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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Have they fixed the 2.5 L engine to be more reliable?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 revtim

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 09:54 PM

I have been learning about how the 2.5 DOHC engine had (has?) problems with rods and other dependability issues. That's why the swap to a EJ2.2 engine is found so frequently in late 90's Subarus like mine. 

 

Now I am wondering if improvements have been made to restore reliability to the product line?  If so, when did they get the 2.5 engine working like it should?  If not, is there another engine now that is worth owning. 

 

Thanks



#2 shoebee2

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 08:14 AM

The other question is does it make sense to rebuild a 2.5 with leaky head gaskets or to replace with a 2.2 or later 2.5; providing the issues have been addressed.



#3 tirod

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 09:52 AM

Yes. 

 

The 98-00 versions seem to be the focus of the head gasket issue. The later versions got it better. Because there were so many 2.5's with issues, they have become less abundant on the market and it has been easier to find good 2.2's to replace them. The 2.5 SOHC wasn't sold in the JDM, so that has exerted an addition restriction to the number of good used motors, too.

 

Here, we drive them over 200,000 miles, there, they see half that, then they are traded in. Their economic rebuilt point in their culture is much more restrictive, in part due to emissions, and also lifestyle. 

 

Costing out a rebuild on a 2.5, if it needs extensive machine work beyond a valve grind and rebore, buying a clean used motor becomes the cheaper alternative. Most Americans don't put 300,000 miles on their cars because of it. They won't pay to install another $3,000 motor when the car is worth $2400. Installing a used $1,400 motor is often viewed as pouring money down a hole because it would be worth more than buying another. Often they get scrapped out at that point, just the same as a Japanese owner scrapping his with 75,000 on it because he's forced to do a rebuild under his laws. 

 

Each situation is unique, the motor has to be torn down and assessed on it's own, the costs added up, and the potential options weighed in light of seeing the numbers side by side.



#4 bratman18

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 11:08 AM

98-2000 2.5 was 2 completely different style ej25 motors. I think maybe you should research a bit more before you offer advice to others.

96-98 was dohc 2.5. This had internal head gasket leaks. 99 Legacy's also came with the dohc but had a phase 2 block which had a better lower end. Other models in 99 got the SOHC 2.5 along with all 2000+ non turbo subarus. Those had external head gasket leaks, primarily oil leaks, but could leak coolant too. Those are usually good to go once he gaskets have been changed once, as long as MLS gaskets are used and attention is paid to detail. They claim o have fixed the head gasket issue but even some of the newer ones are leaking. I personally would own one no problem, but pay attention to coolant level, and if they leak, have a subaru mechanic replace them.

#5 punchycar

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

 Those are usually good to go once he gaskets have been changed once, as long as MLS gaskets are used and attention is paid to detail. 

What do you mean by MLS gaskets?  I've used both oem ones and aftermarket ones from napa on 96 and 97 dohc 2.5 and both seem to be fine still.....  in fact on is just coming up on 480 000kms!



#6 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

What do you mean by MLS gaskets?  I've used both oem ones and aftermarket ones from napa on 96 and 97 dohc 2.5 and both seem to be fine still.....  in fact on is just coming up on 480 000kms!

multilayer steel?

I think they're generally referred to as "MLM" (multilayer metal)



#7 bratman18

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 04:26 PM

MLS means multi layer steal. That's what you get if you buy OEM, or there are a few aftermarket companies that make good ones too. Definitely the way to go for the EJ25.



#8 bratman18

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 04:26 PM

I've actually never heard them referred to as MLM.



#9 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 05:05 PM

either way, you absolutely must use the metal gaskets. composite gaskets = the root of all evil



#10 bratman18

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 05:16 PM


either way, you absolutely must use the metal gaskets. composite gaskets = the root of all evil


The ej22 likes them, but not the ej25!

#11 revtim

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:31 AM

I appreciate the conversation about replacement engines and I do have a question based upon what has bee proffered here but my question related more to when/if the 2.5 SOHC or DOHC engine was ever brought up to the reliability standards we have come to expect from a Subaru.  This would matter when I decide to replace my current 97 Legacy Outback with a used later model Subaru.  Just trying to figure out, were that the case, what year models I should limit my search to.

 

As to the subject of replacement engines I see lots of used 2.2L engines with around 80k miles on them and wondered how they have such low miles given when Subaru stopped selling them in the US.  I gather from what I've read here that these are used engines imported from the Japanese market?  Also, am I correct in assuming that the term JDM refers to "Japanese Domestic Market"?  If I am correct in my assumptions, can anyone comment on the maintenance habits of the average Japanese Subaru owner?  I have learned over the years that different cultures maintain their cars quite differently. 

 

Thanks for any input on both these subjects. 



#12 jarl

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:13 AM

I think your answer is there somewhere :)

 

I understand the SOHC engines after 2004 or so can be considered as reliable as any other engine. Older engines (both SOHC and DOHC) can  be taken to the same degree of reliability if the head gaskets are replaced using the MLS gaskets, although apparently Subary considers the single layer gaskets are good enough.



#13 bratman18

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:14 AM

Yeah as I stated before, the SOHC is a better engine, but they all still have the head gasket issue. I have a friend with a shop and he does at least 4 head gasket jobs a week. Years ranging from 99 to 09.

#14 jarl

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:22 AM

The important question would be if the failure incidence is bigger on the EJ25x engines than in engines from other manufacturers, although the number of miles must be taken into account. When you read that 95% of the subarus made in the last 10 years are still on the road there's a good chance those cars will have high miles and need maintenance, including head gaskets. I just bought a 2001 with 180K miles that needs HGs. Do I consider it failed prematurely? Not really. If it had 95k that would be different.

 

I read somewhere that engines after 2009 or so started having new HG issues at lower miles, but don't cite me on that.






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