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Old 03-22-2006, 10:27 PM   #1
1995LegWag
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1995 Legacy
rusty blue

Unhappy changed head gasket, had slight problem, now car chokes to death

Needed to change the valve cover gasket on my 1995 subaru legacy, so I got the kit and started to take off the cover. The cover is on the side of the engine for subaru's. This fact doesn't matter but helps you visualize it.

As I started to take off the cover two of the three screws that holds it on broke. YES! annoying, they broke inside of the pieces that hold the rocker arms(?) in place.

So i had to unbolt that part of the car to take off the rocker arms and get to the pieces that the valve cover screws bolt into. Got it?

So i drilled out the old screws without messing up the threads (hey I've got dentist hands and mad skillz) and got new bolts -->problem solved.


HERE's THE PROBLEM:
I put everything back together, placed new gasket and screwed it all back together. The car starts wonderfully but then chokes and sputters like it's starved for oxygen. I can give it gas which helps for 5 seconds but then it just sputters again and dies.

What could I have done wrong? Does taking off the rocker arms disturb the timing or mess up the valve positions? I was ever so careful so I wouldn't screw up the valves, but maybe this is the problem? Any suggestions?


For more clarity. Three bolts hold on the valve cover. Two of these bolts broke. I took off the valve cover and could see the broken end of the bolts inside some parts that hold the arms that press the valves. There were two bolts on each side and four in the middle holding these rocker arms in place. There are also three spacers in between some of the rocker arms. These spacers had the broken bolts in them. To get to them I had to take the rocker arms off. The rocker arms are held in place by a dowel that runs in the middle of the arms and spacers. I had to slide off a couple of the rocker arms to get to the spacers. When I was done fixing the broken bolts I reverse installed what I had taken apart and tried to start my car. This is where it starts for a while then dies.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-22-2006, 11:10 PM   #2
Tim Sanderson
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00 Impreza 2.5 RS
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Is this a 2.2? 2.5? sohc? dohc?

Were there hydraulic lash adjusters?

pull the cover back off and have a look. Maybe you did'nt get things alinged properly and the rockers have slipped over.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:55 AM   #3
1995LegWag
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2.2 sohc the only type of engine that came in the legacy L (sorry not to clarify)

I didn't see anything that looked hydraulic, what do they look like though so I can have a look. I am not sure how everything would have moved. All the bolts went back to the same spot they were before hand and the rod that holds the rocker arms and spacers was also bolted in place so it wouldn't move.

1)if there were hydraulics what would it look like?
2)how could they have moved being bolted into place and all?

chalk one up for the learning curve!
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:32 AM   #4
wrx_driver_2002
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Alot of times the lifters will pump up when you remove the rocker shaft. You just need to let it run for a little while to let everything work out. Usually takes about 30 minutes or less for it to run correctly again. If you noticed when you had the rocker assembly off, there was little "button" that rode on each of the valve stems. That little button is the HLA (Hydraulic Lash Adjuster) or lifter as some people refer to them as. They will fill with air when not under constant pressure like they are when bolted in place. This causes them to pump up (or stay fully expanded). Having them fully expanded will also cause the valves to hang open (Which is where the runability issue is coming from).

Second thought: You didn't specify which side you did the gasket on. If it was the right side (passenger) did you remove the intake system? If you removed the intake, did you get the 3/4" IAC hose plugged back in? They will do what you're explaining if you forget to plug that hose back in.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:13 PM   #5
munkis
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Quote:
3/4" IAC hose plugged back in
that would be my first guess.

Jay
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:06 PM   #6
1995LegWag
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it was the IAC. I did the change on the grivers side, but when I was waiting for other things I changed the headlights and the AIR FILTER! Silly me I figured out it was the hose this morning and have come back to reply to myself. I went back out to take the cover off again and do some exploratory surgery...noticed the darn tube was unconnected and VOILA! starts up and purrs like a kitten.

I figured my changing the air filter (done it a 100 times) would have been so minor in my original post that I failed to mention it! Didn't think thats where the problem lied.

Always remember to check your connections and put em back together! Headache solved.

Thanks for the replies!
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