Technical aspects of automobiles

Changing head gasket on a Legacy Outback 1996 2.5L engine

Hi,
I think I have a leaking head gasket on my Legacy Outback 1996 (2.5L),
and I’ve decided to change it myself. I got the Haynes repair manual,
but a few things are not very clear and I was hoping to get some advice
from people on this list about the following points:

1. manual says that the procedure can be carried out without getting
the engine out, but that it is difficult. What is difficult about it?
The head bolts are easily accessible, but I’m a bit worried about how
long they are. If they were too long, I guess it would just be
impossible to take them out because they would bump against the side of
the engine compartment.

2. the manual says that the engine can be lifted by putting a jack
under the oil pan. Wouldn’t one need to disconnect the engine from the
transaxle first? (The manual doesn’t say anything about that).

3. do I need to remove the A/C compressor? The manual just says to
remove the compressor bracket, but I’m not sure the hoses are flexible
enough to get the compressor out of the way while removing the intake
manifold.

4. I will be changing the timing belt at the same time. I was wondering
why I should position the engine at TDC for cylinder 1? Can’t I just
mark the position of camshaft sprockets, remove the old belt, put the
new one on, and make sure that sprockets are still in the same
position?

5. Incidentally, is cylinder 1 on the left or on the right while
looking at the engine? The diagrams in the Haynes book do not have a
legend to indicate how they are oriented.

6. I have been told by someone who carried out this procedure on a
really old Volvo engine that valves need to be adjusted whenever the
head gasket is changed. I presume that doesn’t apply to me, and I don’t
have to worry about valves at all. Is that correct?

Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide!
Tom

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posted by admin in Без рубрики and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Changing head gasket on a Legacy Outback 1996 2.5L engine”

  1. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    tom wrote:
    > Hi,
    > I think I have a leaking head gasket on my Legacy Outback 1996 (2.5L),
    > and I’ve decided to change it myself. I got the Haynes repair manual,
    > but a few things are not very clear and I was hoping to get some advice
    > from people on this list about the following points:

    > 1. manual says that the procedure can be carried out without getting
    > the engine out, but that it is difficult. What is difficult about it?
    > The head bolts are easily accessible, but I’m a bit worried about how
    > long they are. If they were too long, I guess it would just be
    > impossible to take them out because they would bump against the side of
    > the engine compartment.

    > 2. the manual says that the engine can be lifted by putting a jack
    > under the oil pan. Wouldn’t one need to disconnect the engine from the
    > transaxle first? (The manual doesn’t say anything about that).

    > 3. do I need to remove the A/C compressor? The manual just says to
    > remove the compressor bracket, but I’m not sure the hoses are flexible
    > enough to get the compressor out of the way while removing the intake
    > manifold.

    > 4. I will be changing the timing belt at the same time. I was wondering
    > why I should position the engine at TDC for cylinder 1? Can’t I just
    > mark the position of camshaft sprockets, remove the old belt, put the
    > new one on, and make sure that sprockets are still in the same
    > position?

    > 5. Incidentally, is cylinder 1 on the left or on the right while
    > looking at the engine? The diagrams in the Haynes book do not have a
    > legend to indicate how they are oriented.

    > 6. I have been told by someone who carried out this procedure on a
    > really old Volvo engine that valves need to be adjusted whenever the
    > head gasket is changed. I presume that doesn’t apply to me, and I don’t
    > have to worry about valves at all. Is that correct?

    > Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide!
    > Tom

    I have an 02 Legacy with a 2.5L, so it’s not quite the same car, but
    here’s my $.02…

    1-If it can be done in the car, but difficult, that probably means
    exactly that.  However, Haynes manuals are notoriously bad for this –
    don’t be surprised if halfway through you conclude it would have been
    easier to just pull the engine.  Looking at my Legacy, it definitely
    looks like a PITA to pull the heads off without lifting the motor.
    Probably have to remove the front tires for access, and must be fun
    torquing the heads back on.

    2-If it’s like my other cars, there’s two engine mounts (one each side)
    and the transmission mount is the "third" engine mount, so once you
    remove the engine mounts the engine/tranny "pivots" a bit for clearance.
      that said, I’m a Subaru "virgin" (see my other posts…)

    3-Unless you feel like draining and refilling the AC, you don’t want to
    remove the compressor.

    4-Yes, you can do that.  However, if something does get bumped, how do
    you know if it’s all lined up correctly anymore?  If this is the first
    time you’re going that deep in an engine, line it up.  You don’t want to
    do it twice and bend the valves if you get it off 180 degrees.

    5-I honestly don’t know this one.  However, I would guess driver’s front
    is #1.  Or whichever head is further forward.  And IIRC mine’s marked on
    the top where the ignition coil is which cylinder is which, so follow
    the plug wire.  If a 96 still uses a regular distributor with timing
    marks, you can do it that way.

    6-never heard of that, but I’m just a backyard mechanic.  But… my 2.5
    does call for a valvetrain adjustment, and while you’re in there…

    Go slow, make notes, take pictures, label and bag stuff.  It’s not a
    race.  And honestly, looking under the hood of my 02… I’d seriously
    consider just pulling the motor if you’re doing all that, would make it
    WAY easier.  But I’ve yet to pull a Subaru motor, so I could be insane. :)

    Ray

  2. admin says:

    Hi,
    thanks a lot for your advice.
    Just one more question:

    > 2-If it’s like my other cars, there’s two engine mounts (one each side)
    > and the transmission mount is the "third" engine mount, so once you
    > remove the engine mounts the engine/tranny "pivots" a bit for clearance.
    >   that said, I’m a Subaru "virgin" (see my other posts…)

    So is there anything I need to unscrew between the engine and
    transaxle?

    Thanks
    Tom

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