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Old 02-19-2014, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Replace the engine? Or just the HG?

Our poor roo started convulsing oil last year, took her in and found out the cam seals had blown. Fixed all that and then it started overheating. Took it in and replaced thermostat that had been welded open by heat and water pump but it kept overheating. Took it back and they said it still had a bubble in the line because roos are hard to get the air out of. She ran ok for a week or two and it started again. Took it back to the shop they re-bled the air out of the line and fixed a problem with the fans staying on. Same thing, ok for a week then... Finally get around to our worst fears... blown at 185,000. :/ Not having another two grand at that moment to drop on her on top of all the expensive repairs we'd already been making all yr, we went and got a HG additive that's supposed to temp fix the problem. We drove on that for about a month and half til it blew thru it the other day. Now I know we beat her down pretty bad, and I'm willing to make amends, but my husband is pressuring me pretty hard about getting out of Subarus since this is our second one in 4 yrs to have major mechanical problems. (I believe in buying an old car and making it new as opposed to buying a new car and making it old). Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to just get her a new engine instead of repairing the HG since she's semi high milage, has a some knocking in her rods, had so much stress put on her with the overheating, and been literally driven into the ground on a bad HG??? We can't have this car acting up anymore for a while since we're trying to work on a down payment for our first home and I DON'T WANNA LOSE MY ROO!!!

Last edited by BEBZ; 02-19-2014 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Because I chicken peck on a phone and don't spell check before posting! lol
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Our poor roo started convulsing oil last year, took her in and found out the cam seals had blown. Fixed all that and then it started overheating. Took it in and replaced thermostat that had been welded open by heat and water pump but it kept overheating. Took it back and they said it still had a bubble in the line because roos are hard to get the air out of. She ran ok for a week or two and it started again. Took it back to the shop they re-bled the air out of the line and fixed a problem with the fans staying on. Same thing, ok for a week then... Finally get around to our worst fears... blown at 185,000. :/ Not having another two grand at that moment to drop on her on top of all the expensive repairs we'd already been making all yr, we went and got a HG additive that's supposed to temp fix the problem. We drove on that for about a month and half til it blew thru it the other day. Now I know we beat her down pretty bad, and I'm willing to make amends, but my husband is preasuring me pretty hard about getting out of Subarus since this is our second one in 4 yrs to have major mechanical problems. (I believe in buying an old car and making it new as opposed to buying a new car and making it old). Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to just get her a new engine instead of repairing the HG since she's semi high milage, has a some knocking in her rods, had so much stress put on her with the overheating, and been literally driven into the ground on a bad HG??? We can't have this car acting up anymore for a while since we're trying to work on a down payment for our first home and I DON'T WANNA LOSE MY ROO!!!

Sorry you found us on such a bad day in your repeat subaru ownership, head gaskets on a 2.5 dohc. (leaking oil and coolant, as usual??)

This is a forum which actually has one of these emoticons.

Thinking about milling and fixing what you got, (~~$2000 ??)

swapping back to to a happy 2.2, (~~$1000 ???), lower HP zero problems.

swapping up to a (JDM) slightly used Japanese 2.0 turbo. (~~$1500 ???)

How much rust this car got, rust does these cars in? Particularly over the rear axle, underneath. a little over the wheel on the outside don't matter. (a lot in front of the rear wheel on the outside does).
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow u went right to the next thread I was gonna post after this one got some answers! Lol. Well, we've heard that u can swap it out for a wrx engine which supposedly has less HG issues, so I'm looking into the possibility of that. But otherwise rebuilt or crate. I'm afraid this one's been thru too much to rebuild. As for rust... hard to gauge. I know its got some rust on the suspension, but it hasn't started thru to underneath of the compartment. Think I"ll go check a lil closer....
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I want to lose any hp tho since wee take it into the mountains a lot... So I guess that's just one more thing I gotta consider about this clusterfudge.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you truly hear rods knocking, a gasket job is out of the question and this is down to replacing the engine or the whole car.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I want to lose any hp tho since wee take it into the mountains a lot... So I guess that's just one more thing I gotta consider about this clusterfudge.
We covered this just recently, there seems to be a lot of cars like yours on the market or on their way to the recycler, some say the old 2.2 with a stick shift is like the best snow car ever.


One on rust:

Cost to repair or replace rust on rear quarter panels.

threads on swap from a 2.5 DOHC to 2.2 SOHC

member curls just did the swap on hers and reported that it is noticeably slower. legacy wagon is a heavy vehicle. It would have been nice if they just massaged some more power and torque out of the 2.2 or just used the same design and did not make all the mistakes.

Well it would also be nice to have peace on earth.

You could cruise down to rust free Arizona and buy something, maybe a 2001-2004, that needs $1500 worth of head gaskets, or has a receipt that they were just done.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There's always what I had as a plan B: Buy another car and fix this one later. And wouldn't ya know it? An '02 just popped up! This issue is stil on the front burner tho.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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additives don't work with this engine at all.

Swap in an EJ22. Inexpensive and the best engine Subaru has ever made rather than the current engine in your car which is the worst engine SUbaru has ever made. It's not bad, but it's certainly not like they're other platforms in terms of cost and reliability.

1995 EJ22 from an automatic (legacy or impreza, doesn't matter)
1996-1998 EJ22 with EGR and get the exhaust manifold with it.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

Do one of those two options above, install a timing belt kit, adjsut the valves, new valve cover gaskets, spark plugs, plug wires, and cam seals, crank seal, water pump, and you've got another 120,000 miles coming your way.

Buy one for $400 and sell your EJ25 for the same, the engine will be essentially free. They can easily be had for $250 - $600 (high end in subaru rich areas).

EJ22's never fail so there's zero demand and they're cheap.
EJ25's fail all the time so they're expensive and hard to find or questionable used.

EJ25's aren't a good fit for most people - they're so prone to failure that used ones are risky and new ones are expensive and not very palatable if they fail.

Example - keeping in mind i've done this multiple times and helped others:

$400 EJ22 - sell the EJ25 for $400
$200 for timing kit and seals, valve cover gasket
$500 to install.

you just bought Subaru's best engine they ever made, as close as you can get to a reliable 120,000 miles for $700. that's a steal.

EJ25 transactions never approach that kind of repeatability.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Bebz and her husband, are in Denver, and right next to MWE = CCR

Engine Catalog

I don't like their list prices, (as they include freight, ...rebuild, bench test), but maybe they could call them about selling the old engine.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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that would be a good starting point.

and the old 2.5 won't have any problem selling in Denver, it's unbelievably abundant with Subaru's, it is infested with them. i would expect it to sell quickly for $300 - $400 on craigslist or a Subaru forum like here or USMB.
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