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Guest Message by DevFuse

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98 2.5 LH Side Intake cam frozen solid

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7 replies to this topic

#1 lmdew



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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:54 PM

I picked up a 98 Legacy Outback 5sp with 229K on it.  The PO had spent over $1400 on engine work.  I didn't get all the details.


Anyway, 12 months and 1 week later (week past the 12 month period) it just stopped on him.  No more money going into the car so he sold it.


When I opened it up the intake cam on the driver side had exploded.  Nothing left of it.  All of the other cams and cranks seem good.


It was very low on oil so I'm think oil starved.  


Anyway, with all the cams closed the crank does turn over fine and it seems like there is good compression and its even on all 4 cylinders.


What are the odds, the cam just froze up and took out the gear and if I swapped out the head it might be OK.  Long shot I know but I thought I'd ask those with much more engine experience than I. 





Just talked with the PO and he said the engine was rebuilt in 2010.  No oil light on,  He had heard some noise but it went away when hot.  He was in the parking lot, started the car and it just stopped.  


Oil starved Cam, I'd think.

Edited by lmdew, 19 March 2014 - 09:02 PM.

#2 Fairtax4me



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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:30 PM

RTV on the oil pump? Would lead to a plugged oil feed for the camshafts. Drivers side seems more prone to getting plugged since its the closest to the pump (as far as the routing of the oil pressure galleys is concerned).

#3 tirod


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 05:15 AM

If the cast in place cam journals are scored that head is toast. It could be remachined, the few shops I could find in December were $400+ for both heads plus shipping at least 500 miles from SW MO. Add the price of the cams, a SOHC was $200+ for reground. 


You need to pull the journal girdle and actually see things before making a decision. That, and if pieces of the "exploded" cam circulated thru the oil pump, then the other head got the journals scored, too. 


It gets real ugly with cast in place journals and no cam bearings. Cheaper for them, and guarantees a non economic rebuild.

#4 lmdew



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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:16 AM

Thanks for the info.  This weekend the engine will come out and I'll drop in a 2.2 and then when I have more time I'll tear it down to see the extent of the damage.  I  now have 3 DOHC engines for parts so may be able to get 1 or 2 out of the 3.

#5 lmdew



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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:45 AM

Aft Intake Cam and bearing galled.  

Oil passage was clear as far as I could see but I didn't spend a lot of time as it's toast.

#6 Gloyale


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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:39 AM

I'll bet the Cam caps were mixed up or on upside down.  They all only have one loctaion and direction.

#7 lmdew



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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:51 AM

Could be, whoever did the work, did a crappy job (Brakes Plus) was mentioned by the PO.  Why anyone would even go there is beyond me and to have engine work done at a brake shop just makes no sense.


Just some of the things I notices when I removed the engine:

- Missing Intake bolt

- Wrong hardware on the engine lower mount studs

- Lower Starter nut missing

- Rear Power Steering mount bolt missing

- Everything way over torqued


I'd like to say  you get what you pay for but they paid way to much for this "Crap".

#8 soobyhobby



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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:52 AM

I've had 3 subaru's ran low (very low) on oil and 1 cam seized. I figure if the engine was ran low enough, long enough, to cause a cam to seize, it could be scary what else in the engine had irreparable damage (rod bearings, other cams, ect)

I lean towards a complete engine swap. (that's what I've done)

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