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1999 - Does this look like a leaking rear main? Or only the Oil/separator plate?

701 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  RBSuba
Hi all, anyone have thoughts on whether or not the below Ej25D is leaking only from oil separator plate or also the rear main?

I would leave the rear main as is if it looked like it was NOT leaking, but my novice eye makes me think it is also leaking.

(I posted this as a follow up in another thread, but guessing it may get a response posted as a simple question here. It was very obvious that the plastic separator plate was leaking and that will be replaced.)

Thanks! Ryan
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Thanks Natedog. I replaced both two nights ago, and think it is the right way to go in this case. It's good to know someone agreed! One question below if you feel up to responding, and then the rest is more FYI that I figure could be helpful to someone else like me.

Of course, first time, so not at all confident if I got the rear main installed well.

That said, of course as my first time doing this, I may or may not have over-inserted the rear main. I had every intention of placing it flush with the outer face of the block. one portion got slightly deeper (but not too deep), but uneven seemed bad, so in the course of attempting to even it out, the seal ended up flush to just a bit deeper than the inside edge of the bevel. It is in no way set all the way in, but not sure if it will cause problems. I used a 3" x 2" diameter pvc adapter/reducer to set it (happened to have this, but tapping on the 2" side wasn't ideal), as well as a bit with a piece of wood block. If I redo it, going to get a 3" PVC cap and/or use the wood block more as it seemed better for setting seal to 'flush with blue arrow' if that is what is ideal.

Photo below shows that It ended up set at or just below the inner bevel depth (red arrow), rather than even with the outermost surface/outer edge of bevel (blue arrow).

Photo (new seal as installed) : Any thoughts on if this is too far in, OK, or goldilocks? I ordered another rear main seal last night and have the time and patience to do this again before reinstalling engine IF the blue arrow is where this is supposed to be set.
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For anyone else looking to do this first time, FYI, my Old rear main seal came out really well. I drilled a pilot with 5/64 bit (use straight and/or new bit! I started with an older one and switched quickly once I realized it seemed like it wanted to walk one way or another.), then screwed in by hand a random self tapping style screw (was shorter than drywall screws on hand and I just had the impression it would work better). I then used two little pry bars to pull/lever it out, using the larger one just as a support protecting other surfaces. Although I'd drilled extra pilots, I only ended up needing one screw/hole. Definitely did not damage any of the surfaces in process.

Crappy photo below of prybars and screw in seal in background.
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new oil separator plate also visible in photo shown. I ended up using the (incorrect) all 6 black with thread sealant screws/bolts I had rather than 1 black/5 silver that should have come with the plate. I'm also considering redoing this, not because I'm worried about the screws but because when I was placing the plate, the bottom end of it slid/sucked sideways a bit before I got my second screw in, and I'm anxious as to whether I've ended up with a good gasket on the bottom where it is most likely to leak in first place. The joy of learning. It is probably fine, but I may pull it back off, get a new screw set and reseal it.

Finally, there wasn't much (if any) evidence of it leaking, but as the easiest of the 3, and partly out of curiosity, I replaced the wrist pin cover o-ring. The old one looked really good, but once I decided to remove it, it was very brittle/dry and broke apart. So, despite it seemed to be working, I'm glad I replaced it. I was anxious that the new one 'looked' smaller, but I realized it is meat to flatted/expand once compressed. I just say this to hopefully save someone else sometime searching the internet longer than needed to confirm they go the right part like I did!
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I put the engine on a stand last night and am moving on to the timing components and related seals next. I'm sure I'll end up with a question on this, and can make a new post if I do, but just sharing some photos for now of what I thought was my leak in front vs what appears to be.

I'd been guessing that it was cam seals (have 4 Felpro replacements ready), but after taking off timing covers, it looks like the leak is pretty much all from the front crank seal/ oil pump area. With my finger I can find minimal wet oil behind the upper passenger side cam. The other 3 cam areas are flithy dirty but dry. I had ordered a cheap $6 dollar Felpro front crank and oil pump seals, but it either never showed up or I've misplaced it. As the crank seal/ oil pump seal seem to be the critical ones needed, I ordered another last night, but got the OEM Subaru rather than Felpro.

I also already have a new aisin timing belt and water pump kit. What is on there existing has obviously been replaced, but with what looks to be a Gates kit with mostly Chinese rather than Japanese parts. As the Gates kits for these seem to be much criticised, I have no idea how many miles it's been on there, and there is oil and dirt/dust all over, I still plan on replacing belt, pulleys, tensioner, and I guess the water pump (since I already have pump).

Center: oil all over coming down from crank / upper oil pump area.
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cams: Only one that seemed a little wet behind was the upper/passenger side (top left below). Noticed that someone damaged drivers side upper cam gear, but I can't see any indication it is harming the belt.

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I cracked loose the cam gear bolts in case I want to get to the seals after removing timing belt (that was pretty easy and consistent, making me thing these are far from 25+ years old).

Anyway, this is all leading me to think that maybe the cam seals are fine and I should just replace the center crank and oil pump seals, do the timing belt kit replacement and call it good.
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