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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just general head gasket repair information not specific to Subaru. I am a head gasket noob but I found this video really helped me know what to do to properly replace one--

part 1:

part 2:

The following summarizes his videos on this topic after the initial cleaning of the mating surfaces (my notes bracketed in bold post the experience):


  • Spray wd-40 on block and heads to prevent rust [I used a spray bottle instead of aerosol]
  • Use compressed air to clean galleries and bolt holes
  • Use a thread chaser to clean bolt holes [I made a few by following
    ]
  • Spray out bolt holes again with compressed air
  • Degrease block and head-use use acetone (on blue towels) generously—clean gloves and no lint left behind
  • Clean out pistons with oiled up towel, making sure to degrease after if not done already
  • Don’t drop, bend or deform head gasket and make sure hands are perfectly clean [used new gloves]
  • Make sure you place the gasket with the right side up—the fire rings touching are the ultimate indicator [both sides had different patterns, and could only go one way, so this wasn't an issue]
  • Be very particular about torqueing! Check torque calibration by setting close to the highest torque setting to be used, measuring from the center of where socket will go socket to the center of the handle (look for groove?), taking that value divided by 12 (ex 45=1.3*X) and solve for X. X is the weight that you need to place at that point on the handle to get torque wrench to “click”. Do this on tire lug…tie the weight (X) onto handle. Use pinky to lightly press if necessary. [So I comically tried this and the math evidence showed my torque wrench was bad. I did some asking around and found that Les Schwab has torque wrench testers that if you ask nicely enough you can use for free, which I must say is a much easier way to test . . . This test also verified my cheapo tw was bad, so don't fudge on this step!]
  • Place headgasket over locator ring
  • Clean cylinder head gasket with acetone and surfaces again [I didn't apply acetone to my headgaskets]
  • Use straws in corner bolt holes to align head to block [Next time you go to McDonalds grab 10 or so, they have a good length and needed stiffness to them, bendy straws kind of defeat the purpose]
  • Brush on grease where bolt head meets surface. Place spacer washers (if applicable) and apply more grease. [I just used a q tip to apply 5W30]
  • Add a little oil to headbolt threads, avoid runniness, use finger to smooth out
  • Flush bolts to surface, no torqueing
  • Follow manufacturing torque sequence/specs. [Seriously don't screw this up. It is expensive. Be sure to set torque wrench to either Nm or Ftlbs and don't mistake one for the other (thinking Nm is how many ftlbs it is, for example)]
  • Use as short extension as possible and have smooth continuous, fluid motion when torqueing. Doublecheck torque in sequence before advancing to higher torque. [I used little circle price stickers and marked the sequence order on them and stuck them in appropriate bolt area so I wouldn't have to keep looking at the book, I also didn't double check torque because how do you do that when turning x amount of degrees? ]
  • Mark bolt heads in case calibration is lost when doing an angle torque. Get angle gauge from Lisle. [I got it, loved it and it was way easy to use. And I didn't mark the bolts but I used my price stickers to write a mark that corresponded to each torquing step number in the FSM (I numerated them), that way I could know what my last bolt was say, if I were to drop my wrench, or my wife were to suddenly need help putting out a fire, for example]
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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added the part part 1 to your post, where he does reveal it is a 96 2.2 Toyota Camry engine getting worked on.

and I updated title and moved thread
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Expenses Experience EZ30D Head Gasket Report

This thread is a brief synopsis of my EZ30D repair and lists costs, parts, part#s, and time it took for the various stages.

I was reading the thread about JDM H6 differences, and I was wondering if you could tell me how much you spent doing the work yourself, and how long it took you. I've got an H6 at 153k.
A member recently PMd me this so I thought I would share with anyone who would care to know. Much of the tips and part info is already here on the board and easy to find with patience.

For starters, I really only primarily referenced this one thead here on this forum for this job. There were others I skimmed through. I learned a lot from YouTube channel Schrodinger's Box as seen above and this helped me get going, Finding the FSM by searching the forum was priceless-- literally and borrowing the colloquialism.

Some notes about this before you look at how long it took me:


  • Vehicle was 2001 VDC with 153k miles. It was misfiring at idle but otherwise drove great. Internal vacuum leak was found so I suspected timing was off. When I removed cover I found the RH exhaust cam was off a few degrees left (facing front) of 12o clock. This encouraged me as it really proved what was wrong was not a death sentence for the vehicle (there was no evidence really to say so anyway, which is why I pulled the engine). The RH HG had an external oil leak, something I could live with but since I had the motor out and the time/funds I went for it!
  • This was my first HG job, and I thought no better way than to start on a complex one.
  • I had an extra car and was able to take as much time as needed--I had the car in my shop for around 3 months. This probably added significant time to the actual labor times, because as some of you may know, many small bursts of labor mean you may have to get your tools out/organized again and just get into that groove that comes from being focused for 2-3 hours, as opposed to intense focus requirements of just working 1 - 2 hours at a time. Maybe that's just me and I'm alone here.
  • I did have an assistant help with the hoist and my little brother helped me at times, although his help was pretty much negated because he did some stuff wrong (definitely my fault for not focusing better) and really who is to blame a 14 year old for forgetting which valve didn't get a new seal? They were mistakes anyone could have made but I had to be absolutely sure about some stuff so I essentially had to re-do his work entirely.
  • My greatest error was overtorqueing the cyl heads. I read Nm and set that value using Ftlbs, overtorqueing that initial gasket smash torque. I realized my mistake and finished the sequence so it would be done evenly. Then I followed removal procedure and did it again. To add insult to injury I was tired and let my brother do the sequence on the other side but he forgot which ones he did last and the order--again my fault. Total rookie moves here, right? I bought new bolts and gaskets and the mistake set me back almost $300 and the time, but it's a small price to pay considering.
  • Despite my above critical mistake I really did take my time, tried to do everything right and didn't rush the job.
  • I have worked on Subarus before, but mostly simple stuff like timing jobs, accessories, valve cover gaskets, suspension work--and all this on EJ22s and EJ25s too. I do general jobs on other makes as well.
  • I used a small impact on timing cover/timing component bolts for the most part and I think this saved me some time.
  • I spent additional money of course not listed in the table to come on things like extra organizer containers to hold the million bolts (I left what I could screwed into the block/frame/etc.) and containers to keep my cams and related components clean and organized as I knew this would take a long time. Also there are additional general shop supplies that naturally see an increased demand for this type of job.
  • I went above and beyond what could have been a "simple" timing component repair, so if you factor my labor and part costs it is doing above minimum requirements.

I made two tables, one that lists part info and the other that lists labor times.

Part Info

View attachment Part Info.pdf

One note I wanted to add here is that the gasket kit from Subaru does not include the thermostat o-ring, egr gaskets (you need 2 if replacing), or valve cover gaskets.

Labor Time Info (Estimate)

View attachment Labor Info.pdf

All in all I think it took between 40-60 hours of pure working time and cost just nigh of $2,000. I would have saved more if I had not screwed up on the HG part and if I elected to not replace certain parts. I have seen shop invoices of complete timing/HG/resealing jobs similar to mine on this same engine cost t&l $4-5k, so I personally still feel I came out on top if the replacement holds. I am still working out a few bugs but am so happy the vehicle is running great for the time being. Maybe unrelated but my opinion is that ff doing the job yourself I will say here that getting a JDM from a reputable vender is definitely a viable option if you don't want to invest the time and money into repairing an "older" engine. I chose to save the one I had and know exactly what I was driving and gain the experience of doing a HG. It's always better to work on a salvageable engine. The JDM enegine could fail and then you're in a worse spot was partially my thinking.

This forum has everything one needs to do the timing/head gasket job so if you were like me having never done this and are thinking about doing it and are confident of your abilities and willing to accept the risk of losing it all (think JDM motor swap as a backup plan or scrapping vehicle) then bravely charge onward armed with this tool and patience and just enjoy the experience. I hope this post doesn't come across as redundant to other posts about the EZ30 HG job but rather as an insight when weighing the risks and the costs of this great and noble undertaking.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
added the part part 1 to your post, where he does reveal it is a 96 2.2 Toyota Camry engine getting worked on.

and I updated title and moved thread
I apologize for the mis-categorization and for the lack of clarification. . .this is just general head gasket repair information not specific to Subaru.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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I apologize for the mis-categorization and for the lack of clarification. . .this is just general head gasket repair information not specific to Subaru.
yeah, I am thinking about merging this with what you just posted into one big happy thread.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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merged.
 
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