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Old 01-14-2019, 10:58 PM   #1
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Seeking Advice: Engine blew shortly after rebuild

Posting for a friend so to keep everyone anonymous:

A friend of mine went to a popular and reputable private Subaru specialist shop to have the engine rebuilt due to the typical Subaru rod knock.

Suggested by the shop owner, to save cost, the engine was rebuilt using a used short block with similar mileage from the shop owner’s “friend”, which my friend never had contact with. The engine was also running on the shop’s “open source” tune rather than the OTS COBB tune. The shop owner mentioned it’s supposed to be safer and better than COBB OTS. It was a typical engine rebuild with the head cleaned and all new gaskets...etc.

The car was driven lightly for the first 1500 km and had an oil change. A few weeks after the oil change with the total mileage driven under 2000 km in about 2 months time frame since the rebuild, the car was knocking again with a similar sound as when my friend first brought the car in except the knock was much louder. The car was driven in a regular manner, hitting boost scarcely. It is safe to say the noise is from the block and most likely another engine bearing issue.

At this point, the shop only offers some discount on labour if my friend decides to rebuild the engine again. I don't think anyone can afford 2x engine rebuild in such short period of time. The cost of 2x engine rebuild probably costs as much as the car. Will appreciate any advice on how to approach this. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:35 AM   #2
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The discounted labour is likely the best it's going to be.
Although the shop helped source the shortblock, its still a used block with no indication in your post that the shortblock was opened up to rebuild. Your friend already ran it for 2k, so the shortblock worked when sold.

I feel this would be treated like a transaction where the customer brings their own parts for the shop to install. The labour gets warranty, but the parts don't since the customer supplied it.

Furthermore, a used shortblock was likely suggested given your friend's budget. Your friend could have bought brand new shortblock from Subaru for the rebuild.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:35 AM   #3
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accept's "used" engine on a budget from an old junker.
your friend took the Gamble on used,i would've got everything close as new on a rebuild if you want long term,sucks he took the cheapest route possible now it came to bite him on the get what you pay for.
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Last edited by Mr.Money; 01-15-2019 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:46 AM   #4
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Aren't new short blocks from subaru pretty reasonably priced? Like 3-4k?
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:00 AM   #5
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I saw the thread title and immediately assumed it would be a Subaru lol
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:25 AM   #6
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Purely from a legal standpoint, there is a case given that there is an implied term within a sales/service contract that the merchant should provide goods of merchantable quality and fit for purpose to lay clients. This includes selling an used block because merchant still owns a duty of care to ensure they conduct their due diligence on the block.

The biggest challenge for your friend is to prove that using the block for 2k then it going bust constituted as "not of merchantable quality" of "not fit for purpose". Anyhow I highly doubt your friend will opt for this route given the small amount of loss vs. the high legal costs.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:47 AM   #7
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Out of luck hommie.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:45 PM   #8
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Any part, new or used, can fail at any time. Some things are more or less reliable than others but there's no way to know until you use it.

Maybe it was negligence, maybe it was a defective part, but the odds of being able to tell for sure are slim. It sucks but that's life.
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