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I recently bought a '98 Outback (2.5L DOHC) & am now faced with having to replace the HG. The car has about 100,000 miles on it & I'm hoping to drive it for another 100,000. I'm wondering whether it makes more sense to spend $1,000 on replacing the HG or $3,000 on replacing the engine with a rebuilt 2.2. I've read a lot of bad things about the 2.5's and am worried that if I replace the HG, I'm either going to blow another HG in the future or have other $1,000+ engine problems. Any words of wisdom in making this difficult decision?

 

Thanks,

Chris

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2.2 is a easy swap, i say go with the 2.2 for reliability and peace of mind.. just my 2 cents.. btw.. i've done the 2.2 swap to my 99' outback.. very happy with it..

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Not exactly words of wisdom, but I can relay some experience.

 

97 OB - Replaced headgaskets almost 3 years and 180,000 km ago. Still holding. (Note, block got replaced too, but that is another story IMHO.)

 

If you are going to keep the car for some time, I'd strongly recommend looking at a rebuilt engine from CCR Inc. You get a 3 yr warranty. They know how to keep the head gaskets from failing again. They mitigate (eliminate?) the piston slap issue. Etc. You would save about $1000 going the 2.2 route over the 2.5L.

 

Personally, I find these cars underpowered. They pull nicely, but acceleration sucks. I'm not a heavy foot person, and it seems that Subaru owners that buy these cars are quite tolerant of the given power. (See post above for example.) Personally, I wouldn't want to give up one little bit of hp in this vehicle. I keep hoping to find some not-to-expensive way to get 15 or 20 hp more out of mine!

 

Good luck. Sorry to hear of your troubles.

 

Commuter

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To me, it's a no brainer. Replace the headgaskets. You have a seven year old car with 100,000 miles on it. You want to to spend as little money as you can to keep the car working for as long as you can. I'll spare you my rebuilt engine horror story, but just let me say that rebuilt engines are NOT risk free either.You could replace the headgaskets one more time and still be up $1,0000 over a 2.2L engine transplant.

Some people might find the Legacy to be underpowered with the 2.2L powerplant. The 2.2L is a great little engine, but they break too, just no where as often as the 2.5L DOHC Phase I.

 

So, you spend $3,000 for a rebuilt 2.2L, and 6,0000 miles later the 4EAT

AT blows up. Now what?

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