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Full rebuild or top end?

head gasket rebuild top overhaul outback

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8 replies to this topic

#1 jimbo1

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:19 PM

Hi All,

 

My wife loves her 2001 outback with 2.5l engine and wants to keep it. It has 175,000 miles and within the last 6 months has developed an oil leak at the head gasket.  We re-tightened heads which solved problem temporarily and then added gasket seal to oil as a temp measure and now it is leaking again.  We want to keep the car and are willing to pay for a rebuilt engine but have heard that the bottom end of these engines is bullet proof so are wondering if a top end overhail would be best.  We are skeptical about the quality of the parts that would come in a rebuilt engine.  any thoughts would be appreciated.



#2 johnceggleston

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

at 175k i would think just replacing the head gaskets would be all you need, $1500 or so..

if the engine had bad rod bearings they would have shown up already.

and you know the history of this engine.

 

a replacement low mileage engine from japan is about $1000 plus the install.

of course, the gaskets would not be new.

 

a fully rebuilt engine is going to be really expensive, $3500 maybe more, i'm not sure. plus the install.

 

if new gaskets cost $1200 and it lasts for 12k miles, that is a pretty good return on your investment, 10 cents a mile.

if you drive it 24k miles that is a great return on the investment, 5 cents a mile.

how many miles do you drive a year??


Edited by johnceggleston, 16 February 2013 - 07:06 PM.


#3 Gloyale

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:04 PM

Surface the heads....leave the valves alone.

 

New headgaskets, w/ new timing belt and idlers, water pump, and reseal the crank. DONE.



#4 MilesFox

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

As long as it has not been overheated, don't worry about a bottom end rebuild. The cylinders will still have crosshatches after 300,000 miles. Some people say that even honing the cylinders is not necessary when doing a rebuild, just new rings. Engines that develop rod knocks after doing head gaskets are the ones that were badly overheated.



#5 uniberp

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

Normally I would say "do the minimum to keep the car running reliably", but I have been burned by the "new heads on an old bottom end" fix.

 

Yes the cylinders stay good, but I am not so sure the rings keep their spring. I do not know ring wear rate, but they do start at about 5 mm wide, and a from what I know of engineering mechanics, reducing that to 4 mm will reduce the pressure of the ring to the cylinder wall substantially. Math is one thing, molecular interface, material fatigue, and simple cracks another.

 

Testing cold static compression is a standard test, but I a waiting for a spark plug replacement test device (that I can afford) that measures hot combustion compression.

 

Blah blah, in short, new heads on an old shortblock often burn oil. Higher compression may also cause increased pressure on bottom end bearings

 

I for one do not think Subaru bottom ends are "bullet proof". They are aluminum. My experince says they are noisy and loose after 75k miles (nless babied, which I mostly do), and that owners just get used to the noise.

 

I would replace the whole thing with a rebuilt long block. I stand by my recommendation for this builder:.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item4ac10a5d8a


Edited by uniberp, 17 February 2013 - 09:17 AM.


#6 jimbo1

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:01 PM

Normally I would say "do the minimum to keep the car running reliably", but I have been burned by the "new heads on an old bottom end" fix.

 

Yes the cylinders stay good, but I am not so sure the rings keep their spring. I do not know ring wear rate, but they do start at about 5 mm wide, and a from what I know of engineering mechanics, reducing that to 4 mm will reduce the pressure of the ring to the cylinder wall substantially. Math is one thing, molecular interface, material fatigue, and simple cracks another.

 

Testing cold static compression is a standard test, but I a waiting for a spark plug replacement test device (that I can afford) that measures hot combustion compression.

 

Blah blah, in short, new heads on an old shortblock often burn oil. Higher compression may also cause increased pressure on bottom end bearings

 

I for one do not think Subaru bottom ends are "bullet proof". They are aluminum. My experince says they are noisy and loose after 75k miles (nless babied, which I mostly do), and that owners just get used to the noise.

 

I would replace the whole thing with a rebuilt long block. I stand by my recommendation for this builder:.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item4ac10a5d8a

thanks for the advice.  the link advertises a long block for $2050 (with core return) using all oem parts and a 3 yr / 36k mile warranty.  sounds too good to be true.  do you think the builder would provide references from satisfied customers with 36k miles on their engines?



#7 nipper

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

Your a little under my limit for a replacement rebuild. I use 180K on a subaru as after that you will generally start to develop blow-by.

 

http://www.ssisubiespecialists.com/   have a real storefront, so thats a plus.

 

hehe they even passed zoning http://www.blairtown...feb_14_2012.pdf


Edited by nipper, 17 February 2013 - 07:09 PM.


#8 uniberp

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:48 AM

We've got a few thousand miles on it now, and still seems fine. It surprises me everytime I start it by how quiet it is and not being rattly. Sounds like a normal car, almost. I also replaced the cat and head pipe with Walker replacements, which fit perfect and may quiet it even more. Yes that price is good in my opinion. Plus timing and waterpump, I think but he will do that. Manifold gaskets, exhaust donut, bolts/spring set

thanks for the advice.  the link advertises a long block for $2050 (with core return) using all oem parts and a 3 yr / 36k mile warranty.  sounds too good to be true.  do you think the builder would provide references from satisfied customers with 36k miles on their engines?


Edited by uniberp, 21 February 2013 - 06:49 AM.


#9 nipper

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

I actually like the price as I paid more then that from subaru for a long block, well, because mine had a giant hole on the top of it.







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