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'97 subaru outback(legacy) wagon
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm having all sorts of problems lately. well, does anyone know the name of the gasket that is in front of the engine, between the main part of the engine and the front part of it, where the belts are. i'd say it's black, and has the circumference of a small hoolah-hoop. i can see and auctially pull out a part of it that has split in two. i went to my local NAPA Auto-part store and got a gasket but it was the wrong one...i think there was some miscommunication and i will be going back there shortly. and has anyone ever had any problems with it before, if you know what i am talking about.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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6,684 Posts
It sounds like you're talking about the gasket that goes between the timing belt covers and the engine itself. If it's like the EA82 engine I wrenched on, it is in several separate sections. (I don't know exactly which engine you're running.)

It doesn't seal oil. However, there are other seals where the crankshaft and the camshafts come out of the front of the engine (inside the belt covers) and these are famous for failing. To replace them, you have to remove the timing belts.

Then it becomes one of those "while you're in there you might as well..." situations - it's a good time to service the oil and water pumps, even if they or their seals are not failing, because you'd have to take the belts off to get to them whenever they fail in the future.

Oh, and some would recommend replacing the belt tensioners, too, because they don't last forever, and you do not want them to fail, especially if you're running the DOHC engine - it's an "interference" design, meaning the pistons can hit the valves if the crank is turning but the cams aren't.
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Outback H6 LL Bean - Champagne Gold Opal
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6,009 Posts
While we are talking about belts...

At my last inspection they told me my power steering belt was cracked and in bad shape but I told them not to replace it. It IS really cracked and dry, and I'm quite sure that it needs to be replaced.

I'm assuming that is the "Serpentine" belt, if so, is that an easy DIY replacement? I'm sure I can get the belt from any parts store, and it really looks like you just loosen the tensioner on the old one and pull it off and then throw the new one on. Sound about right? Anyone done this themselves?

A search over at scoobymods yielded no results, perhaps I just used the wrong terms.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,556 Posts
My experience with 'cheap' belts has been poor. Get either a Gates or Subaru OEM. Tighten as little as possible to prevent slipping/squealing but be prepared to retighten a little after a few miles or possibly next fall. Cool weather and stretching may loosen it a little. A too tight belt will shorten the bearing life of the accessories it drives.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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6,684 Posts
On my 98 there are two accessory belts, which I recently replaced, as they were originals. They are not very difficult to remove, but they are expensive (~$35).
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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6,186 Posts
Yeah, Greeny, do it yourself. And get a name brand belt. Not that bad of a job, I had to take the belts off when I put my crank pulley on, it's real easy. Just don't over-tension the belt, it's hard on the rotating masses of bearings and such.
Other than that, it's quite easy. Brian
 

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'04 Colorado, '90 Legacy sedan
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137 Posts
The removal process is quite obvious, you'll see that the power steering/alternator drive belt comes off first. Then the belt guard over the alternator may have to be removed to get to the tensioner between the power steering pump and the alternator. be sure to loosen the alternator pivot bolt so it moves easily.

Then reverse the procedure. Tighten until the belt is the same tension before, done.

Done this many times over the years. For me this is part of the fun of owning a car. Of course ball joints can be a "Major" pain!

Todd
 
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