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Cam seal, oil seal.....how hard can it be?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 coloradosubarules

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 07:59 PM

I am the very proud owner of a 1990 Subaru Legacy L Wagon with 232K on it but I find myself at a crossroad. You see, at the moment it smokes sooo bad that I could sell it to the marines to drive into the middle of combat and use it as a rolling, dependable smokescreen. The family who owned it before me took real god care of it. They installed a new water pump and timing belt not to mention lots of other new parts. It seems that oil is leaking somewhere behind the black plastic guard up front and leaking on to every single inch of the exhaust and putting enough 10W-30 on the road to classify my vehicle as the next Bond car. So my question is......How hard is it to change those leaky seals??? Anyone do a write up or tech article on it with step by step instructions? Is it ion the Chilton? Any special tools required? this is my daily driver so I can't have her apart for a week. I am handy with the steele (chrome plated) so I am not too scared of getting the hands dirty. Any info would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Greg
coloradosubarules@yahoo.com

#2 jcniest5

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 10:02 PM

I hope it's not internal leaking inside one of the combustion chambers. If it is, it'll be very hard to fix it. You will need to take the whole engine apart to do it, I think. (I could be wrong).

#3 coloradosubarules

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 10:09 PM

Nah..it's some kind of seal. The faster I go and the more I use my A/C, the more it leaks. It's in front of the engine and I can see it leaking out of that black plastic shroud. It's kinda embarassing, when I pull up to a light after getting off the highway, it looks like the Scooby is on fire.

#4 jcniest5

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 10:25 PM

So, it's the front oil seal of the main camshaft (or crankshaft I'm not good with parts name), I assume? I replaced mine awhile back. It's not too hard. Use socket 22 and breaker bar to unbolt the big pulley bolt in the front. The easiest way to do this is to insert the socket, secure the breaker bar to the chassis so it won't fly or move, then crank your engine in spurt of 1/4 second. (Make sure you are NOT starting your engine!) Make sure your breaker bar is lined against a hard and unmovable object so it can't damage your chassis or other parts. Once you start cranking your engine, it will loosen the bolt and once it's loosed enough, you can proceed to the rest of the job.

#5 coloradosubarules

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 10:48 PM

Thanks, but what about the timing cover? The bolts do not want to come out. Should I drill them out? Use force? I am not worried about getting the cover back on because I am like McGyver when it comes to installing stuff.

#6 jcniest5

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 11:10 PM

Thanks, but what about the timing cover? The bolts do not want to come out. Should I drill them out? Use force? I am not worried about getting the cover back on because I am like McGyver when it comes to installing stuff.


If I can see the timing cover now, I may recall what I did to loosen it. As of now, it's too dark out there so I don't remember how I got mine off when I changed my timing belt.

#7 Legacy777

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 04:35 PM

Do NOT start the car to try and get the crank pulley off! If you have a MT, put it in 5th, have someone step on the brakes and loosen the pulley.

If you have an automatic, pull the acess plug on the tranny, stick a breaker bar or prybar in there to grab one of the access holes on the flex plate. That will hold the motor.

As for the seals, getting them out is the biggest pain. You have to insert a small flathead at an angle, then press the end of the handle towards the engine, while the middle part is against the engine or against another screwdriver, so as to act as a fulcrum. While doing this, you have to make sure not to scratch the shafts either.

If the crank or cam seals are leaking, you'll probably want to change the timing belt again, since it probably has oil on it. If you're going that far, you might as well replace the o-ring in the oil pump, check the screws on the backing plate of the oil pump, and re-seal it back up.

If you're decent with turning wrenches, you should be able to do this job.

You can see the access port on the bell housing in these pics
http://www.main.expe...ages/injectors/

You can see the pics from my timing belt change here
http://www.main.expe...ges/timingbelt/

I've got a write-up in a thread with a little more detail if you want to search.

#8 coloradosubarules

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 05:21 PM

Like Vin Diesel once said, "If you can't find the tool you need in this garage "Mr. Arizona" then you have no business working on cars.

MR. Goodwrench has nothing on me.

Found the problem. It appears to be a leaking oil pump seal.

I live my life one Subaru at a time......LOL

#9 brus brother

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 07:07 PM

Great if that's the problem. My 90 Loyale was a horrible smoker and it turned out to be the rubber boots failing around the bolts that hold the valve covers on. It still leaked from the front end afterwards but the majority of the oil leak was related to those boots. As far as getting those timing covers off, this is a common problem and various authors have even suggested just drilling them out and using zip ties afterwards to replace them. Moosens had a very interesting trick for loosening the nut so contact him or check his postings and if you've never gone there, check the engine section linked under USRM Repair and Mod at the top of the page. Miles Fox has many excellent listings on just about every phase of repairing Subarus. This website encompasses an outsatnding group of pros, semipros and hacks willing to share their sorrows and successes. Check out the archives and you will see you are not alone.

#10 coloradosubarules

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 09:41 PM

Thanks for the tip. I think I am going to drive my jeep untill I have time to pull (find) the oil pump and do the required work. I have to get a new timing cover now because I used bute force in a fit of rage. I am 6'2", 275lbs so I just ripped it off....

#11 Legacy777

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 10:15 PM

coloradosubarules,

One request....if you're original post even relavently relates to what you're going to post a question about....please keep it in one thread.

You've got like 3 or 4 threads, and it makes trying to keep track of what's been fixed, what's not been fixed, and people's suggestions a little more difficult.

thanks

#12 coloradosubarules

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 01:36 AM

Turned out to be the oil gasket. It's fixed so do not respond to this thread! Thanx!




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