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2000 Subaru Outback
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 Outback, EJ25. I am the second owner, I bought the car with 72,000 miles serval years ago. Supposedly the dealer I bought it from replaced the timing belt and water pump. About 2 years ago, around the 150,000 mile mark, It developed an external oul leak from the drivers side head gasket. At that time, I paid a mechanic to do a complete head gasket job. He did both head gaskets, replaced the valves and guides, and he also did the timing belt and water pump. I am now at 180,000 miles and recently started smelling burning oil from a leak, and noticing a mess of oil all over the underside of the engine during oil changes. (As a side note, I also recently have heard from others, who used the same mechanic as me, that his work is not always the best...), so I thought it was the head gaskets again for sure. I cleaned the engine and used one of those UV dye kits and discovered that the oil leak is not coming from either head, but rather the bottom drivers side of the timing belt cover. I tried attaching a picture, sorry for the poor quality, but you can see the leaking oil right at the bottom of the timing belt cover, the head looks clean.

My understanding is this oils could be leaking either from the oil pump seal, cam shaft seal, or crank shaft seal. My understanding is I should do a complete timing belt job and replace all of these seals as well. If it’s not painfully obvious already, I am not an expereinced mechanic, but I am pretty handy and have done a lot of basic car maintenance. I feel mostly prepared to do this job on my own.

My quesiton is, is this this the correct diagnosis? I am planning on ordering the AISIN timing belt kit with water pump and components from rock auto, and also order crankshaft seal, camshaft seal, and oil pump O ring from rock auto as well. Is this everything I will need? Do I need to also replace the timing belt cover seal? Should I replace the drive/accessory belts even if they look to be in good condition? I have the Haynes Manuel and am currently watching videos on how do do all of this work.

Sorry for the long post, any help, suggestions or corrections would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Registered
2000 Subaru Outback
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh I also forgot to mention, I am ordering a subaru thermostat and OEM subaru long lasting coolant and coolant conditioner to put back in the radiator when this job is all said and done.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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966 Posts
A timing belt job is not too difficult on the Outback. I did my first TB job on my OB 2 years ago and it took about 6-7 hours. If I had to do it again, I could probably do it in 3. There are some here who could do it in 1-2 hours (!). Removing the radiator and fans as one piece makes it much easier to get to everything and gives a lot more room. It's worth the extra 15-20 minutes to remove them.

Watching several Youtube videos helps because it lets you decide what works and what doesn't.
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5i
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32 Posts
My money's on the camshaft seal. SubaruONLY has a great cam seal video;
. I don't think I'd change the water pump and pulleys again, they should be good for at least another 50k. The timing belt is likely oil soaked and should be replaced. I've never replaced the oiil pump so can't speak to that but once all the covers are off you shoild be able to see if it's leaking. At 180K I suppose it could be worn, but then again it's swimming in oil...
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,788 Posts
3 screws hold that cover on and it can be removed without taking any thing else off. Take it off and look at the area around the camshaft pulley. Look down in to the front of the engine behind the center cover and see if the oil is coming from around the crank seal and being slung by the belt. This will give you an idea of what seals you may need.

My money is on the cam seal because the oil is on the back of the cover and not running down the valve cover/head edge. If it was, I would be looking at the oil fill tube seal and the PCV valve.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,390 Posts
Cam seal seems likely - confirmation as cardoc says is best.
I would use Subaru seals only, they are robust materials.

Aisin kit, good job taking notes on that.
Cam seals, crank seal, oil pump oring, tighten the backing plate screws, sealant for the oil pump body.

The timing belt is easy - it can be done in 2 hours easily. The seals are more tricky, particularly for a first timer, particularly getting them out and properly seating/installing them straight. They're not hard - but a spot for first timers to pay attention.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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966 Posts
The timing belt is easy - it can be done in 2 hours easily. The seals are more tricky, particularly for a first timer, particularly getting them out and properly seating/installing them straight. They're not hard - but a spot for first timers to pay attention.
This tool helps greatly.



I saw some Youtube vids where people drill a hole in the seal and use a pick to pull it out. That might work if you can get the drill bit exactly at a right angle to the seal so it goes straight it, then you have to ensure you don't scratch anything.

With the puller tool, you simply scoop under the seal and use the post as a fulcrum as you push down on the handle and to pull out the seal. I used the old seal and a plastic mallet to drive the new seal in. Success comes from using very light taps all around and making sure you don't drive the seal in too deep.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I got a little eager and went ahead and ordered the timing belt kit and all seals, I havent had a chance to take the cover off and look yet, but either way now I’ll be prepared for a full repair when I get the time. I’m thinking either way Ill just replace all the mentioned items and hopefully not have to worry about it a long time. I am hoping to get another 100,000 out of this car!

That seal puller tool looks handy, has anyone ever used a paint can opener or two? I was thinking the lip on the above tool looks similar to a paint can opener, maybe I can just slip one or two of those under the seal and pull it off?
 
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