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Discussion Starter #1
2003 2.5X - 31x,xxx miles, all stock. Problems are;
1. Engine is leaking oil, burning oil
2. Radiator is leaking, I keep adding coolant
3. P0420, Catalytic Converter is bad
4. All 4 tires are worn out.
5. Rear wheel bearing just started to make noise

Should I just keep the same engine and change the belts + head gasket or swap a different engine?
I'm not going for Turbo, and I'm planning to work on it by myself.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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738 Posts
keep an eye on local salvage sales for a donor vehicle...

(replacing catalytic converter isn't cheap, replacing the engine isn't either. Rear bearings on this vintage subaru are a pain in the neck)
 

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2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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7,254 Posts
Despite what our corporate overlords think, location data is helpful. Where are you located?
 

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2003 Forester X manual
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1,275 Posts
2003 2.5X - 31x,xxx miles, all stock. Problems are;
1. Engine is leaking oil, burning oil
2. Radiator is leaking, I keep adding coolant
3. P0420, Catalytic Converter is bad
4. All 4 tires are worn out.
5. Rear wheel bearing just started to make noise

Should I just keep the same engine and change the belts + head gasket or swap a different engine?
I'm not going for Turbo, and I'm planning to work on it by myself.
'03 owner here. Did both rear wheel bearings last year at about 88,000 miles.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i 6mt
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246 Posts
310,000 or more is kinda a money pit , you could rebuild the engine replace the radiator, etc etc even doing all the work yourself it’s going to cost!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand that it is going to cost. Would it be cheaper if I remain everything as stock, comparing with buying another used car from unknown owner?

Do you think US$5,000 can cover all the expenses to fix it all (as stock) by myself?
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i 6mt
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246 Posts
Really wasting your time & money unless you pull the motor have it boiled out, bored out oversized pistons, rings , heads remachined etc. etc. replace the radiator, it’s possible though, don’t go cheap on the engine rebuild, parts are probably going to be cheaper than boring & head work, can you do the engine work in a clean place, building engines is something to be definitely in a clean place, air compressor to clean oil passages, dirt & little bits has destroyed more engines than probably anything!
Don’t forget new hoses belts etc, new clutch if manual
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't intend to rebuild the original engine, was thinking just change the gaskets and hoses. Seems like replacing it with another low mileage used engine is more feasible.
 

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Service manual can help you and just go to dealership to find out the cost to buy all those parts. Once you know the costs of materials that can help you decide if you want to buy used engine or replace worn parts and components of your old engine. If costs is not a factor then take the route of swapping used engine from junkyard and be ready for surprises.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i 6mt
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246 Posts
You might want to look at a JDM engine from what I understand Japans emission test is so tight at around 30,000 miles it won’t pass emissions test or that’s what I have read
 

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You might want to look at a JDM engine from what I understand Japans emission test is so tight at around 30,000 miles it won’t pass emissions test or that’s what I have read
That's not a bad option at all. We replaced an EJ25 with a JDM. It looked almost new..
It does require some work in that JDM engines don't come with EGRs so you have to add one. It isn't a horribly difficult thing to do.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i 6mt
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Remember your transmission & every thing else that hasn’t been changed has 310,000 miles & what sixteen years?
 
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