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2000 Forester 5MT
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201 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In my previous thread I mentioned that the throwout bearing (TOB) on my 2000 Forester has been squealing for quite some time. The PO said a clutch kit was put on the Forester by the dealer a couple years ago and I found a receipt in the car to confirm this (Feb. of 2008, and 15,000 miles ago). The transmission seems to shift fine and the clutch doesn't slip, but the squeal is quite annoying.

I'm thinking of just replacing the TOB myself to save the $600 in labor or so a shop would charge me. If I end up doing this I'll probably go ahead and put in a whole new clutch kit as cheap insurance.

The problem is I live in an apartment where I really can't work on the car. I'd do this at my folk's place, where they have a nice garage, but it is a good 3 hours from where I live now out in the country (i.e. no access to a Subaru dealer if I need parts and the local stores are unlikely to have Subaru parts in stock).

Who has actually done this and how long did it take? I can set aside a whole 3-day weekend for it but really no more time than that. I have reasonable mechanical skills (did the timing belt this weekend - took me about 8 hours including replacing all the idlers, hoses, water pump, and crankshaft bearing), but I've never replaced a clutch before. This writeup ( http: //wac.addr.com/auto/obs/ clutch/clutch2.html - remove the spaces) makes it look relatively easy, and I currently have all of the tools. I could also buy an engine hoist if it would make it significantly easier.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,070 Posts
Take your pick on which method you want to use.

1. pull the engine to gain access. Bonus is with this all your work is from the top side except for the exhaust header bolts and engine mount bolts, also allows easy access for the clutch and other maintenance items(plugs, timing belt.... while in there). Must have a hoist for this.

2. Pull the radiator unbolt the engine trans and slide the engine up to the condenser core for the AC(about 6") and go for the braille method working in the gap. Again recommend a hoist for stability. Same method you posted in this link CLUTCH2

3. slide the trans back about 6-8".Drop the rear drive shaft, remove some electrical connections, pitch stop, unbolt starter and trans, remove rear trans cross member. Then use the braille method working in the gap. No hoist needed but easier the higher you get the car.

4. fully remove the trans. No hoist needed but easier the higher you get the car and a trans jack or a helper to muscle the trans around.

I have done all 4, I wont do 3 or 4 again without having the vehicle on a lift. With experience I can do all 4 methods in less then 3-4 hours.

All in all I am a fan of completely pulling the engine. It allows better access for the actual work, allows better visibility for inspection, allows better access to check out the oil separator plate and rear main seal and makes their replacement easy. It is a method that I would say is best if combined with other maintenance.

I also see no reason to replace the clutch if you have records saying it was done 15K ago. If you aren't suffering from other clutch issues like shudder, slipping leave it alone.
 

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2000 Forester 5MT
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201 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If it is only a 3-4 hour job I'll replace the TOB for sure. Pulling the motor is no biggie because I've been looking for an excuse to buy a engine hoist for quite some time and could store it at my folk's place.

How involved is engine removal? Lots of points on the harness to disconnect, or just a few connectors along with the cooling system, exhaust system, and throttle cable? Difficult engine mounts? I've replaced the plugs/wires and timing belt all within the last month so it really doesn't need any routine maintenance at the moment.
 

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01 Forester S
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102 Posts
You're looking at 2-3 hours to pull the engine, another 1/2hour to hour to change the clutch, depending on how you are in there. Another 2-3 hours to put it all back together and test drive it.

That's been my experience. It can be done in a day, but that's a no nonsense day.

-runnamukk in MD
 

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2000 Forester 5MT
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201 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
A whole day isn't a problem. I enjoy working on the car, and really enjoy it when it saves me $$$ to spend on other things ($600 for labor minus $200 for a hoist still sets me ahead). Something that would stretch into 3 days would be a problem.

Thanks for the info. I'll swap out the TOB this fall when it cools down outside.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,070 Posts
Engine Removal,
(from memory)

- turn belt so the buckle is to the side to avoid putting a dent in the fenders:icon_mad:
- disconnect the battery
- pull radiator/overflow bottle(2 10mm bolts)
- disconnect engine harness from chassis harness(rear passenger side of engine)
- disconnect fuel lines(driver side fender, label them)
- disconnect throttle cables
- disconnect exhaust manifold from engine(6 14mm nuts)
- take off the 2 motor mount nuts at the engine cross member
- unbolt the pitch stop
- unbolt starter and remaining transmission to engine bolts/nuts
- jack front of trans and hoist engine up to raise the studs for the engine mounts out of the cross member

To separate the engine and trans it can take some work wiggling, shaking, pulling..... to break the bond they have. just watch so you don't put the crank pulley into the condenser core for the AC when it comes free.

All in all, I can have an NA EJ25 pulled in about an hour if I know the project is coming. There really is not that much to it. My 1st EJ25 took me about 2.5 hours to pull while BSing with a buddy. I would say the average backyard weekend mechanic should take about 3 hours to pull it the 1st time being cautious.

If you are going to pull the engine now is the time to install a block heater if you are in a cold climate(14mm Allen socket and heavy duty breaker bar are a must) and I would also be prepared to reseal the oil separator plate.
 

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2000 Forester 5MT
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201 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
In case anyone is interested, I pulled the engine and replaced the throwout bearing yesterday. The entire ordeal took me about 11 hours, including replacing one of the front drive axles that was going out. It wasn't a hard job at all, just a long one. Major hangups included getting off one of the passenger side nuts holding the engine and transaxle together, setting the engine back in the car (spent about an hour messing with it until I realized the top transaxle mount needed to be removed), and the car not starting because I had forgotten to reconnect a grounding strap.

Thanks again for the help. The old bearing was SHOT (noisy, rough, and lots of play in it when I took it out) and the car is silent now instead of squealing and chirping. A Harbor Freight hoist and load leveler were about $200, which is much cheaper than the $700 a shop quoted me for replacement.
 
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