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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am replacing the short block in my 96 (6/95) Outback 2.5 with a 97 or 98 short block. I am trying to figure out if I can swap my old heads on to the new shortblock. My concern is that the newer short block has the pistons with the square indentation in them, while the old one has the pistons with the "eye brow" indentations in them. Also, this 96 OB seems to have a rare engine configuration. One thing it has is a "narrow journal" crank in it that was only used in the 2.5 OB engines for a few months. The other thing is that the DOHC heads use hydraulic self adjusting bucket lifters. This too seems like it was only done for a few months. Any advice would be helpful and appreciated.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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swap away. no worries.

the 96 hydraulic bucket and shim requires less service, no adjustments, but the 96 has slightly less HP as well. the 96 is spec-ed premium gas, while the 97 - 99 is regular gas. but there should be no issues with the 97 heads on the 96 short block.

and as much as i dislike adjusting them, you should probably stay with the bucket and shim set up that came with the head you use. but you do want to check them to make sure they are not too tight. it could cause a burned valve down the road. egg cartons are handy for keeping the buckets and shims organized.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the response. I will move forward as planed then. Just to be clear though, I am puting the 96 heads with shimless lifters on the 97 shortblock that has the square indented pistons.
 
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