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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Another head gasket change question(s): while you are there...

EJ251 headgasket

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9 replies to this topic

#1 jarl


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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:16 AM

Hello people. Long time no see :)

So... I bite the bullet once again and bought another soobie with a known problem. This time a '01 Legacy L with 180K miles on it and leaking *everything* (according to the inspection the previous owner had a month or so ago). The P.O. mentioned the car overheated once, and the shop he went to charged him $300+ to replace a hose close to the back of the intake manifold but told him the left head gasket is leaking coolant, there's oil leaking, power steering, etc.


Anyway... I'll be replacing the head gaskets and I have read a few threads about the components I can expect to be replacing, with the list varying from just head gaskets to a long list including seals and whatnot.


Question #1: Since I plan on work on the engine outside the car, and the heads will be out anyway, I was wondering if it makes sense to buy one of the kits including valve seals. I'm guessing at 180K those may be close to the end of their useful life, but I may be wrong. Replacing valve seals implies replacing the valves themselves as well, right? Is there any other service that I should do/have done on the heads while they are out? How much can I expect to pay a shop for checking the heads and replacing the valve seals?


Question #2: Beside the head gaskets I'll be replacing the timing belt-related stuff, including water pump. I installed a kit from ebay (Mizumo) on the EJ22 I put on the outback, but since the EJ251 is interference I don't want to take unnecessary risks. I'm considering buying the Gates timing belt components from Rockauto, but I don't know if there's a significant advantage in getting an Aisin water pump (WPF-002, probably from Amazon) vs just getting the one coming with the kit from Gates. Do you people have any preference, or are they all the same?


Question #3: If it's not broken don't fix it. Except for... ? Maybe cleaning the EGR? What else?

Thank you in advance!

#2 Gloyale


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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:33 AM

I wouldn't mess with the valves unless it's been burning oil/smoking

#3 ocei77


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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:04 AM



Go over your hoses for cracks etc. Check the water bypass pipe t for rust and/holes.

You already have a metal separator plate, but I would reseal it since it's accessible.



#4 idosubaru


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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:52 PM

you can just replace the valve stem seals alone, but like they said i wouldn't worry about it


you can do a compression/leak down test to test and see where any leakage is coming from first if you want.


adjust the valves.

#5 mikec03


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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

I used the aisin water pump on the last timing belt that I did, on the advice of many on these forums.  Since it has to last 100k, then a little more cost is OK. 


Probably just as important is what pulleys are you going to use, especially the cogged one.

#6 jarl


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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:20 PM

Allright... I'm doing some research and found there's a kit from Subaru that includes the head gaskets and then some. The part number is 10105AA860, costs $240 give or take, and someone at an online subaru parts dealer was kind enough to send me the attached image with all the stuff it includes. I have a couple of questions, though:


1 - the headgaskets listed are Part# 11044AA521. Apparently these map to #11044AA633, which is the single layer gasket. I've read everywhere to go for the #11044AA642 instead, which is the head gasket for the turbo engines. Does anyone knows the part number for the kit that includes the MLS head gaskets? (and while we are on topic: do these gaskets increase the compression too much? I've seen so much stuff I'm already numb :/ )


2 - Is it really necessary to get all this stuff? I mean: I'm not rebuilding the engine completely, and this kit seems to include every singe gasket/o'ring/whatnot. Is there another kit containing just the "essentials"? On top of these $240 I have to buy the timing kit :/




#7 jarl


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:39 AM

Anyone? :)
I have a coupon that expires today :/

#8 idosubaru


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:50 PM

i never buy those kits - they generally include stuff you don't need, don't include things i want, and are high priced, but some people like them.


1.  you need headgaskets and intake manifold gaskets at a bare minimum.


2. common to also replace exhaust manifold gaskets, valve cover, and spark plug tube gaskets, water pump gasket

then cam seals, crank seal, rear separator plate with metal stamped variety if this one has the plastic style (though it may be new enough to have metal already), and oil pump oring.


that's everything you need unless you're getting into something more exotic like valve stem seals or fuel injector seals, but those aren't commonly replaced unless there's a compelling reason.


Water pump gasket get from Subaru.  I'd prefer Subaru, or the same high quality brown material: cam and crank seals.

#9 jarl


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:52 PM

Thank you Grossgary. I really appreciate all the help you (and a few others) have provided in the last couple of years :)


I went through your list at OpposedForces to get part numbers, and while checking one of them I found a thread at NASIOC including all of those parts and then some. And then I remembered all the "oh cr*p" moments of the EJ22 transplant I did a couple of years ago, so I ended up with a looong list that ended up costing more than the kit I mentioned originally :P


The good thing is that I ordered the 642 gaskets so if these thing fails in the near future I can only blame myself and not the single layer gaskets that came with the kit, and a couple of maintenance items (i.e. thermostat+gasket, PCV valve). I ordered a lot of things that I remember were badly rusted on the Outback when I did the transplant, and a couple of things that may or may not need replacement on the Legacy, but that I know need to be replaced on the Outback.


In the end I paid more than I wished, but I'd like to think I was buying some peace of mind :)

As a reference, the part numbers I ended with were:

Camshaft seals:  806732150

Crankshaft seal: 806733030

Exhaust manifold gaskets: 44011AC030

Head gaskets: 11044AA642

Intake manifold gasket: 14035AA382

Oil pump o'ring: 10991AA000

Spark plug tube gaskets: 10966AA000

Valve cover gasket: 13294AA052

Valve cover washers: 13271AA071

Water pump gasket: 21114AA050


(Some of these numbers have been superseded). Beside these, the other rather expensive things I ordered were:

- Exhaust studs (cheap) and nuts (obnoxiously expensive). The Outback's were badly rusted, and the Legacy are probably rusted as well (rust belt)

- Thermostat+gasket

- PCV valve


... and some other cheap bits that add to the final bill. I still need to buy the timing kit (Gates TCK307) and water pump (Aisin WPF-002). But it will need to be tomorrow :P

#10 jarl


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Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:39 PM

I found some videos yesterday of a Subaru Master Mechanic called Mike Bauer (posted on Youtube by user Carey Holtzman) replacing a soobie headgaskets (just a few months after using cheap headgaskets from ebay on the same car). I don't remember seeing these videos the last time I was looking into taking apart an engine (ended up buying an EJ22 instead), but now that I'm in the same boat again these look like something more than one person around here can use. I made a Google search on USMB for this guy's name and nothing came up, so I apologize if these have been posted already.


It would be interesting if a local guru could give his opinion on this guy's methods, though, since I have no experience -yet- replacing head gaskets so I'd rather not comment on how good or bad his advise may be. A lot -if not all- has been covered before, but it's interesting to have it on video nevertheless.


Now... is there a video of someone using the "flat glass method" on his/her block's mating surfaces? :) I'd really like to see that :)


So, here are the videos:


- Engine removal:


- Cylinder head removal:


- Cylinder head installation:


Edited by jarl, 04 April 2014 - 01:41 PM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: EJ251, headgasket

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