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Phase II 2.5L external HG peeping leak, does it get into the oil?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 porcupine73

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:09 AM

The early phase II 2.5L sohc's, when those peep the coolant out the HG's, do they tend to get coolant into the engine oil?

My '00obw 180k miles I have to top up the overflow reservoir about once per week. Sometimes I can smell coolant at stops. It usually leaks only on cool mornings until the engine warms up. I'm imagining it is peeping out the HG's. Replacing the HG's right now is not something I really want to try to tackle if I can just keep the overflow topped off.

I don't smell coolant in the engine oil but from what I see if coolant is getting into the engine oil that is as they said in Ghostbusters, bad Ray, very bad.

#2 987687

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

I bought my 2000 outback with pretty bad head gaskets, and there was no coolant in the oil. It's almost always a purely external leak.
You'd know if there was coolant in the oil, it would be a milky disgusting colour.

#3 davebugs

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:45 AM

I bought my 2000 outback with pretty bad head gaskets, and there was no coolant in the oil. It's almost always a purely external leak.
You'd know if there was coolant in the oil, it would be a milky disgusting colour.


If you look where you part you should see the coolant.

All HG failures in 2.5's seem to now mix coolant with oil. The rare 2.2 HG failure usually blows white smoke but the coolant still doesn't usually mix with the oil.

#4 porcupine73

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

Ok thanks. Maybe I'll spring the $20 for an oil analysis to see if it detects coolant in the oil just to be safe. Adding some coolant each week I figure is a lot less work and cost than replacing the HG's. It always seems to keep the rad full and pulls out of the overflow on cooldown.

The timing belt will be due again in another 30-40k miles, at that time I will probably do the HG's provided the rest of the vehicle makes it that far. Fortunately it doesn't really seem to have ever developed that slow engagement to drive that a lot of the early 4EAT Phase II's had.

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:30 PM

if you are only losing coolant, and not oil, you may be able to put off the repair by adding the subaru ''coolant conditioner'' to the radiator. it works amazingly well and has been known to stop the coolant leak.

one bottle is recommended but if the leak is severe try 2. start the engine, add the conditioner and then go for a drive long enough to reach full operating temp to circulate the conditioner through out the system.

get the stuff at the dealer, it is cheap, ~ $2.50 per bottle.

and frankly i have not heard of coolant mixing with the oil, ever, as a common head gasket failure mode.

All HG failures in 2.5's seem to now mix coolant with oil.

based on my experience and reading, this has to be a typo. RIGHT?

exhaust in the coolant yes, on phase 1 ej25s, but usually no coolant in the oil.
coolant and oil to the exterior on early phase 2 ej25s, but usually no coolant in the oil.
for 05+ i have no experience

of course regardless of what happens most of the time, there is always a possibility of an odd duck gasket failure.

Edited by johnceggleston, 25 November 2012 - 12:46 PM.


#6 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:30 PM

nvrmd

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 25 November 2012 - 04:27 PM.


#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

If you look where you part you should see the coolant.

All HG failures in 2.5's seem to now mix coolant with oil. The rare 2.2 HG failure usually blows white smoke but the coolant still doesn't usually mix with the oil.


I've seen a lot of Subaru HG failures and not a single one has mixed fluids.

This has been said MANY times:

EJ22's and EJ25D's blow HG's from the fire ring to a coolant passage. Always. This results in exhaust gasses in the coolant. No oil/coolant mixing is ever seen.

EJ251/2/3/4 (SOHC 2.5's) leak coolant and oil externally on the ground. They might mix once outside the engine but they don't mix inside it. The fix is to replace the HG's with the 2.5 turbo HG. The compression change is slight and insignificant and they NEVER leak again.

GD

#8 bratman18

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

I've seen a lot of Subaru HG failures and not a single one has mixed fluids.

This has been said MANY times:

EJ22's and EJ25D's blow HG's from the fire ring to a coolant passage. Always. This results in exhaust gasses in the coolant. No oil/coolant mixing is ever seen.

EJ251/2/3/4 (SOHC 2.5's) leak coolant and oil externally on the ground. They might mix once outside the engine but they don't mix inside it. The fix is to replace the HG's with the 2.5 turbo HG. The compression change is slight and insignificant and they NEVER leak again.

GD


I was gonna say, this has always been my experience too.

#9 davebugs

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

Correction.

I've never seen a Subaru engine (2.2 or 2.5) mix oil and water.

I have some trouble typing and getting words out of order after my accident. So I try and proof read real well but was in a hurry this morning. Time is moving quickly and coming up on 2 years and I seem to not be getting any better anymore. Same as the physical issues.

The 2000 and up 2.5's you seem to be able to basically add a little coolant indefinately. And usually the car will leave coolant marks where you park it, not much but if you look for it some. But they don't overheat due to air pockets in cooling system like the 2.5 DOHC's.

I keep a few bottles of the "conditioner" here.

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

'99 to about '03 or so have progressively smaller issues with coolant weepage. After that it's usually oil and it gets on the exhaust where it causes smoking and smelly vapors. If you can put up with that it's not absolutely critical that the HG's be replaced but usually people give in eventually and have the HG's done to correct the annoyance.

The conditioner (stop leak) is pretty successful with the coolant weepage issue. I've seen them so bad it loses a 6" puddle of coolant while you are shopping for groceries. And I've seen the Holts Radweld fix it for YEARS even when that bad.

GD

#11 porcupine73

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

Ok thanks glad to hear the coolant doesn't normally mix into the oil. I plan to just keep adding coolant to the overflow as necessary then. I do add the coolant conditioner at each coolant change. I think my coolant leak comes and goes, like sometimes i don't notice much of any drop in the reservoir, then suddenly within a couple days it will use it all, and I keep it full to a couple inches from the top. Radiator is always full when rad cap is removed (provided overflow didn't get sucked dry) and that makes me feel much better.

#12 davebugs

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

If you're gonna have a Subaru HG issue this is the one to have!!

You can nurse it forever if you keep topping it off and wait until it there are other reasons to pull the engine.

#13 88wacaroo

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

If you're gonna have a Subaru HG issue this is the one to have!!

You can nurse it forever if you keep topping it off and wait until it there are other reasons to pull the engine.

I wished I had that luck:mad: MY 98 O.B.2.5 dohc 5spd.122k was good till enviroscam FLOGGED IT 4 A 1/2 hr.it was toasted after that! It was fine till then hauling the trailer w/dirtbikes,camping,flogging GP use, I expected to make 125k at least Before they blew but enviroscam gets $25. to flog your car in case you dont do it good enough!:horse::mad: topping it off lasted about 2mo.before it it really started to drink it-1gal.every 3days:drunk:,parked it..:lol:My spark plugs ARE so clean now!!!

#14 987687

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

I wished I had that luck:mad: MY 98 O.B.2.5 dohc 5spd.122k was good till enviroscam FLOGGED IT 4 A 1/2 hr.it was toasted after that! It was fine till then hauling the trailer w/dirtbikes,camping,flogging GP use, I expected to make 125k at least Before they blew but enviroscam gets $25. to flog your car in case you dont do it good enough!:horse::mad: topping it off lasted about 2mo.before it it really started to drink it-1gal.every 3days:drunk:,parked it..:lol:My spark plugs ARE so clean now!!!


Well you have the DOHC engine, it was just mentioned above by GD that you can't run those with a bad head gasket. Combustion leaks into the coolant and causes bad things.

It's the SOHC that can run a while with bad gaskets.

#15 88wacaroo

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

Well you have the DOHC engine, it was just mentioned above by GD that you can't run those with a bad head gasket. Combustion leaks into the coolant and causes bad things.

It's the SOHC that can run a while with bad gaskets.

Yeah I know but I was in a fix [Plates 2mos.xpire] and was in the middle of doing the 650mi comute every 2 days-moving so it was sitting except 4 bike riding,yard police saw plate complained:banghead: they need $$$$

#16 grossgary

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

Porcupine - yep you can pretty much just keep adding coolant indefinitely. Friend had a multi-wrecked, terrible condition, bought at auction, high mileage outback with badly leaking HG's. I told him it wasn't worth repairing and he ran it a few more years (like 100+ mile commute) until like 285,000 or 300,000 miles just by continuing to top it off.

Like GD insinuated, I'm surprised the Subaru Conditioner didn't alleviate it. Sure it's not a hose somewhere?

As already mentioned the previous comment about blowing up motors was for a different engine - the Ej25D, those have different failure modes and are more of a debacle.

#17 porcupine73

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

Thanks. I will take a closer look. I never actually see the coolant leaking anywhere, never any on the garage floor (and I removed the underdoor). I can smell it faintly sometimes. All hoses are new including throttle bypass, but I may have not tightened one enough. I think where the heads mate to the block I can see some traces of leakage but I can't be sure.

I plan to just keep adding coolant. Mostly I was hoping it wasn't likely that it gets into the engine oil in this failure mode, which it sounds like it doesn't. So actually this failure mode isn't so bad other than having to top up the coolant regularly.

#18 Rooster2

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Thanks. I will take a closer look. I never actually see the coolant leaking anywhere, never any on the garage floor (and I removed the underdoor). I can smell it faintly sometimes. All hoses are new including throttle bypass, but I may have not tightened one enough. I think where the heads mate to the block I can see some traces of leakage but I can't be sure.

I plan to just keep adding coolant. Mostly I was hoping it wasn't likely that it gets into the engine oil in this failure mode, which it sounds like it doesn't. So actually this failure mode isn't so bad other than having to top up the coolant regularly.


Chiming in...........from what I have heard and read, it is not likely that your coolant will mix with the oil, if the HG is leaking. Using the Subaru additive, which is some sort of a "stop leak" product will stem the HG leak.

In my experience with non Subaru cars, when their HG leaks, it becomes very obvious when checking the oil level on the dip stick. The oil starts looking like a frothy chocolate milk shake. You can't miss seeing that mess on a dip stick. If you are not seeing this, then you are safe. Your coolant is not leaking into the oil.

#19 davebugs

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

Thanks. I will take a closer look. I never actually see the coolant leaking anywhere, never any on the garage floor (and I removed the underdoor). I can smell it faintly sometimes. All hoses are new including throttle bypass, but I may have not tightened one enough. I think where the heads mate to the block I can see some traces of leakage but I can't be sure.


Typically look for stains btween cyl 2 & 4 just infront of 4 (drivers side head).

Usually you gotta get the whole way under there and look up and you'll see residue.

A UV kit would make it easier to spot. But it's such a common problem I don't know what benefit that would be.

You can run these SOHC 2.5's a long time adding coolant occasionally to the overflow bottle. They won't let you stranded and overheating like the DOHC's did.




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