Author Topic: Head Gasket Leak (not blown) - skim the cylinder block?  (Read 869 times)

February 05, 2018, 11:03:50 PM
Read 869 times


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Hi Guys,

I have a 2008 Forester XS with 149k on the clock and a leaky /weeping head gasket on the driver's side. I usually go to Pyro Performance in Noordhoek and have asked for a quote and one from Somerset West Subaru.  I have limited knowledge of this but have a few questions:

  • Pyro suggests replacing both head gaskets if you are getting in there. Would you agree?
  • They suggest skimming the cylinder block at the same time. There is obviously an added expenses attached to this and I'm not sure it is necessary. My understanding was that if your head gaskets blows or the car overheats and the cylinder block warps from the heat then you should skim it. Car has not yet overheated and I have been topping up the oil. Coolant level seems fine too. What do you guys think - skim or not?

Any input welcome. Thanks!

« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 10:35:59 PM by GMCN »

February 06, 2018, 08:18:31 AM
Reply #1


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Yes, skimming the block seems excessive, that means a full strip down to block halves and crank?

What kind of leak it is , coolant or oil?

2007 XT AT
Midrand - Gauteng

February 06, 2018, 08:36:31 AM
Reply #2


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Yes I agree on doing both sides while the motor is out, nothing worse than sorting one out and a year later the other starts.

Skimming, no not unless the motor has overheated.

February 06, 2018, 11:04:40 AM
Reply #3


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I have been through the same exercise with many frustrations at a Subaru Dealer. I would skim the block and both heads next time. (Did this with my 1800 Jetta engine that I rebuilt myself a good few years ago and NO hassles. Gave me years of good service and was as good as new.)
Southernmost point of Africa
Ex:2003 Forester XSel Dual Range
Now: 2009 XS Dual Range. LSS sump guard.
Pedders Suspension. Aluminium heavy duty Radiator.

February 06, 2018, 08:48:02 PM
Reply #4


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Had the same with my SG 2003. Replaced head gaskets and timing belt at the same time.
Coolant tank used to overflow.
No problems since replacement. You have a choice of Kometic or Subaru gaskets.