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2003 Forester X
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Car is 2003 forester, 230k miles. Had head gasket done at 120k. Been reliable outside of a couple of alternators.
Radiator blew on freeway and driver (son) didn't notice an issue till loss of power and AC. I suspect the temperature pegged out. Radiator basically split at the top and water gushed out immediately.

Anyway, did a compression test and passenger side cylinders are 70psi / 65 psi cold.
Driver side - 0 and 0. So, for sure the driver side is bad.

Would it be worth trying to replace the head gasket on the driver side while keeping engine in car? Seems there are some u-tube that this is possible with the SOHC 2.5. Probably the only way I would diy would be if I could keep engine in place as no lift, and ... not much free time.

Last time this was done it was $2500. Not sure that is worth it given 220k miles. Thoughts?
Is there any way to part this out - is there anything of value to sell on craigslist? Or just donate?
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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522 Posts
Engine is probably toast (rod bearings) I wouldn't spend another nickle on that engine. Either swap in a JDM engine or just move on to another car.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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39,027 Posts
If you donate or sell as is, do you have to replace this vehicle? If so, will the cost to repair be less than a replacement vehicle? :confused:

If you're considering repair, at 230K miles, you might consider a re-manufactured (long block) or a lower mileage used engine, over repairing the existing engine.

Yes, you could part it out, but that's a lot of work, especially if you don't have lots of free time! :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2008 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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944 Posts
I agree with @Miker104—that engine is most likely hozed. I wouldn’t try and fix it. Probably just go looking for a new shortblock and have heads honed, or see if you can find a donor longblock. Everything I have read about replacing HG’s while the motor is in the car suggests that its not a good idea.
 

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2003 Forester X
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The repair is going to be 2500-3000. 2003 cars with similar mileage on CL run 3-5k. then again, you don't know what problems you are getting with a "new" CL car... Could be someone dumping one with a HG problem just starting, whether they realize it or not. I guess I am just frustrated there was no de-rating going on in the engine when the coolant rapidly dumps. I know this is an older car, but lots of outboards have that protection when impellers can't pump as much and limit rpm and shutdown after a few warnings....
Guess it goes to the scrap heap...

Thx.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,620 Posts
@krc Huh, de-rating? Comparing to outboard motor? Ever since car engines started being built with Aluminum blocks and heads and loose coolant significantly will result in warped heads. So as you put it de-rating will not matter. The warping will happen almost immediately.
 

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2006 Forester auto
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2 Posts
HG in-car

I did the head gaskets with the engine in the car, and I WILL NOT EVER do that again! The engine is not very heavy, so 2 people should be able to lift it fairly easily. If you are not sure, rent a hoist. By the time you shift the motor this way to do this, and that way to do that, and the knuckle scraping and gouging just isn't worth the aggravation. It would have been SO much easier to just pull the motor! You can easily see what you are doing and reach what you need to reach without the extra aggravation. My $.02 worth! Good luck!
 
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