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I am thinking about replacing my 2.5 L engine for a 2.0 L engine in my 2003 Baja (automatic transmission). I replaced the head gaskets once in the 2.5L and they only lasted about 40,000 miles. And advice, comments that anyone can give me. I realize I'm going to lose power. Thanks in advance.
 

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I am thinking about replacing my 2.5 L engine for a 2.0 L engine in my 2003 Baja (automatic transmission). I replaced the head gaskets once in the 2.5L and they only lasted about 40,000 miles. And advice, comments that anyone can give me. I realize I'm going to lose power. Thanks in advance.
why ....why would you want such a pokey turd in such a heavy body? (and such JDMs are known to be well beaten, and some are hard to tune to US specs / US emissions)

just round up a 2003-2004 Ej251 from any automatic legacy or legacy outback, and drop it in.

if the head gasket job was done the right way with the right parts such should last 180,000 more miles or more.
(be it your head gasket job, or whoever owned it before)

avoiding any weirdo EJ259 of 2004, ...with their odd little airbox
 

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why ....why would you want such a pokey turd in such a heavy body? (and such JDMs are known to be well beaten, and some are hard to tune to US specs / US emissions)

just round up a 2003-2004 Ej251 from any automatic legacy or legacy outback, and drop it in.

if the head gasket job was done the right way with the right parts such should last 180,000 more miles or more.
(be it your head gasket job, or whoever owned it before)

avoiding any weirdo EJ259 of 2004, ...with their odd little airbox

Thank you so much; I took your advice and found a used motor from a 2003 Legacy Outback AT with 103,000 miles on it. Any advice I should give the mechanic putting it in? He's not a Subaru mechanic. Do I need to get the heads machined or just replace the head gaskets (salvage yard said that was a requirement for warranty).
 

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I would have the heads machined before doing a HG job. Make sure they use a MLS gasket (11044AA642 or 11044AA770) some have used FelPro but I would use the Subaru MLS gasket, not the one specified for your car by Subaru (ends in 633) as that one is the same style that failed on your car. Proper cleaning of head bolt threads in block and use of an engine assembly lube on the head bolts is critical (the head bolts don't need to be changed unless they are damaged.

I would change all the timing belt pulleys and tensioner (especially the geared one) as well as the timing belt with high quality Japanese parts (you can use dealer) or buy a Timing Belt Kit from Aisin.

Also reseal the Oil Separator plate on the back of the engine

 

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Thank you so much; I took your advice and found a used motor from a 2003 Legacy Outback AT with 103,000 miles on it. Any advice I should give the mechanic putting it in? He's not a Subaru mechanic. Do I need to get the heads machined or just replace the head gaskets (salvage yard said that was a requirement for warranty).
machine heads taking the minimum amount off, (this ensures they are smooth and level for the new gaskets)
do not pay for the machine shop to do "everything" with every $$$ tool they have to the heads

use subaru OEM head gaskets for a EJ255 turbo. 11044AA642 X2
like this
https://www.amazon.com/Subaru-Gasket-04-06-Legacy-Forester/dp/B01ED8AZYU/

and all the oil seals.

use new NGK double platinum spark plugs and wires,

use a new Aisin timing belt kit. (all others are chinese junk), but the Aisin is japanese made, and maybe the subaru OEM supplier today.

if you or your mechanic would like to see a mechanic doing a similar EJ251 for his first subaru head gasket job read this:
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/110-gen-2-2000-2004/165417-engine-swap-us-jdm-ej251-diy-head-gaskets.html

(about 10 hours, plus the pro machine shop, although the guy in the above thread DIY'd the heads = link to how is in that thread,
....the short block just needs to be cleaned up, not machined).
 
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