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Old 01-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clutch or something else

So a few weeks ago I noticed what I thought was my clutch slipping. 1st and second gear pulled pretty strong but 3rd, 4th and 5th would slip if I gassed it below 3500 rpm. Checked the axles and they appear to be seated correctly.

Took it out last night for a warmup before I drained the oil and the problem was still there, but all but went away over the course of a 20 minute drive. The one thing I did notice is the car used to shutter a bit if I let the clutch out without enough RPM but that has gone away.

The only thing I've done to it was change the rear diff fluid about a week before the clutch slipping got really noticable.

This still sounds like a clutch issue but I figured I would check here for other ideas before I pull the engine.

Car is a 99 OBW 2.5 MT with 140K and the engine will eventually need to come out to update the head gaskets (which are not yet leaking) and fix a few oil leaks, but would rather wait for warmer weather.

Thanks
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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140K is fully within the normal end of life range of the clutch. All clutches will start to slip in the higher gears most people start to notice it first in 3rd and 2nd gear.

The shop that did mine said properly used non abused clutches they generally start to see them between 130-150,000 miles. Very Very rare case to see them with as many as 180K on them.

Fair guess your clutch is done.

#1 replace the plate, clutch and the release bearing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or you will be having more clutch work being done shortly after your first clutch job. Not a job you cut corners on unless you plan on selling the car ASAP.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll be doing it all. Hoping to get a few more years out of her.

Anything else that goes bad that I should fix when I'm in there?

Planning on hitting the head gaskets, valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, probably toss on a new timing belt (current one only has 10K on it but for 50 buck why not) and re-seal the oil pump.

Also, as far as the head gaskets go, they are not leaking now and to my knowledge the car has not been overheated. Any reason to get the heads flattened or just clean up and install new gaskets?
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If your head gaskets are not leaking - DO NOT TOUCH THEM!!!! The number one mistake people seem to make is assuming that replacing Head Gaskets is just a matter of putting new gaskets in. WRONG........... The skill it takes to properly install new HG's so you do not have a failure soon after the replacement is VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!

I've owned a car that went through three full engine rebuilds by Toyota before they finally flew in an engine expert to get it rebuilt ie the HG done correctly so they would not fail again. Same deal for the Subaru!!!!!!!!!!! Do not replace HG just for the **** of it!! If its weeping externally meaning coolant in most cases leaking externally not internally - keep a close eye on your coolant levels and find a very SKILLED WELL known Subaru specialist who has done lots of HG's and have them do it! Which case you should NEVER HAVE HG leaks again!!!

Number one issue most people seem to have is having some local leo do the HG and they end up with another leaky or failed gasket in very short order and are out big money all because the person who did the HG more or less did a lousy job.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Valve cover seals seem to start failing around 140-150K on very clean well cared for cars - meaning cars that saw good oil change history and were not run on crummy old oil missed change intervals etc. They will start leaking much earlier on cars that have seen less than ideal oil change intervals. Same goes for the oilpump Oring seal in the oil pump.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know how to run a torque wrench and can follow torque directions. If I have a "time bomb" under the hood why would I not change out the head gaskets while I have the engine out? I just don't want to put the engine back in only to pull it in a year to do the HGs.

It also depends on how easy the engine is to pull. If it is a few hour job and the oil leak is coming from the valve covers I may leave the HGs for another day.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Engine is out!! Asside from separating the engine from the trans it was a really easy job and could easily be done in a few hours if I have to do it again.

Now that it is out I can see clearly that oil is leaking from the HG as well as the valve cover. Asside from these 2 points is there any other gaskets that should be replaced while I have the engine out. I was going to do the oil pan gasket and rear main seal as good measure, but everything else looks tight.

Also, any recomendations on aftermarket clutch assemblies? Given how easy it is to remove the engine and the age of the car I don't see the valuse in spending extra on OEM (although I would never argue that OEM is the best). Current plan is to pick one up from Napa.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bldmtnrider View Post
Engine is out!! Asside from separating the engine from the trans it was a really easy job and could easily be done in a few hours if I have to do it again.

Now that it is out I can see clearly that oil is leaking from the HG as well as the valve cover. Asside from these 2 points is there any other gaskets that should be replaced while I have the engine out. I was going to do the oil pan gasket and rear main seal as good measure, but everything else looks tight.

Also, any recomendations on aftermarket clutch assemblies? Given how easy it is to remove the engine and the age of the car I don't see the valuse in spending extra on OEM (although I would never argue that OEM is the best). Current plan is to pick one up from Napa.
I recall that Exidy is the maker for the OEM stuff a clutch kit from them directly is cheaper than the subaru parts counter. The HG all the guys who have lots of experience with them say use the OEM - turbo engine gasket and you will not have any more issues.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd replace them while the engine is out and the engine is drained of coolant. I would also get the heads decked and get a valve job, but that is me.

The oil separator plate should be resealed. If it is the plastic one it is recommend to replace with the upgraded metal one.

I would also reseal the oil pan.
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