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Ej253 -> ej251 '99 Forester


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13 replies to this topic

#1 m4ff3w

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:16 PM

My wife's new to us '99 Forester has developed a failed HG. It is leaking coolant into the combustion chamber. This is in addition to the transmission issue we haven't resolved.

There is an '00 Outback with a EJ251 at a local salvage yard. If I swap the manifold and required sensors (along with cam wheels?) it is correct that it should bolt in an run, yes?

Also, the transmission is a TZ1A4ZCABA which is a Phase II with a 4.444 final drive. This should swap with the TZ1A3ZC2AA in the Forester, as it is also a Phase II with a 4.444 final drive, correct?

There are no other Phase II engines or Phase II transmissions at local self service yards. The wrecked '00 Outback had piles of maintenance receipts including HG done at the dealer about 50k miles ago. It just hit the yard this week, wreck on the drivers rear corner. 

Any advice is greatly appreciated.



#2 grossgary

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:17 PM

replace the headgaskets.  cheaper and better end product.

 

there are two key items the dealer doesn't do when repairing headgaskets:

 

1. they use the same junk headgaskets that have been blowing up until 2010...horrible solution.  use the EJ25 Turbo headgaskets and do it right.

2. all dealers i know locally don't resurface the heads.

 

due to those two items repeat failures are fairly common, i'd consider a 50,000 mile replacement headgasket just as iffy as any unknown.  they only need the repair to last their 30,000/1 year warranty or whatever it is, 100,000 mile longevity, reliability, and cost effectiveness are not their expertise.

 

if you do it yourself, or have it done:

1.  it'll be done right - use turbo headgaskets, resurface the heads

2.  it'll be cheaper

3.  you know the history of the motor.  (the junk yard motor may have been severely overheated for all you know when the headgasket failed the first time.

way better end product with a solid 100,000 miles left in it.

 

*** Be sure with either engine that you install the required Subaru Coolant Conditioner and fresh antifreeze. - it's $2.47 a bottle at the dealer.

 

that conditioner will stop existing external leaks - though it's too late for yours blowing internal exhaust gases into the coolant.



#3 grossgary

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:20 PM

oh and more specifically - yes it's a very easy swap. 

 

1. bolt the manifold onto it.

2. the only thing you need to swap is the crank timing gear and the drivers side cam timing gear.  no need to swap sensors or the other cam (which has no sensor or triggers associated with it).

 

actually they might even be the same anyway and not need swapped, you can simply look at the trigger marks on the back of the crank gear or cam sprockets, if they're the same you're fine.  but if you swap you know you're good.

 

*** EGR is the only point of concern.

early 2000's were wonky with which models/engines had EGR so you may want to check that if check engine light or emissions are an issue for you/your state.  there are work arounds but you'd likely want to know this ahead of time.



#4 m4ff3w

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:03 PM

Many thanks for the replies.

 

The engine is sub-$200.  I absolutely need the transmission and thought if I pulled them both at once I might save myself some heartache.  Our car is due for timing belt and water pump, so I would be looking as some cost savings there with the new engine.


You certainly do make valid points worth of consideration.  I know the car I have was drove hard and put away wet, as the transmission was replaced at 79k and the engine replaced at 170k.  The car now has 189k on it and both the trans and engine have issues.  The donor car was excusively dealer maintained until at least '09.  Although, judging by your post that might not actually be a good thing.

 

On the transmission side, I'm running my car on the TCU from the Outback, so I think it will swap with no issues.



#5 grossgary

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:45 PM

you can pull and install the engine and trans still connected without ever disconnecting them.  need lots of room to lift high at a crazy angle but i've done it with a regular basic engine lift. 

 

i wouldn't trust a sub $200 EJ25 unless you know the person.

 

the "new" engine at some point should get a new timing belt kit.  if the dealer did the timing belt they reinstalled all the original 10 year+ old pulleys with bearings devoid of grease by now.  ebay kits are the way to go - about $200 gets you all new pulleys, timing belt, and a new tensioner...all of which fail.

 

it's not imminent so you can address it later but i wouldn't consider that a 100,000 mile timing belt job if and when it was done by the dealer.  in other words don't plan on replacing the belt at "100,000 miles after it was done the last time".  unless you like being risky.  it's not a high risk, but it's an interference engine so if the pulley fails it breaks the belt and you'll have bent valves, which i've fixed plenty of times. i typically do all that at once when i get a car or before selling one.  again - dealers do the bare minimum just the belt, never all the pulleys and tensioner unless it's requested by the owner...and that's rare because the prices are absurb for such an easy job.

 

most folks on here familiar with this engine would do/say the same.  but we are aiming for 200,000+ reliable miles and know how to do it.



#6 m4ff3w

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:57 PM

All engines are sub-$200 at Pick-n-Pull.   :) This one was just attached to the trans I need anyways and had piles of documentation (someone nailed it in the drivers side rear corner).  

 

Many thanks for the words of wisdom.  I'm glad to hear the eBay timing components are ok to go with.



#7 johnceggleston

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:25 AM

good info above.

 

what is wrong with your trans?



#8 heartless

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:21 AM

Gary knows what he is talking about, and I personally would follow his advice.

 

Even if you go ahead with the complete engine/tranny swap - at the very least - DO THE TIMING - including all the pulleys, seals & tensioner - before stuffing it in that engine bay (easier access if done while out). That way you KNOW it was done right, and it should be good for, at minimum, 90K. With an interference motor, I would not risk not doing it - regardless of documentation.

 

I would also follow his advice about re-doing the headgaskets - just because. 

 

Doing as much of the "maintenance" type stuff before putting a "new to you" engine in a car, and doing it right, just makes sense - do as much as possible while the motor is out and easily accessible - leave nothing to chance - especially on an interference type motor, and one that is prone to headgasket issues.

 

In all honesty, I have shied away from the 2.5 cars because of the HG issues. They may be fine IF they are done correctly (big IF), and maintained properly, but so many dont get the kind of care and maintenance they should get that I dont want to deal with the potential issues. I dont have the time, energy or the money to deal with them. (which is why the 98 forester we just got is getting a 2.2 transplant that is being gone over before installation)



#9 Prwa101

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:52 AM

+1 replace the head gasket, the 253 is a great engine and will last a long time. Use sti head gaskets an you'll never have the problem agin.

-Prwa

#10 ivans imports

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:02 AM

I use the felpro headgaskets with avinoic formagasket coating have done 30 this year and five in last two weeks have never had one come back in ten years for second time head faliure. I plane every head have my own planer and i get mirior finish makes hudge diference. Have never treid a turbo gasket I like the felpro becuse is just slighty thicker than stock gasket this compensates for head planeing no pistons touching heads



#11 m4ff3w

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:03 PM

I only pulled the trans, following the advice of the Gurus.

 

The trans has an incredibly violent kickdown from 4th.  There is alot of friction material and shavings in the pan.  I took the valve body out and cleaned it & checked the valves for movement.  Along with new fluid and filter.  Issue still present.

I'll be ordering the parts for the timing/waterpump/headgaskets tonight.

 



#12 m4ff3w

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:52 AM

Transmission swap and HG job complete.  So far, wife is very happy.



#13 Prwa101

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:51 PM

Nice man! Happy wife = happy life!

#14 grossgary

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:46 PM

good job, well done cranking that out.






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