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forwardmotion97 05-10-2013 02:09 PM

My headgasket is about to go...
Oil in the coolant reservoir, slight overheating... plus I can hear it bouncing off the wall when i'm in the wendy's drive thru...

So i've started looking for a mechanic to replace it and I have this quote from a shop that has good yelp reviews and has done the job before.

-Head gasket set
-machine shop
-removal and install of cylinder heads
-engine oil
-oil filter

Parts and labor = $1,350.00 OUCH

I would really appreciate and feedback from you guys, and any other work that should be done at the same time I would love to hear about. Thanks.


pleaidestar 05-10-2013 03:09 PM

Sounds about the right price, I am doing a hg job on my wagon right now too so info is kinda fresh in my brain...though I tend to have the memory of a goldfish.

You will probably want to do your rear main seal and oil separator plate (metal)<----dealer item only..and take a look at your clutch and flywheel if you have standard transmission. I'm sure the cam seals and support o-rings will be included but keep the mechanic informed if he is not a Subaru tech. You will need the headstuds replaced too as they were likely stretched out of specifications.

Most of the seals and gaskets are hopefully included with repair but take a look at the hg replacement gasket kit sets and note that everything is there and the mechanic is notified of these parts and that he guarantees his work. I have heard too many times that mechanics that aren't familiar with these motors will overlook some things. These motors though very reliable after the hg jobs are still pricey to work on because they must be removed from the car which = lots of hard earned cash.

Kennyfvholla 05-10-2013 04:22 PM

Make sure he ONLY used OEM Subaru head gaskets. Nothing else. The price isn't too bad for someone else to do the job for you.

And Pleaides, from the price, it doesn't sound like he'll be removing the engine to do the job. It's too cheap.

Zues Marine 05-10-2013 04:36 PM

fel pro?

Kennyfvholla 05-10-2013 04:51 PM

Well, yes. The newest design Fel Pro. But, honestly, for the price.... Just go with OEM.

pleaidestar 05-10-2013 05:22 PM

For real kenny? Not removing the motor? Didn't know or think that repair was was possible without the motor coming out. I was quoted around 1500 to have mine done, but I did it myself for around 400 and some change.

FJuan 05-10-2013 05:33 PM

Yes, most Subaru dealerships will change the HG with the motor in the car.

Kennyfvholla 05-10-2013 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by pleaidestar (Post 4426007)
For real kenny? Not removing the motor? Didn't know or think that repair was was possible without the motor coming out. I was quoted around 1500 to have mine done, but I did it myself for around 400 and some change.

Yep, I didn't remove the engine the second time I did the gaskets in my second Subie. It's very possible, and easier than removing the whole motor. Space is a bit more cramped, but it's not terrible. If you know you need to replace (or should replace) the oil/air separator plate, or the clutch might be due, or something of the sort, then taking the engine out is worth it while you're already tearing everything apart.

I will not remove the engine if at all possible. Not saying it's that much harder to do, but it's just inconvenient if it doesn't need to be out.

I did my gaskets for about $350 including materials and parts the first time around. The second car didn't cost as much because I only needed parts. I think it was $80 for the gaskets and $100 for any other gaskets I needed.

DOHCEJ22E1 05-10-2013 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by pleaidestar (Post 4426007)
For real kenny? Not removing the motor? Didn't know or think that repair was was possible without the motor coming out.

I was able to remove the heads to my old 25D using a normal tool set in a few hours. It is very cramped but it can be done. F1 is dead on about the dealership techs not removing the engines at the dealer for head gaskets (depends on the tech really).

pleaidestar 05-10-2013 10:27 PM

Wow I will strike that, never thought about even trying it, lol..I just pulled the motor in my wagon last weekend to do them though it needed every seal imaginable...if the time ever comes again I will do it like that then. I removed the motor from the sedan just with a 1/4 inch ratchet set, screw drivers and a "custom"offset 12mm wrench for the flex plate that was basically it. I love subaru.

johnegg 05-11-2013 06:58 AM

the HGs can be done in the car. but the failure rate is higher if you do it that way.

if you do it in the car:
you have to unbolt the engine mounts and dog bone, jack up the engine and push it to the side to get the head off.
you have to catch all the bucket s and shims when you remove the cams or they will fall on the floor. then you have to figure out which on went where.
you have to clean the block while bending over under the hood.
you have to been over the whole time you are working on it.

if you pull the engine:
you can put the engine on a stand or work bench.
you can turn it on its side when you remove the cams so the buckets and shims do not fall out and get mixed up.
once the head bolts are out, you can carefully reinstall the cams so the shims do not fall out while cleaning the head.
you don't have to bend over while cleaning the block.

the guys who are experienced at this can pull an engine in less than 2 hours. i met one guy who says he can pull the engine, replace the gaskets and re-install the engine in a long day.

but you do need a lift to do it. and a hard floor to work on.

DOHCEJ22E1 05-12-2013 05:43 PM

I agree w/JohnEgg.
Those 4hrs or so that it takes to do remove (just remove) the heads from inside the car is EXTREMELY taxing on the back...

forwardmotion97 05-13-2013 06:55 PM

OK great thanks for the info guys.

I found a guy willing to do headgasket, spark plugs, new clutch, and front right and left axles for $1100. He is a Honda mechanic and will be doing the work at his house. I found him on craigslist and he says he will provide a receipt showing the cost and brand of all parts before he starts the job.

What do u guys think???

FJuan 05-13-2013 10:08 PM

Subaru's are different than Honda's, that's all I have to say. There is a special torque sequence that Subaru's require, I know first hand, because I mess it up the first time changing the head gasket. I got it right the 2nd time around after learning how to torque the head bolts down the proper way. Make sure he knows the sequence and torque rate for each bolts, other wise, it's going to fail quickly.

mailman 05-13-2013 10:46 PM

The torque sequence isn't simply inside out either, it's a multi-step process. One of the parts is something like 132 INCH pounds, which is like 11 ft lbs. God help you if you try to torque them to 100 something foot pounds.

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