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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Valve Cover Gasket Repair, now clutch judders.

judder rear main seal valve cover gasket

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4 replies to this topic

#1 dubadam1



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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:41 AM

Hi Folks!


First post. Thanks in advance for looking.


I recently bought a '92 Legacy wagon awd 5MT. Prior to the sale, I brought the car to a mechanic I trusted for an inspection- I knew the car was leaking oil, but from where and how seriously I was uncertain. Mechanic told me the car was overall in good shape, and that the oil leak was likely a valve cover gasket, but maybe the rear main seal. Everything was cheap enough so that if it came to doing the rear main, I was okay with it.


Long story short, I buy the car, and have him do the valve cover gaskets right off the bat.


I get the car back and a day or so later, I start to get really bad judder when dropping the clutch in 1st gear. It seems to be getting worse every time I drive the car. the sweet spot between the amount of throttle which causes judder and too little so it stalls has gone from very small to non-existent.


I did some search of these 'board, and it seems like people who describe judder like this are advised to replace the clutch. This sucks, but I'm okay with it 'cause the car was so cheap. also, have a receipt for the clutch ( and rear main , fwiw) replacements on this car from 11 years ago. So it seems fairly reasonable that it might be time again.


My only concern is that I this transmission felt pretty solid when I drove it on the test drive before buying the car, and the mechanic didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with it. Is it possible that a sloppy valve cover gasket job could have leaked oil into the clutch and ruined it? It just seems weird that this problem happens right after I get the car back.


thanks folks





#2 GeneralDisorder


    Elite Master of the Subaru

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

Not possible. Valve covers are entirely unrelated to clutch problems. You just have a bad flywheel surface or lack of grease on the fork pivot or throw out quill.


If you need a good shop to do the clutch, etc for a good price let me know - I'm in Milwaukie:


Superior Soobie and Import




Edited by GeneralDisorder, 24 February 2013 - 02:53 PM.

#3 89Ru


    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

change of ownership means changes in shifting patterns...car is adapting to its new owner...machine the flywheel and inspect the clutch.

#4 ferox


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Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:02 PM

Do you know if he pulled the engine to check the rear main seal?  If so, he may not have got the clutch and flywheel back in correctly or something may have loosened up.

#5 dubadam1



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Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:10 PM



Thanks so much for your replies.


I am glad to hear that it would be impossible to screw up the clutch by doing the valve cover gaskets. I like this guy, and I trust him.


I doubt very much he pulled the engine to inspect the rear main seal, based on the cost + speed with which he did the inspection. Plus, he wasn't really sure if the rear main was leaking or if it was the valve cover gasket.


Either way, looks like I'm in for some clutch work, and it also looks like doing the rear main if it's in doubt at this point makes sense to do at the time.


thanks again guys, loving the car otherwise. First Subaru.


Rick, might be giving you a call soon.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: judder, rear main seal, valve cover gasket

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