I have a 97 outback with a manual transmission. I bought it in July05 with 115,000 miles for $6K. The head gasket is blown and I am wondering what my best options are. My understanding is that I can try to fix the gaskets for about $1200-$1500 or try for a used engine, but that both of these choices don't guarantee that I won't end up with more expensive problems. I'm not sure that it is worth buying a new engine. Any advice? Thanks!
If you replace the head gaskets and have the head reworked(planed and regrind with seals) then you know what you've got. But still a tired bottom end and bearings. Used engine you dont know what you've got, end of story. But if you buy a rebuilt long block, and swap what parts are needed, and useually externall for future needs the you have the best of both worlds. You also need to consider the overall VALUE of the car now and future. Good luck.