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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First time posting here and fairly new to Subaru ownership. So hello all!!!!:)

Anyway, I have done tons of searching and browsing of the wonderful internet and various Subaru forums and just can't quit find the answer I am looking for. So here is my story...

I have a 98 Outback 2.5 DOHC, and it has around 205,000 miles. Car started running bad, missing etc. I did a compression test and #4 cylinder was low around 30 psi. Decided to pull engine apart and do basic head job. Get heads off and one of the #4 exhaust valves is badly burnt. I have the heads rebuilt by local shop, who was recommended by local subaru dealership and another independent subaru mechanic. Get the heads home and decide to set the valves on the benchtop before installing the heads on the car. Which from what I have researched is OK to do as long as you recheck after the heads are torqued down.

Here is my issue...ALL of the valves are way to wide. I am talking nearly double what specs should be. I have exhaust valves that measure nearly 0.50mm when they should be 0.25mm.

Am I missing something, or am I really going to have to buy 16 shims and spend another $100 dollars plus on this car?:gasp:

Oh, to check the valve clearance. Before taking the heads to the shop I marked ALL the buckets in shims as to what cylinder they belonged in. After getting the heads back, I put all buckets in shims back into their corresponding holes. I then put the cams on and torqued the bolts down. Measured the valve clearance using feeler gauges. I may be able to reuse a few of the shims, but as far off as these are it will not be very many.

Thanks for the help, and I love the site.

Dan
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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First what services did the machine shop perform?
Did the machine shop grind the ends of the valve stems flat?
This could account for why they are all out.
Are the differences between the before and after measurements about equal for them all?
Also you never mentioned if the before measurements were in spec
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, they are all about the same amount off. There were two intake valves that I could not get my smallest feeler gauge in before heads were rebuilt. One of them on cylinder four, the burnt exhaust valve cylinder, and one on cylinder three. The rest of the valves were within or very close to spec.
The shop did a basic valve job and did grind the valve tips flat. They also pained the heads.
 

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2014 OBW 3.6R Limited, 1997 OBW 2.5L Auto (sold, but not forgotten), and 1991 Ford F150
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When I did my HGs, 12 of the 16 valves were out of spec and that was with only two of the exhaust valves being worked on at the machine shop. I was able to mix and match a few shims so ended up only having to buy 8 of them to get back in spec.

If the machine shop worked on all the valves, then, yes, I could see needing to buy 16 shims as the gaps may be too wide for even the thickest of the existing shims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, that is what I was afraid of. 2 valves where replaced and it looks like he ground the tips of all of the other valves. They are all flat and you can see cutting/grinding marks on them. It looks like they are about $5.66 each on SubaruGenuineParts.com, so at least they are not too pricey. So, I will be buying 16 since the smallest shim I need is 2.62mm and the largest one I currently have is 2.55mm. :(

Next question. Am I OK buying them without installing the heads and torqueing the heads down? I have read on some sites that the valve clearance can changed once the heads are torqued to spec. Up to this point, I have only installed cams and checked clearance on all sixteen valves. I just don't want to buy/order shims and then have to get more.
 

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2014 OBW 3.6R Limited, 1997 OBW 2.5L Auto (sold, but not forgotten), and 1991 Ford F150
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Am I OK buying them without installing the heads and torqueing the heads down?
That's what I did and it worked out fine. I've advised others on this forum to do the same and no one ever reported back with a problem. I just can't see where torquing the head bolts would change the valve clearances. I would suggest doing a final check before installing the valve covers, though, just to be sure.

If there turned out to be a problem, I'm not sure how you would fix it. You'd have to remove the heads and get another set of HGs, for one.
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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Measure twice & order once.
:29:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Measured like four times. :)
Just found a guy in town that has a buch of shims. He said I could brig the mic and go through them before ordering any. :D
 

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Nice find.
 
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