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How reliable is the 2.5L Phase II?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 soobyfan

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:16 PM

I am in the market for another subaru, in terms of reliability (in particular head gasket issues) are the 2.5L phase II engines better than phase one?


With the known weakness of the headgaskets has anyone ever experimented with re-torque on the head bolts as a pre emptive measure before there are any symptoms of headgasket problems?

#2 rweddy

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:17 PM

Retorquing headbolts after many 1000's of miles is just asking for trouble.

headgaskets are 15% of the sooby engines. After 2003 things seem to be solved (so far).

On a used car any car can blow a HG depending upon how the PO took care of it, and some cars are a 100% sure bet they will have a problem.

HG never stopped me from buying a used sooby, and it never will.


nipper

I would say you are safe with 2003 and up. But this is a great leverage point so lower the price you are paying by $1500 keep this in the bank and if they blow you are covered & if they don't you can keep the cash.

#3 soobyfan

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:28 PM

Thanks for the input.

How are the 2.5L's from 2000 thru 2002? Similar to the 96-99's?

#4 davebugs

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:33 PM

In my limited experience w/2000 and up atleast you can sometimes see evidence of the external HG leak.

Look for leaking between cyl2&4 (drivers side) closer to the back of the engine on the bottom of the head. That's where the seepage seems to show up.

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#5 cameron 1

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:38 PM

any suby is a great car and as long as its not a 3.0 6 cyl ur covered u can do a head casket in about an hour on a 2.2 or 2.5 and the gasket kit is 35 40 bucks so if it leaks who cares hek u can do a engine swap in 4 hrs subs r a peace of cake exept that 3.0 its a pane in my but i know i work on them all day mine has 320,000 miles on it its a 95 outback 2.5 and i have done the head gaskets 3 times so not bad for than many miles :headbang:

#6 rweddy

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for the input.

How are the 2.5L's from 2000 thru 2002? Similar to the 96-99's?

Phase I 96-99 suffer from internal leaks, Phase II 2000 up suffer from external leaks. The phase II is an all around better motor imo, single timing belts external leaks, etc.

#7 mellow65

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:16 PM

what rweddy said, but subaru tried to fix the external leaks on the phase 2 motors with a antifreeze additive. it was basically subaru brand bars leak.

if you replace the head gaskets with newer style head gaskets and get new bolts and run their additive you shouldn't have any issues with head gaskets again.

me i personally have the $200 damn near bullet proof head gasket set up (not including installation).

get your self a set of cometic head gaskets and a set of arp head studs total for both head gaskets and studs were right around $200.

i did a lot of reading about cometic, they make gaskets for some crazy cars running major boost with no problems. so i figured on my lowly 2.5na motor i will never see the pressures they were designed for, and then the arp head studs, as a buddy of mine that builds motors says, "they just wont let the head gasket blow".

i have been running the piss out of this combo on my rally car, no signs of leaks in or out. i did just for the hell of it i did run the subaru additive.

this is the recipe that will go into any 2.5 i own that needs gaskets in the future.

#8 grossgary

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:35 PM

the Phase II EJ25 is a much better engine than the Phase I EJ25, in that it won't leave you stranded. the Phase I's leak internally and instantly but randomly overheat. so when they fail you can't go anywhere, you're stuck.

the Phase II's won't overheat unless the coolant runs low. they give you ample warning and leak externally, so they're easy to spot or smell and start slow with no overheating. they'll only overheat if you run low on coolant. much better in my opinion, but reliability is high on my list (higher than most peope i'd say).

Subaru has the additive for all Phase II EJ25's. and - they are also covered under an extended 100,000 mile head gasket warranty by Subaru. so if you could find one with less than 100,000 miles the head gasket is still under warranty.

the 15% figure isn't correct, only an estimate from a site with no quantitative evidence. the EJ25 headgasket is a significant issue. people like dave and i are actually in the business, not just commenting on anecdotal ownership of a couple subarus. i can buy blown EJ25 subaru's all day long. i usually know of a few every week i could pick up. i have yet to come across a 1995+ EJ22 with a blown headgasket.

search on here "head gasket", ask a subaru specialty shop, search on line, look at all the car listing places, you'll see lots of head gasket stuff. the local subaru (non-dealer) specialty shop usually has a number of EJ25's in when i stop by any given week (3 in one day the last time i was there).

it's also not that hard to find EJ25's that have already had the head gasket replaced - see it ALL THE TIME, and have bought some just like that.

keep in mind too..what is most likely to be on the market for sale - a perfectly running vehicle or something that is starting to exhibit bad signs? it's not hard to find blown EJ25's and sometimes people tell you about it, sometimes they hide it.

replace a headgasket in an hour - WOW! can you video tape that so i can watch it in slow motion?

Edited by grossgary, 14 November 2008 - 08:40 PM.


#9 schlit

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:29 PM

I second Grossgary's post.

Yea, the 15% is bunk and misleading unless the sources are to be named.


In my experience, the 2.5 PHII is as reliable as this website.

#10 2.5GL

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:50 PM

replace a headgasket in an hour - WOW! can you video tape that so i can watch it in slow motion?



+1!

I'd like to see that... Get Time Warp from The Discovery Channel to tape it.

#11 Durania

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:09 PM

Headgaskets are my number 1 fear in my RS. I am at 98k and motor does not run hot, nor do I smell coolant. I will be going to the dealer in a couple days to pick up some parts and I am going to run some more of that coolant conditioner through it. I drive this car 80 miles a day and can't suffer to have down time. Its a peppy little motor and from what I have read, it is a lot better than the 98 DOHC EJ25 that the 98 RS's got.

#12 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:32 PM

I don't buy the ratio, either...at least until someone takes a survey of several thousand cars with service records all the way back to the beginning of the cars' lives...

And FWIW, my Phase II is running at 158k miles with no overheating or HG issues at all...nor any record of them from before I owned it.

#13 Durania

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:52 AM

I don't buy the ratio, either...at least until someone takes a survey of several thousand cars with service records all the way back to the beginning of the cars' lives...

And FWIW, my Phase II is running at 158k miles with no overheating or HG issues at all...nor any record of them from before I owned it.



Makes me feel a little better.

#14 bratman18

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 07:15 PM

Yeah it sucks mine has 130,xxx miles and leaking out of the passenger side head gasket. Other than that I love the car but I'm not lookin forward to replacing them!!! I just keep driving it and checking the coolant level a lot!!

#15 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:40 PM

Oh yeah - mine isn't a later-model Phase II (you know - '03+, when the problem was supposedly totally eradicated)...

Mine is a year 2000 model. First year of Phase II in Legacy cars...(so, quite frankly, I'm not counting on many more miles before the HG monster and I have a face-off)

#16 mdjdc

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 07:00 AM

For what it's worth, I bought a 96 outback last night for 750.00. The car is in excellent shape with 180k on it and a blown head gasket. They lady selling it let it be known that the HG was bad and several people shyed away from it. She originally was asking 1000 for it, but when I offered 750 she said Okay. I have another motor and I'll fix it so I can just do an easy engine swap and then the car is for sale. My own economic stimulus payment.

As was said earlier, the HG's do go and you need to be prepared for it. I'd buy one with a bad HG and fix it and you will be good to go for a long while. Make sure you get the heads machined if you do the work yourself.

#17 grossgary

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:38 AM

don't worry about it folks, there's plenty of things that "could" go wrong on a 10 year old car. how about the timing pulley bearings, there's usually at least one that's not in very good shape by now and few people replace them. it's usually the cogged idler pulley. i'd worry more about that than the head gaskets. if that goes you could be looking at damaged engine/pistons, not just a gasket.

it's good to know when purchasing or making a decision or looking but if you have one it's not like they all blow. and quite a few have already been fixed, you just don't know it. i've seen them fixed at 30,000 miles and i'm sure i didn't see the "lowest mileage" head gasket replacement subaru out there, there's others that had less. few people know what happened to their car in the first year...or 10! i've bought two that i know for sure were already replaced.

the number of ads on ebay and autotrader and others saying "headgaskets replaced" and the number of jobs going through the shops i stop in tell me that there's a large number of them out there already replaced as well.

#18 unibrook

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:58 PM

Further to this, mine is 2001 Forester with 92k miles on her. I think driver side HG external leak is happening in fairly small way. I top up coolant once a year with a cup or two of premix. And yes, I had the super-duper official Subaru coolant additive put in under warranty. So, my question is, can I take my car into the dealer and point to the external leak and have them replace the HG for free, since it has under 100k on it? Anyone done this? thx.

#19 rweddy

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:25 PM

Further to this, mine is 2001 Forester with 92k miles on her. I think driver side HG external leak is happening in fairly small way. I top up coolant once a year with a cup or two of premix. And yes, I had the super-duper official Subaru coolant additive put in under warranty. So, my question is, can I take my car into the dealer and point to the external leak and have them replace the HG for free, since it has under 100k on it? Anyone done this? thx.

Yes they did this for my father-in-laws 01, it had 34k and had external leak and the dealership replaced it with updated gaskets for no charge.

#20 unibrook

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:29 PM

Thx RWEDDY, but will they replace both sides of HG's or only the one with evident leaking? (I fear I know the answer). thx.

#21 rweddy

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:35 PM

Thx RWEDDY, but will they replace both sides of HG's or only the one with evident leaking? (I fear I know the answer). thx.

They did both, they would be crazy & or stupid to only do one side.

#22 grossgary

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 03:03 PM

Further to this, mine is 2001 Forester with 92k miles on her. I think driver side HG external leak is happening in fairly small way. I top up coolant once a year with a cup or two of premix. And yes, I had the super-duper official Subaru coolant additive put in under warranty. So, my question is, can I take my car into the dealer and point to the external leak and have them replace the HG for free, since it has under 100k on it? Anyone done this? thx.

yes, you should be able to look up Subaru's 100k extended head gasket warranty information on line or here. take that with you to the dealer and have it repaired.




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