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I bought a 1990 Subaru Loyale for three years and fell in love with it even though it doesn't have enough power to get out of its own way and I have to turn the air conditioning off to get on the freeway. I love the look of the Outback and have kept my eye out for one. Well, I got a 1996 Outback this week that I bought from a privite owner who bought it new and took great care of it. He gave me a folder with everything that was ever done to the car. I got it home and noticed that it was leaking oil pretty good but not to fret, the records shows that in March he had the timing belts changed as well as the crank seal. As I was looking through this folder I also noticed that he took it back in May because of leaking oil and they replaced the crank seal. I took it to the dealership and now they are going to put another crank seal in it and of course, free of charge. Is this a common problem with the Outback? I mentioned putting a speedy sleeve on it to the service man and he didn't know what I was talking about.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
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Hawkins & Son, by any chance? *G*

Yes, the crank seals are famous for failing. Mine is leaking at a rapid drip rate right now, somehow triggered by the head gasket failure BS.

The cam seals often fail, too, but they don't have pressurized oil behind them like the crank seal does.
 

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crank seals primarily deteriorate due to heat. due to the incredible heat conductivity of aluminum, i wouldn't be surprised to learn that the crank seal area on the Sub runs considerably hotter than on an engine which uses an iron block...the iron block has more localized hotspots, while the alum lump just disperses the heat all over. this would cause seals to deteriorate pretty fast.

just theorizing

but your problem is way beyond what this would account for. is it possible the dealership mechs are butchering it when they try to install? i doubt that anyone makes a sleeve for the seal area on a Subie...welcome to the world of less common cars.

and welcome generally! hope this doesn't turn you off on the car. remember, any vehicle that inspires such passionate enthusiasm from people who've lived with it for over 150K miles must have something going for it.....:D
 
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