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Old 12-09-2020, 06:15 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 399419
Join Date: Aug 2014
Default JDM swap better and cheaper than repair, long-term?

I just bought a 2010 Outback with 200k. The body is pretty good, and the car is the Premium model with nice extras. I think I got a good deal.

Downsides to this car: Engine has 200k. I now know that it needs it's second timing belt/tensioner replacement, and I found oil in one of the spark plug galleries, so I know that the oil seals or valve cover gaskets are probably the cause. Boot of the only coil pack I removed had some oil saturation. At 200k and no mention of head gasket replacement from the owner, I'm nervous about putting money into something this tired. The car sometimes gets boggy when first getting going. Parking lot areas, etc. I've only had the car for a week. Runs fine everywhere else so far. Other major issue that I know of so far is rust on the underside. I was told that this was mostly from highway mileage, and I'm going to sandblast and undercoat.

Timing belt kit with waterpump should cost at least $400 installed, by my mechanic, and I'm not sure how much it'll cost to fix the oil leakage around the heads. There's still a chance of head gasket failure, right? I looked online and found tons of used engines for sale, some JDM and some U.S. with 40-60k miles and prices averaging $1400-2400. Fully rebuilt engines for ~$3500 with old engine core. *No fancy swaps, i.e. turbo, just a direct-swap of the SAME engine code, with less wear.

I have a great mechanic, and I think that $1400-1800 would save me a lot of trouble down the road, with the perks being:

1. Much fresher engine.
2. Several years before moderate/major maintenance jobs expected.
3. I can sell the 200k engine as is and recoup some good money. Not sure how much though.
4. Now is an excellent time to divert "repair" funds into this purchase.

5. ?? Better gas mileage? More HP/greater engine efficiency, lower emissions?

Please let me know what I don't know. Also, please confirm if this is good idea. I pretty much know from early 2000's Subaru swaps that engine layout must be verified (egr valve placement, manual/auto donor, transmission cooler, fuel injector color, etc.), but I always like to assume I don't know anything and relearn it from scratch. THANKS!
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Apex2000Rs is offline   Reply With Quote