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99 outback gaskets again


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25 replies to this topic

#1 whynot162

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:45 PM

So I got a 99 outback wagon, it had bad head gaskets, blowing water out of the radiator. so I got the car, pulled the engine, did the head gaskets and timing belt set etc. I did not take the heads in, I checked them with a machine straight edge, and feeler gauge. Assembled and it ran for 4 months.

Now it is blowing water out of the exhaust so what do I do now? 

I do have a car with the front crashed, that I hope the engine is good in it. 

I can either pull and try and fix this engine again, what did I miss? 

I can just transplant the engine from the wrecked car, 

I can pull from the wrecked car and do the headgaskets and move the timing set to the other engine, But what did I miss on the 1st time I did this, and will I make the same mistake again?

 

I used felpro gaskets

 

I would prefer not to change to a 2.2 engine. 

 

This car is being driven by my daughter who just graduated college. 

Thanks

Doug



#2 Lverano

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:22 PM

Sounds like the engine that you just did has to come out anyway. Pull it out, disassemble, and inspect it again. How many miles on it? Maybe you just missed the heads warping on you...maybe all the heat, pressure, and time added up and the warp was inevitable, new gaskets or not. Was it ever overheated?
I know of the Felpro as being known as top of the line, so I doubt you went wrong there. Did you torque the heads with a torque wrench and in the factory recommended sequence? That's a long shot for being the culprit, at best I'd just say it's my guess, but it's worth asking a pro if that could derail a head gasket job.
At this point put your other engine in, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.
I've never heard of fluid coming out of the exhaust from head gaskets. But that's probably due to my lack of experience.

Edited by Lverano, 15 August 2017 - 07:26 PM.


#3 Gloyale

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:50 PM

I used felpro gaskets

 

OE only.  And ALWAYS resurface the heads on a 2.5d

 

Felpro is hit and miss.....they rebox stuff from many different sources.  



#4 whynot162

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:15 PM

after putting coolant into the car again, It is also pushing it slowly into the overflow tank.

I do not know if the car was overheated before I got it. I assume now that it was, and now I know it has been. Today. 

 

Can I pull the engine and transmission together? is there a way to do that and just swap both from one car to another? 

Is there any test to do to the engine in the wrecked car to be sure it is ok? The pully on one of the cams is broken off, But I think I may have broken that prying the front of the car away from the engine. 

It has not ran since the wreck



#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:04 AM

251 pistons, knurled skirts, 770 Subaru gaskets. Resurface heads and fill any pitting in the block fire ring seating surface with a quality metal filler like Dev-Con, etc.

Clean and chase block head bolt threads. Lube head bolts generously with Amsoil engine assembly lube to prevent creaking. If you get creaking during assembly - stop and start over. Clean and chase, lube and torque. If the bolts have been wire wheeled or other foolishness get new ones from Subaru.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 16 August 2017 - 01:05 AM.


#6 whynot162

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 10:17 PM

I did use new bolts and tapped all the threads. I lubed the bolts as well on assembly.I did not go into the pistons etc. Do I guess it is all about not having the heads machined.

Now just have to decide what option is the best to get this back on the road, as a reliable daily driver.I did follow the torque sequence on removal as well as install

If it has been overheated to the point of warping the heads, will machining them fix them? or are they toast, and need to be replaced? that would mean putting in the other engine. which I am leaning to. But they both have just over 200K on them.

 



#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:37 AM

Resurfacing them will be fine. We do it with glass and abrasive paper. Search here on the forum for the process.

We do not replace the bolts unless damaged. We run them in the parts washer and throw them back in.

Changing the pistons allows use of thinner gaskets and that prevents eventual failure. New rings ensures no oil burning.

Head and block surfaces are THE most important factor, along with proper bolt torque with no creaking.

Follow my instructions if you don't want to do this again. I do this stuff every day and have built that engine more times than I can count on all my digits.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 17 August 2017 - 01:39 AM.


#8 dfoyl

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:28 AM

Pulling the engine and transmission is easy if you can jack the front of the car up. On both the EJ vehicles I have gutted (98 Forester and 02 Legacy) I dropped the engine and transmission as a complete assembly. Support both with jacks/stands, punch out roll pins for front axles, pull axles out of box, disconnect tailshaft, undo transmission bolts, undo engine mount bolts, then undo engine cradle (K-frame). Lower engine and transmission at the same rate.  Slide out from front of vehicle. (Obviously you have to disconnect AC lines, radiator hoses, etc etc etc prior to these steps). You could even keep the engine on its cradle and just swap cradles (inspect your engine mounts before installing).



#9 lmdew

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:43 AM

If the engine has been overheated there is most likely damage to the lower end bearings. 

 

Send you engine to GD for a full rebuild would be best.  I just picked up a 99GT where the PO had spent over $2600 to do the heads & HG.  6000 miles later he throws a rod.

 

Purchase $300

Used 95 2.2 with 140K on it.  New TB, Seals... $400

Brakes - $140

Sunroof Drain Tubes attached - Hour

 

For under $1000 it once again a great Subaru ready for many more miles.



#10 idosubaru

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:25 AM

Resurface the heads for Surface Roughness (ie. finish) and flatness.  I'd bet if you resurface those heads you're going to find high and low spots and fire ring notations, even if it checks fine for flatness.  That's three things you don't want on a headgasket that blows headgaskets all the time.

 

I get a DIY person doing it, but it's puzzling mechanics still rely solely on flatness. 

 

I see you don't want to EJ22 it, but just like the resurfacing you missed/skip - it's a far superior option in every way imaginable.  Cheaper, easier to maintain, they run forever, nearly zero risk of headgasket or future rod bearing issues. They are boring and not a hot mess of a drama queen  that will keep you coming back to this forum like the EJ25.



#11 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:47 AM

skipping the resurfacing and using cheap headgaskets. We all could have predicted a quick repeat failure. Without spending a bunch of money, you're just rolling the dice again. Even if you do the job right, there's a high probability of rod bearing failure in the future if it ever ran hot.

 

This is why most of us do the Ej22 swap. It rarely exceeds $500 and far outlives the 2.5 You'll spend far more cobbling that Ej25 back together without leaks and still not have the reliability. There's a reason that it's standard practice.

 

So, of course, it's your car and you can do what you want. Done right and if bearings were never roasted the EJ25 will go on and on. GD has it down to science and I would take his advice to heart if you want long life from that motor.


Edited by AdventureSubaru, 17 August 2017 - 07:49 AM.


#12 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:19 PM

The easiest thing to do would be to buy a re-manufactured short block from Subaru for a 2000 to 2004 Legacy. They are about $2300 and come with a 3 year/ 36k warranty. Then you have the right pistons already. Resurface the 25D heads and put them on with 770 gaskets. These reman short blocks come with pan, oil pump, water pump pre-installed. We have a lot of customers that go this route because the cost to do a complete rebuild of their old short block exceeds the cost of these reman's from Subaru and they come with value added parts like the pumps and pan. 

 

GD



#13 whynot162

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 11:13 PM

I guess I am just scared of the conversion. I hear everyone say how easy it is. but the last time I did a swap that was easy, it was full of the oh, we forgot to tell you problems, and you should have got a engine from a newer than.. car... So being fairly new to these cars, I have a very limited knowledge of what is compatible.. 

 

So I think right now, I am better off pulling the engine (2.5) from the wrecked car, moving the timing kit and water pump over to it, and put it in the car without doing much else and seeing if I can get by with that for now. 

And learn about the swap and what I need so I can do that next, finding all of the things I need so it will work, and I will know what I am getting into.. Neither of the cars are worth a $2500 repair, they are 1999 cars. 

But it sounds like just doing this again, even with resurfacing the heads will lead to quick failure?

 

I have never heard of filling the pits in the fire ring with filler, nor would I know how to do it. I did not see any pits in the block near the cylinders, but that does not mean that I know what I was looking for. I can swap these and figure out how to fix the one I take out, or prep to go to the 2.2. but I think the car could use more power even with the 2.5.



#14 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:27 AM

It's not a conversion. It's a DIRECT bolt in. There is no difference whatsoever with using a 251 block from 1999 to 2001. 2002 to 2004 requires only changing the location of the PCV valve using a $5 brass nipple.

Again - zero modification required. It's the same block just with different piston in it. The piston even fit your existing block.

Fire ring pitting is just that - you find pitted low spots where the fire ring sat on the block. You use filler infused with metal particulate (JB weld, Dev-Con, etc) and lightly draw file/block sand it smooth. It's not rocket science. Its a simple repair procedure. Best learn this kind of thing if you plan on doing this kind of work successfully.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 18 August 2017 - 12:32 AM.


#15 whynot162

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:47 PM

so I am looking for a 1999-2004 engine from any subaru, with a 2.2. While I look, I think I will go and get the 2.5 out of the wrecked car in it. 

I have 2 of these cars, so I will look for an engine, and get ready to change the first one over after the first of the year, or when I have more issues. 

And I will look for any procedures on this. So the cheap, because I have it, and then the long term is to take both cars to a 2.2? and then the cars should be good for many more years. or decide on something newer. (love no car payments)

For some reason I like the look of the 99 better than the newer ones. 



#16 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:08 AM

so I am looking for a 1999-2004 engine from any subaru, with a 2.2. While I look, I think I will go and get the 2.5 out of the wrecked car in it. 

I have 2 of these cars, so I will look for an engine, and get ready to change the first one over after the first of the year, or when I have more issues. 

And I will look for any procedures on this. So the cheap, because I have it, and then the long term is to take both cars to a 2.2? and then the cars should be good for many more years. or decide on something newer. (love no car payments)

For some reason I like the look of the 99 better than the newer ones. 

 

99+ 2.2s (And all 99+SOHC 2.5s) Are NOT compatable with your 99 outback aside from splitting the block and putting your heads on the Phase 2 block (Which is a step up, but not much different than where you started.

 

The cheap and reliable fixes for both are 95-98 phase 1 EJ22s to match the phase 1 Ej25 in your 99 outback. For simplicitys sake, look for EJ22s from cars with automatic transmissions as these motors were also EGR equipped and will not cause a check engine light. If the engine light doesnt matter a non-egr motor will run just fine.\

 

car-part.com is a great place to find them. Usually if I offer to come down, cash in hand for a motor, yards will negotiate a bit on price.


Edited by AdventureSubaru, 19 August 2017 - 10:09 AM.


#17 Gloyale

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 12:31 PM

The cheap and reliable fixes for both are 95-98 phase 1 EJ22s to match the phase 1 Ej25 in your 99 outback. For simplicitys sake, look for EJ22s from cars with automatic transmissions as these motors were also EGR equipped and will not cause a check engine light. If the engine light doesnt matter a non-egr motor will run just fine.\

 

95 2.2 from an automatic is the excact direct bolt in.  Dual port exhaust, EGR

 

96-98 2.2 will work also, but will need the front section of the "y" pipe to swap from dual to single port exhaust.  otherwise identical swap.



#18 whynot

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 07:20 PM

Can it come out of an impreza wagon? do i need the intake etc? With a loss of power will I see an increase in MPG if I do this to my car?


Edited by whynot, 19 August 2017 - 07:21 PM.


#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 09:06 PM

No you will see a decrease because the less powerful engine will have to work harder and the gearing was not chosen for the 2.2 power band.

The best solution is 251 pistons. 2.2's are getting old and hard to find.

GD

#20 Mikevan10

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:03 PM

Are the head bolt torques in the FSM based on LUBED bolts?



#21 idosubaru

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:34 PM

so I am looking for a 1999-2004 engine from any subaru, with a 2.2.

No. No. No. you're confusing two different things. You're combining GDs mention of a 251 block swap and installing an EJ22.
They are NOT the same thing. Two totally different options you have.

Swapping to EJ22 is also not a conversion - it's just an engine install and exactly the same work you're doing if you install the EJ25 after removing it. - it's plug and play and way easier than a head job. Pull engine and install EJ22 - plug and play and it runs. It's the same engine pull/install work as your headgasket job without all the head work debacle. Everything you need to know is right here: last one I bought was a perfect $350 low mileage one from the best yard in the northern part of the state (maybe the whole state but I rarely go that far)

http://www.ultimates...d-dohc-vehicle/

#22 idosubaru

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:36 PM

so I am looking for a 1999-2004 engine from any subaru, with a 2.2.

No. No. No. you're confusing two different things. You're combining GDs mention of a 251 block swap and installing an EJ22.
They are NOT the same thing. Two totally different options you have.

Swapping to EJ22 is also not a conversion - it's just an engine install and exactly the same work you're doing if you install the EJ25 after removing it. - it's plug and play and way easier than a head job. Pull engine and install EJ22 - plug and play and it runs. It's the same engine pull/install work as your headgasket job without all the head work debacle. Everything you need to know is right here: last one I bought was a perfect $350 low mileage one from the best yard in the northern part of the state (maybe the whole state but I rarely go that far)

http://www.ultimates...d-dohc-vehicle/

If you're worried just buy the one EJ22 that's a direct swap. but other years are equally easy if you just buy an exhaust manifold too.

#23 Gloyale

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 12:11 PM

No you will see a decrease because the less powerful engine will have to work harder and the gearing was not chosen for the 2.2 power band.

The best solution is 251 pistons. 2.2's are getting old and hard to find.

GD

 

that's silly.

 

same car with smaller motor, driven the same, will go a little slower, and get slightly better gas mileage.  generally speaking.  there is a point were too small would be a hinderance, but swapping from 2.5 to 2.2 will see either same or improved mileage.  Unless he flogs the engine harder to try to still drive as fast.  

 

I get 1-2 mpg better consistantly with my Forester w/ 2.2.  not a big deal but it's certainly not worse.



#24 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 03:21 AM

It depends on how it's driven, for sure. I drive everything like I stole it. The vast majority of the time I take off at WOT - especially in a Subaru with an NA engine and AWD.

GD

#25 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 03:22 AM

Are the head bolt torques in the FSM based on LUBED bolts?


Absolutely. Get some Amsoil assembly lube and be generous with it.

GD




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