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Old 01-20-2005, 01:50 PM   #301
pdpbunsen
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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2004 WRX Sport Wagon
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MY97 (I think) 2.5GT Limited
~78k miles
Auto

Long story. This happened almost exactly a year ago. My coworker's looking into a used Outback which reminded me of the problem and I found this thread doing while some research. I was using my parents' Legacy as a daily driver. One day after work I drove the car to Circuit City and it seemed like it was rnning fine. Get on the highway to go home, after about 5 min, notice the heater is blowing cold air on full blast and the temp is way high so I pull off to the shoulder and get towed.

The shop it was towed to said the piston had cracked. My dad had it towed up to the dealer. After bitching at them a lot, we ended up getting the engine rebuilt on the dealer's coin out of warrantee. The thing was we've had this car brought in to the dealer to fix a "pinging" noise from the engine multiple times which never went away and we have had all the services done at the dealer.

I ended up getting a MY04 WRX Wagon during all this since I lost my means of transportation. My parents were with me at the dealer and were pretty sour on Subaru (the problem was still ongoing at the time) but... cmon... WRX I remember asking about reliability on the Subarus and the guy says "oh yeah, no problems tons of Subarus out there over 150k" or some such BS. Left the dealer with a bad taste in my mouth but that's a whole other rant.

Anyways, love my WRX, unhappy with Subaru's dealers and dealer servicing, and what is up with the Phase I engines
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:21 PM   #302
tora
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2001 Legacy, 2.5 N/A. Headgasket started leaking at 75,000kms (about 47k miles?), used the conditioner, it got me a trip across Canada, then started leaking again, another bottle of conditioner lasted about a month and then spew spew, Subaru fixed both gaskets under warranty, no issues, great service at downtown Subaru in Toronto. Drove car back across Canada to Vancouver and have had no issues since. But I keep a bottle of the coolant conditioner in my G.B. just in case.
I am now considering trading in the legacy for a Forester Turbo....hmmmm
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:02 PM   #303
Mad City GT
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98 GT Wagon, 83k mi and no problems thus far. I had the dealer flush the cooing system and add the conditioner at 80k, just to play it safe. Fingers crossed as I soldier on.
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Old 01-20-2005, 11:25 PM   #304
rputch84
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i have a legacy 2.5 Gt at 151K. no problems yet. no blown hg, good compresion, no leaks, but fingers crossed. even stock clutch and suspension (well, i just swapped out the suspension). not to be a pessimist, but is there something i should look for, cause i thought my car was doing fine.
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:28 AM   #305
linsavy
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rputch84, look for oily guck in the coolant overflow and coolant leaking out of the overflow top.
If you are in the market for a new car, sell it before it blows. It is just a matter of time, IMHO. Otherwise, change the coolant often, don't overwork the motor if at all possible. Shift below 5000 rpm, keep it under 120kph, etc.
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:15 PM   #306
Al_Smokemcrack
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1997 Legacy Outback
Glacier White

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MY97
~130k mi.
Automagic

Mine blew at about 130k. As it was explained to me, it was going along fine and then all of a sudden the guy who was driving it noticed the temp gauge screaming "HOT!!!" He pulled over, shut it down, aired it out for 20min or so and attempted to restart it. He was greeted by a crank really resistant to spinning...you know...turn the starter, it slowly goes "rrrRRrrr.....rrrRRrrr...rrrRRrrr" and won't start. Seems the gasket blew, causing the overheat and the poor thing literally cooked itself. Oh well. It got a brand new engine (I've confirmed this) just in time for me to buy it! Incidentally, new shortblocks come with the revised good kind of head gaskets. Yay! Now at 151k and spinning like a top. If only the tranny was doing as well.

Last edited by Al_Smokemcrack; 01-21-2005 at 07:17 PM. Reason: I kan spel gud!
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:28 AM   #307
Charlie-III
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Location: 07456, North NJ
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

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double post
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:28 AM   #308
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad City GT
98 GT Wagon, 83k mi and no problems thus far. I had the dealer flush the cooing system and add the conditioner at 80k, just to play it safe. Fingers crossed as I soldier on.
The conditioner is really for the SOHC phase-2 engines. I doubt it will help your case.

It won't hurt, but it won't help. BTW, most seem to go around 90-96K miles.
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:04 PM   #309
MY99 2.5GT
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05 Legacy GT 06 Armada

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I'll be taking mine back to the dealer because of an overheat problem most likely related to headgasket failure.

Funny thing is I had the head gaskets replaced under warrant at 55,000. Now at 89,000 I'm having trouble again.

It is beyond a doubt head gaskets. Overheat indicator on the temp gauge followed by coolent boilover leaving black slime in the overflow tank. After cooling down, topping off coolent then letting the motor warm up again I can see small consistent bubble in the coolent overflow tank.

Anybody else had their 2.5 into the dealer twice for head gasket failure?

Mine's out of warranty this time. I'll let you know how this turns out.

Brad
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:12 PM   #310
Pwise2326
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Location: Fairfield, CT USA
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1998 Legacy GT
Silver

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III
The conditioner is really for the SOHC phase-2 engines. I doubt it will help your case.

It won't hurt, but it won't help. BTW, most seem to go around 90-96K miles.

It will help. The stop-leak aka subaru coolant conditioner will harden anywhere along the gaskets that hot air starts bubbling in at the start of a leak. It is by no means engine-specific, however, the focus on the Phase II engines is because a larger quantity of phase II's over phase I's have been brought back to the dealership to get the headgaskets replaced, so subaru believed that the problem was only on the SOHC's. This could be because more DOHC's get brought to other garages, who knows, so subaru released the conditioner (as well as the TSB) for phase II's, not only screwing us with phase I's but making us pay an extra 4 bucks for the conditioner! After getting my head gaskets done on my 98 GT Phase I 2.5, I had a bottle put in and will keep putting it in to see if the 4 bucks will save me from another 600 dollar headgasket job in the near future. For 4 bucks its worth a try.
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Old 01-25-2005, 01:52 PM   #311
linsavy
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Pwise2326,
Where are you getting your statistics from? The experience on this board is that far far more DOHCs are blowing.
The way I see it is that conditioner works better on the Phase IIs because the leak is from the inside to outside. The conditioner travels through the gasket on the way to outside air so it has a longer path to harden in. On the Phase I the leak is from the cylinder to the coolant passage. Thus the conditioner can only work on the outside bit of the leak which is not effective.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:01 PM   #312
Mad City GT
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Thanks for the encouraging news, Pwise. I am, of course, very interested in this discussion in that I'd hate to think I'm living with a time bomb. The engine has been flawless, the heat guage has never nudged beyond normal. I find it so interesting that some people have sailed into triple-didgit mileage without a problem, while others have had mutilple failures before 100k. I don't know that the conditioner will "seal the deal, " but it can't hurt. Here's hoping I too will see 151k without a problem. I really like the car. I'd hate to let it go prematurely out of paranoia.
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:12 PM   #313
Pwise2326
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Silver

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linsavy - The stats come from many threads I've read on here, scoobymods and others...I agree that I have heard about more hg's blowing in phase I's as well on the forums however subaru has yet to recognize this...hence the lack of a recall on the gaskets or any financial assistance in getting it repaired. However I was unaware of the exact location of the headgasket leak, I ended up having 2 decent sized ones when mine blew, with another visably sealed by the conditioner (I added it after changing my thermostat before I knew my gaskets had blown).

Here is the link to Peaty's post on scoobymods with Subaru's TSB (where I got my information from)

WWP-99 - Phase II 2.5 liter engines coolant leak

Read through the whole thing, especially the second paragraph, and disagree with me. Although many of us have written Subaru telling them we (with phase I DOHC's) have the head gasket problems, Subaru just doesnt seem to be heeding the call. IIRC I've seen a couple letters some DOHC owners have gotten back from Subaru saying they haven't received enough complaints or letters from owners to issue a tsb.

So whether its effective or not, it apparently helped me with one of my 3 leaks, and like I said, for 4 bucks its worth a shot.

Madcity - I have almost 140k on my 98 GT, I love it to death, I bought it with 120k on it, and my gaskets blew at 127k, just the luck of the draw I guess, and the car had no record of previous gasket failures. Whether or not the inevitable comes today or tomorrow, just keep on your maintainence, try out the conditioner, and if it blows it blows, at least you know you'll get another 60-100k+ miles, and you know your engine will last you until at least 250k, 300 or more if you baby it. Thats why I got it with the mileage so high, I heard how long they last and how durable they are, and aside from the gaskets and the clutch, I don't have any complaints.
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:25 PM   #314
BoardRider
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CBR600, WR400, Z50R

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MY-97 2.5GT
Miles-110k
Trans- AT

I bought it 2 yrs ago with 82k miles. There were no maintenance records but everything checked out OK. No problems for me thus far. ***Knocks on wood***
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:12 PM   #315
Gasaraki
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Vehicle:
1997 Legacy GT
Silver

Unhappy Blown Head Gasket

MY-97 2.5GT
Miles-108k
Trans-AT

Bought it 5 months ago. Blown head gaskets, heads got warped. Had to replace engine. =(
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:37 PM   #316
monovich
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1998 Old Grey Mule
Regacy Rype R

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just passed 90k, still problem free
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:53 PM   #317
annointed
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FXT 11.6@118 93 oct
NSX 450 whp SC'd (93 oct)

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MY-96
Miles-181k
Trans- 5-speed
Name-annointed

My dad bought this car new, and right after college in '02 it was given to me w/145k miles on it. I still have it, and it has never had a head gasket related issue. The only issues it has ever had are an occasional ABS malfunction and a wobbling crank pully that actually resulted in slight damage to the crankshaft. It has been painstakingly maintained its entire life, but I dont' think that routine maintenance has much bearing on blown head gaskets.

I didn't read this thread, but I'd imagine that most blown head gaskets on Subarus are on the Phase 1 EJ25 motors. Its will known that the EJ22 is a pretty bulletproof motor...I have to give kudos to mine
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:01 AM   #318
mistaare
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04 wrx stg 2

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MY-97
Miles-108,***
Trans- 5-speed
Age-4 years

bought the car with 20,000 miles on it and LOVED it. i was waiting for the new LGT to arrive, but when the head gasket went i just traded it in on a WRX instead. after i traded it in, i found out that head gaskets were a problem!!!
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Old 01-28-2005, 12:02 AM   #319
eVoMotion
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What is the brand/type of conditioner?
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:20 PM   #320
MattJP
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MY- 02 GT Sedan
Miles - 25K-ish
Trans - AT
Age - 2+

Wow...just found this thread reading through the sticky. This is my wifes Legacy, easy driven miles (though we took it to Hilton Head Island, SC and back last July). I took it in for inspection last month and asked them to check a faint burning rubber smell only for them to report a bad head gasket. They replaced it all under warranty, but still...

Matt -
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:18 AM   #321
aross
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What is the brand/type of conditioner?

Subaru Specific, only available at the dealer
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Old 09-18-2005, 12:23 PM   #322
cherowa1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linsavy
Good topic. I would like to have this info so I can decide on buying the warranty. I think that auto or manual may be relevent info. I suspect that the manuals have more trouble due to more time spent at higher rpms. (I know that I rev the crap out of the Impreza)

linsavy
MY99 GT Wagon
Auto
42000 miles
no problem
cherowa1
MY95 Legacy Wagon
Auto
139k on car
I've had it a year and have had no problems with the head gasket.
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Old 09-18-2005, 12:30 PM   #323
Wiscon_Mark
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2003 Forester X 5MT

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MY 95 Legacy L Outback
Mileage: 172,000 miles
Tranny: 5MT
Headgasket status: good
Repairs: Cat replaced (with high flow) at 172,000; Viscous Coupler @ 120,000

I like my EJ22
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Old 11-13-2005, 01:04 AM   #324
Aflaedge
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1995 Legacy Brighton
Mica Ruby

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MY95 Legacy Brighton
126,000 miles
Auto

Car over heated, took it to a dealer and they first thought it was an air bubble. Then they tested it again and there was exhaust bubbling up from the radiator. While they had the 2.2 out, they sealed up that damn oil leak in the back. That cost me a cool 1600. And since I had it in the shop I had them draw up a laundry list for me to fix. Apparently all the maintenance and repairs i had done by local shops only made matters worse the past 2 years. One new tire in 2003 cost me 4 new tires now, a new alignment, and a new transfer case. One new CV boot in 2004 cost me another one now plus a new set of clamps, and a steam cleaning. A new set of brake pads in 2004 cost me a warped brake rotor, new brake fluid, and a total system reset of my onboard comp. So tack on another 1600 for grease monkey stupidity. NEVER TRUST HILLBILLY MECHANICS.
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Old 11-13-2005, 01:32 AM   #325
Speedwagon
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1998 Legacy Wagon GT
Green

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MY-98 GT wagon(2.5)
Miles-160,000
Trans- 5-speed

Comments: Unknown if the HG was replaced at some point before I got the car at 98,000 miles. Engine popped right out, so it is possible it has been out of the car before. Started happening in Chicago on my Baltimore to San Diego trip, and I drove it another couple thousand miles after it started. Was overheating(and I turned it off when it did it) all the time until I took the engine out this past week.
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