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Guest Message by DevFuse

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differences in 2.5 DOHC Spark plug hole gaskets

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4 replies to this topic

#1 q240z


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Posted 26 April 2007 - 11:52 AM

I just picked up a 1996 Outback automatic with the factory installed bad headgaskets. During the swap out for new style multilayered gaskets (+ hand lapping the valves just cuz I was already in there), I discovered two things:

1) 1996 doesn't need valve shims. +1 for '96!!
2) the spark plug hole gaskets are different from what I expected.

The old gaskets are back at home and I didn't take pix of them, but here's a rough sketch. Try not to be too dazzled by my MS Paint uberskills. It's a gift...:grin:

Posted Image

The 4 gaskets along the top look like what I got in the kit I received.

Posted Image

I ended up trying to reuse the old gaskets. Bad move. It pissed out a cup of oil before I figured out there was trouble. Faced with being stuck without a car, I dug into a gasket set for a Honda V-tec that I had laying around. Honda uses the same 1/4" tall x 1/8" thick rubber seals for the valve cover, but it's one big loop with no irregularities. I just cut it up and ran a length of the Honda seal around the groove in the valve cover. Follow the red arrows in the sketch, if you can, to see how I routed the Honda gasket material. It seems to work just fine. There are no leaks after 50+ miles, but I'd like to get the right gasket in there.

The gasket kit I got said it should fit 96-98, which they clearly do not (for '96 anyway). Any idea what year they changed those gaskets over?

#2 ferret


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Posted 26 April 2007 - 12:42 PM

Sounds like you didn't get the gasket set from Subaru. the 1996 DOHC 2.5L was a one year engine. It had hydraulic lifters ( buckets ) and different valve covers which is what you discovered. Also different pistons. Subaru did have a separate kit for the 1996. Aftermarket, your at their discretion.

By the way, there were a few other one year engines also, the 1999 2.2L anniversary edition is another one year engine.

#3 q240z


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Posted 26 April 2007 - 02:06 PM

I thought I read somewhere that '96 was an odd bird. The ebay seller of the gasket sets is sending me the proper gaskets now. I just hope those Honda bits don't mess up the Subi mojo.

#4 ShawnW


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Posted 28 April 2007 - 08:15 PM

The 96's have their own 1 year only gaskets as you found out. The ones you have are 97/8/9 model years. Take yours into the dealership and I bet they would trade them out.

Im a big fan of the 96 DOHC engine. The Hyd lifters alone are worth it but on top of that they used a nicer piston than the 3 years following.

#5 q240z


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Posted 29 April 2007 - 06:13 AM

The funny thing is, that Honda gasket I hacked in there is working just fine. I might just leave it there for a while.

Does that make me a bad man? lol

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