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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why am I posting: I am a Dad in the Northeast trying to help his son in Logan Utah (Starving Student) with a 2007 Outback.
Although negligence plays a part in this, it is irrelevant right now. Ignorance and attention span isn't helping either but suffice it to say understanding vehicles isn't one of my boys gifts.
The VIN decoder says the motor is (was?) a EJ253 2.5 Liter; 4 Cylinder (H4); 16 Valve; Single Over-Head Camshaft (SOHC).
Details are sketchy but it was driven for an unknown amount of time with low oil. I believe the camshaft seal blew at which point it was towed to a garage in Logan UT where it was partially disassembled for diagnosis. An estimate of $2,200 was given to replace the head and cam but other damage may have happened so price could go up a lot.
My concern is not knowing/trusting the garages assessment but I have no way to confirm, based on the pictures, if anything is seized, be it soft or hard.

My Questions:
Although not ideal, is finding a used motor less risky, given limited funding.
Does anyone know of a place to source a used motor in the upper Utah region.
Does anyone know of a reputable mechanic in the upper Utah region.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.

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1,909 Posts
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Forums,

How many miles are on the wagon itself?

- Chris.

Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
17,581 Posts
I believe Chris is calculating cost to fix vs replacement.

As for the damages, all I can add is that if the cams have damage, you can bet the crank and rod bearings will also. The shop the car is residing in is doing what I refer to as step selling. They tear the heads off, sell repair of the heads, then get you to allow them to split the block where they will most certainly find worn bearings and sell you more hoping you buy since the engine is "already apart anyway". The oil journaling will have metal, the oil pump will have metal, the oil control solenoids will have metal. Everywhere in the engine where oil travels will have metal and this metal is damaging. Yes, some gets trapped by the filter, but also gets past the filter. You have to understand that the shavings off the crank bearings will travel all over the engine. The shavings from any damage to the cams runs to the pan.

Easy and cheap is relace the engine with a good one. Current value for a 2007 Subaru Outback in Utah is unknown to me. Down here in Austin one with 180k miles will still go for $8k.

Used engines on eBay:
This one is a Japanese (JDM) engine. You can tell by the dipstick handle.

Dito JDM

USDM, note the dipstick handle

Short blocks, when available, generally run about $4500.

Labor to swap an engine is 8 hours as a complete assembly w/o parts transfer. Then you have fluids, filter, spark plugs, etc.
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