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99 Outback Engine problems - Failed rod bearings?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Deadeye

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 07:27 AM

This is an update to my post below...Mechanic has told me that my problem is a failed rod bearing. He won't know how much damage was caused until he opens it up the rest of the way. The engine still turns but won't start. His position is that many phase I's had problems with rod bearings. Is this true? He won't even sell 96-99 Subaru's because of it. He also said that although Subaru won't admit to a flaw, any new phase I bought from them does not have the problem. He also sez, put an $1800 used motor in it and unload it rather than $3400 for a new one. He sez it doesn't make sense to put that much MORE money into a 99 Outback. Apparently it'd still be a bomb. To me, $3400 is a lot less than $14000 for another car.

Comments?

Thanks

#2 meep

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 10:46 AM

People that rip on subaru's reliability must have never driven a ford, dodge/plymouth/chrysler, suzuki, volkswagon, etc.... or even a M-class Benz.

Remember the Samarai? 60,000 was the most one could expect from the motor before the head cracked.

Ford escort--- great to 60,000, then a dangerous little car. Look ma, no brakes. Look ma, plastic radiator stretched and the fittings fell off. Look ma, leak in the metal gas line.

A friend just bought a late model lincoln. Electric window stopped working after he took a pothole by surprise. $550 repair on the window.

Chevy caprices manufactured with slightly off-center fittings on the rear of the driveshaft. Even the replacements shook.

Ford cop cruisers known to split in two when T-boned.

Your mechanic has probably had bad experiences with subes in the past. It's ok, everyone has the right to an opinion. However, when properly maintained and driven in a civilized manner, and oftentimes not, it will last a long time. I'd consider another engine. Who knows how the PO treated it.

Mike

#3 frag

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 01:39 PM

Others will probably give you more useful help, but in the meawhile i really dont see how a failed rod bearing could prevent an engine from starting. Nothing to do with fuel or spark or air. I would make quite a racket but it would start.
You should get a second opinion.
Moreover, i dont remember ever reading about a failed rod bearing for the three years I've been on this board.

#4 Commuter

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 02:12 PM

(Raising my hand...) I've had a conrod bearing go.

97 OB. 160k miles. Head gaskets failed. Then the con rod bearing (crank end) on no. 3 cylinder.

I'm told it is rare for the con-rods to go on these engines. And I agree that that would not cause it to not start, unless things were totally siezed up.

My engine started making noise on the highway. Within about 10 to 15 minutes of driving, it was rattling so bad that I pulled over. There wasn't much of the bearing left. Most of it had disintegrated.

Commuter

#5 alleycat

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 02:13 PM

My engine just died on my '97 Outback wagon with 107000 km (about 70000 miles) and a clean maintenance record. The first guess is that it is a broken connecting rod, or maybe a rod bearing issue. There was no warning that anything was wrong before the engine died. Any advice on what steps I should take from here?

#6 rweddy

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 04:44 PM

My engine just died on my '97 Outback wagon with 107000 km (about 70000 miles) and a clean maintenance record. The first guess is that it is a broken connecting rod, or maybe a rod bearing issue. There was no warning that anything was wrong before the engine died. Any advice on what steps I should take from here?


Ouch!!

Can this be true? Only 70k and dead motor?
Will the engine turn over?

#7 DerFahrer

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 06:47 PM

It's pretty uncommon for a Subaru to have bottom-end problems...

Commuter, I'm about 90% certain that the bearing failed because of oil contamination from the blown headgasket, so as far as I'm concerned, that's not really the fault of just a weak bottom-end.

#8 myles

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 07:31 PM

People that rip on subaru's reliability must have never driven a ford, dodge/plymouth/chrysler, suzuki, volkswagon, etc.... or even a M-class Benz.


I think one would be safe "ripping on" the Phase-I EJ25. Remember, a Subaru is a _car_, not a religion :)

#9 Commuter

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 12:14 PM

It's pretty uncommon for a Subaru to have bottom-end problems...

Agreed.

Commuter, I'm about 90% certain that the bearing failed because of oil contamination from the blown headgasket, so as far as I'm concerned, that's not really the fault of just a weak bottom-end.

I'm not sure where you are coming from with this comment. My oil was tested. It was not contaminated. The mechanic pulled the block apart. The other bearings all looked good. None showed pitting, a sign of anti-freeze contamination I'm told. I think I just got unlucky, and the head gasket failure and the bottom end failure happened to conicide. As I indicated in my tale of woe, I was able to produce some evidence to suggest that the bearing had been slowly failing for some time.

Commuter

#10 DerFahrer

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 05:51 PM

That really surprises me then. I guess you were unlucky then:confused: . I figured that the blown headgasket contaminated the oil and ruined the bearing. Oh well.

#11 corsair

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 09:39 AM

Ouch!!

Can this be true? Only 70k and dead motor?
Will the engine turn over?


If the engine doesn't turn-over with the starter, then the next step is to put the correct socket on a breaker bar and put it on the crankshaft bolt and see how much resistance you receive when trying to move the crankshaft with the breaker bar. If the bearing(s) are truly seized, you won't be able to turn the engine with a breaker bar !!

#12 Setright

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 11:13 AM

Yeah, if the engine turns on the starter, there is something else wrong.

A failed crank or rod bearing won't make it impossible to start. Also, plain bearings don't fail at such a young age, unless there is a manufactur defect.

#13 99obw

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 11:25 AM

Also, plain bearings don't fail at such a young age, unless there is a manufactur defect.


or the engine has been neglected or abused.

#14 Phillip

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:07 PM

My '99 Outback Wagon spun two rods bearings at 91,000 miles. I'm a mechanic and planned to turn the crank and replace the bearings. The crank couldn't be turned. My cost (wholesale) for a new crank and the bearings (only available from Subaru) was about $600. With an oil pump & gaskets it was nearly $900. My cost for a new shortblock from Subaru was $1200 - $1700 with gaskets, oil pump, etc. I bit the bullet an bought the new shortblock. At 96,000 miles, the trans started slipping in 3rd gear. I just got it back from the trans shop for $1950. This is my first, and LAST Subaru. My wife really likes the car, but I can't recall having so many mechanical problems with a car in 35+ years of driving. Additionally, few aftermarket parts are available and the dealer gets an arm and a leg for everything they sell! Just my opinion, but I'll buy another Honda or Toyota next time.

#15 rweddy

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 08:13 PM

My '99 Outback Wagon spun two rods bearings at 91,000 miles. I'm a mechanic and planned to turn the crank and replace the bearings. The crank couldn't be turned. My cost (wholesale) for a new crank and the bearings (only available from Subaru) was about $600. With an oil pump & gaskets it was nearly $900. My cost for a new shortblock from Subaru was $1200 - $1700 with gaskets, oil pump, etc. I bit the bullet an bought the new shortblock. At 96,000 miles, the trans started slipping in 3rd gear. I just got it back from the trans shop for $1950. This is my first, and LAST Subaru. My wife really likes the car, but I can't recall having so many mechanical problems with a car in 35+ years of driving. Additionally, few aftermarket parts are available and the dealer gets an arm and a leg for everything they sell! Just my opinion, but I'll buy another Honda or Toyota next time.

Don't give up yet!! I feel the same way but it seams that the 05 models are smoking! The legacy won the Japan car of the year, which is a huge honor. The reviews I have read are that the fit and finish are better than Honda and Toyota.

Now if they have fixed the 2.5 issues, I will be down there getting a new 2.5 turbo legacy!!




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