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Japanese Long Block EJ25 HG?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Tsuriman

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:50 AM

Im getting ready to drop in the new motor in my wifes 97 Legacy Outback.
I was wondering if anyone knows of issues with the head gaskets on the Japanese built engines?
Same? Not?
Would you replace the HG on it anyway?
Thanks
Tsuriman

#2 grossgary

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:58 AM

what year is the motor? how many miles? is there a warranty? are you doing the work yourself?
there's no way they used different headgaskets or had completely different engines over there, so i'd guess they're nearly identical in terms of long block assembly and materials.

i wouldn't change the headgaskets. there's a higher probabilty of never having issues than having issues, so why go through it now? just depends how preventative you like to be and how much time and $ you have now and later to address things. if there's a warranty...which it seems like there should be, i definitely wouldn't touch the gaskets.

#3 nipper

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:05 AM

Japanese have different driving habits then other countries, so untill another person chimes in your going to be completly confused. I would say change them. The engine is out of the car, now is the time to do it. They have the same traffic, but if they want to go anyplace far they are more apt to hop on a train then to drive.

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#4 Tsuriman

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:15 AM

I think the year is a 96. Is there a way to check the stamped numbers?
They claim @ 60K miles. I lived in Japan I'd be suprised if there were that many.
Yes there is a warranty. I believe the short block and only against mechanical defects. Not HG.

i wouldn't change the headgaskets. there's a higher probabilty of never having issues than having issues, so why go through it now? just depends how preventative you like to be and how much time and $ you have now and later to address things.


Thats what Im trying to decide.

#5 Tsuriman

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:59 AM

Japanese have different driving habits then other countries, so untill another person chimes in your going to be completly confused. I would say change them. The engine is out of the car, now is the time to do it. They have the same traffic, but if they want to go anyplace far they are more apt to hop on a train then to drive.

nipper

Your right about the driving habits. I lived there for a few years and owned a car for a couple of months... it never left the parking space, so we got rid of it.

There could be two thoughts is all.
1. Change it cause we know there are issues with it. Be safe.

2. Dont touch it if it isnt broke. You could open a bag of worms on what might be nothing.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:59 AM

no warranty on the headgaskets - if that's the case and the engine is that old, then i'm with nipper, consider replacing them now. the JDM motor i got last year (not an EJ25) had a very bad headgasket when i got it. i'll never buy one again.

cost, who's doing the work, time, reliability and all of that are decisions only you can make. if you're going to be completely put off and put out and hate the car if the headgaskets blow down the road, then there's no question - do it now. if you travel long distances in this vehicle then maybe that's another vote for having them done. around town you can get the car home even if they do go out. 500 miles away might be a little trickier. many people post about how "terrible" their car is and use the USMB as a sounding board after they have problems, but if they'd make good decisions to start with they would have avoided that stress in the first place. we do not know you or your situation so how you manage a low percentage, but viable risk, is up to you.

if you can do the work yourself, then tear it up. it's a $1,000 - $1,5000 job to pay someone to do headgaskets. best to just do it now if there's any question and you can. it's far easier with the engine out. with new headgaskets the vehicle you have now is quite likely to see 100,000 miles with very few problems, that's worth the cost of a headgasket.

#7 Commuter

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:53 AM

Im getting ready to drop in the new motor in my wifes 97 Legacy Outback.
I was wondering if anyone knows of issues with the head gaskets on the Japanese built engines?
Same? Not?
Would you replace the HG on it anyway?
Thanks
Tsuriman

Sigh... Feel like I could be writing this post.

The second engine died in my 97 OB. Timing belt idler bearing failed. I have to take most of the blame for this one myself. I was hearing something for a while, but hadn't gotten to it. Tough to demonstrate a noise when it only happens occasionally and disappears a minute or so after start up.

I decided to go the Japanese import engine route myself. I would love to put in a CCR engine, but it's a 10 yr old car with 335k miles on it and felt I couldn't justify the expense. Still, I know the used engine route is very risky with these 2.5 liter Phase I's.

I have no intention of replacing the head gaskets. If I was going to spend those extra dollars, I would have gone CCR route instead. My debate is the timing belt etc. If it needs it, I will change it. I just might do it regardless, as the shop says I will save labour compared to doing it later. The thing is, I might spend all this extra money, put the engine in and then find out that something else is wrong. Argh... decisions...

Cars... some days you just hate them.

Commuter

#8 Tsuriman

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:59 AM

Cars... some days you just hate them.
Commuter


uh huh.

Thanks for the thoughts guys.
Ill go with my gut and replace them.

#9 Olnick

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 12:56 PM

I was hearing something for a while, but hadn't gotten to it.


Sorry to hear of your misfortune, Commuter. Can you describe what you were hearing (or is it still too painful to discuss?)

Tsuriman--excellent choice. I'm sure you'll sleep better knowing the HGs are as good as can be. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

Aloha all.

#10 DerFahrer

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 01:30 PM

I seriously doubt that this is actually a "JDM" EJ25.

Where did you get it from?

#11 johnceggleston

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 01:35 PM

i would think if you are a dyed in the wool subaru owner , you'd go ahead and put the money in to the engine. even if the car or transmission dies, you'll have a good engine. the only reason i might consider not doing the gaskets or timing belt, if you drive so few miles that you'll sell/trade/wreck the car before it has a chance to wear out.

i used to drive 30k per year, buying used, using it up and moving on (or handing down to my son). now i'm down to about half that. my fear is that i'll get tired of my car before i can use it up. but regardless, i'd prefer driving a subaru.

#12 Commuter

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:33 PM

Sorry to hear of your misfortune, Commuter. Can you describe what you were hearing (or is it still too painful to discuss?)

Aloha all.

Early on, it was like a bit of an "air rushing" noise during acceleration (from the driver seat). Didn't hear it with the car idling and the hood up. It got worse this past winter, and was definitely taking on a "bearing" sound. Still, it rarely happened and would disappear quickly after start up. I kept trying to listen to see if it was power steering, or alternator, but it never seemed that localized. I knew it could be a timing belt idler, but... sigh. Of course it doesn't do it at the dealer cause the car is warm and my dealer is an hour away, so it's hard to just "drop off the car". One of the downfalls of not having a neighborhood dealer. As I said, I have to take the blame on this one. Still sucks though. My timing belt was changed just last summer. I had half expected them to tell me I needed an idler or 2, but nothing. I should have stressed a more thorough checking I guess. The dealer tells me they rarely ever change them, but then most poeple probably do one timing belt in the life of the car.

I seriously doubt that this is actually a "JDM" EJ25.

Where did you get it from?

There are a few businesses in the Toronto area that import these engines. (I visited one 5 yrs ago after the first engine died.) Certainly one clue that it is JDM is that it does not have an EGR circuit on it, but mine does. The shop is having to drill and tap a hole for the EGR. More $. My dealer told me that they saw one engine several years ago that had variable camshaft timing on it, etc. Obviously not domestic as there was none of that stuff here at the time.

Don't mean to be high jacking this thread. Just another owner with the same car and issues and decisions.

Commuter

#13 DerFahrer

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:47 PM

Are you sure they're not Canadian engines instead?

If there is a reliable source out there (read: from Subaru themselves) that says otherwise, I'll shut my yap, and wallow in shame and degradation. But the ONLY JDM EJ25 that I know of is in the current Forester STi.

All versions of the nonturbo Legacies, Foresters, and Imprezas that I've ever seen on the Subaru Japanese website, from the introduction of the Legacy back in 1989, use 2.0 engines.

#14 Commuter

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:18 PM

Are you sure they're not Canadian engines instead?

If there is a reliable source out there (read: from Subaru themselves) that says otherwise, I'll shut my yap, and wallow in shame and degradation. But the ONLY JDM EJ25 that I know of is in the current Forester STi.

All versions of the nonturbo Legacies, Foresters, and Imprezas that I've ever seen on the Subaru Japanese website, from the introduction of the Legacy back in 1989, use 2.0 engines.


What would a "Canadian" engine be? I don't know of any Subaru engine manufacturing facility in Canada. I'm not even sure if there is (or was) one in the States at that time. I know that they have been making the Legacy based vehicles in IN for quite some time, but I'm not sure what the source of the engine is. I'm willing to bet that when that facility first started, they were importing the engines. Again, not sure about today.

Sorry, I don't know enough about the different models in different markets to comment from that side. I do believe you that most of the Japanese cars probably are 2.0 liter. 2.5 liter in Japan would be 'big'.

Car manufacturing is a very interesting global market. When Honda opened up in OH, they shipped in engines from Japan. Then they added engine manufacturing facilites as the years rolled by. When they opened up their Canadian plant, the engines came up from OH (and some versions from Japan I believe). Today, Honda Canada is expanding again and now adding engine manufacturing capability. It's a common roadmap for many manufacturers.

You pose an interesting question. I wish I could answer it. I suspect that the engine was optional or perhaps only on the hi-end / luxury versions of their cars. I'm reminded of the Camry and Accord a couple generations back. You could get the 4 cyl or V6. At that time, less than 10% of those vehicles were sold with the V6.

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#15 Tsuriman

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:41 PM

All versions of the nonturbo Legacies, Foresters, and Imprezas that I've ever seen on the Subaru Japanese website, from the introduction of the Legacy back in 1989, use 2.0 engines.


Thats interesting I've never researched it. But the guy I bought from must also have a nice supply of Japanese products like spark plug wires and oil filters.

Cars in Japan have to go through an "inspection/overhaul" called "shakken" easily costing US$1000 or more. A lot of money even in Japan. Those fees increase with the age of the car. The engines are worthless in Japan. That is one of the reasons I was so interested in the engine.

Anyway, update!

I got the heads off.
I cannot image EVER taking the heads off with the engine still in the car.
It was a tricky job, even with my brother (the more gear head of us) helping and the engine on a nice engine stand.
Understanding TDC and all the sprocket alignments was confusing. Even after looking at the old engine it still didnt make total since of how the timing belt and spocket makes are meant to line up but with everything marked clearly I am sure we can get her back together without much concern.
Removing the camshaft sprockets was a bit of a challenge.
The head bolts finally came off with a 4 ft breaker bar.
In the end the engine looked good. There was some strange residue in the drivers side cylinders, almost like a wet oil or creamy coolant. The cylinder walls looked like new with the honing marks still clear and even. The HG wasnt blown, looked perfect acually.
The only concern was the burnt oil smell.

Now all we have to do is rebuild, install and hope she runs.

Thanks Guys.
Tsuriman

#16 DerFahrer

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:28 AM

Well, as best I know, ALL engines are assembled in Japan, no matter what market they're going to.

But when we throw around these acronyms like JDM, USDM, CDM, etc. the operative words are domestic market. If an engine is destined to be installed in a USDM car, they'll still build the engine in Japan, but they'll build it to US specs. So let's take what you said, your "JDM" engine doesn't have an EGR system on it, and we know that USDM engines do. Well, both the USDM and JDM engines were built in Japan, but they built one with an EGR valve, said "Hey, this one needs to go to the US to be put in a Legacy at the SIA factory in Indiana," and then took the JDM one and said "Hey, this one needs to go into a Forester that we're gonna sell here in Japan.

So, a Canadian-spec engine might not have an EGR system, they might have more lax emissions rules up there. But regardless, it was (I think) built in Japan.

My point in jumping through all these hoops is that there are a LOT of Subaru engines being sold on eBay, through vendors, what have you, as JDM engines when they're really not. I just hate for people who are new to the scene to get shafted when they buy the engine on the principle that it's JDM and possibly pay more than they have to.

Anyway, if you have an EJ25 in front of you and you would feel better tearing it down and replacing the headgaskets, more power to you. If I am indeed wrong about all this and you do truly have a JDM EJ25, then even so, I don't see why you couldn't use USDM headgaskets.

#17 Commuter

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:50 PM

In looking over the SIA website and their historical timeline, they added an engine facility in 2002. It doesn't say if this is assembly only, or machining and assembly, or casting, machining and assembly (eg, start to finish). I didn't know that about Subaru of America.

I don't really care where the engine was made, I just want a good used engine. It's tough to find decent ones now in N.A., given their track record and age. The fact that the engine spent 10 years in a car in Japan (vs somewhere else) is irrelevant to me. Hopefully there is some life yet in the engine I picked up. Fingers crossed.

Commuter

#18 grossgary

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:57 PM

shouldn't really matter if it's JDM or USDM anyway except that you might not be able to use the intake manifold of the JDM. engine i got last summer was a 40,000 mile JDM special. can't use the intake manifold because the wiring harness is all different. colors are all different and plugs were different as well. anyway, long blocks are all the same, so not sure it really matters. mine came complete with a blown headgasket. for the cost of an EJ25, i say go with CCR every time if you're in the states, but i'd imagine international shipping may kill that deal.

#19 nipper

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:22 PM

In looking over the SIA website and their historical timeline, they added an engine facility in 2002. It doesn't say if this is assembly only, or machining and assembly, or casting, machining and assembly (eg, start to finish). I didn't know that about Subaru of America.

I don't really care where the engine was made, I just want a good used engine. It's tough to find decent ones now in N.A., given their track record and age. The fact that the engine spent 10 years in a car in Japan (vs somewhere else) is irrelevant to me. Hopefully there is some life yet in the engine I picked up. Fingers crossed.

Commuter


http://www.aluminum....&ContentID=3559

I found that.

nipper

#20 Tsuriman

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 09:23 PM

Update.
DONE and done.
Runs great, turned the key and it purred.
Thanks for the advice.
Tsuriman




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