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Wife's 04 Subaru died


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Subaru's are prone to head gasket failures. First time was in Warentee.We paid to have it done again last August. She pulled in the yard & the coolant blew all over... wasn't running hot until then! When she let it cool & we filled it with water... thought the radiator had failed. Took it to the cheaper garage, who said the top hose had a loose clamp... refilled it again and when it warms up, can see stream of bubbles in the coolant. Moved it to the garage across town who did the head gasket. The garage is saying "it must be a cracked head" because admitting their job failed would be bad for business. Either Head gasket again or cracked cylinder head... no way to know until it comes apart. We're not paying to take it apart again. We have no faith in it now. She drives all over late at night, plays gituar in a folk band, practices, picks up Granddaughters after school... must have a reliable car. Her sister & fiance' live in Maine (Fiance' & bros run a automotive machine shop.) Think she's going to give it to her sister. They better come with a tow truck or trailer.End of an era... Wifee bought Hyundi Accent in the last hours of April... She twisted them pretty tight on the car.

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:duh:Geez... That suxs... I have work done for a head gasket and then to have it leaking again. No matter how I see it someone cut corners and forget to magi-flux the head and check for cracks while the head was off or it wasn't surfaced flat again.

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The work included a valve job, timing belt, water pump... we tried hard to do it right. The previous leak was a coolant leak to the outside. The horrizontal opposed engine puts the head gasket in a bitchy place low in the body. I can not help but wonder if the loose clamp let it lose coolant resulting in heat spikes. Or maybe the cussed aluminum block wasn't flat. Long story short, we're stuck, taking the hit (was not a cheap job). Spending more money on it just seems like a bad idea.

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The machinist stated they checked the head when they did the valves. The 04 / 2.5 is in the years when they had bored the cylinders to larger displacement without enlarging the block giving less gasket sealing area. They are known for head gasket failures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:97_-_99_Subaru_Head_Gasket_Failure.jpg

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the 'trick' is to use that lacquer-sealer on both sides of the new gasket.

It keeps it from happening again. I've been there, done that. On 500awhp..

My '02 WRX 2.5L/2.0L hybrid built (no, not electric/gas, but 2.5L block, 2.0L heads.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rogan,That's one "clean" engine, even in the car. Very nice. I passed your tips along to the new owner.We gave the Subaru to Sheila's sister & her finance`. He works in the family machine shop. It will be born again. It left last night on a trailer bound for Stetson, Maine. So much can be done if you are not paying shop time & labor rates. My projects went on 'hold' while we helped strap it to the trailer. Russ

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  • 1 month later...

The Subaru has been reborn!! We were pleased & surprized that Sheila's sister & fincee' drove down for Sheila's birthday... in our Subaru. He knows the local Subaru specialist in their location, had him tear it down. His shop planed the heads .010. The timing belt, water pump & others parts we'd replaced were good. They do not think the shop here sent the heads out as they claimed. So the guy that did this job... and wouldn't stand behind it... is on our Sh*t list now.

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