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1998 Outback 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #1
All,

Bought the wife a Subaru Legacy Outback, 1998, 2.5L.

Love the little wagon. But it has some issues.

This is the first Subaru I have ever owned. I am an avid DIYer. If I think I can do it I will. Hate paying someone to do something that I am able to do myself.

We live in an apartment but do have a garage where I do the work our vehicles. We had the wagon about three weeks before I could pull it in the garage to check some things. My Jeep was in there but thats a whole other story I dont wont to get into.

Anyway, got the Jeep put together and pulled her car in the garage. I wanted to located the problems and also check all fluids. All fluids looked great.

Problems:

1: Exhaust Leak.
Found the leak. pipe is cracked right before the resonator, I believe thats what they call it. My question is would it be better to just have a muffler shop repair it, or purchase a cat-back system and install it. Would like to pull a couple more MPGs out of it. Also its the wife's car so I do not want a loud muffler.

2: Oil Leak.
It is leaking somewhere at the rear of the motor. I appears to be near the rear cross member somewhere. I need to get under there again and degrease and clean everything to get a better look. Its so jammed in there its hard to see.

3: Rear Diff.
Wanted to check fluid but could not get the fill plug to break loose. It appears to leak somewhere cause the diff is wet. I guess I need to spray some PB Blaster on it for a couple days.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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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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Rear diff:
Normally you can use a 1/2" breaker bar to remove the fill plug. The actual size of the plug is a slightly smaller 13mm. Since yours is "stuck", I'd recommend getting the right tool for the job before you wreck the plug:
KTC 13mm Differential Socket AC301-13 - Ultimatetoolco.com
 

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1998 Outback 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #3

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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oil/grease in that area could be; separator plate, grease from split boot, valve cover leak, blow back from up front, etc. Maybe drive it to the car wash and spray stuff off under there.

I had to use my floor jack against the breaker bar to loosen the fill (always this one first) and drain plugs on the rear diffs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
oil/grease in that area could be; separator plate, grease from split boot, valve cover leak, blow back from up front, etc. Maybe drive it to the car wash and spray stuff off under there.

I had to use my floor jack against the breaker bar to loosen the fill (always this one first) and drain plugs on the rear diffs.
I didnt have it on jack stands when trying to loosen the rear diff. Need to put it on jack stands and try to get a little more leverage. I was trying the fill one. I couldnt get that one so stopped. I would have been screwed if the drain came out but couldnt get the fill.:gasp:

Matt
 

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I didnt have it on jack stands when trying to loosen the rear diff. Need to put it on jack stands and try to get a little more leverage. I was trying the fill one. I couldnt get that one so stopped. I would have been screwed if the drain came out but couldnt get the fill.:gasp:

Matt
I felt you knew what you were doing but, some folks reading here may not understand the risk of doing it the other way.

I didn't, until I read it here quite some time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whats the deal with the shrouds surrounding the exhaust? One is rattling on the pass side at an idle and driving me crazy:crazyeye: Do they serve a purpose besides protection? And where would be the best place to purchase replacements?

Matt
 

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One general idea. I've found over the years with my prior 2001 Subaru that when the heavy gear oil in the diff's gets to the point it needs to be replaced it can get thin and you start seeing small leaks. Once the gear oil is replaced the leaks would go away. I would start with that.

The front diff could be the same issue thin gear oil leaking - replace it and see how that impacts your possible leak at the back of the engine. Also the valve cover gaskets are a common cause for lots of people thinking they have far worse issues so don't assume the worst till you make sure the simple things are taken care of and checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One general idea. I've found over the years with my prior 2001 Subaru that when the heavy gear oil in the diff's gets to the point it needs to be replaced it can get thin and you start seeing small leaks. Once the gear oil is replaced the leaks would go away. I would start with that.

The front diff could be the same issue thin gear oil leaking - replace it and see how that impacts your possible leak at the back of the engine. Also the valve cover gaskets are a common cause for lots of people thinking they have far worse issues so don't assume the worst till you make sure the simple things are taken care of and checked.

I will try that in the rear. Up front is definitely motor oil and not gear oil. Unless Subaru uses motor oil for the diffs. I wouldnt think thats the case though.

Matt
 

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I will try that in the rear. Up front is definitely motor oil and not gear oil. Unless Subaru uses motor oil for the diffs. I wouldnt think thats the case though.

Matt
Valve covers will be motor oil - when its caked on the outside of things it all looks the same thin gear oil looks like motor oil.

Sometimes but not always any oil spotted in the spark plug holes is a good indication the valve cover seals are done. Not always but its generally a good thing to eye ball to get a sense of where the valve cover seals are regarding life/health etc.
 

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even though the SAE numbers are larger - actually appearance of gear oils can be similar. But my experience is, the gear oil smells worse!

Also, not impossible to have a PCV valve/hose or breather hose problem that would drip oil.

 

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The Oring in the oil pump located behind the plastic cover for the timing belt is also a very well known source of fairly sizable oil leaks. Though this is generally easy to spot with heavy oil leaking from the front bottom driver side area across the bottom of the engine. Just a side note and notice you have oil in that area also. The fix is pulling the cover - cleaning up the pump and putting a new Oring in it. Common to do this during the timing belt service.
 

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The reason I know the front is not gear oil is because of smell. I am very familiar with the smell of gear oil. I just finished rebuilding the front axle on my Jeep.
 

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The Oring in the oil pump located behind the plastic cover for the timing belt is also a very well known source of fairly sizable oil leaks. Though this is generally easy to spot with heavy oil leaking from the front bottom driver side area across the bottom of the engine. Just a side note and notice you have oil in that area also. The fix is pulling the cover - cleaning up the pump and putting a new Oring in it. Common to do this during the timing belt service.
I will be sure to check that also.

Matt
 

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I will be sure to check that also.

Matt
I had a Subaru shop manager tell me the old leaky Oring vs miles on the car was one of their general inspections they do for trades. He said a 100K and under car with normal and proper oil change history rarely leaks if at all - and cars that were run a tad long between oil changes almost always had leaky Orings. LOL

A few years prior to being told this I had the TB done on my 2001 which was run on synthetic since 20,000 and saw fairly regular changes 4000-5000 miles - the Oring was perfectly clean and they didn't bother with it. But it is fairly common to the point that shops will tell you 99% of the time they end up doing the oring also at the TB service.
 
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