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Discussion Starter #1
I have found the coolant leak which was dripping from the front engine cross member. It appears to be coming from the base of the rear passenger side cylinder (RHD Australian model).

I have attached an image of the location of the leak, and I have a short video clip as well.. I can't see any evidence of coolant around the head gasket. Any ideas from anyone? I presume it's going to be an engine-out fix?

IMG_3558.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #2
My bad, I didn't realise the heads were as deep as they are. Looks like a head gasket I guess. Bit of a pain as I did the timing belt and water pump only a few months ago.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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13,779 Posts
It may be the head gasket, but I was thinking it's leaking up front and being blown back. Do you have an oil cooler on you engine? What is the condition of the bypass hoses off the pump?

HGs would be a good idea based on all that oil.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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916 Posts
Yes, the typical failure of the HG is a slow weep of oil. Usually not enough to even notice between oil changes but enough to sometimes drip on the exhaust and create a bad smell once in a while. Don't worry about having just done the timing belt. It has to come off anyway and only adds or saves about $25-$50 in material costs from the total job plus they won't have to replace all the pulleys and water pump this time. Make sure they use a multilayer steel (MLS) headgasket and you should be good for another decade+
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks rsrocket. I'm happy to tackle the job myself, and I realise the water pump and belt will be fine to reuse. My main concern is the engine internals. I won't know what the bore or piston condition is like until I remove the heads, and don't have any way of knowing what the crank and bearings are like. I have owned the vehicle since 100k km, and it now has 470k km, so I know it's the original motor and bearings. I'm seriously considering a 150k second-hand motor and installation, as I don't have the backup vehicle and unsure of my skills for such a major mechanical commitment over at least a few days.

Should I even do just the head gaskets on a 470k km motor without going deeper in?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Is the car making any knocking noises?

I had a 99 2.5 DOHC go 300k miles without ever tearing the engine down. Didn't use but maybe 1/2 qt between oil changes and had lots of power. The car was totaled at 300k miles.

I recently took apart an EJ251 after 192k miles and the damage from the timing belt breaking killed it. The bearings had low wear. And I mean lllloowwwww. The largest difference from spec was .008".

When you pull the engine and take it apart you will find the original hash marks in the cylinder. The bearings may have very marginal wear. But this depends on how regular the oil changes occured, whether it ran low or hot, and if the engine was allowed to build up carbon in the crankcase.

These are low friction, self balancing engines. That's why they last so long.
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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903 Posts
If your going to tackle this job, don’t even bother trying to find felpro mls gaskets here in aus as no one stocks them. Need to order online and the **** fight that is. I used the genuine mls gaskets. I could probably find the part number for you not sure when though.
 
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