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2005 Outback XT 5EAT Tuned by Ed @ XRT
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Discussion Starter #1
Car is a 2005 Outback XT, 2.5T motor, 186k kms, getting ready for a T-belt service.

Looking for some advice on the cam seals I need to buy, I'm purchasing from amazon and have two of these seals from Beck Arnley, and just realized that I will need 4.

When researching I came across the fact that (I believe) this motor has the AVCS system on it's cams, thus requiring a different cam seal?

Is this the case? Do I have the right seals? If not, which ones should I get and four is the correct number, right?

Pardon all the questions hah. I just want to have everything set before the maintenance starts.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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I would get that from a dealer online or locally. Too hard to fix if you got the wrong part, or one that didn't quite make the grade.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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2,105 Posts
Unless there is a problem, there really is no reason to replace the cam seals. They are not a part that goes bad often on our cars. Maybe the next go round, but definitely not necessary with your mileage.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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191 Posts
If your serious about having the seals done with your service, I recommend a Subaru Dealer or Independent that specializes in our cars. On your model the Intake pulleys are AVCS, which means also a couple of o-rings to seal the Bolt covers on the intake Pulley. The lower (Exhaust) pulleys are a Plastic fiber, and the Bolts esp the Rt. Side tend to seize in place which requires drilling out or cutting off the head to remove the cam gear.
Even the dealer special tools to hold the gear do nothing to deal with 10mm hex bolt which, when it seizes, Strips out the hex. I have a Snap on Short 1/2" drive 10mm Hex which I have modified to address the seized/soft bolt, and have more succeses than failures, but I still field calls from the "neighbors" when they run into this issue.
I would not do this service without replacing the seals, as I buy into the "cheap insurance" ideal, Remember that the Crankshaft turns at idle at approx 700RPM, and only rises from there, thats alot of running on those seals in 100,000+miles. Subaru went away from a black rubber seal material in the late 1990's due to leaking issues, and the seals are now brown in color and have very few problems when installed correctly.
 

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2005 Outback XT 5EAT Tuned by Ed @ XRT
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257 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If your serious about having the seals done with your service, I recommend a Subaru Dealer or Independent that specializes in our cars. On your model the Intake pulleys are AVCS, which means also a couple of o-rings to seal the Bolt covers on the intake Pulley. The lower (Exhaust) pulleys are a Plastic fiber, and the Bolts esp the Rt. Side tend to seize in place which requires drilling out or cutting off the head to remove the cam gear.
Even the dealer special tools to hold the gear do nothing to deal with 10mm hex bolt which, when it seizes, Strips out the hex. I have a Snap on Short 1/2" drive 10mm Hex which I have modified to address the seized/soft bolt, and have more succeses than failures, but I still field calls from the "neighbors" when they run into this issue.
I would not do this service without replacing the seals, as I buy into the "cheap insurance" ideal, Remember that the Crankshaft turns at idle at approx 700RPM, and only rises from there, thats alot of running on those seals in 100,000+miles. Subaru went away from a black rubber seal material in the late 1990's due to leaking issues, and the seals are now brown in color and have very few problems when installed correctly.
So you're saying the seals should be done.

Gah, I want to do them myself to save a bundle of money. I have the parts in hand, hopefully that will save me a bunch of dough, I'll get some quotes from the local subaru dealers.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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191 Posts
I'd do the seals, it's not that expensive and gives you great piece of mind, that you won't be back in in a few months. Also while you have the front of the engine apart, remove and feel each of the tensioner pulleys for roughness, and replace as needed, unless you have already picked up a Gates or similar kit that includes the idlers, and belts.
 

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'99 Outback 2.5 GT auto & '97 LegOB w/ grossly insulted 2.5
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141 Posts
`I was cheap & installed aftermarket seals myself at a timing belt replacement done due to NO history on the car. Managed to **** one seal a mite with my 3/4" drive socket 'installer', Naturally the parts emporiums had all closed 2 hours previously. This mistake, in concert with smoke caused from overfilling the front differential made me dismiss the possibility of the cam seal mistake causing the smoke. Made it home by stopping every 5-7 miles for oil & Lucas top-offs. Total engine write-off over stupidity.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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Skip the seals, especially if you are doing it yourself. I think you should skip the water pump too if you are doing it yourself. Unlikely it will go before the next major thing causes you to get in there.

Do replace all the idlers and tensioner.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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True about the water pump, but it's cheap and easy to install and most people drain the coolant to disconnect the upper hoses and remove the radiator for more room to work. In that case, you're just a few extra bolts away from replacing a water pump. The cam seals are a different story. You mess up and you've created a problem. I still have not heard of a single xt or LGT having a cam seal problem that was not installation error and they are not regularly replaced as part of the 105k maintenance. This is a perfect case of it aint broke, don't fix it.
 
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