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1996 OBW overheating and puking antifreeze


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32 replies to this topic

#1 soylentgreen33

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:00 PM

Hello everyone. Hoping someone has some advice for me. I have a '96 OBW 2.5 auto with 152k miles. About a week ago the car suddenly overheated, according to the gauge. When I stopped, it was puking antifreeze but the radiator cap and top hose was cold. I immediately thought the thermostat was bad and had it replaced. The next day on the way to work the temp went up some over normal in traffic. After I stopped it blew some antifreeze out of the coolant reservoir. Took it back in to the shop and they could not get it to overheat all day. The car was fine, never got above normal and didn't leak until the evening of the next day. Long story short, in traffic sometimes it gets a little hot, and when I stop, it blows antifreeze. It is not consistent. Runs good otherwise. Any help would be great. :-\

#2 nipper

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:22 PM

This is the beginings of a blown HG (well technically al.ready blown). Sometimes it will do it sometimes it wont. You need a hydrocarbon test, and oyu can replace the radiator cap, but any other things that ouwld cause overheating would do it in a pattern.

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#3 soylentgreen33

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:24 PM

This is the beginings of a blown HG (well technically al.ready blown). Sometimes it will do it sometimes it wont. You need a hydrocarbon test, and oyu can replace the radiator cap, but any other things that ouwld cause overheating would do it in a pattern.

nipper


I was hoping you wouldn't say that. Any idea how much a HG job might cost? I am in Southern California.

#4 chef_tim

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:22 PM

At 150K you might want to concider just replacing it with a CCR reman. Mine went at about the same point in it's life, that and a bottle of snake oil head gasket repair in a bottle. Just a thought, Tim

#5 soylentgreen33

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 12:05 AM

At 150K you might want to concider just replacing it with a CCR reman. Mine went at about the same point in it's life, that and a bottle of snake oil head gasket repair in a bottle. Just a thought, Tim


Well, Money is tight right now and I would like to do this as cheaply as possible. The body of the car is not the greatest and I don't really want to put a ton of money into it.

#6 Snowman

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 02:21 AM

To do it "right" this last summer, replacing all the seals, the timing belt, the water pump, etc cost me around $700 in parts. That's without needing any machine work on the heads or new heads (Mine never actually overheated before I did the job. If yours was overheated badly, you might need two heads for it). For a shop to do it, you're surely looking at a few hours, so I would be amazed if it was less than $1200-$1500.

#7 Esteban32696

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 07:24 AM

A day's worth of reading about headgasket failure, here;;
http://www.ultimates...searchid=348438

#8 msmithmmx

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 07:38 AM

Nipper is correct, you will need a hydro carbin test. Any engine shop can do it. Think of it as this, you engine is shot or at least 1500 in repair. The car is worth 2800. You never know what else could be wrong when your engine overheats. Try the coolant conditioner from the dealer. I see you having only one option. Install a 2.2.

#9 Steve455

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 12:22 PM

My 96 OBW cost me $190 in machine shop (had a burnt valve) and $100 for a headgasket set.I looked for a 2.5 in the pick and pull yards but couldnt find one ,and they wanted $1400 for a used 1 at the subaru only yard.I replaced the gaskets with 240,000 on the motor and it seems to run ok.I also used the old timing belt.

#10 soylentgreen33

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 01:47 PM

Nipper is correct, you will need a hydro carbin test. Any engine shop can do it. Think of it as this, you engine is shot or at least 1500 in repair. The car is worth 2800. You never know what else could be wrong when your engine overheats. Try the coolant conditioner from the dealer. I see you having only one option. Install a 2.2.


Any idea what a 2.2 from CCR would cost? What about used low mileage imports from Japan? Good idea or should I stay away?

#11 The Dude

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 04:39 PM

If you have, or can borrow, the tools, why not do it yourself? This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to replace head gaskets. The engine already is an economic write off otherwise. You have nothing to loose. This is not brain surgery. Go for it.

#12 soylentgreen33

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 06:28 PM

If you have, or can borrow, the tools, why not do it yourself? This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to replace head gaskets. The engine already is an economic write off otherwise. You have nothing to loose. This is not brain surgery. Go for it.


What kind of tools would I need? I have only basic wrench and sockets. Also would I need to pull the engine?

#13 bgambino

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 09:00 AM

What kind of tools would I need? I have only basic wrench and sockets. Also would I need to pull the engine?


Basic tools plus a few torque wrenches
I am in the midst of a head gasket job now on my 96 2.5...started and stopped over the last 6 months--been busy

The older 1.8 loyales were so much less complex than the new gen's(not to say they are terribly complex...but in comparison it is like night and day)

If you don't have much experience...you may want to reconsider...and if you have the adjustable valves rather than the hydraulic....really reconsider (mine is hydraulic thank God)

I just spent $950 from Genuinesubaruparts...what drove up my cost was I decided to biite the bullet and buy the 3 idler pullies as well as the timing adjuster pulley and the timing belt tensioner (probably about $320 just for these).....got the engine overhaul gasket set ($250)...water pump...plug wires...pcv..fuel filt...etc ($85 for shipping/handling...also got valve job and resurfacing for $250 locally...hope to assemble in the next month
I bought car with overheating prob for $400 with 4 new tires....136K ..it's got a nice body and interior is like new...one woman owner

#14 ronemus

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 10:40 AM

This could also be due to a bad water pump (had it happen to me); when the shaft bearing wears, it sucks air and blows the coolant out the overflow. The pump is easier and less expensive to change than head gaskets. You should do the timing belt at the same time, if you haven't already, since you'll have to remove it anyway.

#15 grossgary

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 11:12 AM

in my area the cheapest method is a 2.2 swap. they can be found for $200 around here (even less with some work) and have a shop install it for a few hundred if you can't do it yourself. or rent/buy/borrow an engine lift and do it yourself. many have done the swap, search this forum if you're interested.

2.5's are hard to find, but keep your eye out and you might be able to snag one for $500 or so, but they're usually in the $1,000 range. i'd point someone away from installing a used one as the headgasket may be questionable on it as well.

headgaskets runs $1,000+ if you're paying someone to do it.

engine doesn't have to come out to do them, but it is much easier without air tools to have the engine out...more room for turning wrenches.

#16 soylentgreen33

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 09:36 PM

This could also be due to a bad water pump (had it happen to me); when the shaft bearing wears, it sucks air and blows the coolant out the overflow. The pump is easier and less expensive to change than head gaskets. You should do the timing belt at the same time, if you haven't already, since you'll have to remove it anyway.


Did your car intermittently overheat? I have been able to go short trips before the temp rises. I noticed that later in the day after several small trips that it overheats much easier. Could that be due to the tired water pump? And do you think a bad water pump would cause air bubbles? It is at the shop right now as I have neither the tools or the time to work on it. Also when it blows the coolant out the overflow the radiator cap is cold. Did that also happen to you?

Oh, by the way, had a carbon test done and it showed nothing.:-\

#17 soylentgreen33

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 02:57 PM

This could also be due to a bad water pump (had it happen to me); when the shaft bearing wears, it sucks air and blows the coolant out the overflow. The pump is easier and less expensive to change than head gaskets. You should do the timing belt at the same time, if you haven't already, since you'll have to remove it anyway.


Is there any test for the water pump? Or any way to tell if it needs replacing without pulling the timing belt and all that?

#18 nipper

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 04:06 PM

Is there any test for the water pump? Or any way to tell if it needs replacing without pulling the timing belt and all that?


This is subjective, but in all honesty its rare for a sooby impeller to fail, unless there are many many miles on it. You need to watch the flow in the engine, and a worn impeller would cause over heating but not the puking.
ANother possability is a clogged raditaor, but again no puking.
Puking is from the exhaust gasses pushing the fluid out of the raditor cap through the overflow.

nipper

#19 soylentgreen33

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 01:33 PM

This is subjective, but in all honesty its rare for a sooby impeller to fail, unless there are many many miles on it. You need to watch the flow in the engine, and a worn impeller would cause over heating but not the puking.
ANother possability is a clogged raditaor, but again no puking.
Puking is from the exhaust gasses pushing the fluid out of the raditor cap through the overflow.

nipper


The shop tells me the coolant is going somewhere. Could it be an external leak that is burning off and then the car overheats due to low coolant? Everything seems to be circulating fine, apparently. They are not finding any hydrocarbons or oil in the coolant.

A quote for a reman 2.5 from CCR was $2895 plus shipping, So if that is the case I may not even bother. Like I mentioned before, the body is not in the best of shape (car was involved in a sandwich situation) and is probably not worth the extra expense of replacing the engine.

#20 michaelbteam

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 01:30 AM

I bought a 99 outback last year with 180K on it for $5g's, good deal on a lovely car, so I thought...it had the same problem as yours, and would not duplicate it at the radiator shop where it ran for an hour flawlessly. Frustrating situation to troubleshoot, had to be a pretty minor leak
Mine would only really overheat going up the steep canyons, a 6 mile drive from about 5 to 8000 feet. I got through the winter by adding coolant before every cold start, recycling the overflow tank into the radiator much of the time, probably only used a gallon of 50-50 all winter. ALSO- removed the thermostat so it would not overheat as quickly, saved coolant!
Loved that car but sold it [cheap] to someone who felt like fixing it, now I'm only driving older sohc legacies. I'd say keep adding coolant regularly and look for another car.
Good luck!

#21 nipper

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 09:20 AM

I bought a 99 outback last year with 180K on it for $5g's, good deal on a lovely car, so I thought...it had the same problem as yours, and would not duplicate it at the radiator shop where it ran for an hour flawlessly. Frustrating situation to troubleshoot, had to be a pretty minor leak
Mine would only really overheat going up the steep canyons, a 6 mile drive from about 5 to 8000 feet. I got through the winter by adding coolant before every cold start, recycling the overflow tank into the radiator much of the time, probably only used a gallon of 50-50 all winter. ALSO- removed the thermostat so it would not overheat as quickly, saved coolant!
Loved that car but sold it [cheap] to someone who felt like fixing it, now I'm only driving older sohc legacies. I'd say keep adding coolant regularly and look for another car.
Good luck!


so if you lost more then 1500 on the deal you would have been better off fixing it.

nipper

#22 grossgary

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 11:35 AM

plan on headgasket work, it's highly unlikely to be the water pump. if you don't believe me or are confused as to which way to go, spend some time doing a search on headgaskets and overheating on this forum and read through all the posts about head gaskets leaking...eventhough they still pass the test. you'll find other cases exactly like yours on here, and i've personally seen it happen before as well. it confuses most mechanics, but for whatever reason it happens on this motor.

sounds like it's minor enough at this point that replacing the gaskets, timing belts, water pump for $1,500 puts you back in the seat of a good car.

#23 soylentgreen33

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 05:39 PM

Well, Thanks everyone. I will probably have the headgaskets done. I do however have my eye on another 96 with a 2.2. It is an nearby auction but is only at $2900 right now. 148K miles. If it doesn't go up, I think it is a good deal. I haven't seen it yet so no telling if there is anything wrong with it. Is there anything I should know about the 2.2?

#24 grossgary

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 05:54 PM

the 96 is the last year the 2.2 was a non-interference motor. so if you can keep oil in it and don't drive it with the T in the red it should last a very very long time.

#25 soylentgreen33

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 06:42 PM

the 96 is the last year the 2.2 was a non-interference motor. so if you can keep oil in it and drive it with the T in the red it should last a very very long time.


So they are prone to oil leaks? Where do they leak from?




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