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Subaru Legacy Outback head gasket issues


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my 96 Legacy Outback (160,000K's) gave up the ghost on me last week on the busiest road in Auckland and my mechanic few days earlier said that I have head gasket issues which I was not what I wanted to hear. I did a google search on this and apparently its quite a common issue with these legacy with the 2.5i engine .. I think my one is a phase I type engine. This is basically what models are affected:

PHASE 1 (Dual Overhead Cam):

Used in:

1996 to 1999 Legacy Outback

1996 to 1999 Legacy GT

1998 Impreza RS

1998 Forester

PHASE 2 (Single Overhead Cam):

Used in:

2000 to present (non-turbo) Legacy Outback

2000 to 2004 Legacy GT

2000 to present Legacy

1999 to present non-turbo Impreza 2.5 (RS, TS, Outback Sport)

1999 to present non-turbo Forester

I just wanted to know how many people has this happen to here at clubsub and how much did it costs them to fix and can they recommend any mechanic? Am gutted my trusty subaru outback has this problem as it is a mint car and served us well .. in the mean time I consoled myself by buying a NZ new 2004 Legacy GT B spec wagon ... yeahhawwwww it rocks!!!! But I want to find out how much it will cost to fix me old Subie and flog it off or flogg it off as is ... anybody keen to take this Subie off my hand do a search on Trademe and you will see the pics



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Guest iceboychch

i had the head gaskets done on my old wagon,

for a complete refit with water pump, oil pump, gaskets, fluids, labour was $1100.

that included getting the heads planed and it ran sweet as after that.

not sure what mechanics in your area would charge but ring around and get quotes.

good luck :)

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Pretty much all 2.5's have this problem. "Phase-I"'s are by far the worst. And it is a very very well know problem in the subie community.

The reason i most often as to why they blow HG's all the time is because the cylinder is just too big, and unsupported (open deck). Apparently the cylinder wall flex over time brakes the seal and before you know it, blown HG. I've heard the EJ25 simple called a bored and stroked 2L, you could say the block was not designed to cope with such a large bore.

BTW, the other well known issue that you should know about. Gen 2 legacy GTB's with the EJ20R. They love blowing big end bearings once they get past 100,000K.

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most commonly the blown head gaskets will occur on the dohc engined ej25 phase 1 engines

i.e BD and BG legacy Quad cam ej25

found in the 250t and grand wagon

the later ej25 (phase 2) engines didnt suffer from this as badly due to redesigned engine block and heads.

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  • 8 months later...

This is prob.a bit late now-just noticed it .

My 98.250T apparently blew both HG. (no signs to me).

There is a huge USA forum dicussing this common complaint

but Subaru don't want to know. Yes they are a bored out 2L

but the common opinion is that if a quad layered gasket is

the problem seems cured -hopefully. Mine was done under a

waranty I had taken out by the local franchise,but I insisted on the better gasket. So far so good.

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