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2010 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new here so please bear with me.
99 legacy outback, auto, 2.5, 225k miles
has new timing belt 15k miles ago, runs very well, almost no clunking in tranny except for certain borderline shift from 3rd to 4th, if accelerating briskly shift is fine
started blowing coolant when coming to a stop 2 or 3 days ago, never noticed it overheating till sat nite and it was pegged high end of range, didn't notice how long it was there, dang, once there I almost coasted the entire last 1/2 mile

read up, looks overheating could be thermstat, radiator cap, bubble, or leaking HG. (one sign of that is the oily film in the rad overflow bottle)
checked thermostat and it passed the boil test, rad cap seems to hold pressure well. The overflow bottle has the oily film on the top end of the bottle, and sure smells like oil

so for now assume it is HG, no water in oil and I'm going to check compression this afternoon, if bad comp, guessing whole motor is junk

there is talk that increased compression from new gasket and milled heads might cause lower end to fail with this much mileage and age?
in sacramento ca, the quotes for both heads including machine shop is 2200-2500. I have a buddy who can do the labor for 500, so that would be 1100 total for replacement
alternative is parts planet has a 99 with 146k mi and 6mo warranty, they claim it is tested for factory spec compression, the engine is 1125 and estimate of 1000 to put in car. parts planet guy saying need to definitely put in new water pump and probably front and rear main seals?

so what makes more sense? if any? pros and cons of each?
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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657 Posts
Well, if you use the search engine, you will learn that the 96-00 DOHC 2.5 engines are a problem.

The std subaru replacement gasket [multi layer steel] will work to seal the heads. But you would need to be very sure that you, or the previous owner, didn't overheat the engine so that the bearing are compromised or the replacement of the head gaskets would be wasted money. That's also why it would be foolish to buy another car in this category.

If it were me, and I own a 95, 97, and 02, I would look for a 2.2 engine to replace your 2.5. Use the search engine to understand the proceedure required.

PS it is apparent from poster comments that the compression test is not very useful in determining HG problems.
 

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With thermostat ok it is probably head gasket. Going through the second gasket issue in two motors and tired of the 2.5 DOHC. Simply put they bore out the cylinders too close to the coolant channels and the gaskets have about 1/4 inch to separate the detonation from the coolant. The original engine design seems flawed and they should of cast a larger block and heads to move the coolant channels further from the cylinder wall.
 
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