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To the best of my knowledge, there have not been any HG issues with Subie's 6-cylinder engines, so by opening up your wallet and opting for the far-more-satisfying 3.6R, you are likely to wind up with better reliability as well as much better acceleration and a lower interior noise level.

And, for those who are not fans of the CVT, you would get a "conventional" 5-speed automatic trans if you opt for the 3.6R.

:29:
I think perhaps the OP -and certainly I- don't look at the 6-cyl. solution as "far-more-satisfying"-akka. I use the Tagalog suffix that means "-for you only." Some of us are fond of the simplicity and efficiency of 4-bangers. Long-term reliability? I've seen no data demonstrating that. Better acceleration I'll give you, but we drove the 2.5i Outback Limited two weeks ago, and the acceleration was quite adequate, and the noise was OK.

The question remains, has SOA managed to address the HG problem in recent years? This appears to be mostly an issue that crops up in well-used cars, so only time will tell.
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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Begs the question then if the EJ is tried/true, defeats the purpose of engineering evolution if the FB is of inferior implementation.
Tweet, time out I'm confused. How did we get to the point of stating the FB is inferior?
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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Tweet, time out I'm confused. How did we get to the point of stating the FB is inferior?
Let me rephrase, assuming the notion the EJ is tried/true, the FB progression delivers what (it can't be all EPA)? Was the HG design improved?
 

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2010 outback. base 2.5
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Discussion Starter #24
Let me rephrase, assuming the notion the EJ is tried/true, the FB progression delivers what (it can't be all EPA)? Was the HG design improved?
Exactly, Better emissions, DOHC, better internal friction overall, cooling was made more efficient, I believe the o2 sensors are mounted different as are the new injectors. A little better MPG although my 12 Impreza gets the same or worse fuel economy than my 10 OB with the EJ/first gen CVT combo. So yea was the HG issue elimanted. Don't no. I'm sure it was engineered to handle DI in the future.
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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Exactly, Better emissions, DOHC, better internal friction overall, cooling was made more efficient, I believe the o2 sensors are mounted different as are the new injectors. A little better MPG although my 12 Impreza gets the same or worse fuel economy than my 10 OB with the EJ/first gen CVT combo. So yea was the HG issue elimanted. Don't no. I'm sure it was engineered to handle DI in the future.
Long term FB reliability is unknown, so we'll see. From my knowledge the coolant issue with the EJ was the expanding cylinder walls (normal) wearing out an inferior gasket as the coolant flowed. This is why semi closed decks on the turbos had less failures even at higher heat. They had enforcing to not let the cyclinder wall move as much along with a better gasket. Any 10-12 owner can pop their hood and see and feel their 4 layer MLS gasket. This gasket does not match an open deck. So if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck....

From the picture the OP posted the FB is open deck again however the coolant does not appear to flow throw the same areas that it used to. It would appear on the outter edges of the head are the flow passeges which are further away from the intense heat of the cylinder walls. Now I'm curious enough to pop the hood tonight to see if I can get any hint as to if the HG is metal or a composite.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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The main objective when I started this thread was if one traded up to a 13 OB from a 10-12 would she or he be getting away with any potential HG issues with there higher mileage cars. We all know some the the other advantages of the 13 car, suspension etc... but the EJ TO FB conversion had me wondering about the HG issues that have seemed to haunt this manufacture for awhile. To be honest and this is my opinion I like the tried and true lastest revised EJ to the FB.
OK, no One here can predict if thr HG of your car(2010-2012) will fail or NOT....
But, some one mentioned to fix the HG is $2000 if it fail...

If you keep your 2010 OB, drive it for another 3-4 yrs, the HG fail, your out $2000....

If you trade in your CAR Today, you're are going to "lose" at least $2000 (probably as much as $5000)....depending on your sales tax, you might lose $1000) in sales tax alone.....
Add that to depreciation...title...etc....and you still have NOT 100% eliminate the HG problem in the new(2013) car....

Hope this help you with your decision....
 

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2002 LL Bean 3.0
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FB20 Block deck photos

Here are some photos from this website on an FB2.0 rebuild over bad rings, now the common problems with young Subies. These photos show the deck construction.

The website:
https://www.reddit.com/r/subaru/comments/1xo2i1/i_am_a_subaru_technician_this_is_the_fb20_tear/

And because these photo sites can be taken down or disappear here are some photos of the deck. This is a FB2.0 but I believe shares the same block as the bored out FB2.5 so the cylinder wall thickness will be less on a 2.5. Make of them what you may.

These are crunched down in size to fit this site but give everyone a look of a deck of a 2.0.
The site they came from can view them at a very high resolution. Thanks to the certified Subie tech who did this.

The coolant no longer travels thru the gasket but it is retained by the gasket on both sides. Whether this is a great thing or not no one knows but there are less holes in the gasket and less opportunities to fail.

I'm driving an 03 2.5L Foz that just had HGs done and the failure on both sides involved 5 Star HGs leaking coolant into the cylinder and exhaust gas into the coolant. (the HGs were done at 89.5K miles then again 6 weeks after I bought the Foz at 144K - ouch) The mechanic replaced the HGs with 3 layer steel HGs from the turbo version. He does about 80 of these a year and claims no warranty issues unless the cars lose coolant for some other reason - burst hose or bad radiator cap, for example.

It appears most of these cars are too young to know about HGs. The main issue, which for now is covered under warranty, is rings that get stuck in the pistons and cause high oil consumption. The repair is a complete tear down as you can see at the website listed above. If that doesn't do it owners get a new short block.

After warranty - it has to be more expensive than a HG job - yikes! Yikes=I don't think a car should cost more than 1K/ year.
 

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