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Gary
Gary, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 770
Experience:  Senior Technician
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I just did head gaskets in a 98 Subaru Outback driver side

Customer Question

I just did head gaskets in a 98 Subaru Outback driver side cylinders are getting spark and fuel but the exhaust manifold is not getting warm have good compression on all cylinders but it's only running on the passenger side cylinders swap fuel injectors from one side to the other and it's still only fires on the passenger side my question is do I need to recalibrate the computer or is it possible to computer burned up beings it was running good when I took the head gasket off and replace them it just had a weeping head gasket which allows the exhaust to go into the cooling system put a couple holes in the thermostat and was able to make it for 6 months but wanted to replace it before winter
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Gary replied 5 months ago.

Hi there,

I would recheck the valve timing.

Hope it is not too late.

Have seen this many times where timing marks are misinterpreted.

What exactly are your compression readings?

Gary

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
145 and 150 I've also just replace the coil pack and cam sensor by chance could the computer be reset is there a diode that might have shorted out or a way to check for this to see if the computer is bad
Expert:  Gary replied 4 months ago.

Threre is no reset as such.

If you have compression, spark and fuel, then one of them is at the wrong time.

Can you check the firing order, since you have a one piece coil pack?

Can you check the injector harness is correct for that head, not on backwards?

Have you reverified the valve timing is correct?

Did each head go back on where it came from?

Gary

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I don't think it's possible to put the wrong head on the wrong side to start with the injectors were never taken off the harness and the timing belt has been put on and off several times had the head taken off and back to the machine shop and rechecked with no problems I'm at a loss with this problem beans the car ran fine when I put it in the shop
Expert:  Gary replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

Is this a single or twin cam per head?

Does the exhaust smell of unburnt fuel?

Gary

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I just came from the shop where it's at and the guy working on it now tells me let the compression on those two cylinders between 75 and 80 pounds he says the Rings must be shot on that side I don't understand how that could be when it was running so good when I took the heads off except for the Weeping head gasket which I drilled a lcouple holes in the thermostat so I had time and money to tear into it but now the Rings are shot I don't understand how that could be possible but that he's not really a Subaru mechanic
Expert:  Gary replied 4 months ago.

My bet is some valves are not seating after the head work was done.

75 and 80 psi is certainly low.

Ask him to now perform a PROPER leak down test.

Each piston at TDC compression valves closed.

Gary

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I just came from the shop here in town I don't think he knows anymore about Subaru's and I do he told me he thinks the Pistons are gone and the Rings aren't seating I just have a hard time believing that because it ran so good before I took them off I'll get back ahold of him and see if I can get him to do that leak down test thanks Joe
Expert:  Gary replied 4 months ago.

Hi Joe,

Saying the rings are gone, is the easy way out of the job.

He does not understand that if it ran fine before the headgaskets, then a leak down test will tell where the SUDDEN loss is.

Any good mechanic knows that.

If he says you only have 75 and 80 psi on those 2 cylinders, the valve timing must be wrong.

Let's see what he comes back with.

Gary

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The mechanic has been working on it says he pulled the oil cap off and said it's puffing air and that's what he says is the Rings I don't see how the Rings could go bad just sitting there I'm getting ready to tow it home because I'm thoroughly disgusted with him I truly believe he knows less about this car than I do and that's not a whole lot I guess I'm going to have to figure myself out how to do the leak down test
Expert:  Gary replied 4 months ago.

That's not a good sign if it is puffing air out the oil cap.

A little air could be normal.

Further investigation is necessary.

Leak down test and cam timing verification is the next step.

I hope you can sort this, and I hope my advice has been of assistance to you.

Kind regards

Gary

Expert:  Gary replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

How did you go with your problem?

I hope my advice has been of assistance to you.

Kind regards

Gary