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Ea82 head gasket replacement how to


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Murdockleone

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:48 PM

Hi, I've never had to perform a head gasket replacement until now. I just need someone to give me instructions on how to do it.

#2 Prwa101

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:26 PM

I just did one last weekend for the first time, if you get a Haynes Manuel theyer pretty good.
Are you doing it with the motor in our out?
I did mine with it in but it was a pain getting the cam covers back on with the rockers falling off.

Pretty much take everything off the motor, including the intake manifold, valve covers, cam covers, heads. Have to take the timming belt off too. Un torq the head bolts slowly in a crisscross patter. Milesfox also have some videos on it, I think YouTube.

#3 man on the moon

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:52 PM

Before you do anything else, I would recommend a Chilton's or Haynes manual to help. And search this site for pictures (I'm not going to make a super long post here) of various parts so you have an idea what you're looking for.

Aside from gaskets, the tools you will need are:

  • Ratchet and extension
  • Torque wrench or meter capable of hitting at least 50 pounds.
  • 8mm socket
  • 10mm crescent/box end wrench and socket
  • 12mm cresent/box end wrench and socket
  • 14mm socket
  • 17mm socket
  • Pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Gasket scraper/poker/set/etc
  • 600+ grit sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Brake fluid or similar (to help remove gasket crap)
  • Oil/catch pan
  • Hammer and piece of wood (dowel is good)
  • RTV silicone capable of holding a seal for motor oil
  • Marine grease or vasoline
  • Paint pen or white out (optional)
  • Flashlight (optional)
  • Tray/box for holding tools, and loose nuts and bolts (optional, but really really recommended)

I assume I forgot at least one tool--seems to always be the case in real life, so I will assume it is here, too.

Gaskets you will need (at a minimum):
  • Head gaskets
  • Intake manifold
  • Exhaust Manifold
  • Valve cover and rubber bolt 'washers'

You can do like I did on my first attempt. Take it all apart, clean everything, put it back together. I...learned a few things that way. Much easier to just ask (as you did here), search the forum (button up near the top-right), and loosely follow the Chilton's or Haynes manual. I say loosely as they sometimes skip steps you need, or add unnecessary ones. DO follow the torquing steps and charts, though.

I'm not going to walk you through it--if you really get stuck, post a specific question here, that's the easiest way to go through it. I will write out a basic rundown, though:
  • Remove the battery. You will need the space as well as the distinct lack of electric shockingness.
  • Remove the spare tire.
  • Drain the oil and coolant. There is a coolant drain plug on the bottom of each head, some are not drilled into the water jacket, so don't worry if nothing comes out.
  • Remove the air boot, filter, etc up to the injector/carb.
  • Undo the exhaust manifold bolts (14mm) and drop the manifold. Let it hang from a string/wire/rest it on a block/etc
  • Tag and undo all spark plug wires, gas lines, and electrical harness. Tag and undo/move any vacuum lines relating to the intake manifold and/or head.
  • Undo and move or remove your: alternator, power steering, and a/c stuff.
  • Remove the timing belt covers, loosen the tensioners, and remove the belts. You may have to pull the crank pulley, radiator, and fans to do this.
  • Carefully (emphasis on carefully) remove the bolts holding the intake manifold in place. These bolts are a pain to drill and tap if they break off. I've done it.
  • Remove the valve covers (10mm).
  • Remove the cam towers (10 or 12mm, I forget).
  • Following the diagram in your Haynes/Chiltons manual for the head-bolt loosening sequence (17mm). THIS PART IS IMPORTANT. The sequence is the same for both heads.
  • The piece of wood and hammer are for gently persuading your valve covers, cam towers, and heads to separate. Chances are they will be lightly 'glued' via their gaskets.
  • Have the heads milled at a machine shop (search this forum for info on this, there are some specific things you will need to tell the shop I don't want to take up room explaining in this post).
  • Clean all surfaces to the point they are so smooth you can not detect even a slight bump with your fingernail.
  • Put head gaskets and heads in place and tighten to specification in the sequence directed by the book.
  • Put the rockers and lifters back in place. Use vaseline or marine grease to hold the rockers in place until the cam tower is installed. It will later dissolve in the motor oil. Use RTV silicone to seal the cam towers and put them in place.
  • Put new gaskets (rubber) in the valve covers and replace.
  • Put your intake manifold back on.
  • Replace and tension the timing belts. Search the forum for how to time the motor. It's not hard, but I won't go into it here.
  • Replace alternator, power steering, fans, radiator, vacuum lines, wiring harness, gas lines, etc.
  • Tie up loose ends.
  • Fill with oil and coolant.
  • Start.

That's about it. Use the search button a lot, and ask a question if you don't find the answer. Not sure there is a good write up on head gaskets, but the various points are discussed ad naseum and plenty of information will come up in a search. If you have a question with no apparent answer, someone will probably link you to it, or answer it directly.

Pictures are really helpful if you get stuck--take one and post it, circle or highlight the question rather than go round and round with lots of posts trying to explain something.

Good luck!

#4 man on the moon

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:54 PM

I did mine with it in but it was a pain getting the cam covers back on with the rockers falling off.


Use a petrolium based grease (vasoline, marine, electrical grease, etc) that can dissolve or dilute in the oil once the car is running. Don't use one that will clog ************ up, though. And don't use much--just enough to stick it to the lifter.

AND DON'T USE RTV SILICONE. I haven't done that, but it would seriously screw things up.

#5 Murdockleone

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:38 AM

alright thanks for the help guys I'll get on it tomorrow and see how it goes.

#6 man on the moon

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:46 AM

I know what I forgot. Or one thing, anyway.

Use newspaper to stuff any openings on the top of the motor. This includes spark plug holes, intake, water ports, etc; this way you don't get unwanted particles or larger pieces down inside where you can't get them out. Just be sure to remove the plugs before you put her together! I leave a bit sticking up so I don't have to dig it out with a screwdriver.

#7 Suba_GL_87

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:10 AM

yeah, new manifold gasket before sorry.

do you know how to what u do for timing belt on ea82? it's tricky.
whats kind your head gasket? cuz torque reason.

Edited by Suba_GL_87, 27 February 2012 - 04:14 AM.


#8 6 Star

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:24 AM

If you have the means, do it with the engine out of the car. Much easier.
Remember which head goes on what side, there is a threaded inlet going from the carb into the passenger side head.

#9 Prwa101

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:37 AM

Use a petrolium based grease (vasoline, marine, electrical grease, etc) that can dissolve or dilute in the oil once the car is running. Don't use one that will clog ************ up, though. And don't use much--just enough to stick it to the lifter.

AND DON'T USE RTV SILICONE. I haven't done that, but it would seriously screw things up.


Didn't even think of that! Would have made it way Easyer!

#10 blasdgag

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:58 PM

Is it necessary to remove A/C components to do the head gaskets? I really want to avoid doing A/C work if possible, but it looks like the compressor will have to be removed to get at the driver side head. If I do have to remove it, can I recover the refrigerant myself, or have to have a shop do it? I know this is an older thread, but I have been searching awhile to no avail. Any input would be appreciated!

#11 scoobiedubie

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

Here are some more tips.


 

Buy special Subaru rubber coated metal O rings that go between the cylinder head and the cam tower assembly. Buy Three bond gasket maker from motorcycle shop. Buy permatex high temp gasket maker from auto parts store. Buy 2 new intake manifold gaskets. Buy 8 valve guides.


 

2.5 Align the timing mark with the center mark of 3 closely spaced marks on the top of the flywheel. Hold flywheel in place by inserting a screwdriver in flywheel hole or a special Subaru block. You turn the flywheel with a 22 mm socket on the crankshaft pulley.


 

3. Remove the radiator and clean it. Remove the fan. This also allows you to look at your camshaft gears when reassembling with either the hole aligned with the top notch in the rear plastic belt cover, or pointing straight down. If left side is up, then right side is down.


 

6. Do not undo any gas lines or electrical harnesses, except to the distributor. The intake manifold is not going anywhere so keep it hooked up.


 

7. Unbolt the A/C from the engine block but do not unhook any Freon lines to it. Lift it and slid it towards the rear of the engine. Do not touch the power steering.


 

8. Do one side at a time. Reassemble. Then do the other side. If replacing timing belts then all front covers have to come off. This involvs removing the crank pulley. Better check your timing belt pulleys and have new ones ready if they have more than 80,000 miles on them. If not changing timing belts, then you do not have to remove them from the center gears. Only from the camshaft gear. Water pump is a good thing to replace while you are this far into the engine.


 

9. Remove all 6 manifold bolts and clean all rust off. They rust real easily. Use a small shim to slightly raise the manifold off of the cylinder head.


 

11. If you have a 87 or later, better leave your distributor in the cam tower and do no spin the camshaft.


 

12. 9 bolts per cylinder head. Some bolts are long and some are short. Keep track of where they go. Tall shoulders require the long bolts. Short shoulders require the short bolts. If you attempt to install a short bolt in a high shoulder hole, you will STRIP THE THREADS IN THE BLOCK. Then you are toast. Clean the bolts off real good. Get all of the grease and rust off. Clean with brake cleaner. Put some paper towels in the holes in the block, to keep out the gasket debris that you will be scraping off of the block face. Don’t forget to remove them before installing head.


 

14. If you clean up the cylinder head yourself with a high pressure hose, then it only costs $40 to have the valves ground. But you will need to supply them with valve guides.


 

15. You have to clean the block off. I very carefully use the floppy metal from a spark plug gapping set. Or a wood chisel. But you cannot put one single gouge in the block.


 

16. Spray brake cleaner into the cylinder head bolt holes and blow out with compressed air. Then remove paper you put in block holes to keep debris out of the block. You will be making at least 3 passes to tighten up the super clean cylinder head bolts. Allow 10 minutes between passes.


 

17. Jack up the car at least a foot off of the ground, before you attempt to set the rockers in place with wheel bearing grease. You should have cleaned all of the old gasket maker off of the cam tower. Clean everything up with brake cleaner. Then install Subaru metal O ring in front bottom corner recess and hold in place with a little grease. Spread 3 bond on all contact edges of cam tower. Lightly paste 3 bond on the two inner flat surfaces that contact the cylinder head, otherwise you are going to have noisy hydraulic lifters. Let 3 bond sit for 20 minutes. Then install cam tower on cylinder head.


 

18. Use permatex gasket maker and paste the lower half of the cam tower cover gaskets. Use same on two lower bolts.  Lower vehicle once covers are in place.


 

20 Install the camshaft gears with the pin going through a hole in the gear between the 3 bolts. Using s Subaru wrench, shift the gear so that the outside timing hole either exactly aligns with the top notch in the rear timing cover, or points exactly down. You can simplify this by putting a white typewriter mistake paint mark, exactly opposite to the timing hole. Then when the hole is exactly pointing down, then the white mark aligns exactly with the timing mark in the rear cover.

 

22.  Remove screwdriver from flywheel hole.



#12 MilesFox

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:03 PM

This vedeo will detail how to remove the AC components as a complete assembly without disconnecting any of the pressure lines or evacuating the refrigerant

 



#13 The FNG

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

I'm pretty sure someone made a photo documentary on how to do this. I will try to find it



#14 NickNakorn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:10 AM

There are many photos of engine-out head work on my website at:  http://www.nagara.co.uk/carhome.htm . It's much, much easier to do a good job with the heads if the engine is out; not least to clean all the mating surfaces properly and to have good access when reassembling. Removing the engine is easy in an EA82 car so it's worth the small ampount of extra time to do a good job.  



#15 DaveS

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:41 AM

I did head gaskets myself recently... look-up Miles Fox's videos, very helpful!



#16 grossgary

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

are you sure it's headgaskets?  the intake manifold gaskets have a water passage through them that can leak into the intake runner, into the combustion chamber and have what looks like headgasket symptoms.

 

for that same reason - use Subaru only intake manifold gaskets - the aftermarkets are thin.

use Fel Pro permatorque headgaskets.  no retorque procedure required as is with other headgaskets.

do not use regular orings between the cam tower and head - those are metal reinforced and only available from Subaru and a very few select aftermarket places like www.thepartsbin.com

 

Subaru EA82 factory service manuals publically downloadable at www.subaruxt.com.  that would have the complete subaru run down of the headgasket job.



#17 MilesFox

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

Here are pcs of an ea82t in various stages of disassembly and assembly. Not in any consecutive order, but instead alphabetically by filename. This will give you an idea of what the parts look like, anyway.

 

http://www.economysu...allery/rxbuild/



#18 The FNG

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/129404-pulling-engine-etc-through-the-eyes-of-a-noob/?hl=%2Bthrough+%2Beyes

Check this out. There are tons of pics and it is very well documented.




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