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Is preventive headgasket change an option?
Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:07 PM
No problems with overheating up till now, but I just wondered if it would make any sence to change the headgaskets now. Also because my wife will start using it just for small trips (heating up/cooling down often)
As I would do the job myself, it would give me the time to shedule and prepaire at ease. But would I save machining the heads? Or do I still have to do that?
I figured It will cost about $200 on gaskets and $100 on oil and coolants. So not a huge amount. And the gaskets are in the mail right now (I like to have some cheap US-spares as I live in Europe).
I won't do belts, hoses, oil pump, pulleys, etc (have done all of them resently).
Does it make sence or am I just looking for an excuse to get my hands greasy again?
Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:31 PM
Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:32 PM
Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:37 PM
Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:48 PM
If nothing else, the DOHC engine is cool, and working on it is a joy. It would be a good learning experience. If I do it again I will do things differently, that's for sure.
Posted 23 March 2004 - 07:15 PM
many people can nurse it along when it does go by keeping the coolant topped off. i got by for about a month while i got parts together and figured out what i wanted to do.
Posted 23 March 2004 - 08:07 PM
So I was hoping for someone to develop a permanent cure for this and I think this is it.
At the last part of the article, there is a mention about air purge valve or something like that to solve this problem.
I asked the author of the site about detailed pictures and how-tos. Right now, he has some trouble updating his web site but he will give me an update when he is able to upload the information.
I will never touch my cooling system (which was serviced by dealer recently) thus introducing air, until I get this modification done to my car.
Or, could someone more mechanically intelligent figure this out and post how-to for dummy? I'd be much obliged.
Posted 23 March 2004 - 09:57 PM
I haven't heard of too many failures on the 1996 model. But there is no way for me to know if it is simply because there are less of them around, or because the engine is a bit less powerful, or both.
The Phase I head gasket failure is exaberated by "load" conditions. That is, hiway running, towing, etc. Operating that calls for more from the engine. The pattern often is that people can run around town all day long with no problem, for weeks or even months on end, then the one day that they hit the hiway, the car overheats. In the early stages, the "leak" that opens up between the combustion chamber and the coolant passages doesn't even exist until the engine is being pushed.
Therefore, I would be "less" concerned if the car is about to see duty which is short trip driving. I'm assuming that these trips are not hard running trips (you don't say what sort of driving). There is credence to "if it aint' broke, don't fix it". Keep an eye on the coolant and expansion bottle. Watch the temperature gauge. You might install a more sensitive gauge if you like. Start a savings fund for the "head gasket repair" if you want. If it happens, you will not be hit so hard. If it doesn't, you have some cash that is still yours.
Edit - I see you are in the Netherlands. I know that some of the world gets the models a year before we do in North America. Hence, I'm not 100% sure what hp your engine has. (And the standard for rating is a bit different in Europe too.)
My 2 cents.
Posted 24 March 2004 - 01:39 AM
But keep the HG set handy, and put money aside for the day it might blow.
Posted 24 March 2004 - 01:46 PM
Just to give some answers to your questions above.
My car is US built (private import when Outbacks were not sold here).
I have used it under heavy circomstances (towing a 2200 lbs caravan up a 10-12% for 30 minutes was max. Boy, did the engine smell after that!)
Yep Holland is small but I don't care were it hapens, but when it hapens.
A short drive is a '3 minute to bring the kids to school drive'.
I agree that most of the time I have 'that last bolt' that gives a problem, so I better don't touch. It will not improve for the new gasket is not proven to be better.
I like the idea of a temp alarm but the info from HB Kim is the best and I believe that (is your real name Dr Phil?). Its a real eye opener and explains a lot.
This is that vital piece of information:
."....So trapped air causes head warp, which causes air to enter the cooling system. It was pretty amusing that at the same time I discovered this entrained air sensitivity in the 2.5 engine, so too did the auto dealers. Head warp caused by customers changing their coolant is now the number one warranty item with this engine. All caused by an engine block that was not plumbed to dynamically remove air from the high point. Subaru has since changed their cooling system design.
It's essential that the 2.5 liter coolant crossover tube atop the engine be drilled and tapped. This allows user to add a small tube from there to the coolant reservoir. Any air inside the engine block then automatically purges. Proof of effective purging is that I can now drain all the coolant from the entire sys, then refill. Every drop can be refilled without hesitation. Before adding this air purge, I would end up with a few cups of fluid that I could not get back in to the system. Also, I now can't get the engine to gurgle after a hot shut down...."
This I will do. I will drill that hole and put in a smal bolt just make sure I bleed all the air out. And if I can't reach that point a small hose with a plug and clamp should work. You won't need a big opening.
Thanks for all this advice. For me the misterious headgasket problem is solved
(From that small country on the otherside of that big lake)
Posted 24 March 2004 - 02:32 PM
(Then again some of these newer pressurized system may be different. I'm actually picturing my old Chevy setup as I type)
Posted 24 March 2004 - 03:04 PM
Never had to add much later on.
Posted 24 March 2004 - 05:47 PM
at a place where an air pocket couldn't have developed. additionally, he has mounted the engine in an airplane, and there is no way of telling what angles it is mounted with respect to the mounting in an auto. overall, i think it is poor gasket design combined with a small sealing area.
i'm also assuming he bought a salvaged engine, and there is no telling if it already had a blown head gasket, which may lead him to misdiagnose the problem to be air trapped in the cooling system. and his multiple runs where he overheated it could have been what warped the heads, not air in the system. i just know that i don't think i would trust keeping myself in the air with a 2.5 providing the power!
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