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Discussion Starter #1
2.5i AT 105k miles. Started doing the timing belt, noticed oil on the mount and around the head. Removed timing belt and no oil anywhere but around head gasket. Very disappointed as I was getting ready to put it all together. Never overheated but a few times temp was climbing when driven hard. Oh well...I will freeze on my motorcycle going to work in this chilli California weather for a few days. I will do it all myself and will not pull the engine out. Sucks. 7 years of reliability with no issues and now this...
 

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are you seeing this oil leak on top of the block? oil does not have enough pressure to leak up. coolant either.

and the 05 is not know to have internal gasket leaks where the exhaust goes into the coolant this was a 96 - 99 issue.

but the gasket could be leaking both oil and coolant. but you can still drive the car if you keep both topped off. perhaps for a very long time.

it is VERY important that the coolant have the subaru ''conditioner'' added to it. there stories of a bottle or two actually STOPPING external coolant leaks in the head gasket. if you are leaking oil you just have to keep adding it.

good luck, and don't freeze.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oil is seeping at the bottom front head gasket. More on passenger side, but driver side has a leak also. Not coolant. Always added conditioner. I want to keep the car for a long time so this is unacceptable. It will get on the timing belt, engine mount...etc. I will post pictures
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Can anyone comment stock head gasket or turbo? Are they same thickness? I just called Subaru to check stock and they said not to put turbo gasket in N/A....thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also any good Subaru machine shops in Los Angeles area? I think I'm going to have them check the valve, guides etc...I searched but only found repair shops. Thank you
 

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Oh my! There are a ton of posts about the turbo gasket in the NA 2.5 engines. In summary, it is thinner then the OE gasket but most poster who have installed many, and should know, say that it is OK.

None of the three dealerships near me would put it in but I wouldn't trust them anyway to do a good job. I had a six Star Gasket installed, which is similar to the turbo gasket but thicker, but I wouldn't have hesitated to have the turbo installed if I was near someone who installed one as part of their business.
 

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Install the turbo EJ25 gasket. I haven't tried the aftermarket options like Six Star but they are popular.

How do you like your current gasket? How's it treating you? Up until recently (haven't checked on Subaru's latest headgasket bent) Subaru has simply been installing and selling the same failure prone headgasket you got right now - the 633 gasket I believe it is. They're failing, sweet let's just keep installing them!

Subaru generally won't check the valves and guides of a head you bring to them. Find a machine shop. You can call Subaru and ask them which machine shop they use.

It would be extremely odd for them to have issues and I would never think to worry about the valves and guides at such low mileage with no history of abuse - overheating, oil starvation, racing, towing, etc. The heads should make 200,000 wihtout blinking. Of course I'd hate to say that and have them cause you grief later.

Have them resurfaced. Here again, the Subaru dealers I work with sub that out, they have a machine shop that does that stuff for them if necessary. Though the three Subaru dealers i've worked with actually doesn't resurface the heads as crazy as that is. EJ25's definitely should be resurfaced, they generally have high spots.

Actually if you're doing this job yourself just resurface them yourself. Check out GD's post on USMB - google "Post apocalyptic head resurface" and see his thread. He owns his own business in Portland Oregon and is one of the most well versed and experienced mechanics on any Subaru forum. It's really easy to do yourself.
 

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I did an in-house head resurface on my 03 OBW a few weeks ago, and it seems to be working fine. I bought the car with coolant running out of the drivers side HG, and found the heads to be warped almost 4 thou. Saturday night, and a car I haven't gotten to know yet, I'm not wanting to spend real money on what may become a winter beater.

Out comes the glass end table, a small jar of 340 grit silicon carbide, and a little grease. About ten minutes per head, and the warp is down to about 2 thou, which is within spec, and well within the abilities of the Fel-Pro multi-layer sandwich gasket.

I would not have done this on a customer's car, or even a nice car, but my car? Sure. It's an OK car, but no prize, and if it ends badly, I'll pull the engine back out and get the heads to the machine shop. In the meantime, I've gotten to know the car a little better, and have some ideas about how much work I'm willing to put into it.

Absolutely not the factory gasket again. Turbo gasket, or the Fel-Pro MLSG are good.
 

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also - given the headgasket issue on these engines - i would check to see if they've ever been replaced before. that would be good to know going into this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. I will go with turbo gasket. I ended up going to a Subaru recommended machine shop. They will disassemble and go through the heads. I want this done right and plan on not doing this again for a while. All the seals will be replaced including valve guide seals, spark plug tubes etc...machine shop seams very knowledgeable in Subaru engines and support all local dealerships. On the good note engine honing looked great. Almost no wear expect one spot was barely glazed. I mean barely. Nothing else. By the looks of it, it should last a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All done. Thanks guys. Long story but the heads needed a complete overhaul. Valve guides were replaced as they were worn but the shop did an amazing job. Heads looked new. Everything was replaced. Just finished tonight and took a first test drive. Car ran great. It took a while and it wasnt cheap but I am happy with everything. If anyone care I took pics along the way.
 

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All done. Thanks guys. Long story but the heads needed a complete overhaul. Valve guides were replaced as they were worn but the shop did an amazing job. Heads looked new. Everything was replaced. Just finished tonight and took a first test drive. Car ran great. It took a while and it wasnt cheap but I am happy with everything. If anyone care I took pics along the way.
Good going.

Could the pics be used to put together a thread in the "do it yourself" sub-forum ("2005 2.5 head gasket replacement")?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I only took a few and not of the whole process. There are so many guides and videos on you tube that I didn't consider it. If anyone needs help feel free to contact me and I can give my input. One thing I did is get a second set of hands putting the heads out/in. Bolts are long and can not be taken out. You can easy scratch the head if not careful. What worked really well is removing the radiator and sliding the heads forward as far as possible and then taking them out. With your buddy's help it was a piece of cake. I was worried for a bit as the drivers side head is very tight fit that putting it back will scratch the head or destroy gasket, but sliding the head back made it super easy. Another tip is mark the socket with nail polish every 90 degrees. So when you torque the bolts just follow the marks. Take your time, I almost confused 180-90 degrees but caught it in time. Overall it is a lot of work but its easily doable for semi-skilled individual. Keep everything marked and organized and you can do it. I wasn't in the rush and could take my time so this made it easier. I was done in 3 days. Feel free to contact me if you need help. Thank for all your input.
 

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I agree with marking the bolt heads. The whole process becomes very tedious with the sequences; the last thing you want to do is forget how far you turned one when the torque wrench can't move 90 degrees in one swing.

Did you leave the engine in place? Unbolting the motor mounts, jacking it up, and shifting it sideways will give you another 1" or so on each side.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I did not remove the engine. Sliding the head forward made the job easy. I took them straight out and it was a bitch. Bolts were sliding back and forth hanging on stuff. But putting them back I noticed that if you put the head in all the way forward and slide it back, top and bottom bolts will clear the chasis. I had a buddy assist but I was really surprised how easily it went in. I know people say take the engine out and if you can do it. But it is easily doable with engine in. Be carefull and go very slow taking the heads out/putting them in. Bolts can easily mark the head and ruin your day
 

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Good job getting it all done.

Rather than removing the engine he simply means lifting it up a couple inches - only takes removing the 2 lower 14mm engine mount nuts and upper pitch stopped - gives you a good bit more room and is hardly any more work.

Congrats, hope we don't hear from you for another 100,000 miles!
 

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Just curious was this engine full aluminum?

And do you know what materials are in the gasket?

Did you replace the water pump while you were in there?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Engine on a 2005 2.5i is all aluminum. Gasket I used is a 2.5 turbo multi layer steel. This is the current gasket (design) subaru is using on ALL vehicles. SInge layer steel is no longer used. I replaced everything while I was there including the water pump. All parts are subaru OEM. I have leared over the years that OEM parts are top guality and nothing can beat them. (excluding original head gasket)
Drove it to work and back. Ran great, no issues. It seams quieter but that is probably just me feeling good at all the crap I replaced.

Regarding lifting the engine, yes it is easy BUT you need a hoist and a A frame or a cherry picker. I had neither and honestly it wasn't that bad. If I had to do it again (I hope I never do..) I wouldnt lift the engine. No need.
 
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