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pontoontodd

long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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1 hour ago, pontoontodd said:

I have thought about some kind of active lifting system like you're describing.  I don't think I would use it enough to be worth the trouble but would like to see what you come up with.

I'm working on it but it won't be finished before 2-3 months because the air pistons have to be machined to my specs. They will be done by 3rd grade students at a mechanical school.

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Took the radiator out of the 99 Outback to replace it.  Have to get some fittings welded on the new one.  While that's out and we're down for the winter I decided to replace the head gaskets.  I read a lot of horror stories doing these so I've been hesitant but it's really not bad.  Take the timing cover off and you find this piece of machinery:

IMG_2036s.jpg

Probably the biggest problem we had were the oil pump bolts, I had to grind flats on a few of them and use vise grips to get them loose.  For future reference for someone else doing this job, you only have to remove the five socket head bolts that stick out around the oil pump, you don't have to remove the flat heads.  For that matter you don't have to remove the water pump but I'm going to replace that and the gasket.  Also a couple of the hoses near the front of the intake were rock hard and broke.

This is what the heads and gaskets look like, can anyone tell if they were bad?

IMG_2037s.jpg

IMG_2038s.jpg

Steering slop in the 99 Outback turned out to be the u joints in the steering shaft, that will be easy to replace with the engine out.  I'm also going to weld up some cracks and the inner sides of the subframe spacers while the engine is out.

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I have videos from both UP trips this summer edited down to about 16 minutes each.  If you want to check them out and let me know what you think please send me a message.  One of the reasons I've been editing them is to post them on this forum for your entertainment so I'd like some feedback.

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7 hours ago, jf1sf5 said:

Cool videos, not sure the ones you're talking about. Ozark ?

I have a couple unlisted videos on youtube.  I will send you the links in a message.

Trying to get feedback on what people like or don't like about the videos.

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While the engine is out I did some welding on the body.  The seam at the base of the front strut towers spread open on both sides.  I don't remember how many years it's been like this, can't hurt to weld it up.

IMG_2120s.jpgIMG_2121s.jpg

 

IMG_2119s.jpg

IMG_2123s.jpg

 

I also welded the inner sides of those tubes I used to replace the subframe spacers.

IMG_2126s.jpg

IMG_2128s.jpg

Painted it all too.

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Nice that you still good metal there to weld. And if you think its kinda weak spot there you can reinforce it with more metal on top if needed so you not have to worry about it anymore.

About videos you cant make them to please everyone so just do what you like and some people will like it and some not so what. 

Edited by scalman

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Got the heads, cams, and valve covers on, nothing too unusual there.  I think you could remove the heads without removing the cams but it sounds like they always have to be milled, so the cams and caps should be removed.  Torque procedure is pretty complicated as usual.

One thing I can't figure out is why there is a top and bottom weep hole for the water pump.  I'm not sure how much of this crap came in the top, but I sealed that hole with silicone before putting this cover back on the engine.  All that mud made it difficult to remove the water pump.

DSCF6974s.jpg

 

DSCF6975s.jpg

 

I did get a new water pump while it's all apart, but at $105 from the dealer it's probably not necessary to replace, they seem to last forever.  There are two big orings for the water pump though and I would definitely recommend replacing those.  The big one was rock hard as you can see.

DSCF6977s.jpg

 

Engine ready for the inner/rear cover to go on.

DSCF6980s.jpg

 

Inner/rear cover installed.  One thing they did that is fantastic is casting the torque pattern in the cover next to the bolts.

DSCF6982s.jpg

 

I already see why most people recommend just buying a $700 low mileage Japanese engine.  I've spent that much in parts and machining on this one.  I am replacing a lot of hoses and gaskets to be safe that might need replacement on a 15 year old engine regardless of mileage though.

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My brother thinks an EZ30 with the front cover off and the timing chain up with a glass top on it would make a cool coffee table.

 

After getting the engine more assembled I realized that upper weep hole might be because that whole section of the engine can collect water and that probably acts as a drain.

 

The chain tensioners are clever. 

IMG_2133s.jpg

That weird spiral part threads in the piston with the little spring and pin pushing it out.  The big spring goes between the piston and the body.  Spring (and probably oil) pressure cause it to extend, and the screw can unthread that way, but the way it's cut when you push on it straight it doesn't compress.  You have to twist it and push in to compress it.  When installed that means it only adds tension to the chain as everything wears.  The service manual recommends pushing and threading it together and then inserting a tiny pin in that tiny hole.  Maybe that would have been easier but I was able to just hold them compressed and get the bolts started.

IMG_2135s.jpg

 

Each chain has a few colored links which come in handy for making sure you have everything lined up properly.  This gold link lines up with the divot on this cam sprocket.

IMG_2139s.jpg

This gold link lines up with the divot on the crank sprocket.  Also in this picture you can see the oil pump bolts I replaced.  I had to use a vice grips to remove almost all of these oil pump bolts, and most of them were damaged.  Only had a problem with one other bolt out of the 100+.

IMG_2140s.jpg

This gray link lines up with this divot on another cam sprocket.

IMG_2141s.jpg

These gray links line up with each other on the idler.

IMG_2142s.jpg

The last guide you install is supposed to be a certain width from another guide.  I put a .024" feeler gauge between the chain and the guide to get the right width, helped keep them parallel and tightened down the bolts.

IMG_2137s.jpg

 

The water hose fitting near the thermostat that comes from the oil cooler had come loose a year or so ago.  I had JB welded it and seemed to stop the slow leak.  After we took the engine out I was able to pull it out of the block by hand with some wiggling.  I tapped it 1/4" NPT at a slight angle.

IMG_2151s.jpg

I threaded in this pipe fitting, need to get a hose barb to finish that.

IMG_2154s.jpg

Back in July when the engine mounts came apart the lower radiator hose was rubbing on this part of the timing chain cover.  I had just cut the bolts and bosses at an angle for the time being.  While it was apart I cut them square and put in shorter bolts.

IMG_2152s.jpg

 

 

This is about what it looked like ready for the intake to go on.  I think the only thing I changed was to take off that little hose left of center and put it on the solenoid under the intake.

IMG_2159s.jpg

This is the vacuum actuated flapper that either divides the intake manifold halves or lets them cross over.  Replaced the gasket for that.

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This is the solenoid under the intake I broke the little neck off while trying to remove the hose.

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This is it installed with the hose I mentioned.

IMG_2166s.jpg

A friend stopped by and we got the intake on and hooked up, installed the engine, and hooked up most things.  Need to connect and install a few more things and get the new radiator back from the welding shop and put that in.

Edited by pontoontodd

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This is one of the only gaskets I did not replace, just didn't see it on the parts breakdown I guess.  Seemed like it was still in good shape though.

DSCF6983s.jpg

I also replaced the u-jointed steering shaft while the engine was out.  I had already replaced it and we've had to replace them on our other cars that we've taken off pavement for any length of time, so this time I bought one from the dealer ($117).  Hopefully it will last the rest of the life of the car.  If not I might have to make one with 1310 u-joints or something.

Edited by pontoontodd

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Here is what I would recommend modifying or replacing if you're removing an EZ30 for any reason:

Cut down the bosses on the timing chain cover and use shorter bolts, gives you a lot more clearance at the lower radiator hose. (see above)

Clearance the timing cover around the upper water necks so you can fit any hose and hose clamp on there.

Check the coolant fittings under the thermostat.  (see above)

Check the oil pressure idiot light wire, I think it's above the oil cooler.  Mine was hard and insulation was starting to come off so I replaced it.  Might be something you can get from the dealer at a reasonable price.

Replace the valve cover gaskets and oil cooler o-ring (orange), these seem to always leak.

Inspect all hoses, many of them will be rock hard and break when you remove them.  (see list below)

If you have a manual trans inspect the fork for cracks, check the release bearing, pilot bearing, and clutch disc.  The FSM has a spec for wear on the clutch disc.  If you don't expect to have your engine or trans back out for a long time at least replace the release bearing, pilot bearing, and clutch disc.

All the parts I ordered from the dealer for the H6 head gasket job are listed below.  They do have a gasket kit but it includes a lot of things you don't need or won't be disassembling and it's $271.

1    10944AA003    head gasket 2002 OB driver H6
1    11044AA603    head gasket 2002 OB passenger H6
1    806931070    o ring rear cover plate 2002 OB H6 - did not use this, didn't seem to be leaking.
1    806786040    rear main seal 2002 OB H6 - did not use this, thought it would be more hassle than it's worth trying to get it out without splitting the block.
2    14035AA410    intake gasket 2002 OB H6 (head to intake)
1    14075AA132    intake gasket 2002 OB H6 (gasket for flapper under intake, probably didn't need to replace)
1    807611060    pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 oil cooler
1    99078AA110    pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 oil cooler
1    807611071    driver side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 oil cooler
1    21328AA053    steel coolant pipe lower 2002 OB H6 - this was kinda beat up from my skidplate
1    21370KA001    oil cooler o ring 2002 OB H6
1    807607251    Top rear pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 - this was the only hose I replaced that was still in good shape
1    99078AA090    Top front pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6
1    99078AA120    Top front driver side coolant hose 2002 OB H6
1    807615030    oil pan front driver side hose 2002 OB H6
1    806970030    o ring water pump 2002 OB H6 (inner, included with new water pump)
1    806982030    o ring water pump 2002 OB H6 (outer)
1    21110AA360    water pump 2002 OB H6
1    21200AA072    thermostat 2002 OB H6
1    21236AA010    thermostat gasket 2002 OB H6 - still the part shown on the dealer parts site but the part I got ends in 050, seemed to fit fine
1    21114AA063    water pump gasket 2002 OB H6
8    806914120    o ring 14.2mm dia 2002 OB H6 timing cover
2    806919120    o ring 19.2mm dia 2002 OB H6 timing cover
4    806925100    o ring 25mm dia 2002 OB H6 timing cover - only shows four of these on the dealer parts site but there are five on the engine, reused one of them
1    806738200    front main seal 2002 OB H6
2    10982AA000    Washer 2002 OB H6 (timing cover) - these were really stuck to the cover, I just put silicone around them
1    15208AA031    H6 oil filter
5    800406020    oil pump bolts
2    800406030    16mm outer cover bolt
1    16102AA260    solenoid valve - the one I broke the fitting on
2    44011AE040    ex gaskets 2002 OB H6
1    807506131    hose pass front intake/head
1    22310AC000    hose driver front intake/head
1    99071AB280    hose vacuum

Also probably should have ordered that oil pressure relief gasket shown above.

There was at least one more hose near the front of the intake that was rock hard and broke when we removed it that I couldn't find on the dealer parts site so I just cut a piece of hose to fit.

I also got idler pulleys, a serpentine belt, spark plugs, and a pilot bearing from Rock Auto and replaced those while it was apart.

Even if you didn't replace the water pump and a few other things and don't break that solenoid, it's still $400-500 in parts with shipping, and you have to machine the heads.  So almost definitely better to just buy a JDM EZ30.  It takes a long time to disassemble and reassemble one of these engines, and we didn't even split the block.  Really should have just swapped in an EZ36 and standalone from the start.  Next time.

Edited by pontoontodd
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After the head gasket replacement I drove the car around the block and it seemed to run fine with no noticeable leaks.  It would usually not start unless I used a jump starter on the battery.  The battery was an Odyssey PC1230 with top and side posts that's four years old (just out of warranty).  So I got a Duracell AGM with dual posts and that also wouldn't start the car even after getting recharged.  I'd get a loud click out of the solenoid and the dash lights seemed pretty bright but no cranking.  I sanded the various connections, still wouldn't start.  Turned the crank and seemed like a normal amount of resistance.  I have had solenoid contacts corrode and stop working after being submerged in water and sitting for a couple weeks on a different starter (non Subaru), so I decided to check that.  Took the cover off and noticed the contact connected to the top stud wasn't sitting flat, hard to see in the picture below.  When I removed the starter for the head gasket job that stud had turned and I'd just tightened the jam nut back down.  Now I see that you have to make sure that contact is flat when you tighten that nut.  It was probably holding the plunger out far enough that it wasn't touching the bottom contact.

DSCF6986s.jpg

While it was apart I sanded the contacts, pushed the plunger down to hold the top contact square, and tightened the top nut.  Put it back on the car and started it a few times, seems to work fine now.

DSCF6987s.jpg

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I assembled the dual range with some bronze blocker rings I had made.  I could no longer get stock replacements.  These have male keys so we don't need the separate keys and spring clips that may have caused the last failure.

We put it in my friend's Forester yesterday.  Seems to work and shift alright.  It does seem noisier than I remember, but maybe I'm used to the 52 mile trans in my Outback, and we did have some interior out of the Forester.  There's a rattling noise at times and a gear whine when it's in low range.  I do remember it making some noise before even when it was working fine.  The 1.6 is definitely better than nothing but not exceptional.

It wouldn't start when he first got to my house so while we had things apart we sanded the various battery cable ends and now it seems to start consistently.

I'm pretty far along on drawings for the low range for the 6MT, definitely need to get that going. 

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Interesting about the 6MT low range, where will you install it ? In the gearbox like the 5MT (is there any space ?) or outside the gearbox more like a transfer case ?

Did you take any pics of the bronze blocker rings you made ?

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2 hours ago, jf1sf5 said:

Interesting about the 6MT low range, where will you install it ? In the gearbox like the 5MT (is there any space ?) or outside the gearbox more like a transfer case ?

Did you take any pics of the bronze blocker rings you made ?

Going to put a 2.9:1 planetary before the center diff.  Sketched up a half dozen different ways to do it and that seems like it will be the simplest/cheapest/best.  Will add a ~3.5" long spacer to the case.  I'd like to do something like that to a 5MT but there's not much space and the center diff in those is already so weak I think you'd have to replace or eliminate that too.  R160 would probably be the next thing to go in a normal Subaru, I'm putting an R180 in when I install the 6MT.

 

Of course I took pictures.  We made a few while the machine was set up.  Stock one on the right.

IMG_2205s.jpg

Installed on the shaft.

IMG_2199s.jpg

 

 

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What bronze alloy did you use for those synchros, 932(SAE660) alloy?

Did you do those in a CNC machine center or lathe?

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16 minutes ago, czny said:

What bronze alloy did you use for those synchros, 932(SAE660) alloy?

Did you do those in a CNC machine center or lathe?

CNC mill

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42 minutes ago, slammo said:

Will you maintain AWD in both high and low range?  Also, are you integrating a DCCD with the six speed?

Yes, the planetary will be just before the center diff so that and the AWD system will operate normally in high or low.  Some of my other ideas eliminated the center diff to provide a high front wheel drive / low four wheel drive but I think it would be best to have a center diff, if for no other reason so the steering brake still works.

I haven't decided for sure but I will probably get an aftermarket DCCD controller, some aren't too expensive.  Might wire up a toggle to give it 6V to lock initially but it will probably start with no electricity.

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Wow, that's a lot of on-going effort on a rusty IL salt rust car... let me know when you all head back down to the Ozarks.

K

Edited by travelvw

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25 minutes ago, travelvw said:

Wow, that's a lot of on-going effort on a rusty IL salt rust car... let me know when you all head back down to the Ozarks.

K

Yes, if we hadn't put the cage, fuel cell, etc. in it, I would have swapped the parts from the 99 Outback on to a rust free car by now.

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