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Hey Gang,

 

I just signed up. I'm new to Subaru's, but am not a newbie. I an experienced DIY wrench. I just bought (traded, really) a dead 1997 Outback wagon EJ25D from my brother in law for effectively $100. He bought it three years ago for his kids, but the engine coughed up a lung two weeks into ownership. The car began to miss on one cylinder and he limped it home. Professionals told him it was probably the timing belt. He parked it at the back of his driveway and there it has sat, until now.

 

I'm starting a new business, and need a roof rack. The car spent the first 16 years of its life garaged in NYC, and it has only 80K miles. The interior is like new. The exterior is good, but could use a respray. This wagon IS WORTH FIXING. It has only 80K original miles on it.

 

The Obie experts on YT, from my research, seem to suggest pulling the motor to fix the valves/timing belt/cogs/pulley issues. So that's the plan. I bought the Haynes manual and read it thoroughly. I've watched the Mike Bauer and Briansmobile1 video on YT.

 

I've bought a good quality engine stand, and following Mike Bauer I've removed the battery, accessories, and the intake manifold yada yada yada. I've freed the exhaust manifold, the two motor mount nuts, and the four engine to bell housing nuts/bolts. Also freed are the four flywheel bolts. I've completed the list via the Haynes manual and am about to rent the hoist. And for your information when I pulled all four spark plugs I found that #3 was smashed in. Houston, we got a problem...

 

Once the engine is on the stand I shall remove the DOHC heads carefully. I've found a local machine shop in Yonkers, NY, that claims to fix "...about ten of 'em [subaru cylinder heads]  a week." The shop gave me some good instructions on how to remove the DOHC heads off the motor.

 

The shop told they will call once their diagnosis is complete. I will have to choose what parts to buy, or perhaps a rebuild kit. This is where I'm open to advice from the gang here. I don't know if I will need new cam shafts, or just new valves and springs. I'm pondering if I should do a bottom end rebuild as well.

 

I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks.

 

-King B.

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IF the engine has never overheated, rebuilding the heads - surfacing them properly, and assembling with the mls-type turbo gaskets, could yield a good engine. Installing a 2.2 liter is also an option - those have a reputation of being bulletproof.

 

briansmobile and ericthecarguy have good soob-related videos.

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You can run 2.2L heads and get a bump in power with less issues that the 2.5L DOHC heads seem to present, but you'll need to run premium fuel as it raises compression ratio slightly.

 

Or, as mentioned above, run a complete 2.2L SOHC engine instead. Some years are more desirable than others, but they are considered workhorses and last forever. Mine just hit 190k miles and still runs as good as an engine with 60k miles.

 

I too have a wagon, and can fully attest the factory roof rack is SOLID. I plopped some plywood sheets on mine, and ran 2 ratchet straps to secure them. Made several trips to/from lumber store at about 5 miles each trip, and upwards of 600 pounds on one of the trips. Roof was amazingly solid as was the actual rack. Did it look a little silly? You bet. Did it save a bunch of money and time vs. renting a truck? Yes sir. Had to make a couple practice "panic" stops in the parking lot with hand out window holding 6" worth of stacked boards to be sure it wouldn't move, and all was well. Something lighter like bikes, ladders, luggage, etc. will be a piece of cake. Just make sure they are tightly secured.

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the 2.5l DOHC heads are actually extremely tough, even if it was overheated. Probably just need to throw a few valves, maybe guides, in. And some OE head gaskets (Look them up by VIN, the part number and construction was updated from original. No need to mess with ones for a turbo car or anything).

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I'm a big fan of swapping in a 95 non interference 2.2, but with only 80k, I would redo the heads and run the 2.5

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first step wolud be to confirm diagnosis.  misdiagnosis is so common i would confirm - but it sounds like you may have pretty much done that with the spark plug damage?

 

pull the timing belt covers and see what happened. 

 

new valves and a valve job should be all you need. 

keep an eye on that cylinder and make sure there's not bits or cylinder wall damage but i've never seen it happen from just a timing belt issue.

 

resurface the heads and block surface while you're at it if you can pull it off.

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