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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Oil Leaks, Smoke, UV Dye ...oh my


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10 replies to this topic

#1 MR_Loyale

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

This week I am pulling the engine to do a timing belt. While I have it out I am planning on going through and fixing all the oil leaks. Most annoying of the oil drips is when it hits the hot exhaust and a cloud of smoke billows out. There is a puddle on the passenger side cross-member that drips onto the exhaust below. I clean the puddle, a new one forms and so on. The thing is that the car drives fine, so that was why I didn't immediately park it and fix the leaks.  They aren't at easy to get to places like the covers or I would have already fixed them by now.

 

Of course I wish to have a better idea of just where the leaks are happening so I am darn sure to fix it right. I have done several UV leak tests. Bought the UV kit with the UV light, the glasses and the bottle of dye.  I quickly found out that without even any dye, oil fluoresces green under UV light. This makes it extremely difficult to determine  what is glowing green because it was from the dye mixed oil and not the regular oil from before the dye.  So again I did the UV test this time degreasing prior to dumping the dye and still I was not able to definitively  identify the leak(s).  Still it wasn't so obvious to me exactly where every leak was coming from. Even tried it with three bottles of dye. Made it a brighter green but I still could not say with certainty where every leak was happening.

 

I noticed that the seam where the head gasket is seemed "wet" horizontally.  it possible that the head gasket leaks oil without leaking coolant? I always thought you had to be getting the milkshake oil before you could declare the head gasket bad.  That is really my biggest question - do I have to do the head gaskets? Will I screw it up?

 

The fact is all the rubber in this car is over 20 years old. To my knowledge they haven't made a rubber that lasts forever, so I am content with just replacing every seal and gasket on the top end. It isn't super expensive and will be easy once I pull the engine.

 

What gnaws at me most is that without knowing for sure where the passenger side oil puddle comes from, I may miss it on the engine work, put the engine back in and get a puddle again. Any suggestions?

 

 



#2 bakerjr

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:42 PM

The older Subaru engines Are known for oil leaking externally from the head gaskets.

#3 Tsuru

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:37 PM

The older Subaru engines Are known for oil leaking externally from the head gaskets.

Yes,

It's not a defect...

it's a "feature".



#4 Subruise

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:59 AM

Rarely does an ea series leak oil from the hgs externally. thats an EJ series thing. You are most likely leaking from A) valve cover gaskets. use a 10mm ratcheting wrench. loosen and move motor mounts if you need to but its not too bad. B) lots of folks mistake the cam towers for heads, these will leak after time due to the dealer only metal reinforced o-ring contained therein. C) camseals are probably as dry and brittle as the rest of the rubber on that engine.

 

Id bet a sixpack your HGs are fine. pull your motor, do a reseal (or leave it in and do it) while its out, clean the engine bay real nice.



#5 MR_Loyale

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 03:19 AM

In 2006 at 117K, I pulled the motor and did the timing belt, camshaft seals, cover gaskets, rear main seal, new oil pump, new water pump. I did not do the cam tower.  This time I will be at 160k and I will be removing the engine again because I want the timing covers gone. Also I want to redo the HLA's so that means the cam tower comes off. I have no problem doing all the top end gaskets and seals. I am thinking if I am at the end of this project in a few weeks, the engine is in and after a week of running it I find out i did need to do the HG, I won't be a happy camper.  The puzzling thing to me is how the oil ends up on the passenger side cross member and puddles right over the exhaust.


Edited by MR_Loyale, 04 May 2014 - 03:19 AM.


#6 Subruise

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:46 PM

its the lowest point. Ive had this happen as well. follow the "clean" spots. when you pull that camtower off, youre gonna find a camtower oring thats sucked in and brittle.

 

 

I dont think Ive ever even heard of an external oil leak from an HG on an EA82. Having not changed the tower seals last time Im almost comfortable betting an HG job on it


Edited by Subruise, 04 May 2014 - 12:48 PM.


#7 MR_Loyale

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:48 PM

Well I will have the definitive answer tonight. My engine is pulled but Tuesday night during the last 50 miles before I parked it I put in two bottles of UV dye. Just got the engine out today and will e examining it tonight when it is dark and the bye will glow nicely under the UV light.  I can take close up pics of any part of the engine if need be.

 

 

 

 



#8 MilesFox

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:51 PM

what is mistaken for a oil leak from the HG is likely the cam tower o-ring.



#9 MR_Loyale

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 11:37 PM

what is mistaken for a oil leak from the HG is likely the cam tower o-ring.

 

Even if it goes along the HG seam on top of the block? The cam tower O-ring will definitely be replaced, and with the metal reinforced one. Subaru is the only place to get those metal reinforced ones?


Edited by MR_Loyale, 08 May 2014 - 11:38 PM.


#10 MR_Loyale

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:30 PM

Ok. Got the engine out and the timing covers off so. Note in the image below that the right HG seam is all oily and dirty.  Contrast this with the HG seam on the left.

 

I think on the passenger side (left in pic) most of the oil was due to the stupid oil filler neck gasket.  Cam tower seam definitely leaking too. I will be doing some UV shots tonight when it is dark and post them.

 

100_0636.jpg



#11 MR_Loyale

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:05 AM

So I am looking at the engine out of the car under UV light, I can see definite oil leaks.

 

The cam tower/head seam on the driver side:

 

 

drvr_side_cam_twr_leak.jpg

 

 

 

 

Top front driver side head/block seam:

 

 

tp_frnt_drvr.jpg

 

 

 

Front bottom of diver side head/block seam:

 

drv_frnt_bttm_hg_oil_lk.jpg

 

 

 

 

Lower rear of driver side head/block seam:

 

 

100_0645.jpg


Edited by MR_Loyale, 10 May 2014 - 01:16 AM.





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