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2005 Subaru Forester X Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for advice on engine swap.

Hello Fozzy friends. I am in a tough situation and would appreciate any sort of advice or guidance you care to share with me.

I have my 1998 Subaru Forester L 182k Miles. My DD, family car, winter car, and my wife and i love this car. I can tell you with confidence that it is in MINT condition... interior, engine bay, underbody. Immaculate! I have put what i would consider a decent amount into this car, drilled rotors, oversize calipers, wheels, tires, rack, sound system front to back, coilovers :icon_rolleyes: (switching to wrx suspesion soon as i figure this engine situation out)... Anyways, I want this car to stick around.... Now that you know how I feel about this car. On to the problem....:icon_sad:

The dreaded EJ25 head gasket. Wich now, after doing my research after the fact. I know is considered to be one of the worst head gasket issues.:censored:

I've considered these options:

I'd like to first add that I called shops around me out of curiosity on what they would charge and NO shops in my vicinity are willing to do this AT ALL. Didn't give me a price or anything, just said no.

1. Have a friend of a friend swap the gasket and try to sell it because even with refinishing the heads I hear story after story of it happening again even 3 times on the same engine... but this would pretty much screw someone else and he would charge me something around $1500 and like I said I want to keep the car around.

2.Find a used engine from $600-$1800 (without labor or tax) pulled out of another forester. However who knows what happened to some of these used engines and it will still have the original head gasket that is not a matter of IF it will go bad...but WHEN.

3. I found a shop in Fraser called American & Import engine rebuilders Home Page they offer 3 levels of engine rebuilding/remanufacturing whatever you want to call it from $1200 all the way to $3500... they clame they take apart the engine and refinish, replace, clean and fix whatever needs to be replaced and do full gaskets and all that.
However they still use most of my engine and it's ALLUMINUM components...they say they use brand new parts but I literaly have not found one good review about this place and am just scared they are going to rebuild my engine with the same parts and pretty much refinish the heads and replace the gasket. they DO offer a 3 year unlimited mile warranty on parts and labor however.

4. I buy a new engine with 0 miles for $2800 from Michigan Motor Exchange and $1100 labor to just let them do the entire swap for me... so like $4100. They also offer a 3 year 100k mile warranty on parts and labor.

If you've made it this far I appreciate your time very much and welcome any ideas or advice... thanks again!

 

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Registered
2005 Subaru Forester X Manual
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hello Fozzy friends. I am in a tough situation and would appreciate any sort of advice or guidance you care to share with me.

I have my 1998 Subaru Forester L 182k Miles. My DD, family car, winter car, and my wife and i love this car. I can tell you with confidence that it is in MINT condition... interior, engine bay, underbody. Immaculate! I have put what i would consider a decent amount into this car, drilled rotors, oversize calipers, wheels, tires, rack, sound system front to back, coilovers (switching to wrx suspesion soon as i figure this engine situation out)... Anyways, I want this car to stick around.... Now that you know how I feel about this car. On to the problem....

The dreaded EJ25 head gasket. Wich now, after doing my research after the fact. I know is considered to be one of the worst head gasket issues.

I've considered these options:

I'd like to first add that I called shops around me out of curiosity on what they would charge and NO shops in my vicinity are willing to do this AT ALL. Didn't give me a price or anything, just said no.

1. Have a friend of a friend swap the gasket and try to sell it because even with refinishing the heads I hear story after story of it happening again even 3 times on the same engine... but this would pretty much screw someone else and he would charge me something around $1500 and like I said I want to keep the car around.

2.Find a used engine from $600-$1800 (without labor or tax) pulled out of another forester. However who knows what happened to some of these used engines and it will still have the original head gasket that is not a matter of IF it will go bad...but WHEN.

3. I found a shop in Fraser called American & Import engine rebuilders Home Page they offer 3 levels of engine rebuilding/remanufacturing whatever you want to call it from $1200 all the way to $3500... they clame they take apart the engine and refinish, replace, clean and fix whatever needs to be replaced and do full gaskets and all that.
However they still use most of my engine and it's ALLUMINUM components...they say they use brand new parts but I literaly have not found one good review about this place and am just scared they are going to rebuild my engine with the same parts and pretty much refinish the heads and replace the gasket. they DO offer a 3 year unlimited mile warranty on parts and labor however.

4. I buy a new engine with 0 miles for $2800 from Michigan Motor Exchange and $1100 labor to just let them do the entire swap for me... so like $4100. They also offer a 3 year 100k mile warranty on parts and labor.

If you've made it this far I appreciate your time very much and welcome any ideas or advice... thanks again!

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=103634&stc=1&d=1383254970
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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From your description I would rebuild it. Find an independent shop to replace them using SUBARU GASKETS. All I have done have never come back. And YES I would send out the heads to be refinished, especially if the engine overheated even once.

Short of that, I would contact CCR REBUILDERS in Colorado. http://www.ccrengines.com/ I have used them once and their replacement longblock was very well done and came with a 3 yr 36Kmile warranty.

If you have a 98 in such good condition and well taken care of, I would repair it and keep it .... oh wait, I already have, 2 years ago : http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/not-me-member-but-new-us-forester-member-98805/
 

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2004 Forester XT Automatic
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Have you considered doing the job yourself?
You should check out briansmobile1 on YouTube. He has some great videos on the subject. Search: How to change a Subaru breadbasket without removing the engine.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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My questions:
How many times has it overheated?
How far has it been driven when it got above 1/2 on the Temp gauge?
Maintenance issues ever that you or a PO experienced?

Depending on your answers determines my suggestion.

- The 2.5 is not a 'bad' engine; it had a poor HG material until the current iteration came out.
- The 2.5 engine will eat bearings if overheated. If it's been run 'hot' for whatever reason, take 25% off the engine's life for each time (I just made up 25%, but it's a high #.)
- Many of those that came back for 2nd and 3rd HG were either poorly done or used an Ebay gasket. I prefer OEM, but other brands work too.


So, w/out waiting for answer, I'd suggest getting the HG job done w/a GOOD Subie mechanic who can do this job in their sleep (since they've probably had lots of practice!). That includes getting the heads resurfaced and resealing all the seals/gaskets/oil pump/etc. and Valves adjusted.

Should be <$2K for labor and parts. But maybe there's a local Subie tech who does side-jobs (like my Subie guru) for <$1500.

You should then get another 100K til the next TBelt is due.

Comments on other choices:
1-No - you want to keep the car! And you know its history...that's worth a lot to me.
2- Used engine WILL HAVE SAME HG issues and you don't know the history even if they've been changed - could've been overheated and you'll get to see what a rod thru the block looks like up close. I consider the HG a 'maintenance item' - just like doing the T-belt- on the '96-'98/'99-2003? EJ25.
3. If you know for a fact you'll keep the car for another 3+ years (warranty) it's a good option. (IMHO, you'll never get your $$ back for the engine cost if you sell it in less than 3 years.) I also recommend CCR. But you can also buy a REMAN short block from [URL="http://subarupartsforyou.com/cp_partlistbymod.php?subcat=Engine+Parts%2C+Short+Block&model=Forester" ]Subaru for <$2K[/URL].
4. Not worth it, IMHO....it's a 15+ year old car, w/almost 200K.

edit:
Since it's something I recommend, I'll throw it out here...get an EJ22. These are OK if bought used and if you send the cams off to Delta or wherever, you'll have the torque of the 2.5. Since you live in flatlands you won't miss the HP....total cost should be <$1K labor and parts (incl. engine). If you want more info, PM.

GL,
Td
 

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2005 forester xt 5speed
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+1 for doing the work yourself. I just rebuilt my motor over the summer. Not hard. Just make sure you have oem gaskets and other small parts. Have the heads AND the block resurfaced by a known machine shop that works on subaru motors. Also don't forget to download the oem service manual.
 

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2005 Subaru Forester X Manual
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wish I had the option of doing it myself, however this is our only car at the moment. I've read and researched and called almost 5 shops a day since this happened. The engine is trash. Can't get a used because I would still have to swap the head gasket (refinish, clean, all that). So I'm going to get a remanufactured engine with 0 miles, or consider a 2.2 ... Do you know anything about how easily the jdm engines can swap into this car?


I can get the re-manufactured 0 mile engine for $2800 from michigan motor exchange with a 3 year, 250,000 mile non deductible warranty on parts and labor. They will install for another $900 and reduce my bill on parts I want to use and parts they can put back on their shelf.

these used 2.2's are going pretty darn cheap but I am unable to do the swap myself and am once again not very knowledgeable on the swap.

These jdm engines with 35-46k are going for $700 but yet again, knowledgeable of the swap.

I'm going crazy over here debating. :confused::confused::crazy::shake::new_multi:

Once again thank you for your help! It's much appreciated by my family!
 

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2002 Forester L, 5mt 5 MT
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like others have said. I would have the heads machined and Felpro MLS head gaskets used. I've done one so far with no problems. 02 FOZ now has 198K. Check RockAuto.com for parts. I'm in the middle of doing my Outback now and feel very confident. Good luck.
 

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1999 Forester S Automatic
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like others have said. I would have the heads machined and Felpro MLS head gaskets used. I've done one so far with no problems. 02 FOZ now has 198K. Check RockAuto.com for parts. I'm in the middle of doing my Outback now and feel very confident. Good luck.
I would have done the outback first ;) lol
 

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2005 Subaru Forester X Manual
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Took it to Michigan Motor Exchange to have the entire engine remanufactured/bored/milled/etc... I will post my experience/findings once complete. Thanks for all your help.
 
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