Hello folks, today I have a guide on how to change those annoying
spark plug tube seals and valve cover gaskets.
10, 12 and 14mm
sockets and wrenches
4 and 6 inch extensions
OEM Subaru valve cover set and spark plug tube seal
- 04 x 10966AA000 GSKT-SPARK PL PIP
- 02 x 13294AA053 GSKT-ROCKER COVER
Shop towel (to wipe the surfaces clean)
DO NOT BUY THE FEL-PRO KIT! It does not fit, in fact I'm not sure what EJ it was made for. The rocker cover gasket design is unchanged btwn the EJ251 and EJ253 02-09 , Not sure about the phase 3 EJ253 (MY '10-'12) When you go to your Subaru dealer to order this parts they will in fact be for a 2.5RS (until/unless they have updated their labeling system).
The easiest method to changing the gaskets is to raise your engine. To do this loosen the two 14mm nuts holding the mounts to the lower engine cradle:
Once complete take the air induction assembly off along with the air box to expose the pitching stopper mount. Use a 14mm socket to remove the bolt that is connected to the firewall. Now all three connection points to the frame are free and able to move.
Use a piece of wood and a jack to lift the engine gently by the oil pan. I raised mine up to where it would not go any further as I wanted max room to work on the driver side lower rear bolts.
I also removed the battery, breather hoses, oil filler neck, filter box and rotated the fuse block out of the way just to gain more room to work. This is all optional but will make life much easier.
Passenger side first
1. Remove the seven 10mm bolts:
-6 on the rocker cover
-1 securing the timing belt cover to the rocker cover
If you have removed your manifold (as I have done here) the bottom offers the best view and working room for the bottom three bolts.
If not your engine should be raised enough to get to them with easy minus the lower rear bolt. It is still accessible but may require a shorter socket or ratcheting wrench.
Remove the top three 10mm bolts and the cover will be ready to come off with a tap. The old seal will be stuck to the head and the tube seals will have flattened out a bit. Remove and discard. Also make sure to have a catch pan below as some accumulated oil will drain out upon removal.
2. Clean the cover and head mating surfaces with a towel and press in the new gasket and tube seals. There is flatter side and a more round side. The flat side goes towards the head the round ene goes in the channel around the cover.
3. Gently replace the rocker cover ensuring the gasket remain seated in the channel all the way around.
4. Thread in the top middle 10mm bolt followed by the rest.
5. Tighten the bolts down.
These are shoulder bolts once you tighten to the stop DO NOT exert any more force on the bolts. YOU WILL STRIP THEM! This did not happen to me but these are Aluminum heads, soft at that, you dont want to strip one of these and have to drill and tap
6. Repeat these steps on the driver side but not there are only 6 bolts, this is due to the driver side head being close to the firewall than the passenger side head and the timing cover not securing to the rocker cover.
The driver side rocker is a PITA even with the engine jacked up
7. Once you have the driver side done reinstall all removed items to allow for more space and you are done, go have a beer