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  1. It’s kind of crazy to think how long I’ve been in the Subaru game and yet I’ve never replaced a 2.5 head gasket! I only want to deal with this repair once, hence this thread: I was under my wife’s 1999 Forester for an oil change over the weekend and noticed the bottom of the driver’s side of the engine was COVERED with engine oil. I had long suspected that it was the cam seal leaking, but the volume of oil and the area it covered has been slowly growing over the last few oil changes. A little research revealed that the EJ253 in this Forester likes to pop its head gasket and then leaks oil externally, which correlates with what I’m seeing. We lose about 1-2 quarts of oil between changes (I top it up often) but the engine doesn’t appear to burn any oil (no smoke out the tailpipe, hot or cold). The head gaskets were originally replaced at 78k miles (w/ P/N 11044AA633 head gaskets) and the engine now has about 205k miles on it now. We’re past due for a timing belt as well, so here is the list of parts that we’ve got so far: Timing Belt Parts: Timing belt Tensioner/idlers Crank pulley bolt Water pump & gasket Thermostat & gasket Cam seals F/R Crank seals A/C idler pulley Oil pump reseal/O-ring kit I’ve been doing a bunch of research on what else I should touch “while I’m in there.” In past posts @GeneralDisorder has suggested changing out the piston rings, installing knurled pistons and upgrading to a 10 mm oil pump. I will have the heads milled (if still in spec) but what else should I consider? Valvetrain work? Is there anything I can do to help oil drain back to keep the pistons from getting clogged? Head Gasket Parts: 770 head gaskets Exhaust manifold gaskets Intake manifold gaskets Valve cover gaskets Valve seals (int. & exh.) (I’ve read that the SOHC engines have a tendency to drop exhaust valve guides and that these should be knurled to keep them from dropping?) Sparkplug tube seals Valve cover bolt grommets Misc. Parts: Spark plugs Spark plug wires 10mm oil pump PCV valve Knock Sensor (original is cracked) Battery cables/tie down/j-bolts (battery terminals/tie down are fuzzy and have read this is a potential cause of driver’s side gasket failures) So, flame suit on, please let me know what you think of my parts list! Are there obvious omissions? Are there parts I could swap in for little expense that will help power/longevity (such as uprated camshafts, pistons, etc.?) Note, this isn’t a performance build, so I’m not thinking about forged, high-compression pistons or anything, but if there is an OEM piston that I could swap in that would provide a slight performance advantage, I would be interested in something like that, or Delta Cams, etc. How far away from a Frakenmotor would I be? Would an STI oil pan be something to install?
  2. I recently purchased a high mileage 2008 Subaru Outback (200,000 miles) with an automatic transmission. After driving it more, i started experiencing an occasional miss shift. ( only when shifting up into a higher gear would the RPM's climb and then catch hard.) And It always had a hard shift down into 1st gear (or neutral?) only when I'm coming to a stop. This happens almost every time i come to a stop after the car has warmed up, and less often when its cold. I checked the transmission fluid when i bought it, and it didn't seem bad. Ive since done a partial drain and refill of the transmission pan ( about 3-4 quarts worth ) But that didn't seem to help. I also tried adding some Lucas transmission fix ( very thick additive ) Which didn't seem to help, or hurt. A few weeks ago, my wife was driving the car and the timing belt broke, she was unsure if it was the timing belt breaking, or if the car was in the middle of a miss shift. Until the car died a moment later. I have since had the heads done, and have the engine put back together waiting to be put back in the car. But i am superstitious that the transmission might have caused the timing belt to slip, and that im putting all my money and time at risk by re installing the motor into the car with an iffy transmission. Am i crazy? The theory goes like this... Maybe an old tensioner, and a sudden spike in RPM from the transmission failing to find a higher gear, and then a sudden and violent clunk into said gear. May have cause the belt to slip off the sprocket, and ultimately break? As i was putting it back together i noticed there is no timing belt guide above the main crank. ( the manual says that it may not come equipped, or be necessary.) I think im going to put the motor back in, and test drive it more. hoping to find a solution to the odd shifting characteristics. But wanted to know if anyone had ever even heard of a bad transmission being able to break a timing belt before? IF at least to calm my fears. *Forgot to say that the timing belt did not look worn, or dried out in any way before it broke*
  3. Hi all, EJ251 shortblock, EJ25 D heads, STI gaskets I'm getting an unbalanced shake/hesitation from 1800-2500 rpm. I can't effectively accelerate until rpms are above 2500. Taking off from a stop, the car feels bogged down. Plugs, Wires are less than a year old. Fuel pump/filter/strainer within 6 months. Coil and ignition module are within spec according to an FSM that I read. There was a vacuum leak with the purge solenoid under the intake manifold. It was not operating. Before I found that, my STFT, and LTFT indicated (at idle) 3-10%, and 18-25% respectively. After plugging the vacuum line I have the numbers seen in the photo below. I just did a leak-down test. According to the gauges, I'm within 10% for each cylinder. ALTHOUGH, I do hear/feel air escaping through the intake, and the oil filler tube. I followed this for instructions: I have also done multiple compression tests. For cylinder #3 is 225 psi, the remaining cylinders are between 210 and 215 psi. Can one cylinder being higher than the rest cause an unbalancing/misfire/poor low-end acceleration? Even if the numbers are good, the fact that I have air coming through the oil filler tube and intake, does this suggest the motor is shot? Check my timing again? Is there any change in timing instructions when mating an EJ251 with 25D heads? The heads are closer together, and the bolt holes for the intake manifold needed to be filed down a bit in order to properly bolt it onto the long-block. I've done a smoke test in/around the intake/intake manifold/hoses etc, and don't come up with anything. Thanks for the help, Greg
  4. I just installed a new timing belt and have checked the Crank angle sensor, the cam sensor, the coils and the ignitor I have 2 1994 Legacy wagons so I swapped all of those components to the other car and it runs fine...so I went looking for the ecm, but it's not under the passenger floor as stated in the Hanes Manual, and the wiring diagram is not similar to my cars. Any ideas greatly appreciated. I am not good with computer searches, and can't find my prior post, which was about the same issue, but a bit longer. I saw a few responses a week ago, but now I can't seem the find the thread...any help with that? Thank you. reply to robertooroark@gmail.com I'm in Rohnert Park CA, and need to find someone who still works on such old cars and might know what I'm missing...
  5. Hey all. Last week I started up the soob (2009 Manual Impreza) and heard a light humming coming from the timing belt cover. Turns out that the belt tensioner in the timing belt assembly had slowly backed out of the block and was digging into the cover. I quickly pulled it into the shop before it got any worse and got to work digging into the problem. The tensioner bolt appeared to be stripped so I helicoiled its hole on the block and reinstalled the tensioner with no problems. White marks on crank and both camshafts lined up properly and pin pulled on the belt tensioner. I go to manually spin the crank to check my timing and I hit some kind of blockage at either 1/4 or 1/2 revolution, no matter what camshaft combination I try. I never cranked on it too hard and all 4 spark plugs are out so I know its not compression. I'm scared I somehow bent some valves. The sound appears to be coming from the passenger side of the engine so I took off the valve cover but am unsure of how to check if any valves are bent. I did use the starter and breaker bar to get my harmonic balancer bolt off which I read somewhere on here could be bad. The timing was still on when I did this though so I feel like it shouldn't have caused the issue. Could I have somehow bent my valves or am I doing something stupid?? Appreciate the help.
  6. So.... I'm a little embarrassed I couldn't figure this out in front of my son. Being a 20 year tech there's little I haven't seen. Anyways. 86 Brat w/ea81. Was a barn find and ran ok'ish. Cleaned fuel system of rusting and ditched the Hitachi carb. All vacuum accessories are deleted except vacuum advance. During the install of the weber system it runs ok'ish still just out of the box. While tuning starting with the timing set I found I cant see the timing marks. So, using my timing light I tuned the light to see how far it was advanced and found 40 degrees retarded. Vacuum advance is operational but disconnected for timing set. Inspected under cap and found button is past cyl one at TDC. Adjusted to zero without bolt in distance holder and found poor running and had to hold throttle open. Had to remove distributor to set back to zero. Will not start while set to zero degrees. No vacuum leaks. Compression is not awesome but acceptable at 150psi dead cold on all cylinders. I thought maybe cam timing cause someone has been in the engine recently. So I went as far as checking the timing mark on crank(no small feat). Dead on. Timing mark in the one counter sink hole in the crank. It's no where near TDC, that's strange but whatever. Please offer input. Thanks in advance.(hehehe)
  7. Hi all. In a pinch. Currently stranded in Golden/Denver Colorado. Vehicle: 1998 Outback engine: ej251/25D hybrid Story: swapped a great running motor from my rusty '96 to this '98. In the process I put a NEW timing kit, NEW oem plugs, new oil pump, new clutch-kit/slave cyl., new oil pressure sender... ran beautifully all the way here from South Dakota, with many trips up and down the canyons from Hwy 119 to the Front Range. Two days ago, CEL came on and I stopped at an auto parts store. Got two misfire codes, and not having noticed any symptoms I cleared it. It coincided with using the a/c, so I moved the a/c harness off of/away from the spark plug wire. I figured something may have arced. No issues until trying to climb out of Denver up I-70 yesterday. CEL came on and flashed a few times. Pulled the car immediately to the side of the road and was turned off. Oil light did NOT come on. Symptoms came. Horribly shaky idle, no power. I checked all spark plugs (on the side of the road), and they were tight, and looked in okay condition. Idles like it is missing cylinders. While idling I pulled off/on all spark plug wires and injectors. No difference (except VERY minor idle-up for 1 second) with cylindees 1/3. Motor dies when 2/4 are pulled. Got towed to a local dealership and they were nice enough tp read the codes. P0261, and P0267 I believe this is Low/No voltage to cylinders 1 & 3 injectors. (In my frenzy I installed a new coil, and new spark plug wires) I took a volt meter to the yellow wire of each injector plug, with ignition switched to ON. 2 & 4 get 12v, 1 & 3 are dead. I tried directly wiring the yellow wires to the battery, and there was no difference in engine performance. Where/what should be my next step? Is it true that the injectors get constant power, but the ECU/ECM adjusts the pulse timing via internal grounds? I'll be looking at diagrams today to try and get this going...any suggestions will help. I'm supposed to be getting towed back up to Gilpin County where I'll have a garage to sit in. Thank you in advance for any suggestions! Greg
  8. I'm trying to start a '93 Loyale with SPFI that has had the heads off. The problem is that it won't start. It gets fuel - have seen the injectors spraying in the intake. The #1 spark plug wire fires a timing light so I think there is spark. The engine ran rough for a few seconds initially and now won't run. There have been a few ignitions when I hold the gas pedal all the way down thinking that the problem is that the cylinders are flooded. I'm sure I got the timing belts on correctly - but I will recheck. (Cam sprocket mark up when the flywheel in on the ||| mark.) What I am not too sure of is the initial position of the distributor. I followed the EA82 Service Manual directions in section 2-3 on page 26. I turned the crank to #1 at TDC as noted by the flywheel mark and the cam timing mark being 45deg left of top-center (Fig 44 of the manual). I aligned the marks on the distributor shaft to set the rotor to the #1 cylinder and this matched the #1 spark plug wire. When I insert the shaft into the cam housing with the "feet" of the distributor lined up with their final posiiton, the beveled gears cause the shaft to turn a bit in the clockwise direction. This puts it off the original position. Is that what is supposed to happen? What I did was inserting the distributor so that after it is in and lined up in the ballpark of how it is screwed down, the rotor is pointing to the #1 cylinder terminal. I used the timing light while the engine was cranking (not running, to test connector set), the timing was close to the timing mark at 20 deg BTDC. Is this what is supposed to happen? Also, I don't know where this idle switch is or what the test mode connector is. There are 2 connectors near the fuel filter that were disconnected and I don't remember disconnecting them. Both ends of the wires come out of the same wire bundle at the same point. Under the dash, near the SPFI controller, there are 2 connectors hanging down with nothing to plug in to. Suggestions appreciated.
  9. Hi All, This is my first post here. I recently did a timing belt on my 1999 Legacy Outback Wagon, with a new water pump. Job went well, all parts bolted up and timing came out fine, no problems running now. However, even after burping the cooling system with a radiator bucket, multiple times, the car still overheats and I don't feel heat. There are no signs of a blown head gasket that I can tell, the car runs fine and doesn't smell or smoke or anything, has full power. What should my next step be? I replaced the thermostat with a genuine Subaru thermostat. My water pump is one of the old style pumps, with the teeth as opposed to the disc. Help!! I'm not sure what to do!
  10. Looking for help got snagged ,,did the heads and valves all gaskets,,looking for someone to explain how to time it .From the distr, cams. and the crank.Engine is still on the bench.
  11. So I just put a new timing set on my 86 GL-10 4WD Wagon and it won't start. I'm 95% sure the timing belts are on right. The car has fuel, spark, equal compression in all four cylinders, and the ignition timing is spot on. I pulled the intake off and cranked it over and there was air coming out of the intake on the compression stroke. Does anyone know if this is just a valve timing issue or something else?
  12. So I've got a 86 GL-10 4wd Turbo Wagon. A while back I was headed home from work and and the car just died. No noise what so ever. I just died. I got it home and checked some things out and I ended up pulling the timing covers off. The passenger side belt was just fine, but the every tooth on the drivers side belt had been chewed off. Both cams roll just fine as well as the crank. I rebuilt the motor from the heads up in may of 2016 so everything is fresh. I put a new Dayco timing kit on when rebuilding it so there shouldn't be any problems. It's an easy fix I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Any ideas on what could have happened?
  13. Hey everyone, Recently, I got back from a holiday and had my 89'GL sitting there for a month. It got driven a couple of times, but was dead when I got home. I replaced the spark plugs and she was up and running. Ever since though, it's ran like crap. Shakes with a very low idle, back fires when changing gears/de-accelerating and has bad fuel economy. I came to think it could just be time for a timing service. I have all the gear, new water pump (while I'm down there), timing light, compression kit etc and know how to test each thing. However, I'm just confused as to what order each part should be tested in? Disty, Ignition, Belt, Carbu idle speed? Cheers all! Hayden
  14. I recently picked up a nice rust free 1997 Legacy 2.2 with a broken timing belt. I’ve gotten it started a few times but I am convinced the timing is still off. I was wondering if anyone on this page could offer any additional help. Things I know: Car is vinned as a 97 Inspection plates states that it was manufactured in August of 96 Motor is an ej22, non-interference motor – confirmed by grooved and stamped valve covers. Timing belt was broken while running. No other work has been performed on the vehicle since the timing belt was broken. Vehicle is not currently throwing any codes. Things I was told: Vehicle was running well with no check engine light on prior to timing belt breaking. Since I’ve taken possession of the car I have replaced the timing belt. The belt shows the appropriate amount of teeth, 44 to the passenger side, 40.5 to the driver side from crank notch. All the ears are present on the crank sprocket, I’ve lined the hash on the rear of the crank sprocket to the hash by the crank position sensor (approx. 12 o’clock) with the keyway facing down. I’ve lined the cam gears up with the belt, with the hash mark on the face of the gear facing upwards in the 12 o’clock position, in line with the notch in the timing belt cover. In this configuration the tdc triangle on the crank is in the 3 o’clock position, and the tdc arrows on the cams are up and to the right, 45 degrees clockwise from tdc. All pulleys, pumps, and idlers spin freely, tensioner is not leaking oil and takes a couple minutes in a vise to reset with a pin. I’ve had this timing belt on and off close to ten times, with at least 5 sets of eyes (all car guys and two professional mechanics) to verify timing. I’ve spun the crank multiple times and rechecked timing. Car has occasionally started, but starts hard and runs rough. While attempting to start, and performing the wot/clear cylinder procedure, and then applying half throttle, car pops and back fires violently. All of my experience leads me to believe the car is still out of time. There are a lot of knowledgeable guys on this forum, I’m hoping one of you can point me in the right direction. I’ve working on cars my entire life, and have an entire professional mechanics shop at my disposal. Any advice would be appreciated.
  15. So i am prepping parts for my spfi swap and most of the links on here regarding the swap are broken or dead or lead somewhere else. I need to know the proper orientation of the gear from my ea81 disty on my spfi disty shaft, ive read about people consistently ending up "1/2 tooth off" and i would like to avoud that if possible. Should the new hole be in line with the original or perpendicular, anythin.. thanks
  16. Hi all. I have a 2000 Outback Limited, EJ25 SOHC. It just came to me with 155,000 mi and no idea if/when the timing belt has been done. It also need to remove the rocker covers and replace those seals, as I am getting oil in the spark plug holes. The question is can both the timing belt and rocker covers be done in the car? I have done the same jobs to a 1996 DOHC Outback but that time I already had the engine out, so it was simple. This time I have no other reason to remove the engine, but I can if it makes more sense. The potential benefit of pulling it is, that I can then check the rear seal and the oil separator. But again I have no evidence of a problem there. Any advice is welcome.
  17. Hi all, I'm still in the assembly stage of rebuilding my engine (2.5L DOHC), but I've come across a weird issue. The new timing belt kit that came with my reman'd block, I just broke into it the other day to start putting the new sprockets on. The first sprocket one I opened, I bolted it on loosely just to see how it looked and feel the bearing, and to my surprise it wiggles. I'm not joking, this brand new never used sprocket, the bearing wiggles like a worn out bearing, though it's still tight when you spin it like a fresh bearing should be. I don't know about you but I'm getting a red flag about this, does anyone have any ideas on whether or not to use it? Thanks in advance, David
  18. just wondering what timing i should run with my EA82M (Mongrel) engine.. everyone has been telling me that it wouldnt run right, if at all. ive already done a 3 mile run up hill holding 6 psi boost the entire time and it never leaned out, i have my original timing for now cuz i dont have a timing light yet (22* or 24*) i have 02 readings in car at all times and havent had any problems yet runs perfect, just have to finish up my vaccum system now!! thanks for the help!
  19. I was driving down the freeway the other day and lost power steering and battery light came on. Pulled over and saw the main belt had come off.. crankshaft pulley / harmonic balancer was wobbling all over the place. Got the car towed to my Grandpa's shop and took mostly everything apart. Does anyone have tips for removing this crankshaft sprocket? The woodruff key I believe broke in half and part of it is still on the crankshaft. We have tried almost everything in the book to get the crankshaft sprocket / gear off and it won't budge. This type of thing is a little bit out of my ballpark maintenance wise however I have a mechanic coming on Monday to check it out. If anyone has some tips on how we can get this sprocket off so we can check out the rest of the crank to make sure it's ok I would very much appreciate it. Thank you
  20. My Loyale, which I finally put on the road less than a month ago, has been going through a million issues, which I fix according to the priority of the problem. But it IS on the road!!! Current problem is reaching urgent. As I try to recall from the '92 I had, it feels similar. I believe I may either have fuel filter blockage, or injectors plugged. It now will hesitate fairly severely going up any type of incline, which I can push it through with more gas, but it kinda feels like a plugged fuel filter. Am doing that today or tomorrow, adding injector cleaner, and will see after that if it is resolved or not...
  21. I just finished putting my new timing belt on. Checked cam & crank sprocket position markings carefully per Haynes manual, pulled tensioner pin, then checked marks again and counted teeth between sprockets just to make sure all was right. The Haynes manual advises turning the crank clockwise at least 2 full revolutions by hand, prior to starting engine, to make sure all is well. I encountered a springy resistance at a little less than half a turn of the crankshaft. (Requires increasing force with rotation, I gave it up to maybe 40-60 foot-pounds before stopping for fear I'd break something). I don't recall feeling this resistance when I was turning the crank with the old belt installed. Did I do something wrong? Should I be worried? Note that I turned cam sprockets back and forth some while belt was removed---removed & replaced them all to replace cam seals. But as I said above, I'm certain the new timing belt is positioned correctly relative to all sprockets.
  22. Hey guys, I just pulled the engine and did the head gaskets on my EJ251 legacy wagon. As I was about to install my new timing belt, I realized that I am entirely unable to get the left side cam sprocket timing marks to line up! The repair manual and multiple internet resources show that the mark should be going pretty much straight up towards a notch in the rear timing cover. My cover happens to be chipped, but I can see where the notch used to be. For some reason, the cam sprocket just won't stay where it *should* be, the tension whips the cam far to either side of it (YES, my crank timing mark is lined up properly, all pistons are recessed, I didn't just destroy my valves). These are the closest places to the timing mark that the cam will rest. Timing hash on cam is indicated with red line. Timing mark on timing cover is indicated with a yellow line. What is going on here?? I have read on multiple articles AND the manual that there should be no tension on cam when it is at proper point, this isn't some weird Audi that I should need special clamps for. Thanks for the help!
  23. I have a 2008 impreza, 2.5i, SOHC. I just replaced the blown motor with a used motor with 60,000 miles on it. Replaced all the timing components except for the cam gears. When I tried to start the car, the motor wouldn't turn on it's own. From what I've been told, the camshaft position sensor communicates with the raised bars on the back of the left side cam gear which come in 2 bar, and 7 bar varieties. My question is, how do you tell what kind of cam gear you need for the car to start? I don't have the original motor anymore as it was turned in for a core refund after we transferred over all of the accessories. Any other applicable advice is welcome and I can provide more info about the car as needed. Thanks in advance! - Bryan
  24. So my 94 Loyale will semi-start if I hold the throttle to the floor. When it does start, it barely keeps running with full throttle and it backfires (out the intake) the whole time. I purchased this car in this condition so I cant give much information on the history of it. I know the distributor & wires were removed, but I'm pretty sure I have it all back together correctly. Not getting any codes from the ECU either.
  25. Any recommendations for a long-lasting Timing Belt? In my 2002 Forester EJ251, I replaced the original Subaru factory Timing Belt at 163,590km (101,671miles), as a maintenance precaution. That Subaru belt looked like almost new, with no cracks or other visible deterioration. The next belt was part of a MizumoAuto timing-belt kit (incl. pulleys, idlers, tensioner, water pump). After another 62,633km (38,927miles), I discovered that the belt was badly cracked. There are transverse cracks on the back-side of the belt, opposite to the ‘valleys’ in the toothed side. See the attached photo. That replacement belt only lasted 38% as long as the original Subaru belt, and I have removed it from service. I can buy a replacement timing belt on line for a variety of prices, and from a variety of manufacturers. The most expensive belts are the Subaru OEM (13028AA231), followed by Gates and Mitsuboshi. And there are many others available for a fraction of the price. Which belts are the best buy for the price (I have an interference-engine)? I know that the Subaru OEM belt is good (no visible deterioration at the recommended change-interval), but it is expensive. And the MizumoAuto belt was scarily inadequate, with cracking after a much shorter interval (I have asked MizumoAuto to tell me the manufacturer’s name, but no reply). I have seen lots of online reviews, mostly with comments about how the belt went on easily, or looked nice when new, etc. But I haven’t found any reviews that comment on the longevity of the belt, or otherwise. So I welcome comments/recommendations about what make of timing belt to buy, preferably with first-hand experience on how long the belt actually lasted.
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