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Guest Message by DevFuse

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judging condition of ea82 with blown head gasket

ea82 motor rebuild concerns

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5 replies to this topic

#1 UWRedRyder



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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:40 PM

Was referred to the site by a kind gentleman who sold me a set of studded snows on factory steelies in Lacey - thanks again!


First car (and what little mechanical experience I had) was an 86 22re Toyota PU 4x4.  When I lost reverse, decided to take a chance and trade for an 89 Loyale with the 4x4 high low - despite having a blown headgasket.  Found a guy on CL named Able who has been working on subarus far longer than i've been around town.  After finding a running motor in Seattle ($150) he came down and did the swap, along the way I fell in love with the genius that is Subaru engineering!  Once the car was running (with blown head gasket motor in the garage) he came back and showed me how to replace the front axle and hub assembly.  Car has been on the road for two months now.  Replaced the thermostat (there wasn't one in the salvaged motor...)  and on my first run down to lacey the car got close to 30 mpg - my excitement is now through the roof LOL.  Have also replaced the front rotors; calipers are operable so were left original for now.


When we pulled the original motor (car has 275k) there was no coolant, wasn't surprising as the passenger head gasket was blown, with evidence the previous owner tried a white stop leak (visible once the intake was removed, as well as all over the underside of the motor).  Having drained the caramel frappacino looking oil out of the block, I am curious as to the actual condition/damage done to the motor.   This is why I came to the USMB.  I have a chilton manual and have read up on removing the cylinder heads, but am looking for advice on the issue.  


Ideally, I would like to rebuild this motor and learn how these things really tick -  not comfortable taking this thing to elk camp in the fall on the current motor, however well it may be running.  Reading online, it appears my options are a regasket/reseal kit, or a complete rebuild kit.  Being on a tight budget - with a few other loud hobbies - I am hoping to do all or most of the work myself.  Have a friend who worked at a garage with machine shop nearby if the heads need to be resurfaced.


What would the first step be in diagnosing the damage (can I do a compression test with the intake manifold off?)  I am most concerned about removing whatever crap the PO added to the coolant system - is a complete tear down my best or only option? 


Dont mean to ramble, but thought i would throw out a line before pulling the valve covers.. 

#2 UWRedRyder



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Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:53 PM

Looking at a long block - the intake manifold has been removed.  I'll Need to remove the timing belt assembly and all relevant pulleys, which should expose three front seals to be replaced during the project? Being new to the boxer orientation, I am looking for help with proper sequence for removing the cylinder heads.  My understanding is the block is comprised of multiple pieces - don't want to tear down further than need be for inspection and cleaning.  Have read that often valve rockers can become stuck due to inadequate maintenance (the pass head gasket blew, hope to identify where to isolate what caused it).  


Would it be useful to first remove the oil pan for checking the condition of the pistons?  Again, I have zero knowledge when it comes to identifying defective parts - any advice on proper sequence for teardown would be helpful, or perhaps a link to someone who has dealt with this already on the board?  


Maybe the best thing to do would be scrap the garage motor and focus on the running motor in the car, replacing seals etc.  The car is my current daily driver, but would like to get it in the best shape possible before taking it off road.  

#3 MilesFox


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:02 AM

pull the heads. you will see it has plenty of crosshatch in the cylinfder bores. There is no access to the crank and rods thru the oil pan without splitting the case. However, you can remove the pistons by removing the plugs on the block and pulling the wrist pins.


You can likely repair the head gaskets and change the oil and be just fine, as i have done before. Otherwise, you are better off to replace the long block rather than rebuild it.

#4 Gloyale


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:11 PM

If it got ran with that mocha Latte in the oil......I would trash it or do a full rebuild....the bearings are toast.


been down that road......regasketed an EA81 engine that was like that on;y to have it toss a rod 2 months later.

Edited by Gloyale, 31 March 2014 - 12:12 PM.

#5 idosubaru


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:33 PM

I'd just go with the engine you got in there. Do the major tune up items that will leave you stranded, full timing belt kit with pulleys, water pump, hoses/clamps, have an extra alternator and other single point of failure items in the trunk and you're ready for elk camp.

I've driven 80's XT6's 4,000 miles to elk camp and back multiple times. One picture here:



Hard to say about bearings on the engine, all that mixing happened in the last mile before it sat or they limped it along for months like that, trashing the bearings.  Old cars aren't often well kept and maintained and as Gloyale said the bearings may be suspect.


If the timing covers are melted that means it was run hot.


You might be able to rig up a test where you fill it with oil and crank it over a few times on an engine stand just to get an oil pressure reading.  If it's really low that might confirm current bearing issues, but even still it could easily give a false positive where it checks out but bearings are on the way south.

#6 MilesFox


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:56 PM

Caution, if the block had been overheated enough to melt the belt covers, the aluminum grain of the block may be compromized. what can happen is the head bolts will strip out when you apply final torque sequence. This would be an extreme case.


Given your locations where ea82's are a plenty and can be had for 100 bucks, you may just consider replacing the engine if you can find one locally.


Although with my example given of redoing the heads in a ea81 milkshake engine, i had an engine that i drove for a while on blown hg's, made 150 mile trips like that, until the water pump fell apart and i cooked the engine so hard it was boiling the oil.


good luck

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