Subaru Legacy GT Limited Part 2

As you saw a few weeks ago, I recently purchased a 2006 Subaru Legacy GT Limited that was missing compression in cylinder #3 due to a burned exhaust valve. Long story short, it runs again, but getting to this point was a fair amount of work. Here is how it played out:

I bought the car about a month ago:

Then I got it home, and began diagnostics with a cylinder leakage tester. 

I determined that the exhaust valve in cylinder 3 was damaged in some way, so I pulled the motor.

When I pulled the engine out, the torque converter pulled out a bit with it, and I was afraid that I may have damaged the front seal. So I replaced it. Luckily, it was only like $10 from Subaru.

Once the 2.5L DOHC turbo engine was out, I pulled the cylinder heads off and found a burned exhaust valve, just as I had suspected.

I then decided that it would be a smart idea to replace all the exhaust valves since none of them looked all that great. This meant that I had to re-clearance all the valves, and take tons of measurements with my feeler gauges.

I then popped a bunch of my data into Excel and figured out what I needed. When all was said and done, it was clear that I needed to come up with 7 new valve buckets. Bummer. Luckily, I know guy…

I then reassembled the heads, and double, triple, and quadruple checked my valve clearances. All was well! Alas, it was finally time to throw it all back together and toss it back into the car. Since I didn’t feel comfortable with the old timing belt or pulleys, I replaced them all with a timing belt / water pump kit from of course! It all fit flawlessly as I knew it would.

Next up, all the accessories were bolted on, fluids were swapped out, and it was time to start her up. Before taking that big leap though, I wanted to make sure that the engine had plenty of oil pressure.  So I unplugged the injectors and coils, and spun the engine over with the starter until the oil light turned off.  It took about 3 rounds of cranking the engine for 5 seconds to get to that point.  Then came that moment.  That moment that is so fantastic that words can’t really express its coolness. I’m talking about the first start of an engine that you personally assembled. I wish that every person could experience it because it really is a special feeling. I plugged in the ignition coils and the injectors and crossed my fingers and toes.  The key rolled forward and within a few spins, the engine fired right up and idled.  What an awesomely terrific feeling.

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Find Out What Happened Next In The Subaru Saga!

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

9 thoughts to “Subaru Legacy GT Limited Part 2”

    1. Not a bad idea Jeff! But, with an automatic transmission, I’m always fearful of adding horsepower. I know, I know. Lots of fast cars have autos….etc, etc. In my experience, cars that are broken also have automatics. 😉

  1. “Then came that moment. That moment that is so fantastic that words can’t really express its coolness”

    I can only imagine. I put together a 4 cyclinder engine model kit for some kids a couple week ago and couldn’t believe it worked.

  2. I did a bunch of work on a 2.2L turbo diesel in my small Winnebago camper. I bought it knowing that the engine was broken (timing belt snapped …. long story, very bad result). Having never worked on a diesel before – especially a turbo, I was pretty nervous when I started it up the first time. It’s a great feeling to know that you built it and it actually runs!

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