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Old 06-20-2005, 03:01 PM   #1
erichollins
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 89523
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle:
2002 Outback LTD
Green

Default Wanting to buy a 98 Outback, should I be concerned about HG probs?

This a crosspost from the Outback forum because it seems like many, many more people hang out here than there. Here we go:

BTW, this is my first post and I actually read some of the FAQ's and stuff (gasp). I also did a search (gasp x2) about the head gasket problems with the 2.5L (EJ25 Phase I) engine. Because of this forum, I'm already informed about this problem.

I found a 98 Outback with a manually tranny with 95K miles on it. The Outback is my ideal car and it is much, much better than my 90 Honda Accord coupe. The Outback has more space, 4 doors, and is a wagon. I also like the fact that it sits higher and I do enough outdoors stuff where the AWD can come in handy. Also, the AC in the Outback kick the crap out of the AC in my Accord. I prefer the Outback in most ways over the Accord.

Now, I keep hearing about this head gasket problem. Should this problem really disuade my from buying an Outback? I have seen numerous threads in this forum and others about it. Is this a deal breaker? If I get the car, how feasible would it be to preemptively replace the head gasket with the 4-layer one instead of the 3-layer one? The timing belt is due at 105K and I'm thinking that this would be a great time to do the head gasket as well.

So, should I get an Outback or not get an Outback because of the head gasket problems?

Also, does anyone know of any good independent Subaru mechanics in Austin, TX?

Thanks.

And I think this is funny:






Eric Hollins
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Old 06-25-2005, 12:29 PM   #2
Charlie-III
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: 07456, North NJ
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

Default

Check to see if they were done already.

The HG issue is for ANY 2.5L DOHC from the late 90's.

Yes, it may be worth it to just do it while doing the timing belt.
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Old 06-26-2005, 01:16 PM   #3
Pakin
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Member#: 17315
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Date Line Denies F-22s
Vehicle:
MY95 Impreza 207C
MY05 Forester 257X

Default

My headgaskets were bad at 60K, confirmed with over 600 PPM detected in the cooling system. Coolant contaminated. It's 69K now, and I haven't changed the coolant or HGs yet. I just overheated yesterday at a meet/cruise (lots of hills, and were driving over 150 mile in that day pretty hard loading up the engine, I normally driver 20-30 miles a day with no problems), nearly pegged the temperature gauge, but with the help of other Subaru guys and blower fans, it went back down, and now it's fine

But I already plan to tear it down and replace everything

My personal opinion is that Outback MY00+ are a better bet in terms of reliability and ease of maintainance. The Phase II motor is easy to work on compared to my Phase I.

-paK +5
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:20 AM   #4
smagoun
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Member#: 30754
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
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My '98 Outback was a great car, but the headgaskets cost me a lot of money. Like Pakin said MY00+ might be a better bet.
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:49 AM   #5
Charlie-III
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Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: 07456, North NJ
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

Default

The BD/BG is lighter than the newer versions though. Also, there are more options for suspension (BD/BG had taller rear struts rather than the multilink).

I would vote to do the HG if required.

While doing it, do the rear seal, oil seperator plate, front crank seal and run the piss out of it.
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