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Old 02-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
<<M>>
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Question EJ22 cam pulley removal to replace seals???

Hi, I trying to replacing both cam seals while I replace my timing belt, I've checked through the forums and have come across much info on removing the crank pulley using special methods,

but how do I remove the cam pulley's, do I loosen these pulleys with the timing belt on -- then won't the cams move out of position, and if so, how do I realign them if the pulleys with timing marks are now off..

If anyone has a walkthrough on EJ22 SOHC cam seal replacement (including the part where I remove the cam pulleys) I would appreciate it.

I have a 1997 Subaru Impreza OBS, (so I think it's probably a phase II interference engine).

Thanks
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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.....

Last edited by <<M>>; 02-20-2012 at 12:53 AM. Reason: duplicate post
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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Default Loosened cam pulley bolts

So here's an update in case it can serve to help anyone else out:

I loosened the crank pulley by putting the manual transmission in 5th gear, pulling up on the handbrake, and putting a rod firmly between the drivers seat and the brake pedal, and then I slid the drivers seat forward to apply as much pressure to the brakes as I could. Then I was able to loosen the crank pulley bolt using a long breaker bar.

I then thought, why not try the same thing with the cam pulleys? I kept the car in 5th, kept the brakes applied, and I had the timing marks for both cam pulleys lined up (visible because I took both end timing covers off). I kept the crank pulley and crank bolt on the engine. Next, while maintaining clockwise pressure on the breaker bar with 22mm on the crank pulley bolt, I put counterclockwise torque on the passenger side cam bolt (17mm) while watching the cam pulleys carefully for movement or possibility of jumping timing belt teeth, the cam bolt loosened free. I did the same thing with the drivers side, and it was more stubborn but broke free as well.

I'm sure there are many ways to do cam pulley removal but this has worked for me this time, thought i'd share.

Now, moving on...
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
CosmoTheCat
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Crank pulley - put a breaker bar on and rest it on something solid, then blip the starter.

Cam pulley - use a special tool.

If you've got metal sprockets, something like this will work just fine:



If you GIS "cam sprocket holder" it actually comes up with pictures of various Subaru tools from different years.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time to reply.

What does GIS mean? Google image search?

I found the Subaru genuine cam holder special tool at a few sites online but it is pretty expensive for a single car use tool. Do you know where I can find an adjustable one or a cheaper one than the OE one?
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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http://www.amazon.com/OTC-4754-Universal-Pulley-Holder/dp/B000Q8GVPY
$50, which is steep if you're only going to work on your own car...


Were your cam seals leaking? Were they black or brown? The brown ones hardly ever leak, and unless they were leaking I wouldn't bother replacing them.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:25 AM   #7
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I am trying to take the front center timing cover off. One of the bolts on the bottom is seized and the head if the bolt has rounded off. I don't yet know what color the seals are.

I know the car had a timing belt at around 90 k but not sure if previous owner had the cam seals replaced.

I'm looking forward to figuring out a way to get the timing cover off without damaging it - I think I'm going to have to drill and extract that little ten mm out of there. Then I can get a better view of the leak source. it had been leading pretty badly.

So the brown seals are an updated style I take it? Hence less prone to leakage..

Which parts in this job should I be absolutely sure to go with subaru genuine only and which could I get by with quality non oe? I've posed several questions in this last post, I know. Thanks for taking the time- I'm looking forward to driving this car again.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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Yeah, the black seals are a crappy compound that gets really hard with age. The brown seals are a much better material that hardly ever fail.

Good luck with the bolt extraction.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:58 AM   #9
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Thanks again for the replies.

I ended up cutting off the front center timing cover around that timing cover bolt because extracting the bolt did not work. Now I have enough room around it to get some vice grips on it. By the way, my crank pulley had worn a hole(s) in my front center timing cover, normal?

Which parts in this job should I be absolutely sure to go with subaru genuine only and which could I get by with quality non oe? Edit: I just clicked the website you link to under your user name, do you work for a parts/service department?

Do I need to replace the hydraulic tensioner piston unit? How about the water pump if it was already done at 96K and I'm at 155K miles?

Also, when I removed the accessory drive belts (alternator and A/C compressor belts) they we pretty hard to take off, as in barely*********** enough clearance to remove, especially the A/C compressor belt - in fact, I removed the crank pulley with the compressor belt still on there just because I couldn't get it off, short of prying it off with a pry bar. Is that normal? I've never had belts fit like that on any other car. I made sure to loosen the belt tensioners...

I have removed both cam gears, the drivers side cam has a brown seal, the passenger side cam has a black seal, which strangely looks like it sits in deeper than the drivers side cam seal, is that normal? Also, the drivers side cam has moved on me, it looks like it moved based on compression, it is pretty hard to move back by hand, hmmm, not sure if I did something wrong...

Last edited by <<M>>; 02-23-2012 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #10
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As far as the cam moving on the driver's side, that does happen. DO NOT MOVE IT BACK UNTIL YOU HAVE WATCHED

...in fact, watch all 5. I watched these the day I bought my Subaru just so I had a clue about what I was going to eventually be doing.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by <<M>> View Post
By the way, my crank pulley had worn a hole(s) in my front center timing cover, normal?
NO! Absolutely not normal. Typically this happens because the pulley has de-laminated and the outside is sliding toward the engine. We have had customers who have had similar things happen and pieces of the timing cover went flying around the timing belt, then they caused the timing belt to skip teeth on cam/crank pulleys, and then valves hit pistons.

You need to replace your crank pulley (and timing cover). It's a harmonic dampener, and if it's falling apart it isn't going to do its job properly either.


Quote:
Which parts in this job should I be absolutely sure to go with subaru genuine only and which could I get by with quality non oe? Edit: I just clicked the website you link to under your user name, do you work for a parts/service department?
For the next 3 weeks I work as a mechanic for a Subaru dealer (last time I checked we were still a registered vendor here).

Some people say to replace all of the pulleys, tensioner, and water pump while doing the timing belt job. We, at our dealership, don't typically do this on a customer's first 105k service. The components fail so infrequently in our area that we can't justify the added cost. Most bearings will give you notice before failing, you just have to pay attention to them.

Today I stripped a 2005 Outback XT 2.5 turbo down and split the case - the owner went through 3 turbos in the last month or so, and the engine is done. It has roughly 111k miles on it and all of the pulleys feel as smooth and tight as brand new, and the water pump shows zero signs of age. The oil pump, however, was FUBAR due to the sheer volume of steel and other metals that it chewed up.

Edit: The owner didn't bring it to us until after the 2nd replacement turbo went bad. The resulting under-hood fire caused her turbo oil return hose to burn in half and 2 quarts of oil dumped out by the time she drove it to us.


Quote:
Do I need to replace the hydraulic tensioner piston unit? How about the water pump if it was already done at 96K and I'm at 155K miles?
If it was my car, I wouldn't unless there was any hint of impending doom. Your mileage may vary, and your level of interest on possibly going back into the timing cover to replace something that may later fail.

Quote:
Also, when I removed the accessory drive belts (alternator and A/C compressor belts) they we pretty hard to take off, as in barely*********** enough clearance to remove, especially the A/C compressor belt - in fact, I removed the crank pulley with the compressor belt still on there just because I couldn't get it off, short of prying it off with a pry bar. Is that normal? I've never had belts fit like that on any other car. I made sure to loosen the belt tensioners...

Not usually, but sometimes. I think it stems from parts departments that run out of certain belts and substitute the next smaller belt. If you feel the belt isn't quite right, look at the descriptive number on it and ask for one a few mm longer. 5pk795 means 5 rib, 795mm long. Grab a 5pk805. *Numbers pulled from you-know-where, just an example.


Quote:
I have removed both cam gears, the drivers side cam has a brown seal, the passenger side cam has a black seal, which strangely looks like it sits in deeper than the drivers side cam seal, is that normal? Also, the drivers side cam has moved on me, it looks like it moved based on compression, it is pretty hard to move back by hand, hmmm, not sure if I did something wrong...
Not really normal, but not something I'd be worried about. Both cam seals should be recessed about 1/8". The crank seal should be more or less flush.

The driver's side cam is loaded with spring pressure, they tend to spin. No biggie. Put the cam gear back on and spin it with a wrench back where it needs to be when you put the belt back on.

Last edited by CosmoTheCat; 02-23-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:57 PM   #12
GRiNCH503
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I have a 92 legacy L fwd and the harmonic dapener is wobblingwhile it spins I replced the.bolt and its tight but it still wobbles slight while turning the belt
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:19 PM   #13
redfordsun
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I am trying to Break Camshaft Pulley in 5th gear, but I do not like the play it gives when I turn it anticlockwise and the pulley is really tight. Perhaps some penetrating grease...might help

Last edited by redfordsun; 06-21-2014 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:06 PM   #14
easy fix
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Smile Subaru Camshaft Sprocket Removal and Installation

Hi Guys and Gals. I work on Subarus a lot. I am a ASE Master. I made a video that solves removing these Camshaft bolts very easily with no failures to date for me. Its simple, its fast and no special tools are needed. The video is only a couple minutes long. I hope it helps someone else out.Here is the link.
~Shaun

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Old 03-23-2018, 05:49 PM   #15
easy fix
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Default Cam sprocket bolt and sprocket removal

Here a higher quality video I made. The first wasn't as detailed. I hope this helps. I am working on a seal replacement video for the future. I hope this helps for now. ~shaun

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Old 03-24-2018, 09:09 AM   #16
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoTheCat View Post
Yeah, the black seals are a crappy compound that gets really hard with age. The brown seals are a much better material that hardly ever fail.

Good luck with the bolt extraction.
Yes, Subaru changed the seal material at some point.
The black seals are likely Buna-N.
The brown seals are Viton.
You can look up the difference in material,online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRiNCH503 View Post
I have a 92 legacy L fwd and the harmonic dampener is wobbling while it spins. I replaced the bolt and its tight but it still wobbles slight while turning the belt
The crank pulley is 2 steel parts with bonded rubber between them. The rubber has failed.
This failure shows up as a wobble or a phantom belt squeal on startup.
No fix other than replacement.
RockAuto has them for about $35.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfordsun View Post
I am trying to Break Camshaft Pulley in 5th gear, but I do not like the play it gives when I turn it anticlockwise and the pulley is really tight. Perhaps some penetrating grease...might help
You really won't get anything into the threads because of the way the cam gear goes onto the cam.

PS, yes I know I replied to some older posts, just figured I would add some info for down the road.
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:17 AM   #17
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy fix View Post
Hi Guys and Gals. I work on Subarus a lot. I am a ASE Master. I made a video that solves removing these Camshaft bolts very easily with no failures to date for me. Its simple, its fast and no special tools are needed. The video is only a couple minutes long. I hope it helps someone else out.Here is the link.
~Shaun

https://youtu.be/HkiZWHABPVo
Interesting way to do it, thanks for the video. I would think you could use this to torque the bolts up again when installing the cam gears.

Note, if clamping a timing belt like that, I would likely NOT use it on an engine again. Maybe keep an old belt around just for this task.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:41 AM   #18
Patrick Olsen
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Bumping an old thread, as this seems like a reasonable one to ask in...

I'm fairly certain the cam seal on the front of the passenger side cam is leaking on my EJ22. (I'm getting a burning oil smell when I drive, and when I took a look under the car the other day, it appears to be oil coming from the passenger side (RH side) of the timing cover and blowing back onto the exhaust header.) Is it possible to replace that cam seal without pulling the camshaft? Or do I need to pull the cam to properly get to that seal?
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:59 AM   #19
benflynn
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Just the cover and gear
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:01 PM   #20
Patrick Olsen
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Cool, thanks.
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