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2006 Legacy Valve Cover Gasket question


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6 replies to this topic

#1 huffman142

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 06:34 PM

I have a 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i (183,000 miles) that is leaking some oil around the spark plug wires.  The mechanic said I should replace the gaskets and spark plug seals.  He said something about one side being fairly easy to get to and the other side on certain Subarus requiring one side of the engine to be lifted to access the valve cover.   Does anyone have experience with the 2.5 engine in a Legacy and know if it can be accessed for DIY without lifting the engine?  I don't want to start it if I can't finish the entire job.  My dad and I have done about everything else on a Subaru, but neither have done this before.  Thanks.

 

OR another question:  I'm not losing any oil between changes.  I didn't even know they were leaking until he told me.  Should I even bother with them at this point or wait until it's a real problem?  I keep a good eye on oil levels and I would see any changes.



#2 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:21 PM

Someone else will chime in on whether the engine needs moved or not.

 

But if they are leaking, there's no reason not to replace them. The gaskets aren't expensive and it's more than just oil levels. If oil is getting into the plugs, you'll be weakening the connection between your plugs and wires and losing power from it. Had this happen on my wife's 2000 outback. The engine was a dog, especially on hills. Eventually you'll get a misfire.

 

And yeah, the better you can seal up a subaru engine, the better. Many of them die simply because they get run low on oil. Especially these 2.5 motors which are much less forgiving than the 2.2s. Save yourself some hassle, and your engine some wear and tear and just swap the gaskets and grommets.



#3 grossgary

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 10:37 PM

yes, replace it now.  eventually you'll get a cylinder misfire due to too much oil in the spark plug tubes.  those gaskets are prone to leak and never get better

 

Replace the spark plug tube gaskets, valve cover gaskets, and adjust the valves while it's apart.  They are very easy to adjust on this engine.  just a wrench and screwdriver and some time.
 

the spark plugs are also easily replaced now - plugs are disconnected and a little more access with cover removed.  on 6 cylinders i have always done valve covers and spark plugs together.

 

it's very easy to DIY - the 4 cylinder engines are a cake walk, very easy to do.

the 6 cylinder engines are the more difficult ones, the drivers side rear bolt (just one bolt) is nearly impossible to get out.  can't see or reach it.

 

***all that being said - if you do need to lift one side of the engine up, it takes:
1. ONE BOLT - the 14mm engine nut on that side

2. a jack and a 2x4 to lift the engine up

3.  about 3 MINUTES

 

so it won't cause any problems for a DIY or cost any more money due to time at a mechanics.



#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 10:38 PM

If they're leaking into the plug wells they're already a problem. The oil will cause the boots on the plug wires to expand and allow the spark current to arc to the head and cause misfires.

You don't need to lift or tilt the engine. It's kinda tight at the back corners but still doable. Remove stuff on the sides like the air filter box, intake tube, washer fluid container, etc. to make extra room if you need to.
Get new plugs and wires since they'll be easier to replace while you're doing the cover gaskets.

#5 Gloyale

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:03 AM

If they're leaking into the plug wells they're already a problem. The oil will cause the boots on the plug wires to expand and allow the spark current to arc to the head and cause misfires.

You don't need to lift or tilt the engine. It's kinda tight at the back corners but still doable. Remove stuff on the sides like the air filter box, intake tube, washer fluid container, etc. to make extra room if you need to.
Get new plugs and wires since they'll be easier to replace while you're doing the cover gaskets.

 

2006 has the larger AVVL head/valve setup.......he will need to lift the engine up a bit....not as much as in an outback but I can say for sure the drivers side will need the engine lifted and shifted to the side a bit.



#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:57 AM

Did these in an 07 Forester and didnt have to do any lifting/tilting to get them out. Maybe the Foz has a bit more room though?

#7 subsince77

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 09:08 PM

yes, replace it now.  eventually you'll get a cylinder misfire due to too much oil in the spark plug tubes.  those gaskets are prone to leak and never get better
 
Replace the spark plug tube gaskets, valve cover gaskets, and adjust the valves while it's apart.  They are very easy to adjust on this engine.  just a wrench and screwdriver and some time.
 
the spark plugs are also easily replaced now - plugs are disconnected and a little more access with cover removed.  on 6 cylinders i have always done valve covers and spark plugs together.
 
it's very easy to DIY - the 4 cylinder engines are a cake walk, very easy to do.
the 6 cylinder engines are the more difficult ones, the drivers side rear bolt (just one bolt) is nearly impossible to get out.  can't see or reach it.
 
***all that being said - if you do need to lift one side of the engine up, it takes:
1. ONE BOLT - the 14mm engine nut on that side
2. a jack and a 2x4 to lift the engine up
3.  about 3 MINUTES
 
so it won't cause any problems for a DIY or cost any more money due to time at a mechanics.


I know this thread is several months old, but I just discovered that my 09 OBW is going to need the spark plug seals replaced. Gary, you mentioned that the valves can be set on these engines? I always thought they were shim and bucket. Is that not correct?

And, there seems to be disagreement on whether the valve covers will come off without moving the engine. How about on my 09?




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