EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

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EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Sheepy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:15 pm

Hi all,

I have an EZ30R which has a blown head gasket, letting pressure into the cooling system.
It was over heating slightly but no where near the red line.

I have been quoted $3600 to get heads machined and gasket replaced, however I am not sure this is my best option as the block could be warped and the engine has done 198,000kms.

I have found a second hand JDM engine with apparently 110,000kms on it for $3100 (and a 3 month parts and labour warranty) from a reconditioning shop 5kms away from me.

I am trying to figure out what my best option would be, if it would be either of those or something completely different. I was considering trying to get one imported from Japan however have been struggling to figure out what would be involved in this and if it would be worth the savings as I would have no idea what its condition would be.

I looked at reconditioned engines and these seem to be quite expensive, couldnt find any cheaper than $6500.

Not sure how to approach this no matter what it seems like a big investment. Unfortunately seems I got ripped off buying this car even though I got a mechanic to confirm the head gasket was okay before I brought it and he said it was fine.


If anyone has any advice of what my best course of action would be that would be much appreciated.
Thanks
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby bigBADbenny » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:14 pm

What’s your location?
You might be able to get a better quote on the head gasket repair locally.

The block will unlikely be warped but if properly overheated, the heads may require reco and decking.

It would be a good idea to replace the timing chain tensioners as well depending on the mileage.

Its hard, but I look at these setbacks as opportunities.
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Sheepy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:55 pm

I am in South East Melbourne.

That was actually the lowest quote I got. Another quote was about 5000 which included machining the block.

Called a subaru wreckers / workshop aswell. They said the same thing really, quoted 4 grand and said there would be a fair chance it would just happen again as cannot tell if the block is perfect.

Also, the guy who quoted me 3500 got back to me said he spoke to his subaru guy and it seems he heavily underquoted the job, which is about what everyone else I took it to said.

He was going to get the heads tested and machined for 600, the gasket kit was 1100, 1100 labour and then rest was parts.

Yeah changing the timing chain tensioners isnt a bad idea. I just worry about spending $4000 and then it going a few weeks later again.

It was not overheating heavily, the needle went about 3/4s of the way up, no where near the red line however it would have been quite low on coolant so not sure if that would be an accurate representation. Was idling at the time anyway and turned it off pretty quick.

I keep hearing these particular engines are a pain to work on and alot of the time not worth the money and effort involved instead of replacing them.

Even the subaru wreckers just recommended replacing it if I can find a good condition second hand one

Also, not sure how useful this information is but seems the head gasket break is between the cylinder and the cooling system and its pushing pressure into the cooling system
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby bigBADbenny » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 am

The actual test for warped heads is being able to pass a one thou feeler gauge under an engineers ruler.
The block test would be similar.

As for a warped block, do some research before making assumptions that will flag you as being misinformed about the job. Eg:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/r ... ck.415362/

Get a quote (refer me) from John at Little Sams Service Station Collingwood or George at RB Autotech in Richmond and let us know the outcome.

The entire subject was discussed recently on an FB group.
My observations are:

Use an obdii app to monitor digital coolant temps
Replace the radiator with stock replacement or Koyo aluminium rad.
Replace coolant annually
Learn correct & complete coolant bleed procedure
Read the ADS FAQ on 2-way heater core back flushing, and incorporate the procedure into your maintenance schedule.

I haven’t looked up the ADS faq (all drive subaroo) yet but I surely will as my high km 2.5t probably needs it.

One thing I’ve learned recently is that high km cars eg 225+ really need everything perishable on the inlet side to be tested, inspected and replaced as required.

This includes but is not limited to injector seals and orings, cam sensor orings, coolant, fuel purge & breather hoses, spark plugs & coilpacks, rear main seal, cam cover seals etc.
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Sheepy » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:12 pm

Called both of them,

John quoted me at least $3500 to do the heads and gasket.

George said he doesn't do that sort of work any more but recommended getting a second hand engine as they are expensive to work on
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby bigBADbenny » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:43 pm

Interesting, looks like you’d be pressed to find it cheaper, especially done properly.

Second hand is looking good, especially if you observe the considerations for keeping the issue in check as listed above ^.

Any luck with all the local subaru specialist wreckers in Melbourne?
There’s a couple around Mentone area iirc.
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Sheepy » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:07 pm

Yeah seems like I wont get it done any cheaper.

Yep called the two Subaru wreckers around here, one in Mordialloc and one in Heatherton, plus a couple around australia to see if they had engines for a better price, which they did not (and did not offer labour warranty).

Neither of the two around here had any of the engines, both said they are really hard to find in good condition and they buy up any that become available when they find them.
One of them who do work too said they can install a second hand one for $1000. I think buying second hand may be the way to go but still going to set me back $4500 which is about what I payed for the car. Just hoping this new engine doesn't cause me any problems.


Will keep those things in mind and try to look after the engine, already have an OBD app on my head unit so can monitor coolant temp easy.


Thanks for all the help Ben, think my best bet is getting this engine for 3100 and paying another 1000 to get it installed
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Yowie » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:15 pm

Other Subie owners and I have had good experiences with these Tasmania-based wreckers:-

https://www.moonahautoparts.com.au/

More specifically, good communication, know the parts, do what they say, send what you order (which is not at all a set of universal qualities for wrecking yards).

It may be worth making enquiries that far south.
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby bigBADbenny » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:33 pm

I had a chat with John at Sams this arvo, he suggested (and uses) Subabits.
Especially to ask for a quote for supply and fit, as they essentially dont have any markup on the engine (his words).

We kicked around the head gasket issue, getting down to tin tacks.
He said the air pockets issue leading to overheating issues can be caused by 3 main issues, 2 mechanical, 1 user error.

1: a compromised head gasket leaking combustion gas into the cooling system.
2: a blown hose or seal leading to loss of coolant and then incorrect bleed and heater core flush after changing coolant.
3: incorrect bleed and heater core flush after changing coolant.

Other points:
Follow the coolant manufacturers recommendations for coolant change interval: it is possible for acidic coolant to eat at the gasket fire ring.
Use any coolant but never mix coolant.
Use a coolant temperature obdii app (eg btssm) or electronic device either with an over temperature alarm set.
The engine will likely loose compression or the won't run at all if overheating warps the engine block.
As with H4, the test for true head decks on an H6 is not passing a 1 thou feeler below an engineers square across the heads.
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Sheepy » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:26 am

Actually funny you say Subabits as that was who I was planning on getting the work done with as they had a very reasonable quote of $1000 for the install and have been to them in the past with my old Subaru.

Unfortunately though they said they do not have an engine and told me good luck finding them it's hard to find one in good condition but I believe I have found one with parts and service warranty.

Regarding the air pockets it is definately the head gasket as the overflow tank is bubbling so gas is definately getting into the cooling system.

Thanks for following up and looking deeper into it I really appreciate it. Seems I will have to grab that second hand engine just unfortunate as it's money I really don't have currently and I will just have to pray this one doesn't cause me problems.



I actually called those Tassie wreckers earlier today the price was slightly cheaper but engine had done almost double the amount of kms and only includes a 3 month warranty on the parts, no warranty on labour. Thanks for suggestion though
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby RX25SE » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:04 pm

For what it's worth, I replaced the head gaskets on my MY07 about 18 months ago at around 190,00kms.

Machined heads, replaced stem seals and all timing chains, tensioners and guides. I used OEM parts with a light coating of 'copper coat' on the head gaskets.


Absolutely no issues to date. I flog the thing to the point where I hit the limiter almost every time I drive it, have done since I bought it 7 years ago at just under 100,000kms.
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby bigBADbenny » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:16 pm

Sheepy wrote:Regarding the air pockets it is definately the head gasket as the overflow tank is bubbling so gas is definately getting into the cooling system.


Yes, I’m not second guessing your issue, I’m talking about air pockets in the cooling system being a contributing factor in causing the issue, so you’re less likely to encounter the issue once you’ve fixed your head gaskets or you’ve put in a second hand engine.

Here’s the ADS article that covers H6 specifics:
https://www.alldrivesubaroo.com.au/serv ... t-repairs/
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby BMCracer » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:54 pm

Are the 3.6 H6 engines any better regarding the air pockets / head gasket sealing etc?
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby Sheepy » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:12 pm

Hi all, so I decided to get the second hand engine and got it installed by a subaru specialist

While he was at it got him to replace radiator, pressure test cooling system, change thermostat, spark plugs, and check / flush heater core.


The first sign of my original problem was bubbles in the overflow tank.

I drive about 10km on this new engine, open the overflow tank and what do you know? its bubbling and this time also has some oil/petrol residue in it!!

I'm so lost now what I should do and what it could be. I brought this engine from a reputable engine reconditioner who has bench tested it and was confident enough to offer a 3 month parts and labour warranty on the engine.

What could this be? seems highly unlikely that 2 engines would both have a blown head gasket im so lost, I feel I've checked all the right things with this car, had multiple mechanics opinions and even overthrown the engine for another one. Starting to get a bit frustrated as no matter what I do the problem is the same. Spent all my savings on buying this and then the rest on the new engine and repairs. I just dont understand how this is possible with the engine replaced, cooling system tested and new radiator, the only explanation that I can think of is blown head gasket in this one too which means the reconditioners gonna be paying for it...
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Re: EZ30R Blown head gasket. Fix or get second hand engine.

Postby nvmylh » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:15 am

Does it actually get hot? Find a long hill and put it under some load, if it doesnt actually get hot, or loses oil/coolant, leaks from the headgaskets, then I wouldn't worry. Just do it soon before the 3 months is up?
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