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1999 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Backgroud:
So I bought my 1999 Outback from a used car dealer with 123k on it for $3700. The HG, WP, Rad, T-stat, and T-belt were supposedly replaced by the PO. (no records, but I did see the bolts were marked up to suggest this was true)

I now have 136k of hard driving and my HG are leaking. Its not that bad because the motor doesnt overheat regularly, yet. It has spiked a quarter inch or so on the gauge, before I parked it, but thats about it. This is for sure the HG; my res keeps filling(Air leaking into the cooling system), if I turn the car off after a highway trip, its hard to start and shakes for about a minute once it does start (fluid leaking into the cyl). I do have a bit of oil leaking out of the front of the motor as well as moist oil on the V-covers, but nothing that leaves a spot on the road when parked.

Additional info:
I do delivery work that requires me to make around 200 stops a night, about 1/4-1/2 mile apart. I have done motor swaps before, but never on a subaru.


These are my two scenarios, what route should I go with?

1. Do it myself:
Time (2 days)
New used 2.5 motor (I found one with 90k on it for $1k or should I source a JDM)
Engine Hoist ($150)
Various Tools? ($100, I have a full tool set)
Fluids ($$$)
Home Depot Rental truck to go get the motor and get it home ($45ish)
Random other things ($$$)


2. Get it repaired at the local dealer:
Time (Next day)
HG and T-belt replaced ($1800 not including any head work)


I would go the 2.2 route, but I feel I would work it too hard with my line of work. I need this now, honestly I'm thinking about just getting it done at the dealer and then buying another motor to prep for if/when the new HG go. Just looking for suggestions or exper. Anything I'm missing?

FYI. I'm a small business owner, so all costs, except time, will be tax deductible since this is a my work vehicle.

PS. I still love my subbie
 

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1999 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So this is what I just got quoted from a local Dealer:

The parts you were quoted for are as follows;
Timing belt 122.80
Tensioner 157.45
Water pump 146.95
Water pump gasket 6.30
Headgasket (2) 114.88
Intake gasket (2) 14.64
Exhaust gasket (2) 21.12
Rocker cover gasket 40.68
Tube seals 51.76
Thermostat 25.14
Upper rad hose 21.00
Lower rad hose 23.94
A/c belt 16.95
Power steering belt 20.34
Coolant 1gal 25.08
Coolant conditioner 3.00
Oil change 22.95
Parts Total- 834.98
Labor Total- 1313.00 101 an hr..13 hr job
Total- 2147.98 +tax
 

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'97 Outback stock - Well she was rolled 7/9/17 coming back from Savannah, Ga and totaled :-( Not I have an '07 Outback - not sure for how long though - would like an XT :-)
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Additional info:
FYI. I'm a small business owner, so all costs, except time, will be tax deductible since this is a my work vehicle.
This is the route I'd go in your situation - (Subie Dealer for the repair). There are so many variables, things to overlook/forget, then you're stuck somewhere broke down.
(Having swapped out my engine, and replaced the headgaskets, timing belt, water pump & idler pulleys, etc. - approx 45k ago :)) It took longer than two days.

Later, T.J.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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you cannot work the 2.2L ej22 engine TOO HARD!!!! it is not possible. that is what it was made for.

this is a no brainer. buy a decent used engine ($500), replace the timing belt and EVERYTHING it touches ($250), and install it your self. you can do it yourself for less than $800 - $1000 . (rent an engine hoist for a weekend.)

you will never miss the horsepower, and you will love the relaibility and durability of the ej22.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the route I'd go in your situation - (Subie Dealer for the repair). There are so many variables, things to overlook/forget, then you're stuck somewhere broke down.
(Having swapped out my engine, and replaced the headgaskets, timing belt, water pump & idler pulleys, etc. - approx 45k ago :)) It took longer than two days.

Later, T.J.
I am debating having a spare motor in case the one I put in fails. I dont know if I like the idea of having the original motor serviced because they want to put the same, failure prone, HG on the motor. There is no gaurentee that this wont happen again, soon. I think I want to rebuild the old motor and have it ready. This is not the first time I have swapped a motor and an FYI there will be two people, impact tools, and plenty of free days (without beer breaks). The "2 days" was just a guess. I found a few youtube videos that make me comfortable with this swap. Yes, I know things dont always go easy, they didnt on my last swap, but I think I will enjoy the exper as well as be prepared for the next motor to go in this car. I want to drive this thing until it rusts out on me.

you cannot work the 2.2L ej22 engine TOO HARD!!!! it is not possible. that is what it was made for.

this is a no brainer. buy a decent used engine ($500), replace the timing belt and EVERYTHING it touches ($250), and install it your self. you can do it yourself for less than $800 - $1000 . (rent an engine hoist for a weekend.)

you will never miss the horsepower, and you will love the relaibility and durability of the ej22.
I was thinking the same thing until I found 2.5 motors, with way less miles, cheaper than the 2.2 . I dont know where you find a $500 "decent used engine". Here in NJ, or much of anywhere else, you are not finding one that cheap unless it has 175K+ with blown HG. I dont mind buying a engine hoist because my friend and I are going to be doing a wrx swap on his car soon enough.

I appreciate the feedback, and if you have anything to add to what I have said, please feel free.
 

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'97 Outback stock - Well she was rolled 7/9/17 coming back from Savannah, Ga and totaled :-( Not I have an '07 Outback - not sure for how long though - would like an XT :-)
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Now that you've expanded on your initial/original post, (and having help) two days shouldn't be a problem (especially if he is going to tackle a WRX swap).
It's your choice on the engine, a 2.2l would be fine, and a 2.5l JDM engine would work as well, with changing a few sensors to work with your ecu. A JDM install, then rebuild your engine at your convience and have it prepped for a later date makes sense. Before any install I would still change the timing belt, pulleys, water pump, spark plugs and run it.
Later, T.J.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market search by distance first.

you need an ej22 engine, 95 - 98, w/ EGR. this usually means from an auto trans car.
96 - 98 will require the exhaust y-pip that matches the engine.

and there is no great risk on a 175k mile ej22. it will still got 100k miles.

this guy has a 96 for $500, (3 infact) with 110k miles.

Woodys Auto Parts
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
(Having swapped out my engine, and replaced the headgaskets, timing belt, water pump & idler pulleys, etc. - approx 45k ago :)) It took longer than two days.

Later, T.J.
What part numbers did you get for these repairs(Mainly the head gaskets)? Where did you get them?
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Rick -

i would repair a known good block waaaay before i'd buy a used EJ25 of any sort, so you're headed the right direction by far (more on that later).

have them adjust the valves, they can burn exhaust valves if they're never adjusted. they are so hard to adjust due to the shim/bucket design that it needs to be done now while it's apart.

online subaru parts are about 20% cheaper than local. the local dealers have always matched that pricing for me. you could ask if they'll match it as well.

if you want to save a few bucks you could have the dealer do the headgasket only - that is usually $1,000 - $1,200. and you could do some of the rest.

i do them all the time so they're easy for me but last EJ25D timing belt i did in 45 minutes. you should plan on much more first time and if you're doing more than the belt and pulleys/tensioner - those are easier than seals/water pump, not that those are hard. would be pretty easy to knock the timing belts, water pump, valve covers out yourself later.

i would prefer doing the timing belt myself not only for cost but also so i can get an ebay kit and replace all the timing pulleys as well - the dealer isn't replacing the two idlers and cogged sprocket - those are likely to fail and break the belt. they should be replaced by age and mileage. ebay kits are only $160-ish for the timing belt and all the pulleys and tensioner - that's what they're charging for the tensioner alone.

due to the headgasket issue 96-99 EJ25's are problematic and a bad buy used:

1. there is high demand so prices are high
2. good chance that the engine was overheated at some point prior to you buying it
3. they have significant rod bearing issues later in life due to #2
4. there's a good chance the headgaskets will leak again.

for 96-99 EJ25D's you have to completely ignore mileage and JDM. i would not let that give me any comfort or create a false sense of willingness to pay high prices - these engines were blowing headgaskets under warranty with 30,000 or less miles on them. they aren't leaking due to age - they have headgaskets issues - well documented with a 15 second google search. so used and JDM are bad. the expensive used ones have no way to verify if they've ever been overheated and low mileage/JDM stuff buys you nothing either.
 

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now is also a good time to reseal the oil pump and tighten the backing plate screws (there are usually one or more that are loose) while it's off. very easy once the timing belt is off and parts costs is like $10 for the oil pump (crank) seal and an oil pump oring and sealant.

if it's bone dry then skip it....something easily discerned if you're doing it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Gary, you have given me some good info.

One thing I want to add to this:
I just got off the phone with my local dealer and after giving them my VIN, they said my engine calls for PN 11044AA610 Head gasket. I hadn't even seen that PN mentioned in any of the main HG write-ups. It is a MLS by the way, the guy pulled it off the shelf and checked.
 

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'97 Outback stock - Well she was rolled 7/9/17 coming back from Savannah, Ga and totaled :-( Not I have an '07 Outback - not sure for how long though - would like an XT :-)
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What part numbers did you get for these repairs(Mainly the head gaskets)? Where did you get them?
I searched for this information, and I can't find it. If memory serves I ordered the parts from Walker Renton Subaru in Washington state Subaru Car Parts in Renton | Walker's Renton Subaru Auto Parts & Accessories . As was stated earlier, it's cheaper to order items on-line , and have them shipped to you.

I'll keep searching for numbers, I have one more spot to check.

Later, T.J.
 
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