Subaru Head Gasket Replacement
The most important part of the job is to *label* absolutely every wire/cable/pipe that you are going to remove. Even if you *think* you know where its going to go!
Trust me, when the engine bay has hoses all around the place, you will be glad you done it. I used some masking tape, wrapped it around the 2 cables, and labelled them 1 to infinity!
- Take a lot of photos of the engine before you start.
- Drain the Coolant, Remove the radiator (+oil cooler).. This is fairly straight forward
- Remove the belts off the Power Steering, Alternator, and Air-Con
- Take off the Power Steering (on left)
- Take off the Alternator (middle)
- Drain the Air-Con gas and remove Air-Con (right)
- Unbolt the header, and wedge it up with something
- Take off the belt wheels, you'll need one of those special tools here (not sure of the name!)
- Take off the timing belt cover, exposing the timing belt
- Turn the motor, so that the timing belt markers are pointing *UP* on both cams
- Get a big thick texter, draw a line across the belt, marking its position on both cams, and the centre ahem.. thing...
- Take off the belt, this can be a little difficult, but you'll have to unbolt the pneumatic thing that pushes down on the belt to keep it tight. (note in the pic, my red texter marks on the belt.
- Remove the airbox
Underneath the car
Unbolt the exhaust from the engine, wedge a brick or something under, so that it dosn't drop and break the sensor that's attached to it
Start taking the engine apart
- Undo the bolts for the rocker covers, taking off the rocker covers is required, otherwise you won't get the heads out
- Undo the 12 head bolts, use a good long torque wrench or something if you have one, they were pretty tight
- The head bolts are quite long, only some of the bolts could come out by themselves, otherwise they came out with the head
- The left head is easy to remove
- The right head was more difficult, because the farmost bottom bolt would interfere with it getting out! With some angling of the head it would eventually come out.
When the heads are out
- They should look pretty ferral
- I sanded mine down with wet & dry, and a cork sand block
- Cleaned them thorougly using turps
- Done the same to the engine block, but not as much (I got lazy)
- The ended up looking very nice indeed
I baught 2 head gaskets, exhaust gasket, manifold gaskets and new belts. I didn't change the timing belt this time round.
Putting it back together
Basically reverse order, I recommend renting the subaru workshop manual for your car from the local library, it gives you the torque amounts and howto info on tightening the heads to your block.
Because I cleaned out all the oil from the heads, they were pretty noisy when I first started the car, after about 20 or 30 minutes they quietened back to normal. So I would recommend oiling the valves and springs up before putting them back on.
The car runs great now, it had about 300,000 kays on it when I done this, and no doubt it'll go another 300,000. The engine dosn't miss a beat!