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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
okay, I pulled the engine from the car and started taking it apart.. here's what I've found so far...

Valves and rocker arms look good.. pulled the cylinder head off and the cylinders look good.. We're pretty sure the timing belt slipped.. there's alot of play in the timing belt.. and the cam gears are out of sync. also, there is something wrong with one of the pistons.. when I turn the shaft the pistons reciprocate back and forth smoothly... but there is at least a 1/2 play on the piston as it pulls back into the cylinder.. If I stop rotating the shaft just as the piston starts to pull back into the cylinder.. then when I push on the piston, you can feel it slip or move into the cylincer about 1/2".

Gotta split the case to investigate more..

Any insight on what might be causing the play in the piston stroke are welcome.. I'm gonna split the case later this week to find out for sure..

If it turns out to be a bad piston, whats the best place to buy one?

I read in another thread that the case is stamped with the piston size at the factory.. Is that the AB and AB I see stamped on either side of the case split line?

Thanks,

SF
 

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2001 SOLD!
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okay, I pulled the engine from the car and started taking it apart.. here's what I've found so far...

Valves and rocker arms look good.. pulled the cylinder head off and the cylinders look good.. We're pretty sure the timing belt slipped.. there's alot of play in the timing belt.. and the cam gears are out of sync. also, there is something wrong with one of the pistons.. when I turn the shaft the pistons reciprocate back and forth smoothly... but there is at least a 1/2 play on the piston as it pulls back into the cylinder.. If I stop rotating the shaft just as the piston starts to pull back into the cylinder.. then when I push on the piston, you can feel it slip or move into the cylincer about 1/2".

Gotta split the case to investigate more..

Any insight on what might be causing the play in the piston stroke are welcome.. I'm gonna split the case later this week to find out for sure..

If it turns out to be a bad piston, whats the best place to buy one?

I read in another thread that the case is stamped with the piston size at the factory.. Is that the AB and AB I see stamped on either side of the case split line?

Thanks,

SF
Yes exactly, The letters represent the size and location in the block. In the lower picture it would be:

3- A B-4
1- B A-2

 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,777 Posts
You've got a 1/2" of slop?
Even with bad crank bearing and sloppy wrist pin that is way excessive.
I would definitely do a complete tear down to find what could be causing so much slop.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,071 Posts
If it was a 1/2".... these are interference engines. A few(single digits) degrees in cam timing can cause valve to piston issues. A 1/2" play in piston travel would be comparable to throwing in 10-20 degrees. Not to mention with a 1/2" the momentum of the piston on the up stroke would carry the piston into a collision with the head.

The SOHC has less then a .100" quench area(more around .060"-.070" off the top of my head). If it really was .500" that cast piston would hardly be recognizable.

I would say the 1/2" is an exaggeration.

Going by some of your previous posts related to the engine issue "knocking" I am going to go on a limb combined with the slop in the piston stroke that a rod bearing is bad/spun. With any luck the crank is still savable.

As for rods/pistons/cranks... dealer is where I would be heading.
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #5
pictures of the #3 cylinder head and slop in movement.

okay.. i exaggerated a little.. I went back and re-checked the amount of slop and its not 1/2", its more like 5/16". I took some pictures to show the amount of slop in the piston movement..

You can see pretty clearly how much the piston is moving back into the cylinder..

I got the sump and the thermostat housing off, as well as the bearings on the front of the case. I couldn't find a socket deep enough to remove the oil cooler from the case..

I'm still trying to crack the case.. I have to find a 14mm allen wrench to get to the wrist pins..

Does anybody have any suggestions on how to make a tool to pull the wrist pins? I was thinking of getting an 8-10" long 1/4 bolt with a small enough head to fit through the wrist pin ID, then snagging the pin on the underside of the head and either pulling the pin out.. or threading a nut and washer on the end and tightening it down on a wooden block to pull the pin out.

Also, I guess I have to pull the wheel off the back of the case to get to the #3 cylinder..
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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I can't tell for sure but from the last set of pics. I would say it looks like that piston was already starting to make contact with the head. The outer edges of the piston top shows bare aluminum with no carbon build up.

As for a tool to pull the wrist pins. A piece of wire/rod with the end bent to form a hook works in most cases. For pins that are seized in the rod/piston I have found a long rod run all the way through the block via the wrist pin access hole for the other cylinder on that side works to give light abrupt taps to get it moving.
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #8
flsffxe - I may have wiped some of the carbon build up off when I was trying to show the piston slop.. the valves looked pretty good to me, but I'll take a closer look at them when I get back home to my garage...

ferret - thanks for the links.. I'll keep those in mind, but I definitely want to split the block no matter what... I really want to get inside and see whats going on in there.. I'll post pics of whatever I find.

-SF
 

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2002 Forester
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
okay.. more pics below..

I looked at the valves for cylinder #3 and they look okay to me.. not sure how to test them

I was able to remove the rest of the accessories from the engine shortblock and opened up the cylinder #1 and #3 wrist pin removal port using a 14mm allen wrench. somehow I dropped the circlip for the #1 wrist pin.. I think it fell into one of the internal engine passages, because I'm 99.9% sure it did not come out of the port.. I'll have to check once I get the engine split..

I'm having 2 problems right now..

1. I tried removing the #1 and #3 wrist pins with a bent hanger, but its not stiff enough.. still need suggestions on a stronger special tool.

2. I can't seem to break free the 8 bolts from the crankshaft drive plate. i used a screwdriver in the front access port to keep the shaft from turning, but can't seem to break any of the bolts free. Can someone confirm that the bolts are regular right handed bolts and not reversed threads or something..

If I can get these last 2 things figured out, I'll be able to split the case and finally tell whats going on inside..

Thanks,

SF
 

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Discussion Starter #10
sorry, i think this is the valves from #3.. the other one is from #2.. I got a little disoriented..

So there appears to be some carbon wipe around the valve.. is there a way to check for damage or do I need just go ahead and replace the valve..
 

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okay.. more pics below..

I looked at the valves for cylinder #3 and they look okay to me.. not sure how to test them

I was able to remove the rest of the accessories from the engine shortblock and opened up the cylinder #1 and #3 wrist pin removal port using a 14mm allen wrench. somehow I dropped the circlip for the #1 wrist pin.. I think it fell into one of the internal engine passages, because I'm 99.9% sure it did not come out of the port.. I'll have to check once I get the engine split..

I'm having 2 problems right now..

1. I tried removing the #1 and #3 wrist pins with a bent hanger, but its not stiff enough.. still need suggestions on a stronger special tool.

2. I can't seem to break free the 8 bolts from the crankshaft drive plate. i used a screwdriver in the front access port to keep the shaft from turning, but can't seem to break any of the bolts free. Can someone confirm that the bolts are regular right handed bolts and not reversed threads or something..

If I can get these last 2 things figured out, I'll be able to split the case and finally tell whats going on inside..

Thanks,

SF

1. wrist pin:
YouTube - pulling pistons out of Subaru block
2. Drive plate bolts: jam the plate, use a breaker bar to undo those bolts. they are right handed ones.

p.s.
Valve check: download service manual and follow the instructions
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #13
okay.. i finally managed to get the drive plate bolts out.. I had to secure the engine to the bench with straps so it wouldnt move, so I could get enough leverage on the breaker bar.. I figured I was home free... NOT!!!

the cover plates for the wrist pin access holes under the drive plate secured with phillips head bolts and they seem to be locked in as tight as the drive plate bolts!!!... really!!!! there is no way to get enough torque on the philips head with out stripping out the slot... ANY SUGGESTIONS!!

to make matters worse... I tried to get the wrist pin out of the #2 cylinder using a piece of 1/8" diameter steel rod which I bent over into a hook on one side. The other side I bent into a loop so I could and a pull a hammer against it like they did in the above video.. well.. rather than pulling the wrist pin out.. I think I unbent the hook.. so now the rod is stuck in there.. the only way to get it out now is to go in from the other side and remove the wrist pins with a long drift pin.. unfortunately, I can't open the other side up because of the stupid phillips head bolts.. ughh.. this engine is a pain in the butt to get apart..
 

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1998 Forester S
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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #15
yea.. a friend of mine suggested the impact screwdriver via facebook chat too.. and fortunately, I had one that I had bought quite a few years ago for another project I was working on.. I had forgotten I even had it.. I dug it up and it worked great.. and I even managed to drive out the #1 and #2 wrist pins and remove the 1/8" steel rod.. I'll do #3 and #4 tomorrow and hopefully split the engine

this is what happens when you work really late, you forget tools that you have.... LOL

thanks for all the suggestions.. I'm really anxious to see what I find when I split the case..
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #16
okay.. wrist pins out.. pistons out.. 17 bolts holding engine block together out.. trying to figure out how to split the case... the sucker seems like its glued together...

even without splitting the case, I'm pretty sure the problem is with the #3 rod bearing.. reaching into the cylinder and pulling on the rod, I can feel all the slop.. like there's no bearings at all.. its like the rod is floating around on the crankshaft..

hopefully I'll get the case split tomorrow when my buddy comes over to give me a hand..
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #17
okay.. the front top pin was really stuck in there good... but we finally got the case split.. As flstffxe suspected.. the #3 rod bearing was the problem.. the rod bearing was COMPLETELY GONE!! Rod bearing surface was out of round too.. we pulled the bearing from the #4 rod and tried to fit it in place on the #3 rod and it wouldn't seat. (see the attached pictures) the bearing surface on the crankshaft looks pretty beat up too.. pitting and some scoring around the circumference...

I called a local auto parts store and they were going to get prices for a crankshaft and set of rods... They didnt have any of the prices in their system, but they're supposed to call me back tomorrow with prices. I might call a local Subaru dealership myself and see if they'll give me a price too..

if the price is over $500, I will probably just buy the shortblock on ebay that Ferret posted..

SF
 

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Discussion Starter #18
took the crank and rods to a local machine shop/parts store.. and they told me that it would cost $511 plus tax machine the crankshaft and clean up the rods... that's not including gaskets and other items to rebuild the shortblock.. So I decided to buy the rebuilt shortblock on ebay.. expect delivery in 2 weeks..
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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Typically with Subaru rods it is cheaper to buy new vs have them repaired. However those prices are WAY out of line for a grind and micro-polish on the crank with bearings to match.

Rods
Part # 12100AA201 MSRP $73.82 Sale price @ subarugenuineparts.com $54.03

Crankshaft
Part # 12200AA370 MSRP $370.43 Sale price @ subarugenuineparts.com $271.16

Gasket set(overhaul set)
Part # 10105AA860 MSPR $303.62 Sale price @ subarugenuineparts.com $222.25

For referance ACL bearings can be had for about $80-120 for the rods and mains together.
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #20
hmm.. i wish you had told me about genuinesubaruparts.com before.. your earlier post told me to go directly to the dealer for cranks and rods.. what the dealer told me was that they don't normally sell the crankshafts since they rarely went bad.. they wanted my VIN in order to get me a price.. I didnt have the VIN with me when I called.. but based on the cost of the rework.. and the fact that the local auto parts stores couldnt find me any prices, I figured the subaru dealer prices would almost have to be more expensive...

I think the crank has more damage than what could be cleaned by the micro-polish.. the machinist said he'd have to unweld the crankshaft, and then reweld it back to together.. which is why the cost was so high.

either way though.. using the prices you posted..

$216 for 4 Rods, + $271 for the crankshaft.. round that to $500..
Add $221 for the gasket set and another $100 for the bearings.. that brings the total to $821, not including shipping.. I realize I've still got to buy a gasket set for the heads and the accessories.. but I think the rebuilt engine is probably still the better value, even if its a little more expensive..
 
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