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Old 08-01-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
Bullwinkle
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Default Cam Seals Second Time Around '02 EJ25 SOHC

Taking everything off for the second time Driver's side cam seal is dripping a drop of oil about every 20 seconds at idle on the gararge floor. The black seals seem to not be working although the pass. side and center crank seal are okay having replaced all three of them on the same procedure a couple weeks ago.

the Haynes manual says to re install the seals at the same depth as the old ones. I had the brown ones in originally and they weren't leaking at 107k, but I had received advice to "do it all" while I was in there. I ordered new cam seals from autohausaz.com and they sent the brown ones like the originals that were in there.. I don't think I buggered up the sealing surface on the cam or the housing area pulling them out, because I spent a couple hours being careful not to do so, but don't remember greasing the inner lips like one poster said to. That could be the problem Trying to duplicate the 5/32" depth, I could've gotten them in a little cockeyed, but then I didn't check to see if the seal depths were different between the brown and black ones. BTW, the black ones came as part of a "do it all" kit I bought on ebay for like $370. Everything is either US made or Japanese, so I don't think it's a parts quality issue. I'm sure there was some sort of operator error and don't want to repeat.

My question is, is it the experience of this list that the seals go all the way in(which guarantees that they'll be square to the shaft), just flush to the aluminum housing(pretty much square to the shaft), or do they go in 5/32" like the old ones I took out(measured with a tire depth gauge,BTW yeah, that's pretty shade tree even for me!) which should be square to the shaft if I kept the driver tool straight when tapping them in.?

BTW, the engine is in the car and I will pull the fans, but now that I have brand new coolant in the rad, I might try to not disturb the cooling system.

Hopefully someone will reply by the time I get the old ones out.Thanks in advance.

DM&FS
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Last edited by Bullwinkle; 08-01-2009 at 02:54 PM. Reason: spelling and additional text added
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
Charlie-III
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

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The seals should be just below the aluminum front surface. Back behind them, there is a drain hole that you don't want to cover up which can happen if you drive the seal to the bottom of the pocket.
I usually use a deep socket to drive the seals in, the socket OD should match/be slightly less than the seal OD.
I use either wheel bearing grease or assembly lube on the seal surface where it contacts the shaft.
I also use fine Scotch-Brite on the shaft to remove any buildup.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
Bullwinkle
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....so that 5/32" measurement might've been okay then?

I made a seal driver tool for those cam seals out of a short piece of the white PVC 1 1/4" pipe and the OD on it is just short of the seal OD, and then I epoxied a round piece of 1/4" thick ABS that was slightly wider than the OD of the seal. Thinking of tapping the seal in with the wide end to get it flush and square, and then flip it and put a collar on the narrow side with the 5/32" depth left on it so the seal should be square when it all gets home. I might alternatively measure the depth of the camshaft plus the 5/32" and cut the driver tool to that length and when I hit the big disc in the back I should be there....theoretically. I still think the non lubing of the seal lip is the problem, but won't know until I finish getting it apart. If that were the case, then why aren't the other two leaking?

A couple other things. The Irwin/Vise Grip Chain locking Pliers does a great job holding the pesky driver's side cam from clanking valves. Used the cut belt for padding. My first try was with the larger black Craftsman Plastic Handled strap wreech I bought for a dollar at a yard sale a few weeks ago and it held okay with a chaeter pipe on it, but the nut on the pulley had a lot more that 58 ft. lbs. on it and we cracked the Craftsman just as the nut popped loose, so we went shopping for the Irwin. The Irwin stuff is all made in China now, but it worked for this 2nd time around project. NAPA wanted $40 for a chain wrench, I found the Irwin(had to look pretty hard)model 20R at Mills Fleet Farm in Antigo WI(was shopping for this even on vacation!) for $26 and couldn't grab it fast enough. Sears doesn't stock one and even if Habor Freight keeps them in stock, we don't have one of their stores anywhere near us in NE Iowa.also we had no trouble getting the front crank pulley nut off with a cheater pipe, e-brake set, and son holding down on the brake pedal with his strong foot and leaving the car in high gear. I guess if you sprung for the Chain Wrench, you could use it on the pulley and amortize your investment a little bit.

Thanks again and I'll get back to greasing once more.

DM&FS

Last edited by Bullwinkle; 08-02-2009 at 03:43 PM. Reason: spelling and additional text
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:41 AM   #4
69subaru360
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Be sure you didn't gouge the cam sealing surface or the head pulling the seal out. I only use the brown genuine subaru seals. The black ones always leak.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
Bullwinkle
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My guess is that the brown ones are Viton seals and the black ones.....well, black ones. The black ones came with the $370 "do it all" kit and everything else in the kit was Japanese or US made, so maybe I need to give that company feedback that for another $5(their)cost), they can make the kit perfect. My son did the seal extraction unsupervised, so i will double check the surfaces before installing the new stuff.

Thanks again.

DM&FS
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
Charlie-III
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullwinkle View Post
My guess is that the brown ones are Viton seals and the black ones.....well, black ones.
Thanks again.

DM&FS
I agree, the brown seals look & feel like Viton (great stuff for an oil seal), the black ones (OEM in my year engine) is likely Buna-N, not bad for an oil seal, but not as good as Viton.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:02 AM   #7
avk
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To install a new seal to the same depth as the old one, place the old seal in between your driving tool and the new seal. You will feel the old seal bottom out in the chamfer, at which moment the new seal will be at the correct depth.
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