2.5L Engine Serial Numbers? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 12-29-2009, 11:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2.5L Engine Serial Numbers?

Hello all ... New here, old time Suby owner.

Currently have a '98 Legacy OBW purchased a little over a year ago from a family member, the original owner. The car has 178K+ miles on it. Long story short, I replaced the engine this past May after my Son ran it at ~90mph on the Mass Pike while it overheated. Purchased a used engine out of a crashed '98 Forester, which was not the original engine. It ran well, just couldn't drive it.

The intake system and all sensors where swapped out from the original engine, with the exception of the nox sensor which was replaced with an OEM part.

Until a couple weeks ago it has been running perfect, no oil consumption, no change in coolant level ... basically the car drove like a near new car
Now I'm having overheating problems.

My question is this ... Is there a way to determine with the serial number what year and model this engine originally came from? I have a six digit number stamped on the block.

Any help please?

I thank you in advance for any info you may provide.

LW

(did a search for this info ... to avail)
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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From a dune buggy website [ commonly used motor in buggies].

A 10-digit engine code is used by Subaru: the first 2 characters identify the engine series. The 3rd & 4th identify displacement volume in liters.
The 5th digit is a sub-series identifier and fuel system flag. The 6th digit identifies emissions regulations it conforms to, while the 7th digit shows
the intended transmission it was mated with. The final 3 digits are minor production change codes. The series engine is also physically embossed on the top
of the engine block, to the left of the alternator.

From this I would guess that you could find out where the motor was made and all the other stated info but, I doubt you could tell the car it came out of ... That Info is contained in the VIN so ... you can tell by the vin what motor your supposed to have but not vice versa.

I'm curious why it matters what it came out of ?

Is it showing any head gasket failure symptoms along with the overheating ? do a search, plenty of info, first symptom is generally random overheating.
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm curious why it matters what it came out of ?
Basically to obtain the correct OEM parts ... plus I'm curious

So, the 6 digit number I have perhaps isn't complete? Or there are more numbers on the block than what I initially saw? All I have is 963054, maybe this is the part number for the block?

Let me ask this; Where is the engine serial number located on '90's 2.5L motors? Don't remember where the six digit number was that I recorded, But I do recall that it would be difficult to see once the engine was installed.

The overheating is random. The radiator failed (leaking from the upper half of the aluminum fins) so I replaced it with a NAPA radiator (made in Canada), re-used the original cap. Was fine for a few days, then overheating started again. So I replaced the t'stat with an after market NAPA unit, which by the way looked nothing like the OEM unit that was in there. Then was fine for a few days ... and it overheated again.

Last observation: Air trapped in the heater core ... I could hear it gurgling One thing is certain with these motors, it's a bitch to burp all the air out of the cooling system!

When this engine was installed, we replaced with OEM parts the water pump, t'stat, and timing belt (based on a 98 Forester). Used after market radiator hoses and clamps, and the original radiator and cap.

It probably is a head gasket issue, I'm just not ready to succumb to the realization.

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Old 06-11-2010, 10:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Update:

After parking her for several months, I decided to get back into it and figure out what was going on. Drove her for several days, just around town ... without any overheating! Then it happened again .. a pegged temp gage, no steam, just a pegged temp gage.
Off to the import garage she went. They tested the coolant for hydrocarbons (?) ... that test that would indicate a blown head gasket. No indication that either head gasket had failed.
At my suggestion, they replaced the NAPA thermostat with an OEM unit, and at their suggestion, replaced the radiator cap with a new OEM unit. Flushed the coolant system, installed new glycol ... and Wala!! Good as new!!
Drove her on a three hour road trip to NY a few weeks ago without any problems!!

Apparently OEM cooling system parts are critical in this engine series!!

Peace my friends .....................
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very true on the OEM parts, the difference between the design of the OEM tstat and the aftermarket units is amazing, and our cars rarely run "right" with aftermarket tstats in place.
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