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Old 04-23-2019, 11:35 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 220375
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2011 Outback Sport


Your options are, ranked from least effort to most:
A) Sell the whole car
B) buy a used engine
C) buy a new short block
D) rebuild the block that you do have

A - my least favorite option, but considering the miles on the whole car, may be a valid option.

B - Always begs the questions of "Why is this being sold apart from it's original car?" and "What high-$$ job is going to be needed first" The EJ253 is kind of a family of engines. Even within the same model year, there will be slight variations between a Legacy/Outback EJ253 vs an impreza EJ253. e.g. My mom's 2011 Outback needs a 19mm wrench for the oil drain plug, but my 2011 Impreza uses a 17mm wrench. But, in terms of swapping them, should be plug-and-play. There's no reason why the model of the donor should matter in engine price. Miles yes, chassis model no.

C - Probably a decent mid point for balancing reliability, cost, and effort. Make sure you get the heads cleaned, decked and serviced. My EJ253 was burning oil that leaked past one of the #3 intake valve seals.

D - This is what I'm currently doing. Likewise, mine suffered oil starvation, but it was caused by the steep bank of Turn 3 at Pocono. If you're willing to do a lot of work yourself, this can be the cheapest option. Just do yourself a favor and get ACL race bearings they can actually be cheaper than OEM bearings, and they're much higher quality. If you're going to beat on the car, then consider some undersized bearings.

for options C and D, fork out some money to properly clean, deck and service the heads. If you do, then combined with a fresh block you'll basically have a new engine that'll last another 150k miles.

Should your block be too chewed up from wrecked bearings, then option D may morph into option C.

Oh, and don't let your mechanic use the factory NA head gasket. They're junk. Turbo head gaskets are much much better, or Felpro part # "26415 PT" is a good multilayer gasket
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Last edited by Gamil; 04-23-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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