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2004 FXT 4EAT
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Hard to tell without seeing what's higher up.
I do know that I've replaced the seals in an oil cooler on a WRX for a friend of mine because it was leaking.
You can order all the seals that are part of the oil-cooler for relatively cheap.
Check parts.subaru.com for part numbers
Replacing all the oil-cooler seals first is probably the cheapest. If you still have a leak after that, you know you need to further investigate.
(it wasn't hard to do. It was awkward and messy (coolant as well as oil flows through the oil-cooler, so drain your coolant first)
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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3,210 Posts
On my 2001 Forester, it took all of 20 minutes to repace the oil cooler seal. Drained the oil, removed oil filter, unscrew the oil cooler. Gently separate the cooler from the block, wipe the contact surface clean. Slip in new seal, screw the oil cooler back onto the block. Screw on oil filter, refill with oil. Start engine and check for oil leaks.
 

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911 Posts
You may be able to get to the gasket without disconnecting anything but in case you can't: I was able to replace the gasket by pinching off the coolant lines so the coolant didn't need to be drained.
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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1,283 Posts
Rags + elbow grease + fluorescent dyye in the motor oil/UV LIGHTsource to light up the dye at night

= source of the leak(provided you found enuff LbOw grease)
 

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2007 XT Manual
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17 Posts
Had a similar oil leak on my car when I bought it, cheap oil cooler gasket later and it has not leaked since. Good luck with the fix.
 

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2005 2.5XT 4EAT
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344 Posts
Not sure what model year you have, although it looks like a SOHC. But I have an 05 XT and there are 4 different seals that need replaced. I just did mine earlier this week. There are two adapters that allow the cooler to mount up properly. Poor design IMO. I was able to do it without draining coolant by pinching the lines. I’m going to post up photos when I get a chance.

Anyways do your homework so you don’t continue to have a leak just because you only replaced the most common seal on the cooler itself.

Good luck finding the source. Leaks are no fun to track down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's a 2003 forester sohc. I am putting this engine into a different car so I dont need the cooler and will be removing it. Here are pictures with this timing cover off.
523288
 

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It looks fairly compressed as well. I haven't looked at one in a while but do remember my replacement seal stood slightly proud of the oil cooler.
Looks like you found at least one source of your leak.
 

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2005 2.5XT 4EAT
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Definitely found one of the leaks! That seal is needing replaced. Does the cooler bolt straight to the block? No adapters?

If you already have the engine out there aren’t many reasons why you wouldn’t do the head gaskets as well IMO.
 

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Definitely found one of the leaks! That seal is needing replaced. Does the cooler bolt straight to the block? No adapters?
I forget what the torque is but don't go gorilla on it because it isn't much. You don't want to crush that seal. Just like with a regular oil filter, just put a drop of oil on the seal.
 
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