Subaru Outback Forums banner

21 - 32 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
An up close shot of the cam plug.

507828



Yup. Definitely leaking. Got a new plug from the dealer.

I'm thinking I'll remove the old plug by hammering in a narrow and very sharp chisel, then seeing if I can get some leverage on it to pop it out (will probably take some more hammering).

The FSM states reinstall requires hammering it back in.

This might work. I figure I'll just have to be very careful when removing it, I don't want to damage the head in any way. These caps look pretty solid, so it will probably take some serious effort. Or, do you think I should loosen some of the camshaft girdle/cap bolts toward the end to be able to remove the plug a little easier, and just hope that the original RTV sealant between the head and the girdle/cap stays intact?

Both of the above methods make we worried and I don't want to damage that soft aluminum. I read that someone was able to squeeze in some RTV sealant after cleaning off the oil and using that as a temporary fix. I'm kind of leaning towards that just to see if it is actually the cause of my oil loss. If it is, then I can properly replace the plug when I pull the engine to do the headgaskets.



I'll update when I have time to get some work done. In the meantime, let me know what you think!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I removed my cam seals by gently screwing a coarse-thread sheetrock screw thru the rubber until it pushed out a bit.

You might try that if the plug is rubber.

To install the new plug, oil the edges all the way around and tap it into place with a mallet and a socket slightly smaller than the plug - the socket distributes the force uniformly - still, try to get it going in straight, not slanted.

If there isn't the room to tap with a hammer or mallet, try to find something to pry against - pushing with a prybar against the socket.

ALSO looking at your picture above, at about 2:30 o"clock is a nick just outside the seal. Maybe someone got aggressive taking the last one out?

... Look at the plug seat for damage that could pass oil.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
I removed my cam seals by gently screwing a coarse-thread sheetrock screw thru the rubber until it pushed out a bit.

You might try that if the plug is rubber.

To install the new plug, oil the edges all the way around and tap it into place with a mallet and a socket slightly smaller than the plug - the socket distributes the force uniformly - still, try to get it going in straight, not slanted.

If there isn't the room to tap with a hammer or mallet, try to find something to pry against - pushing with a prybar against the socket.

ALSO looking at your picture above, at about 2:30 o"clock is a nick just outside the seal. Maybe someone got aggressive taking the last one out?

... Look at the plug seat for damage that could pass oil.

Appreciate the response. Unfortunately, the plug is not rubber but steel with a thin rubber coating.

Also, I noticed that little dent in the 2 o clock position as well. I hope it doesn't cause problems when installing the new plug.. 😕
 

·
Premium Member
2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
I've never replaced one of those with the engine in place before but I've driven punches through them then used the hole to pry it off. Obviously you can't go too deep because the back of the camshaft sits in there. I don't know what kind of access you'll have. Do not try to loosen your cam caps.. that's a whole new can of worms.

Driving your new cap back in will be the more difficult part than removing it. I assume this is on the right side of the engine since you were able to get a pic of it. The new cap will have to go in square and obviously have to be tapped in so...

You could try cleaning it up and just putting a little sealant on it. You could take it a step further and right when the sealant is applied, pop the engine oil fill cap and put the nozzle of your shop vac on there to put the engine under vacuum in hopes a vacuum might draw a little of your sealant into the crack that's leaking.

I've had success before on the timing chain cover on a H6 project car once stopping a slow oil weep dabbing a little sealant on the outside. It's not a great fix but as a temporary thing, sure.

All that said, the weep at that cam cap/seal is not the source of your 1.75 quarts over 1k miles. I wouldn't waste my time on it.

As Cardoc has mentioned.. seafoam oil treatment... stat. He recommends running the recommended amount of seafoam for the last 500 miles before changing the oil. I'd like to add that you can add it to a fresh oil change too. I would still follow his recommendation of adding it 500 miles before changing the oil though. The oil is going to be NASTY when you drain it.

My turbo car used to consume oil like yours but since I've started using seafoam in the oil consumption has gone wayyyyy down. My theory is the oil control rings get filled with carbon or other crap and they're not scraping the cylinder walls like they should since they're bound up. The seafoam will work its way in there and clear it out, freeing the control rings again allowing them to do their job. Try it.
 

·
Premium Member
2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
If you do try seafoam.. document consumption rates please if you can. I wished I would have done that with the turbo car. I was sure it wasn't going to work is why I didn't but I would love if someone could get some data on it.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
I've never replaced one of those with the engine in place before but I've driven punches through them then used the hole to pry it off. Obviously you can't go too deep because the back of the camshaft sits in there. I don't know what kind of access you'll have. Do not try to loosen your cam caps.. that's a whole new can of worms.

Driving your new cap back in will be the more difficult part than removing it. I assume this is on the right side of the engine since you were able to get a pic of it. The new cap will have to go in square and obviously have to be tapped in so...

You could try cleaning it up and just putting a little sealant on it. You could take it a step further and right when the sealant is applied, pop the engine oil fill cap and put the nozzle of your shop vac on there to put the engine under vacuum in hopes a vacuum might draw a little of your sealant into the crack that's leaking.

I've had success before on the timing chain cover on a H6 project car once stopping a slow oil weep dabbing a little sealant on the outside. It's not a great fix but as a temporary thing, sure.

All that said, the weep at that cam cap/seal is not the source of your 1.75 quarts over 1k miles. I wouldn't waste my time on it.

As Cardoc has mentioned.. seafoam oil treatment... stat. He recommends running the recommended amount of seafoam for the last 500 miles before changing the oil. I'd like to add that you can add it to a fresh oil change too. I would still follow his recommendation of adding it 500 miles before changing the oil though. The oil is going to be NASTY when you drain it.

My turbo car used to consume oil like yours but since I've started using seafoam in the oil consumption has gone wayyyyy down. My theory is the oil control rings get filled with carbon or other crap and they're not scraping the cylinder walls like they should since they're bound up. The seafoam will work its way in there and clear it out, freeing the control rings again allowing them to do their job. Try it.


Outstanding. I appreciate your input! I'm planning to check my compression tomorrow, I'll post results here. Also, I think I'll go the seafoam route as well.

I worry that my OCD will make me replace the cam plug anyway. I've worked on some VERY tight spaces before and this really doesn't look bad at all compared to other things I've done. We will see.
 

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
15,449 Posts
It doesn't take a lot of impact to get the seal in. You do need to be careful that the seal starts square to the head/cap surfaces, otherwise you ding the edge and it will leak. Think freeze plug installation.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
Appreciate everyone's responses!

So, today I put in 5oz of seafoam in the engine oil to start the cleaning process. Even documenting mileage and oil level on the dipstick.

Example. Oil level...


508101


Mileage...

508102





Anyway. I did a compression test as well. Engine fully warmed up, all spark plugs removed, and throttle wide open. Here are my numbers...

Cyl 1 - 150
Cyl 2 - 145
Cyl 3 - 155
Cyl 4 - 150

Not too bad, actually. Sure, cylinder 2 is a little lower than the others, but at least it's not down to like 110 psi.

All things considered, I'm beginning to feel a little more positive about the outcome of my engine. I'll post back when I've replaced the gasket, o-ring, plug, and sealant (around the AVL oil pressure sensor threads).

Thank you everyone, again, for all your input.
 

·
Registered
2007 outback 4 cyl, mt
Joined
·
60 Posts
I'll take a shot as well, both at the Seafoam thing as well as documenting it, on this high miles 2009 I just bought.

If you do try seafoam.. document consumption rates please if you can. I wished I would have done that with the turbo car. I was sure it wasn't going to work is why I didn't but I would love if someone could get some data on it.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
Finished replacing the camshaft plug, solenoid holder gasket, solenoid o-ring, and oil pressure sensor re-sealed with RTV sealant around the threads.

There actually was plenty of room to work! It wasn't bad at all. Take a look, removed the intake piping along with the main engine wiring harness stay bracket. Unplugged the sensors and solenoid...

508248





Unbolted the solenoid and holder, along with the oil pressure sensor...

508249







Then, just using a flat head screwdriver and a hammer, I gently tapped the bottom edge of the camshaft plug. Since it's made out of steel and it's very rigid, pushing the bottom end inwards made the top end come out just a tiny bit. I then put the screwdriver on the top of the plug, and gently hammered downward and outward. The plug started coming out. It was actually very easy. Here it is ready to be pulled out.

508250







And a shot of the plug removed. You can definitely see that little dent/ding on the right side, but it doesn't go into the mating surface so I don't think it was causing the leak; rather, the original seal is just old and the rubber coating is worn out.

508251






Installation of the new plug was actually a lot easier than I anticipated. Before putting in the new OEM plug I bought, I tried out a Fel-Pro plug to kind of get the feel of pushing it in. The Fel-Pro plug was a tiny bit more loose, whereas the OEM plug was a little tighter. Even so, I was able to push it in with using just my hands and a little bit of patience. It really wasn't that bad at all. Judging by the looks and the feel of it, it seems very well leveled in the hole - and not too deep. The top of the edges are just at the very end of the bevel, just like the original one was. Nice. Take a look....

508252





I pulled out the solenoid to check the o-ring, and it looked fine. Even so, I replaced it with a Viton o-ring that was a tiny bit thicker... It slid in nice and snug.

508253


508254


508256






I reinstalled the oil pressure sensor after cleaning off the threads and applying RTV sealant on said threads...

508255







And finally, I installed the solenoid + holder back onto the head complete with a new OEM gasket. According to the FSM, the 4 10mm bolts should be torqued down to 7.4 ft-lbs, so I did so with my nifty little 1/4 drive Tekton torque wrench....

508262









All in all it took about 1.5 hours from start to finish. This was a pretty dang easy job. But, hopefully I'm not celebrating too soon. I'll check back on my work to see if it's still leaking over the next several days. Finger's crossed. Other than this, I've driven about 250 miles since I put in the Seafoam. I figure I'll give it a total of 500 miles before I change the oil, as recommended by cardoc and aesthetic.rake, and i'll check the level before draining it to see how much I've lost. I'll put in conventional oil, add in more seafoam, then run it another 500, then change back to synthetic. Hopefully this does the trick.


Thank you again for everyone's help. I hope I don't need to rebuild or replace the engine; but, we will see!
 
21 - 32 of 32 Posts
Top