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Old 12-26-2002, 09:11 PM   #1
Teh Legacy
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Member#: 9853
Join Date: Sep 2001
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Never miss an opportunity
to keep your mouth

Default Think I blew a head gasket :(

I know this is a fairly common occurence in the EJ25, but how do you tell if you've blown a head gasket? Occasionally, my engine temp gauge will sky rocket, and my coolant will overflow. Other times, it's fine. I haven't experienced any loss in power. I'm almost sure this is either a blown head gasket, or worse, a cracked block. can anyone help me out? Thanks

- PFC Jonathan T Street, USMC
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:41 PM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
1996 Impreza coupe


Those are the "normal" symptoms that people see - it's what I saw both times mine went. Take the car someplace and ask them to do compression and leak-down tests - those will show whether or not the cylinders are good. The other test a shop can do is sniff the coolant for exhaust while the car is running. I've never seen that done, I don't really know what's required, but I've read about that here on the i-Club. (I mean, the NASIOC )

What do you have for mileage on the car? I would imagine you're outside the warranty, in which case I suggest you call Subaru of America and try to get them to at least help pay for the repairs. Tell them it's a known problem, and if they deny that, then ask them why they redesigned the head gasket for the Phase I DOHC engines.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 12-27-2002, 12:05 AM   #3
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Member#: 11932
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NY
1998 CW ITR
2006 NBP SI


when i was working at subaru when we had a car some in with a head gaskit, we opened the radiator cap (when cool) started it and watched the coolant pop in and out, it was rather funny
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Old 12-27-2002, 02:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Carol Stream, IL
'01 GC8 Dinged STM
'09 Concours 14 ABS Black


block testers are sold by most tool trucks and are about $40, they basically sniff for CO2 in the coolant and the blue fluid turns green if there is CO2 in there indicating an exhaust leak into the cooling system. but chances are your head gaskets are blown.

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Old 12-27-2002, 02:19 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Westport, CT
2000 Impreza 2.5 RS
SCCA Rally Cross Car


I'm on my third EJ25 Phase 1 after blowing the first two with this problem. Make sure that you don't let it get too hot or you can just trash it. The first time I had the same symptoms, but no clues. The second time I had a ton of oil in the coolant, so I knew right away. Sad part is that I caught it in time and didn't blow the motor, but then the moron mechanic but the cam bearing caps on upside down and backwards, so the damn thing ate itself up!

At the very least your head gasket(s) are gone, but you can still save it if you minimize the amount of time it spends over heating. Both of my motors could probably have been saved, but it becomes cheaper to buy a used motor and do a swap. Don't spend more than $2k on your current motor before you think about going for a swap.

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Old 12-27-2002, 05:40 PM   #6
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Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Manassas
2009 Acura MDX Sport


It's a blown headgasket... how do I know? I've had one, and those are the symptoms... You can repair it yourself for $30 and a weekend's time, or pay subaru ~$1k to do it...
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