Timing belt replacement - DIY Tips - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 103 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Timing belt replacement - DIY Tips

About 2 months ago I replaced the timing belt on my 02 automatic with 114,000 miles. The job took me awhile as it was only the second time I'd ever attempted this. The first time was on a 97 Rav-4 I owned previously. I replaced the belt, water pump, tensioner, thermostat, crank and camshaft seals, and both accessory belts, about $300.00 in parts (also, see below). Once the radiator is out there is really lots of room to work. There are several good information sources on the proper steps of doing the job on here and the internet. But definitely have the info printed out for reference. You don't want to ***k this up. It's an interference engine and you could cause serious/expensive engine damage.

I wanted to pass along some tips. Buy the parts from Subaru. It's a few bucks more but worth the reassurance you have quality parts. Trust me on this. The new timing belt is marked to help you align it during installation. Remove the spark plugs to help make it easier to keep both the left and right side of the engine aligned as you try to install the belt, and also after you do the install you can rotate the engine by hand to check the marks. Protect the AC radiator core with a piece of cardboard. Take your time. You rush through this and it will cost you several thousand dollars. Watch the drivers side camshaft as it has a tendency to want to rotate when the engine's at top-dead-center on piston 1. You don't want that. The physically hardest part of the job is removing the crankshaft pulley. I saw a tip about wrapping and old piece of drive belt around the pulley and grabbing it with my chain vice grips. It worked great. (see my photos). I've also heard about putting a breaker bar and socket on it, brace it against the floor and bump the ignition. This scared me to death. I could just imagine the bar rotating around and beating the s**t out of motor and engine compartment, or wrecking the crankshaft pulley nut. Then try to get that off. It's not rocket science but be careful, get good instructions, and take your time. Do it right the first time.

Hope this helps. Email me if you have any questions and check out my recent thread about replacing the front axles.

Timing belt replacement - DIY Tips-dsc_0065.jpg-resized.jpg

Timing belt replacement - DIY Tips-dsc_0067.jpg-resized.jpg

Got something new to add since I did this. This car now has almost 175,000 miles on it - not bad, but it has developed a slow oil leak from under the engine compartment somewhere. It loses about 1 quart or less over 5,000 miles. I took it to Sport Subaru in Orlando about 6 months ago to get a front wheel bearing replaced, and while it was on the lift I asked the lead mechanic about the leak. He told me there is an o-ring behind the oil pump and when I changed all the timing belt gack out I should have replaced that as well. I'm going for 200,000 but will not tear this thing apart again to replace a $4.00 seal because I'm losing $3.00 worth of oil every 4 months. Just wanted to let you know, this is something else to replace.


Last edited by vincethesoundguy; 07-09-2012 at 04:50 AM. Reason: Wanted to add something.
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post #2 of 103 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 07:04 AM
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Good advice ... thats how I torque the crank bolt , old belt and a chain wrench ..... I loosen the bolt by cranking the engine with the key with a long ratchet set on the frame rail .... an old Subaru trick !! But you do it with 2 people , one holding the ratchet so it wont come loose and one to crank the engine ...!

The only thing you said that was incorrect was .."Watch the drivers side camshaft as it has a tendency to want to rotate when the engine's at top-dead-center on piston 1"

When the timing marks are set up it is NOT on TDC #1 .... iNone of the cylinders are at TDC ...all cylinders are in the middle of the stroke ...


Shawn


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post #3 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAEJ25 View Post
The only thing you said that was incorrect was .."Watch the drivers side camshaft as it has a tendency to want to rotate when the engine's at top-dead-center on piston 1"

When the timing marks are set up it is NOT on TDC #1 .... iNone of the cylinders are at TDC ...all cylinders are in the middle of the stroke ...
In the last 48 hours, I have done a timing belt on my buddies 96 Impreza, and my 99 SF, and on both vehicles, the driver's side camgear has to be finely balanced in position, or it'll rotate. One of the valve springs is compressed, possibly on the tip of a cam lobe.

"Wa qad u'thira man anthar."
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post #4 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 08:59 AM
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Good info. I've added 'DIY Tips' to the thread title to distinguish it from a lot of other threads about timing belts that don't involve doing it yourself.

Me: 2003XS Premium MT ● She: 2016i Premium CVT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #5 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:57 PM
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I didn't have a chain wrench, so I did it kinda like this:


"Wa qad u'thira man anthar."
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post #6 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:20 PM
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thanks for the info

I just posted a question about this but apparently I needed to search with the DIY in the search, this is great info thanks,
sean
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post #7 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:31 PM
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Hey, you tried a search. That's more than a lot of people do! I'm glad you found this thread.

With no disrespect intended, I'm going to delete your other thread as it could tend to draw people away from this one or encourage them to pile on with "me too!" posts there.

And +1 for the concept of descriptive thread titles! The Arrrrggghhhhs and the OMGs of this world just aren't helpful.

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post #8 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:39 PM
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What's wrong with this one.

Timing belt and pump change!!!

2001 L 5 spd, Borla header, custom exhaust.
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post #9 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:43 PM
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What's wrong with this one.

Timing belt and pump change!!!
Nothing. It's great too!

Me: 2003XS Premium MT ● She: 2016i Premium CVT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #10 of 103 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:51 PM
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Nothing. It's great too!



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post #11 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 06:03 AM
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Great information. I'm getting ready to do my 2005 Auto Forester. I'm at 93K miles, and I understand that it's about time to do this work.

I really appreciate you taking the time to post. Thank you!
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post #12 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-12-2009, 09:45 AM
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Bolt on crankshaft pulley reverse threaded?

Quick Question:
Is the bolt on the 2000 Forester crankshaft pulley reverse threaded?

I can not for the life of me break the thing loose. I've tried every trick and tip listed here, but even with a chain wrench and three feet of pipe at the end of a ratchet, I can't get it to budge.

Thanks.
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post #13 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-12-2009, 09:52 AM
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Breaker bar, maybe with a pipe to extend it. Lay it on the ground toward the driver's side. Then get in the car and hit the key real quick and shut it off. Don't let it start. Breaks the bolt loose every time.

Done this since MY90 Legacy. Don't forget to tighten to 130 ft lbs or it may come loose and ruin the nose and key slot of the crankshaft.

98S, 2014 Impreza 5 dr Ltd (9 Subaru's since 1978, 7 were 5 sp) ILuvSubaru's
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post #14 of 103 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 06:57 PM
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OEM or after market parts? Source?

I need to do this job ASAP ...

What do you folks with experience recommend for sourcing the parts? OEM sounds like the sure bet - is the price vs. aftermarket very different?

I'd be grateful for your recommendations.

Thanks,
Chris
99 Forester L 5spd manual
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post #15 of 103 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cioni4 View Post
I need to do this job ASAP ...

What do you folks with experience recommend for sourcing the parts? OEM sounds like the sure bet - is the price vs. aftermarket very different?

I'd be grateful for your recommendations.

Thanks,
Chris
99 Forester L 5spd manual
i got from what I can tell a real good deal from these folks -- both OEM t-belt and tensioner -I would say oem for these are the best choice the marks on the belt alone are worth the little bit extra you spend ! IIR gates makes a very good belt and they make a real nice racing belt that has a shorter life span but more exact timing .

I did t-belt , *** belts ( gatorbacks from autozone ) , water pump ( gates) , thermo stat , tensioner , front and rear diff fluid change ( went pricey with swepco) , oil change , and coolant flush ( peak global lifetime and suby conditioner ) and bought the crank pulley tool . I got out at about 450.00 +/- and about 5 hours of my life . I think I used a good mix of oem and after market . I did lots of research and I am very comfortable with the choices I made .

eBay My World - somerset_subaru for t-belt and tensioner

03 foz XS 140K mi
55 chevy panel truck hotrod

Last edited by 2003suby; 01-28-2010 at 05:04 AM.
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