Jump to content
LegacyGT.com

Head Gasket replace or build?


Recommended Posts

(Synopsis) Ideas on rebuilding motor or replacing whole vehicle with another 2nd gen preferably a wagon.

96GT 252k miles head gasket has a minor leak.

 

(Full Story)

On Tuesday 04-02-19 my wife and I paid off our last bill. We are debt free. Wednesday 04-03-19 my Subaru starts losing its head gasket. We are not wanting to put ourselves back into any debt at the moment no matter how small. I love my GT and do not want to part with it. I also realize that building a fun engine may not be in the cards at the moment. We only have space for two vehicles so if I buy another the GT has to go. So, first I have a spare set of heads and am looking for a decent shortblock. I am also looking at one of the new EJ257 from Subaru if I can "stretch" the budget.

 

Basically this is a open what would you do thread listing cost. Pour out your wildest (or conservative) dreams and an accurate(ish) cost to help me get ideas.

 

Also, I can't rebuild this block because I need the car running to drive. (Yes even with a leaky headgasket.)

Edited by choover1101
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, my dream build.

 

---EJ277---

 

EJ257 with a 2.7 liter stroker kit, supercharger, and W25 heads cammed to max out around 5k rpm.

Aftermarket ECU to control everything including the intake and exhaust AVCS. High torque for offroad and AVCS to make the powerband as broad as possible. Around 8-10 pounds of boost for a super reliable Torquey driver.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sort of in the same place with my car. The gaskets, timing kit, clutch kit, and a whole tune up was done about 12k miles ago, but now I've developed a small leak at the rear main seal, and I'm gonna need to pull the engine in the next year or two. Trying to plan whether to rebuild or replace the engine with a newer one that would give me more modification options.

 

And I also daily this car, even though I have a back-up I could drive if I wanted.

 

I'm going to keep the car naturally aspirated, just for simplicity's sake, because it's sort of a winter / back road beater. Imo, the less that can go wrong, the better.

 

I'm talking back and forth with a local shop that specializes in Subarus, VW, and other imports, to see if they can mod this ECU. They told me the earliest factory ECU they can tune is 2001, but if I had a standalone EMS I could have more options. They're going to help me look into what kind of options are available. Most of the aftermarket ECUs rely on MAP, not MAF, so you'd need to drill a hole in the intake manifold to run a vacuum line to the new ECU. They said they'd never done it but it's not impossible.

 

Once I figure out ECU tuning options, then my engine modding world will really open up. I've been hesitant to make any serious mods until I get a tunable ECU.

 

So once that's done, if I keep this engine, I'd probably keep it pretty simple and go with a lightweight crank pulley (around $150 iirc) and flywheel ($200), stage 1 clutch (not puck style) ($400), 36-2-2-2 sprocket ($80?), CAI in the left fender (around $200 unless we build a custom one) with a custom splash guard around it to keep the filter from going bad every month ($?), the stock dual-exit exhaust from my friend's 06 GT ($0), total A/C delete ($0), maybe EGR delete (I think you just need a plate to cover the hole? not sure on cost), probably power steering delete (only cost is replacing the 1 remaining V belt with a shorter one). Already have a short shifter (iirc $100), poly shifter bushings, poly crossmember bushing, STI engine mounts (I think close to $300 for all the bushings/mounts). Also have a high output alternator ($600 or so), big 3 wiring upgrade (cost depends on whether you make the wires or buy them), deep cycle marine battery, and a ground wire upgrade kit.

 

So that's just all engine/drivetrain stuff. There's also a lot you can do with the suspension to make it feel a little sportier. Strut bars, bigger sway bars with stiffer endlinks. I'd also like to figure out if I can replace my hubs and drive axles with stronger ones from a newer model. You probably also want to look into upgrading your brakes or at least making sure they're in tip top shape.

 

I don't think I'll need forged internals or high flow injectors for this build. It's just a fun car to hammer down backroads in. It's never going to be about top speed, just powering through turns and accelerating quickly when I get the chance.

 

So I guess my tip would be to figure out what you want to use the car for. Do you want to go 160 on the highway, or take it down old dirt roads at 80, or just have a nice older Legacy that can still keep up with the newer ones?

Edited by Leggyobw97
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me, it'd mostly come down to what I plan to use the car for. If it's a weekend car for fun, then build the shit outta it but that's IF you want to dump $4k+ into a car worth $2k. You won't be able to pull that engine and do the timing and HGs for less than $800 and a week or so worth of your time. If the car is going to be a daily driver and you don't live in an extreme environment where all-time awd is a requirement then fix the car and sell it if you stand to make a profit to do so, or just sell the car for less then it's worth and don't fix it and buy something more fun (subaru or not)

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I love my 2nd gen and I won't sell it, but I also won't daily it anymore, once I got a fun daily with a turbo, I have no interest in dailying the subaru unless it's snowing out. All of this depends on your commute too, I drive 250 miles a week in stop and go traffic so my subaru would get 17/18mpg which is horrible. So I got a turbo mini as a new daily and that gets 26mpg but I hate the mini so I would not recommend that haha.

 

 

TL;DR Either way, it comes down to how much time and money you want to use and the end goal for the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Leggyobw97 a note on your post. I am currently running 04 wrx knuckles.

Also, I love my power steering delete.

 

@doublechaz We just got debt free I have no intention of getting a loan for anything except buying a house.

 

And here is a little sketch of where I want to head.f13cf35fa4b7d9d4b8f30c5ac86a2195.jpg

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Leggyobw97 a note on your post. I am currently running 04 wrx knuckles.

Also, I love my power steering delete.

 

Just the knuckles, or like control arms, hubs, drive axles... etc? Only ever replaced all that with stock equipment, but it's so weak I feel like I need an alignment every time I get the car sideways on pavement.

 

Also, do you have a tip on what size belt to use after the power steering delete?

 

I drove past a Forester a few days ago that looked like the one in your link. Not that high a lift, but really wide stance with pretty big tires. Looked like it was probably fun to drive through the woods, but at that point I'd rather just get a 4Runner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Leggyobw97

 

I needed to do the front bearings and just went ahead and swapped in knuckles. I did not replace axles the 04 WRX should use the same bearing and hub. The MOOG balljoints are going bad after almost 2 years. (I drive hard with a 2.5" lift and 235/60R16 tires) I have heard factory Subaru ones are better.

 

Here is the link to my thread : https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=https%3A%2F%2Flegacygt%2Ecom%2Fforums%2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D255306&share_tid=255306&share_fid=5383&share_type=t

 

On the belt: I am using a 28" belt but I had to shim the adjuster bolt to make that work. A 27" belt should be perfect if you dont have A/C.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use