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Guest Message by DevFuse

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96 Outback 2.5 Overheating Problems

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7 replies to this topic

#1 wino39


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Posted 08 January 2004 - 07:22 AM

Gunk(oil) showed up in the radiator overflow tank. Have done a coolant flush and replaced thermostat to no avail. Vehicle now has sporadic (but happening more often) episodes of overheating. You can stop the vehicle, place in neutral, rev engine to 2500-3000 RPMs and temp returns to normal(most of the time). Have to top off coolant frequently and is nearly impossible to get all trapped air purged.Virtually no oil consumption (130,000 miles on vehicle) and great power. Any definitive testing method to determine if this is a head gasket?? If this is the problem does any one have opinion on engine sealants? Can this stuff harm my engine and make matters worse? Or is it worth a try? Anyone ever heard of "Liquid Glass" (a sealant)? Anyone care to share a range of cost for this repair ??? Thanks.

#2 Meeky Moose

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 09:30 AM

well, to me it sounds like you have a headgasket about to blow completely.. onyl real fix is replace both gaskets, and possibly have the heads resurfaced.. i'd do this before it overheats real bad and cracks something..

i have used waterglass before in lots of cars.. it works great until you put antifreeze in it.. antifreeze eats it away.. so its nota real fix to anything.. just prolongs the inevitable during the summer..

i remember waterglassing a little chevette.. the guy drove that car around for 4 years without anymore problems before it finally went.. but this was in a warm climate and never had to worry about freezing in the winter..

#3 4FOR4


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Posted 08 January 2004 - 12:14 PM

WAs there a 2.5 in the '96? I thought they were 2.2.

Anyway, the real test is to load the engine up after its warm.

I got it to over heat 3 seperate times disproving the repair shop telling me there were no problems.

What I did was get it on a thruway or some road where you can go ten miles so or. After its warm, slow down alittle to like 40 then jump on it to get it to rev at about 4,000 rpm. After a couple of those start to watch the temp gauge. It will rise and fall pretty quickly, getting close to H then going back to center.

Once the process starts, pop the hood and look inside the radiator overflow resevoir. You should see bubbling occurring. The temp needle will rise, bubbles start, temp falls.

When you get a big bubble it will cause flow to stop in the coolant circuit and the temp gauge will read H but no heat will blow from the heater core inside car.

The fewer times this happens the better. Overheating and getting coolant onto oiled interior engine components is bad JUJU.

MY 98 did it at 130,000 also. While its apart do the maintenance thing: water pump oil pump seal, timing belt etc.

I also bought a pulley and an idler that bearings were going on. The whole thing, at a shop, ran $2,100

#4 Meeky Moose

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 01:39 PM

yeah there was a 2.5 in 96' was the first gen 2.5

#5 theotherskip


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Posted 08 January 2004 - 06:05 PM

i'd guarantee you've blown the head gasket. you can read more info about it here...


#6 Cougar


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Posted 09 January 2004 - 05:57 AM

I have to agree with the other posters about the head gasket(s). You could get a block check done to verify the problem but I really don't think the story will change sorry to say.

My recommendation is, if you want to keep the car for at least several more years, would be to contact CCR about a rebuilt engine and then you would have a warranty on a rebuilt. These folks really know how to rebuild a Subaru engine. I don't think you will be disappointed. The cost may be fairly high but in the long run it will pay off I beleive.

Here is a link to them if you want to contact them:

#7 Lesbaru


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Posted 09 January 2004 - 12:14 PM

Just got back from taking my 2.2L 96 Legacy for the routine maintanence at the dealer. Oh, those mechanics LIKE the 2.2L. Maybe Emily at CCR could get you a 2.2?

#8 Dinero


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Posted 09 January 2004 - 07:29 PM

I heard nothing but good things about CRR. But by the time the rebuilt engine is in your car you will probably will have spent around $4,500- $5,000. What is your high mileage 96 worth? You could have head gaskets replaced FOUR or FIVE times for that kind of money. You have reached the point with your car where you want to keep it running as long as possible with the least repair expense possible. Also, I don't know specifically about CRR, but MOST rebuilt warranties do not include re-installation charges.
Go ahead, have the head gaskets replaced. $1,000-$1,2000 is a reasonable amount to put into a car with some age and mileage. The "paypack" from a $1,000 repair is a lot shorter than that of a rebuilt engine. I, for one, will NOT buy another Subaru until they straighten this head gasket problem out. The head gasket failure rate even on the phase II engines appears to be excessive.

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