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2004 Forester XT 5 speed
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

Last night I replaced my valve cover gasket on the passenger side. I have done it successfully before on my 2002 WRX. I didn't do it successfully this time. I used The Right Stuff conservatively on the head gasket and the half moons. I let it sit overnight and when I started it this morning, I lost about half a quart of oil in a matter of seconds. I started tearing it back down but I'm now at work. I'm wondering what could have gone wrong. The gasket was sealed pretty good into the valve cover so I don't think it shifted. All bolts were torqued down correctly. The only thing I can think of is I didn't use enough RTV on the half moons. I put a thin bead on them. How much are you supposed to use? I'm guessing by the amount of oil spilling out, it's not just a bad seal on the gasket itself. It looks like it was coming out of the back (closest towards the firewall) bottom of the valve cover but I couldn't really tell. So maybe the bottom half moon didn't seal correctly? It's super hard to tell because I can't get my hands down far enough to feel the bottom of the valve cover.

So how much RTV should I use on the half moons? More than I think is necessary and just wipe up the overflow in the motor?
If I'm losing that much oil, any idea what it could be? Half moons? Gasket shift?

Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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314 Posts
where the halfmoons in good shape? They are plastic and known to come apart. I had mine replaced with some of the metal ones. Did you also check/replace the sparkplug gaskets? I've heard those can fail and causing oil to flow on our pretty easily too. If you can confirm where its coming from though, I think that'd be the best first start. I'd imagine with so much oil coming out, it has to be a pretty obvious hole. I'd also double check the oil fittings for the turbo itself, the oil return is known to fail and is right near where you are saying you are seeing oil and is totally capable of spitting large volumes of oil out.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 speed
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have it back apart now. When i removed the VC the bottom part of the gasket was folded in like it caught something on the way in and was pulled out of the channel. The rest of the gasket is in tight since I put a thin bead of The Right Stuff on. It was this bottom firewall corner that had gotten snagged I think.

The half moons were new. I watched a video and the amount of gasket maker stuff they used was consistent with what I used and the half moons aren’t in crooked or anything. I put some gasket maker over the half moons just to make sure the VC seals nicely in those areas.

Gonna just have to be extra careful when I reinstall and make sure it goes down and in without snagging.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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314 Posts
glad you found it easily, that volume of oil so quickly had to be something obvious :)
 

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Registered
2004 Forester XT 5 speed
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
glad you found it easily, that volume of oil so quickly had to be something obvious :)
Just wanted to say I think it's been fixed. I made sure to basically drag the valve cover down the wheel well so the gasket wouldn't touch the inside of the motor. It's more finesse than brute force! I ran it for a minute and oil wasn't pouring out. I shut it off to give the RTV 4-6 hours to set per the bottle before I actually drive it. Boy when it gets to temp, it's gonna be smokey! There's quite a bit of oil my big hand couldn't get to to clean up.

Thanks again for chiming in. I appreciate it!
 
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