Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ughh.. got the rebuilt engine back in and running.. thankfully, the transmission doesn't seem to be any worse after mistakenly towing it with the rear wheels on the ground. I did have a problem when one of the transmission fluid hoses burst on my initial test drive.. I replaced the hose and buttoned it back up and I thought everything was fine..

However, when i started it up this morning it started smoking.. I think some of its still the transmission oil which spewed all over the engine, even thought I thought I degreased it pretty well.. But the real troubling thing that I found a very slow coolant leak / seepage from the driver's side head gasket on the bottom of the engine.

My question is, is it possible to tighten the head bolts without removing the engine.. and is it worth even trying. or should I do I need to re-pull the engine and replace the head gasket again..

Any advice is much appreciated!!
 

·
Registered
2001 SOLD!
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
Before thinking it's the headgasket, make sure those lines for the heater are not rusted out and that it/they sprung a leak. It happened to one of my friends. He also thought it was the headgasket that was leaking still.

I would remove the intake manifold and check those heater lines carefully. Traces of engine coolant on top of the engine would be one of the slightest hints of a leakage. Check that out.
 

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
okay.. i'll check those other things first.

But I removed the under engine shroud and was looking directly at the gasket edge on the bottom of the engine as the coolant seeped out.. so unless the other sources are somehow causing the coolant to run along the gasket edge from the top or side of the engine and come out the bottom, it almost has to be the head gasket..

I'll post what I find later this week...
 

·
Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
Joined
·
8,070 Posts
You are more likely to see oil leaking from the bottom of the HG then coolant. That is why the we mentioned the other options. The oil return galleries are underneath the water jacket.

See the attached pic. Red=oil return galleries. Green=water jacket.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
we checked the heads with a straightedge prior to reinstalling them and they were both flat.. and we torqued them down according to the procedure in the manual.

flstffxe - thats interesting about the location of the oil passages as compared to the cooling passages. I was actually wondering about that.. thanks!! however, I'm sure its a coolant leak, as its a clear green liquid..

I'll look at the whole engine again, and confirm its not coming from another source.. If not, I'll see where the leak is forming on the gasket.. I thought it was forming at the center of gasket, which would mean its leaking from one of the 3 coolant passages around the center bolt, between the oil return galleries in your picture...
 

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
okay.. confirmed that it is indeed the head gaskets that are leaking.. its actually both head gaskets, not just the driver side. I loosened all the bolts and re-tightened them using the procedures in the service manual. I also found that I didnt have the "pink-marked" head bolts in the right position, so I fixed that too.. After I did all that, the head gaskets are still leaking.. I really think the problem is from the MLS gaskets that I purchased on ebay.. so I went out and purchased Felpro gaskets..

I"m gonna try the in-car head gasket removal procedures published in another thread...

I still don't like the tightening procedures.. they're bizarre... it just doesnt seem like the bolts are torqued evenly (or tight enough) after the final 90 degree turns... I think it would be more consistent if each bolt was tightened to a specific torque. Is there a reason why Subaru does it that way?
 

·
Registered
2001 SOLD!
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
Make sure you put engine oil on the threads and under the bolt head. The least the friction the more constant and accurate torque is going to be.
 

·
Premium Member
2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
Joined
·
3,319 Posts
Here's the tightening sequence I have used successfully every time. I also only have used Subaru gaskets and have never had one come back.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
yep.. put engine oil on the threads and washers.... and followed that sequence too... I did reuse the headbolts.. but I'm thinking about buying new ones even though I don't think thats the problem... I just don't want to take a chance..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
The fact you had a leak suggests possibility of head warp, even though you checked. I know it's difficult to check head warp accurately. It requires a long, very accurate, stiff straight edge and feeler gauge. I found it difficult to position the straight edge per the suggested positions, for the only time I did this. Here's the tale.

The first head gasket job I ever did was a Mitsubishi 2.7L inline 6 on a Plymouth Voyager. I pulled the head and inspected w/ a straight edge (new aluminum level) and could detect no warp. I installed head w/ new gaskets and developed a leak a few days later.

After that experience I had the head rebuilt and shaved, and successfully reinstalled. Since then I've done 5 HG jobs, including my 99 Forester most recently, and have rebuilt/shaved heads on all. So far I'm batting 1.000 w/ this process. I paid $250 to have both Forester heads rebuilt; new valve stem seals, valves reseated, head leak-tested, and shaved flat.

good luck
 

·
Registered
2014 CVT
Joined
·
824 Posts
you have to have a straight edge that is within .001" per 1 ft........thats what ford calls for and i bet subaru calls for something along those lines, also there is a reason subaru wants you to take the engine out, it makes it easier in the long run and its easier to check the head surface(as well as the block) and to torque the head bolts!
 

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Okay.. finally got it all back together and she's running great..

I didn't have to pull the engine, just jacked it up with the engine hoist..

I ended up buying new Felpro Gaskets and new Head Bolts from Rock Auto. The Felpro gaskets were the normal materiel gaskets, not the MLS gaskets that I tried the first time.. when I pulled the MLS gaskets, there were fluid marks between the layers.. so, I"m thinking thats where the leak was coming form.. When installing this time, I used anti-sieze (NOT engine oil) on the headbolt threads and around the washers. I think this helped.. as the bolts went in alot smoother and didnt loosen and tighten like they did last time.. I"m still not convinced that the Service Manual procedures (torqueing, loosening, retorqueing, then turn an add'l 90 degrees x 2) is any better than a normal headbolt torque sequence.. but it I followed them.. and its not leaking..:)

I do have another question.. with the engine jacked up, if you look along the bottom of the engine, the bottom 1/3 flywheel teeth are completely exposed. As you set the engine down, the exposed area sits into the car frame, but some of the teeth ares till exposed if you shine a flashlight under there at the 7 o'clock and 5 o'clock position. Is this normal? Or is there supposed to be a cover attached the bottom side of the engine block?

-SF
 

·
Registered
09 FXT Stage 2 4EAT
Joined
·
431 Posts
Yes, seeing the teeth on the fly wheel from the bottom of the transmission is normal and there is no cover.

Congrats on getting that back into shape. When I rebuild engines I usually go off of the head stud manufacturer's torque sequence. I.E ARP head studs list a different tightening sequence and lubricant than SOA. Good Job dude!
 

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Raptr.. it was definitely an interesting project for me.. something I've always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity..

I feel much better knowing that the flywheel is supposed to be visible.. the LAST thing I wanted to have to do is to have to pull the engine again to install a shroud or cover. :)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top