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$200 Impreza... with a Blown Headgasket

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Heyo everyone


Bought a $200 Impreza Outback hatch (EJ22) with a blown headgasket. Getting it towed to my house on Tuesday, and I'm not going to work on it until July when I'm done with school. Until then I'm trying to figure out the procedure.


I see a LOT of documentation on how to do EJ25 headgaskets, but not much on EJ22s. What differences are there between the two different engines that I should be looking out for?


Thanks in advance


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Blown headgasket on an EJ22 is kind of concerning, IMO. Those are reputably a really reliable engine that never suffers from HG issues, unless it was severely overheated, in which case, you're looking at a good possibility of potential block and head issues. If it is a 99+ Impreza, I have a complete EJ22 that will drop in there, damn near turn key. It came out of my 99 Legacy L. Needs to be cleaned and a few gaskets replaced (primarily the valve cover gaskets which I have) but I will sell it for a steal to get it out of my garage. Your profile says Bay Area, so I'm only about 8-10 hours away.
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Apparently the radiator cap was broken. If I pull it apart and it seems irreparable, I will contact you.


Speaking of, how would I know if the damage is irreparable? Haha may be in over my head here..

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First, get yourself the FSM. Read the engine section, extensively. This will show you what you're bound to get into. If you've never disassembled a Subaru motor, don't be scared, unless it's an EZ30 (I'm beginning to dislike them *kidding*. They are the most un-Subaru Subaru motor, not for the novice builder. I digress). Subaru engines are by far the most logical and easiest motors to disassemble, if you follow the book.


A few tools you'll need:


- Good socket set in 3/8" and 1/2"

- Large breaker bar

- Good torque wrench

- a really straight edge

- feeler gauges (http://amzn.to/2s9OlVi)

- Hose clamp pliers (trust me, it's worth the $40 for these in pure frustration salvation alone) (http://amzn.to/2qYn8Av)


The engine will need to come out if you want to go over everything. Damage being irreparable is a matter of pulling the heads off, cleaning the mating surfaces, and checking for warpage. If it is over maximum as specified by the FSM, that surface must be machined. If it's the heads, it's not the end of the world, a good machine shop should be able to machine a bare head (torn down by you) for around $50-75 per head, not including any additional services like cleaning, etc. If it's the block, you have two options: 1.) Tear down the entire block to it's two halves and send the halves in for machining. 2.) Find a new short block that's not warped with no internal issues.


The first option is usually what experienced builders, like myself, will do because it's more cost effect but the time investment is longer. If I were to tear apart a block, I'm also going to replace the rings, bearings, and anything else inside out of spec as well as check tolerances for anything that moves. The second option is what people who are short on time do. It can be about the same cost investment depending on where you source the short block from, but you're really rolling the dice if the short block comes from a junkyard. On the positive, you can realistically use any short block you want as Subaru engines go together like Legos and you can get really creative when you start swapping short blocks.

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