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i tried to find the original thread i started on this subject. i archived the last 1000 threads. can you just type it in somewhere to bring it back?

 

anyway, i want to thank everyone who helped. I think I fixed it. Replaced the thermostat, cleaned the front of heater core and radiator, backflushed it twice and removed the hoses and then replaced everything.

 

Then ran it up and down hills for 30 minutes and the gauge never wavored from normal. heater works fine, no leaks, no bubbles, etc.

 

I'm still gonna test it thoroughly before making my 45 mile commute to work.

 

should I try anything else?

 

roadsubiedog

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Perhaps you're one of the very lucky few and haven't had HG issues YET.

 

There is a search button. Try it - you can search for threads that you've posted in if you forget what the name of your thread was.

 

Good luck.

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i tried to find the original thread i started on this subject. i archived the last 1000 threads. can you just type it in somewhere to bring it back?

 

anyway, i want to thank everyone who helped. I think I fixed it. Replaced the thermostat, cleaned the front of heater core and radiator, backflushed it twice and removed the hoses and then replaced everything.

 

Then ran it up and down hills for 30 minutes and the gauge never wavored from normal. heater works fine, no leaks, no bubbles, etc.

 

I'm still gonna test it thoroughly before making my 45 mile commute to work.

 

should I try anything else?

 

roadsubiedog

 

just keep an eye on it, like you could avoid looking at now that you're worried. try and look at the road every now and then.

 

HG leaks in the early stages are very subtle and fickle. seems fine and then hot....... if it overheats, stop driving. let it cool down, maybe carry some coolant.

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When they first start, it's nothing for the motor you have to experience very random overheating due to head gasket problems. fine for 100 miles...then bam out of nowhere up it goes. fine for another 50-200 miles. it'll get worse rather quick though so you'll find out soon enough.

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When they first start, it's nothing for the motor you have to experience very random overheating due to head gasket problems. fine for 100 miles...then bam out of nowhere up it goes. fine for another 50-200 miles. it'll get worse rather quick though so you'll find out soon enough.

 

I thoght i had it licked but today i ran it longer than 30 minutes and as i started up a hill, it started overheating. i put the heater on full and ket it idle and it came down to normal

 

i opened hood and looked for obvious leaks and water was overflowing out the overflo bottle. i watched as a steady stream of bubbles were coming up from the bottom of the overflo bottle.

 

I can;t smell very well so couldn't smell the gases and i forgot to check if steam was coming out the exhaust.

 

I guess this does not bold well.

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Perhaps you're one of the very lucky few and haven't had HG issues YET.

 

....

 

Good luck.

 

So you weren't lucky - you were average - and have HG issues.

 

Search around here. Very common problem with a standard solution as long as you don't abuse it too long.

 

Welcome to the club.

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At least your car is giving you clear signals. Mine was much more subtle for a very long time. Now you know what has to be done and you can plan for it. I live near a small town and could get to work and back without overheating at all for a long time - until I could get the repair done. You may, I'm just saying may, be able to use your car for short trips for a while, but whatever you do, don't overheat it. Turning on the heater probably won't help for long. With mine, nothing ever brought the temp down once it started to go up. I just had to make sure that never happened.

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I purchased a 1997 Legacy Outback LTD about a month ago with 158k and drive it everywhere. It runs like a new one (2.5) automatic. The previous owner said he had to add appx a quart of water every 100 miles to the coolant jug. Like I said, I drove the car everywhere, after examining it for external leaks and nothing until 2 days ago. The temp gage usually sits right below 1/2 way but I noticed it climbing so I shut the car off and coasted. After it cooled a bit, I popped the cap and sure enough, it was about 1/2 gallon low on H2o, so I topped it off. I got the car back home, from appx 30 miles away (70-80 mph) and it ran fine. I popped the cap yesterday and it was low appx a quart again. I topped it off, ran it for an hour or so and nothing. There were no external leaks, no water in the oil, and nothing coming from the exhaust other than carbon minoxide, that I could tell. I figured probably a thermostat or poss water pump. It was getting time for the timing belt to be replaced, so I did so. While I had it apart, I replaced the water pump, thermostat, bypass hose, and the cams/crank seals and the timing belt. I put the car back together, fired it up, topped of the radiator, let it run for for 1.5 hours and it ran fine. Got in it to drive, revved up the engine to appx 2800 rpm, and the temp started to climb again. It didn't go all the way to hot but stopped at around 3/4 of the way up. I felt the top radiator hose and it felt hot and like it was about to pop. I popped the reservor cap (no pressure) and the water in it was cold. I eased off the radiator cap and bubbles flowed to the reservoir and the pressure dropped from the hose.

I'm thinking at this point, probably a clogged radiator (everything else external is new). After reading the blogs here, I'm starting to wonder. Should I replace the radiator, cap, or both and try again? The radiator is locally $229 so I'd like some advice before spending that kind of money for nothing.

BTW-I also changed the plugs, plug wires, valve cover gaskets, fuel filter, transmission filter and fluid, engine oil filter/fluid, and both front cv joints right after I got the car. The car runs too good to be what experience I've had with blown head gaskets, so help me. It appears to only run hotter than normal when the fluid gets a quart or more low. Most auto's I've experienced with, that's not the case unless they're way low on coolant.

Send me some experience, if you would. Thanks.

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Just do the search for headgaskets and read. You will find loads of posts. My 97 ran perfectly all through it's headgasket problem, other than the occasional, then more frequent, temp spikes. If you never let it get hot, you can replace them and have a fine car, but 99 chances out of 100, you have blown headgaskets. Most of us have done all the other stuff, radiator, thermostat (Subaru only), hoses, seals, you name it. You will read it over and over again, but everybody ends up at the same place. Sorry. The new Subaru gaskets don't blow a second time, or so I have been told.

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I'm thinking at this point, probably a clogged radiator (everything else external is new). After reading the blogs here, I'm starting to wonder. Should I replace the radiator, cap, or both and try again? The radiator is locally $229 so I'd like some advice before spending that kind of money for nothing.

 

i'd spend that money on the head gaskets. after you get them fixed it won't overheat and you won't have to spend it at all.

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A rad won't fix your problem. However if the problem has been going on for sometime I always send it out to be flushed and pressure tested while I'm going the HG job.

 

Locally this costs me 25 bucks.

 

Last Forester rad I sent him he said was the dirtiest he'd ever seen. Yes - the Forester had HG issues and the kid kept driving it.

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Definitely signs of head gasket issues. welcome to the world of the 2.5 Subaru, but when the gaskets are replaced you will have a great vehicle, enjoy.

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Definitely signs of head gasket issues. welcome to the world of the 2.5 Subaru, but when the gaskets are replaced you will have a great vehicle, enjoy.

 

I spoke to a really sharp mechanic who is a Master mechanic ( known for 12 yrs but retired ) and he suggested i go to a wrecker and do a engine swap since i have about 175k on this car.

 

he said with new gaskets, valve job and basically a new top end, the top end would be like new and have increased compression and perhaps put too much strain on the lower end.

 

he also mentioned that once a mechanic starts digging into the top end , he'll maybe find head and block issues and since you already have it apart, you'll just be hooked for a rather expensive bill/

 

he doesn't like the jap low mile motors and told me i would be better off going to a wrecker ( Reno or sacramento close to me ) and get a motor where I know the mileage of. He said some weckers won't tell you the mileage.

 

that sounds insane.

 

anybody's take on this?

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If you have decent compression and leak down, I dont feel you need to have the heads redone. Replace the gaskets and enjoy the car. The problem with junkyard engines is it is a gamble. You may get a good one, and you may get one that is no better than what you have. By the way, I am in Reno. And I also have a 97 OBW waiting for new head gaskets.

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If you have decent compression and leak down, I dont feel you need to have the heads redone. Replace the gaskets and enjoy the car. The problem with junkyard engines is it is a gamble. You may get a good one, and you may get one that is no better than what you have. By the way, I am in Reno. And I also have a 97 OBW waiting for new head gaskets.

 

 

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. Are you doing it or having a shop? One of the guys at work suggested Independant Auto in Reno.

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Agree about the 2.2. If you do get a 2.5 do the HG's while it's out - you know you're just on borrowed time.

 

BTW around here a 2.2 is about 1/3 the cost of a 2.5 - and is much more reliable.

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I spoke to a really sharp mechanic who is a Master mechanic ( known for 12 yrs but retired ) and he suggested i go to a wrecker and do a engine swap since i have about 175k on this car.

 

he said with new gaskets, valve job and basically a new top end, the top end would be like new and have increased compression and perhaps put too much strain on the lower end.

 

he also mentioned that once a mechanic starts digging into the top end , he'll maybe find head and block issues and since you already have it apart, you'll just be hooked for a rather expensive bill/

 

he doesn't like the jap low mile motors and told me i would be better off going to a wrecker ( Reno or sacramento close to me ) and get a motor where I know the mileage of. He said some weckers won't tell you the mileage that sounds insane.

 

anybody's take on this?

 

 

A few years back, I had a 91 Subie with the 2.2 that blew a head gasket.

I had about 160K miles on the odo. I bought a 2.2 motor out of 92 Subie with 112K miles on the odo at a yard. I shop at that yard often, and knew the 92 was still running. I had a buddy do the swap, and that motor ran great for many more years. The only snag in the swap, is the wiring harness connectors were different on the 92 vs the 91. The key is to buy a motor from a car that is still running if that is possible, or from a car that has been wrecked with damage to the sides or rear, not the front.

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If you're car runs well, just replace teh headgaskets and reseal the motor. No need to have full head job done. Just replace the gaskets with Subaru gaskets and love it for another 175k.

 

Don't buy a used 2.5, you could wind up in the same boat.

 

Swaping a 2.2 most shops in Cali will not do.(smog)

 

Have the heads surfaced, but beyond that just have hte gaskets swapped and a n t-belt, maybe waterpump.

 

FYI, if you NEED to drive it. Loosen the bleed screw just a hair. It will allow those bubbles a path out, rather than blowing all you're coolant out the overflow bottle.

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If you're car runs well, just replace teh headgaskets and reseal the motor. No need to have full head job done. Just replace the gaskets with Subaru gaskets and love it for another 175k.

 

Don't buy a used 2.5, you could wind up in the same boat.

 

Swaping a 2.2 most shops in Cali will not do.(smog)

 

Have the heads surfaced, but beyond that just have hte gaskets swapped and a n t-belt, maybe waterpump.

 

FYI, if you NEED to drive it. Loosen the bleed screw just a hair. It will allow those bubbles a path out, rather than blowing all you're coolant out the overflow bottle.

 

 

Thanks for the advice for this novice. thanks to everyone that has offered suggestions and such. This site is great. I wish I could help someone but I'm not a mechanic. i just love subarus.

 

rsd

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Thanks for the advice for this novice. thanks to everyone that has offered suggestions and such. This site is great. I wish I could help someone but I'm not a mechanic. i just love subarus.

 

rsd

 

Thats the best advice you can get. I have a couple friends who all had the HG issue, had em replaced and the cars ran perfect.

 

Get the HG replaced, you'll be fine.

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You are only 25k from your next timing belt and valve set anyway, so if you can have it all done at once you will be good for a long, long time. In the interest of full disclosure, I opted for a CCR rebuild because I was at 196000, meaning due for timing belt, water pump, oil pump etc, and to have the valves adjusted. Where I live, it would have cost nearly as much to get that work done by someone I didn't trust to do it right. I towed it over the hill and had the rebuild put in. But, if I could have done the work myself, or lived where there was a good Subaru mechanic, I might have kept my old engine. it was running as strong as ever.

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