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Joel's 2001 MY02 Outback

turbo swapped sleeper

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#1 JDWhiteWRX

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:04 AM

Well the background to this story is before we purchased our first house I was stashing a little money aside to buy a comfortable daily drive car to replace my wrx which has become more race car than road car, I was thinking 06/07 XT forester.

When we bought our house I ended up using all my savings for the car to boost our deposit, there was no way around it and obviously money towards a house is always going to be a better investment.

Fast forward to last month I was browsing ebay and spotted a 2001 MY02 Subaru Outback which was only about 20 minute drive from my place, it is advertised with 6 months rego but has a blown head gasket (common problem). The starting price was $2k and no one had bid on it yet with the auction finishing in 5 days. I contact the seller to organise inspection of the car, I rush over to take a look and then offer him the $2k if he takes it off ebay before the auction finishes, he agrees and the next day I head over to try drive it home.

Now with a blown head gasket it was likely to overheat driving it home so I took some tools with me to remove the thermostat which can stay closed due to exhaust gas creating an air lock at the thermostat. Turns out it has already been removed so I top up the radiator and start driving with water shooting out the exhaust :D I didn't get much further than about 5 minutes up the road before it started to overheat so I simply pulled into a side street and phoned a tow truck.

Once home I got it up on stands and start cleaning the exterior and underside of the car, turns out it spent most its life in Bega and that red dirt and dust is everywhere.

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The condition of the car is generally very good for a 11 year old, paint is good and is coming up very shiny with some paint cleaner and polish. Interior is dirty and I plan on removing it all for a thorough wash outside the car, vacuuming ain't gonna cut it. Only things that probably need replacing are the front bumper, drivers door trim and left rear tail light is cracked.

Then I plan on removing the motor and having a go at fixing the head gasket myself, its not going to be a full overhaul, just get it up and running until I have enough money to buy a wrx salvage or half cut and swap it all over.

Outback.jpg


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#2 JDWhiteWRX

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:08 AM

Cleaning up the wheel Wells

The Outback obviously sits pretty high off the ground and has big open wheel wells because of this. Something that has been bugging me is the condition of these wheel wells with the patchy looking body deadener wearing off and just general dirt and grime.

You can see here they look pretty average

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I tackled the rear end first, it was just a matter of jacking it up, removing the wheels and giving everything a good scrub with detergent. On one side I had to remove the plastic which protects the fuel filler piping but otherwise and quick afternoon job.

Once clean I just using a little masking tape to avoid overspray and then applied a couple of coats of body deadener. You can see here the rear end came up looking almost like new.

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Moving onto the front end I took it a little further as I discovered lots of dirt and mud had built up over the years so it was necessary to remove all of the mouldings and liners to give everything a proper clean.

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If you don't remove that crud it will stay wet and eventually cause rust, check this area in your wrx too, I bet its filthy.

Here it is all cleaned out, I also gave it a wax in there.

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All the parts were washed to remove all the built up dirt

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Here are the front wells done, before and after.

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Front Brakes

Looks like it still has the original rotors from 2001 :negative:

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Lucky they are the same size as my wrx rotors and I have plenty of spares. Gave the calipers a bit of a service too while I was there.

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#3 JDWhiteWRX

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

Head Gasket Replacement

Finally the day came to fix the failed head gasket, I was very lucky to have a few mates from the wrx club come over for the day and help me. We managed to get the motor out before lunch, fix the head gasket and then get it back in and mated to the gearbox before the sun went down and we all had to head off to other commitments.

I was under the car dealing with engine mounts and bellhousing bolts while the other guys were busy pulling off the top layers.

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We had to take the intake manifold off to remover the A/C motor as we didn't want to have to get it re-gassed, it had to come off at some point anyway.

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Out she comes

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The empty bay

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Now, off with its head!

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Revealed are some steam cleaned pistons

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Motor back in

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So that was it for day one. The next day I had the joy of putting the puzzle back together. We did take the time to lay things out in order and used some masking tape to label the nuts and bolts but let me tell you if you did not remove the part yourself it can be a real pain trying to figure out how it goes back on.

Sunday afternoon I had it running with some issues, a vacuum leak (hissing sound) and the fans were coming on with a cold motor. Once I found what was unplugged though it was running fine and I drove it to work the next day.

The car has some noise coming from inside the rear of the gearbox, I'm hoping its some bearings around the center diff and the gearbox will not have to come out again. The noise disappears when the clutch pedal is pressed down.

If anyone has any idea what it might be please let me know.

Joel.


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#4 Barbbachello

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:25 AM

Cant help with the noise but interesting read. Also welcome


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#5 Matt

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:31 AM

is the gearbox noise there when driving?? or only when idling with the clutch engaged in neutral??



#6 JDWhiteWRX

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:38 AM

is the gearbox noise there when driving?? or only when idling with the clutch engaged in neutral??

 

Yes its there when driving in all gears, if you are on the gas its there and if you are up to speed and lift off the gas it goes away. The more gas, the more noise.


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#7 Barbbachello

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:39 AM

Someone else has that problem. Its believed to be the rear diff so could be the centre if its coming from the box


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#8 Matt

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:54 AM

ahh ok,... no idea than...mine made a horrid rattle that stressed me out a few times...but it was my aftermarket clutch rattling when idling



#9 Scuba-Roo

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:15 PM

Looks good joel :)

Head gasket is a fun little job on these, good on you for DIYing.

Keen to see the turbo conversion

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#10 Morgan

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

Nice pickup, Joel and welcome to Subyclub!


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#11 sbv

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:05 PM

Welcome mate - Nice deal you got with the car and good attention to detail too!



#12 aekOne

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:06 PM

nice pick up mate. 


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#13 Liberty

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:29 PM

Good story, easy read and the car has definitely been put back up to scratch. Congratulations on all the progress so far Joel.


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#14 CRUISN

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:14 PM

I like your attention to detail in cleaning it. :D


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#15 sbv

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:38 PM

I like your attention to detail in cleaning it. :D

 

The highest level of accreditation you can receive - Well done Joel!



#16 Adam

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:38 PM

Nice!!

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#17 Hypnotic

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:57 PM

Hey and welcome, great read.

 

 

I like your attention to detail in cleaning it. :D

You 2 will get along just fine :D


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#18 JDWhiteWRX

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 07:29 PM

Thanks guys, glad you are enjoying the revival as much as I am.

 

Did the power steering fluid and fresh coolant this afternoon. I just put water in it for the first 2 days of driving to work because the old fluid was most likely dirty from the failed head gasket and I wanted to flush it out a little. I will also dump the oil on friday since it will most likely have some leftover sludge in it.

 

The power steering fluid (ATF) is meant to be bright red like rasberry cordial, not like this :negative:

 

PS.jpg


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#19 CRUISN

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:28 PM

Yep, thats some nasty steering fluid....


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#20 ScoobyOutback

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:14 PM

Nice pick up man. Great wright up about the story behind it to. Welcome also:)







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