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Old 2009-01-09, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default Next up... the SVX's motor

It's finally time to deal w/ the SVX's leaky front-end.

I figure, since I'm mopping up about a tablespoon of fresh oil off the garage floor every day, it's time to pull the front of the SVX's motor apart to replace the seals, and freshen up the rest of the stuff under the timing cover while I'm in there.

So, I ordered up some new cam seals, cam plugs (the intake cams are gear-driven by the exhaust cams inside the heads, so there's no seal, just a plug over the end of the cam), timing belt, and water pump. Plus some other odds and ends to correct a minor leak at the power-steering reservoir. I picked the bits up this afternoon, and after some careful maneuvering of the WRX into the 3rd car stall in the garage, I got the SVX up on the ramps and started pulling stuff apart.

I drained and yanked the radiator, pulled the P/S pump and alternator, and then noticed that there's a nice crank pulley sized hole worn through the front of the timing cover. Apparently, the SVX uses a two-piece crank pulley that has a rubber damper between the two pieces. When the rubber wears out, the outer ring of the pulley can wander... either into the timing cover (like mine) or go shooting off the front of the motor and into traffic. So, now I'm going to need a new timing cover and crank pulley. Luckily, the SVX shares pulley's with all the EJ motors, so I can just use the stock pulley off my WRX that's been sitting in a box for the last 5 years or so.

Then I got further into the motor, pulling the timing belt and checking the idlers. Well, none of the idlers are perfectly quiet, but one of them is nearly shot... so that's another piece to order. Surprisingly, the timing belt looks awesome. I assume it's either the original or second timing belt on the car, so it's got at least 100k miles on it, if not 220k... and it looks fantastic! The year-old accessory belts that were on there look 100 times worse!

And while I'm poking around, I find where all the power steering leaks are coming from (it wasn't just the reservoir like I had hoped)... basically all the lines except the high-pressure line from the pump to the rack are shot... they're actually leaking through the clamps, because the clamps have nearly cut them through! I'll be able to get away with replacing a few of the low-pressure return lines with some fuel hose I've already got I think, but there are some other bits I need to order, including some more o-rings for the HP line.

And finally, after crawling around under there, I'm coming to the conclusion that the valve covers are leaking as well, though not as bad as the cam seals... so if I'm going to do all this work, I might as well replace all the seals in there as well.

So, I just ordered up the valve cover gaskets, the power steering lines I need, an idler pulley, radiator hoses, and timing cover bits I need. Ugh... this is getting to be expensive! But it should mean the SVX is good to go for a long while longer, as long as I don't lose a ring-land or something else internal to the motor *knocks on wood*.

Now I just have to figure out if it'll be less work to pull the motor out entirely to do all this work (and cleaning... there's like a 4mm thick sludge covering *everything*), or if it's less work just to suffer through taking out all the crap like the airbox, battery, coolant reservoir, etc, just to still have cramped working conditions to get at the valve covers... I think leaving the motor in will actually be less work, simply because I can leave the A/C and fuel lines alone... but I'd really like to pull it out to really clean it top to bottom and make sure everything that needs repair is taken care of.

And I have to say... working on a car w/ 220k mile *sucks*. Nearly everything on my WRX is new (you know 'cause the motor is perpetually 6 months old)... so I'm not used to dealing with all the grit and grime of a car that's been driven w/ a slow oil leak for 2 years (even when the WRX's motor was covered in oil due to the oil breather issues it had, at least that oil was fresh, and not sludge). I got new respect for folks like Cory that have to wrench on other people's messes all the time! Plus, it seems like just about every hose on that car is hard as concrete... I'm afraid to bend anything for fear of it cracking and crumbling.
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Old 2009-01-09, 12:46 AM   #2
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If it wasn't for the $120 AC recharge, I'd probably say just pull the engine. But that's a lot of cash just to have a little more elbow room, so it's probably worth it to give it a try in place.
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Old 2009-01-09, 12:47 AM   #3
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Wow, more fun for you I guess. So, the WRX crank pulleys are 1-piece? Wow, now I know what to replace all mine with.

Isn't that dirt so fun?
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Old 2009-01-09, 12:55 AM   #4
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Wow, more fun for you I guess. So, the WRX crank pulleys are 1-piece? Wow, now I know what to replace all mine with.

Isn't that dirt so fun?
Actually... now that you mention it... I'm not sure if the WRX is one-piece or not. I know all the aftermarket ones are!

Either way I guess, my WRX pulley only has around 20k miles on it (if that) since it was one of the things I replaced early on... so if a pulley lasts 200k miles, I've got another 150-180k to go on the WRX one it seems.
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Old 2009-01-09, 01:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
If it wasn't for the $120 AC recharge, I'd probably say just pull the engine. But that's a lot of cash just to have a little more elbow room, so it's probably worth it to give it a try in place.
I'm thinking I may be able to pull the A/C compressor and just set it on the fender w/o removing the lines. The only issue is that the last time I torqued on the lines, it made the old o-rings in there leak. I ended up having to replace the o-rings on the compressor and re-charge the system once before.

However, with the new-ish o-rings in there, it will probably be more resilient to leaking, but probably not at the firewall... so I'm still up in the air about it. Folks on the SVX forum are bitching about how much of a PITA the job is with the motor in the car... plus if I pull the motor, I can do the rear-main seal as well just 'cause the motor's out and it'll eventually need to be done.
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Old 2009-01-09, 07:30 AM   #6
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Yeah dude, I could type an entire page of bitching about working on older, greasy cars...

If it were me, I'd do the job in the car, unless you're *really* set on doing the rear main seal. (did we not to that when the trans. was out?) It's a squeeze, but with the right tools you can get to the valve covers without pulling the motor, or your hair, out.
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Old 2009-01-09, 08:25 AM   #7
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Wow.. (Not that I have anything useful to say in this thread but...) I was just telling my wife how cool it would be to add an SVX to the family because I have always admired their design. I did once see a 5speed conversion on an SVX that looked pretty cool

Good Luck with your SVX Scott..
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Old 2009-01-09, 09:03 AM   #8
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How often do people do valve adjustments on Subaru motors?
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Old 2009-01-09, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPREZIV View Post
Yeah dude, I could type an entire page of bitching about working on older, greasy cars...

If it were me, I'd do the job in the car, unless you're *really* set on doing the rear main seal. (did we not to that when the trans. was out?) It's a squeeze, but with the right tools you can get to the valve covers without pulling the motor, or your hair, out.
Well shit... if we did the rear main (I can't remember) then I will just leave the motor in the car. On the other hand, if I should be doing the rear main, I might as well pull the motor and do the engine mounts we ended up not doing w/ the tranny swap as well.

How do we go about getting you to remember if you did the rear main? I remember you bitching about how heavy that tranny is... can you recall if after pulling that trashed tranny out, you swapped the rear main (probably from that box of Subaru seals you've got sitting around, 'cause I don't remember buying a rear main from the dealership) before dead-lifting the new tranny into place like a super-hero?
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Old 2009-01-09, 10:29 AM   #10
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.. or go shooting off the front of the motor and into traffic.
I have experienced a crank pulley leaving my vehicle at speed and it was unfun.
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Old 2009-01-09, 10:34 AM   #11
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Dude, if you pull the motor, slap a manual in there. Heheh.

But, if you need to borrow an AC recharge harness, I have one. On this last swap, I never disconnected the AC, just rotated it out of the way.
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Old 2009-01-09, 10:44 AM   #12
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Dude, if you pull the motor, slap a manual in there. Heheh.

But, if you need to borrow an AC recharge harness, I have one. On this last swap, I never disconnected the AC, just rotated it out of the way.
I'm going to try really hard to leave the A/C in place.

Oh, and I just found out, SVX motor mounts are like $200... each. And they're stupid oil-filled rubber mounts that tend to shear open and become useless. Screw paying as much for two mounts as I paid for everything else! I just ordered a pair of WRX mounts at $80 ea, and I'll be grinding down the SVX brackets to make the WRX mounts fit. They're stronger, stiffer, and cheaper.
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Old 2009-01-09, 12:18 PM   #13
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Damn dude... I wish I could remember for sure if I did that seal or not. It's the kind of thing I'd do, but the entire event is eclipsed in my mind by the FANTASTIC back pain...
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Old 2009-01-09, 12:40 PM   #14
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Damn dude... I wish I could remember for sure if I did that seal or not. It's the kind of thing I'd do, but the entire event is eclipsed in my mind by the FANTASTIC back pain...


Well, then I think I'm going to pull the motor so I can do it and the engine mounts. Now I just gotta get a hoist again!

Hey Van, wanna loan me that hoist I was so insistent on getting out of my garage and back to you?
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Old 2009-01-09, 01:25 PM   #15
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Crap, I'm supposed to be using it this weekend to pull the EJ20 and gearbox out of the RS!
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Old 2009-01-09, 01:40 PM   #16
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Crap, I'm supposed to be using it this weekend to pull the EJ20 and gearbox out of the RS!
It's cool, I just found one on Craig's List I'll be picking up this evening.
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Old 2009-01-09, 05:01 PM   #17
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Nice. What's a used one go for anyway?
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Old 2009-01-11, 12:38 AM   #18
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Nice. What's a used one go for anyway?
'round $100 give or take on condition and lift capacity.
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Old 2009-01-11, 12:40 AM   #19
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Anyone know how to take a torque converter off an engine?

I assumed it would stay on the transmission when I pulled the motor... instead I've got a motor hanging from the hoist that I can bolt to the engine stand because the TC sticks out too far.
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Old 2009-01-11, 02:17 AM   #20
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I'm not the professional mechanic, but I think it just slides off.
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Old 2009-01-11, 10:12 AM   #21
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There should be several bolts around the perimeter of the TC. At least all the automatics I've taken apart are that way. Then you should be left with a "flex plate" bolted to the crank the same as the flywheel. Also, I don't know about subaru, but all of the automatics I've done recommend replacing the TC seal when it comes off the trans.
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Old 2009-01-11, 11:41 AM   #22
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Ah, okay.


all my experience with automatics comes from watching hot rod shows on Spike.
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Old 2009-01-11, 11:55 AM   #23
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There should be several bolts around the perimeter of the TC. At least all the automatics I've taken apart are that way. Then you should be left with a "flex plate" bolted to the crank the same as the flywheel. Also, I don't know about subaru, but all of the automatics I've done recommend replacing the TC seal when it comes off the trans.
Got any idea what the P/N is for that TC seal?
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Old 2009-01-11, 12:57 PM   #24
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Okay, I think I know the 4 bolts that Steve's talking about. The problem is, I need to take the TC off the engine to get to them, which is all that I'm trying to do to begin with! So, I'm guessing that there's some sort of miscommunication about the state of my TC, or I'm blind and can't find the bolts that Steve mentioned.

Here's what I'm dealing with (see pics). How do I pull that bitch off in order to get the motor to fit on my engine stand? And when I go to reinstall the motor, can I install the TC in the tranny before putting the motor into the car? I gotta think I'll demolish the oil seal in the tranny trying to jam that TC in there with the weight of the motor behind it!
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Old 2009-01-11, 09:31 PM   #25
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sorry, been away from the computer all day. those are exactly the bolts you need to undo. There should be an access port or plate in the flange on the motor to get to the head of the bolts. The WRX has a plastic plug under the IC to get to them. I have no idea on the 6 cyl. motor where it is.

By the way, watch out on Mt. Rose hwy. and Wedge. Just got pulled over for doing 5 over the limit. Well actually got pulled over for flicking my high beams. Didn't know it was a cop, but it sure looked like he had his highs on...
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