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Old 04-04-2005, 12:14 PM   #1
crxtls2
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 9511
Join Date: Aug 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Vehicle:
2000 Impreza 2.5RS
Silverthorne Metallic

Default Question for the local mechanically inclined about head gasket replacement

I know there is a section on the boards for this type of question, I am looking to see if any of the local guys that I have met before have any insight into this before attempting to talk to people I don't know in the other forum subsections. If the post needs to be moved then by all means move it but if it could be left here for the local guys/gals to see first, I would appreciate it.

So, I have MY00 2.5RS that has developed the wonderful head gasket leak that the 2.5 motors are notorious for. The motor has approximately 107,000 miles on it and therefore would fall out of Subaru's typical warranty window for this problem. Also, I did add the Subaru coolant conditioner to the system at approximately 95-96K, when I received the letter from Subaru, but I did not have the dealer do it nor do I have the receipt for the conditioner as I got it from a friends repair shop that happened to stock a couple of bottles because his wife and family own Subarus and the shop also has a few customers that have their coolant flushes done there.

Regardless of all of that, the head gasket on my drivers side head is leaking and I am thinking of attempting to replace them with a couple of friends in one of their garages.

The question, is this something a couple of mechanically inclined guys can do without too much of a problem or should I just suck it up and take it to my buddies shop and pay him the large sum of money that is typically charged by those who repair cars for a living to replace Subaru headgaskets? He will give me a break as he is a friend but he still needs to be paid for his hours of labor.

Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated. I am also doing the usual searches of posts on the board and reading as much as I can about the problem before deciding whether to do this myself or not.

Thank you,

Joel
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:25 PM   #2
staticfritz
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Member#: 66934
Join Date: Jul 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle WA
Vehicle:
2004 JBP FXT
2002 cammed OBS - RIP

Default

i'm currently doing it on my ej25.
do you have a dohc or sohc? it is MUCH easier on sohc. for some mechanically inclined guys, i would say sohc is very doable. dohc is a bit rougher since you have to remove the cams to get the heads off. sohc you just have to pop the valvecover to get to the headbolts.
you will need new headgaskets, headbolts, and probably intake manifold gaskets. you can get the parts from subaruparts.com for about half of the cost from a dealership.

hints:
take lots of pics and notes while working to remember where everything goes.
mark the timing belt on both cam sprockets and the crank sprocket
use an engine stand!
spend a couple bucks for the online techinfo.subaru.com site and download the service manuals for your model and year. they contain th directions for removing the timing belt etc, as well as the torque specs to put everything together again(very imporant).
while this is doable with the engine in the car, i would seriously recommend doing it out of the car.
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:48 PM   #3
Mumbles
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Well like it was stated the sohc is easier.

Things to note about changing head gaskets... Get a few really sharp flat razor blades. You want to make sure the entire surface is clean and flat. You don't want to score the head or the block.


I have a before pic but not an after pic. This is a mitsubishi block with no gasket on there. But you can see the gasket sealing material on the block. Looks like little dark grey bumps. I wish i had an after pic;

http://www.brendan-stewart.com/hobby...s/pistons2.jpg



Essentially you want to clean off the mating surfaces between the head and block until they are bare metal. You don't want to score these surfaces. Note you don't want to let the shavings fall into the coolant/oil passages. You must get it all off using the flat part of the razor blade. And it'll take some time. This is one of the most important parts of the job, so take your time and do it right. Once you see bare metal on both sides and you are ready to re-attach the heads. Make sure your pistons are at TDC and the cams are all aligned so that all the valves are closed 100% . Place the gasket in and torque the head bolts to the proper spec AND in the right order.

That's pretty much it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crxtls2
I know there is a section on the boards for this type of question, I am looking to see if any of the local guys that I have met before have any insight into this before attempting to talk to people I don't know in the other forum subsections. If the post needs to be moved then by all means move it but if it could be left here for the local guys/gals to see first, I would appreciate it.

So, I have MY00 2.5RS that has developed the wonderful head gasket leak that the 2.5 motors are notorious for. The motor has approximately 107,000 miles on it and therefore would fall out of Subaru's typical warranty window for this problem. Also, I did add the Subaru coolant conditioner to the system at approximately 95-96K, when I received the letter from Subaru, but I did not have the dealer do it nor do I have the receipt for the conditioner as I got it from a friends repair shop that happened to stock a couple of bottles because his wife and family own Subarus and the shop also has a few customers that have their coolant flushes done there.

Regardless of all of that, the head gasket on my drivers side head is leaking and I am thinking of attempting to replace them with a couple of friends in one of their garages.

The question, is this something a couple of mechanically inclined guys can do without too much of a problem or should I just suck it up and take it to my buddies shop and pay him the large sum of money that is typically charged by those who repair cars for a living to replace Subaru headgaskets? He will give me a break as he is a friend but he still needs to be paid for his hours of labor.

Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated. I am also doing the usual searches of posts on the board and reading as much as I can about the problem before deciding whether to do this myself or not.

Thank you,

Joel
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:50 PM   #4
staticfritz
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle WA
Vehicle:
2004 JBP FXT
2002 cammed OBS - RIP

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subaru headgaskets don't use a sealant.

but you should still clean the surface of grime, oil etc.

i'll have some pics up in a few days.
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:52 PM   #5
Mumbles
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Not a seperate sealant the gasket itself has built in sealent.
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:53 PM   #6
staticfritz
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle WA
Vehicle:
2004 JBP FXT
2002 cammed OBS - RIP

Default

sorry for the large size....
you can see the block surface and the headgasket. and the inside of the head where we removed the cams to get to the headbolts (older photo, teardown of broken dohc ej25)
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:59 PM   #7
Mumbles
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You want to get all this stuff off, marked with red arrows all 360' of it;

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Old 04-04-2005, 02:07 PM   #8
Mumbles
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Lastly the tightening sequence and torque specs. This is for an STI but i'm sure they are the same.

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Old 04-04-2005, 02:09 PM   #9
staticfritz
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Location: Seattle WA
Vehicle:
2004 JBP FXT
2002 cammed OBS - RIP

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well illustrated.

i love the procedure for tightening the headbolts....it's like a friggin math equation
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:13 PM   #10
staticfritz
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Member#: 66934
Join Date: Jul 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle WA
Vehicle:
2004 JBP FXT
2002 cammed OBS - RIP

Default

oh, just thought of another note.

do NOT use an impact wrench
this is a project that warrants being done by hand
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:48 PM   #11
creature546
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Location: huntington ma
Vehicle:
2002 Subaru wrx
Green

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i work for a dealer...SOCH is much easyer, but if you have an idea what your doing and can pull the engine then iyou maybe fine...just double check everything make sure the timing is right and all that...wouldnt want to bend a valve or anything and do it all over

Seth
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:20 AM   #12
crxtls2
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2000 Impreza 2.5RS
Silverthorne Metallic

Default

Thanks for the replies guys, looks like I have some thinking to do an whether I want to attempt this or just pay the money to someone else.

L8R

Joel
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