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'04 Outback, 2.5 H4, 4SPD Auto, Cold Wx PAckage, 01 Dakota QC 4WD, 14 Equinox LT
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165 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Pretty sure it's a rear main. Cleaned the engine twice, including frame cross rail. Engine is only "wet" right by the flexplate access area and the pan in that area. Losing less than a quart every 3k miles, but I'm a fastidious engineer owner in a coastal environment. I have a general "no leaks" rule since almost every storm system here dumps directly to the river or estuarine system. Yep, I know everyone else doesn't do it, but I am not inclined to pile on.
129k miles. PO put 5k miles on it in 3 years of ownership, so yes, it sat most of the year. Already a member of the HG replacement club.

Which is easier:
  • Drop the tranny?
  • pull the engine
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,617 Posts
if you're sure it isn't VC gaskets or from a 'pool' on top of the engine, etc., there is an air/oil cover plate and a wrist pin access hole on the rear of the block that 'could' also leak. More common on older models with plastic cover plates.

gummy PCV valve 'might' lead to increased oil leakage





 

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'04 Outback, 2.5 H4, 4SPD Auto, Cold Wx PAckage, 01 Dakota QC 4WD, 14 Equinox LT
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165 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Fair to say I might be able to get a borescope in the flexplate access hatch and figure out which one, rear main or air/oil plate? Know it's coming out the back, valve covers and heads spotless.
Will replace PCV and hose. Heck of a lot cheaper than pulling either the engine or tranny.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
replace PCV with Subaru OEM only.

if you can rule out VC's and oil pan then you're getting close to pulling the engine for the rear main or separator plate. plan on doing both while you're in there. rear mains very very rarely leak on Subarus. if it was replaced during the headgasket job then it's likely from poor installation, they are not as forgiving to install as every other subaru seal.

engine/trans - pull the engine. that's what everyone does.

technically speaking pulling the transmission is "easier" - don't have to deal with A/C, power steering, alternator, coolant and hoses and radiator and less wiring, parts, etc. it can be done quicker than pulling an engine.

but it's far more annoying an intolerable for most people working underneath a car, having debris in your face, darker, probably more safety concerns for similar reasons, crawling in and out from under the vehicle...which will happen more often for someone that's never done it before....etc. lots of factors - preference, grit, familiarity with Subaru's, agility, body size and weight, available equipment, space, lighting, and tools. your question, as most in life do, becomes a differential equation rather than a simple black/white yes/no.

it's possible to have a transmission out quicker and "easier" than an engine but it's rarely done in practice.
 

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'04 Outback, 2.5 H4, 4SPD Auto, Cold Wx PAckage, 01 Dakota QC 4WD, 14 Equinox LT
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165 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If it turns out to be the pan gasket, recommendations for getting to the 3 bolts near the transmission?
 
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