We have been using an improved gasket in the Subaru for a while now. There are supplied to us by North East imported parts and are sold under their “Six Star” brand. At the end of this article I have included a video from North East Imported Parts.
In noticing that there seems to be a few more 03 and 04 showing signs of failure which would mean the latest gasket for the 2nd generation 2.5l may really not be as good as the updated gasket for the 1st generation 2.5l was.
The updated gasket supplied by Subaru for the 1st generation 2.5l really is a fix, the deficiency in the gasket was resolved with the new design. This is the DOHC (Dual Over Head Cam) engine we are talking about now. We have always felt that installing the updated gaskets and educating on maintenance would always yield great results.
The second generation 2.5l is a SOHC (Single Over Head Cam) uses an entirely different gasket, it has been superseded by Subaru a few times through the years but the replacement gasket does look somewhat similar to the O.E. Gasket. We have still never seen a Subaru vehicle that we have repaired in the Seattle area develop a second head gasket leak but in the last few months the number of posts to my article about head gaskets leaks found here https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-problems-explained/ and the number of emails I have received indicating that there are still some issues out there.
I feel that part of the reason the Subaru’s we repair in the Seattle area don’t develop the problem a second time is we really focus on trying to educate our customers on the importance of maintaining the vehicle based on how they drive the car. When faced with a expensive repair we have almost always found our Seattle area Subaru owners receptive to ways to avoid expensive repairs in the future. Part of the reason I spend all this time writing articles is I want Subaru owners regardless of demographics to have the same information that our Seattle area Subaru owners have.
We test ran a set of these head gaskets on a 1997 Subaru Legacy GT belonging to a good friend of mine who is very hard on his cars and after many miles decided to try them out on a second generation 2.5l in a 2000 Subaru Outback belonging to a delivery driver in a rural part of Washington State. We have since used these gaskets many times with great results and consider them to be a real fix for the problems with the second generation 2.5l head gasket leaks. Now installation of these gaskets doesn’t mean that a good maintenance schedule shouldn’t be followed, it is always going to be very important in a Subaru and a Horizontally opposed engine that the fluids are not allowed to become contaminated or corrosive.
For our local customers you have the option of either gasket, for our readers every where else we do sell these gaskets in a kit and can ship them to you just about anywhere you reside.
Here are a couple of pictures of the gaskets we use, I will be doing a follow up article that will focus on the technical side of things such as composition and installation methods.