Oh god fairtaxforme....so I could fix it and in 5-10k it could die again? This is very tricky decieding what to do. I have found some wrecked subies which apparently have good engines. One guy told me he has changed the gaskets and seals, I asked if he had receipts/proof and he said that he didn't but that you can clearly see the heads have been acid bathed or glass beaded which is a sure sighn it has been reconditioned. Does this sound right to you guys? Its a manual 98 model but he sais it will go straight in, im a little dubious thought you would have to do something else with the transmission being different?
I still need to figure out if the engines warped/cranks bent, ive just been looking at engines as I think that would be the easier safer option. I will try your startup method ivans imports, im not sure if I will be able to diagnose it though as im not so familiar with what the knocking would sounds like. I'll check back in and describe what I experience, thanks again everyone
Eva, I have heard that a good Subie engine tech can look at a 2.5 motor like yours, or the one from a 98 model, which is the same as yours, and look at the end corners of the HGs. If they have been changed, the appearance of the new HG will be different.
The 98 motor will bolt into your car with no modification
Here in the U.S. many time a 2.2 motor from a '95-97 will be used to replace a 2.5 motor. That is what I did on my 98 Outback. I installed a '95, 2.2 motor with no modifications. I am happy with the result. The 2.2 motor is super reliable, with minimal head gasket problems.
Hope you find a good solution to your engine problem.