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99 Legacy Outback - Looking to buy - Worst Case Scenario?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 samneric

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:48 PM

Hi all,

I have a Brat at the moment and am looking to buy an Outback for potential 60 mile commutes. (A/C in Brat sucks now that I converted to r132).

Anyways, I have been reading the forums, doing some research. It seems that the HGs are a big problem with the EJ25.
So is this as bad as people say?
If I were to buy one that had HG probs and I change the HGs, are they likely to hold out another 100K? (I can stand to replace them at that interval)
Are they any other serious issues I need to know I would be getting into???

I am reasonably technically minded - I did the HGs on my Brat last year and know that it may be more involved with DOHC...

All input is appreciated!

Cheers!

Steve

#2 bheinen74

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:17 PM

a 99 ej25 on its original headgaskets is doomed at some point for the hg failiing. Nearly all (95%) of the early ej25 had leaky headgasekts during the first 100-140k
If you find yourself with one, and install new Subaru from the dealer updated Hedgaskets, torque everything and follow procedure, it will last another 100-150k. It would be of great benefit while doing the headgaskets, to get a NEW radiator, new water pump, pulleys and idlers, and T belt, and a full reseal. When all that is done, you will have a more reliable engine than what was in the car when it was bought new.

You seem like you did some research and others will chime in and help further.

Edited by bheinen74, 07 April 2010 - 04:20 PM.


#3 subaru360

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:30 PM

Torque bind. Check for it. Other than those 2 issues, the old outbacks are a good car.

#4 samneric

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:32 PM

a 99 ej25 on its original headgaskets is doomed at some point for the hg failiing. Nearly all (95%) of the early ej25 had leaky headgasekts during the first 100-140k
If you find yourself with one, and install new Subaru from the dealer updated Hedgaskets, torque everything and follow procedure, it will last another 100-150k. It would be of great benefit while doing the headgaskets, to get a NEW radiator, new water pump, pulleys and idlers, and T belt, and a full reseal. When all that is done, you will have a more reliable engine than what was in the car when it was bought new.

You seem like you did some research and others will chime in and help further.


WOW??? This *really* has taken me by surprise - I thought Subaru were better than this - I couldn't believe what I was reading at first.

Just bad components from the factory that can be fixed is not TOO bad though......

Wow again.

Steve

#5 samneric

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:33 PM

Torque bind. Check for it. Other than those 2 issues, the old outbacks are a good car.


What is Torque Bind? How can I test for it?

#6 bheinen74

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:37 PM

WOW??? This *really* has taken me by surprise - I thought Subaru were better than this - I couldn't believe what I was reading at first.

Just bad components from the factory that can be fixed is not TOO bad though......

Wow again.

Steve

When Subaru endeavored for higher displacement for more power, they changed how the blocks were cast, and changed how the heads and passages were. Also, the chosen headgaskets at the time turned out to not suit the new block/heads for a long term period. Hg's leaks were quite common. Subaru redesigned a more durable Headgasket about 4 or so iterations in the years to follow, each time making it better. If you go to a discount parts store, you may get the 2nd, or 3rd design, or worse the original old stock of crappy gaskets which still has problems. the gaskets you buy from Subaru today will be the ones most of us regard as being the fix, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT you buy them at the Dealer.

#7 Rooster2

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:44 PM

I have both a 98 and 99 OBW with the 2.5 motor. I bought both used. Maybe the HGs have been changed on mine, maybe not. I just don't know. I haven't had any HG problems in the 5+ years for both cars.

However, my recommendation is to buy a 2001 or newer car. The head gasket problem on the newer models is not much of an issue and if they go bad, won't leave you stranded.

Other than the HG issue, these cars are very dependable, very durable, and easy to work on.

My advise is to replace the timing belt and pulleys, if you have no idea when the belt was last replaced, because if the timing belt breaks, the valves will bend against the piston. Not a pretty sight.

#8 subaru360

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:36 PM

00 up have headgasket issues also. They drip on the ground rather than leak externally.




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