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2006 Outback 2.5 SOHC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon, Just finished up my first head gasket job on my 265,000 mile EJ25 thanks to the help I received along the way from you good people. Heads milled, block cleaned, DNJ gaskets. I followed the service manual instructions for torqueing these down. I pulled the engine to do it. Immediately after the job, they are dripping coolant on both left and right sides. Tired and frustrated: I really don't want to start over.

What would you do in this situation?
1. Pull off the valve covers and tighten the head bolts 1/8 turn (or some amount)? Not sure how involved that would be without pulling engine...
2. Try a head gasket sealer (gasp!)?
3. Start over? Is so, what should I do differently?
4. Donate the car to a good cause. Or, do people buy Subarus like mine?

What else?

Thanks,
Dave
 

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This stuff is way over my head but I don't often hear about DNJ head gaskets?
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i manual
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Good afternoon, Just finished up my first head gasket job on my 265,000 mile EJ25 thanks to the help I received along the way from you good people. Heads milled, block cleaned, DNJ gaskets. I followed the service manual instructions for torqueing these down. I pulled the engine to do it. Immediately after the job, they are dripping coolant on both left and right sides. Tired and frustrated: I really don't want to start over.

What would you do in this situation?
1. Pull off the valve covers and tighten the head bolts 1/8 turn (or some amount)? Not sure how involved that would be without pulling engine...
2. Try a head gasket sealer (gasp!)?
3. Start over? Is so, what should I do differently?
4. Donate the car to a good cause. Or, do people buy Subarus like mine?

What else?

Thanks,
Dave

Dang... That's incredibly frustrating after all that work you put in there. Do you have any pictures to illustrate where it's leaking coolant? Any pictures of the headgasket install?

It's possible it's leaking from a different source, not related to the headgaskets themselves - thinking of the coolant crossover pipe or one of the many coolant hoses on top of the engine, might be dripping down around the block and making it look like the headgaskets. It's also possible the headgaskets weren't installed properly, or even the gaskets themselves have issues.

Even so, I can understand not wanting to do any more work on it. I'd at the very least verify exactly where it's leaking from. Inspect the topside and see if you can find evidence of a leak somewhere there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks All, for the replies and suggestions. I'm in a more rational frame of mind today. A few other pieces of information then a game plan for the day.

Info:
1. Regarding the DNJ gasket. I don't know anything about it other than it was a MLS gasket meant for my vehicle. I got it from Partsology.
2. Also, I reused my head bolts - perhaps I shouldn't have?
3. The engine is in the car and the car is drivable. I drove it a few miles yesterday and it sounded fine and seemed like it had normal power, though I was babying it. Got a P0028 code.
4. I don't have pictures of the gasket, the installation of the gasket, or the leaks.

Today.
1. I'll make sure the leaking is coming from the head gasket and not from another source.
2. I'll try to get some pictures of the leaks.
3. I'll try to do a compression test. Never done one before. 14mm threads?
4. I'll try cleaning the VVT solenoid to see if that fixes the P0028 code. I had this issue a year ago and spraying it with brake cleaner (?) resolved it.

Thanks again for your assistance!

David
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i manual
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Thanks All, for the replies and suggestions. I'm in a more rational frame of mind today. A few other pieces of information then a game plan for the day.

Info:
1. Regarding the DNJ gasket. I don't know anything about it other than it was a MLS gasket meant for my vehicle. I got it from Partsology.
2. Also, I reused my head bolts - perhaps I shouldn't have?
3. The engine is in the car and the car is drivable. I drove it a few miles yesterday and it sounded fine and seemed like it had normal power, though I was babying it. Got a P0028 code.
4. I don't have pictures of the gasket, the installation of the gasket, or the leaks.

Today.
1. I'll make sure the leaking is coming from the head gasket and not from another source.
2. I'll try to get some pictures of the leaks.
3. I'll try to do a compression test. Never done one before. 14mm threads?
4. I'll try cleaning the VVT solenoid to see if that fixes the P0028 code. I had this issue a year ago and spraying it with brake cleaner (?) resolved it.

Thanks again for your assistance!

David

You should be fine reusing the head bolts. It's really a matter of preference for these engines, honestly. Some say you must use new ones, but MANY people have reused them with no problem whatsoever.

I can't remember exactly what diameter compression tester is, but whatever it is it's a very common thread/size.

The AVLS solenoid has a little bucket filter located on the mounting plate (you probably already know that) and I would focus on cleaning that. If you try to remove it there is a moderate chance it will break (ask me how I know! Haha) so if you can clean it while it's in there that would probably be safest.

Here's what I'm talking about...

Furniture Automotive tire Wood Chair Body jewelry

Circuit component Font Gas Auto part Metal



I ended up replacing my AVLS solenoids because they started leaking oil from within the solenoid itself (like around the 2p connector) despite replacing the o-rings. Got the new ones from RockAuto and they've been working great. These ones... I got them because they look identical to OEM, unlike many of the other ones they have...

Font Automotive exhaust Auto part Cylinder Titanium



If it's running well, and especially idling well, chances are your compression is good. Still, doing a compression test is a really good idea and I personally would do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks a ton for the info, above. Here's what I managed to get to today:

1. Cleaned the vvt solenoid. No more p0028 CEL. Idle sounds good and stable.
2. Dried off the top of the engine. Had multiple pools of coolant.
3. Following your suggestions to check for leaks elsewhere, I Jammed shop cloths around the base of the passenger side of the crossover tube, and under the big top hose to radiator. Then I tried multiple times to get it to leak anywhere, driving up to 4 miles. Got a few hints of coolant, but none like the waterfall I had yesterday. One bit of green moisture was at the head gasket up top under the intake ground wires. I'll try a longer drive tomorrow.
4. Looking from underneath the car, the head gaskets stayed dry the whole time. I'm guessing one of you snuck in and fixed them last night. Thanks. Really a mystery, though. They were so wet and dripping yesterday.
5. I did notice an oil leak under the left (driver side) cam seal. Darn. I just replaced both cam seals and the crank seal. Maybe I did it wrong? I greased the inside of the O and tapped it in flush with the surrounding metal. Should I have tapped it in as far as it would go? I'm not sure it would have gone farther than I tapped it in.
6. I wonder if I'm also getting oil from the right cam seal. Darn. Was getting some smoke from the exhaust manifold and it looks wet by the oil filter behind the timing belt cover.
7. Power steering is screeching when turning the wheel at low engine rpms.

Didn't have time to check compressions. I'll try that tomorrow.
Thanks all,
David

Some pictures below.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Automotive exterior Bumper

I think I'm seeing an oil leak at the timing cover. That would be the left cam seal, correct? Darn.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Material property Fender

Wondered if getting oil from right cam seal below the filter in this picture. Also note the cylinder head, stained from coolant yesterday, is dry as a bone today.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread

Maybe some coolant was coming up from head gasket at the blue cloth under the left ground wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That’s good to hear regarding the compression numbers. It looked like it was on the low end of the specs in the manual. I decided not to drive my family across the country in it this weekend!

So, I think what looked like e bad head gaskets was actually the top radiator hose leaking and spraying onto the block right at the head gasket on the passenger side. And likely the coolant overflow was overflowing on the drivers side. Both ended up dripping from the head/block junctions. And all has been basically dry since fixing those hose and overflow issues. Problem solved.

I think my last question is about the oil leak in the neighborhood of the drivers side cam seal. This was a brand new seal I installed a couple weeks ago. If I was to replace that seal with another new one, any tips for doing it such that I won’t get a leak again?

Thanks all for your patience and help! Happy thanksgiving. Eat some pie!

David
 

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That’s good to hear regarding the compression numbers. It looked like it was on the low end of the specs in the manual. I decided not to drive my family across the country in it this weekend!

So, I think what looked like e bad head gaskets was actually the top radiator hose leaking and spraying onto the block right at the head gasket on the passenger side. And likely the coolant overflow was overflowing on the drivers side. Both ended up dripping from the head/block junctions. And all has been basically dry since fixing those hose and overflow issues. Problem solved.

I think my last question is about the oil leak in the neighborhood of the drivers side cam seal. This was a brand new seal I installed a couple weeks ago. If I was to replace that seal with another new one, any tips for doing it such that I won’t get a leak again?

Thanks all for your patience and help! Happy thanksgiving. Eat some pie!

David

First of all, nice work!!

Second, for the cam seal, use OEM. When I did mine I used motor oil, not grease, to lube it. Slide it in by hand as far as you can push it, paying close attention to the inner lip getting it around the end of the camshaft and making sure it seats properly.

Here's a picture of mine during the install...
Hood Automotive tire Helmet Plastic bottle Gas

Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Rim Automotive fuel system

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Rim Gas




I made a mistake when installing my oil pump/main seal, messed up the inner lip like this...

Automotive tire Rim Gas Engineering Automotive wheel system


So make sure you watch out for something like that. Haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the photos and encouragement . So it looks as though you set the seal deeper in than I did. I tapped the seal in until it was flush with the surrounding metal. Should I tap the seal until it can’t go any farther in?
David
 

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Thanks for the photos and encouragement . So it looks as though you set the seal deeper in than I did. I tapped the seal in until it was flush with the surrounding metal. Should I tap the seal until it can’t go any farther in?
David

Not quite to the very end, but close. You see how the surrounding metal has a bevel to it? You want the seal to at least sit flush with the bottom of that bevel. I went a tiny bit deeper than said bevel, probably not even a millimeter deeper.

Here's another pic...

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Alloy wheel Automotive lighting Tread



Let us know how it goes when you're able to get to it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK. Thanks for the suggestion and the picture helps a lot. I don't think I noticed the bevel. Your explanation makes a lot of sense. I'll let you know how it goes when I get it done.
David
 
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