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Guest Message by DevFuse

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1997 outback still runs hot after new headgaskets. please help

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9 replies to this topic

#1 mihrcke



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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:32 AM

I bought this 1997 with a bad head gasket. I had a retired mechanic that specializes in Subaru's look at it and install a new head gasket, timing belt and water pump. After the work was finished I drove the car for about 10 miles and still ran into the same problem. The temp can be lowered by speeding up and or revving the RPM'S.

I live in Wi and now it is cold, I took the car for another test drive and this time drove 15 miles and it drove better however it still runs on the hotter side. I noticed a gurgling sound which to me sounds like air in the cooling system.

I was looking for any input to help resolve this.

#2 Prwa101


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:50 AM

If your mechanicly inclined try and bleed it, run it squeeze on the hoses to get bubbles out of the rad cap.
And Make sure your fans are turning on! Should cycle on at about 190f-200 degrees.

Next thing would be considering the radiator is clogged. Not likely though at 97.


#3 idosubaru


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:58 AM

1. check coolant level/properly burp/bleed air out of the coolant

2. Subaru OEM thermostat only

3. what brand headgaskets were used and were the heads resurfaced?

#4 ivans imports

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:07 PM

I a'm starting to see them failed twice now lots more thinking that the lower part of the cly wall is just to thin on #4 cly all fail in the same place even with the block surfaced and head surfaced still they fail on lower side of #4 poor design on that one.

#5 MilesFox


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:47 PM

Fill the block by the upper radiator hose, and run the engine til you know the thermostat is open, and add coolant to the radiator. Filling the radiator itself will not get coolant into the block, and the placement of the thermostat at the bottom of the radiator will allow the engine to overheat before the thermostat is open if the block is not filled first.


Run the heat as cool heat is a sign of low coolant. It can take a good 15-20 minites to warm the engine and add coolant, burping the air. Take your time with it. IT can be difficult to add coolant with air in the block if you don't add to the upper hose first.

#6 subnz


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:04 PM

If/ when system rebled for airlocks and checking  that  the correct thermostat (has been fitted with the new water pump) as previously suggested. Cheap / incorrect ones don't flow well enough when fully open.

Then next consider the radiator, if still having problems (this is a 17 year old car) take out  get it flow tested by a radiator specialist.

Then back to  head gaskets repair.

Its a case of working though systematically.

Can't assume / not assume anything (ie with older cars) until you actually check stuff.

Edited by subnz, 31 December 2013 - 04:30 PM.

#7 Gloyale


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Posted 01 January 2014 - 02:01 PM

Make sure your fans are turning on.


If you can cool it down by driving faster.....then it's not the HG's.......putting more load on them would make car overheat if that was the issue.


You are experiencing the opposite.....radiator not cooling well at low speeds.  which means either your fans aren't turning on........or your radiator is somewhat clogged.


I'm betting the first one.  He may simply have forgotten to connect the electrical plugs for the fans.

#8 nipper


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Posted 01 January 2014 - 02:54 PM

Always fill a cooling system with th car running, it greatly reduces or gets rid of the chance of an air bubble in the cooling system. Keep topping it off untill the T-stat opens, then top off some more, replace the cap (you are using a new cap correct?) and drive and let it cool down. Check levels, repeat once as needed. That should take care of it.

#9 Stelcom66


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Posted 01 January 2014 - 05:01 PM

When we bought my son's '95 Legacy in Feb. 2011 it overheated - as mentioned here it must have been air in the system. We used the methods to remove the air and it's been fine since.

#10 luko


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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:02 PM

check your radiator cap? is your coolant overflow jug filling up? if so your cooling system is not building pressure...for every 1 PSI your  system has that lowers the boiling point by 3 degrees F. so a 14 PSI cap opening at 3 PSI is only lowering the boiling point by 9 degrees F instead of 42 degrees F 

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