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New types EJ disasters becoming common


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18 replies to this topic

#1 weddes05

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:58 AM

I was just trying to get a feeler out for different issues that people are seeing becoming common and maybe getting a list together for problems to watch out for when looking into one of these, and to give people an idea of what to expect they could be getting themselves into. Please add on anything you can think of and what mileage this has been commonly occuring. I work at a shop that we deal with nothing but subies parts and service and I am thinking about keeping a tally with problems dealt with.

Phase 1 2.2
-one of the best of the newer generations of engines made in the opinion of manyd people, they are pretty much all good (finally did my 98 OBS at 237k)
-cam/crank seals

Phase 2 2.2
-limited production- 99 legacy and 99-01 impreza
-electronic disasters- i have dealt with more sensor, TCU, ECU, and wiring problems on these than any other EJ
-cam/crank seals

Phase 1 2.5
-Obviously head gaskets- I have dealt with them as low as 70k
-bottom end failure- seeing this more and more lately between 115k and up
-cams locking up- appears to be mainly due to the size of the journal and the oil passage
-if you are into buying parts cars are repairables inspect the cam gears no matter where they are hit- I have purchased cars that have been light his with the body pushed nowhere near the cam covers and put it back together only to find out the composite gear blew apart and belt most of the valves
-cam/crank seals

Phase 2 2.5
-HG issues as well- not as bad as the phase 1's but we are seeing our fair share- As early as 60K
-planar type O2s need to be replaced fairly often- As early as 50K
-catalytic converter problems fairly common (420 code) As early as 60K
-cam/crank seals

EJ20
-Haven't dealt a whole lot with but beware of boosted engines without supported fuel systems
-Bottom ends! (I am doing the second engine in an 05 with 41k first one was used this time it is getting rebuilt) As low as 40K

Again this is only a rough guide to what we have seen and dealt with personally. I am sure there are pleanty of things I havent thought to list. Feel free to add.

#2 Olnick

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:46 AM

Thanks weddes05--good observations and very helpful. I drive "one of the best" (Phase 1 2.2) so I'm a happy camper. Recent new timing belt, cam/crank seals, plugs/wires at 117k and my little boxer feels like a brand new engine. Truth is, I've been struggling to think of any major problems I've had . . . and I can't!

#3 Manarius

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:58 AM

How about the Phase 1.5 2.2 with the reshaped heads for Interference design (1997). And in 1996, they went to Solid lifters (that need adjusted) as opposed to Hydraulic Lash Adjusters like the 1989-1995 design.

#4 91LegLS

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:22 PM

Phase I 4EAT issues (torque bind, shifting issues, reverse gear failing) When I got my '91, it had a "double-shift" effect on second gear (rpm's would rise in second then it would studder and continue gaining speed until it shifted to third), had to have valve body rebuilt

EJ Phase I emission sensors are begining to show their age (MAP, idle air control valve, canister purge valve, O2 {I still had the original one with 140K on it})

Sludge build-up (fixed with Sea Foam or similiar cleaning product) dirty and leaking injectors

#5 Aspen

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:31 PM

I would add leaky rear main seal, oil separate plate, cam cover gaskets and bolts
piston slap.

Phase 1 2.5
-Obviously head gaskets- I have dealt with them as low as 70k
-bottom end failure- seeing this more and more lately between 115k and up
-cams locking up- appears to be mainly due to the size of the journal and the oil passage
-if you are into buying parts cars are repairables inspect the cam gears no matter where they are hit- I have purchased cars that have been light his with the body pushed nowhere near the cam covers and put it back together only to find out the composite gear blew apart and belt most of the valves
-cam/crank seals



#6 Virrdog

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 09:09 AM

You might want to add valve cover gaskets to every engine type. :grin:

Don't forget the EJ22T. It is known to have its piston oil squirters to come loose or fall out. Isn't really a disaster, but something to watch out for during a rebuild. Other than that, I would say most reliable known Subie engine?? :headbang: The HD version of the phase I EJ22. (Yes, I'm a little biased :) )

#7 Manarius

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 09:32 AM

Don't forget the EJ22T. It is known to have its piston oil squirters to come loose or fall out. Isn't really a disaster, but something to watch out for during a rebuild.

Funny. In all the posts at Legacycentral, I can't seem to find very many (if any) having anything to do with the Oil Squirters falling out. I'd call that very rare. Extremely rare even. There's a reason that any person who knows anything about Subaru's knows that the strongest block to ever come out of Japan is the EJ22T block.

All of the EJ22 reasons listed here, aside from mine about the interference design, are MINOR problems when it comes to the overall integrity of the engine. I wouldn't call them "EJ Disaster" ideas.

Also, what in the world does the 4EAT have anything to do with the EJ engine? We've already determined that the 4EAT is a great transmission.


#8 WAWalker

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 10:38 AM

I don't understand why so many people think that the EJ22 interference engines are such a disaster. Replace the timing belt every 100k and you have no worries.
The EJ25's are interference, nobody is bashing them for that. Oh, maybe the head gasket issue over shadows the interference part.:)

#9 nipper

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 12:07 PM

Only things ive seen here with any merit that fit under disaster is the Head gasket. The seperator plate is anoying, seals are normal wear and tear
Nothing lasts for ever, and having been one of the people that blew a bottom end at 196,000 miles, i consider that not unusual for any engine.
Also the pully of death has been left out, but thats usually from inproper instalation after replacing the main seal.

Odd how torque bind is left out.

I think the list is just alarmist. From seeing what been posted here, only HG qualify as wide spread, followed by the oil seperator plate.

nipper

#10 weddes05

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 12:19 PM

It is more or less things to look out for.

I was only listing engine issues.

And as far as widespread issues there are def. more than HG's. HG's are pretty much are problem that if you own the car a while you WILL have to deal with, where the others are faily widespread.

Only things ive seen here with any merit that fit under disaster is the Head gasket. The seperator plate is anoying, seals are normal wear and tear
Nothing lasts for ever, and having been one of the people that blew a bottom end at 196,000 miles, i consider that not unusual for any engine.
Also the pully of death has been left out, but thats usually from inproper instalation after replacing the main seal.

Odd how torque bind is left out.

I think the list is just alarmist. From seeing what been posted here, only HG qualify as wide spread, followed by the oil seperator plate.

nipper



#11 WAWalker

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:24 PM

It is more or less things to look out for.


Don't you think the title is a little, harsh, for a list of maintenance items to "look out for".:)

#12 Skip

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:42 PM

look out for?

the screws holding the back plate on the oil pump
backing out

does this qualify guys?
I guess it could lead to a disaster?

#13 Snowman

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:26 AM

The interferance engine thing is or isn't a big deal depending on where you live and what you do with your car. 90% of the time, if you change the belt when you're supposed to and change the tensioner and idlers every couple of belt replacements, it will never break. However, things like extreme temperatures, excessive dust, oil leaks, or submerging the belt in water when offroading can drastically and unpredictably shorten the life of the belt. If that happens to a non-interference engine, it's an inconvenience. If it happens to an interference engine, you just bought an engine. At this point, that's not a risk I'm personally willing to take.

I would also theorize that a lot of the bad-mouthing of interference engines on the USMB comes from the fact that most of us have owned an EA82 at one point. Although it's a great engine, the timing belt setup is subpar and prone to breakage, so most of us here have also had one break a belt on us. Because of those experiences, many of us have this idea that timing belts WILL break sooner or later, so the idea of an interference engine can be rather frightening.

#14 xrturbo

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 07:11 AM

I don't understand why whenever anyone posts something helpful to people, you get everyone jumping all over it picking apart because of things like titles ect.... This is what leads to arguments and ongoing threads completely getting off topic. This is a message board not something set in stone. It is opinions that form these posts.:confused: :confused:

#15 Manarius

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:10 AM

I don't understand why whenever anyone posts something helpful to people, you get everyone jumping all over it picking apart because of things like titles ect.... This is what leads to arguments and ongoing threads completely getting off topic. This is a message board not something set in stone. It is opinions that form these posts.:confused: :confused:

Because if someone who is new to this board sees this thread in a search, they're going to assume that all EJ style engines have "disasters" that are becoming common - which simply isn't the case.

I think they should be...maybe "Problems to look for" but not common disasters, especially on the EJ22.


#16 MDW25gt

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 09:37 AM

OK so change the title. Nothing wrong with a list of "watch outs"! This could be a valuable list to many.

#17 schlit

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 01:22 PM

OK so change the title. Nothing wrong with a list of "watch outs"! This could be a valuable list to many.


Yea, no kidding. I'm new to this board and understand what the thread is trying to achieve, and there's not many places on the net or real world that will give "heads up" info!

Now only if there were a good thread that tells me what engine is in what car... too bad it isnt a sticky at the top of the forum :eek:

#18 Olnick

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 03:48 PM

if someone who is new to this board sees this thread in a search, they're going to assume that all EJ style engines have "disasters"


I wouldn't worry too much about that. People are pretty smart.

Everyone has a built-in BS detector, granted some are more attuned than others. And hopefully everyone realizes that a forum like this is basically just opinion--most are wonderfully spot-on, some a bit off-the-wall.

But each individual will read, interpret, judge and come to their own conclusion.

For example, say two newcomers just found USMB today and they both read this thread.

One might say "Wow, that Mr. Manarius must be very smart and important--everything he writes shows up in boldface."

Whereas the other one might say "Sheesh, who is this egocentric, arrogant guy who posts everything in boldface? Does he think what he says is more important than everyone else?"

See? Each would read, interpret, judge . . . and form his own conclusion.

#19 DerFahrer

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 04:07 PM

I'll throw my own personal opinions in here. You all can do what you want with them, I'm not going to argue them till my teeth fall out.

I can't really vouch for later 2.2's having electrical problems, as I don't see them come in for that all that often. If it is the case, thank you for pointing it out, although I honestly don't consider that a problem with the "engine" though, as I think the point is noting the strengths and weaknesses of the longblocks themselves.

I too have seen EJ205s with spun bearings, and yes even rods thrown through blocks. But I don't think their bottom ends are any weaker than any other EJ bottom end. I think they just see more abuse because of dumb little kids turning the boost up to 20lbs on the stock turbo and not adding fuel and EM to compensate for it, just like was mentioned. People with older Outbacks and Foresters aren't subjecting their cars to such abuse.

As far as the strength of the EJ22T goes, yes it's a very durable engine, one of Subaru's best. But it is an old engine, it has its points of obsolescence, and it can break. People do it all the time. And I've heard several Subaru guys much more reputable than I say that there is nothing an EJ22T can do that an EJ257 can't do better.




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