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2006 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on replacing the water pump (and timing belt, idlers, and tensioner) on my 2006 Outback 2.5i Limited Automatic (~160k miles). For context, the car was overheating in a spectacularly rapid fashion, would go from cold to 3/4 hot in less than a minute, and coolant was spraying out from where the upper radiator hose interfaces with the engine despite a very tight washing machine hose clamp on the hose. Another clue was that when I limped it home in several trips with cool down time in between, I would run the heat full blast to help out the cooling system, and the heat would never get hot even when the temperature gauge spiked up into the red. About a month ago, the radiator cracked. I replaced the radiator and thermostat, and it drove fine for 3 weeks without any issues. So assuming the new radiator and thermostat are working, I know the radiator fans are running, and this all seems to point to the coolant isn't circulating; that leaves the water pump as the culprit. I only bought this car 3 months ago so I don't really know the history on the water pump, but I'm assuming it's probably just due for replacement, and the radiator failure may have helped it along.

Anyways, I've got the radiator out and the v-belts removed, and now I'm working on removing the crank pulley. I got a pulley holder tool as a rental from Advanced Auto and a 24" breaker bar on the bolt, and it wouldn't budge. I hit the bolt with PB Blaster and slid 2 feet of pipe over the breaker bar giving me 4 feet of leverage, and it wouldn't budge; the holder tool was flexing and twisting and trying to pop out of the pulley, but the bolt wouldn't budge. My great big impact gun wouldn't fit in the space between the pulley and the radiator so I went and bought an intermediate sized one that would fit with 370 ft-lb of breakaway torque. I put that on there after another thorough soak with PB Blaster, and it still won't budge. I tried oscillating the impact gun between loosen and tighten a dozen or so times, then ran it on loosen for a solid minute, and still no luck. So then I tried the big hoss 1200 ft-lb impact gun with a universal joint to get it to fit in the space available, and still nothing.

This bolt is well and truly stuck. I can see some rust on the crankshaft, but the car has always lived in South Carolina (and not at the beach) so there's not excessive rust from salt spray or anything; just what appears to be surface rust, not heavy corrosion. I looked through the forums, and I saw some good ideas for better pulley holder tools so I will probably make one of those to hold the pulley more securely in all 4 holes instead of just two as the rental tool does. I particularly liked the idea of getting the pulley holder tool wedged on a frame rail so you don't have to hold it. If my pulley isn't in a good position to get it wedged like that, is there any harm in rotating the crank pulley to a better position for that? The timing belt is still in place at this point so I don't have to worry about running the pistons and valves into each other (right?), but I ask because I wonder if there's anything I might not be thinking about. I think I might try the folded over belt on the crank pulley at the same time as the tool holding it in the 4 holes, a belt and suspenders approach if you will to hold the inside and the outside since I read about some people have the pulley delaminate.

Other than that, I'm thinking that once I have the pulley held more securely, I'll get a bigger breaker bar (or a longer piece of pipe). If I get to 6 feet of leverage and hang my 250 pounds from it, that'll be 1500 ft-lbs of torque so more than I've tried so far. I'm thinking I could also jack the front end up, wedge the breaker bar against the floor of the garage and slowly lower the car to use the weight of the car to turn the bolt (hopefully without breaking anything). Anyone got any other ideas or perhaps cautions against anything I'm trying?

Sorry for the long post. This is my first time doing this, and I want to make sure I do it right and not ruin this car; I need it to last at least a couple more years without becoming a money pit before I replace it. Plus I'm super detail oriented and it's hard for me to not give all the details. 馃榿 Thanks for any advice you can offer.
 

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First I would like to say. I always attempt to do this job the "Right way" before attempting this. Inhave had 5 Subarus replaced 6 timing belts only had to do this trick once. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Beyond this Line proceed at your own RISK
------------------------------------------------


Step 1) Unplug the ignition coil or unplug the plug wires from the ignition coil.

Step 2) get a breaker bar. I believe mine is a 24". With 22mm socket.

Step 3) brace the breaker bar on the frame rail on the driver side of the car. Do NOT Pinch the line that is there

Step 4) make sure the socket is firmly on the pulley

Step 5) get I the car and crank the ignition of a millisecond. You are not trying to start the car just break that bolt lose.

Good luck. Some times you gotta use dirty tricks.

Again you should always try to do this the proper way first.


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2006 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
scoopburt, thanks. I saw people mention that in the forum but didn't quite know what they meant. Thanks for the video and the rundown. I'll keep that in mind if all else fails.

dukey33, now that you mention it, I remember seeing EricTheCarGuy use a torch on a rusted bolt. I'll head to YouTube and educate myself on that. Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I tried the torch yesterday. I kept the flame on the bolt for about two minutes and then hit it with the impact gun, but to no avail. I went to try heating it longer, and now my torch won't light anymore. The flame was sort of washing up against the bolt and doubling pack out of the inner diameter of the crank pulley and blasting the tip of the torch pretty good. I was a little worried about the AC condenser getting toasty. I think I may have overheated something in the torch; plus it's like 17 years old. Of course they don't have any torches in stock at Lowes so I'm waiting for it to come in on Saturday and then I'll try again.

It smelled like burning rubber when I was heating it. The inner diameter of the crank pulley got pretty hot so I'm sure the rubber part was too. This is probably going to ruin the crank pulley in the course of getting it off isn't it?
 

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by heating it up and applying torque, you just might soften material at the boundary of the bolt head and shoulder and end up twisting the head right off. If you do manage to get a significant amount of heat into the shaft, now you've got an expanded shaft (read, it's even tighter than before). If I had to heat a bolt head, I'd let it cool before attempting to turn it. The idea there is that the expansion and subsequent cooling breaks the rust bond - assuming that's your issue.

If you're using some sort of propane plumber's torch forget that. You'll never get enough heat fast or concentrated enough out of that. You'll just end up melting things elsewhere. The beefier your impact socket, the more of the 'bounce' that goes into the bolt from the socket, so if you're using thin wall socket for this, try a proper impact socket. I would not put that pulley back on after smelling burning rubber, BTW. If you finally get it off and your issue was due to corrosion, I sure hope that doesn't extend to getting the pulley off.

Stupid question time - you're not attacking this as if the bolt is left hand thread by any chance (righty-loosey)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Micron, I was worried about that, softening and breaking the bolt. Definitely worried about the flame damaging something elsewhere. Seems like it would take a lot of heat to heat the bolt up because it's attached to a lot of metal (pulley, crankshaft, etc.) to conduct that heat away from the bolt. By the time the bolt gets hot, what else is hot and what does that do? The couple videos I found on heating rusty bolts with torches were on suspension parts where the bolt had less metal to conduct heat away.

Yeah I'm using a BernZomatic torch with MAPP gas that has perviously only been used for brazing pipes. Do you have suggestion for a better (reasonably priced) tool?

I am using a regular socket because I couldn't find a 3/8" drive 22 mm shallow impact socket at Lowes or Harbor Freight (two closest stores) so I settled for a Craftsman 22 mm non-impact shallow socket knowing that if I broke it, I could use the warranty to get another one. I didn't want to wait a week to get it, but maybe I should order a proper impact socket; I didn't think about how much of the impulse made it into the bolt vs. deforming the socket.

I will admit that when I first started trying by hand with the breaker bar, I definitely tried to turn it right a couple times on accident (mixed up which breaker bar was bolt vs holder), but I have been mostly doing it right and am treating it as a normal right hand threaded bolt. I have the shop manuals, and I would hope they would point out any oddball left handed fasteners.

I guess that points me back to the trick with cranking the engine to break it loose. I don't particularly want to do that, but it seems to work.
 

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Get a proper 6 point impact socket even if you intend to bump the engine over for this or you'll just have another chore in returning a tool and you'll be no farther ahead. I have seen the difference for myself. I have also found that holding the gun loosely in your hand allows more shock to transfer into the socket and less into your body. 25 years as a mechanic, you learn a few tricks. As for a torch, I don't know what that is that you've cited. I always had cutting torches at my disposal, so usually I could get enough heat.

However, I can't imaging that a 3/8 drive tool has what it takes for this. I wouldn't have even attempted to remove that bolt with 3/8 drive tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I do the engine bump, I'll use my 1/2" drive impact socket and breaker bar. I just use 3/8" drive on the impact gun because my medium-sized impact gun (3/8", 300 ft-lbs) will fit between the condenser and the pulley whereas my large impact gun (1/2", 1200 ft-lbs) will not fit. Definitely using only 6-point sockets.

I did try using the large impact gun with a universal joint (didn't work), but I'm not sure how much energy is lost in that universal joint; the universal joint may have even been binding because of the angle. If I could get the condenser out of the way, I could get the large impact gun in there, but the condenser is connected to a hard line, and I don't have the equipment to evacuate the refrigerant and disconnect the hard line. Maybe there's enough play in those hard lines that if I removed the clips that hold them to the body, I could push the condenser out of the way a little bit? Then I could get the large impact gun in there head on.

I think I've been keeping a firm grip on the impact gun, but I'll definitely pay attention to it going forward. Thanks for sharing that 25 years of experience.
 

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If you had 4' on a bar and could not break that loose then I have to wonder what bumping the engine will do. I think I'd get a second person to pull on that with you first lest you do some damage, but that's just an opinion from someone who's never worked on a Subaru. Yes, you'd lose impact with the universal, and as you say, it might have been locked up anyway. If those hard lines are connected to hoses you might be able to raise that condensor. Perhaps someone can raise and hold it while you get on the bolt with the 1/2 gun. If this is an air gun, put a few drops of light oil into the gun air line nipple - something you'd be doing on a regular basis for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are you still fighting with this

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I haven鈥檛 touched it in a few days. Planning to attack it again on Saturday.

Gonna make myself a better pulley holder than my rental tool using 3/8鈥 bolts and 1/2鈥 plywood so I can hold it in all 4 pulley holes. Then I鈥檓 gonna try to gently slide the condenser forward enough to get my 1/2鈥 impact gun in there head on and see if that鈥檒l work. If it won鈥檛 fit, I鈥檒l get a longer piece of pipe for the breaker bar and go that route. Now that you made me think of it, I鈥檓 gonna go douse it with PB Blaster now and give it a little love with the 3/8 impact gun so the vibration can work it in there and let it work on it overnight. May as well throw WD-40 in there too. Can鈥檛 hurt.

If that doesn鈥檛 work, I鈥檒l try heat again with my new torch, which allegedly burns hotter than the old one. I think I will wait for it to cool this time before putting a wrench on it. Probably put a fan on it to try to get it to cool and shrink faster than the crank to break the rust up.

Last option will be engine bump. I鈥檓 just worried that if all this doesn鈥檛 break it loose, what鈥檚 the starter gonna do? If the bolt doesn鈥檛 break loose when I crank it and everything is jammed up, can that damage anything?

That鈥檚 my plan of attack for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
WD-40 stands for Water Displacement (40) stands of 40th attempt at the formula.

Project farm does a good video on this liquid wrench wins


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I鈥檒l pick some up. I was wondering about trying Liquid Wrench or a Seafoam penetrant I saw at Advance Auto. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I finally got back around to it. Success!

Popped the clips on the condenser hardlines loose to give me some play, took the upper brackets off the condenser, and had just enough play to get it up out of the way. Still couldn鈥檛 get a straight shot because of the bracing where the hood latch mounts, but I was able to get it in with a couple wobble bits. And of course, lots of Liquid Wrench.

Hopefully that was the hard part and the rest is smooth sailing.

Thanks to everyone that offered advice.

508462
508463
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Don't know if I should make a new post since it's a new issue, but it's still related.

I took the water pump off last weekend, and it seems fine. Turns with pretty much the same effort as the new replacement. Perhaps there's something going on at high speeds that I can't do with my hand, but it feels fine as best I can tell. There's no visible physical damage like cavitation damage or anything like that. It seems fine.

But there definitely wasn't coolant circulation based on the symptoms: very fast overheat, coolant leak from upper radiator hose, no heat in cabin despite engine coolant temps skyrocketing. So my suspicion turns to the brand new (well 3 weeks old anyway) aftermarket thermostat. After I replaced it before, I tested the old one by boiling it, and it was fine, but I had already put the new one in and figured well it's new so can't hurt. I just tested the new one, and it didn't open at all. I tested the old one again, it was still fine. Tested the new one again, and this time it opened.

I think this may have all been due to a crappy, sticky, aftermarket thermostat. Had I checked it again before assuming it was the water pump, I could have save myself a lot of money and frustration.

But at the same time, the lines on the timing belt were a few notches back from where they should have been when I lined up the cam sprockets with their marks on the cover/block. I suppose that means that something made it skip at some point. Could that have been a sticky water pump that made it skip?

So, what say you all? Buy a new OEM thermostat or just put the old OEM thermostat back in? I'm definitely not putting that CarQuest one back in. Also, should I put the new (Dayco, non-OEM) water pump from the water pump and timing belt kit in or just put the old one back on with a new set of seals? The quality on that Dayco pump seems lacking (sealing surfaces are scratched) plus there's only a $1 difference between the kit with and without the pump so you can tell it's cheap, but I can always polish the scratches up and then at least it has a new set of (hopefully not garbage) bearings.
 

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Your description of the fast temp rise and hose leak could also indicate a head gasket leak (hot exhaust gases getting into cooling system). If you have a rad pressure tester, you can check for that.
 
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