Piston Ring-Land Failure, Rebuild & Re-Install

2007, End of the Year

(Videos of initial start up and idle at bottom of this page)

At the very end of October of 2007, I was heading out for one of the last drives before storing the STi for the winter months. I noticed that when I started the engine it puffed a bit-o-blue smoke... not good.

I was still making mega power but I decided to check the compression... good thing because it was low in cylinder #2.

I figured that some day I would need to rebuild the engine but honestly I thought it would be "on my terms". I guess my lack of tuning experience had finally cought up with me.

NOTE: My engine builder told me the failure was caused by a combination of high pressure and light detonation (spark knock). I was hitting the boost very hard ... like 26psi from 3100 till it ran out of poop at 3800 or so. This alone would probably not have caused the failure but combined with the very aggressive timing advance I ran created the environment to go boom (well, at least puff).

I started to research engine builders and found that there are many. After several weeks of internet and direct contact research I decided to go with Axis. I could not find any bad press (anywhere) regarding this company.

My son Jeremy and I pulled the engine and removed all of the "shit" from a-top. My other son, Ryan and I drove the long-block to Axis in late November.

Ron rebuilt my long block to these specifications:

My plans are to run the stock turbo during the summer of 2008. I want to see what kind of power I can get out of the Axis engine with stock turbo... then I plan to install an FP Red and FMIC.

Photos of Axis rebuild

Install Prep

By the way, installing the APS Turbo Inlet is very challenging to say the least. Hint: Don't even think about installing this part without removing the intake/TGV assy. Follow the instructions about cutting the stock fuel rail and breather line brackets very carefully. Also, make sure you move the fuel pressure regulator as instructed. Additionally, make sure you fabricate the new breather line configuration and mount it to the block before you install the intake.... honestly, I struggle to understand how you could install the new breather lines and get them to fit around the BOV recycle pipe correctly with the engine installed... if you don't have the BOV recirculation pipe anymore.. it is a walk in the park...


I was hoping to start the car up and break in the cams on Monday, 12/31/2007 but I ran into a bit-o-trouble due to a miss calculation on my part regarding the positioning of the EGT bung. There is nothing worse than a miss placed bung you know... so I am taking corrective measures to "fix" the problem. This will delay the start up until sometime the weekend of 1/04/08.

I plan to take some HD Video of the initial start up and cam break in process. I will post the video on my site..... UPDATE: Engine started and cams broken in on 1/05/08.. below is a link to the video:

I do NOT have streaming video so you MUST right click and "save target as" on the links below:

Initial Start up (65 meg)

Cold start to warm up Idle (120 meg)

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