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My "new" outback


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16 replies to this topic

#1 dssenne

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

outback1.jpgengine.jpg

 

Here's my "new" (new to me), 1999 Outback Limited.  I bought it from a friend for $250.  The engine was blown and he just wanted to get rid of it. It had 140K on it and seemed really clean, so I called a mechanic (Misha) at Ecotech in St. Louis about putting a "new" engine in it.  He recommended a place that sells JDM engines, and I bought a 2.5 dohc from them (about $1500 including shipping and core charge).

I had it towed over to Echotech and waited for the engine to arrive.

In a few days it showed up & Misha said it looked really good (new head gaskets, seals,etc.). It came with a new timing belt and he put that on & replaced the tensioner assembly and the water pump.

One of the mechanics took it home & drove it for a couple of days to check it out, and I picked it up after that. It drives/runs really nicely so far. No problems with CEL codes so far (knock on wood).

Total I've got about $3300 in it, and I'm hoping it turns out to be money well spent (ones with similar miles seem to be going for more online).

I haven't seen many posts here where people did engine swaps and posted how things turned out long term. I'll try to do that as time goes by....



#2 86BRATMAN

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

firstly, nice looking wagon you have there, look forward to your progress with it. second most of us would have slapped an ej22 in place of the ej25 and called it a day. I am interested to see the long term results from this one.

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:42 PM

That is a GREAT looking car! Damn Good deal for $3300! Should be a good reliable driver for quite some time.

Time for a brake fluid flush though, and I'd also change the ATF, and differential oils front and rear.

#4 pearlm30

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:12 PM

Wow, it's really clean! Look at all the rust free bolts. Great score!

#5 Rooster2

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:44 AM

Very nice looking car. Looks new. I have a 99, but not that clean or nice. Your's is the Limited, so you have the comfy heated leather seats. Be aware that your car's transmisson  is a candidate for "delayed forward engagement." All the 99 & 00 models can have the problem. It is easily solveable with Trans-X. Much written here about using that product. My auto tranny continues to drive on using Trans-X.



#6 dssenne

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:49 PM

Very nice looking car. Looks new. I have a 99, but not that clean or nice. Your's is the Limited, so you have the comfy heated leather seats. Be aware that your car's transmisson  is a candidate for "delayed forward engagement." All the 99 & 00 models can have the problem. It is easily solveable with Trans-X. Much written here about using that product. My auto tranny continues to drive on using Trans-X.

Thanks for the heads up, I'll search for "delayed forward engagement.



#7 dssenne

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

That is a GREAT looking car! Damn Good deal for $3300! Should be a good reliable driver for quite some time.

Time for a brake fluid flush though, and I'd also change the ATF, and differential oils front and rear.

I was planing on replacing those. I don't have any service records for those, so at least I'll have a start point for future maintenance.



#8 dssenne

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:08 PM

Very nice looking car. Looks new. I have a 99, but not that clean or nice. Your's is the Limited, so you have the comfy heated leather seats. Be aware that your car's transmisson  is a candidate for "delayed forward engagement." All the 99 & 00 models can have the problem. It is easily solveable with Trans-X. Much written here about using that product. My auto tranny continues to drive on using Trans-X.

http://shop.advancea...*14924|L2*15037

 

Is this the Trans-X you're talking about?  I was going to change the ATF this weekend. Would you recommend adding a quart of this even though I don't yet have any trans. problems (as a preventative thing)?



#9 dssenne

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:23 PM

Very nice looking car. Looks new. I have a 99, but not that clean or nice. Your's is the Limited, so you have the comfy heated leather seats. Be aware that your car's transmisson  is a candidate for "delayed forward engagement." All the 99 & 00 models can have the problem. It is easily solveable with Trans-X. Much written here about using that product. My auto tranny continues to drive on using Trans-X.

 

I saw a post from you where you talked about using Amsoil synthetic ATF for this problem. I've tried searching all the autoparts stores near here and can't find it. Any recommendations of other brands that are good?  Mobile-1, Royal Purple, Redline?



#10 Rooster2

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:27 PM

I saw a post from you where you talked about using Amsoil synthetic ATF for this problem. I've tried searching all the autoparts stores near here and can't find it. Any recommendations of other brands that are good?  Mobile-1, Royal Purple, Redline?

Yea, I wrote the original post on using Trans-X. At the time, several years back, I knew a guy who was kind of a dealer for Amsoil, so I bought some. I have since come to the opinion that Amsoil is not anything special.  Since then, I have been using Walmart brand ATF with no complaints.

 

I would not start using Trans-X, unless you are experiencing forward gear engagement problems. I don't know that the expensive synthetics like Mobil-1 etc. are all that much better. It is more important to have good clean tranny fluid in your tranny then anything else. Be aware that your 99 has an external tranny fluid filter. It looks exactly like an oil filter in shape and size, but is different internally. Don't try using an oil fliter. Filter cost is about $35.00 for a new one. It is right next to the tranny pan. Don't bother dropping the pan to change the internal screen. They just don't clog up. Ask me if you need further advise on how to change the ATF. I have experience doing this.

 

Regards, Rooster2



#11 dssenne

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:42 AM

Yea, I wrote the original post on using Trans-X. At the time, several years back, I knew a guy who was kind of a dealer for Amsoil, so I bought some. I have since come to the opinion that Amsoil is not anything special.  Since then, I have been using Walmart brand ATF with no complaints.

 

I would not start using Trans-X, unless you are experiencing forward gear engagement problems. I don't know that the expensive synthetics like Mobil-1 etc. are all that much better. It is more important to have good clean tranny fluid in your tranny then anything else. Be aware that your 99 has an external tranny fluid filter. It looks exactly like an oil filter in shape and size, but is different internally. Don't try using an oil fliter. Filter cost is about $35.00 for a new one. It is right next to the tranny pan. Don't bother dropping the pan to change the internal screen. They just don't clog up. Ask me if you need further advise on how to change the ATF. I have experience doing this.

 

Regards, Rooster2

Thanks for the advice. Since I haven't noticed any problems, I think I'll hold off on the Trans-X, but I'll pay attention & keep it in mind.  I see where Advance Auto Parts has a Driveworks filter for $14.99, and Autozone has a Duralast for $22.99.  Any opinion whether the Duralast is worth $8 more?



#12 Rooster2

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for the advice. Since I haven't noticed any problems, I think I'll hold off on the Trans-X, but I'll pay attention & keep it in mind.  I see where Advance Auto Parts has a Driveworks filter for $14.99, and Autozone has a Duralast for $22.99.  Any opinion whether the Duralast is worth $8 more?

The Driveworks filter from Advance is made in China. I would not recommend Driveworks for that reason.



#13 dssenne

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:30 AM

Been driving it about a week now, and I've noticed a couple of differences between it and my '92 Legacy wagon (EJ22). . Both are automatics, btw.

With the '99 Outback, when I'm sitting at a stop with the car in drive and my foot on the break, there's a bit of vibration, whereas the '92 doesn't really vibrate at all.

 It doesn't feel like it's falling apart, but it is noticable. If I put it in neutral or park the vibration pretty much goes away.

At a stop like this, it's idling between 2 and three tick marks on the tach (300 rpm?). With my foot still on the brake, it I give it a bit of gas, as the rpm's go up slightly, the vibration lessens.  As soon as I let my foot off the brake, it lightens up.  When I'm moving, I don't notice excessive vibration either under load or coasting.

It seems to run smoothly at speed.

The other thing, which isn't a big deal, is that the '99 has more engine noise than the '92.  It's not exhaust noise, just more mechanical sounds.

Don't laugh, but it reminds me of a sewing machine.  But it's not crazy loud, and doesn't sound like the engine's in trouble, it's just louder than the 2.2. It's more like my Nissan 200sx.

Never having driven a 2.5 Outback, I don't have anything to compare it to, other than the '92.

But back to the idle vibration, is my problem low idle speed? Without a shop tach, is my only option to take it back to get it adjusted?

I saw where one poster replaced the fuel filter and got some relief. I was going to do that anyway, but as I say, it smooths out as soon as the rpm's go up a tad.

It doesn't really feel like a fuel related issue.

One other difference, that seems kind of strange it, the gas pedal on the '92 seems physically smoother, whereas the pedal on the '99 seems stiffer.

Don't know why this would be, or what if anything I could do about it.

 

Since this is a "new" engine, I'm driving it easy to break it in. Over all it seems to get up to speed ok, and runs fine at speed, cruising fine at 65-70 mph.

Over all  though, if I were comparing the two, I'd give the '92 the edge for seeming "peppier" on acceleration. I would have thought that with a slightly bigger engine, the '99 would have the edge here. Being a "Limited" with more stuff, I don't know if it's heavier, though I wouldn't doubt it.

These aren't huge issues, but they are things I've noticed, and again, since I've never driven an Outback with a 2.5, I don't really have anything to compare it to, other than my '92.

She's a rust bucket with a lot of miles, but she still runs good.


Edited by dssenne, 20 March 2013 - 09:32 AM.


#14 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

that vibration description fits with bad axles quite well. Known issue with many rebuilt units and at least one post of a worn original soob axle I've read. I suppose a change in idle speed might help. try a search on the issue.

 

If you can live with it, just drive, but the fix is likely a 'better' rebuilt or some new axle.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 20 March 2013 - 10:47 AM.


#15 dssenne

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:31 PM

that vibration description fits with bad axles quite well. Known issue with many rebuilt units and at least one post of a worn original soob axle I've read. I suppose a change in idle speed might help. try a search on the issue.

 

If you can live with it, just drive, but the fix is likely a 'better' rebuilt or some new axle.

Not really sure how the axles could cause the car to vibrate when it's sitting at a stoplight with the brakes on, and then have the vibration basically stop once you let off the brake and start moving.

Yes, the idle speed seems to be related, as the vibration is not really noticable about 1000 rpm (or even less). I've been searching on "idle speed", and am finding some possible ideas reguarding the idle air control valve and possibly cleaning/replacing it.



#16 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:37 PM

Not really sure how the axles could cause the car to vibrate when it's sitting at a stoplight with the brakes on, and then have the vibration basically stop once you let off the brake and start moving.

Yes, the idle speed seems to be related, as the vibration is not really noticable about 1000 rpm (or even less). I've been searching on "idle speed", and am finding some possible ideas reguarding the idle air control valve and possibly cleaning/replacing it.

 

I believe you mentioned shifting to park/neutral solved the vibration? Many people have found that test to indicate a bad recently replaced axle.Not saying it couldn't be some other issue - or even solved by raising the idle speed. But, if it's a bad axle, rasing the idle speed will just mask the real problem at the expense of more fuel use.

 

do a search, some complaints go back 12 years, known issue.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 20 March 2013 - 12:42 PM.


#17 dssenne

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

I believe you mentioned shifting to park/neutral solved the vibration? Many people have found that test to indicate a bad recently replaced axle.Not saying it couldn't be some other issue - or even solved by raising the idle speed. But, if it's a bad axle, rasing the idle speed will just mask the real problem at the expense of more fuel use.

 

do a search, some complaints go back 12 years, known issue.

You're right, there are many posts on this. I can see the issue of transfering vibration. I'll see what I can do about improving the engine's smoothness by tune up, etc. As far as axles go, it doesn't bother me enough to justify the expense/hassle of replacing them.






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