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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question for the community. I am thinking about buying a 1998 Forester L. It has 112000 miles on the clock, an automatic transmission, and power everything for $3900. My question is about the engine. I know it is a Phase I 2.5DOHC, however, I was wondering if it had the same headgasket problem as the 2.5 DOHC engine used in the 1st Generation OB? Should I wait to see if a 1999 or 2000 comes along with a Phase II 2.5 SOHC? Were they better engines or did they have the same problem? Any help in this matter would be greatly welcomed.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Welcome! The engine in the MY98 and early MY99 Foresters is in fact the same Phase I 2.5DOHC that was in the early Outbacks. I'd say proceed with caution, especially on such a high mileage vehicle (since it is out of the extended 100k warranty period for the head gasket). Even the Phase II SOHC engines weren't completely immune... we had a 99 SOHC that we bought dirt cheap because it had suffered the same head gasket failure.
 

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We actually had a head gasket issue in out '01.

I'd check maintenance records, and make sure the buyer is reputable. No records, no sale.
 

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#8 Post ho
1999 Subaru Forester
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FYI the extended warranty for the headgaskets only apply to the SOHC EJ25

I bought my 1999 w/87k miles.. perfect interior for ~8450

at a trusted dealership..


love the car..


strong engine


would do the same again if I had the choice
 
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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the help

Thanks for the help to those how have responded. I will keep everyone's suggestions in mind. I will keep driving my 1997 Glacier White Outback with 140k miles until I can find a decent 1999 or newer Forester. Can anyone tell me what other known problems to keep my eye for when I go ot find a Forester? I very happy with my current OB but I need the increased ground clearence provided by the Forester. Or does anyone feel I should just hang on to my OB? It has served me very well and I hate to see it go.
 

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Outback Man said:
I very happy with my current OB but I need the increased ground clearence provided by the Forester.
The Outback actually has slightly better ground clearance than the Forester. Maybe it's just the newer ones. I was surprised when doing research before my Forester purchase.
 

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1999 Forester "S"
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Am I missing something here?

What could be so hard about replacing a couple of head gaskets, even rebuilding the heads, if the rest of the vehicle is in great condition?

Please help pull me out of the dark
 

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2006 XTA
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There are Foresters in Dar es Salaam? Far out! (literally)
Alot of people don't want to know about replacing major engine parts when buying a car in U.S. , Australia etc. It's a gamble , and if you are not technically minded can be very confusing when you want the easy option i.e. drive away and it will go perfectly forever.

Cheers :cool:
 

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1999 Forester "S"
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It is suprising what corners of the globe a good car makes it to!

We have a fair few here, however ALL Subarus are much more popular in Kenya..........I think all those years of the Safari Rally had something to do with it
:Banane01:

I understand the "I want it NOW" attitude. But really if the price is right, which in this case seems to be, and one did end up having to do the heads, it really doesn't seem to be such a big deal to me.

I supose there is a risk in everything we do, however I'd hold out for an "S":biggrin:
 

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dirtbag5 said:
The Outback actually has slightly better ground clearance than the Forester. Maybe it's just the newer ones. I was surprised when doing research before my Forester purchase.
The Forester has shorter overhangs and better critical angles, which often counts for more off road than ground clearance per se. (Not the the Forester's overhangs are short, exactly...)

-- Steve
 

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Muzungu said:
I understand the "I want it NOW" attitude. But really if the price is right, which in this case seems to be, and one did end up having to do the heads, it really doesn't seem to be such a big deal to me.
I know what you mean... it's all relative if you can get slightly "damaged goods" at a decent price. We got a killer deal on a 99 Forester S last year. The lady that owned it had found out a few months prior that the head gasket was failing. She was so disappointed in the car that, at some point, she advertised it for $2000 just to get rid of it! We made her an offer at that time, but she pulled the ad. A couple of months later the same car appeared for sale again, this time for $5000. We made her an offer for $4000 and she took it. Other than the gasket issue the Forrie was flawless, even at 127k miles, and had every factory option imaginable! We spent about $1200 in repairs and sold it for $8300 (which was still a bargain for the buyer).
 
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