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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I realize this is about the 90 billionth exhaust thread on this site, but I have a few questions.

Monday on my way to a business meeting my car sounded... louder. I thought to myself "Hmm, that's strange". So when I get to my meeting I open the door and rev it up... "crackle pop pop" as it coasts back to idle. Yep, I've got an exhaust leak. I had them check it out in the shop at work, and the mechanic that looked at it said that the leak is coming from the gasket between the intermediate pipe and the muffler, said he was too afraid to touch it because it was so rusty it would probably just fall apart. He recommended replacing the whole exhaust from the headers back. I thought that was insane. He suggested taking it to an exhaust shop and have them see if they can patch it. So I took it to my local trusted mechanic both myself and my father have been taking our cars to for years, who also does exhaust work. He said the same thing, said that trying to weld in a patch would turn the remaining pipe into swiss cheese. So I'm a little annoyed, because I know exhausts for these cars are big money.

Apparently everything needs replaced, including the catalytic convertors. And as far as I can tell, I'll be into over $1000 just in parts. Now, here is my first question... I've been trying to get a price from the auto parts store I used to work for who still gives me employee pricing, and I was asked whether my car was an EJ251 or an EJ259. Now, as far as I know my car is an EJ251... is that correct? Is an EJ259 a California Emissions car? I know mine is not California Emissions.

Second question... a friend of mine floated the idea of maybe getting an aftermarket exhaust for like an 05-09 Legacy GT, which he said would be much less expensive. Good question I haven't looked into it much myself... any chance something like that would fit my older Outback?

In the meantime I bought several assorted muffler cements and wraps at AutoZone tonight to hopefully temporarily patch the exhaust to cut down on the noise. I'm driving to Detroit next weekend and I don't need 4 hours each way of constant exhaust drone.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,372 Posts
If the Cat is not rusted out I'd reuse that. 1- keeps down costs, 2- aftermarket quality issues.

Talk to an exhaust shop about just fabricating something up for you, should be a lot less than that $1000 quote. While not on a boxer platform, I'd have good luck with Magnaflow mufflers on other vehicles for sound/quality.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will probably go with a Walker QuietFlow or something similar for muffler... I want my car QUIET. My old '95 Grand Prix had dual Cherry Bomb glasspacks... sounded awesome. But in traffic got annoying. Never putting a loud exhaust on a daily driver again.

Most of that quote I was looking at included $700 for cat(s).
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,372 Posts
Quiet is good for these cars I think.

Hopefully for your wallet's sake that cats are structurally salvageable. I curse rust every time I am under my car for anything.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Surprisingly the rest of the car is pretty clean. Factory rubber undercoating is mostly still there, and I have oil coated the underside of the car every winter since I've had it.
 

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2003 Outback Limited 2.5L H4 5MT Regatta Red Pearl w/ lift and audio system
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The mechanics are probably right. I'm sure you can get someone to patch it for you, but how long before another hole opens? I can tell you from experience, it won't be long. You'll end up spending money to patch and repatch a disintegrating exhaust, and if you plan to keep the car then it really needs a new exhaust. My mom just got a new exhaust installed on her Camry (I don't know if they replaced the cat) and it was $750, but they also replaced the O2 sensor because it was shot..

I've never heard of an EJ259 but that certainly doesn't mean anything. Look on the top of the engine block right under/in front of the intake manifold. The engine code should be stamped on the block right under the intake pipe that goes to the #1 cylinder. Right behind the P/S pump, if I recall right. My 2003 is an EJ251

EDIT: Okay, looks like you're right. The EJ259 is the PZEV engine for '04.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showpost.php?p=20591192&postcount=13
 

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2004 Outback Wagon EJ259 - 4EAT
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EJ251/3 engines are drive-by-cable.

EJ259 engines are drive-by-wire with a noticeable lack of throttle cables in the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, mine is a very early 04 (built July of 03) so it would make sense it is the earlier style engine
 

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2004 Outback Wagon EJ259 - 4EAT
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The EJ259 is used in the PZEV models. Only came in models sold in CA, CT, NY, VT...the few states following California emissions standards at the time. PA wasn't one of them, so you didn't end up with the PZEV model.
 

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2001 Outback H6
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I had the same rust problems on the exhaust on my 01 H6. I had a shop cut out the flange between the intermediate pipe and the muffler and just weld in a straight pipe. There was also a leak at the catalytic converter, so he welded that as well. It's been about 4 months and everything is holding up fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had the same rust problems on the exhaust on my 01 H6. I had a shop cut out the flange between the intermediate pipe and the muffler and just weld in a straight pipe. There was also a leak at the catalytic converter, so he welded that as well. It's been about 4 months and everything is holding up fine.
My mechanic said that the metal is too weak to weld.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got call back from the auto parts store I used to work for. Said that everything from the cat and before isn't serviceable with aftermarket parts, said there were no listings available.
 

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if im thread jacking im sorry, but from your information all EJ259's are drive-by-wire and PZEV's? So no EJ251'S are drive-by-wire?

im sortof in your same boat but all ive got on my block is EJ25, it has drive-by-wire and it is a 2004
 
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