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2001 Forester Manual
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 01 Forester S that I bought 2 years ago from my Aunt. She bought it new in 2001 and when I bought it had 271k on it. All she ever did was oil changes, clutch, and a timing belt. Last fall the head gasket finally died (had been leaking for about 30k miles, but to the outside, not inside), so I had both heads worked and reinstalled. Also did a radiator, coil pack, and O2 sensor as well.

A few months ago did a rear brake job with new spring kit, wheel cylinders, etc. Today driving down the interstate I heard a tapping, and before I could get off the interstate it had no power. When the tow truck got there I tried cranking it, and the dreaded knocking was there. Pretty bad too. Now, what do I do??

I like the car, but I am not an outdoors person or a major Subaru fan. It rides well, drives good, and holds all of my security camera installation equipment (ladders, workboxes, cabling, etc.) I don't use it in the woods or off-roading (my aunt is a big caver, kayaker, etc. That is why she bought a new Forester and sold me this one). It is basically a work vehicle for me.

I am assuming the block is trashed at this point, and I tried searching for short blocks, but they are not cheap, neither are used motors for these things. Basically looking at around $2k+ for either short block or full motor swap. (includes someone else to R&R it for me.) I know a lot of people love these things, but since I am not attached to it and really just need another work vehicle, I am torn on what to do.

I will say this thing has been really reliable, but don't know if it is worth sinking $2k in it, but how much could I get out of it in the shape it is in now? Body is in good shape other than light scratches from going through the woods for 10 years, and interior is still in really good shape too, except for the driver seat has a tear on the left side around the rib area. Just looking for some ideas/thoughts/advice.

Thanks!
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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2,245 Posts
I've had to change motors in various vehicles...

1989 Astro 4.3. 1,456,897 miles(yes, million). 6 motors, 8 transmissions. Motor I can still buy used/installed for $750. Tranny about $800-1000. When that changes...I'll junk it.

Had two different diesel vans. Sold one at 675,000. The other was rear ended at 1,789,600(yes, million)

If you spend the money, they last "forever".

I also got an Austin-Heatley Sprite(1969) that I've kept running for 23 years. If you think Subie is a money pit...buy pre-85 British.

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,064 Posts
Seeing as how you have already done some research on the cost side of the repair, the rest is how do you think the numbers play out. It is entirely a choice of "if it is worth it for you."

Since you are paying for someone to do the work $2K doesn't sound all that bad.

Then again $2K+ is a healthy down payment..
 

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2003 Forester XS 5mt
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61 Posts
look at it like this. can you get another vehicle that is as nice and as reliable for 2K? only option in that price range I can think of is a 90s Volvo wagon. +on the Volvo is the 4cyl engines will last and last. -on the Volvo is the leather will be in bad shape for that price and cloth interior is hard to come by.
 

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2010 Scion xB
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1,055 Posts
Depending on where you are, I am sure there would be someone on here that would take it off your hands as a project car for an engine swap project. Where abouts are you located?
 

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1999 Forester ej205 manual
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297 Posts
I just pulled the ej253 out of my forester tonight because im doing a wrx swap. It's really simple, you could do it yourself. Its a little intimidating but not that hard at all.
 

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2001 Forester Manual
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am in Brimingham AL. You don't see many Foresters around here. I here that they are mostly up in the North / Northeast. We get maybe a dusting of snow every year if we are lucky, and about once every 15 years we get snow that is maybe a few inches or so. As far as outdoors, most people down here would rather have a big bubba truck, not a Subaru.
Generally I would not be against a project swap, but I have 2 businesses I run and too many other car projects. Just don't have the time or available extra funds for any projects. (But, WRX swap sounds interesting tho :) ) Since this is my main work vehicle, I need something back up and going. Going to call my Subaru expert buddy on Monday and see what he says or can find. Motors around here for Subarus are very hard to come by because there just are not many of them around. From a value of car vs money spent it doesn't look like it will be worth it. As far as reliability and knowing what you have got that is a different story, but just trying to mull over my options.
Thanks!
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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2,245 Posts
LKQ ships anywhere. Trick will be if LKQ has an '01 motor.

You still want to do a TB job before a motor drop, but while out...the TB is easy.

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2006 Sub OBW LL Bean 3.0R 5EAT
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62 Posts
Sounds like you ha ve put parts into present rig. For a couple grand in replace engine you will have a known condition rig ; which you will not have with a replaceme t purchase.
 
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