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Hey guys, I'm working on replacing the Vcgs on my outback and the torque specs call for 4.6 lb-ft. I dialed this in on my torque wrench and tightened the bolts down but it seems like it was too much especially when I compare to how easy they were to loosen. Is my torque wrench is not working? What is the risk of over-tightening these bolts?
 

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All you need to do is tighten them all down about even at he point you see he gasket start to compress. Its not much pressure. In 5-10k miles, check them again. It is normal for the bolts to feel different with removal vs installation. The gasket hardens and shrinks allowing for looseness in the fastener.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks doc!

I appreciate you help! I have since checked the torque wrench and I don't think it is working. I did the drivers side by feel and will check them like you suggested. Man that Vcg bolt nearest the firewall on the DS is tough. I'm having to redo the passenger side because I missed the half moon grommets at the back. Thanks again for the help, Doc. Have a good one.
 

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Don't these bolts bottom out into the cylinder head by design? (I usually bottom them out, then just make sure they're gently snug with my wrist.)

Meaning, once the thick collar on the bolt has bottomed out on the head, they are done... THEN you torque at that point?

It seems Subaru designed the bolts to all thread in the exact same amount, so each area of the valve cover has the same amount of pressure compressing the gasket.

If you're torquing to 4.6 and the bolts haven't bottomed out, I would assume the bolts would probably back out over time. Just speculating though, not assuming that's what happened.
 

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you will never feel 5ft/lbs with a 150ftlb wrench if that's what you're using.

I twisted a bolt head half-off at 12 pounds with my 150 torque wrench. Never felt it 'break-over'.

A much less heavy-duty one, or an inch-pound wrench should be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Vcg bolts

Tex and burnout, you guys are right on. I didn't want to over tighten and start breaking stuff! I have the job done now so later today I will start up the wagon and hopefully all is well. I have a lot of oil under the car that I want to clean. I suspect the rear main seal is going. You guys ever r&r a rear main seal?
 

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Tex and burnout, you guys are right on. I didn't want to over tighten and start breaking stuff! I have the job done now so later today I will start up the wagon and hopefully all is well. I have a lot of oil under the car that I want to clean. I suspect the rear main seal is going. You guys ever r&r a rear main seal?

do the H6es have a separator plate? search here for that issue. Could be something else, but from reading, rear mains on our engines are very durable. OIl travels so, make sure you know where it's from before doing serious r&R.

is it a few drips of weird tacky stuff? could be from the rear bushing on the lower control arm - they are fluid filled and will crack and leak a little. one on each side, not central. Also, make sure the front diff and tranny aren't overfilled, they can puke out xtra fluid.
 

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An inch-pound wrench is needed to dial in this kind of torque. But as already mentioned, the idea is that these, like on EJ engines and those before, are "floating" valve covers with shoulder bolts (H6 bolts do not have grommets, because they are outside the sealing surface). Is it even possible to get a torque wrench on every one of them? They just need to be bottomed out. Also, according to the FSM for '06 Tribeca, the gasket needs to be supplemented by RTV where it abuts the timing case, and where it contacts the rubber plugs on the other end. It's probably the same for earlier years.
 

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Tex and burnout, you guys are right on. I didn't want to over tighten and start breaking stuff! I have the job done now so later today I will start up the wagon and hopefully all is well. I have a lot of oil under the car that I want to clean. I suspect the rear main seal is going. You guys ever r&r a rear main seal?
http://phantomotaku.com/SVX/011822-MSA5P0631C.pdf

Its for newer H6 with AVCS, but the block seals are identical.

Clean the engine and check for oil after.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Doc, is a block seal the same as a rear main seal?
I do need to do a better clean up under the car and inspect for new oil.
I've driven the car a couple of days since replacing the gaskets and I haven't smelled oil at stop lights. Hopefully it was just the Vcgs dumping oil on the exhaust and not the rear main seal.
 
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