View Full Version : Experiances mechanic taking on head change subaru

10-18-2010, 07:16 PM
Ohh I have done lots of heads in the past but never a Subaru.

This will be a 1998 Subaru outback legacy 2.5 dohc non turbo model with 160kms.

I have not looked at the engine yet, but the owner said its been consuming water for a long time. Its coming out the tail pipe. Classic head warpage issues if its another vehicle. A few questions I have to ask about this engine.

Seems that blown head gasket is common. Just a quick google of head gasket issue on these engines showed some disappointments from its owners how short lived these head gaskets are or, the over heating issue. What is the common issue with this? Do the thermal temp switch fail often? Radiator fan fail often? t-stat or radiator cap?

Secondly, I can download the steps for removal and replacment from MOD or alldata. It takes 11 hours in labor to do a complete change. I want to know why it takes so much time. Are there special steps that could not be covered in either of these? I will be using my snapon ct4850h0 1/2 inch drive battery operated impact to remove the front crank bolt.

I will be starting this latter on tomarro.


10-25-2010, 09:57 AM
Its not to bad of a job I've done it 4 times on 97 and 98 outbacks. Its so long cause they suggest you pull the engine to do so but some have claimed to doing it in the engine bay by simply unhooking the motor mounts and tilting the engine. If you have an engine hoist and engine stand alone with 2 days to do it I would whole heartedly reccomend pulling it all the way out. Just because of setting timing in-car is the biggest B--ch visibility is limited and I was always paranoid of having it a tooth off. Also aside from timing being set easier the torqueing sequence on the head is much easier if you have a rotating stand where you can flip it one head top side at a time. The job isnt 11 hours more like 3.5 to unhook and pull it out, 2 hours per head to replace the gaskets, and another 3.5 to put back in and have ready to start(9hr). Thats just at a leasuly pace, Ive knocked one out in about 2 hours install and uninstall with about an hour per head (6hr). I strongly reccommend pulling the old exhaust studs out of the heads in favor for new studs and nuts this makes future assembly and dissasemble easy and its cheap, also anti-seize is a beautiful thing on the exhaust studs and to put on the locator pins on the block and bellhousing for the trans.