I finally got started tearing the Subaru apart today. Actually, I didn’t tear anything apart–I just drained the coolant and engine oil. It took me a long time to drain the coolant, but only because I didn’t want a big puddle on the garage floor. The radiator was almost completely devoid of any antifreeze–I probably only got about 10 ounces out of it. I unscrewed one of the coolant drain plugs from the engine block and drained it, but the other plug can only be removed if the engine is out of the car. I’m not sure if I needed to remove both plugs to get all of the coolant out, but I guess I’ll find out when I remove the cylinder head–more than likely, I’ll end up with a puddle on the floor anyway.
Tomorrow, I’ll probably start removing all the accessories, like the alternator, a/c compressor, drive belts, timing cover, timing belt, etc. Taking everything apart should be pretty easy, but I’m not looking forward to putting it all back together. Since I’m going to replace the timing belt, I’ll have to take the car to a mechanic to get the timing adjusted, because I don’t have the tools to do it myself. After reading through my repair manual a little more thoroughly, I decided that the only other things I’m going to replace are the thermostat and the head bolts. And possibly one or both cylinder heads, depending on how they look once I get them out. With as badly as it’s overheated in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of them are warped or even cracked. I think that’s the part I’m dreading the most about this whole situation–I could end up doing all this work only to find out that I need to spend $600+ on new cylinder heads.

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