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06 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
So, back in december, I did a HG job on my outback. While the engine was apart/in pieces, I replaced both cam seals and both crank seals. Now, one of the cam seals is leaking, just enough to get on the exhaust every once in a while, so I get to enjoy the same burning oil smell I had when the HG was leaking. :laugh:

Anyway, I really hate doing the same job twice, so I was wondering what the correct tool & procedure is to install the new cam seal?

My previous way:
I coated the mating surfaces of the new OEM seal with a little bit of wheel bearing grease. I then got the seal started by hand, and used a deep impact socket and a mallet/hammer to tap in until it was seated.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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What brand seal did you use the first time?

1. use an OEM seal, the viton OEM seals are fantastic and easily last the life of the engine.
2. make sure the cam seating surfaces are clean and no markings/grooves/damage from prior seal removal.

that method should work fine, any kind of grease/oil should be fine and the cam seals are generally forgiving and install easy so sounds like you just got unlucky or had a bad spot of dirt. maybe it's suggest to use oil on the OD and grease on the ID or the other way around but i've never worried - any kind of automotive oil based lubricant works for me.

download the FSM and see what it says. cam seals have been essentially the same since 1990 so you can look up any EJ engine cam seal procedure to note what type of lubricant and seating instructions.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #3
I installed an OEM seal.

FSM says to use engine oil and to use their $164 oil seal guide and $75 oil seal installer (attached image). I might have used engine oil instead of grease, I can't really remember.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i
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405 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
How far is the oil seal supposed to go in? Flush, or recessed?

And argh! I should have pony'd up and gotten one of these first: https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-58430-Shaft-Type-Puller/dp/B000FPYW4K Of course, no auto parts stores have the good ones... Just the crappy 2 tip one

Spent 40 minutes pulling the accessory belts, the t-belt, and cam pulley. And the past 2 hours trying to pull the stupid seal out with hook picks, screwdrivers and that stupid 2-tip seal puller
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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952 Posts
I have one of those Lisle seal pullers and they are worth their weight in gold. On the Outback, if you have the fans/radiator out, there is enough room to drill a hole in the seal and use a pick to pull it out. You have to drill perfectly perpendicular to the seal and any slips will be a good path for oil leaks. With the Lisle tool, you simply slide the hook under the seal and use the post as a fulcrum to pop the seal off the camshaft. Takes more time to describe it than to do it. With narrow clearance engines, they are worth double their weight in gold.

Credit: from the subaruforester.org forum from a member who found it on the web:


As for how deep to push the cam seals, they only need to be deep enough to clear the sprockets so they don't need to be much more than flush with the head. I used the old seal to push the new ones on by gently tapping around in circles with a plastic mallot little by little.
 
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