GrumpyOldDog

Almost Mint Forester

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Decided to downsize from a ford explorer so made a short list and guess which one won.:smile:

Got a 2000 forester with very low mileage 42,000, double checked via dvla mots, had to travel to devon to get it.  A mate drove it back for me but once we got on to the dual carriage way with long uphill sections it over heated, so he had to drive along with the heater on full blast which kept the needle in the normal range.  As it had not been used for a while I thought it could be a sticking stat or clogged rad.  Once home I drained it, turned out to be mostly water, fitted new stat and checked flow through rad and refilled with coolant.  Took it for a spin, after approx. 5 miles the needle started to creep up so back to square one.  Bought a HC test kit off eb, tested when showing normal and when at three quarter of the way on gauge both clear.  Left it overnight, drained it and removed stat just incase it was faulty, took it for a spin and it overheated.:cursing:

So my conclusion is that a head gasket is leaking slightly once it gets to a certain temperature.

I have 3 choices;  Your two bobs worth would be appreciated.

Take it to a garage, not Subaru main dealer.  Can anyone recommend a good place in Glos/Worcs area ?

Repair it my self on the drive either in situ or pulled.  Where can I get a good quality gasket kit, preferably Fel-Pro or Cometic , as long as it is MLS.

Get a 2nd hand engine to take the place of existing while I strip it and replace the gaskets.  Apart from another EJ202 what other models would fit with out too much hassle also would an engine from a MT fit to an AT

Any input would be appreciated

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Are there bubbles in the overflow when idling? Was it a Subaru OEM stat you put in? How's the radiator cap and are the fans coming on?

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3 hours ago, Greenmamba said:

Are there bubbles in the overflow when idling? Was it a Subaru OEM stat you put in? How's the radiator cap and are the fans coming on?

No bubbles. It was OEM but it is now running with out a stat. Fans come on and got an uprated rad cap 1.1bar on the way, no sign of coolant loss via the expansion tank

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OK. Assuming the heater core isn't clogged, and that the cooling system is properly filled - these cars need burping to get all the air out, there are a couple other options before you go thinking HG. Pressure test and/or leak down test. Subies with HG failure tend to either ooze oil/coolant outside the block/head, or pressurise the coolant but you say you're not getting coolant into the overflow so that's unlikely to my mind. Sniff test of exhaust gases in the coolant isn't a reliable tests I've heard, incidentally.

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Heater flow through is good, I'm using it to keep engine coolish by having fan on full and airflow to windscreen.  I meant no sign of the expansion tank overflowing but the level has gone down by an inch from the max level mark. How does the pressure tester work, is it done with a hose pipe or an air line? I've seen one on Amazon but its not clear how the none engine side is connected.  Had  look underneath could not see any sign of an oil or water leak 

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Pressure test the cooling system, look under the engine at head gasket join and see if looks oily/wet .
inspect system for any minor leak.
Pull the plugs and check colours .

As mentioned above chemical tester are pretty useless at times when only minute amounts of exhaust gas enter cooling system, you better off using a gas analyser .

Other thing you can check is waterpump rotor not a rotted mess but they don't generally go bad on these . also check thermostat fitted correct  and system bled well .

I certainly wouldn't swap low mileage engine if all else tests perfect,  it easy enough pull heads in situ for a home repair and sohc is super easy (jack engine up and can move to sides to increase working space) .
Cheap job if do it yourself as it mainly labour .Certainly want compression test engine and leak down test engine if can as may conclude fault and at minimum get base line of engine health before committing repair effort .

Low mileage engine can be more issue than a more normal 100K example . little use and poor coolant and oil quality and service could lead to gasket decay .

Blueprint felpro, Victor reinz do pretty nice gasket kits, ebay good source of heavily discounted prices .

 

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Check the water pump is spinning freely? I had issues with sporadic overheating which was the water pump jamming.

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Thank you Mr B & Swayze88

I've already checked for leaks on hoses, rad and head joint and all appears ok. Still running it without a stat atm and using heater as supplementary radiator

Will check plugs when the weather improves.  Nice tip re jacking up engine so can move it to gain space will make the job much easier

Have already checked ebay and made a list of gaskets/bolts from ICP and BGA will have a look at victor and blueprint

2 questions; Do new head bolts have to be used.  Is it possible to change pump with out messing with timing belt and pulleys

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Yeh, if you remove the support bar at back of engine to bulkhead and 2 engine mounts in the subframe you can jack it up quite a bit and move it to side at a time and wedge in situ to maximise space for each head .
The SOHC is super simple head tear down in the frame, it does only takes a little over an hour to pull whole engine in the workshop but on a drive I would do in frame .

you will have to mess with belt to do water pump, nothing to it to be honest and you best checking idler gears and tensioner anyway
whole rad with fans attached pulls out in 5 minutes and access is beautiful .
Crank bolt easily loosened with breaker bar while wheels still on ground with manual tranny put in high gear .
Just align the cam and crank marks then make your own marks from belt teeth to the 2 cam pulleys and the crank pulley teeth and put a C next to crank mark (can't go wrong on timing if do this) .
you can use a wrench to back off the hydraulic tensioner in situ SLOWLY and have a test fitted grenade pin ready lock it down (small hex key works perfect) .
If you have any bulldog clips use a couple keep cambelt in place on the cam pulleys (saves having issue of needing 3rd hand and belt jumping few teeth) .
I expect pump rotor to be fine, I never seen one rotted out bad, pumps are very high quality, would look here though for pump and water ways before committing to head removal.
Pump can not jam without serious failure as it cambelt driven by toothed gear
Only buy japanese made pump as european ones are junk in comparison, same with any idler gears for cambelt and tensioner if needed, get the oem japan koyo/ntn ones via ICP (not expensive)

I would assume coolant mainly water as someone been topping it up for some while .

I've had a couple that impossible pinpoint HG failed but when pulled could see it was HG issue .
ej202 HG not super common like 2.2 and the famous 2.5 lol but possible low mileage/short trips caused more fuel in oil and that what generally eating at the gasket coating as oil hangs in the boxer engine at the joint area even when stationary .
Don't use HG with full surface sealing coating as they super fussy on block and head fine surface finish, MLS with the sealing bead are better on these ej202 NA builds. No need skim heads unless not flat or has pitting or digs . same goes for block. razor blades, wet and dry, scotch brite and brake clean does wonders cleaning mating surfaces .Head bolts are reusable, check condition/threads before reuse .
 

New rocker gaskets and plug tube gaskets a must, oem is generally best on these but better kits can be okay .

If you thinking of selling it as is I probably interested as always after Forester SF manuals preferably with winter pack .
Don't know how I missed it in Devon as I on to most within southwest region .
 

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Thanks once again.  Have printed this mine of info so I can refer to it easily.

Car was listed on eBay and parked at Hartland nr Bideford.  Will not be selling any time soon, I will wait until it becomes a Classic.

Will prob get a complete gasket set from IPC

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Expect the ICP kits not bad, they private brand them and unsure who the oem is .
Good luck with car, if HG gets done hope it goes smoothly and you get the old Fozzy on the road showing up the modern junk .
Can't believe you managed lift one out of my own Devon back yard without me knowing lol :-)

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Update; SORTED :biggrin:

My first job was getting a cheapish multi car pressure kit off ebay. Pumped it up to 1.5bar and checked it after 2 hours, no drop in pressure.  I thought I'd play safe and get the parts I would need for the worst case scenario.

Ordered a Continental Timing belt kit from amazon as it had pulley bearings made in japan,  Got a BGA full gasket set from a company in Germany as much cheaper.  Managed to get a new pump with the cast impeller, Airtex make, rather than the new fangled pressed steel type, just missed out on getting the last japan made one from an ebay seller.  I also decided to get a new radiator, yet again from Germany as 2 uk ebay sellers said they did not have one when supplied with my reg.   

Once I had removed the rad I could tell that it was partially blocked by the way the last bit of coolant drained out.  Fitted the new rad and stat along with fresh coolant, burped the hoses and let it idle until gauge got to half way, by then it was getting late. Next day took it for a spin, gauge got to normal point and stayed there, yip yip hooray!

I've now been driving mixed roads and distances with no over heating problems for 2 weeks, although for the first few days I did keep an eye on the needle.

With the rad removed I could see the rust bug had been at work on the front cross member, so that was wire brushed and jenolited it has also had two places filled with fibreglass filler ready for a coat or 2 of underbody sealer with added waxoyl via a spray can.  I intend to keep this little gem for quite a while so later in year I'll be spraying waxoyl in any place I can get it.  Next on the agenda is self refurbished 16" alloys with some new tyres and once the ford is sold an lpg conversion.  Future mods, 40mm lift, wheel arch and door protection, 2nd fog light in rear bumper, rear red drl, front drl and may be leather seats.

One other thing, I have an OBDII scanner but it can not connect to the system, its an ANCEL AD310.   Is it only a Subaru checker than can connect or are there other makes that can.  The reason I ask is that I would like to check the live data especially the coolant temp.

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it pre OBD2 so uses SSM .

Get yourself a cable off ebay for subaru with ISO9141 support(under £10) and download FreeSSM software to a notebook .

I don't like continental kits, double check all parts as doubt they all be oem japan .

you got lucky with rad :-)

SF's look good with 30-40mm lift spacers added . need camber bolts on rear and trailing arm front spacer keep wheel central . Also look way better and helps protect arches a bit if either swap rims or use spacers to offset wheel 25-30mm , they way too recessed especially the rear .

Have fun, ideal weather test your overheating :-D

 

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Conti kit; Tensioner is NTN, upper idle pully is KOYO, drive cog is NSK, idler pulley is GMB.  I could actually see most of the wording on the pulleys on amazon that why I got the kit.

Got a cable on the way plus a cheapish working Samsung NC10.

Seen some 40mm lift spacers from the" Russian federation" also some raised springs but they are only 30mm and made to order in Australia, the rear springs have to be used with kyb units,  112924232257  160722508456

Found some nice solid alli trailing arm spacers from that place over the pond, black by subtle-solutions or polished by streetrays will prob get the polished and spray them black smoothrite. 182223020274  272686171140?

I shall be fitting refurbed 6.5" x 16 alloys instead of the 6" steels, the offsets are the same at 48mm, not quite decided on tyre size but probably 215/65 as they should clear the struts/brakes easily.

Why has the rear camber got to be adjusted and not the front?   Would 14mm (offset shoulder) bolts be ok, they are the only ones I've seen listed for the car

Can you recommend any uk suppliers of lift spacers

Edited by GrumpyOldDog
fixed links

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lift spacers are better than springs as 1: can retain rear sls struts and 2: you still get same stroke range from strut from ride height position.

russian spacers the cheapest but some of the usa kits best quality.

front has camber adjustment bolts already from factory so can be adjusted after lift, rear doesn't so you either mod rear use front oem camber bolts or buy the aftermarket 14mm bolts.

Trailing arm spacers pretty easy make if prices not great .on pre made option . I don't see any uk sellers on pre made kit .
UK option for springs is springcoil.co.uk .

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Well the obd lead and disc with software arrived as well as the notebook. Connected up to car and it failed to connect to the ecu. Double checked by using alternate ports and got the same result.  Any ideas why it can not access ecu?

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What lead and drivers was installed ?

can be fussy on drivers and port numbers, being online when attaching the cable can mess it up by installing online instead of modified drivers you probably got on disc with chinese ebay cable .

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It is a uk supplier, it's advertised as suitable for subaru check the link. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SUBARU-CAR-FAULT-CODE-READER-ENGINE-SCANNER-DIAGNOSTIC-RESET-TOOL-OBDII/281376830830?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l9372

The lead has got "vag kkl" written on it and the disc has the freessm software and drivers on it and desciption on  how to set up.  The only thing I had to do was transfer data from the disc to a usb storage dongle as the laptop does not have a disc drive and my pc, Win 10 64bit, would not reckonise the laptop, Win 7 32bit.

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It will be a chinese cable with cloned chip and modded drivers, not that that should be an issue as I got a black totally unmarked cable that works fine and a blue one with vag kkl sticker that cost £3.49 direct from the factory motherland Guangzhou and that worked too .

can be fussy on com ports and need be lower port numbers or other installs/drivers possibly cause conflict .

Seller got pretty good feedback, I would try running through install again and see what com ports are assigned to  on laptop already, if no joy cantact seller for tech support.

They shouldn't be selling or even including freessm on a disc as a free bonus so you likely get you money back easy enough via eBay

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Thanks. I contacted the seller, he said check the fuses, I did and they are all ok. Waitng for him to get back to me.

I think I may have knackered the ecu or pcm.  I was looking for a route to run a cable from radio to a cd changer in the back.  I saw 2 single wire black connectors next to 2 green connectors, near the obd socket.  Looked these up on a service disc and the black are "diagnosis ground".  So me thinks join these black ones together and my obd lead will work, duh! how wrong can I be.  Check engine light came on and engine would not fire up. Disconncted the connectors, check light went off, retried starting engine and it would try to fire up but sounded really rough and then died. Disconnected battery and left it for 10mins, reconnected battery and retried starting same problem so disconnected battery and came in for my tea and a rant at myself. will have another look at it tomorrow.

Is it the ecu and where do I locate it so I can get the number off it and hopefully get another off ebay. TIA

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Update: Went out this morn reconnected battery, fired it up and it ran realy rough. Swore at it and myself then heard a tick,tick, tick looked and saw that one of the plug leads was off, the ticking noise was the spark grounding. Pushed lead back on, crossed fingers, started it and it ran lovely so took it round the block.  Had a light bulb moment while driving, I must have inadvertantly dislodged the lead when fitting a pipercross filter. Just need the diagnostic lead to work and I'll be happier.

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Plugs you messing with was test mode loop plugs .

Not that easy mess the ecu as jab electrics pretty solid and well thought out, lucky it just something knocked loose, plug lead in this instance :-)

diag cable more than likely driver/port related . Could be a bad cable as lot of the chinese cables are slapped together bit rough with no QC .
 

You could check ground and power pins at the diag socket .

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