Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

3 Neutral

About Dake

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location
    Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Biography
    I'm a hobbyist mechanic who enjoys oddball German cars and the occasional Subie.
  • Vehicles
    2003 Forester
  1. Thanks for the offer. Turns out the TCU wasn't communicating properly with the EJ20 engine. Also blew a ring within 15 miles of driving around on this "new" "refurbished" eBay special that ran when parked. I think the oil pump froze up or something to that effect because it started pouring smoke all of a sudden but the temp sensor never moved past the center. Going to compression test it this week to confirm. Needless to say my first go at working on Subarus has me wanting to turn back
  2. Mine's auto. Could that be why? but it's still this right? https://www.carparts.com/details/Subaru/Forester/Replacement/Idle_Control_Valve/2003/REPS313204.html?TID=gglpla&origin=pla&gclid=Cj0KCQjw8MvWBRC8ARIsAOFSVBXpYbewA-DCt0faSV1UhMwJjYVJJMS5_UybVA72JhZOHAATuHK86O0aApXdEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
  3. This is a basic solenoid which other cars costs about $30. It literally looks like someone put an extra number in there by accident. The techs laughed out loud when they pulled this part number. There is no technical reason this item should cost this much, except good ol' supply and demand. That's what I begrudge Considering it takes 3 minutes to replace, I'd rather replace 17 of the $20 ones than spend $350 on one of them. Hell, I'd rather carry 2 spares and a screwdriver everywhere I go. That's just highway robbery.
  4. So I just went to O'Reilly thinking I would pick up a new idle air control valve for my 03 Forester. Not so. Apparently, it's in the system for a staggering $353.99. Autozone has about the same price. https://imgur.com/RNupAun That's not all. I found a more reasonably priced example on eBay and searched the part number. It shows on Amazon for $189.99. https://imgur.com/dHiikQt And the one Advance Auto Parts recommends has the wrong pin layout (4 instead of 6, in a line instead of a square). https://imgur.com/SDqtM6s What's going on here? I feel like these systems are all based on each other, so maybe someone entered the wrong price somewhere down the line? What gives?
  5. Guys, I'm at a loss and need some help. I just finished swapping an EJ20 into my daily driven 2003 Forester to get it on the road again. It's an eBay engine that I pulled from a t-boned 99 Forester 5 speed. The 99 ran, drove, and idled fine. My 03 automatic did too, but overheated fast. We swapped the EJ20 into my 03, retaining the 03's intake, airbox, ECU, etc. After the ECU re-learn process it runs and idles fine, until I go to drive it. When I shift into reverse the RPMs dip to under 500 for about 5 seconds until it realizes it's in reverse, then they go back to proper idle. In drive, it shifts at all the wrong times and won't downshift if I floor it. When I stop again and put it in park, the idle shoots to 2500+ and doesn't go back down until I turn the car off for awhile. Also, weirdly, the OBD2 port won't work. I tried to scan the CEL and the scanner wouldn't detect the car. I've checked grounds, fuses, and connections especially those related to a non-working OBD2 port. I haven't gone too far down that road yet because I suspect something worse is going on. Something must be getting confused in the ECU/TCM department, right? I'm starting to worry that this engine and trans are not compatible. Anyone have any ideas?
  6. Sorry yes 9 thousandths (0.009), I noticed that typo just now. I called Subaru and verified the VIN as a 99, so it sounds like everything should be good to go and not as complex as I had feared. Enjoying working on Subarus more at every step
  7. OK that clears that up, so swapping my heads onto that block is the answer. I imagine you'd have to take off a lot more than 9 thousandths to start colliding things.
  8. Those who read my other threads know I encountered a block that probably isn't worth the effort in my 2003 Forester EJ251. As luck would have it someone just posted a t-boned 1999 Forester 5 speed not far from me, with under 70,000 original miles. It has been sitting in a garage for a year but still runs and will drive. It's 3 hours away or I'd just drive over there to answer my ?s. The problem I'm encountering is a bunch of conflicting info on what engine it might actually have. Wiki is very specific that the EJ25D was only in the 98 Forester, and 99 had either a 251 or 253, but now I can't figure out which it is. Plus a bunch of threads say that 99 Foresters had Phase 2 EJ25Ds. Are there any photos I could ask him for that would answer that? Of course either way I could just swap my heads onto this block, I'd just love to drop the whole thing in and call it good for now (if it doesn't leak etc, and do the timing belt). Will the 0.09 thousandths the machine shop took off my 251 heads cause clearance issues if I bolt them up to a different block?
  9. Just to update this for anyone Googling in the future. I took a thin screwdriver and carefully chipped away at the buildup, then covered the cylinders with towels, tilted the block at 45 degrees on the stand, used a garden hose to flush water through the crossover pipe inlet, hit it with air, then switched sides, rinse, repeat, etc. I let it sit overnight and did it again, that seemed to free it up more. All in, it took me probably 5 hours and it's *mostly* out - all the chunks are gone but some residue remains. It was caked on the walls over 1mm thick. When I picked up the heads (also dirty and plugged solid at cylinder #4) the first thing the guy said when I walked in was "I had to sweep the whole shop - that crap was everywhere!" Worth it? Yes. Where I live Subie parts are expensive and hard to come by.
  10. Wow, lots of great info! Thanks guys, it feels great to be learning about this. Based on responses in another thread I posted I already suspected ring issues, and now that I have 2 good reasons to dive into the block I suppose it’s the best thing to do. I’m all about fixing it "the wrong way" if I’m the only one depending on it but I don’t plan to keep this car for a long time, and I couldn’t in good faith sell it without doing it right. This is cylinder 4 on an EJ251 with a history of having its coolant passages plugged solid with buildup (heavily at #4) and being driven that way.
  11. I think I wasn't precise enough with what I was asking See attached
  12. Guys, I'm in the middle of reassembling my engine. Was hoping to have it running today but this stopped me in my tracks. There's a lip that you can catch a fingernail on, is that what I think it is?
  13. I’m a car nerd and a hobbyist mechanic learning by getting my hands dirty. I picked up a 2003 Forester, Pacifica Blue with ~170k, bone stock, a great body and interior, and one big issue – overheating. After pulling the engine I found that some of the coolant passages were plugged solid. Mystery solved. It’s a bit crude but the attached picture features a flathead screwdriver stuck into the calcification – that’s how dense it is. I have to assume the smaller internal passages are just as bad, though the water pump itself was clean and the passenger's side passages aren't *as* bad. I was told phosphoric acid cleaner would eat away at it, but would it really get it all? I know the most effective way would be to pull everything and have the block hot tanked. I’m worried I’ll jump into a money pit of pistons / rings / bearings if I go that route. The engine ran well, and I can still see factory crosshatching on the cylinder walls. IMO they don't look bad but other people say they do. It might get headers and exhaust some day but it will most likely remain totally stock. I have head / intake / exhaust / oil pan / valve cover gaskets, rear main seal, head bolts, thermostat, timing belt, water pump, and more waiting to go on. I’m pondering my options before the heads go to the machine shop. Because of new circumstances I need this to be my daily driver, so I'm trying to save money. On the other hand, I want to do things properly and reliably the first time. Advice has ranged from “chip away what you can” to “buy a different block” ... what would you do? High-res images here https://imgur.com/a/eGBDm Edit: attached another image - is that oil weeping past the rings?