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2009 XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a pretty good example of an 09 XT with 140km (~88k miles). Timing belt has been replaced along with one cat. Other than a .5" steel undercarriage shield, she's bone stock.

After prolonged driving, if you turn on the air there is a burnt oil smell. Strangely, if you have the windows open or are just standing next to the car, you can't smell it. And you can only smell it while the car is stationary(at a light for example).

She pulls strong(I think. I've never driven one of these before), although the 4EAT is a bit dimwitted.

Recently (since it's gotten colder) there is a whirring whine that's present and goes up and down in intensity with throttle.

I bought a crawford AOS can as soon as I got the car because of the feared ringland problems etc and also 3, screen-less banjo bolts to replace for fear of them getting clogged up(see I did my homework!)

I haven't put anything in yet and now I am wondering:

If the turbo is beginning to go (evidenced by burnt oil smell plus whining noise), and since replacing the banjo bolts and installing the AOS are pretty involved pieces of work in the neighborhood; should I look into a turbo replacement to do at the same time as the initial 2 things(AOS and banjo bolts)? I just hate the idea of unpacking the engine compartment to do an elective replacement only to have to pay for the same 6 hours of labor to do the turbo a few weeks later.

Basically I am not familiar enough with the EJ25 to know if the components I've mentioned are near enough to each other that the labor could overlap.

Thoughts?
 

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2009 Forester XT
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639 Posts
Driver's side oil control valve banjo bolt is behind the rear timing cover, so timing pullys and cam gears will need pulled(expensive labor wise, so many skip this one). The passenger side shares with the turbo and is under the turbo air inlet on an 09. This is the one for concern of starving the turbo.

The stock turbo oil feed is commonly kinked if not extremely careful, so not a bad idea to upgrade (iag makes a nice one).

As for the turbo, maybe look at having the stock TD04 rebuilt or replaced. If you choose to upgrade to a different turbo, you will need to incur tuning expenses.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,750 Posts
First post? Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a nice car which should give you a lot of driving fun.

I just bought a pretty good example of an 09 XT with 140km (~88k miles). Timing belt has been replaced along with one cat. Other than a .5" steel undercarriage shield, she's bone stock.

After prolonged driving, if you turn on the air there is a burnt oil smell. Strangely, if you have the windows open or are just standing next to the car, you can't smell it. And you can only smell it while the car is stationary(at a light for example).
Just for grins, have you replaced your cabin air filter? It's behind the glove box. Subaru finally roared into the 20th century - replacing the cabin air filter on '09-13 Foresters does not require complete vehicle disassembly. If this filter has not been replaced in the last year or so, you might wear a bio-hazard suit when doing this task ;-)

She pulls strong(I think. I've never driven one of these before), although the 4EAT is a bit dimwitted.
It's an old transmission design . . . old but tested. On the bright side, 4EATs are very tough - almost bullet proof. You might buy a case of Subaru ATF HD and, every time you change your oil, drain the transmission. Only about 4 quarts of ATF will come out of the pan. Measure what came out. Then add enough new to keep you in the game. After 3 oil changes, your ATF will be about 90% changed. That may or may not solve your problem but it's a good thing to be doing. Even 4EATs need love.

If the vehicle pulls strong, that's a sign that your turbo is still working.

Recently (since it's gotten colder) there is a whirring whine that's present and goes up and down in intensity with throttle.
Could be lots of things. Work on the devils you know. If the whining devil doesn't depart, deal with him later. BTW, complete your user profile so we know if you're in Miami, Florida or Caribou, Maine.

I bought a crawford AOS can as soon as I got the car because of the feared ringland problems etc and also 3, screen-less banjo bolts to replace for fear of them getting clogged up(see I did my homework!)
Hmmmmm, are you sure on that part about the screens? I think Subaru did away with the screens. I think they were gone even on my '06XT . . . I didn't even bother to look at my '12XT.

If the turbo is beginning to go (evidenced by burnt oil smell plus whining noise), and since replacing the banjo bolts and installing the AOS are pretty involved pieces of work in the neighborhood; should I look into a turbo replacement to do at the same time as the initial 2 things(AOS and banjo bolts)? I just hate the idea of unpacking the engine compartment to do an elective replacement only to have to pay for the same 6 hours of labor to do the turbo a few weeks later.
Your TD04 should last longer than 86k miles - much longer on a vehicle with a 4EAT. Reason being that your engine rarely gets above 3000 rpm (unless you're constantly shift into F&F mode). Why not start by doing a few other things first:

- Start keeping very careful oil usage records. Get a consistent way of checking your oil (e.g. drive into garage, wait 5-20 minutes, check oil, write down results). Exactly how you do this is less important than doing it consistently. You want to determine if the engine is using oil (in the combustion chamber and out the exhaust). You mentioned a Crawford AOS. Whatever oil is accumulated in the AOS should figure into your oil usage records. I've got a Grimmspeed AOS, so I don't have to worry about that!

- Remove the under-engine cover. Are you leaking oil? EJ25x engines tend to be leaky, so don't be surprised if your engine is a leaker. A common place to leak is around the oil filter / filter mount - which oil then blows back under the engine creating a royal mess. By carefully cleaning the oil and checking this area frequently, you can zero in on the leaking source (and maybe even fix it!)

- While you are under the vehicle, check for leaks and drips from the valve covers. Sometimes, they can leak oil, which then drips onto the exhaust.

- Remove the intercooler and look inside. If it looks like an Oklahoma oil field, then your turbo bearings and seals are bad. Just slightly tacky? That's normal. If 'normal', then your turbo is probably okay. I'd bet on the turbo being okay.

Report back on what you find. And, above all, enjoy the car. XT Subarus are a lot of fun - and very addictive.

 

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2009 XT 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Driver's side oil control valve banjo bolt is behind the rear timing cover, so timing pullys and cam gears will need pulled(expensive labor wise, so many skip this one). The passenger side shares with the turbo and is under the turbo air inlet on an 09. This is the one for concern of starving the turbo.

The stock turbo oil feed is commonly kinked if not extremely careful, so not a bad idea to upgrade (iag makes a nice one).

As for the turbo, maybe look at having the stock TD04 rebuilt or replaced. If you choose to upgrade to a different turbo, you will need to incur tuning expenses.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
Hey skirbykat,

Thank you for answering my question quickly and succinctly; just what I was looking for. I have had several cars that I've owned and worked on over the years and have used forums for every one of them to repair and modify my car. Not always do you get an answer straight up. Props to the fozzie community for running a legit forum.
 

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2009 XT 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
@dave5358 Thanks for a great reply - thorough to say the least. I'm somewhat relieved to report that I traced the whining noise to the alternator, which sucks, but at least not the turbo.

I haven't yet had time to check anything else but will do once I have a chance(we just had a baby girl 2 weeks ago!). Are you suggesting that the cabin air filter could have gotten oil on it from inside the engine bay and then when the car heats up (and subsequently the filter), the smell appears? If so that's quite a guess. That would be great if it's just an air filter.

With regard to the IC and trans I'm going to wait until I get her up on a lift at the shop. We'll take off the skid plate and take a look at where the leak is coming from but I'm not so hopeful - slow oil leaks on 10 year old cars are usually a wild goose chase in my experience; without even taking into account the EJ25's leaky disposition.

I knew from initial reading about the 2.5 that it uses a lot of oil so I bought a liter of oil on the way home from registering it and kept track of the dipstick - especially after smelling the burnt oil.

I wish I could say that I will keep such a diligent record of the oil consumption; but I think the truth is that really what we're looking for is to see if the consumption is in a normal range, or not. And a dipstick is accurate enough to see a large change vs a small one, IMO.

So many good pointers here..I'll have to remember to bring a list of all possible leak causes and investigate them - like the valve covers.


Thanks again for the warm welcome.

BTW that red fozzy is looking cleaan.
 

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2009 XT 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hey everyone, I've got updates!

1st thing's first:
The noise and the associated problems(dead battery, dimming lights when at idle) were not because of the alternator. It was in fact the power steering pump(noise) and the dead battery was due to a custom security system.
About 10 years ago, car theft was pretty rampant in Israel for high(er) profile cars and so many insurance companies began to require a 2-stage security system with redundant power supplies. The problem (as many 2nd and 3rd hand owners discovered) is that these systems relied on a built in battery that powered them(to enable them to work even when the car battery is removed), but after 5-7 years these onboard redundant power supplies died and began to suck juice from the car battery - consequently causing total battery death in about 5-7 days of the car not being started.

As I was not familiar with such a security system, I could not imagine this as the source of my problems and bought a brand new alternator:crying:. So if anyone is interested in a brand new 110 amp alternator I am happy to sell for half price0:).

The burning oil smell was coming from leaky valve cover gaskets (mostly on passenger side).

Job List Done

  • Installed the Crawford AOS
  • replaced spark plugs with NGK ruthenium
  • replaced oil filter with purolator boss
  • replaced oil with motul 15w50 300v competition
  • removed parasitic security system which was embedded inside of the dash behind all of the electronics!!!
  • removed 3 banjo bolts to in order remove screens and discovered they were already gone(dunno if this because of the different market region(Middle east) or if a previous owner removed them).
  • replaced valve cover gaskets and cleaned ignition coils
  • replaced power steering pump

Next is up is a exceedingly reliable way of getting to 300whp, with a few inches of more suspension (not spacers!) - inspiration being the Bowler Wildcat. My guy recommends going with methanol and I've been looking into it.

Thanks again to everyone who commented before was so helpful.
 

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