Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
1999 Outback
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my outback HG failed. I bought a running used engine, and I'm rebuilding/resealing it. I tore it down to the block(not cracking the case). I bought; full gasket set, metal oil seperator plate, TB and pullies, and WP.

I had the heads in the shop to get checked and cleaned. Shop pressure tested, cleaned, resurfaced block side as well as the exhaust ports, and installed new valve seals and collets. I am now preparing the block surface, its not too dirty, only a few small spots of the old gasket. So I'm taking my time with a scratch free sponge and a (fine)scotch pad.

I'm wondering a few things here.

1. I will be re-shimming the valves, and although I read about how I can change the shims with the cams in without the special tool, I was wondering how well it could be done by measuring with the cams on, then removing them and switching the shims. Will the clearence be off if done this way? Something tells me yes.

2. Is there any thing speacial I should do before putting the heads back on such as oiling up the piston sleaves? I want to avoid as much of a dry start as possible.

3. When it comes to new cam seals. Do I have to install the caps and then install the seals or can I just put the seals on the cams before installing the "Front cam cap"?

4. Rear main seal: I think I may need to do the rear main seal on this engine. It has a bit of moisture coming from the bottom of the seal. I noticed this because when I first bought the engine I checked to see if it was leaking. I cleaned up the entire area, yet when I was putting it on an engine stand yesterday, I noticed there was a very small amount of oil at the bottom of the seal. (The engine was sitting for about a week angled toward the back) Are there any write-ups for the rear main seal? I read a number of people asking about doing it and many with undesirable results when DIY. Any pointers? Should I make a write-up?

5. Where can I find a torque wrench that starts at low in/lbs. The clicker wrench I have starts at 10ft/bs and I dont know how much I trust the 10 since its at the bottom of the range for the wrench. Autozone used to have the old needle type that I recall started at 0, but I just went there yesterday and they no longer carry them. Walmart maybe?

What a project this has turned into, I dont know what I was thinking to decide to do this with 2 jobs. Parts are a mutha, and NO MATTER WHAT, NEVER gets parts from Haldeman Subaru in Hamilton NJ. They gouged me like crazy on (4) spark plug and (2) Valve cover gaskets :$142 w/ 7% tax. (I thought I needed them NOW, they had them in stock, didnt want to order online like I did with the other parts) Would not drop a dollar off.

Plug: I love Reedman-Toll's Subaru department in Langhorne PA; good people that will work with you on prices (2 days to get parts) instead of waiting for parts from an online retailer (USPS, oh no....)

Thanks for all the help I am receiving on these forums. I once was a Nissan racer(the ex took the car, long story) and was very active on Nissan forums. Nothing compares to the level of knowledge within the people around here. Thanks guys (and ladies, maybe?)
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
If the shop you have working on the heads is good, you should have them set the lash as part of the head and valve work. Most will just grind a bit off of the valve to get the lash set correctly.

If you are forced to do the valve adjustment yourself, I do not see why taking the cams on and off would cause a problem.

I don't think its nessecary to oil up the piston sleeves. When I did my engine, before I started it, I pulled the fuel pump fuse and turned the motor over until the oil pressure light went off. Then I fired it up.

I would not install the cam seal until the cam cap is installed.

For torque wrenches any 1/4" or 3/8" drive will be in inch pounds. I have a 1/4" and that covers most of my small stuff. Harbor Freight or Sears.
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
Regarding the rear main seal.

1. The seal can not be pressed all of the way in or you will block oil passages and it will leak.

2. People have issues because they do not make sure that the seal is inserted evenly. IE it is crooked. Maybe deeper in at the top than the bottom. It helps to have a tool which will seat it a fixed distance below the surface, but most do not.

3. If you are very careful you should not have a problem.
 

·
Registered
2003 Outback, 5 MT, 134K, HG changed.
Joined
·
184 Posts
So my outback HG failed. I bought a running used engine, and I'm rebuilding/resealing it. I tore it down to the block(not cracking the case). I bought; full gasket set, metal oil seperator plate, TB and pullies, and WP.
...

1. I will be re-shimming the valves, and although I read about how I can change the shims with the cams in without the special tool, I was wondering how well it could be done by measuring with the cams on, then removing them and switching the shims. Will the clearence be off if done this way? Something tells me yes.

2. Is there any thing speacial I should do before putting the heads back on such as oiling up the piston sleaves? I want to avoid as much of a dry start as possible.

3. When it comes to new cam seals. Do I have to install the caps and then install the seals or can I just put the seals on the cams before installing the "Front cam cap"?
...
I can only provide my experiences for a few of these:

1. Pre-2000 NA 2.5l engines were DOHC and had shims. Post-2000 were SOHC with just a setscrew for clearance adjustment. Your 1999 car is...DOHC I'm guessing?

2. I don't see how it would hurt if you did oil the sleeves up. More importantly, be sure to splash motor oil over the valve train and rockers before you install the valve cover. The valves are more delicate than cylinder bores.

3. Don't the seal and cap go on opposite ends of the cam shaft? The seal is on the front before the cam sprocket goes on. The cap is on the back end of the cam shaft. Or maybe I'm not understanding the question correctly. As for a tool to install the cam seal, I borrowed a big deep socket from a shop. I can't remember what size it was, but I brought the cam seal with me and hunted around until I found something that matched it. The deep socket is key, because the cam shaft sticks out quite a distance beyond the cam seal seat. for fine tuning, I found that the 1/4" driver extension was perfect as a blunt chisel to help tap the seal in precise places if it was skewed.

5. It's hard to find a torque wrench that goes down to 10 in/lbs these days. Ebay? Or put your trust in Harbor Freight this one time.
 

·
Registered
2014 OBW 3.6R Limited, 1997 OBW 2.5L Auto (sold, but not forgotten), and 1991 Ford F150
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
1. I will be re-shimming the valves, and although I read about how I can change the shims with the cams in without the special tool, I was wondering how well it could be done by measuring with the cams on, then removing them and switching the shims. Will the clearence be off if done this way? Something tells me yes.
Yes, you can do the shims accurately this way. You can also do it with the heads on the workbench, i.e. off the block. Much simpler this way. Just do a final measurement before buttoning everything up.

These days, few dealers stock the shims so that makes them a special order item. Plan ahead and do the shims as early as possible after getting the heads back so the three day parts wait doesn't set you back too much. When I did mine almost four years ago, I found out half of the shim sizes were being discontinued. If you have the shim list found in the Hayne's manual, every other size was eliminated ... don't remember whether it was the odd or even ones (in mm). You might have to settle for "close enough" in some cases.

3. When it comes to new cam seals. Do I have to install the caps and then install the seals or can I just put the seals on the cams before installing the "Front cam cap"?
Install the cam caps first, then the seals. Remember to put a little grease on them (the seals) before tapping them in.
 

·
Registered
1999 Outback
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dang it, I was hoping I would be able to install the seals on the cams THEN put the front caps on. Just wondering, why do the seals have to be put on last? How is it not the same type of seal before or after?

Regarding the cam cap bolts (the ones under the valve cover): I read that the torque on these is only 14lbs. I know when I was taking them off it felt like a whole lot more than 14lbs. I managed to destroy 2 of them and had to get replacements. This just doesnt seem like the way the factory did it. Also, how did everyone else torque the front cam cap bolts(7 in/lbs)? Does everyone have a 0-x in/lbs torque wrench?

Any suggestions on special tools I may need for the seals that I may be able to get locally; ie. Sears, Harbor Freight, Auto Zone? I like buying tools, just not $250 shim tools!

As for the shims: What would be better gap wise; bigger or smaller?

Thanks for all the help, I will be chugging away at this all weekend. I want to take my time rather than doing it fast.
 

·
Registered
2014 OBW 3.6R Limited, 1997 OBW 2.5L Auto (sold, but not forgotten), and 1991 Ford F150
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
Also, how did everyone else torque the front cam cap bolts(7 in/lbs)?
I hope that's a typo. The torque setting for the front cam caps is 7.2 FT-LBS +/- 0.5.
The center and rear caps setting is 14.5 FT-LBS +/- 1.4

IIRC, you're using the Haynes manual? One torque setting listed there is 90-100 FT-LBS for the 2.5L crank bolt. This is wrong. The correct setting per the factory service manual is 135 FT-LBS +/- 7.
 

·
Registered
1999 Outback
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hope that's a typo. The torque setting for the front cam caps is 7.2 FT-LBS +/- 0.5.
The center and rear caps setting is 14.5 FT-LBS +/- 1.4

IIRC, you're using the Haynes manual? One torque setting listed there is 90-100 FT-LBS for the 2.5L crank bolt. This is wrong. The correct setting per the factory service manual is 135 FT-LBS +/- 7.
Yes, that was a typo. I had briefly read over the torque specs and thought thats what I read. Thanks for bringing attention to it.

*Is bigger or smaller gap better if I cant get the exact shim needed?
 

·
Registered
2014 OBW 3.6R Limited, 1997 OBW 2.5L Auto (sold, but not forgotten), and 1991 Ford F150
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
*Is bigger or smaller gap better if I cant get the exact shim needed?
If you asked a dozen people, you'd probably get widely varying opinions and reasons for those opinions.

If I couldn't get the exact middle of the range, I'd choose the shim that got me the closest to the middle. Subaru says that as long as you're in the range, you're good to go.

Otherwise ... After searching the 'net for expert opinions, if this is for a street driven (non-race) car, I'd go to the bigger end of the gap range on both the intake and exhaust valves. This is mainly because the gap will tend to shrink over time due to valve wear ... but you'll probably get 100k miles before this is even a hint of an issue.

Rules of thumb:
-With the gap too big, there will be more noise from the valves.
-With the gap too small, you're more likely to have mis-fire problems and burnt valves.

So stay in the gap range and as close to the middle as possible.

It seems I read a thread once where someone shaved down a shim for a more exact fit ... don't see why this couldn't be done as long as you are careful to keep the shim exactly flat. If I were to do this and didn't have a proper shop or tools available, I'd use an electric sander with a very fine grade of paper in it and stop frequently to make measurements with my micrometer. The face I sanded would be the bottom, i.e. the valve side of the shim.

This is for the solid lifters in our engines. For engines with the screw type adjustment, the opinions most likely would be different.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top