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Old 06-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default '98-S new tb, new wp = white smoke

Hello all,
I just changed out my timing belt, tensioner, and water pump.
It started right up sounded fine, but had white smoke (steam?) coming out of the tail pipe. I let it get to temp and was noticing small amount of water dripping off the tail pipe. Turned it off and did some googling for the answer, went to start it up to see if the water was clean and it won't start.
Just cranks like it's about to catch and doesn't with little puffs of white every times it turns over.

I am wondering if the timing is off or if this is something else?

Letting it cool down so I can start back into it, any ideas or help is certainly appreciated.

Thanks-

EDIT:
I got it running and the white smoke seems to be steam and when I put my hand in it, it seems to be sweet.
So... head gasket's blown?
Ugh, someone tell me better news, puh-lease... ;)

Last edited by Thousandwatts; 06-03-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have coolant in your exhaust, there really isn't any good news. Do you have bubbles in you coolant overflow tank?
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nope, but every time I start it, it runs a little choppier, rougher at idle and the check engine is flashing.
I am thinking it's coolant, but if it's water/steam, it would pretty much have to be the HG, right?

It took me a while to sort through the timing belt, water pump etc, but I have that down to a few hours start to finish- got to do it several times- but the head gasket and the down time involved makes the shop look pretty good- just so expensive...

And it's not getting hot running now??

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Old 06-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting that it happened immediately after the timing belt. Did you use the coolant additive when you refilled?
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thousandwatts View Post
....
It took me a while to sort through the timing belt, water pump etc, but I have that down to a few hours start to finish- got to do it several times- but the head gasket and the down time involved makes the shop look pretty good- just so expensive...

And it's not getting hot running now??
Wait, and to clarify, were the HG also done at this time?
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No HG changed and No additive added- this was really just a "put it together with cooling" to see if all was put back together right. I figured there would be time, and need, to "tweak".
I had put it together before and it ran fine but started getting hot (about a week ago see other post), I let it cool somewhat, put it on the ramps and was idling etc, adding coolant,burping out the rad to see if air was why it was over heating. I decided to stop, turned it off, then changed my mind, but it wouldn't start. I chugged and puffed white every time it turned over. Neighbor said the timing had gotten off etc, I hadn't changed the tensioner (no $) as it seemed okay- but if it had slipped, that was all I could figure had failed. I got a new tensioner and then did this attempt.
Long story- I bought the vehicle and all sorts of temp issues started coming up- I read here and elsewhere probly a hg but also found changing the tstat to oem (previous owner had aftermarket) made the thing run cooler- not so variable temp readings. I could get to and from work, which is what I am after.
But, I also was convinced since I couldn't afford to replace the hg to use some of the Barr's type HG treatment. Between that and the tstat, I was running okay- getting to work etc.
Then couple of weeks later the wp started leaking quite suddenly. Seemed to be moving water, but leaking (Original and veh has 178k on it).
It was also leaking from a coolant tube the water was running by the wp so I (changed that 80 bucks) then realized it was also the wp.
Had to do the TB to do the WP, so, here we are.

Now it's hard to start, and when it was running, it has the steam and the water dripping. Acts like it's definitely got water in there.

I was thinking (dangerous for me to do) that the new wp and belt etc has increased pressures and the Barr's is out of the system, so if it was helping, it's gone, and now the hg has out right failed... ?

Doing the HG seems like a big job, at least time consuming- week or more of car down (I am single parent, nd a vehicle) and buying kit and some additional tools. Plus, getting to work would require a rental.
A mechanic who I have used over the years and worked on Subes is quoting me 1500 to 1800 depending on the heads' condition.

I don't have all that money without doing some real pulling it out of the cracks, but they can turn it around in 3 days and I need to be able to get to work.
Sorry for the long winded story, but I wanted to clarify some and get ya'lls thoughts.

Thanks.

EDIT I also got a quote for an engine from Japan with 40k for 1300 delivered. Wondering if that may be a possible route.
Almost sounds easier than the HG :)

Thoughts?

Last edited by Thousandwatts; 06-04-2012 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Clearly head gaskets. Big job but not so hard if you have the equipment. New engine probably doesn't come with heads, so you would likely need to do hgs anyway. If it does include the heads (or maybe even if not) it may certainly be worth it, considering that you have had some overheating which can warp the block. If you DIY definitely take the heads to be machined.

Actually, I guess you could have a cracked block, although rare and unlikely.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response.
From what I read (lists of tools etc) I would need to buy some tools and such, but the time involved is what is making me leery.

This is the motor deal. From what I see, its got heads, just need to transfer timing belt and some other stuff, but has alt and a/c compressor etc.

The sales guy said the motors are tested and the HG issue assoc with these motors shouldn't be an issue because of the extensive testing the motors receive.

I don't know how much bigger a deal switching the motor out would be to do than to do the HG.

Very tempted.

Here's the engine link.
http://www.usedjapanmotors.com/
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If it comes with heads on it's less work, but way more expensive if you're doing it yourself. Keep in mind that the leak down test they do just tells you where you are now, it doesn't really predict the future. You are likely to have hg issues down the line with that model year, it might make sense to change them before dropping it in. Of course, less miles on that engine is attractive in its own right, considering the 178k on the old. Comes down to what money and time you can afford, and your comfort level with the job. If you're having a mechanic do it, show them the engine website and see what it will cost to drop in compared to doing the hg's on the old.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's what I couldn't get clarified when I spoke to the salesman/rep.
He kept saying "it's the right engine for your vehicle" and that in Japan the models are different, but same engine"
I was trying to determine if the engine was from the same era, with the bad hg, or is it the same engine with perhaps an improved hg in it.

I wasn't sure if my question didn't make sense or the language barrier was an issue.

I may try again.

Can you explain what you mean here:
"If it comes with heads on it's less work, but way more expensive if you're doing it yourself."

Do you mean the motor is more expensive with heads?
The examples on the site seem to include heads and they quoted 1300.

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Same era engine. I assume the head gaskets are the same. It would make sense to replace the gaskets, even on the new engine, while it's out.

What I meant is the new engine with heads would be less WORK (if you dont change the gaskets) than doing the head gaskets on the old engine, but if you do the head gaskets on the old engine yourself it will cost much less than the new engine. New head gasket set is about $200usd.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, thanks.
I sort of "got" what you meant after I read some more about the motors etc. Not like Subaru went back and changed or updated the gasket on the old motors. Or too much on the newer ones. I read somewhere that it also plays into the whole "Japan doesn't want cars over a certain age and maileage" on the road, so the gaskets have a limited lifespan compared to US ones. And that follows what the engine website I ref before says as well. High costs associated with driving makes for low mileage; and Subie throws in planned obsolescence to complete the task.
I am coming to that decision/conclusion as I look at the various instructional sites and videos, that I could do the hg myself and not wipe out my bank, and you're right, with a new motor it would be prudent to change out the hg anyway- which is really dumb- but that one site has the guest list of all the blown hg- sure seems like it's no accident, especially since the rest of the car goes forever.

I am researching the best gasket, seeing Felpro or dealer, then that dealer is no good, any thoughts there?

I am sort of getting psyched about this now instead of bummed.
We'll see how I feel when I am in the middle of the greasy, rusty project.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There is nothing wrong with the replacement hg's from Subaru. The fel-pro MLS is good also.

Hg's are definitely a big job. Helps to pull the motor, but possible without. There is a good write up here, somewhere. Make sure you have time for mistakes and research during the job.

Best of luck.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks, I found a good one on doing it without pulling the motor, it looks involved but not impossible.
I am a little apprehensive about valve adjustment and so I guess as I get there, I will have to research each step.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Just remember, cylinders 1+3 or on the passenger side, 2+4 on driver's side. It seems counter-intuitive.
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