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Old 11-30-2004, 08:46 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 76136
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
1998 Imp Outback 2.2

Default Engine Oil Leak

Hey guys, i'm new a new suby owner and new to this forum, so i'm not sure if anyone has posted this before.

i bought a used 1998 impreza outback sport 2.2 and the engine is now leaking oil after a month of having the car. It drips from the underside of a gasket in a housing in the front of the engine (near the timing belt) and as i drive, it blows on the oil pan and slides down onto my crossover exhaust pipe and burns. the timing belt was just changed before i bought the car but i'm not sure if they also changed out all the seals and gaskets. whoever changed the timing belt smeared a black sealant (maybe a permatex type sealer) on the outside of the housing case where the gasket seals hoping that would stop the leak. the sealer they put on flaked off so that was no help at all and they should have just sealed the engine correctly in the first place. it only leaks when the engine is on and therefore pressurized.

there's 3 bolts on the underside that squeeze the gasket in place and the oil only leaks next to these bolts (or from the bolts). I tried tightening the bolts but they might be stripped, so i'm going to try to retighten and retap the holes tonight if needed.

has anyone else had this problem and if so, what'd you do to fix it?

this is not the CV recall, i had that fixed already.


I'm also a new manual driver and don't much experience with a stick, I was curious if this problem will cause the clutch to slip:

After accelerating to 45 and shifting into 5th gear, as i continue to accelerate, at 50mph the RPMs jump to about 4500. i get scared, so i let off the gas and it'll drop back down and then i'll finish accelerating and it will be fine.

it happened twice yesterday and once this morning. i can't [yet] recreate the problem if i stomp down on the accelerater. there tires are not slipping and it only happens in 5th gear.

the car has 103K and the clutch has never been changed. it feels fine and going up a hill and shifting to 3rd is good, but it does shift at the top of the pedal in any gear. i thought it might shift at the top b/c it's tuned to be a sports car.



does anyone know a good subaru mechanic in the kalamazoo area?

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b.rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2004, 09:01 AM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 242
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Carol Stream, IL USA
MY99 RS-RIP / MY95 MX-5


sounds like a crank seal
easy to replace
but I'm assuming you are talking about the black plastic housing on the front of the engine (those bolts are only tightened to about 8ft-lb)
108k miles? yikes.. time to replace the clutch!
Revision is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2004, 12:18 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 8335
Join Date: Jul 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: www.indianaimpreza.com
96 Impreza L 2.2t
05 LGT Unlimited Wagon


Originally Posted by Revision
sounds like a crank seal
agreed. just went through that with mine at 120k. same exact symptoms. it should normally be dry behind that plastic cover, the gasket is probably really there just to keep water and dirt out.

the crank seal is only a couple hour job if you're comfortable with removing and reinstalling timing belt...

Elwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2004, 08:45 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 76136
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
1998 Imp Outback 2.2


hey, thanks for the reply. i thought it was a silver housing, but you're right, it is black.

this weekend i have time to work on the car as i'll also have to adjust the brakes cause they're squeaking (they're new tho).

I found a website that illustrates a timing belt change from a 97' impreza, i believe.


is this procedure fairly accurate or do you know any other written procedures for it? i'm having a former mechanic work on it with me, but he hasn't practiced in 30 years and rarely did imports.

also, is it a good idea to change the water pump while i'm in there or any other seals/gaskets?

b.rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2004, 06:46 AM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 55812
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Warren, MI
2002 WRX - Silver
Warren:Throw your dubs up


Originally Posted by b.rowe
does anyone know a good subaru mechanic in the kalamazoo area?
Well, I don't know if they work on Subarus or not, but I've dealt with Kalamazoo Imports before based on a reccomendation from my buddy that uses them a lot. They seem to be very knowledgeable and friendly.

The only work that I''ve had done there was on my 16V GTI (when I had it), though, so I can't attest as to their Subaru work. I would reccomend getting in touch with them and finding out if they do work on them, however.


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