camshaft seals...Should I even try to do this?
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This is a discussion on camshaft seals...Should I even try to do this? within the Tutorials & DIY forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2002 wrx wagaon. (my wives car and long overdue for a timing belt change 150,000) I purchased ...

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    camshaft seals...Should I even try to do this?

    I have a 2002 wrx wagaon. (my wives car and long overdue for a timing belt change 150,000) I purchased a timing belt kit and I am about to embark on the task of installing it. The kit came with camshaft seals and my question is should I replace those while doing the project? Most of the tutorials I have read either don't cover this or are very vague. The subi looses oil between changes though I am unsure whether cam seals are the cause; However, I was wondering if i should go ahead and replace the seals since I will be so close...But is this gonna be a TASK?...that may not be necessary? I will appreciate all advice given, though I am a nube so please don't be vague.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I did this with a friend helping on my car. All four seals plus the crank seal. Not fun. Mine did not leak yet but were dry and looked old.

    Buy authentic Subaru seals and buy extras (I recommend six cam seals and two crank).

    Figure out what you are going to use to remove the old seals. I wrecked a set of O-ring picks. Figure out what you are going to use to install the new seals. I tapped them in using the old seals, reversed, and a mallet. There are seal I install kits available though.

    Yes it's a job and yes I would do it if you are keeping the car.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    By the way when I asked the same question here are the answers and how-to:Cam seals, crank seal: Replacement? How?
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Haha thanks for the reply SD. I have read that u can drill a screw in the seals to assist in removing them, though I won't lie that sounds like a ghetto procedure. By the way thanks for that forum post feed helps alot and better than n e thing i have found. Just to confirm I have not read n e thing about reverse threads...so sounds like there is none?correct? One last question...Do I need to drain the oil for this procedure? I plan on replacing afterwards just unsure whether i need to drain engine prior. Thanks so far u have been the man for this job... am I really going to do this?

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    oh yeah what do I re-torque the bolts back to?

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    SD_GR is the man when it comes to almost all things Subie. However, if you have any doubts about doing a project and think that you might be in a bit over your head, take it in to a shop that you trust. For me, if it isn't straight forward or might require strangely complex tools, I have a professional do it. It might cost me more money, but I just think of my motor in pieces and having to have it hauled to a shop in shame and embarrassment (not to mention the extra cost of having to fix what I screwed up) as motivation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2002subieroo View Post
    Haha thanks for the reply SD. I have read that u can drill a screw in the seals to assist in removing them, though I won't lie that sounds like a ghetto procedure.
    In that link, the more experienced members mentioned that is one way of doing it. I used a set of O-ring pullers, and what scared us initially was the potential to scratch the cam shaft -- however, we didn't, despite really, really pulling hard on the seals (the car was shaking).

    Just to confirm I have not read n e thing about reverse threads...so sounds like there is none?correct?
    Correct. All threads are conventional. Get yourself a very good quality 10mm hex bit and figure out how you are going to keep the cams from spinning. I used the timing belt method pictured in that other thread, meaning I had lots of vise grips on hand. There's a cam holding tool too but I did not have it.

    One last question...Do I need to drain the oil for this procedure?
    No. Have some motor oil on hand though, because you will use it to lube and seal the new cam seals you will be installing.

    I plan on replacing afterwards just unsure whether i need to drain engine prior.
    No.

    Thanks so far u have been the man for this job... am I really going to do this?
    It's not something I was crazy about doing either, and if I were alone at it I'd have probably shied away.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2002subieroo View Post
    oh yeah what do I re-torque the bolts back to?
    If you are using US units on the wrench, I went to 72.4 ft*lbs on my 2.0L motor (for our EU friends, this is equivalent to 10 kg*m or 98 Nm).

    Quote Originally Posted by Skreekin View Post
    SD_GR is the man when it comes to almost all things Subie.
    Thanks, but I was in over my head just like you warned. The guys that helped me in the linked thread above, those are the guys that know what they are doing.

    However, if you have any doubts about doing a project and think that you might be in a bit over your head, take it in to a shop that you trust. For me, if it isn't straight forward or might require strangely complex tools, I have a professional do it. It might cost me more money, but I just think of my motor in pieces and having to have it hauled to a shop in shame and embarrassment (not to mention the extra cost of having to fix what I screwed up) as motivation.
    I am with you on this. Had I run into problems with the cam seals, I'd have flatbedded the car, while still apart, to a shop, had them replace the seals, and then flatbedded it back so I could finish the job -- that was Plan B. There was also a Plan C, where I would have flatbedded the car to a shop and had them put everything back together if need be. Luckily Plan A (all DIY, all home done) worked.

    One final thing: When you are replacing the timing belt, the instructions say to leave the lower roller off until the very end. This is to allow you just enough slack to get the new belt on. You can use a second set of hands here. Also, crucially, this last roller goes on while the belt is already there, and it's low on the motor, so it's very easy to cross-thread that bolt. Take care not do to this.

    Good luck!
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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