oh, and what is wrong with the 2003's OEM engine, its OK to state it ran out of coolant / out of oil.
(the subaru oil trouble light comes on right when the engine is going terminal, ...so not actually a low pressure warning light)
It's a LONG story but i'll "try" to keep it short.
I bought the 03 back in January of 2022. Bought it from a guy who has a little shop that buys broken subi's and fixes them and sells them. He seemed to be a nice family guy just trying to make some extra money on the side. The seller said he bought the car from a lady down the road who lost her crank pulley and blew the top end of the motor. The seller rebuilt the heads and installed a bunch of new parts. He gave me records and the car seemed like a great buy!!
Then pretty much from the day I drove it home I had problems with it. Just little things. New thermostat sticking, brakes sticking. etc. Also, the car from day 1 ran so rich it smelled like a friggin lawn mower! From Jan 22 to August I drove the car here and there and even though it ran rich with poor gas mileage it still seemed to be solid. Fast fwd to August 22. I was preparing to take the wife and kid to OBX. I slapped on a big old turtle on top of the roof rack, changed all the coolant hoses, rotated the tires, and gave her the 100 point inspection. She was READY! I told the wife a few day before the trip, let's take her a test run down route 80 to pick up our son from his grandparents about an hour away. After about a 40 min drive on route 80, I got off an exit, coasted down a hill and the car just died. The motor just stopped. I had the car towed to a mechanic friend of many years and it was determined the timing belt with 4000 miles had failed!! I went back in the my records from the seller and found the timing kit. He bought a Chinese kit on Amazon. 4000 miles!!! That's all it would get me.
So, a buddy of mine said tow the car to me and let's take off the heads, take them to a machine shop and put on new heads gaskets. So, we did just that. $1000 later in head work and all new seals, gaskets, Aisin timing kit, the car was ready to crank. We cranked her over and it ran like dog poop! I then had the car towed to very reputable independent subi shop my dad has worked with for many years. They determined the valves were too tight and the MAP sensor and o2 sensor were bad. After a few days the shop called me and said I have good news and bad news.
The bad news:
The engine has bottom end knocking after 3200 rpms. Which after he said that I realized that I heard it all the while since I bought the car I just attributed it to the terrible sound the boxer engine makes
The good news:
The car now runs from a fuel and air standpoint amazing! Fuel trims are darn near zero and my gas mileage is right on spec.
So I pay the pauper and bring the car home and after driving it home in Dec of 22, I notice my coolant temps wont go below 203 and the fans are constantly running. I install a brand new t-stat (once again) and rad cap and do a flush. No go. The car still won't open the thermostat. After much research I determined something my friend and I did during the head gasket installation must be incorrect. I am bringing in combustion gas into the coolant system and it's back up at the t-stat. So since Dec 22 I drilled a hole in my t-stat and have put about 1100 miles on it. But, I can only drive it locally and with it being winter it won't overheat.
At this point I'm at my wits end and my dads 01 Outback is rotting away and he offered me his motor because he got a newer car.