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-   -   2003 Engine Rebuild? (http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=198820)

GoBlueJays 12-29-2012 11:22 AM

2003 Engine Rebuild?
 
I'm completely new to this website, so I apologize if I'm putting this in the wrong place.

I have a 2003 Subaru Legacy with 120,000 miles on it. Money is tight and the key objective is to pinch pennies. I am not technically sophisticated; I'm trying to figure out, over the next year, whether or not I should just keep driving the car, have the engine rebuilt (I don't even know what that means), or buy a new Subaru (maybe an Outback wagon with 50,000 miles on it).

The car leaks oil as is evident from oil drops it leaves where I park it. I have a trusted mechanic who says it's leaking oil from the head gasket, and now, from another part of the engine that I can't remember. He wants to know if I want him to price out an engine rebuild.

I really like this car, and would prefer to keep it.

What do you think? I assume I will save big bucks by doing the rebuild vs. buying a new Subaru. Do you agree? What will happen if I don't do the rebuild, and just keep driving the car?

Thanks!

rSTimpreza 12-29-2012 03:06 PM

Why do you need a rebuilt? because of leaking oil?

leaking oil in the valve cover gasket is normal with our cars with high mileage. all it needs is to change the gasket. make sure and check where else is leaking....

120k is not to bad unless your car starts overheating coz of the headgasket then you need a rebuild. rebuild consist of taking your engine out of the car and opening it, that cost a lot.

I would advice you to go to another mechanic and get another opinion coz it sounds like your trusted mechanic is lying to you. there NO such thing leaking oil from the headgasket coz if it does then your car will start overheating oil will mix with your coolant and you will lose power due to bad compression, unless he meant valve cover gasket.

my 98 outback had 198k miles after headgasket job and still ran fine then I sold it. I advice you to keep the car if you're in a budget. I have an 02 legacy with rebuilt engine coz of headgasket failure and im still driving 120k miles and strong. Subaru's are very reliable as long you keep it maintained regularly.

Goodluck on you car!

GoBlueJays 12-29-2012 03:16 PM

Thanks! I didn't mention that the check engine light is on about half the time.

rSTimpreza 12-29-2012 05:48 PM

Go to any auto parts for free check engine diagnostic

BeKnwn 12-30-2012 01:38 PM

A rebuild usually cost about 3k plus at some mechanics cause of parts and labor is insane my friends 99 legacy wagon the guy quoted him 3.6k lol I nearly have no mechanic skills but I'm a diy guy and I studied a diy for delta cam install for like a month straight. got a gates water pump/timing belt kit off amazon for 200 and a felpro gasket kit for 140 about 500 total in parts like new head bolts and other little tools stuff and I went a little further and did 1000 delta cams and new valve springs which was a little more but took me 3 days and 12 hours of work a day solo in the driveway and gerage to rebuild It. But the great news it fired up first cranks, runs like a champ and doesn't leak one spot of oil. Lol so saved about 3k and had a fun experiance and now the car could last me another 10 years if I take care of it which I do lol

GoBlueJays 12-31-2012 04:11 PM

Wow, that would be quite an adventure for me to try that---one that is sure to end badly. But, I'm going to monitor its oil consumption and gas mileage closely, and take very good care of it and keep my fingers crossed.

Osei 12-31-2012 07:18 PM

If your t belt and accesories have not been done, you are living on borrowed time.

O

GoBlueJays 01-01-2013 06:39 AM

Are your referring to timing belt and accessory belts? Thanks.

2point5GT_Dan 01-01-2013 07:34 AM

Non-turbo subaru motors are not worth rebuilding. A lot of people cant even do it right and they spin bearings 1000k miles into the rebuild.

Pull yourself junkyard motors are like 125, or expect 800 to 1000 for one from a we pull it.

I bought a known good ej251 with revised headgaskets and 90k miles for 800 and dropped it in my turd car. Getting a wrecker motor + having someone do the headgasket and timing on it shouldn't be more than 2500 bucks. Still cheaper than a gamble rebuild.

Osei 01-01-2013 08:53 AM

Yes.

O.

malliosc 01-05-2013 03:59 PM

Subaru engines are notorious for leaking oil at the valve covers. Before you go crazy and spend money on engine rebuilt change the valve cover gaskets if you can or take to someone that can do it for you. The gaskets cost anywere from 25-40 dollars. On my old 1993 legacy wagon (which i bought used), I finally got sick of the oil leaks and finally change the valve cover gaskets at 231000 miles. It was about 1 hour job. When I examined the old gaskets they were dry, hard and brittle. I am on my fourth subaru and my experience is that you cannot kill the engine unless you pour sand into the oil. My subarus had/have 165000, 231000, 135000 and 97000 miles and none of them ever experienced problems that required engine rebuilt. After the job the oil leak stopped.

TurboLag23 01-05-2013 05:26 PM

I'm assuming this is a 4-cylinder.

When I worked at an auto shop over the summer, one of the jobs we did was a head gasket repair on a 4-cylinder Outback (identical to the engine in your car). Factory head gaskets in those engines were a problem, and frankly the fact yours are dead does not come as too huge a surprise.

I'd advise you get them repaired. If your mechanic is good, he can do it for not too much, and the engine should be good for another hundred thousand miles. With resurfaced heads, head gaskets that won't explode, and a nice clean of the inside of the engine, you should be fine for a long time.

Plus, better to stick with your car than potentially inherit someone else's problem.

GoBlueJays 01-06-2013 07:20 AM

Thanks for the great advice!

ecoflame 01-09-2013 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeKnwn (Post 4224492)
A rebuild usually cost about 3k plus at some mechanics cause of parts and labor is insane my friends 99 legacy wagon the guy quoted him 3.6k lol I nearly have no mechanic skills but I'm a diy guy and I studied a diy for delta cam install for like a month straight. got a gates water pump/timing belt kit off amazon for 200 and a felpro gasket kit for 140 about 500 total in parts like new head bolts and other little tools stuff and I went a little further and did 1000 delta cams and new valve springs which was a little more but took me 3 days and 12 hours of work a day solo in the driveway and gerage to rebuild It. But the great news it fired up first cranks, runs like a champ and doesn't leak one spot of oil. Lol so saved about 3k and had a fun experiance and now the car could last me another 10 years if I take care of it which I do lol

Did you use OEM valve springs or after market?

BeKnwn 01-10-2013 09:44 AM

I used OEM there's no point to using aftermarket cause the car isn't turbo'd and not trying to push 9k rpms lol plus the price of some aftermarket is outrageous


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