fully loaded model with panoramic sunroof, leather, heated seats, premium sound, and most importantly a turbo. The car was completely stock when bought from a 40-something year old family man. Never abused and one owner car. Even received the original window sticker with it!

The car sat for about 6 months due to summer being the busy season for racing and engine building in general. Finally around September removed the engine got to work. The following work was performed to the car:


  1. disassembled, cleaned, inspected
  2. cylinders bored and plateau honed
  3. block halved deck milled
  4. oil pump upgraded to a 12mm unit
  5. CP forged piston purchased and sent out for friction coating on the skirts
  6. piston ring gaps measured and filed as needed using Childs & Albert piston ring grinder
  7. ACL Race Series rod and main bearings installed
  8. Oil cooler upgraded to a 2005 STI style allowing use of a bigger capacity WIX 51334 oil filter
  9. 2005 STI header installed because it has larger runners
  10. 2005 STI catless up pipe installed
  11. EGT probe bung machined and installed in down pipe
  12. Greddy 70mm down pipe installed
  13. STI V6 IHI VF30 turbocharger rebuilt and installed
  14. 2005 STI top mount intercooler installed
  15. stock 550cc injectors sent out to Deatsch Werks for flow test validation and service
  16. Intake manifold media blasted, masked, and painted “wrinkle red” to match STI look
  17. Cylinder head disassembled, cleaned, and inspected
  18. valved recut using Kwik-Way grinding machine
  19. cylinder head deck surface finished using lapping stone for smoothness
  20. valve shim clearances reset as per specification
  21. all bearing clearances checked and adjusted as needed
  22. piston to cylinder bore clearance confirmed after machining
  23. car retuned by 555 Motorsports after completion

The car has been a blast to drive. 300hp and space to transport engine parts. What more can one ask for, right?

Pictures of the build and as the car sat in winter mode with STI BBS wheels and Blizzak tires: