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2000 2.5 OBW and wife's 2011 2.5 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
It has been a long while since I have been to this forum. Mostly because my old Subaru has been running great for a long while. However it now has about 192,000 miles on it and the head gaskets have started leaking coolant even with some stop leak in the coolant. I also had the valve cover gaskets replaced a couple of month ago and I am still leaking oil somewhere. The car is a 2000 Outback with the 2.5 H4 engine. The body is still in pretty good shape but definitely showing some wear and tear with a small area of rust over one rear fender well. The interior is still pretty nice but the heat here in the south has taken its toll on the plastic clips so some of the door panels keep coming loose.

I have gotten a price from some guys that only work on Subies. They have an independent shop and have a very good reputation. They have said it would be between $2500 and $3000 to pull the engine and do a complete rebuild. That seems pretty reasonable to me because I used to do all my own work including rebuilding engines and transmissions. I am now 72 years old and just don't have a good place to do that kind of work anymore.

So my thoughts are do I get them to do a rebuild on the engine and hope the rest of the car continues to hold up or do I consider a trade?

I have seen a couple of cars that I am interested in. One is a 2006 2.5 XT with 80,000 miles on it. They are asking $9,500 for it. I understand from reading on this forum that the Turbo engines use a different head gasket and so you don't have the head gasket problems with them like you do the non-turbo engines.

I have also found two 2005 3.0 LLBean cars. One of them has 125,000 miles on it and they are asking $7,410 for it. The other one has 95,000 miles on it and they are asking $6,950 for it. The last one seems like a really good deal to me but I don't know that much about the value of them. The pictures of both of them look good but I have not gone to see any of the cars I have been looking at online.

I am kind of leaning toward the 3.0 H6 engine because again according to what I read on this forum those engines rarely have head gasket problems and since they have a timing chain instead of a timing belt I won't need to replace the timing belt and water pump at regular intervals like I have been doing on my 2000 Outback.

So I would like some opinions about my best option. Also if I have been mistaken about any of my ideas concerning head gaskets or whatever please feel free to correct my mistaken ideas.

Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,205 Posts
I like the idea of the H6 cars, ...if you are not driving much.
(they take super gas like a turbo,...and I have not used mine as a daily driver for years).

the worst thing that can happen is you get one that overheats and it needs a JDM engine which drops in. cheaper then doing head gaskets on a plain H4.

post up what you got though as links.

we also have a couple members around the south that may have advice or too many cars, and want to part with one.



_______

too much money to "rebuild" what you got with all those miles on that engine, coolant overheating problems may make it not worth fixing, ....better option would be to get a used engine out of a wreck with the head gaskets done on it already.

turbos are a must avoid,...= explode expensively on the side of the road even under the best maint. and turnings by mechanic owners.
 

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2000 2.5 OBW and wife's 2011 2.5 Forester
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply. I do drive mine almost every day taking my granddaughters to school and running errands so it sounds like I should stay away from the 3.0 H6. That is too bad about the turbos not holding up. I have had a couple of diesel engines with turbos and they held up fine. But diesel exhaust temperatures are much lower than gas exhaust temperatures and that explains a lot about gas turbo engines.

I guess I will restart my looking at what is out there. I just read on this forum that the 2005 2.5 H4 should be avoided because it is a one of kind engine with one kind of block and another kind of head so I will not look at any of them. Do you have any suggestions as to a good year to look at? I am primarily concerned with something that will last for a good while. I am hoping to get something with under 100,000 miles on it for around 6 to 8 thousand and hopefully someone that would take my car in trade so that probably means a dealer or a Subie collector.

I have not had any problems with mine overheating. I always keep a close eye on my fluids in my cars so I top up the coolant recovery tank regularly as well as check the oil regularly.

Thanks again for your suggestions and wisdom.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
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26,205 Posts
Thanks for the quick reply. I do drive mine almost every day taking my granddaughters to school and running errands so it sounds like I should stay away from the 3.0 H6. That is too bad about the turbos not holding up. I have had a couple of diesel engines with turbos and they held up fine. But diesel exhaust temperatures are much lower than gas exhaust temperatures and that explains a lot about gas turbo engines.

I guess I will restart my looking at what is out there. I just read on this forum that the 2005 2.5 H4 should be avoided because it is a one of kind engine with one kind of block and another kind of head so I will not look at any of them. Do you have any suggestions as to a good year to look at? I am primarily concerned with something that will last for a good while. I am hoping to get something with under 100,000 miles on it for around 6 to 8 thousand and hopefully someone that would take my car in trade so that probably means a dealer or a Subie collector.

I have not had any problems with mine overheating. I always keep a close eye on my fluids in my cars so I top up the coolant recovery tank regularly as well as check the oil regularly.

Thanks again for your suggestions and wisdom.
H6 are still nice, trouble free cars, just thirsty in stop and go traffic, and like premium.

H4 are OK just have to watch for head gaskets,... I have known some people driving with later 2008-2009 with 180,000 miles on the head gaskets that it came with. which are single layer ones that typically leak oil. (some people drive with the leaks so long as they don't leak on the exhaust and make a stink ).

the guys that want $2500 for another round of head gasket work will probably buy your car if you can't make a trade deal.
(trades can really lock you out of good deals on better cars). and I would think they are going to drop another engine in it when they run across a matching goodie.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
I guess it depends how bad it is but I'm tempted to say move on because of the rust. Rust progresses quickly sometimes, what looks like a small hole in the quarter ends up really being a sizable hole that started from the inside out but only the bubbling was noted at first.

If tires, brakes, struts, exhaust are in great condition/recently maintained then the headgasket job might be entertainable if the rust isn't bubbling/all the way through.

I'd get the H6 or another EJ25. Buy another EJ25 for $5,000 and even if put $2,500 into headgasket/timing belt and you've got a fine 100,000 mile vehicle which still sounds at the low end of your current price point.
 
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