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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All!

First off, love this forum. I grew up tinkering with car with my dad, and now understand why he was always looking on forums for stuff!

I'm in quite a complicated situation with lots of variables, so bear with me here. I'll try to keep it short, but I'm mainly looking for opinions on what you think the best coarse of action would be, knowing that each one has unique pros/cons.

Right now, I have a 2010 Forester AT non-turbo (not sure on actual model. quick tip on figuring that out would be also appreciated :wink2: ). She has just over 190k on her right now; I bought her used at around 120k a few years ago. I've done most of my own oil changes and the head gasket has a small oil leak on the driver side.

Earlier last year, took her to a shop, whom I use regularly and trust, just north of Seattle for some routine stuff and to replace the head gasket. They actually suggested that they look into a noise coming from the transmission (which i knew about and was annoyed by but ignored it for the most part). Turns out the pinion bearing and gear on the front diff were wearing at a more than normal rate and were causing the noise. An expensive repair later, Scuby was nice and happy again. but still had a slow leaking head gasket. Not even a month ago, I was driving down from Stevens Pass and the noise (which slowly was coming back) suddenly got really aggressive to the point where I took her back to the shop on the way home. They took apart the front diff again and the pinion bearing was suspect again, this time with a roller or two that were sideways in the bearing itself. Luckily, all this was was under warranty still.

So here we are today, approaching 200k. If money was no issue, i'd have the shop replace the gasket with a 6star and a few other components since the engine will be apart (timing belt, water pump, some hoses, etc) and drive off into the sunset ready to go another 100k+. Now, I don't need the repair done right now, but it will need to be soon. We all know $ doesn't grow on trees, and although I am pretty good with my hands and repairing stuff, ive never removed an engine or anything big like that. I also would need a reliable form of transportation IF i were doing the repair myself. Anyway, the way I see it, i have a few options.

Current plan: bite the bullet have the shop repair the head gasket and strategic "under the hood" components; upgrade stuff for fun (suspension, lights, etc.); plan on driving car for a long time.

Reasoning: I don't really want to get another used vehicle--i'd just be buying more problems, plus dont have the money for that either. I also still owe a little bit on the car. On a good day, I could only sell it for maybe $6500 after the repair. I need a AWD or 4x4 for driving up to the pass (I work there part time) and I strongly prefer an SUV for my dog and gear for all of my hobbies. I have a motorcycle, which I am planning on selling to help pay for this repair (or payoff debt in general) plus riding a street bike in the winter is a lot more dangerous. I could lesson the cost of the repair by replacing parts myself, but either I or the shop would be redoing some work (fluids, removal, etc). The shop does have a limited warranty with their repairs (so far, good experience with that!).

Worries: something will happen to the transmission again (which I hate having only a 4 speed). finances (duh). something out of the blue will need replacing sometime soon. the repair will cost more based on what the engine and components look like when they take it apart.

Other considerations: dropping a crate motor in. buy an older, cheaper one with the head gasket already done. sell it as is and find a cheaper car to get me by for a while. buy a 4x4 to work on. probably had other thoughts too.

Guess that wasn't very short... Oh well.
Thoughts?
 

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Super Duper Moderator
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2,356 Posts
I say do the repairs to transmission... Crate motor too if you can swing it.

If not a crate motor, have them do a compression check before replacing the HG to give you an idea of how things are wearing... Making sure all cylinders are wearing down within reason/tolerances...

And I'd put the R&R budget a priority first over upgrading the fun stuff.

Older vehicle = cheaper insurance too...

My $.02
 

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2010 Forester 4 speed automatic
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2 Posts
I will be watching your post closely because I also have a 2010 Forester 2.5i 4A that I am trying to decide whether to keep or replace.
 

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2010 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Went and did an oil change today. Turns out the leak is a little worse than it used to be, not too bad though... Obviously, that means I still have the car. Transmission has been fine since they replaced the pinion bearing again. All fluids were good as of today except there is a small leak from some hose fittings on the power steering gear box (i think, based on the parts diagrams online).
Control arm bearings are about shot. Going to buy some new ones with better bearings and stick those in hopefully within the next 2 weeks.

Still not sure what to do with the engine... Might try to cushion her till summer, then drop a crate motor in. Anyone have any tips for for finding one? Mostly likely just going to get another EJ25 and replace a few other things at the same time.
 

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2000 Forester 4eat
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108 Posts
Next time its due for an oil change, get an oil kit from Blackstone Oil Analysis. Send in the sample of oil to see the condition of the motor. It costs about $30. I would think it is easier and less costly if the motor is good still to have the head gaskets done and the heads rebuilt.
 
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