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TQ Came Off During Engine Removal - Need Help


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57 replies to this topic

#1 subaruUser

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:11 AM

I decided to try remove the engine on my recently purchased 2003 Outback to replace the head gaskets. Its an EJ253 I believe with the original factory HG and 83k on the clock. Coolant is leaking out the Driver's side HG. After spending a good bit of time researching and reading the internet I learned this is a common issue.  I have some mechanical skills and felt confident I could handle the project. So it was time to tear it apart and get dirty. I followed a DIY  thread and for the most part all went well, that was until the removal of the engine.
 
I made two mistakes during removal that I believe ultimately led to my current situation. I did not pull the transmission pitch mount and I tried to raise/support the transmission on the pan instead of the lower bell housing (pan is slightly pushed in now from this) Using this method I ended up raising the engine and transmission together and everything shifted left. This put extreme tension on the transmission pitch mount which actually resulted in it stress cracking. I also believe at this point I was raising the complete vehicle with the engine hoist as the crane and car made some very loud and pronounced creaks and thud like sound. There was about a 2" gap between the block and bell housing when all of this occurred but no complete separation of the units. I lowered everything down quickly. Hopeful that nothing besides the pitch mount is broke.
 
I then spent some time searching on the web and found that I should raise the transmission directly below the bell housing to about the firewall to achieve correct alignment so the lower pins can release from the bellhousing. When I did this it popped right apart but seperated with the Torque Converter engaged to the flywheel. I'm now left with what looks like this;
 

IMG_20131201_191758.jpg

 

IMG_20131201_191846.jpg

 

IMG_20131201_192252.jpg

 

I was able to slid this part off the spline;

IMG_20131201_192805.jpg

 

So I have some questions that I'm hoping some of you experienced Subaru Guys or even Gals can help with as this is all new to me. The last picture of the shaft I have posted,  should I be concerned that there's one area of smooth wear and then two dark burnt looking areas, is this normal? This piece I slid of the spline of the transmission along with the clip after the first picture.

 

The teeth on the spline and inside the TC look to be fine with no burs or such I tried to search for info about TC coming out of the transmission during engine removal and I found only very little info. I know from that researching that re-installing the TC can be tricky and if not done correctly can ruin the transmission oil pump and transmission. I'm not sure what I should do so I'm hoping some of you with more knowledgeable could chime in and advise me on how best to proceed. I don't have funds for a transmission so I'm hoping this isn't a major fubar but at the same time I don't want to slap it all back together if it is.


Edited by subaruUser, 02 December 2013 - 02:28 AM.


#2 NorthWet

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:36 AM

The basic notion with reinstalling is that you need to gently push on the TC while rotating it. You are feeling for each shaft seating.  When complete, the TC should be sitting entirely inside the bellhousing (IIRC).

 

The tranny damage comes from trying to force engine and tranny together by using bolts to draw them together,  If they do'ne push/wiggle together, and still have some fore-aft moveability of the TC, then it is not seated properly

 

DO NOT FORCE ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION TOGETHER.

 

Cheers!



#3 subaruUser

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

I appreciate the reply and info. I see one seal at the very front, advisable to replace? Does the shaft piece clip on the transmission spline or the TC?

Any other information or advise is highly appreciated in this learning experience.

Oh yeah, I did your screen name too!

Edited by subaruUser, 02 December 2013 - 10:41 AM.


#4 Gloyale

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 12:09 PM

Clip the extension tube into the TC.  Then slide it all into the trans.

 

I rest the pilot nub in the center in my finger, and then spin the TC while pushing in gently until it clicks all the way in.

 

When seated the Flexplate bolt tabs will be just about flush with the bellhousing.



#5 CNY_Dave

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:25 PM

My snap ring was bent- I straightened it.

http://www.ultimates...&attach_id=7296

 

 

here's a close-up of where the clip snaps into the converter:

http://www.ultimates...&attach_id=7294



#6 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 11:22 PM

http://www.ultimates...by-mnwolftrack/

 

There's a great write up on seating the TC. I used it the first time I had to do it and it only took me a minute to get it right. Posted a few pics of it. Best way to tell for sure is to look at the TC from the starter hole of the trans. You want no more than an 1/8 of an inch space between the TC and bellhousing.



#7 subaruUser

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 11:26 PM

Thanks guys for the info. Good no nonsense forum here! So sounds like Tranny is OK as long as I seat TC correctly and even though snap ring is slightly bent I can probably straighten and reuse. Thanks Dave for the detail pictures, very helpful.

Adventure I appreciate the post and thread, I'll take a look.

Should I replace that front seal or not mess with it? Doesn't look to be leaking but its tempting with it right there starring at me.

Edited by subaruUser, 02 December 2013 - 11:26 PM.


#8 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 01:10 AM

If it's not leaking, I'd leave it. These trannies are usually good for lots and lots of miles.



#9 subaruUser

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:54 PM

So I finally got the engine back together and now moving on to try and get this TC back on correctly. I need to do this right as I already have a another vehicle (non Subaru) that needs a new transmission and I'm trying to get this fixed before that goes out. I can't afford to buy a new transmission for the Subaru too, so I'm desperate for help to do this right. I have no experience with this (and no help), so you guys here are all I've got to get this seated right. I've read numerous threads on many forums, including the links provided (thank you all!) and have tried to seat it but am not sure it's all way in. So here's what I have done thus far;

 

I took the oil pump shaft and clipped the c-clip to it and carefully slid it down to where it locks onto the TC. The oil pump shaft tube is locked in firm on the side it clips into and has playable movement (slight up and down) on the other side, I assume this is correct but don't know? I then took that complete assembly (TC with oil pump shaft clipped on) and slid it inside the transmission and did the fish hook thing turning to try and seat. It took awhile to get the first seating but did dropped but was no all one, two or three it all happened at once. So now I'm a the point where I'm nit sure if it's fully seated back to the third stop point. I have kept trying to get it to seat further turning both directions and no success. So I'm now wondering is it seated fully or isn't it. If it isn't not sure what to do as after hours of trying I'm left feeling hopeless   :(

 

From what I can tell it's a 1/4" out still but really don't know. I took a few pictures but they're not the best;

https://lh4.googleus...=w155-h207-p-no

https://lh4.googleus...=w155-h207-p-no

 

 

I hope posting a link is acceptable as I tried to add the URL and it gave me errors. First post I made it allowed me but not now.

 

So if anyone can give me an idea if I have done this correctly and if the TC is seated I would be very grateful. I'm under the impression it's not but after a long time of turning it won't go anymore and I'm lost.

 

My family is hoping I get this car fixed so we can go see Grandma for the holidays, I'm feeling doubtful. I need to make some Subaru friends! If any local guys near me have experienced with this I would love for some help/advice. If beers your thing I can provide! 


Edited by subaruUser, 17 December 2013 - 02:59 PM.


#10 CNY_Dave

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:03 PM

If you look at where the starter goes or at the bottom of the TC, the TC should be very close to scraping were it to move back further.

 

If you think it's seated and you never force the motor back into the tc and you do not use the bolts to pull the motor back you won't damage the pump.

 

If the TC is seated and p[ushed back the flexplate will not touch it until you slide the TC forwards.

 

On mine the key to seating it was turning while lifting the front of the TC a little, if the weight of the TC is on the shaft it will 'cock' it just enough to prevent seating.



#11 1197sts

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:29 PM

Similar to what others have said, what makes the most sense to me is: When you install the engine, and the TC is properly seated the flex plate will not touch the TC, you will have a small gap (approx 1/8 inch) that will close as you tighten the flex plate bolts, drawing the TC forward to the flex plate.



#12 subaruUser

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:48 AM

Ok, so if I understand correctly the damage occurs when the TC is too far outside of the bell housing and people then push it back with weight/pressure of engine trying to install with force? I'll try looking in from the starter and bottom to see how close things are. Thanks

Edited by subaruUser, 18 December 2013 - 01:49 AM.


#13 zedhead

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:07 AM

I'd replace the tranny front seal.

 

$5.00 seal vs pulling it all apart again if it leaks???



#14 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:33 AM

I'd replace the tranny front seal.

 

$5.00 seal vs pulling it all apart again if it leaks???

 

I feel that history has shown in these as well as rear main seals on Subarus that they are far more prone to leak when replaced. They don't usually wear out.

 

As far as the torque converter, - take a small tape measure to the back of the starter opening and measure the space between the TC and bellhousing of the trans. You should be at about 1/8 of an inch. And to put everything together the TC will move slightly forward as mentioned.



#15 lmdew

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:22 AM

2 for replacing the front seal, you may have damaged it when you pull thing apart with lots of stress on the TC

You also need to fix the dent in the pan if it's more than 1/8" in.  There is very little clearance between the pan and valve body and fluid inlet port.

 

I'd also take a close look at the aft trans mount.

 

if you put the starter in the hole and push the TC aft and rotate it the gears will just touch when you rotate the TC.  When the engine and trans are together and you put the TC to flex plate bolts in you pull the TC forward about an 1/8.



#16 MilesFox

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 12:57 PM

Here is a tip: join the engine and tc together before installing the intake, for better access to the bolts.



#17 zedhead

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:36 AM

I feel that history has shown in these as well as rear main seals on Subarus that they are far more prone to leak when replaced. They don't usually wear out.

 

As far as the torque converter, - take a small tape measure to the back of the starter opening and measure the space between the TC and bellhousing of the trans. You should be at about 1/8 of an inch. And to put everything together the TC will move slightly forward as mentioned.

 

Sure, they wear out. Also, these are extenuated circumstances. $5.00 is cheap insurance for doing a job twice.



#18 subaruUser

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 12:44 PM

OK, so seems a little debate on replacement of the front oil seal. I'm now leaning towards replacing it, since I may have stressed it and I'm already need deep in replacing the RMS, resealing the back seperator plate/wrist pin access and dropping the pan, So figure I might as well go all the way at this point! I also see there is an o-ring on the front of the input shaft seems might be logical to replace that too while I'm there, thoughts?

 

Another thread on a different forum mentioned a method of pulling the input shaft from the transmission and installing on the TC/oil pump shaft and then sliding the complete unit back into the car. What do you guys think of this method?

 

Imdew I appreciate your input and will be look closely at dropping the pan to smooth it out as I was reading about that issue with clearance. Not to sound like a complete newb but can you explain what "aft trans mount" is? I will try putting the starter in the hole as well too but unfamiliar what you mean by "push the TC aft", can you explain further? Miles I will for sure be putting the intake on after the motor is matted to the flywheel!

 

My biggest worry at the moment besides getting the TC back on correctly is if I any hidden damaged during the stress of removal. As mentioned above things didn't come apart too easy for me due to pain of learning and lack of experience and the engine separated about 3 inches and pushed back on the TC a few times which worries me about damage to the oil pump that seems like from what I've read is like glass when stresses like these occur. At the moment currently awaiting for a new dog bone to arrive at the dealer that was stress cracked during the removal. Hoping this weekend will be the "Christmas Miracle" and the car will be back together correctly and operational. 



#19 zedhead

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:26 AM

Well, if the pump was damaged, there's no real way of telling until the engine is started. I suppose you could pull the tranny and inspect things. But, your prolly better off just bolting it back together and testing.

 

I'd install the shafts, and then align the cogs on the TC to the shaft.

 

It might take quite a bit of figiting to get everything aligned, and seated properly. The TC should be behind the mating surface of the trans/eng 1/8-/1/4"  You can use a straight edge across the trans mouting surface to check.

 

Climb into the engine compartment and sit on the crossmember to get every thing aligned.


Edited by zedhead, 20 December 2013 - 09:27 AM.


#20 CNY_Dave

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:01 PM

You can look in the portion where the hollow extension shaft engeges the pump, not sure if damage will be visible.

 

pump_tang_1.jpg


#21 subaruUser

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 01:06 AM

Well, if the pump was damaged, there's no real way of telling until the engine is started. I suppose you could pull the tranny and inspect things. But, your prolly better off just bolting it back together and testing.

 

I'd install the shafts, and then align the cogs on the TC to the shaft.

 

It might take quite a bit of figiting to get everything aligned, and seated properly. The TC should be behind the mating surface of the trans/eng 1/8-/1/4"  You can use a straight edge across the trans mouting surface to check.

 

Climb into the engine compartment and sit on the crossmember to get every thing aligned.

Wow, 1/4" behind the mating surface. The TC edge currently is still 1/4" outside of the mating surface at the moment so it sounds like I'm not fully seated, man what a PITA! I had a hell of a time tonight getting the RMS out and marred the crank/seal surface. Spent a good 1/2 hour lightly sanding smooth with 800 grit paper. It appeared to have been leaking but judging by how difficult it was to remove, maybe not. After reading about the RMS tonight probably should have left the damn thing alone :(  I might have just created my next problem down the road, sigh. 


Edited by subaruUser, 21 December 2013 - 01:08 AM.


#22 lmdew

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:43 AM

Picked up some GT wheels and tires from a fellow today, he had only pulled 3 of the 4 bolts off the flex plate so the TC came out with the engine.  

 

He got them apart and then tried to reseat the TC.  It was still out when I saw it and I offered to help him seat it.  The normal method did not work only 2 clicks so I pulled it out and the center shaft came along with the TC and outer tube.  I've never seen that before and could not get it all the way back in.  I think the thrust washers on the rear end of the trans may have dropped preventing the shaft from going all the way in.

 

That's not so good.



#23 topsecret

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:26 AM

Even though I had removed all of the flywheel bolts and completely undone every connection between the motor and trans my torque converter still popped out with the engine when I removed it.

I struggled with it not dropping all of the way in just like you are talking about.

Took me over an hour with 2 buddies and then all of a sudden like magic it just seated correctly.

They are tricky tricky but I think that this is just normal.

keep your head up and cram it in



#24 topsecret

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

Oh yeah and one more thing.  I used the same method as you, jacking up the trans to remove and replace the engine.

I damaged the wiring harness to the trans because mine sat right on top of the bell housing and was crushed between the trans and car.

Just something else to look out for when your putting that engine back in.  (which in my opinion is much harder than taking it out)



#25 subaruUser

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:10 PM

Well, I'm still at it :( pulled the TC back out to look again and measure input shaft distance. From what I can tell from FSM my distance is correct so shouldn't be input shaft causing issue.

Reinserted TC and now stuck on first click. Maybe it was seated when I removed, I don't know! Wish that I had some experience with this. Any locals in the PDX/Vancouver area who might be able to help me? I would be SO thankful. Currently sitting on radiator support with feet on crossmember turning....

Edited by subaruUser, 21 December 2013 - 05:11 PM.





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