Head gaskets in 96 Legacy Outback

Discussion in 'Subaru Legacy' started by garry, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. garry

    garry Guest

    So I found a glob of oil in the coolant reservoir. Car has 192,000 miles.
    2.5L automatic. Considering my options...
    1. Replace the headgaskets and resurface heads. My mechanic suggests this is
    10 hr. labor job. Will this be sufficient or should I go through the whole
    2. Buy a reman engine. Anyone done this and can recommend a source?
    3. Buy a junk engine, can an engine from a latter year model Outback go in
    here? I would also consider a smaller engine, I think made a 2.1 02 2.2 that
    came with a manual trans.
    4. Sell it on EBay (Make me an offer!)
    The body of the car is in pretty good condition, though has some deep
    scratches from close encounter with tornado debris.

    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Garry McMinds
    garry, Oct 27, 2005
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  2. garry

    Edward Hayes Guest

    Are you very sure it is a HG problem?? If it is I would sell a 10 year
    old 190,000+ miles car for whatever and get another. Stay away from
    1998 & 1999 2.5L as some engines had HG problems early on. JMO. ed
    Edward Hayes, Oct 27, 2005
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  3. garry

    S Guest

    Hi Garry!

    At 200K, the engine is probably gonna want a substantial amount of
    work to really freshen it up; timing belt, tensioner, water pump, and
    seals if nothing else. Don't think I'd stop at head gaskets unless 1)
    money was real tight, and 2) I accepted the very real possibility that
    additional work would be required, either immediately, or shortly
    thereafter. Really would only make sense if you are doing the work
    yourself IMO.
    Colorado Component Rebuilders has earned a good reputation.
    As you appear to be employing a mechanic, this is probably your best
    option in the long run. Be darn sure that the AT, (and the rest of the
    drive train/suspension for that matter) is tip-top before putting $2K+
    into a $4K car . . .
    I'm sure you could retrofit a 2.2L, but you probably won't want to pay
    someone to sort out all of the little details. Again, only realistic
    as a DIY project, and only then if you can live w/o the car for
    whatever time it takes to make it happen. A salvage 2.5L would vastly
    simplify the project, but salvage yards vary in the amount of effort
    they put into insuring that the engines they sell are serviceable.
    Usually they will offer at least some sort of warranty, but you will
    still have to pay for the swap (again) if you get a bad one.
    (BTW, the 2.5 DOHC engines are fragile, and often suffer cam
    bearing/carrier damage as a result of even minor frontal impacts . . .
    This sometimes isn't evident right off, either, so be warned.)
    '96 OB with 200K, a bad engine, straight body, and clean interior is
    probably worth $1000 tops. Probably have a hard time getting that on
    ebay, but you might call any local yards that handle Subarus to see if
    they're interested. I buy fixers myself from time to time; contact me
    if you're anywhere nearby (Colorado front range), and we'll talk.
    I'd be real tempted to keep driving it until it totally gave up the
    ghost, (Maybe try some of the "magic" sealants available at the auto
    parts store? Couldn't hurt.) and then look at option 4 pretty hard
    before committing to option 2; this again assuming you are paying
    someone to do the work as opposed to DIY.
    If it were mine, I'd start looking for a lo-miles replacement engine,
    (or a crunched 2.2 Legacy; I like the 2.2L motor better, myself, and I
    have a feeling that the 2.5-2.2 swap will probably require a "donor"
    car) and swap 'em myself.
    Yr most welcome. Hope this helps a bit.

    ByeBye! S.

    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101
    S, Oct 27, 2005
  4. Not sure how you wanna go but a good source for reman engines is CCR;

    1 Lucky Texan
    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Oct 27, 2005
  5. garry

    Garry Guest

    Oil and air bubbles in the radiator, increasing as it rev indicate either
    the gasket or cracked head. Thanks for the heads up.
    Garry, Oct 28, 2005
  6. garry

    garry Guest

    Hello Steve,
    Thanks for all the info.
    I am actually considering doing it myself. I have a garage (once I get done
    with my son's Honda timing belt) a dangerous amount of knowledge and more
    time than money. I emailed CCR, they have a reasonably priced reman. 95 2.2L
    EJ22 that they tell me will fit in:
    "You can swap in a later year EJ25 DOHC, or you can swap in a '95 EJ22
    ($xxxx + $xxx for the intake manifold)."

    Am I mistaken in gathering from this that a '96 or later 2.2 would not fit?
    Or is that what they have in stock? (Yes, I've asked them as well) Is the
    Outback engine different than the regular Legacy?
    Anyway, I will probably do as you suggest and drive it till it drops and
    then replace with a 2.2L engine. A friend has previously suggested a "magic"
    sealant which name escapes that he has had very good results with.
    Thanks again,
    garry, Oct 28, 2005
  7. garry

    Jim Stewart Guest

    If you don't mind, I'd be interested to
    know what they quoted you for the engine.
    Their website doesn't have any prices that
    I could find.
    Jim Stewart, Oct 28, 2005
  8. garry

    garry Guest

    thanks, that's what I'm hearing and I'm leaning towards that solution. But I
    am in North Carolina and a little concerned about shipping costs. hmmm..
    Could I finance an Aspen ski outing on the savings if I drove out and picked
    it up?
    garry, Oct 28, 2005
  9. garry

    garry Guest

    Out of courtesy to CCR I won't post it here. If you use the quote link on
    their site they are quick to get back with you.
    garry, Oct 28, 2005
  10. garry

    johninKY Guest

    I've been told only the 95 2.2 will interchange. May have to do with the
    EGR and/or number of exhaust ports. Someone recently over on the USMB
    replaced a 2.5 with a 95 2.2.
    johninKY, Oct 30, 2005
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