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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently completed replacement of the head gaskets in my 99 Forester. I used the in-place repair scheme described by ArizonaSubaru, with a slight variation, and used engine lateral deflection to increase clearances during cylinder head removal and installation.

I captured my experience in a rather long pdf text narrative w/ a couple pictures at the end. Due to size restriction I had to eliminate all but 2 pics. If you all the pics PM your email address and I'll email the file to you.

Regards

I now have a link to all the pics.

http://s1010.photobucket.com/albums/af224/TexasHonda/
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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You can also upload them to a site like photobucket.com for free then post the links here.
 

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2001 Forester S
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If you have Acrobat Professional:

Start with the original (large) file, then Print > Select the Acrobat Distiller as a printer > save under a new name. That should bring the overall file size down considerably.
 

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Pics issue aside, well written post. As I have recently joined the HG club your comments are much appreciated. I will let you know how my DIY project goes.
 

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1998 Forester
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Say Texas, can you tell me what the procedure is for changing the inner valve cover gasket on the SOHC? I have a 99 Forester SOHC and bought it with recently changed HGs, and I'm noticing a rather large oil leak coming from that inner gasket on one side of the engine. It looks like you need to remove the valve cover, and then there are some torx screws that hold an inner gasket. Not sure if it's possible to remove it without removing valves too. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not sure what you mean by inner gasket. There is a gasket under the entire valve cover rim and spark plug tube seals. That's all I replaced. There are 6 bolts (10mm socket size) that hold the valve cover in place. 1 additional bolt from timing belt cover (pax side only?) must be removed also. PM your email address and I'll forward a pdf of what info I used from my electronic manual.

good luck
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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Say Texas, can you tell me what the procedure is for changing the inner valve cover gasket on the SOHC? I have a 99 Forester SOHC and bought it with recently changed HGs, and I'm noticing a rather large oil leak coming from that inner gasket on one side of the engine. It looks like you need to remove the valve cover, and then there are some torx screws that hold an inner gasket. Not sure if it's possible to remove it without removing valves too. Any help would be appreciated!
The only torx screws in the head I can think of are for the camshaft cap/retainer. There is no gasket here only Fuji Bond(Three Bond/Permatex Untra Grey) RTV. At the back of the cams held by the camshaft cap/retainer are 2 cup like seals(forget the name), one in each head.
 

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2002 Forester L
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Tx Forester, thanks for that very good write up on doing HGs in-situ. I just pulled the heads on my 02 Forester a few days ago and you described the problems to a T. I just had to laugh at your mention of the those damn PS cooler lines under the driver's side head- I had to make that same discovery on my own! I also did the removal without unbolting engine/trans mounts and was very worried about being able to put it back together like that. I really like your idea of shifting the engine laterally in addition to lifting to gain clearance. At least I read this before putting it all back together...
 

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2001 SOLD!
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The first time I did my head gaskets with the engine still in the foz, I did it with engine and tranny mounts left intact. Not much room, but doable.
 

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2002 Forester L
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I just re-installed the heads on my '02 2.5L SOHC. That torquing sequence is just bizarre.. but I did it by the book. I couldn't resist checking what torque it ended up with after all that. I put a bending beam torque wrench on them and checked where it would budge the bolts. All were between 60 and 70 foot pounds...
 

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1999 Forester automatic
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I understand that this is an old thread, but would it be possible to have a list of tools and materials needed? I was just told that my 99 Forester needs a new head gasket. My ex had been driving it and I may just sell as-is. The dealership gave me an estimate for $3,500, saying that it required twenty hours of labor at $120 hourly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I understand that this is an old thread, but would it be possible to have a list of tools and materials needed? I was just told that my 99 Forester needs a new head gasket. My ex had been driving it and I may just sell as-is. The dealership gave me an estimate for $3,500, saying that it required twenty hours of labor at $120 hourly.
A good set of 3/8 drive, metric sockets. I found 1/4" drive sockets also useful. You will need a crankshaft pulley restraint tool, or use some means of dogging the flywheel to prevent engine rotation as you loosen crankshaft pulley retaining bolt. A torque wrench is helpful and breaker bar is essential. I'm probably forgetting something but it's been almost 5 yrs since I did this job.

good luck
 

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There really arn't special tools needed, and there are little differences from year to year. You will want a way to remove the crankshaft pulley. If you are manual you can just put it in gear with the brakes on, if automatic you will need a holder tool or lock the flywheel somehow. You will want a jack and jackstands. A gasket scraper. a set of metric sockets and wrenches. The head studs are 12 point 14mm if i remember correctly, not an uncommon size but you need to have the exact right one.
 

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1999 Forester automatic
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Thanks guys!

I did not receive response notifications, so I need to check my settings. AutoMD shows estimates as low as $604.91, although that does not include tax, and I think that is before they mark up the parts. Perhaps by going through the website I can pay something closer to that estimate. I called, but nobody answered.

I want to do this myself. I just paid to have the timing belt replaced on my Civic and really do not feel that I can afford another expensive repair, especially since I was laid off yesterday.

A mechanic told me that a timing belt was not something I wanted to do on my own for the first time. There was a shop out here called U-Fix it that allowed customers to work on their own car, but apparently it went out of business. There was another place called We Fix It that apparently used to do that, but when I showed up, I learned they stopped that three years previous.

So, only one special tool? Would it be reasonable to try this outside of a parts store?

Is there a version of the instructions with the images? That would seem extremely useful!

Thanks again! Good luck everyone!
 
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