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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Hi All!! First post, and I need some help!

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7 replies to this topic

#1 SteveF101


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:19 AM

Hi all,

This is my first post here so I though I would introduce myself and seek some help. This is far and away the best site I have found for Subarus, great site!! I am fairly new to the Subaru world so I don't know much about them yet. I am pretty good mechanically, I've worked on cars my whole life, mostly muscle cars though, I am not too familiar imports and front wheel drive cars.

I live in the NW near Seattle and have an 89 GL sedan non-turbo, FWD, FI. It has about 125k miles on it. I bought it when it had 110k on it and I've had the following parts replaced (by a mechanic, not me) so far, both half shafts, the timing belts, the water pump, the thermostat, plugs and wires, cap and rotor. However I still have some problems I need help with. I hope some of you gurus here can help me out, :)

The first and biggest problem is a major oil leak, I assume it is coming from the valve cover gaskets, but I can't really tell. I think it is coming from the passenger side, but I'm not sure. This leak was present when I bought it, so it had nothing to do with the timing belt replacement. I bought a Haynes manual but it is pretty much useless. :( Are there any other gaskets that I should replace that might be leaking as well? Is there anything I should be aware of when I replace them?

Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated!!!



#2 thealleyboy


    Subaru Derelict

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:35 AM

Hey Steve:

Welcome aboard!!

I always reccomend cleaning your engine thoroughly anytime you are trying to chase down a leak (not a bad idea in general). Not only will the source of this leak become obvious, you may find some other ones you are not aware of.

A of couple cans of Engine Brite and about a dollars worth of quarters at your local self-serve car wash should do the trick. I always remove the side splash sheilds and skid plate and clean those up seperately. I also run the car so it's nice and hot before spraying on the engine degreaser - even though the directions say you shouldn't.

If it does turn out to be valve cover gaskets, you can do those with the motor in the car. Might have to unbolt a few things to gain access. If it were my car, I would do both sides.

good luck, John

#3 Sweet82


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:44 AM

I have the same problem, but mine is leaking from the heads:-\

Driveway Cardboard is cheap! Oil is on sale all the time! I'm not pulling my heads to replace the gaskets...

I also had a oil pan gasket leak---that was easy to fix!

My .02
82 SubaruHummer
01 Forester

#4 Flow


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:48 AM

Welcome to the board. The EA-82 (your engine) is notorious for oil leaks. It is common for them to leak oil from the valve cover gaskets, cam seals, front and rear main seals and oil pan gasket. Personally I've learned to live with the leaks until I do some other work in the area. For example a clutch job automatically gets a rear main and oil pan gasket because they are easily accessible while the engine is out of the car. Valve cover gaskets are a great place to start. Only takes 5 minutes a side. Just be careful when you torque them back down. Subaru says only like 4 ft.-lbs. You’re working with aluminum now also. It is very easy to strip threads. Good luck.

#5 SteveF101


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 11:02 AM

Wow, thanks for the advice guys. Yeah it looks like quite a job to replace the gaskets, it looks like you have to pull almost everything from the front of the engine to get to them. I was hoping that there was an easier way that I didn't see. Pretty much you all are saying the same thing, live with it. That's what I have been doing for quite some time, now, it's more of an annoyance than anything else, I guess I'll just keep on adding oil as needed. I'm laid off right now, my job was shipped to India, so I'm trying to find things to do around here instead of bouncing my head off the wall, :) My wife has threatened to cut me off if I do anymore work to the house, so I thougt I would start on the cars next. Oh well on to the next problem. Thanks again!!


#6 thealleyboy


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 11:54 AM


Sorry about the job situation. Make sure you vote accordingly in November.

But this may actually be a good time to tackle some of these things, and catch up on the maintenance schedule on your car. In the process, you'll get yourself up to speed on working on these cars.

As mentioned above, you can combine 2 or more procedures to get the most out of your labor time. For example, it's easier to justify replacing cam seals, if you are also due for timing belts. Personally, I wouldn't wait until a belt snaps before digging into this job. A rear main leak is probably the only one I would put off. The others are fairly easy.

Again, I would clean your engine so you can pinpoint the leak(s). Then, make a complete list of items needing attention. You may find that it makes sense to do some of things pro-actively and efficiently, while you have time on your hands.

good luck, John

#7 rweddy


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 12:36 PM

Welcome to the world of Subaru! These are great cars, very durable and if they break they are easy and cheap to fix.

The best Subaru book for early Subaru’s is
How to Keep Your Subaru Alive: A Manual of Step by step procedures for the complete idiot. By Larry Owens
Very good book with great illustrations and humorous to boot.

Early Subaru’s tend to leak, unless it is huge amounts just learn to live with it!! :lol:

#8 Vegablade


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Posted 16 September 2004 - 05:17 PM

Welcome aboard, i also live in washington about 180 miles away from there actually might be down there this weekend. Also you should try and get some pics also try to keep up on the rust problems. subaru's tend to disapear after a while here. mines just starting to rust out its actually amazing its lasted this long.

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