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1999 OBW 30th - Shes a beauty
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Discussion Starter #1
hello all!
New member, and happy to be here!

I just found a very nice '99 30yr Anniversay OB, fully loaded for 300 bucks.
One of the Timing Belt idler pullies let go and she ate the valves... booooo
Anyway she is in great shape for its 250k highway miles and worthy of investment.

My question is this..
I can likely do the valves and be ok, but am entertaining getting a used engine with less miles on it.

However I was told by one engine seller that this particular OB has a special build on the engine.

US Fed 49 state on the VECI.. wont any 96-99 DOHC be ok, even the Japanese imported's?


Id appreciate any thoughts and information, big time!

:Edit:
I am looking thru the many pages of info, tho there are many, but I am trying as due dilegence, getting short on time before the snow flies, thus the new thread seeking assistance. :)

*waves
-Kii
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
was this one in Ohio? sounds like one i recently looked at.

anyway - yes any DOHC EJ25 will work. don't worry about the interchange confusion.

that's a tough one...these motors have massive headgasket and other issues associated with the headgasket issues (rod bearing failures). so i normally suggest keeping a known good motor over getting an unknown used one. you can *almost* be sure that the headgaskets weren't leaking when the timing pulley let go. that's more reassuring than an unknown junkyard engine...but who knows, it does have high miles.
 

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1999 OBW 30th - Shes a beauty
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The car is in Wyoming. yeah high miles, but I talked to the owner of it at length before I bought it, and he had nothing but love for the car and said he would have fixed it, but he had already gotten into a new Subbie, just not one with the high ground clearance, more a road vehicle.
He flat refused to scrap it, and said it was running like a champ before it gasped on him.

After I bought it I ask him, "ok so now that I own the car, is there anything else I should know, haha.. he said naw man, this thing was a jewel to me."

Guess Im hoping to have a good relationship with it and give her some love.

If I just do the heads, Ill likely rebuild them completely, I do have access to a buds machine shop and their expertise. Ill be able to take a look at the cylinder walls while they are off.

The clutch pedal has more wear than the brake pedal, it looks better than many 120k milers Ive seen, and it towed nicely from a rope across town from dirt roads. suspension felt nice. not a rattle or squeak nor shimmy.

<decisions! and curious to hear more!>
 

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Premium Member
I has car.
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4,621 Posts
Nothing special about that motor. It'll have more bolts between the transmission and bellhousing than prior years but that's just a 99+ thing, not a 30th anniversary special feature. You can run an earlier motor with fewer bolts just fine.

The real beast about rebuilding a four cam first gen 2.5 with bent valves is yours will have shim-on-bucket solid lifters. Those shims are $8 each at the dealer and you'll need one for each valve you replace (up to 16) unless you get lucky and can reuse a couple of them.

The better option is to find a set of good used heads without bent valves and shims intact and don't bother doing a valve grind. You won't notice a seat of the pants difference in horsepower on that engine before/after a valve grind. You might if you were doing a total rebuild but you don't want to spend the kind of money it takes to punch out a Subaru short block and rebuild it properly.

The even better option is to find a 2.2 and swap it in. It's pretty much a bolt-up, plug-in swap if you get the right flavor of 2.2 (95-96 are good years to grab). Lots of threads on that subject on here and I won't rehash it here. Suffice to say you won't miss the alleged 30hp difference between the 2.2 and 2.5, and it's a rock solid bulletproof motor that's lighter, smaller heads (just a single cam per head, still running 4 valves per cylinder tho), easier to work on, and easier on gas.

They were found in Imprezas all the way up to 2001, and regular Legacy (not Outback) as far as 99. Yours will have EGR, so try to get a 2.2 with EGR, or grab the matching ECU if not.
 

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1999 OBW 30th - Shes a beauty
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the great info! Sounds like a plan. Ill start the hunt and let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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if you suspect the owner to be legit you could also entertain the idea of getting a used set of EJ22 heads and bolting them to the EJ25 engine. that's probably what i would do in this case.

if you want a set of used EJ25 heads, i think i have a set. i just sold one and think i have one left.

They were found in Imprezas all the way up to 2001, and regular Legacy (not Outback) as far as 99. Yours will have EGR, so try to get a 2.2 with EGR, or grab the matching ECU if not.
careful the 99-2001 EJ22 is not plug and play as he mentioned earlier. 95 - 98 EJ22's with EGR are the easiest.
if it's a 96-98 you'll need the EJ22 exhaust manifold as well which easily swaps.

95 automatic EJ22's will have dual port exhaust that bolts right up to the EJ25 exhaust.

(95 manual trans EJ22's do not have EGR valve).

get ebay timing belt kits they're only $150 - $200 for belt and all the pulleys and tensioner.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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1,401 Posts
99 - 00 ej22 will not work. they are phase 2 engines. stay clear of them if you are looking to swap.

i would look for good used heads, they are around. if not from some one hear or on CL, try Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market. sort by distance to save shipping. but if you have to ship, look for the cheapest / best / low mileage / head deal you can find. then add shipping to the cost to see the best deal.

or as gary mentioned, good used ej22 heads. either will put you back on the road for less than complete head rebuilds. and maybe less than just replacing the bent valves.

i'm pretty sure ej22 heads will require ej22 intake, so keep that cost in mind when looking.
 
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