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Thread: Where would you get your Head Gaskets done?

  1. #1
    Scoobie Regular muajg's Avatar
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    Where would you get your Head Gaskets done?

    So I bought a 2000 Forester with 115k on it knowing that they occasionally need head gaskets done. Well, it turns out I am one of those lucky people.
    So I called LSS and they would like $1800 to do the head gaskets. To be honest that is pretty fair for a dealer. I am also thinking about calling Modified By KC, as they have done work on my past Subaru cars and have done a fine job.

    I was wondering if anyone else had this work done somewhere, and if they would recommend anyone I didn't list.
    BTW, I am a decent mechanic, but I am good at screwing stuff up, so doing it myself is probably out.
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    Super Moderator Justin 05 Sti's Avatar
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    I don't think you could go wrong either way. That is a decent price from the dealer but I bet MKC would beat it.

    Only other suggestion would be Elscooby's driveway but I haven't seen or heard from John in forever.

  3. #3
    Scoobie Expert Jagular1785's Avatar
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    If you have a free weekend and a driveway, you can get the job done at about a tenth of the price yourself. Some have even done it without removing the engine, though I have not tried this method.

    It is not that difficult to do yourself, don't be intimidated. I would try to find the FSM so you have torque specs. I have overhauled a few 2.2s and 2.5s and it isn't that bad. If you just do the heads, it is very straight forward.
    Last edited by Jagular1785; 05-14-2015 at 11:25 PM.


    Chris

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  4. #4
    Scoobie Regular muajg's Avatar
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    Jag and Justin, we'll see what happens, I may try and do it myself since I have access to some spare cars. I have watched some YouTube videos of people doing and it doesn't look too terrible, just a lot of straight forward work like you said, so I may end up dong it this fall or summer in my garage.
    I guess I should just be thankful that I saw it early, and know it is going on, and I can afford to get it done if I want to. I used to not be able to say many of those things.
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  5. #5
    Scoobie Expert BigC's Avatar
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    I have the shop manuals (pdf's) that you need. I could throw them up a google drive and share them with you if you'd like. Do you know if the timing belt has been replaced? When our forester hit the 105k mark, I did the timing belt but I also proactively did the head gaskets and adjusted the valves at the same time. I did yank the motor though as that seemed much more appealing than all that bending over the fender. I'm old though :P
    -Brent

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  6. #6
    Scoobie Regular muajg's Avatar
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    The timing belt got done at 99k, but I don't know what got replaced, so I might as well replace some parts of it.
    How hard was it to get the motor out? The only thing I wonder about with that is getting the tranny disconnected from the axles.
    2008 Legacy 3.0R
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  7. #7
    Scoobie Expert BigC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muajg View Post
    The timing belt got done at 99k, but I don't know what got replaced, so I might as well replace some parts of it.
    How hard was it to get the motor out? The only thing I wonder about with that is getting the tranny disconnected from the axles.
    Ummm, if it's an automatic, it's a piece of cake. There are like ~4 bolts that hold the flywheel to the torque converter then there are the ~10 bolts or so that connect the bell housing to the motor. No need to worry about the axles, they stay put. It takes some effort to break the tranny away from the motor. I won't kid you there. You need a BFH, a chisel and a "I'm gonna beat the shit out if it" attitude. Once you get that part taken care of, it's really not a big deal.

    While your in thar, you should think about a water pump and the crank seal located in the oil pump. Fujibond is your friend
    -Brent

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  8. #8
    Scoobie Regular muajg's Avatar
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    What if it is a manual?
    2008 Legacy 3.0R
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  9. #9
    Scoobie Expert BigC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muajg View Post
    What if it is a manual?
    It's a bit more complicated AND you still have the same fun of beating the crap out of it to separate the bell housing from the engine...
    -Brent

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  10. #10
    Scoobie Expert Jagular1785's Avatar
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    Depends on what year of a manual. With your 2000 forester, it is easier than the automatic. You have a push type clutch so after removing the bolts and axles, ect, the engine and transmission just pull apart ala big hammer and tools to pry with. The newer pull type clutches are more of a pain, but you do not have to worry there.

    If you are going to the trouble, replacing the crank seals on the oil pump and flywheel are good ideas, as is inspecting the "plate of doom" in the flywheel housing. If you have a plastic plate, you need to check it over for cracks, as they crack as they get older and oil starts leaking into the bell housing.

    +1 on the water pump, if it was not done with the timing belt.

    With the heads off, you may consider taking the heads apart and lapping the valve seats, checking the guides and putting new stem seals, crank seals, ect. It would suck to have the valves start leaking 10-20k down the road and have to do this all over again. But that's me. This will involve a significant amount of time and effort.
    Last edited by Jagular1785; 05-19-2015 at 01:00 AM.


    Chris

    Member of 100AW 2012,2013,&2014 Start Crew

    2000 Outback wagon
    1997 GF4 OBS frankenwagon- Sold
    2001 XL883C HD Sportster

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