Head Gasket Repair / Replacement on 2001 Subaru Forester

Do you have a preference - have the head gasket replaced at a dealer, or a neighborhood shop? The neibrohood shop wants 1800 for both sides and a week, the dealers in MKE want 1700-2200 and two days, and a CHI dealer wants 1000 to do only one side. Thoughts?

Asked by for the 2001 Subaru Forester
Head gasket failure is a common problem on this engine. The engine has to come out, once their the clutch may be recommended to be replaced, the timing belt water pump and tensioners are all easy to replace at that stage. It is a labor intensive job but straight forward skill level once a fellow is conciseness it does mater who does the job.
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I had my 2003 Subaru forester head gasket done locally at a much lower price than the dealer wanted. For $1,800, I had the head gaskets done, replaced water pump, spark plugs, oil change, fuel filter and had the heads and valves ground and adjusted. Since the repair and driving 2,000 miles, gas mileage 25.8 mpg, what my Subaru did when new.

My dealer is half decent in price and service but I feel that I have to be very selective in what I have them perform. Always feel that my wallet is in danger at the dealer.