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@KenWales
The OP stated he (Assuming a he but doesn’t matter) needed a car quickly and cheap. He’s based in Colorado and we’re coming up to winter. What car would you have suggested with the above in mind?

Age doesn’t necessarily have any relevance as to what repairs or common faults to expect. Many Foresters were blowing head gaskets at under 8 years old and less than 70K miles on the clock.

Instead of being negative, perhaps try being positive? A 2003 Forester doesn’t have fancy tech like traction control, Eyesight or any of that fun stuff that is going to lead to an owner being stuck going to a dealer for work, as no one else can read Eyesight codes right now. That fancy tech is also rather expensive when it goes wrong. How does a 2003 compare? Most things can be solved with an engine code reader, an ABS/Airbag code reader and a toolbox.

So the EJ25 non turbos don’t like their head gaskets? Big deal, spend sometime on here and you’ll see those newer Foresters under 5 years old are suffering catastrophic failure in regards to oil consumption, resulting in a new shortblock – Kinda makes a head gasket job look a walk in the park?

Then there’s those fancy CVT transmissions……Those don’t ever go wrong either – Just ignore the Class Action Law Suit, forcing Subaru to extend the warranty on the CVT , as so many were failing prematurely……And then there’s questionable AC systems on the new Foresters too

Regardless of how much you spend, you’re going to have headaches – It just depends what you want to fail and which you can cope with failing……. If we didn’t want headaches, we’d all be driving Toyota Priuseseses and we’d be getting eaten by all the polar bears, since the ice caps would have reformed, letting the polar bears invade the Americas, Europe and Russia…….

I do agree on the reusing of cylinder head bolts during a head gasket job. Reuse them, just means doing the job twice…….

PS Paragraphs are your friends ;)
 

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2005 Forester X and XT Manual and Auto
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If you are not mixing coolant and oil, and it turns out to be just an external HG leak, it's possible to run like that for 10's of thousands of miles in some cases, knowing from first hand experience. I wouldn't want to put too much money into it but it could get you around for a few years if other safety issues are addressed and you check the oil every fillup.

If oil and coolant are mixing, it must be fixed which sounds like you know already.

P.s. if you do get the HG repaired, keep checking that oil, it could still consume oil as an old engine. Mine still did after a complete head job. I just keep it topped off and it's fine. No leaks, just likely oil getting past the rings. In my case the HG leak was pretty mild, so this has always been my biggest source of oil loss.
 

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03 Forester XS and I my girl's 04 Outback H6
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Discussion Starter #23
Hey everyone, I really appreciate all the input here.

I've already begun saving for a new car and I have a feeling I could make this last at least another year. Personally I've never spent more than $3k on a vehicle and they always come with their issues. Just like @TMX said, even some of the newer ones have their headaches. I truly dislike the concept of debt and have never had a car payment in my life nor do I ever plan to. Cheap vehicles with issues I could fix cheaper myself is just what I'm accustomed to for the last two decades I've owned vehicles.

I'm also the type of guy who likes to get my hands on something for cheap or free, whatever it is, vehicle or not. Then use my mechanical aptitude and frugality to make it better than I found it. For example I bought a 1968 tow behind camper for $650, put less than $500 into it. Lived in it for almost a year while saving money and then sold it for $3k. :)

Right now doing all the brakes is my #1 priority. I'm assuming that the brake pads will fit both the front and back with no need to order front or back specific pads correct? Looks like on Amazon I can get all the pads and rotors for $10 cheaper. Does it really matter if I go with some off brand? I've never heard of NewTrek or Centric before. The shop said the rear rotors need to be replaced while the front ones can be machined. I'm thinking I'll just replace all the rotors, they all look super rusty.
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@UhOh said: "ball joints are really strong parts; they won't brake and let me weave across the road. only 'loose' = good to go"

Does anyone else agree with this? Considering looking into the job and how rusty the bolts look and the fact they can snap in the removal process and need to be drilled out... If I could get away with skipping the ball joints I certainly would. When I go to Google search, there are all sorts of sites saying it's super dangerous to ride on failing ball joints. Is there a difference between loose and bad/failing ball joints? Just how dangerous is it really??? Sometimes I think the severity of danger warnings out there are really just to get people to spend more money.

Here are some pictures of my ball joints as they currently are:

Drivers Side Ball joint:
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Passenger Side Ball Joint:
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Also @TMX here are the rubber boots on the axle, I don't believe a leak is coming from there but could be, I don't see any tears :

Drivers side:
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Passenger side:

Also how dangerous is the wheel bearing? Obviously these things should be fixed but considering I'm intending to milk this car with the least amount of money put in I'm really trying to gauge just how much I can get away with to be relatively safe.

  • Looks like the brakes will cost me $110 - $130ish.
  • The wheel bearing about $40, but a job I've never done before and could be labor intensive.
  • Ball joints about $10 each on RockAuto + Shipping and labor + plus the possibility of the job going wrong, ie: bolts snapping and having to drill it out.
I've also never done ball joints before either. So that is two jobs I've never done before which makes it more of a task for sure.

@CadZan Thanks for mentioning that. I called my local Subaru dealer and asked about it. They asked for my VIN and apparently they serviced the lower control arm in 2006 with a previous owner. During the call they offered to do an inspection for free due to COVID. Dang I wish I just called them first lol, oh well At least I can get a 2nd opinion and perhaps they can give a me a more in-depth analysis of what is actually going on with the head gasket.

After I do all the safety stuff I'll probably do the oil filter housing gasket and get it really cleaned up under there and just keep a close eye on everything.

I'm excited to get these jobs done and even more excited for my next car that I hopefully can just keep saving for over the next year or two while I drive this baby into the ground. :)

Thanks again y'all!

~Matt
 

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When the shop told you the "head gasket is leaking", did they provide you cylinder compression results? Did they provide a cooling system pressure check test results? If you posted, I must've missed it.

I ask because I just recently purchased a 2005 XT where the previous owner said "possible HG, does not overheat. Oil in coolant". I purchased the vehicle and began doing research. I did a compression test and got 130-135psi between all four cylinders. I removed the oil cooler, pressurized it under water and found a pin hole leak which would allow the higher pressure oil into the coolant when the engine was running, and coolant back into the oil when the engine was off. I replaced the oil cooler and the turbo for good measure. I had the cooling system pressure test done, and it passed. The coolant was flushed and no oil/coolant mixing is present.

If it isn't overheating and you see a bunch of oil in your coolant, try replacing the oil cooler and all the gaskets (4).
 

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2006 Forester 5-speed manual
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The rear wheel bearing requires a press...

You sound like you like learning so I'd suggest it's a good job for you to do if you can get your hands on a press and make up or find the right size pieces to push things in and out. The main thing is not put bending pressure where things won't cope with it and remember as you're putting it together where everything fits. Leave something out and you'll have to buy a new bearing again because you damage them removing them to correct that problem.

Or you might use a puller kit instead, you may be able to find one to do the job and it might have the right size tooling.

The ball joint is not like ball joints in regular double wishbone suspensions, it is not carrying any loads, it just holds the bottom of the strut in place as it goes up and down, so while it's important that it be in a good enough condition to not literally fall apart, it's not 'dangerous' until it is.

I would be very happy, by the way, if my 2006 Foresters used only a quart or two of oil between oil changes...
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Do not do the wheel bearings yourself. Head tasks only need replaced it there is coolant at th joints. Even a drop
 

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That's very understandable about not wanting to be in debt/finance on a depreciating asset - Especially in these times. There's even people on Youtube in the US who bought land and built their own homes to avoid mortgage debt etc.

Brake pads for the front are different to the rears and vice versa. They don't interchange so you'll need a set for the front and a set for the rears. With new shims and hardware. (Hence the RockAuto links to new boot kits and slider pin in my previous post)

Centric are a respected brand in braking in the USA, as are Bendix and to a degree, Raybestos too. I have never heard of NewTrek, suggesting it mighht be an off brand or a made up brand for cheaper parts. I would stick with a respected brand, especially for braking. Cheap rotors might rust quicker and I'm not sure you want that additional problem later on down the line so a set of rotors with some kind of anti-rusting coatings (That is proven to work) on at least unswept areas by the brake pads, would likely be very beneficial for you. Brembo are a very respected brand in braking, if you come across their rotors on your shopping quest and I have used Brembo OE (And Sport range) of pads and rotors in the past and was very happy with them (The Brembo Sport with higher carbon content are going on a few years and still on my Forester)

You really do't want to be doing the rear wheel bearing yourself. You would need a press (I think either 10 or 20 ton rating, I can't remember) and there's a main bolt that is historically rather unsocial to remove due to rust and angle you're working at. You will almost certainly need to replace the bolt.

Ball joints are easier to do, you might need a seperator "fork" though or some other tool to part the ball joint from the "cup" it sits in (Search on this forum or YouTube to see which version of tool works best for the Forester available to you) - Personally I wouldn't take a gamble with them, especially for such little purchase cost - I would just replace them

If the rubber boots are still doing their job, I'd leave them be - It's something you can tick off the list of potential problems in the near future

Depending on how bad the wheel bearing is, you might be able to leave it a few months...... Do you get any symptoms of a bad wheel bearing or did the garage demonstrate to you how bad it was?

Liquid Wrench I think it was, from the YouTube video I linked previously was the most effective penetrating oil, that might be an idea to use each day for a few days before you take on any job to minimise the risk of needing heat or breaking bolts/drilling etc. If you take on any jobs, consider using copper anti seize on the bolts, so if you're going back in there later on, your life will be much easier....

Same for wheel nuts - It would be a bad day to change a tyre on the side of the road and find the wheel had seized itself to the brake rotor (Quickest solution is to loosen wheel nuts a couple of turns, so there would be some wobble if the wheel wasn't seized, then drive it 20 yards or so and do a HARD stop - It should crack the wheel lose from the rotor, but the wheel wont fall off, as the wheel nuts are still on, just very lose (Don't drive with lose wheel nuts unless performing the mentioned procedure - Just incase anyone is reading this in the future and trying the above out)
 

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The red bolt in this diagram is what likes to rust and seize, requiring heat etc to remove for the rear wheel bearing job - Trouble is heat can cause you to sacrifice the bushings, as they can melt...
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Edit: If you decide to go down the heat route yourself, be careful which gas you use, as some burns too hot and will melt parts under your car.
 

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Guys...suggesting a learner to take on that bolt is in my opinion not very great advice. Have a look at SMA take a crack at it with the Big Nasty (FYI - 30min of Air Hammer loud warning)
 

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03 Forester XS and I my girl's 04 Outback H6
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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Thanks again everyone for all your input!

Subaru will be taking a look at the vehicle on Saturday so I'm hoping their 2nd opinion will give me an even better understanding of what I am dealing with and what is worth pouring effort and money into.

If this head gasket isn't the end of the world I am up for the task of doing the ball joints and wheel bearing. I've tackled rusty bolts before. I picked up a bottle of liquid wrench I'll be applying several times, over a few days before the job. I got a propane torch if I have to resort to it. Plus my buddy who's house I'll be doing the job at has air tools. The Oreilly's down the street will loan me the press kit and hub puller.

I wonder if I could also get away with out doing the wheel bearing as I really don’t notice any symptoms of it failing. Though I’m no expert, so there could still be an issue.

I’m curious to know how do I find the exact parts for those ball joint bolts and that big bolt / bushings for the wheel bearing job? I have no idea what those are called specifically.

Looks like that bolt and the bushing will definitely need to be replaced, check out this rust:
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regarding the head gasket, @thatfilipinoguy , I don't believe they did a compression test, maybe I can get Subaru to do it for free if I ask nicely ;)

After spraying underneath the engine a week ago the leak looks more evident. I only really see the leak coming from the passenger side head gasket. There is definitely oil leaking from somewhere, as its more thrown around now all underneath, just not sure if it is the head gasket exactly.

What I do see is coolant coming through the leak just above the housing for the oil filter, maybe mixed with the oil being spread about. Or maybe its oil and coolant leaking out.

The drivers side doesn't seem to have anything actually leaking through the seam where the head gasket is. I should have a got a better picture but I do think a little oil maybe leaking from the passengers side head gasket a little further back on the engine from where this picture shows.

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Curious what any of your thoughts might be?

Back to this photo: Do I understand this correctly? Where I marked green is where all coolant is supposed to be and where I marked black is where all the oil is supposed to be contained right? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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So if I'm leaking coolant and oil what scenario is that?

or what if it's just coolant I'm leaking and the oil is coming from else where?

I'm grateful for this experience, the next car I buy I will be a much more informed/experienced subaru shopper!

Thanks again!

~Matt
 

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Do Subaru let you under the car with the mechanic so they can point stuff out to you along the way or do you have to sit in a waiting area? Maybe they could take pics for you?
Subaru unfortunately are unlikely to do a compression test for free - I would guess it's an hour job ish. Since they have to remove the sparkplugs to do a compression test on each cylinder, it might be worth asking them to change the sparkplugs at the sametime perhaps - Saves them putting the old ones back in after the test

The name for certain bolts etc, can be found in the intro section for the suspension etc in the workshop manual, where there's diagrams and stuff labelled up.
This is another good course for part number and official names http://opposedforces. com/parts/forester/us_s11/type_2/

Once you have the bolt's name etc, use this forum's seaarch function, and have look on NASIOC too, where some kind soul has probbaly put the bolt specifications, so you can get one cheaer off ebay etc without forcing you to get it from the Subaru dealer. You can typically get away with 8.8 bolts for suspension but If in doubt, get 10.9 bolts metric for suspension bolts. 10.9's are stronger but also slightly more expensive generally.
Check out the difference between Brigh Zinc Plated vs Hot Diped Galvanised bolts for corrosion resistance. The difference between BZP, HDG and A2 & A4 Stainless. | Bison Fixings | Supports Stainless version of 8.8 bollts are A4-80. The -80 bit is very important as it is the strength rating in simple terms. A4 and A4-70 are not as strong at A4-80 (Or 8.8 Steel bolts) for suspension parts. There's also Bumax 88 and 109 bolts, that resist corrosion even better than normal A4-80 bolts....And as strong as steel bolts But they aren't exactly cheap - I've no idea how they compare to Subaru dealer pricing on bolts......
If you do go down that avenue or replacing bolts, not from the dealer, make sure you get metric bolts with the correct thread pitch or the nuts etc might have US Standard thread pitches and wont work with the metric threads Subaru uses in Japan.

It definitely looks like you have coolant leaking externally - Which is perfectly fine, as long as you keep topping up the coolant.
It looks like you might have at least an oil leak from the oil filter housing......
So the head gasket is more like this
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Green, like your pic is coolant
Orange are the cylinder head bolt holes
Blue are the oil passages
So you can see it is possible for both coolant and oil to leak externally without combining
I'd show you a photo of my head gasket with the head and block sides as I have a 2.5 Turbo engine on a stand, part torn down. I'm waiting on tools to arrive before I can progress further.
If you want any photos of the engine or parts etc, just pop a request in this thread and I'll grab any photos and post as I progress with the engine teardown (And evnetually rebuild)

It looks like your bushing in that pic of the hub (Item 26 in this diagram) is knackered and may need replacing....... I would avoid poly bushings that increase Noise, Vibration and Harshness. There should be some options from RockAuto anyway. That's pretty cool O'reillys will lend out tools - We don't have any kind of store here that does anything remotely similar in the UK.... Shame, as it would be popular here but a liability lawyer's dream/nightmare
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Source here: http://opposedforces. com/parts/forester/us_s11/type_2/suspension_and_axle/rear_suspension/
 

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03 Forester XS and I my girl's 04 Outback H6
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Discussion Starter #32
Awesome! Thanks for your reply. That really helps me understand better how the head gasket works. It looks like both sides are in fact leaking. Since it appears to be external, I'm just gonna keep the coolant and oil topped off while I save up.

I appreciate the insight into finding the bolts and bushings. Now that I'm getting more clear on the status of the vehicle I hope to get all the parts found and ordered asap.

Subaru did confirm the wheel bearing is failing, the ball joints have play on both sides and of course the head gasket is leaking. The interesting thing out the brakes is they said the piston inside of the caliper might be seized I believe, not sure what is vs. a slider.. He recommended replacing the entire caliper which I would prefer to avoid if I can. Fresh bolts would help I hope.

They also said sway bar links could use replacing but that it wasn't a big deal. Considering I'm replacing the ball joints, would that be an easy job to do as well?

Subaru is pretty cool, they even included a video of the inspection, though the conversation I had with the technician was more insightful than the video. Watch the video here -> http://isre.us/WheCNs

He made it seem like the wheel bearing job sucks, even for a technician. Lol, he said if you do a wheel bearing job you better be getting paid for it.

He confirmed the bolt and the bushing need to be replaced.

He also mentioned to be aware of the toner ring. He said that in removing the hub that the toner ring can easily become damaged. Any advice on that? I don't even know what toner ring does lol. Would it better to go ahead and get a fresh toner ring to replace the old one? Does a toner ring come with the hub if I replaced the hub as well?

Looking online for another cheap headache car sounds like more trouble than I want to deal with right now.

It's looking like Ball joints, Brakes, and Wheel bearing job are in my future. Let's just hope the head gasket continues to chill. Until I see oil and coolant mixing I'm gonna ride this car as far as I can.
 

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That's pretty cool they make a video like that as part of the service.

That front passenger side wishbone had a fair bit of rust. That might be something to keep an eye on. If you plan to keep the vehicle a while and rust isn't bad on the major parts, you can use POR15 or a rust treatment from Eastwood that seems more DIY friendly Rust Prevention, Treatments, Removers - Eastwood

The brake pads seized, could just be stuck on the caliper carrier bracket just needs some attention with a wirebrush and copper anti-seize to get the pads sliding again. Ofcourse it could be a seized piston, which if you have air tools isn't a problem. Just pop a block of wood where the pads would go. Then put an air line on the brake fluid line, to force the pistons out. Then you'll see if you need a new caliper, or just a new piston and caliper rebuild kit (That's exactly what I did with some WRX calipers - Which btw if you have to get new calipers...... WRX calipers are a nice upgrade if your wheels can clear them ;)) Eastwoood sell DIY Sand blasting and Powder Coating kits too, if you wanted to make the calipers etc look pretty.....

That's a fair bit of play in those ball joints. The drop links shouldn't be a big issue if you have a nut splitter, vice grips and a 6 sided socket with a long handled ratchet.

I paid a garage to do the rear wheel bearing on mine. They quoted just over an hour from memory. It took them 4 hours in the end with rust.

That job list sounds sensible going forward.
 

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Ball joints are cheap and you can get the puller for $28 on amazon - you also might need a separator tool (or just a big hammer) to get the bottom stud of the ball joint out of the control arm if it's really stuck, but again it's maybe $25. So it might run you $120 DIY if you use genuine parts - aftermarket ball joints can be had for $30 a set - if you use those and only need the puller, $60 for both.
Wheel bearings are intimidating but I did my first set recently. $80 for a puller set, another $50 for a slide hammer to get hub out(unless you pull the whole knuckle, then a socket and hammer will work to knock the hub out), and $45 for an aftermarket hub and bearing. If you get JUST the bearing you will need a gear puller to pull the inner race off the hub you are reusing once you get the hub out - probably $30. But if you spend that on tools - maybe $170 or so- and get one bearing job under your belt, it's good feeling knowing you can swap a bearing anytime for $40 when a shop can charge at the very least 2 times the cost of what you paid for tools and parts to DIY it. Having all 4 done could easily run well over $1K.

Disclaimer - if you check my build journals, it borders on insanity how much i've replaced on my car(s) - not trying to lead you down that path - just providing what i've learned along the way if you choose to replace this stuff!
 

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03 Forester XS and I my girl's 04 Outback H6
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Discussion Starter #35
Thanks y'all!
In regards to the bushings for the lateral link bolt for the wheel bearing job... The diagrams shows there are two of them:
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However when I look behind my rear wheel I only see one bushing that appears to be falling apart... I dont exactly see where another one could have used to be... So do I need one or two of these?
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I believe I found a cheaper replacement for the bolt: Lateral Link Bolt Kit (4PCS) OE# 20540-AA001 For Subaru Fits- Forester (98-08) | eBay

And the bushings too: CTR Lateral Link Bushing Set of 2 fits 90-08 Subaru Impreza WRX Legacy Forester | eBay

I'm planning on going with these Quick Steer ball joints since the are cheap and have the bolt come with it which I'm having trouble finding on my own. This is in the Economy section of Rock Auto, I don't see it say "remanufactured" anywhere... Should I stay away and buy it from the "Daily Driver" section?
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A lot of the parts in the "Economy" section are very tempting with how much cheaper they are... Would anyone object to going the super cheap route for all these parts on Rock Auto?

Also, Does it matter what type of brake pads to get? Ceramic, metallic or semi metallic?

Also does the full coating or partial coating matter in regard to the rotors?

I almost have all these parts located and soon ready to pull the trigger.

So far I'm amazed that I may be able to acquire everything for just a little over $200.

Beats the hell out of paying a mechanic... I say that now, lol... I'm sure this will take up a whole day.

At least I'm providing the beer and will have help near by :)

Thank again!
 

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Both of the bushings are there. One on the bolt head side, and the other is falling apart. You need two. I would stick to OEM for the bushings, don't cheap out on them.
 

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The red circles are the 2 bushings, if that was what you were asking.
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For the types of brake pads have a read of this - But it's super simplistic to the point, I'm not sure I would put too much weighting on what it says but gives a rough background and generalisations of each type Brake Pads: Organic, Semi-Metallic or Ceramic? - Official Friction Master® Brakes Brand Site
It is kinda strange, as we don't pay attention to the 3 types of pads in the UK, as we pay more attention to the braking performance of the pads themselves, as each manufacturer has their own recipe for their own pads. Brembo OE or Pagid OE are safe reliable brands when it comes to brakes and those are what I use myself - I wouldn't advise going cheap on the brakes..... Cheaper rotors might warp and you'll be doing brakes again in 12 months time. The coatings are to prevent rust/corrosion build up. I'm guessing Colorado throw tons of salt on the roads, so a rotor with a protective coating makes sense compared to a "bare" rotor that certainly wont stand up to salt as well....I don't know which coating is better over others for those brands in the US.......

I probably wouldn't go with OE bushings unless you can get a great price, but when doing the job, use plenty of grease and anti seize in case you're ever back in there again..... I'm not sure I would use the eco range either unless I knew more about the particular brand etc being used or if it's a made up brand China puts on them...........I can't even find the section on RockAuto for the bushings oddly - My Google-Fu is fading these days it seems :(

SKF and NSK and NTN (Who make the Factory Subaru bearings) are respected brands in the wheel bearing world and would probably be who I would lean towards if I was looking for wheel bearings myself
This looks a fair price if you wanted the Subaru OEM bearing - Looks like the Subaru bearing, just in the original manufacturer's box instead, complete with manufacturer's own part numbers if you wanted to see if there is an even cheaper aftermarket option NTN Rear Wheel Bearing Fits: WRX Legacy Forester Outback Impreza 28016FC001 | eBay

Have look in the workshop manual for how to change the wheel bearings - I'm noticing the kits on ebay include 3 oil seals - I'm guessing from the rear diff, so you might need those too......? This is an example of what I mean Genuine Subaru Rear Wheel Bearing Kit WRX Legacy Forester Outback Impreza OEM | eBay
 

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@soobydoobydoo Pics of the block and cylinder head, to show how the head gasket works hopefully
20201104_115632[1] by TMX1, on Flickr

20201104_115700[1] by TMX1, on Flickr

If you want any more pics, just pop a request in here and I'll grab the camera while I slowly take this engine apart. It is a Model Year 2005 EJ255 2.5 XT Turbo engine so a little different to the Non turbo, but not toooo different.
 

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03 Forester XS and I my girl's 04 Outback H6
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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
@TMX that looks wild in there, are you replacing the head gaskets? Is there a simpler way to replace that gasket without removing the entire engine? I doubt it, but man that would be cool. I don't have a garage so there is no way I could even really attempt that task as I'm sure it would take days.

Doing the research to get ready for this job has taken longer than I anticipated. I finally had all my parts figured out with RockAuto and I went to purchase them and turns out they wont ship to Colorado over some dumb new tax law. crazy... so looks like Ebay and Amazon for me. Free shipping though is quite a plus and almost balances the costs out.

Regarding the seals for the wheel bearing, are those necessary to replace? Ive read it's better to replace than reuse but considering my budget friendly approach I'll reuse if I can. I was going to pick some super cheap ones from RockAuto but now not so sure I want to spend the extra $27 for the OEM ones on Ebay. I'm kind of perplexed on where I could find a kit with all the seals for cheap and perhaps a new snap ring. At this point I'll probably just reuse them. If it was super important though I suppose I would just get these:

As long as I can keep my parts under $300 I'm happy.

How about windshields? has anybody every done it themselves. Best quote I got so far was $209, it's got the heating element too. Kind of stinks, looks like after that I'm about $500 put into this car to keep it going and its still got the leak. But oh well, I'm not ready stop driving this thing just yet. I really don't want the hassle of a new used car and fixing all the new things wrong with it lol. This XS is pretty nice other than the issues it has. :)

Also, is there a cheap grease out there anyone recommends? I dont usually do jobs that need it, just looking for the cheapest option. I imagine grease is grease and it doesn't really matter but I'm no expert. How bout the anti sieze, will any antisieze work? I'm looking for that bottom dollar deal.

Thanks Y'all! I hope everyone is doing well in these crazy times.
 

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I'm stripping the engine for a rebuild myself. The engine suffered piston oil control ring failure on 3 of 4 cylinders (Turbo engine) I currently have the block in 2 halves with the crankshaft and connecting rods sitting next to the block halves - The block is not your simple inline 4 or even 6 cylinder engine and requires unbolting the 2 halves to access the bearings, connecting rods, crankshaft etc - It's pretty crazy really but with YouTube, the Subaru workshop manual and knowing an engine builder, I'm taking the job on myself (I'm not doing any machining myself) with hand tools only so far. I should start a journal in the owners journal section on this forum to detail the journey. When I get round to it, I'll detail tooling sizes and throw in some photos along the way.

In theory it might be possible to change the head gasket with your non turbo engine still in the car. Your 2003 wont have a variable intake system, which takes up space. You're also Single OverHead Cam (SOHC) from memory, which will make life easier again. If you can physically get the long cylinder head bolts out with the engine still in place, you should be ok. It will probably take much longer timewise and need a few mirrors etc to see everything..........And some way to support the head when removing and fitting new cylinder head bolts, but I'm sure axle stands and some creativitiy could overcome that issue. You would have to remove the intake and exhaust manifolds to be able to remove the heads to change the head gasket. You might need to remove the radiator too for enough space when dealing with the camshaft pulleys? It would give you the perfect opportunity to change the timing belt while you're in there. Just make sure you use new cylinder head bolts, or you'll be doing the job all over again in 5K-10K miles time

There's a few types of grease, depending on the application- I'm not sure which kind is preferred for wheel bearings or CV joints off the top of my head. I'm sure a search on here would tell you.

Generally for anti seize, if you get some copper based anti seize, it will work for normal bolts outside of the engine, as well as for brake pads in the calipers, and high temperature applications, for example when dealing with the exhaust or sparkplugs. I have a 500gram (1.1Lb) tub of copper based anti seize and it's lasted me years
 
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