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laoseth

1999 Manual Outback Engine Replacement

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One of the idler bearings on the front of my Phase 1 EJ25D seized, causing the idler pully to be ripped out of the block, and destroying the valves. I am looking to replace the engine, but have read various claims on the compatibility of the different years/tranny designs. I know that anything greater than 99 will be a phase 2 engine, but will any phase 1 engine drop in, assuming I switch out all the external components?

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sorry about the failure. can you please post the mileage it had on it, we can all learn i think.

 

I still cannot believe the Subaru dealers do not recommend idler replacement at the tbelt/head gasket replacement.

 

the ones in my brothers 150k mile outback were toast when he did the headgaskets.

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you can use 95 - 98 ej22 as long as it has egr, typically an auto trans car. but 95 is your best choice. 96 -98 will require the exhaust y-pipe from the donor car.

 

you can probably pick up heads from a bad gasket car for less than an ej22. then it is just a gasket / timing job.

 

did the idler damage the block?

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seems like you just need new heads, or used ones that are checked and fresh.

It is not usually enough to damage the block, but if it hit hard enough at high enough rpms, then you could be looking at a rod that might have bent or fracture......doubftul though.

 

You would have to put fresh headgaskets in any engine, so why not keep your engine, get some rebuilt heads, and run with it.

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the 99 is the cross over year. 8 bolt block. early years had 4 bolts. if yours has 8 mounting bolts or (4 studs and 4 bolts) engine to transmission. then the starter wont mount to an earlier block. you can do it but you need to thread the transmission at the lower starter mounting bolt hole. Its a pain with the transmission in the car but doable.

I would keep your engine and rebuild the heads.

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If you pull the engine it's no big deal to thread the lower hole for the starter - or you can just leave it off. The upper engine mount bolt is enough to hold the starter by itself.

 

I agree though - just rebuild the heads. It's about $400 for a head rebuild on the DOHC heads.

 

GD

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there you go GD, an example i think you said you haven't seen much of, if at all. i've seen a few failures like this too.

 

I agree though - just rebuild the heads. It's about $400 for a head rebuild on the DOHC heads.

+1 i agree.

 

the Phase I EJ25's are repaired all the time, they typically just have bent valves, not a big deal. i'd also entertain repairing them.

 

though i can understand if you're paying someone to do it you'd not like to take chances on the labor.

 

you would use any DOHC EJ25 to replace your engine. 1996-1999 DOHC Ej25 is a direct drop in replacement. there are a few variations but it'll plug and play and bolt up to your trans.

 

if you get an early enough 1996 it'll even have the old style timing belt tensioner - which means more reliable (the newer ones fail more often) and the timing belt kits on ebay are really cheap for those too. for the Ej22 (same timing pulleys) the ebay timing kits are like $80 instead of $200 for a complete set of pulleys and belt. so $100 cheaper timing kit.

 

get one of those ebay kits for whatever engine you get, they include all new timing pulleys to prevent this. many of us on here use those all the time.

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Yeah - these idlers should be replaced with the belts. It's just common sense.

 

'97s also have the older tensioner - I just did a head job on a '97 OBW that I'm selling and it was indeed the old style tensioner. Definitely the original engine. But you can swap that tensioner and it's bracket to any other DOHC engine. If you want to swap it to a SOHC engine you have to have the bracket from a SOHC or cut off the rear belt cover mount. :rolleyes:

 

GD

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'97s also have the older tensioner
interesting, last 97 i did had the new style tensioner. so cross-over year...or, though i'm doubtful, one was converted. can't imagine very many people are getting into brackets and converting.

 

my 97 OBS (though EJ22) had the new style as well (and it failed :rolleyes:)

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Engines get swapped around - it happens. No telling how they got what they got..... I've done both '97 EJ25's and '97 EJ22's and both have always had the old style for me...... but it could be a late-'97 thing as you say. The belt kit's on ebay start comming with the new style tensioner for '98s.

 

Rockauto's catalog agree's as well - '97 old style (and some '98s as well - apparently the brighton used them) and then '98 moves to the new style.

 

But nothing is for sure - I always check before I order a kit just to be sure. Especially on EJ25D's since so many have been swapped out at some point and on anything that's '97 through '99......

 

GD

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First, thanks to everyone for the quick responses. The 8 bolt thing is what I had heard can be a problem. The one thing making me hesitant about reusing the engine is the damage from the idler pulling out. It was the toothed idler and got ripped out hard, so the bolt sits about 15 degrees out line.

Is that repairable? I know welding too aluminum is not easy. I've done head gaskets before so that's no problem.

1014101713.jpg

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that stuff is typically easily repairable, particularly since you'd probably pull the engine for a head job anyway. i've repaired a bunch of bunged up timing bolt threads before. use a helicoil or timesert (same repair, different product).

 

in some cases i've only used longer bolts, they reach down to deeper threads that were unused by the original bolts. the holes are always deeper than the bolts so longer bolts work sometimes.

 

yours looks to bad for that and i'd want that outer material repaired in this case, so i'd helicoil it. they're expensive but work great.

 

if you're taking the engine out and having the heads repaired by a machine shop, consider dropping the motor off to them as well. if it's a good machine shop and not just a bare-bones auto stuff kind of place, this is easy for them. and yes, machine shops will take entire engines like that, i've even taken them entire long blocks (head attached) to repair some difficult stuff before.

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Hehehe - what will really blow your mind is that the threaded boss for the cogged idler is NOT the engine block - it's the water pump. So you just replace the water pump (which you should be doing anyway on a t-belt job) and you are golden.

 

Complete t-belt/idler/water pump kits are ~$225 on ebay for the '99. If you swap back to a '96/'97 tensioner bracket and tensioner (more reliable) then you can use the $160 kit off ebay :).

 

Your engine ate the water pump and bent some valves. Not dead yet! Fix it.

 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder

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