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Cam retainers


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So I took my car in to have the axle clip put in the car like I posted about before. And also noticed it smelt like coolant burning also like I posted before. So they did check it for me and said the headgaskets are blown, cam seals and crank seals leaking, and needs cam retainers. Now the head gasket and seals I can do myself my warranty company doesn’t want to pay them the 15 hours they quoted them but what has me confused is the cam retainers. I’m not sure what those are I was thinking it was the retainers that bolt on to the cams to hold them in the head but they told me to replace them it would be another 9 hours?! Anyone have any idea what they are talking about?
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Ended up talking to the tech that checked out my car. He doesn’t know where the service person got retainer from he said the cam carriers seals are bad. Does this make any more sense? Still never heard of those but I’m still learning. Also it’s Dohc turbo and the warranty company doesn’t get me to do it myself I was stating Subaru wanted 15 hours and my warranty didn’t want to cover that much time. So instead of paying Subaru’s time I can just do the repairs myself of course I’d have to buy all the parts instead of my warranty covering them
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They might be talking about cam seals that you can access when you remove the timing belt and take the cam gears off.

 

 

It's also possibly they are talking about valve cover gaskets.

 

 

 

Either way when you pull the engine to do the headgasket job, you'd likely be doing all those seals at the same time. Including the rear main seal while you have access to it

Edited by moral hazard
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Did some research and apparently the newer Subaru’s (not sure when) have “cam carriers” which is just that. It’s bolted between the head and the valve cover which makes it easier to remove the head without removing the camshatfs one by one but rather a whole unit on each side. Now as far as I could tell from all the diagrams on Subaru. My legacy does not have that. So either they want to charge me for stuff that isn’t even there which makes sense since they said it would cost an addition 9 hours to change this even though if I had one it would easily come off with the head. Or like moral said they are talking about my valve cover gaskets but that’s also false because I just changed them bout a week before taking it to them and I saw no sign of it leaking again. Unless they saw that it had residue on it and thought that it was still leaking. Either way I think it’s best if I just continue doing my own work. Didn’t want to void my warranty by doing my own work but if they won’t cover a head gasket job then atleast I got my money back with the rear diff job
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Personally, I wouldn't remove the head and re-install it with a new head gasket without having it decked at a machine shop first.

 

That's a corner I wouldn't cut. My $.02

 

That’s fair enough only thing that I’m really worried about is this is a reman engine from LKQ. They basically just wanted to send me another engine and I return this one. I don’t think the time and effort would be worth it seeing as I’m seeing their record online and it looks like this happens a lot. Now when this engine goes I was thinking a rebuild because of the head gaskets went out less than 1k who knows if they replaced the pistons and if they did it most likely something cheap. So basically instead of going on and on with my concerns my point is I was looking for something to work until it was tome to rebuild but it you and anyone else thinks I should just get them machined anyways I have no problem doing that just don’t know how long everything else is going to hold up. Also I personally didn’t buy the reman engine. It was in there when I got the car off a dealership. If I knew what I see online I would of kept searching.

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When Subaru changes head gaskets, they do NOT have the head decked. They basically attack the head with the 3M whizzy pads, which can leave high and low spots and not a very good surface for the new gasket to seal on.

 

I've done a couple without decking because of cost and time constraints. If you were to decide to not want to deck them, make yourself a flat plate out of thick glass or Lexan and use adhesive sandpaper and gently sand the head mating surface until it's uniform. This can make the heads usable with the OE gaskets and I would suggest NOT using the Subaru bolts but ARP head studs. The head studs are basically the best insurance you can have for the head gaskets and if you sand the head and block mating surfaces gently until they're uniform, clean them profusely, use Subaru OE gaskets and ARP studs, and follow ARP's instructions for torque, you'll have a very high chance of success for a long time.

 

The last one I did that way has over 140K on the HG replacement (2.5 DOHC N/A in a 1998 OB wagon) and is still running perfectly, so it can certainly be done.

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I do agree with Gkinslow though. To be absolutely sure you are good, it's definitely best to have the heads decked and pressure checked at the same time. It's not expensive, and if the heads pass the pressure check, then you know the valves are sealing and should be no issue to reinstall with new OE Subaru head gaskets and ARP head studs.

 

Even if you do have the heads decked, you will still want to have your flat plate and go over the deck on the block gently and completely, moving in circles, to make sure it's as flat as possible. The time spent to do this on all gasket surfaces is absolutely worth it as it can completely eliminate minor problems that can rear their ugly heads once you are completely reassembled and back in the car.

Edited by JmP6889928
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The Subaru dealership I worked at years ago would send all heads to a machine shop when doing a headgasket job. So I guess it's about how much risk you're willing to take. I've done it both ways on my subarus and would prefer a machine shop to be 100% confidant personally.
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