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About tomson1355

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    USMB is life!

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  1. Hohieu, Good story. Are you a writer, by any chance? My daughter is very impressed by your offer and would love to take you up on it after she gives them a couple more days to make it right. I should thing mid-week would be enough time. I have the feeling, though, that they are going to tell her she needs to "break it in". I've done several of these clutches and told her to tell them they need to reseal or replace the separator cover, check the rear main, and grease the fork pivot, but I doubt the message got through. I really regret not driving down there and trailering the car home. They said, "Oh, we've done lots of these." I can't do it now, because I don't have the professional standing to claim that the job wasn't done right. Not to mention my obvious bias. So stay tuned. If you want to know who you're talking to, I'm sending you a PM with an email address. Thanks again, Tom
  2. Fairtax, thanks. We may have to resort to your suggestions. First, I think we have to give these guys the opportunity to make it right if we want to have any recourse. hohieu, that's an incredibly generous offer, which I am inclined to take you up on. What would be your tack? I agree on being sympathetic to shops or any other business, provided that they give the impression that they care that you brought your car to them to be fixed and it wasn't. A simple "I'm terribly sorry you had this problem and we'd like the chance to make it right for you" goes a long way. I don't think there's been anything along that line in this case. I will run your offer by my daughter and see how she fells about it. I've been inclined to let her handle this for the experience, but $1200 is a lot of money, and if she doesn't have to fight for it, it would be a good thing. Your help would be greatly appreciated. I'll run it by her. Tom
  3. Thanks for the reply, hohieu. I get up to milk cows, so my day starts early. The car has about 175,000 miles on it and is fairly new to her. It's in very nice shape and worth fixing. I'll try to get clearer answers from my daughter as to how it failed. Her initial description sounded more like it was running poorly, but Pinnacle, at least, recognized it as a clutch problem. I'm reasonably certain the pedal wasn't to the floor as I think she would have mentioned that. Actually, here's her description of it: "Yeah, I don't really know how to describe it. At one intersection I put the car into first and noticed that it wasn't accelerating as quickly as it normally does. Then at the second I got into first but the car shuddered slowly through the intersection before coming to a halt and I pulled it over. THe car will turn on - but then it kind of shakes and rumbles dangerously.I had it towed back to Pinnacle to see what they say. I don't know what's wrong with it. I can still get it in gear but it doesn't really drive." I'll see if I can get her to elaborate. I hope she's learning why I do everything I can on our own vehicles. My son just took his 99 Forester to get inspected in NYC and was told he needed new front struts and a steering box to the tune of $1850. I'm intimately familiar with his car as it left my possession just a month ago and it's nonsense that it needs these things. It seems like everyone's out to take my kids for a ride. Thanks for you help. Tom Earlville, NY
  4. Pardon me for hijacking this thread but I see that hohieu is from Philly and that you all are really knowledgable about clutches. My daughter lives in Philly and the clutch on her 2001 Forester went. We debated towing it up here so I could do the clutch, but decided against it and she took it to a place called Pinnacle where they took two weeks to do the job and it cost her $1200. When she got it back she thought that the clutch pedal was really easy to depress. She put about 50 miles on it before it failed (I'm unclear as to exactlywhat happened) and she had to have it towed back to Pinnacle. First they told her it was a defective clutch plate and now they are telling her that they talked with a "transmission specialist" who thought the clutch may just need to be broken in, which sounds like BS to me. I've done a few of these clutches but I'm no expert. Could they have put the clutch plate in Backwards? Not resurfaced the flywheel? I'd appreciate any advice. Is there a reliable subaru place in Philly?
  5. Thanks for all your thoughts. I don't think it's the seals for the following reasons: The wet/dry compression test The blue smoke wasn't worse at start-up. The oil film that the pistons seemed to drag up the cylinder when I hand-rotated the crank. There is nothing in the throat of the head around the intake valves to indicate that there was oil dripping through. (The exhaust valves point uphill, so I don't see how oil could leak past the seals there.) I set the heads upright last night and squirted oil around the intake valve seals and none had dripped through by this morning. Not proof, just more evidence. One explanation I found for the good leak down test was that the oil seeping by the rings helps seal them up. I'm still thinking it's the rings. I'd like to know why. Was it run low on oil once and the oil rings are the first to go? What Haynes do you have Fuzpile? 2B-21 is a glossary of terms in my book. Tom
  6. FairTax, The PCV valve was working. No oil on the valves. Rings slide freely and look unworn. Crosshatching is very visible on the walls. No gum or goo anywhere. Some carbon on the tops of the pistons. Some buildup on the underside of the exhaust valves in cylinder 4, about 1/16". Mostly a very clean looking engine. I didn't take real careful measurements on the leak-down but it was clearly under 5%. I couldn't hear any air blowing past the rings. I was under the impression that under 5% was quite acceptable. I was also under the impression that a rise of 30 PSI on a wet compression test indicated worn rings. Thanks for your help. I don't want to pull all the pistons unless I need to, though, at this point, I may as well. I wondered whether anyone had seen this kind of thing before. Thanks, Tom
  7. I've got a 99 Forester with 77K. It ran well enough when I bought it, but it blew blue smoke out the exhaust. Compression was right around 150 in all cylinders but went up to 180 when I did it wet. So I figured it needed rings. When I got the engine out, I did a leak-down test and all cylinders were under 5% leakage. I expected to find more leakage past the rings. I've got one piston out, hoping to see something definitve, but I don't really know what I'm looking at. The cylinder walls look fine and the pistons look fine with a bit of carbon build-up on top. The rings look healthy. Ring-to-groove clearance is well within specs. Can the oil control rings be weak and not show on a leak-down? My plan was just to slide new rings on without cracking the block. One other thing: When I rotated the crank with the heads off, I could see a film of oil on the cylinder walls above the pistons. I haven't noticed this on an engine before. Thanks for your input. Tom So my question is:
  8. MRO, Visually the Phase I DOHC has two bumps on the timing cover on each side of the engine. The Phase II SOHC has one on each side. You certainly have the Phase II SOHC on a 2000 Outback. The plugs are angled up on the Phase II rather than horizontal as on the Phase I, which makes them much easier to change. Get a 1/2" drive 14mm 12-point socket for the head bolts. Your manual should have the proper torque sequence. Good luck with your project. Don't sweat it. It's not that hard. Tom Earlville, NY
  9. On a EJ25 DOHC, one hole bolts the inner cover and one hole bolts the outer cover. Isn't that the case here, too?
  10. Gnuman, I just finished a DOHC HG job where the right side camsprockets were torqued so much that I couldn't get them off. Left side came off fine using the flats on the cams, but I broke a wrench and rounded the flats on the right side, and couldn't budge the bolts. I bought an electric impact wrench that was rated at 250 ft-lbs and it wouldn't move them either. So I cut a wedge of 1" pine that was 5 or 6 inches long and 2 to 3 inches at the wide end. I inserted it between the camsprockets (on edge) so that as I tried to torque off the bolts, the wedge got sucked in between the sprockets and kept them from moving. It took a 5 ft. breaker bar and all of my strength to loosen those bolts. The wedge did no damage to the sprockets, but the wedge itself got crushed. Pine is nice and soft and I made sure there were no knots in my wedge. When I put the thing back together I forgot to tighten the camsprocket bolts before putting the valve covers on. I made another wedge and torqued the bolts easily. The camsprockets had chips of some of the teeth from someone who previously used a chain tool or channel locks. I celebrated when I finally got those sprockets off. I figure they were torqued somewhere around 250 ft-lbs. Whoever did it was pretty confused because the head bolts were definitely NOT torqued correctly either. Tom
  11. Luke, Where are you in upstate NY? I'm in northern Chenango County. I'm putting together my fourth DOHC head gasket job (first was a 98 Forester) right now. If you're not far away and need assistance, let me know. Even if the HGs are bad, $1500 for a 98 Forester in good shape is a good price. I'd buy it regardless. Tom Earlville, NY
  12. Checked it. Clicks when shaken. Thanks.
  13. 99 Forester. 76K. 5-speed. New to me. Runs well, but blows blue smoke on hard acceleration. Compression is all at 152 lbs. +/- 2 lbs. I tested two cylinders wet and they jumped up to 182. So it looks like it needs rings, right? I've done three HG jobs on phase ones, but never rings. Is it as easy as taking off the oil pan, unbolting the rods, pushing the pistons out and slipping new rings on, or am I dreaming? Will I have to mic bearings and journals and such? the engine runs nice and quiet. I'm stuck with the car which is very nice in other respects. I haven't priced engines yet locally. And I don't want to put a 2.2 in. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions and ideas. As always, thanks. Tom
  14. Thanks for the replies. I've been looking at various plug wire pullers and some double swivel plug sockets that look like they might help. I've thought of jacking the engine for better access, but it always seemed like an extreme measure to change plugs and wires. I'll give it a try. You probably could drop the exhaust manifolds and get a couple more inches and make the job really easy. Maybe other folks don't find it such a PITA as I do. Thanks, Tom.
  15. Is there a particular wire puller that anybody uses that makes it easy to pull the wires on these 2.5s? The one I have is angled and is useless. Also, what setup is recommended for getting the plugs out. I use a 3/8 drive plug socket with a 3" extension and it's a bear. Arthritis doesn't help, either. I'd be grateful for any tips or suggestions. I've got three of these cars and I'd like to make the job easier. Sorry, no time to search. Maybe later.