Subaru Outback Forums banner
1 - 2 of 22 Posts

· Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
12,341 Posts
The non-turbo EJ engines almost never have a cracked cylinder. I wouldn't even believe someone that said they had a cracked non-turbo EJ cylinder head unless I saw it or they said they drove it extensively in the red overheating until it broke down....multiple times!

Anyone doing a lot of EJ heads and resurfacing, etc will tell you the non-turbo heads don't really crack unless they've just been abused.

That being said - they always have high and low spots and should be resurfaced.

YES - have it done under warranty and have it done properly, I guarantee this wasn't done last time exactly like this:

1. have the heads resurfaced
2. use Subaru EJ25 TURBO headgaskets.
3. Install Subaru's coolant conditioner (required by Subaru for this engine, was it ever installed before?)

What head gaskets did he used? With their propensity to blow, aftermarket head gaskets should not be used - though by all accounts Fel Pro are OEM like head gaskets. If he used Subaru headgasktes then he used those 633 gaskets that Subaru uses...the same dumb headgaskets prone to leak anyway....don't use those. Use the turbo gaskets I just mentioned, turbo engines have zero headgasket issues.

If you don't know the complete history of the engine...did you buy it used??...then you really have no idea if the engine has been overheated before, in which case you and your mechanic are both in a bad place. I'm not saying that's likely...but it is a small risk and an unknown, so you can't blame either of you to some extent.

· Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
12,341 Posts
There's a comment about needing a new radiator, why?

*** If there is any evidence of external head gasket leaks (it sounds like there is):

***you need to add the Subaru coolant conditioner immediately, right now!
***It is required by Subaru for this engine.

You can head off an external headgasket leaks by installing a bottle (or two). This works close to %100 of the time if you do it right away, it is very effective - Subaru requires it and chose it for good reason. So - go do this right now. Particularly considering it sounds like it may have never been added yet since the headgaskets were replaced the first time?

(In general it is best to avoid additives of any kind, again this is engine specific).

Keep in mind this engine has very specific head gasket issues and failure modes - much of this information is *engine specific* and not applicable to anything else. Your mechanic may not know all of this, but this is all %100 true for SOHC EJ25's and SOHC EJ25's ONLY. You wouldn't apply this to other engines.

Just to update this thread my mechanic is challenging that it's a HG issue because theres coolant in the exhaust when he did a compression test
you'll have to explain general you wouldn't notice coolant in the exhaust when doing a compression test.

he may have confirmed a headgasket issue. older Phase I EJ25's and Phase II's (yours) headgaskets that have already been replaced fail internally by blowing exhaust gaskets into the coolant (though that's the opposite of your description). check for exhaust gases in the coolant. Classic EJ25 headgasket failure symptom if it fails that test (it is the most reliable test to go by for Phase I EJ25 headgasket failures)

*on some heads/engines (even some Subaru's like older EA82 heads) this often suggests heads or block are cracked (which you mentioned earlier in the first post), but would be an incorrect interpretation for this engine.

Your mechanic may not be familiar with Subarus or this engine (not trying to be mean, but that might explain a lack of familiarity). I say this because you never do a compression test on this engine, due to the nature of these headgaskets it's a complete waste of time. SOHC EJ25's never fail compression tests due to headgaskets so it's pointless. If they do fail that test - they are so bad that there would be obvious signs without any testing. LOL

If he's not familiar with SUbaru's then he may well have used an aftermarket headgasket which is a bad idea on this headgasket eating motor. and he may not have installed SUbaru's required coolant conditioner.

So when I'm under the car with him what and where do I look for?
simply look for green coolant at the head gasket mating surface.

keep this simple:

1. check for external leaks.
2. if it's the headgaskets leaking externally then I would install two bottles of Subaru's Coolant Conditioner ($2.47 each at Subaru)
3. if it really is blowing coolant into

*** the conditioner is useless for internal coolant leaks or external oil leaks (both of which can happen as well). it is only helpful for external coolant leaks.

If you end up needing to fix this engine, I already mentioned it but you need to:

1. resurface the heads
2. install Subaru EJ25 TURBO headgaskets

If aftermarket headgaskets were installed the first time then that's likely why they're failing now. And it sounds like the conditioner was never added as well. If the heads weren't resurfaced then 3 things weren't done right....but if the person doesn't know about the headgasket issues on this engine then they unfortunately stumbled unknowingly into a mess so they aren't going to be happy about it.
1 - 2 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.