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Hi,
I have a 2012 Outback 2.5 SOHC with 160,000 miles and some change. I started smelling burning oil and seeing a little smoke.I checked it and had some oil on the top of the engine,drivers side around the oil pressure switch.I got one from Subaru and replaced it.The smoke started to get worse and there was a lot more oil after the drive home under the the car,but no oil on the top of the engine.I thought it may be a cam seal dripping on the exhaust ,so I replaced it.After letting it run for a little while I saw no leaks and took it around the block.When I parked it smoke was rolling out again and there was oil under the cam again and all over the exhaust.I replaced it again with the same results. I ran a dye through and confirmed it was coming from behind the cam cover. I figured it may be the vvt solenoid so I replaced it.Same result.I then replaced the VVT housing gasket.Same results.I then replaced the VVT housing gasket and housing itself.Same goddamn results.Today I replaced the rocker cover gaskets and after a drive around the block ,still leaking . this is getting frustrating.
Ive replaced the timing belt also and behind the cover nothing has the slightest bit of oil.Ive checked with a UV light and there is no oil coming out from the head or the rocker cover.Ive cleaned the motor several times just to try to see a drip, but until its driven there is no drip. No milky oil,no bubbles in the coolant and it doesnt smoke from the exhaust in the back. Also no code thrown.I am however getting a ton of smoke from the front exhaust where it bolts to the motor.Im at a loss.I cant see any oil coming from the dipstick tube but smoke rolls up from there.
The only thing I can figure since ive replaced **** near everything else would be the cam carrier.Any advice would be appreciated . Ill post some pictures shortly 

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Oil residue on the exhaust will hang around long after the oil leak is fixed. 

Your second post, is this the solution or are you showing how clean your engine is before you take it for a drive? 

Cheers

Bennie

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1 minute ago, el_freddo said:

Oil residue on the exhaust will hang around long after the oil leak is fixed. 

Your second post, is this the solution or are you showing how clean your engine is before you take it for a drive? 

Cheers

Bennie

There was oil at the top before I changed that VVT and pressure switch.The leak moved.I was trying to upload more pics but they are over 2mb so Im in the middle of finding another way to post all at once 

 

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The AVLS pressure switches leak from the electrical connector - that was your first leak. And then I bet you cracked the head over tightening the new one. Seen it done a couple times.

GD

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9 hours ago, GeneralDisorder said:

The AVLS pressure switches leak from the electrical connector - that was your first leak. And then I bet you cracked the head over tightening the new one. Seen it done a couple times.

GD

I was careful not to since I had seen on a few of these forums that people have done just that.I used thread sealer and a torque wrench with the proper torque specs. Ive also inspected all around it with everything broken down.Wouldnt it leak while idling? 

 

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Well the pressure switch tells the ECU that it's PWM signal to the solenoid was recieved and effected a change in the oil pressure going to the AVLS rocker assembly. So until there is a load on the engine above a certain RPM, the AVLS pressure switch doesn't receive oil pressure. That's also why I think the head got cracked. 

I don't use any torque wrench on them. I use a short ratchet and choke up on the head.... but years of industrial machinery taught me 1/8" NPT sending unit torque values and the various strengths of soft materials like brass and aluminum. My hands are calibrated instruments of torquing. 

GD

 

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13 hours ago, GeneralDisorder said:

Well the pressure switch tells the ECU that it's PWM signal to the solenoid was recieved and effected a change in the oil pressure going to the AVLS rocker assembly. So until there is a load on the engine above a certain RPM, the AVLS pressure switch doesn't receive oil pressure. That's also why I think the head got cracked. 

I don't use any torque wrench on them. I use a short ratchet and choke up on the head.... but years of industrial machinery taught me 1/8" NPT sending unit torque values and the various strengths of soft materials like brass and aluminum. My hands are calibrated instruments of torquing. 

GD

 

If so, it wouldve cracked around the pressure switch correct? Could the crack develop beneath that where I cant see it somehow? 

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It would crack around the pressure switch, yes. You should be able to see it. 

If it's an automatic, you can power brake it in gear and maybe get the AVLS to engage....

GD

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5 hours ago, GeneralDisorder said:

It would crack around the pressure switch, yes. You should be able to see it. 

If it's an automatic, you can power brake it in gear and maybe get the AVLS to engage....

GD

Thats a good idea.I never thought of power braking it to get it to engage.Thanks!

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On 6/18/2019 at 1:26 AM, GeneralDisorder said:

It would crack around the pressure switch, yes. You should be able to see it. 

If it's an automatic, you can power brake it in gear and maybe get the AVLS to engage....

GD

You were right.I took everything off the front and got around in there with a flashlight and found a hairline crack down that switch almost under the VVT solenoid ,which was why it was so hard to find.It almost looked like a piece of the casting .Im not sure that it wasnt there before though..It looks like there may have been some rtv or something around it,and I probably exacerbated it when I installed the new one.What a piss poor design that is.I ended up taking a dremel and cutting into the crack a bit,then putting some JB weld on it.It seemed to fix the problem for the moment.At least now I know now where the leak is.If the JB doesnt hold up , I think I'll try drilling that hole out , try finding an insert to epoxy in it ,and attaching the pressure switch to it.If I have to pull the head to have someone weld it , I'd just as soon replace the head. If you have another idea ,Id be happy to hear .Thanks for your responses 

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I have a friend that's a really good welder and I also own a TIG so I just called him over last time it happened and had him weld it after-hours with the engine in the car - this was a D/S head so it was pretty accessible. We too were uncertain if the crack was already there or not - we were doing HG's due to excessive oil leakage from both heads and after everything was cleaned and put back together the crack came to the fore as the only remaining leak. It was likely part of the original problem but I elected to not charge the customer for the welding because I really don't know if my tech over-tightened it or not. Fortunately it only cost us having the car an extra night. Everyone here is now extra cautious and often asks me to make the final torque personally. We use Loctite 545 to seal the threads. 

If it's done properly, JB weld might do the trick. Though I wouldn't do that on a customer pay job. I might try it on one of my own vehicles if I didn't have a way to fix it properly. 

In any case I wouldn't replace the head over it. Get it welded with some extra filler and it will be stronger than it was originally. 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder
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