Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello... been a while, but my Subie's have all be doing pretty well!  My brother is having an issue with his 97 Legacy GT, 2.5, auto, AWD.  It has around 140k, I'm guess....

 

Here's what's been tried.... 

Thermostat (2X's)

New radiator

New water pump (with timing belt job)

 

Here's what it continues to do.

 

Car will run fine and cool for days or weeks... no prob.  Then overheat unexpectedly under normal driving conditions.  Up and down hills, in town, no major traffic.  My brother pulls over quickly, as the temp will shoot up rapidly.  Upon opening the hood, the jug is full to overflowing.  As it cools, it will eventually (fairly quickly) suck back into the radiator and/or engine, in a matter of a few seconds to half a minute, leaving the jug empty, which he then refills.  Sometimes, the car can then be run again with no problems... other times it may repeat itself a few times before he can drive it staying cool.  There is no discoloration or frothiness to the fluid.... nice, green coolant. 

 

The only thing not yet changed is the radiator cap itself, though that suggestion was met with skepticism from the mechanics looking at the car.  I had that be the issue on one of my '95's a while back.

 

Thoughts?  Thanks!  He is trying to decide whether to fix the old boy or not, and any help would be appreciated!

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has he ever seen any coolant on the ground under his car (just little drops)?

 

Does he check his coolant level regularly to see if he is losing it before these overheating issues occur?

 

Intermittent doesn't tend to be the radiator cap, but I would still replace it as a precautionary measure.  It's only around $15 (or less) from the dealer and well worth the peace of mind.

 

The other question would be are the fans on when this occurs?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Textbook behavior would be this - With the engine warmed, look inside the coolant reservoir. If you see bubbles coming up from the bottom, it's head gaskets. If nothing, rev the engine a little bit and see if it pushes bubbles out. Same cause, less leak.

 

Good chance it's head gaskets. If so the preferred method is to find a good 95-98 EJ22 motor (90-94 work as well with a 95-98 Intake manifold) and swap it in. With a bit of shopping you can find a good motor for $200-$300 and it takes about a day to swap it in. Or pay a shop the labor to do it. It's a little less horsepower but a far more reliable motor that you would have in there for much less $$$ than replacing the head gaskets in that Ej25.

 

Where are you located? If that's Morgantown Pennsylvania you're about 20-30 minutes from one of the best Subaru shops in the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer the question "are these textbook HG symptoms?"  I will summarize 100's of posts on this and other forums.  Yes, they are!

 

The suggestion to substitute a 2.2 engine is spot on.   Thats really the only way to proceed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies!  We are in Morgantown, WV.. not PA.  Not certain about the drops / leaks in the system... I'll need to ask him.  And we can certainly run the bubbling test when we get it back from the shop it's in.  With everything else that's been done, if the cap doesn't fix it, I'm guessing there are very few potential culprits left...  Interesting thought about the 2.2...  although last time we bought one we had to pay closer to $600 for it.... still likely cheaper than the head job. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool!  We'll take a look at that option.  The real question is whether the car will be worth that work and cost...  rusty in all the usual Northern-Subaru places. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did the 2.5 to 2.2 swap on a Forester. If you decide to do the 2.2 swap I am only about an hour and a half south of you on I79.  I will do it for half of what a regular shop would charge but you have to buy the engine and all parts and gaskets.  

Edited by desertsubaru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey mike, good to "see" you - yep that's classic EJ25D headgasket issues.

 

if he does repair it make sure to use Subaru headgaskets and resurface the heads - the NAPA in fairmont resurfaces heads, i don't know of anywhere in Morgantown that does it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gary!  Thanks for the advice!  It's nice to come back here after a hiatus and see a lot of the same good ole' folks still around!  We just had Insane Cycles do some rust work on our 03 Outback... incredible job, by the way.....  so we'll be keeping that one on the road for a while!  I'm sure there will be plenty of bugs to work out. 

 

dessertsubaru... thanks for the offer.  I'll check with my brother and see how he wants to proceed.  I've been down to Gassaway a few times...  we do the Auto Expo mag and we deliver as far south as Sutton... so I get down there every now and again....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×