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I've got a '99 with a 2.5L and DOHC. This is a high mileage vehicle with a coolant leak in the head gasket and a leaking rear main seal or leaking oil separator cover.

I'm going to pull the engine (once I get the tranny issue straightened out) and replace the head gaskets. I will also be doing the exhaust gaskets, intake gaskets, valve pan gaskets and seals and whatever else I encounter along the way. I've seen some pretty comprehensive gasket kits on ebay for around $45, but they seem to have the graphite head gasket rather than the MLS style gasket. Is the MLS critical for the '99 DOHC motor? Because the car isn't worth that much, I don't want to spend a bunch of money making it "better than new," but I don't want to invite trouble either. I realize you often times "get what you pay for," so I'm looking for recommendations from those of you that have gone down this DIY road before.

Here's one I'm thinking about. Subaru Forester Impreza Legacy 2.5 DOHC Head Gasket Set | eBay

If there are any better deals or recommendations, please let me know.

1,401 Posts
the cheap kits on ebay have crap head gaskets. do not use them.
if you are broke, you can buy the kit and throw away the head gaskets, and buy just those from subaru online. the head gaskets MUST BE subaru or much better quality, do not pinch pennies on them. for all the rest it is a crap shoot. i have had both good and bad luck with cheap / inexpensive seals and other gaskets. i did this on an ej22 swap into an outback. i didn't need the head gaskets but i used a bunch of the other stuff. it got me on the roasd, but some things did not last too long. the VC gaskets went bad pretty quick.

i buy the head gaskets from an online subaru dealer, i get a subaru head gasket. about $80 shipped

i also buy the front crank, cam, & water pump seals from the dealer along with the oil pump o-ring (about $30) and the rear oil separator plate w/ new screws (about $35). this is subaru only i think.

then i get everything else from wherever, local or online parts store. meaning intake & exhaust.

you probably do not need the rear main seal. the oil pan does not use a gasket, just an RTV type sealant. but neither of these usually leak unless some one has done them wrong in the past. but you never know. the oil pan is hard to mess up. but the rear main seal is EASY to mess up. pay close attention to how and where it sits so you get it right. do not drive itall the way home.

timing belt parts, belt, 3 idlers, tensioner, and water pump i get from ''theimportexperts'' on ebay. they will have a ''kit'' but it probably will not include all of the parts mentioned, but most. quality parts for a good price.

valve cover gaskets.... i'm not sure. on the ej22 i get them locally, felpro i think. but for the ej25 you also need the the spark plug tube gaskets. subaru dealer online may be a better price or just as good especially if you are ordering a bunch of stuff. and i know the quality is good.

needless to say, you do not have to do all of this when you do the head gaskets. but all of this stuff is easier when the engine is out of thew car. and if you do not know the history of the timing belt i would reccomend doing that. ALL of that. when looking for what to cut, strart with the stuff that is not so hard to do with the engine in the car.

good luck.

other members will have other suggestions.
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