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Head Gasket failure....


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Loyale93v

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 06:26 AM

1999 Brighton Legacy Wagon 2.2L, (229,960 miles)

Wife called me at work to say car was overheating.
I got there, the coolant was low with no apparent external leaks. I got her going with fresh coolant. Followed her home, and noticed some white smoke coming from tail pipe.
I added one ounce of UV-DYE into the radiator coolant, let it run for 10 minutes...then with my Black Light, checked the oil. Sure enough, the UV-DYE had made its way into the crank case.
The car has served me well...has NEVER giving me a problem.
I bought it from my wife's parents neighbors for $240. I got two years out of it.
The car had spent its whole life in Northern Vermont. It was a rust bucket due to the heavy Salt mix they use to treat the roadways up there.

Any ways....so is repair even worth the trouble? Probably not. Unless I do the whole job myself....who has time?
If I were to replace a head gasket, I should probably do both sides..? right?
What will the job cost? (when all is said and done?) a lot!
$100?
$200?
$500?....I may be able to find another $500-$1000 vehicle and get another 2-3 years out of it?
The trouble is....my wife LOVES the current Subaru! She would not drive any other kind of car!
Any tips? and/or pointers? for HG replacement?

#2 JT95

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:16 AM

I would try locating a lower miles engine and just swap it in. I think as far as time and headache factor, that would be your best bet, compared to replacing the head gaskets. I'm sure there are some 2.2s that can be had for a decent price.



Not a powerhouse, but I love the little 2.2

#3 Suzam

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:37 AM

+1 on the engine swap. Even though the 2.2 is a very reliable engine, with that much mileage better to find a motor to drop in for reliability. The parts in the engine block are getting tired.

#4 Rooster2

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:47 AM

I can understand your wife's emotional attachment to her Subie. All of us here on this forum have the same love affair with their Subie. However, the reality is that you are calling it a rust bucket with 229K miles on the odo, with bad HGs. This presents a picture of a very tired car that is not worth repairing. If it were me, I would think that future time and money would be best spent on upgrading to a better car, and let the Brighton RIP in a wrecking yard.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:09 AM

probably comes down to your time/skills/tools.

if you can pull the motor, get a lower mileage EJ22 and swap it out. it's not hard to find them inexpensively. harbor freight had a deal as of two days ago down here...like %50 off - $100 engine lift - my buddy went and bought one. or you could probably borrow one if you know anyone, i'd let you borrow mine.

if you can't pull the motor, the head gaskets on this car can be done without removing the engine, so that's probably your best bet. use Subaru head gaskets, not aftermarket.

if the girl likes it and it's running fine there's nothing wrong with doing the headgaskets if you think you can get another few years out of it - sounds like rust is the determining factor to me.

#6 shortlid

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:52 AM

I am in New Hampshire and I had my grand fathers '99 Legacy L wagon with teh EJ22. Greta car but when the rust cancer starts there is no way to stop it. eventualy the safty of the car in a wreck is comprimised. I would find a EJ22 powered Subaru furthere down south for her.;)

#7 The Dude

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:39 AM

I am in New Hampshire and I had my grand fathers '99 Legacy L wagon with teh EJ22. Greta car but when the rust cancer starts there is no way to stop it. eventualy the safty of the car in a wreck is comprimised. I would find a EJ22 powered Subaru furthere down south for her.;)



I'm originally from NYC, but I relocated to Columbia, SC a long time ago. South Carolina is like some kind of car museum. You almost never see rust on a car, you could rebuild or replace the engines almost forever. There's plenty of cars, and especially pick-ups, from when Kennedy was President.
EXCEPTION: Cars from the sea coast in the South. The salt air, high humidity, and high heat can really eat up a car with rust. The Florida Keys are probably the worst.

#8 bstone

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:52 PM

Try Bars Leak. Or Steel Seal.

#9 wavekayaker

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:57 PM

I'm originally from NYC, but I relocated to Columbia, SC a long time ago. South Carolina is like some kind of car museum. You almost never see rust on a car, you could rebuild or replace the engines almost forever. There's plenty of cars, and especially pick-ups, from when Kennedy was President.
EXCEPTION: Cars from the sea coast in the South. The salt air, high humidity, and high heat can really eat up a car with rust. The Florida Keys are probably the worst.



Coo! I'm also in Columbia. I second finding a southern car and driving it home. I somehow keep ending up with northern cars that end up in the south.

#10 eppoh

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:53 PM

Here ya go.

http://houston.craig...1892780826.html

#11 bstone

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:54 PM

Here ya go.

http://houston.craig...1892780826.html



need a new engine gasket every 40k. This is well known and is not a big deal

Wow...talk about a lie.

#12 eppoh

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:08 PM

Wow...talk about a lie.



Typical of non subie enthusiats.. However, if you aren't used to boxer motor oil drips, you might believe that. How many Subarus have you ever seen that were completely dry on the bottom?
Here is another southern Subie

http://houston.craig...1896309950.html

#13 ericem

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

Typical of non subie enthusiats.. However, if you aren't used to boxer motor oil drips, you might believe that. How many Subarus have you ever seen that were completely dry on the bottom?
Here is another southern Subie

http://houston.craig...1896309950.html


Hmm that's true. Only time I had enough of a oil leak that I cared was when it was dripping from the oil pump o-ring......

#14 Loyale93v

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:28 AM

Hmm that's true. Only time I had enough of a oil leak that I cared was when it was dripping from the oil pump o-ring......


But any ways...We've decided that finding / buying another Subaru is best. One that is younger...But in the mean time...is there any last ditch effort to try and save this one? Like "Bar's Leak Stop" I also saw one on the shelf that involves draining the coolant, adding the mixture, then emptying the coolant completely, letting it air dry for 24 hours. Then re-filling the coolant and "you're good to go"
Any one have a remedy that will get through a month or so while we save up for a new car?

Please note: I am very skeptical about "cures in a can"




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