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Old 05-11-2020, 12:48 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 514629
Join Date: May 2020
Default Duel Overhead Cam (CAM SEAL REPLACEMENT HELP)

hey there nasioc...

so here's the lowdown,
I have a factory five racing kit car that uses an '04 wrx engine.

the cam seals are leaking onto the exhaust causing it to smoke when its running. I need to replace these cam seals and in order to do this job as im sure you all know I need to remove the timing belt and cam pullies.

now I have seen and read and been told many different ways of removing the timing belt properly. I have scoured Youtube, NASIOC, and Club WRX forums basically getting three different stories.

1: You have to be extremely careful and cautious when removing the timing belt, one of the cams like to snap or click out of place due to the tension from the valves and if this happens at the wrong time, it can cause serious damage to your pistons and/or valves making for a wonderful multi-hundred dollar and hour repair. So you have to either jig the belt to itself using clamps or vise-grips to hold the cams in place when removing them one at a time to replace the seals.

2: There is a special tool to use that locked the cams together that you must use to keep everything lined up and in sync otherwise youre screwed.

3: don't worry about keeping everything lined up and put in place, even if the cam moves it won't be a problem and you can just re-align everything once youre done and ready to put the timing belt back on.

Which one is accurate, which one will prevent any damage from happening when removing the timing belt?

Also, while I am in there among the water pump, thermostat, tensioners, and pullies, is it advisable to replace all of the above since Im already there?

Thank you for anything you can send my way that may help my situation, I am new to Subie engines and do not want to screw anything up on my first run around.

Best wishes,
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:23 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 6971
Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Edmonds, Washington, USA
2008 WRX STi


all 3 are fairly accurate statements, 1 and 2 will prevent damage. I've had cams slip before and not had any damage occur but I don't recommend it. The tool is 55 bucks on amazon, i see it as cheap insurance against any possible damage during a timing belt change. Might as well do the full timing belt service. Dont forget to bleed the tensioner as per instructions.

With any luck your cam seals are just tired and need replacement, check the sealing surface on the cam shaft to make sure they arent damaged or scored, if they are seals won't help
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