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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Doing 2.5L Phase I head gasket job myself...

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58 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 12:34 PM

As a reasonably experienced weekend warrior mechanic, I have decided to do the dreaded head gasket job myself. 99 legacy ob, 118,500 miles.

I have a Haynes manual, which seems to have all of the info I will need. I do however have some questions.

1. The book tells me to REMOVE the cams. Is this really necessary?

2. I am planning on also replacing the water pump while I am in there. Should I also do the cam seals and main seal?

3. Anything else that I should replace while I am at it? Of course I am going to also replace the intake and exhaust gaskets.

I did the timing belt and accessory belts at 100k. I was planning on putting those back on.



#2 Guest_davevail_*

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 12:55 PM

when they go, is it usually just one side od do they both go at once? if one goes, do u replace both?

#3 Guest_JaapH_*

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 01:37 PM

... replace the coolant hoses and the thermostat (whatch the correct positioning).
I would certainly do the seals. All of the. Is easy and cheap. Have a look at your oilpump and change the o-ring and tighten the screws.

#4 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 06:13 PM


I think the likelihood of the second gasket failing at nearly the same time is high. Plus, presumably the newer gasket is better.


Did that. Oil pump o-ring. Will do. Thanks!!

Anyone had oil pump troubles on the 2.5? I have planned on keeping the car to 250k miles.


#5 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 07:49 PM

I see no reason to pull the cams....

#6 Guest_ccrinc_*

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 09:30 PM

In fact, there are good reasons NOT to remove the cams...they are line bored and MUST remain in the exact same place. If you take them out, you must also take off the cam caps, which also must remain in the same position. The bolts on the cam caps round out extremely easily.
Once you have the cams off, you need to keep the solid lifters in the same sequence as well.
Take the head off intact, replace the valve cover gaskets if you want, but don't get into the innards if you don't have to.


#7 Guest_OutbackMack_*

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 08:23 AM

My dealer said both headgaskets would be a 10 hr job.


#8 Guest_WAWalker_*

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 12:20 PM

You will have to remove the cams to get to the head bolts. As Emily said keep every thing in order. You will need to check the valve adjustment when you have everything put back together. Are you doing the repair with the engine in the car? Doing a valve adjustment with the engine in the car is impossible without the $275 special tool. With over 100,000 you can bet on the exhaust valves needing to be adjusted.

#9 Guest_Dennis_*

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 03:30 PM

10 hour job is what a labor guide would give you...ALLDATA gives something like 4 hours for an ea82 timing belt job

there are many that can knock this job out in 45 minutes, just depends on how dilligently you work...

vice versa sometimes applys too...where i used to work, shop manuals would give something like 1 hours time to do something that took me half a day to do, i.e. early 80s accord where you had to pull the goddamn axle to get the alternator out.

#10 Guest_ccrinc_*

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 07:43 PM

Duh,<img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/embarassed.gif ALT=":o">

Wayd's right about pulling all this stuff to get to the head bolts. (Got my engines mixed up.)
If you've never done this job before, and you get it done in 10 hours, you're either on speed, or a genius! :lol:


#11 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 08:12 PM

I am very depressed about removing the cams. I won't let that stop me though. I learned a long time ago to keep things organized when dissasembled.

I spent $299.40 at Van Bortel today. The parts man was extremely helpful and pointed out some other seals I had forgotten. I will list the items with part numbers and price if someone is interested.

I have never been a speed demon with repair jobs. It seems like I break a bolt due to WNY rust or have to improvise a tool or spend two hours carefully cleaning gasket surfaces etc.

The book mentions cam assembly lube for reassembly. I have regular assembly lube, can I use that? I won't be messing with the valve adjustments. I will look into having the dealer adjust them in the near future. I assume it will cost $200-$300.

My father in law runs a large corporate machine shop and has kindly offered to take me to his shop tomorrow afternoon to check the heads for warpage on a granite block. :-) It did get pretty hot. He said that a granite block is far superior to the machinists straight edge that is suggested in the Haynes manual. Actually, he asked me what I wanted the straight edge for, after I told him. He would probably offer to mill them if they are warped. A stroke of luck perhaps.


#12 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 12:16 AM

I put three hours in on it tonight, and I can assure you my number will be closer to 15 or 20 hours. It was going very smoothly though. The suby is a pleasure to work on.


#13 Guest_JaapH_*

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 05:20 AM

Yes if you could be so nice to publish that.
So we all can check if we have all the parts when it happens to us.

I always seem to mis out one part when doeing a job.


#14 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 08:46 AM

Here are the parts for a head gasket job on a 99 legacy ob, 2.5L Phase I, auto trans. This is not the minimum to do the job. I must also say that I already did the thermostat and hoses, and those part numbers aren’t listed here.

Be careful with the valve cover gaskets. They may be different on your car. Take your VIN with you to the dealer.

This list is taken from the dealer invoice. I have modified some of the descriptions to make them more meaningful.

Qty_ _ _ _ Part Number_ _ _ _ Description_ _ _ _ Price Each
12_ _ _ _ 13271AA051_ _ _ _ Wash Rocker CV_ _ _ _ $2.67
4_ _ _ _ 13293AA040_ _ _ _ Sprk Plg Hole Gsk_ _ _ _ $7.95
1_ _ _ _ 13270AA110_ _ _ _ Gasket-Rocker RH_ _ _ _ $9.95
1 _ _ _ _ 13272AA110_ _ _ _ Gasket-Rocker LH_ _ _ _ $9.95
1 _ _ _ _ 10991AA000_ _ _ _ Oil Pump O-Ring_ _ _ _ $1.90
1_ _ _ _ 806733030_ _ _ _ Front Main Seal_ _ _ _ $6.42
1 _ _ _ _ 13594AA011_ _ _ _ Slng-Belt Cove_ _ _ _ $13.93
2 _ _ _ _ 44022AA020_ _ _ _ Gasket Exhaust_ _ _ _ $6.93
2 _ _ _ _ 14035AA281_ _ _ _ Gasket Intake_ _ _ _ $5.15
2 _ _ _ _ 11044AA610_ _ _ _ Gskt Cylinder_ _ _ _ $31.58
1 _ _ _ _ 21111AA110_ _ _ _ Water Pump_ _ _ _ $83.95
1 _ _ _ _ 21114AA051_ _ _ _ Gasket Water P_ _ _ _ $2.55

$279.81 plus tax. I haven't completed the job yet so I can't verify this list as complete.
Will advise.

Sorry bout the formatting, tried HTML with a table but it was a PITA.


Edit: Intake Gasket Part Number

#15 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 09:58 AM

|I Sigh...Nothing is every as easy as I hope it will be.

Everything was going as planned until I tried to remove the cam sprockets. The Haynes manual suggests using a pair of channel locks to hold the sprocket when removing the bolt. The bolt seems to be really tight. I broke off about half of the hexagonal portion of the upper right cam sprocket. Does the dealer use something a little better than channel locks or was I unlucky/careless? I am on my way to Sears now to get a 60mm or 2 3/8" socket.

I would add to the parts list a oil filler neck o-ring.


#16 Guest_JaapH_*

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 01:45 PM

I had the same problem and cracket the rear belt covers.
So I developed some ideas:
Best one is as follows:
Use an old timing belt. Cut it. Wrap one end around the sprocket (counter clockwise) so when tension is applied it will sort off grap itself firm (I don't know how to say this in English. Do you speak Dutch?)
The other end you have to attach to a fixed point away form the sprocket. You could wrap it around the cranck sprocket. Then the camsprocket should be firm enough to loosen.

I used a strap wrench. But that didn't work as I hoped.

So I was lucky and found a bunch of Subaru tools on Ebay (Germany) and bought them. Among them is the famous Subaru double hex tool that fixes both sprockets in their position (picture on Endwrench.com).

Also you could wedge a wooden wedge between both sprockets. I a way that when applying force it would 'wedge' itself even more.
I both cases I would be carefull and I haven't tried them myself.

Good luck

#17 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 04:11 PM

I am going in a minute to weld a shiny craftsman 2 3/8" socket to a piece of angle iron. It fits better than anything else I could cook up on short notice. It is 3/4" drive so I will pass a 3/8" extension through the middle. I tried to figure something out with the old timing belt, but with no luck. I found the piece of broket sprocket on the floor and super glued it back on. I won't run the sprocket, but I figure it may improve my chances of getting it off without damaging anything. One bolt casualty due to WNY salt, windshield washer tank. Still haven't touched the exhaust bolts that have been soaking in penetrating oil for two days.


#18 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 08:48 PM

The improvised tool worked like a charm. A 2 foot piece of angle iron welded to a 2-3/8" 3/4" drive socket. I have gotten the right side cams out and have realized that I have a problem. I don't have any 12 point metric sockets that size.

Does anyone know offhand what size 12 point metric socket is required for head bolt removal on a Phase I 2.5?

I also realized that I didn't get the cam seals from the dealer, even though I asked for them. I also want the valve cover breather gaskets and dipstick o-rings. Perhaps I will throw together a good list at the end.

When I loosened the right side cam caps oil squirted out like it was still under pressure, after two days. Is that normal? Does it show that things are still in good shape?

I am having a little trouble bringing myself to remove that perfectly leak free oil pump from the engine to replace the o-ring. Should I really do it?


#19 Guest_Frag_*

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 09:17 PM

Good work 99 obw.
No problem welding regular steel to tool steel? What kind of welder did you use?
About the oil squirting. Is it possible there are springs in the hydraulic lifters explaining the residual oil pressure?

#20 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 10:03 PM


I don't know about the steel. I borrowed a Lincoln 100 MIG welder using bottled gas, not sure what particular mix. I ground the chrome off of the socket with an angle grinder. I ground clean spots on the angle iron. Five short beads.

It has solid lifters. Polished to a beautiful mirror finish.


#21 Guest_WAWalker_*

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 10:45 AM

You need a 14mm 12 point socket for the head bolts.

At least check the valve clearance before you put the valve covers on. If you have tight valves you will want to have them adjusted sooner rather than later.

#22 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:03 PM

Thanks WAWalker!

Should things really change that much with regard to valve clearance if everything is put back exactly like it was?

The sprocket is special order and $98.82. I am really pissed at those Haynes manual authors for suggesting such an absurd thing. I never would have tried it if it weren't in that book.

Should get the heads off tonight.


#23 Guest_wthramann_*

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 11:22 AM

What are you up to?

#24 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 11:55 AM

I have come down with a mild case of the flu, so I have lost a couple of days. My kids getting the same has cost me some time as well. I did manage to get off of the couch for a couple of hours yesterday and get the left side valve cover and cams off, and the exhaust manifold. The three days of soaking the exhaust bolts resulted in a painless removal, despite the rusty appearance. I purchased the 14mm 12 point, and it does fit the head bolts. :-) This board rocks!

The blasted Haynes manual suggests that I lift the engine for removing the heads. The only way I see that as necessary is if the head bolts are <em>really</em> long.

I will try it without lifting the engine first. I started soaking the engine mount bolts yesterday just in case.

If I ever do this again, I will remove the engine all together. It seems as if I have removed just about everything anyway, and it would be much easier on an engine stand.

I am on my way to remove the heads.


#25 Guest_97svx_*

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 12:32 PM

I had removed the sprockets on my 95 2.2 using a strap wrench. For the crank sprocket, a friend had suggested using a long handle extension on the socket driver and rolling the car until the long handle rests on the fender and eventually loosens the bolt. I wonder if this would work on the cam sprockets, or will the belt just slip?

When using the strap wrench, I did manage to crack the back of the belt cover right at the timing mark. I would recommend placing another mark further back on the cover.


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