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Old 06-01-2007, 01:43 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 104185
Join Date: Jan 2006
Question Front Cover Oil Leak

Hi everyone,

I have an auto '98 Forester with about 93K on it, that's been having the usual oil burning smell. I replaced the valve cover gaskets and the gaskets around the plugs, as well as the pass side black plastic piece that's mounted to the top of the valve cover (it was cracked a little). That fixed part of the leak, but wait...there's more.

Now, I'm getting some decent leakage from the front covers that cover the timing belt. Stealership in RI quoted me $662.00 to replace the 4 cam seals, the 1 crank seal, as well as doing the timing belt change. I know a normal timing belt change runs around $395, but I can't see paying $662 for everything. I don't even think they were going to do the oil pump seal.

Here's my questions:

Should I just go for it, and eat the cost? I hate going to the stealership for these things.

Do you think it's the cam and crank seals or perhaps the front cover gaskets? How tough is it for a DIY'er to replace the front gaskets? I'm thinking I'd have to remove all the pulleys, right?

I'm a somewhat handy DIY'er but haven't done much beyone oil changes, filters, tire rotations, and replaced the above valve cover gaskets. I also don't have the "special tools" my Sub dealership said I'd need to do the timing belt, etc. For example, I have your typical wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, etc, but when it comes to things like torquing down bolts to X lbs, I'll have to guess at the amount of torque I'm applying.

Any suggestions? I was looking for an independent Subaru place in RI and nearby MA, but haven't had any luck.

Thanks everyone for your help.

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Old 06-01-2007, 02:01 PM   #2
Samurai Jack
Scooby Guru
Member#: 21145
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Not in my own time
2002 Enemy of Aku


Should you just go for it and eat the cost? All depends if you think you can/want to do the job yourself. If you have it done, you may be out the money but the job is done and you don't have to worry about it.

Many people have been able to do it on their own and if you are mechanically-inclined, you probably can as well.

If you feel you need a torque wrecnh, just go out and buy one. Beam-type are ~$20 and digital are ~$60. You will always have it for other work later.

There are several threads on "Timing Belt Change" you should search for. They cover the list of parts involved, which include water pump, crank seals, etc. for those that want to go all the way (part numbers included) AND detailed instructions.
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