EJ22T plucked from the junk yard

My naT build lasted only a short while due to user error. I talked about how you shouldn’t get too horny for more boost, and yet I turned it up too high… After just under 3,000 miles, I started noticing crazy amounts of leaking oil right after I put on my oil catch can. My set up before the can was insanely improper and stupidly done, which was based off of improper knowledge of how to set up a PCV system.

If you have read my turbo article, you can see that I talked about how I placed little breather pod filters on either of my breather ports on the heads. This vented all blow-by gasses and crank case pressure into the atmosphere, and the actual PCV set up going back into the intake was set up wrong. I had the hose coming out of the crank case at the back of the motor going straight into the intake manifold where the PCV valve is. Because of this set up, every time I hit boost the PCV would leak boost into the crank case. All PCV valves leak; it’s the nature of the beast. The solution to this problem is to get a check valve and place it between the PCV valve and the port for the crank case. This will help prevent boost from leaking into your crank case, foaming your oil, and creating back pressure for the pistons to fight.

Once I had set up my oil catch can, oil started coming out my filler neck where it blew the O ring. I fixed the O ring, and then it started leaking out my oil return set up and out my oil pan gasket. With this much oil being forced out of various gaskets and rings, I knew there was something wrong. I did a compression test and a leak down test.

Cylinder 1 – 170 psi      leak – 2%

Cylinder 2 – 170 psi     leak – 2%

Cylinder 3 – 165 psi     leak – 9%

Cylinder 4 – 95 psi…    leak – 85% into crankcase.   Wet compression test went up to 120 psi

So this meant either ring land or piston rings are gone. The big challenge was the fact that my daily driver wouldn’t drive anywhere. It would spew enough oil out of a gasket to empty my oil pan in 20 minutes. So I started the search for a new motor. I figured I could pick an EJ22E out of any pick-and-pull, these older motors are a dime a dozen. I got online to look and this is where my “mistake” was…. I found an EJ22T at a junk yard close to my house. Which is crazy, cause the next closest one was 800 miles away, along with the fact that there were only a couple for sale in the states. These motors are coveted by the OBD 1 Subaru community and aren’t often found laying in a junk yard. I went up to the junk yard, walked in, and told the guy I was looking for an old Subaru turbo. The guy recalled the engine because it came out of his brother-in-law’s car that his nephew had wrecked. The problem was that they had no idea where it was. I spent 30 minutes walking through this junk yard, with rows of cars stacked 3 cars high on either side, until finally I found what I was looking for. Now was the moment I hoped the junk yard wasn’t aware of this motor’s worth. Lets just say they weren’t; I got it for a screaming deal! So here I am driving home with an EJ22T in the bed of my truck and a grin on my face.


The motor was extremely dirty since it had been sitting outside for two months without cover. After I got the water out of the cylinders, I could tell the valves were rusted open and nasty. So I decided that I might as well rebuild the heads. I have the tools at my shop to do it. Has anyone cut valves themselves or seen freshly cut ones? If not check these pictures out, they look super nice! Something about them just turns me on! Once that was complete,  I painted the motor all pretty and put it in! Below is the picture story to the whole process. Enjoy!

Got the heads taken off and power washed the block.

Dirty block  Clean block

Ran the heads through our “dishwasher”; they came out nice and clean! Also, look at that beautiful closed deck design!

Cleaned up heads  Closed deck block

Took apart the heads to begin the rebuild process! Take a look at how good that freshly cut valve looks!

Rebuild heads lay out  Cut side by side

Grinding vlaves

Then began cutting the valve seats for a beautiful 3 angle cut!

Before seats  Cutting the seats

Fresh seats

Then back together for the freshly painted heads!

Valves back in  Hydronic adjusters

Painted heads

The beautification process for other parts!

Painted block  Painted Turbo  Manifold

Together with the motor!

Heads on  assymble

All that's left is timing  Workshop

Now she’s in and running strong! Just finished the break in process and bumping up the boost. There is a big difference between my old N/A engine bay and my new one!

image3  motor in

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