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Old 02-03-2004, 07:44 PM   #1
jamesfacts
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Impreza GC8 '98 RS heagasket anything to worry about?

I'm looking at a '98 RS right now w/ ~70k. Just wondering whether this infamous headgasket leak I keep hearing about is really anything to worry about. Will I have to fix a headgasket if I buy the car, within the next ~50k or so? How much might this cost? Is it DIYable? Most importantly, should I spring for the '99+?

James
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:10 PM   #2
Darshu
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If the car remains stock, it's quite possible you'll never have the problem. If you track it or turbo it, it's just a matter of time. The motor has to come out the replace the headgasket though, so it requires a little more than a headgasket on an I-4 motor.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:16 PM   #3
liigod
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Just spring for the 99, its that simple.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:24 PM   #4
AJ711
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83K miles, and the only problem I've had was with my valve stem gasket, or something like it, I can't remember what the exact problem was.

Other than that, I haven't had a major failure yet, and that's with regular work commuting, spirited driving between, a few auto-x's and plenty of highway miles.

Though I do think there is a small leak by my #3 cylinder, it hasnt' amounted to anything huge yet, and I'm waiting to bring it back to my local place to get them to look at it.

Otherwise, I'm perfectly happy with mine.

AJ
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:28 PM   #5
jamesfacts
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Quote:
Originally posted by liigod
Just spring for the 99, its that simple.
We'll see. I might not be able to afford it. Depends on how the student loan situation works out, and I'd rather have a leaky '98 than nothing...
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:52 PM   #6
leondal
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You will get mixed results from different people.

There seem to be head gasket problems with later models almost as much as with the '98s. The 98's have thicker head gaskets anyways.

If you have it non-turbo, there should be no problem. I don't think it matters a whole helluva lot whether you have the DOHC or SOHC. People are just really blowing this overboard in my opinion and the subject has been beat to death.
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:19 PM   #7
Those Meddling Kids
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Mine never blew in 84K. I have heard that turbo aplications and lots of abuse can blow it. (But, then again, that would probably blow the head gasket on any RS.)

At 70K I would be more worried about a) has the timing belt been changed? b) valve covers leaky? c) cam seals leaking? Check for any oil underneath the engine.

If the timing belt hasn't been changed, you should change every enginge seal you can while you are in there. You don't have to, but they will go at some point, so its cheaper to do it preventatively. At least my mechnic thinks so

TMK
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:44 AM   #8
supermoose
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if you are mechanically inclined, you can replace them yourself in your garage w/o pulling the motor. did it in 14 hours or so chillin.
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:54 AM   #9
C-daleRidr
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It's an issue that's started to come up with the later model GM6 as well. The way I look at it, though, not all of these cars are blowing HG's, so go ahead. You're taking a chance with any used car you pick up.

And, just to clarify, stock motors blow HG's too. You're kidding yourself if you think you have to turbo it to see a blown HG.
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:28 AM   #10
jamesfacts
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Thanks for the advice. I haven't actually seen this car yet, or had it inspected, but right now I'm feeling that I'd really like to buy it. I'm not sure everything will be in order, but if it is, I think that my overpowering desire for a 2.5 will win out. Might not be the most logical plan, but then, that's not what buying a fun car's really about anyway....

James
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:16 PM   #11
Those Meddling Kids
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Quote:
Originally posted by C-daleRidr
The way I look at it, though, not all of these cars are blowing HG's, so go ahead. You're taking a chance with any used car you pick up.
Exactly. They all don't do it, there is no way to tell if yours will, so don't sweat it.

TMK
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Old 02-04-2004, 06:28 PM   #12
ilmaestro
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Like the other guys said. Don't worry about the headgasket too much, unless you plan to go turbo. Just make sure there is no evidence of current leakage around the heads, timing and valve cover areas. As mentioned above, you don't have to pull the engine to swap the head gaskets, it just takes a while.

jonathan
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