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Looking at US forums, it seems there are many head gasket problems on 1998-2000 outbacks. Are these cars all the same or are they different in Europe? In other terms, has many owners in Europe had these sort of problems?
 

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i think the main difference in the head on the American models is the head of the driver, which doesn't see the need for preventive maint the same way you euro guys do. altho i've seen posts from people who appear to have maintained their cars and still lost head gasket. does anyone retorque their heads any more? does this help? head gaskets do compress with age and i've cured many minor coolant weeps on other alum-head cars by retorquing.
 

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From what I remember you do not need to re-torque the heads on the Subarus. It would be a major PITA to do even with the engine out of the car.
 

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The reason I first got interested in Subarus was a mate who owned a 2000 OB and he treated it abominably; thrashing it on the motorway whilst still cold, neglecting to maintain it ete etc yet the car has been 100% reliable. As for head bolts, I think for the past few years these cars have had stretch bolts which maintain constant compression on the joint under all conditions. They should not be re-used once undone.

BTW I am still waiting for my lovely white OB to arrive: patience is a virtue they say.:mad:

I do like this site, you seem to be a very friendly bunch of likeable people.
 

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The head gasket issue on the American side was a problem with the material used I think. Messing with the bolt heads is a lot of extra work for no good reason.

I have a 97 Outback that had the head gaskets blow in the middle of a 400 mile road trip, I overheated the engine so badly I thought it was destroyed, but after replacing the heads, head gaskets, and radiator the engine runs like it was new again.

From what I understand the 2.5 Liter engines head gasket issues have been resolved in the 200 or 2001 model year.
 

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GrimmReaper said:
The head gasket issue on the American side was a problem with the material used I think.
True

From what I understand the 2.5 Liter engines head gasket issues have been resolved in the 200 or 2001 model year. [/B]
Or if you have replaced the headgaskets with the new ones.
 

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As for head bolts, I think for the past few years these cars have had stretch bolts which maintain constant compression on the joint under all conditions. They should not be re-used once undone.
absolutely correct, altho a lot of people do so, apparently often without major ill effects. many mfgrs these days specify using "torque angle" instead of ft-lb or n-m these days to measure head bolt torque....this is a measure of when the bolt begins to stretch and elongate, as once this happens, the ft-lb/n-m of torque increases less for each degree of turning of the bolt head than it did before it hit that point. any time you see a head bolt torque spec expressed in terms of troque angle, this is a good hint that the bolts may be the need-to-replace kind.
 

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My 98 Outback has just started to overheat and it has been diagnosed as Head Gaskets, so the mileage is now 74,000, and that is close to what they state on the US models, I am 68 so I do not thrash it whilst its cold, it has always stood from start-up a good few seconds before driving away and she has been on a regular service regime, so to me its a crap gasket system, they are being replaced along with the timing belt and cam seals, at a cost of £13,00 UK Pounds!! ouch!
She is in the Garage currently being repaired, Happy Christmas!
 

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could not kill that engine

the rest of the car was ok too after much off road abuse.:25:she left on a flatbed still ran but tranny shot with 227k never did the belt or much else but brakes and oil. loved that car. always started never died.
 

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Agree the incidence of head gasket failure in US seems to unproportionally high compared to every where else.

but not denying that there is a problem in general particularly with the phase 1 EJ25D (internal head gasket leaks) 1995 - 1998 and

in phase 2 engines EJ251 etc (external headgasket leaks) 1999 - 2004 and later to a less degree?

The problem is well known well documented here.

The problem is agravated in all Subarus by not following manufacturers recommendations (ie Fujii Heavy Indusrties Japan)

1 Fuel usage for 2.5 (9.5 :1 compression ratio) 91 minimum recommended 95 better

for 3.0 (10.5 :1 compression ratio) 95 recommended

Using too low octane fuel causes detonation (undetected uncontrolled pre ignition - mini explosions) which eat away at head gaskets

internally over time causing / contributing to earlier head gasket failure.

2 Lack of cooling system Maintenance: ie not flushing cooling system as recommended (2 yearly)

Contaminated coolant becoming more corrosive (contaminated oil also - not changed regularly) can eat away at head gaskets also causing contributing to earlier failure also.

3 Electrolysis of coolant (cooling system) by electrical system in poor condition. ie battery and terminals a wasteland of corrosive

deposits in combination with

running a lot of electrical accessories with car idling where alternator not turning fast enough to compensate putting extra strain /

load on battery etc which can electrolyse coolant also. ( also faulty /corroded / loose earth leads / strap between motor and battery can contribute to this also.)

This can make coolant more corrosive which can eat away at head gaskets internally also.

https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-problems-explained/

https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gaskets-problems-explained-part-ii/
 

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I remember 2004, 2009, and 2015,...now if on of those start trek ships would stop here,...
 
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