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Old 05-07-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
grzydj
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Question Long term reliability of rebuilt Phase 1 2.5L engine

I found a nice looking Legacy LSI wagon with a blown head gasket for sale. Body is pretty clean for a rust belt Subaru. It also needs some brakes, but the price I'm getting it for, it's not bad.

I plan on buying the car, yanking the engine and rebuilding it and using it as a commuter car and nothing more.

If the engine is rebuilt with the new gaskets and parts, should I expect to have to redo the gaskets every 100k or so? Or should I ever have to worry doing them again at all?

What has your experience been like with rebuilding these engines and how have they lasted (head gaskets in particular) after a rebuild? I don't plan on doing anything with this car other than driving it to work.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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results may vary... my 99 2.5gt EJ25 has had head gaskets done twice, once at approx 75k, and again last Spring at approx. 145k. Reliable yes, motor strong as ever YES, use newer replacement part HG HELL YES. Smart Service here in Seattle has done all of this work on my car and I'd recommend having a look at Mike's article(s) for a point of reference.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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I'll have the car Monday night. I went and looked at it and drove it. Overall it's pretty solid and the leather interior looks and feels nice. It'll need brakes and some struts, but those are pretty easy to do.

The car runs fine and hasn't overheated before and just got a tuneup, which included a new timing belt. It didn't say if they did the tensionors or not.

Should I just replace all of it when I do the head gaskets? Is there anybody who sells a full rebuild kit for the phase 1 EJ 25?

Anybody have any recommendations for struts besides something like a Monroe Sensatrac? This is just a daily driver.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:36 PM   #4
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once you put in mls gaskets you shouldn't have an issue. My rebuild(s) is pretty well documented on legacycentral
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
Does anyone have any recommendations for struts besides something like a Monroe Sensatrac? This is just a daily driver.
KYB GR2's are fine.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
once you put in mls gaskets you shouldn't have an issue. My rebuild(s) is pretty well documented on legacycentral
Is there a particular brand that works best? Which ones did you buy? I couldn't find any part numbers in your rebuild thread
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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Finally got a picture taken with my crappy cell phone.

The only bit of rust is on the driver side rear quarter, which I swear I see on every single one of these. I've fixed much worse on my 4Runner, so this one shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 05-09-2010, 08:06 PM   #8
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OEM everything. I have quite a few part numbers in a spreadsheet, but just going to a dealer or ordering online with your vin will get you the right parts.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
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This is what I got back from GenuineSubaruparts.com



They said they can't verify it until I get my VIN over to them, but it looks pretty good for less than $275 bucks.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
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if those are the headgaskets that come in the kit you don't want it.

11044aa610 are the updated headgaskets.

ha I actually knew that off the top of my head.

Additionally you don't need most of those other gaskets since a lot of them are used to put the case together. For just headgaskets you want:

valve cover gaskets - 13270AA082/13272AA082
spark plug gaskets - 13293AA051 (4)
valve cover grommets -13271AA051 (16)
half-moon seals - 11051AA070 (4)
cam seals - 806732150 (4)
intake manifold gaskets - 14035AA281 (2)

There's other stuff you can replace if you want, but those are the basic items.

Last edited by jamal; 05-11-2010 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input Jamal. I might end up going to my local Subaru dealer and getting the parts from them. I might end up doing the oil pan while I have the engine out. Other than that, should be good to go.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:57 PM   #12
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You will save quite a bit of money if you call/e-mail/pm subarugenuineparts with a list of the part numbers you need.

Timing belt, tensioner, idlers, water pump would also be good things to replace while it's apart, and there are some washers you'll need if you plan to take off the oil pan.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:35 AM   #13
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Jamal's list forgot Exhaust Manifold Gaskets (2). The way I see it, if you've got the engine apart anyway you might as well replace everything.

The only factory/OEM part I used in my head gasket rebuild was the headgaskets themselves. The rest of the gaskets I got through rockauto.com. I'm still reinstalling the engine so I can't speak for the longevity of non-oem parts. This is also the first time I've seen the timing belt tensioners being recommended to be replaced - I reused mine and the car has 130k on the clock.

Again, I'm just stating what *I* did and I have not yet even fired up this engine, let alone seen how long it will last. If you're doing all OEM this could be an interesting comparisson.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessai View Post
Jamal's list forgot Exhaust Manifold Gaskets (2). The way I see it, if you've got the engine apart anyway you might as well replace everything.

The only factory/OEM part I used in my head gasket rebuild was the headgaskets themselves. The rest of the gaskets I got through rockauto.com. I'm still reinstalling the engine so I can't speak for the longevity of non-oem parts. This is also the first time I've seen the timing belt tensioners being recommended to be replaced - I reused mine and the car has 130k on the clock.

Again, I'm just stating what *I* did and I have not yet even fired up this engine, let alone seen how long it will last. If you're doing all OEM this could be an interesting comparisson.
I'm doing a bit factory stealership parts, but most of it will be from rockauto, whom I have had good luck with in the past.

I can't find a damn oil pump for some reason. The same thing happened when I rebuilt the 22RE in my Toyota. Does rockauto not carry oil pumps for a reason?


EDIT: Subie Gal cleared everything up for me. Kit does include the newest style gaskets.

Last edited by grzydj; 05-12-2010 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:29 PM   #15
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Rebuild kit and new oil pump is on the way. Now I just need to source an alternator. I might just get a reman through rock auto when I order my calipers, struts and pads with them.

It's been fun working on the car. I went through and used 3 cans of Tuff Stuff and a Bissel Green Clean Machine on the interior and it looks nearly brand new. I don't think this car had ever been washed before, inside or out!

The stock wheels are a bit pitted. I think I'm going to get another set of 15 inch wheels and run these shod with winter tires and put these brand new Coopers on some wheels in better shape for the warmer months. Hitch will be installed this week too.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #16
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Heh, I needed a new alternator as well. No idea on the oil pump, but I have noticed a few parts that they don't sell. Exhaust studs, for one. All but one of my exhaust studs broke off when I was uninstalling my engine. Give yours a good soaking in PB blaster before you have at it if they look even slightly rusty.

Do you have a discount code from rockauto? I've got the generic free-to-share 5% code somewhere in my email if you haven't placed that order yet and need it.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:58 PM   #17
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I hadn't thought of that, so I'll get some exhaust manifold studs on order too. Thanks. The alternator that's on the car is the original and it works fine, but should probably be replaced along with the water pump etc. I ordered the oil pump from Genuinesubaruparts with the rest of my order.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:36 PM   #18
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I went to open my sunroof yesterday and found that it didn't work. The switch seems to work as I can hear the motor engage, but it appears to be jammed on the right side of the track or something. The window starts to slide, but only on the left side of the track. Has anybody worked on these before? How does the motor actuate and how is the glass pushed or pulled?
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:32 PM   #19
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mine's the same way and I haven't bothered to try to fix it yet.

From what I've gathered, the track is messed up and the entire assembly probably needs to be replaced. A friend of mine is a dealership mechanic who says he's tried to fix a few and it didn't work very well.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #20
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How long do struts typically take to do on these? I'm going to replace the calipers, rotors and pads while I'm in there, on all 4 corners. Think it can be done in a half a day or so?
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
Long term reliability of rebuilt Phase 1 2.5L engine
These 2 phrases don't work together sorry.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
Finally got a picture taken with my crappy cell phone.

The only bit of rust is on the driver side rear quarter, which I swear I see on every single one of these. I've fixed much worse on my 4Runner, so this one shouldn't be a problem.

What year Legacy is this ???

Might it be a pre-1996 2.2 Liter LSi ?
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
What year Legacy is this ???

Might it be a pre-1996 2.2 Liter LSi ?
It's a 1996. It does have the 2.5 DOHC. I've checked myself
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #24
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I redid the entire braking system this weekend. New calipers, rotors and pads up front and in the back. Turns out the rears weren't working at all as everything was seized up.

Worst rotors I've ever seen:



The front struts were pretty easy, but I couldn't get the rears out. I had the car on 4 jack stands, but I couldn't get the proper angle to pull the rears out.

I'm going to try again on Thursday.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:29 PM   #25
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Proper angle to pull the rears out? Don't you just unbolt top & bottom and they drop out?
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