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2005 WRX STI
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was just posted on craigslist. I have been looking for this exact color and model XT. I could continue to drive my '05 STI while this thing gets fixed. I already emailed the owner requesting more information, such as why the dealer didn't fix it.

My questions: Should I invest in this car? How much should I expect to pay to replace short block, including labor? What else might be damaged by blown HG/overheating? Is helicoil an acceptable repair for bell housing bolts, or would I likely get a headache for the rest of the car's life?

130k miles
$3000

Copied from post:
Subaru began to leak antifreeze, took it into dealer and here is what they found (word for word from the service report):
"FOUND VEHICLE OVER HEATING FROM BLOW HEADGASKETS. VEHICLE WILL NEED ENGINE PULLED AND HEADGASKETS REPLACED ALONG WITH RADIATOR REPLACED. WE ATTEMPTED TO PULL ENGINE BUT WHEN PULLING BELL HOUSING BOLTS THREADS BEGAN TO COME OUT OF SHORT BLOCK. MAY BE POSSIBLE TO HELICOIL AND REPAIR BUT CORRECT REPAIR WOULD BE REPLACING SHORT BLOCK PORTION OF ENGINE."


Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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5,892 Posts
This was just posted on craigslist. I have been looking for this exact color and model XT. I could continue to drive my '05 STI while this thing gets fixed. I already emailed the owner requesting more information, such as why the dealer didn't fix it.
Very possibly, the reason it was not fixed is that the current owner could not afford the repair or justify the cost of the repair.

When I had the head gasket pop on an 87 Subaru DL 4WD wagon in the late 90s, the cost was going to be about $1200.... on a car I paid 700 bucks for. While the rest of the car was fine and had lots of life still left, it was not a repair I could afford to get done.

A quick google search for "2010 Subaru Forester XT engine" reveals cost ranges from about 1200 bucks to over 2200 bucks.

You may want to know more about the other aspects of the car - what the body shape is, the interior, the rest of the drive-train....

If all of that is good, you could probably have a great beast for a little money

A quick online search shows a value of 8000 to 11000 for an XT - with Limited models getting a bit more $$$.

So for between $5000 and $6000 you could have your dream Forester with a zero mileage motor...

As long as you know the rest of the car and the shape, plus the history, you will probably have a great blank canvas to do what you want with this XT.

That's my 2-cents worth, anyway.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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146 Posts
Are you doing any of the work yourself? Do you know your way around this sort of problem?

1) the car doesn't run. cars that don't run are very hard to sell
2) you can't test drive the car to tell what else is wrong with it, what else it needs
3) can you tell what they said is correct and is the extent of the issues with the car?
4) are you looking for a project?

I think its foolhardy to take on someone's project and expect to pay someone to finish it. There are always complications, things you didn't think of etc that need to be done that cost money and time. IMHO, if you were going down this route, you should have a mechanic in your back pocket able to answer these questions and give you a price quote on the worst case option and thoughts on what a better case would be. You guy the car, you're basically writing your mechanic a blank check for at least your purchase price, if not more than double it.

It may or may not be worth $3K to the right person. I'd take a wild A guess and say that to pay someone to do a short block is a number like $6K, but thats just based upon reading a few threads over the years, here and on the WRX boards without paying much attention to the details. If it is that, then you'd be all in at $9K, and you haven't checked out the suspension, tires etc.

IF you bought it at $2500, and spent 2K on an engine and put it in yourself you're in it for $4500 plus whatever else you need, whch would be more attractive and more wiggle room for possible issues.

If it were me, I'd really consider how much all in you'd want to spend on a 2010 XT with 130K and go from there, but likely get something running in good shape.
 

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2005 WRX STI
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FozzieBalou, Koogs,
I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions.

I prefer to pay someone to do the short block, as I don't have experience and tools to pull engines. I'm not friendly with a subaru mechanic and would pay full price.

I'm willing to take a small gamble, but $6k for a short block & labor seems like a big risk. That puts the car around KBB value. Stack on a couple other fixes that are found after the repair and it could go south.

How likely is it that helicoil/time-serts would hold in this situation? It would be great to not have to replace the short block, but I figure the dealership would have tried that if it was an 'easy' solution.

Does anyone have specific experience with a similar situation of replacing just a short block or using helicoil/time-sert for bell housing bolts? I'm not sure how much stress is on these bolts or what they're really doing.
 

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2004 Forester Auto
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11 Posts
Heli-coils should work fine if installed correctly but the dealership doesn’t want the liability. The labor to fix the threads is on top of pulling the motor so it makes it an even bigger job. I’m a mechanic, and I would only buy it if the car was in great shape. Couple grand for the short block, resurfacing the heads. Replacing all the seals while I’m there. Not to mention time and space it will take up. It’d be worth it if the price was exceptionally low. But paying a mechanic full pop is not going to be a good deal for you. Just buy the forester you want, in the condition you want.

Factory fix for older Toyota Camry blocks that strip out is time serts and they hold the headbolts just fine. Bellhousing bolts are no different. But if the inserts aren’t done correctly or won’t hold because the hole was bored too big then you’re in trouble. Since you need to send the block out to a machine shop to be resurfaced I would just have the machine shop install the inserts. (More money)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2005 WRX STI
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just buy the forester you want, in the condition you want.
This is great advice, thank you. I originally emailed the seller immediately when it came up (within a couple of hours). It has since been taken down and I never heard a reply. They must have changed their mind about selling before fixing it, or someone swooped in and paid more than asking.

I keep losing out on good ones because I can't drive to go get them until the weekend. Rushing this purchase is not the way to go!
 

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2004 XT 5 MT
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1,078 Posts
It’s gonna be xpensive either way even if you do it by yourself. It’s not terribly hard to pull a Subaru engine but as others mentioned the price climbs pretty quickly when you start doing the job right.
Short block @1700 or more
Head work @600
Miscellaneous @1000

If the motor got hot I’d buy a new short block. I was able to sell my used short block for 500 dollars and it still ran fine.

I guess you have to ask yourself if you have the time or the time and money to do it.

Edit: I just read your last post and I’d look at it as a gift that it’s gone.
 

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2005 FXT
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171 Posts
Concur with the consensus opinion... Don’t buy someone else’s problem unless you get it for nearly nothing and are prepared to spend a lot on repairs and replacements since you don’t wrench.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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1,425 Posts
I bought someone else's problem. a 2009 XT Premium, 130k Miles with known engine problems. I paid $2200 for my problem.

problem ended up being burned valves and a blown turbo.

After spending $400 on new valves, gaskets, some suspension parts, $400 to have the heads resurfaced and valve seats reground, $200 on a used turbo. MANY MANY hours of labour, it is now running again. But believe it still needs a turbo.

Am I regretting buying it? No. I don't think so. (But only because my time is -sort-of- free at the moment) Am I done with it? No... Not quite...

The undercarriage is way rustier than I am used to seeing 2009s here. (we also have a 2009 X Touring that is in much better shape. Rust wise)

If you're going to have to pay someone else to fix it, there is the risk that you'll end up paying more for it than you would for one without all the problems...
(on the other hand, you'd have a new engine, if you went that route)

I know it's moot now, because the car is no longer available. Just wanted to share my story/nightmare...
 
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