Subaru Valve Adjustment Tool / Valve Bucket Clearance Guide.

Subaru Legacy GT Limited_7

Imagine for a moment that you own a Subaru Impreza WRX, Legacy GT, or Forester with the EJ25 2.5L DOHC Turbo engine. Life is pretty good right?  Right! Until your valves burn, and you lose compression. Yeah having a Subaru with low compression is basically a death sentence because the cost to repair it is massive. The engine has to be removed, heads have to come off, be rebuilt, and the list goes on.

Alas – there is good news for the Subaru enthusiasts that are taking on this repair themselves and need to figure out valve clearances. I did this repair a while back and quickly realized that my feeler gauges were not metric (because they were ancient), which caused some challenges for the metric valve bucket sizing. So I made an excel file that converts inch sizes to metric and vice versa.  It also lists all of the valve bucket part numbers so that you can order the proper sizes for your car.  Oh, and I also included the Subaru valve clearance tolerances that were correct for my 2005 Legacy GT Limited. I’m not sure if they are the same for all Turbo DOHC EJ25’s or not. Do some research and use your best judgement!  Below is a download link to my excel file tool that you will find helpful if you are measuring Subaru valve buckets.


Good luck and post any questions below!

Chromecast + YouTube – A Gearhead’s Best Friend

I am a car guy, not a computer guy, and I’m here to tell you that you might need some technology in your life if you don’t already have it.  It’s called a Chromecast, and it’s made by Google.  It’s like $35 from Google themselves, but if you shop around you can find it for $25, especially during the holiday season.  Once you get this magical device, you plug it into the USB port in the back of your TV, assuming your TV is not ancient (and you have wifi in your house), and Tada!  The job is done.

From there, you hop on your smart phone, and you can send any YouTube video from your phone to your tv. You can do some other cool stuff with Chromecast too, but for our “car-guy” purposes, we’re primarily going to use it for streaming car stuff on YouTube to our TV’s.

Now you might be saying “Isn’t YouTube mostly 30 second cat videos?”, and yes, in fact it is.  However more and more big companies are creating real TV-like shows solely on YouTube. MotorTrend is one of them, which means it is a great time to be a gearhead. You’ve probably heard of HotRod magazine too right? Well, the editors of that magazine have a fantastic show each month called Roadkill.  It’s better than anything you’ll find on cable because it is real car-guys, and when things fail, they really fail. It isn’t man-made drama. Below you can see an example episode (from Dec 2014), and if you want to watch the whole series, I have organized it from beginning to end for you on this:

Motortrend Roadkill Page

1985 C4 Corvette-Kart vs. 2014 Lingenfelter C7! – Roadkill Episode. 35

In the future, I’ll be sharing more of the best car-guy video content that I find, so grab your Chromecast or whatever streaming device you like, and leave a comment below telling me what car stuff you are watching!

The Tom and Joe Auto Show is Coming!

Fantastic News For Gearheads!

A couple of guys that I know are about to create something wonderful for all of the gearheads on the internet!  It is called “The Tom and Joe Car Show”.  It’s beginning on Monday December 8th and it is a podcast that can be accessed at

Now, if you are someone that regularly watches awesome gearhead videos on YouTube, like myself, you are probably already subscribed to both of their YouTube channels. If not, I recommend that you go do that now, you’ll be happy that you did.

Joe B’s YouTube Channel – Wrenches, Races, and Rides

Tom T’s YouTube Channel – Tom’s Turbo Garage

On the other hand, if you aren’t somebody who hangs out watching car-builds on YouTube on rainy days, then I’ll give you the cliff notes.

Turbo Tom – as he is known to some – has had a plethora of cars with forced induction from Mitsubishis to Buick Grand Nationals.  He is a real car-guy, understands the science and math behind the greasy parts, and is meticulous with his upgrades and repairs.  Tom does real-world repairs and tasteful performance upgrades that make perfect sense and are doable by real people with real budgets. He builds the cars the way that they should be built, and shows the viewers what happens when things go right and what to do if they wrong. His work space is what every gearhead dreams of, but few of us can maintain. Watching his videos make me seriously wonder if I am in fact a hoarder of junky cars and auto parts.

Joe B – is a guy that is very well known in the online automotive communities for going really stupid fast with cars that were never intended to be. His vast knowledge of turbo cars, metal, great beards, and racing is on a level that most strive to achieve. His current project is a front wheel drive DSM that he has stripped to a sandblasted shell, and is turning it into a budget drag racer. His work space is what most of us have, and he has shown us brilliant ways to make the most of it. His YouTube channel is one that you can watch every video from beginning to end a few times, and keep getting more out of it each time.

Both of these guys are the real deal as far as car-guys go. They aren’t actors that you’ll ever see on the red carpet, but they could get your car running again after a 2-3-2 shift at the drag strip.  Subscribe to their youtube channels, watch their videos, and most importantly tune-in to the brand new Tom and Joe Auto Show podcast on Monday. They are doing this for OUR entertainment, how can we say no to that?!

Be Sure To Share This News With Every Gearhead You Know!

You did not buy that truck.


That is probably what many people would have said to me if I had brought home any one of these trucks. You see a few weeks ago there was an estate auction of a very popular local guy that loved collecting old cars, trucks, farm equipment, machinery and anything else that looked to have value. I personally had never met the gentleman, but I know many people that knew him well, and he was very well respected far and wide. Among his collection were piles of evil sad looking trucks that I would have loved to nurse back to life from behind the tinted shield of a welding mask. The problem was that many were lacking all hope and proper paperwork. Sure they may have had good roofs and maybe a usable door here and there, but a roof doesn’t make a legal truck in Massachusetts. Most were nothing more than the handsomest looking scrap metal. Needless to say, there isn’t one in my driveway as I type this. That doesn’t mean that I don’t regret leaving them in the field that day.  In fact, the more I look at them, the more I think that I may have made a horrible mistake. A little wax, a couple swings of the hammer, and they could have been on the road again. Shrug. Everything rides into the sunset eventually. I’ll hope that these derelict metal hulks haven’t taken that drive just yet, and I’ll keep my eyes peeled for them in the future, just in case I have a second chance to redeem myself.