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Discussion Starter #1
My 01 Outback made it all the way to 196,000 miles before I had to get a mechanic to replace HGs. However, I only made it 36,000 this time and it looks like drivers side HG has failed again. Why are not these HGs holding up? I guess I will replace it this time myself. What are the best gaskets made out there? I do not want to do it again after this.

Thanks
 

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I think it was done badly by your mechanic. Lot of times mechanics don't clean the heads properly or use power tools for this.
 

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+1 on a sloppy job.

Were the heads checked and resurfaced if needed?

What type of HG were used, the single layer graphite of the failure prone original or the upgraded multi-layer steel style?

An engine that has not been severely overheated, that had a proper and careful job done with the correct parts is very unlikely to fail again.
 

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If you want us to answer this question you also need to answer these:

1. what headgasket (brand and part number) did he use?
2. did he install Subaru's Coolant Conditioner - it's required in that motor?
3. were the heads resurfaced?
4. was Subaru's Coolant Conditioner added? (it is required by Subaru)

You can add a bottle or two of coolant conditioner right now if it's an external coolant leak.
 

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Use OEM 2004 STi MLS HG's if you have to do the HGs again - these seem to hold together much better the the stock 1 layer HGs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Grossgary, I do not know the answer to any of these questions, it has been over 2 yrs and I trusted he would do the job right, but recently I am learning about these things. I wonder if I need to install new head bolts again when I change the gaskets. I heard that they are recommended. Also it looks like the drivers side is the only one leaking.
 

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Replace both sides, safe insurance.

Head bolts are not torque to yield, so they can be reused.
 
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