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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's been an interesting weekend...

For the last few months my car has seemed down on power between 3750 and 5000 rpm; it would just lag in that range, then pick back up after 5k. It's also been eating about .75 - 1qt of oil per 1000 miles, but I've just been keeping a very close eye on it. On Thursday I was leaving to start my weekend (first weekend in 6 weeks where nothing was going wrong, etc...) when my car started spewing blue smoke out the back. When I got to a stop light it looked like Cheech and Chong were hiding out under my hood, so I pulled over, popped the hood, and took a look.

Smoke was spewing out from under the turbo heat shield. I was about two blocks away from a subaru dealer (The same one I caught years ago driving my car 106mph, I don't go there anymore, but they were the closest one. All of the people I knew there are no longer there unfortunately.) so I dropped it off and waited to hear back as to what the problem was. They told me that a cam seal is leaking, both valve cover gaskets are leaking, and the turbo is leaking quite a bit of oil, and not holding boost properly. I could have them fix it for me for $3400 ($2500 for the turbo, $1000 for the seals) and I politely declined. They said it was just smoking, and would be safe to drive back to my garage.

Last night/this morning when I went to pick it up (they did a lockout for me) it flat out refused to start. The first time or two I tried turning it over it sputtered a bit, but after that there was nothing besides the starter noise. The starter seems to be working fine, as was the battery; it just wouldn't come close to catching. It's never once had problems starting, even in the dead of a MN winter, so I find this highly coincidental. I left the car there and dropped the keys back in the slot since they're open Saturdays. I called them today and they told me that they can't have anyone work on it until Monday because they need to have the same technician do it. I'm extremely tempted to just have the damn thing towed back to my garage so I can start working on it and troubleshoot it myself. I don't really want to pay them another $150 to identify a problem that didn't exist before I brought it to them. I do realize that it could actually be a coincidence, and that I have no real basis to blame them for this besides timing.

Does anyone have thoughts as to why it might not be turning over?


My plan is to buy a used TD04 and swap it in for my old crotchety one, and do the valve cover gaskets. I don't feel comfortable doing a cam seal, since I had trouble with the only one that I've ever done, and that was on the SVX when the motor was out of the car. I did do valve cover gaskets on the SVX while the motor was still in the car, and I can't imagine that the 2.5L could be any harder. Has anyone here done them and might be able to offer a bit of advice prior to starting, and the same question with swapping out the turbo?


Thanks!
Matthew
 

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8,844 Posts
Heh sounds like the issues I've been having with losing power below 5k. I'd just swap in a new turbo (I'm going to send mine to blouch for the 19t upgrade). Valve cover gaskets are pretty easy, you might want to coat them in some gasket maker. I had mine done with the timing belt as preventative maintenance. Cam seals are a pain, you would probably end up having to drill out the bolts on the cam pulleys (had those done with the timing belt as well, didn't want to have to go back in later on when they had it all apart already).
Starting issues could be that they didn't connect something back up, or your plugs are shot.
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well one thing is sorted out, I got the car to start after much frustration. For some reason one of my spare keys is no longer linked to the ECU, so the car wouldn't start when I was using that one. When I went back to the main key everything worked fine. Now the car is back home in the garage getting ready to have surgery.
 

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2018 ForesterXT Touring..
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2,740 Posts
Good luck with the operation, doctor. I hope you can fix it and get it back on the road soon.
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
SO major progress has been made today. So far both sides of the motor have had their valve covers replaced, new spark plugs were installed, and the turbo has been removed. Hopefully tomorrow will see some more forward progress, but it all depends on the amount of free time that I can make. I'm also taking the opportunity to do my 120k maintenance since it's about 6000 miles overdue.

Here are a couple of pictures of the progress:

Drivers side valve cover mid-cleaning. I forgot to take a real "before" picture


The same valve cover post cleaning


Dirty engine bay with the intercooler and turbo heat shield removed


Progress on cleaning everything. It won't look new when it's done, but a heck of a lot better than it was


And finally the clamp that is about to get thrown across the garage if I can't get it to latch shut soon
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
well son of a *****. I was just finishing everything up, the new turbo had a broken stud that was a PITA to get out, but after about 6 hours, a lot of dead drill bits, one broken extractor, and a broken tap tool I got it out. Everything got done and I've just been replacing fluids and such. I was filling the tranny fluid as well as the PS fluid so the front wheels were still off the ground.

As I was cycling through the gears I heard a loud pop and the brake pedal went to the floor. After a quick realization I tossed it back into park (I'm very glad I had the parking brake on and wheel chocks in) and got out. One of my rear brake lines burst with a small pinhole leak.

This is getting absurd, but I just keep reminding myself "at least it didn't happen while I was driving!"

I'll post another update soonish when I decide the next course of action.
 
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