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1995 Volvo 850 T-5
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey,
I am looking to buy a 2004 Forester X with 63,000 miles. I found out it needs new head gaskets. I was wondering if this is unusual for a Forester to need new head gaskets at only 63,000 miles? Also, once they are changed, is the engine compromised in any way if done right? I don't want to buy a problem car.

-Thanks
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
Just got my '04 X done at 86,000 mile due to external oil leak. Be sure and get the heads machined and leak tested (well really complete valve job and seals too). I had one fail leak test. I'm glad I got the machining done too. It runs like a top now, better than before.

Be sure the headgaskets used in the repair are newest multi-layer shim design. The shop that did mine had a Subaru gasket set and they were like this. There maybe some older stock still out there with older single-layer design? It is easy to tell the difference because the MLS design has about 5 or 6 layers of metal and the earlier gaskets are essentially flat coated gaskets. The multi-layer design better accomodates the different expansion rates of the block and heads due to "open deck" block design over time.
 

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2005 Forester X
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225 Posts
Hey,
I am looking to buy a 2004 Forester X with 63,000 miles. I found out it needs new head gaskets. I was wondering if this is unusual for a Forester to need new head gaskets at only 63,000 miles? Also, once they are changed, is the engine compromised in any way if done right? I don't want to buy a problem car.

-Thanks
Search 'head gasket' and I would guess you'll find TONS of threads on this issue. I just had mine replaced at 70,000 miles, along with the water pump and timing belt.
 

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1995 Volvo 850 T-5
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. Now, once the head gasket and timing belt are changed, will there be any reason for the engine to be worse than before the head gasket went bad? Could there be some kind of damage caused by the bad head gasket?

-Thanks
 

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2005 Forester X
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225 Posts
I am by no means a mechanic, but it is my understanding that unless the car overheated due to the gasket failure, you shouldn't have any problems. Like Woody said, make sure you get the heads checked by a machine shop and milled if necessary. I think my foz has a little more pep in it after the head job...my mechanic said I'm good to go for 100k+ miles, as far as major work is concerned.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,071 Posts
As others have said this topic has been discussed to death in the last few months to year.

The short and dirty version.

-All NA EJ25 engines are susceptible to HG issues(search "open deck" and "head gasket"). Letting the engine fully warm up in cold climates helps to reduce issues.

-replacing the HG in no way affects the reliability of the engine as long as the repair is done properly. Heads and block must be flat, < .002" of warping. Use good gaskets. Follow the torque procedure in the OEM manual. Head bolts, are they reusable? make your own call. (search "head bolts reusable", "replace head bolts".......)

-Also look past the mileage, it is a 6 year old car. It may only have 63K on it but are those 63K from 50,000 short trips where the engine was fired up cold, driven a mile to barely warmed up, then shut down and left to cool..... This is worse on gaskets then 63K miles racked up by some one who drives 100 miles one way to work each day.
 
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