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Guest Message by DevFuse

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2000 Forester Phase 2 2.5L head removal pics

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#1 dennis111


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Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:26 AM

Hi everyone,

I recently got the pleasure(???) of replacing my head gaskets on a 2000 Forester 2.5L SOHC with 128K miles. Antifreeze was leaking from the driver's side rear gasket and oil was getting into the antifreeze. The engine was still running strong and was not overheating. You could smell the antifreeze when the engine was up to temp.

I thought I would share a few pics of the various parts of the engine. I took these pics to ensure that I could reinstall everything back into their original locations. The pictures are displayed in reverse order:


Hopefully the pics will help others to ID locations and hose/wire routings.

Here are a few observations:

1. A good manual is essential to ensure that you have all the torque values and diagrams. Having some mechanical ability is a must. I've restored several American cars at home from the 60's so working on cars is not "foreign" to me. LOL

2. Following the manual during disassembly will be helpful. Don't just start removing things, like I did. LOL

3. Heads can be removed in the car (once you get to them.) In my case, I decided to remove the block from the car.

4. The AC system does not need drained if you are careful. I pulled the motor easily (with the intake manifold removed.) Pics above show where the compressor rested during the R&R.

5. You can remove the 6 head bolts without removing the cam and valvetrain. A 12 point 14mm socket or 12 point 9/16" socket is needed.

6. Removing the cam requires a T45 Torx "star point" socket. There are six torx on each head. Be careful as the bolts are tight. I stripped out 2 and needed to replace them. You will also need a 5mm allenhead socket. Follow the disassembly instructions in the manual as there is a certain order required in order to remove the bolts.

7. The timing belt tooth count was different than my manual. I needed 47 teeth on the passenger side and 43.5 on the driver's side.

8. It is hard to know which O ring goes where.

9. Replace both head gaskets at the same time as you will not want to do it a second time. LOL

10. Most everything can be removed with a 10mm, 14mm (12 point), and occasionally a 12mm socket and wrench. A couple of screw drivers, a pry bar, a feeler gauge, the T45 Torx socket, a 5mm socket, a 17mm, and a torque wrench pretty much sums up most of the tools I used. I also used a couple of "English" sockets--one for removing the balancer and another for removing the cam bolts. An air ratchet helped to speed things up, but was not necessary.

11. The valve adjustment setting in the book was not correct for my car. The correct setting was found on my hood sticker--> .010 intake & .015 exhaust.

12. You can make a strap wrench to hold the timing gear from turning by using an old serpentine belt (doesn't have to be Subaru, nor ribbed) and a pair of vice grips. Use the clamping action of the vice grips to squeeze the belt tight on the gear. then you can twist the vice grips toward the head which can help you to create a "positive stop."

13. The engines are mostly glued together. The oil pan, oil pump housing, and cam retainer block are sealed using only silicone. Of course there is an O ring behind the oil pump housing too. I used Permatex ultra-black gasket maker and I bought it at Advance Auto in a caulking gun size. You won't need that much (maybe 1/4 of it,) but because I am always playing with my other toys I like to keep some around.

14. This is an excellent time to replace the spark plugs. It will never get any easier. My plug gap is .041. The old ones where easily .050 and one was more. Definitely worn out.

15. I used a FelPro head gasket set which included all the correct gaskets and O-rings needed for the heads. This kit even included the spark plug seals. I also bought the Felpro lower gasket set which included the O rings and seals. It was practically a steal for that one. Head set was $166 and the lower set was only $44. I got all my parts from www.autopartswarehouse.com. Excellent prices, FREE SHIPPING, and good service. They shipped in multiple shipments from throughout the country and I had every thing in 4-5 days.

16. Remember to plug all the sensors back in. I forgot the temperature sensor (hidden under passenger side intake) and when I started the car, the fans came on immediately. No movement in the temp gauge when warmed up. Gave me a check engine light. Motor ran, but driveability suffered. I determined the problem and plugged the sensor back in (after removing the air box, the engine ground, and some brackets--it was buried way under. Once installed, driveability was perfect again. Check engine light remained on. :-(

17. The check engine light will clear if you leave the battery unplugged overnight IF THE PROBLEM IS CORRECTED. At least it did on my car. I left it unplugged overnight anticipating a 30 minute ride to an Autozone in the morning. Hooked it back up and turned the key and the light was out! :banana: 15 minutes unplugged won't do it.

18. The re-installation of the motor and hooking it all up was much easier than the initial removal. I started the job with a negative bias in doing it, but grudgingly continued to mark wires and such and remove bolts (bagging and marking them throughout the process.) I cleaned the engine bay, the various parts, and the bolts while I was waiting on parts. I did not order parts until I examined everything and knew what was needed. Reinstalling was as simple as looking at the markings, installing the labeled hardware, and looking at the various pictures that I liked above. Very easy to put back together. Just wish I had plugged in the temp sensor mentioned in #16 as it would have been easy then. LOL

19. All told, I had 3 full days in this project. One day to remove the motor and strip the heads. The second day included taking the heads to the shop (to check for head flatness (<.002), do a valve job, replace the valve stem seals.) I also cleaned the engine bay and all the related parts including the bolts. I replaced the water pump, resealed the oil pump, and removed the oil pan in order to replace the pickup O-ring. The third day I reattached the heads to the motor, installed the cams and retainers, adjusted the valves, installed the timing belt, set the motor in, and reinstalled everything. I was cruising by 4 that afternoon. :clap:

Good Luck with your projects!!!!!


Edited by dennis111, 18 February 2013 - 06:18 PM.

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