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This is part 3 of a 5 part multi-part series I recorded replacing the head gaskets on a 2003 Subaru Outback, 2.5L 2458CC H4 FI VIN: EJ253
Disclaimer:
Due to factors beyond the control of South Main Auto Repair, it cannot guarantee against unauthorized modifications of this information, or improper use of this information. South Main Auto Repair assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. South Main Auto Repair recommends safe practices when working with power tools, automotive lifts, lifting tools, jack stands, electrical equipment, blunt instruments, chemicals, lubricants, or any other tools or equipment seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of South Main Auto Repair, no information contained in this video shall create any express or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not South Main Auto Repair.

49 thoughts on “Replace subaru head gasket ej253 – part 3 of 5”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gunner S says:

    Btw best bolt storage I've found over the years is fishing tackle organizers. Not a big jumbo tacklebox, but the small clear divider style ones

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Seblabombe says:

    My friend swears by Permatex "The right stuff", he said it's the best! Sorry for asking i wanted to know , the sink where you clean your parts, what stuff is coming out, its probably not water, just wondering how these worked…

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars beboboy mann says:

    I drove a used Subaru that I bought with 85,000 miles on it that was immaculate. I loved her. A couple weeks afterwards I noticed oil drips on the driveway. Looked underneath and sure enuff the passenger side head was leaking oil ever so slightly. I knew about the Subaru head gasket issues when I bought it but the dealer had cleaned up under there so it was not evident there was a leak. I kept and eye on it and drove it another two years finally at 120,000 I put head gaskets on it and drove it until I sold it at 220,000 miles. It was unstoppable. Watching this vid makes me want another Outback. Seeing your work I could tackle the head gasket issue myself.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Thad Machia says:

    Wow such a learning experience thank you so much! Appreciate ya!

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Derick Silva says:

    So I'm going to guess your an 80's baby then. Didn't realize where around the same age. Love the videos. Would love to work with someone like you one day.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars derek davis says:

    Let play a game. A shot for every time he says “you know”

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Emilio G. says:

    Pulling the engine is better. Easy to clean or hot tank. Thanks

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SF 415 says:

    $10k for a snap on parts washer

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SF 415 says:

    I usually spray copper coating on the head gaskets to get a better seal on them subarus

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J H says:

    You are a good man, clearly.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brett McAfee says:

    Otiker clamps are what those hose clamps that are spring loaded are called. (brand name) I prefer the worm-gear band clamps for ease of installation/removal. I have debated the preference with other engineers and the otiker is supposed to give a constant tension to the hose over the operating range, rather than a single tension such as how a band clamp does. just fyi

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars nonya biz says:

    I have a few boxes of stuff to. My wife tried to throw one box away. She thought it was junk. I save anything I might be Abel to reuse. In my defense the wife has rooms full of clothes, shoes and purses. I have never had closet space for 35 years of marriage. Nice work as always.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lawrence Anderson says:

    You must buy brake cleaner by the bulk price. How many cans do you go thru a day? The biden administration must pull thier hair out watching you use so much brake cleaner

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joey says:

    Right on same thing here when I was a kid my family was tug boat captions and gun manufacturers from long island since the 50s till the late 80s when they moved is down south to the base of the NC mountains been last 28 years it's been geology….

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joey says:

    I was born in 86 back in my day when a head was out of wack you sandpapered up the kitchen table and the whole family took turns ….

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rich O says:

    Just bought my 1st Suby
    I should do the head gaskets
    Good to catch your instructions
    And to see how much of a job it is
    And can I Barrow some tools ???
    Just kidding!!!

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars fubar totale says:

    I have learned from bitter experience, Subaru water pump, tensioners and belts
    ONLY, unless you want to be doing the job again in a year.
    And Subaru MLS head gaskets, not the originals for the same reason.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tmr0605 says:

    Would you recommend applying a film of oil to the cylinders after you’re done prepping the block?

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars daddyphatsax304 says:

    How come you didn't try using the powerbar on the cam bolts? I almost always just plan on taking the radiator out because of those bastards.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 1337penguinman says:

    How I keep everything straight is with ziploc bags, painter's tape, and a sharpie. I'm pretty uptight about labeling everything and where it goes, even on stuff where it really doesn't matter. Also for those hose clamps I don't have the nice mac ones but I do have a set of small needle nose vice grips that do a really good job on those.

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Labrador McGraw says:

    This is a very informative series; I've learned so much. Just watching a seasoned professional at work is practically gold dust to a DIYer like myself. You do so much – for so many. Every best wish from London.

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tom E says:

    You know we need a lot more conscientious mechanics out there, I think you should consider teaching at a community college. You are a natural and would be a great instructor!

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ed Watts says:

    I bought 100 8-oz. cups and lids and 50 32-oz. cups and lids from Smart and Final. I labeled them "VALVE COVER – R", "VALVE COVER – L", "ALTERNATOR", "WATER PUMP", "FAN", "RADIATOR", and so on. There are plenty of tubs to go around, even for things like "SUPERCHARGER FRONT COVER" and anything else which might show up.

    Sure, it takes a few minutes extra on disassembly, but it has saved hundreds of hours of head-scratching on reassembly over the years.

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rocky 1918 says:

    I would not trust myself. I would put rags in those exhaust pipes.

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Log Jam says:

    This vid is a good addition to the head gasket repair series.

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steve Stumbaugh says:

    Everyone that I know that have had the 2.5 engine from 1996 to 2003 have had blown head gaskets. I would never buy another Subaru.

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Levi Scott says:

    Thanks for another very helpful vid! Yes, staying organized is VERY important! This series was your most helpful for me. Thanks a million Eric! The motor mount Trick A+. You get the gold star for YouTube grease monkey Pro!

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Example Name says:

    Where the hell is your shop at! I'm going to have you do my work from now on!!!!@

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Thomas Matovinovic says:

    That Mactools gs100 carbide scraper is what I've been looking for. Can't find one anywhere to purchase…..

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rob Rich says:

    Eric thanks for sharing your invaluable knowledge as it makes a big difference in getting things done efficiently as well as effectively rather than down the time consuming lane. Did you already post the exact name and make of ALL those special tools? I’ll check.

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! John Rodrigues says:

    One of the things I have noticed throughout your videos, you are pretty meticulous. Almost OCD! Your shop is always clean. The way you do things is pretty methodical. I'll bet if someone rearranged a few of your tools you might go a little nuts.

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars K4x4 Map says:

    Excellent videos! Okay so I thought those were pliers for crab legs! Copy that hose clamp pliers…best get out mah kitchen and back to work!

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Garth Clark says:

    Thank you for the tool review. You can't have enough of them ! Also good tips about the card board holding an outline of bolts for areas unfamiliar with etc. Better than a plastic cup.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars William Acosta says:

    Just ordered a reman head from rockauto 241.00 plus 100 core. Not that experienced in camshaft dissasebly. Save on the machine shop costs and down time. For a 2002 Subaru outback 2.5.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ron S says:

    But can she do it?

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tony melfi says:

    Yes can you show us how to repair a sway bar and all that

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Arthur Rodesiler says:

    I find that a block hand sander with 400 grit works good to. You can try different grits. If you use water you may go 320 grit or something like that. You do it enough you no about what grit to use.

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ffhgu 07 says:

    I save oil filter boxes to put bolts in, they fold down to store them in drawers or wherever till you need them

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Yvon Larocque says:

    hey eric, you do an awesome job both in your work and also in your training…im not a mechanic but wow im learning lots so thank you so much…also love your attitude and humor…keep up the great work that you do…peanuts…im from saskatchewan canada…lol…yep cold here too…and some salt..lol

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tony Griffiths says:

    Still 2 parts to go. Just caught up this 1. Can't help wondering if you have seen the same Sooby since, maybe for another head gasket 🙂 Cool stuff, comprehensive. You got me looking at Knipex, all sorts, very nice, but can't justify getting one, but might still 🙂

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Matt Westrupp says:

    Hi. Just been watching this and thought to share. I'm living Sydney. I bought an 06 Forester with blown h gaskets for the misses. Cheap because most mechanics here will charge A4000 to replace and even then they'll fit singe filament gaskets. Firstly, by the time I got all the junk off the engine, dismounted and headers off I figured was only bell housing bolt left to pull the engine so I did. Certainly easier than reaching over the side. What I did discover though is that it is possible to fit the wrong head on the wrong side! Only discovered that after I put the engine back in and got to connecting the pipe from the back of the left head to the intake …there was no hole! Bugger. Pulled engine back out and took a punt reused mls head gaskets. I got the heads machined, levelled the block with diamond stone. Did valve grind. Has done 10,000 K since and all is good. Pretty hard to check block flat in situ. Thx for vid. Your back younger than mine

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Roger Lund says:

    This was a long time before 1/2 BBQ. And hold on there little fella. Or any type of brake cleaner

  43. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Loye Antley Jr. says:

    Hi!

  44. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tarentum_Tech says:

    I use sammich bags from Dollar Tree to separate bolt sets, and write on them with a Sharpie.

  45. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anthony Young says:

    Seafoam dose work it will turn the carbon loose and blow it put the exhaust

  46. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars AmongTheWillows says:

    Time to grind that mushroom off that power bar don’t want to lose an eye my friend

  47. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Denzil Hitaua says:

    Hey dude thanks so much for the cool video, it’s good to see a mechanical engineer who takes so much pride in their tools and there workmanship. You reek professionalism, and I’m going to reference your work to other green techies for mentioning, ano thank you sir and keep posting these positive videos!!!

  48. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars nowr2run says:

    Ok Sir O, How do you get that can of brake clean to spray at all those different  angles ? Every can I 've used DOES NOT SPRAY SIDEWAYS FOR VERY LONG ( a couple of seconds ) THEN IT JUST SPRAYS AIR ? DAMN fine job cleaning those parts up, YES YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ME GO BROKE ALSO ORDERING ALL THESE COOL TOOLS.