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2002 Forester 4 speed auto
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I've already introduced myself in the member introductions page, so this is where I will be starting my project page. Again, I purchased a 2002 Forester S with 220,000 miles, bad head gaskets, bad brakes, soon to go bottom end, and not a single speck of rust for $700

Here's what I did so far:

-Completely detailed the ins and outs
-All around new rotors, pads, a new caliper and a complete brake fluid flush
-Restored and shined the headlights to their former glory:
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(or tried at least.. it looks much better in person)

-Fixed and got some new minor interior parts from a junkyard (new rearview mirror with compass and auto-dimming, perfectly working 6 disc changer/tape deck, couple new woodgrain trim pieces that were faded)

So here's how she sets today:
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Of course it's not perfect after 220k miles. But once she's back on the road I'll try my best to make it look like a brand new car.

So here's the plan: Pull the engine, tear it down, inspect block, either buy a new short block or rebuild the original block, get the heads fully machined (valve job, possibly get the camshafts ground or something? decked, cleaned, etc...) and throw it all back together with all new gaskets, timing components, spark plugs/wires/coil, replace anything worn out or broke

And this car will hopefully last me another 100k on the original suspension and body with PA road salt... We will see! This will be my new daily driver and long-distance car. Poor old chevy is gonna be tucked away when this is done.
 

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2002 Forester 4 speed auto
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Made quite a bit of progress in the past month... just forgot to post. Engine is out!
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It took a lot of persuasion to get that engine out, more than I thought. The torque converter came off the shaft partly but I instantly saw it and reseated it so hopefully nothing is damaged. Ironically, the exhaust manifold nuts were the easiest to come out. I had to drill out the nuts on the motor mounts though. But here's some pictures of the heads/block:

Driver's side:
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Take a look at the sheer amount of head gasket fix... It clogged the thermostat and water pump. The head gasket is pretty gnarly. Everything looks original though

Passenger's side:
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Cylinder walls are actually really smooth and clean, no scoring, pistons don't look too bad. I know the rings are bad because it used oil and had bad blow-by.

Anything concering to any of you guys? I'm not sure how the valves are supposed to look with this many miles. And I'm not sure if the driver's side valves are supposed to be open that much. But the heads are being sent out to a machine shop to be gone over and redone. So we'll see. Keep in mind this is my first engine teardown
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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326 Posts
Wow you beat me by $300 lol, Your car looks so clean for 220K miles and no rust that's awesome! Whoever had it before sure took good care of it.
I gotta do the same to my headlights..
Just so you know, you might have to spend around $2K-$2.5K between parts, labor and tools, but then you'll have a perfectly good daily that you'll know.
Best of luck with the project!
 

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2002 Forester 4 speed auto
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Wow you beat me by $300 lol, Your car looks so clean for 220K miles and no rust that's awesome! Whoever had it before sure took good care of it.
I gotta do the same to my headlights..
Just so you know, you might have to spend around $2K-$2.5K between parts, labor and tools, but then you'll have a perfectly good daily that you'll know.
Best of luck with the project!
Thanks for the kind words! It was garage kept for most of it's life and taken very well care of
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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326 Posts
Did you set the timing before removing the heads from the block? The valves open are ok, mine were too and I was concerned about it also, they're spring loaded.
Make sure you thoroughly blow/clean all the heads orifices with an air compressor once they come back from the machine shop. Mine had very small pieces of metal shavings inside them, needles to say I had to make sure to clean them very well before assembly.

See if this link works for the FSM, I'm at work now and my firewall blocks the URL

 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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326 Posts
Btw, take advantage of Subaru Parts Online at your local Subaru dealership. Usually when you shop online at their site, you can get original Subaru OEM parts for about 20% off original price. They also have diagrams and mostly all the parts you need for engine, transmission, body, suspension, etc

What's your zip code? Your closest Subaru dealership should honor the 20% off on oem parts, browse for your car, select the parts you need, pay online and pick them up localy when they're ready. Create an account with them, it's free and they'll send you emails with updates about the purchase.
 

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2007 Forester 2.5X Prem. Automatic
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20 Posts
Hey!

Ill be honest, Outside of adding oil and checking it, as well as changing a tire and jumping a car, Im useless as heck. But for what its worth, the car does really look good. And for that kind of money, definitely seems like it was worth it.

-Matt
 

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2002 Forester 4 speed auto
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Did you set the timing before removing the heads from the block? The valves open are ok, mine were too and I was concerned about it also, they're spring loaded.
Make sure you thoroughly blow/clean all the heads orifices with an air compressor once they come back from the machine shop. Mine had very small pieces of metal shavings inside them, needles to say I had to make sure to clean them very well before assembly.

See if this link works for the FSM, I'm at work now and my firewall blocks the URL

Yes I set the timing before removing heads, there wouldn’t be a chance of the valves hitting the pistons from what I could see. I’ll be sure to take note of that with the heads, and I’ll check out that link
 

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2002 Forester 4 speed auto
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Btw, take advantage of Subaru Parts Online at your local Subaru dealership. Usually when you shop online at their site, you can get original Subaru OEM parts for about 20% off original price. They also have diagrams and mostly all the parts you need for engine, transmission, body, suspension, etc

What's your zip code? Your closest Subaru dealership should honor the 20% off on oem parts, browse for your car, select the parts you need, pay online and pick them up localy when they're ready. Create an account with them, it's free and they'll send you emails with updates about the purchase.
My closest Subaru dealer is about 20 mins away from me (my zip is 17820). I’ve always steered clear of OEM parts bc of the price but the more I look the better it may be using OEM parts especially with this kind of rebuild
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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326 Posts
At least for engine/heads & T/B components, such as idlers, pulleys, tensioner, etc I’d buy oem. You might save a few bucks on knock off/Chinese parts but in the end, you get what you paid for. I was recommended a set of NPR piston rings. They’re not oem but are Japanese so very good quality.
 

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2002 Forester 4 speed auto
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
At least for engine/heads & T/B components, such as idlers, pulleys, tensioner, etc I’d buy oem. You might save a few bucks on knock off/Chinese parts but in the end, you get what you paid for. I was recommended a set of NPR piston rings. They’re not oem but are Japanese so very good quality.
What all did you do to your block? Did you get a machine shop to look it over? I've had a few people tell me my cylinder walls look great and the block doesn't look bad, but I feel like it needs bearings, rings and pistons at the least because of the blowby and that many miles. No machine shop in my area wants to take it apart and rebuild it, so I'm kind of stuck. I don't know what sizes to get for anything or what to get and what to get machined
 
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