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05 Legacy GT Headgasket Repair - Finished

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Thanks to everyone here who provided advice concerning what I should replace when pulling the engine/heads out for repair.


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Last Saturday, I finally finished the head gasket repair on my 05 Legacy GT wagon. I bought the car back in February. One of the first things I fixed when buying it was replacing a cracked radiator (upper area by the top pipe).

After a month or so, the temperature gauge started to climb. After a few days of diagnosing, I determined exhaust gases were getting into the coolant (block tester).


The PO had replaced the HGs 3 years prior. Unfortunately, the heads were not resurfaced during that repair.


Since I already had $ in the car and didn't want to take a haircut selling it as is, I decided I'd go ahead and repair it. The car is in good shape otherwise.


Here is a link for the pics I took during disassembly to assist myself in reassembly. (The headgaskets are towards the end.)


Total time was about a month. I did all the work (including help from friends with the engine pull and reinstall). A local shop resurfaced the heads, replaced valves seals, and cleaned up all the valves.


This is about the 6th engine I've pulled for a car I own. A few pointers and words of advice I have:


PB Blaster is your friend

Have lots and lots of cardboard boxes (and kitty litter) to lay down for fluids

Always assume double of the original estimated cost

Use extractor sockets for those damn camshaft bolts

Buy a new timing belt if you use the old belt to help remove the camshafts

ARP headstuds are worth the extra $$

Do not drop a headstud washer down into the head oil galley and get it stuck in the oil pan...

Always torque to spec/follow manual/instructions

Make sure to label the coil packs for cylinders 1 and 3 (easy to swap)

Drink lots of beer to stay hydrated


Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to add anything you feel is relevant. Cheers.

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Looking forward to an update saying the car runs good


Oh, did you happen to check the turbo for shaft play ?

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

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