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potter2010

Spark Plug Tube Seals, What Else? Maybe Too Much Oil.

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Hello, me again.

I was out doing some winter readying on our 2010 Outback (128,000 miles / 206,000 km). Since we just got it this year I wanted to check the spark plugs to see if I needed to change them before the winter. Open them up and oil in the wells. Alright need to change the seals, going to be a big pain in the butt but can likely do it myself. I had to do it on a 2001 Legacy before so I have the general idea.

 

I think it leaked because there was too much oil. I had checked the oil level after getting it and it was a little high but didn't see any issues otherwise, though there has been a possible few drops on the driveway and when I was under it today to change the oil, the filter was pretty oily.

I've been searching the forum for the past bit and see some varying and in a couple instances conflicting advice. That leads me to three questions:

1) How much of a pain is it to change the spark plug tube seals on a 2010 Outback? Any advice?
2) Is there anything else I should change while I'm changing the spark plug tube seals?
3) What else should I check for possible damage from too much oil? This would have been driving for several months.

 

Thank you in advance everyone. I hope nothing is royally screwed up on it!

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If it was just a lite high, it has probably done no damage, and probably my not the reason for oil in the tubes. It probably needs new tube seals and you should do the valve cover gaskets also since you have to remove them to do the seals.

 

As for how hard, I'm not positive, but after 06, getting the valve covers off with the engine in the car isn't fun. Hopefully someone will verify, but I think you have to raise the engine aittle to get the drivers side off.

 

Again, I'm not positive.

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So easiest way to do valve covers on these newer engines is to remove the engine mount nut. There are two of them (one for drivers side mount and one for passenger side) once you remove those, you can put a floor jack under the oil pan (make SURE to put a piece of wood in between he pan and the jack) and jack up the engine. This will allow you to have enough room to rock the engine and remove the covers.

 

Side note, if you're having a hard time getting the engine to properly fall back into sub frame (because there studs on the mounts often time don't like to re-line up on their own. Remove the wish bone and that will allow you to rock the engine with ease)

Edited by golucky66

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Basically if you don't jack up the engine there is basically no way in hell you're getting those covers out.

 

Also, if you're worried about the oil pan possibly getting the slightest of dent like some people seem to worry... You can get an engine hoist or a come a long and pull the engine up that way.

 

I've done dozens of them and using a floor jack is easy and doesn't hurt the pan.

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replace the valve cover gaskets and spark plug tube seals/gaskets. 

if access is tight for spark plugs- like the H6 engines - i replace them at the same time. they go from a pain (see all the threads started about them) to easy with the valve covers removed.  takes minutes and done.

 

concur - overfilled oil likely not a contributing factor.  you can always crank the drain plug a little bit and let some oil out to get it down to normal level and see what happens if you think it was overfilled really badly. 

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So easiest way to do valve covers on these newer engines is to remove the engine mount nut. There are two of them (one for drivers side mount and one for passenger side) once you remove those, you can put a floor jack under the oil pan (make SURE to put a piece of wood in between he pan and the jack) and jack up the engine. This will allow you to have enough room to rock the engine and remove the covers.

 

Side note, if you're having a hard time getting the engine to properly fall back into sub frame (because there studs on the mounts often time don't like to re-line up on their own. Remove the wish bone and that will allow you to rock the engine with ease)

 

You're scaring me here! ;)

 

I'm slowy learning the ways of the driveway mechanic but I'm a bit cautious about lifting up the engine on my own. What kind of skill level would you place this at? I change spark plugs, oil, filters, brake pads, that kind of stuff. On the last car I did the seals and gaskets when I found oil in the wells but they were really easy to get at in the 2001 Legacy and that's probably the most difficult thing I've done. I haven't had to tackle anything that involved unbolting the engine and lifting it up.

 

A big high five to everyone that calmed my fears about there having been too much oil in the past. Coincidently what would be a big ol' sign that you put way too much oil in?

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replace the valve cover gaskets and spark plug tube seals/gaskets. 

if access is tight for spark plugs- like the H6 engines - i replace them at the same time. they go from a pain (see all the threads started about them) to easy with the valve covers removed.  takes minutes and done.

 

concur - overfilled oil likely not a contributing factor.  you can always crank the drain plug a little bit and let some oil out to get it down to normal level and see what happens if you think it was overfilled really badly. 

 

The one I pulled was in good condition on the sparking end but if it makes it that much easier like you say, might as well. I'm not sure when the previous owner replaced them.

 

How about spark plug wires? Worth replacing since they have been sitting in oil for who knows how long or probably okay?

Edited by potter2010

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Don't remove the engine mount bolt entirely on the side you are not working on, this will prevent the possibility of misalignment.

Ie :working on driver's side, remove driver side mount, but leave two or three threads caught on passenger side. Do the work, then alternate.

 

O.

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I've never pulled the covers by alternating the mount bolts just because for me (not a DIY mechanic) it's an extra step.

 

I'm sure you can get it out by alternating the nut removal, but as it can be difficult to get the covers out with both mounts loose, I can't give you any personal experience.

 

It's a very straight forward project. Jacking up the engine isn't as scary as you might think.

 

I would replace the plugs when you have the covers off. As grossgary said, it's much easier when they're off. IMO I would do the wires as well because they have been in oil.

You can easily do wires with the covers on, so if you don't want to because they look fine and/or you're on a budget, you can do it later.

 

Also, if you do the job, remove the air filter housing and unbolt the battery holder (don't disconnect the battery, it's not necessary)

I personally do this because you get a lot more room, because when you do this you'll realize the covers can be a pain in the butt to remove. Sometimes you need to walk away for 20 minutes then come back.

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I've never pulled the covers by alternating the mount bolts just because for me (not a DIY mechanic) it's an extra step.

 

I'm sure you can get it out by alternating the nut removal, but as it can be difficult to get the covers out with both mounts loose, I can't give you any personal experience.

 

It's a very straight forward project. Jacking up the engine isn't as scary as you might think.

 

I would replace the plugs when you have the covers off. As grossgary said, it's much easier when they're off. IMO I would do the wires as well because they have been in oil.

You can easily do wires with the covers on, so if you don't want to because they look fine and/or you're on a budget, you can do it later.

 

Also, if you do the job, remove the air filter housing and unbolt the battery holder (don't disconnect the battery, it's not necessary)

I personally do this because you get a lot more room, because when you do this you'll realize the covers can be a pain in the butt to remove. Sometimes you need to walk away for 20 minutes then come back.

 

With jacking up the engine, do you need to disconnect any wire/hoses/etc? From the sounds of it the engine doesn't have to go up too far but wouldn't want to snap something.

 

I'm having a terrible time finding spark plug wires for a 2010 Outback as well as grommets for the valve cover, had luck with the gasket and tube seals though. Any suggestions on websites to get them from? I typically order from RockAuto but open to others. I like NGK for the wires but they don't appear to make any for the 2010 Outback unless I'm reading the website wrong. Any suggestions on good brands for the gaskets/seals and wires?

Edited by potter2010

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You won't need to disconnect anything. The transmission will bump against the frame before you snap anything.

 

I know for a fact NAPA (at least here in CT) have NGK wires. Also, if you replace spark plugs. Only use NGK as well.

 

The seals around the tubes are part of a value cover gasket.

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You won't need to disconnect anything. The transmission will bump against the frame before you snap anything.

 

I know for a fact NAPA (at least here in CT) have NGK wires. Also, if you replace spark plugs. Only use NGK as well.

 

The seals around the tubes are part of a value cover gasket.

 

That's good hear that I wouldn't look down to see a trail of something streaming down the driveway!

 

I'll have to go into a shop and place an order as I can't find most of the stuff online (at least available to Canada). I'll make sure to ask for NGK with regards to the wires. Any brands better than others for the gaskets/seals?

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Valve cover gaskets usually don't have many options available unfortunately.

 

Imo. You can never go wrong with Fel-Pro gaskets. But they usually cost more then others. The only other one I can think of off the top of my head that I use regularly is Ishino.

Edited by golucky66

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Subaru is usually a good option for easy/simple parts like this - plugs, wires, VCG's, the cost difference is meager relatively speaking.

 

Rockauto Fel Pro valve cover gasket set:  $27.59 with the eternal 5% discount code + shipping.

$25.193 with 30% discount code at Advance auto parts

I can get it for $21.59 at Advance Auto parts using the 40% discount code for the other parts and typical necessary items like washer fluid, gas treatment, cleaners, rags, etc.

 

cheaper, shows up locally to people who know me and help me out routinely, or free delivery to my house.

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Subaru is usually a good option for easy/simple parts like this - plugs, wires, VCG's, the cost difference is meager relatively speaking.

 

Rockauto Fel Pro valve cover gasket set:  $27.59 with the eternal 5% discount code + shipping.

$25.193 with 30% discount code at Advance auto parts

I can get it for $21.59 at Advance Auto parts using the 40% discount code for the other parts and typical necessary items like washer fluid, gas treatment, cleaners, rags, etc.

 

cheaper, shows up locally to people who know me and help me out routinely, or free delivery to my house.

 

I came across the gasket set on RockAuto but without the grommets. Can't seem to find them online, that or the spark plug wires for a 2010 Outback. One of the shops around should be able to though even if it costs more at least I can get them.

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