mxandcx5 New Reader
12/27/21 3:54 p.m.

I added a 2017 BRZ 6spd manual with only 40k miles to my stable this summer (30k on engine). The market allowed me to get a very fair price for my 2007 Mazda3 hatch (even without working A/C, in August, in TX!)- but forced me to get creative when it came purchasing a suitable replacement. So yes, I purchased a lemon- or a dealer "buy back" at a good price. I did research before doing so, and was comfortable making the purchase. It is a two owner car. The seller was a mechanic at a large dealership and let me take a look around it up on a lift. He was even nice enough to agree to putting new pads on and cut the rotors on it before the sale. It seemed to be very well cared for aside from some minor cosmetic blemishes.

When I first test drove the car it was on an E85 tune and didn't feel too far off my 986 Boxster in a straight line. I am currently running it on 93 due to E85 availability, but I have a FT-86 SpeedFactory catted UEL header planned with a Stage 2 tune (OFT tuner came with it) to bring it back up to speed. I am currently living with the torque dip around town, not a factor in my highway commute.

It looks like a few people on this forum own 86s, so I figured I would start a thread. The build will be pretty mild as it is my DD, though I want to get it on track/autocross in the summer. I usually shoot no frills youtube vids to share any  knowledge I gain with the community or enthusists considering the car and I will post links to those as well.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/27/21 4:19 p.m.

Why was it bought back?

captainawesome Dork
12/27/21 4:43 p.m.


Also curious on the buy back situation.

12/27/21 5:39 p.m.

To this day, Mrs NOHOME refers to my 2013 FRS as the REMON.  Something to do with the early glitches and valve spring recall.



mxandcx5 New Reader
12/28/21 1:17 p.m.

Subaru North America would not disclose the reason to me, so I am going off the word of the seller. Apparently the original owner had issues with compression in the original engine. Regardless the engine was replaced and only has 30k on it according to the documentation I have. Subaru honored the warranty and were very accommodating when I had it at a dealer for work recently- despite me being in the process of registering it in my name & a cross country move.

mxandcx5 New Reader
12/28/21 1:18 p.m.

If a lemon is ok with Doug, I reasoned it should be ok with me!

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/28/21 3:30 p.m.

Welcome to the fold! My 2013 FR-S has been serving me well for a daily driver that is also fun and sees occasional motorsports use.

mxandcx5 New Reader
12/30/21 5:06 p.m.

I found RTV in my oil filter and I am looking for advice.

In October I had the dealer replace three pulleys that had failed bearings. While the car was there, they found the cam carriers to be leaking oil and had the timing cover off to make repairs. When I installed an oil cooler recently (from the new 2022 model!) I noticed a chunk of RTV in the oil filter. I autopsied the oil filter today and found RTV remnants in nearly every pleat.

I have an appointment at the dealership where work was performed in October and I'm not entirely sure what my ask should be besides an oil change w filter- drop the oil pan to inspect pick-up screen (of course this is RTV'd as well)? Should I be contacting Subaru North America and try to get my warranty extended? YouTube vids below in order from most recent:

Oil Filter Autopsy showing RTV:

2nd Gen Oil Cooler Install:

Failed pulley bearings :

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/9/22 8:46 p.m.

The BRZ's motor failed this weekend, roughly 4k miles following the timing cover repair and I found RTV in the oil. The dealership that had completed the work in October denied that the presence of RTV in the oil was anything to be concerned about and offered me no solutions- they wanted to charge me for an oil change and didn't think that one was necessary. The car left me stranded in VA and hopefully the dealer there can better sort out the issue with the car still being under warranty.  Either way they are going to autopsy the motor for cause. It's a good time of year for both the Boxster and Miata to see more drive time!

Slippery UberDork
4/9/22 8:52 p.m.

Crap. Insane how many of these engines fail. 

Hopefully they give you a new engine. Do you have anything in writing from the other dealership regarding the rtv? 

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/9/22 9:02 p.m.

The dealership that botched the job did a decent job of writing up the situation on the invoice and even returned the section of oil filter that I had dropped off as evidence. I did call Subaru North America after the dealer offered no real solution and they claimed to make a record of my complaint, but said they trust their dealers to make the correct mechanical assessments. I should have taken an oil sample before I had dropped it off back in Jan.

dculberson MegaDork
4/9/22 9:30 p.m.

Jesus. Good luck with the motor situation that's a pain in the rear. 

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/12/22 9:10 a.m.

It will likely be a month before I get the BRZ back and at this point the dealer in VA has been excellent. They are going to replace the engine under warranty and hope to have it disassembled by the end of the week to pinpoint the cause of failure. I don't see myself keeping it much longer after I get it back. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/14/22 10:29 p.m.

That's disappointing about the engine failure - is that the reason you're going to dump it once they install the new engine?

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/20/22 7:55 p.m.

In reply to dj06482 (Forum Supporter) :

Yea, I think it is time to move onto something more "mature" and possibly with an automatic gearbox as a daily. Hard call. I really like the driving dynamics of the BRZ and not sure I could find something "newish" that would offer as engaging of an experience while doing better than the BRZ's 31mpg average on my highway commute. And all that a reasonable price point. Realistically I could tap my '99 Boxster for the next 6 months until I figure something out.

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/20/22 8:02 p.m.

As one does...

Sonic UberDork
4/20/22 8:08 p.m.

The level of engine failures on these seem to be higher than any recent enthusiast car in memory.  Sad.  Hopefully the new 2.4 is better.  

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/20/22 8:14 p.m.

It spoke with the dealer in Winchester, VA today and it sounds like they have ordered all the parts necessary for a fresh engine build that will be total close to $10k in warranty work parts & labor (new block, heads, the works). I asked if the sales department would be willing to make me an offer on the car to help me weigh my options in the near term and they should be getting back to me late this week, early next.

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/29/22 8:01 a.m.

I didn't have these Stoptech Sport 309 pads on for too long before the motor blew, but I was very impressed with them over the course of several weeks in daily/back road driving. I had a hard time deciding between these and the Hawk HPS+ which are on my NA Miata. I knew the Hawks work well enough, but they always have seemed to be a little too grabby, noisy and dusty. I couldn't find a lot of info on these 309s (I was looking for a good Mu graph to compare them to other brands with this information published), so I reached out to their customer service line and there reply is below:

"Our main goal is to educate our customers so we are very careful about publishing Mu numbers because it’s much more complicated than a simple number and can actually be mis-leading.  What we can state for 309 pads is that the friction level is very steady at temperatures during normal everyday driving, spirted driving , and at the track to a degree. The friction levels will drop off at temps above 1200-1300F. But you can expect the pads to have a nice sporty friction feel to them, even at low temps."

I found these pads to be much less noisy, dusty and grabby than the HPS+ making them easier to live with everyday and the brake pedal much easier to modulate. I bled air bubbles from all 4 corners and the overall feel was incredible compared to the newer OEM Subaru pads the car was wearing.

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
4/29/22 9:10 a.m.

I'd like to vote this thread for "best foreshadowing" award.   

And sorry about your experience. what a bunch of crap. These can be such nice cars too. Toyota lost their way a while ago in my opinion. I think they exist of their old reputation. Subaru and bwm should be buying cars from toyota and branding them as their own, not the other way around. 

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/29/22 8:56 p.m.

In reply to TJL (Forum Supporter) :

Haha yea when the 86 twins first came out I was a little suspicious of the Subaru motor and remember wishing if only it had a Toyota engine. My Boxster must have corrupted my head with thoughts about the world being better flat-not so! I think if the original Subaru tech took the time and care to reseal the timing cover properly (they did have the car for close to 3 weeks..) I would still be driving it. 

mxandcx5 New Reader
4/29/22 9:11 p.m.

Just prior to doing the brakes I had some fresh Michelin Pilot Sport 4S put on with SPC camber bolts in the lower hole. I had the car aligned as follows:

Front: Camber: -1.5, Caster:5.7, Toe: 0

Rear: Camber -1.9, Toe: 0

It was the perfect setup for street driving. Ever so slightly more immediate turn in and without being darty on the freeway. I was very happy with the Pilot Sport 4S and have nothing negative to say about them (maybe a little pricey). I was waiting until the warranty was up this summer to put on an FTSpeedfactory UEL catted header and Motiv overpipe with a tune to help the engine match the cars handling. I am glad that I waited!

mxandcx5 New Reader
6/1/22 7:16 p.m.

Pic of the oil pan...The dealership doing the work found lots of RTV in oil passages. It is finally back together and running, but will remain at the dealer until I figure out how/when I will be able to pick it up. Thankfully, very thankfully it was all covered under "goodwill" policy? The dealer didn't want to make an offer based the car's buyback title, which I somewhat expected.

mxandcx5 New Reader
6/18/22 7:59 a.m.

Now that the dust has settled I can bring this thread up to date. First, huge shout out to CMA Subaru in Winchester VA- they did an amazing job replacing the engine free of charge with very little questions asked. The reason it was considered "goodwill" was because technically the offending dealership (Glanzmann Subaru in Hatboro PA, the worst) should have been made to resolve the issues, which most likely would have been a bitter, fruitless fight, so it worked out the engine failed while far away from home.

After much back and forth with Subaru North America the best form of recourse offered & now accepted was a 2 year/24k maintenance security plan covering all scheduled maint (up to 4x oil changes), importantly transferrable to next owner. The new motor has a one year warranty on it as well. 

How is it driving? Great! PS4S Tires are wonderful, steering response and feel with the alignment is great, StopTech Brakes with new fluid are immediate- zero complaints, lots of fun. It's going to be hard for me to list it when it is running like this, but my current plan is get the oil changed at around the 1k mile mark, make sure there are zero issues that need to be addressed and move it on.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/18/22 6:39 p.m.

I'm glad to see they took care of it for you! Always tough to let one go when it's running so well, but it sounds like a good decision!

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