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I just joined the 2.5L Head Gasket Club-Help Pls.


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13 replies to this topic

#1 dyp911e

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 03:53 PM

Hello all,
I generally lurk the STi boards, as that's my "fun" car, but I've experienced my first real problem with my 98 legacy outback with 160k miles. I bought it earlier this year as a beater for around $4300, without doing any research into the inherent engine flaws. I now have blown a headgasket and am now trying to decide what to do. The options I've come to after much online research are:

1. Fix the headgasket with the latest improved headgaskets, and while the engine's out, obviously do the valve shims, all accessible seals, loctite the 5 bolts on the oil pump back plate, new water pump. I just did the timing belt, so at least that's OK.

or, 2. Get a rebuilt engine from CCR engines out of denver, specifically the previous generation 2.2L that, from what I've gathered, is far more bulletproof than the 2.5L. The engine price is $1975 + s/h. I'm a bit concerned about any OBDI / OBD II conversion issues, if any. The 2.5 L replacement is $3k, which is out of my price range.

The dealer quoted me $2200 just for the headgasket replacement, which is obscene. I have an independant shop getting me a quote for both the HG repairs and for the engine swap. Any tips for those that have been through this? Is it reasonable to expect another 150k miles after doing the repairs, or are there bound to be bigger problems down the road? Thanks in advance.

david

#2 tracedog67

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:22 PM

On my '97 OBW i did the headgaskets, water pump, and timing belt at 191k miles about 2 years ago and the temp gauge never goes beyond the thermometer icon so the newly redesigned headgaskets are working fine. I had this done for $1100 at the dealer here in Cincinnati. The car has 235k miles now and runs very good.

Tdog

#3 cookie

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:25 PM

with waterpump would sound good to me. Unless you find a lot of damage in there when you open it up. The dealer price is not that bad for a dealer, but according to the board folks have often gotten a better deal than I did for gaskets and such on my 99 Forester.
I sure do like that 2.2 conversion but it would not be worth it to me unless the car was truly mint.

#4 rweddy

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:30 PM

Hello all,
I generally lurk the STi boards, as that's my "fun" car, but I've experienced my first real problem with my 98 legacy outback with 160k miles. I bought it earlier this year as a beater for around $4300, without doing any research into the inherent engine flaws. I now have blown a headgasket and am now trying to decide what to do. The options I've come to after much online research are:

1. Fix the headgasket with the latest improved headgaskets, and while the engine's out, obviously do the valve shims, all accessible seals, loctite the 5 bolts on the oil pump back plate, new water pump. I just did the timing belt, so at least that's OK.

or, 2. Get a rebuilt engine from CCR engines out of denver, specifically the previous generation 2.2L that, from what I've gathered, is far more bulletproof than the 2.5L. The engine price is $1975 + s/h. I'm a bit concerned about any OBDI / OBD II conversion issues, if any. The 2.5 L replacement is $3k, which is out of my price range.

The dealer quoted me $2200 just for the headgasket replacement, which is obscene. I have an independant shop getting me a quote for both the HG repairs and for the engine swap. Any tips for those that have been through this? Is it reasonable to expect another 150k miles after doing the repairs, or are there bound to be bigger problems down the road? Thanks in advance.

david

I think it depends on how long you plan to keep it?
I would just fix the HG unless you plan to keep the car for very long term, then do the 2.2 swap.

#5 lmdew

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 05:30 PM

Cut your losses and sell it to me for $2000. I'll put my spare 2.5 motor in it and away I'll go :brow:

I'm still looking for a 97-99 Outback or Forster (5sp) in good condition other than the engine. Good Luck.

#6 ron917

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 05:57 PM

I may be joining the club soon myself, as I now have a steady stream of bubbles in my coolant overflow :( . No overheating (yet). '99 Outback wagon, 79K miles.

I'll know for sure when I do a combustion gas test on the coolant using this kit http://www.eastwoodc...iProductID=6760

I'll do the work myself. I expect the cost to be around $500, which includes t-belt, oil seals, water pump, t-belt tensioner, engine hoist rental, etc. Plus 3 days of my time over the Christmas holiday.

If DIY is an option for you, it can reduce the cost significantly.

#7 cookie

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 06:34 PM

We have heard of a number of times when it only works when the gasket is totaly fried. The age old compression test is a failure until the gasket comes out very bad because it seals when it cools down enough. If it is really bad it's easy to find.

#8 Ranger83

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 08:50 PM

Any tips for those that have been through this? Is it reasonable to expect another 150k miles after doing the repairs, or are there bound to be bigger problems down the road? Thanks in advance.

david

I paid $1,250 at a good garage with additional work done. It was preemptive and I've put another 15K miles on it since without excitement. But there's no guaranty on 8 year old cars wit h160K miles on it.

#9 dyp911e

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 09:54 PM

Thanks for all the replies-my independant shop quoted me 11 hours ($660) labor for the headgasket job, and I will purchase the parts myself ($300). This is a major relief, especially going into the holiday season. I had seriously thought of doing the work myself, but the only headgasket I've done myself was on an inline 4 where the engine stayed in the car, and even then it never ran right afterwards. With the price this guy quoted, it's a no brainer especially since that includes the labor to do the valves, install a new water pump, loctite the oil pump plate, and replace all accessible seals. While he's got it apart, I'm going to have the heads and valves sent to the machine shop for an extra $200. I hope to get another 150k out of it, and by then maybe price on the 05 legacy GT wagons will be nice and low. Other than this problem though, it's been a fantastic car, and a calming change of pace from my STi, which brings out my leadfoot too much.

I really appreciate the advice-most forums I've used seem to be frequented by the 2F2F kids. This is a valuable resource. Thanks again, and I'll post as soon as the work is complete as a follow up.

#10 cookie

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 11:32 PM

and you probably get an old Nascar mechanic down there.

#11 J_h152

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 05:00 PM

I had the intermittent overheating. Took my OBW to my mechanic and he filled and pressured tested and he car ran fine for awhile. Then the overheating problem happened again.

I took the car to the dealership after and they redid the head and had to replace the short block cause of coolant leaking into the cyclinders. Well they took 3 weeks to fix it and then they lost my keys and did not tell me. They had to replace my keyless remote. After all that would I buy another subaru. Hell no. They only warranty their work for 12,000 miles or 12 months. A friend of mine had his toyota heads redone and their warranty is 3 years 36,000 miles.




Hello all,
I generally lurk the STi boards, as that's my "fun" car, but I've experienced my first real problem with my 98 legacy outback with 160k miles. I bought it earlier this year as a beater for around $4300, without doing any research into the inherent engine flaws. I now have blown a headgasket and am now trying to decide what to do. The options I've come to after much online research are:

1. Fix the headgasket with the latest improved headgaskets, and while the engine's out, obviously do the valve shims, all accessible seals, loctite the 5 bolts on the oil pump back plate, new water pump. I just did the timing belt, so at least that's OK.

or, 2. Get a rebuilt engine from CCR engines out of denver, specifically the previous generation 2.2L that, from what I've gathered, is far more bulletproof than the 2.5L. The engine price is $1975 + s/h. I'm a bit concerned about any OBDI / OBD II conversion issues, if any. The 2.5 L replacement is $3k, which is out of my price range.

The dealer quoted me $2200 just for the headgasket replacement, which is obscene. I have an independant shop getting me a quote for both the HG repairs and for the engine swap. Any tips for those that have been through this? Is it reasonable to expect another 150k miles after doing the repairs, or are there bound to be bigger problems down the road? Thanks in advance.

david



#12 Phillip

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 07:22 PM

If you're buying the parts, I'd sure recommend OEM Subaru headgaskets! They may cost more (not sure), but they will be the latest and greatest design. This is not a place to be penny wise and pound foolish!

Thanks for all the replies-my independant shop quoted me 11 hours ($660) labor for the headgasket job, and I will purchase the parts myself ($300). This is a major relief, especially going into the holiday season. I had seriously thought of doing the work myself, but the only headgasket I've done myself was on an inline 4 where the engine stayed in the car, and even then it never ran right afterwards. With the price this guy quoted, it's a no brainer especially since that includes the labor to do the valves, install a new water pump, loctite the oil pump plate, and replace all accessible seals. While he's got it apart, I'm going to have the heads and valves sent to the machine shop for an extra $200. I hope to get another 150k out of it, and by then maybe price on the 05 legacy GT wagons will be nice and low. Other than this problem though, it's been a fantastic car, and a calming change of pace from my STi, which brings out my leadfoot too much.

I really appreciate the advice-most forums I've used seem to be frequented by the 2F2F kids. This is a valuable resource. Thanks again, and I'll post as soon as the work is complete as a follow up.



#13 dyp911e

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 11:45 AM

If you're buying the parts, I'd sure recommend OEM Subaru headgaskets! They may cost more (not sure), but they will be the latest and greatest design. This is not a place to be penny wise and pound foolish!


No doubt about that-I got all the parts from 1stsubaruparts.com or something like that, and they are a dealer on the west coast that happen to have OEM parts at about 25-30% less than my local dealer. I made sure to get the latest gaskets and the guy I spoke with knew way, way more about what I needed than my dealer. I think his name was Jason. I got their name from somebody on this board that set up a website when he replaced his headgaskets by himself. The outback goes to the shop as soon as those parts arrive, so we'll see how it goes.

#14 Clutchbob

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 01:14 PM

Some good info here:


http://mysite.verizo...eplacement.html




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